Valentine food fun. Four gift ideas that are tasty, all red Essay

A far cry from chocolates, flowers and cands, these little red-huededibles nonetheless carry their own affectionate message. All four aresimple to make, and each can be made ahead. Heart Beets Serve these whimsical heart-shaped beets as a relish or in a salad. Drain and reserve the liquid of 1 jar or can (1 lb.

) pickled slicedbeets. Cut beets into heart shapes with a small (1- to 2- inch)heart-shaped cooky cutter or sharp knife. Combine beets and liquid andreturn to beet jar or a jar that has at least 1-cup capacity. Put onlid. Serve, or refrigerate up to 3 weeks.

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Tie a ribbon around jar todecorate. MAkes 1/2 cup heart beets. Red Onion Relish Vinegar turns the onions pink. Serve the relish with meats, insandwiches, or for nibbling.

1-1/2 pounds (about 3 medium-size) redonions 1/4 cup each olive oil or salad oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar Peel onions; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and separateinto rings. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, combine oil, viengar, and onions.Cook, stirring occassionally, over medium to medium-low heat untilonions are limp, about 30 minutes; let cool. Spoon onion relish into a 2-cup jar and chill. Serve orrefrigerate as long as 2 weeks. Makes about 2 cups.

REd Hot and Nutsfor You Mix cinnamon-flavored candies and peanuts together to make thisquick valentine gift. Mix 1 package (9-1/2 oz.) hot red cinnamon candies and 1 jar (12oz. or 2-1/2 cups) salted or unsalted dry roasted peanuts.

Pour into a3-1/2- to 4-cup container (glass, preferably) and cover tighly. Serveor store at room temperature up to 2 weeks. Makes about 3-1/2 cups.

Red Red Pepper Jam Makes just one jar as a special gift; the jam keeps for weeks inthe refrigerator. 1-1/2 pounds (about 4 medium-size) red bell pepeprs 2teaspoons salt Cold water 3/4 cup each sugar and white wine vinegar 1/2teaspoon each ground nutmeg and crushed dried hot red chilies Wash peppers; discard cores and seeds. Finely chope peppers andput into a alrge bowl with salt and enough cold water to cover. Coverwith plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours; drain.

Rinse peppers well with cold water; drain again. In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combined peppers, sugar, vinegar, nutmeg,and crushed dried chilies. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat.Reduce heat and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until thecooled mixture has the consistency of cold honey; drop a little onto achilled glass dish to test. Spoon into a 1-1/2- to 2-cup jar; cover and let cool. Chill atleast overnight before serving. To store, refrigerate up to 3 weeks.Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

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