Thursday, February 7, 2013

SPECIAL OCCASIONS: T-7 Until Valentine's Day

williams-sonoma, cooking, baking, cooks, cutleryWhether it's shopping, speaking, or decorating - I pride myself in my pragmatic nature.  Why make things complicated right?  Well, all bets are off when it comes to Valentine's Day.  Though the holiday originally celebrated the martyred Catholic St Valentine; I prefer to follow the Middle Age interpretation first popularized by Chaucer.

Valentine's Day reminds me of my childhood; cutting red paper doilies in the shape of hearts, wearing red or pink on the 14th of February, eating red or pink foil covered chocolates, and bestowing your besties with pre-fab cards featuring the Smurfs or some other 80's cartoon character.  What could be better than sharing love for all?

To this day, I still enjoy sharing love for all rather than just for one on this holiday.  I figure that I have anniversaries and birthdays to tell my husband that I love him; why not use this day to let your friends know that you love them? Whether you share Valentine's Day with one or all;  here are some unique ways to make this holiday a fun, and relatively guilt-free blast:
  • Drinks
    • Presentation Note: present the following fun drinks in Mason Jars or tall glasses; be sure to add a cute paper straw
    • Pomegranate and Sparkling Water Spritzers 
      • Pour a splash of pomegranate juice into sparkling water 
      • Do not mix until ready to serve 
    • Strawberry Milk
      • Blend strawberries with milk and a touch of vanilla yogurt for a fun drink
      • Chill until ready to serve
    • Berry Herbal Tea 
      • Brew berry herbal tea
      • Let cool to room temperature or slightly warmer
      • Serve warm in clear mugs
  • Sweet Treats
    • Strawberry Vanilla Mousse
      • Blend 3 cups of frozen strawberries in a food processor, add in prepared vanilla pudding (use an instant mix - I like the Trader Joe's one), blend, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
      • Serve in individual cups or glasses and garnish with a light whipped cream and a sprig of mint
    •  Molten Chocolate Cake
      • If you're gonna have a molten chocolate cake on Valentine's Day - take the plunge! Although, do workout or balance your calories elsewhere - staying fit is a zero sum game my friends! Williams Sonoma has provided a beautiful picture of one that makes my mouth water - click on the picture for a recipe to this must-have dessert.

    **This post is a collaboration with Williams-Sonoma, but all words and opinions are my own

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