Unconventional Valentine

Valentine’s Day is this weekend, and many restaurants will be booked and flower shops will run out of roses. But why be so predictable and follow the crowd. Be daring, be different! Venture out and try something different.

mean vintage valentine

When I was in elementary school, our teachers would let us pass out those perforated Valentine postcards to our classmates. My favorite was always the little boxes of conversation hearts where you could write the recipient’s name on the back of the box.

Valentine's Jelly Shots
Valentine’s Jelly Shots

Try making a new cocktail with your sweetheart. These Valentine Jelly Pops from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. These jelly cocktails are something different to try, and cooking helps build teamwork skills. Plus, the end result doesn’t hurt either. Here’s the recipe:

Valentines Jelly Pops

Ingredients

Red Layer

1/2 cup boiling water
1 3 oz package strawberry flavored gelatin dessert (sugar free dissolves very easily)
1/2 cup cold water

Pink Layer

1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 envelopes plain gelatin
1 6 oz container strawberry yogurt

White Layer

1/3 cup cold water
1 envelope less 1/2 tsp plain gelatin
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
8 each wooden coffee stirrers, cut into 2 inch lengths for garnish, if desired

Instructions:

These pops are super cute whether they’re made in a silicon mold (I used this cute little baba mold), or set in a baking pan(I’d use a standard loaf pan – about 8″ x 4″) and cut into squares.  If using a silicone mold, prepare mold by spraying lightly with cooking spray, then wiping each mold cavity clean with a paper towel. This will leave a slight residue to aid in un-molding without affecting the taste or appearance of the jelly pops. If setting in a glass or non-reactive metal baking pan, no prep is needed.  The instructions below are for molds – so if you’re setting in a pan, just pour in the layers!

Red Layer: Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water. Add cold water. Pour 1 tsp. of the gelatin into each mold cavity. Refrigerate until firm but not fully set (should be fairly firm, but still slightly sticky when touched – about 20 minutes). While the red layer is chilling, prepare Pink Layer.

Pink Layer: Pour water into small saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin and allow to soak for a minute or two. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Allow to cool to room temperature – you may want to pop the gelatin in the fridge or freezer for a minute or two to help it along. Pour 1 tbsp into each mold cavity. Refrigerate until firm but not fully set (should be fairly firm, but still slightly sticky when touched – about 15 to 20 minutes). While the pink layer is chilling, Prepare White Layer.

White Layer: Pour water into a small saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin. Allow to soak for a minute or two. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Allow to cool to room temperature. Pour approximately 2 tsp. into each mold cavity.

Refrigerate several hours or overnight, until fully set. (Overnight is ideal as it allows the layers to fully bond.) Garnish each jelly pop with a coffee stirrer segment to make the “popsicle” handle, if desired.

Makes about 15 jellies.

800px-Whirlyball

Try a team sport together. Or if you want to get a group of your couple friends together for some competition, this works too. Whirlyball is a good one to try. It’s like bumper cars meet handball. This also works for a group of single friends. Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples you know.

Happy Hour graphic

If you’re single, go to a happy hour with your girlfriends/guyfriends. Nothing wrong with a ladies/guys night out to enjoy the holiday.

vintage Valentine's

Or, just sit still and enjoy each other’s company. A lot of times, our lives get so busy that we never get time to be still and just enjoy spending time with your partner. Whether you go and explore your neighborhood or try a new activity neither of you have ever tried before. Slow down and take time to enjoy the moment.

Whatever you do, don’t make a big fuss or over think it. Valentine’s Day is just another day.  Enjoy it like any other day with those you love.