The Food of Love.

Make Valentine’s Day really special with a fabulous party meal for your kids. We have created a Meri Meri ‘Food of Love’ menu for you that’s easy, delicious and looks amazing!

Food of Love menu

Valentine’s Day food is all about stimulating the senses with the colors of love – red, pink and pretty pastels - and heart shaped meals. Why not make your own menu to put on the table so little people can read it, or have it read to them, to get their tastebuds tantilized?

Starter: Tasty Tomato soup with heart shaped croutons.

Ticks all the boxes – red, yummy and smells delicious! Either use fresh or tinned (or make your own if you have the time and inclination) You can also add heart shaped croutons to float on top for extra effect too!

(Style alert - It’s a good idea to supply all the littlies with napkins to tuck into their tops as damage control for messy eaters! Tell them it’s what the grown ups also do when eating soup!)

Here’s a simple heart shaped crouton recipe to try. It makes enough croutons to serve around 6 people.

Heart shaped croutons

Ingredients
Serves 6

  • 1 loaf (about 10 ounces) fine-grained white bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for brushing

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, or use a knife, cut out heart shapes from the bread slices.
  3. Brush each heart with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and set aside. Place on top of the soup as you serve it.

1. Party Palette Heart Small Plates, 2. Valentine Doodle Large Plates 3. Valentine Doodle Small Napkins, 4. Pink Wooden Cutlery Set, 5. Pinata Hearts Cupcake Kit,
6. Party Palette Heart Large Napkins, 7. Heart Pinata Favors

Main course. Heart shaped pizzas – marvellous meat or fantastic veggie options!

Buy pizzas and cut into heart shapes with a knife or cutter once they’re cooked (or if you’re feeling creative you can make your own.) Choose a variety of toppings, meat and vegetarian, so everyone is catered for. If you want to boost their veggie intake, then serve with a green salad topped with more heart shaped croutons!

Desserts: Love Note Cookies and Love Heart Cupcakes.

These gorgeous cookies and cupcakes look almost too good to eat! Here’s the recipe for the love note cookies, as created for us by ANNA cake couture. This will make around 25 cookies, depending on the size of your cutter.

Love Note Cookies

Ingredients
Makes 25

  • 7 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 7 ounces caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 15 ounces All purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 18 ounces Royal icing sugar
  • Water
  • Add food coloring as desired

Directions

  1. Place the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl and cream together.
  2. Beat the egg in a jug and slowly add to the butter mixture, whisking until well incorporated. 
  3. Sift in the flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for an hour.
  5. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out the cookie dough until about a fifth of an inch thick. 
  6. Cut the dough using a heart shaped cutter and place on a baking tray covered with baking parchment. 
  7. Chill again for ideally 2 hours. 
  8. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your hearts), or until the edges are golden brown.
  9. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the Icing:

  1. Use the icing’s packet instructions for the basic recipe. This can be used for the writing.
  2. Use paper piping bags  (they used a PME 1.5 nozzle), or you can use pre-made piping bags, to pipe on your icing letters.
  3. Then you’ll want to add a small amount of water to make the rest of the icing into a runnier consistency needed for flooding your cookies. No need to make it twice! If you scoop some up with a spoon and let it dribble back into the bowl, you should see the icing blend back together in a few seconds.
  4. When coloring your royal icing, try and use colors that don’t contain glycerine as this will prevent your icing from drying with a lovely hard crust.

5 Ways to make your cookies fantastic

Anna Tyler from ANNA cake couture recommends:

1. Don’t over mix the butter and sugar at beginning as this makes the cookies spread while baking.

2. Try not use too much flour when rolling the cookie dough out is this can make the cookies drier than they should be.

3. Once you have rolled the cookie dough and cut out the hearts, put them in the freezer for a couple of hours minimum. This will really help the cookies retain their shape and not spread whilst baking.

4. If you put your freshly iced biscuits into a very low oven, for example 85F, for 15-20 minutes they will dry with a beautiful shine.

5. If you wrap your cookies in cellophane and tie tightly, they will keep for 1 month.

    Here’s the recipe for the Love Heart Cupcakes, as created for us by The Vanilla Pod Bakery. They have a soft pink color and a delightful surprise of strawberry jelly in the middle! This recipe will make around 12 cupcakes, depending on the size of your cases. To make your cakes look really fabulous, use our Pinata Hearts Cupcake Kit with on-trend fringed heart and tasselled toppers and shiny pink cases.  

      Love Heart Cupcakes

      Ingredients
      Makes 12

      • 6 ounces Caster sugar
      • 6 ounces Butter, softened
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon Vanilla paste
      • 3 Large eggs
      • 2-3 teaspoons pink food coloring
      • 6 ounces All Purpose flour
      • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
      • Strawberry jelly

      For the vanilla frosting:

      • 6 ounces Butter, softened
      • 13 ounces Icing sugar
      • 1 tablespoon boiling water
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
      • Food coloring (optional)

      Directions

      1. Pre heat oven to 355F.
      2. Line a cupcake tray with the cases.
      3. Whisk together the caster sugar, butter, salt and vanilla paste until very pale in color.
      4. Whisk in the eggs and food coloring.
      5. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder until completely mixed.
      6. Divide the mix into the cases.
      7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
      8. Cool.
      9. Core the center of each cake and add a teaspoon or two of delicious strawberry jelly into each.

      For the Frosting:

      1. Whisk together the very soft butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
      2. Add the boiling water and continue whisking.
      3. Add the vanilla paste.
      4. If you want to make different colored frosting, then divide it into small bowls and add the food colorings into each and mix until blended.

      3 Ways to make your cupcakes look and taste special

      Here are Pia Canto, Founder of The Vanilla Pod Bakery, top tips.

      1. For a uniformed look weigh the batter of each individual cupcake.

      2. Always use a premium vanilla paste for a delicious taste.

      3. Use a star nozzle to achieve a professional looking piped cupcake.

        Drink choices: Love Potion mocktail and Cupid Floats

        Kids love a mocktail – so sophisticated and grown-up, especially if you present them with stylish straws, cocktail umbrellas and a cherry garnish! They also adore a float with candies! So, why not offer them the choice? (and if they are really well behaved they might even get to have one of each!)

          Love Potion Pitcher

          Ingredients
          Serves 12

          • 2 liters of Sprite
          • 1 bottle of cranberry juice
          • 1 bottle of orange juice
          • Maraschino cherries (optional)

          Directions

          1. Pour all the ingredients into a large pitcher and stir gently.
          2. Serve with ice. Pop a maraschino cherry into each cup if you want an extra effect!

          Cupid Float

          Ingredients
          Serves 1

          • 1-2 scoops Vanilla ice cream
          • Cherry soda
          • Red licorice, love heart candies and sprinkles (optional)

          Directions

          1. Add a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream to a cup.
          2. Fill the cup with cherry soda.
          3. Serve with a straw, or cut the ends off of a strand of red licorice and place into the cup to use as a straw.
          4. For extra fun serve with a few love heart candies scattered on top of the foam, and/or you can add some red or pink sprinkles too.