Ask B: Joint Birthday Party

 

Dear B,

We’ve been invited to a joint birthday party for my son’s friend and his classmate. We go to a different school, so we have met the classmate before, however we don’t know him very well. Do we still need to bring him a gift? Or just bring a gift for my son’s friend?

Sincerely,

C


 

Dear C,

Great question! Joint birthday parties are a wonderful way to celebrate two children, be it siblings or friends, and the mantra is the more the merrier. Twice the cake, twice the fun! However, when it comes to gift giving for this type of party, it can be quite tricky. Given that your son is friends with only one of the birthday boys, I think it is perfectly acceptable to only bring him a gift. If you feel the need to bring something for the classmate though and budget allows, consider a small gift such as a book. Also, there is one exception to this scenario: if your son went to school with both boys, and both mother’s invited everyone in the class, I would advise you to bring gifts for both boys. Hope this helps!

 

Valentine’s Day Recipe: Heart Tarts

 

Valentine’s Day is a fabulous excuse to bake to your hearts content, from pink sprinkle cookies to red velvet cupcakes to chocolate truffles to strawberry pies. What better way to say ‘I love you!’ than with a homemade sweet treat! One of our favorite activities to do as a family is bake, and so we’ve had fun this month making all kinds of desserts. We even decorated Valentine’s Day cookies with C’s preschool class at a local bakery a couple of weeks ago, and the kids had a ball. They frosted X’s O’s, and hearts with pink and red icing and then covered the cookies in sugary sprinkles and conversation heart candies – yum!

We decided to make rich chocolate brownies on Valentine’s Day, and so I thought a lighter treat would be perfect for this past weekend. While perusing our favorite Weelicious for some healthy lunch ideas for the boys, I spotted a raspberry cream cheese tart recipe that fit the bill – what’s not to love about individual heart tarts? I made a couple small modifications to the recipe, and they turned out beautifully! Here is the recipe, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

 

Heart Tarts 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 packages of puff pastry or 1 double pie crust
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

 

Instructions 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2. Place the raspberries, cream cheese and honey in a small mixing bowl. Using a fork, gently mash the raspberries and mix them with the cream cheese and honey.

3. Roll the puff pastry (or pie crust) 1/4 inch thick. Use a large heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts. You need two hearts per tart.

4. Set half of the hearts on a lightly floured work surface. Place 1-2 teaspoons of the raspberry and cream cheese mixture in the center of each heart (*you can add more or less of the raspberry cream cheese mixture depending upon how big your tarts are). Be sure to leave a 1/4″ border around the cut-out.

5. Next, brush the border of the hearts with the water, and then gently top each with another heart. Use a fork to press down along the edges sealing the tarts shut. With a toothpick, poke a few holes in the top of each tart so the air can escape when they bake.

7. Transfer the tarts to the baking sheet, and bake them for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

8. After the tarts have cooled, dust them with powdered sugar and enjoy!

 

Valentine’s Day Cards, Baking Goodies & Decor

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I’m partial to the month of February because my birthday is in February, as well as the beloved Hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day. How fun to have a holiday all about love! Whether celebrating this heart filled day with your sweetheart, children, family or friends, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show a little love. I adore Valentine’s Day for so many reasons – all of the pink, glitter, hearts, and endless excuses to bake, craft and decorate.

This year I’m going to surprise my husband with a special treat (sorry, I have to keep it a secret in case he’s reading!), and the boys with cards and matching Pjs, as well as a celebratory breakfast. I love to make heart shaped pancakes with berries and maple syrup, and I know that will be a meal all three of my boys will be over the moon for. A festive dinner will be in order for our family too, and of course a chocolate dessert, perhaps I’ll bake Ina’s indulgent brownie pudding.

We are also celebrating Valentine’s Day with C’s sweet preschool class, and so I ordered Paw Patrol themed Valentine’s  from our favorite Shop Love Lucy for all the kiddos – C loves those pups!

And so, whether you’re looking for Valentine’s Day cards to send to family and friends or for your kids classmates, decor or baking treats, I’ve rounded up some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy these goodies and wishing everyone a happy Valentine’s Day!