Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentines Day: Donna edition:)

Hey everyone!  Hope you had (or are still HAVING!) a great weekend.  It was absolutely gorgeous in NJ the last few days, even putting me (THE LOVER OF WINTER) in the mood for spring!  But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's back track a bit to our Saturday afternoon spent on Scott's 'surprise Valentines' day out....this year at the 'Lovin' Oven' in Frenchtown, NJ....

Which was suchhhhhhhhh a tiny & cute place in itty bitty Frenchtown.  Tons of natural sunlight highlighted the room of wooden & painted chairs & tables decorated with fresh flowers... 

Hmmmm...maybe this was why we were in the mood for spring??  These fresh flowers smelled sooooo scrumptious throughout our whole mealJ 
Anyway...back to the foodJ  "Lovin' Oven" has one of those menus that I ABSOLUTELY ADORE:  Local, organic and SEASONAL!  Thier website is continually updated with thier list of specials that change WEEKLY.  (I already can't wait to see what offerings FALL will bringJ)   

But we just HAD to start with one of thier standards: the potato pancakes.  A fluffy & light mix of battered onion and shredded potatoes.  Even with our main courses, we couldn't keep our forks from sneaking bites of these babies.  So good...and not greasy or heavy as you would expect.

And speaking of our main dishes, Scott had ordered a bacon wrapped meatloaf sandwich.  Whichhhhh I would have gotten a picture of had I not been COMPLETELY enamoured by one of the BEST sandwiches I've ever had....ever.  Roast turkey, brie cheese, sliced apples, THICK slices of bacon, herbed mayo (and my addition) of sliced avocado on toasted 7-grain bread....O.M.G, this thing was OFF. THE. CHARTS!
It was fun to get little bites where you could REALLY taste JUST the melty brie, or the sweetness of the apples, or the salty & smokey bacon, or the creamy avocado....but your 'lucky bites' were when you got everything together.  I'm tellin you, for a 'simple' TURKEY SANDWICH, this one was just OUT of this worldJ

And as if our main dishes weren't outstanding enough, dessert just took this lunch over the edge.  First up was Scott's Peanut Butter mousse pie in a thick graham cracker crust and layered with smoooooooth chocolate, the creamy peanut butter and topped with chocolate chunks.... 
That thing was incredible...buttttttttt, the reason we had even HEARD of 'Lovin Oven' to begin with was for THIS little number... 
The Chocolate Caramel SEA SALT tart had been featured on Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate" (yep...they somehow found tiny little Frenchtown, NJJ) and this little piece of heaven deserves all its accolades.  It was one of those desserts that you tasted, and then as all of the layers (and SALT) began to melt in your mouth, it just got better & better...and better!!  I think I slowly savoured this tart for about 10 minutesJ  You just never wanted it to endJ hahahahahhahahahaha...simply 'knock your socks' off good! 

We finished our meal & I wanted to order another round of...EVERYTHING!  Definitely two thumbs up and I already can't wait to visit again ASAP...even if it would be a HARD SELL to try anything ELSE on thier awesome menu since this 'round' was just sooooo outstandingJ 

And when we were getting ready to leave, we couldn't help but spy on thier gaggle of homemade treats... how could we resist bringing a piece of Lovin' Oven home as a breakfast treat on Sunday morning?? 

Scott went with a blueberry crumb muffin, while I selected a banana... 

...CHOCOLATE CHUNK muffin.  And they were NOT messing around in the 'chocolate chunk' departmentJ  DE-LIC-IOUS!

And, ironically enough, Lovin Oven wasn't the ONLY "Best Thing I Ever Ate" influence on Valentine's Scott also surprised me with a box of these from heaven Seattle... 
You see, Bobby Flay had listed Fran's Coconut Gold Bars as his favorite "Holiday Treat" back in an episode in December, which sent Scott promptly to their website to place an order for his coconut-obsessed wife for Christmas.

The problem?  We, apparently, were not the only ones watching the episode and they had been COMPLETELY SOLD OUT for the holidays.

So even though I found a stellar box of Fran's Grey & Sea Salt milk & dark caramels under the Christmas tree this year... heart had still been beating to try those Gold Bars.  And thankfully, cupid made a delivery right to my house on February 14th and I finally got to sample the most 'fancied up' and exquisite "Mounds Bars" you could ever tasteJ 
Smooooth dark chocolate & smoked almonds cover what I can only describe as COCONUT BUTTER.  The filling is just soooooooooo smooth, creamy & dreamy, that I just may be known to nibble off all of the chocolate before enjoying the PURE. COCONUT. BLISS. centerJ  They were at least worth the wait...x's 1,000,000J

Soooo, that about wraps up our weekend AND our "Valentines Festivites 2012"J hehhehheheehe....I have my whole menu planned out of meals for this week, including a couple new & interesting ones that I can't WAIT to try.  (ya know...that's IF we don't get any 'surprises' this weekJ)  Stay tuned and enjoy your day!  (especially if you're lucky enough to call today a DAY OFF!)

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