Paolo Coelho, the world renown author who penned the fabulous book “The Alchemist” (truly, one of my favorite books), once said “Loving is not just looking at each other…it’s looking in the same direction”.
Valentine’s Day, I’m pretty sure, was created to celebrate love between romantic partners. But, sometimes, it’s fun to celebrate it with really awesome friends. And, thinking about Paolo Coelho’s quote made me think about friendships that I have with those who have the same “food vision” as I do…looking forward in the same direction.
So, when I started thinking about who looks forward in the same direction as I do, my friend Jenny was the first person to come to mind!! We were talking about how much fun it would be to create an event like this to celebrate our pals, so we spent the morning together curating some awesome nibbles that anyone could make! She’s already finished her blog (click the link here if you want to read her take on it!!).
Tomorrow, February 13th, is Galentine’s Day when you can share some fun with your Gal Pals! In case you didn’t know, Galentine’s was created (thanks to the TV show Parks and Rec!) to celebrate with your girlfriends. But, why not include ALL of your friends…guys too? You can call it Palentine’s Day!!
Whether you share it with friends, your special someone or even all the munchkins in your life, I have so much to share with you to get those creative juices flowing!
Start your breakfast off on the right foot by whipping up a healthy protein smoothie (since, the day will most likely become more sugar laden as the day goes on, ’cause, uhhh hello, chocolate!?!?). Start with a basic smoothie (check out this post if you need help) and swap out the spinach/greens for some strawberries. And, while you’re at it, top it off with some cute ice cubes like these (use a heart mold or one like these lips!!) filled with water and a splash of POM juice)…
Mid Morning Snack:
These cute heart shaped pillows of goodness couldn’t be easier to make!! It’s simply won-ton wrappers from the grocery store, cut into heart shapes, filled with some yummy stuff and quickly fried!! I will even give you permission to have it as your morning snack!! Need more direction? Click here to see how it’s done (just remember to cut them into heart shapes if you want to be all Valentinzy (I just invented a word!!)).
And, speaking of permission, I will ABSOLUTELY give you permission to have a mid day drink…you know, to honour the holiday!! Pour some ice cold prosecco into a glass and drop in some pink cotton candy….it will fizz beautifully and leave you with the prettiest pink drink (and the flavour doesn’t really change that much!!)
Now let’s move onto lunch!! I think a lovely lunch would include this awesome (and easy to prepare) dish! There are so many ways to make this “love salad” (complete with heart shaped bacon and heart shaped crisps)…but if you need some guidance, check out this post!!
You can make it in a platter and serve it family style, or…
…you can serve it individually!
And, if you have extra heart crisps (which are essentially tortillas cut into heart shapes and baked…we sprinkled ours with beet powder but you could also use paprika!!), why not add them to a simple cheese platter? Ours had nuts and strawberries as well as a small brie that has a heart shaped portion removed and filled with fig jam (strawberry jam would work too!)…so cute, right??
Now, it’s dinner time and we are going to “wow” whoever you are entertaining and make them believe you have worked your buns off to create this event (but, you won’t actually have to because it is sooooo easy!!).
First off, let’s start with a cute little nibble. All you need is a small package of goat cheese, some pistachios and a beet slice (use bottled pickled beets). Roll a tablespoon full of the goat cheese into a ball and coat it in some crushed pistachios. Place it on a serving tray (I love these Chinese soup spoons…they are so cheap!!) and place a heart shaped beet in front (literally a beet slice cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter). Together they are delish!!
Now, how about a proper pizza…a Valentine’s pizza!!
A simple shape change, topped with your favourites and you have the best pizza ever!!
I hear ya! Y’all don’t want the fuss of making pizza from scratch, right? Just buy some naan bread and cut it out into heart shapes (save your scraps and make some bread crumbs!!!). Toast them up and top them with some store bought pesto and slivered sun dried tomatoes!! Such a treat!!
What if your guests are craving pasta but don’t necessarily want a heavy main course? No problem!! Serve these cute heart shaped pasta ravioli (which you can find in many grocery stores, but we used Continental Noodle pasta!!) in small tasting plates with a dollop of hot sauce at the bottom and a healthy shaving of parmigiano!
And since we had salad at lunch, why not make some of these skewers for dinner? My friend Jenny called these “I Love You From My Head Tomatoes!!”
If you have regular tomatoes, you can use a mini cutter to get these shapes and add in boconcini with a balsamic drizzle…
Or if you have more oblong shaped tomatoes, you can get heart shapes by cutting them on an angle and off-setting them. Below, I placed the tomato and bocconcini skewer on top of a small dish with olive oil and balsamic…
Or you can make a small salad cup and place the skewers on top…then just pass the dressing!!
Now,so far, we have shown you mainly nibbles for dinner. However, if you are making a proper dinner, you can always cut your carrots into heart shapes! Yup, it’s finicky, but oh-so-cute!!!
Nothing says I love you on Valentine’s Day more than chocolate!! Below, I just took some large marshmallows, coated them in melted chocolate and sprinkled them with teeny heart candies.
You can also coat small heart shaped cake pops (I used both red velvet and chocolate) in the same melted chocolate! So cute!!
This is what happens when you find puff pastry in your freezer!! Defrost a log and slather some Nutella on it. Next, roll it up on either end (meeting in the middle). Cut them into palmier shapes but pinch the bottom to get a heart shape and bake them until golden. You can even add a few of these to store bought ice cream…instant Valentines Day dessert!!
If you want a great treat for the wee ones in your house, make these cute Rice Crispy Monsters (they are perfect to bring to school for Valentines Day treats and they’re great for the kids that think all of this love stuff is gross!). Check out the how-to post here!
Those same lip shapes we used to make ice cubes can be used to make candy! Just melt some good dark chocolate and pour into a mold…taaadaaahhhh! Artisinal chocolate at half the price!!
You can serve these brownies simply with a glass of milk (or, even better, an espresso!!) or you can take it up a notch. We had made a bread pudding for another post, so we cut it into a large heart shape and placed it on a plate. Then we topped that with a heart shaped brownie and then topped that, finally, with a heart shape scoop of ice cream (push ice cream into a heart shaped cookie cutter and pop out!!)
And finally, at the end of the day, I felt so loved. Not just because I spent the day with a friend doing what I love most, but because my friend Jenny brought me this incredible Valentines Day dessert that she had lovingly hand made for me to share with my family. It is two heart-shaped sugar cookies piped with Nutella marscarpone filling and embellished with strawberries and chocolate truffles.
Jenny, if you read this post, you need to know that this was the most extraordinary dessert …like ever!!
Also, please tell me that, since I ate three (large) pieces of this dessert that was made with love for my family, but I ate it for breakfast, there are no calories?
Please say right!
Pin the image below so you won’t forget one single thing for this special day!!