Valentine’s Day could easily be the most cringe-worthy holiday of all (for most men anyway). I mean, let’s face it. How many of any of us really want to jump at the chance to spend $4.99 on a cheesy card for such an overly commercialized holiday such as this one anyways? The candy and card companies are just coming off of their post-holiday high only to reel in yet another extremely profitable day – cue Cupid’s arrow any minute now.
There are lines at the cinemas, flower shops, and restaurants, and I know many savvy couples that actually go out to V-day dinner a few days before or after the big day only so they won’t have to fight the crowds and confusion. Smart folks. I, too, choose to keep things a little less fussy so we simply eat at home skipping all the materialized drama of it all. I’ve even threatened my husband, Andrew, that if he ever comes home with a $75 bouquet of roses again, I will ring his neck, so he now takes the more adventurous route and picks his own flowers (off the side of the road). He’s a true catch, that man! But the holiday isn’t about the cards or the candy or the roses. It’s more about taking the time to show those you love how much they mean to you – whether it is your spouse, father, grandmother, or children.
This year, it’s all about the children! I’m using this day full of hearts and all things pink and red to focus on the littlest love in my life. So, instead of store-bought goodies, we are making our own Valentines treats to share with you all. Hope you enjoy this not-so-commercialized, kid-friendly version of Valentine’s Day as much as we do!
I picked up heart-shaped cookie and fondue (smaller size) cutters at our local craft store for half-off (look for those coupons in the paper), and I should warn you. Heart-shaped EVERYTHING takes place in my kitchen on V-day!
Heart-shaped French Toast
This is a super easy recipe to prepare with the kids. Cut large heart shapes out of the bread and make French Toast as usual. It’s a great way to get your children involved in the cooking process and excited about the day ahead! Would be great with pancakes too!
1/2 C milk, butter for pan.
Mix the egg and milk, and dip the bread into the egg wash until fully covered. Cook on stovetop about 1-2 mins each side.
Heart-shaped Fruit Kabobs
These are a hit with kids of all ages, but like the French toast, kids love to participate. Let them help you cut out the hearts in the fruit and slide them on the wooden sticks. These are great for a picnic in the summertime too!
Melon! I used watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe.
Cut the melon large enough for the cookie cutter. Cut out shapes and add to the sticks. Voila!
Zucchini boats and French bread pizza with, you guessed it, heart-shaped pepperonis!
3 zucchinis, gutted with spoon. Save the spooned-out portion.
Half small onion, finely chopped.
Half of a tomato, chopped.
Pepperonis – use small heart-shaped fondue cutter to cut out shapes.
Preheat oven to 400. Sauté onions with spooned-out portion of zucchini. Add tomato. On a baking sheet, spoon the sautéed veggies back into the zucchini boats. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Add pepperoni hearts. Bake for 20 minutes.
Frozen (heart-shaped) banana bites
These. Are. Delicious! You could really use any fruit large enough to cut-out with shapes, but frozen, chocolate covered bananas? Heaven!
3 or 4 bananas, sliced length-wise. Cut out hearts.
Almost a cup full of milk chocolates
2 spoonful of peanut butter.
Heat the chocolate and peanut butter until melted. I added a little milk to speed up the melting process.
Dip banana hearts into chocolate mixture and spread out on parchment paper.
Drizzle remaining chocolate over all. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Freeze for at least 2 hours, 10 to 12 hours preferably. This is a decadent treat for kids of all ages! Enjoy!
Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm
Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am
I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am
Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm