It’s Valentine’s Day! My husband and I used to go out for the big hoopla. But with the two little ones and juggling the busy schedules, we’ve come to love the “at home date night.” We put the kids to bed, cook side-by-side, and enjoy the quality time together over the shared experience. So tonight, a cozy and clean sweetheart dinner at home has been planned, and, to top it off, we’ve been good, so a cute, pink dessert is on the menu too.
I kept breakfast and lunch super simple so I could focus on sticking to my schedule and keep things smooth-running in order to have the time for the fun dinner.
Breakfast was an egg fried with green onion and a couple of sausage links. http://www.applegate.com/products/natural-chicken-and-apple-breakfast-sausage
Lunch was the leftover batch-cooked carnitas with the veggies.
The rest of the day moved along quickly. It was a jam-packed day, including an afternoon CrossFit workout, but smooth-running.
I was so excited about the dessert. I had decided on chocolate truffles made with dates and topped with a pink coconut cream.
The truffles were a two-step process, calling for blending the ingredients and refrigerating the mixture ahead of time. I got started with that right before getting the kids. I was in my own world creating a masterpiece from clean, whole foods. I was so thrilled to have found the most beautiful, plump, soft, fresh Medjool dates. They really were special. I couldn’t help myself but sample them. This was not a “snacks on a plate” day, unfortunately. Before I knew it, I must have savored ten of them. Darn! There went portion control, and that portion of ten dates was close to 700 calories and 160 grams of sugar. Holy smokes! But, dates are Paleo. They are. I’m not lying. They are totally legit. Consuming 4 sodas’ worth of date sugar is not cheating. It’s not. Sigh. I’m so disappointed in myself. While dates are technically Paleo, eating carbs/sugar in excess definitely is not Paleo. Oh, but those dates were so indescribably good! There was no sense in stressing myself out with regret though. Why not move on with my day with the memory of how good those dates were?
The kids were all situated, and my husband and I turned on the culinary creativity. Hubby had selected lamb chops to serve with asparagus with bacon.
We worked together on assembling a tray of asparagus. We arranged cleaned, trimmed asparagus on a baking sheet and added chopped green onions. We chopped 4 slices of bacon into one-inch pieces and sprinkled that over the asparagus along with some pepper. The tray went in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, my husband painted 6 lamb chops with Dijon mustard and freshly-crushed garlic and seasoned them with salt and pepper. He cooked them in a nice hot cast iron skillet for just about 7 minutes per side to a beautiful medium rare. So simple but just incredible!
I finalized the coconut cream for the truffles using freeze-dried raspberries. The recipe called for freeze-dried strawberries, but Trader Joe’s was out. The raspberries were a nice substitute, but, definitely should have some extra honey to curb their tartness. Since I still felt a little guilty about going date-crazy, I didn’t sample the cream and realize the tartness until after the dessert was assembled. However, the truffles did not disappoint!
When making the plans for Valentine’s Day, those reasons of “I’ve been good so far” and “today is a special occasion” didn’t sound like excuses, but I guess they are. Alright, so I used and abused the date card. You live and you learn I guess. Tomorrow is a new day. At least I didn’t fly off the handle with chocolate chips.