Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day Cheap and Easy Gifts

Five Cheap and Easy Valentine's Day Gifts

If your significant other expects you to buy them expensive jewellery or take them out for expensive dinners when you don't normally do that then I think you may be with the wrong person.

I am no expert in the romance department but I think that Valentine's Day should be about showing people you LOVE that you are willing to show them how much you care and it could be in simple easy and inexpensive ways.

Here is a list of things that I would suggest you could try.  You can do 1 or a few of these in a day.
They are all simple and show that you have made some sort of effort to put some thought into doing something nice but you aren't trying to buy their Love.

1.  EASY and CHEAP -  Make a simple breakfast for your special person.  Make the effort in presentation.  Fry and egg in a piece of bread that you cut a heart shape out of the centre with a cookie cutter and toast the cut out piece as well.  Shape your bacon into a heart shape.  Decorate the plate with Sriracha or Ketchup with love symbols or their name.   Serve with fresh orange and blood orange juice.  And if you can get a Heart shaped placemat from the dollar store like this one it will make it look like you really went all out in thinking about this breakfast.

2.  SIMPLE LUNCH -   Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make Avocado toast and top it with bacon and grated cheese or even cherry tomatoes would be great.  Serve it on a pretty plate to make it more attractive.  You don't even have to be a cook to do this.  You can buy the microwave bacon or skip the bacon and add other toppings.  It's tasty and easy to make.

3.  SO YOU CAN'T COOK DESSERTS -  Cherry Black Forest Parfait -  You are clueless in the kitchen but you want to make a spectacular dessert?   Try this one.   If you are really culinary challenged you can buy cherries in Syrup and the whip cream in the can and just make layers in an attractive glass and add chocolate shavings to each layer.  You can add Brandy to the cherries to add more luxurious flavour.   
For this one I made Vanilla whipped cream and I used frozen Cherries and added Brandy and the chocolate shavings were made with a vegetable peeler.   I added a chocolate heart on top for a decorative touch.

4.  YOU GOT COOKING SKILLS BUT NO MONEY -  If you have eggs and an extract and sugar you can make these pretty meringues.

How to make these meringues:

4 egg whites
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of Vanilla extract or flavoured extract.
Food coloring if needed *optional

Whip the egg whites until foamy and then add the sugar and keep whipping until the eggs become thick and then add the vanilla extract.   In mine I added a reduced juice of a blood orange instead.  You can do this with lemon, lime or oranges.  Cook it down until it reduces the water content and concentrates the flavour.  Whip until it forms a stiff peak.  Add food coloring if needed.  I had to add a bit of red food coloring to these ones.   Use a Star tip in a piping bag or a ziploc bag and bake in a 200 Degree oven for about 2 hours.   Store in an airtight container once they are cooled.  You can use them to top your 


I love getting SQUISH gummies if I don't know what to buy someone because you can buy different shapes and they have different gift packs all the time.  For Valentine's Day they have these 3 flavour lip gummies.  In Cherry, Watermelon and Grape.  They taste delicious and a little bag like this is only $6.   You can get them at the little Kiosk at the Bay on Queen St. W. in Toronto and I am not sure where else.  Give them in the packet and maybe add a flower with it, or put them in a fancy glass bowl or dish and wrap it up in cellophane with a ribbon for a fancier gift and they get to keep the container.  

See there is no excuse not to do something thoughtful even if you don't have a lot of time or money.
It really is the thought that counts.  Show them you care and you think of them and are willing to go out of your way for them.

You can even do these things for your close friends.

Other ideas of things you can do that your loved ones would appreciate could be:

1.  Clean the house or hire a cleaning service.  Always nice to come home to a clean home.
2.  Likewise do the dishes.
3.  Cook or order a fantastic meal that isn't pizza.
4.  Go grocery shopping and buy all the basics and maybe heavy items.
5.  Help with physical things like laundry or moving things.

This should get you started if you can't think of anything.   Take it from here and do as many of these as you like or I hope they inspire you to get creative.

Show the people you care about them while they are here because you never know how much time you will have with them.


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