Valentine’s Day 2014

Valentine's Day - Heart Shaped Egg.

Photo: Egg in the basket by Reclaimingprovincial.com.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day and the best Valentine presents come from the heart. Cooking a special dish for your beloved is sure to make them smile. There is no better way to show your love than putting your thoughts and efforts into creating something special. The way to my heart is through food and if you know someone similar then they will absolutely adore any of these delicious Valentine’s day ideas. You don’t have to be an exceptional cook to make a special meal, at he very least you just need a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Strawberry Love Heart Sponge Cakes

These gorgeous sponge cakes are so easy to make. Whip out that heart shaped cookie cutter and start creating your heart cakes. Fill them with whipped cream, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. It’s a Valentine’s twist to the ol’ classic jam and cream sponge. This recipe requires more grocery buying skills than actual cooking technique but the point is that you made an effort and it looks amazing. You can make renditions to this recipe to suit your partners taste. You can make your own sponge cake, or you can  change the recipe to chocolate sponge. And you can replace the filling with anything that takes your fancy.

Sweethearts Fudge

Valentine's Day - Sweetheart Fudge.

Photo: Valentine’s Day Fudge by Crazyforcrust.com.

This isn’t your ordinary fudge. This fudge is retro. Sweet heart lollies are old school and these fudge squares are adorable. If you can’t get the right words out, let the lollies do the talking. Chocolate and vanilla fudge coupled with romantic one-liners are the perfect treat for Valentine’s day! However sometimes this fudge can be a little too forward, making statements like “KISS ME’ and ‘URS 4EVR.’ Excuse me fudge but we just met.

Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes w Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate is a favourite on Valentine’s day so instead of purchasing a store-bought box of chocolates (boring!), how about make delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes instead. If you’ve got a steady hand, you can attempt to replicate Martha Stewarts Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze. These are beautiful and decadent, and you can write whatever your heart wants to say.

Valentine Pizza

Valentine's Day - Valentine Pizza.

Photo: Valentine Pizza by Onecharmingparty.com.

Make a pizza with lots of love. This is another opportunity to use a heart shaped cookie cutter (the small one). Slap these salami hearts onto your pizza and Bob’s your uncle, you have transformed your everyday pizza into a Valentine pizza. If you’re not a salami person you can cut other toppings into hearts. Capsicum and mushrooms work well. Or if you want to make individual mini pizzas, you can cut the base into a heart shape.

Valentine's Day - Pizza is my Valentine.

Photo: Pizza is my Valentine by Weheartit.com

Also being single doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Valentine’s day. Your Valentine can be your friend, your mum, your pet or the most special person in your life, you! Treat yourself or your Valentine to some homemade yummies for Valentine’s day.

Hope you have a lovely day.

I heart Valentines day!

Olives x

 

Made with love…

Every year my friends and I go on a weekend getaway to Rye. This wonderful event includes the spectacular Cups Estate winery, the ever relaxing Peninsula hot springs day spa and the Sunnyridge (best scones in the world) strawberry farm. It is hard to get everyone together all at once, so aside all the practical stuff, it was lovely just to spend some real quality time with each other.

The sun started to descend so it was time for the big dinner question. To cook or not to cook? Dining out meant a sure fast solution to a quick and easy dinner. It’s convenient, everyone can choose what they want, no preparation is necessary and no one has to clean up. The downfall of that option is that the restaurant doesn’t know how to make the most scrumptious vegetarian lasagne in the world. Luckily my friend Rachel does. She makes a kick-ass vegetable lasagne that everyone absolutely adores. So it seemed only natural to cook that for the main…..yummmmm!

First stop, the shops! As a kid, I remember playing shopping with a plastic cash register. The more make-believe friends the merrier. As an adult, shopping is not actually fun with too many friends. Real friends have differing wants, needs, budgets, opinions and tolerance levels. Worked out just fine though.

Let the preparation begin! Rachel was directing the troops, people were cutting, chopping, mixing and scratching, nah we’re no DJ’s the truth is we were washing, peeling, dicing and boiling.

This was definitely a team building exercise in disguise, we gained useful tools like Concept collaboration (Sharing ideas and recipes), Project management (Working together to rollout the lasagne), Visual Merchandising (Preparing the table) and Quality Control (Tasting the foods). Very productive!

The dinner was marvellous! It was a traditional  home-style meal cooked by my very own friends. Sharing love through the medium of food. What a magnificent art piece to capture in the memory of my stomach.

So the recipe for happiness? Here it is…a dash of love, a sprinkle of friendship, a cup of laughter and a spoonful of sugar make the perfect medicine for a busy lifestyle. Convenience usually overrides effort these days but don’t over-estimate the power of convenience because it’s the smallest effort that usually creates the biggest smiles.

Olives x