Our hearts are large. Soul mates and kindred spirits of all kinds enter our lives every day, and the day to celebrate them is coming soon: Valentine’s Day. Even if we don’t have a significant other, we’re all lovers in some way--of our friends, children, or family. This year on Valentine’s Day, honor the many lights that illuminate your life with a Feast of Love.
-Find every dish, piece of flatware, candleholder, vase, napkin, and tablecloth in your house that’s pink, red, purple, or white. Create your tablescape from these assembled items. If you come up short, keep the color scheme in mind and poke around the house for vintage figurines, toys, objets d’art, and other unexpected items to help you fill out the aesthetic.
-Buy pink, purple, red, and white construction paper. Cut out hearts of all different sizes and scatter them down the center of the table. This effect looks especially striking against a clean, white tablecloth.
-Set a construction paper heart at each place setting. On each heart, write something that person brings to the table—something you love about him or her. It could be something like “You do pitch perfect impersonations,” or “Martha Stewart has nothing on you; you make the best upside down pineapple cake known to man,” or "When you’re around, everybody laughs themselves silly.” If you want, you can even make it a game—leave the name off the placecard and have each guest guess which card is meant for him or her.
-Pick a meal theme. Foods you loved as a child. Foods from famous love stories. Foods with love-related names. Or, maybe just make some food that everybody loves.
-Make sugar cookies for dessert (see recipe below). Instead of using Valentine’s Day-themed cookie cutters, find alphabet cookie cutters. Typically your local kitchen store is a good place to start. If not, try Sur La Table, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, or Fish’s Eddy if you’re in Manhattan. Cut out cookies in the shape of the initials of each guest, plate the cookies and serve with a scoop or two of delicious ice cream. Or, spell out a message of love in cookies on the cleared table or a banquet after the meal is over.
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to spread love far and wide. Create a space for friends and family to share love on a grander scale than lover to lover. After all, there’s no such thing as too much love.
Rosanna’s Sugar Cookie Recipe
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
red, pink, or purple sprinkles and silver or gold dragee balls optional
1. Sift dry ingredients together.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and add the sugar.
3. Add the egg and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat well.
4. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix until well balanced.
5. Wrap the dough in cloth, pastry paper or aluminum foil. Chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
7. Grease one or two baking sheets and set aside.
8. Roll out 1/3 of the dough and cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes and letters.
9. Optional: Sprinkle the cut out cookies with of colored sugar crystals or decorate with candies.
10. Place cookies on baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Watch to make sure they don’t brown!
11. Remove the cookies from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove cookies from sheets with a wide spatula leave to cool on cookie racks.