Valentines Day

When I was growing up, my mom always made a huge deal of Valentines Day. I know she loved us and all, but I really think she just needed a reason to have a party! Christmas is over, it's the dead of the ugly part of winter, it's dang cold, and Spring seems so far away. Who doesn't need something to brighten the mood??? So Mom would go all-out. There would be decorations, she would make a red dinner, and we would find treats under our turned-over plates. It was always a fun day in our family...

When Jeremy and I got married, I tried to do the same thing. Our first Valentines Day, I was finally over morning sickness with Bennett, and I wanted to do something fun. So I decorated the house, bought a cute Valentines maternity shirt, and made Chicken Parmesan--I dyed the noodles red and everything. But Jeremy ended up having to work late that night, and by the time he came home dinner was cold and I was in tears. We had a long chat about expectations and what we wanted to do for our family traditions... Needless to say, we've gotten better with time :o)

For the first couple years, we tried a few different things. One year we went to The Melting Pot for our Valentines date--and we LOVED it... except for the super-expensive part. Jeremy said, "We could do this at home for sooooo much cheaper!" So I took that as a challenge, and we've been doing fondue at home for Valentines Day ever since. Now that the kids are old enough to do it with us without burning themselves or making too much of a mess (be prepared for one), we've turned it into a family tradition!

My favorite part about fondue is just the fact that it takes so long! You eat your food one piece at a time, sometimes you even have to wait for that one piece to cook before you eat it--it's a great opportunity to sit around and talk to each other. You could even make up a list of love/family-related questions or topics to discuss while you're waiting... Doesn't that sound fun???

Now for the actual food part. We make our dinner in 3 courses:

1. Cheese
2. Oil or Broth
3. Chocolate

There are lots of variations to this approach, so do some research and find out how to make it yours... And FYI, we have tried a few different kinds of fondue pots, and have found that the electric ones with the ability to control temperature are the best. Click HERE for the link to the one we have.

Enjoy the recipes below. Have fun, good luck, and... 
Happy Valentines Day!!!
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