Category Archives: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Smith Style

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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.

 

Party Punch—easy, easy, easy!

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I recently needed an easy party punch as it was going to be too warm for cider at a holiday party.  I searched the internet up and down for a non-alcoholic and non-red punch.

That is a difficult combination—especially when you want it to also be easy and tasty.

However, I succeeded!  I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com.  I love that it takes two ingredients so you can make more as needed.  I chilled the ingredients overnight in the refrigerator and mixed the first batch up just before the party.  Then when the punch bowl ran low, I just quickly mixed up the second round!  I would suggest having these two ingredients on hand along with your “throw-down” cookies from Trader Joe’s on hand through the holidays for those impromptu parties!

Easy Party Punch

  • 1 2-liter bottle of grapefruit soda, chilled (yes, they actually make this and I bought the 86¢ Wal-Mart brand soda!)
  • 1 64 fluid ounce bottle of White Grape Juice, chilled (I didn’t skimp on the juice though and bought name brand)

Mix the two together and serve.

I mixed in a one gallon pitcher and then poured it into the nicer pitcher that we used at the function.

Enjoy!

 

 

Crafty Cupid

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This is a year of new things for me so why not get all crafty during Valentine’s day as crafty and Becki are usually not found in the same sentence!  Well I didn’t do a TON of crafts but two and then I made lots of Valentine’s day foods for my loves.  The crafts win out this year over the food though.

Let me share what all I did and where I found the ideas:

Craft #1

This Valentine Topiary was very easy to do EXCEPT that my 6 year old burned her finger on the glue gun.  I felt so bad as I had envisioned this activity as a happy time with Mom and daughters sitting around chatting and crafting.  Well, I ended up doing it by myself after H burned her finger and E didn’t ever care to glue the hearts…just eat them.  The styrofoam ball that I purchased was a tad big…but it worked out fine.  I bought a white ball so I didn’t have to mess with covering up the green of the “flower foam” kind of ball.  I found this idea while I was “pinteresting” one day  (that would be actively looking on pinterest one day).  Glue Guns and spatulas was the blog post that has the directions.

Craft #2:

The leftovers

I wish I had remembered to take a picture of all of the hearts in their final form.  Heather and Emily made beautiful crayon hearts and then we (or rather I) sewed them to cardstock with Valentine sayings on them.  These were fun to do, but my fingernails did take a hit with all the scraping of crayon wrappers.  We found that the newer the crayon, the easier the wrapper came off.  My favorite crayons were the ones with the yellows/greens/orange all swirled together.  There are all kinds of pinterest places to find this craft idea but this is the one that I pinned that gave the idea to do this: Crayonhearts

Food idea #1

I found this recipe for 2-ingredient fudge and thought it sounded like something Emily would like to eat.  Then a friend of mine blogged on it and said how easy it really was so I decided to make it for my girls on Valentine’s day.  Since I can’t remember where I originally found the recipe, I will link you to Amy’s blog 🙂

Valentine Desserts

 Food Idea #2

The other sweet treat on the platter is a red-velvet cookie.  It is pretty simple to make as you use a boxed mix.  This idea/recipe came from the yummy blog of Two Peas and Their Pod.  Food Idea #3 came from them too.

Food Idea #3

This Chocolate Dutch Baby was very easy to whip up the morning of Valentine’s Day and while it baked I threw some cheese filled smokies on the stove and grabbed the extra four heart-shaped muffins that I made for H’s first grade class (they only needed 18 and I sent 20 so really sending 24 would have been WAY too many…right…so it was a good thing to do–see).  It was a fun breakfast even though neither of my little loves enjoyed the Chocolate Dutch Baby—my handsome fella loved it though 🙂

Food Idea #4

This one came from Jen Myers at our Moms4Moms group that meets at Faith Community Church.  This one was the only one that my kids really loved.  It was quite simple.  Get the canned breadsticks from the store.  Stretch each one out about 12 inches and then shape into a heart.  Brush it with raw egg and sprinkle with your favorite topping.  For H we had kosher salt, for E we had cinnamon sugar, Brad and I had Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese and then there were a few plain ones.  I also made pink homemade applesauce for our dinner—another recipe from Jen.  I’ve made it before and it was a hit then too.

So our day was all about food and I was in the kitchen for most of the day EXCEPT when my handsome fella called home to tell me he was coming home early from work to take me out to lunch!  That was a fun little treat.  We ate at Qdoba and for a kiss in front of the cashier they gave us our second entree free!!

Here are some more pictures from our day:

The traditional Valentine's Day hunt ended with these treats for the girls.

 

Brad and H go through her cards from school.

 

This is where I was most of the day!