We have never celebrated Valentines Day and I thought we never would.....UNTIL LAST YEAR.
I was five and a half months pregnant on Valentines Day and as per usual, didn't plan anything special for my husband and certainly wasn't expecting flowers to show up at the office. My husband was traveling on Valentines Day last year, I remember because when he came home, he came through the door with a giant teddy bear holding a heart shaped balloon and a huge smile (much bigger than I see on most days).
Surprised I smiled too and asked him what this was all about (assuming these things were for me, of course). He handed me the bear and told me to read the card, which said:
"Happy Valentines Day to my baby girl....I love you, Daddy."
And then I knew; right then and there, everything had changed. I was looking at a Daddy whose baby girl would not be forgotten on Valentines Day. For the rest of her life, her sweet Daddy would make sure she was never without a Valentine. I realized then my Dad had not (for all of those years) been sending me flowers out of pity that I didn't have a Valentine of my own to spoil me. No, as with my daughter and husband, my Dad was celebrating the bond only a father and a daughter can know. Seeing this through my husbands eyes gave me a whole new appreciation for what my Dad was expressing every time he told me he loved me, every time he called to check-in or say hi, every time I did something that made him proud. Every time he sent me flowers on Valentines Day.
We now celebrate Valentines Day, this tiny little family of three. Not for each other, but for our daughter. She is love personified, she is our little love bug, our one and only.
Commercialized holiday? Maybe. But now, somehow....celebrating Valentines Day no longer feels contrived and expected...it feels amazing.
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This weeks recipe, Goat Cheese and Thyme Stuffed Sweet Peppers, are delicious, bite-sized bursts of flavor in your mouth. Topped with bacon crumbles, this appetizer is great to serve to guests or even as a fun replacement for your usual dinner salad. Full of color and flavor, you will love these sweet and savory peppers!
Goat Cheese and Thyme Stuffed Sweet Peppers
20 Small Organic Sweet Red Peppers (I can always find these at Whole Foods near the fresh olive bar, they are approximately 1-2 inches tall and 1 inch wide - tiny little things!)
6 Ounces Organic Goat Cheese
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
1/2 Pound Organic Bacon
Preheat oven to 350
- Lay bacon strips flat approximately 1/2 inch apart on a large broiler pan
- Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and crispy
- Remove from oven and drain excess grease from bacon by placing strips on a paper towel and patting dry
- Crumble bacon, set aside
- Remove liquid and any inner seeds from peppers (they should already come hollowed out but sometimes remnants remain). Pat dry with a paper towel, set aside
- Combine goat cheese and thyme, use a hand mixer to combine
- Spoon cheese mixture into a large zip lock bag, pushing cheese to one of the bottom corners. Seal bag and snip the end of the bottom corner off to allow mixture to be piped through
- Pipe cheese mixture to fill each pepper, just above the top edges
- Arrange in a small serving plate with sides (to keep peppers upright) and sprinkle evenly with crumbled bacon
- Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 72 hours
I am excited to be linking up with YeahWrite.Me again this week!