This post has been sponsored by American Greetings. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
So, here’s the thing. I love Valentine’s Day. I pretty much always have. And not because I always had someone sending me flowers or taking me on dates (I did not). But more because, from an early age, my Mom taught my sister and I to celebrate the day for what it is - a day to recognize and honor love.
We’d read about the history and meaning behind the holiday, we’d bake heart-shaped jam-filled cookies, we’d craft handmade cards, we’d cook themed-dinners, we’d have heart-filled tea parties and we even, sometimes, had a Valentine’s Day tree. My Mom went above and behind to find unique ways for us to make the most of the day.
So, as you can maybe imagine, I’ve never been much of a Valentine’s-Day-dinner-out kinda girl. But a fun activity, a handwritten note or making a delicious dinner at home? I’ll take them all! Luckily, Mr. RC feels the same way.
The other day, I happened to be browsing the Valentine’s Day cards at Target (as one does) and I happened to find the cutest American Greetings cards. They immediately stood out to me with their food themes and cute artwork, and I instantly knew there could not be a more perfect pair of Valentine’s Day cards for Mr. RC. I mean, it’s no secret that we love food almost as much as we love each other. So cards with foodie love messages? I’m all about it!
This year, we’re taking our Valentine’s Day cards to a whole new level. We decided to use the food themes of the American Greetings cards and run with them, creating a whole Valentine’s Day dinner night at home. So that cute little burrito card you see? That inspired a whole skillet burrito DIY situation. And that sweet little sundae card? Well, you guessed it. It inspired our dessert, strawberries + cream ice cream sundaes.
Both recipes are incredibly simple (dinner is made in one pan and dessert has only a handful of ingredients), yet elevated enough to make them feel special. And both recipes are perfect for two cooks in the kitchen. Oh, and did I mention dinner is far more entertaining when the dish is as interactive as building your own burritos? I mean, who needs dinner out when you can be comfortably at home, assembling your dream burrito with your dream guy (or gal)?
Not only did the American Greetings cards inspire this fun and easy Valentine’s date night in, we also used the inside of the cards to write down the recipes as a fun keepsake memory of what we made (Tip: include a favorite heart/pink/vday themed recipe in any Valentine’s Day cards you mail/give out as a fun way to “give” a little something extra to the recipient) and then we set them on our dinner table as place settings.
And to think, all that just from browsing the cards at good ol’ Target. I’m sharing our recipes below for your own date night at home, but if you’re looking to be inspired for other Valentine’s date ideas, or you just need to grab some cards, clearly Target is the place to go.
For the Rice
1 cup rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
Juice of ½ a lime
For the Veggies
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
2 peppers, sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
For the Steak
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ pounds flank steak
In a large skillet, set over medium heat, add the rice and water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the the olive oil, cilantro, salt and lime juice. Transfer the rice to a bowl and set aside.
Place the skillet back on a medium heat burner and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss in the veggies, sprinkle with salt and flash fry for 5-6 minutes, or just until the veggies start to crisp and brown. Remove to a separate dish and set aside.
Return the skillet to the stovetop and turn the heat up to high. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive to the pan and allow it to heat up for a few minutes while you season your steak with salt. Add the steak to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board and slice.
Layer the rice, veggies and steak back into the skillet. Add desired toppings (avocado, cilantro, etc) and serve with tortilla wraps to assemble your own burritos.
STRAWBERRIES & CREAM SUNDAES
For the Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of ½ an orange
For the Berries
½ pound fresh strawberries, quartered (plus a few extra for garnish)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
½ teaspoon honey
Vanilla ice cream
In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Stir in the orange zest, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or transfer the cream to a sealed container) and place in a refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. FYI, the cream can be made a day in advance.
To make the berries, combine the berries, vinegar, juice and honey in a pan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 7-10 minutes, or until the berries have softened slightly and and the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Another FYI, this sauce can be made a day ahead, as well, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To assemble the sundaes, simply layer ice cream and berries in a cup. Top with whipped cream and garnish with additional fresh berries (if desired).