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Tag Archive | "Valentines Day"

Bite-Sized Valentine’s Day treats get to the heart of the holiday


VAL-Recipe

(Family Features) Nothing says “I love you” on Valentine’s Day more than heart-shaped, homemade treats. This year, try individual treats to make each gift recipient feel extra special. You’ll love the fact that they are simple to create.

“Though small in size, mini-treats deliver a big message to all of the Valentines on your list,” said Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. “Decorating these treats is quick and easy thanks to Candy Melts Candy – a pantry staple for any decorating project.”

With a little help from Wilton you can bake to your heart’s desire this Valentine’s Day.

We Heart Valentine’s Day – Hearts are by far the top shape of the season. From giant heart-shaped cookie pans to cookie cutters to Heart Pop pans, Wilton has a variety of bakeware options.

A Sweet Heart for Your Sweetheart – Create mini cakes, brownies or cookies with the Bite Sized Heart Dessert Shell pan. Once cooled, drizzle with red, pink and white colored Candy Melts candy for the perfect personalized heart-shaped treat.

Homemade Box of Chocolates – Make your own candies using shaped Candy Molds. Choose between hearts, lips, flowers and more. Fill the mold with the Candy Melts candy, color and flavor of your choice, and watch as you melt the hearts of your Valentines.

Give a Little Love – Valentine’s Day is a top gift-giving holiday. Give your made-from-the-heart homemade treats the gourmet treatment with festive packaging like heart-shaped boxes, colorful gift bags and brightly colored baking cups.

For more Valentine’s Day recipes, baking tips and gift inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.

 

Chocolate Heart Petit Fours

Makes about 40 mini cakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, softened

2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

extract

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup peanut butter,

chocolate fudge ice cream topping or cherry pie filling

2 containers (14 ounces each) Choco- late or Vanilla Icing Glaze (optional)

Jumbo hearts sprinkles (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 24 cavity bite-sized heart dessert shell pan with Cake Release pan coating.

In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract; beat until well combined. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in three additions, beating until just combined. Spoon one tablespoon batter into each pan cavity.

Bake 9-11 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back when touched. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Cool completely on cooling grid.

To decorate, place cakes on cooling grid with cookie pan below. Pipe 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter, chocolate fudge or cherry pie filling into shell; fill only to top of cavity. If desired, warm glaze according to package instructions; carefully pour over shell and tap pan to smooth. If desired, add jumbo hearts sprinkles.

 

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3 easy steps to sweeten someone’s Valentine’s Day


VAL-3-easy-stepsCreative gift solutions offer a simple way to show you care

 

(BPT) – Nearly everyone has more than one special person in their life. Whether it’s a neighbor who lets the dog out, the friend who watches the kids in a pinch or a colleague who makes Mondays a little more bearable, loved ones make our days better. A simple thank you or a small thank you gift can go a long way in showing those people just how much you appreciate them.

A recent survey revealed that most people do have multiple “loves” in their lives. In fact, significant others aren’t the only ones who get Valentine’s Day gifts these days. This survey, which was commissioned by Rich Products, a leading provider to foodservice, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces, showed that Valentine’s Day now extends way beyond that one special person. Forty four percent of people said that they purchase gifts for multiple people on Valentine’s Day. When asked to identify their “other loves,” friends were at the top of the list; and surprisingly, among their favorite gifts were fresh baked goods ranging from cookies, cupcakes and other sweet treats. -

So to sweeten your relationships all year round, small thank you gifts are both welcomed and appreciated. And keep in mind it’s not the size of the gift that matters. Survey results show that good things come in small, personalized packages.

Give the gift of deliciousness.

To get started, remember showing your appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive and time consuming. Gifts can be purchased on your weekly (or daily) trip to the grocery store then personalized and decorated with things that you have around the house. You can stock up on these inexpensive supplies at your local craft store.

Here are some simple, low-cost steps to show someone you care:

Step 1: Visit the bakery department in your local grocery store for a variety of fresh and delicious options. From frosted cookies, to cinnamon rolls, cupcakes and doughnuts, you’ll find a treat to please everyone on your list – and there’s no baking involved.

Step 2: Personalize each gift by selecting a baked good and using basic art or wrapping supplies (think ribbon spools and tissue paper leftover from Christmas) that you have around the house to dress up your gifts.

Step 3: Attach a personalized, handwritten note on a piece of construction paper or cardstock. Cut the paper to size, punch a hole to thread a ribbon through and tie it to your gift.

Other ideas for a quick and easy do-it-yourself ways to dress up your gift:

* Homemade gift bags: Cut hearts out of construction paper and glue onto a lunch bag.

* Decorative plates: Find inexpensive, seasonal or colored ceramic plates at your local discount store and wrap with cellophane and a bow.

* Sweet surprise: Grab a small gift box, place some tissue inside, add your selected baked good and tie with a colored bow. Make sure that the baked good is secure in the box. You don’t want it to crumble.

For more simple and creative gifting and packaging ideas, visit the Bakery Because Pinterest board at www.pinterest.com/bakerybecause.

 

 

 

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Time to pucker up! LAST CHANCE TO ENTER – deadline Feb. 3


2013 Best Lips winner, Leah Almy

2013 Best Lips winner, Leah Almy

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and that means it’s time for some fun at the Post. As always, we want to know who has the most luscious lips in Cedar Springs—male or female! Show us your lips by entering our 21st annual “Best Lips” contest by February 3. We’re going to let YOU—the readers—decide who wins! We will print the finalists in our paper on Thursday, February 6. Then readers will go online to our website to vote for who they think should win. Winners will be announced in our February 13 edition. Click link below for details.

 

BestLips2014.pdf

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Sweeten Up Valentine’s Day the Red Velvet Way


 

_VAL-Red-Velvet

(Family Features) Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show someone how much you care. Whether you want to say “xoxo” to family or “be mine” to a new Valentine, red velvet is the flavor that says it best.

“Amid a sea of pink holiday confections, red velvet stands alone with its vibrant hue and rich taste. It has a unique flavor that is not quite vanilla and not quite chocolate,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “Red velvet is also surprisingly versatile, inspiring a range of creative presentations, from creamy hot chocolate to decadent breakfast pancakes to cream-filled cupcakes. Simply said, people love it.”

These Red Velvet Brownie Conversation Hearts are a perfect project for the whole family. You can easily vary the number of drops of red food color to make icing in every shade, from puppy-love pink to ravishing rose. Add the final sweet touch with edible words of love. For a simplified version, glaze the brownie hearts and decorate with red and pink sprinkles.

For colorful images and instructions on how to create more festive sweet treats like these, visit www.McCormick.com or www.Facebook.com/MccormickSpice. Visit the “Red Velvet, My Way” board at www.Pinterest.com/McCormickSpices to find inspiration for a personalized take on red velvet.

 

Red Velvet Brownie Conversation Hearts

Makes about 24 servings | Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

1 package (family-size) fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 bottle (1 ounce) McCormick Red Food Color
8 cups confectioners’ sugar (2 pounds)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
McCormick Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye
Decorating gel or 1 ounce white baking chocolate

Prepare brownie mix as directed on package with sour cream, eggs and red food color. Spoon batter in greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Bake and cool and directed on package. Cut out cooled brownie with heart-shaped cookie cutters. Place brownies on wire rack set over baking sheet.
For the icing, mix confectioners’ sugar, water and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat until sugar is melted, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla. Tint with desired food color. Spoon or pour icing over top and sides of brownies. (If icing becomes too stiff, gently reheat to pouring consistency.) Let stand until icing is set. Use decorating gel to write on brownies. Or melt white chocolate as directed on package. Pour into small resealable plastic bag. Snip off a tiny piece of the corner. Squeeze chocolate through hole in plastic bag to write on brownies.

Test Kitchen Tip: For easy clean-up, line pan with foil with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Use foil handles to remove brownie from pan. Place on cutting board and cut out with cookie cutters.

Easy Pink Frosting: Brownie may frosted with Easy Pink Frosting instead of prepared icing. Stir 6 drops desired McCormick Assorted Food Color & Egg Dye into 1 container (16 ounces) white frosting until well blended. Add additional drops of food color until desired shade is reached. Spread on cooled brownie. Cut out with heart-shaped cookie cutters.

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Free spay and neuter services for all cat adoptions


Chocolate and candy can make you fat, celebrate this Valentine’s Day by saying “I love you.” with a cat! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, The Kent County Health Department is offering free spay and neuter services for all cat adoptions, for one week only. This offer, valued at up to $70, is free.
This program is a partnership between Vicky’s Pet Connection (VPC) and the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS). VPC and KCAS have been teaming up, providing services to help find homes for adoptable pets since 2000. Vicky’s Pet Connection is a non-profit animal rescue group, established in 1998, that has agreed to pay the spay/neuter fee on all adopted cats. Typically, male cat neutering fee is $55 and a female cat spay fee is $70; however for this coming week, it will be free. This ultimately lowers the adoption price to only $50, which covers a feline leukemia/FIV test, RCPC vaccination and a microchip ID implant.
“We are proud of our community partnership with Vicky’s Pet Connection and this program is a great initiative to help our homeless cats find loving homes,” said Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent Count Health Department. “Most important, spaying and neutering your cat is part of responsible pet ownership, and it helps cats live longer and healthier lives.”
The free spay and neuter services for cat adoptions runs from Monday, February 14th through Saturday, February 19th. The event will take place at the Kent County Animal Shelter, located at 740 Fuller Ave., NE. Adoption hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday.
To search adoptable cats at the Kent County Animal Shelter please visit Petfinder.com. For more information about Vicky’s Pet Connection, please visit: www.vickyspetconnection.org. or the Critter Cottage at 7205 Thornapple River

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