Maybe it’s because my mom always made Valentine’s Day fun, or maybe because it is my birthday month, or maybe because it is something pretty and fun in the middle of winter, but I love Valentine’s Day. And it’s not because I am a romantic. Because I’m not. In fact, the cheesiness of Valentine’s grosses me out. In honor of this, Dave started this fun tradition many years ago. It all started one Valentine’s day when he stopped by Walgreens drug store to pick up some chocolate and a card for me and was taken aback by the aisle full of men desperately searching for the “perfect valentine treat” in the racks. He said it was intense and comical to step back and watch. He saw all of these ridiculous things- giant key-shaped chocolate bars (the key to my heart, you know) and snow globe/photo frames with hearts and sparkles that float down over the photo of your true love. He couldn’t resist and set out to find the very cheesiest treats that he could find!
This recipe is my adaptation of the Everyday Food magazine recipe. It originally included kalamata olives, which we omit and substitute with artichokes- since my eaters are more artichokey than olivey. The olive oil and tomatoes ARE the sauce, so you may want to add more stuff to it or lower the ratio of pasta. Make it your own. It’s just a simple and really tasty go-to pasta that is a crowd pleaser.
|mmm, do you smell it?|
We love to do what Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant does with bread and dipping oil. Just slice up some crusty artisan bread, sprinkle fresh and/or dried herbs (fresh garlic, basil, kosher salt, ground pepper, Italian seasoning, a little parmesan cheese) in little dishes.
then pour olive oil over it. Swirl with a fork and you are ready for dipping.
[You might need to invest in some Greased Lightning if you don’t already have this cleaning supply, as you might incur some oil stains on shirts and linens. And oil stains are some of the most maddening and tricky to remove, being so greasy. This solvent does the trick. (Thanks to my mom, the Stain Queen for this great tip). ]
Conversation Heart BINGO – Sometimes we play BINGO with conversation hearts as the chips. It’s fun, spans all ages and you can eat as you play! I found this clever website where you can download bingo games for free. They have various holidays and themes, and you can even customize them.
Happy Valentine’s Day- Have some fun. Tell someone you love them!