Valentines Day is what I have decided to write about this month, as I know so many others will be focused on Imbolg. But Valentines Day plays a very large part in our lives and the lives of others, no matter the religion. Everyone loves and most everyone likes to celebrate that love.. Hopefully everyday but almost always on this very special day.
There are different ideas as to where or how the celebration of Valentine’s Day began.
The Roman’s celebrated a festival called Lupercalia on February 15, where young men held a lottery to decide which girl would be theirs and honored their God Lupercalia. This is one idea.
The Christian Church had a Saint named Valentine. The Roman Emperor, Claudius the II forbade young men to marry in 200 A.D. He believed single men made better soldiers, free of family concerns. A priest named Valentine disobeyed the Emperor and married couples in secret.
Another idea concerning the celebration of Valentine’s Day is based on the belief that birds or fowl pick their mates on February 14th. It was believed love birds in particular, chose this day to begin mating.
Colors and Candles: Red, Pink
To Attract Love use some of these foods Apple, Avocado, Lemon Balm, Catnip, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Clover, Jasmine, Lavender.
For divinations of Love Mullein, Pansy, Rose, St. John’s Wort, Willow
To Increase Lust Avocado, Caper, Caraway, Celery, Cinnamon, Damiana, Dill, Endive, Ginseng, Hibiscus, Lemongrass, Licorice, Mint, Rosemary, Saffron, Sesame, Vanilla,
Magickal Flower Associations:
AMBROSIA = Love returned, pleasure divine
APPLE BLOSSOM = Preference, Choice in love
BACHELORS BUTTONS = Hope in love
BRIDAL ROSE = Happy Love
CACTUS = “I burn”; desire
GERANIUM,IVY = Bridal favor
HONEYSUCKLE = Bonds of love
IRIS = Message
JONQUIL = “I desire return of affection”
LEMON BLOSSOM = Fidelity in love
LILAC, PURPLE = First emotions of love
LILY OF THE VALLEY = Return of happiness
MAGNOLIA = Love of nature; Magnificence
MORNING GLORY = Affection
PEACH BLOSSOM = “I am your love captive”
PERIWINKLE = Sweet remembrances
ROSE = Love
TULIP, RED = Declaration of love
VIOLET, BLUE = Faithfulness
WISTERIA = “Welcome, fair stranger”
And here are some wonderful recipes to make and share on this wonderful day of love.
Title: Valentine Stained Glass Hearts
3/4 c butter or margarine-softened
1 tsp baking powder
1 frosting; optional
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c red hot candies; crushed or cherry life savers or other sweet sucking candy crushed
In mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Stir together flour and baking powder.
Gradually stir in flour mixture until dough is very stiff. Cover and
Chill about 3 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out
cookies using a large heart-shape cookie cutter or use a sharp knife and
cut around a heart pattern. Transfer cookies to a foil-lined baking sheet.
Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out and remove heart design
from center of each cookie. Fill the cut out sections with crushed candy.
Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and the candy has
melted. Slide foil off baking sheets.
When cool, carefully loosen cookies from foil. If desired, pipe decorative
borders along edges.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Malibu rumor coconut rum
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Cointreau liqueur or triple sec
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cranberry juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- Sprite, splash
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add rum, liqueur and juices.
- .Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Top with a splash of Sprite.
Lemony Love Potion (non alcoholic)
When Cupid invites guests over, this is the beverage he serves. For the first time ever, he has graciously agreed to share his magic recipe–which also happens to make an excellent dessert drink for Valentine’s Day dinner.
- 12-ounce can pink lemonade concentrate
- 1 cup raspberry sherbet
- 12-ounce can of lemon/lime soda (we used 7-Up)
- In a pitcher, mix the lemonade concentrate with the recommended amount of water.
- In a separate pitcher, combine the sherbet with 1 cup of the lemonade mixture.
- Add the soda, stir, and serve. Makes 3 cups.
Cranberry Sweetheart Scones
Their light texture and fruity flavor make these heart-shaped scones a treat for your sweetie.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. margarine
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- Combine the 4 four ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Blend in the margarine with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the zest and cranberries. In another bowl, beat the eggs well and then stir the milk into them.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir just until blended. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat the dough to a 1-inch thickness. Use a butter knife to cut heart shapes. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 8 scones.Toppings
Quick Strawberry Jam Empty a 16-ounce package of unsweetened frozen strawberries into a glass bowl. Microwave on medium until the berries are hot and soft (about 12 minutes). Stir in a 3-ounce package of strawberry Jell-O.
Fruit Butter Blend 2 parts softened butter and 1 part strawberry, raspberry, or apricot jam.
Flavored Cream Cheese Smooth 4 ounces of cream cheese with a wooden spoon. (Add a tablespoon of yogurt for a creamier consistency.) Fold in a few fresh or defrosted strawberries or raspberries
Sweet Heart Brownies
What do you get when you mix graham cracker crumbs and chocolate morsels? Love at first bite. Earn brownie points with this Valentine’s — or any other day.
- 36 2-inch graham crackers
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (don’t use evaporated milk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16-ounce package semisweet chocolate morsels
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350º (325º for glassware). While you generously grease an 8-inch square baking pan, put your kids to work crushing the graham crackers into fine crumbs. It’s especially easy and fun if you seal the crackers in a plastic bag and then use a rolling pin.
- Stir together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the chocolate morsels, pecans, and graham cracker crumbs and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended.
- Spoon the batter (it will be very stiff) into the greased pan. Use the back of a wooden spoon (or clean hands) to pat the batter into an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.
- Use a cookie cutter or a butter knife to cut out small (these brownies are rich!) heart shapes. Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or raspberry sherbet. Makes about 8 to 12, depending on size.
Dipping Oil – Rosemary Garlic
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced (raw, roasted or fried)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- Mix all ingredients to blend in a bowl or a pour bottle.
- Dip bread and enjoy.
- Refrigerate any left over.
artichoke, Asparagus and Asiago Valentine Pizzas
- pizza dough — homemade or store-bought
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 can 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 jar 6 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 tsp. chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese (about 6 oz/170 g)
- 4 oz. fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch (0.5 cm) pieces
- If you want to use your own homemade dough you’ll have to prepare the dough at least one hour before you want to bake the pizzas. If you’re using store-bought pizza dough, begin with one 1-1/2 lb (750 g) package of fresh or frozen pizza dough.
- At least one hour before (or even a day ahead) you want to make the pizzas, prepare the tomato sauce. Measure the olive oil into a 9×13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish. Pour in the diced tomatoes — including all the juice. If the artichoke hearts are large, cut them in half but they should remain in substantial chunks. Add to the tomatoes in the pan along with the chopped garlic. Place in the oven and bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 45 minutes, stirring once in a while, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick. Let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease two large baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
- Divide the pizza dough into 4 pieces. Roll out each ball of dough to approximately a 6-inch circle, then shape into a heart-shaped crust by pinching one side and indenting the other. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room between for expansion. Spoon tomato sauce mixture over surface to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of the edge of the dough, making sure you distribute the pieces of artichoke hearts evenly among the pizzas. Sprinkle with cheese and top with the asparagus pieces. Bake pizzas for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned on the bottom and the toppings are melted.
Chicken in Champagne and Mushroom Sauce
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts about 6 oz
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup champagne (or other sparkling white wine) now that you have opened it you may have to share it with your love…
- 1 cup whipping cream
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken breasts in this mixture, one at a time, and arrange them on a plate.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook quickly until lightly browned on both sides, turning once — 1 to 2 minutes per side. (You may have to do this in two batches.) The chicken should be browned but not cooked through. Remove to a plate.
- Add the butter to the skillet, dump in the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has evaporated. Pour in the champagne, stir around to dissolve any crusty bits from bottom of the pan, stir in the whipping cream. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. Return the chicken breasts to the skillet, nestling them into the mushroom sauce, lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened — 6 to 8 minutes.
- Serve immediately with crusty bread or steamed rice to soak up the velvety sauce.
- 1 11-1/2-ounce package milk-chocolate pieces
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1-1/2 tablespoons instant-espresso or coffee powder
- cocoa, confectioners’ sugar, and/or chopped nuts
- In 2-quart glass container, cook the first 4 ingredients on High 1 to 1-1/2 minutes until almost melted; stir until smooth.
- Freeze 1 hour until firm.
- With hands, shape tablespoons of mixture into balls,
- Roll in cocoa, confectioners’ sugar, or chopped nuts.
These make a luscious and decadent dessert to be hand feed to each other, may wish to serve with chocolate dipped strawberries.
Enjoy until next month.
Merry Cooking and Blessed Eating