Thursday, March 3, 2011

Simple & Homemade

I hope you had a good Valentine's Day, whether you considered it as "just another day" or a very special day for you and your partner. For Jake and I, the truth falls somewhere in between. We don't mind a special day set aside to celebrate our appreciation for each other (it gets lost in the daily routine sometimes), but don't like to go crazy either. We definitely don't like to celebrate in any commercial way, other than Jake does buy me a bouquet of flowers, though they are overpriced on that day. Even here in Manhattan where every corner store usually has a dozen flowers for $5, on Valentine's Day they get jacked up to $25 or more. But, ah, flowers. They can really make a dull room quite cheery!

In some years past, we had gone out to dinner on Valentine's Day, especially those first two "courting" years. But these days, we prefer to lay low and not shell out good money for overpriced prix fixe menu that is potentially overrated. We discussed it this year and Jake offered to cook dinner for us. He was excited to try out a new recipe in the Indian Cookbook my sister had given him.

Alas, as we neared the day, we realized the kitchen might not be as available as we thought. We had been working on it for over a week--repainting and reorganizing and on February 13th we had *just* gotten it back to working order. After days of spending our free waking moments painting, touching up, trying to reach the fridge, and inventing creative meals out of the reachable food items, I wasn't in the mood to see Jake mess up the kitchen once again and leave yet another mess we would need to clean up. So we opted for something simple: pizza!

I love Jake's pizza. And the best part is that he makes one for each of us: his with jalepeno peppers and lots of meat, and mine, with veggies galore, a little meat, and an extra heaping dose of mushrooms. Lately I have been trying to incorporate more grains into my diet, so Jake insisted on a whole wheat crust which came out surprisingly yummy! And to make it special for Valentine's Day, Jake made unique, heart shaped pizzas:

Delicious and creative! Topped off with an imported beer and an iced glass of Coca-Cola (soda is an indulgence for me) and we were good to go. We curled up and watched a good movie and had a wonderful night relaxing and  talking. It really goes to show, at least to me, that some of the simplest and least complicated things can be the most enjoyable. Something to keep in mind!

And for those of you thinking of self-catering your wedding or even adding to some of the already catered food: you could make mini heart shaped pizzas! I used to cater for a small catering company and one of the biggest hits was a little pita pizza we would make for appetizers. It would be so easy to precut the round pitas into hearts and make them for your wedding. A homey, yummy, simple touch! You can prepare all the pizzas in advance too. Just prep and stack them separated by wax paper in the freezer until they are ready to cook. You can cook about 8-12 in the oven at one time and cut them into quarters--they go a long way to feeding and pleasing guests.