Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hearts, Flowers, and Hallmark

First the hearts...

Then the flowers...

I have a thing for hearts and flowers.  Especially pink and red ones.  I can't help it.  Am I a hopeless romantic?  I guess so.  But I really do not like to admit that.  I am not exactly sure why.  It exposes me and makes me vulnerable maybe?  I sure loved Valentine's Day when I was in elementary school, though. I still remember spending hours looking at the valentine cards that were put in my little white paper bag by my schoolmates.

Do hopeless romantics end up with broken hearts?

Should the fear of a broken heart keep a heart from loving?

Can we even keep our hearts safe?  Lock them up and throw away the key?

And last but not least, there's Hallmark...

Is Valentine's Day just a marketing ploy to get us to buy pretty chocolates and cards?

The Ex-Ex used to tell me that.  And now?  How do we spend many a Saturday night?  Watching the Hallmark Channel.  I know, I know, I am exposing him.  Son #1 and Son #2 know this about their dad.  They've caught him in the act of switching back and forth between basketball games and Recipe for Love, All of My Heart or A Country Wedding.  His comment?  I'm either rare or weird.  Not sure which.  But I'm too old to care. Or to worry about being judged.

The movies are easy to figure out.  The characters and plot develop sweetly.  With about 25 minutes to go, there is a crisis, tears are shed, and tough decisions are made.  But it all works out in the end and love wins.  There is always a happy ending.  I am pretty sure that is what we are all looking for. Right?

I had planned to write up some facts that I learned about Saint Valentine(s- there were multiple ones), but a new movie is about to start.  It looks as if we will actually catch this one, Appetite for Love, from the beginning. The movie is set in Tennessee and has a handsome cowboy.  Not a bad combination.  UNC is playing Notre Dame and Golden State is up against Oklahoma City on other channels, though, so I might miss a few details if the games get too close.

Hallmark Channel Recipes can be googled.  Who knew?
In honor of not only Valentine's Day but also Super Bowl Sunday, here's one that's sure to please.

Dipped Football Strawberries
from  Hallmark Channel Home and Family

  • 1 basket large strawberries with stems, cleaned and dried
  • 12 oz Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers
  • 4 oz Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers
Place Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers in a microwave-safe container and microwave at half power or defrost setting for 30 seconds. Stir thoroughly (product keeps its original shape until stirred). If not completely melted, continue to microwave in 15 second intervals and stir until smooth. Overheating can cause wafers to burn.
Hold each strawberry by stem and dip into melted wafers. Place coated strawberries on waxed paper. Cool in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, or until firm.
Melt White Wafers (using the same method outlined above) and pour into a piping bag or plastic zip bag with the tip cut off. Make one vertical line down the middle of the long side of the strawberry, and four short horizontal lines across the vertical line to create the football laces.
Cool in refrigerator for 10-15 more minutes before serving.
Note: You can substitute Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers with Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips and Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers with Ghirardelli Classic White Chips by adding 1.5 tbsp. vegetable shortening per 12 oz Chips and following the melting directions above.
Bon appétit and Happy (Early) Valentine's Day to all hearts, young and old, cynical as well as hopelessly in love.  Merci, Hallmark, for providing happy endings and keeping love alive.

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