We are in the countdown to Valentine’s Day, the day that celebrates loving, caring, and all the
things that make our hearts skip a beat. Get inspired for this romantic holiday with lots of ideas,
including decorations, fun facts, trivia about St. Valentine, resources for crafts, and recipes from
Chef to the Stars Ryan Rondeno.
Decorating Tips, Crafts, and Must-Try Bonus Recipe
Make these fun handmade Valentine’s Day decorations. Whether you make our heart
decorations or pretty Valentine craft ideas, these DIYs and projects will be loved by recipients all
year round. Balloon Heart Arch
For a fun, non-traditional take on your Valentine’s Day social media posts, try a giant heart
made of balloons and faux flowers.
“Be Mine” Straw Toppers
What’s a Valentine’s Day party without covering your home from end to end with hearts? These
straw toppers are a great addition to your table decor and the kids can make them as a fun
Valentine’s Day craft.
Straw Topper Instructions
● Print the heart printables out on cardstock.
● Cut out the hearts ahead of time if you’re making this with younger kids.
● Avoid using glitter if you plan to use these with food or drinks.
Did You Know—Origins of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day originated as a Christian feast day that honored one to two Christian martyrs
named Saint Valentine. There are many stories associated with various Valentines linked to
February 14th. One account is the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to
Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century. Early traditions
have said that Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of the person who jailed him.
Other legends state that he wrote to the jailer’s daughter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell
before his execution.
Valentine’s Day Fun Facts
● Officially became a holiday associated with love in the 1300s
● St. Valentine is more than one person.
● Valentine’s was first commercialized in the 1840s.
● The first Valentine was sent during the 15th century.
● Americans spent more than $20 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts in 2019.
● The first Valentine’s Day celebration happened in Paris.
● Originally, candy hearts were medical lozenges.
● Most Americans consider pink and red to be the colors of love.
● Valentine’s Day is a popular time to get engaged.
● Roses dominate Valentine’s Day florals
Valentine’s Day Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes
Pairing blueberries with a fluffy pancake is always a sure win. Of course, spices must be added
to the dish. Star anise, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves add a nice bite to the syrup. In addition,
the aroma of toasted pecans fills the kitchen. It adds a nice texture to the pecans in the making
of a great breakfast.
Time to cook: 00:25:00
Number of People to Serve- 4
● 1 c. all-purpose flour
● 1 c. pastry flour
● 1/4 c. butter, melted
● 4 tsp. baking powder
● 1 tsp. baking soda
● 2 1/4 c. buttermilk
● 4 eggs
● 1/3 c. granulated sugar
● Pinch of salt
● 2 star anise
● 1 pint of blueberries
● 1 cup of maple syrup
● 2 bay leaves
● 1 cinnamon stick
● 1 cup chopped pecans
● Toasted cooking pan spray
In a stainless steel bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add eggs
and buttermilk. Whisk until combined. Melt butter and add to mixture. In a small pan, add maple
syrup, cinnamon, blueberries, bay leaves, and star anise. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the
blueberries pop in the syrup. Toast pecans for 2-3 minutes at 375 degrees. Add to the blueberry
mixture. Set aside. Heat pan or griddle at medium-high heat. Spray with pan spray. Cook until
small bubbles appear and edges allow the pancakes to flip easily. Once flipped, cook for
another 2 minutes or until done. Serve the pancakes with the blueberry-pecan syrup.
Citrus Spiced Scallops with Olive Relish Recipe
Easy and delicious scallops to prepare with citrus and olives for the perfect Valentine’s Day
Time to cook: 00:20:00
Number of People to Serve- 4
● 16 U-10 Scallops
● 2-3 tbs. olive oil, plus 1/4 cup olive oil
● 2-3 tbsp. Citrus Herb Rub
● 4 navel oranges, segmented
● 1/2 c. kalamata olives, sliced
● Zest and juice of 1 lemon
● 1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
● 1/4 c. parsley, finely chopped
● 2-3 tbsp. butter
● Salt and pepper to taste
For the Scallops:
Preheat the cast iron pan to medium-high heat. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Pull off
the small muscle that’s attached to the scallop. Lay scallops out evenly on a sheet pan. Season
with citrus herb rub on both sides. Add olive oil to the pan. Add scallops to the pan. Be sure not
to overcrowd the pan. It can be done in two batches. Sear for 1-2 minutes. Do not move the
scallops. Flip over and add butter. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
For the Orange Segments:
Using a knife, trim off the stop and bottom of the orange. Place the orange on the flat side. Cut
off the peel on the sides of the orange. Be sure to remove pith to avoid bitterness. Using the
knife, cut in between the lines of the orange to remove the orange flesh. Make sure you get as
close as possible to the white membrane of the orange. Repeat until the orange is complete.
Once complete, squeeze the remaining orange for excess juice.
For the Olive Relish:
In stainless steel, add zest, juice of lemon, juice of orange, mustard, and garlic. Slowly drizzle in
olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add olives, orange segments, and parsley. Taste. Serve
About Chef Ryan Rondeno
Private Chef to the Stars, Ryan Rondeno, is a true master of his trade and is ready to
shake up the restaurant industry by bringing elegant dishes, bold flavor, and simple
technique to the home front. His masterful cuisine has been relished at large-scale
culinary events, gala dinners, and as a personal chef to some of the most notable
names in the industry such as:
* Diddy * Will Smith * Common * Tyrese Gibson * Robert Smith * * Xhibit *
Mercedes-Benz * Lamborghini * Will McGinest * LA Philharmonic
Chef Ryan is making his lavish recipes available to people across the U.S. as he offers
some trade secrets, training through simple techniques, tips, and tricks, and revealing
signature recipes for all ages. With a passion for French, Italian, and Regional American
Cuisine, his focus remains on local, sustainable cuisine with a strong emphasis on bold
flavors—not to mention the love of New Orleans cuisine and fresh California flavors.
Most notably, Chef Ryan has also appeared on the following segments and placed in
food competition for the following: World Food Championships (top 10 finish), The Jam
TV Show, Atl & Co, Good Day Charlotte, Good Day San Diego, NY food & Wine Fest,
Culinary Fight Club- LA, San Diego, Chicago (won 3 times and finished 3rd in national
championship). Chef Rondeno is the founder and owner of Rondeno Culinary Designs and the
Rondeno Spice Collection (Nola Creole Rub, Citrus Herb Rub, and Ancho-Chili BBQ
Rub) designed to help cooks of all skill levels enhance the flavor of the dishes. His
culinary focus is on the use of grass-fed organic meats and locally-grown organic
Chef Rondeno offers simple recipes that will bring unique and tasty experiences to the
kitchen table with his FoodCulture App. “FoodCulture was created to embody a personal and unique approach of food and
flavor in the kitchen. We wanted to create cost-effective and flavorful scratch recipes
that didn’t break the bank. The App was also designed to have a one-on-one feel, as if
I’m cooking with you every step of the way,” says Chef Rondeno.
Find a sweet and savory collection of recipes, such as: brunch, salads, healthy dinners,
easy snacks, comfort food, cocktails, plus many more added every month!
Download the FoodCulture App Today!
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