Cooking for My Valentine

blueberry muffins on a white plate with a Valentine's Day card underneath

Cooking is not my thing. Baking yes, cooking not so much. But since I can’t live on cupcakes (well, I probably could), my baking takes a backseat to Eric’s excellent cooking. I do have my moments, like our annual Eggnog & Dessert Party. But, for the most part there is only one cook in our kitchen. So, for Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something special for him that showed him how much I love him. I decided I would cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for him. For breakfast, I made him blueberry muffins. He loves blueberry muffins and it’s been awhile since I’ve made them for him, so it seemed like the perfect choice. They were delicious, and he had breakfast for a couple more days as well.

For lunch, I wanted to venture out to something I’ve never made before. I needed it to be relatively quick and easy because he is usually starving for lunch when he gets home from the grocery store. I found a recipe on Mrs. in Training’s blog for Buffalo Chicken Calzones that looked like a winner. I altered the recipe just a bit. Instead of using regular chicken breasts and hot sauce, I got “Blazing Buffalo Chicken” from the deli counter and had them cut it into really thick slices, which I cubed. It had a ton of flavor and was really easy.

baked calzones

I could only manage to eat half of my calzone (these things were huge!), so I reheated half of it at work for lunch the next day. Still yummy! Eric brought home a couple of bottles of Grape Crush for lunch. How much do I love Grape Crush???? Mmmm!

And finally, for dinner I had been contemplating lasagna, but Eric is not a huge fan of lasagna. I decided I would Soprano it up and make Baked Ziti. I’ve never had Baked Ziti, but it sounded good.

baked ziti

I modified this recipe quite a bit. Instead of ziti, I actually used whole wheat penne. I only used one jar of sauce (Classico Fire-Roasted Tomato and Garlic). The recipe called for sour cream, which I thought was weird. So, I used a 15oz container of Ricotta and I mixed in frozen (thawed) spinach. I liked the color and flavor that added, so I was really glad I went with that instead of the sour cream. It turned out really tasty.

serving of baked ziti on a plate

And it’s been very tasty as leftovers too! But, of course, we couldn’t have Carb-Fest 2010, without a little dessert, now could we? I went back and forth on what to make and eventually decided that rather than make something “valentiney” with pink frosting and such, I’d just make something that tasted good. So, I whipped up a lemon cake with lemon frosting.

Lemon cake with lemon icing on a white plate

My cake decorating skills leave something to be desired, but who cares once you cut it?

Eric brought out a bottle of champagne for our indulgence as well.

two glasses of champagne and an open bottle of champagne

It was a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I was really happy how all the food turned out and I think my efforts showed Eric how special he is to me. But OMG I was so full. I think I’ll leave the cooking to Eric for awhile and let my apron have a rest.

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