I know it's a bit early for Valentine's Day, but bear with me.
Love is in the air!
Thinking about Valentine's Day makes you do one of two things: groan (if you're single) or have incredibly high expectations for your significant other (if you're in a relationship). I fall into the first category - that of being single. However, this year I'm not groaning.
Because this is the first Valentine's Day in a couple years that I'll be single, you'd think I'd be a little heartbroken and disappointed that I won't be receiving chocolates and roses. Yet I'm just the opposite. Why? Because the love of friendship is in the air!
It sounds cheesy, I know. But the 2012-13 school year, even with my massive breakup, has been one of the greatest years of my life because it has allowed me to develop close friendships with people that I didn't see often before. Especially within Navigators - the people I have become close to have inspired me to grow closer in my relationship with God and with other Navs members. I've been intellectually challenged by friends and, honestly, have probably learned more this year than ever before because of the people I hang out with. As I recently read in the book Imagine by Jonah Lehrer (I highly recommend it, by the way - go read it!), we intentionally place ourselves around smart people because we become smarter by hanging around them. And it's true - I've noticed myself doing that this year, and I'm incredibly excited about the level of my intellectual growth.
So, that brings us to three types of love in the air - a love for friendship, a love for God, and a love for knowledge.
Who cares about being in a relationship, anyways? We should be satisfied with being on our own. Spending our time hunting for a boyfriend isn't how we should be living life. We should be engaging with others, developing friendships, seeing the world, learning, and having fun. God will bring us the right person when the time is right.
With that being said - be happy to single this Valentine's Day, and go bake yourself a cake! If you want to be specific, you can make the white chocolate cherry red velvet cake recipe below. It's delicious and it's pretty - what more could you ask for?
Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cherry Frosting
Based on this recipe
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup skim milk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk.
Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.
Then make the frosting.
White Chocolate Cherry Frosting
3 T. white chocolate chips
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter
6 T. cherry preserves (or more to taste)
5 c. powdered sugar
In a microwavable bowl, melt chocolate chips. Allow to cool slightly.
Beat together cream cheese and butter until combined.
Add melted chocolate and cherry preserves and stir.
Slowly add powdered sugar until incorporated.
Frost cake and enjoy!