(Family Features) Chocolates? Roses? Been there, done that. Everyone wants to make sure the special someone in their lives knows how much they care. Here are some easy and fun ways to prove that he or she is number one in your book.
Make a Playlist of “Your Songs”
Whether it was playing when you first met or is the soundtrack to your favorite movie, every couple has songs that mean something special to them. In the car, leave a CD or MP3 player stocked with your most memorable tunes as a special surprise and a suddenly-better commute.
Do the house chores. Seriously.
Fix that item you’ve been saying you would fix forever. Empty the dishwasher and clean the bathroom. When they get home, have all the chores done, that way the only thing left to do is enjoy each other’s company.
Put Pen to Paper
Hide little notes with heartfelt sentiments on the refrigerator, on the nightstand, taped to the computer screen – any place they might stumble upon it throughout a typical day. Your note might be found after a long meeting or last-minute deadline, providing a moment of reprieve and happiness during a hectic day.
Raise a Glass and Indulge – Together
Toast each other with some tasty treats. Pop some bubbly, then enjoy mixing these recipes together.
For more romantic wines and recipes, visit www.barefootwines.com.
Sweetheart Dark Chocolate Brownies
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Makes: 10+ servings
For the brownies:
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the glaze:
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In small pot over low heat, melt 1/2 cup of butter and 4 ounces of dark chocolate together until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition.
- Add sugar and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir until smooth.
- Transfer batter into a 9 x 9 aluminum foil lined baking pan and place it into the oven for 25 minutes and bake until done.
- While brownies are baking, melt together semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter for the glaze. Once melted, set aside.
- When brownies are done, let them cool.
- Once cooled, drizzle glaze over brownies, and spread it on top using an offset spatula.
Barefoot Bubbly Ruby Red Bliss
Makes: 2 servings
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 6 ounces Barefoot Red Moscato Champagne
- 2 skewer cranberries for garnish
- Place chilled juices in flutes. Top with Barefoot Bubbly Red Moscato. Garnish with cranberries.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (brownie image)
Source: Barefoot Wines
(Family Features) Treat family, friends and co-workers to something they will all love this Valentine’s Day by making easy and impressive cookies. Start with your favorite roll-out cookie recipe or simply dress up store-bought ones by adding some simple details with icing.
From the cupids at Wilton, here are three ways to leave them smitten with sweets this Valentine’s Day:
- Desserts with dimension. Triple your treats by stacking three decorated cookies in different sizes together and attach them with icing.
- Complement with color. A simple piping technique looks stunning when piped in different colors on your cookies.
- Get to gifting. Wrap your finished treats in a Valentine’s Day treat bag or box.
For more fun and delicious Valentine’s Day recipes, baking tips and inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.
Stackable Ombre Heart Cookies
Each stacked cookie serves 1.
- Favorite roll-out cookie recipe
- Royal icing (recipe on wilton.com)
- Rose Icing Color
- Heart Micro Mini Icing Decorations
- Prepare and roll out cookie dough following recipe directions. Use 3 smallest cutters from 4-piece heart nesting cookie cutter set to cut out shapes. Bake and cool cookies.
- Divide royal icing into three equal portions, and tint 3 shades of rose. Thin a portion of each shade following recipe directions. Use tip 3 and full-strength tinted icing to outline cookies. Use thinned tinted icing in cut decorating bag to fill in cookies; gently tap to smooth icing. Let dry overnight.
- Use icing to attach cookies, stacking largest to smallest; place icing decoration on top.
Scalloped Heart Cookies
Each cookie serves 1.
- Favorite roll-out cookie recipe
- Ready-To-Use White Creamy Decorator Icing
- Icing Colors: Burgundy, Red-Red and Christmas Red
- Prepare and roll out dough following recipe directions. Use largest cutter from the 4-piece heart nesting cookie cutter set to cut out shape. Bake and cool cookies.
- Divide icing into four equal portions. Tint one of each portion light burgundy, dark burgundy and combination of red-red/Christmas red. Reserve last portion white.
- Starting from top edge of heart, use tip 102 and icing in dark burgundy, light burgundy, red and white to pipe V-shaped groups of two petals, one piped from left and one from right, to create row of petals in alternating colors. Repeat with second row between petals in first row. Continue to repeat pattern until cookies are covered.
(Family Features) If the way to your loved one’s heart is through the stomach, there’s no better way to start off this Valentine’s Day than with a homemade breakfast prepared with love.
Whether you’re whipping up a breakfast for a spouse with a sophisticated palate or trying to tempt the taste buds of your littlest loves, explore these ideas to get inspired.
- Red is the color of love, so build your menu around fresh strawberries or raspberries, which pair perfectly with French toast or crepes, and can even dress up a simple cereal.
- For a more sensible menu, opt for a fruity berry smoothie or a parfait layered with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and granola. Add a hint of loving indulgence by sprinkling dark chocolate shavings on top.
- Show your affection with a plate of these colorful Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes featuring rich 100 percent cocoa, buttermilk and fresh berries. Heart-shaped cookie cutters lend a special touch to these fluffy, flavorful pancakes. Add sweet garnishes like powdered sugar and berries for a sensational way to say “I love you.”
Find more recipes you’ll love to share with your nearest and dearest this Valentine’s Day at Culinary.net.
Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé
Servings: 10 pancakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk or low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring
- heart-shaped pancake cutters or cookie cutters (optional)
- butter, for garnish (optional)
- powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
- maple syrup, for garnish (optional)
- fresh berries, for garnish (optional)
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well.
- In separate large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and food coloring. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit 5 minutes.
- Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush with oil or butter. Add about 1/4 cup batter to skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, or until bottom is lightly browned. Serve immediately with butter, powdered sugar, syrup and berries, if desired.
Tip: If using pancake or cookie cutters, be sure to coat with oil so pancakes don’t stick. Place cutters in skillet and pour batter into cutters. Remove cutters before flipping.