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

54321

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

54321

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, 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
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