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Five Fun Family Traditions for Valentine’s Day!!

February 14th, 2018
Cheese Fondue, fondue, i love fondue, steak and cheese fondue, table, valentine's day fondu

Cheese Fondue, perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat.

Valentine’s Day is a special day in our house.  This is the day we have dedicated to two things…expressing our LOVE for each other and making fondue!! Although we love to make fondue on more than one occasions, we’ve had years go by when the fondue pots were no where to be seen, so making fondue a Valentine’s Day tradition in our family, guarantees that no matter how busy we get during the year, there is one day that fondue will DEFINITELY be served!  Our fondue meal consists of two courses… the cheese fondue, which we serve with various meats and dippers and a chocolate fondue which also include lots of delicious dippers such as fruit, Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and pretzels.

Valentine's Day, Valentine's, Fondue, chocolate, chocolate fondue, fruit, LOVE, fruit for fondue

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Fondue with LOVE dessert plates.

There are also a few other Valentine’s Day traditions we try to incorporate.  Our goal is to show our children that you can have a day of love, celebration, and appreciation, even if you are not romantically involved with someone.

Here are a few other traditions we  incorporate:
1. GOING AROUND THE TABLE AND TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT EACH PERSON. This is such an easy and fun activity and certainly should not be reserved just for Valentine’s Day.  We should tell our family how much we love them, every day… but you have to admit, there is no better day to do it than Valentine’s Day and you can make a point of being especially mushy and lovey! For instance, we talk about what makes each person at the table special and unique.  It’s not the easiest thing for some people to talk about (especially my boys), but once they get started, they typically have no problems expressing themselves.

2. BRAINSTORMING ON HOW TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES FEEL LOVED. We enjoy teaching our kids that gestures of kindness and appreciation do not have to be grand or complicated.  Sometimes we talk about what they can do for their grandparents (maybe draw a picture or write down some of the things that make their grandparents special). Sometimes we brainstorm on ways to make our friends feel good, especially if they are down or feeling lonely.  Even quick gestures of respect, like saying thank you, excuse me, or holding the door open for someone, can generate a smile.

3.  WATCH A FUN VALENTINE’S DAY MOVIE AS A FAMILY. Movie night is always fun, but you can make it extra special on Valentine’s Day by snuggling up together on the couch and watching a fun Disney movie such as Lady and The Tramp, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, or even the Sound of Music.

4. HAVE A SPECIAL VALENTINE’S DAY MEAL TRADITION.  For our family, a fondue dinner is our big Valentine’s Day event. But you can create something that is unique and special to your family. What about a red dinner and red dessert (lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs in a red sauce and red velvet cake)?  Heart shaped Pizza? Heart shaped pancakes or waffles for breakfast? I read in an article that a man and his wife always had a picnic on Valentine’s Day (they must have lived somewhere warm).   Another family started celebrating February 15th, when all the chocolate would go on sale… you have to admit, pretty clever! Whatever you choose, it should be a reflection of what your family loves and enjoys.  Even something as simple as sharing a box of chocolate with your loved ones, on Valentine’s Day, can be a memorable tradition.

5. LOVE NOTES. Instead of spending money on commercially made Valentine’s Day cards, encourage your children to write you love notes and you should do the same for them. This tradition doesn’t take much time or money but can be the most valuable of all, especially if your children decide to keep their love notes for years to come!


Healthy Valentine’s Day Yummies – Beet Hummus – No Bake Cookies – Health (ier) Chocolates!

February 9th, 2016



As always, hanging out with the wonderful people at Better Kansas City is always a treat! On yesterday’s Valentine’s Day inspired show I showed Lisa Teachman a few fun recipes.  May I quickly add that I feel proud that I was the reason she tried beets for the first time!  You gotta love it when you can inspire people to try a fun recipe or experience a new foods!

My three recipes included a Beet Hummus (Brace yourself… this stuff is AH-MAZING!!!), No Bake Paleo Cookies, and home-made chocolates filled with fun and healthy ingredients.  So, without further delay, here are the recipes.  Enjoy!!



1 cup of roasteded beets (directions to roast below)
1 15 oz. can white kidney beans (mostly drained)
zest of one large lemon
juice of half a large lemon
healthy pinch salt and black pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Slice beets into thick slices and toss in olive oil with a generous portion of salt, pepper, and your favorite dried and/or fresh herbs. I love to toss mine with dried rosemary and oregano. Roast at 400 for approximately 15-20 minutes.

2. Let beets cool and place them in a food processor. Add, olive oil, beans, lemon zest and juice, garlic, Process all ingredients until very smooth. Follow my three step rule… Process, scrape, taste. Adjust ingredients according to your taste. I love extra lemon in my hummus, so I may add a bit more as I process. Then, again… Process, scrape, taste.  Do this a total of three times and you should have your perfect hummus!

3. Serve hummus with warm pita bread, chips, crackers, or vegetables. Store extra hummus in an airtight container for up to a week.

For the above photo I used large tortillas which I cut out as hearts (with a heart cookie cutter).  Then, I brushed each heart with olive oil, sprinkled with dried dill, oregano, and garlic salt.  Baked at 375 in the oven for about 10-15 minutes… keep an eye on the tortilla chips so they don’t burn.   Let cool and serve alongside your beet hummus. These baked tortilla chips are so much healthier than the store-bought fried alternative!



1 cup coconut flour sifted
2 T almond flour
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
pinch cinnamon
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4- 1 cup Almond Milk
Dark chocolate
Goji Berries
Hemp Seeds

In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut flour,almond flower, and coconut palm sugar, and cinnamon. Make sure all the dry ingredients are mixed well.

Stir in the almond butter until the dough is crumbly. Using a tablespoon at a time, add the almond milk until a very thick batter is formed. Make golf sized balls with the dough and press down in the center of each to create a small ditch. Place the balls on a lined baking pan. Fill with dark chocolate and top off with god berries and hemp seeds. Refrigerate until time to serve.





Any kind of chocolate Chocolate or candy melts
1/2 cup of toasted Quinoa (toasting instructions below)
Small heart molds or candy molds. I purchased mine at Michael’s in the baking section

Make chocolate with your favorite recipe or melt chocolate chips or candy melts.

Add toasted Quinoa to chocolate and mix well. Fill the heart molds with the chocolate and quinoa mixture. Cool in refrigerator until fully set.  Pop out and enjoy.

HOW TO TOAST QUINOA : Toast quinoa in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until quinoa is very fragrant and makes continuous popping sound, 10-15 minutes. Transfer quinoa to bowl and set aside. Store extra quinoa in an airtight container.

Valentine’s Day Fondue Dessert Buffet

February 18th, 2014

Valentine’s Day is either a hit or miss for me!  Sometimes I go all out, and sometimes I just tell my husband to take me somewhere special.  This year, we decided to have another couple over for dessert, so I created a chocolate fondue buffet with a Valentine’s twist.  I found heart Peeps at the store, which is a HUGE treat for me, since I shamefully admit, I love Peeps!  I created Peeps heart-kabobs with Little Debbie marshmallow treats, brownie bites from the Target bakery, and heart Peeps.  The rest of the items were cut-up fruit and some other goodies to dip in a super easy chocolate fondue. I loved that this party required little prep time.  For drinks, we made champagne cocktails, which are simply glasses of champagne with an added sugar cube.  I also added a strawberry to every glass.

For my fondue, I kept it simple with a half a bag of bittersweet chocolates and 1/4 cup of condensed milk.  Worked out beautifully! Seriously, I wish all parties were this simple!