Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

My husband was just saying that the official first day of summer is just a month away.  Boy, howdy, I am so looking forward to it!  I'm counting the days, and so looking forward to having my beloved summer break.  I'll have five weeks to enjoy my "practice retirement" without an alarm clock. Essentially, I can do anything I want, and that's exactly what I hope to do.  I have so many recipes to make, and dozens more that I've photographed and simply not had time to edit and upload to share on my blog.  My blog... oh, how I miss not having the time to give it the overdue attention that it deserves.  I hope that many of my internet friends, subscribers and followers haven't entirely given up on me!



I am still very passionate about cooking and baking. My husband says he rarely gets the same thing twice, and he so appreciates all the different recipes I continue to make. My son has moved back from Texas (insert happy mom face, here) -- and while he doesn't live with us any longer, he still comes to visit and eat mom's home cooking. My heart is full, and they are the main reason that I am always trying out new recipes. It's my love language, for sure.

It's no secret that I have a wicked sweet tooth, as does my husband and son.  My husband is a pie lover. Me? Cake. Definitely cake One of my very favorite classic cakes is a homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  I don't make it very often, but when I do-- I love the way the pineapple slices become caramelized from the brown sugar and butter mixture.  Maraschino cherries are another guilty pleasure. They're just a pretty color, and have a slight flavor of almond (another one of my favorite flavors.)  Red Dye 40 doesn't scare me, because I don't eat these every single day.  Besides, let's face it-- cake isn't a health food. It's just a sugary dessert that makes my taste buds very happy.


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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Galette

I love the challenge of trying to figure out a way repurpose leftover ingredients.  It's an added bonus when that recipe, leads to creating another recipe that turns out to be even better than you had hoped. That's exactly how this dessert recipe came to be.

I had a container of fresh ricotta and I didn't want it to go to waste. So, I made a batch of  Meyer-Lemon Ricotta pancakes for Sunday breakfast.  Instead of making Lemon Curd I decided to make fresh blueberry sauce.

We love pancakes and candied bacon for breakfast.  I had enough leftover blueberry sauce to fill a pint-size canning jar. I tucked it into the refrigerator, figuring it would be fine for next weeks pancakes or waffles.

We were having guests for dinner, and I always like to bake a dessert to serve.  I thought of the blueberry sauce... how could I use this?  Could I make a pressure cooker cheesecake, and top it with this sauce  Oooh, that would be good!  Then, it hit me. Why not combine the pie idea with the cheesecake? Yes! That's exactly what I'll do!

Galettes are one of my favorite sweet or savory baked recipes to make.  They're rustic pies, and you don't have to worry about making a fancy looking pie crust (though I do find that fun to do) So, I made an all-butter pie crust, layered a sweetened cream cheese mixture...

...then I covered the cream cheese filling with that luscious blueberry sauce.


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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

 

My work day begins at 7:00am. Yawn.  That means that I drag myself out of bed in the early hours of the morning-- and I'm not much of a morning person.  I don't wake up grumpy, but I'm not very talkative until I've showered, dressed, styled my hair and put on my makeup. I leave myself just enough time to assemble my lunch tote, fill my travel coffee mug and slather my toast with peanut butter and homemade jam.  Then I hit the road at 6:15am for my commute to my job.


Four hours later, my stomach is growling and I need a power snack.  Bananas are my favorite on-the-go way to appease my now empty stomach.  I can only buy them a few at a time, because once my bananas cross over that just-ripe stage, and the sugar spots start to show up-- I'm out.  I usually toss them into my freezer to make healthy smoothies.  On the weekends, that is. I never have enough time to make them on work mornings, per my first paragraph of this post.

I don't know when I suddenly decided that I didn't like banana bread.  It doesn't make sense, because I used to make a really good banana bread muffin recipe man years ago (and posted here).  NOTE: I should make those again, and update with newer pictures. Maybe I've just had dry and tasteless banana bread that left a bad food memory.   Whatever it is, this recipe changed my way of thinking.



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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Creamy, Cheesy "Funeral Potatoes"

 
Funeral potatoes...wait, what? What kind of  name is that for something to eat?! This cheesy potato casserole originated as a side dish, commonly served at after-funeral potlucks, by the Mormons-- and that's how this recipe got its name. Traditionally, it's made with hash brown or cubed potatoes, with canned cream soup, cheese and sour cream. This recipe is one that doesn't use canned cream soup, and you'd be surprised how easy it is to make your own. 
 
The first time someone made this dish, it was love at first bite.  It's no secret that potatoes are my carb addiction (next to home baked bread).  I made this side dish, on Easter Sunday,  to serve with an Atlanta Brisket and with Texas Roadhouse Rolls.  Everyone had seconds (and some had thirds, though I shall not name them to keep their dignity intact). 

Over the years, my food shopping has evolved into skipping the  canned soups section (with the exception of low-sodium chicken or beef broth)-- and that includes onion soup mix.


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