Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easter Snack Table

Welcome to my Easter Snack table at Red Couch Recipes.  I have been so inspired by the royal icing cookies by Sue, Munchkin Munchies, and by many other bloggers!  Yesterday I worked on some Easter Egg cookies which are on my table today.  I have lots to learn and it was so much fun!  I loved Sue's No Fail Sugar cookie recipe with the royal icing.

Snack sets s are reminiscent of another era.  Many wedding reception meals were served on these sets.  My mother had an Asian set that I loved.  One afternoon I came home from school and my eldest sister Jean served homemade cinnamon rolls of them -- such a warm, and yummy, memory.

Another view of my cookies

I love white napkins.  They are so lovely on a table.

Quax appears again, en cloche, as the PEEKING (Peking) DUCK.  He's cute but he really doesn't taste very good!  We tried him last year.  He's a rather waxy chocolate.

Another shot of my Easter Snack Table.  We are HUGE milk drinkers and cookies just seem to slide down better with milk.

Who says tea pots are just for tea?  Milk is just perfect in them too.

Prom Cupcake Invitation
Just a little extra tidbit.  This is the super huge cupcake that my son took and door bell ditched to the girl who he is asking to Prom.  Inside the cupcake he put on a piece of paper, in a Ziploc bag, who was asking.  It's a vanilla cupcake with lemon curd filling and a lemon curd icing. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mock Meat Loaf for April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day is Friday!  For years I have been doing something sneaky to surprise my children on April Fool's Day.  Last year the Mock Sushi at the head of my post was a bit hit with my kids and it did fool them for a moment and it is delicious and such a simple treat to make! 

This year I made Mock Meatloaf  with a bit of ketchup on the side; I am saving it for a special someone to fool; I have the perfect victim in mind!  It is also simple, delicious and inexpensive (about $3.00) to make.

Mock Meatloaf Recipe
Adapted from a Family Fun Magazine recipe.

12 cup chocolate rice cereal -- I used Cocoa Puffs.
2 - 10 ounce package marshmallows
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Prepare bread loaf pan by putting butter on sides of pan.  Crush cereal in food processor for a moment; don't make the cereal into a flour -- just about half it's normal size.  If you don't have a food processor, put cereal in bag and crush with a rolling pin.  Set aside and place in large mixing bowl.  Melt butter in large sauce pan on medium heat; add cocoa powder and mix well.  Then add marshmallows and stir until marshmallows are completely melted.  Take marshmallow mixture off heat and pour in crushed chocolate rice cereal.  At this point, you could add chopped yellow gummy worms for onions, chopped red gummy worms for red peppers or tomatoes.  I didn't add any gummy worms; my kids would think they are real and wouldn't want to eat the meat loaf!!  Mix well and form in bread pan.  Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.  Cut with a serrated knife. 

Note:  If you have a small bread loaf pan, you can cut the recipe in half.

Fool Someone you love with Mock Meat Loaf or Mock Sushi on April Fool's Day!

Posted with the following;  Made By You Monday, Tuesdays at the Table, Feature Yourself Friday, I'm Lovn' It

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nacho Popcorn

Hi everyone and welcome to Red Couch Recipes!  Almost everyone loves popcorn, whether sweet or savory.  I love this Nacho popcorn.  It is easy to make and most likely you will have all the ingredients that you need right in your pantry.

This was featured in my Popcorn and a Movie Tablescape on Wednesday.

In a simpler time, when I was a child, a real treat was popcorn and Kool-Aid on a weekend night.  We would pop the corn in a stock pot on the stove with some oil.  This recipe ramps up the popcorn treat idea just a bit by adding yummy Parmesan cheese and spices -- it would make a great weekend treat.

Recipe for Nacho Popcorn
Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe by Linda Boehme, Fairmont, Minnesota

5 quarts air-popped popcorn --I used 6 quarts and I think it would still be good if you had as much as 8 quarts of popcorn.
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese -- the kind in the green canister
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
6-10 drops of liquid hot sauce -- I used Frank's Hot Sauce.

Pop popcorn in an air popper machine. Set aside. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan and add the Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Mix together and drizzle on popcorn. With two large serving spoons toss popcorn until the seasoned butter covers the popcorn well.

Note: If you are using microwave popcorn, you could try to add less butter.  We liked it best eaten right away, but I am always a fan of stale popcorn.

Make some Nacho Popcorn this weekend!

Posted with the following:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Popcorn and a Movie Tablescape

Welcome to Red Couch Recipe's Popcorn and a Movie Tablescape!  Like many of you, I am a major popcorn lover.  I like both the sweet and savory varieties.  At Christmastime, I stay clear of those tins -- just too tempting.  Today NACHO POPCORN  is the star of my table!

My sister-in-law Dawnell gave me those cute popcorn containers years ago.  I have seen them since at Target and the Dollar Store.

I used a large popcorn bucket, elevated on a glass cake pedestal to be my main centerpiece.

I have also placed two large "chess" pieces, on each side of the popcorn bucket, as part of my centerpiece. 

Just another view of popcorn mania.

My bubble glass view -- I always like to include a view when I use my bubble glasses, which is often.

The Movie -- The Note
A Tale of Love, Forgiveness, and Second Chances

We recently watched the movie The Note for the first time; I highly recommend it.  It is a Hallmark movie produced in 2007, based on the book The Note, by Angela E. Hunt.  There is also a sequel "Take a Chance on Love," which I have not seen. 

The Note is a sweet and moving story about forgiveness and love.  A plane has crashed killing all the passengers on the plane.  A newspaper columnist, played by Genie Francis, has found a note written by a father to his son or daughter in the last few moments of his life.  Set at Christmas time, Peyton McGruder, sets out to find the rightful owner of the note and give someone a special message from their father.  In this journey, we learn about love and forgiveness as the note touches everyone who has contact with it, even the readers of Peyton's column, "The Heart Healer."  You can rent it from Netflix, see it on the Hallmark Channel, borrow it from your library, or click on the image below to buy it from Amazon.

Grab a handful of Nacho Popcorn on your way out!  I will post the recipe later this week.

Thanks for stopping by Red Couch Recipes, but please don't eat the popcorn on my Red Couch!  We wrecked a former couch by eating popcorn on it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

O'Scrumptious O'Henry Bars

Are you ready to make a quick and easy old-time bar?  Try O'Henry Bars!  They whip up so quickly and they are more like a candy bar than a cookie bar.  Carol, my cousin Jim's wife, used to bring these to family gatherings and they were always a favorite.  Our family made these last night for a Sunday evening treat.

Recipe for O'Henry Bars
1 cup light corn syrup
1cup sugar
1cup peanut butter -- don't use a "natural" peanut butter
4 cups Rice Krispy's or Special K cereal
1 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

In large saucepan, combine corn syrup and sugar; bring to boil. Remove from heat, add peanut butter and stir well. Add cereal. Press mixture into 13-by-9-inch pan. In microwave melt chips together, about 2 minutes, stirring after about 1 minute. Spread chocolate over rice krispy mixture. Cool and cut into bars.  While chocolate is drying, run a fork through the chocolate to make the design; doing this makes the bars a bit more decorative.  Makes about 15 to 20 bars.

I love it that all of the ingredients in these bars can be stored in your pantry and ready to go!

Thanks for dropping by the Couch!

Linked with the following parties:  Tasty Tuesday, Weekend Wrapup, Link Party Monday, Made By You Monday

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day Table and Green Jell-O Cookies

Welcome to Kathleen's St. Patrick's Day Party;  Kathleen's "family" picture is a hoot! On Wednesday night I will be posting this to Tablescape Thursday.  Be sure you drop by both of these blog parties!

So we begin my post with a individual place setting.  I am particularly enamored with this bright shade of green in these salad plates and bowls.  So perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

Here's a side view of the table.  The green-stemmed glasses and green bowls were at the Dollar Store last year.

The green candlesticks were bought at, I think, Cost Plus many moons ago and have earned their rent in my storage space.

Here's a closeup of the St. Paddy's Day woven runner; it was bought at Ross quite a few years ago.

Another view of the table, this shot highlighting the LIME GREEN Jell-O cookies.  What would St. Patrick's Day be without them?  They are a light and delicate cookie.  I have posted them last year at St. Patrick's Day.  I have made them for years and first received the recipe from my college roommate Stacy.  The recipe is at the bottom of this post.

Many times I highlight a dessert in my centerpieces; desserts are delicious AND beautiful.

Please feel free to grab a few cookies on your way out! 

We are celebrating St. Patrick's Day tonight.  I am cooking my corned beef and potatoes as I am writing this!  It smells heavenly!  I have seen so many other great, non-traditional recipes around blog land!  You truly inspire me!

Green Jell-O Cookies

3/4 cup butter or shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 (3 ounce) package of Lime Jell-o
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups flour

Mix all ingredients. If you desire, I didn't today, add a dab of green food coloring to dough.  Roll dough into small balls. Put them on a greased cookie sheet, then dip the bottom of a glass in sugar and press dough until flat. If you like mounded cookies, chill the dough for an hour, then roll in sugar and don't flatten the cookies. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  Yield:  About 32 cookies -- I used the Pampered Chef cookie scoop.

Thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Green Jell-O Popcorn Pops

Make some GREEN Jell-O Popcorn Pops for St. Patrick's Day.  They are delicious and whip up in minutes and sure to please all the : "Little Leprechauns" in your life.
Recipe for Jell-O Popcorn Pops

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1 small box, Lime Jell-O

3-4 quarts popped popcorn

Put syrup and sugar in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Do not boil longer. Remove from heat and stir in Jell-O. Butter your hands a bit and pour over popcorn and make into balls. The balls should be between the size of golf balls and tennis balls. Push stick through the center and enjoy! I acquired this recipe from my mother-in-law Geniel.  Note:  If you prefer a more gooey, sticky.  popcorn ball, use less popcorn.

Make some today!  Thanks for stopping by my Red Couch.

Posted with the following:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Family Heirloom Table

Hi and Welcome to Red Couch Recipes and to my Family Heirloom Table.  I inherited this set of China from my mother and father.  It is the LaSalle pattern manufactured by the Noritake China Company.  Because the China is marked with an M, for Morimura Brothers, it was made in 1950, 1951, or 1952.  The LaSalle pattern was made from 1950 - 1955.  My mother's brother bought the set for her when he was overseas for military service.

The centerpieces are large cream ceramic pieces.  I am hosting the young women from our church tonight where we will learn about setting a table.  I sure wish some of you tablescapers could be present tonight!  I am more of a casual kind of girl!  They are coming tonight at 7 pm MST -- any ideas for "must tells" for the girls?  Let me know in the comments.

Here's my bubble glass view.

A napkin view.

Another sideview.

One of the things that I am going to tell the girls is that when you are looking for a centerpiece, just grab things around your home!  The ceramic pieces and the "family sign" are things in my living room and kitchen.  Also shown more visibly below are the little mini-suitcases.  To me, they symbolize antiques or vintage items such as this china set.  The tablecloth is actually a large curtain that some day I am planning to hang.

The "vintage" luggage.

We are not coffee or tea drinkers, but I wanted to show the girls the proper placement of the cup and saucer.   Most likely we would have a cherry hot chocolate served in these beautiful cups.  I love the gold handle.

For dessert, I am serving them brownie pops and milk using my snack sets -- not very formal, huh?  These are teenage girls!

Thanks for stopping by Red Couch Recipes.  Be sure to drop by Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch where you will be inspired!

Monday, March 7, 2011

If Life Gives You Not So Sweet Strawberries -- Make Some Jam

A local store had nice looking strawberries for a good price the other day, but when I brought them home I was disappointed in their taste -- they weren't sweet at all.  So I decided to make jam.  My kids love my raspberry jam the best, but this is a close second.

Can you see my husband's reflection in the jar?

I just used the recipe from the Ball Pectin box so I haven't included the recipe.  Just make sure you have about 5 cups of strawberries, lots of sugar, and about 1/4 cup of lemon juice.  I used about 1-1/2 pounds of strawberries. 

So if you get some not so sweet strawberries, make some jam.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Marble Cookies -- Roba Dolce Good News Contest

If you are looking for something different for St. Patrick's Day, then try these cookies.  They are simple to make cookie and they are striking with their contrasting colors.  So let's strike up some GREEN!

Roba Dolce Logo

I also want to direct you to the Dolce Roble "Good News" contests that are being held every week.  The Roba Dolce Company wants to hear about acts of kindness, those that occur every day that don't show up in the newspaper.  Has someone blessed your life or the life of another, why not submit an entry to the "Good News" contests?  Click HERE for details.  Every week they will choose one of the submitted stories and they will highlight it in their posts.  The subject of the winning story will receive a large assortment of their gelatos and sorbettos.  Trust me, you are going to love their gelatos and sorbettos!

St. Patrick's Day Marble Cookie Recipe

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon peppermint or almond extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon to add to chocolate dough, if needed
1/3 cup chocolate chips -- I used milk chocolate.
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
Sugar for rolling dough in
Green coloring

Put butter and sugar in medium mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract and beat until incorporated. Then add baking soda and flour little by little. Divide dough in half; color one half with green coloring.  For the other half, melt chocolate chips in microwave, being very careful that they don't burn. Cool chocolate and add melted chocolate and cocoa powder to the other half of the dough and mix until chocolates are incorporated. If the chocolate dough doesn't seem stiff enough, add 1 tablespoon of flour.

Take green dough and, using a little less than 2 teaspoons of dough, roll into small balls. Take chocolate dough and so the same and add to gether to make cookie ball as pictured below.

Roll the green and chocolate dough together and roll into sugar.

Place chocolate/green cookie ball on baking sheet. Press bottom of glass on cookie and smash until about 1/4 inch thick.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 8 -10 minutes, making sure you don't overcook.

Remove from baking sheet and cool on rack.

Thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes!

Posted with the following: 
I'm Lovin' It, Feature Yourself Friday, Weekend Wrapup, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Made By You Monday, Mom's Crazy Cooking, Kathleen's St. Patrick's Day Party