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Tag Archives: Valentine's Day

  • Sweet Valentine’s Treats

    Wouldn’t these treats look pretty on your Valentine’s table?

    Give them a try and see what you think!

    1 package (18.25 ounces) white cake mix
    1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
    4 eggs
    1 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1-1/3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
    1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
    1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 package (16 ounces) confectioners sugar
    Banana and strawberry slices and whole strawberry to garnish

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add eggs, buttermilk, and oil; beat at low speed of an electric mixer 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Add 1 cup strawberries and mashed bananas to cake mixture; beat 1 minute or until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

    In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining 1/3 cup strawberries until fluffy. Gradually add confectioners sugar, beating until well blended. Spread icing between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. To serve, garnish with banana and strawberry slices and whole strawberry.

    Yield: 12 to 14 servings

    1 can (21 ounces) peach pie filling
    1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
    2 tablespoons amaretto
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crusts, at room temperature
    Vegetable cooking spray
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, remove peaches from pie filling (discard liquid) and place in a food processor. Add almonds, amaretto, and almond extract. Process until peaches are coarsely chopped; set aside.

    Cut each pie crust into 8 triangles for a total of 16 triangles. Place 8 triangles on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon about 3 tablespoonfuls of peach mixture into center of each triangle. Use a heart-shaped aspic cutter to cut hearts in centers of remaining triangles. Place cutout triangles over pie filling. Use a fork to crimp edges of dough together. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Lightly spray tops of pastries with cooking spray; sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown. If edges of crust brown too quickly, cover with strips of aluminum foil. Serve warm.

    Yield: 8 servings

    Both of these yummy recipes come from the Leisure Arts Family Living Our Best Cookbook Collection Book 2. Featuring 910 recipes for brunches, suppers, snacks, side dishes, breads & muffins, party foods, chocolate, cookies, desserts, and food gifts, it would make a great addition to your cookbook collection!

    Myself, I’m pretty excited about that Black Forest Cheesecake on the front cover...

  • Flowers, Jewelry, & A Little Chocolate

    Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? It’s coming up soon! (I’ve already started dropping hints to the Love-Of-My-Life...) All you need for the perfect traditional Valentine’s is a bouquet of flowers, some great jewelry, and a little bit of chocolate! Make them yourself with some of our favorite free downloadable patterns:

    For your floral touch…

    Tissue Paper Flowers

    Button & Felt Flowers

    To add some bling…

    Button Up Necklace

    Summer Beaded Anklet

    Wild Heart Necklace

    Braided Cube Bracelet

    And for chocolate lover’s everywhere…

    Chocolate Brownie Bump Ice Cream

    Now, just give the kids their jewelry (I have girls...You’re on your own to figure out what to give your boys...), arrange your flowers, and share your chocolate with your favorite someone for a perfect Valentine’s celebration.

    For more inspiration, check out the Free Projects section on our website! There’s something for everybody with projects to knook, craft, cross stitch, knit, crochet, paper craft, quilt, and more!

  • Crochet For Valentine’s Day!

    It’s Saturday, and The Cat and I are sitting here scheming about last minute Valentine’s Day presents. As usual, I’m thinking of resorting to pattern downloads to get me motivated to crochet something for my daughters. If you start right now, you, too, still have time to crochet up some special little gifts for Valentine’s Day, especially if you take advantage of the downloadable patterns available from Leisure Arts! Check out some of my favs:

    Stars & Stripes & Heart Hot Pads (Crochet the Heart now & save the Stars & Stripes for the 4th of July!)

    Sweetheart Panda Toy

    Heart Edging

    Heart-Winning Dress & Hat

    Nursery Hearts

    Homespun Hearts Bookmark

    Sweetheart Swag

    And if you’re really an overachiever, give this beautiful Heartwarming Doily a try!

    Or get ready to cuddle under this pretty Sweetheart Wrap!

    Happy Valentine’s Day crochet, y’all!

  • Celebrating Valentine’s Treats

    I spent part of last weekend leafing through our Leisure Arts Celebrating Series cookbooks and eating chocolate. (I totally blame the whole chocolate-eating thing on these cookbooks!) The goal of my leafing was to pick out just what treats I might want to make for Valentine’s Day. Wanna peek at my options?

    From Celebrating Candy:

    Marzipan Hearts
    Heart-shaped confections, created with finely ground almonds and amaretto.

    Cherry-Walnut Fudge
    Loaded with chopped walnuts & candied cherries!

    From Celebrating Cookies:

    Sweetheart Meringues & Heart Cookies
    The piped meringues feature cherry flavoring, & the sandwich cookies are filled with raspberry jelly.

    From Celebrating Cookies, Book 2:

    Conversation Heart Cookies
    Just like the popular candies with piped icing messages.

    Red Hot Valentines
    These iced treats are filled with tiny bits of chopped red cinnamon candies!

    From Celebrating Cupcakes & Muffins:

    Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes
    Devil’s Food filled with custard & topped with buttercream & candy hearts…what’s not to love?

    Love, Love, Love Cupcakes
    Sour cream cupcakes with fun fondant toppers!

    From Celebrating Cobblers & Pies:

    Chocolate Cream Tarts
    Baked in heart-shaped tartlet pans.

    From Celebrating Ice Cream & Cake:

    Raspberry Black Forest Cake
    An upgraded version of the classic dessert.

    Almond Torte with Light & Dark Chocolate Mousse
    Chocolate paired with the delicate crunch of slivered almonds…YUM!

    From Celebrating Chocolate Cakes, Brownies, & Bars:

    Death by Chocolate Cake
    Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate filling…Did I mention chocolate?

    And Celebrating Party Foods advocates throwing a whole Chocolate Indulgence Party with…

    Tunnel Cake, Chocolate Shortbread Hearts, Chewy Chocolate Bars, and more!

    Are you craving chocolate yet? I need more chocolate just from writing this blog post!!!

  • Celebrate a Paper Crafty Valentine’s Day!

    Are you thinking about making handmade Valentine’s Day cards or other hearts and flowers-themed goodies this year? Need some inspiration? Take a peek at some of our best paper crafty idea books and some of my fav projects!

    The Big Book of Holiday Paper Crafts
    This 288-page book dedicates 42 of its project-packed pages to Valentine’s Day, including 70+ cards!

    Love You Berry Much Card
    Love the strawberry-shaped card!

    A Million Little Things Card
    A great way to use up paper scraps!

    Love Always Card
    Another way to use paper scraps, & “Love Always” is how the Love-Of-My-Life and I always sign cards to each other.

    Corrugated Heart Card
    Like the texture of cardboard + I’m a button collector!

    The Best of Stamp It! Cards
    I like to play with stamps and ink, so this book is a natural go-to for me with over 500 cards to create. It includes a 19-page Love section, featuring 38 cards!

    You Are My Universe Card
    Love the concept of universe…plus the use of cardboard!

    Key To My Heart Card
    I’m a fan of using hardware in my paper crafting.

    4-Square Love Card
    Elegant use of simple square punches to create little windows on a card.

    In Love With Paper Crafts
    This is the ultimate Valentine’s paper craft book. It’s all about love and features cards, party goodies, gifts, layouts, recipes, and more.

    Heart Picks
    Perk up some cupcakes with paper crafty hearts!

    Authentic & All Yours Cards
    A great big heart just makes a great card in Authentic, and I have to make the All Yours Card for the youngest kid (whose middle name is Rose…).

    Cherish Card
    A simply elegant card design (that might be perfect for my eldest kid…).

    Heart Ornaments
    How much fun would it be to make a heart ornament mobile to hang over the dining table? More buttons!

    Valentine Calendar Card
    Fun use of vintagy calendar on a card!

    Valentine Celebration Dinner
    In Love With Paper Crafts will even help you stage a Valentine’s celebration with invites, place cards, decorated candles, recipes for sweet treats, and more!

  • Valentine’s Inspiration from Five Seasons

    Have you looked at Chris Olsen’s new Five Seasons home and garden decorating book yet? It’s a beautiful book, filled with ideas for spring, summer, autumn, winter, and the holidays. I’m leafing through it right now in search of Valentine’s Day inspiration, and I think I’ve come to the right place!

    Take a peek:

    Here’s Chris with a Red Mossed Heart!

    Loving this Valentine-themed display filled with Painted Heart Canvases, Heart Boxes, the Moss Heart again, and other goodies.

    Chris’ Heart Boxes would make sweet gifts!

    A group of painted glass blocks in front of a gorgeous stenciled mirror combines vintage and modern styles beautifully!

    I could totally recreate this tablescape for my Valentine’s celebration! I have vintage valentines and white china. Love the stenciled burlap tablecloth, and if you could see Chris’ simple instructions for the Roses in the centerpiece, you’d know, just like me, that you could do this, too! (And I can’t arrange flowers to save my life…I’m more of a handful of daffodils in a fruit jar kind of girl…)

    It’s all the little touches that make it special—like this Heart Napkin Ring.

    And if you’re ultra-organized and already thinking about Easter, Chris has some great ideas for that holiday, too!

    Meet The Designer!
    Chris H. Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality, and public speaker. In his Five Seasons book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

    Be sure to also take a look at Chris’ decorating dvds from Leisure Arts: Refresh Remix Restyle and The Creative Party Guide for more inspiration!

  • In Love With Paper Crafts

    Isn’t that title just the truth? Love of our families, friends, our pets, and life in general—isn’t that what, at their essence, all those pages we scrap, those cards we labor over, and those paper crafty creations we assemble are all about?

    Need an inspirational book that’s all about love? You’ll love our new paper crafts book from the editors of PaperCrafts magazine: In Love With Paper Crafts! It’s filled with over 400 easy keepsake designs for pages, cards, gifts, home dec, weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s, and more! There are even a few recipes for cooking up an occasion filled with love. Check out a few of the section openers—

  • Fast-To-Finish Cross Stitch

    Maybe you have a long-term cross stitch project in the works—one of those designs destined to become a family heirloom. I’ve got a couple of those going with no end in sight. The busy world we live in with jobs, kids, significant others, etc…doesn’t always leave much time to indulge our creativity. How about some wonderfully wordy cross stitch designs that can be finished in an evening? Does that sound good? Try the Leisure Arts Stamp ’n Stitch technique.

    We’ve combined cross stitch with rubber stamping and a few embellishments (if you want) to create little works of art that you can finish in no time. Just stamp the background, cross stitch a word, add a purchased or custom frame, and you’re done. I love the projects in the supporting publications—Nature, Reflections, and Inspirational. They’re lovely, easily manageable designs that would make great gifts or add a special touch to any home décor.

    There is even a Stamp ’n Stitch book for holidays and one especially for kids. In Holidays, you’ll find 8 extra-quick projects, including designs for New Year’s, Valentine’s, Easter, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Kids will take youngsters step-by-step through the technique to prepare them for making any of the 6 awesome projects with themes like the beach, skateboarding, flowers, friends, sports, and camping.

    Quick & Easy—that’s sometimes what it’s all about!

  • Valentine’s Update

    I just had to update my Valentine’s Day blog! Can you imagine my excitement when I saw this cart of luscious chocolate cupcakes coming down the hall? Anne, one of our in-house designers, made cupcakes yesterday (on her day off) and bought them to us for Valentine’s Day break time. Wasn’t that sweet of her? She even made the toppers herself!

    We work with some wonderfully thoughtful people here at Leisure Arts. Thank you, Anne!

  • Happy Valentine’s Day!

    One of our designers found this wonderful collection of vintage valentines hidden away here at Leisure Arts. The dates on them range from 1939 to 1945 and the sentiments they express are just too precious:

    “Dear Valentine! If a gal like me would send you a line, would you ‘LET-TER’ be your Valentine?”

    “My heart is yours just for the asking; my pledge insures, love that is lasting.”

    “Hello Honey! It’s fun to greet you and nice to say, ‘You just grow sweeter every day!’”

    “I’m up in the air over you—my Valentine! You take my breath away!”

    “My heart will dance, my eyes will shine…if you will be my Valentine!”

    “I love you dearly, but I’ll need a lifetime, Sweetheart, Mine, to tell the million reasons why—so be my Valentine!”

    Hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with hearts, flowers, chocolate, and maybe even a little bling!

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