Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentine’s Day

PinExt Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentines Day

I hope you are planning to spend time on Valentine’s Day with your family. Here are some easy tips for quality family time to help you express your love to others in a fun way.

  • Set out paper place mats and decorate them with a Valentines Day theme.
  • Write an “I love you” note with soap on your bathroom mirror.
  • Listen to your children with your eyes and heart as well as your ears.
  • Plan a treasure hunt by leaving little notes around the house expressing your appreciation for something others did. End with a riddle or clue to the next hiding place where they will find a candy or special memento. Have something special at the last hiding place such as a toy or treat.
  • Show your love and appreciation to others. Affirming statements such as “I love you just the way you are; I’m so glad you’re my (son, daughter, mother, father, friend)” need to be given often, not only on Valentines Day.

There are lots more suggestions for this and other special days  in Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids — Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. This is a fun book you can read and use all year long.

Lee Jackson
Family and Parenting Studies

 

 Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentines Day

 Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentines Day

PinExt Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day Sweets

PinExt Valentines Day Sweets

Need chocolate? Here is a delightful combination of chocolate and strawberries for Valentine’s Day from Amy Houts new book, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities9780930643201 233x300 Valentines Day Sweets. Her new book encourages children re-engage with the history of the United States by preparing foods typical of different regions of the country.

The following recipe, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, comes from the Pacific coast region. This region’s climate is influenced by the surrounding mountains. Because of its fertile area and rainfall, the Pacific Coast States produce more vegetables and fruits than any other region of the United States.

It’s a little early yet for strawberries, but this recipe just made my mouth water and I had to share it. It’s a very good recipe to make with children.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

1 (6 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 pint fresh strawberries

Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish or in a double boiler on the stove. Melt on low power or over low heat to prevent burning. Meanwhile, children can help rinse strawberries. Dry completely. Leave strawberries whole with the stem intact.
Pour melted chocolate into a bowl. Children can help dip strawberries by grasping stem and dipping half of strawberry in melted chocolate, so that part of the pretty red color of the fruit is still showing. Place on a cookie sheet lines with wax paper. Refrigerate to help chocolate set and to keep strawberries fresh. Store covered in refrigerator. Eat within two days. Enjoy!

 Valentines Day Sweets
PinExt Valentines Day Sweets

Candy, Flowers, and Cards! Oh My!

PinExt Candy, Flowers, and Cards! Oh My!
 Candy, Flowers, and Cards! Oh My!

Image via Wikipedia

How are these tied in with St. Valentine’s Day? Was there really someone named “Valentine”? What did he do to have a holiday named after him?

There are many stories about the origin of St. Valentine’s day. We do know there was a man by the name of Valentine, that he was killed for being a Christian during the time of the persecutions, and that he died around the year 270 A.D. Other than that, stories about his life are pure speculation.

The version of the story I like has to do with a bitter, mean Emperor named Claudius. He was the leader of a large army, but his soldiers were getting tired of fighting. They wanted to go home to their wives, sweethearts, and families. So Claudius devised a plan that he thought would keep the soldiers focused on fighting battles. He sent out a decree over all his lands that the soldiers were not to get married or become engaged to be married. He thought, “Heh, heh, this will really keep them focused on wiping out the enemy and we will be winners!”

But his plan didn’t work well at all. He failed to realize that love is stronger than any decree.

The soldiers were able to go behind the back of the Emperor and find a priest who would marry them in secret, still very legally. His name was Valentine. Couples came from all over to be married by him. However, the Emperor discovered this little scheme and had him thrown in prison and sentenced to die. While in prison, Valentine become friends with the jailer’s daughter. It is said that she was healed through his prayers. On the day he was to be put to death, on February 14, he left a message for the jailer’s daughter, signed “From your Valentine.”

So St. Valentine’s legacy lives on. It is a special day of showing even more love and affection than usual to those around us. This may include sending cards and flowers and candy to those we love.

 Candy, Flowers, and Cards! Oh My!
PinExt Candy, Flowers, and Cards! Oh My!

Too Much Sugar?

PinExt Too Much Sugar?

Valentine’s Day is over, but are you still on a sugar high? Chocolates and other sweets can be highly tempting as well as addicting.

Here are 5 tips you can use now to cut back or eliminate sugar:

  • When the urge hits to have a candy or sweet, have a drink of water or brush your teeth.
  • When you have the craving, wait 10 minutes, then wait 20 minutes, then see whether you have defeated it.
  • When a candy attack hits, say to yourself, “I only eat foods that are healthy for me,” or other saying that reinforces your will to stay away or cut down on sugar.
  • Exercise helps to keep you focused. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or shoot some baskets. Do anything active that will push your sugar thoughts into the background.
  • If you don’t have candy, cookies, and cake in the house, you won’t binge on them.
 Too Much Sugar?
PinExt Too Much Sugar?

Secret Valentine Message

PinExt Secret Valentine Message
2265266726 65f2e5d4fc m Secret Valentine MessageImage by blunck2 via Flickr

Oh, what a busy day! All of these Valentine cookies to bake yet, each with its own secret message.

Here is my secret message for you inside this “Valentine cookie”:

“Thanks for reading my blog.
I hope you are enjoying this.
Come back often.
I appreciate you stopping by
and wish you a very
Happy Valentine’s Day
filled with much happiness!”

Best wishes,
Chef Crombie

 Secret Valentine Message
PinExt Secret Valentine Message

Make a Valentine’s Day Salad

PinExt Make a Valentines Day Salad
202px Buster Brown valentine Make a Valentines Day SaladImage via Wikipedia

This is a cool, refreshing frozen salad perfect to go with your Valentine’s Day meal. It is especially attractive if you have a heart shaped log in which to freeze the salad. If you don’t have a heart shaped container, the mixture can be poured into paper cup-lined muffin pans, individual gelatin cups or other small dishes.

Frozen Fruit Salad

3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 -10 oz. package frozen strawberries with juice
1 banana
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Combine cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl. Drain pineapple and add 1/4 cup pineapple to bowl. Add strawberries. Slice and quarter banana. Fold in thawed whipped topping.

Pour into individual cups or into tubes for freezing.

Freeze until firm.

Pouring the mixture into the empty pineapple can will work, too. Just don’t cut your fingers on the edge. When removing, dip can in hot water for a little while to loosen salad, open other end, and slip salad out of can. Cut into individual slices.

The salad will be a pretty pink color. If it has been molded in a heart shape, this will make a very impressive dish to place before the King or Queen of Hearts.

 Make a Valentines Day Salad
PinExt Make a Valentines Day Salad