Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ah, love. Today is the day to celebrate ALL types of love, IMHO.

As a teenager, I HATED Valentine's Day as I was a perpetually single gal (Ah, the shallowness of teenage boys *sigh*). Then, my Junior year of high school, when I was still relatively new at the school, a group of new friends included me in their Valentine's Day celebrations. It was simply giving me a card and a carnation, but it totally brightened my day and I never forgot it, and the fact that there was nothing romantic involved but I could still celebrate other people I loved. Ever since, I've enjoyed Valentine's Day as a way of celebrating EVERYONE I love! Not every year, but most years I send out Valentine cards to my family and friends. Typically my mom, my grandmas, and my best gal pals. One of these years, I'm going to organize a Galentine's Day celebration.

This year's batch of Valentine's, made by MOI

Then in 2003, Valentine's Day got a whole lot sweeter when The Hubs agreed to be my Valentine. :) We were friends and coworkers for a year and a half prior, and we'd been flirting for the last half-year when, at the end of January 2003, I worked up the nerve to ask The Hubs out. We hung out after work, and I used the smooth line of asking if he'd be my Valentine that year. He said yes, we had some beverages while watching "Chasing Amy" and making out a little. (Funny sidenote: YEARS later he admitted that when we ran into each other on campus the next day and it was kind of awkward, he was considering breaking it off with me because he didn't want to ruin our friendship. Luckily for both of us, he either thought better of it or wussed out ;D)

We still consider Valentine's Day to be our official first date, even though we were already hanging out fairly regularly by then as a couple (but we were still keeping it on the DL from our coworkers 'cuz they were a bunch of gossips, and we also were still keeping things at the make-out stage because we didn't want to rush/possibly preserve friendship if we changed our minds). Our date was a movie followed by dinner cooked by me! The movie was "Daredevil"; the reason for choosing THAT gem was due to me being a huge fan of the comic book and having high hopes for the movie (which they did NOT meet). Man, The Hubs still hasn't let me live that down. The movie was a dud, but the meal was NOT.

I tried this recipe for the first time because it was easy and sounded good. Luckily it was both, and to this day it is The Hubs' favorite meal that I cook. I've made it so often that I actually have the recipe memorized. It's called Gourmet Chicken, and to be honest it's not gourmet but it's quite rich and tasty.

This V-day will be our 10th V-day together! The Hubs has requested his favorite dish to commemorate the occasion, and I am gladly obliging. I'll also be making chocolate fondue for dessert with pound cake and strawberries for dippin'. And, of course, sparkling wine! Yum! For my V-day gift to him, I bought us tickets to our local minor-league professional hockey team, which we'll go to on Saturday. Whooo!

If you're curious for the recipe for Gourmet Chicken, here it is!

Gourmet Chicken (from a 30 Minute Meals compilation that my Mom bought me - it's NOT by Racheal Ray)

8 chicken breast halves, boneless & skinless
8 slices of cheddar or swiss cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
2 Tbsp mayonaisse
1/2 cup milk
2 10.5oz cans cream of chicken soup
1 box Stove Top stuffing, chicken-flavored
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together the soup, mayo, and milk. Place the chicken breasts in a baking pan, and cover each one with a slice of cheese. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken/cheese, spreading evenly so the chicken is covered. Sprinkle the stuffing over the top of the dish, then drizzle the butter over the stuffing. Bake for 45 minutes (depending on how big/thick the boobs are, they might need more time - make sure there's no pink and the juice is clear when you cut into the chicken boobs!)

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