I Left My Heart…

We started Valentine’s Day with something pink as requested by my daughter.  Luckily I had strawberries and blended a few with almond milk in the blender.  Voila!  Quick and tasty pink milk.

Later in the day I was stunned by what’s become school Valentine’s.  My kids and I sat down to go thru the Valentine’s one by one.  Many kids made cards and stuck a piece of candy on there.  But no apparently candy companies are trying to say the piece of candy is the actual Valentine – printing a “to” and “from” on the wrapper itself.  What?  I remember when Valentine’s day at school was about creating a beautitful “mailbox” (doilies, lace, pant, felt, show box) as well as the Valentine’s to go inside.  The only candy associated with Valentine’s was chocolates and candy hearts.  OK I know there are lots of preprinted Valentine’s with movie characters etc.  But at least there’s a bit of fun as the child picks his favorite and chooses which for each pal – writing a message and name.  But a piece of crappy candy?  No message, no creativity – but lots of chemicals.  My kids knew they weren’t eating any of this, especially when my son read the ingredients and realized he couldn’t pronounce anything.

My husband had offered to make Valentine’s dinner.  Which was so nice since it was a usual Tuesday with school and late evening Tae Kwon Do for my son.  We pleasantly came home to a grilled lamb dinner (my favorite) with roasted potatoes and salad.  He had champagne for us and sparkling cider for the kids – complete with a strawberry in each glass.  For dessert he got creative with grilled apples over vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with honey and sea salt.  We were all impressed and full.

Instead of the school candy, I came home with a box of assorted chocolates from Chocolatier Blue.  My husband was on the same wavelength as he brought me my own stash of beautiful Socola chocolates.  These are delicious and real works of art and make me forget about the school candy.

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Halloween – The Aftermath

So after trick-or-treating for hours on Halloween night, my kids came home and counted their candy.  Scary thing is that after hours of trick or treating, each with their own friends, they both had 74 pieces.  Although my son had a tube of toothpaste so he said he won with 75 items.  My daughter had been saying she would get more because “if you wear a cute costume, instead of a scary one, people give you more candy”.  Well, apparently, not true.  Yesterday we turned in the candy to my son’s orthodontist who pays $2 a pound.  They each kept 3 pieces to eat.  My son had 4 pounds and my daughter 3 pounds.  Knowing he couldn’t eat more than a few pieces of plain chocolate with his teeth hardware, he said he picked more lollipops thinking they would be heavy.  I guess his stretegy worked.

Here are our pumpkins still standing.  My husband really did a great job this year.  And no, he doesn’t use stencils.  The kids looked at photos with him online and they chose they’re favorites.  The kids were better at pulling out the guts from the pumpkins than in years past.  I did the usual roasted seeds.  This always seems fun, but not many have been eaten.  They are hard to chew.  Luckily my mom came for her annual Halloween visit, so I send seeds back with her to Poppa.

Instead of eating all the candy collected, here are the cute spider cupcakes we enjoyed.  We made a few for friends and neighbors too.  These are easy, but quite a hit.  Simply make your favorite chocolcate cupcake recipe, add thin pretzel legs (I dipped mine in chocolate) and lots of sugar eyes (we buy ours at Cake Art in San Rafael).  Be sure to break the pretzels before inserting.  I thought I could put one pretzel straight thru for both sides of legs, but the cupcake came apart in two.  A friend of ours made them for a kids’ soccer game last weekend, and unfortunately dropped them on her garage floor getting into the car.  Now that’s sad and scary.  So be careful transerring.

Hope your Halloween was happy.

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