From cavemen craving honey in ancient times, to the development of colored conversation heart candy during the Civil War, to the recent cake ball craze, we have invented thousands of deliciously creative ways to satisfy our sweet tooth. And Valentine's Day is the perfect time of year to showcase the sugar-filled concoctions that fill our days with anticipation and our nights with sweet dreams.
Chocolate—milk, dark, white—is the quintessential Valentine's Day classic. Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz said, "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." Just hearing the words Ghirardelli or Godiva makes us weak in the knees. And who doesn't remember salivating as Juliette Binoche mixed batch after batch of shiny, silken bliss in the romance-drama Chocolat? Whether it's caramel-infused candies or long-stemmed dipped strawberries, chocolate's reputation as an aphrodisiac insures its place at the top of the list of sweets for Valentine's Day.
Traditional candies like red and white M&Ms, red hots and conversation hearts are another hallmark of the St. Valentine celebration. Be Mine. Kiss Me. Hot Stuff. Who doesn't love spilling open a box of heart candies to see what messages are hidden inside? When these candies were first introduced, they were actually made in a variety of shapes like baseballs, horseshoes and watches. No matter the shape, candy can always bring forth the inner child in each of us. Is it any wonder that Candyland has been a household favorite since the 1940s?
And may we not forget every child's favorite: chewy cookies and fluffy cakes baked to perfection! The cupcake comeback over the past few years has done wonders for our collective mood but has wreaked havoc on our waistlines. Bakeries lined with row after row of moist cupcakes with butter cream frosting in the most beautiful, vibrant colors—now that's our idea of a Land of Sweets!
No matter what your heart is craving this Valentine's Day, you're sure to find more than a few ways to sweeten the mood for your special someone with a treat from our list of local Valentine favorites.
All this week, we are taking a look at some of our favorite articles from the past year. This one originally ran in May 2011. Happy adventuring! Some children seem to be natural-born adventurers. They light up when they get to explore new pl... read more
When our children are very young, math is a part of everyday life. We don't set time aside to work on addition and subtraction—we leave that for the elementary school days. Math is something that we incorporate into reading time, snack time, outdo... read more