Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's dinner

We decided not to exchange gifts this year--M'Love says that I get a mortgage refinancing for Valentine's day. Since I'd gotten such an extravagant and thoughtful gift, however, I figured I could at least make him a fancy dinner.

Okay, okay. I'm being a little bit uncharitable here. The lower interest rate means lower payments and thus we will have more money each month with which to theoretically do romantic things.

Anyway, here's what I did for dinner:

A special new creation of mine: fake lasagne.
If you have a lasagne-lover but think it's too much work to bother with the layering and the huge, fragile noodles, this might work for you too.
One box of small shells, cooked
A little over half a big container of ricotta (small container would work as well), mixed with one raw egg
About 3/4 of a pound of shredded mozzerella
Hamburg or sausage, cooked and crumbled (I used leftover hamburg, previously incarnated as tacos. More would have been better--I'd recommend at least a pound.
Tomato sauce to taste.

Mix it all up in a big ol' casserole. Throw it in a 325-degree-F oven for about half an hour. Serves about sixteen (we'll be eating this a while).

I pushed it into a heart shape on each of our plates. I also made salads with a heart like shape (his in lunch-meat turkey and mini tomatoes, mine in pepperoni). I made pink milk (courtesy of Wilton's food coloring). M'Love was quite impressed.

Firstborn had rice krispies.

For dessert (later in the evening), we had peppermint ice cream pie (scoop about right amount of ice cream into graham cracker pie shell; let stand on shelf awhile; smoosh down to conform to shell; refreeze. Inspired by a recipe in the Parade around Christmastime) topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a conversation heart.

Firstborn's dessert (immediately after supper) was leftover pureed peaches followed by leftover pureeed bananas. Then she had bedtime snack while we watched a DVR'd "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" (Not quite as intellectually stimulating as Jeopardy, but one of the cleanest shows in Prime Time television, 'cuz hey, they got fifth graders on there. Oh, and don't think we have real Tivo; we have a hacked-together homemade DVR system including a computer hooked up to the TV and free software that took about a month to set up, and still isn't perfected now that someone is causing us to need subtitles.) We followed that up with some Netflix Deep Space Nine; Firstborn finally drifted off partway through, and we had our dessert while watching the last part.

M'Love was impressed with the Valentine's day meal; he thought the fake lasagne was as good as the real thing and even suggested sending some in his lunches. He is the only one in his office whose wife makes him a lunch, and he likes to show off.

Firstborn let us sleep through the night last night, unlike the night before. She's been sleeping erratically the past couple weeks, due to a growth spurt (she went from still fitting most of her 3-6 month clothing to outgrowing some 6-9 month clothing in less than three weeks. All of a sudden I look at her and she looks huge, and I never noticed her growing up till now) and teething. Why did I wake up at 4:30 then? No clue. I dreamt she grew a tooth, so I'll find out when she wakes up.

Happy (day after) Valentine's day!

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