Happy Valentines Day!
I can’t necessarily say I’m “into” Valentines Day. No it’s not because I think a day dedicated to romance and mushy, kissy stuff is a bad thing. Au contraire mon fraire; Mr. Sweet Butter will be the first to tell you I’m a hopeless-give me mushy or give me death-long live knights and chivalric codes of honor-make me swoon-take my breath away-romantic. No I totally dig love and all things about the uncontrollable emotion. It’s just…well…it’s just…I don’t think there should be a day scheduled on the calendar to remind people to show that “special someone” you love them with gifts you normally wouldn’t buy otherwise, can’t afford (probably) and are generally impractical.
Love, appreciation, romance, honor, cherish – these are things you should give and display in abundance each and every day of the year. Not with flowers, or candy or bobbles of glittery trinkets (jewelry to me, is highly overrated) or tie pins, fancy dinners once a year or pink elephants that blow kisses when you pull their stuffed trunk. We shouldn’t need an annual reminder.
For me, Mr. Sweet Butter knows several things about showing me how much he loves me and what NOT to buy when he feels like surprising me with something special.
- Don’t buy me flowers – unless they cost less than $10. Total waste of money to spend upwards of $50-$100 dollars on pretty smelling eye candy that will end up in my trash in 14 days. If he wants to get me flowers, get them potted and growing.
- If he ever buys me flowers or a flower, particularly roses,(which he has done on occasion) never ever ever, never ever, buy me red ones. I don’t like them and every man who ever bought me red roses, squashed my sensitive, romantic heart like a wad chewing gum under the heal of their shoe.. Mr. Sweet Butter has never failed this test; 16 years and we’re stronger than ever.
- Jewelry – don’t want it – period! Where’s the practicality in glittery fingers and extraneous body parts?. My baby sister would seriously disagree with me but I’m of the mind bobbles are wasted money, bound to get lost and the bigger it is the bigger the flashing neon sign hanging on your person that says ” ROB ME”. yeah jewelry…nope and NEVER EVER diamonds.
- Chocolate is always good. In fact the more the better and the better the chocolate, the more wanted.
- Anything with a pretty white, single bitten Apple symbol on it is a definite winner in my book. I’m a complete and utter APPLEholic.
As for him it’s easy, bake, cook and feed him. Hug him, kiss him every day and tell him how much I love him. He’s actually pretty difficult to buy for but then I think most men are. So I bake. It’s something I can do every day of the year, always give him something different and ever a surprise. Easy right?
So forget the holiday, make every day of the year a “love day”. Women, be pretty for your husbands, even on your off days. Get out of the sweats, put on a little mascara and lip gloss at a minimun. Men tell your wives how beautiful they are, do the dishes for her periodically, and tell each other every day how much you love each other.
To tell Mr. Sweet Butter I loved him on a day before the “I Heart You” day, I made him something I knew would tell him exactly how mushy I am over him.
I’m not sure what to call them so I just gave them something short and sweet but in truth an accurate description would read something like “Shortbread Strawberry, Lemon & Sugar Cookie White Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars”. Exactly! Too many syllables for sure… not even room for a breath. Regardless of their name they were pretty stinkin’ amazing. There are three layers to these and a bit time consuming but so worth it. They are great at room temperature but I personally loved them chilled from the fridge.
Tomorrow V-Day will be over and I challenge you to find something unexpected and wonderful to do for your special-person next week, for no reason other than to say “I love you.” Would love to hear what creative ideas you come up with. Until then always bake, eat, love and be merry.
- 1⅕ cups All purpose flour
- ½ cup Powdered sugar
- ½ Butter, chilled but workable
- 8 oz Cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup Powdered sugar
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- ⅓ cup Quality white chocolate (like Ghirardelli)
- ⅛ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup strawberries, cut up into small bites (more if you feel daring and really sassy).
- 2¾ C. All-purpose flour
- 1 Tsp. Baking soda
- ½ Tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 C. Butter; softened
- 1½ C. Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice or 1 Tsp lemon extract
- 3 Tbs Heavy cream; (up to 4 tablespoons)
- 1 C. White chocolate chips
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and powdered sugar.
- Using a pastry cutter, your fingers or a food processor blend in the butter in ¼ in chunks until mixture resembled corn meal.
- Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish (I used butter and flour because I love butter...of course).
- Dump the mixture into the pan and stamp it down good to all the eges of the pan. If the mix sticks, which it may because it loves you, press down with parchment paper.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- In a double boiler or small sauce pan on very low heat, melt heavy cream and white chocolate. stirring constantly until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
- Gradually add powdered sugar and add lemon zest.
- Beat the eggs & vanilla into the cream cheese and mix well.
- Fold in the melted white chocolate until completely combined.
- In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, vanilla, lemon zest & lemon juice. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Add enough of the heavy cream to moisten the dough and make it soft, not wet.
- Mix in white chocolate chips.
- Pour the whole beautiful cream cheese mixture over the top of the shortbread crust.
- Decorate pretty with strawberries.
- Top the whole delicious dream with the sugar cookie dough (you may not use all of it..which is good you can make cookies for later) just enough to cover the whole thing. Tamp down lightly to flatten.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes in a 350 oven.
- Cool completely.
- For extra decadence, make some extra white chocolate sauce and drizzle over the top.
- To save time, mix up the sugar cookie dough in big batches ahead of time and store in freezer for use when ready or for fresh cookies any time.