With Valentine’s Day in the rear-view mirror, there are quite a few interesting facts about this gift-giving holiday. There are also some interesting superstitions as well.

Here they are:

• Pink and red are the colors of love.

• Almost half of the engagements for the year happen on Valentine’s Day — about 220,000.

• By tradition, a young girl was supposed to have married the first eligible male she met on Valentine’s Day.

• If you find a glove on Valentine’s Day, your future spouse will have the other glove.

• Sighting one of these birds on Valentine’s Day will determine what kind of person you will marry: dove, a mate for life; sparrow, someone poor; robin, a sailor or crime fighter; goldfinch, a millionaire; blue bird, someone happy; owl, you will be a spinster; black bird, a clergyman; crossbill, someone argumentative.

• This year, Americans spent about $20 billion on Valentine’s Day.

• Teachers receive the most cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.

• More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes were sold across the country.

• Men spent twice as much money as women.

• It was the second-largest card-giving day, after Christmas.

• Over 50 million roses were sent — mostly red.

• Valentine’s Day is the second-biggest flower-giving day, next to Mother’s Day.

• Most people prefer chocolate over flowers.

• The favorite chocolate candy in that heart-shaped box is caramel. Caramel is followed by chocolate-covered nuts, chocolate filled, cream filled and coconut.

• More than one-third of the men in America are comfortable with not receiving anything on Valentines, Day. Over 18 percent of American women sent themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

I hope you will give today’s recipes a try. Thanks for reading.

NO BAKE CRACKER SNACK MIX

2 (½-ounce) packages ranch dressing mix

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (10-ounce) package oyster crackers

1 (10-ounce) package baked cheese crackers (I use Cheez-Its.)

3 cups pretzels

In a small bowl, combine dressing mix, oil, dill and garlic powder. Mix well. In a large bowl, combine oyster crackers, cheese crackers and pretzels. Pour oil mixture over, and toss well until coated. Cover and toss mixture every 30 minutes or two hours. Store in an airtight container.

UPSIDE DOWN PIZZA CASSEROLE

1 pound ground sausage

½ pound pepperoni slices

½ small onion, thinly sliced

1 (6-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 (6-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 (15-ounce) can Italian-style tomato sauce

1 (10-ounce) package refrigerated biscuits

In a large skillet, cook sausage until brown and drain well. Stir in tomato sauce, and heat through. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with pepperoni slices, onion, mushrooms and olives. Sprinkle with cheese. Flatten biscuits and arrange on top of cheese. Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until top is golden.

CHOCOLATE COBBLER

1 cup self-rising flour

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup baking cocoa, divided

½ cup whole milk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 ¾ cups hot water

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa. Stir in milk and oil until smooth. Pour into a greased 8-inch baking dish. Combine the brown sugar and remaining cocoa. Sprinkle over the batter. Pour hot water over the top — do not stir! Bake at 350 degrees until top springs back when lightly touched, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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