Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Be My Valentine {Design Darling}

I’m delighted to share a post this morning from Mackenzie of Design Darling. This girl is a superstar and will soon knock our socks off with the DD boutique launching this year. I can’t wait to see where she goes and all the great things she will do – but I think I’m even more excited to meet her a week from today! Let the blogger love continue!

• • •

Hi there! I’m Mackenzie from Design Darling and I’m excited to be sharing a little Valentine’s Day post here on Cupcakes For Breakfast! Whether you’re single, married, or somewhere in between, I think we can all agree that the holiday is a really great excuse to don our girly best and have a ball!

 

Pajama party, anyone? What are your plans for February 14? Thanks, Nikki, for having me!

Valentine’s Sweets and Treats

I was going to stay out of the Valentine’s Day hoopla. That’s why I’m hosting this fantastic guest series. But, well, I couldn’t resist when I started thinking about some of the great sweets and treats that go along with this holiday.

If you’re planning on baking this weekend for your sweetheart, your girlfriends or your family, consider some of my favorite cupcakes below. Don’t forget the pink wrappers!

Valentine's Day sweets cupcakes chocolate

  • {one} “Box of Candies” cupcakes made by a very thoughtful ex-boyfriend
  • {two} Homemade Hostess cupcakes
  • {three} Raspberry cheesecake cupcakes
  • {four} Chocolate silk ganache (for any cupcake!)
However, since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, you might want to start your work day with a little love too. And for that, I recommend these blackberry crumb muffins. They’re a little nutty, packed with fruit, not too sweet, and of course, made with a whole lot of love.

blackberry muffins Valentine's Day hearts pink breakfast

Blackberry Crumb Muffins (Adapted from Williams Sonoma)

For the topping:

  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1⁄3 cup walnuts, finely chopped

For the muffins:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with paper cups. (I made about 17.)
  2. Mix all of the the topping ingredients together and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Incorporate the egg, melted butter and buttermilk, but do not over-mix. Gently fold in the blackberries.
  4. Spoon the batter in to prepared muffin cups, and sprinkle the topping evenly on each one.
  5. Bake until the muffins are golden, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
blackberry muffins Valentine's Day hearts pink breakfast

blackberry muffins Valentine's Day hearts pink breakfast

You might even get lucky like me and have a blackberry bake into a heart shape on top of one of the muffins!

Be My Valentine {Chevrons & Éclairs}

We’re ending this week with a fun little brunch party by Supal from Chevrons and Éclairs. Don’t worry though, we’ll be back next week to continue this blogging love bash. Supal is a blogging newbie, but you would never know it. She has such great style and a refreshingly positive outlook on life. Something we all need for Valentine’s Day!



• • •

Valentine's Day Chevrons & Éclairs guest post brunch
Welcome to the Valentine’s day brunch hosted by Nikki and yours truly, Supal of Chevrons & Éclairs! I am so excited to be here today and am honored when Nikki asked me what my v-day plans were. Well, less talking. Come on in!

 

Valentine's Day Chevrons & Éclairs guest post brunch

{via}

I thought I’d start off what a very special bellini! Strawberry and mint bellini are perfect for Valentines day. When I think of Valentine’s day, I imagine bright, soft colors and berries [for some reason]. This is absolutely refreshing, the sweetness from the strawberries and citrus from the prosecco is a perfect marriage with the cool, minty flavor. You can find my recipe here!

Valentine's Day Chevrons & Éclairs guest post brunch

{via}

I hope you’re ready for the scrumptious brunch! The bright, gilded tableware is an ideal set up for valentine’s day. Flowers are the perfect table accessory with this china set.

Valentine's Day Chevrons & Éclairs guest post brunch

 {via}

For brunch, I thought I would go with something hearty [drinking all those bellinis] and green. For some reason, in February I’m itching for some green outside. I’m obviously looking forward to spring, and the asparagus and spinach with bell pepper sauce takes me to a spring time gathering.

I hope you’re feeling good after the brunch and bellinis! My favorite valentine’s day memory was when I was in college. I was swamped with papers and homework the night before valentine’s day and failed to get/make any valentine’s for my friends. All of my friends had gotten chocolates, made cards, went all out! I knew I wanted to do something different, so I took a bold move and put on some hot red lipstick and gave everyone kisses on the cheeks as a valentine! Creepy? Yeah, it was. But, I was in college!

Valentine's Day Chevrons & Éclairs guest post brunch

via {1} {2}

I am so glad you stopped by, but before you leave, please take one of our favors with you! I made raspberry macarons [recipe here] and thought it would be a cute, little idea to pack them up in mason jars. You can a print out of the mason jar tags here!

Well, I hope you had a great time. I’m so happy you came over! Thank Nikki for having me. Would love to have you all over at my place, next year.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Be My Valentine {Radiant Republic}

TGIF friends! I hope you’ve been having as much fun as I’ve had so far during this Valentine’s blogger love fest. I’d like to welcome Erika from Radiant Republic, who is just one of the sweetest gals out there. She and I instantly hit it off when we first starting chatting about a year ago. Check out her fabulous V-Day gift picks for a single girl like me.

• • •

Hi! I’m Erika from Radiant Republic and am so happy to be a guest today. Nikki’s blog has been one of my very favorite daily reads since the day I laid eyes on it. Just after launching my blog, she and I became fast social media friends. I SO look forward to the day we meet in person and was honored when she invited me here to meet all of you!

With Valentine’s Day upon us, my friends and family have mixed feelings about the admittedly commercial holiday. On whichever side of the pink and red fence you sit, a day to honor those who you love can be a pretty fun thing! I love taking time to send cards to my best girlfriends, my mom, and have a quiet dinner with my fiancé. But there is that special someone who is often overlooked in the gift-giving department…

YOU!!

This year, I’ve compiled a gift guide for the woman planning to treat herself. (I know I will!)

Radiant Republic Valentine's Day gifts outfit

one // two // three // four // five

What’s on your V-day wishlist?

Thank you so much for having me, Nikki!

xx, Erika

Be My Valentine {vmac+cheese}

I’m honored to be spending today with one of my favorite ladies, Victoria from vmac+cheese. Not only did she prepare an amazing dessert for our Valentine’s celebration, but today is a special one for Victoria… It’s her first day as a full-time, self-employed rockstar, with her new biz Vivaleur! I couldn’t be more excited for her… so let’s celebrate with some dessert!

• • •

Hi everyone! Victoria from vmac+cheese here to share a fruit tart recipe I put together especially for Nikki and all of you. The best part about it? Well, other than being delicious, it’s easy to make (though it looks fancy) and you can also serve it pretty much any time of year, not just Valentine’s!

The crust in this pretty little tart is made with store bought graham crackers. A little homemade pastry cream (trust me, it’s simple!), and a garnish of fresh fruit, and you have a dessert worthy of Valentine’s Day, or even just a regular brunch with friends. Give it a try!

Vanilla Almond Tart Raspberries vmac and cheese Victoria dessert Valentine's Day

Vanilla Almond Tart with Raspberries

For the tart shell:

  • 12 graham cracker
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted

For the pastry cream (filling):

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks (I used extra large eggs, then saved the whites for breakfast!)
  • 5 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 4 tbsp butter, cubed
  • –pinch kosher salt

Garnish:

  • 2 half pints of raspberries
  • –can also substitute any fruit you’d like, and use other garnishes such as sliced almonds, pistachios, even white chocolate shavings
  • –optional: 2 tablespoons of apricot jam

Vanilla Almond Tart Raspberries vmac and cheese Victoria dessert Valentine's Day

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Break apart the graham crackers and add them to a food processor bowl. Grind until you have a fine meal. It should yield about 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker “flour.” In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker flour, the sugar, and the butter. Toss together until combined and the graham cracker flour is moistened.

Butter an 9″ tart pan, then set it on a sheet tray (this will just help you avoid a huge mess, and transfer the tart easily). Press the graham cracker mixture into the tart, and along the sides of the pan. I used the back of a measuring cup to press it and pack it in. Use a knife and run it along the top edge of the pan to sweep away any excess crumb (or you can leave it if you like a rustic looking tart).

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is fragrant and just set. It should feel firm to the touch, not crumbly like it was before baking.

Vanilla Almond Tart Raspberries vmac and cheese Victoria dessert Valentine's Day

For the pastry cream:

Combine the milk and half of the sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir gently to combine, and let it scald.

While the milk is heating, beat together the yolks and the rest of the sugar in a glass or non-reactive bowl. I like to whip them by hand using a whisk, but you could use a stand mixer if you wanted. Beat them for several minutes, until the mixture is very pale yellow and aerated. Add in the flour, the pinch of salt, and beat again until well incorporated. It should be thick, almost like a paste. Stir in the extracts.

Once the milk is hot, carefully pour in just a little bit into the yolk mixture, and immediately stir. You will want to move quickly, so the yolks don’t scramble. Once the first bit of milk is incorporated, add some more in, and stir again. This process is called tempering, and the whole idea behind it is we want the yolk mixture’s temperature to increase, but not so quickly that things scramble! Once you’ve added in about half the milk mixture, pour the egg/milk mixture back into the pot with the remaining milk, and set it over medium to medium low heat. Use a spatula to stir it, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan. After a few minutes, it should thicken considerably. Stir to ensure it doesn’t burn. If lumps form, you can beat them out with a whisk. Once it’s hot enough that bubbles start to gurgle up through the cream, cook it for 1-2 minutes more, until it’s very thick, like pudding. Remove it from the heat, and stir in the butter.

Pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl, then cover it with plastic wrap. Be sure the plastic wrap directly touches the cream, so that a skin won’t form. Store in the refrigerator until cold. You could make this a day or two ahead.

Vanilla Almond Tart Raspberries vmac and cheese Victoria dessert Valentine's Day

To assemble the tart:

Spread the thickened pastry cream into the shell of the tart with a spoon. Garnish with fruit or whatever other items you’d like, then serve. OPTIONAL: To get that gorgeous, fresh from the bakery fruit tart look, mix apricot jam with a little water until it’s slightly liquified, then use a clean spray bottle to glaze the top of the tart. It’ll look shiny and super professional. Enjoy!

*The tart can be made a day in advance. Allowing the pastry cream to sit in the crust for at least several hours will help prevent the crust from crumbling when you serve it.

Pastry cream 911 tip:

If you refrigerate your pastry cream and find it’s not setting up (i.e., it’s still more liquid-y than pudding like), here’s a fix. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter and add in an equal amount of cornstarch. Whisk this together until it’s a paste, then whisk that into the pastry cream. Set it over medium heat, and stir constantly with a spatula or whisk, until you bring it to a slight boil again. It should be thick and spreadable. Refrigerate it again with contact plastic wrap, then use as you wish.