February 12, 2018

Last year for Valentine’s Day, I treated my sons to a Valentine’s scavenger hunt around the house. They read clues and then ran around the house to find their goodies. They have asked I do the same again this year.

Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. Hearts have always been my favorite shape, and I even chose claret red, fuchsia and gold as our wedding colors.

This year do something extra special for your love bugs. Everyone enjoys a sweet treat made from the heart.

Valentine’s Day Floats

My fourth-grader, Kellan, took part in a Kids in the Kitchen course and had fun making some kid friendly food. This float was one of the favorite things they made. He and another child were in charge of making them for the whole group.

—vanilla ice cream

—Cherry 7-Up

—whipped cream

—maraschino cherries

—straws

Place 2-4 scoops of ice cream into a tall clear glass. Pour 7-Up over ice cream allowing bubbles to settle a bit before adding more. Top with whipped cream and a cherry. Insert straw and serve immediately.

Nutella Cheesecake Dip

Hopefully with the recent Nutella riots in France, you can still get your hands on a jar of this decadent hazelnut spread. Besides spreading it on toast, Nutella is delicious as a dip for fruit or cookies.

—1 cup heavy cream

—1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese

—3 tablespoons powdered sugar

—3/4 cup Nutella

In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate mixing bowl, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Add Nutella and blend until well combined. Add half of the whipped cream and gently fold mixture until nearly blended then add remaining whipped cream and gently fold mixture until well blended. Serve with strawberries, graham cracker sticks, biscotti, or Milano cookies. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Creamy Jell-O Hearts

When I was a teenager I used to make myself a big pan of grape Knox Blox. I’m still a fan of Jell-O especially this creamy finger Jell-O. A colleague brought some for Red, White and Pink Treat Day for Valentine’s Day last year and I have to admit, I snuck a few extra pieces.

—4 small boxes sugar-free Jell-o (strawberry or cherry flavor)

—4 cups boiling water

—2 cups heavy whipping cream

Combine Jell-O and boiling water in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve Jell-O (about 1-2 minutes). Whisk in heavy whipping cream. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan and chill until firm.

Cut into squares or hearts using heart-shaped cookie cutters.