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Valentine Idea: Day 12 – Wow Factor Desserts

Wow Factor Desserts – Wouldn’t one of these gorgeous desserts make a perfect ending to a well-thought- out Valentine menu? I know I would be impressed!


Frozen Strawberry Souffles


Big Love Butterscotch Cookie


Berry Sweet Bouquet


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Unique & Funky Halloween Candy Alternatives

eye balls bowl
Last year we did not give out candy for Halloween. Instead we found a package of 80 mini play-dohs in a variety of colors at our local Costco. It was nice to give out something different for a change, and the neighborhood kids were really excited to be getting items other than the same old traditional candy.

This year I was hoping to find another interesting, yet affordable alternative. If only I had stocked up during some of the back-to-school sales this fall! There were bins filled with fun pencils, erasers, mini-notebooks, crayons, and stickers for cheap. Now, they’re no where to be had. Party store favors would be a good place to check – a flyer that came today featured a 60ct bag of plastic spider rings for 99¢ (although these might be a possible choking hazard). And Target sells this pack of 24ct party bubbles for $3.99.

party bubbles

play-doh

eye balls candy

Anyway, today at Costco, I decided to revert to candy. Despite this post, I’m not against candy. I’m just against the boring, uninspired kind. For $8.99 comes this pack of 90ct individually wrapped Absolute Sweet “Eye Ballzz” gummy candy. Aren’t they so funky and gross? David tried one, and yes, they’re edible. I don’t know how many parents will actually let their kids eat them, but I’m sure the kids will get a kick out of getting them!

Meanwhile, for those of you who would truly like to give candy alternatives, here is a list compiled from nationalserviceresources.org and palmettohealth.org.

  • Temporary tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Pencils
  • Fancy erasers
  • Pencil toppers
  • Crayons
  • Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes)
  • Small novelty toys
  • False teeth
  • Superballs
  • “Slime”
  • Miniature magnifying glasses
  • Plastic jewelry/decoder rings
  • Necklaces
  • Glow-sticks
  • Sugar-free candy
  • Tiny decks of cards
  • Plastic medals
  • Fake money
  • Origami paper & instructions
  • Bubbles
  • Granola bars
  • pretzels
  • cheese and cracker packs
  • sugar free gum
  • packets of instant hot chocolate or cider
  • miniature raisin boxes
  • single serving nut packets


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Easy Italian Dessert Recipe – Zabaglione

zabaglione

Tonight we made zabaglione, a frothy, creamy, custard-like Italian dessert. I wish I had gotten a better photo, but there was barely a spoonful left by the time I got around to it. All it takes are two, maybe three ingredients, a little preparation and presto! a fast and delicious dessert in no time. Perfect for those last minute emergencies, like surprise company, when you’re low on supplies, or whenever your sweet tooth gets the best of you. This recipe is based on one from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan.

Ingredients:

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Marsala (Optional)

Directions:

Whip the yolks and sugar together with a whisk or an electric mixer (my preference) over a double boiler. I just put a smaller pot into a bigger pot filled with gently simmering water. I added maybe a teaspoon or two of Marsala, but the directions from the cookbook said you can add up to 1/2 cup. The Marsala can be omitted when serving to children. Continue to beat the mixture, about 10 minutes, until it swells and forms soft, almost elastic mounds. Pour into dessert cups and serve warm. Makes two servings.

Our Italian friend, Alex, says that he doesn’t cook his version of zabaglione, that he simply beats the yolks and sugar until it becomes soft, foamy and thick. He also doesn’t add Marsala because he doesn’t like the taste. We ate our desserts warm, spooned out of ceramic cups, but it would also be perfect poured over fresh fruit or simple cakes.

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