You don’t have to spend much to show someone that you care

Sarah Spaudling

1) Old Movies and Chinese Take-out

Stop by BuyBacks, The Exchange or any store that sells used movies and get your honey a few older movies for as low as 99 cents. You can get three black and white horror films for $5 each and make a coupon that entitles your other half to a Chinese take-out meal on you. This is a cute way to enjoy a more interesting night in.

2) The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through His Stomach (but it works for girls, too!)

This is a standby date idea that you can’t really go wrong with. Guys love to eat and girls love to see a little effort out of their man. An easy, yet impressive, meal is chicken parmesan with molten chocolate cake for dessert. Check for recipes, set up a table with a few candles and a bottle of wine and relax.

3) That’s What I Like About You

Make a poster with bits of construction paper attached, each listing one thing that you like about your significant other or a cute moment that you two shared. When your loved one is having a bad day, just point them towards your poster full of things that you happen to think are great about them and watch the clouds over their head disappear.

4) Happy, Happy Hippos

You can find unpainted ceramic cups, flower pots and even animals like these hippo-shaped flower pots at most Goodwill stores for as little as $1. They’re cute and you can keep your spare change in them! But if you don’t feel like scouring the aisles for something so random, you can always go to the garden and craft sections of Walmart and buy something you find both cute and useful. Then, all you need is acrylic paint from Dollar Tree or Walmart for $1 to $5, and you can paint each other a unique gift with a touch of personality.

5) Craft Time

If you want to make your valentine blush, don’t get too fancy. Get the glue, instead! Some red and pink construction paper and doilies make for a cute, old school valentine. Just cut out a few hearts, scrawl a sentimental message for your sweetie and get ready for them to melt in your arms over your thoughtfulness! For an even more personal touch, add some photos of the two of you.

Contact student life reporter Sarah Spaulding at [email protected].

Sarah’s Homemade Chicken Parmesan


•2 thawed chicken breasts

•1 egg

•1 cup breadcrumbs (Italian style works best)

•1/2 package spaghetti

•1/2 jar sauce of your choice (my favorite is red wine marinara)

•Parmesan and/or Mozzarella cheese to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put egg in medium-sized bowl and beat. Put breadcrumbs in another medium-sized bowl. Dip chicken breasts in egg then roll in breadcrumbs until covered and place in a 9×13 pan. Bake chicken for approximately 10 minutes on each side or until cooked through. In the meantime, cook spaghetti and add sauce. When chicken is done, put spaghetti in the bottom of the pan and place chicken on top. Add more sauce to the top of the chicken, if you wish, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. This is a pretty hearty meal, but you can serve with a side salad. Makes 2 servings (plus a little extra spaghetti, in case anyone wants seconds).

–Sarah Spaulding

Molten Chocolate Cakes (Baker’s Baking Chocolate Recipe)


•1 package (six 1-oz. squares) of Baker’s brand Bittersweet Baking Chocolate

•10 Tbsp. Butter

•1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

•1/2 cup flour

•3 whole eggs

•3 egg yolks

Grease 6 (6-oz.) custard cups or soufflé dishes (a large muffin pan with six holes works well, too). If you use custard cups or soufflé dishes, place them on a baking sheet.

Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwavable bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add powdered sugar and flour; mix well. Add whole eggs and egg yolks; stir with wire whisk until well blended.*Divide batter evenly among prepared custard cups.

Bake for 14-15 minutes or until cakes are firm around edges but soft in the centers.** Let stand 1 minute. Run small knife around cakes to loosen. Carefully invert cakes onto dessert dishes (If you used a muffin pan, carefully scoop the cakes out with a small spoon. They will be very soft so be careful not to pierce the cake). Garnish as desired (Dusting with powdered sugar looks really nice and adds a little extra sweetness to the bittersweet chocolate). Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

*The batter will be very tough before you add the eggs, so you will need to put some serious elbow grease to it! Don’t worry about getting all of the lumps out; they will bake evenly.

**I wouldn’t suggest walking away from them very long while baking; the edges can burn very easily. Check them after about 10 minutes; if the outside looks done, they are done. The inside is supposed to be gooey so if you see seeping, it’s OK.

–Sarah Spaulding

The Cookie Monster sugar cookie recipe (before he started eating vegetables)

Great for cutouts.


•3/4 cup of butter

•1 cup of sugar

•2 eggs

•1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

•2 1/2 cups of four

•1 teaspoon baking powder

Blend butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and blend. Add this wet mixture to the flour and baking powder in a larger bowl and mix. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour (I usually give it one day). Roll out dough on a well-floured surface and cut into 1/4-inch shapes. Add sprinkles and bake at 375 degrees for 6-10 minutes.

–Sarah Steimer