Sweet Ideas for a Handmade Valentine's Day

http://www.motherearthliving.com/The-Good-Life/sweet-ideas-for-a-handmade-valentines-day.aspx

Vday 

This Valentines' Day table uses a mix of vintage and recycled glass dishes. Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison 

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. And whether you love it or hate it, significant others do tend to appreciate conscientious, thoughtful gifts more than another rant about this ridiculous Hallmark holiday. (I’ve learned this from experience.)

This year I’m borrowing ideas from Natural Home stylist Chad Suiter and setting the table for a romantic dinner with my sweetie. I love the way Chad plays with vintage and recycled dinnerware, and I plan to make a centerpiece of organic roses in old cocoa tins, which are easy to find in junk and thrift shops. I'm also looking forward to trying my hand this weekend at Chad's homemade candy hearts.

vday candy 

Chad Suiter’s Homemade Candy Hearts 

Ingredients
Lemon-infused organic olive oil
2 cups light organic corn syrup
3½ cups organic sugar
1 cup water
1½ teaspoons organic cinnamon
2 teaspoons all-natural or organic red food coloring

1. Gather heart-shaped candy-making molds. Brush a drop of lemon-infused organic olive oil into each mold to help keep the candy from sticking. Set aside molds.

2. In a large pan, combine corn syrup, sugar and water. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until sugar is well-dissolved.

3. Raise heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Boil until candy thermometer registers 300 degrees F. (Be patient, it takes time to get the mixture this hot.)

4. Remove pan from heat and stir in cinnamon and red food color. Work quickly because the mixture hardens rapidly.

5. Gently pour mixture into prepared candy molds and let cool completely. When candy has hardened, gently turn molds upside down onto soft towels to free treats.

6. To give away the candy hearts in style, we tucked a pair inside a small recycled-glass bowl from Riverside Design Group and tied it all up with a vintage ribbon.