Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Collage

If you live to be a hundred, 
I want to live to be a hundred minus one day 
so I never have to live without you.

The photo above is a collage of valentines know there is one for you 
Valentine's Day is big for greeting cards and candy sales. It was a staggering figure to read that in 2010 more than 1 billion cards were sent world wide.  With the popularity of the Internet now new traditions of e-cards, love coupons and printable e-cards are becoming quite popular. In 2010, 15 million e-cards were sent. But to me nothing can replace the charm and the sentiments of vintage valentines from mid 19th century and early 20th century.
circa late 1800's
rare Esther Howland Valentine 
circa 1875 it is in British Museum

Paper valentines became popular in the early 19th century and fancy ones were made with real lace and ribbons in England. Valentine greetings were popular as far back as Middle Ages when lovers sang or said their valentines. The oldest valentine in existence from 1400's can be found in the British Museum.
Ester Howland was an American printer and artist and the first one to produce valentines in U.S.in 1850, From that day on the valentine greeting cards business has taken off.
While you are thinking about the valentine you might choose from the collage above I am posting a recipe for chocolate cake called Best Ever. This is a chocolate cake recipe I have had the most success with more than any other I have tried. Most of the ingredients are ones you probably have on hand. Perhaps it is not too late to bake today.
Best Ever Chocolate Cake
Notes: A very moist cake. Chocolate or vanilla/sour cream frosting work well for this cake.

  • 2-¼ cup flour
  • 1-cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1-cup buttermilk
  • 1-cup hot coffee (strong)
  • 2- cups white sugar
  • 1 jumbo egg
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 TB. Kahlua
  • Beat all ingredients 2-3 minutes.
  • Use PAM and spray 13x9 pan or flour 2 cake pans
  • Bake 13x9@ 25 minutes or check at 20 minutes for cake pans (do not over bake)
  • Cool- if using round cake pans invert on to a wire rack
  • ½ stick of butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1TB. vanilla
  • milk
Beat frosting ingredients and use a couple of tablespoons of milk to get the right consistency
Refrigerate till serving

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