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Love is all you need for Valentine’s Day?

This coming Friday, Feb. 14, millions of Americans will celebrate Valentine’s Day. It falls on a perfect day/weekend where a lot of people don’t have to work the next day, and of course, several will pay the price, especially those who work in restaurants and so on. A day that we show our love and express our affection to our favorite people. To me, I feel like we should show this all year long, not just one day. Why wait for this specific day to tell someone you love them, send them flowers, give them a box of candy or send them a beautiful card with meaningful words. Come on, people deserve to hear they loved often and I’m not talking only about couples but parents, children, grandchildren, relatives and even friends. I Love You should be used frequently on one condition, you should mean it and it should come from the bottom of your heart and not just from your lips. February 14 is when love is in the air. Use it with pride and be generous with it. Everyone like to hear the word, love or I love you, from the youngest to the oldest. On Valentine’s Day, there will be millions of cards sold, florist will have one of their biggest day ever plus millions of boxes of chocolate will be sold and that comes with extra pounds but I always say as an excuse that there is no calories on Valentine’s Day. (wouldn’t that be nice?!) Restaurants will be in full speed to accommodate the love birds. Of course, you could always stay home and cook a special meal for your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, friend or family. Visit a friend or parents or a shut in. They deserve your love and attention as well. Trust me, there will be a day when those loved ones aren’t around and unfortunately it will be too late to tell them you love them. Life keeps giving us many surprises, some good and some bad but we take them as they come. Like the song says, “I never promised you a rose garden.”

Is love all you need? When we are young and puppy love hits us, we do think it’s true, love is all we need. As we get older, that changes drastically and especially when we reach the Golden Years, health is the magic word. Love is still great, but if you don’t have your health, nothing matters. It helps however to beloved .

Young people cannot relate to that this like we do. Would that be great to be young again and not to have health on your mind. I guess we were there and now its their turn. Their time to enjoy these special year and to them, love is all you need.

Life is a full circle with different stages of love, fun, sickness and dreams. When good dreams come true, its the most enjoyable. Dreams can be big or small, it doesn’t matter as long as there is a happy ending. Since, its almost Valentine’s Day, I wish all of you from the bottom of my heart, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” I also wish that all your wishes come true. Money is not needed to express to someone how much you love them. A card with nice words will do. I see little kids that cut out little heart shaped paper to give them to their parents and grandparents and those are the best give ever that a child can give.

So, enjoy the day and make sure you take the time to truly express yourself to anyone you adore and love.

SAVE THE DATES:

I have been so excited to announce this: For the whole month of March, I have been asked to be a celebrity chef at the Blennerhassett Hotel Restaurant. During this month only, I will be cooking my favorite dishes that I used to cook at the former Olympic Deli, only during dinner hours. Many of you remember the Olympic Deli and can now will be able to enjoy a few of my Greek dishes and desserts from there.

Celebrity Chef Cooking School Fundraiser presented by WV Symphony League – Parkersburg will be Saturday, Feb.29 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Parish Center located at 609 Market St. They will be serving appetizers, a wine testing plus five-course dinner served with red and white wine.

For more information, call 304-615-5454.

Telethon Sunday March 8, I will be on air 5:30-6:30 to take your pledges

Spring/Easter Celebration and Egg Hunt (Sponsored by Elks Lodge 198) will be Tuesday, March 31, starting at 6 p.m. on PHS front campus .

The 11th annual Easter Parade will be April 4 at 2 p.m. in downtown Parkersburg with a theme of “Old Fashion Easter.” Start making plans to decorate your float.

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Brown Sugar Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups shortening

1 pound brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

5 eggs, separated

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening. Add sugars and beat well. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Add pecans and vanilla. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in greased and floured tube pan for 1 1/2 hours in preheated 325 oven.

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French Chocolate Torte

5 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups pecans, pulverized

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

6 eggs, separated

Melt chocolate in top of double boiler set over hot water. Let chocolate cool to room temperature. Stir together pulverized pecans and flour. With electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Add 6 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate and the pecans mixture. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them gently but throughly into egg yolk mixture. Pour batter into a 10-inch cake pan 2 inches deep. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cake cool. Turn cake out of pan and frost thickly with chocolate whipped cream frosting. Chill the cake for at least 2 hours before serving.

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

1/4 cup hot water

1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee

1/4 cup sugar

3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated

2 egg yolks

1 cup whipping cream

In a saucepan, combine water and coffee. Add sugar and chocolate and cook mixture over moderate heat, stirring until the chocolate is melted and sugar is dissolved. Let mixture cool, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Let mixture cool to room temperature. Whip cream until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture. Chill frosting for 20 minutes or until it is of spreading consistency.

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Praline Cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons margarine, melted

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

maple syrup

pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350. Combine crumbs, sugar and margarine; press into bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Combine cheese, sugar and flour, beating with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla and nuts. Pour mixture over crumbs. Bake 50-55 minutes. Cool and loosen cake from rim of pan. Chill. Brush with maple syrup and garnish with pecans halves.

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Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake

1 cup flour, divided

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, separated, melted

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

6 eggs

1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 400. Combine 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. With pastry blender or fork, cut butter into flour mixture until fine; stir in 1 ounce melted chocolate. Press mixture into bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven; turn oven to 475. In large bowl, beat at low speed cream cheese and remaining 1 cup of sugar until smooth; blend in remaining 1/4 cup flour and vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in sour cream. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups cheese mixture with remaining chocolate. Pour 1/2 the plain cheese mixture over crust. With circulation motion, drizzle half the chocolate mixture on top. Repeat sequence. With a spatula, cut through mixture to marbelize it. Bake at 475 for 12 minutes, turn oven down to 200 and bake 1 hour longer. Remove from oven. Cool 2-3 hours. Refrigerate 8 hours. To cut, use sharp knife which has been run under hot water. Cracks in top are characteristic. Should be made day before serving.

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Chocolate Ice Bok Dessert

1 cup crushed vanilla wafers

2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate

2/3 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons water

2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1/2 gallon butter pecan ice cream

Spread crumbs on bottom of buttered 9×13 pan. Melt chocolate and butter together; cool and stir in sugar, pecans, vanilla and water. Fold in egg whites. Spread mixture over crumbs. Freeze 2 hours. Soften ice cream and spread on top. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Refreeze.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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