Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day or would you rather pretend it doesn’t exist? Personally, I love it, but not because it’s for gifts or expensive dinner reservations or being with your significant other. To me, it’s just a day to show your love whether it’s for your kids, your craft, your best gal pals or, to be honest, yourself. It’s 2020 and we are neck-deep in the self-care narrative, and for good reason. If we aren’t loving ourselves first, we’re setting ourselves up for failure in every other relationship. 

We’re constantly sold images reminding us "you are not good enough," "you need more," "you need the one." It can break down your spirit. And when a day dedicated to love rolls around, these "shortcomings" become even more prominent and sore spots, whether you have a significant other or not. 

So, that’s why this is a different article. This article is to change how we define the love that we celebrate on Valentine’s Day. This is to remind us that Valentine’s Day belongs to everyone. That love, in all its various forms, is yours. That you should absolutely celebrate something that you love, whether it’s a hobby you haven’t been able to give much attention to, your favorite people, your kids, your favorite food, or your amazing strengths. This should be the day to celebrate all types of love. That is the narrative we should be selling to everyone.

We should be selling the belief that someone looks up to you and thinks you’re amazing and beautiful, and that you’re enough whether you’re a couple or single. We should be telling you that actual time with your loved ones is enough and that you don’t have to buy them extra things. We should be telling you to invest in yourself and the talents you possess instead of needing jewelry. 

I hope you take this day to do all the things you love instead of writing off this holiday because you’ve been told it belongs to others who have more than you or if you feel not enough. I always try to take time and do something fun with my family on that day. I’ve been guilty of buying a little chocolate for the kiddos (because I think we can all agree, chocolate is a universal language of love, no?), but as a whole, we don’t do the typical things for Valentine’s Day. We usually cook together or watch a movie or make each other cards and desserts. I love the simplicity of just loving people and doing things with them that you love.

So this Valentine’s Day, take time and enjoy being you. Make these extra fudgy brownies with, or for, someone you love. You definitely won’t be short on the requisite chocolate with these treats. They’re easy and make plenty to share with others. And hopefully, you’ll be filled with love in your heart because you get to define what love means to you.


Extra Fudgy Brownies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder or instant coffee
  • 1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8x8 baking dish.

  2. Sift together the dry ingredients.

  3. Add melted butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and mix until combined.

  4. Add in eggs one at a time until mixed.

  5. Stir in the dry ingredients.

  6. Stir in the chocolate.

  7. Pour into baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes and check center for doneness.

  8. Allow to cool and enjoy. Store in an airtight container or large Ziplock bag.


From Z to A with Zara Abbasi

Zara Abbasi is the pastry chef and recipe developer for Zara Made It. Follow her food adventures on Instagram at @zaramadeit