When I was in grade school, surely not past 4th grade, we'd spent a solid week producing elaborately decorated mailboxes for Valentine's Day. After all, everyone knows how elementary teachers love holidays for 'creative' busy work. I recall being still too young to grasp the true sentiment of the occasion, but also old enough to question why everyone had to get a Valentine- didn't that defeat the point? /however, even as an introverted young girl with coke bottle glasses and a thirst for reading over social engagement, I admittedly looked forward to day for that precise reason. The candy was a bonus, yes, but to feel included in my class truly felt special.
"I know you don't have a lot of freinds, would u like to be mine?"
Spelling error and all, my eyes began to well up. Outside of the young girl who lived down the path, my mother arranged play-dates with, I had no friends of my own. It was not because I didn't want any, merely because no one had ever bothered to ask.
"I would love to be your friend. My name is Jenna and I have a cat named Tippy. Do you have any pets? I also like the color blue. (smiley face)"
What Daughter Says: Make this Valentine's Day about connections. Love is the human condition- it knows no labels. Nor should your appreciation.
Red Velvet Cheesecake
****Click for printable red velvet cheesecake recipe.
*1 Box Devil's Food Cake Mix
* 1/2 C Butter/Margerine, Softened
* 3 Packages (8oz each) Cream Cheese, Softened
* 1 C Semisweet Chocolate Chips, Melted and Cooled Slightly
* 1/2 C Sour Cream
* 3/4 C Granulated White Sugar
* 2 TBS Red Velvet Emulsion or 1 TBS Red Food Coloring
* 3 Eggs
* 1 1/2 C Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed
* 1/2 C Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 350F
1.) Grease and flour (or grease and dust with cocoa powder) a 10" Springform pan. Reserve 1/4 C cake mix for filling, set aside. In a large bowl, beat remaining cake mix and butter with electric mixer on low speed. Press in bottom of pan and 1 1/2" up sides of pan.
2.) In a large bowl, beat reserved 1/4 C cake mix, softened cream cheese, melted chocolate, sour cream, sugar, and red velvet emulsion/food color on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Pour over crust.
3.) Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until edges of cheesecake set at least 2" from sides of pan, yet center still jiggles when pan is shook. Turn off oven' open the oven door 4". Leave cheesecake in oven an additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool pan 30 minutes. Refrigerate 6 hours, or overnight.
4.) Whip cream cheese frosting and thawed whipped topping together. Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe around edges of cheesecake. Chill until ready to serve.