Simply Celebrate Life!
I decided if Valentine’s is a day of love, I was going to use it’s most popular symbol to show my family how much I loved them with a day of menus inspired by hearts!
Valentine’s Heart Day!
Valentine’s is about showing love, and this year, I decided to make it a fun day for the whole family, not just Chris and I. I wanted to keep it simple, but fun, and definitely yummy! This time it’s all about the hearts, I planned all the menus for the day around the heart shape, and this was so fun and so easy, you could do it too! I wanted the kids to know first thing when they came down for Breakfast that this was going to be a Special Day, so I set the table the night before. A cute fabric with hearts fit my theme, and topped my table perfectly. I used a combo of red and white dishes I had on hand on top of a doily placemat, simple and classic!
I found a set of four cute mugs with hearts on them, perfect for my four kids! They were so fun and the kids loved them. These were my only deco purchase for all of this, besides ingredients of course.
Mornings are always hectic on a school and work day, so while I wanted it to be special, I also wanted Breakfast to be quick and easy.
It’s a little hard to see, but I found this toast ‘stamp’ that says I love you! You just stamp it into the bread before you toast it, so cute and easy!
Along with hearts, red was a recurring theme in my plans for the day, so what better to top the toast than homemade Raspberry Jam??
Besides plain toast and jam, I made Eggs in a Basket. But instead of a boring circle in the bread, I cut out a heart with a cookie cutter. Fun and easy!
I made my favorite Hot Chocolate in my CocoMotion, a yummy decadent treat for a cold morning too! I served it in my new cute mugs, topped with whipped cream and some heart sprinkles and it was a BIG hit! Sprinkles make everything a little more special.
Creamy Hot Chocolate
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 heaping tablespoon good quality Cocoa
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon Vanilla
dash of salt
Put all ingredients in your CocoMotion and turn it on… (or combine in a saucepan until hot and melted, stirring constantly)
See that smile! Sometimes people ask me if it’s worth the effort for parties and silly days like this… that smile is why it’s worth it!
It was a school day, but I wanted them to remember when they opened their lunches that I love them even when I’m not with them.
The menu was simple, but cute and yummy! PB & J Sandwiches cut into hearts with a sandwich cutter, with a side of strawberries (red 😉 also cut into hearts, and a treat of some Chocolate Heart candy! They each got a bag of Doritos (red) too, and a Cranberry Juice (red) bottle.
Ever notice if you cut out the stem on a Strawberry with a ‘V’ cut and then slice them vertically, they look like hearts! And they are healthy and even red, they were the perfect side for my special red heart lunches! To keep them separate from the sandwich, I just used cupcake liners, they were pretty and functional!
I found these Cranberry Juice bottles, and splurged to fit my theme and make it special since they usually just have juice boxes. I simply wrapped each bottle with some scrapbook paper and a little cutout heart to make them extra special. They loved them so much, they each rinsed them out and brought them home with them, they are so silly!
I found these disposable plastic containers at the Dollar Store, they were even red, perfect! I made a little label for the top of each of them with their names, each one was a little different but were easy with some scrapbook papers and cutout hearts.
After School Snack
I considered all sorts of creative and fancy desserts and snacks to make for my heart day, but when Valentine’s is on a Wednesday, and we still have school, and work, and dance, and piano, and busy lives. I decided to keep it all yummy, but still simple! I made these Cupcakes while the kids were at school, so they would have a yummy after school snack when they got home and and another pretty reminder of our day of love! I simply topped the Frosting with Red Heart Sprinkles, so cute!
The cupcakes are a simple doctored box recipe, but the secret is in the frosting. I just created this frosting, and it’s one of my favorites!! It is a huge hit every time I make it!
Heidi’s Favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, divided
1 small box chocolate instant pudding
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
With a hand blender, beat the cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. In a separate bowl, mix pudding mix and milk, mix together until smooth and creamy. Add the pudding mix to the Cream Cheese mix, and cream together until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Mix the Whipped Cream into the Cream Cheese mixture until combined. It should be light and creamy, almost mousse like. Spoon into a decorating bag and swirl onto cooled cupcakes. (Note: You can use any flavor of pudding to change the flavor of the frosting, White Chocolate is really yummy too!!)
In keeping with my ‘keep it simple’ plan. I didn’t put a lot into decorating, even though I really wanted to! I had big plans to sew this cute fabric into a runner, but when time didn’t permit, I simply laid the cute fabric on the table as a topper, and it worked great. I simply used a stand with a red Hurricane vase, and filled the base with Chocolate Hearts. Pretty and edible, my favorite kind of decoration!
Another easy menu, Heart Shaped Homemade Pepperoni Pizza! It would be easy to serve it with a Side Salad with red tomatoes, and even heart cut veggies too!
Pizza is great, because I could prep everything early while the kids were in school, and then just put it together and bake it for dinner.
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tsp. flour
1 tsp honey
-Mix in blender and let sit for about 15 minutes.
4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
-Add yeast mixture and knead for 10 minutes. Let rise for 45 minutes until doubled, punch it down and divide in 2. Dough will be sticky. Spray pan with Pam, spread dough to edges of pan, and add toppings. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 425.
1 large can crushed tomatoes
4 oz tomato sauce
2 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute garlic and red pepper in oil. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
(Note: If you are really short on time, Papa Murphy’s sells take and bake heart shaped pizzas 😉
What would my heart menu be without having hearts in the drinks too? I froze some heart Ice Cubes in a silicone tray. So easy, but the kids loved it!
Look how pretty the Heart Cubes look floating in their drinks?
In keeping with Valentine’s and hearts and red and pink, we had Cherry 7-Up with our Pizza!
For dessert, we finished off our Valentine’s Cupcakes! What a special day, and filled with Happy Hearts!
Have fun planning your own Valentine’s menus, or keep it simple and use mine!!
“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.” -Victor Hugo
***If you want too many ideas for more Heart Shaped Foods… check out my Heart Foods Pinterest Board