Valentine's Day recap

It's seems like a fruitless labor to write a post immediately following yesterday's recap of people who consume their coffee in new, inventive ways and like to tongue-bathe their cats on days of the week ending in "y".

After writing an emotionally hard-hitting, thought-invoking piece like that, I might as well retire this blog. I mean, there's simply nowhere else to go except down.

But there's no "quit" in the word "writer", (unless you spell it incorrectly) so here I am. 

As you already know, Valentine's Day receives the highest of accolades from yours truly and you can bet your bottom dollar that Clayton and I celebrated yesterday's holiday with rampant enthusiasm.

Clayton has been my Valentine for the past 10 years, but 2013 was the very first year that my bearded beau had flowers delivered to me at work. As I strolled to the front desk and picked up my beautiful bouquet of lilies and other various flowers whose names I do not know, my giddiness was obvious. Nothing lets your fellow co-workers know that you are loved and cherished quite like a giant vase full of colorful foliage. I was super touched by the gesture because I find it wildly romantic when I know my husband is thinking about me during the day.

Goodness knows WHAT he thinks about me during the day, but at least I'm being thought of.

However, I didn't return the favor because while I think it's perfectly acceptable for a man to receive flowers, I know Clayton wouldn't truly appreciate the gift. Now, if I had a bouquet of steak or Victoria's Secret swimsuit models delivered to his office, that would be a completely different story.

But my Food Sanitation and Safety class has assured me that a vase full of beef that's been sitting out on a desk all day probably isn't safe to eat.

I'm in love with our set of champagne glasses. They were a wedding gift from my mom.

After work I came home to even more wonderful little tokens of my husband's affection that included yet ANOTHER bouquet of flowers (his reasoning? "I wanted you to have flowers to look at while you were at home, too"), an adorable stuffed puppy that I promptly named Marnie, Dove chocolate truffles (because I don't like the Russel Stover's box of assorted "gamble chocolates") and a bottle of my absolute FAVORITE champagne. (Freixenet Brut Cordon Negro is the same champagne we had at our wedding.)

Clayton always makes it very clear that Valentine's Day is mostly a girl holiday and insists that the only gift he needs is ... well, do I really need to spell it out for you?
But I totes gave him a card, too.

This card is scientifically accurate.

Clayton and I have a long-standing tradition of ordering a heart-shaped pizza every Valentine's Day from our city's best pizza joint, Mother Bear's, and it's something we actually really look forward to. It's cute, it's cheesy (both literally and figuratively) and it's easy.

My hair is a mess and my face is red and splotchy because I was just standing near a hot oven
... and because I'm just generally splotchy.

Since I didn't have to cook dinner last night, I decided to bake mini heart-shaped pies, an idea I saw on Pinterest several months ago. The original creator of the pin had stuffed her pies (HA. HA.) with fruit, but my man doesn't do fruit desserts if he knows there's a remote possibility of having chocolate instead. I merely suggested the idea of stuffing the pies with Nutella and Clayton all but shouted, "Do that. Buy some."

When I went to the store to pick up our beloved Nutella, they were completely sold out of the normal people-sized jars and all that was left were 20-ounce mega jars. While I have zero doubts in my mind that we could easily eat that much Nutella, I couldn't justify the price. Luckily, Jiff makes their own version of a hazelnut spread for a fraction of the price and get this—it tastes IDENTICAL to Nutella.You won't be able to tell the difference, I promise!

You could spread this stuff on a cat and I'd still eat it.

I'm proud to say that I made the pie crust from scratch, a feat that I have never before attempted. The process was far less involved than I thought it would be and I used this excellent 60-second pie crust recipe.

Seriously, the whole thing took less than 10 minutes! Just pulse flour and sugar together in a food processor, add some slices of butter, pulse, add the rest of the butter slices, pulse, add cold water, and then continue to pulse your brain outs. The dough will turn from a choppy, grainy mixture into a bouncing buttery ball of dough in no time!

**Disclaimer: I have no idea if the dough actually bounces. I didn't test that theory; I'm simply a fan of alliteration. 

After chilling the dough for 30 minutes, I set my oven for 350 degrees and rolled the pie dough on a clean, floured counter.

I used 2 different heart-shaped cookie cutters to form the obvious shapes and laid them on a silicone mat on a large baking sheet. I then dusted each heart with whisked egg and filled half of the cut-outs with hazelnut spread. Next, I pressed an unfilled heart over a Jiff-filled heart and closed the seams (I did this by pressing the edges with a fork). Then I used a knife to slit vents into the pies and coated the top with more egg to give them that coveted golden-brown hue.

The heart pies baked for approximately 20 minutes and "yummy" doesn't even being to describe them (although I did get what felt like a third-degree burn on my lip because I have zero patience and refused to let them cool before biting into one). The crust baked perfectly had that flaky texture I previously thought only existed in fairy tales.

Clayton and I happily ate our heart-shaped pizza and pie while catching up on the TV shows stored in our overly cluttered DVR. I had a mini-heart attack (Wow, talk about a major "heart" overload last night) when Glee didn't record for some mysterious reason, but it didn't matter too much in the long run when you consider I fell asleep before 10 p.m. after my inevitable sugar crash (and it may have had something to do with the champagne).

Did you guys have a good Valentine's Day?

Oh, and HAPPY FRIDAY! :)


  1. I didn't realize you were taking the Food Sanitation class this semester. My gosh, that class made me never want to eat anything ever again. I

    In (hopefully) totally unrelated news, I'm so jealous of your Mother Bear's. I miss Bloomington pizza, like whoa.

  2. sounds like a perfect Valentines day to me! and those little hearts are calling out to me. must make them soon.


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