happy valentine’s day and hamburger hearts

“Are we going out for dinner tonight?” the guys asked. No way. Valentine’s Day is a time for some extra love for my boys. But, not at inflated prices. The same dinner, and the same flowers, are half the price the next day. 

We experimented with hamburger hearts for a Valentine’s dinner last year and they loved it. The hamburgers are fairly easy to make. Shape the burger as you normally would. Then, using a bench scraper, to make an even line, cut out a v-shape at the bottom of the burger. Remove the cut parts of the burger. We make an indent in the top of the burger. Add the extra bits to the top and now it is in the shape of a heart.

My guys love aioli with their fries. Sometimes we go the full Belgian-fry-route and have the fries in a newspaper cone. Our night also includes watching the Valentine’s Day Charlie Brown special. They wore red shirts to school for the day, so we planned on getting some red in the dinner menu. Go with some ketchup. Equal parts ketchup and mayonnaise.

After last year’s experiment with our hamburger hearts on the grill, I decided to use the oven this time. Super simple. The burgers cooked on a sheet pan and the fries on another.

The guys like their aioli with some fresh herbs. We use either chives or thyme. We have used so much of the chives, with the most recent egg delivery, the plants need a chance to come back a bit. So, last night we decided to go with the thyme.

A good aioli starts with a good mayonnaise. We changed the brand of mayonnaise we use after reading about it last summer in The New York Times. One of my favorite food writers, Melissa Clark, wrote about how she had done a taste test for mayonnaise for a magazine. http://www.melissaclark.net/ Clark found she preferred Kraft. I decided to try it with my family. It turns out our local store didn’t carry Kraft mayonnaise. A few months ago it suddenly appeared next to the other brand that had previously been the only one available.


I noticed a difference. The Kraft did not taste as sweet and had a more egg-y quality to it. After a few trips back and forth to the school lunchroom, with their lunch boxes of sandwiches, the guys noticed a difference in taste too. Now, in our house, we “heart” Kraft mayonnaise.

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