Gotta Love Love

 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays and it is just around the corner! It’s perfect…not only do I get to create fun valentines, but I get to bake yummy treats to go with them! In this post you will find some fun little valentine printables along with our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I hope you can find time to treat your family or yourself to some of them!

 

Here are two of my favorite couples…
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My oldest got engaged over the holidays. We are soooo excited! These two have quite the love story. Stay tuned for wedding updates! Gotta love LOVE.

 

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This young girl has stolen the heart of my baby. She is quiet, sweet and a good match for his fiery personality. It is fun to watch how they interact with each other as they dive into the dating phase of their lives. Now on to the freebies!

 

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Valentines

Here are the fun little valentines that I created. One set features a coffee lovers theme, while the other is quirky little animals. There are eight different designs in each set. They come in two different sizes (each)…3 x 3 or 5 x 5. The 3 x 3 sets have four on a page and the 5 x 5 sets come with two on a page. Feel free to download as many or as few as you desire. I hope you find someone who will love them! Please post pics and tag me so I can see how you used them.

 

 

coffee 2 valentine 3x3coffee 1 valentine 3x3valentine animals 3x3 1

valentine animals 3x3 2

Here are the links to the valentines.

 

I also made a valentine bag topper that fits perfectly over a standard zip top sandwich or snack bag. I used a snack sized bag in the picture below.

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The topper is printed identically on both sides. I had red and white gumballs on hand, but multi colored gumballs work well also. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed a similar topper from last year. This is the new improved version! I made last year’s in a BIG hurry one afternoon. Here is the link to the bag topper.

Something sweet

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Chocolate chip cookies seem to be the way to my boys hearts! This is their favorite recipe:

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 cup butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
  2. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all purpose flour
  7. one 3.4 ounce Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (NOT sugar free or cook and serve)
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1 bag (12 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Cream the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix again.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pudding mix, baking soda and kosher salt. Mix well.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Scrape down the bowl and mix again. Don’t over mix the dough.
  • Add the chocolate chips and just mix until distributed.
  • Using a cookie scoop, place the dough balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. I usually get about 26-27 cookies per batch.
  • For soft, chewy cookies refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. For crispier cookies, cook immediately at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes.  For the soft, chewy version, cook the same way after refrigerating.
  • Let cool on the cookie sheet. The softer version will be too soft to transfer to a rack.

I hope you enjoy all the goodies that I  posted today. I sure enjoy cooking for those boys…MEN (ugh) in my life! When did they grow up?! Oh well, gotta love ’em! They are the reason why I do what I do. XOXO

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Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Nothing says love like cinnamon chocolate sugar cookies! Here is a sweet little recipe to enhance your hump day. These can be rolled out and cut into fun shapes or just formed into a ball and then rolled in sugar for fun little sweet treats.These are GREAT with an ice-cold glass of milk. I even think they would be perfect for home-made ice cream sandwiches. =)choco-cookie-w-milk-1-of-1

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter (room temperature)

1 cup of white sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2 cups of all-purpose flour

3/4 cup of cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter with the paddle attachment of a mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and mix for about a minute. Scrape down the bowl well and mix again for about 30 seconds. Don’t mix too long. You don’t want this to be an airy batter.
  2. Add the egg and mix on low. Scrape down the bowl and mix again.
  3. Add the vanilla and give it a quick spin, not too long.
  4. In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. You can sift them or use a whisk and combine them well together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix on low just until the dough comes together and sticks to the paddle attachment.
  6. Place parchment paper on a 2 large cookie sheets. Divide dough into half and place one half on each cookie sheet. Cover with more parchment paper and roll out flat. I like my cookies thin so I roll it out pretty thin. Keep in mind you do have to move them from the parchment paper cookie sheet to the cookie sheet you are going to bake them on. After you have rolled them out, leave them covered and place them in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  7.  Remove the dough from the fridge and cut out your shapes. Place the cookies on the other cookie sheet and return to the fridge for at least 10 minutes more.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350.
  9. Remove the cookies from the fridge and cook for 8-12 minutes.
  10. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature and then feel free to decorate.mini-cookies-1-of-1

 

Options:

  1. If you don’t want to cut out shapes you can make simple sugar cookies.Roll  the dough into tablespoon sized balls and then roll in a bowl of white sugar, coating the whole ball. Place onto cookie sheet and flatten with a the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake the same way. As pictured above.
  2. Sprinkle cookies with colored sugar, jimmies, sprinkles etc before baking for a little variety.
  3. If you do not like cinnamon you can just leave it out or replace it with a teaspoon of instant coffee (the powder, not brewed) to deepen the flavor of the chocolate.

I made these for my parents and my in-laws for Valentine’s Day along with a home-made Valentine’s card. Spread the love friends!watts-cookie-1-of-1

Valentine’s Day

img_9498-3Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! What a great opportunity to show someone how much they mean to you and how much you love them.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

fullsizerender-104Do something special for those you love. Make them a valentine. Send a care package to those who are far away. Make some cookies to share with family and friends.img_9439-2

Even the smallest gesture is appreciated when it is done in love. I am a lucky girl. My sweet hubby is fixing us dinner tomorrow night. I love my family and am blessed to have the opportunity to spend special times with them. Spread a little love to someone tomorrow. You never when a kind word, card, cookie or simple act could be just what they need to make their day.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

img_9231-2HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY friends!