Friday, March 27, 2015

Pineapple Upside Down Muffins

This early morning food was inspired by the FridgeFood Diva!

FridgeFood is the link to the first place I found these enjoyable treats.

Pineapple Upside Down Muffins

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large can sliced pineapple rings
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar
12 maraschino cherries, cut in half.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Using up to 24 muffin cups, grease very well and set aside.

Cut each pineapple slice into 4 pieces and set aside.  Save the juice in a 2-cup measure. 

In large bowl stir cake mix, eggs, oil, and reserved juice.  Beat well.  If batter seems too thick, add a tiny bit of water.  You can do the mixing with an electric beater if you want. I did not.  I used a whisk to get a good arm workout.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and melted butter.  Place 1 1/2 teaspoon of this sweet mixture into the bottoms of the greased muffin cups.  Top each bit of mixture with 2 pineapple pieces then one cherry on top.

Using a 1/4 cup portion scoop, plop cake batter onto the cherry/pineapple/sugar/butter mixture.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.    Remove from oven and let cool on rack for 5 minutes ONLY, but do wait the full five minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of each muffin then flip the pan over onto a clean counter.  The muffins should fall out of the pan.  If they don't, you have a mess on your hands.  A sweet mess, but...

Look carefully to see the cherry in the center of each muffin...

These went over rather well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Homemade Sausage for Biscuits and Gravy

Our local market has a very nice meat cutter.  Recently I was there and asked if he ever had any pork fat.  He said he could save some for me to use to make sausage.  About three weeks later I stopped by to inquire again and he handed me three very large trays of beautiful pork fat.  Time to make sausage.

How I did it:

2 pounds boneless pork chops, frozen solid, then removed from freezer and set on counter for 30 minutes.  Cut into half-inch cubes and pulse in food processor until the texture you like.

1 pound pork fat, chopped into smallish pieces and pulsed in food processor until about the same texture as the pork meat.

In large bowl mix meat, fat and

1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning--can use straight sage if you want
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar

Let the seasonings meld together with the meat for several hours or overnight.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Quick Cinnamon Buns

Here is another iteration of the Pillsbury Crescent Roll/cinnamon/sugar/butter story!

These are quick cinnamon buns.

Open can of crescent roll sheets and pinch together any "cut" parts to make one long sheet. 

Spread melted butter on top then sprinkle entire top with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Roll up from long edge just like regular cinnamon buns.  With seam side down, cut into twelve about 1-inch sections and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven for 10-15 minutes.  Check every couple of minutes to see if they are lightly browned.

Ready to serve...
Cool on rack then serve.
Nothing but crumbs leftover!  Successful early morning food...

These are well-received!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Quick Cinnamon Roll-ups

Cinnamon and sugar sell very well just about everywhere I have taken them.  They are especially enjoyed in the early morning here at home.  This morning I made another batch, a quick batch.  It is still to early to tell today as it is only 3 AM but they are cooked and ready to go...about the only nice thing about waking up in the middle of the night is time to make early morning food...

Cinnamon Roll-ups the way I made them this time:

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Roll Sheets
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted  (yes, I use real dairy butter)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a sheet pan/cookie sheet with waxed paper (or can use parchment paper.)

Lightly sprinkle flour on work surface.  Open can of crescent dough and roll out onto flour-covered surface.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into three strips the long way and two strips the short way so you have six squares of dough.  Now cut diagonally across each square to make 12 triangles.

With a pastry brush, brush butter onto the entire top of the dough.  In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the surface, covering all the dough.  From the long end of each triangle roll each piece of dough into a crescent shape and place on paper-covered sheet.  Bake for 10-14 minutes, until set and lightly browned.

Remove from paper and place on cooling rack.  (You really do want to remove from the waxed paper while hot out of the oven because they have a tendency to stick to the paper due to sugar/cinnamon solidifying into rock...)

Sit back and watch the munchers enjoy.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Animal Cracker Crumb Crust

We have had a jar of animal crackers available to all comers for some little time now.  They do not seem to be decreasing in volume very much.  Several days ago I was listening to America's Test Kitchen Radio where they took a listener's call about crumb crusts, to cook or not.  (They said cook.) Bridget made a throw-away comment about using animal crackers so  I decided to try it!

The crust worked out very well, I thought.   I used Martha Stewart's recipe as a starting place:

6 ounces cookies
3 Tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a food processor, crush the cookies to fine crumbs….making about 1 ½ cups.  Add the sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined.
Firmly press into pie dish.  Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Since I wanted to use up the animal crackers, this was a perfect recipe because I could weigh them to come up with the crumbs.

This pie crust worked well, I thought, with a chocolate filling.

As it turned out, no one ate the pie...I suppose chocolate pie for breakfast is too out there for them.  Dear One and Son#4 were able to have some.  The crust turned out to be very crumbly making it more of an eat-with-a-spoon dish.  I ate one bite and found it was very nice.  As is frequently the case, I am in the minority 


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pink Covered Cookies

Recently I was at Joann Fabrics and Crafts.  I found another Wilton mold that was deeply discounted since it was past Valentine's Day.  I grabbed it up, thinking it would be nice to try for next year.

Couldn't wait until next year!   I found some sandwich cookies to try out along with some "candy melts", though not the Wilton ones.  These were more candy for less money so I had my doubts but gave them a try.

This is what they looked like: 

As far as the molding process, this was not too hard.  You have to squish the cookies in, but not too hard, then top with more melted candy and shake the mold for the candy to cover the sides of the cookies.

So...I thought they were pretty successful.  My first concern came when Dear One got a glimpse of them.  He raised his eyebrows.  Yikes.  Well, I still put them out for the kids. 

The kids were a little concerned about the color, too, but by the second day of serving them, most of them were gone.  Guess I won't try that least not bright pink ones.

Monday, March 2, 2015


It is always fun to try new things.  Well, fun after a fashion.  Sometimes things are successful and sometimes they are not.

The other day I was at Joann Fabrics and Crafts and found a Wilton silicon pink mold that I HAD to have. I was certain the seminary kids would love anything made in that mold.  Come to find out, that expectation was vain...

Well, they did turn out rather poorly so I can understand. I did not present them very well, either.

These were white candy melts, 5 in each cavity.  Next time I will do something a bit different....maybe they will get a better reception that time.

Because I am going to do something completely different next time, I will say no more about these failed treats.  Dear One seems to have less aversion to them...