Paper Cut-Out Hearts.
Paper cut-out hearts,
X’s and O’s,
These are the things that truly melt my Valentine heart.
Cheers & Happy Valentine O’s,
Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles (or Cookie Balls if we’re being less “fancy!”).
If you are looking for a simple, sweet, but festive little treat to share with friends or neighbors or with those you love, these little Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles might be just the ticket.
They are so simple to make, but turn out so elegant and delish!
You simply crush red velvet (or your favorite flavor) Oreo cookies in the food processor, mix with a block of cream cheese, and make into balls that you dip into chocolate.
Sprinkles make them even more fun! (always!)
I gave little bags to neighbors with silly notes like “You are a SWEET neighbor” and “We LOVE having you for our neighbors.” I shared others with friends and family. They were a big hit!
Here is the recipe:
Crush oreo cookies in food processor to fine crumbs. Add softened cream cheese and combine until “dough” forms.
Roll dough mixture into approximately 30 one-inch balls. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate. I put mine in a tall, microwave-safe cup for one minute, stir, and then microwave for 30 more seconds.
Dip balls into melted chocolate with a fork, allowing excess to drip. Place on parchment paper. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Allow to set approximately 30 minutes.
Cheers & Hugs,
Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes.
If you are looking for a super special, absolutely rock-your-world delicious treat to bake for your special Valentine(s), look no further thank these amazing Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes!
I have always admired beautiful cupcakes and love those special gourmet ones that have surprise fillings and are extravagantly decorated, but I have never had much success making them.
I had the urge to give it another try yesterday after purchasing some fun sprinkles I was dying to use somehow.
Disclaimer – I have a weird “thing” for sprinkles and buy way more than I ever use! I bought three different kinds of red/pink Valentiney ones and one big container of regular ones. My granddaughter had fun shaking them in the cart while we were shopping!
I found a recipe at RockRecipes.com that I tweaked up a bit. I was so excited with how beautiful and YUMMY they turned out.
When I handed one to Hubby to taste test, I said, “Are you ready to have your world rocked by this?”
He loved it!
Here is how I made them. Hope you give them a try.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Add baking powder and salt, then fold in flour. Finally stir in milk to create batter.
Pour into paper-lined cupcake/muffin pan. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
While cupcakes are baking, prepare raspberry filling by stirring 1 cup raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar in small saucepan. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Dissolve cornstarch in water, and slowly pour into boiling berries. Stir constantly until thickened. Allow to cool.
Prepare frosting by blending together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy consistency.
When cupcakes are cooled, use an apple corer to remove a small section from center of cupcake. Fill with raspberry filling.
Decorate with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles and fresh raspberries if desired.
Cheers & Hugs,
Love & Valentine’s Day
When I was a young girl
and dreamed about love,
it was dreamy and romantic
and dizzying and sweep-away, fairy tale-like.
Now that I’m not such a young girl,
but a woman who has loved
and who has also been loved
for many more years than not…
I know that love
is not just a feeling.
It is an action… It is a verb.
It is a choice, and it is a decision.
It is giving just as much as receiving.
It is safe, and it is secure.
It is not always dreamy and romantic and dizzying,
but it is so much more.
So from the once 16-year old girl
who fell for that 20-year old boy,
I’m so thankful for your love,
and I love you more now than then.
Happy 38th Valentine’s Day!
May we have that many more.
This past weekend, a gang of our bestie couple friends got together to celebrate love and friendship.
My McHendy “sister,’ Jill, and I collaborated to plan what we called “Valentine’s Couple Camp.”
Unfortunately, we missed a year… I guess weddings, babies, life… got us too involved. But when Jill called a couple weeks ago and said we should do another Couples Camp for Valentine’s Day, I was all in and offered to host at our home.
And so we did.
Bubby and Glenn were assigned appetizers, and boy did they rock the theme! Check out all the ways you can make food into hearts!
I created a special “Love Potion” cocktail to toast the beginning of our time together. I mixed 1/3 Grand Marnier Signature Collection No. 2 Raspberry Peach with 2/3 champagne and garnished with a fresh red raspberry. Yum!
Jill is our illustrious “camp” activities director. After a silly group photo,
Jill and I sent the rest of the gang to the bar, while we laid out the all the materials for everyone to create their own “Love Shack” out of chocolate graham crackers and candy (a Valentine gingerbread house of sorts). Everyone was given a flag to name their Love Shack and 20 pennies to distribute into shot glasses after everyone finished and presented their masterpieces to vote on the best.
We had some serious creativity going on. Check it out!
Hubby made his into “Camp Happy Beginning” reminiscent of the early days of love and not having much but feeling like everything is a rainbow …. or something like that… if you can imagine…
Mary made hers into “Mary’s Cozy Cottage” decorated with a comfy couch and chairs and a big colorful outdoor patio…
I was much busier laughing and taking pictures under the guise of “hosting” to focus too much on mine, but came up with this pretty lame “McKinney Love Shack.”
Bubby lovingly created the “McKinney B&B.”
and her Glenn created “Glen’s Gang Bang Getaway.” No explanation here. You can use your own imagination.
Jim cracked us up with his creation. Simple, but with a funny and politically-inspired statement. His “American” themed love shack had three characters involved… “I’m a Russian” on his way to the love shack, “Himalyan” in the love shack, and “He’s a Finnish” leaving the love shack…
Jill’s was a fabulous “Jill’s Sweet Shack” with a candy paved lane.
But Todd stole the show with his outhouse-themed love shack complete with cut out crescent moon doors.
We assigned Mary the entree knowing she would make all of our tummies happy, and she did not disappoint! In fact, we were so into her amazing stuffed shells, meatballs and spare ribs in homemade Italian sauce, I forgot to photograph it! Thankfully, she left a few for us to enjoy for dinner the next day, so I took a quick photo of our leftovers. Which, by the way, tasted just as magnificent! Thanks Mar!
I made a simple salad and sliced up some fresh bread to accompany Mary’s entree,
and we gave another toast to friendship!
I had fun preparing for our guests by tidying up the guest rooms,
including a quick convert of the nursery with an air mattress bed,
and placing heart-shaped Dove Red Velvet Chocolates on pillows.
I set the table with red plates and chocolate heart treats…
and even little heart shaped spoons!
Aren’t they adorable!
I was assigned dessert, so a chocolating I went. You already know about my chocolate-dipped wafer cookies and Ultimate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookies which I had out, but I also made a bouquet of chocolate-dipped strawberries,
and the most amazing and simple No Bake Chocolate Ganache Cookie Crust Tart I saw on another blog.
I’ll share this recipe soon. It is seriously amazing and uses only a couple simple ingredients!
We talked the guys into playing Couples Scattegories and had fun staying up late drinking and talking until later than any of us ever stay up.
Hubby made omelets to order the next morning after we all awoke… later than we usually get up.
What a joy to have such wonderful friends to share time and our home with!
And quoting Jill from last time, I once again share:
“I recommend that all of our friends coordinate a Couple’s Camp weekend. Great fun. Lots of laughter. Many life stories shared. And the realization that life long friends and connections are priceless! So go make some memories!”
Thanks for the memories dear friends!
Cheers & Hugs,
Chocolate Dipped Sugar Wafer Cookies.
Remember those light, crispy, sweet wafer cookies you loved as a child that came in fun colors and flavors? Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, even Peanut Butter… Oh how I loved them!
Grandma would occasionally get them as a special treat, and we would enjoy them as a late night treat on a hot summer night while sitting outside on the swing catching a cool breeze that could not be felt sitting in the overheated non-air conditioned house.
I hadn’t thought about these sugary treats for years, but I recently stopped in a local candy shoppe where they featured a pair of these sweet little cookies dipped in chocolate, sprinkled with colorful sprinkles, and wrapped in cellophane. I couldn’t resist trying – even at the crazy price they were asking… several dollars for two little treats.
Well – OMG – there were delish! And I realized they would be so easy to make! So I found them at my local grocery store, where a whole package of sugar wafer cookies cost a whopping 99 cents!
I dipped them in chocolate, sprinkled them with fun Valentine sprinkles, and I’ll be sharing them with some friends I love dearly this weekend!
Cheers & Hugs,
In love with…
Pink and orange and gold
and dots and lines
and hearts and swirls.
In love with…
Fridays with my little C
and smiles and snuggles
and happy times.
Cheers & Hugs,
Love is in the Air….
Only a few weeks until Valentine’s Day, so time to play with all things lovely and pink and red and hearts and lacy or whatever makes you feel Valentiney.
This card was made for a special someone that requested a “girlie and pretty” card for someone very special to them. I had a lot of fun creating it with that special someone in mind.
For this card, I used the StampinUp Wondrous Wreath that is typically used for Christmas cards, but I made it in shades of pink and gray, added some tiny pearls, and backed it with a lacy doily to make it feminine and delicate and Valentiney.
This week’s Paper Players’s Challenge #PP275 is a CAS Valentine’s card. My card is not quite “clean and simple,” (I’ve created a few more layers than that!) but it is Valentine’s!
Our little corner of the world is bracing for a bit of a snowstorm in the next few days. We will see. No matter the weather – hope you are feeling warm and safe and loved wherever you are.
Remember love is a not only a noun – it is also a verb. It is something we can give as well as receive. And it is in giving that we receive.
Cherish the Moments.
Cheers & Hugs,
I am on my way home to my valentine, and I am leaving behind a dear friend – both who fill my heart to overflowing.
Look forward to sharing more soon.
Cheers & Heartfelt Valentine Hugs,