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Love is a sweet gift worth savoring

Sunday is “VALENTINES DAYS” so I want to wish you all a very healthy and happy Valentines Day!!!

Valentines Day and the whole month of February is dedicated to love, cupids, flowers, chocolate and relationships, where as the month of January is just the opposite being a month of New Year’s resolutions, exercise and diets.

The big problem is how can we neglect or disappoint a loved one when they bring us a box of those delicious assorted candies and chocolates.

Many take the time and bake special valentine cakes for their loved one and how does one turn down eating it so you do the polite thing and just eat it.

Guess what — Calories on Valentines day do not count … you just ignore them and the secret is do not go near your scales for a few days. LOL.

If you are the one that will be preparing the Valentine dinner or desserts be generous with the ingredients and do not cut corners but splurge for the day and do not use low fat ingredients. Since COVID-19 is wrapped around our lives many that used to dress up and go out for a drink and a fancy meal will do otherwise.

This year you will have to think twice and you can still make the day special for your special valentine by preparing his or her favorite meal. You can do this by not only fixing their special dinner but also by decorating the table with his or her special flowers. I haven’t decided what I should make for my wonderful husband this year for the older he becomes the pickier he gets with what he likes to eat and foods that he used to like he no longer likes and which makes it difficult to surprise him … I will probably end up with having him request what he would like for me to fix but one thing for sure we will not go out to a restaurant.

I am all set about what to have for his dessert because he is satisfied with a half gallon of ice cream but is also at the point where he likes coffee ice cream, then chocolate, then butter pecan and now it is strawberry or cherry ice cream. It seems that every time I’m at the grocery store he calls to bring him ice cream even if we already have several different flavors of ice creams in our freezer. I also am instructed to get the ice cream last so it does not get soft before getting it home … and even if the grocery store is only a few blocks away and it is freezing outside … So tell me ?? Who is harder to please — men or women??? LOL. However, since it is Valentine’s I will not say a word to him because I know he will have a special something for me.

It is hard for most people to believe but we have still not opened this year’s Christmas gifts for each other and here it is Valentine’s Day.

Going back to Valentines : a day to show your love and affection to your loved ones and special Valentine … be sure to tell them how much you love them and how important they are to you verbally, with a card or a box of chocolates. Valentine’s Day has no age limit and we all need love and affection in our lives. (Be sure to also keep your parents and grandparents in mind on this special day also)

So tomorrow be sure to turn your charm on tell your loved ones just how special they are to you.

I have some funny chocolate quotes to make you smile:

1. Chocolate is the answer, who cares what the question is.

2. On packages of chocolate it says “resealable.” Ha Ha

3. Chocolate does not ask silly questions … chocolate understands

4.No matter how much chocolate you eat your ear rings will still fit,

5 The box of chocolate said it weighed 2 lbs … So how did I gain 10 lbs,?

6.There are no chocoholics — because no one wants to quit.

7 To avoid eating too much chocolate — melt it and drink it.

8 CHOCOLATE is a women’s reward for putting up with men.

9 I could give up chocolate … But I am not a quitter.

10. Dear diamonds, we all know who is really a girls best friend … chocolate cake

11. Sometimes when I am dieting a chocolate bar will jump out of its wrapper and end up in my mouth — very rude!!!

12 Chocolate makes my clothes shrink

Till next week

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RASPBERRY STUFFED FRENCH TOAST WITH CUSTARD SAUCE

4 ounces of Philadelphia Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat than cream cheese) softened

1/2 cup of sugar

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs plus 2 egg whites

5 cups fat free milk, divided

1 loaf French baguette ends trimmed, cut into 18 slices, divided

1 (12 ounce) package of frozen unsweetened raspberries divided

1 package (4 serving size) jello vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling

Beat neufchatel cheese, sugar vanilla and cinnamon with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add 2 cups of the milk, beating well until blended. Arrange 9 of the bread slices in a greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish and sprinkle with half of the raspberries. Top with the remaining bread slices. Pour neufchatel cheese mixture over bread let stand 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, bring remaining 3 cups of milk to a boil in a saucepan. Gradually add dry pudding mix, whisking until well blended. Remove from heat let stand 5 minutes. Microwave remaining raspberries in a small microwaveable bowl on high for 15 to 20 seconds or until warm. Cut French toast into 9 pieces serve topped with custard sauce and raspberries. Makes 9 servings 1 piece each

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CHOCOLATE CLUSTER PEANUT BUTTER CAKE

1 package (2 layers size) chocolate cake mix

1 cup cold milk

1 package (4-serving size) jello vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup planters dry roasted peanuts

2 squares Baker’s semi sweet baking chocolate melted

1 and 1/2 cups thawed cool whip whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 prepare and bake cake mix as directed on package in two greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pans cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile pour milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat for 2 minutes or until well blended. Add peanut butter and beat well. Refrigerate until ready to use. Mix peanuts and melted chocolate. Stir until evenly coated. Dropped by tablespoon on the waxed paper covered baking sheet. Add refrigerate for 10 minutes or until firm. Place one of the cake layers on the cake platter spread with 1 cup of the pudding mixture cover with the remaining cake layer. Gently stir whip topping into remaining putting mixture. Spread over the top and sides of cake decorated with chocolate peanut clusters store leftover cake in the refrigerator. Makes 16 servings 1 slice each.

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CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER TRUFFLES

1 package (8 squares) of Baker’s semi sweet baking chocolate

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tub (8 ounce) cool whip whipped topping thawed

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Microwave chocolate in a large microwaveable bowl on high 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after one minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Cool to warm temperature. Gently stir in whipped topping. Refrigerate for 1 hour scooping butter mixture with melon baller or teaspoon. Then shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and store in refrigerator. Makes 3 dozen or 12 servings of 3 truffles each.

As a substitute prepare as directed and roll in finely chopped planters pecans, toasted bakers angel flake coconut, grated Baker’s semi sweet or premium white baking chocolate or finely crushed Nabisco cookies instead of powdered sugar.

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