Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guinness Stout Cake - Happy Birthday!

In 10 minutes, it will be Nathan's birthday! The big 2-3! Woohoo! So this post is all about his birthday meal...

His mom is taking us out for dinner tomorrow to celebrate his actual birthday, but my parents came up today to celebrate his birthday and check out our fancy new kitchen!

Since his cake last year sat around for way too long, I decided I would make the cake today and we could enjoy it with my parents. That way, it wouldn't be sitting around forever getting stale and disgusting.

Nathan grilled tonight, we had venison tenderloins (marinaded in Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, fresh garlic cloves, and honey) and basil burgers (from H&G cookbook). My mom brought up her potato salad (my absolute favorite... I could probably eat an entire bowl/batch/recipe?). After dinner, we hiked through the woods to make room for dessert (which is the part I contributed!)

I made Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Stout Cake. With cream cheese frosting. Everything was from scratch, for the first time in my baking career!

The cake starts off with Guinness beer, so that's already a highlight. It was a few more ingredients than the box mixes I'm used to, but it wasn't actually too hard to figure out. I even made the frosting! It was just confectioner's sugar, cream cheese and heavy cream. Easy peasy! My favorite part of the recipe is that the directions say "Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness." (quoted from, where I found the recipe) Cute!

The middle deflated a bit, but the texture of the cake was really nice in spite of that...
(photo by me)

The recipe calls for sour cream, so I bought Daisy (Do a dollop, do do a dollop of daaaisy!). Opened it up, and to my surprise? Glacier National Park in Montana! Back story...My friend, Amy, stopped over last night to hang out and informed me that she would (most likely) be moving to Montana next year, and would be right near Glacier National Park! And now, it shows up right in my sour cream!

Amy! There you are!

Everyone loved the cake. It was heavy, we definitely should've cut smaller slices... especially after a huge dinner, but it was delicious. I'd call it a baking success. And we have half a cake left to eat tomorrow on Nathan's actual birthday!
Finished Product! (photo by me)

So, Happy Birthday to my Nathan... and Happy Birthday to any other April Fool's babies! 

What's for dinner at your house tonight?

Thursday, March 8, 2012


After drinking/eating the healthy shake, I got called in to sub at the new district (woohoo!). So I went to work the next morning feeling very hungry, ate a peanut butter and nutella sandwich, and was still very hungry. To celebrate my first day at the new district, we ordered Chinese. Not healthy at all, especially since we now know how to make delicious stir fry... but I was craving it.

So to make our daily caloric intake a little healthier, I made a fruity milkshake. We've got all this fruit, we have to get rid of it. Into the blender it went! But this time, with ice cream and milk. A little vanilla ice cream, a little milk, a whole banana, and a whole lot of blueberries. It was thin, because of the milk, and it was delicious.

Cheers! Blueberry Banana shake. Also, shows off the kitchen!

Tonight, Nathan's mom is coming over for dinner. I still don't know what I'm cooking, though. Suggestions? What's for dinner at your house tonight?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"But why is it brown?"

So, I was reading a post over at Sparkly Love about shakes. It sounded fantastic. Janna and her husband are drinking all kinds of healthy, fruity shakes. She's feeling better, snacking less, and seeing great weight loss results WITHOUT starving herself!

I was inspired. That sounds like a great idea. She made a great point about the difference between juicing and shakes. Juicing gets rid of all the fiber and a lot of good stuff, shakes don't! I went grocery shopping over the weekend and bought all kinds of fruit... and some kale. Because I've been told that kale is super healthy.

So, our dinner tonight consisted of: a banana, an apple, a handful of raspberries, a handful of blueberries, and some kale. Our ingredient list was not as expansive as Janna's, and it probably should've been. Since I had a tiny budget and a long grocery list, the fruit fell to the bottom of the priority/grocery list. We like everything that went in, so we assumed we would like the final product. As I was adding things, the shake turned a pretty reddish-purple color. It looked tasty. I was excited. As I finished and did a final pulse, it looked brown. And as I poured it into the cups, I realized it was way too thick. Janna adds juice and said her husband also adds water. I probably should've added one or both of those.

Shake in blender, with most of the ingredients
(Photo courtesy of me)

We struggled to finish them. They were really thick. Nathan refused to say anything negative about them, but he also couldn't find anything positive about them... It was a little gross. I gave the last bit of mine to the dog.

Thick and brown... with the blur of a dog in the background
(Photo courtesy of me)

I'm determined to try again. Maybe more of certain things, and less of others... I'll just keep trying, hopefully I'll find something I like! Check out Janna's post and try out her recipe, it probably tastes way better than what we made today! Let me know what you think I should add to ours next time!

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight?

Here, piggy piggy!

One convenience of our mountain life? All the meat in our freezer (minus chicken) came from the mountain! Venison, pork, bacon, hams, even some beef now... It's all-natural, no hormones, no nasty feed... It's definitely a plus. And last night, we took advantage of the pork and bacon!

Pork tenderloin, wrapped in bacon... I remember my mom making this a few years ago; it was plain (like most food at her house, because of my dad), but delicious! So I was excited to try it. Our one concern? We had fresh bacon, not smoked... Oh, and Nathan was also concerned that there was no barbecue sauce. 

Mom's directions? Preheat the oven to 400°, wrap the tenderloin in bacon, and stick it in a Pyrex. And then, just cook it for 20 minutes. 

Nathan said 20 minutes isn't long enough. Whenever Gran cooks a loin in the oven, it goes in for at least 40 minutes. I said let's just try it, we can put it back in if it's not done... Well, for future reference, it was 37 minutes in the oven. So, Nathan was right again. Womp, womp.

Here it is, in the oven... looks almost like a meatloaf!
(Photo courtesy of me)
Instead of leaving it plain, we spread a little Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue and honey on top of the wrapped tenderloin. I used the fancy little brush to spread it around, and it cooked into the bacon nicely in the oven.

Here it is, all cooked! With Nathan's salad and cheesy pasta on the side.
(Photo courtesy of me)

Since the loin took an extra 17 minutes, the salads, green beans and cheesy pasta were already done... It ended up being like a 3 course meal (that's my positive spin!). The salad was just a bag of 7 lettuces, sliced mushrooms, croutons, and cucumber (sliced using my fancy German slicer! Check it out in the pic below!). We wanted to finish the bag off, since they don't stay good long, so the salads were pretty filling.

Too many cucumbers? I got a little slice-happy...
(Photo courtesy of me)

THE GREEN BEANS WERE SO GOOD BECAUSE THEY WERE CANNED. I grew up on canned vegetables. I hate frozen vegetables. I know they're healthy, brightly colored, crunchy... but we haven't had canned French-cut green beans in so long, I was in heaven last night eating them.

Everything was tasty. The loin wasn't as fantastic as I remembered my mom's, but it was tasty. It was something new to through into the mix. I've realized, keeping the blog in mind when I plan meals, that we eat peanut pretzel chicken too much. And marinated venison backstraps. Now, I sit and think "I've already written about that... maybe I should try something else!"

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight? Tell me about it!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Disaster of a Shortcut

Today, I looked forward to eating my mother's delicious chicken noodle soup. Nathan is up north at his annual ice fishing man weekend. So the soup is all mine. An entire frozen container of the soup... Mom makes the best soup. First, she boils chickens, carrots, potatoes, celery, turnips... tons of veggies... boils it all down. Then everyone eats the boiled down delicious food. Then, it all goes through a "mouli baby"... which is pretty much a grinder. And then you add noodles and muenster cheese and eat until your stomach is ready to burst. Since I don't live at home, I miss the boiled meal but get a whole tupperware thing full of soup, frozen. So I cooked up my own noodles (Forgot to buy muenster cheese), and defrosted the soup.

I also spilled the soup all over the floor. The unfinished wooden floor. Which means it soaked into the floorboards and squeezed itself into the gaps between the floorboards. Luckily, I got a bowl full before the disaster. Unluckily, I didn't take the noodles off the stove before mopping the floor, so the noodles were totally overcooked. I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the disaster so everyone could enjoy it with me... but I was busy cursing and being overemotional (i.e., scaring the dog).

Also took some time out to use a toothbrush to scrub between the floorboards. Got a lot of soup out that way, actually.

Today did not at all turn out the way I planned. It was a pretty garbage day, but it is a reminder to appreciate good days... and be glad that most days are not like today.

I went grocery shopping today, bought a lot of fruits and veggies... considering making a shake/smoothie thing later. I might put it off til tomorrow, considering how today is going. Who knows what the blender might do. But it's a step in the healthy direction, so that's exciting for me.

So... tonight's dinner was far from a success. But the bowl of soup and over-cooked noodles that I did manage to eat was pretty tasty in spite of everything else. There's an up side to everything.

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight? (Hopefully, your prep went smoothly!)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sick Day

My cold took a turn for the worse and Nathan had a snow day today... I laid around in bed reading more Piers Anthony (he's got me hooked on these) while he graded papers. Then he informed me that I was allowed to pick anything for dinner and he'd cook it. I thought, and thought, and thought... considered all different options, nothing sounded right. Then, while we were making a grocery list for my heavy-duty necessary shopping trip on Monday, I realized it had been a longgg time since we'd had tacos! Like 4 months. Geez.

So Nathan made tacos, the way we always make tacos... with venison. They were delicious. And the spiciness of the taco sauce cleared out my sinuses! Just in time to smell the brownies coming out of the oven!

That's right, Nathan baked me brownies. They are tasty. And gooey. And everything brownies should be. He sprinkled chocolate chips into the mix, and they were perfect. He literally earned some brownie points today!

Yum! (Alright, promise I will find a real camera to start using soon)

So, what's for dinner (and dessert) at your house tonight?

French Toast (breakfast for dinner!)

Usually, I have class Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights... and at least one or two Friday nights, I volunteer at Friday Knights ( ). Last night, a "snow storm" hit the northeast, so we got a snow day! My night class was canceled, rejoice! That meant I had to think of something to make for dinner... usually, I get out of cooking on those nights.

So, since I felt a cold coming on and didn't want to do anything too extravagant, I decided we should have French toast and breakfast sausage... breakfast for dinner. I took the sausage out of the freezer, and started looking forward to a tasty dinner.

Nathan came home and we got caught up in watching all the tv shows I usually miss on Wednesdays because of class... And then we started snacking (because that's what we do when we watch tv, so unhealthy!). And then, all of a sudden, it was time for bed and we never made dinner.

This morning, after a horrible night's sleep (I was hoping NyQuil would help, but it made everything much worse), I woke up to a very hungry Nathan. So we decided we would have breakfast for breakfast! He didn't take the sausage out, so it was just French toast today.

I use the French toast recipe from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook (You know, the red plaid one that everyone's mom had growing up... Except mine is pink plaid, because it's a breast cancer awareness special edition), but we leave a few things out.

4 eggs, a cup of milk, 2 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, ½ tsp of cinnamon, ¼ tsp of nutmeg. That's all you really need to get some tasty toast. Mix it all up in a bowl wide enough to fit a slice of bread in. We use regular bread, white or wheat... whatever we've got. I've seen people use chunks of Italian bread (and top it with banana!), challah... whatever floats your boat.

We cook it up on a griddle on the stove, it conveniently fits 6 slices at a time. The recipe ends up making about 12 slices... we always have some left over, but that's ok.

Horrible quality, but I was so hungry... couldn't stand still. 6 slices, on the griddle, with the mixture off to the side. (Photo courtesy of me)

The best part about our French toast is the syrup we use... Since we live up on a mountain, everyone likes to make stuff themselves. We've got neighbors raising pigs for meat, goats for milk, fresh vegetable gardens... and then there are the trees. Maple trees grow plentifully on a few friends' properties, so they take advantage of this and tap the trees to collect sap. Then, we all hang out on a weekend and boil sap all day long. Trees produce 9-13 gallons of sap per season, which boils down to a quarter of a gallon of syrup. If your property is full of maple trees, you can make a whole lot of syrup! It's sweeter and more delicious than any syrup you could buy in the grocery store and it makes food 1,000x better.

So, what's for dinner (or breakfast) at your house tonight?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chicken Stir fry

We wanted our first "real" meal in the new kitchen to be stir fry (preferably venison, because it's super tasty, super healthy, and super free!)... finally had it tonight! It was chicken, but it was still delicious.

We made chicken stir fry because Nathan's mom and grandma aren't huge venison fans, and we were hoping they'd join us for dinner. Nathan's mom didn't get a chance to stop down, and his grandma is pretty weak (she's going through chemo). So it was just the two of us tonight.

I found a delicious recipe online at a while back, it calls for venison/beef... We tweaked it to fit the vegetables we had available, and it was great. This time around, we kept everything the same (as our first time) and just switched out the meat. 

The chicken gets cut up into little strips so that it cooks quickly in the pan (or wok, if you've got one... which we don't). The recipe calls for 2 pounds... 

Then, the marinade: 2 tbsp wine/beer (we used tasty home brew the first time, tonight was just Miller Lite... which worked out fine), 2 tbsp soy sauce (we use 1 tbsp soy and 1 tbsp teriyaki... if you're trying to avoid soy for health concerns, go ahead and do all teriyaki), 1 tbsp cornstarch, ¼ tsp powdered ginger, ¼ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp garlic powder. Put the meat in a bowl, pour the marinade over it... then, either marinade the meat for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. 

It doesn't look appetizing at all right now. But, it will be.
(Photo courtesy of me)

The marinading period is a good opportunity to cut up your vegetables. We like to use baby corn, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, and peas. Water chestnuts, carrots, and onions are also great options (if you're not cooking for Nathan).

After the meat has marinaded long enough, add 2 tbsp of oil to a pan or wok and get it nice and hot. Drain the meat from the marinade (but don't get rid of the marinade... we just move the meat straight from the bowl to the pan with tongs). Add the meat, lightly brown it, and remove. Then you'll add your vegetables to the oil. Before adding vegetables, consider the cooking time for each of them. You'll add the vegetables, one by one, and leave them cooking. If you let your vegetables get mushy in the pan, they will not taste as good. Today, we added the broccoli too early... Once all your vegetables have been lightly cooked, add the meat back and pour the marinade over everything. Reduce heat and let everything simmer for 4-5 minutes.

So much green! So healthy! (Photo courtesy of me)

While you're preparing all this, keep in mind that you'll want a pasta or rice of some sort to go with it. Don't by Knorr Side-in-a-bag Lo Mein, it's pretty awful. White rice, fried rice (a whole nother kitchen endeavor), egg noodles... all great options. Cook accordingly before your stir fry is done simmering.

Once everything is done, plate the pasta/rice first, then cover your plate with stir fry and eat up! We've barely got any leftovers (but the leftovers we do have will be my lunch tomorrow, I guarantee it!)

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pizza Pockets

I love Totino's pizza rolls (I also thought they were called Tostino's until about 30 seconds ago). But in an effort to increase my cooking abilities and eat healthier (so, not pre-made frozen dinners), I wanted to try to make my own. Enter: Pillsbury commercial showing easy weekday meals!

Attempt #1: Failed horribly. We used crescent rolls, which don't fold in half well and form awkwardly shaped pockets. Not a huge deal, but not very visually appealing. We also used the cheapest pizza sauce I could find in the store, HUGE DEAL. It tasted terrible. We ate them, and I kept saying "These aren't too bad, I guess..." Nathan kept saying "They're good, good job." Then, I asked the important question... Should I make them again? The truth comes out when you ask this question. Maybe someone can deal with a horrible meal for one evening, but again and again over the course of our lives together? No effin' way. "Well, the cheese is good. And the rolls are good. And the pepperoni is good!"

Attempt #2: Multiple changes. We used Pillsbury flaky layers rolls. They're round, so they fold into half-moons. They don't come flat, so you have to squish them like pizza crust to get a flat circle before filling them. Also, started using Ragu pizza sauce "for homemade pizzas!" and it is delicious. It actually tastes like pizza sauce. And then the pepperoni and price chopper shredded mozzarella like last time. They were tasty.

Attempt #3 (tonight): Cooked them in the new kitchen! So it took a lot longer, because I had to keep finding things (because Nathan organized all of it). Also, used 2% cheese instead of whole milk cheese, it seemed to be stretchier than whole milk cheese. I think they were just slightly undercooked, but Nathan seems to think this made them a whole lot better. He also had a lot of fun making his "personal pan pizza" out one of the rolls.

Open, finished and folded, and Nathan making his "personal pan pizza"
(Photo courtesy of my cell phone)

So... Pillsbury flaky layers, Price Chopper shredded 2% mozzarella, Hormel pepperoni slices, and Ragu pizza sauce. Open the rolls (don't be alarmed when it pops... make sure the dog is not around when you're opening it, he may also become alarmed). Squish them into flatter circles, they should increase in diameter quite a bit. Place onto cookie sheet (the cookie sheet shouldn't need spray/butter/non-stick anything). Spoon pizza sauce onto roll - thick on one half, slight coating on the other. Then, add some cheese and pepperoni (or whatever you love on pizza. We keep it simple). Fold them in half - I find that it helps to hold the pepperoni down with one hand and fold over, to keep insides from spilling out. Press down with a fork around the edges to make a seal, so that sauce doesn't ooze out and burn all over your cookie sheets. Poke holes on the tops with your fork! It allows some of the juices to cook out, and makes them look pretty on top... Also, they don't come out like giant balloons of hot air if you poke them.

Usually, we eat them with a knife and fork because they're a little big for finger foods (and also, if you don't take the time to cut them, you will burn your tongue/roof of your mouth). Since all our silverware is not away yet... we ate with our hands (and yes, I burnt my tongue).

Yummy, yummy. Murphy would also like a bite...
(Photo courtesy of my cell phone)

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight?

Friday, February 24, 2012


We went out for dinner tonight... 1) We had no non-meat meals to make. 2) The kitchen was still chaotic. The neighbors invited us to some restaurant in Troy that is totally grime-tastic, but serves really delicious food. It was a seafood night since it's the first Friday of Lent! I'm not really a practicing Catholic, but I still follow some traditions. So I had fried scallops and shrimp. Tasty, tasty.

Once we got home from dinner, we started organizing things! We have a counter top now. And everything is out of the office and in a cabinet of sorts! We turned the butcher block into our bar, all the alcohol is in there now. Pretty sweet. Ok, here it is:
GAH stuff everywhere! Nathan is freaking out! (Photo courtesy of me, on my cell phone)
I let Nathan organize pretty much everything, because he would just reorganize afterward anyway. I got to pick out the canisters today at Walmart though (only like $20 for all four) and pick out where they go though! Woohoo!

Hopefully we'll start cooking soon! Stirfry is scheduled for Tuesday, but being switched up to either chicken or pork tenderloin due to dinner guests' preferences... *grumble*

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First meal in the new kitchen... bust.

SO! The kitchen is not complete yet. But it's really close. All that's left is the counter top and the trim around the windows/doors... Oh, and knobs. Those aren't really a necessity, though. I'm still considering not putting any on. I think they'll finish it off though, so we might add them anyway.

I babysat the neighbors' daughters yesterday (all day), so I left a white room with no cabinets and came home to this:
First few cabinets! And a preview of the color! (Photo courtesy of my cell phone)

Woohoo! I was relieved, I wasn't sure how the color would look with the oak cabinets, I think it's pretty sweet. The amount of dust on the drop cloth covering the fridge is DISGUSTING. That's clear plastic.

Anyway, then I had to go to one of my night classes. So, I left Nathan hanging out with his buddies and hoped for the best. This picture is from when I came home from that class:
SO MUCH IMPROVEMENT!  (Photo courtesy of my cell phone)

So nice! The fridge is slid into place, the bottom cabinets are in (including the lazy susan, which apparently needs to stick out 6 inches from the wall on each side? weird), and the sink is all hooked up (I love our giant sink top).

Today, Nathan hung the last few top cabinets, and I helped him get the microwave hooked up (one of those over-the-stove with a vent kind). He was supposed to finish the counter top today, but a piece of it was warped so it didn't work out... After a few choice words, the manager at Home Depot said he can bring it in and get a replacement. (Keep your fingers crossed that it'll be in tomorrow!)

We originally decided that our first meal in the new kitchen would be venison stirfry... because it is FANTASTIC. Alas, that did not happen today. I came home from my afternoon class at 8:30, Nathan got home a little later... we were too hungry to take the time to make a real meal.

Mac'n'cheese with hot dogs? Yep, we went there. We had the hot dogs in the kitchen freezer (as opposed to the chest freezer that has an insane amount of venison and a few hams). And the mac'n'cheese got put into the cabinet last night during our organizing spree (We have so much storage and not enough stuff to fill these cabinets with... odd). So, Kraft mac'n'cheese with 2% milk and real butter (because we're not as healthy as I'd like yet)... and hot dogs boiled in water. Yum. Really, the idea of this alone used to make me want to puke. Now, it's one of my favorite things to eat when I need something quick. My favorite is when you add peas to it. We have frozen peas because Nathan doesn't like canned veggies, and they taste so good mixed in. Also, I coat everything in ketchup. Nathan coats everything in pepper... so much pepper that when I breathe, I can taste the pepper in my mouth. So, the best is mac'n'cheese+hot dog+peas+ketchup, but tonight it was sans peas.

I think I get this gross-food-combination thing from my sister... Oh, well.

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Kitchen!

So, if you can remember how excited I was for the new stove... try to imagine my current excitement:

We're completely redoing the kitchen:
(Photo courtesy of myself, on my cell phone. The dome isn't up, but please feel free to admire the boob light.)


Nothing exciting now... (actually, this was last night) but IT WILL BE. Since this picture was taken, we went to Home Depot and picked up all our cabinets, counter top, knobs, paint, blah blah blah... Nathan already did 2 layers of spackle (while repeating "I hate sheetrock. I hate sheetrock. Our entire real house will be knotty pine."), tomorrow, he's doing one more layer and sanding.

Hopefully, we'll be painting on Monday... cabinets will get hung Tuesday, counter top will be put together on Wednesday, finishing touches on Thursday... it would be pretty sweet.

So imagine this space full of oak cabinets (we wanted hickory, but Home Depot said 7-10 days and really meant around a month, so no thanks), a golden/brownish/yellowish granite-looking laminate counter top, and paint that I think is called "tea time" and is also a goldish brown... Don't imagine baby poop, because that's what that description sounds like to me right now.

Until the kitchen is done, I'm not cooking anything. But, I will tell you about my romantic Valentine's Day meal! Since we're redoing the kitchen, we're strapped for cash. I offered to cook dinner. So, I made my mom's meatloaf and double-baked (cheat) mashed potatoes! And then we had a side salad. And Valentine cupcakes for dessert!

1 sleeve of Ritz, 1 lb of ground meat (venison for us), 1 egg, a "swoosh" of milk (something less than a quarter cup, gotta love Mom's directions), and enough ketchup to make everything look red. I say: The more ketchup, the better.
Crush up the Ritz into tiny pieces. Combine everything (except meat) in a large bowl. Then, add the meat. Mix it all up thoroughly. Form a "loaf" in some kind of oven-safe pan, I use a pyrex. Bake at 350° for an hour. Remove it from whatever you baked it in so that the grease doesn't harden onto the bottom of the loaf.

1 box of mashed potato flakes (too much work is involved in 'real' mashed potatoes for 2 people to eat, even on Valentine's day), water, milk and butter (as called for on box), 2-3 tbsp of cream cheese (or sour cream if you prefer).
Make the mashed potatoes according to the directions on the box. Then, pour them into something you don't mind using your hand mixer in (it would've scratched the pot I cooked originally cooked them in). Add the cream cheese (feel free to use a lot more, the more you add... the creamier and more delicious they are). Mix, mix, mix. Put into an oven-safe pan, I used another pyrex. If you were to bake them directly after originally making them, they'd need about 10 minutes in the oven. I made them in the afternoon (along with the meatloaf) so I could just stick everything in the oven once Nathan got home. That made them cold (duh). If you're moving them from the refrigerator to the oven, give them about 25-30 minutes. I added them at the end of the meatloaf's bake time, so the oven was still at 350°.

To make them both super festive, I made the meatloaf in the shape of a heart and sprinkled some swiss cheese on top of the potatoes in the shape of a heart. I was hoping the cheese would bake and get a little dark (so it would actually be visible), but that's alright. Here's a picture of them on the butcher block before I set the table:
(Photo courtesy of me, on my cell phone.)

Pillsbury Valentine's day funfetti cupcakes (vanilla, with red sprinkles mixed in to make spots). Pillsbury vanilla frosting (already came pink, didn't even have to use food coloring) with sprinkles. Followed the box directions (but didn't cover them afterward, so the one I bit into this morning was as hard as a rock).
(Photo courtesy of myself, on my cell phone. Ignore the failure of the bottom left cupcake).

So, I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day. And I hope my kitchen gets finished on schedule!
Tonight, we had sauerbraten at my mom's to celebrate my sister's birthday... I'm hoping to conquer that dish one day, but it's definitely not happening anytime soon...

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight?