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Friday, February 14, 2014

My Favorite 5 ~ Inexpensive Date Night Ideas

Hafa adai from Guam where America's Valentine's Day begins! How do you pronounce hafa adai? Imagine you're British (if you aren't) and say "Half a day" (HAWF uh DAY). That's the Chamorro greeting on the island of Guam, and I'm Kelley from the blog Kelley Highway. While I live in Manila, Philippines and travel with my husband throughout the beautiful islands of the Pacific, I'm thrilled to be celebrating Valentine's Day with you at one of my favorite blogs, Decor to Adore.

I met Laura in the blogosphere in 2011 when she hosted "Fall in Love with the House You Hate Your Home," a linky party. I am still in love with the townhouse rental I used to hate my home, because wherever my excellent husband of 32 years is, for me that's home. Here are "My Favorite Five" inexpensive date ideas, perfect for a Valentine's Day or a date night celebrated at home.

1. Hallmark's "The Lost Valentine"

This is our favorite Hallmark Valentine's Day video! Even strong, handsome World War II buffs like my he-man will need a hanky.

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Please keep reading for four more favorites!

Along with a good movie, here are some refreshments that will hit the spot for any sweetheart.

2. Stove-Top Popped Popcorn

I use 3 Tablespoons hot oil (olive or coconut are our favorites!) and 1/3 cup popcorn kernels in my Felknor's stove-top popcorn popper (rescued from a Goodwill for $5) with a scant 1/4 teaspoon salt. Perfect every time!

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3.  Stove-Top Hot Chocolate

In a saucepan I blend 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, pinch salt and 1/3 cup boiling water and bring it to an easy boil while stirring. Simmer 2 minutes.  Watch so it doesn't scorch.  Remove from heat.

Stir in 3 cups milk and heat until very hot, but don't boil. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Usually Serves 4.

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4 . Pecan-filled Date "Candy Bars"

Press an Alabama Surprise pecan half into the slit cut you've cut in a pitted date. Best good-for-you "candy bar" (or five!) you'll ever eat.

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5. One-Apple Crumb Pie

Obviously this is a full size pie, but we're empty nesters, so several years ago I began baking for my Valentine One-Apple Pies using the same recipe I use for a full size pie.  They're so easy!

Set out 1/3 cup butter to soften a bit.

Meanwhile, line a One Apple Pie-size pan with your Valentine's favorite crust. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

For easy clean-up after baking, with foil line a baking sheet that has an edge on all sides. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine 1 to 1 apples (not cups of apples), peeled, cored and chopped, a generous sprinkling of sugar, a dusting of flour, some lovely cinnamon, and any other apple pie spices, such as nutmeg and cardamom. Don't be chintzy! Your beloveds need to smell that lovin' in your oven.

Fill One-Apple Pie crust with apple mixture, mounding the apples in the center. Set aside.

In a bowl, prepare Crumb Topping by combining 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour and the slightly softened 1/3 cup butter. I use a pastry blender. Holding the filled pie pan over the Crumb Topping bowl, spoon topping onto pie, or use your hand like I do. Gently press onto apples. (Store the leftover topping in refrigerator or freezer. It's ready for your next One Apple Pie-baking whim.)

Place pie pan on foil-lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375F degree (toaster) oven 30 to 50 minutes or until apples bubble and crumb topping is lightly browned.

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Oh my yum! Thank you so much dear friend Kelley for sharing such lovely ideas. I can’t wait to try them out on my beloved sweetheart.

Next week we will have my friend and kindred spirit, Mildred, from Blackberry Lane.

Laura

28 comments :

Auntie Em said...

Fun ideas and I think the apple pie might be tonight's dessert! Thanks for sharing!
Have a Happy Valentine's Day! :)

Liz Hockamier said...

All very good ideas! :) We will probably stay home tonight and do one of these. We're not cheap... just home bodies. :)

Happy Valentine's Day! :)
~Liz

Bonnie said...

Plan to check out the Hallmark movie so thanks for the tip. All your ideas are fun and I especially like the individual apple pie recipe.

Aren't we bloggers blessed to be able to communicate with others all over the world? Thank you Laura and Kelley. Happy Valentine's Day.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great ideas and I love the pie. Hugs, Marty

Blackberry Lane said...

I love the dates/pecans idea and that is a gorgeous plate you have displayed yours on. The hot chocolate looks very delicious on this cold/snowy day in Georgia too.
So nice to meet a new blog friend.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Laura, Sweet wishes to you and yours this weekend.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Great ideas, Laura!

Happy Valentine's Day, my friend!

xo

Sheila

Denise said...

Hi Kelley,

It's nice to meet you! Your Valentine's ideas look wonderful; we love apple crumb pie at our house, and the hot chocolate looks delish. I haven't seen this movie, but it looks like something I would enjoy. :)

Thanks for sharing your ideas on Laura's blog, and have a great day!

Denise at Forest Manor

Vel Criste said...

I have to check that movie out! Thanks for the fab suggestions Laura, have a Happy Valentines day!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

Great ideas. I seem to be in a real funk this year, just not feeling it at all:(

Debbie said...

You happen to be featuring one of my favorite bloggers this week, Laura. I actually snatched that date/pecan thing from her earlier and have made it several times since. I love it. It's so healthy but delicious and sweet.

I need to find that movie.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Such a great idea!!!!!!

Louise said...

Half a day (said with a real Brit accent) and those are all lovely ideas!

Rita C. said...

Yay! We VCR'd the Lost Valentine at the recommendation of my sister - can't wait to watch it, as the past week was hectic hosting a baby shower for a niece.

Sarah said...

Great ideas! I know my valentine would love one of those apple pies.

Kelley said...

Hope your Valentine's Day dessert was yummy!

Happy highways,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

When we're not traveling over land and sea, we're definitely home-bodies!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Yes, Bonnie! We're truly blessed! Hope you were a me to watch the video. Wow, it's good.

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Thanks, Marty!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Thank you so much! Hope your Valentine's Day was grand!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Thanks! Happy Valentine's Day!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Thank you for your kind comments, Denise. It was a pleasure to be here. Laura's the best!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

It's an awesome video!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Hope these ideas helped, Pinky!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Hi, Debbie! Fancy meeting you, beautiful gal!

Glad you enjoy the date-pecan "candy bars!"

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Thanks, Julie!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Aww, wonderful, Louise! Good to meet you!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Oh, good, Rita! Hope you thoroughly enjoyed it!

Hugs,
Kelley~

Kelley said...

Sure would, Sarah! It's yummy!

Hugs,
Kelley~