Happy Valentine’s Day–A Little Early

I know Valentine’s Day is eleven days away, but I never seem to think about the day soon enough. That means I end up running around like crazy trying to do something special. In order to keep that from happening this year and in case you need ideas, I’m sharing some Valentine’s Day facts and one of my favorite (and easy dessert) recipes for tiramisu.

  • Over 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold every year.
  • Men spend about twice money as much on Valentine’s Day gifts as women.
  • Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by kids, then moms, wives and girlfriends.
  • More than one-third of men are okay not receiving anything on Valentine’s Day.
  • The only other day when more flowers are sold than Valentine’s Day is Mother’s Day.
  • Candy hearts were invented by a pharmacist and were originally medical lozenges! Not only that, but 10 new sayings are introduced every year.  
  • People prefer receiving candy over flowers.
  • Caramels are the most popular candy in a box of chocolates.
  • 40% of people prefer an “experience gift” such as concert tickets or an evening out.
  • 3 out of 10 people say they skip celebrating Valentine’s Day, though they might treat themselves to a small gift or a night out with friends.
  • It was bad luck to sign Valentine cards in Victorian times.
  • 3% of pet owners will give their pet a gift this Valentine’s Day.
  • In Finland Valentine’s Day is called Ystavapaiva which translates to “Friend’s Day.”

I think making Valentine’s Day about celebrating everyone we care about and appreciate in our lives is fabulous! That could prevent the holiday from being one where so many people feel excluded. This year, let’s all reach out to one person who might feel left out or despondent on Valentine’s Day—a single friend, a widow or widower immediately come to mind. I’m reminded of the song “Love is Something if You Give it Away.” For the lyrics click here. The more love we share, the more we create in this world.

Now on to dessert!

Ingredients—

8 oz. Mascarpone cheese

½ C powdered sugar

½ tsp run extract

1 C heavy whipping cream

Lady fingers

½ C coffee

2 tsp cocoa

Directions–

1. Place Mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and run extract in large bowl. Whisk by hand or with electric mixer until smooth. Don’t over mix.

2. In separate bowl, beat whip cream until stiff peaks form. (If the whip cream isn’t stiff you’ll get a runny filling.) Fold into cheese mixture until combined.

3. Place lady fingers in 8 x 8 dish. Spoon coffee over ladyfingers making sure to cover completely. Top with half the cheese mixture. Layer more ladyfingers on top of this and cover with remaining cheese mixture. (Recipe calls for 3 layers using 1/3 each time, but I only do 2 .) Sift cocoa powder over top.

4. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.

5. Top with whip cream, or not. Enjoy with a friend or family!

To be entered in today’s giveaway for a valentine T-shirt and a copy of Home On the Ranch:  Colorado Rescue leave a comment about your favorite Valentine’s Day treat.

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Julie Benson has written five novels for Harlequin American, and her Wishing, Texas series is available from Tule Publishing. Now that her three sons have left the nest in Dallas, when she isn't writing, Julie spends her time working on home improvement projects, rescuing dogs, and visiting Texas wineries with her husband. Visit her at www.juliebenson.net.

62 thoughts on “Happy Valentine’s Day–A Little Early”

  1. Valentine’s Day is my birthday and the crazy thing is that I’m allergic to chocolate! A cruel twist of fate according to my husband! I have managed to find many other things to enjoy over the years though! I love fruit, especially berries, so any type of dessert with berries (except cheesecake – I’m not a fan) and I love caramel!!!

    • Valri, first of all, Happy Birthday a little early!

      if you leave off the cocoa dusted on top, my tiramisu recipe wouldn’t have any chocolate. While I’m not allergic to it, I’m not big on chocolate. My husband and three sons are all chocolate crazy. The good thing is, I can make them something and then I don’t eat it! I have been trying to keep my sugar intake as low as possible. My favorite desert of all time was my grandmother’s homemade angel food cake, with fresh mashed strawberries (so they were like a sauce) and whip cream.

      Thank you for stopping by today. Stay safe and I hope you have a fantastic birthday!

    • Melanie, I love a good cupcake too! I can’t decorate them worth a darn, though. I was bummed. We had a great cake/cupcake place nearby that closed a couple months ago. My grocery store bakery cupcakes just don’t compare. I would pop over there every once in a while when I ran errands and treat the family. Sure miss that.

      Thank you for stopping by the corral. Take care and stay safe.

    • Oooh, Charlene, chocolate covered cherries is one of the few chocolate treats I love. Chocolate covered strawberries are also favorite. I never feel quite as guilty eating those treats because I can tell myself I’m getting vitamin C too. Thanks for stopping by the corral today. Take care and stay safe.

    • Debra, everyone else around my house loves chocolate, too. I’m always the odd one out. I hope you have a blessed day as well. Take care and stay safe. Thanks for stopping by to chat.

    • My husband has become a big dark chocolate lover. I know it’s much better for us because it has less sugar and more good things. I like it when it’s chocolate covered cherries or strawberries. Thank you for stopping by the corral. Take care and stay safe.

  2. Happy Valentines Day. Your idea is perfect. I plan on sending someone special a gift to lift her spirits. She’s one of my best friends and I love our conversations and how she lifts me up.
    May everyone here have a wonderful February.

    • Tonya, how wonderful of you to do that for a friend, but it doesn’t surprise me. It’s easy to see what a caring person you are! I’m going to check in on a couple friends who’ve lost their husbands. We’ve made Valentine’s Day too much about couple and not enough about love. I’ve known single friends who dread the day coming around each year, and it shouldn’t be like that.

      Take care sweet lady, and stay safe!

  3. Happy (early) Valentine’s Day! My favorite Valentine’s Day treat are those caramel chocolates that you mentioned. When I have gotten a box of chocolate, that’s what I always what I would look for first.

    • Janine, I love chocolate caramels, too. When we used to get a box of chocolates, we had to count those so my husband and I would know how many we each got. Otherwise, I wouldn’t get any! Thank you for stopping by today. Take care and stay safe!

      • That’s a good way of doing it. When my husband and I get a box, we always try to eat identical pieces so they are evenly shared. Except the raspberry ones. he can have all of those he wants. for some reason, I don’t like the raspberry filling in chocolate.

    • Cathy, those both sound great. I know Rice Krispie treats was always a favorite of my kids. Thank you for stopping by the corral today to chat. Take care and stay safe!

    • Debra, everyone’s mentioned so many good treats like chocolate covered caramels. Now I’m going to need those and chocolate covered cherries! I hope you have a blessed Valentine’s Day. Thank you for stopping by to chat with me today. Take care and stay safe.

  4. I love chocolates, but I also love that my husband uses Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to get me practical items that he knows I really want to have.

    • Jess, what a thoughtful husband you have! My hubby and I used to get gifts for each other, but now we just have a simple night with take out and renting a movie. We also add a nice bottle of wine and a good desert. Since we and our kids love tiramisu that’s usually what I make. Thank you for stopping by. Take care and stay safe.

  5. I enjoy chocolates but really don’t need them. You just reminded me to get my sister a card to send her. I usually try to send her a card every year.

    • I used to love chocolates from Betty Jane Candies made in my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. A couple years ago, I started reducing my sugar intake. Boy, has that been hard! When my husband went to Iowa to visit his mother, he brought home a box of candy. I couldn’t believe how overly sweet they tasted! (Except the chocolate caramels. They still tasted fabulous!) I was so disappointed.

      I’m so glad my post reminded you to send a card to your sister! You do exactly what I talked about. You make the day about celebrating those you love! Take care and stay safe. Thank you for stopping by today.

    • Teresa, I thought it was interesting people prefer getting candy to flowers. I think flowers and live plants brighten up a house. And it’s always extra special when they get delivered at work. I wish I was a better gardener. When we moved into our house we had two rose bushes. I don’t know what I did, or didn’t, do, but after a few years they died. I miss being able to have those roses in the house. I haven’t been brave enough to buy more.

      Thank you for stopping by today. Take care and stay safe.

  6. Ron and I do our income taxes every year on Valentines Day. Then we go out to our favorite pizzeria to eat. And, maybe to the Dairy Queen in a nearby town. This year as I make my way through chemotherapy, we will probably bring the pizza home. All the same, it is our tradition. Ron the guy I share life with. And thanks for the tiramisu recipe. Looks luscious! Happy Valentines Day Julie!

    • Kathy, first of all, sending prayers and blessings your way as you go through chemotherapy. Fight like a girl and kick cancer’s butt! How much more chemo do you have left?

      Your tradition sounds lovely. Going out to dinner is a great way to reward yourself for finishing your taxes! It’s brilliant. The older I get, the more I appreciate take out. Sometimes I just want to put on a legging and a big, warm shirt and eat at home.

      Enjoy your Valentine’s Day tradition with Ron, and stay strong through your treatment. I’ll keep you in my prayers,, Kathy.

      • I have six more treatments of the twelve I’m now receiving weekly. Halfway! Yay! Next Tuesday, I get two chemo drugs that are hard to navigate. Extra prayer needed on that Tuesday. Then four treatments every other week of extremely tough chemos. I pray about everything. Surgery to follow and then radiation. Thank you Julie for praying. It sustains me daily.

        • Kathy, I believe in prayer too. Studies have shown that people who are prayed for do better in their treatments. I’ll pray you’re able to handle the new treatment. Halfway is a major accomplishment. Make sure to celebrate that and every other success you can! Radiation should be easier than chemo. I was very tired. Like go to bed at six, tired. The doctors will insist it’s not a side effect of radiation, but everyone I know have all been tired. The only other problem I had was it was like I had a bad sunburn the last couple treatments. Stay strong!

          • Thank you for reaching out Julie and sharing your experience. I keep a very positive attitude and my faith is strong. Thank you for praying for me.

  7. A heartfelt card is what I enjoy receiving. I have never received chocolates as I rarely eat sweets. I would like bubble bath though.

    • Ellie, men don’t realize what a great treat a bubble bath is for a woman! My favorite bubble bath is rosemary mint. I have a terrible time finding scents I like. Most of them are floral, and those often give me a headache. I prefer citrus or herbal scents. Thankfully I’ve found a pair of local women that make a lavender, rosemary, mint body wash/bubble bath. Then I follow that up with similarly scented body lotion. That’s one of the ways I pamper myself. What’s your favorite scent?

      I admire you being able to resist sweets. I’ve reduced my sugar intake a lot, but it’s something I struggle with every day. Most people have told me their sugar cravings went away, but not me. It’s a daily battle, but I feel so much better when I avoid sugar.

      Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. Take care and stay safe.

    • Trudy, ooh, I forgot how good those are and they’re not too chocolatey. Maybe asking everyone to share their favorite Valentine’s Day treat wasn’t such a great idea! Everyone is reminding me of so many wonderful treats and I’m having terrible cravings now. Thanks for stopping by the corral today. Take care and stay safe.

    • Caryl, I didn’t care for dark chocolate until I reduced my sugar intake. But now I really enjoy it, but it has to be good dark chocolate. I’m amazed how the taste can vary. Some, to me, has a bitter aftertaste.

      I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Take care and stay safe.

  8. Good morning! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’ll have to try it sometime. My favorite Valentine dessert is Strawberries dipped in Dark &/or milk chocolate!

    • I love chocolate covered strawberries too. Sometimes a nearby grocery store will have them just before Valentine’s Day. I’ll have to check this year. The great thing about this tiramisu recipe is it’s easy. I always wanted to make tiramisu but every recipe I found seemed so difficult. The older I get, the more emphasis I place on simplicity and something being easy.

      Thank you for stopping by the corral to chat. Take care and stay safe.

    • Colleen, Lindt is another good chocolate! I especially like the raspberry and other special variations. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Thank you for stopping by today. Take care and stay safe.

  9. Happy Early Valentine’s Day My favorite is The chocolates in the Heart shaped boxes especially The Maple or The Orange flavored Have a Blessed Day!

    • Sarah, I love pretty much anything maple! When my best friend lived in Groton, Massachusetts we had wonderful maple tea in a shop. I hope you have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by. Take care and stay safe.

  10. This is a fun post. When the kids were at home, and Iwas a stay at home mom, starting Feb 1 through the week following, I would make meals that were valentinish (both in color and shapes) there was always a card for both kids and a little something when they came to breakfast to start their day.. I always put a little not in their lunches from “mom” and valentines was super fun to do this with. I have always preferred a plat that flowers for either outside or inside. It last so much longer and I remember who gave it to me. Of course chocolates were always appreciated also. LOL Happy Valentines day

    • Lori, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for sharing your memories today! I bet your children still remember those notes and valentinish dinners. What a great idea. My boys loved jokes so I used to put a short note with a joke in their lunch boxes.

      Thank you for stopping by today and making me smile. I hope you have a wonderful day! Take care and stay safe.

    • Teresa, I love Godiva’s dark chocolate covered cherries, but they’re closing all their US stores. I’m so glad you mentioned the name of the chocolate covered cherries you like. I need to find a new favorite. Thank you for stopping by the corral. Take care and stay safe.

  11. When my kids were little, we would bake heart-shaped sugar cookies decorated with colored sugar, and I would bake a heart-shaped cake. Nowadays they want chocolate.

    • Cheryl, their chocolate is fabulous. The only chocolate candies I’ve had that were better were ones my husband brought back from his business trip to Bruge, Belguim. I’m so crushed that Godiva is closing their US stores. I loved their champagne truffles, but they had to quit making them. Something about them having alcohol and laws. Sigh. Thanks for stopping by today. Take care and stay safe.

    • Diana, chocolate covered strawberries and cherries are one of the few chocolate treats I go crazy for. I’m hoping our grocery store will have chocolate covered strawberries again this year. Take care, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and stay safe.

  12. What a wonderful idea to send a Valentine card to someone who may not get one and be feeling down. We have several widow friends who we will be sending cards to. Thank you for the recipe. I love tiramisu and this is an easy recipe.
    I guess the most memorable Valentine’s Day gift I got was our daughter. On the 14th I could barely move and she was overdue. Early the next morning my water broke and she was born that evening. She was a day late for Valentine’s Day proper, but a gift of the day anyway.
    Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Stay safe and healthy.

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