Valentine’s Day three ways

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate your loved ones… ALL of them. Check out some ideas for showing kids, friends, and sweeties a little food love on February 14.

(Three WAYS, not “three-way.” Pervies.)

Take one: Love on those kiddos

Valentines Day gets a lot of hype at school for the little ones. Why not make it “sweet” at home as well? I know this can be done, thank you very much, Kate Gosselin, who takes Valentine’s Day routines very seriously with her eight children (We’re talking heart-shaped pancakes, heart-shaped sandwiches, and pink milk).

Why not take this day and serve up an extra dose of love at mealtimes? These efforts are not going overboard — they’re just a little somethin’ special…

  • For breakfast, serve up bagels with pink cream cheese (it looks like frosting!) and sprinkles.
  • Whip up a batch of Rice Krispie Treats, but mix in some candy hearts (the tiny, red, spicy ones), message candy hearts, mini chocolate chips and red food coloring) to make them Valentine-y.
  • Deliver an “Edible Valentine” in the form of a snack: graham cracker base with message hearts “glued” on with frosting. Use colored frosting under the hearts and around the edge of the cracker for an added touch.
  • For dessert, make ice-cream sundaes, topped with strawberry jam and chocolate morsels (the ones shaped like little hearts).
  • Get them in on the act! Pick up a pint of strawberries and some microwaveable chocolate and let them dip away. This is a fun activity, plus the food is fruit. Basically.

Take two: Lunch for those you love

Ladies, invite your girlfriends over for a luncheon they won’t forget. Or, send a special invite to the older people in your life (Grandparents would love an invite like this!). Whoever the crowd, here’s a light menu that is simple to prep ahead of time, but you can be sure it will be a treat to your guests.

  • Have sweet tea and pink lemonade ready to offer your guests as they arrive.
  • Set out an arrangement of seasonal fruit and cheese for them to pick at before you sit down for lunch. Serve it with a whipped yogurt dipping sauce.
  • Tarragon Chicken Salad served on a bed of greens is delicious and looks pretty on a plate.
  • Crossaints (No, you don’t have to cook everything) are the perfect accessory to the chicken salad. Pick them up at Can Can — they’re homemade and are fab.
  • Serve hot tea or decaf coffee with dessert. You could go elaborate and make chocolate tarts filled with raspberries or keep it simple with heart-shaped sugar cookies (pastel frosting would be a nice addition).

Take three: Dinner for you and your honey

Skip the expensive restaurant and create a romantic meal in the comfort of your own home. This menu won’t keep you in the kitchen all day, but is a little more gourmet than rotisserie chicken and rice. It’s a labor of love, but for yourself, too… so enjoy this lingering dinner for two.

  • Serve a little bubbly! Start with a champagne or sparkling wine of your choice and add one ounce cranberry juice, a slice of lime squeezed on top, and garnish with a few frozen cranberries. Break out those champagne flutes and make it fancy!
  • A brie and raspberry puff pastry appetizer will get things started off right. This is simple, no difficult recipe needed. Take some (defrosted) phyllo dough, just 5 or so sheets, lay brie in the center, and top with raspberry jam. Wrap all corners to the center and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until it begins to ooze and brown. Serve on crackers.
  • A special occasion is the perfect time for steak. Try this recipe for Filet Mignon with Shallot red wine sauce and Garlic Frites. It’s simple to prepare and even involves a bag of frozen something!
  • For a green side dish, let’s dress up our green beans. Boil the beans until cooked to your liking, then top them off with a dash of lemon juice, a handful of pine nuts, and some salt and pepper.
  • These sour cream rolls are a sweet little addition to the plate. They’re rich and melt-in-your-mouth good.
  • For dessert, a store-bought, wax-tasting chocolate heart will not do. But for the sake of time, may I suggest an impressive no-bake homemade dessert? This Frozen Mocha Toffee-Crunch Terrine will knock the socks off of your loved one. I’d say that’s a good start.
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Kelly Blanchard

Kelly Blanchard loves thinking about, preparing, consuming, and serving good food. Believing that life is to short to eat the same stuff over and over, she loves to test new eats on her friends and family. Kelly loves her coffee-addicted hubbie, her two little blonde-haired babes, all things sweet, black tshirts, and the color pink.

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