Freckles in April: Valentine's Day at Home | Panang Curry + Chocolate Croissants (shhh...just go with it)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day at Home | Panang Curry + Chocolate Croissants (shhh...just go with it)

Aaron and I aren't big on Valentine's Day. We barely even do our own anniversary so there's no way we're going to go wait 2 hours to eat at a restaurant when we can just as easily look deeply into each other's eyes over the kitchen table at home.

This year Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday which means our favorite restaurants are going to be even more crazy than they would normally be (plus we have a tiny baby...double-no-thank-you). We'll be cooking at home and face-planting into bed after a couple episodes of Frasier on Netflix. Party animals.

I asked Aaron what his ideal Valentine's Day meal-at-home would be and he said Panang curry over rice. I asked about dessert and he thought for a second before deciding on chocolate croissants and hot chocolate. We'll pretend we have an "international" theme and that those things go together.

I got my curry paste from a local Asian market but it's also available on Amazon.

Mercifully they're both fairly quick and don't make much mess! I have no desire to spend my V-day doing dishes.

For the curry, I added red bell pepper because it's our fav and broccoli because I just bought a huge bag at Costco but add (or don't!) whatever veggies suit your fancy. You can also do beef or tofu instead of chicken. It's a fairly flexible recipe!

Panang Curry

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or another cooking oil)
4-5 tablespoons panang curry paste
2-3 cans coconut milk
2 large chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper
1 head broccoli, chopped into florets

small bunch of fresh basil leaves

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add curry paste and saute for 2-3 minutes. Pour in 2 cans of coconut milk and stir. Taste test the curry and add more coconut milk as needed. Bring mixture to a boil and add chicken. Simmer until chicken is almost cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add vegetables and simmer a few more minutes. Remove from heat, chiffonade your basil, and stir it in.

Serve over hot rice.

When it comes to chocolate croissants you really can't beat the frozen ones from Trader Joe's. My uncle's French friend and neighbor Sophie told us about them years ago and promised they were the closest you'll find to the real thing outside of France (I haven't done a side-by-side taste comparison but I've now had pain au chocolat in Paris and I think these are dang close. Plus HUGE). You do have to account for rise time (9ish hours) so plan ahead but other than that they're embarrassingly easy. Stick on a cookie sheet. Let rise. Bake. Face plant and forget about the calories because it's a special occasion and all that.

Aaron is really particular about his hot chocolate. It must be homemade and only Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips will do. He makes this several times a week for us during the winter months and we all like ours a little different- adjust this to your individual tastes!

Hot Chocolate

1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips (add more or less to taste)

Heat in a saucepan on the stove over low heat, stirring frequently, until hot and chocolate is melted.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Want more awesome dinner ideas for Valentine's Day at home? Check it out!

Romantic Brunch (Including Liege Waffles) by Jen from Nothing Comes of Nothing
A Manly Valentine’s Meal by Amberly from A Prioritized Marriage

Find all my favorite recipes on Pinterest!


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  1. Curry and chocolate? That sounds like true love to me!

  2. My anniversary is on Valentine's. That was maybe the worst decision ever. The day, not the person :)

    I may copy this menu exactly. Thanks!

  3. And...Frasier? Really? I didn't ever know that that was worth watching, but I think we have similar tv taste so, I'll have to give it a shot :)

  4. I am all about easy Valentine's Day plans, my favorite is actually pizza and a movie, not a super girly movie either, I prefer something that makes me laugh!

    Also? I didn't know Frasier was on Netflix!!! Much watch them all IMMEDIATELY!



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