Tag Archives: sweet treat

Valentine’s Day Chocolate

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Valentine’s Day Chocolate

Hello everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day! Last week, I spent a wonderful free afternoon making chocolate with my mother-in-law. This was the second time I have made chocolate with Johnny’s mom and it was even more fun and satisfying than I remember from our Christmas candy session. Johnny finally brought home the end results of our handiwork this past weekend and our Valentine’s Day chocolate came out perfectly, if I do say so myself! Check it out:

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Making your own chocolate can be as easy or intricate as you would like it to be. You can take your time and paint details into the molds or you could simply pour the melted chocolate in and call it a day. Johnny’s mom and I did a healthy combination of both methods and the most time consuming project was definitely the pretzel rods. The molds took forever to paint but they turned out so nice that I wasn’t complaining! They were also freaking delicious and are my favorite creation from the batch. 😀

Johnny’s mom is no stranger to making chocolate and used to have her own small candy business with a friend. And, I’m sure if she wanted to, she could open her own candy shop now with her stockpile of chocolate wafers, molds, and supplies. I was surprised to learn that all of her chocolate making gear comes from Mr. Bulky’s, which is a bulk candy store in our area, as the name suggests lol. I had no idea that her craft was so attainable and affordable and it makes me want to go out and buy my own supplies. However, I would much rather spend more time making chocolates together with Johnny’s mom, instead! ❤

I am insanely proud of how my chocolate came out and I am so looking forward to making Easter chocolate at chez in-laws next month. We will also have a special guest because my niece, Val Gal, is going to join us. I can’t wait for her to take part in the chocolate making fun too!

What is your favorite kind of candy? What kind of chocolate do you prefer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Chocolate Making Fun

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Chocolate Making Fun

Hello!! Last Thursday, I spent what felt like my first free-ish afternoon in forever making homemade chocolate with my mother-in-law. It was SO much fun! Johnny’s mom is amazing at making chocolate and used to have her own small candy business with a friend. We made Christmas chocolates together a few years ago and had plans to do the same this past holiday season. Unfortunately, both of Johnny’s parents came down with a nasty bout of the flu so we opted for Valentine’s Day candy, instead. Take a look at some of my chocolate creations:

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When I got to my in-laws after a short shift, Johnny’s mom had all of our supplies ready to go. The chocolate wafers were melting, paintbrushes of every size were procured, and a crazy amount of V-Day molds were in place to make confectionery magic. It had been a while since I tried my hand at making chocolate and, I admit, I was a bit nervous that I had lost my touch. However, I forgot just how easy making chocolate actually is and quickly picked up where we left off the last time.

To start, I decided to make some lollipops while my MIL made salted caramel hearts filled with caramel that I can’t freaking wait to try!! I began with the smaller molds that had the “Love” and heart details. I painted in the small parts of the mold with a tiny brush and colored chocolate, then let it harden in the fridge for a minute or two. Afterwards, all that was left was to add the stick, fill the remainder of the mold with melted chocolate, and stick it back in the fridge. And voila! Once it hardens, you have a handmade chocolate sucker. 😀

I had so much fun with the lollies that I wanted to make more and did the big hearts with roses next. Then, Johnny’s mom suggested that I make the chocolate boxes so we could fill them with little chocolate hearts. While I painted the lids, my MIL made tons of itty bitty hearts to make what I think of as a chocolate treasure chest. I am so excited to give my niece one for a Valentine’s Day surprise!

Although I had free time that afternoon, I was still on a bit of a time crunch and we concluded our time together by making pretzel rods. This was pretty tedious because the molds were quite intricate and required a lot of painting. I just know they are going to turn out adorable, though, with painted on white, light pink, hot pink, and red hearts. I love everything about making chocolate but I can live without waiting until seeing the end result lol.

I had such a blast with my mother-in-law and we already have our sights set on an Easter candy making session. I am even bringing my niece, Val Gal, to join in and I am so looking forward to it! ❤

Have you ever made chocolate before? What is your favorite kind of candy? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TT & Val Day

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TT & Val Day

Hello!! At three and a half years old, I thought this winter would be the perfect time to teach my niece, Val, how to ice skate. For a long time, Val used to say that skating would be “too scary” and didn’t want to try it – and that was totally fine! This winter, however, she said that she would like to learn and I had grand plans of taking her to an outdoor rink in Cuyahoga Falls this past Tuesday afternoon. To both of our disappointment, the rink was closed (Naturally) on our treat day but that didn’t stop us from having lots of fun together anyways!

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^^^ That last picture. 🙂 The taste of sweet success!

After informing my sister that skating wasn’t going to happen, I told her that I would just watch Val at my parents’ house for the afternoon. Kristen let me know that Val had little wooden bird boxes to paint and has also been wanting to bake brownies and I thought that sounded like a great time! As soon as Val arrived, we got to work on painting and she did so awesome. She finished most of an entire bird house by herself but then got distracted by our dog, Archie, so TT and Momo had to finish things up lol. We decided that the bird houses are probably too small for birds but will be perfect for fairies and butterflies. ❤

Once our group effort masterpieces were done, it was time to make some brownies and Val was very excited. She loves to help her mom bake and they are constantly bringing cupcakes and cookies to my parents and me and Johnny. For our baking process, literally all I did was measure out the liquid ingredients and Val did everything else. She poured the ingredients, cracked the egg, mixed the batter, and filled up the pan by the spoonful all by herself. I was so impressed!!

While our brownies baked and cooled, Val wanted to lay down so we watched a few episodes of Paw Patrol to recharge. That really did the trick because after resting we had brownies to frost and sprinkle. For this, all I did was dollop the frosting on the brownies and showed her how to spread it with a spatula and she was a quick study in this too. After Val perfectly applied rainbow sprinkles to our bakery, I asked her what she wanted to do next and she said “Eat the brownies!”. Lol, that was very easily arranged and I could tell that she was so proud of her hard work. 🙂

Even though our TT and Val day didn’t go accordingly to our original plan, we still had the best day together. I love my lil BFF so much! ❤

How old were you when you started playing a sport? What is your favorite sweet treat? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Accessory Story: Larioseta Scarf Edition

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Accessory Story: Larioseta Scarf Edition

Hello!! I had many a birthday gift card for TJMaxx burning a hole in my pocket and I was so happy to go shopping with a new friend to spend them. We had the best time and each had a haul worth blogging about! As always, I wanted to be able to find some new tops. And, as always, that was a total bust lol. However, I did find lots of other goodies starting with this gorgeous silk scarf by Larioseta:

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From necklaces and purses to shoes and scarves, I love accessories. I am a huge fan of scarves and have several in my collection but none as good enough to eat looking as my new Larioseta one! I saw this darling donut patterned scarf from aisles away and just had to hurry over to snag it because it was the only one there. It reminded me so much of my favorite Popsicle print silk scarf by BCBG and I had to have it. Clearly, I have a fondness for dessert print accessories!

Silk scarves are a fabulous way to spruce up a summer outfit whether tied at the neck, worn as a headband, or even wrapped around the straps of a purse. I plan on letting my sweet tooth do the talking by tying it at the neck with a simple white tank top and my go to American Eagle shorts. While cozy scarves should be saved for the fall, silk scarves are a perfect summer option for a touch of retro cuteness that won’t leave you burning up. 😀

Keep it posted here on lifewithlilred for more on my TJMaxx birthday gift card haul and a huge thank you to everyone for the generous gifts!! ❤

What is your favorite place to receive a gift card for? What is your favorite kind of accessory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Best Chocolate EVER!!

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Best Chocolate EVER!!

Hello! Whenever Johnny’s amazing Aunt Elaine comes to visit from Boston, she always comes with delicious treats from Phillips Chocolates in tow. For Easter, Johnny and I returned home with a huge haul of chocolates from Aunt Elaine and I just had to share them with all of you. Of course, the chocolate tastes divine but they are so pretty I almost didn’t even want to eat them! Lol, check it out:

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My Johnny has a huge sweet tooth. Myself, on the other hand, prefers more savory and I always would rather have more dinner than save room for dessert. All bets are off when it comes to Phillips Chocolate, though, and I seriously think that I could eat an entire box full. They are the most decadent, rich chocolates that I have ever had and, now that our supply is gone, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss them. 😦

The box of truffles we got literally made me gasp when I took off the lid. They were so beautiful and before Johnny and I took a piece, I had to take pictures of them. I apologized to Johnny for momentarily standing in the way between him and chocolatey bliss but he told me he would have done the exact same thing. Is he the best blog husband, or what?

The truffles were all chocolate filled and they were melt in your mouth heavenly. My favorite thing from Phillips, however, is the assorted box which features chocolate turtles, caramels, nougat, fruit, nuts, and all of the chocolatey goodness you can imagine. Johnny and I worked our way through our favorites in the box then, when they were gone, we started telling each other to “surprise me”. As long as it wasn’t a fruit one, we were fine with whatever!

If you are looking for a gift for a special occasion, as a thank you, or just because, I can’t recommend Phillips Chocolates enough. Just be sure to order a couple of boxes for yourself too! 😀

What is your favorite sweet treat? Do you prefer sweet or savory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Air Fried Oreos!

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Air Fried Oreos!

Hello! Prior to this week, I have never used Pinterest before and knowing what I know now, I can’t believe I didn’t hop on the bandwagon sooner. I realized that I was bored with everything that I was making for dinner and asked my mom to send me a few recipes, including one for baked ziti. The recipe she sent was from a Pinterest post and I couldn’t view it without making an account.

After viewing the baked ziti recipe, I figured it couldn’t hurt to poke around for a few more minutes in search of vegetarian dinners. A few more minutes turned into an hour and over one hundred saved pins! From pasta and Indian food to sandwiches and soups, I couldn’t stop scrolling and pinning to save my own life. The only reason I stopped was because I had to get ready for bed!

One type of food that I found myself pinning a lot of was desserts. My mom and sister are wonderful bakers and are always making sweet treats like scones, cupcakes, and cookies. Myself, on the other hand, prefers savory and cooking dinners. My husband, however, has never met a dessert that he didn’t like! I found several easy recipes that I wanted to try, one being air fried Oreos.

The recipe I used was from Marianne at Basil & Bubbly and it was SO simple to make and oh so yummy. Make sure to check out her page for the full recipe!

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With three simple ingredients (Pillsbury croissants, Oreos, and powdered sugar) and in under ten minutes, I had a dessert worthy of being served at the fair. I added whipped cream on mine and enjoyed one while Johnny had four lol! I thought it was delicious but Johnny’s complaint was the croissant dough not having enough flavor. Next time I make them, I plan on adding a bit of cinnamon sugar to his for some extra sweetness.

Although this was not a complex recipe in the slightest, it was actually the first dessert that I have made in my own apartment so I was very proud. I will definitely be checking out Basil & Bubbly again for more recipe inspiration and cannot recommend her page enough!

What is your favorite recipe to make? Do you prefer sweet or savory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

6 DIY Gift Ideas Your Mom Will Love

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6 DIY Gift Ideas Your Mom Will Love

When it comes to our moms, sometimes the DIY route is the best way to go for gift giving occassions. It’s unique, personalized, and allows your gift to stand out from the rest. There’s nothing like a homemade present to show how much you care. From making her favorite dessert (or breakfast) to painting an old frame with some new family photos, these DIY gift ideas will have any mother feeling loved:

Make a personalized gift with her favorite things:

The best gift you can give your mom is a personalized present tailored just for her. Make sure to include all of her favorite things. This could be anything from accessories, food, or clothes and it will make the perfect way of showing how much she means to you.

Cozy Accessories:

DIY clothing is an excellent gift this winter season. Whether it’s something as simple as a blanket scarf or going all out with some matching gloves for extra warmth, she will appreciate the effort that went into making these handcrafted gifts. You can also gift her with patterned wrap dresses since they’re practical and stylish enough that she can wear them for casual events or vacation trips.

DIY a flower arrangement:

Motherhood has always been synonymous with springtime and flowers as they both represent life and fertility. Flowers also represent beauty and grace, things we associate with our own mothers. Here are some simple tips on how you can easily arrange flowers for your mom:

The flowers should be fresh and fragrant with colors that represent your mom and coordinate well with her house. Choose what type of container size works best: vases, bowls, or pots and fill them accordingly so they don’t overflow when watering them. Use either potting soil/manure mix which is rich in nutrients because these types can hold more moisture than just sand. And, don’t forget to pair them with her favorite chocolates!

Create a photo collage:

Moms have a special place in their hearts for memories they’ve made with the family over the years. Creating a photo collage is an excellent way to make sure that she knows how much she means to you. She will surely love this gift. Buy a photo album or make one yourself and choose photos that would make her recall all of the happy times you’ve spent together.

Make a scrapbook:

Scrapbooking is a great hobby and makes a thoughtful gift, too. Write down some of your favorite memories together and create something that will last forever, turning it into a keepsake for both you and even for future generations of your family.

Homemade cookies, brownies, or other sweets:

If you’re looking for the perfect gift, look no further than these delicious treats. Cookies and other sweet treats are excellent gifts for your mom if she has a sweet tooth. For starters, try this vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Servings: 10

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil (refined, melted)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 4 oz vegan chocolate chunks or chips
  • 4 oz vegan dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together the sugars, salt, and coconut oil in a large bowl
  2. Pour in the non-dairy milk and vanilla, and whisk until the batter is smooth and all sugar has dissolved
  3. Sift in the baking soda and the flour
  4. Mix with a spatula
  5. Pour in the chocolate chunks
  6. Put the dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes
  7. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F
  8. Scoop the dough into cookie bits using a spoon or ice cream scoop and put it onto a baking sheet until golden brown.

There are so many ways to DIY a present for mom that she’ll love, but the best ones will be personal and from the heart like the ideas above!

3 Delicious Baking Recipes For The Holiday Season

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3 Delicious Baking Recipes For The Holiday Season

Tis the season of going home for the holidays, staying close to those you hold dearest, and decorating everything with a sprinkle of joy. Most importantly, tis the season to experiment in the kitchen. Yes, most people have enough extra hours at work, renovating with a Renewal by Andersen Windows, or being a full time parent. But, you’ve seen the films of families getting together and baking a splendid dessert. There’s no reason for you to miss out!

This article will teach you baking is for everyone and give you the chance to impress your loved ones. It’s time to get creative, throw on an apron, and decide what type of dessert calls out to you:

Gingerbread Cookies:

Gingerbread cookies are a holiday tradition and for a good reason. They are a taste of holiday possibility best accompanied by hot cocoa with marshmallows. Baking gingerbread cookies is a fantastic activity for young children to participate in and feel included in the festivity preparations.

Ingredients:

  • Brown sugar
  • Egg
  • Molasses
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter

Prepare: For this recipe, you will have to whisk the following ingredients together in a bowl: baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, ginger, and flour. Next, you will beat the dough and add the butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Finally, add the previous flour mixture to the dough and beat until combined.

Then, you must chill the dough, first dividing it into two parts and rolling them into a ball. Next, flatten the ball and wrap it in plastic wrap inside the fridge for close to an hour. Once chilled, unwrap the dough, place it on a floured surface, and use a cookie cutter of your preference.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to ten minutes. Finally, take your cookies out of the oven and let them sit for five minutes. Eat them with a glass of milk, coffee, hot chocolate, or start decorating to enjoy at a later time.

^^^ Image By: Jill Wellington on Pixabay

Linzer Cookies:

Nothing like some good Linzer cookies to dip into milk

Ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Almond flour
  • White sugar
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raspberry Jam

Prepare: Like most baking recipes in this article, you’ll prepare the dough. Have the butter, white sugar, and cinnamon ready to beat in a bowl. Carefully add the yolk and vanilla to combine them. Whisk the salt, flour, and almond butter together in another bowl. Combine both of the mixtures.

Just like the gingerbread cookie recipe, repeat the process of dividing and refrigerating the dough. Take out the dough from the fridge and allow it to soften for five minutes. Roll one disk on a floured surface and use the desired cutter to give shape to the cookies.

Bake the cookies for fifteen minutes and then let them cool for a few minutes. Powder your cookies with powdered sugar and add jam to their center. Cut a hole on top of other cookies and place those on the first ones.

Picture By: Devanath on Pixabay

Cinnamon Rolls:

The smell of cinnamon rolls is truly enchanting. Ask anyone within reach of a bakery and they’ll tell you how cinnamon rolls bewitch the heart. 

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Instant yeast
  • Two percent or Whole milk
  • Salted butter
  • 1 Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla

Prepare: You’ll have the perfect cinnamon rolls to dig into in six easy steps. First, you will add salted butter, yeast, milk, egg, salt, brown sugar, and water in a bowl. When you’re done with the mixture, heat water, butter, and milk together to add it to the butter mixture.

Time to knead the dough! Don’t be afraid to make a mess. With your hands, knead the dough. Let it rest for a couple of minutes and prepare the ingredients for your filling: sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Get your dough, roll it out, spread some butter, add cinnamon, and sprinkle some sugar. Roll the dough and cut it into even pieces. Grease a round pan and place your rolls inside. Allow the rolls to rise for sixty minutes.

Finally, bake the cinnamon rolls until they look golden brown. The only problem left is resisting the temptation to eat them all in one sitting!

Picture By: Monika on Pixabay

Call a friend, bake with family members, or spend this time with whoever makes your day. You will have amazing memories and treats to show for it!

Featured Image By: Jill Wellington on Pixabay

Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

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Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

Hi! In my family, there are eight spring and summer birthdays that I have to shop for so I am never lacking in gift ideas for warm weather birthdays. Shopping for birthdays that take place when the weather is nice is a great opportunity to purchase outdoor activity based gifts. Activity gifts always go over well but will be an even bigger hit this year since we are all itching to get outside and enjoy the weather. Let’s go over some of my favorite ideas:

Gardening Supplies/Outdoor Decor:

Spring and summer are, of course, the prime gardening times so if your giftee has a green thumb, then you can’t go wrong with gardening supplies. From raised planters and pots to seeds, tools, and insect hotels – any garden improvement supplies are sure to be appreciated. You could even offer your help weekly to tend to the garden since that is an activity that can be achieved from a social distance.

If your giftee is not so gifted in the garden, outdoor decor can really help enhance their space. Bird baths, houses, and feeders, wind chimes, decorative solar lights, and benches are all great places to start. Setting up a bird feeding station in your giftee’s backyard will allow them to enjoy nature without having to get their hands dirty.

Outdoor Games:

At this point, I’m sure everyone is bored of board games so anything that can be played outside is sure to please. Bocce ball, cornhole, croquet, and horseshoes can all be played from a social distance. There are even huge outdoor versions of classic games like checkers, chess, Connect 4, and Jenga. Outdoor games are such fun and can be used year after year so they are perfect for friends who love to entertain when the weather permits.

Summertime Treats:

What is the warm weather without popsicles, smoothies, snow cones, and ice cream? Nothing, I tell you! All of the treats that I just mentioned to help cool you down on a hot day can be made from home so you could gift the appliance or supplies needed to make them. Don’t forget a recipe book so they have plenty of ideas to work with and your gift doesn’t become just a one time use item. Perfect for the person on your list with a sweet tooth.

Warm weather is also a great time to enjoy spritzers and cocktails so if you are shopping for an amateur bartender, the ingredients for light and refreshing drinks would make a nice addition to the home bar.

Painting Supplies:

Paint nights are insanely popular and are fun for the artistic and not so much alike. They can also be done in the great outdoors so how about preparing a paint night kit for your giftee? Find inspiration for a painting project on Pinterest, get the necessary supplies, a blanket to sit on, and a picnic basket to hold everything. You could even double the order to make it work for a date night for your giftee and their significant other! Whomever it is you are shopping for will love getting in touch with their creative side while enjoying the weather and will be touched by how thoughtful the gift is too. 🙂

Get started on your warm weather birthday shopping with the ideas above that will keep your giftee smiling in the sunshine for as long as the weather allows!

What season is your birthday in? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Sweet Treats For Valentine’s Day

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Sweet Treats For Valentine’s Day

Hi! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you are still struggling to come up with some safe ways to celebrate at home, then how about spending an afternoon baking all of the desserts with your SO? Creating confectionery treats together will give you a chance to showcase how well you work as a team and decorating your masterpieces will be a blast. Taste testing them will be even better, though! How about trying your hand at making the following?

Chocolate:

Who needs a heart shaped box of chocolate when you can make your own, instead? Two Christmases ago, I made chocolate with my boyfriend’s mom and not only was it tons of fun but the end results were delicious! You can find all kinds of cute chocolate molds, get creative with your color choices, and add on to your pieces of candy with peanut butter, chopped nuts, or shredded coconut. Don’t forget that you can also make chocolate covered pretzels and fruit too. Hello, chocolate covered strawberries!

Cake Pops:

If you and yours aren’t big chocoholics, you could try your hand at making cake pops, cupcakes, or just a plain old cake for dessert. Investigate over YouTube and Pinterest for some ideas on how to decorate and see who is the Cake Boss in your kitchen! Red Velvet, angel food, and strawberry cakes are ideal for Valentine’s Day and I love a whipped frosting, myself. And, if whatever form of cake you go with is super successful, you can try this idea again on one of your birthdays. Store bought cake, what?

Ice Cream Sundae Bar:

Ice cream sundae bars are ideal for those who have a sweet tooth and aren’t trying to wait around for a cake to bake! Head to the store together and grab what you both need to build the perfect sundae. Fruits, candies, syrups, and whipped cream are all great starters. If you’re looking for a boozy treat, don’t forget that black or blueberry wine is awesome over vanilla bean ice cream! Love the sundae idea but want more of a challenge? You could make your own ice cream! But, it might be good to have a pint of Ben & Jerry’s for back up. 🙂

Lava Cakes:

I am not a huge fan of cake (the texture bothers me) but I do love a chocolate lava cake every once in a blue moon. The rich chocolate and the gooey hot fudge center topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Forget about it!! Lots of brands have make your own lava cake kits if making it from scratch seems like a daunting task. Homemade or from a box, you will still experience the joy of baking something delicious with your SO.

Don’t Forget:

To add some atmosphere, whether it be fun or romantic, both of you could create a playlist to listen to while you bake. Be sure to grab champagne or sparkling cider when you are picking up your ingredients too!

What is your favorite dessert? How do you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah