Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Treats

What a great Valentine's Day!  This week has been a busy one, but filled with fun and good things.  I started on Sunday night making these delish strawberry oatmeal bars...courtesy of Pioneer Woman!  I saw the recipe on a recent episode of her show on Food Network.  Using strawberry preserves for the filling made me wonder how good it was going to be.  Why did I wonder?!  These are great!  Here's the recipe:
Pioneer Woman's Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 ten-twelve oz jar of strawberry preserves (I used a 12 oz jar)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter 9x13 in rectangular pan.  Mix together butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Press half the oat mixture into prepared pan.  Spread with strawberry preserves.  Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly.  Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 min.  Let cool completely then cut into squares.  YUM!
 Monday at school we got some pink, purple, and red paint and made valentines.  We used stencils and heart shaped cookie cutters to make some designs.  The girls did a great job and we made lots of cards! 
 Today we made Valentine cookies, using an easy cookie recipe that I got off of Tamera Alexander's blog. 
 Here's the recipe:
Cake Mix Cookies
1 box of cake mix (I used the butter yellow...but you can use any kind)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
*Mix these ingredients together and then you can add...
2 cups of whatever...chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, M&M's, etc (we did Valentine colored M&Ms...and they were good!)
You can also add desired amount of nuts...pecans, walnuts, etc.
*I mixed the first set of ingredients with a mixer, then I just used a spoon to stir in the m&m's so they wouldn't break up
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet (be sure to grease it good...I forgot on the first two batches and they stuck a good bit and crumbled some...I greased for the third batch, but not enough and they still stuck some).  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  You can store cookie dough up to 10 days in the fridge.
 We took our cookies and homemade Valentines to a homeschool party this afternoon.  It was so much fun!  We had lots of good snacks, activities, and fellowship.  One of the moms who planned it had some math activities for kids of all ages.  Sophie did a heart candy bar graph.  She had a cup full of candy and put it on her paper to the corresponding color.  When she finished we took one color at a time, took the candy off, and she colored the amount of boxes that equaled the amount of candy.  I thought it was a great idea!  Another mom also had a science activity in which the kids mixed boiling water with borax and put it into a glass jar.  Then they twisted a pipe cleaner into a heart and attached it with a string to a pencil.  The pencil rested on top of the jar and the pipe cleaner hung down into the hot mixture, without touching the bottom or sides.  After a few hours, crystals covered the heart and some sides of the jar.  The kids also attached a Bible verse to the front of it.
 Isaac had fun playing with balls and putting the pool table balls into the pockets.  There was also a drum set in the room that he visited several times.  I think he might be a music lover!
 Sophie and her good friend.  You can see one of the jars in the background on the stove : ).
 A special treat for me from my beloved husband was some beautiful flowers!  I love surprises (as I've said before!) and this afternoon we had a ring from our doorbell with a delivery.  I really think my guy is awesome.
 And this is another reason I think he's so awesome.  He not only got me flowers, but he gave our little girl a beautiful flower of her own with a sweet card.  Her little face lit up.  What a blessing it was to me to see the love she felt from and for her Daddy.
 Little man wasn't neglected!  Daddy got him a cute Georgia Bulldogs bear.  It's adorable and Isaac was so excited about it.
What a blessing today was.  I feel loved every day by my family, but having a day like this is special.  We finished off the evening by sharing a Sonic blast : ).  I got my ice cream...and more!
Love and blessings~Stacey

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