Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Light and Fruity Pineapple Cake

This recipe is a perfect summer-y recipe for a BBQ or other get together.  It is cool, light, sweet and super easy to make.  The topping lightens up the pineapple quite a bit, so if you aren't a big pineapple fan, you may still love this one. Be aware that it is a two day process-you'll need to let the cake sit overnight with the pineapple on it. 

Pineapple Sheet Cake
from my friend Kay

1 yellow cake mix (plus all the ingredients listed on the box needed to make it)
2 cans crushed pineapple (20 oz. each)
1 large package instant vanilla pudding 
1 1/2 c. milk
12 oz. carton of cool whip

In a large bowl, stir together mix the yellow cake mix according to the package directions.  In a large cookie sheet or 10X13 baking dish, bake the cake mix.  I used the 9X13 pan time, plus a few minutes.  Keep an eye on it as it cooks so that you don't over cook it.  When the cake is done, let it cool a little and then poke it with a fork all over.  Spread the 2 cans of pineapple over the top.  Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.  The next day, in a large bowl, mix the pudding mix and milk and stir it well.  Don't let it set up.  Stir in the cool whip.   Spread it evenly on top of the pineapple and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ruby Red Grapefruit Cupcakes

My good friend from work introduced me to these amazing cupcakes and I couldn't wait to try them myself.  They are absolutely delicious!  I love their light peach color, their fresh and fragrant taste, and the frosting is a dream in and of itself.  I would have never thought of using grapefruit in cupcakes but it's the perfect balance of sweetness with a subtle fruity twist.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Cupcakes
Thanks Martha Stewart


1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ruby red grapefruit zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons ruby red grapefruit juice
1 drop red food coloring (optional)
1/2 cup milk


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
2.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
3.  Cream together butter and sugar. Add zest, juice, and food coloring and stir until smooth.
4.  Add eggs and continue to beat until well combined.
5.  Add flour mixture and milk alternately, stirring to mix.
6.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Do not overfill or the cupcake tops will spread too far before rising.
7.  Cool completely and frost with Ruby Red Grapefruit Frosting.


4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons ruby red grapefruit juice
1 Tablespoon ruby red grapefruit zest
4 cups powdered sugar


1.  Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Add juice and zest and beat again.
2.  Add powdered sugar, a cup at a time, and beat after each addition until of a spreadable consistency.

Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins

My favorite thing to bake with right now is blueberries, I'm putting them in everything.  I wanted to make blueberry muffins the other morning for breakfast but I wanted something a little more healthy, not so much a dessert, although we all know there is a time for that.  We really liked these, warm or cold.  They were moist and sweet and I felt good after eating them, rather than feeling like I needed to go work off the sugar and butter that makes regular blueberry muffins so irresistible.  I love blueberries for breakfast.

Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins
Adapted from Joythebaker.com


1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil and egg.  Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist.  Fold in blueberries.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crockpot Stuffed Squash

I love squash! I love it so much and Matt hates it so much. My goal is to make him like squash too so that we can eat it more often, and I succeeded with this one! He loved it, as did I. It's a yummy mix between baked squash and pecan pie. It's not too sweet, and the nuts add a yummy texture. It's a good thing I found a good squash recipe because our squash is doing this

(at the expense of many of our other vegetables). It was literally crawling across the grass. So lucky for the squash plant that I love this recipe, other wise I'd have chopped it down already.

Crockpot Stuffed Squash
(Adapted from About.com)


2 acorn squash or 1 butternut squash

1/3 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons orange juice or apple juice


Cut squash in half; scoop out seeds and membranes then place, cut side up, in slow cooker. Combine crumbs, nuts, butter, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange juice. Spoon mixture evenly into center of the squash halves.

Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours, until squash is tender.

Sweet Potato Fries

If I could give you one recipe, and one recipe only, it would probably be this one. I. love. these. fries. I could eat them every day (not just every week like I pretty much do now). They are delicious, sweet with a little spicy, and highly addictive. When I make these, I usually eat them with a salad so that I can have as many of them as I want, guilt-free. The original recipe gave suggestions of different spices to try and I chose this combination. I could not believe how much I loved them.

Sweet Potato Fries
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)
2 large sweet potatoes
3 tbsp. olive or other vegetable oil
3-4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
Or if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, like me, use (I’m not exact with these):
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 Preheat oven to 450°F. (For more crispiness, preheat your oven to 500°F.)
2 Peel the sweet potatoes and cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then, if they are very long, in half crosswise. Cut each piece into wedges. Alternately, you can slice the peeled sweet potato into disks either with a mandoline or a sharp knife.
3 Put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the oil. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and spices. Mix well so all pieces are coated with oil and spices.

4 Lay a wire cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. (This helps the fries cook evenly so there’s no need to flip half way through baking. It also helps the extra oil drip off so they’re not too greasy.)Spread the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on the cooling rack.
5 Bake for a total of 20-25 minutes, or until they are well browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hawaiian Waffles with Pineapple and Coconut and Coconut Syrup

Why is it if I make a new recipe, we always end up eating on princess dishes?  I made this waffle recipe tonight and I'm not going to lie to you, it wasn't our favorite.  It was a pretty normal waffle, even with the added ingredients and it was also slightly flimsy.  We like ours a little more fluffy and firm.  The flavor was fine though.  I probably wouldn't have put it on here except for the recipe for the coconut syrup on top was so wonderful!  I thought it would have been amazing on pancakes, french toast, ice cream, drinking it from a cup (kidding. mostly.).  I made a few changes in the waffle recipe, which should help some of the issues we had, so please don't let my negativity scare you off.  And if nothing else, make the coconut syrup!  You will definitely not regret it.

Hawaiian Waffles with Pineapple and Coconut
adapted from allrecipes.com

1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
3/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. coconut milk
3/4 c. chopped fresh pineapple (I used canned)
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 egg whites, beaten (somehow I missed that beating part until right as I'm typing this.  That may have helped the flimsiness)

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, combine the egg yolk, sour cream, coconut milk, pineapple and melted butter and mix it well.  If you don't want chunks of pineapple in your waffles, you may want to consider pureeing it before you add it in.  My kids were disgusted by the chunks.  I thought they added a fruity kick.  Add your flour mixture to the wet mixture and mixture it well (ha ha).  Gently fold in the egg whites.  Cook on your waffle iron like you always do.

Now for the really good stuff:

Coconut Syrup
from allrecipes.com

1 can coconut milk
1 c. shredded coconut
3/4 c. brown sugar

In a heavy saucepan, combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a blender and puree' it until it is smooth.  Serve it immediately.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moroccan Tagine

I tried this recipe the other night when I needed to use up my butternut squash and wanted to try something different than just baked squash. I found this fun gem and really loved it. (Matt even liked it too, even with his disdain for squash. It may have helped that I didn't tell him there was squash in it until he ate it...)

Moroccan Tagine

Adapted from allrecipes.com

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks

1/2 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped

1 (15.5 ounce) can garbanzo or northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 carrot or celery, peeled and chopped

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

1 (14 ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 dash cayenne pepper

1 tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 dash of curry powder (if desired)


1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken, onion, and garlic about 15 minutes, until browned.

2. Mix the squash, beans, carrots or celery, tomatoes with juice, broth, sugar, and lemon juice into the skillet. Add seasonings and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue cooking 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Serve over rice or couscous.