Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Growing up, on Valentine's Day, I used to come to the breakfast table to find red and pink decorated gifts from my mom, and our normal dishes often replaced with pretty heart decorated paper plates. It was so fun to get a new game or puzzle or even a Bonne Bell Lip Smacker (the fat ones - my fave was Dr. Pepper). My mom didn't bake much, but used to buy those super yummy Van de Kamp's heart shaped sugar cookies (anybody remember those?). They were in the bakery section of the market, and were stacked in white paper cupcake liners, uniformly lined up in a rectangle box with a clear top. Oh, they were so buttery and crispy and pure heaven. I know I'm making my sister's mouth water right now. We loved those cookies. Van de Kamp's made them for St. Patrick's day too, and for 4th of July, I believe. Unfortunately, they are long gone now.

I miss my mom, and all the special things she always did. But, this year, my dad gave me a beautiful card, and a box of See's candy. Isn't that sweet? I'm glad he still remembers that he's still my first valentine. :-) Love you, Dad.

I also have fond memories of Valentine's parties in school. Remember those? We kids would be sent outside for an extra playtime, while the "room moms" came like little fairies and set up the room all festive in red and pink and often quite elaborately with streamers and such. When we returned to the classroom, we found our desks with cupcakes, punch, and our little construction paper valentine pouches bursting with unpersonalized store bought valentines that said "dear friend" on the envelope. Once in awhile you would get a special one with a clear red lollipop or a really cheap piece of chocolate. I just remember thinking that Valentine's Day was one of the best days of the whole year.


Anyways, these days I'm the mom and I enjoy giving my family little treats for Valentine's Day to say "I love you." I usually get everyone a small gift, and make a special dessert. This year I put together these easy caramel apples. I might have made them more for myself...but I say they are for my family! I cheated and bought the Kraft wrapped caramels, but they are still good. I just melted the caramels with some half and half, double dipped giant Granny Smith apples, and let them chill a bit. Later, I came back and drizzled dark and white chocolate over them, and sprinkled on a few red non pariels. I think they're rather festive. And, they are a serving of fruit, you know.

Happy Valentine's Day! Enjoy your loved ones on this special day.

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Suzanne DeShong said...

I had totally forgotten about those cookies until today....I totally loved those!!!!! They have all since been replaced with those puffy chemically tasting frosted cookies that taste icky. ): I have to say, your caramel apples were a WAY better Valentine treat anyways!!!!

tari kelley said...

Steven & I LOVE reading thru your blogs and your wonderful creative sharing of all these GREAT receipes!
Steven said tell Karen to invite us over someday for her great food and fellowship! Wink!

The Kelley's