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Serve your sweetie breakfast in bed

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Low cost, stay-at-home getaway perfect for Valentine’s Day

By Greg Summers

Now, this one is for the fellows out there who have run out of ideas for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. If you want to give your sweetheart something she will really enjoy, serve her breakfast in bed.

You may be scratching your head right about now, saying, “Huh?”

Trust me, this is one idea that works every time.

There are several pluses of this breakfast-in-bed deal you may not have thought of.

Few things in life are more luxurious and pampering than having breakfast in bed. Nothing shows the ultimate sacrifice like crawling out of a cozy, warm bed and shuffling into the kitchen on a cold morning.  

Another plus is cooking breakfast isn’t that hard, meaning this is one idea that can be pulled off with relative ease. If you can scramble an egg and cook bacon, this is one romantic gesture that’s a piece of cake. All it takes is a little planning.

Since breakfast is probably the easiest family-friendly meal to cook, you can get enlist the children to help spring this surprise on their mother. You will get points from the kids because they got to help.

Money worries can be a big Valentine’s Day buzz killer, which makes breakfast in bed a great alternative for any would-be-Romeos on a budget. A recent survey by the National Federation of Retailers showed that consumers plan to spend about $20 less on their sweetheart this year because of the bad economy.

Cooking and serving a luxurious breakfast in bed for your sweetheart does take time and effort, but it’s pretty cost-effective.

Buy flowers, chocolates and cards can empty your wallet in a hurry.  

So if you just don’t have the greenbacks, this might be the way to your sweetheart’s heart.

When someone receives breakfast in bed, it’s a beautiful treat that will definitely be appreciated, making it a great low-cost gift for someone you love.

Ten breakfast in bed basics

1. Invest in (or borrow) a sturdy bed tray that doesn’t tip over easily. Make sure it’s big enough to hold several dishes and other items.

2. Shop for ingredients that you need ahead of time. Prepare some of the ingredients the night before. If possible, set your coffee maker for whatever time you get up to add that fresh-brewed coffee aroma.

3. Let your sweetie know that he or she can sleep late the next morning, no argument. This gesture alone will win you a few points.

4. A small bouquet of fresh flowers or a single rose adds an elegant touch. It doesn’t hurt to change the linens the night before, either.

5. Turn off the phone to make the morning relaxing and leisurely.

6. Give yourself plenty of time and take your time when preparing breakfast. Let the kids help, too.

7. Use the good china, silverware, stem- ware, cups and linen napkins. This will really impress her.

8. When arranging the tray, put the flowers on first, followed by the food. Include a small gift, if you like.

9. Arrange the pillows in the bed to give the proper back support. You want to be comfortable.

10. Plan to do it again sometime soon.

Time to get ready

Now that you have the basics, here are a couple of easy, fuss-free recipes that will surely impress that someone special in your life this Valentine’s Day. 

Dianna Rattray’s Farmer’s Breakfast Skillet with Bacon and Eggs makes a great breakfast-in-bed main course. With one pan and no mess, it’s not only a quick fix, but something the kids can help with to pamper their mom on Saturday morning. You may want to add a few diced tomatoes just for fun.

Cinnamon French Toast is just as easy to prepare. The cinnamon and nutmeg seal the deal and will leave your Valentine’s Day sweetheart feeling pampered.

Apple Crunch Muffins are delicious fresh from the oven and refreshing Pink Floyd juice goes well with any breakfast main course.

Farmer’s Breakfast Skillet with Bacon and Eggs

Ingredients

5 strips bacon, crumbled

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

3 medium-size potatoes, cubed

6 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

– In a heavy skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove and place on paper towel to drain. Crumble when cool.

– In bacon drippings, cook onion and potatoes until brown (about five minutes). 

– Pour beaten eggs into the skillet. Cook, stirring gently, until eggs are set and cooked. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with the bacon and shredded cheese.

– Let stand for about two minutes, just until the cheese melts.

– Recipe by Dianna Rattray, About.com Guide to Southern Food

Cinnamon French Toast

Ingredients

1 egg

2 egg whites

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

8 slices French bread, sliced on diagonal

Butter or margarine

Directions

– Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

– In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs and egg white together until foamy. Whisk in milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

– Heat butter in heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Dip 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat both sides thoroughly. Let excess drip back into bowl.

– Place coated bread slices in hot skillet. Cook, turning until both sides and nicely browned, about 2 minutes each side.

– Transfer to a warm plate and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining bread and egg mixture.

– To serve, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Serve with maple or pancake syrup.

– Recipe by Dianna Rattray, About.com Guide to Southern Food

Apple Crunch Muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour, sifted

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup shortening

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 cup tart apples, cored and grated

Topping

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

– Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

– Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until a fine crust forms.

– Combine egg and milk. Add to dry ingredients all at once, stirring just enough to moisten. Stir in apples.

– Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

– Sprinkle with crunchy topping and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

– Recipe by Dianna Rattray, About.com Guide to Southern Food

Pink Floyd Breakfast Juice

Ingredients

8 medium-size ripe strawberries

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup milk

5 ice cubes

Directions

– Combine ingredients in blender and blend well.

– Filter with a strainer (optional).

– Garnish glass with a round strawberry slice.

– Recipe from “Healthy Juice Recipes for the Heart and Soul”