Treats and gifts for Valentine’s Day.

It’s that time of the year again, when the stores start putting out heart shaped everything and love is in the air. Another Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly; a time of year to show your loved ones just how much you appreciate and love them. So, here are some treats and gifts that’ll show just that!

Treats:

Sweetheart Cherry Pies:

If you’re looking for an easy but very delicious treat, this is the thing for you! It only takes about 25 minutes to prepare and bake. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pie dough (you can usually find this in any grocery store)
  • Fresh Cherries
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Sugar
  • 1 tbsp of butter, melted
  • Heart cookie cutter

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and make sure to line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.

Step 2: Take your pie dough and roll it out to about an inch thick and then take your heart shaped cookie cutter and press them into the dough. Make sure to use all of the leftover scraps to make more!

Step 3: Take all of your cherries and make sure to remove the pit, an easy way of doing that is by using a straw to help push it out. After you’ve removed the pit, chop up the cherries into small little pieces.

Step 4: In the bowl of cherries add a small pinch of sugar, or more if you have a sweet tooth.

Step 5: On the lines baking sheet, take the heart shaped pie dough and lay them on gently. After you’ve placed all of the pie dough out, take a spoonful of the ricotta cheese and place it into the middle of each heart, doing the same with your chopped up cherries.

Step 6: Lay down the top dough and seal the edges with a fork. After you’ve sealed the dough together, take your melted butter and brush it over top.

Step 6: Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to let the little pies cool down before serving!

Step 7: Enjoy the sweet treat with your friends and family or with your significant other!

Candy Heart Bark:
This chocolate dessert is one of the easiest treats to make! All it takes is about five ingredients; here’s what they are!

  • White chocolate
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Conversation heart candies
  • Food coloring of your choice

Step 1: Take a baking sheet and like it with parchment paper or a silicone mat if you have one.

Step 2: Using a double boiler or a microwave melt down your white chocolate, taking it out every 20 seconds to stir it thoroughly, adding about a tbsp of your oil into the chocolate. After melting the chocolate you can add any color that you want.

Step 2: Melt your semisweet in the same exact way that you did with the white chocolate. After the semisweet chocolate is melted, pour it onto the lined baking sheet, spreading it out evenly.

After you finish spreading the chocolate, use a spoon to scoop up your white chocolate/colored chocolate and randomly pour it into different spaces on top of the semisweet chocolate.

Step 3: Using a tip of a toothpick or even a fork, to drag the white chocolate into different shapes, creating a water marble effect. Before the chocolate hardens up, take your heart candies and place them all around your chocolate.

Step 4: Put the tray into the refrigerator and let it harden for about 2 hours. After its hardened, take the chocolate and break it into pieces as large or as small as you’d like!

DIY gifts:

Heart Bath bombs:

  • Baking Soda
  • Citric Acid
  • Fine Epsom Salts
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Love Potion Essential Oil
  • Red food coloring
  • Witch hazel
  • Mesh strainer
  • Spray bottle
  • Silicone heart mold
  • Plastic gloves

Directions:

Take your mesh strainer and place it over a large bowl, pour in 1 cup of your baking soda, 1/2 cup citric acid and 1/4 cup of fine epsom salts.

Stir baking soda, citric acid and epsom salts until well blended, making sure there are no lumps.

Next, slowly add 1/2 Tablespoon of jojoba oil to the dry mixture. Add 10 drops of Love Potion essential oil and 1-2 drops of food coloring.

Wearing plastic gloves, mix the oils and food coloring through the dry mixture, until it is well incorporated and pink.

Once mixture is blended, slowly add witch hazel, one spritz at a time, until the bath bomb mixture sticks together when squeezed.

You’ll need about 8 to 10 spritzes of witch hazel to get the right consistency. The mixture should not be crumbly. It should stick together when squeezed, but you don’t want it too wet or it may begin to fizz.

Pack the slightly damp mixture tightly into the heart shape molds. Be sure to pack the mixture well, fitting in as much as possible into each mold. (This recipe should make 5 to 6 heart-shaped bath bombs.)

Allow to dry for several hours, or ideally overnight, then remove the homemade bath bombs from the molds.

They should be very hard when you remove them from the molds. Wrap bath bombs tightly in plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place, away from any moisture.

Strawberry Sugar Scrub:

This perfect, and easy little gift is perfect for anyone who loves smooth skin! This strawberry sugar scrub is made in a few minutes, and smells absolutely amazing; here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 3/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Step 1: Take a big ziploc bag and place your freeze-dried strawberries in them. Make sure to seal it real tight, taking all of the air out to make it easier to smash it. You can use a rolling pin to smash the strawberries into almost a dust like consistency.

Step 2: place your strawberry dust into a bowl and add your cane sugar. After you’ve added your sugar, take your coconut oil and place it into the bowl as well, along with your vanilla.

Step 3: Combine everything together!

You can put this scrub into any container that you’d like, big or small! Enjoy using this while showering or while taking a nice hot bath! This will do wonders for you skin.

I hope you take your time to make these wonderful little treats and gifts, whether that be for your loved ones or even just for yourself! Have an amazing Valentine’s Day this year, spend it doing something fun!

Snow day 2018

On the 23 of January, 2018, Saint Paul Public School (SPPS) had their first snow day in almost seven years. On Sunday morning, January 21, people got news that we would be getting nine inches of snow in St. Paul. Once schools got this news, many of them shut down for the following day, giving their students a snow day to keep them safe and warm from all of the snow.

Though there were schools that did give their students and teachers a snow day, there were also many schools that didn’t. Saint Paul Schools were one of the schools that didn’t close down to try and prepare for the snow storm heading our way. Instead, SPPS sent their students home early, trying to beat the snow storm.

While some students made their way home safe and sound, there were others that were stuck at school. During the night of Monday the 22, many parents received a call, telling them that there were many late buses and that some students, mostly elementary students, had not been picked up. This was meant to let all parents know that if their child was not home, that they were safe and being fed at school. During this night, many teachers had stayed back to ensure that the kids were going to do alright and that they were properly fed.

Many kids did not get picked up until almost midnight, the last child being dropped off at 12:05 AM. Many parents were not happy about what had happened, and were also very disappointed in the school board for not canceling school that day. On the same day, SPPS sent out an apology, saying that they would make sure that they would never ever let something like this occur again.

So, a big thank you to all of those who stayed back to help the students who had no way to get home on that snowy night. Make sure to stay bundled up and warm for the upcoming cold days!

 

Easy winter treats

Winter time is the time for staying inside and trying to keeping warm, so why not be productive and spend your time inside making different winter treats that will impress almost anyone who sees them. For those who need some different treat ideas, here are some that I’m sure that you’ll love.  

For those of you who are looking for a very easy, winter sweet treat, this is perfect for you. This treat is for those of you who have a liking for all things chocolate! Here are the things that you’ll need:

  • White Almond Bark or a white chocolate of your choice (half package)
  • Mint Oreos or another cookies and cream alternative (half package)
  • White Peppermint M&M’s
  • Red and green sprinkles

On a parchment paper, laid on to a square pan, you’ll want to spread out your melted chocolate, or your white almond bark, if you’re using that.

The next step is to crush up your Oreos; I find that the easiest way to do this is by putting them inside a bag and using a rolling pin to smash them into different pieces.

The next steps are pretty simple! Carefully sprinkle on your M&M’s and sprinkles on to the chocolate.

If you think that was easy, now all you have to do is put it into the fridge at let the chocolate harden; this took about 7-8 minutes for me.

After your chocolate has hardened, now all you have to do is take your treat and break them into pieces, big or small, it’s all up to you.

 

If you’re in need for an easy treat, one that’ll only take you only a few seconds, then I’m sure this little snack will tickle your fancy.

The simple ingredients that you’ll need are:

  • Strawberries
  • Vanilla frosting (either canned or homemade is just fine)
  • Black gel icing

The steps to this treat are very simple.

All you’ll need to do is to wash your strawberries and cut off the top off each.

Once you’re done with that, you’ll need to cut each one in half, make sure to keep track of which half goes with which!

Once your strawberries are all cut up, you’re going to take your frosting and place some onto the middle of your strawberry halves, placing the top of the strawberries on to the frosting.

With that done, you can then have fun with all of the different faces you can draw onto the strawberry, creating a small little strawberry Santa!

 

This treat is for those who love all things cookies; which we all know is a lot of people!

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • 1 bag Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane – Kisses
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Red and green colored sugar

The very first thing you want to make sure you do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees and also to remove your wrappers from the candies. You will need about 35-40 pieces of candies, depending on the sizes of each of them.

In a big bowl, you’ll want to mix together your butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until everything is blended in fully.

The next thing you’ll want to do is to begin adding in your dry ingredients, starting with the flour and then adding in your baking soda and salt.

Once that is complete you’ll want to add your milk and butter mixture into your bowl, making sure that everything is well combined.

Now it’s time for the fun part! Taking your cookie dough, you’ll want to roll them into balls, any size that you’ll like will do, with each ball you’ll take the cookie dough and roll them into either the green or red sprinkles and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet!

You’ll now want to put the cookies into the oven and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes, making sure to rotate the baking sheet in between.

Once the cookies are done cooking, take them out and let them rest for about 2-3 minutes before you press your chocolate kisses into the center of each one!

These are a small sample of some different winter treats that you can make;  there are a lot of others out there, and I hope that you take some time to make these wonderful sweet treats. You won’t regret it at all; it’ll make the winter time seem ten times better!