2016 Class Valentines

     When it comes to Valentine's for the kiddos, I love to make them each year. It's just far enough away from Christmas that a simple project undertaking seems like a good idea. (Truthfully, it helps me justify my cheesy Hallmark Valentine's movie binge- anyone else love those movies?).

     The kids and I have fun perusing the internet for ideas and coming up with a plan. This year, everyone chose sour gummy worms; this worked out quite nicely as I bought them in bulk on Amazon Prime and had them on my doorstep the very next day (which also happened to be the day before their parties- it's been that sort of week or two around here). 

     Next was coming up with the saying. My vote was "Hooked on you" but I had no takers. Hadley, my first grader, chose "Love Bugs" and loved the idea of giving everyone in her class bugs for Valentine's (I love this about her). Caden, third grader, settled on "I dig you Valentine" because it was less "I love you" than "Hooked on you." Then there was Zach, my handsome fifth grader. I'm not saying that because I'm his mom either- he's a handsome guy with many a fifth grader girls who happen to agree. On any other day of the week I think he quite enjoys that, but when it comes to his Valentine, he can't give any girls any he proudly accepted "You don't bug me" as his token saying this year...and it couldn't be "You don't bug me. Love, Zach" Love can't be included. Not even from. Just Zach. 

     After the ideas were in place, I played with a few fonts and printed out sheets of card stock for each kiddo. I used my cutting board to cut them out, scissors to make them look like tags or ribbons, a hole punch and twine to pull it all together. Really simple. No crazy amounts of ink, or elaborate paper used (It's not lost on me that these do get thrown away and I could have saved a few hours and dollars buying something at the store-but what is the fun in that?)  
     This Valentine's project "wormed it's way to my heart" this year. I mean, who doesn't appreciate a sour gummy worm (or two...or ten)?


Whipped Strawberry Icebox Cake

The hardest thing about this recipe is to remember to make it a day ahead (or at least a few hours).
It is quite delightful if you ask me, the perfect spring time recipe...It would make quite a lovely Valentine dessert too! 

12 oz (or 1-1/2 boxes) of Cream Cheese at room temperature 
4 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Sugar
4 Cups Sliced Strawberries 
1-1/2 boxes Nilla Wafers
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Cream together with your mixer; cream cheese, sugar & lemon juice. 
Mix until soft and fluffy.
Add 4 cups of heavy cream and beat on medium until thick and fluffy 
(peaks should form)
Gently fold strawberries into cream mix
In 9x13 dish, layer Nilla Wafers
Top with 1/3 strawberry cream mixture 
Repeat 2 more times and top with strawberries for garnish.

Refrigerate overnight if possible (or at least 6 hours).

Brownie Trifle


Bake a box of your favorite brownies 
or your favorite recipe from scratch- let cool

In a large bowl combine 
1 large box of chocolate pudding
3 cups of cold milk
Whisk until thick

In your stand mixer, mix 
1-1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar 
& 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
until soft peaks form

You will also need 
1 cup toffee bits
1 can sweet and condensed milk

Take turns layering the following in your trifle dish twice (in this order):
Brownies cut into bite size pieces
Sweet and Condensed Milk Drizzle
Chocolate Pudding
Whipped Cream
Toffee Bits Sprinkled

Refrigerate for 3-24 hours and serve cold.