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Archive for June, 2013

I have a confession to make…as much of a chocoholic as I am, pineapple upside down may be my favorite cake.  I know, I know…the sacrilege of it is obvious.  How can this little semi-homemade cake be a chocolate lover’s favorite?  I am afraid I can’t answer that question except to say that it just is. 

This is also a dessert that my Nanny has made and still makes a lot so maybe that is why it is so special to me.  In fact, I had never made one myself until just a few weeks ago.  I guess I just always left it up to her.  Hopefully now it won’t be her sole responsibility to be the upside down cake maker all the time even though I don’t think she minds it too much.

I used Southern Plate’s recipe for this one and it is a good one just like all of Christy’s recipes.

PineappleUpsideDownCake

1 box yellow cake mix

1 large can pineapple slices

1 stick butter

1 cup brown sugar

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In a 9×13 inch baking dish, melt the butter while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.  Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the brown sugar over the entire pan.  Place the pineapple slices on top of the brown sugar, reserving the juice.

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Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, substituting the pineapple juice for the water.  If you don’t have enough juice just finish up the amount you need with water.  Slowly pour the cake batter over the pineapple slices.  Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then turn it out onto a cake plate or platter.  Oh, this is so so good!  I could eat some right now.

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PineappleUpsideDownCake

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1. C, my dad, his friend E, and I attended a Bowling Green Hot Rods baseball game last Saturday night and had a wonderful time.  It was the perfect summer night to be outside enjoying the game and people watching. Plus, the Hot Rods won 9-1!

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2.  There was a great little fireworks show after the game as well. 

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3. I have a new favorite song, “Next To Me” by Emile Sande and I feel like it describes C & I to a “T”.  He is always right by me when I need him.  He is the greatest!

"Next To Me" video on Youtube

4. I have a special praise report.  Dad went back to the orthopedic specialist for a checkup from his car wreck and everything looked great!  He doesn’t have to go back until December and if all goes well, that will be the last appointment.  Praise God!!

5. Our garden is starting to produce like gangbusters.  Homegrown lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and zucchini are gracing our table these days.

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C & I moved into our newly built home in February of 2006 and we were so happy to be here.  The building process had taken right at a year so we were anxious to be in our new space.  When we went to purchase the last minute things we would need like towel holders and bathroom mirrors, we did it pretty quickly.

Don’t get me wrong, we were very pleased with what we purchased and wouldn’t change much at all, but I was never completely satisfied with the mirrors over our vanities.  Yes, they were big; yes, they were inexpensive, but they were boring!  We installed plain old “contractor mirrors” complete with the not-so-lovely plastic clips.  Ugh.  Here they are in all of their glory…

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The size of the mirrors was perfect so I really did not want to replace them, just make them more attractive.  I started searching the internet for ways to “frame” them and came up with a few ideas.  Some people used wood trim and made their own frames while some others had used a product called Mirror Mate.  Hmmm, this looked promising.

C & I are usually pretty handy at DIY projects, but the fact that Mirror Mate will cut your pieces for you pushed me in that direction.  It is quite a bit cheaper to do this yourself with trim, but since the frames came pre-cut and pre-finished, I was sold!  We ordered two frames in the Permaquid Slim Dark Cherry and received them in the mail just a week or so later, nicely packaged in bubble wrap.

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The directions sound so simple and they are to a point.  Just glue the pieces together and insert the plastic “joiners” in the pre-cut holes.

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The glue needs to dry for at least an hour, but we didn’t have time to finish so ours dried for a couple of days.  One of the frames must not have gotten a good seal because two corners came apart but I just re-glued them.

Next you have to replace the plastic clips from your mirrors with the replacements Mirror Mate will send you with your order.  This is where it got a little interesting for us.  The edges of our mirrors were beveled so the replacement clips didn’t fit tight against the glass.  C had to use a little (according to him) redneck engineering for the new clips to work, but they did. 

We replaced the ones we had to then cleaned the mirrors with rubbing alcohol according to the instructions.

Next put together the cardboard corner guides they send with the order to help hang the frame.  Take the frame to the mirror and level it where you want it.  Have a friend put the corner guides onto the mirror.

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Take the frame down and removed the paper off the back that cover the adhesive strips.

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Next, very carefully let the frame hang over the corner guides stuck to the mirror and make sure that it is level.  If it is, slowly press the top of the frame to the mirror and then down the sides and bottom.  It should stick tightly and not come off.  The bottom of one of ours is a little loose but I think it is because of the hanging clips, but you really can’t tell it so we are leaving it alone.

Installing these frames was not quite as easy as it first seemed it would be, but I think the results are worth it.  What do you think?

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Good morning, my dear readers!  It is the first Monday of summer officially and I am loving this weather!  Sorry I was MIA last week but I had a nasty sinus/upper respiratory infection and did next to no cooking all week long, but, thankfully, I am much better so it is time to get back in the kitchen. 

Last week was a quiet work week for both C and I and it is so nice to have those occasionally.  We had no court at all last week which doesn’t happen very often but we are in full swing this week.  Saturday night we went to our first Hot Rods baseball game of the season with my dad and his friend, E.  We had a great time and enjoyed the fireworks after the game. 

It is hard to believe that June is almost over and the July 4th holiday is right around the corner.  Do you have big Fourth plans?  We really don’t have anything planned for that day, but we do have a few events we are going to in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned for more info!  Have a great and blessed week, everyone!

Taco pork chops with oven baked fries

Bubble up enchiladas with salad

Sausage bake with salad

Basic meatloaf with oven baked fries

Pizza night

Chocolate chocolate chip zucchini cake

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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My husband, C, LOVES sour candy.  I mean it…he really, really loves anything sour.  Jolly Ranchers, Sourpatch, Swedish Fish, Lemonheads-the more sour the candy is, the more he likes it!  The other day, he mentioned that he would like me to try to make some homemade sour candy and I plan on trying that sometime soon, but I remembered this little recipe I found on Pinterest and showed it to him to see if he wanted me to try it.  He said go for it so I did.  This is so quick and easy that it is hardly even a recipe, but C really like them so I will probably being making them again in the near future.  Thanks, Sweet Treats & More, for this little sweet and sour treat.

Sourpatch Grapes

1 bag of green grapes

1 small box of lime gelatin

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Wash the grapes and leave them slightly damp.  Put the grapes into a gallon zip top bag and pour the gelatin powder into the bag as well.  Close the bag and shake, shake, shake.  Chill for a few hours and enjoy!
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Sourpatch Grapes

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What is this “High Five for Friday”, you ask?  It is another great link party that I want to try to participate in at least every other Friday if not every week.  Lauren who authors the blog, Lauren Elizabeth, hosts this neat event to showcase 5 of the favorite things that happened this week.  I think we all sometimes need reminding to enjoy the small things in life and to look on the bright side.  Hopefully this will help me do that and if you read this little speck on the interwebs, maybe it will help you, too.

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1.  Finally got to watch Oz The Great & Powerful Wednesday night and loved it!  I am a big Wizard of Oz fan so I try to catch any movie in the genre.  The actors were great and the scenery/effects were awesome!  Image courtesy of Google.

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2. I took advantage of an interlibrary e-book loan to read “The Templar Legacy” by Steve Berry and it is really good!

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3. Finally found a drugstore brand mousse with some hold.  Thanks, Tresemme!

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4. C & I saw this cute car on the way to lunch, but sadly it was stranded on the side of the road.

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5.  Finally, we are going to a Bowling Green Hot Rods baseball game this weekend.  Go, Hot Rods! I may or may not wear this stylish bucket hat to the game.  Probably not!

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Thanks for joining me today for Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  If you love books, hopefully you will find your new favorite in the list over at Rose City.  My book today is Maeve Binchy’s latest “A Week In Winter” and here are the first lines:

“Everyone had their own job to do on the Ryans’ farm in Stoneybridge. The boys helped their father in the fields, mending fences, bringing the cows back to be milked, digging drills of potatoes; Mary fed the calves, Kathleen baked the bread, and Geraldine did the hens.”

Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite all time authors.  In fact, she is one of the few writers that I will purchase the hard back editions of her books.  This one I found at my local library and I wasn’t even aware that Ms. Binchy had a new book release.  Once again, she has filled the pages with characters that we grow to love and care about along with happy endings.  That is another thing I love about Ms. Binchy’s books…usually there is a happy ending of sorts for everyone even if it is not exactly what the character would have wanted.  This is a lovely entertaining read.

Sadly, I learned that Ms. Binchy passed away after writing this book. This hurts my heart because I always enjoyed her stories and characters.

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Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

 

Welcome to the June edition of the Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge hosted by Lady Behind The Curtain where every month we are given two ingredients to shine a spotlight on.  This month we are using strawberries and raspberries which are two of my favorite flavors.  Here is my very own recipe for Double Berry Turnovers.

Double Berry Turnovers

1 pkg. (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed

3 cups sliced strawberries

4 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided

flour for dusting

4 tbsp. raspberry fruit spread, divided

1 egg

water

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with foil then spray the foil with non-stick spray.  Slice the strawberries and stir in 3 tbsp. of sugar.  Set aside while you prepare your dough.

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On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough 1 sheet at a time.  Use a pizza cutter to trim the edges and cut into 4 squares.

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Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg with a tablespoon of water and set aside.  In the center of each dough square, place 1/2 tbsp. of the raspberry spread and a scant 1/4 cup of strawberry slices.  Drain as much of the juice from the strawberries as possible.  Coat 2 edges of the square with the egg wash.  Fold the dough to form a triangle and crimp the edges with a fork.  Poke two holes in the top of the turnover with the fork to let steam escape.  Brush the entire pastry with a little of the egg wash and sprinkle granulated sugar on top.

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Bake for 20 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  When cooled, prepare the frosting by combining the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Pour this into a small zip top bag and cut a small hole in one corner of the bag.  Drizzle the icing onto the cooled turnovers and then eat up!

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Oh, hi!  Is it Monday already?  Wow, I guess it is so I had better get my weekly menu together.  Please join me and many others over at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday where you can find loads of meal ideas and inspiration. 

I hope everyone had a nice weekend and is looking forward to a successful week.  We did and are, especially since we are taking a little time off at the end of this week.  We will celebrate twelve years of marriage on Friday so we are going to get out and run around that day and hopefully just have some silly fun. 

Because of that, this week’s menu is a little short because I am not sure what we will be doing and that’s ok.  Everyone deserves a little free time.

Easy shredded pork BBQ and chips

Grilled hot dogs and oven baked fries (postponed from last week)

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven baked fries (2 nights)

Brown sugar meatloaf (new) with potatoes of some kind

Southern Plate’s Perfect Pecan Pie (I have had a pecan pie craving for a few weeks now.)

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C and I both love strawberries and there has been a bumper crop this year.  I was cruising Pinterest one day and C even saw something on there that caught his eye.  It was a fresh strawberry pie and, for the life of me, I can’t find the link for it so please forgive me!  I don’t have the original source, but I tweaked it a little so I guess it is my recipe now.  If anyone recognizes the filling recipe, give me a shout out as to where it originated.  I hate not knowing. (Finally found it…it was from Hoosier Homemade.)

Anyway, one word of warning regarding the glaze…DO NOT leave it cooking on the stove unattended.  Stir it constantly or it will burn.  I learned this the hard way TWICE!

strawberrypie

1/3 package Oreo cookies, crushed

1/2 stick butter, melted

2 lbs. fresh strawberries

1 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

4 tbsp. cornstarch

4 tbsp. strawberry gelatin powder

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Crush the cookies in a food processor and mix with the melted butter.  Press the crumb mixture into a greased pie pan and refrigerate until chilled, about an hour.

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Pile those delicious strawberries in the crust and set aside.  In a small saucepan over medium-high heat combine the water, sugar and cornstarch.  Cook, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until the mixture boils and becomes clear.  Remove from the heat and add the strawberry gelatin.  Stir to combine and pour over the strawberries.  Chill for an hour or two until the glaze is set.

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strawberrypie

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