Category Archives: Valentine’s Day

Excuses, Excuses!

BY VALERIE BELDEN WILDER
Columbia County, New York  I  Saturday, 29 February 2020

I kind of want to punch my pillow. Or cry into it, or something. Here it is, the end of the month, and I don’t have a blog ready for you.

It’s not that I didn’t try.

I made Chicken Elbows a few times and typed up the recipe, but didn’t take any pictures. Probably because I only make that dish for dinner, and by that time of day, there’s no natural daylight to photograph them by.

They’re not very photogenic, anyways, but they sure are tasty.

I made Celestial Chocolate Chippers with strawberries cut into hearts on top. I didn’t take any photos, thinking I might make them again before the end of the month.

And then, when I went to Aldi, they were out of strawberries, so I didn’t.

I went to Vasilow’s Confectionery, an old-time chocolate shop near me, and took a few photos of it decked out in all its gorgeous Valentine’s Day glory.

But then I never wrote any text to go with the pictures.

I’ve made umpteen small batches of a simplified Love Mix, my Valentine’s Day version of Chex Mix, but didn’t take any photos, because, well, been there, done that.

I already blogged about that recipe two years ago, anyways.

I also made Spinach Strawberry Pasta Salad, a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for quite some time. It turned out good, but not fantastic, so I might need to work on the recipe more.

I was excited because when I made the salad, I used a set of Pyrex Colonial Mist bowls I recently got at Goodwill for a great price. I took a few photos of it, which turned out well.

But now. Now my photos won’t load. I normally use a cord which connects my camera to my Chromebook in order to transfer the photos, and it’s not working. I’ve tried two different cords.

My birthday was on Valentine’s Day. A couple at my church got married that day and I helped decorate, but I only took a few photos which I’m not wild about. I was too busy stuffing my face at their potluck reception before the food got cold. And this year, I ate wedding cake for birthday cake.

I fear My Copper Kitchen is a bit tarnished this month. I’m a hot mess. A hot, beautiful, rough-and-ragged-’round-the-edges, ‘nother-year-older mess.

 

Making Love Mix

BY VALERIE BELDEN WILDER
Columbia County, New York  I  Wednesday, 21 February 2018

On my birthday, February 14th, My Copper Kitchen turned three years old!

A few weeks before the anniversary date, I took a look back at my first few posts, the ones I launched on  February 14th, 2015.

One of them was called Valentine’s Day Candy Dishes, so I decided to revisit this idea, and re-incorporate it into my  blog, but in a different, updated way.

I feel like I’ve matured and grown since then (thankfully!), and so have my ideas and the quality of my blogposts.

So, I didn’t want to just repeat the same thing, with better quality photos, I wanted to use the old idea as a springboard, but come up with something new, a different idea, which more accurately reflects who I am now, in 2018.

When I first moved here, back to Columbia County, in October of 2016, I started going to the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store a lot.

On my very first visit, in July of 2015, I discovered how much I love their salt bagels, made at their on-site bakery.

My sister and I also really like their maple ginger cashews, which are processed at nearby Tierra Farm. Problem is, a small, square box of these cashews costs $7.99, and they’re quite addictive. We can easily polish off a whole box in one sitting!

Anyhoo, I started thinking awhile back about using the cashews in a trail mix, to stretch them out further. The idea kind of snowballed, and this is what I came up with.

I probably won’t make Love Mix on a regular basis, since it has so many ingredients. But it was a really nice treat for my own birthday month, and I’ve given away a few bags of it, so far.

The red gummy hearts and black anise bears are what I decided to use for Valentine’s Day, but you could easily modify it for any other season or holiday.

For example, in the fall, throw in candy corn or gummy pumpkins. For Easter, how about some Jelly Belly jelly beans? And during the Christmas holidays, try some small, brightly colored gumdrops, spearmint leaves, or gumdrop wreaths!

Once you’ve stirred up a huge bowl of the stuff, put some into Ziploc bags, and leave ’em in a small tote bag in your car (unless it’s blazing-hot summertime, then don’t do this, of course). Whenever you feel like giving a spur-of-the-moment gift to someone, voila, you’re all set!

Use your imagination! Then, let me know what you come up with, by sharing your pix on the Facebook page, My Copper Kitchen Celebrations!

[BASIC MIX INGREDIENTS]
Corn Chex cereal
Pretzel twists
Dark chocolate chips (I prefer Hershey’s Kitchen)
White chocolate chips
Twizzlers red licorice (cut into pieces)
Maple ginger cashews
Lightly salted cashews
Dried papaya spears (cut into pieces)
Dried apricots (cut in half)
Dried pineapple
Dried cranberries (orange-flavored)

[LOVE MIX ADD-INS]
Mini Shredded Wheat (strawberry-flavored)
Red gummy hearts
Black anise bears

[WHERE TO GET THE WEIRD STUFF]
The maple ginger cashews are available from
Tierra Farm, in Valatie, New York.
Organic Maple Ginger Cashews

The black anise bears are from
Vasilow’s Confectionery, in Hudson, New York.
http://www.vasilows.com

The orange-flavored dried cranberries are from
Hawthorne Valley Farm, in Harlemville, New York.
(I don’t think you can buy them online through Hawthorne Valley, so just substitute regular dried cranberries if you can’t find the orange-flavored ones.)
https://store.hawthornevalley.org/

[RELATED MCK POSTS]
To read Valentine’s Day Candy Dishes, go to:
https://wp.me/p8pd67-2g

 

Valentine’s Day Candy Dishes

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAPut candy in your prettiest dishes for Valentine’s Day. This type of presentation would also work well for those get-togethers after religious ceremonies such as baptisms, blessings, communions, LDS missionary farewells or homecomings, and even weddings.

The bowl on the left is a combination of cherry sours, butter mints, and wintergreen lozenges. The conversation hearts in the milk-glass bowl go without explaining! And the little bowl in the middle is a mixture of party mints and cashews, my favorite nut, although any other type of nut mixture would work equally well. The combination of salty and sweet is pretty tasty, I think…

 

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAA close up of that yummy candy. If your party is in the fall or winter, you could substitute Whoppers for the red cherry sours. IMO, the cherry sours look spring-like, while the Whoppers would look more fall-like.