In the middle of one of my brief and rare moments of relaxation, I began to reflect upon the up and coming Valentine’s Day. I thought about how, thanks to my mother, I have always loved the holiday. I especially loved it when I was single; often using it as an excuse to spoil myself. I never had any anxiety if I wasn’t going to be the recipient of one of the many marketed items of the holiday. I never gave a second thought to when I walked past school lockers, or past rooms in the dorms or even at my co-workers’ lab benches when they were covered in chocolates, roses, and etc if I was empty handed. Because, while I was happy for those lucky girls (and eventually ladies), I knew I always had the best Valentine ever, my mom. Every Valentine’s Day, she would leave a gift on the kitchen counter for us in the morning giving us the best start to a fun holiday and that feeling stuck with me throughout my life. I don’t know if it was nostalgia that brought on the idea, or my son’s incessant begging for his birthday party (which is not until the summer) but I wanted to do some type of kiddie Valentine’s Day celebration.
Now, I have finally learned my limitations after being a mother of two so keeping it simple was a must so I decided on a small craft party with only desserts to keep the little ones happy.
Somewhere between Google searching and Pinterest, I came up with three craft options for the party and several desserts that would satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. A trip to the 99 cents Only Store, Target’s “dollar section”, and the market and voila a craft party is born.
I made a finished sample of each craft so the kids and there parents would have a model to copy. At the time of this picture, I hadn’t completed the heart-shaped bird so I used the printout that I made in anticipation of limited time. The first is a butterfly made from paper towel rolls I cut in half. I am sorry, but I am too much of a germaphobe to use toilet paper rolls. I painted them myself so I did not have to bring out the paint for the kids. The second craft is a cute bird made from heart shapes. Finally, the traditional, Valentine’s day card. I cut out heart shapes on the front side of card stock and folded the paper in half to add a little more excitement to the card.
The desserts were my favorite part and one of the driving forces behind my events. I had way more desserts than necessary, but honestly I don’t think there could ever be too much of anything edible.
These sugar cookies were actually the easiest since I had frozen dough left over from Christmas. I used Pomegranate juice to create the pink color and for the hearts, just drop a dot of icing and take a toothpick and drag it through the circle from top to bottom and a heart appears.
These were my absolute favorite, caramel apple pie pops. Now the original recipe is for hand pies, but I saw heart-shaped pie pops on Pinterest and thought why not try it this way. The best part was that I prepared them two days ahead and on party day just threw them in the oven frozen about two hours before the party started. I swear freezing them first made them even better than the first time I had them as regular hand pies. Oh and I make my own caramel sauce and just let it chill so it hardens a bit. The recipes says to use store bought caramels…I refuse!
Yummmm, Strawberry Buttermilk cupcakes! These were my favorite cupcake of the three. I just switched out the cherries for strawberries in the original recipe and the blackberries for strawberries in the frosting of another one of my pins.
Finally there was “red” velvet (I use the term loosely since my attempt to be organic with the coloring yielded a pinkish brown color instead) which is my own twist on several recipes I have found, yellow cupcake, courtesy of my America’s Test kitchen book, with whipped chocolate ganache and browned butter rice krispie treats dipped in a chocolate ganache. Let’s just say I wasn’t concerned with the lbs on this day.
It turned out so awesome that I forgot to take pictures of the kids enjoying the crafts and treats. I honestly think some of the parents enjoyed the crafting more. I am definitely going to make this an annual event!