As soon as we dropped Eve off at her carpool meet-up point, we headed home to start baking. First on tap, the flourless chocolate cake. Lola delighted in using the biggest, sharpest knife we own to shred an enormous block of chocolate. She also loved licking her fingers and swiping them across the counter to pick up rogue bits that had leaped off of the cutting board. Separating eggs is fun, too. Since she used her fingers to filter out the yolks and got to be "all slimy." Whipping egg whites was harder than she anticipated, so I stepped in to save the day, but she insisted on being the one to fold them in to the mixture at the end.
Once the cake was in the oven, we got to move on to our next dish - gluten-free potstickers. We discovered this recipe last year and it was such a hit that we knew we had to do it again. We also remembered how much work it was, so we bought some rice paper wrappers to make spring rolls with the leftover filling. Mixing dough was a riot - Lola loves to get her hands in there and squish it all together. She had a ball chopping chicken and cabbage and green onions and, later, rolling out the dough and pressing it in the tortilla press.Then it was time to make the broth for pho. We roasted spices with onion and garlic and ginger under the broiler and put it in the crock pot with broth to steep all day long. The last few photos are of the table Lola set, the noodles and beef just before we poured the boiling broth over the top, Lola rolling a spring roll, and the fabulous flourless chocolate cake.
I already know that next year, Valentine's Day won't fall during mid-winter break, but Lola and I have decided to make this a tradition (and Bubba and Eve aren't complaining - they were looking forward to dinner all day long). Although we made an unholy mess of the kitchen, I don't remember when I've had more fun and I'm already looking forward to next year's adventures in the kitchen.