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Feb. 14, 1954

February…the “Sweetheart” month…Valentines, Honest Abe and Cherry Pies! The month for Aquarians, Amethyst birthstone and the flower of the month, Violets. 


February has always been a big month in our home. When our 6 children were growing up, my husband always bought each of them a box of valentine candy, too! They always looked forward to it. He really “loves” February (not). In addition to Valentine’s Day, my birthday is Feb. 15th and, our wedding anniversary falls on the 28th. This year makes our 57th.


Now we just go to the card store, each pick out a “mushy” valentine, hand it to the other, read it and put it back!!! (saving money, you know). Just kidding!


This big valentine  is the very first valentine he gave me.  Yes, I still have it!


This month you’ll find a couple of recipes for making your valentine a very special  breakfast. Start with a tasty breakfast cocktail, make him some delicious French toast and add crispy fried bacon and Sautéed Apples.  And, if he’s a chocolate lover, like most men are, here’s a chocolate dessert to top off your romantic Valentine dinner.

Southern Breakfast Cocktail

Serve over ice in pretty glasses.


2  cups apple juice

½ cup pineapple juice

½ cup orange juice

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice


Mix all 4 juices together and chill before serving. 

Makes 3 cups ( 2 servings)


Note: For more servings, double or triple recipe.

Cinnamon-Raisin French Toast with Praline Sauce


There are fancier French toast recipes but this one is an easy basic one.

You can top it with any number of fruit toppings instead of the Praline Sauce, just add your favorite. Try it sometime with our Favorite Peach Sauce, which can be found  in our June 2010 Archives, along with Pancakes for 2!.


3  large eggs

3 Tbsp. salad oil

6  slices Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Praline Sauce


Make the Praline Sauce first and keep warm.  In a pie plate, beat eggs till blended.  In a large  frying pan, over medium high heat, heat the oil till very hot.  Dip the bread slices, one at a time, into the eggs, turning to coat both sides.  Place bread in skillet; fry, turning once, to brown on both sides.  Repeat with the remaining slices, adding more oil if needed. Warm a small pitcher and serve the sauce on the side.

Note:  Instead of the Praline Sauce, you can simply sift powdered sugar on top and/or serve with your favorite syrup or honey. You can also use a different kind of bread if you wish.


Praline Sauce:

½ cup butter

1  cup finely chopped pecans

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

¾ cup water

2  tsp. cornstarch


Place the butter in a 2-qt. saucepan, over medium- low heat. Add pecans and brown, stirring constantly.  Stir in brown sugar.  In small bowl (custard bowl or mixing cup), combine the water and cornstarch, stirring until dissolved. Stir into the saucepan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until mixture slightly thickens and comes to a boil.  Serve warm.


Note:  This sauce is also good over waffles, pancakes or ice cream.

Sautéed Apples

 A good side dish with any breakfast! A mountain favorite.


3  Tbsp. butter

2  Tbsp. light brown sugar

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

4  Large Yellow Delicious Apples, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick

½ tsp. cinnamon


In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together. Add apples, stirring constantly and cooking till tender and brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in cinnamon.


Diana Dorrance’s Pots de Crème


1   cup chocolate chips

  cups scalded half & half (light cream)

2  large egg yolks

3  Tbsp. brandy or rum

Dash of instant espresso coffee granules


Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high speed until “racket” stops. (all chocolate chips are crushed)  Place in small serving bowls and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.  Makes 6 servings

Strawberry Cake

One of my husband’s favorite cakes. I usually make it in the summer, but it would make a delicious Valentine cake.


1 18.25-oz. box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe White cake mix

2   tsp. cake flour

1   3-oz. box strawberry flavored Jello

1  10-oz. box frozen strawberries, thawed & divided

½  cup water

1   cup vegetable oil

4   large eggs

Frosting (below)


Preheat oven to 350º.  Combine cake mix, cake flour and Jello in a mixing bowl.  In another bowl combine ¾ cup of the strawberries (with juice), water and oil. Stir well and pour into the mixing bowl with the dry mixture.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with electric mixer after each addition.  Pour batter into 2 waxed paper lined 9-inch cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in center comes our clean.  Turn out on wire cooling rack and peel off waxed paper.  Let cool completely before frosting.



1  stick margarine

1  16-oz. box powdered sugar, sifted

Pinch of salt

Cream together and add:

Enough remaining thawed strawberries to whip like cream. 

How to make a Valentine cake without a heart-shaped pan:

Use one box cake mix, chocolate or red velvet would be a good choice or make our scratch Strawberry Cake show here. Divide batter evenly (Important) between one round 9x1½ cake pan and one square 9-inch cake pan. Cool cakes completely. Cut the round cake evenly in half. Place cakes as illustrated below and ice with your favorite frosting. Be sure cake pieces are close together with no spaces between.

How to make cake pan liners. 
Place pan over waxed paper, trace around it with a pen and cut it out.
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