Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

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I am not super in to the holiday aspect of Valentine’s Day, sure Nick and I will go to dinner if we have the time and a babysitter, but we try to do it a week before or after Valentine’s Day. We also don’t really do gifts. Maybe something small if we see something that we think would be perfect, but other than that it’s just a normal day with a more special meal at home.

BAKING

The first gift idea is something homemade, I love this Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe, it isn’t fast and should be done the night before, but it is decadent and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

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A few other of my favorite recipes are these Intense Chocolate Brownies or Conversation Heart Brownies. These are bit easier and you can make them the day of! You can share this with all of your loved ones and even have your kids help make the treats!

BOOKS

I always get B a little gift or two, this year I got him a Dr. Suess board book. He loves books and I love ones that expand his knowledge, but we still aren’t at the age where he doesn’t understand that you can’t rip out all the pages of a book.


CRAFT BEER OR WINE

IMG_2805There are a lot of stores near us that sells individual bottles of beer or half bottles of wine and champagne. I personally love champagne, but I hardly drink it because I am usually drinking it and everyone else is drinking beer and I can’t drink an entire bottle. Or Nick wants beer but I don’t want to buy a six pack because it will sit in our fridge for awhile.  Pairing a nice meal with a wine or beer you love is a great idea, and being able to get a single serving is a plus.

HOMEMADE

If you have no time or the funds to do anything, a homemade card is always a winner. Showing someone you love them is always appreciated, no matter what day it is!

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day gift?

Year of Baking: Bake It In A Cupcake’s Conversation Heart Brownie Bites

Don’t forget today’s the last day to enter the FitnessGlo giveaway!

For Valentine’s Day I made a pretty luxurious meal — at least in terms of our weekday meals. I made bacon wrapped filet’s and roasted brussels sprouts, asparagus and baby red & purple potatoes. I apologize in advance for the photos, I forgot to take photos in the daytime and I ended up taking them when the sun was setting.

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For dessert I went with your typical valentines dessert — chocolate.

A friend from college sent me a link to the Bake It In Cupcake blog a few years ago when I started blogging. I have pinned a ton of the recipes and this year Nick bought me her book.

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There were two Valentine’s themed recipes in book, and getting a heart in a cupcake seemed a little complicated…so I went with option two, Conversation Heart Brownie Bites – but since I decided last minute the store I went to was out of conversation hearts, so I picked up a bottle of white, red & pink jimmies (or sprinkles from you non-New Englanders). I also only had one mini-muffin pan and you need two for this recipe, so I made muffin size brownies.

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Ingredients

4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, broken or chopped into small pieces
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup conversation heart candies, plus more for garnish

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Line 2 miniature muffin tins with paper liners
3. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds
4. Stir and microwave for 45 more seconds
5. Continue to stir the butter & chocolate until the chocolate is melted
6. Using a wooden spoon stir in the sugar — it will be thick and grainy and the sugar should be evenly distributed
7. Stir in the eggs in one at a time until the mixture is smooth
8. Add the salt & vanilla and stir for 20 seconds
9. Last – stir in the flour, until just combined — do not over stir.
10. Use a 1-inch cookie scoop and spoon the batter into the muffin tin cups so they are about 3/4 full.
11. Press a few of the candy hearts into the top of each brownie, with the words facing up, do not cover them.
12. Bake for 20 minutes or until the brownies have set
13. Allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack

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Notes

I used one regular size muffing tin for 12 brownies, I also used semi-sweet chocolate because I did not have unsweetened chocolate (even thought I did not — whoops).

The brownies turned to be very sweet but not too bad, I also felt like it would have been fine with just one stick of butter, I felt like the butter taste was very strong.

What I did love was the that the brownie was nice and chewy on the outside but nice and soft on the inside. Next time I would definitely make them in a mini tin since the large size was a bit much. As much as I loved these, the Flour brownies are still my favorite though.

Check out more great eats on Jenn’s site for WIAW


I love love

Just when we thought the moths were gone, after we cleaned everything and left our pantry empty, we saw a moth last night while watching tv. Is it coincidental that as soon as we put all our food, in airtight canisters mind you, back in the pantry, we see one? I don’t know. I am hoping they came from another condo and we can do another solid clean of our entire place and evacuate them once and for all. This is possibly one of the most frustrating things we have ever dealt with.

Since baking will probably still be sparse, because I don’t want to keep a ton of sweets and baking materials around for the moths to get into. I am going to turn this blog into a more personal/baby blog.

But I will not dwell on the frustrating, today is a day of love. I decided to share with you some of the love in my life, in pictures :). Enjoy.

My husband, Nick, and I, in college, before we started dating:
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A few photos of Nick and I through the years:

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Nick, Maria (Nick’s sister) and I during our college years:
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Some of my best friends from college:
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At our first friends wedding, we are starting to grow up!
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Nick’s Graduation:
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My Graduation:
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A Trip to Greece to visit Nick’s family:
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Our wedding:
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my husband has some sweet moves
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Girlfriends are a necessity:
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Traveling with my family:
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Getting my MEd!
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And our love of Baseball!
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