We ate formally, talked of funny things and had a fun time diving into each plate. I say each plate because I served everyone each portion of the meal. We didn't do family style dining, rather, we taught our children how it would have been like to eat at a nice restaurant (like Maggiano's or any 4-star establishments). I did this since we haven't taken them to a nice restaurant in a looooong time!
Lisa's school friend, and tutee, Daniel (Is that a word? She tutors him in two subjects, and he's a good family friend), joined us so the table was set for 6 place settings. We dined on low lights and candlelights. Our 4-course menu was very Valentine-y, so they were easy to eat, but very filling.
Here's how it went:
First course: Campbell's Italian Wedding Soup (1/2 portion)
Second course: Hands-On Salad (1 portion) (my recipe- on one red-leaf lettuce, sat a mix of julienned carrots, quartered cherry tomatoes, green onions and chopped parsley dressed in a little bit of Ranch. You wrap the lettuce around the mixture and eat. It was yummy!)
Third course: Heart-shaped pasta with Chicken and Shrimp (1/3 portion) (my recipe also; I only dished out one ladle full in the middle without heaping. Delish!)
Fourth course: Individual Cheesecake brownie cups- HGTV (the ramekins were small, so there was no temptation to eye somebody else's plus we ate it with a whole strawberry. To die for!)
Our drink was "Grape Sierra Fizzy"- refreshing! (my mix and a new family favorite- a beautiful copy of red wine without the alcohol and yucky wine taste!)
To end the dinner, each one chose a gourmet fortune cookie and gladly announced their fortune. Mine says, I'll be fortunate in love. TRUE THAT, TRUE THAT!
Charlie loved everything (I got a "wow" on both the table and the food) and the kids loved being served like in a restaurant. Each "customer" (I was the server) was polite, patient and lookin' pretty in their coordinating Valentine outfits. Even I wore a red turtleneck pullover sweater while Charlie looked so cute in his white long-sleeved shirt.
Lots of "thank you's, please and "I'd love to's" that night. A wonderful memory indeed...
Here's how satisfied the customers were:
Those smiles didn't just come from anywhere... They were from our wonderful, delightful, Valentine's Day dinner adventure with food, laughter and great tablescape.
We hope that your family did, too! Actually we're curious, so we'd love to know...