Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts

Thursday, January 10, 2013

DIY Strawberry Heart Muffins (great for Valentine's Day breakfast)

I made these muffins last year for Valentine's day and they turned out really delicious. I lightly adapted this recipe using my homemade strawberry sauce. Simple pureed strawberries would work as well or just use the original strawberry jam and milk. Anyway you make these they are sure to please your sweethearts.

Homemade Strawberry Sweetheart Muffins Recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup homemade strawberry sauce or pureed strawberries (or substitute 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 cup homemade or store bought strawberry jam)
  • Extra strawberry sauce or jam for decoration if desired
  1. In a mixing bowl first combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Next mix in the wet ingredients until just combined.
  3. Fill greased muffin cups. Spoon a small amount of strawberry sauce or jam on top or each muffin and drag a butter knife through to create a heart on top if desired. Here are pictures of this technique.
  4. Bake at 375 F for 18-22 minutes.
Makes approximately 18 regular sized muffins.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

DIY Strawberry Heart Brownie Cheesecake Bars (perfect for Valentine's Day)

I made this recipe last year for Valentine's Day when I wanted a dessert that combined chocolate, cheesecake, strawberries, and hearts! This recipe is quite similar to these tasty Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies but makes a whole 9x13 pan and has a more brownie and less cheesecake ratio. You could also just use the swirling heart technique I show here to decorate other favorite cheesecake or bar recipes as well. If you used a package mix for the brownies and store bought strawberry sauce these would be quite quick to make.

Homemade Strawberry Heart Brownie Cheesecake Bars Recipe (and simple swirling sweetheart decoration technique)

Drop spoonfuls of strawberry sauce on top of cheesecake
  • 9x13 pan of your favorite fudge brownies prepared with optional 1 cup chocolate chips (use a package mix or this easy recipe for better than boxed brownies)
  • 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened (or even homemade yogurt "cream" cheese works great)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Strawberry sauce or pureed strawberry jam for decoration (you could use store bought strawberry sauce or jam to save time and I bet this recipe would be great with raspberry as well)
Drag a butter knife through the middle of the circles
  1. Bake brownies according to box directions or prepare homemade brownies 9adding an optional 1 cup chocolate chips) in a 9x13 pan.
  2. Mix cream cheese, milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until creamy and smooth. Pour cheesecake mixture on top of baked brownies.
  3. Now comes the fun part of decorating with swirly hearts that is so easy. Simply drop spoonfuls of sauce onto the top of the cheesecake mixture and then drag a butter knife down the center of the circles. With the 9x13 pan I made a grid and swirled the hearts in two different directions. But you could make each one swirl in a different direction or in a circle around a circular cake, however you like!
  4. Bake at 350F for 25-35 minutes until firm in the center (watch these carefully though as all oven are different and you don't want the top overly brown. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight, and serve. 
Makes one thick 9x13 pan of bars.

Close up of heart swirls before baking

Mmm chocolate, cheesecake, strawberries and hearts!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DIY Light and Fluffy Pancakes

This a a more traditional pancake recipe than the hearty pancake recipe. While not quite as nutritious, these taste great and are fun to make for special occasions or company. I made them in heart shapes with strawberry sauce for Valentine's Day.

Homemade Fluffy Pancake Recipe

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir until smooth.
  2. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto a hot greased griddle.
  3. Cook until underside is brown. Flip over, and cook until the other side is brown. 
  4. To make heart shapes I first tried making heart shapes right on the griddle, but found it easier to cut a heart out of the middle of a large pancake. I really like how the pancake with the heart cut out of the middle looks with the hole filled in with strawberry syrup, very festive.
This recipe makes enough for 1–2 adults, but this basic ratio is easily doubled, quadrupled, or more. Serve warm with homemade butter, pancake syrup, spiced syrup, strawberry syrup, orange marmalade, lemon marmalade, or pumpkin butter for a really special treat.

DIY Strawberry Sauce

I love that strawberries are in season here now. This is the simple pureed strawberry sauce I made for breakfast for Valentine's day breakfast this year. But it would be a sweet treat any time of the year.

Homemade Strawberry Sauce Recipe

  • Four cups hulled strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Transfer strawberry puree to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the sauce has boiled and thickened slightly turn off heat. Serve warm, or refrigerate for later use.
This was a great topping for fluffy heart shaped pancakes.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Easy Heart Wreath (No Hot Glue Required)

    I've seen a lot of cute Valentine's wreaths on the internet, but most of them require the use of a hot glue gun, which I don't have. So I came up with a different way to make a tissue paper heart wreath, without any hot glue.

    Easy Tissue Paper Heart or Heart Wreath

    • thin cardboard
    • pink or red tissue paper
    • scissors
    • hole punch
    • ribbon (optional)
    1. Cut the thin cardboard into a heart shape whatever size you like. If you want a wreath, cut a heart shape out of the middle of the larger heart.
    2. Use the hole punch to bunch holes all over the heart shaped cardboard, about 1–2 inches apart.
    3. Cut 3–5 inch squares of tissue paper.
    4. Take a square of tissue paper and twist it a little in the middle and stick in one of the holes. Repeat until the whole heart is covered with fluffy tufts of tissue paper.
    5. You can add a ribbon if you like for hanging on the wall.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Easy Valentine's Decorations: Love Blooms Bouquet

    This is such a simple and frugal project, but I love the finished effect. You could use this idea for just about any holiday, but I think it is really cool for Valentine's Day because often love grows most during hard times. The pretty ornaments hung on simple branches seem to echo this thought to me.

    An added bonus is that my boys got to help with this project in a way they actually thought was cool, which isn't the case with a lot of Valentine's crafts. My husband took them outside so they could hunt for sticks for me. They were so happy to present me with their beautiful bouquets of sticks when they got back.

    After I had the sticks, I just trimmed a few to the desired length and arranged them in a vase. I tied a ribbon and beaded ornament around the base and then hung beaded and stuffed heart ornaments on the branches. I decided to also just loop some thread through some fake pink jewel and hang those on as well for added sparkle.

    You could vary this project a lot, just by changing the container and the type of heart ornaments used. I think this bouquet turned out really cute.

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    DIY Cookie Puzzles

    I thought that cookie puzzles sounded like a really cute stocking stuffer, but they could also make a sweet Valentine, Easter present, party favor, or small gift for any other occasion. When we were making sugar cookies together, I cut out a few huge heart shapes. Then I simply cut these large cookies into a few pieces using a butter knife. I separated the pieces slightly and then baked the cookies as usual. Putting colored sugar on top before you bake them or frosting them after they have been baked and cooled would be cute as well. Varying the shapes and colors used could make these appropriate for any occasion. I simply wrapped these in plastic wrap, but you could package them up in cut cellophane bags, small boxes, or small cookie tins too.


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