Valentine’s Smith Style

Standard

I know that Valentine’s Day is always on February 14 but somehow this year the 14th got here way too quickly!  Life has been zipping by at breakneck speeds lately-I’m sure you can relate.  Yesterday my youngest pulled out a can of Chef Boyardee and asked if she could have it for dinner tomorrow night (which would be Valentine’s).  Her older sister said “No, it is Valentines Day and Mom probably has a big, special dinner planned.”

Sigh

I am thrilled that she has noticed the special efforts I have given in previous years.  But this year I just didn’t have it in me.  Thankfully, I was able to say “We will have lunch tomorrow since y’all have a half-day of school and Dad is working in the evening.”  Whew, lunch is easier to do than dinner!  Then I didn’t let myself fret over it but got the evening wrapped up and ended watching my favorite TV show…Nashville!

This morning I kicked into gear getting  potato soup going by 9AM (recipe below).  My handsome fella was kind enough to bring home some awesome cupcakes from a bakery near his office so I didn’t even have to try to make a dessert.  Now to get the annual Valentine clues written for the hunt for the treats.

Fortunately I picked up some small little gifts for my girls on an errand run in the last few weeks so all I needed today was to run get some twizzlers.  Our candy selection is limited as the 7-year-old just entered the world of orthodontia with an expander…so no more gummy candy for a while 😦 But they gave approval for twizzlers so the world didn’t stop spinning.

After a salted caramel mocha at Burlap and Bean with my handsome fella, we made the Target run and came home with just enough time to get the Valentine Treat all set up.

I started getting the table set and really wanted it to be fun for the girls….so what could I do.  I remembered some special heart hotdogs that I repinned from my cousin-in-law and I came up with a clever way to make our soup Valentine-y too.

Here are some pictures from our table:

:Heart Hot Dogs

Hearts in soup

Here is how the entire table ended up for our family lunch:

Valentine Lunch 2013

Making the heart in the soup was super easy and such a fun way to make it fit with the theme.  I simply put  sour cream in a small bowl and dropped some food coloring in to make it pink….but whoops it was purple!  Oh well.  Then I put the colored sour cream in a small ziploc and clipped of the corner so I could “draw” the heart on the soup.  I made my snip too large but it still worked out fine.

So in the end, we had a great family lunch together.  The soup is always excellent and the cupcakes were great!  We ended our lunch reading the “Love” chapter from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13.

Baked Potato Soup

Combine in a large slow cooker:

  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed (use Russets/Idaho NOT Yukons…Oh and my definition of large is like 6 inches long so if you have small potatoes use a few more to equal out large ones)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 quart of chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • pepper to taste (I pepper the entire top of the crock with pepper and then mix it in)

Cook on High for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Mash the potatoes until the soup is slightly thickened.

Stir in:

  • 1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2  (or you can use cream)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

I like to serve it with sour cream, bacon and (of course) more cheese.

 

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