Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day Cookies

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes!  Earth Day is fast approaching, and in its honor I crafted these fun cookies that hold a likeness to our wonderful earth.

 When you make them, you feel like you are back in kindergarten smooshing together the blue and green Play Dough.  Although my children didn't help me make these cookies, it would be a fun thing to do with your children and grandchildren.

Just put some dough together.

Then smooth the dough and flatten it.

I have used this tested and true Betty Crocker recipe over and over again in my cookie baking and crafting life.  It makes a great dough to work with.

Recipe and Instructions:

1 cup sugar
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and almond extract, and egg. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.   Mix well.  Divide dough in half and color one round blue and one round green.  I used Wilton's Leaf Green and Royal Blue colorings.  Mix well until the coloring in the dough is well incorporated.  This does take a few minutes.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. You don't want to refrigerate it too long because the dough might crack when forming. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Take some green dough and put together with some blue dough on both sides. Smooth the green and blue doughs together and flatten into a cookie shape.  Bake in oven for 8 minutes.

 Can you guess the continents?

Most of the cookies just came out looking like abstract continents and ocean, but I think you get the picture.  You could try to form the green dough into continents, but I was very pleased with the abstract look. 


Happy Earth Day and thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes.

Posted with the following:  Weekend Wrapup

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Favorite Colors Table

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes and to my Red and Turquoise tablescape featuring two of my favorite colors,.  It seems these colors shouldn't go so great together, but they work so great for me  -- they make me HAPPY!

They feature one of my newest finds.  For some time now I have been looking for some reasonably priced cast iron little pots for soups, such as French  Onion Soup, or for little casseroles.  Wal-Mart was recently discouting these and I bought some.

As I was making  some other sugar cookies, I thought to make some cookies to accessorize this table.  I think you will agree that turquoise and red look great on cookies too.  I love the square cookie shape too.  Yep, when you start accessorizing your table with color-coordinated cookies, you have definitely gone bonkers.

Here's my bubbly glass view.  I like to look through life through a bubbly glass.

My husband recently brought home two lovely pots of spring bulbs.

Here's a larger view of the table. 

Another view, just because it was on my camers.

Thanks for dropping by my Couch.

Table Information:

Wal-Mart:  Red and White salad Plates, Red Placemats, Cast Iron Soup Pots, Red Dinner Plates, Red Napkins
K-Mart: Turquoise Napkins
Tai Pan ATrading:  Bubbly Glasses
Style Sisters:  Napkin Rings
World Market:  Flatware

Posted with the following:  Tablescape Thursday

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sugar Cookies for Easter

Sugar cookies don't last long at the Red Couch Home.  We are all huge fans of these no-fail sugar cookies decorated with Royal Icing. Besides eating them, my favorite part about these cookies is decorating them.  I love to sit down and come up with different color combinations and designs; decorating is relaxing to me.

Here is the recipe for the no-fail sugar cookies.  This is my favorite sugar cookie recipe.  I originally found it on Sue's (Munchkin Munchies) wonderful blog.  The secret to making these cookies is to make them thick, and to not overcook them.  I love the fact that it is a no-chill recipe!  In  my oven, I bake them for about 8 minutes.  The cookies are set up, but they are not brown on the bottom.  It is comical to hear my sister Jaqueline and I spar about our favorite sugar cookie recipe to use with Royal Icing; she and I don't agree on recipes!  She does not like my recipe, and I do not like her recipe.

No Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Mix well.
Roll to desired thick and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or just before they begin to turn brown around the edges. I like to roll them at least 1/4 to 1/3 inch-thick; they just tast so good thick. Also be sure to check them at 8 minutes with the first pan.  You might need more time,  but just to be sure, check them early.
Royal Icing Recipe
Makes about six cups of icing
7-1/2 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
6 tablespoons meringue powder
12 tablespoons warm water
Beat in a stand mixer for about 4-5 minutes until smooth. You may have to add a slight bit of water, if it is too thick for you to outline the borders of your cookies. If the icing is too thin, then add more powdered sugar. When adding water, do so carefully. You can use a decorator tip or bottle to make the outline. Outline your cookies and allow them to dry for at least one hour. For flow consistency, filling in your cookies within the outline, you will need to add additional water. Fill in each cookie, with the help of the back of a spoon; back up the icing to the border. All of my cookies were designed when the cookies were wet.  I used white icing for the fill-in icing, and then while wet, I added pink, turquoise, and lavender icings.  I let the cookies tdry overnight.  With just a little bit of experience you will be able to know the proper consistencies for both the border and the fill-in icings.  Click Here to my Fireworks post to see some Royal Icing techniques, including the feather and pinwheel designs above.

Hope you have a great Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter on the Deck

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes!  So glad you dropped by today to take a peek at my Easter on the Deck Tablescape.  The weather has been beautiful here, and we can finally set a table on our deck.  For this Easter table we brought out our charming footed egg cups.

I found these years ago at a local grocery store. Don't you just love the "ducky" shoes?  I have five different egg cups.  Of course, I wish I could have bought more!

I used my everyday dinner plates with some green salad plates that kind of remind me of lilly pads.  The color theme we were aiming for was yellow and green, the wonderfuol colors of spring.

My husband brough home some potted daffodils so I put them to use on this table as my centerpiece.  I love the vibrant yellow "bubbble" glasses with the vibrant yellow daffodils. 

Daffodils are my favorite spring flower.

The "chocolate" bunnies look like they are munching on the pot.  They behave so much better than real chocolate bunnies; they don't melt in the sun.

When I use "bubbly" glasses, I always like to include a shot looking through the glasses.

Here is another one of the precious egg cups -- do you prefer tennis shoes?

I hope you are "hopping" to it with your Easter preparations!  Thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes.

Posted with Tablescape Thursday.