Do school kids today still exchange valentines? I sure hope so. If they do, they probably don’t cover shoeboxes in construction paper and cut slits in the top like we used to do. They probably have some fancy plastic cases purchased just for the occasion. Or maybe they just send electronic valentines these days. If so, too bad. The fun was coming home from school and poring over colorful cards and reading all the corny messages.
The candy was nice too but I don’t remember the enormous selection that you see now. We either got red hots — tiny, deep red hearts that tasted like cinnamon — or we got these little sugary conversation hearts with silly little sayings on them. The only people who got chocolates were adults, and heart-shaped boxes in red and pink satin were as popular back in the dinosaur ages as they are now – maybe even more so back then.
When I saw these cheesecakes on the blog “Hungry Happenings,” made to look like those little conversation heart candies from my youth, I knew I would have to make them.
The timing was perfect too, since my Italian chit-chat group is scheduled at my house today. Naturally, I had to write the sayings in Italian, rather than English.
In case you don’t speak Italian, and want to whisper some sweet nothings into your loved one’s ear this Valentine’s Day, I’m including the translations below.
Italian sweet sayings for Valentine’s Day
Per Sempre – for always
6 Bella – (A play on the word “sei” which in Italian means “You are.” It’s also the same word for the number 6. Both are pronounced the same way – namely like the English word “say.” Hence “6 Bella” translates to “You are beautiful.”
Baci – kisses
Mi manchi – I miss you.
Ti adoro – I adore you.
Dolce amore – sweet love
Pazza di te – crazy for you
Tesoro mio – my treasure
Solo tu – only you
Primo bacio – first kiss
Ti amo – I love you
Join me for a week in Italy at the end of May and live like an Italian – sightseeing, cooking and eating in a villa located in the Alban Hills near Rome. There’s still time to enroll. For details go to:
recipe adapted from Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Cheesecake recipe
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (15 squares)
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 stick butter (melted)
16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs 2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring – pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, and red
Mix graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter and place a tablespoon full on the bottom of each heart of a silicon heart-shaped mold. Pat down and refrigerate. Mix the remainder of the ingredients (except food coloring). Divide into equal portions and tint each portion a different color, mixing well. Pour over the graham cracker crumbs and place the molds in a hot water bath in a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes. Cool completely in refrigerator. I found it easiest to remove the cheesecakes from the mold if I freezed the cheesecakes overnight. Paint the sayings using a paintbrush and food coloring.
For more complete directions and photos, go to Hungry Happenings website here.