I know Valentine’s Day was Friday but since I work a long, late day on Fridays we decided to have our own special Valentine’s celebration last night. However, when I popped home for a bit in between my classes I was met with this nice surprise arrangement of flowers, candy and a card!
It was such a sweet surprise that definitely made my day! I love Valentine’s Day and this year was a little extra special since it was our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife! I ended up making THIS little cake to make the day feel like even more of a celebration. It came out so cute and tiny and was absolutely delicious! In her recipe she has two options for the cake, one with store bought almond paste and one with homemade. I opted for the version with the homemade paste only because I made the cake during an insane snowstorm and the grocery store was closed so I had to make do! Luckily I had all the ingredients on hand for the paste and it was super easy to make! So easy (and DELICIOUS!) that I’ll probably never buy almond paste again. The cake was fantastic, it was very light and so soft and fluffy with the perfect subtle hint of almond flavor!
The only downside was that we were only able to finish a small piece each because we had so much food at dinner! We went to a small bistro in our area, one of our favorite spots and the place we go to for Valentine’s Day every year. The owner of the restaurant lives on our block and he really took care of us. As I said, the only downside to that is the absolute abundance of food. Normally that’s never a bad thing, except for when you’re trying to save room for cake! We had declined dessert only to be surprised with the most decadent rich chocolate torte that was honestly too good not to completely devour along with complimentary glasses of prosecco. Every drink we had last night was outstanding! We started at the bar where Dan got a rum based drink and I had a martini that was made with vodka, Midori and fresh lime juice and it tasted exactly like a sour patch kid! It was so good that I basically inhaled it and several minutes later its potency became apparent, that drink was strong.
I had to cover for another instructor yesterday morning (she got ENGAGED on Valentine’s Day!!! Congrats, Laura!) so I ended up teaching four classes back to back with my final class being my triathlete training endurance ride which was a full eighty minutes. Needless to say I was ready for a multi-course dinner. We snacked on some house made potato chips at the bar (don’t you love when restaurants have really good bar snacks? That’s one of my favorite things!) then when we sat down we were greeted with one of the best bread baskets. The basket was PILED with warm, whole wheat (NEVER had an entire basket of whole wheat bread at a restaurant, it made me SO happy!) flatbreads that were perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy as a cloud on the inside. Dipped into sea salt and fresh cracked pepper speckled olive oil it was the perfect start to a great meal. We were feeling red wine so we opted for a bottle of Amarone, which is my husband’s go to red. Amarone is consistently pretty stellar but this particular bottle was like velvet, we were raving about this wine throughout the entire dinner. Better believe we’ll be buying a case for our home!
The small plates here are always fantastic; our appetizers stole the show. Every time we come here we always get an order of the Afghan Meatballs, the owner’s mother’s recipe and they’re phenomenal! Along with that we got an order of the butternut squash, also a recipe of his mother’s. The squash was slow roasted and topped with a bolognese sauce that was made with warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, Dan and I dipped the bread into the sauce and did not let a drop go to waste. AMAZING.
For our entree I got the chicken with cauliflower covered in a fresh tomato sauce and yogurt drizzle. Dan went the decadent route and got the gnocchi with goat cheese. I had a couple bites and it was deliciously rich. If you live in the area and have not been you must check out Kraft Bistro! Consistently great food and fantastic wine and cocktail list (don’t forget to try the meatballs!).
So, when we got home we were so full we could barely polish off a piece of cake, although it was good!
I was also thrilled that Dan loved his coasters!! He was so excited and recognized all the photos I based them off of! I love when I actually impress him 😉 Before we went to dinner on Saturday Dan took me to the jewelry store so I could pick out a new wedding band. I wanted a simple band that I could wear between my original band and engagement ring. Also, since I work in a gym I never wear my rings so I wanted something simple that I could wear to work that wouldn’t be so vulnerable to damage. I went with a beautifully simple rose gold band that will look great on its own and lend a pretty pop of pink to my current ring stack!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! If you didn’t….well, this may make you feel better: Dan and I actually got into a massive fight on Friday night, so, yeah that was FUN. Best of both worlds for us this year!