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Love is in the air

Chocolates? Roses? Been there, done that. Everyone wants to make sure the special someone in their lives knows how much they care. Here are some easy and fun ways to prove that he or she is No. 1 in your book.

Make a playlist of “your songs”

Whether it was playing when you first met or is the soundtrack to your favorite movie, every couple has songs that mean something special to them. In the car, leave a CD or MP3 player stocked with your most memorable tunes as a special surprise and a suddenly-better commute.

Do the house chores. Seriously.

Fix that item you’ve been saying you would fix forever. Empty the dishwasher and clean the bathroom. Once the chores are done, the only thing left to do is enjoy each other’s company.

Put pen to paper

Hide little notes with heartfelt sentiments on the refrigerator, on the nightstand, taped to the computer screen – anywhere your love might stumble upon it in a typical day. Your note might be found after a long meeting or last-minute deadline, providing a moment of reprieve and happiness during a hectic day.

Barefoot Bubbly Ruby Red Bliss
[see recipe below]

Raise a glass and quote the bard

What’s more romantic than a glass of bubbly and the words of William Shakespeare? Or if you prefer Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

When toasting the one you love, consider drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”:

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

Or Browning’s “How do I love thee?”

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Or better still using their immortal words and phrasing to create your own, personal love poem.

Get cooking

Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven. And cooking together is simply more fun than cooking alone, especially when the end result is a dark chocolate dream paired with ruby red bliss.


Sweatheart dark chocolate brownies

Sweetheart Dark Chocolate Brownies

Prep: 20 minutes • Cook: 25 minutes • Makes: 10-plus servings

For the brownies:

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

2 eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the glaze:

2 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small pot over low heat, melt 1/2 cup of butter and 4 ounces of dark chocolate together until smooth.

Add eggs one at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition.

Add sugar and vanilla and stir to combine.

Add flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir until smooth.

Transfer batter into a 9 x 9 aluminum foil-lined baking pan and place into the oven for 25 minutes and bake until done.

While brownies are baking, melt together semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter for the glaze. Once melted, set aside.

When brownies are done, let them cool.

Once cooled, drizzle glaze over brownies, and spread it on top using an offset spatula.

• • •

Barefoot Bubbly Ruby Red Bliss

Makes: 2 servings

3 ounces cranberry juice

1/2 ounce lime juice

6 ounces Barefoot Red Moscato Champagne

2 skewer cranberries for garnish

Place chilled juices in flutes. Top with Barefoot Bubbly Red Moscato. Garnish with cranberries.



Some content provided by Family Features. For more romantic wines and recipes, visit www.barefootwines.com. [Brownie photo: Getty Images; love graphic: shutterstock.com]
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