Hot Off the Press: Valentine’s Day Delights

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By Heather Jeffcoat

When I was a child, Valentine’s Day was a much-anticipated holiday. My classmates and I decorated shoeboxes with lots of construction-paper hearts and crayons, and if we were lucky, we got to use glitter. It was the greatest time of the year! The night before Valentine’s Day was filled with selecting special cards for my classmates. I remember thoughtfully considering which card to give to each person. Then using my best handwriting, I would address them with exact preciseness.

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The big day would come, and it was filled with lots of special notes and yummy treats. I, like most kids, especially loved those candy conversation hearts. I would choose which one to eat based on the message stamped on the hard-to-bite confection. What great times!

Now I see that same twinkle in my daughter’s eyes as she spies all the Valentine displays at the stores. In fact, the first week they were put up in our local stores, which seemed like right after January 1, she chose a box of princess cards to give to her classmates. We’ll also make some handmade cards for the grandparents, her daddy, and her brother. Good times with glitter glue, foam stickers, markers, and construction paper are in our future.

As the years went on, Valentine’s Day had its ups and downs for me, but through it all, there was one thing that held me together and that I could count on—chocolate! No matter what, it never failed that I received some type of chocolate from someone, whether it was from my parents, a relative, or a sweet friend. And chocolate makes everything better, right? I know it does in my house.

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To me, it’s not Valentine’s Day without chocolate, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that a wonderful, homemade chocolate dessert is what I adore. As you know, Paula is also a big fan of chocolate, so we created a special feature in our January/February issue with Paula’s unique treats called “Chocolate Love.” Doesn’t that just sound dreamy?

If you want a decadent cake, look no further than the Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Raspberry Frosting. You’ll love its delicate layers covered in a sweet buttercream icing with the just-right amount of raspberry flavor. If you want a lighter option, try Paula’s Chocolate Angel Food Shortcakes with Fresh Berries. The airy cakes soar when paired with sweet fruit and a dollop of whipped cream. I bet you know someone who would love these chocolate delights presented to them come Valentine’s Day.

We’re sure you’ll adore these sweet treats, but be sure to let us know what your favorite chocolate dessert is!

Click here to get a Free Trial Issue of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine!

Heather Martin Jeffcoat recalls an early love of being in the kitchen. It developed from the days of being beside her Grandmother Louise as she cooked for everyone who visited her small-town Alabama home as well as time spent baking with her mother, a Michigan native transplanted to the South after marriage. To this day her mother combines the best of Northern and Southern fare. Heather now spends every spare moment in the kitchen. It’s a way for her to relax and enjoy time with her husband, son, and daughter, who often participate in cooking meals at their home. A love of writing steered Heather into journalism school and then into publishing. After several years working in print and online media, she began freelancing for Cooking With Paula Deen magazine, and she was recently tapped to join the staff full time as the managing editor. She has come to realize that her childhood memories cooking in her grandmother’s and mother’s kitchens, full of love and hospitality, have given her the best education she could have asked for.
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Reader Comments:

54321

the best one i had :D

By crowdshirt1 on February 15, 2014

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I just read about Paula's new deal and it made me so happy. I love just everything about Paula. Book, cooking pots, her shows. I have totally stopped watching Food Network because I no longer see them as ethical and good. You keep bring it Paula because we love you.

By Laura on February 13, 2014

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Just want to say , "I love Jammie and his pure devotion to his wonderful family," You have truly been a hard working ,loving mother. The boys integrity is evidence of your dedication to raising "fine men".

By johnnie calvin on February 08, 2014

54321

delicious

By olivia calvin on February 03, 2014

32121

That's a very interesting story that brings back memories from when I was in elementary school, and I too would pick out special valentines for each fellow peer of mine. Also I still get excited for Valentine's Day because of the yummy treats. Even though I don't like chocolate its still a fun day to eat any sugary thing in sight.

By Sarah W on February 20, 2013

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Paula Deen
Paula Deen
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm