Tag Archive | valentine’s day gift ideas

Suck It, Martha

Happy VD Day, all! Hope you’re celebrating with good people and even better drinks. I chose to celebrate by taking on a Martha Stewart craft for the Valentine’s mailboxes at my office. I even pinned it to make sure I stuck to my goal. Just four steps … how hard could it be?

Side note: As a former sorority girl, I pride myself on my crafting skillz — especially if I can get hold of glitter glue.

But that Martha, she is a saucy minx. She makes it look so simple: Cut felt circles, glue ribbon and wire to them, insert a fortune and fold! That’s it!

Instead, here’s how horribly it all went down:

1. Using fabric shears, cut a 4-1/2-inch diameter circle from a piece of felt. Cut a piece of matching ribbon slightly shorter than 4-1/2 inches. Using wire cutters, cut a piece of floral wire slightly shorter than the length of ribbon. (So far, so good. Except, I mixed up the red and pink ribbons with the opposite-colored felt pieces. I’m sure no one will notice.) 

What could possibly go wrong here?

2. Using craft glue, affix the wire to the middle of the felt circle. Glue ribbon on top, covering the wire. Let dry 30 minutes. (Start to seriously think Martha’s got nothing on me … am overly confident at this point. Come up with unique fortunes in my blissful state — why not movie quotes?) 

Blurry, but you get the idea.

3. Fold the felt circle in half, using the wire as a guide, so ribbon is inside cookie. Next, angle the sides toward each other, bending the wire at its halfway point and forming a fortune-cookie shape, as shown. (Something’s amiss. Why are these looking more like tacos than fortune cookies? Use more craft glue to close the taco-cookies, and use candy to weigh it down. This will work. It has to.) 

Mmm, tacos.

4. Assemble the fortune cookies. Carefully peel back one flap of the felt cookie, and insert a paper fortune and a few candies. Fold the flap back over to close cookie around contents. (How does the flap stay closed? That doesn’t make any sense. There’s no way in hell I’m fitting candy in these things.)

Ready for their office debut!

Among other lessons, I found that it’s a good idea to read user comments on a project before starting — just as you would with a recipe.

I also managed to cut my fingers thrice, ensuring me a spot in the Hepatitis Hall of Fame. Where was that in the instructions, Martha?

After the glue, blood and tears dried, they ended up looking just fine. And next to my Red Velvet Cookies and Justin Bieber cards, nobody cared that they didn’t quite resemble treats from a post-Moo Goo Gai Pan coma.

Now that’s romantic.

Valentine’s Treats for Your Sweet

Two posts in one day, can you believe it? I’m such a giver; I know. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s a super simple and delicious recipe for Red Velvet Cookies — yes, you read that correctly: Red. Velvet. Cookies.

I first tried these during an office cookie swap, but I modified them a bit because cookies are always better with frosting! I serve them for the holidays and birthdays, and now I have another excuse to make them.

In less than 30 minutes, you can make a batch of these for your Valentine (even if your Valentine is Jim Beam — only God can judge me).

Red Velvet Cookies

Original recipe at Duncan Hines

MAKES: 24–30 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can Pillsbury Creamy Supreme® Cream Cheese frosting
  • 1 piping bag or gallon-size resealable plastic bag
  • Colored sprinkles (optional)

Seriously — that’s all it takes to create a little piece of heaven.

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine one (1) box of Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix, two (2) eggs and one-third (1/3) cup vegetable oil using a hand blender or wire whisk.
  3. Form teaspoon-size balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet or baking pan about one inch (1″) apart. Slightly pat down the top of each ball.
  4. Cook for 8–10 minutes (the top of the cookie will crack).
  5. While cookies cool (about 10 minutes), prepare a piping bag* with frosting.
  6. Pipe swirls of frosting onto cooled cookies. Top with sprinkles (as desired), and store in an airtight container.

Soldiers lined up for battle.

Baked and almost ready for mah belly.

NOTES

  • Don’t purchase what the cake mix calls for on its box — you only need the above ingredients. Using less oil and mixing without water gives it a cookie-dough texture.
  • *You can make your own piping bag using a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Turn bag inside out, and form it over your hand. Scoop frosting by the handful and seal bag. Snip a small opening off the corner for piping.

Lefties are all right!

These are guaranteed to be a new favorite treat for Jim (or Jack or Johnnie or Jose).

BOOM. Baking, son.