‘Round the Table: Valentine’s Treats For Little Loves

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate those we love and who lives in our hearts more than our precious little ones? Valentine’s Day gives us a special day to do special things for our littlest valentines. Creating rituals and traditions that revolve around a showing those we love just how much we love them is something we all can, and should, do.

Who doesn’t love a cheeseburger? And a heart shaped bacon cheeseburger is one that will make your heart skip a beat! Use a variety of cookie cutter sizes to make everyone a special cheeseburger.

This is one Valentine’s Day dinner that will go straight to your heart.

We Love Cheeseburgers

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • ¼ cup of flour
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups of milk
  • 8 ounces of shredded cheese (I use Colby Jack)
  • 1 ½ pounds of ground beef
  • ½ cup of yellow onion, chopped
  • ¼  cup of green pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8-10 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tubes of refrigerated pizza crust
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water to make an egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400°F; line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

For the sauce:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for at least 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in the milk and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese, a handful at a time stirring well after each addition and the mixture is smooth.  Keep warm.

For the filling:

Set a large skillet over medium high heat; cook ground beef until it is no longer pink; remove from the pan and sauté onion and green peppers for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften but do not brown.  Add garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds or until garlic becomes fragrant. Return beef to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the cheese sauce.  Stir in the crumbled bacon. Set the mixture aside but keep warm.

Roll the pizza crust out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out 12 heart shapes (the number of hearts will vary according to the size cookie cutter you use.)

Place a dollop Table of bacon cheeseburger filling to 6 hearts and top with remaining 6 dough hearts. The amount of filling will vary according to the size cutter you use. Do not over-fill.  Use a fork to seal the edges.  Transfer dough hearts to prepared baking sheet and brush with egg wash; sprinkle hearts with sesame seeds.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the hearts are golden brown.

Serve with ketchup, mustard and pickles.

If you want these potatoes on a less loving holiday, then cut them in cubes or use a different shaped cutter.

Use heart shaped cookie cutters to make potato hearts.

We Love Potatoes

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 6 large russet potatoes
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoons dry ranch salad dressing mix
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 Tablespoon of salt; bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

While water is coming to the boil, peel potatoes and make thick slices; use a small heart cookie cutter to cut as many hearts as you can. Cook potato cut outs in the simmering water for 3 minutes; drain the potatoes and let them cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, salad dressing mix and freshly ground pepper. Pour marinade over potatoes and let sit for 5 minutes.  Spread potatoes evenly over the prepared baking sheet.

Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time, or until they are golden brown.

Christmas may be over, but winter is not, and we still love hot cocoa! This recipe uses white chocolate and strawberries for a delicious pink confection that is sure to warm the hearts of all those you love.

Hot cocoa made with white chocolate and strawberries make Valentine’s Day special.

We Love Cocoa

Yield: 4 servings

  • 12 ounces of strawberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 4 cups milk
  • 6 ounces of white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Red food coloring (optional)

Place strawberries (wash and hull berries if using fresh berries) in a large bowl; sprinkle with sugar and toss to combine.  Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes or until strawberries begin to release their juice.

Place the chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts until the chocolate is smooth. Dip the rims of 4 mugs in the chocolate and set aside.

Transfer berries to the jar of an electric blender and process until mixture is smooth. Pour through a colander lined with cheesecloth to remove all seeds.  You should have about ¾ cup of berry puree.

Place the milk in a saucepan set over medium heat and bring to a simmer; whisking constantly. As soon as bubbles begin to break around the edges, remove the pan from the heat; stir in the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth.  Stir in the berry puree, vanilla extract and pinch of salt and stir until combined.  Add a few drops of red food coloring if desired.

Divide among four cups and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

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