Love is in the air. Everywhere I look around, love is in the air, every sight and every sound.
Does that remind you of the holiday, Valentine’s Day? Or are you like me, a child of the 1970s, who followed the call of the disco ball and think of that when you hear those words?
Either way, ’tis the season for love.
February is the love month, and a time for celebrating those you hold most dear.
In our family, we believe in celebrating big even the most ordinary of days. So when a semi-major holiday like Valentine’s Day rolls around, we don’t let it go unnoticed.
We have what some might consider strange traditions. When my children were very young, we began our annual Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt. I would hide little gifts such as books, toys and new pajamas in strategic locations around our home with messages to decipher for the next location. As they got older, our goodies turned to gift cards, new CDs and movie tickets.
Once the children were teenagers, we mixed it up a little and added a progressive fast-food dinner.
Now, before you think we’ve totally lost our minds, remember we were trying to promote family time with the children who I’m sure would have rather been out with their friends.
If it meant driving all across town and going through every fast-food drive-thru known to man to accomplish that, well, we were all for it.
In case you are unfamiliar with the fast-food progressive dinner concept, allow me to explain. We would all pile in the car and discuss our options for each “course” of our meal. Then we would go through the various drive-thrus of each food establishment, all while eating in the car.
Believe me, nothing says family bonding like hamburgers, waffle fries and a Blizzard in an SUV.
While this all may sound a little bizarre, I think you would agree enjoying even the simplest things in life truly is what it’s all about, — not just on the Feb. 14, but every day of the year. So just in case this whole eating fast food in the car idea doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, here’s a fabulous dessert for your special meal.
And by the way, it’s totally acceptable to enjoy it while not riding in a moving vehicle.
Chocolate raspberry Bundt cake
1 box of chocolate cake mix
2 small boxes of instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3-4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh raspberries to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.
In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, puddings, oil, water and eggs with electric mixer. Stir in one cup chocolate chips.
Pour half of the batter into prepared pan, take your jam and spread it over the batter in the pan. Pour remaining half of the batter over jam and bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cake rest on counter in pan for 10 minutes. Then, invert cake onto serving plate to finish cooling.
Beat butter with powdered sugar, cocoa powder and milk until creamy. Stir in vanilla extract.
Spread on cooled cake and top with fresh raspberries.
Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.