Friday, February 22, 2013

celebrating in style

We had a lovely frugalish two-part homemade Valentine's. I thought you'd like to drool over the pictures...
The weekend before love-day hubster made a scrumptious dinner of Maple Glazed Salmon with Dill Tomato Couscous. It was incredible! It's comforting to know his cooking skills are improving beyond omelettes and coffee...not that he doesn't make delicious omelette or a perfect cup of coffee :)
man in the kitchen woot woot!
On Valentine's Day I attempted to recreate our favorite date night dinners at home. A combination of P. F. Changs and The Melting Pot dinner! We've made fondue at home several times before. It's the perfect frugalish splurge while still keeping your $50. 

First Course: Cheddar Cheese Fondue with italian bread and veggie dippers. I halved the recipe and used half white wine and half milk for the liquid.  I'd suggest not skimping on cheap kraft cheddar - go for the good stuff. I found a $1.99 sale on Cracker Barrel that week and stocked up.  So SO good! A wonderful cheddar zippy flavor especially if you use extra sharp.
cheese: one of the hubster's love languages :)
Main Course: Asian Lettuce Wraps...spicy but delish! I added water chestnuts (eliminated the peanuts) and made it with ground chicken to make it a little more P. F. Changs-like. If you aren't a spice person, then you might want cut back on the ginger. Sorry, no pictures...we were too busy chowing down...

Then the piece de resistance: Mocha Fondue! Chocolate and coffee mingled together in a smooth creamy perfection. I made orange almond biscotti and marshmallows (look for a marshmallow post soon) and cut up fruit for dippers. My personal favorites were the biscotti, marshmallows, kiwi, and banana...I told you I had a lot of favorites! I cut the fat (sort of) by using half and half instead of heavy cream. Words cannot quite describe the deliciousness! 
To all my Stellar Living ladies (aka fondue connoisseurs) - try this recipe!! 
And to work all that food off we spent the weekend in the land of snow and mountains. Went snowshoeing, ate more incredibly delicious food (if you're ever in southern Vermont eat here!!), drank tons of coffee, snuggled in with books, and played settlers like a pro. Ahhh family weekends in Vermont!
peaceful frozen riverside
a little love for covered bridges
the beauty of a birch tree

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