Valentine's Day interlude

Happy Valentine's Day!
It's been a long week here at our house and Valentine's Day is a bright pink light I'm focusing on and hanging dearly to!  So I'm having a little Valentine's Day interlude here and savoring the excuse to celebrate love (of all kinds) and eat lots of chocolate today!

We'll be starting the day with some heart-shape buttermilk pancakes (recipe here).  I formed the rough heart-shapes by placing the pancake batter into a piping bag and piping out the shapes onto the griddle.  In all likelihood, these will hit the table with a heart-shaped dollop of chocolate hazelnut spread in the middle.
I plan to make pasta with lobster and shrimp for dinner at home with my fellas tonight.  For dessert, I made chocolate covered ice cream hearts (recipe and idea inspired by the Food Network).  A small word of warning...as with most ice cream projects, it's never quite as easy as it sounds or looks.  It's a reminder that ice cream melts, and melts very quickly.  In other words, it gets messy fast.

I served up these red velvet cupcakes (this recipe) last weekend.  With mini chocolate chips in the cupcakes, chocolate ganache frosting (my family's preference over classic cream cheese frosting) and white-chocolate hearts (I melted white chocolate chips and piped out heart shapes) to decorate on top, there was no shortage of chocolate!
I made the cupcakes ahead of time so we could spread the Valentine's Day treats around.  As you know, everyone's stash of chocolates goes up on Valentine's Day so let's make room to enjoy them!
Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!  For me, Valentine's Day is all about love and chocolate.  Hope your day is filled with plenty of both! 



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