Saint Valentine’s Day is just about 30 days from now which makes it an appropriate time in which to get started on creating your own valentine crafts this year. Valentine Day along with Christmas and Easter have become so commercialized that we often lose the original meaning or purpose of the celebrations.
Although there are a number of different accounts on the origin of Valentines Day, the original thought was consistent and had nothing to do with lavish dinners or expensive gifts. The gifts were given from the heart and included primarily hand written notes or messages of love and adoration or a simple flower plucked out of the garden.
I am a woman and love to be pampered from time to time, so by no means I am I advocating that you should cease for buying that special someone something that you know she’d love and appreciate. What I am suggesting is that you might want to shake things up a bit. Don’t get stuck in a routine of always having to purchase something every year just because it’s Valentines Day.
This month and leading up to February 14, 2007, we’re going to be suggesting creative ideas of how you can craft your own unique Valentine gift in lieu of purchasing expensive items this year. I will be focusing on gift ideas for Teachers, Children and that special Woman in your life. Today, it’s all about the children.
I have found memories of Valentines Day and Easter growing up because my father would always buy special cakes and other sweet treats that were decorated so beautiful and they usually had our names engraved on them. We always looked forward to these Holiday’s because we knew this was the one time we could eat all the chocolate and candy that our hearts desired. Here are two of my favorite and simple, do it yourself Valentines Day Treats that are sure to put a smile on any child’s face:
Strawberry Valentines Shortcake –
1. Purchase 1 box of cake mix by your vendor of choice
2. Use ingredients as specified on the box of the cake mix (I.e. eggs, milk, butter, etc.)
2. Use (2) 10 to 14″ square baking pans
3. Make sure that you butter or oil the surface of the pans so that the cake will come out with ease
4. 1 pound of fresh strawberries
5. 32 ounce container of whipped cream
6. Valentines candy of your choice (I.e. red lollypops, or chocolate hearts)
Once you’ve mixed the cake batter and have baked the cakes as per the instructions on the box, set them aside and let them cool. Next, cut strawberries and place them in a bowl with a cup of room temperature water and a half cup of sugar. Mix the water, sugar and strawberries together and let them rest for about 30 minutes. By this time your cakes should be cool and ready to be assembled. Lay the first cake down on your platter and spread the strawberries and make sure to cover the entire cake and than get a large spoon for scooping the whipped cream and spreading it over the strawberries and than lay the second cake on top and repeat the process. The last step is to top the cake with your candy of choice. You are done!
Candy Apple or Caramel Apple Valentines-
1. 1 bag of caramels or mix for hard candy
2. 1 pack of pop sickle sticks
3. 1 bag of apples or your choice (Gala, Red Delicious or Washington State)
4. 1 roll of wax paper
5. 1 cake decorating tool
6. Flavored icing
Once you have melted down your caramels or hard candy mix you are ready to place your pop sickle stick into your apple of choice and dip the apple until it’s completely covered and hold for 3 seconds and lift. Place the apple on the wax paper to dry. Repeat the process until you have the desired number of apples. Let the apples dry for two hours and once dry use your cake decorating tool to write your child’s name on the apple or simply write Happy V Day.
These ideas are inexpensive, fast and easy to do and your children will love them. Now all you have to do is surprise your little ones after school and watch them enjoy their special Valentine’s Day treat.