Happy Valentine’s Day

Pink and red, roses and chocolate – love is in the air! It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and the ladies of the River Road Recipes committee want to show our love for you by helping you plan the perfect Valentine’s Day party for the littlest loves in your life! While our thoughts typically turn to our significant others on Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday for children, too! Pair our snack ideas with fun activities for the kids, like making “mailboxes” out of shoe boxes to receive home-made Valentine’s Day cards from friends or making heart-shaped crayons. Check out some fun craft ideas here!

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

This non-alcoholic punch is the perfect beverage for a kid-friendly Valentine’s Day party. The ginger ale adds a little sparkle, and the cranberries lend a festive hue for the occasion.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Ingredients

  • 1 large can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger ale
  • Clove-studded lemon slices

Directions

Crush cranberry sauce in can with fork and empty into saucepan. Beat with rotary beater. Add water and beat until sauce is melted. Add sugar and cool. Stir in lemon juice, extract, and 1 cup ginger ale. Just before serving, dilute with remaining 1/2 ginger ale and serve well iced in frosted glasses. Garnish with mint and clove-studded lemon circles. Serves 12 punch cups.

River Road Recipes I, p. 11

CHOCOLATE FUDGE TURTLES

Instead of store-bought candy, try our Chocolate Fudge Turtles from River Road Recipes I! Everyone is guaranteed to enjoy these delectable desserts, and they are made with the most important ingredient of all: love! You can find our easy, step-by-step recipe here!

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Party Mix

To round out the sweetness, add some salt to your Valentine’s Day party snacks with this simple Party Mix. It’s a perennial favorite for children of all ages. Recipe here!

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at River Road Recipes!

Happy Halloween!

We at River Road Recipes think that Fall is one of the best times of the year for family fun. Pumpkin carving, corn mazes, tailgates, trick-or-treating – we just can’t get enough! This year, instead of buying store bought candy for Halloween, start a new family tradition and make your own candy with River Road Recipes! Each one of our cookbooks has some great and unique options, from toffee, to pralines, to taffy and fudge, there is something for everyone. Not only will your house be the new “it” spot for Trick-or-Treating, you’ll make fun family memories, too.

You can package your candy in cute mason jars, like these delicious Sugar and Spice Pecans fro RRR IV! Photo by Jessica McVea.

You can package your candy in cute mason jars, like these delicious Sugar and Spice Pecans fro RRR IV! Photo by Jessica McVea.

Some great and easy options include Fool’s Toffee, Sugar and Spice Pecans, Chocolate Fudge Turtles, or our Old Fashioned Pecan Pralines. If you’re hosting a Halloween Party, our Caramel Apple Dip and Party Mix make great snacks that kids of all ages will enjoy.

Caramel Apple Dip makes a great, Fall-feeling appetizer for any party. Photo by Aimee Broussard.

Caramel Apple Dip makes a great, Fall-feeling appetizer for any party. Photo by Aimee Broussard.

Be sure to share your finished product with us by submitting photos here or tagging them #RiverRoadRecipes on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Happy Halloween from all of us at River Road Recipes!

Chocolate Fudge Turtles

This decadent dessert is found in River Road Recipes I on page 212. While fairly easy to make, this recipe is considered of medium difficulty due to the time involved. The majority of the ingredients, including the evaporated milk and the marshmallow creme, can be found on the baking aisle of your grocery store. To store your Chocolate Fudge Turtles, layer them between sheets of parchment paper to ensure they do not stick together.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes, plus at least 6 hours of refrigeration time

Level of Difficulty: Medium

Servings: 5 pounds of chocolate turtles

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Mixing bowl
  • Food processor or chopping knife and cutting board
  • Large pot
  • 9×13″ cake pan
  • Butter knife

INGREDIENTS:

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • One 8-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3 packages chocolate chips
  • 5 ounces marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 pound chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Using a chopping knife and a cutting board, roughly chop one cup of pecans or use a food processor. Using extra butter, grease the 9×13″ cake pan.
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

2.  Stir the sugar and evaporated milk together in a large pot. Bring the mixture to boil and boil gently for 9 minutes – make sure to watch carefully to ensure it does not boil over as the mixture becomes somewhat frothy. Stir occasionally.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

3.  Remove the mixture from the heat and add the chocolate chips, butter, marshmallow creme, and vanilla extract. Stir until well blended and until the chocolate bits are melted.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

4.  Add the nuts to the mixture and combine.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

5.  Pour the mixture into the buttered cake pan, using the spatula to scrape out the inside of the pot. Be sure to run water in your pot immediately after transferring the mixture to make for easier clean up!

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

6.  Refrigerate the mixture for at least 6 hours. After the mixture is cold all the way through, use the butter knife to cut into small squares for serving.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.