Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Valentine's Day

Be Mine, Valentine?

Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays!

Even when I was a single lady I loved it.

I just *love* feeling all of the LOVE in the for significant others, family, friends, and most importantly the love relationship with our Savior.  After all, God is LOVE!

No matter who you are, you have some love to celebrate!

Now I know a lot of people just think it is a commercialized holiday that companies use to make excessive amounts of money for people to take a day and celebrate their love, but I’m just not one of those people.  I’m a sucker for all of the red, pink, purple lovey-dovey hearts and teddy bears everywhere.
I like it.  :)
So I guess I’ll just get on with things and tell you what I’m making my honey for Valentine’s Day.  I’m making my Preacher Man some yummy food because that is what he likes.  And I kinda like it, too.  And also, let me just say that if our families lived closer to us I would invite them all over for dinner as well!
On the menu:
Pioneer Woman’s Lasagna
Garlic Cheese Bread
Valentine’s Day Heart Cake (made every year at V-Day)
Chocolate Covered Strawberries (even though P.M. doesn’t like them)
I’ve already whipped up the cake and strawberries today, so here’s a peek and the recipes at how everything turned out.
First, Valentine’s Day Heart Cake.

Why, yes!  That is a boxed cake mix!  These are two of Preacher Man's favorite things!
Boxed cake mixes are my friend.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!  I think that if you use a box cake mix and put a homemade frosting on the cake it tastes like a million bucks! 
For my Heart cake, I used a Funfetti cake mix and Homemade Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.
EXCEPT….I sort of added pink food coloring to the cake mix.  Isn’t it lovely? 

Just make the box cake mix according to the instructions and if you’re up for adding a color, go for it!
I ended up making 4 heart cakes total and stacking each cake on top of one another to make a gigantic heart cake. Each cake was pretty thin, but it made for an amazing stack cake.  Here is the pan that I used.

I got this pan at Target the first year that Preacher Man and I started dating.
The frosting I used was fabulous on top!  Such fluffy, creamy, sugary divineness. 
Here’s the line-up for the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 stick margarine, butter, or oleo (whatever you have on hand or prefer to call it)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1.      Let cream cheese and butter come to room temperature before you begin to combine the ingredients.
2.     Once they are both soft, go ahead and cream them together in a large mixer on medium-high speed.
3.    Slowly add in your powdered sugar one cup at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl for flying powdered sugar.
4.    Once the sugar is incorporated, add in your vanilla.
5.    Whip the frosting on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes.  This makes the frosting so fluffy and glorious!  Just look at it below:

Who wants to stick their face in there with me?  YUM!!!
Here is the finished product of the cake…..


I really like how it turned out.  And if you’re intrigued at how I got all of those hearts on there with the sprinkles….here is the trick to that:

I just used a Heart shaped cookie cutter and a wooden skewer to help spread the sprinkles around the cookie cutter.
Take a look at the inside of this baby:
It was so moist and wonderful!
And can I just say one mushy thing?
There are seven hearts on my cake.  Please count….

Seven hearts for seven months of marriage to my hubby!  :)  Love!
Ok, on to the Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
All you need is Strawberries and well, CHOCOLATE! 
I like to use the Almond Bark Chocolate that you can melt in the microwave because it is very user friendly.
Start out by washing your gorgeous strawberries that were Buy One, Get One FREE at the grocery store! 

I think the best way to wash strawberries is to use a damp kitchen towel and rub each one individually.  It really helps in getting some of the fuzz off and you avoid watering them down if you put them under the faucet.
Next, melt your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments.
Note:  You definitely want to use a smaller, deeper bowl so that the strawberry will have plenty of chocolate to go for a swim in.
Getting ready to go dunking……

The finished product…..

And then on a pretty plate.

These were delicious!  So fancy, rich, and delightful!  AND not to mention, MUCH cheaper to make yourself than buying them and way more thoughtful too.

  You should try these yummy sweets today!
Happy Valentine’s Day to my Preacher Man—I love you so much  and am so blessed to have you as my Valentine!
Go enjoy your Valentine’s Day and tell someone you LOVE them!  :)
Love, The Preacher’s Wife

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