Stealthy Valentine’s Giving!

Step One: Mix dough for chocolate shortbread cookies.

Step Two: Let the little one cut out the hearts, then bake.

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Step Three: Wrap the cookies, make a little heart-shaped Happy Valentine’s Day note, tie with red ribbon.

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Step Four: Put the gifts in a sweet little handmade bag for carrying.

Step Five: Scope out the neighborhood and make a plan (we decided to leave treats for those folks on our block who are single and live alone–plus give one to the Dunns, whom we love, and one to the folks who are renting on the corner).

Step Six: Sneak and tiptoe so folks don’t see us. Put the treats in mailboxes if mail hasn’t been brought in yet.

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Step Seven: Slowly squeeze treats through Jack’s mail slot, but be quiet because he is home!!! And when he hears us at the door, drop the treats and…

Step Eight: Run!!!

Valentine Love

The kids woke up to cards, and went to school armed with goodies to share.

Last year I made a loaf of bread in the shape of a heart for my goddaughter. It was ridiculous, but fun. This year, I mixed up some dough and experimented with the shaping and scoring.

As soon as I had scored the loaves, I knew last years’ idea fitted the theme a wee bit better.

We couldn’t quite figure out what this loaf looked like…

But this one certainly had a wide and somewhat evil grin! My, my. Not really the look I was going for.

So, I doubled up my baking efforts and churned out some chocolate shortbread cookies. One of my favorite recipes, (and destined for the recipe tab at some point,) I knew these would make every Valentine celebrator love me just a little bit more!

And then came the giving. John Ronan is obsessed with the fact that the dentist told him that gummy bears are much better for your teeth than lollipops. (He was a lollipop aficionado, and that landed him in cavity land.) So we loaded up on gummy bears and hit the neighborhood!

Isn’t that the cutest little bag? John Ronan “borrowed” it, since it’s destined for a niece’s birthday. (Ssshhh, don’t tell!)

Almost no one was home. But did that deter us Working-on-Being-Better-Giver Givers?!

We dropped packets in the oddest places and thought it was fun that most of our neighbors wouldn’t even know where the treats had come from. (I really wanted to write from whence the treats had come--isn’t that fun? but a little too Downton Abbeyish for this blog…)

Almost lastly, we took one of the odd-shaped loaves of bread–plus more packets of gummy bears– to the swim instructors to eat in between lessons. (John Ronan is finally water safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

And lastly, my parents showed up on the front doorstep with a BOX full of bread from my awesome baker brothers (and chocolate, of course).

Soup on the stove, and five loaves of bread in the kitchen, we held my parents prisoners for the evening to help us eat all the goodies,

and share the love!

Share :: Love.

Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day, my friends!

A Heart of Love

Mixed, molded and baked on Valentine’s Day

This (somewhat lopsided) heart-shaped bread was made specifically for my sweet goddaughter, Maria Rachel. Not quite two, she’s a bread eater (!!!) and already very loved (!!!). But I figured, why not a little more love–a little more bread on this busy February 14th day?

We filled our day with scooter rides, wearing pink, giving out Valentines, admiring the newly blooming plants, and lots of tackles and kisses and laughter. (Plus my husband and I zipped away for dinner out!)

Hope your day was also filled with hearts, and love…