That’s right folks…Katie’s getting crafty.
I don’t really do glue guns and glitter…definitely not fabric or felt…and isn’t decoupage a fancy French appetizer?
I can hold my own cutting shapes out of construction paper (and there I’m being generous) but I’m getting the Pinteresting sense that construction paper is so last century.
If I’m going to get crafty, I guess it’ll have to be with food.
Let’s have some heart-shaped, real food fun today!
I made this sweetheart breakfast for my husband for our 10th wedding anniversary last summer. (I’m not that old though; we got married when we were 14. Really.) I’m going to surprise my kiddos with it (or a quicker school-morning version) on Valentine’s Day and I think they’ll love it!
Fried Eggs, pastured/organic at my house, but whatever you have will work – a whole egg is better than a carton of pourable eggs any day.
Heart-Shaped Pancakes, your choice of recipe (my favs shared below)
Bacon, pastured/organic here, but really – doesn’t bacon pretty much say “I love you,” in any language. *insert misty-eyed look here* “Ahhhhh….bacon.”
The Good News
If it already feels like real food takes longer than convenience food (it does, but it’s worth it) you’ll be happy to know that this little project really doesn’t take a ton of time. Longer than cereal, yes. But hardly longer than a bacon/eggs/pancake breakfast normally does. Three cheers for crafty QUICK and cute real food!
How To: Heart-Shaped Fried Eggs
I made heart-shaped eggs in a few different ways:
- Breaking the egg right into a cookie cutter and removing the egg to plate it up
- Breaking the egg right into a cookie cutter and serving it in the form on the plate
- Frying an egg then cutting the heart shape
If you have only non-stick pans and metal cookie cutters, you really should choose option 3 (then read this about your pans).
To make a heart-shaped egg in a metal heart-shaped cookie cutter, first heavily grease the entire cookie cutter (it was very hard to get the egg off the one in the photos, although the cookie cutter was no worse for wear after cooking with it).
When your cast iron or stainless steel pan or griddle is heated up and ready to go, add plenty of healthy fat, place the metal (no plastic – you get why, right?) cookie cutter on the surface and crack one egg into it. You might need to press down a bit on the shape for a few seconds to keep egg from running out the bottom.
If you’re going for a soft-fried egg, put a lid over the cookie cutter right away and serve the egg once the bottom is completely cooked and the top egg white is also done.
For a hard-fried egg, give it a good flip, cookie cutter and all, as soon as the bottom is cooked through.
If you can eat right out of the cookie cutter, that’s probably the very cutest, but if you need more hearts than you have cutters, you can get the egg out by cutting all the way around with a butter knife.
You can also make fried eggs and cut out heart shapes. You could probably even make a scrambled egg omelet and cut shapes out of that, perhaps even with a knife and no fancy cookie cutter.
See the yolk is right in the center? This method was not very tricky at all.
Could you do the cooking-in-a-cookie-cutter trick with scrambled eggs if your family doesn’t like fried? I recommend keeping it thick (i.e. don’t add milk) but I imagine it would work pretty doggone well – and you could even add veggies and cheese on top and make it a heart-shaped melty oozy omelet. Mmmmm…I know what I’m doing for Valentine’s Day for the kids now! Cheese…
Where to get heart-shaped cookie cutters
I suppose you can probably find heart-shaped metal cookie cutters in a lot of places – I was lucky enough to already have some.
Here are the options on Amazon via my affiliate link as of this writing on 1/29/14:
This set looks a lot like the style I have, made of tinplate and colored. The largest is 5 inches, so I’m thinking you could use the largest three for this breakfast idea, if you don’t mind the ripples.
This one is stainless steel but only 3 inches across, so you wouldn’t be able to make eggs in more than the largest one or two of them.
How To: Heart-Shaped Pancakes
There are also a few options for making heart-shaped pancakes for your sweetie(s).
It’s possible to pour batter right into a heart cookie cutter, but (1) the cutter is already getting a lot of action (how many do you have?) and (2) the batter will likely sneak out of the edges anyway (the egg did a little bit).
Better to just pour thick batter in the shape of hearts like this if you want fresh pancakes:
The resulting shapes strike me as a little floppy and not as attractive, so I think it’s better yet to make large, sturdy pancakes a day or two before, cut them with the cutter while they’re cold, and reheat in the toaster oven. That makes less work for the loving cook the morning of the fun breakfast, anyway.
My favorite pancake recipes that would work for shapes:
- Pumpkin pancakes (many variations: grain-free, gluten-free, sourdough, or whole wheat)
- Whole grain pancakes
- Sourdough pancakes
- Grain-free almond apple pancakes (depending on how finely your almonds are ground, these might not be as sturdy for shapes)
- Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes (found in the Healthy Breakfast Book)
How To: Heart-Shaped Bacon
If you’ve never baked bacon, now is the time to try it.
Just form heart shapes on a cookie sheet WITH SIDES. Usually you’ll cut a piece of bacon in half with kitchen scissors and fold each piece inward to make a heart shape (below).
My bacon was very thick (width) so I trimmed some pieces with kitchen scissors (on the far left in the photo, the flat parts) to make the proper shape and had lots of lovely little bits left over for the cook to pick at while assembling the rest of the meal.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness and how crispy you want it.
Be sure to save the fat if your bacon is organic and well-raised…it makes wicked good sauteed vegetables.
Everyone online will tell you to line the pan with aluminum foil when you bake bacon for easy cleanup, but I (a) don’t like to use aluminum foil, especially if I’m going to throw it away since it’s a non-renewable resource, and (b) figure the grease is going to sneak under the foil when you pour it off anyway, so why bother? I thought that mess above might be a difficult pan to wash, but even without soaking, everything came off pretty quickly.
Click the pin link above for a SWEET “process” graphic for Pinterest!
Other Valentine’s Day Additions to your Sweetheart Breakfast
I was thinking hearts when I put this meal together, but not pink and red – and of course I should have used strawberry syrup (or cheated with just strawberry puree and maple syrup) on the pancakes.
Here are some other ideas to enhance your cute breakfast:
- Strawberry syrup (or any red syrup)
- Pink yogurt (use strawberry puree or thawed raspberries in your plain homemade yogurt)
- Pink smoothies
- Heart-shaped strawberries
Slice strawberries vertically and notch the top.
- Any other red or pink berry
- dried cranberries (Vitacost sells some with no sweetener, which is rare!)
- Red water kefir (flavor with cherry concentrate)
One More Heart
And finally, because I had to try all sorts of heart-shaped things, you have to see this:
My heart-shaped hard-boiled eggs are not nearly as beautiful as the originals where I learned, but they’re still pretty cool. I didn’t have precisely the necessary materials (cardboard milk carton and chopstick) so I improvised with a bent cardboard cracker box and a skewer stick.
I need a little more practice – but can you imagine your child’s joyful surprise to open up a lunchbox at school on Valentine’s Day and see this? So fun. (For more healthy lunch packing ideas, check out The Healthy Lunch Box.)
Other Fun Stuff
- Healthy Valentine’s Day party ideas for school
- A silly meal of pancakes, pancakes and more pancakes
- A silly meal of muffins…
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.