Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Ornament Refrigerator Magnets

A jolly welcome to Red Couch Recipes where I bring you a simple little craft to help you "Deck Your Halls."   You might like to give these to your neighbors or a friend.  They are so inexpensive, so cute, and provide a big impact.

Just get some small Christmas balls, plastic, from the Dollar Store and some magnets.  Then attach the magnets to the back of the ornament with hot glue and VOILA, a cute refrigeration decoration.  Joni's Notes:  {You may want to try using a stronger adhesive, such as E-6000.  One of my ornaments was knocked off the fridge last night and the magnet came off}.  I love how it really sticks out on the fridge,
You can tie a bow on or leave it plain.  I like it both ways. 

You could tie a bow on and attach it to a cellophane bag filled with goodies.
Box it up and give it as a gift.  I plan on giving a few of these :).

My daughter asked me while I was making these, "Is this your idea?"  No, I saw it on Pinterest but I didn't pin it so I can't give it proper attribution.
Thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes and may your "Christmas Be the Merriest!"
Posted with the following:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cream Cheese and Pecan Stuffed Celery

I know I have mentioned the wonderful Aunt Ionia that I was blessed with.  Every Christmas Eve we would attend a party at her home and stuffed celery was always on the tray with the olives and carrots.  It was always a favorite of mine.
When I got a little older, I always came on Christmas Eve Day and helped her get ready for the 30 or so relatives that attended.  My jobs were always the same.  Set the tables, grate the cheese for the cauliflower, arrange the cookie trays, and make the stuffed celery.
It's a very simple recipe, but it is very delicious.
Celery, washed, dried, and cut into small pieces -- this recipe will require 5  or 6 stalks of celery.
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 small clove garlic, very finely chopped
Mix the cream cheese, pecans, and garlic together.  Then stuff the celery with the cream cheese mixture.
Joni's Notes:
If you have any remaining cream cheese mixture, it tastes devine on crackers.
Posted with the following:  Foodie Friday

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gratitude Tablescape

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope that you are almost ready in your Thanksgiving preparations.  I spent the day cleaning my kitchen cupboards.  I thought this might be the last time I might get at it before the holiday rush.
I made some little chocolate turkeys for you today.  I remember the first time I put these on my Thanksgiving table; my kids were soooo thrilled.  They are a little bit older now, and it takes more to thrill them :).
I found these little salad plates recently.   Even though I already have some fall leaf plates, I couldn't pass up buying a few for a $1.00. 
I made some little chocolate turkeys for you today. I remember the first time I put these on my Thanksgiving table; my kids were soooo thrilled. They are a little bit older now, and it takes more to thrill them.
I added a fall spray for color. 
The floral centerpiece was made by my daughter Tati.  She is taking a floricultural class and is learning how to make floral arrangements.
I love elevating pumpkins for table interest.
A larger view of the table.
I also picked up a few of these fall leaf/acorn chargers for one dollar.
On your way out, grab some chocolate.  I made those little acorns yesterday.  Click here for a tutorial.  I think they are charming.
I would like to count some blessings before I close this post.
We have a new grand daughter that showed up healthy on the scene on Monday.  This is number two for us.  Welcome Sydney!
We are going  to my in-laws for Thanksgiving.  My mother-in-law has dodged a bullet health-wise recently.  We are glad she is with us getting healthy.  She is sweet, an anchor to the family, and a little bit sassy.
 My sister-in-law, and family, from Melba, Idaho is joining us for a Thanksgiving dinner on Friday at my in-laws.  They are turkey farmers and are bringing a turkey to cook.  I have visited their farm.  One of the funniest things is that every time we said "TURKEY," the Toms, not the hens, would all say GOBBLE, GOBBLE. 
The turkeys on their farm.

Their son Riggins holding the some turkey eggs.  They sell the turkey eggs at the Boise Co-op.

They also sell their organic turkeys.

My daugther Talley turned 12 recently.  She is such a good, beautiful daughter.

So many things to be thankful for.....
We hope you have the best Thanksgiving!
Posted with the following:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Candy Acorns!!

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes.
I have a little candy crafting to share with you today.  It would be perfect for the little ones to make while the turkey is cooking.  I found them to be easy to make and delicious to eat!  All you need is some Tootsie Rolls and Caramels.

Heat the caramels and the Tootsie Rolls, separately, in the microwave for about 10 seconds, or until the candy has softened and ready to roll into balls or be rolled out.  If the candy is not ready in 10 seconds, just add a few more seconds in the microwave.  Do this in small batches (4 or 5 caramels or 4 or 5 Tootsie Rolls)  and really be careful when heating in the microwave.  Take out of the microwave and begin rolling  the caramels, into oblongish rounds for the "nut" part of the acorns.  They don't have to be perfect -- mine weren't :).
Roll out the Tootsie Rolls into a thin round.  Then cut the Tootsie Roll round with a small cookie cutter.  If you don't have a suitable cookie cutter, then just cut out a small round of Tootsie Roll.
Score the "caps"  or capules with a knife, making cuts both horizontally and vertically.  Then make a hole in the center with a skewer or toothpick so that you can insert the stem.
Press the Tootsie Roll "cap" on the top of the caramel oblong.  If your acorn is "out of shape" at this time, just press on it gently to get it back into shape.  Then roll a small amount of Tootsie Roll into a stem.
Voila, you will have lots of cute acorns in just minutes!
This kind of candy crafting is right up my alley!  I first saw these on Pinterest; they were pinned from Linet's Cake's  Facebook page.  There wasn't a tutorial, so I decided to blog about them and provide a tutorial.  Thanks Linet; they are so charming!  They would be adorable on a cake or cupcakes!
I hope you make some of these.  They are so fun and easy to make, and I think the end product was charming.   Quick, I see some squirrels, or was that my 12 year-old daughter, with stuffed cheeks grabbing some to store up for the winter?
Candy or the real thing?
Wilkipedia Photo
We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cranberry Crunch Salad

A warm welcome to Red Couch Recipes!
Today I made one of my favorite salad recipes that is perfect for a holiday get together.  I adapted this recipe many years ago and I have made it repeatedly.  It goes together quickly -- which you will love, and you will also love the sweet and salty taste in just the right combinations.
Recipe for Cranberry Crunch Salad
1 (16-ounce) package of coleslaw
2 packages of Top Ramen chicken noodles broken in small pieces (do not cook!) -- Reserve the dry flavoring package for the marinade
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup salad oil -- I usually use Canola oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 packages Top Ramen Seasoning
Combine coleslaw, Top Ramen Noodles, red onion, pepitas, cranberries, and apricots in a large bowl.  Mix ingredients well.  In a separate, and smaller bowl, combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, poppy seeds and Top Ramen Seasoning and mix until well combined.  Just before serving, add the dressing to the coleslaw and Top Ramen noodle mixture and make sure you combine the dressing well with the coleslaw and Top Ramen noodle mixture.
Joni's Notes:
I found the pepitas in the nut section of Wal-Mart; they were from the World Table brand.  I don't always add dried apricots, but I had some on hand and I liked the salad with the apricots in it.  This is best eaten when it is freshly made; the cabbage tends to get a little soggy when it sits around a bit.
Thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Count Your Many Blessings.

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes at this wonderful time of year when we take the time to take stock of all our many blessing.  There is a hymn in my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,  that is called "Count Your Many Blessings."  I love hymns and this one is a great one to help you remember that even though things may be wrong in your life, there are still many things you can be grateful for.
"When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God hath done.
Count your blessings, Name them one by one. 
Count your many blessings; see what God hath done.
I have included the three other verses.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care? 
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to  bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold.
Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold.
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy.
Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.
So amid the conflict whether great or small;
Do not be discouraged God is over all
Count your many blessings; angels will attend. 
Help and confort give you to your journey's end.
I hope that you will not think that I am trying to minimize others' struggles, but amid sorrow and trials, there is most likely a bright spot.
My turkey cake.
This is the first Thanksgiving I have spent without my husband in 26 years.  I will miss him, but I am thankful and blessed with  a husband who would sacrifice so much for our family, that he would take a job 2,000 miles away to support us.  The housing market and job opportunities in our area remain in a deep slump.  When he comes home for a visit in December it will have been 18 weeks since he left.  He was able to come for a visit in October. 
We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
 Table Information:
Myott Turkey Plates:  T. J. Maxx
White Dinner Plates:  Gibson
Bubble Glasses:  Tai Pan Trading
Flatware:  World Market
Placemat, Green Stemware, Napkins, and Napkin Rings:  Wal-Mart
 Posted with the following:  Let's Dish, Tablescape Thursday 

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Sobering Visit to Arlington National Cemetary

This past summer I was able to visit Arlington National Cemetery.  It was a very sobering day.  I spent about four hours there.  Over 250,000 veterans  and other dignitaries have been buried there, and there are funeral services and burials performed there every day.
The most moving part of my whole Arlington experience was the lost Heroes Art Quilt created to honor American men and women who have lost their lives in the service of their country since September 11, 2001.  I wept for the lost dreams and hopes of these fallen heroes.  I had to leave the area because it was so touching.
Army Private First Class Daniel G. Dolan was honored from Utah, my home state. 
Printed around the picture of the service man and woman were descriptions of each fallen hero.  Each picture told a story of  these fallen heroes, a story about their hopes and dreams and passions.  Some of the things Daniel G. Dolan was remembered for was that "he was always there when you needed someone to talk to.  He loved serving his country.  He liked hockey, snowboarding, and football. " Each photo is a picture of the fallen hero as a child. The photos are faded and black and white to represent the life that is lost.  Each state is represented.
There is a bus that will take you around, but I walked.  Walking was a mistake as Arlington is huge and the weather is very hot and humid in the summer.   Fort Meyer is right next to Arlington, and from time to time you would see a bus from the fort bringing army personnel to honor their fallen servicemen and women at their funerals.
One of the more somber things to do is to watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier.  This is a very elaborate, exacting,  and solemn ceremony performed.  They change the guard at the tomb every half hour during the warmer months.  It is an extremely large honor to be able to be one of the guards at the tomb.  Members of this elite soldier group have been guarding the tomb since 1948.
 The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The outdoor Memorial Ampitheater is near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
It is a beautiful outdoor structure that has incredible detail.  I believe these are names of Union Generals.
Love this detail. 

A popular grave to visit is the grave of Audie Murphy.  It is right on the edge and easily accessible.  Audie Murphy was a famous and highly decorated World War II combat soldier and became a Hollywood movie star following the war.
There are veterans buried from all the wars.

There are monuments put in place to memorialize specific groups, such as this one for the Confederate Soldiers of the Civil War.  Troops from the battlefields were taken and buried at Arlington.  Some soldiers were buried and then later exhumed and reburied at Arlington
Almost no one misses the graves of the John and Jackie Kennedy where there is an eternal flame.


There is a wall with famous quotes by President Kennedy.
Right next to Arlington Cemetery is Arlington House, which before the civil war was Robert E. Lee and his wife Mary Anna's home for over thirty years. It is a beautiful home overlooking the Potomoc with a lot of 1,100 acres.   During the war, Arlington House was lost to the Lee's because Mary Anna was not able to pay her property taxes in person.  During the civil war, the Union having a great need of space to bury the dead, decided to bury the dead on the grounds of Arlington House.  The Lee's did not contest the lost of Arlington House after the war and never lived there again.

When I visited, the furniture in the rooms had been taken away to be refurbished.

There were lovely docents in period costumes who were happy to retell the  history of Arlington House.
The beautiful view of Washington D.C. from Arlington House.
 I am thankful for this wonderful country that we live in and I am thankful for the veterans who have put their lives on the line to defend our country.  I felt such a sense of sadness,  soberness, and reverence  while visiting Arlington National Cemetery.  I highly recommend a visit to Arlington Cemetery.
I will close this post with a picture of my handsome dad who served in the army in World War II for over five years and was wounded in a post D-Day launch in Northern France.  My parents met at a dance at the military base where he was recuperating.  He was wearing red pajamas!!
Unlike so many others, my dad made it out of combat, married and had 5 children and 24 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren and counting.   He passed away in 1995, and I love him and miss him. 

 Happy Veteran's Day!