Friday, February 19, 2016

Valentine's Day: One Year Later

It didn't really occur to me that Valentine's Day marked one year since I proposed to Greg until Facebook mobile decided to start a countdown for me. Since we'd been together for four years prior to becoming engaged, been living together for two, already talked about getting married, and our first date was in January (pretty sure we skipped our "first" Valentine's Day because our second date took place after), I don't really see February 14th as our anniversary. 

True story: When I was a kid and learned how seriously women are supposed to take anniversaries (thanks TV), I decided I'd make every important event happen on the same day so as to simplify the anniversaries. First kiss, first date, proposal, and wedding all on the same date. That obviously didn't happen because I don't pay much attention to the date of any given day. But I also thought I'd marry a woman, which goes to show how the plans of childhood turn out! (I had the tux planned out and everything.) 

But when local sandwich shop the Grillcheezerie posted a link on their Facebook page to a recipe for conversation heart shaped cheesecake, I got an idea. (I don't like cheesecake, so it was not to follow the recipe.) Greg had already made us reservations for a lovely five-course dinner at Bona Sera in downtown Ypsilanti, one of our favorite spots in our new town. This was followed by a special Valentine's Day performance by the Guilty Pleasures burlesque troupe. (Now preforming regularly every other month in Bona Sera's basement. The next show is another Queen tribute, Strippers of the Universe 2, at the end of March!) 

Special shout out: Dinner ended up being prefaced with a much needed free massage at the Eyrie by Charles Smalls. My poor shoulders put up a good fight, but I felt so much better after. I could freely move my neck again! What a wonderful sensation. Charles works out of Live Well Massage and Fitness on 4th in Ann Arbor. Give him a call! Best work I've had done in a while.

Anyway! Back to my idea. Since the night before was booked solid, I decided to make the day of low key. Greg worked all day, so I had plenty of time to work with. I wasn't feeling up to leaving the house to buy ingredients either, so no special heart-shaped cake pan or conversation hearts to decorate with (which I didn't actually think of until days later anyway).

What I ended up doing was baking a standard 9×13 chocolate cake from a box we had in the cupboard and topping it with homemade butter cream frosting flavored with the last of our bottle of DiVine Black Walnut Creme that we'd purchased on our trip to Berrien County, MI a couple summers ago. (I discovered this recipe when I made Irish Cream cupcakes. It is very rich!) I separated out two blobs of frosting and dyed one pink and one green, then used them to paint hearts reminiscent of conversation hearts onto the cake. My plan was to also write on the hearts, but that proved too difficult and I only managed one XO.

Earlier in the week, I had printed off a thing that said "You're the write one for me" and attached a Seven Year Pen (bought from Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tearoom) that is pink and says "cat lady" to replace Greg's cupcake princess pen at work that ran out of ink. (Greg is a total cat whisperer.) He was amused by the pen and now uses it at work to the equal amusement of his coworkers. (And I'm timing that thing. I want to see if it really lasts seven years.)

He also loved the "booze cake"! Which we had for dessert after the eggplant Parmesan I also made. I ended up spending the entire day in the kitchen baking, cooking, and listening to my Love Is In The Air playlist on Spotify. I had a lot of fun, but between the busy Saturday and a Sunday of cooking, I have felt wiped out since, sleeping nearly every spare minute this week.

But at least we had a good anniversary!