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Sweet, Spicy and Vain - The Perfect Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Unless you already ate all the candy your mom gave you and now you have to go home and feel sick while watching the Notebook for the 17th time and imagining how awesome it is going to be when Ryan Gosling FINALLY wakes up and realizes you're the one.

No? Yeah, that never happened to me either. Moving on...

Sweet: The mass amounts of candy consumed around the world makes me happy today. Not least because of what we have at home. Ali sent me a package that I got in the mail last night and while I pretended to have a secret admirer in front of hubby I finally broke down and admitted the new man in my life was a toddler in Canada. I'm pretty sure Tim is cool with it now.

Spicy: A few people asked me for the recipe for the Thai chicken satays I made for Tim's birthday so I wanted to share the recipe on here. I'll be honest here and say that while the recipe itself is EASY, the ingredients aren't necessarily typical pantry items for everyone. I say make the marinade with what you have on hand and it will be fine as long as you include some sweet/spicy elements to the mix.

Start by making a marinade at least a few hours before you plan to cook (I usually try for overnight if possible). I made a pretty traditional marinade but STILL didn't have all the ingredients from the recipe here. If you have galangal and fish paste at home, you're a better person than I. Here's what went into my marinade:

Soy Sauce
Chili Pepper Flakes
Ground Coriander
Diced Lemongrass
Diced Pickled Ginger
Diced Garlic
Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Rice Wine Vinegar
Black Pepper

Technically you're supposed to measure everything out perfectly but it's a marinade. Pour a little of everything in and use common sense. Love spicy? Load up the chili pepper flakes. Hate garlic? Maybe don't use that, hey? Mix it up with a spoon and toss in your chicken breasts or thighs that have been sliced or diced. Let it soak for a few hours in the fridge.

Then all you do is load up the marinated chicken onto skewers. Toss them onto the barbecue if it's seasonally appropriate or just put them into the oven set to broil while on the highest rack. (Note! If you broil them in the oven soak the skewers in water first so they don't catch on fire.) They cook in about 15 minutes, flipping them over once.

Voila! Dip them in a homemade peanut sauce if you feel super into it, or be lazy like me and buy a pre-made Thai peanut sauce. They're definitely ideal for a cocktail party with finger foods, but tonight we had them over rice with some broccoli and it was perfect.

Vain: I have a confession to make. Until a few days ago, I rarely admired myself in the mirror. We didn't have a full length mirror and the bathroom (where there is a little mirror) is cold. Then on Sunday we bought a full length mirror and hung it up. It's completely defective because it kind of curves UP at the bottom. Know what that means? It means that I look like a freaking runway model in the mirror. It's seriously a funhouse mirror that stretches you out and makes you look six feet tall.
 I'M IN LOVE. <3

I'm pretty proud of the fact that I have avoided talking about how awesome Tim is and how much I love him, especially because I genuinely do enjoy Valentine's Day and I'm a sucker for romance. So here you go:

Do you get discouraged at a recipe with a LONG list of ingredients?
Not usually. Mostly because I rarely follow a recipe exactly, so I kind of just ignore the ingredients I don't have. Probably not the culinary mastermind response I was supposed to give. 

Valentine's Day - love or hate?
Love. I like candy. I like sappy movies. I like attention.   


  1. I only get discouraged when I don't have most of the ingredients and the recipe calls for like 1/2 tsp.

    I'm cool with Valentine's Day. I like even more now that I can get stuff for the kid. I still hate conversation hearts though. Those chalky things are nasty. :)

  2. YAY!!!! so happy everything arrived and that Tim wasn't upset ;) and I am not even kidding - I wrote this on my blog today "Last year Colin surprised me with a new full-length mirror (mirrors are my most favourite thing ever – vain)" <----------LOVE being vain in full length model mirrors. lol

    I love valentines day - chocolate, candy, YES PLEASE :D

    Hope yours is great xoxox

  3. OH I would watch that candy...I might come to your house and take it ! All from Canada...cannot find that stuff here.. and all my favortite! AERO!!!!! yum yum!!!!!!
    lucky you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I am the Grinch of Valentine's day...

    Love = good.
    Overpriced dinner date just because it's 2/14 = amateur night.


  5. Depends on the ingredients. If they're semi-normal than it's cool, but if I need East African mushrooms that can only be bought at an Indonesian apothecary I'm out.

  6. Happy Valentine's Day! I love making chicken satay for get-togethers :)

    I don't have a full length mirror in the house yet! We just moved in last Fall. I'm in the market for one :). I've been standing on the bathtub to see myself in the bathroom mirror (LOL)

  7. Vanessa, I love the way you cook! :) And I am going to have to try that satay. Love satay in Singapore.

    Girl, if I have your body, I would stand in front of the mirror and admire me all day and all night long!

  8. I prefer recipes that are short and to the point. I hate being in the kitchen any longer than I have to. I just want to fix the food and eat. sigh

    My husband hates Valentines day so we do nothing for it. Party pooper.

  9. Recipes need to be short for me to make them!! I'm going to have to try your recipe. It's looks awesome!

  10. This is my kind of blog! The chicken satays look delicious, I'll have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing. I'm now following.

  11. So awesome that you got some candy from Canada. Am I jealous? You betcha.

    I'm with you, I love Valentine's Day also. I particularly enjoy how my kids have a party at school, they get candy, and then I get to "borrow" some from their stash after they go to bed.

  12. As a Canadian..I love seeing the smarties there..such a Canuck thing...
    I'm in love and don't mind Valentine's day...just hate that some people go so overboard with it.

  13. When it comes to recipes, I only make what i already have the ingredients for, so that usually limits me. Basically, I'm just a lazy cook.

    I could go either way with valentine's, though I do love candy.

  14. Yes, if a recipe has an ingredient that I don't immediately know what aisle it's in, that recipe is dead to me. Once in awhile I get motivated and make my own salad dressing and stuff then give up and buy it for like the next two years. I like Valentine's Day but it's WAAAAYYY too overrated these days. Public declarations of love make me want to puke.

  15. anything with over 6 ingredients ain't gettin' made. for recipes under 6 ingredients, i can usually weed out at least 3 that i don't have on hand and thus decide aren't necessary, like you do. once i made muffins without using eggs, oil or butter. they sucked. why didn't i just find a vegan recipe instead? don't know. reeeeally don't know.

  16. I am going to keep hoping that Ryan Gosling will find me one day...but until then, Dean will have to make do!! Kidding...Gosling has got nothing on Dean!!

    Long recipes often scare me but they are usually not as bad as they look!! Most of it is just spices a lot of the time and I have quite a selection at hope so I am usually okay!

    I am a sucker for Valentine's day as well :) I love me some chocolate overdosing with no regrets!

  17. ahhhhhh so jealous of all your Canadian candy!!!! love love love smarties!! so dang good! and. i feel pretty awesome right now because i actualyl do have a lot of those ingredients. i better get on making this then ;)

  18. ha ha this made me laugh so hard because my parents totally have a mirror at there house that is the exact same! I would always look at myself in it and be like dang I am hawt...and then in a regular mirror...yup just me again. ba ha ha

    I love V-Day because I love any excuse to eat candy. :)

  19. Love your little Canadian admirer!

    Those chicken skewers look very good.

  20. haha love your someecards! And- I love Valentine's Day too! The chocolate, the candy, the love-- I want it all!

    Full length mirrors?! I also love and can't live without 'em!

  21. Awww Ali's little man is so cute! Valentine's Day is fun for me. Allan sent me on a scavenger hunt last year which was too fun!


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