Valentine’s Day Playlist

Whether you are at home, traveling to and from work, or sipping wine over dinner, this mix is here to accompany you!  There are old standbys from The Temptations, Joni Mitchell, and The Rolling Stones, as well as newer tracks from Wild Cub, Bruno Mars, and Lianne La Havas.  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

“You’re The Love of My Life (The Love of My Life)”

  1. Thunder Clatter – Wild Cub
  2. I Feel It All – Feist
  3. From – Dr. Dog
  4. I’d Like To – Corinne Bailey Rae
  5. Don’t Stop – The Rolling Stones
  6. Kiss – Prince
  7. Wildfire – John Mayer
  8. You Turn Me On I’m A Radio – Joni Mitchell
  9. Age – Lianne La Havas
  10. You and I (feat. Feist) – Wilco
  11. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg – The Temptations
  12. Treasure – Bruno Mars
  13. Dream – Alice Smith
  14. Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
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Mouth-Watering Chocolate Mousse

Let’s be honest here for a minute.  Chocolate mousse is the sexy lingerie of desserts.  Its smooth, light texture only leaves you wanting more.  Its simplicity is mind-blowing.  One taste and you’re hooked!  This Valentine’s Day, Anne and I decided to forego a dinner reservation in favor of a home-cooked meal.  I knew I wanted to make a special dessert to complement our dinner menu, so I decided to seize the moment and learn how to make this celestial delicacy.

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never baked with a mixer.  What did I do when a recipe called for one?  I bulked up my arm muscles and it usually turned out the same as if I had used a mixer.  I’d give myself a pat on the back and move forward.  Recently, something in me changed, and I realized that there were just some things I couldn’t make without a mixer–chocolate mousse certainly being one.  Now I am the proud owner of a hand-mixer! Anne and I are mixing this and mixing that, happy as clams.  (See: egg whites below.)

After scouring the Internet for the perfect mousse, I decided on a recipe from Bobby Flay.  Its minimal ingredients and rave reviews had me sold.  I adapted a few ingredients and steps, so I present to you my official recipe below.

Mouth-Watering Chocolate Mousse (adapted from Bobby Flay)

Prep time: 20 minutes | Fridge time: 1+ hour | Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 14 oz cold heavy cream
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream (for garnish, optional)
  • Shaved chocolate (for garnish, optional)

Place a large mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.  While they are chilling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler at a low simmer.  Remove from heat and let stand.

Take the mixing bowl and beaters out of the freezer, and beat the cold heavy cream until it forms soft peaks.  Set aside at room temperature.

With a very clean large mixing bowl and cleaned beaters,  whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar gradually, and continue whipping until the mixture becomes firm.

Using a spatula, add the cooled melted chocolate to the egg whites and sugar.  Then use a whisk to combine these ingredients gently.  Add in the whipped cream until uniform.  Place the chocolate mousse in decorative glasses, and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 1+ hour, and serve chilled.  Top the mousse with sweetened whipped cream and shaved chocolate for an optional garnish.

From Scissors & Sage

If you’re looking for a last minute dessert or a surprise treat for a loved one, this chocolate mousse doesn’t require too much time or elbow grease.  It is sure, however, to impress.  Here’s to a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Comment Contest!

Comment Contest

Today marks Scissors & Sage’s first comment contest!  The rules are simple: Comment on any post on this blog and your name will be entered to win a mystery treat from me!  This treat is Valentine’s-themed, and will arrive in time for February 14th.  The deadline to comment is this Friday, February 7 at midnight EST, so get commenting!

PS) Be sure to enter your email address when leaving a comment so that I can contact the winner.

Valentine’s Card Crafting

If you should know one thing about me, it is that I love a good Valentine’s Day.  Perhaps it’s the sweet treats and baked goods, or perhaps it’s the fond memories of crafting shoebox mailboxes for collecting Valentine’s cards in elementary school.  Or perhaps it’s the many flowers.  Whatever it is, I certainly have a spring in my step come February 14th.  Now, I fully understand that Valentine’s Day is not for everyone (for some unknown reason).  If you are one of those people, it is my hope that I will help you enjoy, or at least tolerate, Valentine’s Day a little bit extra this year.

I recently had a few friends (and fellow creative arts therapy folk) over to my apartment for an afternoon of crafting and relaxing – two things that go very well together.  Our main project of the day was making Valentine’s and birthday cards for loved ones.  I really enjoy making cards for a few reasons.  First, it is a relatively easy crafting project that does not require much prep or clean up.  Second, making homemade cards is way more fun than paying $4.95 for a card at a store.  My trick is to peruse Paper Source every few months and take pictures of cards that I like.  Then I go home and make them myself!

Below are the cards I worked on for Valentine’s Day.  I decided to use the February 2013 issue of Better Homes and Gardens as my envelope material, and then cut colored note paper to match.  (I stopped subscribing to BHG; however, any craft magazine’s February issue would be appropriately themed, regardless of the year).  Here are step-by-step photos of my envelope-making process.  These can be cranked out rapid-fire once you get the hang of it!

Making an envelope:

  1. Choose a preexisting envelope and take it apart at the seams.
  2. Find an image from a magazine or newspaper that fits the unfolded envelope.
  3. Use a marker to draw a line around the unfolded envelope on the page.
  4. Cut around that edge.
  5. Use a bonefold to fold the image into an envelope shape.
  6. Tape the envelope sides shut using double-sided tape.

This heart stamp was created using a wine cork and an Xacto knife.  The key to a successful wine cork stamp is to make sure the design surface is flat.  Otherwise, the entire image will not transfer.  Leave a comment with any questions or suggestions for other crafty card designs.  These only skim the surface!