Jan 202015

Bubbles has been asking me for the last few days if it was Valentine’s Day yet.  In order to smooth the transition after Christmas, I kind of talked up Valentine’s Day and how it wasn’t that far away, and that how after Valentine’s Day it would be her birthday.  No need to be sad about taking down the Christmas tree, because we had two other reasons to decorate.

White Chocolate Candy Valentine Hearts are an easy Valentine's treat that you can make to keep or give as gifts. Only 2 ingredients and easy enough to make that your kiddos can help or make on their own!

So far she’s colored a number of construction paper hearts which she then taped to the inside of the front door.  After assessing her work she suggested that I should probably pick up a few more decorations the next time I was at the store.  Thanks to the Target Dollar Spot we now have a few other items up, too. Continue reading »

Feb 102013

Suggestions for Valentine Crafts, Recipes, and DIY

Valentine’s Day is this week but there is still plenty of time to make or bake some treats if you’re feeling crafty.  I hope to have one more craft tutorial for an easy gift and one more quick recipe for you before the big day.  Until then I wanted to share some of my favorite Valentine’s ideas from both Pinterest and some fellow bloggers.

(Really, what did we do for inspiration before Pinterest?)

Valentine’s Recipes

Heart Cupcakes from A Helicopter Mom

Valentine recipes

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Valentine recipes

Continue reading »

Feb 152012

We are big fans of the Cheesecake Factory’s lovely array of cheesecakes.  I’m pretty partial to their Godiva chocolate cheesecake; my husband usually went for the plain cheesecake with the fresh glazed strawberries on top.  Then the Cheesecake Factory came out with Red Velvet Cheesecake which combined two of his favorite desserts.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Recipe

I had thought it would be fun to make him one, and when I saw that the Brown Eyed Baker (if you don’t already read it, her blog is great) gave a stab at it, I decided to do it myself.  I chose to use my own cheesecake recipe, because I’m confident in the outcome I have with it, and I also chose to use a red velvet cake mix since I was already a little short on time.  Also my husband will only eat canned cream cheese frosting, so that’s what I used. Continue reading »

Feb 142012

Last week I shared a post with an image of peanut butter blossom cookies made with heart-shaped chocolates instead of chocolate kisses. As peanut butter cookies are a hot commodity around here, I knew a batch of Heart Shaped Peanut Butter Blossoms were in my future.

Heart Shaped Peanut Butter Blossoms for Valentine's Day

The recipe I originally pinned used a bagged cookie mix. While I’m not against shortcuts, I don’t usually keep those kinds of things on hand. But I did have all I needed to whip up some from the recipe my Mom gave me awhile back. Continue reading »

Feb 142011

Valentine’s Day Recipes

I hope everyone – single, married, partnered, dating, and anything in between – has a great Valentine’s Day!  Do something sweet for the ones you love – not just your significant others, but kids, parents, grandparents, friends, whomever – and then do something sweet for yourself!
Celebrate Valentine's with these Valentine's Day recipes
If you’re looking for a tasty treat to whip up for someone today, there are lots of tasty bites you could make.  I am planning to make Spaghetti with homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner and  Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes for dessert.  A little Lady and the Tramp nod, I guess :)  Spaghetti is one of my husband’s most requested meals, and the Lava Cakes make for a little special extra (and are much easier than you’d think!).   The sauce will make your house smell awesome; I have it on the stove right now and I’m starting to drool a little!   Here are my Valentine’s Day recipes:

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6-8oz each) cans tomato paste
2 (6-8oz each) cans tomato sauce
1/2 C minced onion (if you’re not big on onion, you could use a little onion powder instead)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (if you don’t have fresh garlic, you can sub garlic powder)
1/2 C water
2 T sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 T Italian seasoning
1 T kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T fresh parsley, chopped (can substitute dried if you don’t have fresh)
mushrooms, cleaned (1/2-1 lb fresh or 8-12oz canned; adjust for your level of mushroom love)
1/2-1 lb ground beef (depending on how meaty you like your sauce)
  1. In a Dutch oven, saute onion, garlic, ground beef and mushroom over medium heat until no longer pink.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water.
  2. Add in the sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley.  Simmer and cover for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Note: if you’re in a rush, you can simmer until everything is heated through.  But the longer you let this sit, the better it is, because all the seasonings get a chance to meld.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

4 sq. Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 C butter
1 C powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
6 T flour
whipped cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Butter 4 (3/4 C) custard cups, ramekins or souffle dishes.  Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl 1 minute, or until melted.  Stir with wire whisk until completed melted.  Stir in sugar.  Whisk in both eggs and both egg yolks.  Stir in the flour.  Divide batter between prepared dishes.
  3. Bake 13-14 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft.  Let stand 1 minute.  Run a small knife around cakes to loosen, and invert onto serving dishes (small dessert plates work well).  Dust with powdered sugar and top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.  Serve immediately.
I’ve had these recipes on cards for ever, so I apologize for not being able to link you to the sources.  But there are dozens of similar recipes out there (especially for the molten cakes), so feel free to search around for something that fits your tastes.  And with the sauce, always feel free to mix it up with whatever meats, add-in and seasonings that you love!