Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yummy Valentine's Day Dinner

I know it is cheesy, but I love Valentine's Day. Well....I really just love all holidays. I love decorating and celebrating and all that jazz! Adam and I decided to have a low key Valentine's Day by staying in, cooking dinner together and then watching a movie. We also decided to do small gifts for each other.

Flowers from Adam!

I went over to Mom and Dad's on Saturday morning after Religious Ed to make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies for Adam. They are his very favorite and I wanted to surprise him with them. One batch was ready to come out of the oven while I had my hands messy putting a new one on a tray. Mom decided to help me take one batch out of the oven....and boy is that parchment paper slippery! The whole tray of 12 cookies slipped right off the tray and into the oven. Don't worry mom, I still appreciated your help!

The intact ones were yummy!

For dinner we made Lasagna Roll Ups. We found the recipe on a Mr. Food pasta recipe card mom gave me last year. This is what they looked like before we put the cheese on top and put them in the oven. They were really easy to make. Of course, I added extra cheese, but otherwise we stuck to the recipe. For the sauce, we made the Ten Minute Marina Sauce from the Mr. Food recipe card. It was also very easy and very tasty.
Ten Minute Marinara Sauce
About 4 cups
Enough for 1 pound of pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup water
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat; add the garlic and saute until golden.
2. Slowly add the water, then the tomatoes; stir in the remaining ingredients, and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I really wanted to try to the cheesy bread that Jen has blogged about twice (round 1 and round 2). The recipe is from the King Arthur website. I have never made real yeast bread before, so I was a little nervous. The recipe called for Unbleached Bread Flour. At the store there was Bread Flour and Unbleached Flour. But not Unbleached Bread I went for the Bread Flour. Jen, what did you use?
The starter

After sitting overnight. It is not bubbly like the recipe said....hmmmm?

After mixing in the dough and letting it rise again, I spread it out and added the cheese. Instead of the expensive Gruyère cheese (at $12.99 a pound), I used a blend of Italian cheeses and cheddar.

I rolled it into a log and then let it rise one more time before cutting it into 4 pieces and putting it in the oven.

This is what is looked like coming out of the oven. It was bursting with cheesiness, but the bread didn't exactly look right. We were a little nervous, but ripped into it anyway. It was delicious!!! If you love cheese even half as much as I do, you will love it. Erin, you know you need to try it!

I also made meatballs from scratch for the first time. I can't offer a first hand opinion on them, but Adam said they were delicious. I used a combination of ground beef and ground Italian sausage meat. Adam ate 2 meatballs and we each ate one Lasagna Roll Up, so we have enough left for about 8 more meals!!

Adam made me a pot for Valentine's Day. I LOVE it! I told him it was the best present he has ever given me. He made the stencils himself and spray painted the hearts on. He will probably be a little embarrassed that I am blogging about it....but I just love it! It was so thoughtful!
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Valentine's Day....whatever you did!


Anonymous said...

I am so hungry now that I'm drooling!

I love the pot that Adam made for you. It's so sweet and such a perfect gift!

Jen Vincent said...

Yum!!! Your batch actually looks like my first batch! I made a mistake when I read the recipe...maybe you did the same thing. There is a part where you have to add water and it says either 1 cup and 1 tbsp. OR up to 1 cup and 1 and 1/4 cup. I read it as 1 cup and 1/4 cup and the second time I added the extra cup of water and it looked much more like the pictures on the website. Not sure if that's what you did or not, but it kind of looks the same. It was heavenly, either way, wasn't it though????

Erin said...

OH MY WORD THAT MEAL LOOKS SO GOOD. Send me the lasagna recipe too please! WOW looks good. I experimented with yeast bread for the first time a few months ago....its scary! Like the bread is a being with a life of its own. And the pot! OH my gosh sweetest thing. I am so impressed with Adam.