Company Name - Company Message
       

TO ALL MY BELOVED FOODIES. . . 
This is to announce that I am closing my Great Cooking Ideas website.The reason is that it's been up for 6 WONDERFUL years, and I have truly loved every second of it, but six years is a long time and I want to take a break and pursue other interests.
I will still keep my Facebook page, Great Cooking Ideas, but the actual website will be closing in two weeks on February
13th.
I'm telling you this now because if there are any recipes you like and want to copy, this gives you a little time. At the end of the day on Feb. 13, you won't be able to access anything on the website or blog. Also - those of you receiving the newsletter will not receive any more after Feb 13.

Please stay in touch via Facebook!  Every one of you means the world to me and I will miss you so very much. 
                                                                     - Love, Patti


         
         FEBRUARY!
      The
MONTH of LOVE!
            Welcome to
    Great Cooking Ideas.com

           
  Hello, fellow Foodies, and welcome!
I'm Patti Saunders Mays in Boise, and I'm so glad you're here! 
I'VE ALWAYS LOVED
THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY!
The happy romanticism of Valentine's Day is  fun, no matter what your age. The holidays are over, things have calmed down a bit - and in some places there's even a promise of Spring in the air. (Not in Idaho though, I might add... still cold and snowy here.)  :(

Remember the Valentine's parties in grade school? We were all so excited! We exchanged valentines (the rule was we would give a valentine to EVERYONE in the class). Then a couple of overworked room mothers would bring in the treats; homemade cupcakes, cartons of juice or milk, "Red Hots" candies, and of course "conversation hearts." Some of those hearts tasted lots better than others.


I don't think schools have those parties anymore. Maybe they still do for Valentine's Day, since it's not religious or anything. I hope so because they were so much fun and created terrific memories. 

Anyway - I hope you have a special February. Enjoy the recipes, and feel free to copy and re-post (please, oh please give me credit!). And by all means - come back often!

                 HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYBODY!
                                                                              
- Patti Mays 


                               

     Ideas for Sweethearts, Kids, and
           other important people. . . 

  Recipe adapted from Lecremdelacrumb.com
Make Strawberry Dips!  
They're Easy,and Ever
        so Elegant!
For this pretty and very special treat, get 1 pound fresh strawberries. Wash & dry them but leave on the stems. You'll also need. . .
  - 1 12-oz bag white choc chips
  - 4 Tbsps shortening (Crisco)
  - Food coloring; sprinkles (opt)

Line a baking sheet (one that'll fit in your fridge) with aluminum foil. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips with the Crisco and stir until smooth.
Then - dip strawberries into the melted chocolate, turning so that all sides are coated. Place on foiled baking sheet. For various colors, add a few drops of food coloring into the melted chocolate. If has begun to harden, just put it back in the microwave for a few seconds and stir until smooth and coloring is even.

When all strawberries have been dipped, put the baking sheet in the fridge to cool. After about 1/2 hour, remove strawberries from fridge.

To apply dots, stripes or drizzles - Put some of the colored chocolate into a zip lock bag, seal it and snip off just a tiny bit of one bottom corner.
Then drizzle colored chocolate onto strawberries in any design you like. Top with sprinkles. Return to fridge for about 10 more minutes to set up. Store in airtight container in fridge up to 3 days. (But the fresher these are, the better.)

       

                                              
              MAKE CAKE POPS! Kids love em!

Here's a neat video all about how to make easy cake pops. I love this video b/c it's easy to understand and the pictures are clear.  You might have to sit thru a 10-second ad. Sorry, I don't know how to avoid them.  :> 
         CAKE POP VIDEO



                                                    


                       Always romantic!!
          DON'T FORGET THE OLD-FASHIONED VALENTINE
  BOXES OF CHOCOLATES! EVERYBODY STILL LOVES THEM!


              WINE GUMMIES!
              OOH,OOH CHILD!

               Photos and (edited) write-up fromThrive-Style.com
Oh mannn... is this cool or what. My friend Ria came across this terrific recipe. It just doesn't get any better than this, for grown-up parties with lots of pizzazz!! These WINE GUMMIES and MARGARITA GUMMIES are the best!

                  Click here for both recipes:



                   

        OTHER IDEAS . . . 

             CREAMY, DREAMY
           PEANUT BUTTER PIE

This is always such a big hit, whether you're romancing your sweetheart, entertaining your kids, contributing to a potluck for the office or all-out entertaining family and friends.

The flavor is so good and that texture - ultra creamy! This
is one of those delectable desserts where you take one bite and get SWEPT AWAY with the unbelievable flavor and the creamy feeling in your mouth. Here's the link (this is one of my favorite recipes.)
  
                 CREAMY, DREAMY PEANUT BUTTER PIE


                                       
          OVER THE TOP DELICIOUS CREME BRULEE



I got this recipe a long time ago from one of my favorite sites, "Taste of Home."
                  RECIPE
This recipe is so great because it's delicious, yet very simple - with just a few ingredients.The flavor is to die for and creme
brulee looks so fancy-schmantzy!

                                                       
                                                                                                                                            
 
                                       ANOTHER NEAT VIDEO:
             HOW TO MAKE HEART-SHAPED
              BROWNIES. ANOTHER EASY!

These cuties look like they came from a bakery, they're so professional looking. But GOOD NEWS! They start with a mix.  Yess! Sooo easy and cute . . . and GOOOOD!

               click. . .
     BROWNIE HEARTS
                                               

                          
                   
                    Mmmm!
          NOT-QUITE-AS-FANCY
        BUT EVERY BIT AS GOOD
CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRIES!

 
 (Recipe and photo from All Recipes. I adore that site!!)

Ingredients. . .
  16 ounces milk choc chips
   2 tablespoons shortening
   1 pound fresh strawberries 
     with leaves
 
Directions. . .
- Insert toothpicks into the
                                               tops of the strawberries.
-  In a double boiler or microwave, melt the chocolate and 
    shortening together, stirring occasionally until smooth.    
-  Holding them by the toothpicks (I actually used a pickle fork),
   dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture and coat
   completely.
- Turn the strawberries stem-side up and place on a foil-covered
    plate or baking pan Put in the 'fridge until they've cooled
    (about 1/2 hour).

 
 
          SPEAKING OF                   ROMANTIC . . . 

     EVER TRIED STRAWBERRIES
             IN CHAMPAGNE?         
     Well, there's nothing to it at all, 
         and it's soooo romantic, classy 
                 and tasty!

Picture from Emme Magazine
You just get some fresh plump strawberries, some champagne, and pretty stemmed glasses or champagne flutes. Wash the strawberries well and dry w/paper towels. (You don't want the champagne to get watery!). Leave the stems on, too - it makes them look prettier.
 
Put a strawberry or 2 in the bottom of each empty glass and then slowly pour champagne over. The fizzing will stick to the strawberry so it continues to bubble for a longer time than champagne usually does. It just looks beautiful and it's very special. Tastes great too!

If you don't especially like champagne, another bubbly that tastes FABULOUS and is very affordable is called "New Age" sparkling white wine. Get it at any grocery store. It is absolutely delicious. Serve cold!                     


NOW... WHAT TO MAKE FOR DINNER?


                           

For something that is different, romantic, and just simply out-of-this-world-delicious, I really recommend my 5-star SHRIMP CURRY with LIME COUSCOUS

I've discovered this wonderful treat one year ago, and it is still one of the best dishes I have EVER had. And my husband totally agrees! The flavor is sophisticated and different without being weird.  Yet it's easy enough to make... just takes a little bit of planning.  Here's the recipe link again:
         
SHRIMP CURRY with LIME COUSCOUS
                               

 
    ~ DON'T FORGET THE FLOWERS ~ 


Beautiful flowers do NOT have to cost an arm & leg.  You can get fabulous roses at Costco for $15, and possibly even less at grocery stores.  Check thrift stores for clear vases... they sell most vases for less than $1.

Square ones like this are gorgeous but if you can't find one, there are about a million other vases at thrift stores in all shapes & sizes. To make the vase appear red, you can fill the bottom with red glass marbles (dollar store!) or add several drops of red food coloring.  (I like marbles best b/c when you change the water you don't have to add more food coloring. :>)



             HAVE FUN! LOVE YOU GUYS!  - Patti