Bring a little extra love to your Valentine’s Day by serving up your heart on your plate. Make it a night that is all about love at first bite.

Bring a little extra love to your Valentine’s Day by serving up your heart on your plate. Make it a night that is all about love at first bite.

In The Cut
You really do not need anything more than a knife to make hearts happen.

Strawberry Hearts
What says romance more than strawberries?
Strawberries and chocolate. Strawberries and whipped cream. Strawberries and champagne.
Have a paring knife ready to carve out a different type of romantic bite.

· Gently wash and dry your strawberries.
· Carefully remove the leaves, leaving as much of the berry as possible intact.
· Cut the strawberry in half.
· Cut a small “V” at the top of your strawberry.
· Serve your strawberries au naturel or use them as romantic garnishes.

I Heart Toast
You may have seen hearts cut out of toast with cookie cutters. If you do not have any, let your knife do the trick.
· Look for bread that naturally has an indentation on the top.
· Slice both sides of the bread. You want to leave behind a V shape. If you do not want to eyeball it, trace a heart using wax paper. Then use that as your template.

Cookie Cutter Hearts
Cookie cutters make it extra easy for you to give your food some heart. You can pick up a heart cookie cutter at a craft store for less than a buck. If you are thinking about using the hearts year-round, consider getting a set with a variety of sizes of hearts.
Hearty Potatoes
· Peel and cut potatoes into half-inch pieces. Have a bowl of cold water handy for all the slices that have been cut.

· Proceed to cut. Put the heartified potatoes in a fresh bowl of cold water until you have finished your task.
· Proceed to roast your potatoes using your favorite recipe.
· What? You say you don’t have a favorite recipe.
Then move your oven rack to the lowest possible level.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees

After about a half pound of potatoes have been cut, slather those taters with 1/8 c olive oil mixed
with a clove of minced garlic and ½ T of an herb mix of your choice.
Rosemary, thyme, sage, chives and mint will be just fine. Salt to taste.

Roast for about 20 minutes until tender. Keep an eye on them because they are cut
thinner than your normal roasted potatoes.
· Slice the potatoes even thinner and you will get heart-shaped potato chips. I recommended using a mandoline for the most even cuts.

You’ve Gotta Have Heart
Potatoes are only the beginning of what you can cookie cut into hearts. I have also cut beets, carrots, really anything with a big enough surface to make hearts.

Now that we have gone through ways for you to slice and cut your way to a heartfelt Valentine’s message, it is time to look at another way to get your food in shape. Use molds.

Breaking (Rice)The Mold
Rice molds are a cornerstone of bento, a playful style of Japanese boxed lunches. Bring that sense of fun and romance to your Valentine’s dinner by molding your rice into a heart. The first step is to make your favorite rice recipe.
· Let your rice cool off a bit. Nothing romantic about a burned hand.
· You can line your molds with plastic to insure easy release. I do not think that is necessary.
However, it is helpful to spray the mold with cooking oil.
· Dip your hands in water, especially if you made sticky rice. While you want your dish to stick to your ribs, you do not want it to stick to your hands.
· Eyeball your heart mold and grab an appropriate amount of rice.
· Press the rice into the mold firmly.
· Turn the mold over on your plate.

Heart Form Follows Love Function

Instead of a baguette, form that dough into a heart. Make heart-shaped rolls with homemade or store-bought dough.

Make a heart-shaped pizza. Take it a step further and give heart to the cheese and meat.

You normally shape burgers into a circle. Why not shape them into hearts?