Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy SNOWY Valentine's











Happy Valentine's Day! This may be kind of a long post, so if you think I'm boring, stop reading now and just look at the pictures!
So this morning before 7 I looked out the window and saw that there was maybe 1/2 inch of snow on the ground and figured surely we'd have school, so I dragged myself out of bed to make our traditional Valentine's breakfast of chocolate gravy with heart shaped biscuits. So I got up and there was my oldest boy, intently watching the tv screen to see if there was a SNOW DAY. You people in the west won't know what I'm talking about. In UT and such places I don't think there is any such thing as a snow day! Out here in the east, however, there are usually at least a couple of snow days a year. I guess we are extra wimpy or something, plus the roads are narrower, etc. I don't really know the reasoning. Anyhoo, there came our town, up on the screen- SNOW DAY! I think the town officials are a bit skittish after last year when a big snow storm stranded a school bus (with my kids on it) for an hour and freaked out all the parents who sent lots of complaining emails, so they will cancel school as soon as one flake of snow hits the pavement!
So, of course I got back in bed! A couple of minutes later I heard the horns going off from the center of town. I currently live in the town where I grew up, and here there is an extremely loud horn at the center firestation. When I was little it went off at 6:45 AM, noon, and 6:45 pm. There is some old-fashioned reason for it that I don't really know- I've heard fog, ice, to wake up the farmers, etc but I don't know the true reason. But on snow days, it will go off in the early morning about 10x in a row- the best sound of childhood! My senior year of high school we only got one black ice day, and I was so mad! How lame is that?! Senior year is the only year that you don't have to make up snow days, so I felt pretty gypped, and frankly still kind of do! Yes, I take a while to get over things. Anyway, the irony is that my kids get up just as early instead of sleeping in, and by noon they will be driving me nuts!
So yesterday was our Joyschool Valentine's day party. It was so JOYful- and loud, and exhausting!! (for me, not the kids) We did have fun though, decorating Valentine's bags, frosting cookies, making Valentine's for all the parents, and exchanging Valentine's. Little kids get so excited about this stuff! My little guy was about beside himself all morning. He looked so handsome with his new haircut all dressed up in his red shirt.
So I tried a new sugar cookie recipe that I got from my friend Ashley, and they were so good! My sugar cookies always turn out hard and crunchy, but these were so soft and yummy. This is probably due to the entire cup of sour cream the recipe contains! Plus she told me that you need to underbake them, they should be rolled thick and not be brown at all, even on the bottom. So, if you haven't already made your "cutout cookies" for today, try them- you'll be happy you did! When I was growing up my parents made us each a giant heart-shaped cookie that was waiting for us when we got up in the morning, another fun Valentine tradition. I used to love to put red hots on mine. My other favorite thing was doilies, coloring in between each tiny hole with a marker and seeing the design it made on the paper. I guess this post is all about my trip down Valentine's memory lane!
My good friend EP really liked the bear that I made our other friend for her baby shower and asked me to make her one sometime. So, I thought it would be a fun to make one for a little Valentine's surprise. We wrapped it up in cellophane, holding a heart cookie and her neighborly neighbor helped me break in and leave it in her condo so it would be waiting when she came in the door last night.(It's ok, they are good friend and she has a key!) I just love surprising people! I think the fabric she picked out is so cute. I can't really take much credit for it, since it's a Martha pattern as I mentioned before. I sure am getting great mileage out of that free pattern download!
Well, snow day or no, I hope you have a very Happy Valentine's Day today, enjoying your own family's traditions!


Chocolate Gravy and Buttermilk Biscuits:

Biscuits-
2 c flour
2 & 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t soda
1 t salt
1 t sugar
1 C buttermilk (sub regular milk with a little vinegar or lemon juice)
4-5 T cooking oil

Mix ingredients well, dough will be sticky. Roll our on floured surface. Cut into circles (or hearts for Valentine's) and place on greased pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Butter and top with chocolate gravy.

Chocolate Gravy-
2 T flour
2 T cocoa
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 C milk
1 T butter
1 t vanilla

In saucepan mix flour, sugar, and cocoa and mild and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Cook until thickened. (consistency will be like thin pudding) Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Pour over hot buttered biscuits. Yum!

Sugar Cookies:

1 C butter softened
2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 C sour cream
2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
4 t baking powder
4 1/2- 5 C flour

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla, then sour cream. Add dry ingredients until dough is no longer sticky. Chill dough for an hour in the freezer for one hour, or fridge for 3-4 hours. Roll dough out about 1/4 inch thick on floured surface, and bake for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Cookies should not be brown at all on top or bottom. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and transfer to cooling rack.

Frosting:

1 stick butter, softened
2 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1-2 T milk
pinch salt
food coloring

Mix with beaters adding milk until frosting gets smooth and creamy but not too thin. (For chocolate frosting, also add 6 T powdered cocoa) Spread on cooled cookies.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Valentines day to you all! We have never had a snow day out here in AZ! Thanks for sharing my wonderful cute grand boys with me on Valentines day! Sounds like lots opf fun. Will there be snow in March? See you. Nana

ellen said...

My bear is famous!

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