Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter Tablescape

A Warm Spring welcome to Red Couch Recipes!  Spring in Utah brings variable weather.  It was sunny at the first half of the day, and then it began to be cloudy and windy -- though at my table it was all about Spring and Easter.

Today I set this table at my friend Shannon's home.  Shannon is the hostess of a local television show, and today I visited her show and talked about tablescaping and about this Easter table, and Shannon made some homemade lemon curd and displayed her White Chocolate Mousse and Lemon Curd Eggs.   Let me tell you, I like the medium of blogging much better than television!  I just hope I didn't come across too flat on her show; it is hard to keep the conversation going.  It was a fun experience and Shannon is a great show host.  Sorry about the lighting -- it appears that television lighting was not so great with my camera.

Don't you just love sweets waiting for you to eat on a tablescape?  I love the colors of turqoise and brown hightlighted in this table.

We created this cute little centerpiece with the Peeps smushed up against the glass.  I just love this look.  The centerpiece is a bit tall, but it worked for our table of four.

The table features my turquoise and white footed bowls and parfait glasses that are perfect for Easter.

I love the plaid napkins with the polka dotted dishware.

A Peeps Nest Cake is waiting at the end of the table to be served up.

At the beginning of the photot shoot, these White Chocolate Mousse and Lemon Curd Nests Eggs were in the blue footed bowls.  After the end of the photo shoot, these eggs were quickly demolished by the camera crew and by her son and my daughter.  I will share with you the delicious recipe at a later date.  Thankfully, I was able to grab this egg from my daughter before she devoured it.  For my photo shoot, I quicly replaced the eggs with the chocolate bunnies for my own photo shoot. 

Thanks for letting you share my fun day!  Thanks for droping by my Red Couch!

Linked with the following parties:  Tablescape Thursday

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Peeps Nest Cake for Easter

A springy welcome to Red Couch Recipes!  Peeps and Easter just go together, don't you think?  I made this cake with my favorite chocolate whole wheat cake, but you could buy a chocolate cake and adorn it with a chocolate nest, Peeps, chocolate shavings, and candy chocolate eggs and in minutes you could have a cute dessert to serve for Easter. 

Here's a top view of the cake.

Recipe for Nedra's Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 -1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
7/8 cup boiling water
Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan or 2 (8-inch round cake pans). In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Then add 2 eggs and beat well. In a medium, and separate, bowl, add the whole wheat flour and cocoa together. In a small bowl, add the buttermilk and vanilla together. Then add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Add to mixture the baking soda. Finally, add the 7/8 cup boiling water all at once and mix thoroughly. Pour immediately into prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes if using a 13 x 9 x 2 pan or 25 to 30 minutes if using the 8-inch round pans. Frost with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting.

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Blend together 3/4 cup room temperature butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 3-4 tablespoons water. You may need to add extr
a water, depending on how thick you want it. You may have extra frosting.

For the chocolate nests, just blow up a balloon and melt some chocolate in the microwave and then spread it on the blown up balloon and invert the balloon on something so that it can dry.  Remember when you are melting chocolate in the microwave, be very careful because chocolate can burn quite easily.  Just melt in 10-15 second segments and then stir inbetween.  For the top of the cake, make sure you don't blow up the balloon too large; you just need a small nest. We just used semi-sweet chocolate chips.

To make the chocolate shavings, just use a vegetable peeler.

Hold the peeler in your hand and make the chocolate into curls.  We used a Hershey chocolate bar.  In the little town we live in, we can't find quality dipping chocolate.  The Hershey's bar worked out fine for small curls. 

Thanks for sitting a bit on my Red Couch where you are always welcome!

Posted with the following:  On the Menu Monday

Friday, March 23, 2012

Meet Ruby the Rescued Cat

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes!  I have been MIA from blogging, posting and visiting, because we have a new kitty in the home -- Ruby, the newest Red Couch family member.  About three weeks ago when driving home with my teenagers on a country road near our home, we saw something in the road.  I thought it was a plastic grocery bag, and I swerved to not hit it.  As we passed the "bag", we realized it was a little kitty -- sitting in the road!  No, she was not crossing the road, she was sitting in the road.  Instinctively, we turned around and the teenagers ran out and picked it up. They brought it to the car and realized that this poor little kitty really stank!  Something traumatic had happened to her.  We took the poor, starving kitty home and gave it a bath, and later gave her two more baths.    She was just skin and bones, and didn't seem to mind the bath at all!  All the while, I kept on thinking, "What am I going to tell my huband?"  Unlike me, he is not a huge cat fan.  We have one other inside/outside cat and one outside cat that came with the home. 

Don't let this little cute face fool you, she is actually getting ready to pounce on one of the other cats. 

When my husband came home, I related the story to him and asked him, "What would you have done?"  He couldn't say anything because he would have done the same thing.  She has grabbed our heart; she is a little sweetie.  In three weeks she has doubled her size!  I saw a cartoon in the paper today that reminded me of Ruby.  A little boy told his mother that she needed to sit down because the cat needed a lap to sit in.  At first, Ruby was very needy; I felt like I had a baby in the home because she always wanted to be held.  Now she has settled in and hopefully I can get back to visiting and posting.

I know of two other cats that aren't too happy about Ruby coming to stay!


Ruby is a spitfire and can climb this tree so fast!

She has stollen all of our hearts!

My daughter named her Ruby and it just seemed to fit.  It is also fun to say "Ruby Doobie Doobie Doobie Do!"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mt. Timpanogos Temple Cheesecake

So glad you dropped by Red Couch Recipes.
Mt. Timpanogos Cheesecake has been a favorite with my family for several years.  It is a copycat recipe developed by my sister Jacqueline, Purple Chocolat Home, years ago to replicate a cheesecake served at the cafeteria at the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, Utah (I linked to an article on LDS temples).   Some years ago,  this cheesecake was served in the Temple's cafeteria.  Jacqueline is good at making copycat recipes. This cheesecake reminds me of an Almond Joy candy bar in cheesecake form.  Well, I used walnuts, but you could use almonds or pecans.

This was our Sunday dessert yesterday.  I made little ones in ramekins, and we also made a large one to take for a friend's birthday.

Recipe for Mt. Timpanogos Temple Cheesecake

8-inch chocolate cookie crust or graham cracker crust (homemade or purchased)
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup miniature or regular semi-sweet (we like milk chocolate) chocolate chips
1-1/3 cups coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
1/2 can (7-ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Before Baking

Mix well cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla. Make sure there aren't any lumps in the mixture.  Place cheesecake mixture in pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheesecake is set.  Take pie out of oven and top with coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts.
Then drizzle sweetened condensed milk on it.  Cool and serve.  Make it the day before so that the flavors set in; it tastes better that way.
We added a little bit of leftover graham cracker crust on top.

Red Couch Recipes Notes:  The recipe above is for a 8-inch pie.  Don't be surprised that there is not a lot of cheesecake mixture; that's the way it is supposed to be.  I made mine in small non-standard-sized ramekins.  It made 6 individual cheesecakes.  I just divided the cheesecake and the topping mixtures among the ramekins. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oatmeal Cake -- I am Smitten!

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes!

I am always on the look out for a simple dessert recipe to serve on Sunday.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest by  the author of For the Love of Cooking and it intrigued me.  It sounded simple and delicious, and it was simple and delicious and we were smitten! The cake was so moist and the topping was just devine!   My family craved for more.  My 17 year-old son asked if this cake was like "German Shephard Cake!"  We all got a kick out of that!  He has always unconsciously said "German Shephard Cake" instead of German Chocolate Cake.  Shhhh, don't tell him!  Ummm, I just want to clarify that no dogs were used in this recipe!  We will make this again and again.

Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting
Recipe by For the Love of Cooking
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal -- I used old-fashioned and it came out fine.
    3/4 cups boiling water
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cups flour
    1/2  teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 egg
    1/4 cup of shortening -- We used butter.
    Mix the oatmeal with the boiling water, stir and cover. Mix the remaining ingredients then stir in the oatmeal mixture. Grease and flour a 9x9 pan. I used small ramekins.  I split up the batter in 5 small ramekins.  Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for 23-25 minutes. I baked the ramekins for 20 minutes.
The cakes fresh from the oven; they are ready to be topped with the frosting.  Don't you just love individual desserts?
When I looked at the frosting recipe, I was a bit skeptical, but it was wonderful as written!
Coconut Pecan Frosting:
3 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Carefully spread frosting over the top of the cake. Broil until coconut is just brown. Watch very closely – it doesn’t take long.  Cool, slice and serve. You are going to love it!

Red Couch Recipes Notes:  We made the cake in small ramekins.  The ramekins I used will hold almost 1 cup to the rim; they hold about 1/2 cup of fluid to the indentation inside the ramekin.  I put about 7 tablespoons of cake batter in 5 ramekins; it is a small recipe.   Be careful when you are broiling.  I put my broiler on high and it took about only about 1-1/2 minutes.  Even though not shown, I served the cakes with a dollop (don't you just love that word?) of whipping cream -- yum!

You really ought to make this recipe!  Thanks for sitting on my couch for a spell.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Time for Spring

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes!

This was the table that I set for our Sunday Dinner.  Sunday's weather was deliciously warm; just a day or two before it was ferociously cold.  That is Spring in Utah.

This table is built around these plates I bought at Wal-Mart for a song last year.  They are the Better Homes and Garden line.

I used some green salad plates that I have had for a few years.

I used these Christmas napkins on the table.  If I hadn't told you they were Christmas, would you have guessed?

My favorite element of this table are these glasses.  They are also from the Better Homes and Garden Line.  They are plastic -- gasp, and I love them because of their vibrant color.

It has been a long winter, but there is always the hope of spring to cheer us up.  In my mind, it is really time for spring.

Thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes.