2.05.2010

Favorite Things Friday-Valentine Favorites!


I love this weeks theme!!
VALENTINE TRADITION
Since my scanner doesn't work, I will not have a picture for this one! Zach and Ashley will probably be very happy about that! When our kids were younger, we began a Valentine Tradition. Little did they know at the time, but we started it to teach them about different elements of etiquette. To start off, I sent them an invitation requesting their presense at a Valentine Dinner. This invitation included a R.S.V.P. Lesson #1: I am amazed at how many people when they receive an invitation don't respond when a R.S.V.P. is requested! (Grr...pet peeve! If you are on the hostess end of the invitation, you realize how important it is to know how many to plan for!!! Okay I will now step off my soap box now!) On the night of the dinner, I set the table using our china and crystal and more than one fork! We have a very nice meal, including several courses which was fun for the family (I know, big surprise, I don't do that every night!!) but it also gave us a chance to talk through in a casual way which fork was used for what, etc. The sweetest memory of this year was I stated on the invitation to dress up! Ashley was about in the 4th grade and she spent a good hour in her room after school, trying to figure out what to wear. She took it seriously! She looked so cute, I think she thought being dressed up meant you had to come dressed in Valentine colors! So, she was decked out in red and white! So sweet!!! Each year after that, the kids looked forward to our special dinner. I didn't always use the china, some years it was much more casual such as a pizza bar and games. I always made invitations, which they loved getting it and the anticipation of what that year's dinner would be like. Larry and I would always try to go out to eat for Valentines as a couple but we found that Valentines weekend was so crazy and it was much more fun to spend it at home with the kids and do our date later! We tried very hard when the kids were growing up, to sit down for an evening meal together. I think this is such an important element for a healthy family. Sitting around the table, sharing a meal but more importantly hearing about each other's day, etc. really knits a family together. Our Valentine Dinner was just a time to really go all out on the decorations, meal, etc. BUT please understand I didn't spend big bucks on it...because we were on a very tight budget.

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake & The Knights all time favorite icing

This first time I made this cake was when I was dating Larry in high school. I cooked him a meal on Valentines and set up a little table for two in my parents formal living room. I fixed him pork chops, potatoes, salad, bread and Red Velvet Cake. So this tradition has been around a while!! The cake is a pretty standard recipe, but the icing is very different than most icing on Red Velvet Cakes. Most recipes call for a cream cheese icing, however our family LOVES this very easy and light icing. It is a great icing for any cake!

My Red Velvet Cake Recipe
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy and then add eggs one at a time and beat well.
2 Tablespoons of cocoa
1 small bottle red food coloring
Make a paste with the cocoa and food coloring and then add to above mixture.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 ounces of water
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Sift flour, salt and soda. Add alternately with buttermilk and water to above mixture until well blended.
Then add vanilla and vinegar last and beat gently.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
I spray my pans with Pam. This batter will fill two 9 inch round cake pans or three if pans are smaller.
Let cool for a few minutes then turn on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Knight's Favorite Frosting
1-small package of INSTANT Pie and Pudding Mix. I use either White Chocolate or French Vanilla for this cake
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cold milk
1-8 ounce container of Cool Whip
Combine pudding mix, sugar and milk-beating with a mixer on low until blended.
Let stand for at least 5 minutes
Fold in cool whip and ice cake.
This is a very "loose" frosting but once you get your cake iced you will in the refrigerator and it will set up more.
Store in refrigerator.
Yummy. Larry could eat this stuff straight out of the bowl!! He is for sure around to lick the beaters when I make this!

Last year on someone's blog (sorry, I don't remember who!) I found this recipe for Red Velvet Moon Pies. I used the above icing in the center and kept them in the refrigerator. Let me just say that my husband went NUTS over them!

1 Box red velvet cake mix
1/2 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 Eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ingredients until combined.
Drop spoonfuls of cookie batter onto baking sheet about two inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Filling (this is the recipe they suggested. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE cream cheese, just not on our R.V.Cake!)
1/2 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 8 oz. Package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1lb. Box of confectioner's sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
In a mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
Gradually add sugar and mix until smooth.
Makes about 24 cookies or 12 cookie sandwiches.

Craft:
If you know me at all, you love I LOVE cards! I could spend hours in a good card shop, love a good Hallmark store, etc. Several years ago however I vowed to myself that at Valentines I would make all my cards. It just seemed like a perfect time to be creative and it also brings back so many fun memories of school crafts...especially making our Valentine "mailboxes"! I am afraid schools don't get to have as much fun craft time as we did growing up! Larry is not really into crafts, but he loves getting my homemade cards! Last weekend, I set up shop and got all my cards made for this year, but of course I can't show them on my blog! If you know us very well, you know that we are always working on a craft! Several years ago, Ashley, Meg and I made these Valentine banners. So fun and so easy!!! For those of you who say you can't sew...don't freak out! There is very little sewing involved and you could do this with a glue gun or fabric glue if you so choose. It was really easy! Trust me, my sewing abilities are limited, but one thing I have found that is so fun is working with wool felt. Felt is so forgiving AND wool felt doesn't stretch out of shape and is fun to work with!


Last year we had the grandsons over and sent Zach and Meg off on a date! We helped the boys make cards for their parents, dipped marshmellows in chocolate and sprinkles and played games. Here are a few pictures of last years fun...we are already making plans for this year, but I will blog about that later!





About Me

I am blessed to have an incredible husband, two sweet "kids", Zach and Ashley who both have spouses, Meg & David that are truly an answer to our prayers. 5 adorable and precious grandchildren, Owen, Clay, Will, Emma Grace and Hudson. So, as you can see...God has been very good to us!

Check it out! This is our sweet daughter, Ashley's new business!

Snowbird Design