Valentine’s Day


I don’t know why exactly, but this year I went a little overboard on the Valentine’s Day food.

For breakfast we had Eggs in a Frame and hot chocolate (boys’ choice).

I also mixed up a batch of Sugar Cookies, and during Ian’s naptime, Simon helped me roll them out. We also frosted them. Please don’t try to guess which ones Simon frosted and which ones I did — you’ll only hurt my feelings. (These recipes were fine, good even, but I’d love to know if anyone has a go-to recipe for either sugar cookies or sugar cookie icing.)

Finally, I made Pizza Stuffed Pretzels, which were super easy to make into heart shapes instead of pretzel shapes.

What heart-shaped — or otherwise Valentine-y — food did you make today?
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Make-Ahead Baking

This is so brilliant — and so simple — I can hardly stand it (and I wish I could find the article that sparked the idea to give credit where credit is due. Genius woman out there in the blogosphere, I salute you!): mix the dry ingredients for your favorite baked goods and store in bags (or jars). Write on the bag the remaining (wet) ingredients and baking directions. When you’re ready to go, add the wet ingredients and bake. Suddenly a 20-minute + process is cut down to 5. For Jason, this will mean we can have muffins during the week and not just on the weekend. It’s like freezer cooking for the pantry.

This morning I made up two batches of baked oatmeal and two of muffins.

Okay, come to think of it, this idea is no different from those cookie mixes that you buy at the Farmer’s Market. But somehow the idea of thinking ahead for things I actually make (or would make) on a regular basis seems rather revolutionary.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips

I am looking for ways to get more vegetables into our diet. I knew I would like this recipe (it had me at “maple-roasted”; it also had me at “sweet potatoes” and “parsnips”). It was a surprise hit with the boys, though.

I didn’t have leeks or parsley, I forgot the garlic, and I used brown mustard instead of Dijon (I’d do that again, actually). I also just mixed the sweet potatoes and parsnips together — it sure does look pretty to layer them, but c’mon . . . not going to happen in my house. Since I didn’t have leeks and forgot the garlic, I also skipped the skillet step and just mixed the syrup and mustard and poured it over the vegetables. It all worked out just fine in the end.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3-4 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced (I used more)
  •  4 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 leek, finely diced
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1/3 cup maple syrup
  •  2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used brown mustard)
  •  2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Place sliced sweet potatoes and parsnips in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat.
  3. Arrange the slices alternating between sweet potatoes and parsnips in the bottom of a small baking dish. 
  4. In a medium skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Saute leeks and garlic for 5 minutes. Pour in maple syrup and stir in the mustard. Continue cooking for 2 additional minutes until syrup starts to simmer. Pour syrup and leeks over the sweet potatoes and parsnips evenly.
  5. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to stand 5 minutes.
  6. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.