The Valentine’s Day I spent in the kitchen.

Hi everyone! If you enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day, I hope it was wonderful. If you hate V-Day, I hope you got through the day OK, that no one so much as mentioned the word “flowers” to you, and that you did not receive any of that horrid chocolate (eww, chocolate).


Me, I had a great Valentine’s Day. I spent almost the whole day in the kitchen, which is the size of a large kennel, but that’s all right. I’m not complaining. I like my kennel. Arf.

I spent nearly the whole morning making pretzels for the ladies in the office. Wait, didn’t I just make pretzels? Yes, I did. But these were heart-shaped in honor of the day. They turned out well, despite an unfortunate baking-soda explosion that left about half of the kitchen covered in a scaly white rime. They were a huge hit, though … so it was all worth it.

After a break, I returned to the kitchen to work on dinner. Ben and I don’t go out for Valentine’s Day because waiting in line for hours is not our idea of a good time. On Valentine’s Day, unlike many people, I actually want to be as far away from Olive Garden as physically possible. Yikes.

So, as we did last year (and maybe the year before that, although I can’t remember) we stayed at home, cooked a great meal together, and ate in peace and quiet. It was really very nice.

Last year we made caramelized shrimp, which we liked so much we made it again this year. On the side I made one of my favorite veggie dishes, broccoli and bok choy quickly sauteed with a little oil, soy sauce and garlic.

For dessert we had cream puffs. They were delicious, which was good because I worked hard on them. I mean I really WORKED HARD. I had never made them before, and I think it may be a while before I make them again because they are a serious workout. I now believe recipes for cream puffs should be required to have one of those warnings that says to consult your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise regimen — or making cream puffs.

I used my aunt’s recipe, in which you very vigorously beat the dough in a saucepan until it supposedly forms into a ball. I tried really hard to get it to do that, but it never did. Then, pretty much out of breath at that point, I added 4 eggs one at a time and followed the instructions to “stir vigorously” after each addition.

That was a lot of …. vigor.

I put the cream puffs in the oven. Then I had to go and lie down for about 15 minutes because I was completely exhausted from such hardcore stirring.

To my great surprise, the cream puffs actually turned out! I couldn’t believe it. I thought for sure I had killed them (and possibly myself). But they were good. I filled them with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. Eating them was quite the undertaking, and required a lot of strategy.

Of course, Valentine’s Day isn’t complete without some presents. Nor is any holiday. But then again, I really like presents.

This is what I gave Ben.

This American Lifeis a storytelling radio show (NPR on Saturdays) that Ben and I absolutely love. It’s amazing. This is really cool-looking flash drive that contains 35 hours of the radio show, plus some extra stuff … and you can re-use the flash drive. Ben really likes the show, and he loves any kind of tech/gadget thing, so I knew he would love it. And he did!

Here’s what he gave me:

I’m such a Parks & Rec fan. It’s the only show I watch, and I crack up the whole time I’m watching it. I love the characters. The only problem is waiting until Thursday nights to see it, and now I don’t have to! I just hope I can still get my homework done now that this is sitting around my house. Haha.

It was a really fun evening! It was nice just to be home, cozy and relaxed, not having to go anywhere or worry about anything … just making food, opening a few gifts, and enjoying each other’s company.

But now it’s February 16th. National Wash-the-Huge-Pile-of-Dirty-Dishes-from-Last-Night Day. So I’m off to go do that.

How was YOUR Valentine’s Day??



  1. Naomie

    my valentine’s day was filled with many tootsie-rolls and suckers…thanks btw! they were very tasty! (notice the past-tense were) :D
    those cream puffs look great! but i might need an additional set of hands to eat them! :P heeheehee

    I hope you’re recovering from your vigorous day!
    <3 ya'!

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