Valentine’s Day. Just the name conjures up some pretty strong emotions for people. In my experience, it’s a divisive holiday. You either love it or you hate it. Dan and I fall somewhere in the middle. We are pretty lukewarm about Valentine’s Day.
We don’t hate it. We’re definitely not those people that say it’s silly and loudly make it known that they choose not to celebrate. But, we’re also not the people that love Valentine’s Day.
We don’t do a lot of decorating. We rarely make big plans, and we never buy big gifts for each other. We acknowledge the holiday, but that’s about as far as it goes. By acknowledging the holiday, I mean that we’ll cook dinner at home together. And, if we’re really feeling festive we’ll make pizza in the shape of a heart. Maybe it’s because most of our relationship was long distance so we weren’t guaranteed to be together at Valentine’s Day. Or maybe it’s because his birthday is so close to Valentine’s Day, and we really celebrate that. Whatever the reason, the holiday has just been overlooked by us.
This year though, to at least acknowledge Valentine’s Day, we stepped it up just a little and planned a trip to Nashville. Not for dinner or a weekend getaway, but to run the Hot Chocolate 5K! Because if you’re going to force yourself to run, you should at least be rewarded with chocolate.
We had a fantastic time, and I loved having Dan there to run with me. The race wove through downtown Nashville, and ended with hot chocolate, fondue, and lots of treats. It was a pretty great way to end a race, and by far my favorite Valentine’s Day!
They even had marshmallows in the shape of hearts! Just precious.
If you can’t make it to a Hot Chocolate 5K, you can always make fondue at home! We always have chocolate fondue as the dessert for our Christmas Eve Eve dinner, and it is such a hit! Who doesn’t love hot, melty, oozey, chocolate?
To make the fondue, we use a Cuisinart Electric Fondue Pot. It is so easy, and makes the fondue so quickly.
Here’s the recipe we use:
1 1/4 C. heavy cream
6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. milk chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Heat heavy cream over medium heat until it just simmers. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until melted. Add vanilla and butter and stir to combine. Serve the fondue in a fondue pot or heavy ceramic bowl. Serve with dippers like strawberries, pineapple, banana, chocolate chip cookies, marshmallows, and pretzels. There are endless options for dippers!
If you are using an electric fondue pot, you will follow these directions, but keep in mind your settings may vary:
Heat heavy cream in the fondue pot using setting 4 1/2 until the cream simmers. Lower the setting to 3/12 and stir in the chocolate chips until melted. Add vanilla and butter, and stir to combine.
Now, go make some fondue! Or go for a run first. But, please take this as an opportunity to treat yourself after a run!
What’s your favorite post run treat?