After hearing the scratchy record rotations and the sounds of compressed steam, I left the coffee shop humming “Stand By Me.” Inspired to change my listenings for the morning, I typed the title into my music program. A few repeats of the John Lennon version later, a bachata intro started to play, and damn if I didn’t tear up a little.
The Spanglish conjured memories of a calming garden, of a perfect lace dress that accented a neckline with utter elegance, of tall men in white suits, of palms and sunshine and grapefruit accents. The Spanglish version commemorated a German-American and an Ecuadorian joining hands to dip and twirl on a beautiful Florida day. All the warm memories of my best friend’s wedding hit me as I listened to the Prince Royce version.
I’ve had my fair share of heart flutters and heart breaks, but I’m still a sucker for seeing life through rose-colored glasses. I’m a sucker for true, sincere romance, big gestures and big loves.
I’m sure social media will bombard me with a fair share of cynicism, but a sucker for this day I shall be. I hope you take time on this Valentine’s Day to ignore commercial cards and cliche bouquets, to appreciate those who are junto a ti. Whether they are friends, family, four-legged, or big, big loves, this day is really just a day to say something sweet…and eat something sweet too (just like every other day should be)!
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 24-36 peanut butter cups (depending on the thickness of layers)
32 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted (or to taste)
2 Tablespoons honey (or to taste)
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Line a standard muffin tin(s) with paper cupcake liners.
Melt half the chocolate using a double boiler
Distribute enough chocolate into each muffin cup to form a thin layer. If the chocolate is not level, drop the pan repeatedly on the counter, and it will flatten. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden the chocolate.
In the meantime, whip the peanut butter, butter, confectioner’s sugar and honey together with a hand mixer or in a food processor until mixed and light. Adjust the sugar and honey to your liking.
Place a spoonful of the peanut butter mixture into each cup. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Melt the remaining chocolate, and portion small spoonfuls of chocolate into the cups, one cup at a time, immediately dropping the pan repeatedly on the counter to flatten each cup.
Allow the chocolate to cool slightly and then sprinkle with sea salt.
Chill the peanut butter cups for more bite, or leave them at room temperature for a softer, creamier texture.