When I think of Valentine's Day and food, my first thought is an obvious one chocolate.

The thing about me, however, is that I like chocolate as more of an enhancement. My favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla. Favorite cake flavor? French vanilla.

That being said, I love my ice cream with a good homemade hot fudge sauce (stay tuned, that recipe will be coming in the near future) and my cake with homemade chocolate frosting.

In addition to being a wonderful cook, my mother was also an exceptional baker, and on more than one occasion did she and I go round and round about which was better box cake or made-from-scratch cake. I think a box cake is always moist and tasty.

My mother just dismissed my newfangled notions and made everything from scratch.

One thing we always agreed on was homemade icing. I rarely use any type of recipe when I make icing, but this is one I go back to often. It's always been a favorite of mine, and I'm sure you'll love it as well. And if you aren't a coffee fan, don't worry. Coffee is known to enhance the flavor of chocolate without overwhelming the finished product. If you really don't like coffee, I recommend you still try this, just use a weaker coffee, or substitute with a little milk.

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you get to spend it with someone sweet.

Chocolate Mocha Frosting

Makes enough to frost one 9-inch cake

cup shortening

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup strong coffee

Cream shortening, vanilla, salt and cocoa. Add powdered sugar and coffee, alternately, beating until smooth. Spread on cake.