Love American Style: Valentine's Day Family Brunch

You may have to get up extra early to surprise your family with a Valentine's Day brunch. Or celebrate the Valentine's Day holiday on a weekend if hosting a family brunch is too mind-boggling for a week day. Invite the grandparents, a neighbor or some friends to make turn the brunch into a real treat. Prepare by making the decorations ahead of time and hiding them away to keep the brunch a surprise. Keep the main courses healthy; plus add a few tasty surprises which also serve as table decorations.

Heart-Happy Eggs

Start with eggs with advanced nutrition and lowered cholesterol, or skip the yolk. Cook in the microwave for one minute, after poking the yolk. Spray a pan with non-stick spray and drop in an egg. Poke the yolk. Add black pepper and kosher salt. When it starts bubbling, flip it over and place halved Roma tomatoes on the egg.

Add a slice of sharp cheddar and a handful of spinach to top it off. Cover and let the cheese melt and spinach melt slightly. For spicier palettes, or to warm up your spouse for later, use salsa as a topping when serving rather than the tomatoes.

Make heart toast. Use a cookie cutter to cut out a heart shape from a piece of whole wheat toast. Place the egg inside the heart on a plate. Smear some strawberry yogurt or jam on the heart shape cut out of the bread and serve it with the egg.

Serve some turkey sausage (easily microwaved) or lean honey ham, slightly warmed and browned in the egg pan.

Valentine's Day Brunch Chocolate

What would Valentine's Day brunch be without some chocolate? Heat up one cup of milk per person, on the medium heat. Add hot cocoa mix. Let family members add their own Marshmallow fluff or pink marshmallows or mini marshmallows. Stir in some cinnamon hearts for a little spice!

Cereal Cones

Decorate a piece of construction paper with heart stamps or stickers. Or use wrapping paper. Put a place of wax paper on top of construction paper. Shape a piece of construction paper into a cone by folding two corners together. Secure with staples or tape. Fill each cone with cereal.

Smooth Operator: Strawberry Smoothie

Crush some ice and water in a blender. For a sweeter smoothie, use orange juice. Add strawberries and plain yogurt. Blend and serve.

Valentine's Brunch Decorating for the Family

Personalized Place Mat

Fold a piece of black construction paper in half and cut out a heart. Glue the heart on a piece of red or white construction paper. Cut lace doilies in half and glue along the underside of the paper to make a lacy placement. Write the name of each family member in white chalk on the heart. Leave out some extra paper an chalk so your family can write their own Valentine's Day messages.

Fancy Tissue Paper Flowers

Layer two or three square pieces of tissue paper in Valentine's Day colors. Fold like fan by folding one side away from you then flipping over the entire stack of papers and folding again, towards you.This alternating effect will create a fan and the start of your flower.

Wrap a green chenille stick around the center of the folded tissue papers, leaving a long stem. Carefully separate each piece of paper and fan out the flower petals. Make one per family member. Place the flowers in small vases or short glasses filled with Conversation hearts, cinnamon hearts and wrapped chocolate candies.

More Valentine's Day Brunch Decorating

Fancy Utensils - Tie delicate ribbons around your silverware for a fancy effect.

Balloons - Attach a helium balloon to the back of each family member's chair. Use a combination of red, white, pink and purple balloons.