Wednesday, June 30, 2010

4th of July Tablescape and X is for Kiss Cookies and Love of America!

Welcome to Tablescape Thursday and Alphabe-Thursday where the letter of the week is "X."  The letter X has proved to be the hardest assignment for Alphabe-Thursday!  But wanting to maintain my A plus in Mrs. Matlock's class, I DID come up with a recipe for this week!  In Chinese, the word for cookies is "xiaodianxin."  In English, the symbol at the end of letters is "X" for kiss and "O" for hugs.  I also made kiss cookies because I love them and, OF COURSE, I love cookies (AND KISSES)  in general.  I also love America and I love celebrating the 4th of July!  Is that enough KISSING AND LOVING FOR YOU??  The recipe for the peanut butter kiss cookies is at the end of my post.

I began the tablescape with a red and white floral plate, and plain dinner plate, both from Wal-Mart.

I added bandana napkins and the SUPER CUTE "Style Sisters" napkin ring holders!  I love them and I totally copied using bandanas and Napkin Rings from Karin at the Style sisters!  Thanks Karin!  I am sure you can purchase some at Style Sisters.

We are out on the deck today.  Peeking in the back is a water dispenser new to me.  I bought this at Tai Pan Trading, a local store.

Come have a sip of lemon water.  It is a hot, humid day out.  I have slipped a few blueberries in for color.

I love lthe red and white plates.  To me, they just add so much to the table.

Make sure you grab some cookies and some lemon water on your way out.  Don't forget, the recipe for the cookies is at the end of the post.  Thanks for dropping by and I wish you the best 4th of July!

Peanut Butter Hershey Kisses Cookies for the Letter "X"

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag Hershey kisses

Cream sugars and margarine. Beat in egg. Add milk, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients.   Roll into balls,walnut-sized, and roll in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes. When cooked, lightly press Hershey kiss in the middle.  Make sure you put Hershey's kisses on after the cookies are baked and cooled.
Make sure you roll the dough in sugar before baking!

I am posting this with Tablescape Thursday and Alphabe-Thursday.

Jenny Matlock

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chocolate Patriotic Cookies

Happy Monday to everyone!  This week on Red Couch Recipes I will be featuring recipes for the 4th of July.  I start out the week with this recipe for Patriotic Chocolate Rolled Sugar Cookies.  I have been eyeing this recipe on AllRecipes for a bit; I adapted it slightly.  They are called the Best Ever Chocolate Cutout Cookies and they didn't disappoint!  They are like a thin brownie and oh so yummy!  I topped the cookies with marshmallow fondant stars. 

 Ingredients and Directions for Chocolate Cutout Cookies
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups white sugar
1 egg

1.  Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg. Gradually stir in the sifted ingredients to form a soft dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces, flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or put in freezer for 15 minutes or until firm and ready to cut out cookies.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4  inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Dough is sticky so be sure to add more granulated sugar to the rolling surface as needed. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 7-8 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Instructions for Marshmallow Fondant -- Adapted from My Sister's Blog -- Purple Chocolat Home

16 oz. marshmallows - use good quality marshmallows
2-3 Tablespoons water
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
Red and Blue Paste Coloring

Place the marshmallows and water in a large microwavable bowl. Place in the microwave and microwave 30 seconds until the marshmallows are beginning to melt. Remove bowl from microwave and stir and repeat until completely melted and blended together. Place in your large Kitchenaid or other heavy duty mixer bowl. You will need a powerful mixer to blend this. Use your bread kneading hook. Add the 2 lb. powdered sugar and the almond extract.  Begin to mix the dough at a low speed. Mix until completely blended. Divide dough into two and color one half with red coloring and one half with blue coloring.  The fondant will be warm at this time.  You will want to let the fondant cool ; place in Ziploc bag to save for later use.  Roll dough on parchment and cut out with small star cookie cutters.  I used Wilton cookie cutters.  If the dough is sticky, add more powdered sugar.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Watermelon" Ice Cream for Watermelon Week!

It has been WATERMELON WEEK  at Red Couch Recipes.  Today I bring to you "watermelon" ice cream.  I have made this several times over the years.  It is very refreshing on a hot summer day!  It is simple to put together although it takes some time for freezing.  Even though I am not a fan of semi-sweet chocolate chips I did use them for the "seeds"; they just look more like seeds than milk chocolate chip.  I figured that was okay, since I will spit them out just like I do with watermelon seeds!  My nine-year old daughter knew where to hang out while I was taking pictures for this post; she has had two slices of "watermelon" already! 

Instructions for "Watermelon" Ice Cream

1 container raspberry sherbet -- at least 1.5 quarts
1 container lime sherbet -- at least 1.5 quarts
About 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Soften the container of lime sherbet for the rind.  Be careful and don't soften too much or you will have a gooey mess!  Take a larger size mixing bowl; I prefer to use metal, and spread it evenly around the bottom and sides of the bowl.  Freeze until hardened.  Depending on the temperature of your freezer, that can take up to six hours.

 When the lime sherbet rind is frozen, soften the raspberry sherbet and stir in chocolate chip seeds.  Put raspberry sherbet mixture inside of the lime sherbet rind and then freeze for at least six hours.

 When you are ready to serve, you can put the mixing bowl in a pan of hot water for about 2 to 3 minutes; then invert on serving tray.  If your watermelon is unfrozen too much, refreeze for a little longer.

It has been a fun week at WATERMELON Week!  Glad you could join me!

Click here for the recipe for Watermelon Frappe.

Click here for directions on Watermelon Rice Krispies.

Click here for my Watermelon Tablescape.

I am posting this with Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

I am also posting this with Just Something I Whipped Up Monday.
I am also posting this with Market Yourself Monday.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wild for Watermelons Tablescape

It has been WATERMELON WEEK  all week long on Red Couch Recipes!  There isn't anything that says summer like watermelons!    

I had fun doing this tablescape on my back patio.  We don't eat there very often because it seems like such an effort to carry all the dishes down; we ususally eat on our upstairs deck during the summer.  Yet, the backyard patio has its charms and I hope to dine there more often this summer.

Welcome to Tablescape Thursday and Alphabe-Thursday where the letter of the week is "W" for Watermelons!

I began with the black plates I have had for years from Wal-Mart and added these cute watermelon plates that I bought at Robert's Arts and Crafts, a great local craft store.  Roberts carries a line of less expensive dishware, such as the watermelon plates.  They also carry an expensive line.  Usually both lines are rather seasonal.  I don't think it's a secret that I would be drawn to the cheaper dishes!

Just for fun I put the glasses on the salad plates.  Today the glasses are empty; earlier in the week I made a watermelon frappe.  You can find the recipe HERE.

Here's a sideview.  Sorry, I couldn't get an overhead shot today; there's an umbrella in the way!

I love the little watermelon condiment server; this was also bought at Robert's.

I made these cute Rice Krispies Watermelon slices earlier in the week.  The watermelon pitcher was also bought at Robert's.  You can find the instructions for them HERE.  They were fun and easy to make.

In our State, probably like yours, each community has their own summer festival.   Ferron celebrates Peach Days while Pleasant Grove Utah celebrates Strawberry Days.  If there weren't peaches or strawberries at these community festivals, I would be disappointed!  When I used to live in the Sacramento area, there was a tomato celebration, but nary a tomato or tomato product was to be found.  I hope things have changed there!  So what would WATERMELON WEEK  be without the real thing!

Have a slice before you go and thanks for stopping by for WATERMELON  WEEK!

I am posting this with Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday and Susan's Tablescape Thursday.

Jenny Matlock

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Watermelon Rice Krispies

It's Watermelon Week at Red Couch Recipes.  I whipped these Watermelon Rice Krispies up in no time! This is a fun project you could make with your children or grandchildren.  These need to be seeded watermelon slices; the slices look incomplete without the mini chocolate chips for seeds.

Recipe and Instructions for Watermelon Slices:
3 tablespoons butter
1 large (10 ounce) bag of marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Red and Green food coloring
Mini Chocolate Chips

On medium heat, melt better in large stock pot or large sauce pan. Add marshmallows and heat until melted. Add Rice Krispues cereal and stir to coat cereal completely. Divide Rice Krispies into two portions for coloring. Color about 3/4's of mixture with red food coloirng.  Color the remaining 1/4 with green food coloring.  Put red mixture into greased pyrex baking pan and smooth and flatten.   Cut out red mixture, with a cookie cutter or the top of a glass, round circles of the red mixture; then cut circles in half.  Roll green mixture into rind shapes and attach green rind to red watermelon.  You might need to flatten the slices with a rolling pin.   Adorn with mini chocolate chips by pressing chips into the watermelon slices and insert stick.  Sorry, I did not take pictures of the process because I had to work quickly because the Rice Krispy mixture can harden quickly!

I am posting this with Tasty Tuesday.

I am also posting this with It's A Blog Party.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Watermelon Frappe

There isn't anything that says summer more than watermelons and around my neck of the woods people think Green River watermelons are the best!  If you are a watermelon lover, you will love this frappe!   Every post on Red Couch Recipes this week will be watermelon-related!  Try making this recipe for Watermelon Frappe; it will refresh you on a hot summer day!  Use the sweetest watermelon that you can find.  The girls in my home were fans of this frappe; the guys not so much! Tati, the blogger, said, "It's different, but I like it!"  I have had this recipe in my collection for years; unfortunately, I do not know the author of it.

Recipe for Watermelon Frappe

4 cups diced watermelon with no seeds
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind
3 cups (24 ounces) ginger ale

Put watermelon, lemon juice and rind in blender and mix until frothy.  Pour mixture into a picher.  Add ginger ale and stir.  Pour into glassses filled with ice cubes.  Makes about six cups.  Note:  if your watermelon isn't very sweet, you may have to add a bit of sugar.  This recipe is totally adjustable!  If you like, you can add more ginger ale or lemon juice.  My son liked the frappe with more ginger ale.

Come take a break and have a sip on our deck with us!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Tangerine-Honey Glaze

This grilled chicken recipe would be great for a Father's Day Barbecue.  I said at the beginning of the week that I would be posting "on the grill" recipes in honor of Father's Day as many of the men in our life enjoy grilling.  We tried this grilled chicken on the grill when we had a friend over for dinner last week.  Yes, my husband did the grilling!  We all liked it a lot!  I liked the tangerine-honey glaze so much I could have eaten it straight!  This recipe has been ever so slightly adapted from a  Bobbie Flay recipe.  I found it in the June 2009 Parade Magazine.  It was a winner in our home. 

A picture of my German Thyme; I just love its scent!

Recipe for Chicken with Tangerine-Honey Glaze

2 cups of tangerine or tangerine-orange juice.  Don't use juice from concentrate; I used Tropicana.
5 fresh thyme springs.  I used German Thyme because that's what I have growing.
1/4 cup clover honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons ground fennel seeds.  I used fennel seeds, not ground.
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine the juice and thyme in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup; remove the thyme stems and discard.  This does take a bit of time, but the concentrated flavor from the reduction is worth it!  Whisk in the honey until incorporated and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.  Heat grill to medium-high.  Stir together the paprika, cumin, mustard powder, fennel, and 1 teaspoon each of the kosher salt and black pepper in a small bowl.  Brush both sides of the chicken with the oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Rub the top of each breast with some of the spice rub and place on the grill, rub-side down.  Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the breasts are light brown and a crust has formed.  Turn the breasts over, brush the tops of the chicken with some of the glaze, flip them, and continue cooking until done.  Remove from the grill, brush the spice-rub side with more of the glaze, tent loosely with foil and let rest five minutes before serving.  My husband did the grilling; I can't guarantee that he followed all these grilling steps, but nevertheless, it tasted great!

I am posting this with Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lawn Mower Cupcakes

These lawnmower cupcakes are easy to make and fun to eat!  When I saw them on Family Fun's Website, I knew that I would be making them around Father's Day.  My husband has always liked being in the outdoors and having a nice lawn.  I featured them in the Father's Day tablescape that I did yesterday for Tablescape Thursday.

Ingredients and Instructions for Lawnmower Cupcakes

Chocolate Frosting
Green Food Coloring
Hershey Nuggets
M and M's
Licorice Laces

Bake your favorite cupcake recipe.  Frost the cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  Combine coconut with green food coloring and mix together until coconut is colored.  Put the grass, green coconut, on top of frosted cupcake.  Put Hershey Nugget on top of cupcake.  Attach brown M and M's with frosting or corn syrup for wheels.  Attach red M and M on top of Hershey Nugget.  Cut small piece of lace licorice for lawnmower handle.  In the small town I live, I couldn't find licoric laces.  If you can find licorice laces, they would look better.  I used normal licorice and cut it.  Stick the ends of the licorice in the cupcake.  Enjoy!

I am posting this with Designs By Gollum's Foodie Friday.

I am also posting this with Just Something I Whipped Up Mondays and Sumo's Market Yourself Mondays, and Cupcake Tuesdays.

The Girl Creative

Cupcake Tuesday at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Father's Day Tablescape

Hi everyone!  Are you ready for Father's Day?  I put together this table in preparation for Father's Day.  Hopefully, our weather will hold and we will be eating deckside this Father's Day!  The big letter "L" is for my husband's last name that we all share.  Come along deckside for this Father's Day Tablescape.

We are celebrating Father's Day with "Lawnmower Cupcakes."  Being outdoors and having a nice lawn has always meant a lot to my husband.  I saw these cupcakes on Family Fun's website and knew that I would be making them for Father's Day.  On the actual day, I will be making some homemade ice cream that my husband loves.  He keeps asking me if I have put the ice cream recipe on my blog.  I haven't posted it yet, but I will be posting it soon.

This is a photo (pre-digital) of my husband and our son while mowing the lawn.  Yes, my husband DID have a rope and was pulling Skyler on his "big wheel" as he mowed! 

 In one home we lived in,  my husband had a half acre lawn to mow.  Some of the lawn was on a hill and it was quite a job to mow! 

The cupcakes were easy to make!

I love the black and white napkins with the black plates and the green salad/dessert plates.  I think it makes a fun and hopefully manly combination!  I scattered some M and M's on the plates for fun.

I hope you have enjoyed our Father's Day Tablescape and that you enjoy time with your fathers, husbands, and father-in-laws this Father's Day!

Tablescape Information:

Placemats, Black Plates, Goblets, Silverware Napkin Fabric:  Wal-Mart
Square Plates:  Tai Pan Trading
Green Dessert Plates:  Smith's Grocery Store
Big L:  Robert's Arts and Crafts
Candle Holder:  K-Mart

I am posting this with Susan at Between Naps at the Porch where you will be inspired to set a better table!