Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Valentine's Day -- Some Fun Ideas

I love to decorate for the holidays. . . . every holiday.  If I could have come up with something festive for MLK day, I would have decorated for it!  :D

With Valentine's Day just a few weeks away, I've been saving several items concerning Valentine's Day in my favorites folder.  That's the way I "pin" things I see.  I have yet to master the "pinning" technique for, so I've just continued saving recipes and crafty items in my favorites' folders like I always have.

Here are some of my favorites for Valentine's Day :

You know how much I love to cook and when I saw this Chocolate Cherry Whoopie Pie recipe, I just knew I was going to have to make them for Valentine's Day!

I'm not sure about using cherries in the filling . . . but who knows . . . maybe I'll even give the cherries a try too!

And then I found a similar whoopie pie recipe called Heartbreakers using a red velvet cake mix that I might try instead . . .

(picture & recipe from
 She adapted her recipe from a whoopie pie recipe at by making them heart-shaped instead of round.

Then at myblessedlife I found some heart-shaped rice krispie treats . . .

(picture & recipe at
 Aaahhhh!  I'm getting in the Valentine's Day mood!   I also found a cute Valentine's Day Countdown Calendar! at :

(picture from
 She has some great ideas for Valentine activities and treats for each of the 14 days leading up to Valentine's Day.  Sounds like something fun for the Ferrell boys and me!  She even made the chalkboard too!  I'm so inspired!  I loved her ideas for the Valentine's Day chex mix, the footprint cupid, cupcakes topped with heart brownies, the love shack houses made from graham crackers, and heart-shaped breakfast.   I probably won't do all of that, but I think the countdown calendar is definitely going to happen at the Ferrell homestead!

And lastly . . . a burlap Valentine's Wreath  I saw at my blessed life. net. . . Oh my!  I so want to make this!  But I'm a little intimidated about the amount of time she said it took to make the wreath . . .  1.5 hours!

(picture from
 So I may have to make this "easy peasy" wreath I saw on 4tunate . net instead.

(picture from
It's made with a wire hanger and strips of fabric tied on . . .  I couldn't get the original website with the instructions for making this wreath to come up on my computer so I may just "wing it".
I'll let you know as I venture into making some of these Valentine's Day projects.

Menu Planning Update:

So we are midway though the week and the menu planning has worked out great this week!

I made the Lemon Chicken last night. 

It got 3 out of 4 Ferrell thumbs up

Shane didn't want to eat chicken, and I don't think he would have liked the lemony taste of the chicken anyway.  It was pretty tangy with the lemon and Italian seasoning sprinkled on the chicken. 

Alex, surprisingly, did not like it.  He's usually the one child I can count on loving my new dishes. . . Zach liked the chicken  . . . dipped in ketchup. 

If I make it again, I will cut back on the amount of lemon I use.  Also, I only used 1/2 stick of real butter.  It was very good and if I had used a whole stick of butter I believe the dish would have been greasy.  Dave & I both liked the Lemon Chicken.  However it may be a dish for grown ups more so than children.

Last night I went ahead and fixed the Chicken Tortilla Soup up to the point of cooking it.  I put the crockpot crock in the refrigerator where it stayed until lunch time today and then I started the soup cooking on Low.

It is really good.  I loved it!  And it's Weight Watcher friendly . which makes it wonderful!   One cup of soup is 3 points!

There is a drawback to this meal . . . soup is not a favorite meal for my boys unless it's Alphabet soup . . .  so I stuck a frozen pizza in the oven as a standby for them.  Shane ate 4 pieces of pizza.  He loves pizza, spaghetti, and chicken nuggets.  I'll be glad when he gets a more mature palette and will try new foods.  Nowadays, he looks at the dishes I make and says "that's yucky."

Here's the Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe with my modifications. 

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced ( I didn't use the 4 to 6 breasts recipe called for)
2 (14.5 oz) cans of petite diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can of mild enchilada sauce  (couldn't find 14 oz can)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can chopped green chilies
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 (14.5 oz) chicken broth (I added water to make it the 32 oz the recipe called for)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
2/3rd (16 oz) pkg frozen corn (Couldn't find a 10 oz bag)

Combine all ingredients in crockpot.  Stir.  Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours or on High for 2 to 3 hours.  It made almost 13 cups of soup for 3 points a cup.
I did not make the corn tortilla strips in the oven like the original recipe called for.  Instead, we ate the soup with tortilla chips, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

It was great!  Of the 3 Ferrells that tried the soup, this soup got
3 out of 3 Ferrell thumbs up!

I froze 5 cups of the soup for another day and saved some for tomorrow's lunch.

Tomorrow we're having Tacos and Mexican Rice.  I'm trying a new recipe for Mexican Rice so I'll let you know how it turns out.  My boys love the Mexican rice that you get in the restaurants so I hope it tastes like that.

I hope I've inspired you to try some of the recipes I've found or some of the Valentine's Day crafts I'm trying.

Have a great rest of the week now that we're over the Hump!

Tina and the Ferrell Boys!

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