Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This was my greeting as I emerged from brushing my teeth yesterday morning---Sweetpea and her Mama had arrived, and had set down my Valentine Vase---made by their own hands on Sunday afternoon. We’d been to brunch on Sunday, and while we went frisking off to the library after, they went home and made these sweet baby-hands roses for me. They’ll go into my Book of Treasures when I finally decide to put them away.
Sweetpea and I made some cupcakes together, in our matching aprons, and her Fifi spoon at the ready. She loves putting the little fluty papers into the muffin pans, and I could hear her whispering to herself “Just one. Just one,” as her little fingers tried to separate the bright little papers. (Do not ask about the mishap with the balloon-whisk attachment for the new little hand-mixer---a cascade of water, eggs and oil down the front of several drawers is not a pretty sight, but we laughed anyway). She took delight in holding the end of the ice-cream scoop while I scooped each blob of batter into the cups. We also made and baked a little pan of brownies for her Mama’s present---a cheesecake/peanut butter swirl on top---she did most of the skewer-work.

They cooled while she napped, and she and Caro frosted and sprinkled cupcakes late in the afternoon.

We’d made us each a little burger for lunch, and took them upstairs to have a picnic lunch with Caro---three ladies at the coffeetable. Caro made the most wonderful shells for dinner---stuffed with a spinach and cottage cheese mixture, and topped with a lean beef sauce and FF cheese. They were super-delicious:

I put them in the oven late in the afternoon, with a pan of good old stand-by Stouffer's lasagna, and later a loaf of store-bought garlic bread. I made a salad of baby romaine, thin sweet onion, pepperoncini and lots of grated Parmesan, with a tangy vinaigrette:

Caro came down and set the table---not an elaborate tablescape, but simple and pretty with the colors of the season---Mother's white china, Sweetpea's little Wedgwood plate, some thrift store pink plates, some clunky old pink Fostoria glasses from another thrift store, and a pretty, heavy heart-shaped vase from yet another, brought home by Chris on Saturday filled with pink and silver kisses:

We nibbled some veggies and hummus, and then danced a bit as usual before we sat down.

In all the bustle of getting everything out of the oven and hot to table, we didn’t get a picture of the buffet---it was very plain, just the pan of shells, the lasagna, the salad, and the bread.


Everybody’s place had a Valentine from someone, and some assorted goodies they especially like---Ganner's were dipped apples: one chocolate chip and one turtle.

After we ate dinner, DS cleared the table and got the dishes rinsed, while we all chatted, then we helped ourselves to the dessert “buffet.”

Three kinds of brownies---toasted pecan, Reese’s and cheesecake; the cupcakes (strawberry), some cookies-with-hearts, and a fantastic cake, made by Caro's coffeecake recipe, with a lovely firm crumb---lemon poppyseed, like a pound cake in a 9x13. The three kinds of bark: Almond, Peanut, and a lovely pale concoction of white chocolate, peanuts, and crushed Nutter-Butters which tastes exactly like the inside of a Butterfinger. It DID look a bit like you’d poured out a bowl Northern beans when it was on the platter to cool and firm up.

A lovely addictive hodgepodge of Chex, Cheerios, pretzels, peanuts, and M&M’s tossed in white chocolate, and nicknamed CRACK:

It just occurred to me that anyone with a peanut allergy would have not wanted to even come in the door of this house last night.

And always, kisses in the little heart dish.

Loads of the sweets went out the door with all the kids to take to work today, (thank goodness) and Caro declared at the end of the evening, "No more desserts like this til CHRISTMAS!" I waited to open my Valentine from Chris til this morning---just a little private moment for us two, and a lovely holdover of such a nice day.

Hope yours was as SWEEEEET!


Marlene said...

What a lovely Valentines Day with all the family pitching in to make it so. Thanks as always for sharing your family and "gatherings" with us, Rachel.

dana said...

You had a GRAND day!

What a delight it must have been to be with your family and enjoy all of that yummy food!!

I have to say that my favorite part....that amazing little "hand bouquet"!!! That was adorable!!


Southern Lady said...

Thank you for sharing your perfect day with us, Rachel. My favorite part was picturing those precious little hands putting the muffin paper cups in the pan, and making those little "hand hearts" for her Ganjin's "bouquet." What beautiful memories you all are creating for her.

Justabeachkat said...

Oh.my.word! Talk about food heaven! It all sounds and looks delish. Would love to have been at your house!


Patsy said...

What a lovely table and the food looks so good.
Here is my valentine hug to you.

Bev said...

Loved it all..thanks for sharing!

Decor To Adore said...

We had a very similar red dinner~ yummy!

Jeanne said...

Good morning Rachel, I just worked my way down to the glass post. Now I am happy not to be missing a single word you write. The sweetest being today's post, or your Valentine's post. What a wonderful festive celebration. I am especially fond of sweets so your party ROCKED! A lovely table with lovely people sharing a fun festive occasion. I love reading all about your family festive occasions. I love that Sweetpea is a huge part of your life. Lucky, lucky you.

My sweet hubs gave me red roses. I love them. We both gave each other cards that express all of our faults and that we loved each other dearly anyway. We had a good laugh! Not a big meal as my eyes are still an issue but improving every day now.

Thank you soooo much for your well wishes Rachel. It means a lot to me.

Have a wonderful day.
Warm hugs,

racheld said...

Oh, Y'all---there would have been room for you at the table---every one! We had a lovely day, and I'm still pressing sweets upon the kids to take to work.

I'd have loved to have you all here, and I appreciate your comments SO much.

I'm so glad you enjoy looking in, and it means a lot to me that you care to return and see the little events going on here.

Patsy, here's a hug sent all the way to AR for you, and Laura: Caro bought the Stouffer's (for the ease of preparation, and that it would save me a lot of kitchen time), and she made the shells. It hadn't occurred to me that dinner was mostly RED til you mentioned it!

(Though I'd love to take credit for such clever attention to detail).

Keetha said...

Happy, happy day to you! I love how you celebrate.

Beverly said...

Rachel, your Valentine's Day celebration exudes love and fun. Thank you for inviting us in to share. I would have been in my bliss - because I like everything better with nuts.♥♥♥

mustard seeds said...

What a sweet Valentine's celebration. I especially love the cute little hand roses. We have a dip that Shannon makes that got nicknamed "crack dip" because it is soooo addicting. Ha.

PAINTORDIG.blogspot.com said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day with your loved ones. And so much candy and good food wow. I am sure sweet pea will remember this day!

Cape Coop said...

Salad and shells, they both sound delicious- but the dessert buffet baked goods and the hand bouquet- OhMy those are the BEST! I had the sweetest telephone call for Valentine's Day- my #1Boy recited the Eshet Chayil to me and told me that I have always personified that hymn in his heart- now, where is my hand bouquet?

Kim S. said...

What a beautiful Valentine's celebration, Rachel - the WHOLE day was a celebration of love! And I'm with Rebecca - everything looked and sounded fantastic (I'd love Caro's reicpe for the shells, BTW), but that dessert buffet blew me away! I am making PB brownies SOON! And with my pink predilection, you know how much I loved your 'tablescape'! I'm glad you had such a love-filled day (and very glad that you have so many of them).