Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Frank and I are not ones to make a big fuss on Valentine's Day. Instead of going out for dinner tonight, we're have a friend over, and our big plan for the weekend is a date to Chicago's Art Institute (which Frank has somehow never been to??!).

But I love any excuse to make yummy food and exchange presents, so this morning I pulled together a nice breakfast for us, and we exchanged some little gifts. It felt really special to sit down and eat together in the morning instead of rushing past each other on the way to work.

I used a few of the ideas from my post on Valentine foods. The heart-shaped cinnamon rolls were easy to make and turned out really nicely: 

I also made a bunch of "bacon hearts" but didn't photograph them because my fingers were all greasy from shaping them.

By the way, bacon and cinnamon rolls are really easy to make together, because they both bake at 400 for 12–15 minutes. I need to remember that!

I made a bunch of "strawberry hearts" by cutting the tops of strawberries off in a little V, and served them with Greek yogurt and whipped cream.

And finally, the heart-shaped toad in a hole! This was, surprisingly, the trickiest part. The heart-shaped cookie cutter made the bread fall apart. It took me a few tries and some quick patching (by squeezing the bread together) to get the bread to stay in place.

Here is the finished table with bacon hearts, cinnamon rolls, toad in a hole, and strawberries!

Taking pictures of everything this morning was an experience. The lighting in my kitchen isn't great, and it's harder than I realized to take pictures when your fingers keep getting covered in butter or icing or bacon grease. I kept thinking, "This is why I'm not a food photographer!" I have so much new respect for people who are.

From the archives:
Our first Valentine's Day
Favorite love poems
5 favorite love stories


  1. I see Trader Joe's Honey Greek Yogurt - our fave!!

  2. And now I'm hungry again. Those cinnamon rolls look delicious (and cute)!
    ~ Country Girl's Daybook, recently posted: There are crickets on the blog. http://bit.ly/1iZ5cNy

  3. 1) I'm kind of surprised the Art Institute wasn't some sort of pre-marital requirement.
    2) Mmm, cinnamon rolls.

    1. haha, I know right? Harry Potter WAS a pre-marital requirement (the first book at least) but somehow the Art Institute fell through the cracks. Regardless, I'm glad we finally made it there! We also bought a membership for the year, so we are hoping to get out there a few more times. :)

    2. You can sneak in the other six by reading them out loud to your children.

    3. Don't worry, the peer pressure is working (or maybe just bribery since I promised we can watch each HP movie when he finishes the book) and Frank is almost done with Book 4. It's so much fun hearing his predictions and reactions to things as he goes through, and also kind of hilarious to hear his perspective on the teen drama parts since he's approaching it as an adult. I'm happy to report that he seems to really like them!

  4. I spent a year studying at the Art Institute, so I know that museum like the back of my hand. If you pop in during the week sometimes they have school groups on tour, and I love dawdling behind the groups of little kids and listening to their questions. Also, on Wednesday afternoons there are art students in the galleries copying different paintings, which is what I did when I was there, so it's really neat to watch their processes of recreating the Master techniques. So happy to hear you're initiating Frank properly ;) And great selection of poems on your archived post! I usually pride myself on being a poetry geek, but it was cool to see some new ones which I hadn't heard of before.

    1. Actually, I still head up there all the time on weekends, so if you ever want a free tour guide, I'd be more than happy to meet up and show you around and pass on different insider stories from the curators :)

    2. Kathryn, so nice to get your comment!! I would LOVE to take you up on the Art Institute tour! Can you shoot me an email so we can set up a date and time? It would be so much fun to meet in person!