Happy Valentine’s Day

v-day-004We invited Josh and Laura over for an early Valentine’s Day meal. (We also invited Katie and Andrew but they were booked solid for Sunday and Tuesday) This happened on Sunday late afternoon. At first I set the table with these plates but then decided the main course would be served better in a bowl.

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v-day-006Dear and I tackled Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon buying all the ingredients on Saturday and starting some of the steps then and finishing it on Sunday.

v-day-017This one is a bit blurry, so here’s another one.

v-day-016This meal deserves lots of photos since the process was more complicated than it needed to be. I love Julia but her editors could have made the instructions easier and more precise. The final product was delicious and we’ll make it again with just a few adjustments.

v-day-013One of the steps was preparing these lovely pearl onions and then adding mushrooms cooking them to their delicious state and then adding them to the beef that had cooked for a few hours.

p1070146On Saturday we picked up several meaty soup bones and per Jacque and Julia’s instructions (a little vague) we made our own beef stock after roasting these bones topped with these vegetables. The steps after the roasting were the really vague part but we used our own skills to pull it off and the stock was delicious and ready for our Sunday Boeuf Bourguignon creation which is simpler to just call beef stew. Everything came together nicely even though we laughed and scratched our heads about some of the instructions, reading them out loud to each other several times. Besides Julia’s 2 classic cookbooks we have a cookbook called Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (Jacques Pepin). This cookbook also has the stew recipe in it so we were flipping back and forth between the two books.

p1070147It was a fun thing to do together. I got the idea for cooking a Valentines meal with your love instead of going out from a blog post and I forget who is the one who suggested this. If it was you, please let me know. The suggestion was to pick something you had never tried cooking before. There were only a couple times we stepped on each other’s toes.

v-day-005When we got the text saying Josh and Laura could join us on Sunday I realized I was so wrapped up with Julia I forgot about dessert so before church we stopped by the store to buy a chocolate cake mix and raspberries. It was my plan to make these small heart shaped cakes but there was enough batter left to make this medium heart shaped cake, too.

v-day-011This medium sized cake with pink pearls went home with Josh and Laura so that Laura could take it to work and share it with her co-workers. It was devoured and enjoyed.

v-day-019I served the little heart shaped cakes on a bed of raspberry coulis (sauce) for the four of us.

I forgot to take a photo of the four of us while we enjoyed our meal so I’ll add this photo of Josh and Laura taken another time and in another place.

16002909_10211736628877145_8481448021831948219_nAnd in the “spirit” of selfies I’ll add this one of Dear and me taken yesterday with our shades on, too.

16711954_10212184236749413_1190845926328543452_nOur evening together was so enjoyable and it was good to get caught up on some current details of our lives. After dinner and dessert we watched a couple episodes of Hunted together. It was new to all of us but Josh and we all enjoyed it. I may or may not have watched a few more episodes after Josh and Laura headed home. It’s a little disconcerting learning how much of all of our lives can be found out if someone with skills wants to find out. Big brother really is watching us.

I’ll leave you with a couple sentiments and a solid truth for this and every day, not just Valentine’s Day!

16729031_10212190183378075_7140222896236361334_nThe upper sign was a gift from Josh and Laura for our anniversary one year. The heart has part of the solid truth you can depend on. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Hug your loved ones and tell them you love them!