I made a few phone calls this morning and was looking for family favorites which I want to share for Valentine's Day. I think we sometimes get lost in the meaning of Valentine's Day by feeling that candy and flowers make someone feel special. Valentine's Day is about the people you love and the things that we can do to make them happy. In our house, a home cooked meal means love. We love cooking for everyone because of the excitement of it creates. Calling and asking each person what they liked put excitement in their voice...almost as if they were coming home to eat.
I started with Michael (my oldest son). He loves our food. He is a senior at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. He eats college food and take out on a regular basis and after four years, it gets a little boring. He loves to come home and have his favorites waiting -
Tomato Sauce and Meatballs - Pasta and Sauce
And for dessert, Peanut Butter Blossoms
Next was Brian. He is my middle son and is a freshman at the University of Missouri. He is now realizing, second semester, that the food is...typical? When I spoke with him, he knew exactly what he liked -
Special Thumbprint Cookies - Shortbread and Milk Chocolate
He closed with, "Anything you and Jeff make is good."
Then there was Stephen, my youngest who is a junior in high school. He tends to be the "picky" eater in the group, but he does like anything with shrimp in it. His list wasn't as long probably because he eats with us most often and hasn't lived away from home. That is when you truly appreciate a home cooked meal. His two favorites were -
Chocolate Oreo Trifle - Also called Goo
The phone rang and Danielle was checking in. My daughter, Danielle, tends to like healthier choices since she works in the nutrition field. She and Brian had the same meals on their mind when she started with the Sausage with Penne and Tomato and ended with the Special Thumbprints.
But it did lead to healthier foods (at least one) -
Jeff's daughter, Kate, came home and said her favorite food was the Apple Crisp. That is a dessert we have been making for years. We normally get burned out after apple season as we tend to make this dessert quite often and then add raspberries, cranberries and pears for different variations.
At last, I asked Jeff what his favorite meal is...he just couldn't think of one as we make so many different dishes. I was looking up the links for the recipes when I came across the strawberry shortcake...probably the best we have ever made. "Yeah", he said, "that was definitely the best strawberry shortcake I've ever made...and eaten." So, I will end with Jeff's favorite recipe.
Create some meals that your family will love, especially on Valentine's Day!