Valentine’s is for kids too!!
As a kid, my parents never did anything for us for Valentine’s Day. Not a card or chocolate. My friends got little gifts or a card. It’s probably why I don’t get overly crazy about Valentine’s Day for my significant other. (Sorry ol’ man!) As a mother though, I have always given Ms. Autumn a small token. Nothing extravagant; but a little something as a reminder of how much I love her. A lot of times, we go on a date to the movies. Conveniently for her, SpongeBob is out.
Does anyone else go on a one-on-one date with their kids? Not just on Valentine’s Day, but throughout the year? The ol’ man and I have a date jar that I made for him last year. All I did was paint craft sticks. After they dried, I wrote a date idea on each one stick. When we are stuck for a date idea, (not that we have a whole lot of time to date these days), we pull one from the jar. The jar? Just a Mason jar that I made pretty with ribbon. If you want to differentiate a winter date, from a summer, you could paint the tip white. So the whole point of telling you that I’m lame and can’t think of date ideas off the top of my head, is that you could do it for the kids too. They don’t have to be expensive, it’s just so you can have alone time with your little one; just like your adult relationship.
- Cook a meal together, have them help plan a healthy menu
- Zoo, museum or aquarium
- Go out to breakfast
- Have movie night at home with popcorn. In the living room. ( in my house, that in itself is a treat)
- Go sledding or build a snowman, and then treat yourselves to hot cocoa
- Surprise them by taking the day off work, spend the day at the beach, or park with a picnic
- Feed the ducks
- Go to the local ice cream shoppe for frozen yogurt or milkshake
- Mani/Pedi’s at home or out at the spa
- Lunch at a restaurant of their choice
- Take a class at the gym together
- Go to a college sporting event or the high school play
- Farmer’s Market!!
- Try a new restaurant, pretend you guys are food critics
- Game night, with actual board games. Yes, just like Santa and M&M’s, they do exist
- Go to the local coffee shop or bakery, share a treat
- Slumber party in the living room
- Snuggle on the couch and watch a favorite TV show or a series on NetFlix
One of Autumn and my favorite things to do is to go to dinner at Wegmans (strange right?!) and get a small container of their soup from the soup bar and share a bagel. We sit in the Cafe and chat. With three kids in the house, work, school, cooking, cleaning, homework, blogging..everything is always so hectic, sometimes is nice to reconnect with just her.
Enough of parenting 101. Especially since I have no idea what I’m talking about. Let’s get to the good stuff! This recipe is from Ree Drummond. It looks daunting, but it really isn’t. I think because it has a lot of ingredients, it seems more complicated than it is. And the reason I’m putting this in the “Valentine’s” category? Chocolate. The bottom of these granola bars are dipped in chocolate. Makes it a little bit naughty, it a good way, not like a 50 Shades sort of way. Depending on your 50 Shades opinion, of course. Either way, it’s a delicious, healthyish, treat for Valentine’s Day!! A little side note, I omitted the pecans, and added extra almonds. I used generic rice crispies, a little extra vanilla and used the release foil so I didn’t have to do extra greasing 😉
- 6 C Rolled oats (not Quick oats)
- 4 Tbsp Butter, melted, plus some for greasing
- 1/4 C Vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 C Brown sugar
- 1/2 C Honey
- 1/4 C Apple juice
- 1/4 C Molasses
- 3 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1.5 C Rice Krispies
- 1 C Wheat Germ
- 1/2 C Finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 C Roughly chopped Almonds
- 8 oz. Milk Chocolate or chocolate almond bark, melted (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a large bowl, toss the oats with the canola oil, melted butter and salt. Spread the mixture out on 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan twice and making sure they don’t burn. (Mental note, they will burn, and it stinks, so keep close eye on them). Remove from oven and set aside.
- Reduce heat to 325°F
- In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, apple juice, and molasses. Heat the mixture slowly, stirring until combined. Stir in the vanilla.
- Toss together the toasted oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, pecans and almonds in a large bowl. Pour in the sugar mixture, stirring as you pour. Toss to combine; it’s sticky.
- Press into 1 baking sheet, thoroughly greased with butter, or line pan with foil and grease foil) and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cut pieces with a sharp knife and remove from pan.
- Dip the cooled granola bars straight in the melted chocolate so the top is plain and the bottom is chocolate-covered. Set on parchment until set or sticking in the fridge to hurry the process.
- Perfect for date night 😉 Kids or adults!