Yes, February can be cold, dark and often snowy when you live in New England. But, it is also the month that we focus on LOVE! I know February 14th is often considered a Hallmark Holiday, but I personally look forward to this holiday and everything it represents all year. I choose to think of Valentine’s Day (and the days leading up to it) as an excuse to hug my children more, bake fun heart-shaped desserts and remind my husband just how much he means to me. But, I am a realist too. I refuse to go out for an expensive dinner and I beg my husband not to buy me overpriced flowers. On February 14th, we prefer to stay home, make home-made gifts and put together beautiful heart-inspired platters.
Valentine’s Day is a day we focus on hearts. Yes, the focus is often on heart shaped food, candies and gifts…but we can also use this month as a time to give attention to our literal, beating hearts. What better way to take care of one of our most important organs than to share love and receive love? Having a strong sense of love in our lives (partners, children, animals, friends…) can really have an impact on our tickers. We are calmer, more at peace, happier and more willing to help others when we have a strong sense of love in our lives. According to Scripps.org, we can even experience lower blood pressure if we feel loved and share that love with others.
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, I hope that they are not only filled with heart shaped chocolates, but also lots of heart-healthy love! I hope you feel your heart swell from the love of a child. I hope you feel calmer and happier because someone has told you they love you. I hope that you are entangled in a kiss with a partner or spouse that takes your breath away. And, I hope that you take time with people you love to put together your own whimsical, fun platters.
Remember the following tips when creating and and eating your platter made with love:
combine different flavors, textures and colors
don’t take this too seriously, it’s only food
Onesto crackers are a perfect accompaniment to any platter
have some really good wine or great craft beers available
be confident and let your heart lead the way