Monday, February 8, 2016

Love and Chocolate

It's almost Valentine's Day and that means an extra helping of love and chocolate. It also means our local library's annual Chocolate Lovers Bake Off. Emily and I are both super excited to enter this year. For Emily, deciding what she wanted to enter came easily because our recent television viewing choice has been episodes of Cupcake Wars on Netflix. She mentioned chocolate cupcakes with strawberry filling and chocolate frosting. I mentioned chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter cheesecake filling, chocolate frosting, and a mini peanut butter cup on top. She wasn't sure which she wanted to make, so we decided she would do a practice run and send them to work with my husband. And here is a great cooking tip: If you have a hand held apple corer, it also works great for coring cupcakes!

strawberry filled chocolate cupcakes

peanut butter cheesecake filled cupcakes

apple corer

Both turned out exceptionally well and everyone at my husband's work place agreed. Emily decided she wanted to enter her original choice with strawberry filling, so I am going to enter the peanut butter cheesecake filled ones as well as double chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Even if we don't win, it will have been a totally delicious experience!

Since it is almost Valentine's Day, it is definitely time for some wonderful love related books. One of my favorite is Hugs and Kisses by Christophe Loupy. In this story, Hugs the puppy sets out early one morning while his family is still sleeping because he has something he needs to find out. The kind farm animals along the way help him with his requests and when he returns to the barn and his family he finds the answer for which he was looking! I don't want to give away what he was looking for because it is an integral part of the story, and you may have to buy a copy through a third party Amazon vendor since it is an older book, but it is well worth it.

hugs and kisses

For those of  you who have small children, some great board book choices are Guess How Much I Love You and I Love You With All My Heart. Both of these books are a bit older as well, but Guess How Much I Love You has become a classic and is still going strong with it's wonderful illustrations and it's compelling story of  the love between a father and his child. 

guess how much i love you

 i love you with all my heart

And last but not least, in honor of our filled cupcakes, a book about filled donuts and a favorite from our younger years, Minnie and Moo - The Case of The Missing Jelly Donut. When Emily was in First Grade, the Minnie and Moo series was one of her all time favorites. Sometimes quite smart and sometimes not, Minnie and Moo always kept up laughing with their antics as they tried to solve each new dilemma. In this story, Minnie's jelly donut is missing and Moo is sure it has been stolen. They set out to catch the culprit but in the end find out it has been nearby all along.

Minnie and Moo

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Drop by the Literacy Musings Monday blog hop where you will find other great literary blogs. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequels, Return To Fern Valley,  and Cooking In Fern Valley, along with my very first picture book, Quack and Daisy! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days. 


  1. Wow! Wonderful cupcakes and a great collection of books for this time of year!!!

    1. Thanks Ms. Ambika. And thaks for leaving me comment love :0)

  2. Those cupcakes look yummy! My children have enjoyed some of those book great list :).

  3. Your cupcakes sound tasty. These are some great books to recommend. Found you over at Manic Monday Blog Hop. ~Lowanda of Sunshine and Elephants

  4. I found you through the Literacy Musings Monday Linkup! I was looking for some picture books like this to get for my daughter this week so this was a perfect find. We love picture books with bears so "I Love You With All My Heart" is going on our wishlist!

    1. Awe. So glad my post was helpful. And thanks for stopping by and leaving me some comment love.

  5. The cupcakes look delicious, and I love love love the idea of using an apple corer to core them. I would never have thought of that on my own! Great book recommendations, too. :)