Thursday, January 31, 2013

Clever (and easy!) Valentine's Day Ideas {Food Edition}

Okay, you gals and your families are going to love me for this post! And since we are a mere 2 weeks (!!!) away from Valentine's Day, I suppose that love is acceptable. ;-)

I've taken all the best ideas from my Valentine's Pinterest board and compiled them here (with proper linkage)! I'm splitting it up into multiple posts, with this one dedicated specifically to FOOD!

And isn't that the way to a man's heart anyway? Or a child's heart, for that matter! Hey - just about anyone can be won over by something tasty!

Let's start with breakfast, shall we? (Click on pictures or names for links.)

How about a simple pink strawberry smoothie? Jodie Fitz has this easy recipe. My daughter adores pink smoothies any time of any day!

Y'all remember when Amber shared with us her edition of Egg in a Basket? Well, this is like a super-cool V-day twist on that classic technique. Reclaiming Provincial shows us how she does it. Just use your heart-shaped cookie cutter.

While you've got that heart-shaped cookie cutter out, why not give these heart pancakes a try? This idea comes from Aunt Jemima, but you could use whatever pancake batter is your favorite, just divide it and color one half with food coloring for red or pureed strawberries for pink.

Now, Lauren is famous around here for making some truly delicious cinnamon rolls, and I'll have to ask her to share a tutorial on here sometime. But isn't the technique above just the sweetest? Poppies at Play shows us how she changed the way she rolled up her prepared dough to make the adorable heart shape. Keep in mind that unbaked cinnamon rolls freeze beautifully, so make some up ahead of time, put them in the fridge overnight and into the oven Valentine's Day morning - quick and easy!

And our last treat for breakfast may be especially for the man in your life. I mean, what man could resist heart-shaped bacon?? And here are my tricks to perfectly cooked bacon:

Use your oven! Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil, put a wire cooling rack on top, and place the bacon on the wire rack. For regular sliced bacon, bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. For thick sliced, bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Once crispy, remove to a plate lined with paper towels and blot the top with paper towels as well.
This oven technique keeps the bacon out of the grease as it cooks, it makes it nice and crispy without all the tending that stove-top cooking requires, and clean-up is a snap! Save the liquid bacon grease or discard it with the foil once it solidifies.

Moving on from breakfast...Are these some sweet treats or what?!?

Seriously? Flour Me with Love shows us how to make these yummy and super-cute heart-shaped peanut butter treats! It looks surprisingly easy!

Don't feel like investing in a heart-shaped cake pan? It's so easy to create a cake heart out of just one square cake and one round cake (cut in half). The picture is pretty self-explanatory. I love the idea of using a red velvet cake or even strawberry for pink. Or, go with a chocolate cake and frost it in festive colors!

"You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, "Let's get some parfait," they say, "... no, I don't like no parfait"? Parfaits are delicious!" (ah, Shrek...) Seriously though, I think I may have found my new favorite blog (present company excluded, of course). ;-) Amanda over at Amanda's Parties TO GO! has some AMAZINGLY cute ideas for all kinds of parties! This idea for Valentine's parfaits is just so sweet and easy. You really have to check out the whole blog post though, because, I am not kidding when I say, I am totally throwing my daughter's friends a Valentine's soiree like this one when she gets just a *bit* older!

How snazzy is this? Fancy heart-shaped cupcakes without the fancy cupcake pan! And all it takes is a marble to make the shape! Six Sisters' Stuff says you can even use rolled up balls of aluminum foil if you don't have marbles.

Just a couple more food-themed ideas, and these come with ideas for Valentine's sayings!

Hole-y donuts Batman! Maybe it doesn't take much to amuse me, but I just love this idea and the phrase that goes with it. How clever! Grab some donut holes, jazz them up a bit if you want to, and then head on over to Caramel Potatoes to get the FREE printable you see above!! Perfect-o for kids, hubby, or any special someone!

Well, we can't forget at least one more yummy treat for the men in our lives! And what guy doesn't want to hear that he's a "stud muffin"? ;-) Tutto Bello blog has some great food-message ideas for guys, gals, and kids, along with free printables to go along with them. And a recipe for that yummy-looking poppy seed muffin. :-)

Stay tuned for more easy Valentine's Day ideas!

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