Simple Ways to Show Your Love

February 08, 2013

chicken soup

How about a Valentine's Day for two (or the whole family) that doesn't call for reservations, uber planning or monthly payments? We love to keep it simple.

FOR YOUR FAMILY: Breakfast in bed is always nice and who doesn't love heart-shaped pancakes? Or how about a bowl of heart-shaped comfort food for lunch or dinner? Bear with us for a minute because this sounds fussy, but it's really not. What you're going for here is an assembly-line-style way to create heart-shaped carrots for your favorite chicken soup recipe. Start with a carrot, peeled and trimmed at both ends. Then with a paring knife, cut a triangular notch at the top of the carrot, the full length of the carrot. Hollow out that long trench to create the top of the heart. Then grab your vegetable peeler and shave away the bottom sides with long sweeping peels to create the 'V' point at the bottom. Now every slice is a ready-made heart. And it doesn't have to be perfect. Follow your favorite chicken soup recipe, and add your carrots for a bowl that's truly heartwarming. We've tried this on kids and they love it! Serve with a side of rustic bread, crackers or chips. (Hint: you could also do this with strawberries, kiwi and bananas for a heart-shaped fruit salad.)

pink heart

FOR SOMEONE SPECIAL: A love/like note in long hand or maybe en masse, with construction paper hearts in fun colors. Dedicate each heart to something you love/like about your sweetheart then tuck them into a decorated envelope or mason jar or tape them to a bedroom door or bathroom mirror.

candy hearts

FOR THE SWEET TOOTH: (which is, um, just about anyone, right?): Valentine Pretzel Hugs. You can try any pretzel shape as long as it holds a Hershey® Hug. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Layer a cookie sheet with parchment paper, a layer of pretzels and top each with a Hug. Bake for a few minutes (4-5) until they're soft and shiny, but still in their original shape. Gently add Valentine-colored M&M's® or candy message hearts to spread the warm chocolate. Pop in the fridge for a few minutes to set.

bookmarks

FOR FRIENDS: Create some pretty in pink bookmarks that don't cost a pretty penny. Collect a few color swatch strips from your local hardware store in a range of pinks and reds. Use a round or heart-shaped hole punch to punch a hole in the top and string and knot with a pretty ribbon (you could even add a few beads before you knot the ribbon or twine). Write the date and a Valentine's message on the back. For a special friend, place the marker in a favorite book.

FOR SOMEONE SPECIAL: A hug and a kiss. Like you mean it. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but we're more partial to special moments together. Especially on Valentine's Day. Share the love and enjoy.

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