Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

We were glamping last weekend.  It was sunny, hot, and gorgeous.  I got some sun, a couple of naps and several 4-wheeler rides.  My Fit Bit counted my rides as "outdoor bike" but I don't think I really burned the calories it said I did!

And it is too bad I didn't burn those calories because I weighed more when I came home than when I left on Friday!  This dutch oven Pineapple Upside-down cake didn't help in that matter.  It was delicious, and with our freezer, we topped the still warm cake with ice cream and caramel topping. 

I made it because it is my niece's favorite cake.  My new dutch oven was something to play with while we were enjoying the scenery of our camp.  I brought everything pre packaged (all the dry ingredients) and just had to mix in the pineapple juice with the wet ingredients after I opened the can.  I was upset because I forgot to pack the maraschino cherries, but turns out my niece doesn't like them so that fail turned into a win really quick!  My brother in law declared it was his choice for his birthday cake this year! It truly was a little bit of heaven!

Dave was all about the ice cream and caramel sauce.

I was more about the cake.

It all starts off with a melted stick of butter, 1 cup dark brown sugar, and pineapple rings.

Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
adapted from Avery Cooks

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple rings, drained and juice reserved
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. instant buttermilk powder
1/2 cup pineapple juice from above can
1/3 cup greek yogurt
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F, or in my case preheat your dutch oven!

Spray an 8" or 9" cake pan with cooking spray.  Pour melted butter into bottom of cake pan, add brown sugar and mix well.  Spread evenly in pan, top with pineapple rings (add maraschino cherries at this time if desired), set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and buttermilk powder.  In a small bowl mix egg, pineapple juice, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once and mix well.  Pour over pineapple rings.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center with a few clinging crumbs.  Cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto a plate.  Cool completely and serve with ice cream and caramel sauce.  Yum!

2 years ago:   Girl's Weekend and Kale Salad
3 years ago:   My biggest Fear and Zombie Cocktails
4 years ago:   Fairbanks First Friday and Peach Lemonaide

June 23, 2016  Sunrise 2:59 am  Sunset 12:27 am   Temp. H 75/ L 54°F

Monday, June 20, 2016

Blueberry, Peach Pie

The Baby Boy is in big trouble.  The rule at our house is; if you use the last of something, you write it on the shopping list.  That way we always have what we need when we need it.  I was looking for something in the pantry on Sunday and noticed all the cans of pineapple juice were gone.  BBoy likes to drink them, no worries, and I like to have them on hand for recipes, but he drank the last two and didn't write it on the shopping list.  I didn't really think much about it, wrote 'pineapple juice' on the shopping list and went about my business.

Well, it was Sunday, Father's Day, and our family dinner turned into dinner for 12.  I was hustling about getting dinner done and was about to make a pie for dessert.  I usually do a combination of tapioca and corn starch in my peach pies, but when I went to grab the cornstarch, it was all gone.  I went to the pantry, convinced the new one must be on the shelf, because who runs out of cornstarch? Um, I do apparently.  NO cornstarch in the pantry either.

I couldn't figure out what happened to the cornstarch until I remembered that the BBoy had made his Sweet Garlic Chili Chicken a few weeks ago and that uses a bit of cornstarch and HE DIDN'T WRITE IT ON THE SHOPPING LIST. I was making pie for 12 people and I didn't have cornstarch or time to head to the store to get more.  So I just doubled the tapioca and hoped for the best.

The pie turned out fine, the BBoy is getting a ration of harassment for a long time about this, and I'm getting the last piece of pie.

Blueberry Peach Pie

Pie crust for a double crust pie, your favorite recipe or store bought
6 cups fresh peaches
2 cups blueberries
4 Tbsp. tapioca
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp.  kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400°
Peel and slice peaches, juice a large lemon and add juice to peaches, stir to combine.
In a small bowl, mix tapioca, sugar, salt and cinnamon together.  Pour over peaches and mix well. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, prep your crust.  Line a deep dish pie plate with the bottom crust.

Add blueberries to peach mixture, stirring carefully.  Pour filling into bottom crust, top with second crust, cut steam vents in top and bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.  If edges of crust begin to brown too much, cover with foil.

2 years ago:   Grilled Chicken and Zucchinni noodles and the Missed Box Jump
3 years ago:   Grilled Shrimp Salad and Making a Pass at the Neighbor.
4 years ago:   Cheater French Onion Soup and My 'New" Truck

June 20, 2016  Sunrise 2:58 am  Sunset 1:53 am  Temp. H 63/ L 52°F
Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cheesecake filled Strawberry Muffins

I just finished my last trip for work for this season.  It was to Houston and it was a quick turn around.  I flew down on Sunday, worked Monday and Tuesday morning, and flew home Tuesday afternoon.  (Just for the record, Dave LOVES to pick me up at 2:00 am.)

Well, the trip down wasn't so bad; 3 1/2 hours to Seattle, 4 1/2 hours to Houston.  The trip home, on the other hand, was a little longer.  First I flew from Houston to Minneapolis, in a small commuter plane (3 1/2 hours), then from Minneapolis to Seattle (3 1/2 hours) and then Seattle to Fairbanks (3 1/2 hours), so with lay overs and everything it took a whopping 14 1/2 hours to get home!  I was tired, I was grumpy, and I decided I must have done something to really piss off our travel guy.

To make up for what ever terrible wrong I did, I will bake for him, a lot, before he has to start working on my fall travel schedule, and perhaps this won't happen again.  I started with these filled muffins.  Fresh strawberries, sweetened cream cheese filling, warm from the doesn't get any better.  He liked them so much he asked for the recipe.  I think it was a good start.

O.K., so I do have to say in his defense, I always ask for the cheapest flights possible...but really?

Cheesecake filled Fresh Strawberry Muffins
adapted from Perfect Muffins

2 cups self rising flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup strawberry jam, plus extra (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease or line 12 muffin cups.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and 2 Tbsp. sugar until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour.  Stir in the granulated sugar.  With a paper towel gently wipe the chopped strawberry pieces to soak up excess juice and prevent it from coloring the batter.  Add the strawberry pieces to the dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, butter, 1/4 ups jam, and vanilla.  Add all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened (the bater will be lumpy).

Spoon two thirds of the batter into the prepared muffin cups, distributing it evenly.  Place a small scoop of cream cheese in the center of each cup and top with a little extra jam, if desired.  Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into cake part of one muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Serve warm.
Random picture of Lily and Riley, on the deck, in the sun, enjoying life.
3 years ago:   Light Pina Colada

June 14, 2016  Sunrise 3:01 am  Sunset 12:41 am  Temp. H 63/ L 43°F

Saturday, June 4, 2016


I have a confession; you were all part of a plot.  A plot to surprise my husband.  When I posted about ruining the surprise that my Curly Haired Boy and the DIL were coming for Memorial Day, it was a ploy to trick my husband.  He was not agreeing to stay in town and camp with me for Memorial day and I really needed him to be here because the real surprise was that I was bringing the Blond Boy and the DIL up from San Diego.  We hadn't seen them for a year, and it was time. So this was part of a big, fat lie.

I did get Dave a ticket to fly to San Diego for Father's Day.  And I told him he has gone too long without seeing the Blond kids.  Then I said I wanted them to come here for Memorial Day, but they couldn't.  But, when I said I wanted to go camping at our family spot, he had other plans.  Dave wanted to go to Tazleena and help friends put in their fish wheels, he has done that the last two years, and he was ready to do it again, but I had purchased tickets for the Blond kids and Tazleena was too far away for their schedules.  So in came plan B.

Dave knew something was up because I was being so pushy, O.K.  I am usually pushy, but not about Memorial Weekend.  I usually stay home and plant all weekend, but this year I was going camping.  Then, I said I didn't want to go to Tazleena, I wanted to go to our spot.  I could tell he was getting suspicious, so I decided to tell him the Seattle kids were coming and pretend I did it on accident.  It worked, he knew something was up and this gave him the perfect reason.  And when he read it on my blog, it was cemented.

So, on Thursday morning at 2:00 am, we were at the airport waiting for the Curly Haired Boy and the very preggo DIL to get off the plane...but the Blond kids got off!  He was surprised, even though he said he had an idea they were coming (sure).  We had to tell him the Seattle kids weren't coming because the Dr. wouldn't let the preggo DIL fly this late in her pregnancy.

This is Dave, half awake, waiting on the Seattle kids to get off the airplane at 2:00 am.

Dave sees the Blond Boy and the DIL.

This is the "You got me!" face!

Then, I had to tell Dave I had a budget meeting on Friday afternoon, because the Seattle kids really were coming, but not until Friday night.  I then sent word out to the camp spot via my niece (we don't get cell phone service out there) that I had a migraine and would come out in the morning.  Really, I picked up the Seattle kids at midnight, went home to bed and drove them out in the morning.

When I pulled up, the look on Dave's face was priceless!  We had all four boys and their chicks around the campfire and we loved every minute.  I won't be able to pull off a surprise like that for years.  Dave keeps telling me he won't ever believe anything I tell him again.
It was worth it.

Dave, his brother, and all our boys...and Tucker

The Hippy Boy and his Chick.

The Seattle Kids.

The Blond San Diego Kids.

The Baby Boy, his Chick, and their two dogs.

What did you do for Memorial Day Weekend?

June 4, 2016    Sunrise 3:22 am  Sunset 12:16 am  Temp H 66/ L 45°F

1 year ago:   Chili-Garlic Snack Mix
2 years ago:  Donut Strawberry Shortcake and going to work at 5:00 am
3 years ago:  Key Lime Flan
4 years ago:  Filet with Red Pepper Coulis and Avocado Butter