Sunday, November 17, 2019

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Total:1 hr 15 min          Active:25 min          Yield: 8 to 12 servings
TOPPING
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon molasses
20-ounce can sliced pineapple, drained and juice reserved
20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup pineapple rum
  • Soak raisins and apricots in the rum.
  • In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the brown sugar.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Drain apricots and raisins well.**
  • Arrange the pineapple slices in the skillet.
  • Fill in the spaces with the chopped apricots and golden raisins.
  • Follow by a thin layer of crushed pineapple. Set aside.
CAKE
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 QUALITY flaked coconut
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice (from the cans)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
1 LARGE egg
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
Combine the cake ingredients in this fashion:
  • In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, coconut and salt.
  • In a second bowl, combine the milk, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the granulated sugar and coconut oil on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  • Beat in the egg.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.
  • Add the milk mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Add the rest of the flour and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the batter over the pineapple slices in the skillet and spread evenly.
  • Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted, 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Be sure and check after 20 minutes to make sure the top isn’t getting too brown. If it is, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes.
  • Cover with a large serving plate and invert the cake.
  • ENJOY!
NOTE: YOU CAN NOW USE THE LEFTOVER RUM FOR A COCKTAIL WHILE YOU WAIT!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

CORN FLAKE HOLLY WREATHS

Christmas is right around the corner so I thought I'd share one of my favorite holiday recipes. My great aunt who I only got to see a couple times a year used to make these every year special for me and I would wait out on the front steps for her arrive just to see them and know they were there. She always made them soooooooooo pretty and perfect!  They are delicious and they are a quick, easy, no bake treat and they're so pretty to add to the cookie & candy tray selections.

CORN FLAKE HOLLY WREATHS
(these are better when they are made a few days ahead)
30 large marshmallows (or 3 cups mini marshmallows or 1 jar marshmallow cream)
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon green food color
3 1/2-4 cups cornflakes
Red Hots or sprinkles for decorating
  • Combine marshmallows, butter, vanilla and food color in top of double boiler.
  • Heat and stir frequently until well blended.
  • Gradually stir in cornflakes until well blended.
  • Drop onto wax paper and arrange into wreath shapes. I plop them onto the wax paper and then push out from the center to form the wreaths.
  • Decorate with red hots.
  • Let cool.
  • If your house is warm - chill in refrigerator until set.
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Friday, November 15, 2019

GOOEY CARAMEL TOPPED GINGERSNAPS

Whether you use homemade or store bought these cookies turn out swoon worthy of any holiday goodie platter. They are sooooo simple, but look and taste sooooo decadent.

GOOEY CARAMEL TOPPED GINGERSNAPS
42 gingersnap cookies, (homemade or store bought)
14 ounces KRAFT caramels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup + 1/4 cup finely chopped honey roasted peanuts
12 ounces combination of white and dark chocolate
Sprinkles of choice (I like chocolate for the holidays)
  • Arrange cookies on cooling rack line baking sheet.**
  • In a microwave melt the caramels with the heavy cream, stirring until smooth.
  • Stir in peanuts.
  • Spoon about a teaspoon over each cookie.
  • Refrigerate until set.

  • Alternately melt white and dark chocolates.
  • Coat each cookie halfway with one of the chocolates, return to the rack allowing the excess to drip off.
  • Sprinkle with sprinkles and/or crushed peanuts.
  • Refrigerate until set.
NOTE** Was paper or parchment paper works well also.
GINGERSNAPS
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup CRISCO
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
sugar for rolling
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and ground cloves. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and crisco together until smooth.
  • Add sugar and molasses, blending until smooth.
  • Add flour mixture gradually until well blended.
  • Chill dough for at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Roll dough into small balls
  • Roll balls in sugar and place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8 minutes for soft chewy cookies and 12 minutes for crisp cookies.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

TOMATO CHEDDAR DUMPLINGS

 

TOMATO CHEDDAR DUMPLINGS
SAUCE
2 green onions, minced
1 SMALL stalk celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2-15 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Heat avocado oil in a large skillet.
  • Add onion and celery, sauteing until soft.
  • Add flour, stirring to combine.
  • Add tomatoes and sugar, blending well.
  • Season with salt and pepper, bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
DUMPLINGS
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons COLD butter, diced
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
  • Combine flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
  • Cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.
  • Add cheese.
  • Stir in milk until JUST moist.
  • Drop by tablespoons into simmering tomato sauce.
  • Cover and simmer, undisturbed, 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

BAKED PINEAPPLE ORANGE CHICKEN

 
BAKED PINEAPPLE ORANGE CHICKEN serves 6
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into large bite sized pieces
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 egg whites, beaten until foamy
1 cup FINELY GROUND Panko crumbs
1 cup Wondra flour
1 cup orange pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Buttered rice (I use chicken broth and scallion whites while cooking)
1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line a shallow roasting pan with foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Use 3 shallow prep dishes – 1 for the cornstarch, 1 for the egg whites and 1 for the Panko Wondra combination.
  • Coat chicken pieces 1st in cornstarch, then in egg whites and finally in bread crumb mixture.
  • Place chicken pieces on baking sheet.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • While chicken is baking, prepare sauce.
  • In a medium sauce pan combine, 3/4 cup of the juice, se sugar, liquid aminos, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • In a small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup juice until smooth.
  • Stir into sauce pan and simmer until thickened.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to a large bowl, pour sauce over and GENTLY toss until chicken pieces are well coated.
  • Serve over rice and top with scallions.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

BOOZY CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP

Have you ever heard the funny story about cutting off the back of the ham? Zig Ziglar tells a story about a new bride who would always cut the end off the ham before baking it. Her husband asked why she did it and the wife responded that she did it because her mother always did it so that was the way it was supposed to be.

Well, her husband wasn’t happy with her “the way it’s supposed” to be answer and decided to ask his mother-in-law that same question. Her answer was the same making him more curious than ever.
The husband called his wife’s grandmother to see what her answer was. Grandma told him that she had a small oven and it was the only way the ham would fit inside.

This story always makes me laugh because grandma had an extremely legitimate reason for doing it, but daughter and granddaughter not so much. I personally like to push the boundaries and do not blindly follow without rhyme or reason, but I do stop and ask myself if there is a better way on many things.

Why  did I tell you this story? Because you'll notice a pat of butter in the center of the soup bowl.  I did this out of habit because grams always did.  LOL I do believe it gives it a richer flavor as you eat though, so will keep blindly following...

BOOZY CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
2 tablespoons butter
3 medium carrots with tops**, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1- 26 ounce box POMI finely chopped tomatoes
50 ml bottle QUALITY bourbon (3 1/2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth
Fresh ground Himalayan Pink and Black pepper, to taste
  • Melt butter in large saucepan over medium high heat.
  • Add carrots and onions, sautéing until soft.
  • Add garlic and carrot tops, continuing to saute’, but watching so garlic does NOT burn.
  • Stir in chicken broth, bourbon, brown sugar and tomatoes.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, reduce heat, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  • Stir in half and half, heating through.
  • Garnish with parsley and Parmesan crisps.
NOTE: **You can substitute flat leaf Italian Parsley for the carrot tops.
PARMESAN CRISPS
1/2 cup grated QUALITY Parmesan
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Pour a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan onto a silicone mat** lined baking sheet and lightly pat down.
  • Repeat with the remaining cheese, spacing the spoonfuls about a 1/2 inch apart.
  • Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • Cool.
NOTE: **You can use parchment paper, but I have better success with silicone.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

BALSAMIC CHARRED GARLIC CARROTS

To add a bit of an edgier flavor to carrots I use balsamic vinegar and then char them crisp.  Flavored balsamic vinegars work well also.  Tonight I used a pineapple coconut white balsamic vinegar.
BALSAMIC CHARRED GARLIC CARROTS
2 pounds carrots, sliced on the diagonal or smaller carrots halved lenghtwise
2 cloves garlic, minced or sliced paper thin
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon garlic oil (avocado or olive work well too)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Heat butter and oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add carrots and garlic, stirring to coat well.
  • Cover and simmer 5 minutes until carrots begin to soften.
  • Uncover and continue to simmer until carrots begin to char.
  • Add balsamic vinegar and stir to coat well.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes more until carrots are charred, cooked through and most liquid is absorbed.