Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup

Valentine’s Day is only a week away! Do you have a reservation made or a menu planned to dine at home? If not then I have here a pretty extensive list of recipes that I think would be great for the holiday. Whether you are dining with a loved one or cooking up treats to pass around, check out these entrees, side dishes, desserts, and even some homemade gift ideas.


Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls


Garlic Rolls


Meyer Lemon Shortcake


Lip Balm 2

One year ago: Lip Balms

Two years ago: Whole Wheat Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Three years ago: Velveeta Chicken & Veggie Mac


Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Peeps S’mores Pie

Before I begin I must get something off my chest. I missed World Nutella Day yesterday. I haven’t missed a single one since I started this little blog o’ mine. It’s disturbing because I’ve noticed many other food holidays pass my by, such as National Peanut Butter Day – now that’s shameful! This whole move-thing really threw me off my game. But I digress…

This recipe has been a long time coming. I first made during my cousin’s bachelorette party weekend it back in May of 2013. She loves Reese’s so I mixed some into the brownie batter before it baked in a graham cracker crust, followed by a broiling of marshmallows. It turned out super gooey and was quite a challenge to eat but we still managed to kill it off, and of course I neglected to snap a photograph before the destruction.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Peeps S'mores Pie 1

This time around I decided to mix it up a bit and replace the regular marshmallows (yawn), with Valentine’s Day themed marshmallow Peeps! Because evidently Peeps are for more than just Easter. Specifically I used the Vanilla Crème Flavored Marshmallow Hearts and one red marshmallow heart, because I thought it would look cute. Turns out I would’ve been better off using just the vanilla crème because the red one did not puff up at the same rate, but it was still fun!

Check out all the PEEPS® Valentine’s offerings:

  • Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Crème Flavored Chicks (3 ct)
  • Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Bears (6 ct)
  • Cherries Drizzled and Dipped in Chocolate (3 ct)
  • Marshmallow Hearts (2 and 6 ct)
  • Chocolate (milk or dark) Covered Raspberry Flavored Hearts (individually wrapped)
  • Strawberry Crème Flavored Marshmallow Hearts (9 ct)
  • Vanilla Crème Flavored Marshmallow Hearts (9 ct)
  • Sugar-Free Marshmallow Hearts (3ct)

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Peeps S'mores Pie 2

One year ago: Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Meyer Lemon Sauce

Two years ago: Lighter Pizza Dip
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Vanilla Sprinkle Cookies

Despite the maddness of moving I still managed to participate in the Secret Recipe Club this month, and I am glad I did because I was assigned to Karen’s Kitchen Stories. I had a hard time choosing a recipe as she had lots of great choices such as Mini Hazelnut and Cacao Nib Madelines, Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs, and Crusty Apple Pie.

In the end I went with these vanilla sprinkle cookies because I found out that my nephew is obsessed with sprinkles and is already a master sprinkler. What better cookie to make and send to them for Valentine’s Day? For the upcoming holiday I used red/white/pink sprinkles, which were the perfect accent to these chewy delicious cookies. They may need a repeat for other holidays throughout the year with the appropriate change-up of sprinkle colors!

Vanilla Sprinkle Cookies

Two years ago: Banana Peanut Butter Cup Muffins

Three years ago: Orange Strawberry Banana Smoothie
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Stuffed Red Velvet Truffles

I’ve made red velvet and other color velvet cake ball truffles in the past, and even though I mixed cream cheese frosting into them I still felt like something was missing. I finally decided it was a distinct separation of the flavors of red velvet from the cream cheese frosting, because what’s red velvet cake without cream cheese frosting? Just a red cake if you ask me.

Stuffed Red Velvet Truffles 1

Therefore, in addition to mixing cream cheese into the truffles themselves, I stuffed them with it! Go ahead and take a bite to see for yourself. Fun right? Maybe is the post-defense giddy-ness but I am already envisioning different colored centers for holidays and other color-specific events. Yea, this “I refuse to admit the fall and winter holidays are coming” girl is caving at last.

Stuffed Red Velvet Truffles 2

One year ago: Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
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White Chocolate Cake Batter Hearts

After 4 hours of surgery yesterday, my mom is doing well. Right after the surgery everything was well and she was feeling understandably tired. So far the doctor has been positive about the results of the surgery and the future. Hopefully I will hear more as the day goes on.

White Chocolate Cake Batter Hearts 1

These cake batter hearts would be a really cute Valentine’s Day present to hand out. It’s like a jumbo sized white chocolate candy cup stuffed with cake batter, except it’s formed in a cookie cutter. After the candy has been devoured the cutters can be used to make festive cookies! It’s a two-for-one gift. These could also be made in silicone molds, such as petite or regular hearts. Just pop them out after they set and wrap in plastic or place in a cute bag.

White Chocolate Cake Batter Hearts 2

One year ago: Pasta with Vodka Sauce
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Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes

Today my mother is having yet another surgery in attempts to put a stop to the remaining aneurysm behind her eye. About a year ago, she had surgery on the same one but in the end did not work. Obviously, we are all hoping this time will finally take care of it after first discovering about the two aneurysms a decade ago. Unfortunately, I yet again was unable to be there today but my brother was able to swing purchasing a flight last minute and will be there. I do think my package may have made it on time this round, as opposed to last year’s failed overnight shipment. And no I did not mail my mother a molten lava cake because that would’ve been a difficult thing to package. But in honor of Valentine’s Day and my mom’s (current) favorite color, I present to you these red velvet molten lava cakes.

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes

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Red Velvet Hot Cocoa Mix & Cream Cheese Frosting Marshmallows

This is my fourth hot cocoa mix recipe. First I made a regular version, followed by Salted Caramel, then recently made Peanut Butter and now Red Velvet! In case that isn’t enough, since last time I made special peanut butter marshmallows to pair with the peanut butter hot cocoa, I decided to go ahead and make cream cheese frosting marshmallows to complete the full flavor of a red velvet experience. And I think I am now officially in love with homemade marshmallows. You’d think that would’ve been solidified when my first was the peanut butter version, but cream cheese marshmallows? Holy freaking awesomeness.

If you notice in the background, I packaged up single servings of hot cocoa and a marshmallow in mini red containers to give away as Valentine’s Day presents. It’s a present that warms the heart, body, and soul!

Red Velvet Hot Cocoa Mix

One year ago: Dark Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes with Amaretto Cream

Two years ago: Guiltless Fettuccine Alfredo
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Valentine’s Funfetti 7 Layer Bars

What is a holiday without some festive Funfetti recipes? A holiday lacking a whole lot of fun, that’s what. So I took it upon myself to make sure you got your dose of Funfetti this Valentine’s Day with a 7-layer bar. I really enjoying making these bars, because it’s an easy way to use up things in the pantry leftover from a previous baking expedition. Such as cherry baking chips. And typical for 7-layer bars, these will disappear as magically as they appeared.

While we are on the subject of disappearing acts, I’ve learned something about portion sizes and their relation to how quickly they will get eaten. Take these bars for example. When I first brought them into work I had them sliced into 24 bars, but my labmates cut them into fourths in an effort to feel less guilty about eating such a decadent treat. Of course they were neglecting to notice that instead of eating one or two fourths of a whole bar, they were eating 6ish = 1.5 bars. If they had just eaten the bar as I had cut it originally, they would have actually consumed less of it! Yet somehow the guilt factor is different. The moral of the story? Ignorance is bliss (and now I know how to deceive them O:-) ).

Valentine Funfetti 7 Layr Bars

One year ago: Sausage Lasagna Heart Calzone

Two years ago: Oreo Truffles
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Homemade Lip Balms

Valentine’s Day is officially one week away folks! So let’s gets our lips soft and ready with some homemade lip balm. You’ve ever got two different options to choose from! The bases for both are the same but with slightly different additions so if you have a flavor idea to build upon these, go for it!

But first you need a couple of things. I bought my beeswax, shea butter and peppermint essential oil from Whole Foods, however the beeswax was in a solid pound block that I had to struggle with to cut. But I’ve been told you can find beeswax and oil-based candy flavorings at craft stores, which is where I buy my colored candy melts. Also, I used mini plastic bead containers from Joann Fabrics for the peppermint lip balm and and 0.25 oz. mini glass jars from Freund Container & Supply for the honey lip balm. But you can really use anything you want that is lip-balm sized. Ready?

The first bath I made was the peppermint and it reminded me a lot of Burt’s Bees lip balm. If that doesn’t convince you to make this lip balm I am not sure what will. And it was so easy to make, I immediately set out to start another batch!

Lip Balm 1

The second batch was a honey lip balm with some pink candy melts mixed in for a little festive coloring. Unfortunately, the pink candy melts didn’t add hardly any color, so next time I would use red instead. But it did add a hint of sweetness along with the honey, which was quite lovely. But don’t try to east it because it will definitely still taste like beeswax, haha.

Lip Balm 2

One year ago: Whole Wheat Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Two years ago: Velveeta Chicken & Veggie Mac
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Red Velvet Rice Krispie Treats

Tomorrow I meet with my graduate committee to determine my fate for the remainder of the school year and hopefully the last of my graduate career. Which means I will be preparing bribe-worthy treats tonight and ordering up lots of coffee in the morning to keep them happy. But for now, enjoy this other equally bribe-worthy treat.

Every year for a labmate’s birthday I come up with a different red velvet creation. The lab as a whole loves my red velvet cake, but I don’t want to make the same thing every time so I find new variations. With my excess of stress in preparation for my presentation to the committee and writing a research paper to be published, I decided to go for something a little easier to make without sacrificing taste. And these red velvet rice krispie treats taste just like red velvet. But what is red velvet without cream cheese frosting? It is the most important part!

Two years ago: Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini
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