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Sweets for the sweet: Valentine's Day recipes

What better way to celebrate the love of your family, friends, and sweetie than by cooking something special for them this Sunday? Love can be expressed in many ways, but none more effectively than with food. Spend a little while with your honey in the kitchen this weekend, and honor each other with these festive recipes.

Pound cake fresh berry sandwiches are a fun-to-eat version of shortcake. With a layer of sour cream, a layer of plump berries, and a layer of mint between two thin slices of pound cake, this has a beautiful color and luscious texture. The tartness of the cream and berries is complemented by the fresh flavor of the mint, and it is all rounded out with the sweet firmness of buttery pound cake. Make the cake a few days before, and then prepare and slice the sandwiches before you pile them on a platter for breakfast in bed fingerfood or pack them up for a picnic dessert looking out on Boulder from the top of Mt. Sanitas.

Did you know that February 14th is also Chinese New Year this year? Celebrate both love and new beginnings with steamed Chinese pork buns. These are easy to make, and the red-colored pork filling symbolizes good luck. Marinate and hang barbecue a pork shoulder while you mix the dough and let it rise. Then form the dough around the cooked pork and steam them into soft pillowy buns with a juicy rich center.

How about trying out an aphrodisiac and giving a nod to Mountain Sun's Stout Month celebration, all the while following a tradition in food pairing? Get a growler of the Old School stout and a bucket of oysters. No you don't cook them, you just crack them open and let them slide down your throat, followed soon by a swig of the smooth dark beer.

I'll be posting recipes for the berry sandwiches and pork buns shortly. As for the oysters, you're on your own...

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