Valentine's Day Menus

Valentine's Day Dinner Menu ideas from!

While everyone is giving you templates for Valentine's Day Cards ( Oh gosh how I love them!), I'm here to give you templates for Valentine's Meals you can cook at home. Valentine's Day is on a Saturday and that means you can take the time and put love into the food you make. You can save a ton of money and not have to worry about parking. There also isn't a restaurant pushing you out so they can get the next group of lovers/diners in. Take your time...light a candle...make things romantic and watch a movie while you're at it.

I'm pairing food with movies. It gets weird. Just go with it.

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies

A cookie! A brownie! How about both?! Check out out these Roll-Out Brownie Cookies on Shutterbean!

Sometimes you just need to roll out some know?

Roll-Out Brownie Cookies // shutterbean

And sometimes you need to melt some chocolate and turn it into art.

Roll-Out Brownie Cookies // shutterbean

Edible art!  These cookies come from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Deb has shown us how to make a brownie that's a cookie and a cookie that's a brownie. I picked this recipe because it's a perfect way to knock out 36 little treats if you have some little party or school function for Valentine's this week. I made these little sandwich cookies two years ago and last year these cinnamon sugar hearts (made with tortillas!) were a real hit.  But really, how can one resist chocolate and sprinkles?

And I Quote:

Don't Quit


Let it go

However bad life may seem // shutterbean

My Everyday Life: Week 6

Here's what this past week looked like:

I love purple. I found a lot of it this week.

My Everyday Life: Week 6

Purple + Pink

My Everyday Life: Week 6

The sky was pinkish purple.

My Everyday Life: Week 6

Find the crack.

My Everyday Life: Week 6

The one that's not like the others.

My Everyday Life: Week 6


My Everyday Life: Week 6

I love lists, Friday!


  1. This 30 Day Minimalism Program interests me!
  2. Someone please make me this constellation table runner? Thanks.
  3. Coconut Curry Mussels. DANG.
  4. Creepiest things to do on Facebook. Oh boy.
  5. I've always wanted to make my own preserved lemons.
  6. I can't believe people don't know who Missy Elliot is.
  7. 44 Worst People in Every Restaurant
  8. These struggles were REAL. I can't believe Cooper will never know them.
  9. Frances McDormand is my hero. 
  10. This is pretty sweet.
  11. You had me at ALMOND!
  12. These homemade Valentines are CYOOOOOT!
  13. I liked reading this interview about couples in the kitchen!
  14. Currently craving these enchiladas.
  15. How much sleep do you need? Also- How to wake up earlier. 
  16. Do you think you could take the No Jeans Challenge for two weeks? I'd do it!
  17. Some helpful tips on how to make grocery shopping easier (NUMBER TWO--I forget ALL THE TIME)
  18. How the Pomodoro Method can help your work week!
  19. Why Millennials don't want to buy stuff. (a very good/fascinating read)
  20. If only you could have seen the smile on my husband's face when we watched this.



There's a new Joy the Baker Podcast!!! We recorded while we were on the cruise ship-- Check out the Captain's Log(s)!  It's weird...and weird things happen to you when you don't step foot on land for a few days. Enjoy!

Also! This week I'm on the Elise Gets Crafty Podcast sharing how I've Built/Struggled with Creating Creative Routines

Super Quick Garbanzo Bean Salad

Super Quick + Easy Garbanzo Bean Salad // shutterbean

Fun Fact:  I have a can of garbanzo beans in my filing cabinet at work because you never know when you're gonna need some protein in the afternoon or in your lunch salad! I also happen to have a small jar of red wine vinegar and olive oil.  Oh! And of course I have a can opener...Always!  If you mix the garbanzo beans (I try to rinse them in a bowl at work!) with a little bit of vinegar, oil, salt & pepper (here I added chopped parsley!), you can make yourself a very satisfying protein packed/gluten free/vegan snack in the afternoon. Maybe next time I'll bring a lemon to work...and a jar of marinated artichokes...

To see more of my Thursday Snack Ideas, follow my Pinterest Board!

Bittersweet Chocolate Malted Milkshakes

Bittersweet Chocolate Malted Milkshake //

After being with my husband for almost 16 years, (married for 9 this March!) the one thing I've learned above all else is that it's so important to you / your relationship to make time for each other. When there are ebbs, the only thing that will make things flow again is open communication and making your relationship your #1 priority.

Bittersweet Chocolate Malted Milkshake //

A few years ago, my friend Ashley and her husband Gabe of Not Without Salt started a series online called Dating My Husband where they made a meal + cocktail for a date night at home together after putting their kids to bed. Chances are you've already seen their inspirational posts but now they've turned their concept into a book--- Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship. I think it's FABULOUS.  Every chapter gives you the blueprints for an entire dinner, dessert and cocktail!!!  After reading this book, you'll be reminded that dating your spouse/loved one at home is such a healthy/ helpful way to celebrate the relationship you have and grow it into something more.  It's also extra special if you have children because you're creating a space and time together where you can have open dialogue without constant interruptions.  Those interruptions can make things so dang complicated!

Bittersweet Chocolate Malted Milkshake //

Every Valentine's Day, we opt to have dinner at home.  It's an easier, much more intimate experience, not to mention it costs us way less and we're in charge of our own time. I usually come up with some type of grilled meat situation and potatoes while dessert is always something chocolatey. This malted milkshake from the Date Night In cookbook is phenomenal and would be such a great way to end a dinner of Chicken Parmesan and Creamed Spinach.  In the book, Ashley pairs it with her special burger and baked onion rings (yum!).

The malted shake rich and creamy and so indulgently decadent. The shot of espresso (I didn't have espresso powder) adds a nice richness and depth to the chocolate ganache. Oh! There's malt powder up in the mix and I smashed a few Whoppers and added them to the top because more is MORE!

Milkshakes are definitely my husband's love language. Garlic bread is mine :)

Baked Chicken Parmesan

 A simple weeknight dinner is just minutes away with this Baked Chicken Parmesan. Let your oven do all the work!

Happy Monday! I'm currently writing this as my husband is shouting at the TV in the other room (Super Bowl*).  This is what we had for dinner tonight with a side of garlic bread a big ole salad.  I think it'd go well with creamed spinach too but I didn't have the time.  Casey is too nervous to eat dinner...I on the other hand enjoyed it and my son freaked out because I put marinara sauce on his chicken.. So, it was a typical Sunday night..... How awesome was that surprise performance from Missy Elliot at halftime? I swear that MADE MY YEAR.

*Updated PATS WON so he stopped shouting.

Baked Chicken Parmesan- recipe on

This recipe comes from a new cookbook I'm obsessed with the-- Sheet Pan Suppers Cookbook, by Molly Gilbert.  It's a whole cookbook for hands-off meals straight from the oven.  Umm SCHYEAH!! Let all the oven do the work so you don't have to!  This is exactly what we need to start the week with.

baked chicken parm 073

Panko crusted Chicken Parm....and it's BAKED and it was so easy!  I have two servings leftover that I'll probably sandwich between some grilled buttery/garlic focaccia this week. But, who am I kidding?? It's Monday and I'm probably going to come home from work and eat it cold... standing over the kitchen counter with a fork while I fix something for my family for dinner.