Valentine's Day Menu

Without the assistance of any yummy food photos to make you hungry**, I wanted to share our Valentine's Day Popcorn Feast menu! Of course, it would have made more sense to share this yesterday but when have I ever made sense? Don't answer that, please.

**No pictures because the camera cord disappeared, and now the camera itself has stopped taking pictures. I guess it is replacement time, which quite frankly isn't going to happen for awhile!

For those of you who aren't aware of our popcorn night tradition, we eat our Sunday dinner/big meal at lunch after church and have a popcorn & movie or popcorn & game night instead. Sometimes we share the night with friends or family, but usually we stick to family time to end the week. Our meal is always simple, snacky foods that everyone can enjoy and even if we don't watch a movie, we eat on the living room floor which adds to the fun.

For Valentine's Day (or any other *red* day):

Strawberry & Banana slices on toothpicks (mini kabobs)

Homemade Cheeseballs in Marinara (recipe below)

Popcorn

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Berry Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

Red fruit punch for the kids (it may be 100% juice, but I just can't make myself drink it)

While we ate, we watched the movie Down and Derby. Tim borrowed it from their Cub Master to watch before the Pinewood Derby next month. It's basically a story of Dads who make the derby a competition among themselves instead of letting the boys do the work. I knew Aidan would enjoy it, but I was a little surprised that everyone seemed to enjoy it!

We also opened up our Valentine's Day box before we ate to discover cards from Grandma & Papa, a small gift from Mom & Dad, and an abundance of homemade cards from the boys to everyone else. I love seeing how the boys have come to embrace this tradition as their own each year!

Now for yummy recipes :)

Berry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries defrosted
8 ounces of cream cheese softened
3-5 cups of powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients in a blender (only if you have a strong one) or with an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. I used a blend of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries which made a gorgeous purple color that actually elicited *ooohs*!

Homemade Cheeseballs

1/2 pound of shredded cheese (1- 8 oz bag)
3/4 cup of quick cooking oatmeal
2 T flour (any would work I think- I used rice)
2 eggs
salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste

Combine everything in a bowl and mix well. Think about making a meatloaf or meatballs and just use your hands. It's easier, I promise. As seasonings we used onion & garlic powder, I actually think dried onion and dried garlic would have been tastier, but the powders added excellent flavor. Form into golf ball sized meatballs (or smaller if you prefer) and set aside.

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a pan on high. The oil needs to be very hot so that the cheese on the outside will fry to keep the inside cheese inside when it melts! When the oil is hot, brown the cheeseballs for approximately 5 minutes, turning regularly. They are done with the outside is a golden brown. They may stick to the bottom of the pan, but they can be gently moved without falling apart. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel.

Serve with marinara sauce. Buy it pre made or make your own, whatever floats your boat, but simple is best.

Makes 10-15

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