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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I used to make this cake a ton when I was in my 20" first husband absolutely loved pineapple anything, this cake, pineapple pie, fresh pineapple, anything with it in it, but after he passed away for some reason I kind of quit making it.  My sister, Yvonne, made a big one last Sunday and posted it on Facebook and it brought back to me how yummy it was, especially loaded with topping of some type..fresh whipped cream is the best, but I also like Cool Whip on this cake and that's what we will be using tonight since I don't have whipping cream in the house and am not in the mood to go to the store today.  I happened to have a can of pineapple rings and maraschino cherries in the cupboard..luck was on my side.  This is the recipe I used to use and since it's tried and true (I used to double it for a 9 x 11 pan) I made it (in an 8 x 8) since it's just me and Dave this weekend.  It's from an old edition of the Better Homes and Garden's cookbook..I think my first cookbook..about 1970-1971. 


1 (8-1/2) ounce can sliced pineapple (rings)
3 Tablespoons butter softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
maraschino cherries
1/3 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Drain pineapple, reserving syrup.  Melt butter in an 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking pan.  (I just set the baking pan on a stovetop burner to melt the butter, don't scorch it though)  Add brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon of the pineapple syrup.  Add water if needed to the rest of the syrup so it equals  1/2 cup of syrup.  Arrange pineapple in the bottom of the pan.  Place a cherry inside rings or spaces.  set aside.

Cream together shortening and sugar until light and well mixed.  Add egg and vanilla.  Beat till fluffy.  Sift together dry ingredients; add alternately with the 1/2 cup reserved pineapple syrup, beating after each addition until smooth.  drop globs on top of base you set aside and smooth out so completely covering pineapple base.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes ; invert on plate.  Serve warm. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Carrot Pickle Relish

I ran out of my pickle relish that I use on hotdogs, hamburgers and cold noodle salads about a month or so ago and I have been lost, so I decided I'd better make some before the winter snows start falling and I don't have any for another year.  I'd be lost without it..I use it a lot and my son, especially, loves it on hotdogs.  A few years ago I had him over, as a matter of fact, to help me grind all the vegetables with old fashioned hand grinder, so he went and bought me an electric one..guess he wanted the relish, but wasn't fond of grinding vegetables?  Anyway, I finally used it today and it seems to be's a little finer of a grind then with the hand one though, so we'll see what I think of the final product.  Right now the mix is sitting under canning salt for 2 hours, and then it's finish it out with the brine and seal it up in hot jars.  It's really not a hard recipe, just kind of takes up your day.  Here's the recipe..

CARROT PICKLE RELISH: (use your largest size grinder fitting)
6 cups of ground up, fresh from the garden, washed and ends removed, medium (not large-you don't want big seeds in your relish-gross) cucumbers. 

3 cups of peeled fresh carrots ground

3 cups of yellow onions, ground

3 green peppers, washed, seeds and membranes removed, ground

Mix all veggies together in a large bowl, sprinkle top with canning salt.  Let stand 2 hours (covered with plastic wrap, then drain thoroughly.  (I used a colander and push on it to get all the water out in smaller batches. 

Boil together until dissolved for 5 minutes:
4 cups sugar
4 cups white vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon turmeric

Add drained cucumber mixture and cook 1/2 hour on low simmer.  seal in hot jars (I put washed and rinsed 1/2 pint jars in a canner of hot water and pull them out as I fill them so they are really hot, then apply a warm lid and ring and twist tightly, put on a flat bath towel and don't disturb them until they have sealed.  (the lid should have sucked in and made a popping sound..can take a little while). 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Applesauce Bars with Caramel Frosting

My daughter, Kim, has a PowerPoint presentation tomorrow for one of her finals at school.  The subject has something to do with Washington and she wanted to bring something to share made with the state fruit, apples (I am assuming to push her grade to the best she could get by feeding the teachers and classroom) LOL.  I am home today and she was both going to school and working today, so I volunteered to bake something and thought up applesauce bars.  She said she doesn't remember ever having them before, but I'm sure at some point I made them.  The one I used to make just had a glaze on top and usually had raisins in them, which I like a lot, but a lot of  younger generations are not into raisins anymore so I left them out of this recipe altogether.  A lot don't care for nuts either, so I just trimmed the edges for decoration mainly and in case some people liked them on the bars..they can eat the edge pieces.  Here is the recipe.  It's supposed to make an 8 x 8 pan, but I doubled it and that's how I have written it.  Mine is in a bar pan..probably would work in an 8 x 13 pan also if you wanted thicker, more like cake consistency..

Turn oven to 350 degrees.

in a larger bowl cream together:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs

then add:
2 cups applesauce
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
(optional: 1-1/2 cups raisins)

beat with a mixer until smooth and put in your Pam sprayed pan.  Bake 20 minutes or until center is done.  Allow to cool.

Caramel Frosting:
4 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar (confectioners)
1 teaspoon vanilla
melt butter in a larger saucepan on lower heat so it doesn't burn (so you can add sugar later and not dirty another bowl), add milk and brown sugar.  increase heat to medium.  when mixture starts to boil, continue cooking for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, cool slightly and beat in powdered sugar and vanilla.  can add additional milk 1/2 Tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.  I didn't have to add any.  spread over cooled bars, slice and eat.

Monday, August 17, 2015

My adaptation of The Enchanted Garden Tote Bag

I decided to add another crochet project to my already pile of unfinished projects.  It's called The Enchanted Garden Tote bag, but I am going to adapt it along the way.  I am making the front panel the same, but you are supposed to make two, one for the front and one for the back, and I really don't care for that,  plus you are supposed to make granny squares for the sides of the tote and I don't really like that either, so I am going to make panel with variegated matching yarn for the sides and bottom and either a black or yellow back panel and line it with cloth with pockets etc in it.  you are supposed to use a mesh tote bag to sew it to, but I am going to make basically my own bag to attach it to.  Anyway, tonight  realized I wasn't going to have quite enough cream yarn to finish it, so I had to order more.  It's the only yarn that I bought online and they don't sell it in our stores in the U.S..of course!  I might have enough for another row and then I switch again to yellow, so I can maybe do a few more rows.  eeekkk!  Right when I was on a roll too!  Oh well, such is life..
This all that is left..see the picture alongside it!

panel is finished!  am thinking it would be a really pretty pillow?  We'll decide soon...

Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Scones

My niece, Jacqui, had a friend at work who wanted to make scones so asked me about these (I had made them for my sister, Karen, and her when they were up a few years ago to visit the Minnesota family and they liked them a lot. I had also made them for work years ago and they had the same reaction, so I decided to post the recipe on here in case I lost it and wanted to make them again for something..I have so many papers all over the place that I could very well see that happening!  Here goes..they are really quite simple if you follow the directions carefully.  If using frozen berries just make sure you have them thawed and drained on paper towels before starting..the cold butter is important to keep them light and flaky.  I use a pasty blender when mixing it together..

Here is the link:


Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

I Just finished a big pan of dark chocolate coconut Granola bars. I like to have some at work and they are so darn expensive and some of them are not that good or filling anyway, so thought I'd try making this recipe that looked good. They are really tasty-snuck a little corner to taste- and don't have any sugar or corn syrup etc in them..I think they are gluten free too..maybe people who have to avoid gluten could tell me if that's the case or not.  Once the chocolate is set up you just cut them into about 1 x 3 inch pieces and I guess it makes about 26 bars.  Looking forward to my mid morning or mid afternoon snack coming up!  Here is the link to the recipe if you are interested in trying them..they'd be great for school lunches or after school snack. I found most the ingredients at Walmart to make them except the vanilla bean paste, so I just substituted 2 tsps. of vanilla..Here is the link to the recipe if you'd like to try them.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Perfect Day for Making Tuna Salad

I have hardly made any cold pasta salads this summer for a reason I do not know..I love pasta salads (that may be the reason..I can't stop eating them and don't need to keep shoving pasta salad into my body).  Anyway, it' been in the high 90s the last few days and I thought to myself, "you know, a tuna pasta salad would be good this weekend to have around ready to pull out when we want to eat hamburgers or hotdogs or something and I don't want to cook because it's in the high 90s"..I have a tendency to talk to myself a lot these days and I enjoy my own conversations.  Thus, I threw together the tuna salad just now.  I did make it one other time this summer, and Joe, my son, complained that tuna salad should have rings in it as I had used shell noodles, so I had picked up a box just to make him happy the next time I made it.  I was out of my sweet pickle relish (making that next weekend) so I substituted some baby sweet pickles like my mom used to use in her cold salads.  It's pretty good that way..had forgotten about using them even and luckily I had part of a jar of some in the fridge from a feed with the kids.  Here's how I made it.


Cook one half of a  16 ounce box of large pasta rings-I used Creamettes, according to directions on the box.  I add a handful of frozen baby peas into the boiling water too to save a kettle..drain and rinse with cold water. 

Meantime into a medium to larger bowl or sealable container:
chop 3 tiny sweet pickles and some of the pickle juice from the jar-about 3 Tablespoons
1 cup Miracle whip-can add a little more if it doesn't seem moist enough to you.
1/8 cup Western dressing
a small amount of finely chopped yellow onion, or a few green onions diced finely
1 can of your favorite style of tuna, drained well and rinsed.
small amount of salt and pepper
a large handful of shredded cheddar cheese (I use mild for this)

add cooked noodles and stir until mixed well.  sprinkle paprika on the top and refrigerate until cool and flavors have had a chance to meld together.  I actually think it tastes better the second day, so good item for a potluck that you can make ahead to bring..

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Burrito Bowls!

I had seen a post on Facebook with this recipe and printed it off a few days ago to make this week.  It looked like a good work night supper, fast, not expensive and leftovers possibly for work.  Of course I had to change it up a little, so sharing it with my adaptations.  The recipe was pretty vague about sizes of ingredients so it appears you can alter those to your taste.  We liked them, although both Joe and I added some chopped green chilies to ours because it fell a little flat for us without them..Dave liked his more mellow..


Brown 1 lb of hamburger with salt and pepper-next time I would add a litte chopped onion to this. Drain well. 

add 1 package of your favorite taco seasoning or an amount to your taste. 

add one can of refried beans (I used authentic flavor)

add 1 small can of tomato sauce.  Blend all well. 

I bought the little tortillas that are formed like boats..they were on sale and the package of 8 was perfect and they were easy to work with for this recipe.  Divide the meat mix evenly in the 8 shells on a sheet pan. Top with a small package, about 6 ounces, of Mexican cheese blend, shredded, divided evenly between the 8 pieces.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  In the meantime I shredded some lettuce, chopped some tomatoes, although salsa would be good too, black or green olives, chopped onions, sour cream, taco sauce and whatever else you enjoy on your burritos for sides.  (I used a small can of green chilies also) and let people add their favorites.  I also served it with some nacho cheese Doritos that I actually crushed up on top of my serving and added some Western dressing.  I know..sounds weird, but it's actually how I make my taco salad and we love that.  Glad I tried these..

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Korean BBQ Burrito Bowl

I tried this new recipe today and it's a 5 star recipe, so sharing it.  It's packed with flavor and has a little heat to it, but not the super spicy overwhelming flavors I can't handle.  My grown son, Joe ate two hearty bowls of it and took another one for his lunch at work tomorrow.  It has a lot of steps, but none are hard and you cook the pork in the slow cooker.  It's super moist and tender/tasty.  I would even cook a pork roast alone with American sides because it's not distinctively Asian, just good.  I am not sure if this link will work for you, but if not just do a search for Korean BBQ Burrito Bowl by fabtastic and you will find it.  It does make a lot of servings and I had pork left that I am using for BBQ pork sandwiches tomorrow..

Alana Needs a New T-Shirt Quick

Alana is going to a "teeny" rage concert tonight for someone I have never heard anything about..anyway, when a girl her age goes to a concert, guess what? they need a T-shirt.  Since it was just decided she could go, and the concert is tonight, plus the shirts are only available online and cost at a base price of $15 plus shipping, Kim picked up a T-shirt at Walmart last night for $3 and her and I made transfers for it today on my day off for a few hours.  It turned out really cute (per Alana and her mom) and can't wait to see her in it.  I guess this person is a "comedian" style performer, but sings?  It sounds like it's in the early teen fan club spotlight.  I am getting sooo old, I think I will pass on even trying to figure this one will most likely be old news really soon anyway and why stress my brain..LOL.

 Here is the front and back of our creation..(guess this is something the performer says on a regular basis..again ???

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Getting Back to Work on Sophie (hopefully)

I had been stuck for a long while on my crochet project on row 65.  For some reason I just couldn't wrap the directions or the tutorial around my head and it wanted to throw it in the garbage, but being that I am a miser on some things, I just couldn't see wasting all the time and money I have put into it so it kept sitting in my office staring at me and daring me to get back to work on it.  Today, since I have other projects (in fact a million projects) that need to get done and all these unfinished projects are playing with my mind and making me anxious, I decided to try again to figure it out ad move past this stalemate.  I did it!  I could finally see what my issue was, and luckily it was something I could just fudge over and it went just fine from that point on.  I actually finished that row and did another one!  I am so proud of myself!  Only 48 rows left to do now..(only??) but at least my hopes are up that I will indeed someday finish it now!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dave's Hankies on the Line

I've been in a "hanging out the clothes" mood this summer for some reason..maybe it's a blast from my past, or because I just love the smell and freshness of the clothes, but I I was hanging up Dave's handkerchiefs and thought they looked kind of cute..some are new and bright, some old and shabby..sort of like us..(he's the old and shabby obviously..LOL, but don't tell him I said that..anyway, here's my "cute" shot of them on the least to to move on to the white's..need to figure out where to hang them..LOL