Valentine's Day - Last Minute Tips to Get Him (or Her) in The Mood

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Enhance your romance with any (or all!!!) of these cupid approved, mood creating ideas......

Fill the air with the scents of baking  
Cinnamon and vanilla make people feel warm, relaxed, cared for and loved. Who could resist that?  Bake something or just get a scented candle.  

Cook with garlic 
You've seen those Italian movies!  Enough said!!

Drizzle honey in your Valentine's tea

The custom of the honeymoon comes from ancient Persia where newly weds ate honey every day for a month after their wedding. 

Honey, it was believed, helped the couple begin their life together smoothly and sweetly. 

Spice up things with hot peppers
You'll get a burst of passion sizzling endorphins whether you go Chinese, Thai, Mexican or Creole.

Bring on the espresso 
Coffee for two is a romantic but ditch the decaf. Caffeine perks up the mood, boosts energy and stimulates the love center of the brain.

Don't forget the oysters
You can't go wrong with these aphrodisiacs from the sea.

Serve something chocolate 
The darker the chocolate the deeper the passion. 
These brownies are just what cupid ordered!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies

Just like the candy only better! 
Serve with espresso and a glass of Cheri-Suisse (chocolate cherry) liquor. 
Now that's amore!

Makes 20 (1 inch) squares
Uses an 8 inch square pan

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
6 tablespoons butter (margarine not recommended)
1 cup sugar
2 large or extra large eggs (1/2 cup eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 (16 oz.) jar maraschino cherries (drained - save juice)

Position oven rack so brownies will bake in center. Preheat to 350 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit pan bottom. Grease pan. Put cut paper into pan and press lightly to stick.

Melt butter and chocolate together in a medium pot over low heat. Whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla and 3 tablespoons of reserved cherry juice (save the rest for the frosting). Measure 1/2 cup drained cherries and cut into quarters. Add to chocolate mixture. Stir in flour mixing well.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set and a cake tester comes out almost clean. Do not over bake. Cool in pan.

Spread with cherry frosting  (recipe follows). 

Karla's Tip:  Reduce heat to 325 degrees when baking in glass (like Pyrex) or ceramics (like Corning Ware). 

Cherry Frosting
No need to cut the cherries, they smash into bite size bits as you beat the frosting. 

6 tablespoons butter (softened- margarine not recommended)
2 tablespoon white vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup reserved maraschino cherries (from the 16 oz jar used to make the brownies)

Using a heavy duty electric mixer, beat butter and shortening together. Set mixer on low and gradually add powdered sugar. Stir in cherries and juice making a spreading consistency. Turn mixer on high and beat 3 minutes. Do not under beat.  If necessary, beat in a little more juice to make a spreading consistency.


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