(Family Features) If the way to your loved one’s heart is through the stomach, there’s no better way to start off this Valentine’s Day than with a homemade breakfast prepared with love.
Whether you’re whipping up a breakfast for a spouse with a sophisticated palate or trying to tempt the taste buds of your littlest loves, explore these ideas to get inspired.
- Red is the color of love, so build your menu around fresh strawberries or raspberries, which pair perfectly with French toast or crepes, and can even dress up a simple cereal.
- For a more sensible menu, opt for a fruity berry smoothie or a parfait layered with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and granola. Add a hint of loving indulgence by sprinkling dark chocolate shavings on top.
- Show your affection with a plate of these colorful Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes featuring rich 100 percent cocoa, buttermilk and fresh berries. Heart-shaped cookie cutters lend a special touch to these fluffy, flavorful pancakes. Add sweet garnishes like powdered sugar and berries for a sensational way to say “I love you.”
Find more recipes you’ll love to share with your nearest and dearest this Valentine’s Day at Culinary.net.
Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé
Servings: 10 pancakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk or low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring
- heart-shaped pancake cutters or cookie cutters (optional)
- butter, for garnish (optional)
- powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
- maple syrup, for garnish (optional)
- fresh berries, for garnish (optional)
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well.
- In separate large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and food coloring. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit 5 minutes.
- Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush with oil or butter. Add about 1/4 cup batter to skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, or until bottom is lightly browned. Serve immediately with butter, powdered sugar, syrup and berries, if desired.
Tip: If using pancake or cookie cutters, be sure to coat with oil so pancakes don’t stick. Place cutters in skillet and pour batter into cutters. Remove cutters before flipping.
(Family Features) No matter the occasion, a good host knows that great food is the key to any party. These crowd-pleasing snacks and desserts are the perfect treats to make your gathering just a little sweeter.
Find more party-worthy recipes at Culinary.net.
A Naturally Sweet Party Treat
Easy-to-make Cinnamon Honey Buns are a delicious treat party-goers will adore. Naturally sweetened by the addition of honey, they make for a wonderful addition to any spread. Learn more about the health and flavor benefits of honey, and find delicious recipes, at honey.com.
Cinnamon Honey Buns
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened and divided
- 1/2 cup honey, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 pound frozen bread dough, thawed according to package directions
- 2/3 cup raisins
- Grease 12 muffin cups with 1 tablespoon butter.
- To prepare honey nut topping: Mix together 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup honey and chopped nuts, if desired. Place 1 teaspoon topping in each muffin cup.
- To prepare buns: Mix together remaining butter, remaining honey and cinnamon. Roll out bread dough onto floured surface into 18-by-8-inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough. Sprinkle evenly with raisins.
- Starting with long side, roll dough into log. Cut log into 12 slices, 1 1/2 inches each. Place one slice, cut-side up, into each prepared muffin cup. Set muffin pan in warm place; let dough rise 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Place muffin pan on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until buns are golden brown. Remove from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert muffin pan to remove buns.
An Award-Worthy Snack
Whether you’re gearing up for awards season or spending an evening catching up on your favorite TV drama, there are plenty of small screen events that provide the perfect backdrop for a watch party. Gather your friends and family and get ready to tune in to a fun-filled evening with this delicious snack.
Since no party is complete without a delicious food spread, create finger foods that fit the theme of your viewing party. An iconic option like microwave popcorn is sure to be a crowd-pleaser because of its delicious flavor and versatility. Whether you create an enticing popcorn station with fun mix-ins or prepare mouthwatering snacks like festive Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate Fondue, microwave popcorn is always a party pleaser. Use a high-quality gourmet popcorn, such as Orville Redenbacher’s, which is the only leading brand that uses real butter. From buttery to sweet and savory, all varieties feature non-GMO, 100 percent whole-grain kernels that pop up lighter and fluffier than ordinary popcorn.
Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate ‘Fondue’
Prep time: 25 minutes
- 1 bag Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop! 94 Percent Fat-Free Butter Microwave Popcorn
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1/4 cup stick butter or margarine (1/4 cup = 1/2 stick)
- 1 package (10 ounces) marshmallows
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups light chocolate syrup
- colored candy sprinkles (optional)
- Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all un-popped kernels. Spray large bowl with nonstick spray; add popped corn.
- In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and vanilla. Heat 5 minutes, or until marshmallows melt, stirring frequently. Pour over popcorn; mix well with spoon sprayed with cooking spray. Moisten hands with water before shaping popcorn mixture into 24 small balls, about 1/3-cup popcorn mixture each.
- In small saucepan, heat chocolate syrup over medium heat 5 minutes, or until warm, stirring occasionally. Transfer to small, fondue-style pot.
- Use wooden skewers or fondue forks to pick up popcorn balls and dip into chocolate and sprinkles, if desired.
An Un-beet-able Dessert
There’s nothing like a colorful dessert to cap off an evening of entertaining. These vibrant cupcakes don't need artificial dyes to give them their red hue. The secret ingredient is beet, which adds coloring and packs fiber, manganese and iron. Find more healthful recipes perfect for any gathering at aicr.org.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
- 1 cup canned beets, drained
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa, plus 1-2 tablespoons for decorating
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil, chilled
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, cold
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 4 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350° F. Drop paper liners into 12-cavity muffin pan.
- Working knife up and down in measuring cup, coarsely chop beets. Place beets in blender, add 1/4 cup buttermilk and blend until beets are finely chopped. Add remaining buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla and blend to puree. Set beet mixture aside.
- In small bowl, combine flour, 6 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine oil and sugar. With hand mixer on medium speed, mix until sugar is evenly moistened. Add cold egg and beat on high until mixture resembles mayonnaise and sugar is almost completely dissolved, 90 seconds. Add beet mixture and beat until combined. Sift dry ingredients into bowl and mix, either on low speed or by hand until combined with wet ingredients.
- Divide batter evenly among lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full.
- Bake cupcakes 28-30 minutes, or until tops feel springy. Immediately transfer cupcakes to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
- Ice cupcakes, using about 1 tablespoon frosting for each. Place remaining cocoa in strainer and sprinkle over frosted cupcakes. If desired, let cupcakes sit at room temperature to allow frosting to set, about 2 hours.
Note: Frosted cupcakes can sit at room temperature for up to 12 hours.
To make Cream Cheese Frosting: In small bowl, work sugar and cream cheese together with wooden spoon or hand mixer until combined. Mix in vanilla.
Note: Frosting is best when refrigerated 8 hours or overnight, loosely covered, before using. It keeps in refrigerator 5 days.
Cinnamon Honey Bun photo
(photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Red Velvet Cupcakes photo
(photo courtesy of Getty Images)