Valentine’s Day Cake & Amarena Cherry Mocktails

We had my Valentine’s cake for lunch and my Valentine loves it! I’m really happy since I had never baked with beet juice before so I had no idea what the result would be. I’m also glad to have discovered Fabbri Amerena cherries which was a direct result of my planning for this cake when I was doing an ingredient search for delectable red edibles. Since we don’t consume alcohol it’s wonderful to find something that can turn a simple sparkling water beverage into a sophisticated mocktail in addition to making a dessert shine.

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Hot and Steamy Valentine’s Day Preparations

I’ve just set the table for Valentine’s Day weekend (we can stretch that day out!) after I ironed a vintage red and white gingham linen tablecloth. I enjoy ironing old linens and the sound of the steam, it’s relaxing. I’ll be pairing red-colored cake decorations that are absent of artificial coloring: ruby chocolate and wild Italian cherries that come in a beautiful ceramic jar I plan to save and reuse. This morning I crafted my recipe for our Valentine cake that will use organic beet juice for coloring the batter. I’ve also been admiring some old Valentines…

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Yankee Thrift is Freedom of Choice

Traditional Yankee thrift isn’t obsessed with money. It’s not frugal for the sake of frugal or only buying things on sale. It values mindfulness of priorities, adeptness at record-keeping and investing, yes, but doesn’t make spending or not spending the only focus of one’s existence. It’s not frugal in all things which is why one can be affluent yet still enjoy this fine art of living that involves creativity, intelligence and self-confidence. Only those who worry about status will spend money in an effort to “keep up” and impress in ways that go beyond taking a healthy pride in one’s appearance. It’s why online “influencers” are so good at encouraging people to spend money on image management and status brands come out ahead when they can put a price on transitory self-esteem. New Englanders value independence, so what better way to live than to spend money that doesn’t involve checking in with any prescribed aesthetic or current trend?

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