Love is in the air this fabulous Friday for Valentine’s Day! Whether you roll your eyes at this “Hallmark” occasion or enter in fully with decorating your house and baking Valentine’s cookies for everyone you come into contact with, there’s no getting away from roses and chocolates and hearts on February the 14th. It’s everywhere.
So OF COURSE I’m going to have something sweet to share today! I decided on cupcakes because, well, everyone loves cupcakes, and for a change I tried red velvet, to make it all nice and Valentine-ish. The result?
Ta-da! The RED VELVET CUPCAKE by Brown Eyed Baker (actually made by me, the green eyed Googler) Here’s the scrummy recipe:
4 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
2 ½ Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp red food colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp distilled white vinegar
FROSTING: 4 oz butter, 4 oz cream cheese, 2 ½ cups icing sugar, 1 Tbsp vanilla
-Preheat oven at 350 degrees and line muffin pan with liners.
-Cream sugar and butter on medium-high speed until fluffy, then add egg and mix on high.
-In another bowl, mix cocoa powder, red food colouring, and vanilla to make a thick paste. Add to batter and mix thoroughly on medium.
-Reduce speed to low and add half the buttermilk and half the flour. Mix thoroughly and repeat with remainder of buttermilk and flour. Beat on high.
-Reduce speed to low, add salt, baking soda, and vinegar. Then mix on high for 2 minutes.
-Divide batter into cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes (check for doneness by inserting a knife in center). Cool for 10 mins, then remove from pan and cool completely before frosting.
FROSTING: Whisk butter and cream cheese on high for 5 minutes, reduce to low speed and slowly add icing sugar. Add vanilla, then mix on medium-high until light and fluffy. (I added a drop of red food colouring to pink it up!) Pipe/ spread on top of your red velvet cupcakes and enjoy!
Oh, Valentine’s Day, you do bring a sprinkling of joy with your game of cards! But it can it get a little over-the-top sometimes… the stress, the pressure, the disappointment of the giving and receiving. I’m not a fan of buying everyone including your family pet a Valentines card (sorry Lily), but it’s kind of cute when the kidlets send valentines to their classmates and have adorable little red and pink parties. I used to make a candlelit dinner of mac and cheese for my oldest two, complete with special napkins and soft music, before putting them up to bed and creating a proper grown-up gourmet romantic meal for us. That doesn’t happen now that our daughter is away at Uni and we just have two teen boys at home… they don’t mind the mac and cheese, but the candle and soft music are not going to happen. Ever. I clearly remember when I was seven years old, back in the day — before sending cards to everyone in your class at school was a “thing”. I had a burst appendix, which went rather badly, so was hospitalized over Valentine’s. My teacher got my whole class to make me hand-decorated cards (mainly featuring bunnies for some reason), and I received a huge bundle of wishes and love. It was the best. Little cards can bring so much joy. These days I just get the one card from the husband of course…
Ah the husband. Lyndon’s such a romantic, and I’ve always been so grateful for that. And me? Actually, my publisher, Dancing With Bear Publishing, just published my short story on Kindle as a part of their Valentine’s event. It’s super short, just 99 cents on Amazon, a ten-minute read, but it’s rather precious to me because it’s my love story. Our love story. “CELEBRATING LOVE.”
“Author Laura Thomas tells a love story unlike any other – her own. You’ll be swept away by her story and want to read it over again.”
In twenty-five years of marriage, there have been numerous occasions to celebrate, including twenty-five Valentine’s Days. Here’s an excerpt from Celebrating Love:
“We will continue the tradition held by romantic couples everywhere and celebrate this Valentines Day, as we have done every year. Whether a romantic meal at home or all dressed up at a swanky restaurant, it really doesn’t matter how — the important thing is to take the time together to actually celebrate. Celebrate love, lives entwined, anticipating the next year and the next chapter.”
Hope you get chance to take time for a loved one or celebrate the special relationships in your life this weekend. Celebrate love!
Wishing you all a very special Valentine’s Day.
Lots of love…