This time of year, I fight the winter blues by making plans for my garden and ordering seeds for my pumpkin patch. When I found out Feb. 9-15 is Random Acts of Kindness Week, however, it got me thinking about the importance of planting random seeds of kindness.
“Giving to others makes them happy and in turn it makes you happy,” writes pie baker extraordinaire and author Beth Howard.
How true! While it’s nice to be complimented, it can be especially heart-warming to do something nice for someone else. Inc. magazine offers up these three ideas:
Tell a business owner you love how she's decorated her store.
Email an author to say you love her book.
Walk to your neighbors’ house – even if you never speak – and deliver a plate of homemade cookies.
But DIY projects aren’t only for children! Katie also posted free Valentine printables, which she says could be sized down to become a love note in your kids’ (or spouses’ lunch box) or adjusted to fit any frame you might already have. I think it would be fun to print one out and attach it to a bag of Homemade Valentine’s Day Chex Mix as shared by Iowa agvocate and blogger Crystal Blin (aka Crystal Cattle). You could deliver bags of Chex Mix to friends and neighbors of any age in celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Week.
Those wishing to recognize the holiday family-style may be interested in serving up a batch of Heart-Shaped Pancakes, which has been a Valentine’s Day tradition at our house for more than a decade. I usually make buttermilk pancakes, so I’m sharing this recipe below because it’s been a family favorite. This year I’m thinking about putting a new twist on tradition with the Food Network's Red Velvet Pancakes. Whichever pancake recipe I make, I’ll have to be sure to include a side of bacon. After all, nothing (in my honest opinion) says “I love you” like bacon!
2 c. buttermilk
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
½ tsp. vanilla
2 T. vegetable oil
Maple syrup for serving
In a bowl, beat eggs until frothy (2-3 minutes) with an electric mixer.
Then add buttermilk, melted butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla.
Continue to beat just until the mixture is smooth, which is about 2-3 more minutes.
Preheat griddle over medium heat.
Place pancake molds on griddle; spray surface and molds with nonstick cooking spray.
Add 1/3 cup batter to each mold, spreading batter to edges with a spoon; cook until bubbles appear on surface and pancakes pull away from sides of molds (2-3 minutes).
Remove molds, flip pancakes and cook until bottoms brown, 1-2 minutes more.