Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Night In

If you're like us, you spend most of your nights in. Valentine's day is usually no exception. We have small kids, it often falls on a weekday, we want to save money, etc... And honestly, though sometimes we make up for it later on a weekend night, we don't really mind staying home.

Over the last few years we've figured out how to make it special and feel like a fancy date that we get to wear our pajamas to. THAT.... trumps almost any restaurant in my book.

Here's why I say "almost."

Which means this...

Be still my very hungry heart.

The Melting Pot has been a birthday or anniversary tradition of ours since we were dating. In fact, there is a framed picture of us on our first date there in our bedroom. Fondue is near and dear to our hearts.

In fact, during one very financially hard season for us, several of my dearest friends pitched in and sent us there so we wouldn't miss our tradition. I know! They're wonderful.

Back to our Valentine's day one year I decided to try to recreate this experience at home. It was a huge success! We loved it! I cut the boys' naps short in the afternoon so we could feed them an easy dinner and send them to bed early. Party time for us!

Now, I didn't do the meats...that would have been too much for me to try in one night, so I sent Josh to the store for a quick, frozen skillet meal and I got to work on the cheese and chocolate fondue. This has become a new tradition for us on Valentine's Day.

I think this picture is of our cheese fondue from last year....

We get our favorite bubbly....Chimay for Josh and Martini & Rossi Asti for me. :)

Then we have cheese fondue with all the dippers. Mmmmm. My mouth is watering. This is the recipe I normally use although I'm pretty sure I've used one that called for beer (just like The Melting Pot) and it was amazing! Either way, it's a me. Here's a recipe that claims to be from The Melting Pot. It looks great and I love how the url says "low cholesterol."

For the dippers, we use cut up apples, baby carrots, broccoli, pretzels and cubed french or italian bread (our fav). We don't have an electric fondue pot (which I hear are great!) so I heat it on the stove until we're ready, bring the pot to the table and we chow down.

We eat our lovely skillet meal (it's usually Bertolli and I think they're really good) and then it's time for dessert! Woo hoo!!!

{Seriously, get excited people. It's REAL good.}

Now, I'm a simple girl so I'm probably not going to track down the highest quality unsweetened, semi-sweet and milk chocolate. Just keepin' it real. :)

Here's a really basic recipe that is everything you need and you don't have to go to Madagascar for the ingredients.

For dippers we use bananas, strawberries, apples, pineapple, marshmallows (we LOVE the coconut covered ones), brownie bites, cheesecake, angel food cake, rice crispy treats, oreos, our fingers....whatever we can find!

If we can keep ourselves out of a sugar coma, we usually rent a movie from Blockbuster Express and cuddle up on the couch. The perfect end to a sweet evening.

This year I've been wanting to see this:

I really love political thrillers and anything with a conspiracy theory. Don't judge. Has anyone seen it? Is it worth the $2 it costs to rent it? :)

Although this post is for Valentine's Day, I'm pretty sure fondue is DE-lightful for anyone, anywhere....married or not. I think it sounds like the perfect girl's night. In fact, I think it sounds great as an afternoon snack all by myself. Hmm....I may have to rethink my plan. :)

Let me know if you've tried this...I'd love to hear how you do it!


Charlene@APinchofJoy said...

Family traditions are great and this one sounds like a winner! I would love it if you would come link up with Busy Monday (through Thursdays) at A Pinch of Joy, a linky party for ideas that make life better.

Josh and Dana said...

Will do, Charlene! Thanks!