Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ever

My Dearheart loves pineapple upside down cake and has requested it for the past 4 years on his birthday. I finally found a recipe found here on the Joy of Baking.com that was the best ever and so delicious. I made the topping as shown after watching the video clip on the web site, but changed the cake batter recipe a little:
I used all whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
I used 3/4 cup sugar instead of 1 cup and it was plenty sweet!
I added 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
Dearheart especially requested coconut and nuts (his favorite are pecans) to be included on the topping, so after pouring the caramelized mixture into the pan and placing the pineapple pieces covering the pan, I sprinkled coconut and pecans and sliced almonds, generously covering the pineapple – then poured the batter on top of that and baked at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
It was delicious – a keeper! Next time I will use fresh pineapple.
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Rainy Day Pizza

What could be better than pizza baking on a rainy day when you don’t want to leave the comfort of home?!

(Of course, I am talking about homemade pizza)
Step 1 – Make the pizza dough
(makes 2 pizzas)
Mix 2 1/2 cups flour
1 T yeast
pinch of salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 T. olive oil
1 cup warm water
knead 30 seconds
let set while preparing toppings
Chop desired toppings – mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions (include onion tops), brocolli, zucchini, etc. Organize pepperoni, bacon, ham, pineapple or any favorite toppings. Grate tillamook cheese – sharp is tastiest, but any kind of cheese is delicious. Use desired amount.
 Roll dough into a circle and use hands to stretch and spread dough to cover a pizza pan that has been sprayed with pam. Pour and spread about 2 oz. tomato sauce over prepared dough.
 Arrange toppings on dough. (Don’t forget chopped garlic)
Sprinkle with tillamook cheese and mozarella cheese as desired.
Bake in preheated 425 oven for 15 minutes.
Remove carefully from pan and slide right onto oven rack to bake another 5 minutes for a crispier crust
(Best if baked one pizza at a time)
Of course can be baked on a pizza stone or terracotta stone, but this is for the average kitchen.

Kugelis: Luthuanian Potato Pudding

I found this delicious recipe in the GRIT Magazine – November 2010

Click on the word “Grit” for a link to the recipe

I served this for dinne with a veggie side and homemade salsa, but it would be a great served for breakfast with fruit. It is a “comfort” food that is easy and fast to throw together (especially because Dearheart peeled the potatoes for me) The ingredients are shredded potatoes, milk, eggs, onions and bacon and spiced with salt and pepper. Typically, this recipe is baked and then sliced and fried and is suggested to be served with sour cream.

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

Chop and saute in 1/4 cup butter:

1/2 cup mushrooms

1 cup celery

1 cup onion

1 cup carrots

2 cups potatoes

Add 2 quarts very hot water and clam juice from the canned clam

Simmer for about 20 minutes

Mix 1/4 cup  flour in with 1 can of canned milk and 1 T vinegar

Add to simmering veggies

Add drained clams (one can is enough)

Can add bacon bits if desired

Season with salt and pepper

 A year ago we were in Oceanside, California and had a delicious bowl of clam chowder. This is a recipe I created from several other recipes, and Dearheart seemed to think it was just as tasty as our chowder on the bay. A very hearty recipe for chilly days!

Yummy Baked Pollo Fundido

I searched many recipes as I wanted to create a Mexican dish I had not tried before. Even though I was raised by a father who spent his young years in Mexico and prided himself in popping a whole jalapeno in his mouth and a mother who raised me on beans and enchiladas, I had never heard of “pollo fundido”, which I discovered translates literally to “chicken melt,” and is a flour tortilla filled with shredded or cubed chicken and topped with a melted cheese and spicy cream cheese sauce.  I created my own version which is a recipe perfect for a special meal – such as VALENTINES DAY!

My Sweet Valentine helped me prepare this by chopping all the veggies
and rolling the burritos as he is wonderful with details (such as finely chopped and neatly rolled).

POLLO FUNDIDO
(Fills about 18 to 20 medium flour tortillas – I used the unbaked tortillas from Costco after I baked them in the electric fry pan)

Ingredients for meat filling:
1 onion chopped
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic diced
1 or 2  jalapeno diced
(be sure to wash hands well and don’t rub your eyes)
(saute the above 5 ingredients  in butter or oil)
Stir in seasonings to taste:
salt, pepper, 1 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. chili powder
add:
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken or other meat
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Stir and remove from heat – let sit while preparing sauce

Sauce
Place in blender:
2 cups sour cream
1 cup half and half
8 oz. pk. softened cream cheese
1 chopped garlic clove
4 oz. can of diced jalapeno or 1 jalapeno chopped
1 cup grated cheese
I blister the jalapeno first by heating in the electric fry pan at the same time I cook unbaked flour tortillas –
then I chop and include seeds, but throw away the stem – can peel the skin after blistered. (mine are small garden variety and don’t need peeling)
The jalapeno will make popping noise as it blisters and cooks the skin.

Blend all sauce ingredients until smooth

Directions

1.  Add about 1 cup sauce to chicken mixture – stir
2.  Place about 3 Tablespoons chicken mixture on tortilla
3.  roll up like a burrito
4.  place on greased cookie sheet
5.  Bake in preheated oven at 425 for about 12 minutes till a little crunchy
6.  Remove from oven – Turn oven down to 325
7.  Pour sauce over tops of all burritos
8.  Top with grated cheese
9.  Put immediately back in oven (do not need to wait for temperature to drop)
10.  Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes
Can stay warm in oven until time to eat

 

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Oh my goodness! This is such a delicious recipe to be found at The Pioneer Woman.  The photographs on her web page are wonderful directions. I made 3 changes: 1. I used milk instead of cream because, typical of me – I forgot to buy the cream; 2. I used apple juice instead of wine; 3. I would have used even more cayenne, except my Dearheart prefers spicy foods to be a little less. However, he has come a long way in our 42 years together and tolerates jalapeno and cayenne within reason. (his reason). Also, I love using the whole wheat pasta found at Costco for the nutrient value (and because my doctor says it’s best I don’t use regular pasta – hmmmm).

Yummiest Sandwich Buns Ever

These yummy sandwich/hamburger/hot dog buns are so Easy!
Original recipe at allrecpes.com – My version found below

Heat 1 cup milk plus 1/2 cup water in microwave 1 and 1/2 minute
Add 1/4 cup butter or oil and let sit

Put in mixing bowl and stir together
2 cups whole wheat flour
   2 Tablespoons sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon yeast

Add warm (but not hot) milk mixture to flour mixture
gently mix
add 1 slightly beaten egg
2 tsp. lemon juice (optional)

Can mix in kitchen aid while adding
2 and 1/2 cups white flour (1/2 cup at a time)
knead 8 minutes in kitchen aid or other bread machine or by hand

Let set a few minutes or up to an hour
Form into 12 sections or balls
flatten and fold over – press edges together
let rise 30 to 45 minutes

Bake at 400 for 12 minutes
Yummy and easy – no fail!! Stays fresh for 3 days if they last that long.
  Why buy buns when they are so wonderful homemade?! 

South African Chakalaka

When my son, who is a LDS missionary in South Africa, wrote that they eat “chakalaka” a lot, I was intrigued with the name
and found a delightful  recipe that I used in preparing this yummy, flavorful soup.

I prepared the baked beans as the Pioneer Woman recommended, except I simmered on the stove top
as I was baking homemade buns to eat with the soup.

I followed the recipe, but used 2 cups of freshly ground whole wheat as part of the flour plus 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice.

This recipe is easy and so flavorful – much better tasting,
more nutritious and less expensive than store-bought.
They can really be formed into any desired shape.
I let my kitchen aid knead the dough.
My daughter doubles this recipe with great success
using ingredients exactly as given.
Thank you Hannelora  for introducing me to this  yummy recipe!

Garden Chili Sauce

This incredibly delicious chili sauce is my own creation from a garden overflowing with chilies and tomatoes of all varieties. I looked up several recipes online, but combined ideas to create my own, which turned out to be so tasty, leaving a flavorful aftertaste.

Garden Chili Sauce

(All ingredients are approximate)
One blender loosely filled with a variety of chilies seeded, but not peeled
(included 2 small garden jalapeno with seeds left in)
add 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth.

Saute 1/2 of large white onion or 1 small onion plus 2 cloves garlic in 2 T olive oil.
Add blended chilies plus 2 cups water and simmer for 30 minutes.

While chilies are simmering, blend unpeeled tomatoes with 1/2 cup water till smooth.

Add tomato puree to chili sauce
Season with a little cummin, garlic powder, and oregano
Sprinkle a good amount of paprika – makes the sauce look pretty
Sprinkle a dash of nutmeg

Simmer about 30 minutes or so for full flavor

Dip tortilla in sauce, spoon a little extra sauce on top, sprinkle with Tillamook cheese
microwave about 45 seconds

Enjoy a yummy meal embellished with freshly cooked beans, salad, etc.

Yummy French Baguette with Roasted Portobella Mushroom Topping

Easy French Baguette

My personal tips for this recipe:
Used half white wheat whole wheat flour and half unbleached white flour
Combined flour with yeast mixture (do not add salt yet)
knead 7 minutes in kitchen aid
let set 15 minutes
sprinkled  salt over dough and knead again a minute – let rise
After formed and risen, brushed top with egg white (no yolk)
After placing bread in oven to bake, pour 1 cup water into preheated boiler pan
(steam forms – immediately shut oven)
NOTE: THERE IS NO OIL OR EGG IN THIS RECIPE

Delicious recipe for Roasted Portobello Mushroom topping found here