Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Home
By Véronique Saiya
Yes we have ushered in a new year, but nothing has changed regarding the ever-looming dangers of COVID-19. The idea of take out is often more appealing than the risk of eating out. And babysitters in your sterile home environment might cause you concern even if you could find one. So why not make the best of a less than desirable situation and do something special at home. This year is a great reason to transform Valentine’s Day from a day of romance to a day of love shared with the whole family. Here are some ideas for a fun day:
Channel Your Inner Chocolate Lover
Who doesn’t like rich, decadent chocolate? Truffles are the easiest of candy to make; cream, chocolate, and time is all it takes to whip up an elegant, decadent, and delicious treat everyone in the house will dream about until it’s made again.
Shop for high-quality chocolate, and if you can find it, chocolate that is 62% cacao or higher, makes the best truffle experience. If your kids are old enough, get them involved in creating some of these mouthwatering treats Sunday morning or afternoon as the chocolate needs time to chill. Even toddlers can get in on the action by rolling the chocolate into balls.
Chocolate Cognac Truffles Recipe by The Food Channel
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours, then roll
Yield: Makes 30 or more truffles
18 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet
chocolate (62% cacao or higher), well
chopped into small pieces
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 pinch of salt
2 Tbs unsalted butter at room temperature
1 Tsp of vanilla extract
2 Tbs cognac or optional base flavor
Optional base flavorings:
Mint leaves (1 bunch, stems removed,
chopped, about 1 cup)
Cinnamon and cardamon (1 cinnamon
stick, 2 cardamom pods)
Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
Almond extract (1 teaspoon)
Roll your chocolate in a plate of either:
Cocoa powder or finely chopped nuts
1) Place chocolate (chopped or chips)
into a mixing bowl.
2) Heat the heavy cream to a strong boil,
pour over chocolate and mix until
3) Add the Cognac or alternate base and
vanilla and blend well.
4) Add the butter and stir just a few times.
place into the refrigerator and let set for
3 or 4 hours. You might have to let it
warm up a bit to form the truffles.
5) Using a small spring action ice-cream
scoop, teaspoon, or melon baller, make
equal portion sizes about the size of a
6) Using the palms of your hands, roll
into smooth balls, then roll them in a
plate covered with cocoa or nuts.
7) If you’re not going to eat them later
place in sealed Tupperware and refrigerate.
To pull the recipe up on your phone visit:
Fill a Jar with Your Loving Thoughts
Repurpose or buy some mason jars. You’ll need one jar for each household member.
Each family member’s name gets placed on a jar lid that will become their sweet gift.
Cut out enough tiny hearts that leave enough room for written phrases. Then each family member writes 14 things they love about each person in the family and places these notes written on folded paper strips into the person’s jar whom they wrote about. Ultimately each family member will have a jar filled with 10 sweet affirmations from each family member that they can treasure forever.
Make use of an old box and use it to house favorite family memories. Invite your family to write down treasured memories and contribute other small sorts of memorabilia too. Children even young ones can contribute the memories that mean the most to them, and no one ever tires of hearing stories from when they were younger. Make plans to spend time together on Valentine’s Day going through the box and discussing some of the best times you have shared as a family.
Each family member creates and gives a coupon that is redeemable for whatever they can do that the recipient might like. Maybe it’s a dreaded chore that you could do for them, or maybe it’s special time together doing an activity they like. The ideas are only as limited as your imagination. Redeemable on 2021 weekends. #