Memory-Making Meals You Can Plan for February

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Food is a great way to connect with your children, learn about the world together, and make memories. Here are some favorite memory-making meals for February.

Burger Night in Scotland

It’s a big deal to me to make the most of what I have. Whether that’s money in the bank or time to spend with my family, I don’t want to waste it! I want to build as many beautiful memories as we can together.

Since we’re such food freaks over here, many of our memories are linked to eating. When Bryan and I were dating, we often went out to eat or cooked meals at his house together. When we honeymooned in France, some of our most fun experiences took place in restaurants. In our newlywed years we made it a habit to bring folks home from church with us for minestrone soup or enchiladas.

From the very start food has been a joint hobby. All the more so since we had kids.

Our kids are following in our footsteps. They love good eats just as much, if not more than, we do. They have favorite meals and restaurants for birthdays and special occasions. Special requests pop up from time to time. The food queries are endless.

When can we make donuts again? When do you think we could go to Cheesecake Factory again? What’s for breakfast?

Basically, they live to eat.

Bryan and the kids, El Indio, 2009

Exploring and experiencing foods together is something we enjoy as a whole family. Years ago when we first moved to San Diego, we went to El Indio, a popular Mexican food restaurant here, home of the taquito.

The FishBoys were very excited to see that the restaurant had been featured on one of their favorite Food Network shows! It was so fun to sit outside – the temps were in the low 60s – and enjoy a nice meal. And we made a memory.

Not long after, we found a little French bakery near our home where we bought several baguettes. The crust shattered just as it should, and we gave a lesson on good French bread on the way home, munching hand-torn pieces along the way. This bakery is now a regular weekend stop.

During our travels throughout France and Great Britain and even in our own backyard, we’ve continued to add to this font of memories. Like Burger Night in Scotland, and Paella in Ceret, and ginormous donuts in Escondido.

Maple-Oat Heart Scones

Memory-Making Meals

While we’re filling our bellies, we’re also making memories with our kids. Memory is linked to the senses. You know how a certain song takes you back to a specific moment in time? The same is true with food.

We’re linking memories to our children’s dining experiences — and that is why we like to make meal time fun.

How can you prepare memory-making meals this month?

Memory-making meals don’t have to be expensive or occur in far off locations. It can be as simple as taking off work early and going out to a fun burger restaurant. These meals can be restaurant meals or home cooked affairs. They can be every-day or special occasion.

This month our meals are going to range from mundane to momentous. Since I’m going to be cutting back out grocery budget this year and working toward a little more gazelle intensity, we’ll have more than a few nights of beans and rice.

Even this trimming of the sails makes memories as our kids learn the value of a dollar and stretching our investments.

We’ve also got some special occasions coming up all in one week!

Consider these memory-making meals for February:

Chinese New Year

Admittedly, we are clueless about the technical details of Chinese New Year, and my cooking is far from authentic. But we are making my effort.

Several years ago, FishChick11 started doing research on Chinese New Year. She spends days making paper lanterns and signs and practicing writing her Chinese characters. We cook something with a Chinese influence, and make a memory.

This year Chinese New Year is Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

mom and sons at Valentine's Day table

Jessica and da boys, 2007

Valentine’s Day

A few years ago I heard about a family who had a romantic meal every year — as a family. Mom recreated the dishes that Mom and Dad ate on their first date and modeled to their kids an elegant, romantic dinner.

For us that means, Chicken Parmesan will be on the menu as it has since our family was made of many wee babes.

We started this tradition over ten years ago. Though some of the boys may roll their eyes at the sappiness of it all, if they don’t know how to set the scene for a nice meal, it won’t be for lack of trying on my part. We bring out the good dishes, cloth napkins and sparkling apple cider.

FishPapa and I talk about when we met and our first date. We make sharing our love — of each other and yummy food — a priority at Valentine’s.

This year Valentine’s Day is on Thursday, February 14, 2019.

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Mardi Gras

Note: Some years, Mardi Gras is in February, sometimes it’s in March. It’s a short month, so plan on having your pancake supper in early March! πŸ˜‰

Depending on your faith tradition and location, Mardi Gras can be as simple as a pancake supper or as elaborate as a bowl of Jambalaya and a plate full of beignets.

We’ve gone back and forth between the simple and the not-so-simple over the years, prepping some of these kinds of Mardi Gras recipes.

This year Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

Memory-making meals don’t have to be perfectly authentic. They don’t have to be expensive. They don’t have to be complex.Β They just have to be fun!

What Memory-Making Meals can YOU plan for February?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. JessieLeigh says

    Love chicken parm! It’s a romantic tradition around here too- it’s what I had from our favorite restaurant the night we got engaged. πŸ™‚

    By the way, I love all the memories you’re all making together! I want to tag along on a few… can I be an honorary “cool aunt” for a week or two? πŸ˜‰

  2. Kim @ Forever Wherever says

    I enjoyed reading your post. We’re kinda sappy around here, too!

  3. Go get your award from me!! πŸ˜‰

  4. CountryMama@The Cozy Country Home says

    Your menu looks great! And…chicken parm is one of our favorite meals (well, mine & hubb's actually).
    No Valentines memory meals here, but one particular cooking episode comes to mind. I forget what dish I was making but it needed ketchup. We had just started dating and my husband (but dating at the time) was sitting at the island while I was cooking in my apartment. Well, I took the ketchup squeeze bottle and shook it up to mix it (like I always do) and the cap flew open and ketchup flew and squirted everywhere…all over him. His hair, his beautiful white polo buttondown (which he said he bought new for the evening!) his pants…everywhere!! I was mortified! Never made that dish again, probably why I can't think of what it was, but it's been over ten years and we still can't open a ketchup bottle without remembering that night (and holding the cap closed!!) What a memory!

  5. Delphine Durieux says

    I’ll always remember the mexican breakfast you cooked for us in Bordeaux for Vanlentine’s Day…
    Since then I’ve been cooking mexican food really often even if it’s kind of hard to find things in france…

  6. inkelywinkely says

    I made this social network..I am new to it. It has a chat, you can make a blog, and contribute to a forum Please check it out.

  7. HeatherC says

    I olove this idea! I am definitely going to borrow it for Saturady night, candles and all. What a fun tradition! Thank you….

  8. What a sweet idea!

  9. This is not a tradition, but just a fun memory. The day I found out I was pregnant with our first child, my sweet husband In a complete state of shock managed to bring roses and chocolates home to me. We ate black beans and yellow rice and called all our family. So now when we have that meal I remember it.

  10. These are such fun ideas! My husband and I try to do something fun for the kids during meal times every holiday and birthdays as well.

  11. We had just moved across country. We were living in a very tiny apartment while house hunting and most of our furniture was in storage. It was my daughter’s 4th birthday. We did not have a dining table so we sat on the floor with our kid’s plastic toy box for our table. I don’t remember the meal, but for her birthday cake we had cupcakes with blue icing. Ten years later and that is still the most memorable family birthday. My daughter still wants to have cupcakes for her birthday.

  12. We’re celebrating the Olympics this year by eating a food from a different country each day. Today is Mexico, so we’re having tacos. Yesterday was the Netherlands, so we had Gouda cheese. The day before was Greece, so we had hummus. The day before that was South Korea, so we had jook (chicken and rice porridge, basically). The kids have enjoyed learning about a different country each day, with a coloring page of the flag, a fun fact, and a semi-authentic food.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts