Valentine’s Day Inspiration Round Up

Tying The Knot Bridal Shower Dessert Bar || Sarah Sofia Productions

It’s hard to believe Valentine’s Day is next month. I have to admit I’ve  been scouting out the stores the last few weeks to create something fun and festive for you this year.

However, today I wanted to share past Valentine’s Day party inspiration and recipes with you.

Valentine's Day Inspiration

Valentine’s Day is all about being with loved ones which can be your best girlfriends, your boyfriend, husband, or family.

Red velvet mini cupcakes and mini strawberry cupcakes are not only a fun activity to make with your family but are delicious and the perfect school treat!

Strawberry Heart Cup Out Cupcakes || Sarah Sofia Productions

Get the recipe and other easy heart cut out ideas in Valentine’s Day Treats.

Valentine's Day Treats || Sarah Sofia Productions

Throw a fun dinner party with your girlsfriends and make it GLAM with pink and gold.

Pink + Gold GLAM Bridal Shower

Get the look and the details for your girls night out here.

Make Valentine’s Day last the entire month with beautiful floral arrangements, cute signs, banners, and candles in an array of pinks and reds and some gold!

Valentine's Day

Elephants, coral and Robin's egg blue first birthday party

PlayPlay! Theatre Fundraiser

Get the looks and the details here, here and here.

Don’t forget easy ways to dress up your cheese plate, creative appetizers, and dessert bar inspiration. Be creative and use purple and reds in your Valentine’s Day décor and floral arrangements.

Tying the Knot Bridal Shower Heart Cut of Cheese Plate || Sarah Sofia Productions

Wine Tasting Bridal Shower Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Tying The Knot Bridal Shower Dessert Bar || Sarah Sofia Productions

Tying the Knot Bridal Shower Dessert Bar || Sarah Sofia Productions

Tying The Knot Bridal Shower Floral Arrangements || Sarah Sofia Productions

Tying the Knot Bridal Shower Floral Arrangement || Sarah Sofia Productions

Get the looks and details of these recipes and floral arrangements here and here.

We’re working on the details for a festive Valentine’s Day celebration coming in the next few weeks. Make sure you come back and get inspired!

Inspiration for the Holidays: Family Traditions with Recipes and Cookie Decorating Party

Family Traditions Cookie Decorating Party

Winter break has officially begun and we are entering the week of Christmas! Tis’ the season for all things festive and fun!

To send off my daughter’s preschool teachers we made fudge together.

Holiday Traditions FudgeFor as long as I can remember this was a tradition I did with my mother at Christmas time. It’s an easy recipe that takes no time at all while making memories with your family!

I use Carnation Evaporated Milk recipe minus the marshmallows and add walnuts.

Carnation Evaporated Mile recipe

Mama’s Fudge Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line 8 inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil lightly with Pam non-stick cooking spray. Combine sugar evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces or as desired.

Holiday Traditions Fudge 1

Fudge makes a perfect holiday gift or hostess gift as you enter the week of Christmas and New Year’s! Simply line your favorite tin or box with tissue paper and add the fudge.

Holiday Traditions Christmas CookiesThe best memories are ones with your loved ones! This is the second year we’ve made Christmas cookies together.

Traditions Christmas Cookies

It’s amazing what a difference a year makes! Cooking and baking with your kids not only makes wonderful memories, but teaches them measurements, portion control, where our food comes from, and hopefully to become bakers and cooks.

I like to try different sugar cookie recipes. This year I tried the “Perfect Sugar Cookie Cut-outs from Love Grows Wild but removed the almond extract.
Serves: 40-50 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • colored sugars for decorating
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Make sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife to ensure accurate measurements. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.
  3. Roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper and place on a baking sheet in the refrigerator. Chill for about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters and transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugars and bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 40-50 cookies.
Notes

For this recipe, the dough only needs to chill about 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator since it is already rolled out. If you would rather chill the dough first before rolling, you’ll want to increase the chill time to about an hour.Using the parchment paper is a great tip for rolling the dough, because it eliminates the need to add extra flour to keep it from sticking. However, I didn’t have any parchment paper I choose the old fashion route.

I found Love Grows Wild tip about letting the cookies cool for only 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then lifting them with a spatula onto a cooling rack to be the difference in a soft tasting sugar cookie!

Now that you’ve made your perfect sugar cookie it’s time to decorate! Since you’re kids are out of school, why not make it into a cookie decorating party?!
Cookie Decorating Party
As a party planner I love a good party! It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. You could even just have a little party with your own children. The point is to make it fun, festive and an activity that everyone will enjoy and remember!
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This year I found all my cookie decorating accessories at Michael’s, except for the red oval bowl from Target last year.
Cookie Decorating Party
How cute are these mini milk glasses that I found on sale at Michael’s?!
Cookie Decorating Party
If you have young children, like me, I decided to ice the sugar cookies first and then let the girls decorate them this year. I found an easy and delicious buttercream frosting recipe from Two Sisters Crafting! I added a little almond milk and it was hard to stop licking the spoon!
Holiday Traditions Cookie Decorating PartyCookie Decorating Party Cookie Decorating PartyHope this inspires you to make traditions and memories with your family and friends this holiday season!
Happy Holidays!
Looking for more fun party, décor, kids activities, and DIY fun this holiday season? Check out our previous posts on
Credits
Design, Styling, & Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions
Recipes (unless otherwise noted) – Sarah Sofia Productions
Perfect Sugar Cookie Cut-outs Recipe Love Grows Wild
Best Butter Cream Frosting Recipe – Two Sisters Crafting

 

Valentine’s Day Treats!

Here are some delicious treats for your Valentine’s Day.  If you’re like me and you’re watching your weight, but want a little something sweet, try making mini red velvet cupcakes or cutting small hearts out of Weight Watcher brownies or cakes.

For parents looking for a last-minute treat for your kid’s class party buy OREO Cakesters and a heart cookie cutter and make small heart-shaped treats in minutes.  Place heart-shaped cakes in cellophane and tie with red ribbon.  You can find cellophane and ribbon at any craft store.


Strawberry Heart Cut Out Cupcakes

I used Duncan Hines Strawberry Cake box mix, but here is a great recipe featured on Apron of Grace.

http://apronofgrace.com/2011/rose-bouquet-strawberry-birthday-cake/

I baked a minute less than the box directions for cupcakes to make them moister.  I placed the cookie cutter on top of the cupcake and removed the cut out heart.  Add cream cheese frosting, I used Duncan Hines Whipped Cream Cheese, to the hollowed cupcake and placed the heart cut out upright onto the cupcake.   Glorious Treats demonstrates another way by cutting the entire top off first.

http://glorioustreats.blogspot.com/2012/01/sweet-heart-cupcakes.html

I also made flower shaped cupcakes using a baking mold and topped them off with cream cheese frosting, fresh strawberries, and red sprinkles.

Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes

I used Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake box mix and followed directions for cupcakes.  Bake 5 minutes less than directed to get desired moist mini cupcakes.  Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, I used Duncan Hines Whipped Cream Cheese.  If you want to bake them from scratch here is a great recipe from Recipe Girl that you can also use for pancakes.

http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/02/06/red-velvet-pancakes-with-sweet-cream-cheese-topping/