Valentine’s Day – Rest of the Decorations

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I thought I’d show you the rest of the holiday decorations I put out to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit.

First, here’s an easy wax paper hurricaine craft.

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I already had the hurricaine, so I cut out a bunch of hearts from wax paper and taped them to a piece of red and white baker’s twine. I thought the pink and white candle looked nice with it.

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In the entryway, I switched out the subway art to a printable with a Valentine’s theme.

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I created a teeny bit of garland by punching out holes from some paint chip samples i had laying around and gluing a punched out pink heart to the middle of the circle. Again, I taped the circles to some red and white baker’s twine.

Finally, I put out this cute little heart tree. I got it as a gift and I just love how the hearts are like little ornaments.

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That’s all I had around my house. I don’t really get too crazy for Valentine’s Day. Just a few small decorative items to fill in after all the Christmas stuff comes down. Do you put anything special out for Heart’s Day?

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Weekend Cooking

Pretty much since Thanksgiving, Dan and I have been busy every weekend. I’m kind of a homebody, so I miss having some down time relaxing in my sweatpants on the couch. Last weekend, we had a rare Saturday night free, so Dan and I decided to cook up a meal together.

We had a bunch of veggies around the house, so I thought I’d try to find some recipes that used them. I settled on a butternut squash torte, modified from this recipe,

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and healthy cream of asparagas soup.

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In the torte, I substituted fresh spinach for kale, left out the tomatoes (we didn’t have any), and changed the red onion to yellow onion. The torte was good, but it probably would have been better with the red onion instead. Still, all the cheese (there was provolone slices and grated parmesean reggiano) made this dish delicious.

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As for the soup, I followed the recipe exactly, making sure to let the ingredients simmer together before adding in the sour cream and pureeing.

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It was OK, but not sure I’d make it again.

I think the biggest issue with dinner was the high volume of onion. The dishes seemed to fight each other instead of complementing one another. Oh well. Next time, I’ll pair the torte with a different kind of soup.

Messages from the Heart

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, I decided to make a sort of message pillow.

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I already had a small square shaped pillow, the one I used for my rustic reindeer pillow, and an old red and white striped t-shirt, so I went ahead and made a slipcover.

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Thanks to my great deal on some felt cutout hearts, I used a hot glue gun to glue a red heart onto the slipcover, but I left the top parts of the heart unglued.

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Why? So that a note can fit into the pocket!

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I left a note pad and pencil on my nightstand, and Dan and I have been writing little love notes to each other each day. It works out because he writes a note in the morning, and since I’m the first one home, I find it then. I usually write my note to him in the afternoon. Then, at bedtime, he gets my note.

Just a small, fun way to let the other person know we’re thinking of them. Happy Early Valentine’s Day!

 

Football Cake Pops

Yesterday was the Super Bowl. We went to a party and brought a dessert to share.

Football cake pops!

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Making them was quite easy. Start with a boxed mix of your favorite kind of cake. We used devil’s food cake. Bake the cake in a 13×9 inch pan, according to the directions. Let the cake cool completely, then crush the cake into pieces – the smaller the better.

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Put a whole jar of your favorite frosting into the crumbs. We used milk chocolate.

Once the frosting and crumbs are incoporated, start forming the footballs. Put the footballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Let the cake pops chill in the fridge. We left ours in for about 30 minutes before we started working with them.

Heat up a bag of chocolate candy melts (we got ours at Michael’s for $2.49) and add some vegetable shortening to make a thin-ish consistency. Take a lollipop stick and dip it into the melted chocolate about an inch deep. Quickly, take a cake pop and insert the stick into it. Go through all the cake pops, allowing the chocolate on the sticks to harden.

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We put the cake pops back in the fridge for another 15 minutes or so to let them chill. A couple at a time, to keep them cold, take the pops out of the fridge and dip them one at a time into the chocolate. Put them in a styrafoam block to harden. 

Once you dip all the pops, and they harden, draw on the laces. I used a writing gel pen. The gel never hardened, but if you want, you can get a kind that will.

Dan went ahead and made a football field out of the green styrafoam block we used. He used puff paint to draw the yard lines and the logo for each team in the end zone.

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Though we made football cake pops, the procedure would be the same for regular cake pops. Just make them sphere shaped instead of football shaped.

These were a big hit at the party. I see myself making cake pops again, most likely by request, in the near future.