Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bodacious Bagels

Welcome to my Red Couch.  Take a seat and eat a yummy bodacious bagel.  If you haven't tried homemade bagels then you are in for a real treat.  Fresh out of the oven bagels are something really special.  Involve your kids,  especially when you are boiling the bagels.  They will enjoy watching the bagels simmer in the boiling water.

These have no resemblance to the bagels my husband buys on the day old bargain bin rack -- just sayin'.  However, I came from a home where my mother would wake up in the wee hours of the morning,  usually Saturday, to make bread and pan-fried scones.  So every once in awhile I like to treat my family with some homemade bread products.

Recipe for Bodacious Bagels
Yield:  Around 10 Bagels

2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons molasses
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups bread flour (I use normal flour)
Toppings:  Trader Joe's "Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend" (I think Wal-Mart sells a blend too or sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and coarse salt.

Mix the warm water and the yeast in a medium bowl or in the bowl of your Kitchen-Aid or Bosch mixer.  Add  light corn syrup, molasses, oil, salt, and the flour.  Using a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes.  Cover and let bread dough rise for about 40 minutes to an hour.

After rising, punch dough down and cut into about 10 equal pieces.  Working with one piece at a time, form each piece into a ball, Then turn the edge of the dough inward and make a hole in the center of the ball with your thumbs.  Stretch it a bit until it looks like a doughnut.  The holes should be 1 to 1-1/2-inches wide. 

Place each bagel on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper an let rise until double.

Bagel rising.

  At this point, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a large pot , like a stock pot, of water to a boil and add about 2 tablespoons of sugar.  If the bagels at this point do not have defined holes, open the holes up a bit with your fingers.  Drop bagels, one by one, into boiling water.  Cover pot and boil bagel for 20 seconds.  Flip the bagel and then boil for another 20 seconds. 

 Take bagel out, using a spatula, and let the water drip for about 20 seconds.  Place each bagel on greased baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.  If the hole has closed up, use your fingers to reopen the hole a bit. 

Bagels waiting to be baked.

At this point, add your toppings such as poppy seeds or sesame seeds and press to hold.    We like adding both poppy and sesame seeds to the bagels.  Of course, you could add other toppings such as asiago cheese or other toppings.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.

I do hope you try these bodacious bagels.  I am not going to lie, they do take a little time, but they are really worth it, and they are a fun project to involve the kids in.

This recipe is from my sister Jacqueline who blogs at Purple Chocolat Home.

Thanks for dropping by my couch.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cars Land at Disneyland Calfiornia

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes. 
Today I bring to you a recipe for fun!  The hit of our trip to California Adventure in Anaheim was Cars Land for me and my husband.  This area of California Adventure is just cute!  Now we need to hurry! As soon as you enter in the morning you need to grab a Fastpass for the Radiator Springs Ride.  It is the hottest ticket in Disneyland and California Adventure.  The line forms around Bug's Land and is usually long.  If you don't get there in the morning, you will most likely not get a Fastpass.  Not to worry, you can wait in line for two hours, or grab a single rider pass :). 
A sign welcomes you to the town of Radiator Springs.  There is so much attention paid to detail in Cars Land.
 My husband loved Cars Land.  Now I want you to know that this is saying a lot because he is not a huge fan of theme parks or rides, and he was not a fan of the Cars movie.  Oh yes, he thought the characters were cute, but the story line was a bit weak.
My husband with the town of Radiator Springs in the background.
I know, right, if the electric light wasn't there it seems like you are in Southern Utah!
After you have waited in line for your Fastpass, you might be hungry or thirsty.  You can find yummy treats at the Cozy Cone Motel.  We ordered up a Pair of Dice drink, which was a tasty pear-flavored soda.  Don't you think these orange construction zone cone buildings are the cutest little structures?
Talley, my youngest, drinking a Pair of  Dice drink.
The Cozy Cone at night.
You could also eat at Flo's CafĂ©.  I think they serve more than just snacks.
We were able to visit with Mater and Lightning McQueen.  I don't know how they do it, but the cars move and talk to you.  It is a big event when they come down the street.
I don't know what the name of this firetruck is, but he was cute too.
Aside from the Radiator Springs, there are two other rides in Cars Land:  Mader's Junkyard Jamboree (no pictures) and Luigi's  Flying Tires.  We went on the Luigi's ride, but for my teenagers it was too tame of a ride.  Both of these rides are fun for small fries.
Get your engines ready, we are going on the Radiator Springs Racer Ride!
These poor people did not get a Fastpass.  While we were visiting California Adventure in August, there was always a one to two hour wait if you didn't have a Fastpass, or you didn't want to use the single rider option.
Don't you just love the uniforms of the cast members?
My children in the car.  The cars are so cute and they fit six riders.
A view from the ride going through red rock country.  There is a waterfall you pass by also.
You then go through an area where lots of the cute cars from the movie Cars are moving around and talking to you.  Your car either gets "painted" or your tires are worked on.  At the end there is a FUN race between your car and another car.  This part of the ride is fast moving and somewhat thrilling.  It was so fun!!  This is a car coming in after the race.
With a price of an estimated $200 million spent on building this ride, it is the most expensive amusement park ride ever built. 
Late at night this car was  rockin' it on the street and these fun ladies danced to the "Car Wash" song and "Life is a Highway."
I hope you enjoyed out trip in Cars Land.  It was such a fun part of our trip.  Now remember make sure you grab a Fast Pass for Radiator Springs Racers the first thing you do!
Thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes.
This was just a review of a fun place, just my opinion, not a paid endorsement.

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Watermelon" Sugar Cookies

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes!
Hello to all of you!  I hope you are enjoying your summer!  Like mine, I am sure that your summer is going by soooo quickly.
I made fun watermelon cookies recently.  They were super easy to make.  They looked even cuter when you sliced them in half, but I forgot to take a picture of them sliced in half.
1) Make the No Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe (see recipe below) tinting the dough green for the watermelon rinds.  Cut out cookies in round shape, bake and let cool.
2) Make a batch of Buttercream Frosting(see recipe below)  and tint pink for the watermelon flesh.
3) Frost the green cookies with the pink frosting.
4) Add miniature chocolate chips for the seeds.

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.  Add green tinting and mix well.
Roll to desired thick and cut into rounds. 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 taste 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.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe
 3/4 cup softened butter
4 cups powdered sugar
  1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 tablespoons water ( add more if necessary)

Beat all ingredients with your mixer in a large bowl. Add water slowly and add additional if
needed. Frosting needs to be soft and fluffy.
Instructions and Hints:  Don't overcook the sugar cookies.  I like them a little under baked.  The food coloring usually becomes a little darker with time.

Notes from the home front:

I have been on a blogging hiatus.  I have tried to return several times, but have not been successful.  Hopefully, with this post I will return.  I miss all of you in blogland, like most of you, my life has been on warp speed.  I may do a post on all our summer cavorting.

I boxed the cookies up and gave some of them to some of the Primary children in our LDS Ward.  I am the relatively new Primary President :). 
 Thanks for dropping by Red Couch Recipes!