I’ve always been a sucker for Valentine’s Day. Not because it’s commercial or there’s a day where you can tell people how much you love them, but because there seems to be a general excitement and energy (which could be aided by all the chocolates and sugar everyone consumes…). Plus it was nice to celebrate my love for others in the middle of my self-love month.
This year I wanted to do something more unique to celebrate, starting with the Valentine’s Day cards. Here’s a confession — I’m a huge sucker for greeting cards. I absolutely love them. In fact, it’s a long-shot goal of mine to someday have my own greeting card line. Even if it’s never a commercial thing, I think it would be a fabulous hobby. The idea popped into my head as a freshman in undergrad, and for some reason it’s always stuck with me.
So this Valentine’s Day, I opted to make my own. I found a cute, somewhat clever idea on pinterest and ran with it.
In some ways I felt a little bad that no one was getting a really unique card (I always pride myself on finding the perfect card for any occasion), but as I was looking at all of them, it dawned on me that there’s a neat connection. All of these pieces were once together and now they’re divided among the cards for people I love. A puzzle piece on the card for the middle connects with the one for Lindsay and so on. (Might be a stretch, but I still think it’s pretty cool.)
I also opted to not go out for dinner (I’m definitely my parents’ child — they always go out the evening before to avoid the crowds and hoopla of Valentine’s Day). While figuring out what to make and then preparing dinner added a little more stress, in the end I got much more enjoyment out of it.
Funny story, though. Just as I was finishing up the pasta, I realized that instead of making fettuccine pasta with prosciutto and peas as intended, I clicked on the link for the carbonara pasta. Thankfully the ingredients and instructions are relatively comparable, so it’s not as though it made a huge difference. Plus I knew the recipe wouldn’t be followed exactly anyway, since despite my valiant efforts I couldn’t find prosciutto at the store and settled on ham. I still added the peas to the carbonara pasta and didn’t have to use the whipping cream, which is a slight relief, so the end result was almost a combination of both dishes. I was actually a bit surprised by how well it turned out — not too creamy or bland, which is what I initially worried about.
Paired with the pasta were four-cheese stuffed mushrooms. I actually really liked these, although I know mushrooms are pretty hit or miss for most people. The feta or blue cheese (I don’t remember what we ended up using) really stood out, so I think I’d add more of the spinach and reduce the sun-dried tomatoes. Overall, though, I’d likely make these again (and probably will since even cutting the recipe in half yielded a lot of mushrooms).
And naturally I had to make a unique salad, opting for a blueberry shrimp one. It was pretty comparable to other salads I’ve made, though the shrimp did add something extra to it. I think a vinaigrette would make for a better dressing on it, but the lemon one worked pretty well. It was light and only slightly creamy, which matched the consistency of the pasta.
Then came dessert (which you know I didn’t make since I don’t bake). You can still be impressed, though — I got cherry tarts made with homemade puff pastry in the shape of a heart. Perfect ending to the meal.
With success like this, how could I not love a unique Valentine’s Day celebration? They should have a day of love each month of the year!