Our Valentine's celebrations always center around food in these parts. As with everything else, its my aim to keep things as frugal as possible. Allow me to share with you my master plan for making my loved ones feel loved with warm, full tummies on this special happiest of hearts day.
We call this recipe: Toad in the Hole. I've also heard it referred to as Egg in the Hole. I love the play on words here- Love Nests. *happy heart sigh* The pin links to post with recipe, but we like to make ours in the oven as its easier clean up and we won't run the chance of breaking the yoke. Go here for the recipe we use. By the way- add the shredded cheese and bacon crumbles, everything's better with bacon. And don't forget to toast the heart you cut out. Serve this with a side of strawberries and strawberry milk. Yummo!The cost for this with strawberries should be around $3 to feed four people.
We'll be making our sandwiches with deli meat as I've got a boy who's not big on pbj. PBJ would be a super cheap option for this lunch though. I like the idea of using a small heart cut out on the sandwich rather than a large one- as the larger one wastes all that good bread etc. on the edges. This keeps it simple and you get to eat itty bitty heart sandwiches. Even my oldest will smile at this. Serve this with lovely red cherry tomatoes and ranch for dipping and a handful of chips. Even with the deli meat this hearty lunch for four should run about $7.
Pink ice cubes in milk served up with Oreos. This will be a big hit in my house. If I'm too busy for the heart shaped ice cubes I can always make strawberry milk and add a strawberry to the side of the glass for decoration. My guesstimate is this snack will cost around $2.00 for four (3 cookies each).
I'm going for simple but if you want something more heartsy how about this:
Its our family tradition to make homemade pizza on Valentine's Day. Sometimes we get all fancy and make our pizza heart-shaped and sometimes we don't. I like the idea of cutting the pepperoni into hearts- I think we might try that this year. We go all out with our ingredients for our Valentine's pizzas including bacon crumbles, ground sausage and lots of fresh veggies. In preparation for this I usually set aside some bacon crumbles, ground sausage, diced ham from previous meals in freezer baggies and store in the freezer for this occasion. This helps to keep the cost lower. I purchase chunk mozzarella cheese at Aldi for $1.79/8 oz. We use this recipe for our pizza dough. My cost will run right around $10 for this meal for 5 (because of the food set aside in the freezer from other meals). I still think, even if you have to go out and buy all your ingredients- you can make this meal for under $15.
I've never made this recipe before but it looks wonderful. We'll omit the mint sprigs and may add a few Valentine sprinkles to the tops that we have on hand... or better yet- perhaps I'll make some of those super sweet washi tape flags on tooth picks! Estimated cost: $3. Note: A box mix will make approx. 18-20 cupcakes (we fill the cups a bit fuller) and I think perhaps I'll make a dozen with this method and just frost the rest with some lovely buttercream frosting I have on hand. This helps to keep the cost down as I won't have to buy so many strawberries.
Here are a couple more lovely Valentine dessert options:
Toting up Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert.... $30.
I figure I'll come in around $25 with my preplanning.
But even without my preplanning... to feed approx. four people special food that says I love you to the moon and back on such a day as this for THIRTY DOLLARS is pretty stinkin' spectacular in my opinion!