I’m thinking my inherent tic against all things cliché is owing to having been a lit major, a lit junkie programmed to ruthlessly weed those bad boys out of my writing. Perhaps it started there, but then it creeped into to pretty much every other aspect of life, from spoken word to interior design: no clichés allowed.

And yet, when it comes to heart day? Bring it. Bring the red roses and the paper Valentines and the conversation candy hearts. A silky, heart-shaped box of fine chocolates makes me weak in the knees. When I see Valentine tchotchke in shops the day after New Year’s . . . I don’t cringe.

I’ll even go for a good molten chocolate cake on Valentine’s Day (I know, shocker), but that happens ideally at home, not in a restaurant (I have to draw the line somewhere). Just about anything baked up pink or heart-shaped, or flavored with roses and chocolate and strawberries, sends me feverishly to my kitchen, like cupid working to woo an unrequited love.

Strawberry Rose cheesecake, Maureen Abood
Raspberry heart scones with rose water glaze, Maureen Abood
Chocolate cake Fluffy icing, Maureen Abood
Cream puff with strawberry 2 POST
Thick hot chocolate size, Maureen Abood
Cups with cookies, Maureen Abood

Chocolate fudge cake with cream, Maureen Abood

Really I just want to come out with a plate full of something sweet and special to share, like these favorite Valentine recipes. They’re worthy of the pink Valentine sweater trimmed in pink satin that I’ll be wearing to set the scene. No apologies.

Heart Cut-Out Cookies with Royal Icing

Strawberry Rose Cheesecake

Heart Scones Raspberry Cream Scones with Rosewater Glaze

Double Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Pink Icing

Cream Puffs with Strawberries

Thick Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon

Strawberry Rose Fool

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Rose Cream

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