History of Valentine’s Day

Ever wonder how the day full of writing of sometimes-cheesy love poems, delivery of extravagant flowers, and indulging in lots and lots of chocolate came to be? Although the history of Valentine’s Day is rather obscure, it’s the little bit of mystery that makes it enjoyable to celebrate.

Valentine’s Day began with the legend himself – Saint Valentine who served as a priest during the third century in Rome. It all started after a decision from Emperor Claudius II, outlawing marriage for young men. This decision was made because he believed that all single men made better soldiers than those with wives and children. According to him, marriage made men weak because married men were more emotionally attached to their families. Sounds like some baloney, right? But anyway…

Valentine, the romantic and compassionate man that he was, refused to follow the injustice. He continued to secretly marry lovers. Sadly, all good things must come to an end; word got out that he was defying the Emperor. With that, he was placed in prison handmade to await his sentence.

During his time in prison, his jailer discovered Valentine’s saintly abilities – including his power to heal people. As it turns out, his jailor needed his assistance with healing his blind daughter. Valentine agreed, and soon he formed a dear friendship with the jailor’s daughter, which ultimately led to Valentine falling in love with her. Oh and don’t worry, he was able to heal her too!

It is said that before his looming eviction, he asked for a paper and pen to write a farewell message to her. He signed the letter, “From Your Valentine,” a popular romantic phrase used long after.

Although the certainty behind the Valentine history is unknown, the stores all highlight his appeal as a sensitive, fearless and most significantly – romantic figure.

Fun Facts About the Day of Love…

  • The first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868
  • Hallmark produced the first Valentine in 1913
  • Women purchase about 85% of all Valentine’s Day cards
  • Teachers receive the most Valentines, followed by kids, mothers, and sweethearts
  • Men account for 73% of Valentine’s Day flower sales
  • Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, and Australia
  • An estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year

Give the Gift of Valentine’s Day…

Planning a special night with a certain someone this Valentine’s Day? Attending a girl’s night to celebrate with a group of your best friends? These delicious chocolate cupcakes topped with strawberry hearts are bound to satisfy any sweet tooth, and be a hit for any Valentine’s Day celebration!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • Fresh strawberries

How to Make:

  • Set the oven to 350 degrees
  • Dust off your muffin tins and place cute Valentine’s Day liners
  • Mix all of your dry ingredients together
  • Mix together the oil with the sour cream. Whisk together
  • Slowly, add in the water
  • Lastly, add vanilla and eggs, and whisk just a little more
  • Finally, fill each Valentine’s Day liner with 2/3 of the batter.
  • Bake for 16 minutes
  • Check to make sure cupcakes are done by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, then they are done!
  • Let cool in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes, then remove to further cool.
  • Once they are completely cooled, top with frosting!
  • If you really want to channel Martha Stewart, cut up fresh strawberries in the shape of hearts, and decoratively place atop the frosting!

 

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