Tuesday, February 14, 2017

We Spread A Lot Of Sweet Love Today

Four years ago we started a Valentine's Day tradition. I block off most of the afternoon and make a decadent Valentine's Day treat to share with some of our neighbors who we love and adore and who have become family to us. I bake treats for the humans, our kids, and our fur-nieces and fur-nephews. It's something I enjoy doing and look forward to. Last year I made my scrumptious Cupid's Munch. This year, I went all out, but that wasn't before spending almost 3 days trying to decide what I was going to make.

Strawberries were on sale at one of our local grocery stores. I don't usually buy strawberries this time of year because they're out of season and expensive. However, with the buy 1 get 1 free sale going on, I couldn't resist. In addition, Nestles chocolate chips were on sale. With this information embedded in my brain, it was inevitable that chocolate covered strawberries would be included in our Valentine's Day treats.

But, how?

I spent about an hour dipping strawberries in melted Nestles chocolate chips. I put aside 12 strawberries to make pup friendly dipped strawberries. That involved melting 1 cup of white chips and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. Once melted, dip and add a pinch of festive sprinkles.

I know. Peanut butter and strawberries, right? Doesn't sound too appealing. Trust me, our kids go crazy over this combination.

My final decision was cupcakes. I made a decadent chocolate cupcake and topped with a buttercream frosting infused with vanilla and strawberry. All homemade. After the cupcakes spent 15 minutes in the refrigerator, I drizzled 'em with some melted chocolate and topped the cupcakes with a chocolate covered strawberry.

In the most humblest of ways, I stood back and muttered, "These. Are. F-Bomb. Gorgeous."

Of course, these cupcakes were for the humans only. Rest assured, during the 5 hours I spent in the kitchen, a portion of that time was spent on pup friendly Valentine's Day treats too.

When making the cupcakes, I grabbed some of the batter, before adding the baking cocoa, for pup friendly cupcakes. I also made a dozen pup friendly dipped strawberries. The day before, I made homemade dog treats that included our original  Bodacious Biscuit Love Peanut Butter Dog Treats and the latest...Cranberry Crumble Valentine's Day Sandwich Cookies.

Shortly after Lisa arrived home from work, I plated up the Valentine's Day goodies, bagged the biscuits, made little Valentine's day notes, and put the bundles on the table for Lisa to deliver. Once she made all of the deliveries, we sat down and enjoyed a homemade dinner of shrimp Alfredo.

At the end of the day, I felt accomplished. Proud. 

I know that a lot of people don't view Valentine's Day as a big deal. In the conventional sense, we don't either. Lisa doesn't come home from work with a dozen, overpriced red roses or a piece of jewelry.

We don't get all sappy about it.

She does get me a little something from the kids that always melts my heart. This year it was a soup mug, a tiny stuffed frog and a few pieces of my favorite chocolate. And, wine.

We view Valentine's Day as a day to extend a lil' extra love to the people in our life who we love and adore. The ones we are proud to call family. The ones who love us, and we love, unconditionally. The ones who make our world a better place to be. The ones who love our kids. The ones who work together, lend a helping hand without asking, and who are always there. The ones who know they can show up at our doorstep, regardless of the time, and we'd be there with a fresh pot of coffee made. Or wine. The ones who extend the same to us. The ones we've laughed with, shared food and wine with, and view the world sideways with us. The ones we've made memories with.

Our tribe. 

From our home to yours, Happy Valentine's Day. Spread a little love. Today. Tomorrow. Every single day. The world needs more of that. 

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