Be careful for Cupid’s arrow, or higher but, keep away from the greeting card aisle. Valentine’s Day is approaching and love is within the air. For a lot of hopeless romantics on the market, February 14th is a superb, starry-eyed alternative to present and obtain particular tokens of affection like flowers, candies, and naturally, store-bought or selfmade valentines. In case your important different will not be so romantic the remainder of the 12 months, it is virtually mandated on Valentine’s Day. Then again, singles can take pleasure in being exempt from all this romantic (and monetary!) strain and focus utterly on spoiling themselves. And in addition to, there are at all times loads of ridiculously enjoyable Anti-Valentine’s Day events happening in most cities. In that spirit, I will begin with a particular chocolate spa day designed only for single ladies. Chocolate IS a lady’s finest buddy. Shifting on to the mushy stuff, I will let you know learn how to spoil the family members in your life, whether or not it is your youngsters or your hubby. Within the true spirit of Recipe4Living, the way in which to anybody’s coronary heart is the abdomen. Get pleasure from!
Historical past? I received your historical past
Okay okay, in case you should know WHY we have fun this foolish vacation known as Valentine’s Day, let me clarify briefly. Valentine’s Day started with a priest, St. Valentine. Rumor has it that through the third century in Rome, Emperor Claudius II determined that single males made higher troopers than married males and thus outlawed marriage for younger males. Recognizing the injustice of this, St. Valentine continued to marry younger individuals in secret and was imprisoned and finally killed. Different rumors say that St. Valentine helped Christians escape harsh Roman prisons and that he might have even despatched a love letter from jail to an admired lady, signed “From Your Valentine.” As St. Valentine was later a favourite saint in France and England, Valentine’s Day turned popularly celebrated within the seventeenth century. In 1840, the primary mass-produced “valentines” appeared in America. Immediately, 85% of Valentine’s Day playing cards are bought by ladies. Is that this as a result of males are shopping for flowers?
Boycott this Foolish Vacation and Spoil Your self!
Chocolate Foot Spa
Here’s a listing of “wanted” provides for an indulgent foot spa expertise.
A foot basin
Put a handful of marbles within the foot basin or any giant container to soak your toes in. Fill midway with chilly water. Heat sufficient complete milk to fill the basin and whisk till frothy. Add 1 Tbs. every of vanilla extract and chocolate extract. Soak toes for five minutes if you are rolling them over the marbles. The lactic acid within the milk naturally sloughs off useless pores and skin and softens them. Subsequent, combine a handful of every brown sugar and white sugar with sufficient olive oil to kind a paste. Therapeutic massage this paste into the toes, ankles, knees and calves. Rinse with heat water and pat dry. End with lotion that has been warmed within the microwave. You may add just a few drops of vanilla extract in your lotion to maintain the vanilla scent in your pores and skin.
Chocolate Bubble Tub
So candy and indulgent, it is the proper bathtub for chocoholics – however please, do not drink the bathtub water.
1 C. unscented bubble bathtub
1/Three C. unsweetened Soya Model Milk
Three oz. darkish chocolate
Warmth the Soya milk and add within the chopped chocolate, stir properly till melted. Don’t boil. Permit cooling down. Combine with the bubble bathtub and pour into your bathtub and revel in.
Home made Chocolate Truffles
This can be a very easy solution to make a usually sophisticated dessert. Get pleasure from these if you are lounging within the tub.
1 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/Four C. orange-flavored liqueur or 1 tsp. orange extract
1 can chocolate or fudge frosting
Toppings: Coconut, chocolate sprinkles, floor nuts and cocoa
Soften chocolate chips in medium saucepan over low warmth, stirring always; take away from warmth. Stir in orange liqueur and frosting; mix properly. Refrigerate 1-2 hours or till agency. Place coconut or different toppings in pie pan. Scoop combination into 1″ balls; drop onto topping. Combination might be sticky. Roll to coat. Place in foil sweet cups, if desired. Retailer in fridge.
Yield: 6 dozen
1 shot vodka
Splash of peach schnapps
Equal elements cranberry and grapefruit juice.
Lime for garnish
Combine collectively all elements and pour over ice. Garnish high of glass with a lime wedge.
Some Necessities for Spoiling Cherished Ones
Flower Meanings- Each flower has a that means, a lot of which have endured for hundreds of years. So until you need to give a lady the image for mourning this Valentine’s Day, be sure you look into these meanings earlier than choosing a bouquet. Not solely will you’ve got the proper gesture with the flowers, however you may impress that particular somebody together with your data. She or he will assume you’re fairly considerate (simply do not let on I advised you).
Amaryllis or Iris– Each of those flowers are good for the artists or actors you recognize. Amaryllis is dramatic and the iris is inspiring.
Carnation– To be blunt, many ladies view carnations as a “filler flower,” but when you recognize this particular person likes carnations go together with yellow or pink. These specific cheerfulness and gratitude respectively.
Gardenia or Day Lily– Symbolizing pleasure and enthusiasm respectively, these are nice common flowers to brighten anybody’s Valentine’s Day.
Lilac– Have a critical case of pet love? Lilacs are the image for old flame. Your partner or fiancé will giggle.
Orange Blossoms– Do you’ve got a buddy or important different making an attempt to get pregnant? Or one which has just lately turn out to be pregnant? Orange blossoms are the image for fertility.
Orchid or Hibiscus– As could be anticipated, orchids and hibiscus symbolize delicate magnificence. Relying on the particular person, this could both be touching or considerably offensive.
Pansy, Yellow or Pink Tulip– Whereas all these flowers are gestures of affection, the pansy is the least sturdy, and the purple tulip is a superb first declaration. Yellow denotes a hopeless romantic devotion.
Rose- Pink roses are the last word gesture of passionate love. In case you have solely been relationship a short while, that is too sturdy a gesture. White roses are a logo of purity (making them notably in style at weddings). Pink roses symbolize friendship. A mix of purple and white denote unity, making them good for a married couple of a few years.
Sunflower– These distinctive flowers present adoration. You may’t assist however smile while you see a sunflower.
Melting Chocolate– As a result of chocolate may be very delicate to warmth, it’s important to soften chocolate slowly, well-removed from warmth. At all times warmth chocolate over low warmth or it is going to shortly turn out to be an unappetizing mass. Use a double boiler, or place the saucepan with chocolate on high one other saucepan with boiling water on the stovetop. Remember the fact that chocolate will proceed to soften even after eradicating it from a warmth supply, so watch out to not overcook.
- Unsweetened chocolate will simply liquefy when melted, however sweetened chocolate have to be frequently stirred.
- Chocolate flavored coating incorporates cocoa and vegetable oil, moderately than cocoa butter. Coatings are in style as a result of they’re simpler to make use of for issues like dipping, however the style and high quality are nowhere close to actual chocolate.
For the Youngsters
Sweeten bath-time for the children or for your self with this scrumptious recipe.
half of C. unscented shampoo
12 drops cherry perfume oil
2 drops purple meals coloring
half of tsp. salt
3/Four C. water
Combine collectively the shampoo and water in a jar. Add the salt and stir once more till the combination thickens up. Add the cherry oil and the purple meals coloring and stir the combination completely as soon as extra. Bottle the combination till prepared to make use of in your bathtub. To make use of; add 1 Tbs. to operating bathtub water. Soak as desired.
Crafts for Youngsters (Compliments of our RSVP author Sarah Potts)
Valentines- Exit and purchase a bunch of coloured development paper and have a “card making” station. Have scissors, coronary heart patterns, stickers and markers provided so the children could make their household and buddies Valentine’s Day playing cards.
Sweet Lollipop Flowers– This can be a nice and non-messy exercise for youngsters. All you have to is wrapped heart-shaped lollipops that it’s best to be capable to discover any the place within the seasonal part, inexperienced chenille stems and scissors. First have the kids begin on the high of the lollipop stick (simply earlier than the top of the sucker) and tightly wrap the chenille stem in a coil across the lollipop stick. As soon as that is finished, reduce off the additional chenille. You need to use the additional piece or one other piece of chenille and wrap this across the stem as properly to make the “leaf,” simply make certain the leaf is safe. There you go- your youngster can now have a enjoyable bouquet of little hear formed flowers to present to anybody.
Foam Love Letters– Give your youngster the reward of affection this Valentines Day. These simple to make foam letters spell out the phrase “love” and could be lovely in any little woman’s room. Click on right here for learn how to make!
Rose Valentine Espresso or Tea Mug– Here is an affordable Valentine’s Day reward you could make your self on your particular valentine. It’s simple and it’s enjoyable, any youngster might make this for his or her mother. The Web page supplies the free, full-sized rose stencil sample (at proper) – or you can use your individual romantic theme. Click on right here for learn how to make!
Spoil Your Sweetie– In my thoughts, there is no such thing as a higher reward for a beloved one than a elaborate meal. Listed below are a pair fancy menus good for Valentine’s Day, and some extra concepts to encourage you.
Shrimp in Champagne Sauce With Pasta
This dish takes some effort to organize, however is the proper contact for a romantic dinner on your particular Valentine.
1 C. sliced mushrooms
1 Tbs. olive oil
3/Four lb. medium shrimp, shelled
1 half of C. champagne
half of Tbs. garlic pepper seasoning
2 Tbs. minced shallots or scallions
1 giant tomato, diced
1 C. heavy cream
half of lb. dried skinny spaghetti
Three Tbs. chopped parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese
Sauté mushrooms in medium saucepan in scorching olive oil over medium-high warmth. Prepare dinner simply lengthy sufficient to launch mushroom juices and allow them to evaporate. Take away mushrooms and put aside. In identical saucepan, mix shrimp, champagne and garlic pepper seasoning. Over excessive warmth, warmth to simmer. When liquid simply boils, shrimp are finished. Take away shrimp from cooking liquid with a slotted spoon instantly. Set shrimp apart.
Add chopped shallots and tomatoes to cooking liquid. Boil over excessive warmth till liquid is diminished to about half of C., roughly Eight minutes. When liquid is diminished, add 3/Four C. heavy cream and boil 1-2 minutes, till barely thickened and diminished. Add shrimp and mushrooms to sauce; warmth by way of. Style and add extra seasoning if wanted. In the meantime cook dinner pasta in response to instructions on bundle. Drain completely and return to cooking pot. Toss with remaining 1/Four C. cream and parsley. To serve, divide pasta between two plates. Spoon shrimp and sauce over pasta. Garnish with parmesan to style.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
In case you have by no means tried mixing spinach and strawberries collectively then you will need to do that recipe. It is vitally simple and easy and so good.
2 Tbs. sesame seeds
1 half of lb. recent spinach
1/Three C. vegetable oil
1/Three C. purple wine vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. minced inexperienced onion
half of tsp. paprika
1/Four tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. recent strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
In a 7 inch skillet over medium warmth, stir sesame seeds till golden; put aside. Wash spinach completely; dry on paper towels and tear into chunk measurement items. Wrap and chill. Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, onion, paprika and Worcestershire sauce. In giant glass bowl, combine collectively spinach, strawberries, dressing and seeds.
One Bowl Spicy Chocolate Cake
Do not be terrified of the cayenne pepper and boost your boring chocolate cake.
1 half of C. all-purpose flour
1 C. sugar
1/Three C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. floor cinnamon
3/Four tsp. baking soda
1/Four tsp. scorching purple pepper (cayenne)
1/Four tsp. salt
1 C. water
half of C. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
Warmth oven to 350 levels. Generously grease 8″-square baking pan. In medium bowl, stir collectively flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, scorching purple pepper and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat with a fork simply till all dry elements have been moistened. Bake cake 35 to 40 minutes or till middle springs again when gently pressed. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes. Take away to serving platter. Cowl and put aside till able to serve. Simply earlier than serving, sift confectioners’ sugar over high. Minimize into Four squares; reduce every sq. diagonally in half to make Eight triangular items.
Yield: Eight servings
Crab-Stuffed Fillet Mignon with Whiskey-Peppercorn Sauce
Extremely elegant and flavorful, that is the proper meal to impress that particular somebody. Wonderful for anniversaries, Valentine’s Day or any day!
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. minced inexperienced onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced celery
1 tsp. minced inexperienced bell pepper
2 Tbs. shrimp inventory or water
1 6 oz. can crab meat, drained
2 Tbs. bread crumbs
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 1/Four C. beef broth
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 oz. whiskey
1 C. heavy cream
Four 6 oz. filet mignon steaks
Four slices bacon, cooked flippantly
Salt and cracked black pepper to style
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced shallot
1 C. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 oz. whiskey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
To make crab stuffing, warmth 2 Tbs. olive oil in a big skillet. Sauté onion, inexperienced onion, garlic, celery, and inexperienced pepper till tender. Stir in shrimp inventory, crab meat, bread crumbs, and Cajun seasoning. Take away from warmth, and put aside. To organize peppercorn sauce, in a small saucepan over medium warmth, mix beef broth and cracked black pepper. Simmer till diminished to 1 C., stirring regularly. Add 1 oz. whiskey and 1 C. cream. Proceed simmering till diminished to 1 C. Take away from warmth, and put aside. To organize steaks, slice a pocket into the aspect of every steak, and stuff generously with crab stuffing. Wrap bacon round aspect, and safe with toothpicks. Season to style with salt and pepper; put aside. Warmth olive oil in a big forged iron skillet over medium warmth. Sauté garlic and shallot for 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, and sauté till tender. Take away mushroom combination, and put aside. Place steaks in skillet, and cook dinner to desired doneness. Take away from skillet, and maintain heat. Deglaze skillet with 1 oz. whiskey. Cut back warmth, and stir in peppercorn sauce and Dijon mustard. Add mushroom combination, and cut back sauce till thickened. Take away toothpicks and bacon from steaks, and prepare steaks on a plate. High with sauce.
Word: Partially cook dinner the filets within the pan, and end them on the grill. This recipe works properly with roasted purple potatoes and a pleasant glass of wine.
Yield: Four servings
Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Recent Herbs
The right aspect dish to absolutely anything.
Four quarts water
1 tsp. salt
3 – Four lb. golden potatoes
2/Three C. cream
1/Four C. butter
1 Tbs. recent parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to style
Carry water to a boil, add salt. In the meantime, peel potatoes and slice in quarters. Place potatoes in boiling water and cook dinner till tender. Drain water and mash. Add cream, butter, salt, pepper, and parsley. Serve directly. You might range the herbs by substituting dill or chives for the parsley.
Carrots in Sherry
A complicated solution to serve up this frequent orange vegetable.
2 lb. carrots, scraped and quartered
1/Four C. butter or margarine
1 tsp. salt
1/Eight tsp. pepper
1/Four tsp. sugar
half of C. sherry
1-2 tsp. minced parsley
Sauté carrots in melted butter, turning till properly coated. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar. Add sherry and simmer gently for five minutes. Add water simply to cowl; simmer, lined, for 15-20 minutes or till tender. Take away cowl and cook dinner over medium warmth till many of the liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with parsley earlier than serving.
Yield 6-Eight servings
Strawberry Fudge Truffles
These little goodies are good for a Valentine’s Day reward or a romantic event.
6 oz. bundle semi-sweet chocolate morsels
half of C. almonds, toasted and finely chopped
Eight oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
3/Four C. vanilla wafer crumbs (roughly 20 wafers)
1/Four C. SMUCKER’S® Strawberry Preserves
In a small saucepan, soften chocolate over low warmth. Put almonds in a small bowl. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese till clean and creamy. Add melted chocolate, beating till clean. Stir in vanilla wafer crumbs and preserves, mixing properly. Cowl and chill combination for 1 hour. Take away from fridge and form combination into 1- inch balls or “truffles.” Roll every truffle within the almonds; chill truffles till serving time.
Yield: 48 truffles
Sweeten Your Sweetie– It truly is all in regards to the sweets on Valentine’s Day. Listed below are just a few concepts for selfmade presents.
Hershey Kiss Roses
This Valentine’s Day, give your sweetheart a bouquet she’ll actually love: chocolate!
10 picket skewers or 18-gauge florist wire
Pink and silver Hershey Kiss candies
Inexperienced florist tape
Silk inexperienced leaves with wired stems
Pull tiny labels from every Hershey Kiss. Stick two foil- wrapped Kisses collectively, backside to backside. Insert the skewer into the tip of 1 Kiss and at this level start winding florist tape down the skewer. Add a number of leaves alongside the way in which.
Cherry and Chocolate Pastry Hearts
half of of a 17-1/4-oz. bundle frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed
3/Four C. cherry pie filling
Eight tsp. fudge ice-cream topping
2 Tbs. chopped nuts
On a flippantly floured floor, unfold thawed pastry. Utilizing a 3-1/2- to 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, reduce pastry into shapes, discarding pastry scraps or reserving for one more use. Place pastry hearts on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 375 diploma oven for 15 to 18 minutes or till puffed and golden. Cool on racks. Cut up hearts horizontally; fill every with a number of the pie filling. Place hearts on dessert plates. Drizzle with fudge topping and sprinkle with nuts. Serve instantly.
Yield: Eight servings
Tip: Put together pastry hearts; cool. Place in hermetic freezer container; place crumbled paper towels round hearts to stop breaking. Seal, label, and freeze as much as 2 weeks. Thaw at room temperature earlier than serving.
Discover extra Valentine’s Day Concepts at Recipe4Living.com.