Like so many other women, I have somewhat complicated feelings about Valentine's Day.
When I was little, my father would always give my mother, my sister and me presents. One year it was the most amazing crazy huge Hershey's Kiss. I swear, I nibbled away at that thing until mid-March and my mother threw it away. But my parents always told me that Valentine's Day is for everyone, for showing everyone how much you love them.
(They also told me that Santa was for everyone, even Jews, which is why we celebrate Christmas. What can I say? They are children of the 60's.)
When I got older, I just pretty much hated the holiday. Even when you had a boyfriend, it never lived up to the juvenile romantic fantasies I harbored. In college, it was just an excuse to get drunk with girlfriends on a weeknight. When I was dating my now-husband, it was a nice day to get a bouquet of flowers and avoid restaurants. Now that I'm married and have a baby, I have come full circle and think of it as a sweet holiday and, as my parents did, to show how much you love all of your family, not just your significant other.
So, this year, I'm keeping it simple and low-key. I'm making a slow cooker dinner with mashed potatoes (my husband firmly believes that mashed potatoes trump oysters, caviar and chocolate as the most romantic food) and these 5 Minute S'mores Mug Cakes, mostly for myself.
For the baby, maybe giving her a little of the chocolate cake...Although I'm sure she would love to get a crack at a huge Hershey's Kiss.
How are you celebrating Valentine's Day?
photos courtesy of thekitchn.com and howsweeteats.com