Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Are you looking for a special gift to give this Valentine’s Day? Want to make it extra special by giving your loved ones and friends a homemade gift from the kitchen? Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day that we give cookies, candy, and flowers. Why not not make this Valentine’s Day extra special by giving your loved ones and friends a homemade gift from your kitchen?

Coke Cake

To make this cake special for Valentine’s Day you can buy a baking pan that is shaped as cupid, a heart, or flowers.

Cake Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup Coca-Cola

Icing: 3 cups powdered sugar

2 1/4 tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons butter-melted

4 1/2 tablespoons Coca-Cola

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 13×9 pan. Combine all ingredients except coke. Mix well then add coke and mix. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

2. Set the cake on a cooling rack to cool 30 minutes to an hour.

3. Mix all ingredients for the icing then pour over cooled cake.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

To make this a Valentine’s Cake all you have to do is purchase a Heart Shaped Bundt Pan.

Cake Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup sugar

1 3/4 cup butter, softened

6 eggs

2 cups powdered sugar

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 cups chopped walnuts (nuts must be used in this recipe)

Glaze:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

4 teaspoons milk, more if needed

Directions:

In large bowl combine sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add powdered sugar, blend well. By hand gradually stir in flour and remaining ingredients until well blended.

Spoon batter into greased and floured 10-inch bundt pan or 12-cup bundt pan; spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 58-62 minutes. (Because of the fudge you will not be able to do the traditional test to see if the cake is done.). Cool the cake upright in pan for 60 minutes, then turn out onto serving plate and let it cool completely. Then in small bowl combine glaze ingredients and spoon over top of cake

For additional cake recipes or cookie recipes I offer several free recipes on my site Gift Wrap and More. You can easily turn any cookie recipe into a Valentine’s Treat by using an appropriate cookie cutter.

Raw Foods That Put You in the Mood

Move over oysters and chocolate!

Did you know there are a ton of fruits and vegetables that have historically been touted to possess divine aphrodisiacal powers? It should come as no surprise as raw fruits and vegetables, with their varied shapes, textures, colors, and juices are, without a doubt, some of the most sensuous foods out there.

Can you imagine a more ecstatic food experience than biting into say, a perfectly ripe, succulent, juicy peach (or mango? or…insert-your-favorite-fruit)? One might even argue that all fruits and vegetables, in their heavenly, sensual, natural state have aphrodisiac qualities – after all, fruits are the sex organs of plants! Here I have listed some interesting and juicy tidbits about a few of these raw goodies – some you may already be familiar with, others may come as a surprise, followed by a couple sexy raw creations I’ve come up with that are sure to get your juices flowing!

1. Arugula (rocket) – in Ancient Roman times, arugula was consecrated to Priapus, a minor fertility god who was portrayed as having an enormous phallus. The Romans also used it in various love concoctions, as it was believed to be a potent stimulant. Either way, this spicy green is sure to heat things up!

2. Asparagus – Lauded for its aphrodisiacal properties, 19th Century grooms consumed 3 courses of asparagus, hoping to boost their sexual prowess.

3. Avocado – the name comes from the Aztec for “testical tree” since avocados hang in pairs, bearing resemblance to the male genitalia. Accordingly, Aztec women were not allowed out of the house during its harvest as it was thought to be a sexual stimulant. Rich in Folate, B6. C, E and certain phytochemicals, it has been theorized that these nutrients, in conjunction with compounds found in other foods may heighten feelings of love. I don’t know about that, but I do know that I’ve had an ongoing love affair with this rich, creamy, sinful treat for as long as I can remember….

4. Banana – Aside from its phallic shape and creamy texture, it contains the enzyme bromelain, which some studies have demonstrated improves male performance. The banana is also high in the B vitamins and potassium, which are necessary for the manufacture of sex hormones.

5. Basil – has long been thought to increase fertility and libido. The smell of basil, it has been said, is particularly exciting to men; women have even been known to scent their breasts with it in hopes of attracting a lover. Also reputed to increase circulation, thereby making it an effective male “enhancer”.

6. Black sesame – Traditionally used in Chinese Medicine to increase fertility. It is thought to purify the kidneys where the “essence” is held.

7. Celery – contains androsterone, a male hormone, which research has shown, is released in sweat to attract females. Celery has been used through the ages as a cure for impotence and is also rumored to increase the volume of male “emissions” when eaten in large quantities…hmmm.

8. Figs – Ancient Greeks engaged in orgiastic celebrations of new crops. Also, when split in half, figs are said to resemble female genitalia.

9. Maca – Very popular these days among raw foodists, studies have suggested this “superfood” tones and balances the hormones in men and women, increasing both fertility and sexual appetite. Try it and see for yourself!

10. Mango – The flower of the mango tree, according to myth, represents cupid’s arrow; its fruit, succulent breasts producing highly aphrodisiac nectar. The mango is taken all over SE Asia as a supplement to increase virility.

11. Pineapple – A homeopathic remedy for erectile dysfunction, pineapple is also purported to make sexual secretions taste sweeter.

12. Strawberries – According to myth, when Adonis died, Venus wept inconsolably and her tears, upon hitting the earth, transformed into heart-shaped strawberries. Another superstition has it that when you halve a strawberry and offer it up to a potential mate, he/she can’t help but fall in love with you. Moreover, due to its high malic acid content, strawberries are a natural tooth-whitener; eat them to make your mouth extra kissable!

13. Vanilla & Almond – Used in aromatherapy, as their scents have been shown to produce feelings of lust, particularly in women.

And now for those randy recipes:

Mojo Maca
1 Cup almond milk
1 Cup water
Vanilla beans, scraped from pod, to taste
2 Dates, stoned
1 Large, ripe, frozen Banana
1 Tbs. black sesame butter
2 Tbs. maca powder

Blend until creamy smooth, insert 2 straws and share with your paramour, like two giddy teenagers in a soda shop.

Rocket to Venus
2-3 handfuls Arugula
3 cups water
2 large, super-ripe mangos
1/2-1 Cup strawberries
1/2- Cup blueberries
1 large, ripe banana

Blend until smooth and let the flavors burst in your mouth. This is surprisingly delicious; even my son likes it, and believe me, ladies, he is already quite the Casanova!

As you can see, the aphrodisiac claims of food consist of a lot of folklore, a little (questionable) science, but a whole lotta fun…I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Bon appetit and bon amour!