Tuesday, February 15, 2011



Congrats on your roses. That's how I love for Valentine's Day to be: old school. When people roll their eyes at Valentine's Day and say they don't need a day to tell someone they love them, I feel like they are missing out on an excuse to do something sweet for the person they love. We don't do anything too big around here, but I love to do small, thoughtful gifts that are sweet and sentimental but nothing over-the-top. For instance, here is my gift from Mr. Lass:

I confess, I picked it out myself and sent him the link last week. But he surprised me by buying it for me. I am all about a surprise, but I also love getting exactly what I want :) I love the pizza idea. Did you see this picture over the weekend?

DIY Crafty Food

I can't remember the original blog I first saw it on, but I think this is the actual source. This might be fun to do one day - kids love shapes, right?

For Valentine's I like to make a fun meal that I might not normally make that's perhaps more labor-intensive and feels "fancy" and special. This year I decided on short ribs. I'm kind of obsessed with short ribs these days and this was actually the second new short ribs recipe I've tried in the last two weeks! Tonight I used Paula Deen's Michael's Coffee Braised Short Ribs. Yum-o! They were so good. You really cannot mess up short ribs. Basically you sear them first and then let them cook in some kind of liquid at low heat for hours until they fall off the bone and cut with a fork. They are so tender and flavorful. I've cooked them in ale before (yessss!) and then in red wine too (also delish). But this recipe paired two unlikely ingredients: white wine and coffee. And it was delicious. One thing I really liked about this Paula Deen recipe was that you first braise the ribs on the stove but then you transfer them to a slow cooker to finish cooking. The other times I have made them I've let them cook on the stove top, but this method was great because I didn't have to check in on it and could leave the house while it cooked, which was really convenient.

I served them with couscous and for me, sauteed spinach and for Mr. Lass, a salad (zzzzz). We normally just do meat with a vegetable on the side (I shared with you my recipe issues here), but whenever there is a yummy sauce I like to have something to help sop it up. I buy the boxed Near East couscous and it literally takes about 7 minutes to make. The spinach takes about four minutes to prepare and the salad takes no time at all to assemble. So, after hours of cooking away, when it's ready you can throw together some sides and it's done! For dessert I picked up four chocolate-covered strawberries from Publix. They were light and good and perfect after such a heavy meal and seemed very Valentines-esque.

For my gift I made Mr. Lass this:

I have always loved that his name begins with a "J" and mine with a "K" and that they are neighbors in the alphabet. At the bottom it reads "Even the alphabet put us together." I made the whole thing in Microsoft Word. Then I uploaded it to Kinko's site and said I wanted it printed on cardstock. This is not a paid advertisement - promise - but are you familiar with the Kinko's site? All you have to do is upload whatever you want printed and then go pick it up. Maybe I'm waaaay behind in learning about this, but this could be life-changing for me. And it only cost $1.24. That's it! The quality is excellent and the colors are way better than anything I could do at home. Plus, my printer isn't even connected so I could not have done it anyway.

I got the frame from Target today and after picking it out, I was leaving the frame aisle when I saw this:

Um, what? It was one of those instances where you wonder if you are seeing right. I took a picture a) to show you (of course) and b) to show my husband, just in the event he was like, "Cool. The alphabet." when I presented him with my gift. Can you believe that? I felt so...validated. But he loved the gift and then was even more impressed when I showed him the picture.

Seriously??? I'm still in shock.

More tomorrow. I need your feedback on a kitchen table quandry. Plus I need to hear about your big adventure!


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