Make-A-Meal Mondays: Valentine’s Day Special

Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850: "We...

Image via Wikipedia

Do you remember your first Valentine’s Day card?   Was it from a relative or a best-friend?  How about your first “love interest” Valentine?  Do you remember crafting Valentines when you were a child…cutting the red construction paper into heart shapes and gluing bits of ribbon or lace onto the handmade card?

The history of Valentine’s Day is clouded by various legends, but its roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration.  Pope Gelasius I made this pagan festival into a Christian feast day in 496 and he declared February 14 to be Saint Valentine’s Day.

However, it wasn’t until the 14th Century that Chaucer linked St. Valentine’s Day with romance.  In 1381, he composed a poem in honor of the engagement of Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia.  “The Parliament of Fowls” spoke of the royal engagement, the mating of fowls and St. Valentine’s Day.

By the 18th Century, gift-giving and the exchange of handmade cards had become a tradition in England.  However, it wasn’t until the 1850’s that the tradition of Valentine’s cards became widespread in the United States when Esther Howland, a native of Worcester, Massachusetts and a graduate of Mt. Holyoke, began to mass produce Valentine’s Day cards.

Do you still make your Valentine’s Day cards by hand? 

A lot of people do try to make something special to celebrate this day of love.  If you pass a bakery or candy shop, you will, no doubt, see windows and shelves filled with cakes, cookies, cupcakes and elegant confections in the shape of hearts, bows, and cupids.

For a healthier take on Valentine’s Day food, why not try this lovely HEARTS OF MOZZARELLA SALAD.  This recipe is from the SHOW ME HOW! book, which provides 100 child-friendly healthful cooking activities.  You can try it for lunch today or as a side salad for dinner.


You will need: 1 chunk of mozzarella cheese (about 1 lb), 2 Roma tomatoes, 1 Tb basis (dry or fresh), several leaves of romaine lettuce, 1 Tb balsamic vinegar, 1 Tb olive oil and 1 Tb Parmesan cheese.

1.  Cut mozzarella into 8 slices, each about ¼ inch thick.  Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or a knife to cut each slice into a heart shape.  Put the excess cheese in a plastic bag in the fridge to save for topping on pizza, etc.

2.  Slice each tomato into 4 slices and place a tomato slice on top of each cheese heart.

3.  Arrange on a platter of lettuce leaves and sprinkle each serving with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and Parmesan cheese.

I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow for a bunch of wonderful love quotations in Quotable Timeless Tuesday.

May you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day…filled with Sunshine (even if it is raining) and Love.

11 thoughts on “Make-A-Meal Mondays: Valentine’s Day Special

  1. That mozzarella salad looks exquisite… The picture of the handmade card is stunning too. I was looking at a bunch of then on Wiki and thy are simply gorgeous.
    Have a blessed day!
    ✿♡✿ Happy Valentine’s Day-Mega Blog Hop is on✿♡✿


    • Yes, with most of the Valentine’s Day treats being kind of “unhealthy” (but definitely worth it), I thought perhaps something a little more nutritious would be appreciated. 🙂
      And I agree, the old Valentine cards are exquisite. That one was by the lady who started the mass production of Valentine’s Day cards.


  2. Pingback: All We Need is LOVE . . . « Spirit Lights The Way

  3. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment on my blog post today about abondanza love. Last night I helped my son get his Valentine cards ready for school and I was reminded of when my daughter was in kindergarten and we painstakingly made cards by hand (which was completely her choice.)

    I haven’t made any Valentine cards since then. I think its time to renew the tradition.

    Again, thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog!


    • I know we are all so very busy…probably more so than when women had to wash clothes by hand and EVERYTHING was made from scratch. Why? Because we are expected to be all things and do all things…which is wonderful sometimes…but it gets overwhelming.

      That’s why I’m hoping my book will be a shortcut for busy moms (and dads) who WANT to spend time with their children, but don’t have the TIME to plan a bunch of fun-filled educational activities. The format is SO simple and the crafts and recipes are REALLY easy.

      I’m glad if something I wrote or said inspired you to want to return to the tradition of homemade Valentines. 🙂 I’ll be back to visit your blog soon!


  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your comment. 🙂

    I always love to hear why certain traditions exist today. It always gives a different perspective to why we do what we do. And that mozzarella salad sounds really tasty! :p

    I’m now subscribing to your posts and I look forward to reading them. 🙂

    Take care,


    • Thank you so much for visiting and subscribing…I really hope you enjoy my daily posts!
      The most amazing part of my book journey has not been the completion or publishing of the book…it is meeting people I would never have had the opportunity to connect with…like you!
      I look forward to reading your posts also. 🙂


    • Thanks for stopping by…my only problem is that I want to read everyone else’s blogs…and comment on them because they are so good! But then I don’t have time to write my own post…or if I take the time…I have to forgo sleep. 🙂 I wonder if anyone else has that problem.


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