Archive for May, 2014

I will never claim to be a fan of shredded coconut.  There is just something about the texture that doesn’t appeal to me, but I am willing to make a huge exception for this cake.  This recipe was passed on to me by a former co-worker who just raved about it.  She and I have similar taste in food (which means we LOVE it) so I had to make it.

Wow, was this ever tasty!  I had to divide it up and share the love so I wouldn’t eat the whole thing.  In face, I wish I had big ol’ piece of it right now.

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake 1

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup shredded coconut

1 box German chocolate cake mix with ingredients needed for your mix

1 8oz cream cheese, softened

2 sticks of butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.  I like to toast the pecans in the preheating oven to bring out the oil and flavor of the nuts.

Prepare the cake batter according to package directions.  Spread the pecans and shredded coconut in the bottom of the prepared pan then pour the cake batter over that.



Beat the butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth.  Dollop the butter mixture over the cake batter, covering as much of the cake top as possible.



Bake for 50 minutes and devour!

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake 2

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The garden beds are done and planted!




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I love finding new ways to make an old favorite.  This recipe remakes pizza, which is a huge favorite in my house, using flaky crescent roll dough.  They are great plain, but even better dipped in a little pizza sauce on the side.  I found these at Two In The Kitchen so head on over there to see their version.

These Crescent Pizza Triangles are perfect as a party food, but they also make a great lunch as well.  Versatility is the name of the game here since you can adapt the recipe to use your favorite pizza toppings.  I hope you give these a try.

Crescent Pizza Triangles

2 cans crescent rolls

1/4 cup pizza sauce plus more for dipping

1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. Italian sausage

1/4 cup chopped sweet pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped onions

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese (I use the green can.)

1 tsp. dried oregano


In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the beef, sausage, onion and pepper until the meat is cooked through and the veggies are soft.  Allow the mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes. (That is what is in the zip top bag in the photo. I had precooked that and had it in my freezer.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.  Press out one of the tubes of crescent rolls to approximately 10×15 inches.  Pinch the perforations together to seal.

Spread a layer of pizza sauce, then the meat mixture, then the cheese.


Press out the remaining dough on top and seal the edges by pressing them together.  Brush the crust with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle the parmesan and oregano over the crust.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. 

Cool for a few minutes then slice into triangles and enjoy!  Don’t forget to use a little extra pizza sauce for dipping.

Crescent Pizza Triangles

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Please join me at Rose City Reader for today’s edition of Book Beginnings.  The book I am spotlighting today is the 2nd of a 3 book series by Adriana Trigiani called “Big Cherry Holler”.  It continues the story of Ave Maria, a small town pharmacist and self proclaimed “spinster” that is a spinster no more.  Here are the first lines:

“The rain is coming down on this old stone house so hard, it seems there are a hundred tap dancers on the roof.”

What a picture those few words paint!  I can just see an old stone farmhouse up in the mountains with rain just pouring down around it.  It seems a little gloomy at first, but if you think about it, the hominess of the situation can shine through as well.

This series of books is so good and the stories told by Ms. Trigiani ring true even though they are fiction.  The characters are so real and relatable that you think she might be writing about you or your next door neighbor.  I can’t recommend them enough!

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Playing with the panorama function on my phone’s camera…





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Another week has flown right by and it is time for another menu post. This week’s list is full of old favorites that are quick and easy.  We are supposed to have some beautiful weather finally so I am hoping to get outside and enjoy it as much as possible.  Of course, raging spring allergies might put a little damper on my plans, but I will suffer through it with medication if I have to.

C & I spent Saturday afternoon mowing, trimming and weeding our yard and his parent’s yard and they look so nice and clean.  Our little garden is really starting to grown and I even picked a few ripe strawberries this week. They were so tasty!  See:

Have a great week!

Salsa sloppy Joes with oven baked fries

Grilled pork chops with butter roasted potatoes (didn’t get made last week)

Sausage bake with salad

Taco ring with fresh fruit

Pizza night

Dr. Pepper pulled pork with oven fries

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

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One of my co-workers had a birthday back in February when it was absolutely frigid.  We usually get ice cream cakes for office birthdays, but the weather just would not allow it.  Knowing we all loved cheesecake, I volunteered to make one for her birthday and I knew just the one I wanted to try. 

The sweet tartness of the berries along with the sweet tart of the cream cheese really put this cake over the top flavor wise.  We loved it!! I found the recipe at recipetips.com

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 pkgs. frozen strawberries, 10 oz. each (I still had frozen homegrown berries.)

1 tbsp. cornstarch

24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 eggs, room temperature


Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press this mixture in the bottom of a spring form pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Blend the strawberries and cornstarch together until smooth.  Pour this into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil and stir for 2 minutes.  Allow the sauce to cool.



Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.  Gradually beat in the sweetened condensed milk.  Add the lemon juice and mix well.  Add eggs and beat on low until just combined.



Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust and drop half of the strawberry sauce over the cream cheese.


Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over the top of the strawberries and drop the remaining strawberry sauce on top of the second layer of cream cheese.  Use a knife to swirl the strawberry sauce through the cream cheese to make a pretty design on top.


Bake at 300 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.  Cool for an additional hour then refrigerate over night.

Remove the side of the pan.  Slice and eat up!  This cake keeps well in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake

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While I was browsing Pinterest one winter evening, I found this gardening pin and knew it was something we had to try.  The topsy-turvy pots are just so whimsical and cute and…well, you get the picture.  C really loves to build things and put things together so I showed him the inspiration and we got to work. 

It turned out to be pretty simple and just required a five foot metal rod purchased from Lowe’s, 5 clay pots, gravel, potting soil and flowers.  I am not sure what size rod we bought, but it was small enough to fit through the flower pots’ drainage holes but big enough to be sturdy.  C drove pushed the rod into the ground as far as he could and still have enough to hold all of the pots.


Then thread the largest of your pots onto the rod.  Line the bottom with gravel , tilt the pot to one side, and fill with potting soil  Next year, we will probably get a bigger pot for the bottom so it will offer more support.


Continue to do the same with the rest of your clay pots.  When you get to the top one, push the road down into the dirt so it doesn’t show after the pots are planted.

I used Pretty Much Picasso Supertunia petunias in mine and I love the contrasting colors of the blooms.



This turned out so great and C already has engineering ideas on how to make it even better next year.  Happy gardening!

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My hometown…








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Welcome to another edition of Menu Plan Monday hosted by I’m An Organizing Junkie where I, and other food loving bloggers, share what we plan to eat this week.  There are so many talented people linking up there and I hope you take the time to visit a few and see what goodies they are cooking. 

After a warm start to the week, it is supposed to be cool and rainy later so I am going to sneak in a few cool weather comfort foods before summer hits with a vengeance. The rain we had over the weekend was just what my little garden needed to spring into life.  I am hoping to start harvesting a few things in the next week or two.  There are tons of green strawberries out there and the lettuces and carrots are sprouting like crazy.  I can’t wait!! 

Have a great week, everyone, and I hope God blesses your socks off!

Bubble up pizza with fresh fruit

Italian burgers (new-didn’t get made last week) with oven fries

Chunky vegetable soup with cornbread

Taco ring with tossed salad

Grilled pork chops with oven fries

Basic meatloaf with butter roasted potatoes

Pizza night

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