Heart-Shaped Breakfast on Valentine’s Day

If you’re a romantic type who lives for chocolates, roses, candy hearts and everything that goes along with Valentine’s Day, we’ve got you covered! If the way to your Valentine’s heart is through their stomach, your appliances can help you create the perfect romantic breakfast.

Whether you opt for a sit-down meal or breakfast and bed, hearts are a must. It’s easy to make hearts the center of the meal, no matter what is on the menu. We’ve collected recipes for heart-shaped breakfast favorites from around the web (including some low carb and keto options if your Valentine is on a health kick) so you can make a breakfast that sets hearts aflutter.

French toast: With a lengthy history dating to Rome in the fifth century B.C., this comforting breakfast staple has stood the test of time. Since Valentine’s Day is a special occasion, we’re going to spice it up with this recipe from Veggie Desserts for cinnamon french toast hearts. You’ll need your range, your choice of bread, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon and some butter for cooking. Consider drizzling the finished with chocolate sauce.

A plate with two heart-shaped cinnamon french toast with chocolate sauce and berries
From veggiedesserts.com

Bacon and eggs: Is bacon your sweetheart’s second love? Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to indulge. All you need to make this heart-shaped bacon-and-egg combo from Clean Food Crush is four slices of thin-sliced bacon, two large eggs, olive or avocado oil, and salt and pepper. You’ll cook the bacon in your oven instead of the pan.

From cleanfoodcrush.com

Omelets: Put two large eggs, shredded cheddar, sliced mushrooms, diced onion and one cup of love into this heart-shaped omelet from Feels Like Home. Pour the mix into a large metal heart-shaped cookie cutter or pancake mold to give it its Valentine’s Day flair.

Egg being poured into a heart cookie cutter

Waffles: Are waffles the ultimate breakfast comfort food? You can put your waffle iron to work on any number of variations when the craving strikes. We suggest Norwegian waffles for Valentine’s Day if you have a waffle maker designed for the task. Try this recipe from The Stay-at-Home Chef, which is also a winner for Galentine’s Day.

Heart shaped Norwegian waffles on a plate with blueberries, strawberries, crème fraîche, raspberry jam
From The-Stay-at-Home-Chef

Pancakes: You could use a mold or cookie-cutter to make heart-shaped pancakes, but you can also draw the design yourself. This technique from One Creative Mommy uses an empty squeeze bottle to draw the heart outline, and another to fill in the center. Once it solidifies, fill in the center with batter from the other bottle. Add fruit, chocolate or your favorite toppings.

And that’s just breakfast! There are many options for heart-shaped lunch, dinner or dessert if you’d rather sleep in.

3 Quick Tips for Using a Rice Cooker

Rice is an easy to make, easy-to-store dish that compliments just about any main course or forms the base of any number of creative dishes. And while the word “rice” usually is associated with plain white rice first, there are numerous varieties available—brown, black, wild rice (which is not truly rice), basmati, yellow and others. Rice is filling and, when stored properly, can be kept almost indefinitely. Those traits made it a popular item while people stocked their pantries during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rice is popular all over the world. In the U.S., people eat an average of 27 pounds of rice every year. Annual consumption is only slightly lower in Canada, at 23 pounds.

Rice can be cooked on a range, but if you are a frequent consumer of the world’s most popular grain, a rice cooker may be the way to go. Rice cookers are made to take the guesswork out of cooking rice and allow you to prepare it in minutes with minimal effort and cleanup. Using a rice cooker can also free up a burner on the range for other dishes. While it is designed to make cooking rice easy, the rice cooker’s name understates this appliance’s capabilities. Many models are can also cook other foods like vegetables, oatmeal or other grains, and some can work as a steam cooker or slow cooker.

What makes a perfect order or rice? Tastes vary, but AHAM member Zojirushi, which manufactures rice cookers, suggested that it should meet these characteristics, which the manufacturer uses to define the best-tasting rice:

Appearance: Each grain looks plump, not smashed. An overall sheen makes the rice glisten.

Texture: There is a stickiness, but does not clump together. There is elasticity without breaking apart.

Taste: There is a distinctive sweetness unique to rice when chewed. Good rice is not bland.

Even though rice cookers are incredibly easy to use, there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure your rice cooker turns out a perfect order of rice, every time. Zojirushi offers the following tips:

When measuring water, avoid the “knuckle” method: A common way of measuring water when cooking rice involves putting one finger on top of the rice in the pot and adding enough water to reach the first knuckle. Instead, follow the recommendations in your rice cooker’s use and care manual for measuring water. Some include a cup for proper measuring.

Make adjustments for different kinds of rice: The brand and model of rice cooker you use may have different settings for different types of rice, such as brown rice, long grain, jasmine, or for other dishes like porridge or quinoa. If your rice cooker doesn’t have those settings, check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend for cooking different types of rice or other foods.

Wash the rice before you cook it: This is especially important with more starchy varieties, like short and medium-grain rice. This removes debris and starch from the surface of the rice, which can cause the rice to clump together or become gummy during the cooking process.

Fun Facts about Rice

Uncooked white rice will last for years: Don’t worry about that uncooked white rice going bad. It can last between 10 and 30 years, depending on how it is stored. Brown rice, on the other hand, will only last three to six months.

Rice is grown on every continent: While 90 percent of the world’s rice is grown in Asia, rice is grown on every continent except Antarctica.

Four U.S. Regions Produce Most Domestic U.S. Rice: Nearly all of rice produced in the U.S. is grown in four regions – Arkansas Grand Prairie, the Mississippi Delta, the Gulf Coast (Texas and Southwest Louisiana), and the Sacramento Valley in California.

You can make your own rice flour: Rice flour has become a common substitute for wheat flour to make foods gluten-free. You can make your own rice flour at home with a blender or food processor. Try this method from The Frozen Biscuit.

Rice has a lot of variety: That’s an understatement. There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice! Fortunately, for cooking purposes, you can probably break it down to the length of the grain: short, medium or long.

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