Photos by Morgan Lynn Hammontree
The kitchen is the heart and soul of a home for many families. It’s where we make memories and yummy meals. It’s also where, as a mom, you can feel like you spend the majority of your time. If someone says they’ve been in the kitchen for nine years, believe them!
Since the kitchen is my home-away-from-home, I quickly learned that getting my kids in the kitchen with me is a great way to spend time with them and make them part of the meal prep process (with hopes that will make them like a vegetable or two!)
From make-your-own pizza night to fancy grilled cheese night, if I’ve learned anything about cooking with my kids, it’s that they love choices. There’s something powerful about getting to customize your meal.
Customizing is not always feasible, but one thing we have mastered is snacks. There’s nothing better than a snack plate with a variety of things to nibble on, and you can create one for any occasion. After years of calling them “mama’s lunchables,” I discovered a big snack plate is called a charcuterie board. I also discovered that when you throw your snacks on a big wooden cutting board and post it on social media, you up your mom game by 10 points.
For Valentine’s Day we’re opting to forgo the meat and cheese charcuterie board and tap into our sweeter side with a mix of chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate dipped wafers with heart sprinkles. A side of blueberries and apple slices provides balance, along with some peanut butter Greek yogurt dip.
For some reason the ability to snack on a variety of things laid out in front of them makes my kids more willing to try new things. Kids are weird like that. They also like dips (no one can deny the power of a good dip!) and to eat things in ball form.
My son snubs meatloaf, but if I roll the exact same concoction into small meatballs, he’s all about it. Making meatballs together combines the perfect amount of fun and mess and by making a garlic honey sauce, there’s enough ingredients for everyone to get a turn contributing before rolling up
I’m thankful my boys have discovered the love of cooking. We hope your family will, too, using these recipes to create a special Valentine’s dinner together.
Valentine’s Day Menu
Main course – Garlic Honey Meatballs with Honey Glazed Carrots
Garlic Honey Meatballs
- 1pound of ground beef
- ¼cup of finely diced onion
- 1tsp of salt
- 1tsp of pepper
- 1tsp of garlic powder
- 1tsp of minced garlic
- ¼cup of brown sugar
- ⅓cup of honey
- ½cup of ketchup
- 2TBS of soy sauce
- 1TBS of minced garlic
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking dish with nonstick spray. Combine beef, onions, garlic and spices. Form into meatballs and place in dish. Mix sauce ingredients and pour over meatballs. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Crockpot Honey Glazed Carrots
- 1½pounds of baby carrots
- 4TBS of honey
- 4TBS of butter (cubed)
- ½tsp of salt
Combine all ingredients into crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours. After 3 hours, remove lid and cook for 15 minutes to thicken glaze. Stir with a wooden spoon while glaze thickens.
Dessert – Valentine’s Dessert Charcuterie Board with Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip
Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip
1cup of Greek yogurt
2TBS peanut butter
1TBS of honey
Combine all ingredients and mix. Serve with apple slices or strawberries.