Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pineapple Casserole

Looking for a different side dish to go with ham?  This pineapple casserole pairs beautifully with ham or even alongside a baked chicken.  There's a variation of this recipe that add cheddar cheese.  What do you think?  Despite the great reviews, I couldn't bring myself to try it!  The dish reminds me of bread pudding.

 Pineapple Casserole


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 10 slices white bread, cubed
  • 2 (20-oz) cans crushed pineapple, with juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 9" x 13" or 3-qt casserole dish.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together by hand or with a stand mixer. Add the eggs in one at a time. Use a spatula to fold in the bread and pineapple (plus the juice). Stir the mixture gently until just incorporated and then pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 1 hour until it is light brown and bubbly. Let the casserole cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sweet Potato Puff with Crunchy Topping

 As a kid, sweet potatoes were a tradition.  You know the ones, baked in the oven and topped with marshmallows.  My Dad would have them no other way.   I was never a fan!  Fast forward, a few years (okay more than a few),  I am a fan of sweet potatoes prepared this way!  Of course, these go perfectly alongside ham!  Don't wait for next Easter to give this one a try, it's worth having soon with or without ham!

Sweet Potato Puff with Crunchy Topping

2 large sweet potatoes, cubed (about 5 C)
2 T soft butter
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp Kosher salt flakes
1 T white sugar
2 T soft butter
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ C pecan pieces
2 T brown sugar
2 T panko bread crumbs
2 T white flour
2 T melted butter

1. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into cubes and place in a pot. Cover with water and boil until the sweet potato chunks are soft and will mash easily (about 20 – 25 minutes).

2. Drain sweet potatoes, add the soft butter, and mash. When completely smooth with no lumps, add the beaten eggs, white sugar, salt flakes, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until everything is evenly incorporated.

3. Coat casserole dish with a light spray of oil. Mound the sweet potato mixture into the dish and even the top with a spatula.

4. In a separate bowl mix the pecan pieces, brown sugar, panko bread crumbs and white flour. Drizzle the melted butter over top while mixing everything together until a nice crumble forms. At this point the sweet potato mixture and the crumble can be covered and refrigerated separately until ready for assembly the next day.

5. When you are ready to bake the casserole, sprinkle the pecan crumble evenly over the top and place the dish in the oven  (350 F). Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the sweet potato puffs up a bit and the topping is nicely browned.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Krackle Crunch Bars

It's the second Monday of the month and time for Secret Recipe Club.  This month, I was assigned Dena the blogger behind Oh! You Cook!, proving Kosher and Delicious are not mutually exclusive.
 Dena says "You don't have to be kosher (or even Jewish) to enjoy my recipes or musings."  She is also the author of The Everything Kosher Slowcooker Cookbook.

In search of a recipe for Tim's treat day at the office, these Krackle Crunch Bars caught my eye.  Knowing I had some rice krispies and a hersheys bar that needed to be used up, this was the perfect recipe.  If you're looking for an easy treat or something for the kids or grandkids to help with, give this one a try!  It's both easy and delicious.  These need to go to the office with Tim before I eat way too many!

Krackle Crunch Bars - Easy
Recipe courtesy of Oh! You Cook!
Yield: about 2 pounds

1 (24 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
2-3 cups Rice Krispies, depending upon how much crunch you like

Line a medium to large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Add chocolate chips to a 3-quart heat-safe bowl.  Dot with the vegetable shortening.  Nuke at full power for 1 minute.  Stir, then continue to nuke at full power for 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Fold in Rice Krispies. Pour and scrape chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet, using a spatula to spread out mixture evenly almost to the edges of the cookie sheet and to desired thickness. 

Place cookie sheet in fridge until chocolate sets up completely, about 1 hour.  Break up crunch bars into desired-sized pieces.

Serve immediately, or store in a tightly covered container at cool room temperature for up to a week.  You can optionally refrigerate or freeze up to a month.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Carrots Slow Roasted on Coffee Beans

Every once in a while, I find a really unique recipe to try.  Carrots roasted on coffee beans, that's pretty unusual.

If you like coffee, you'll love this recipe.  The carrots slow roast in the oven for 2 - 3 hours, filling the kitchen with a wonderful coffee smell.   The flavor of these was okay but they needed a little more spice.  I'd like to give this recipe another try and rub the carrots with cumin.

Carrots Slow Roasted on Coffee Beans
Recipe Courtesy of Splendid Table

  • 1 lb.  (no thicker than 1/2 in/12 mm in diameter), peeled
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup medium-roast coffee beans, preferably decaf

Preheat the oven to 225°F. Place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat to heat for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, olive oil, and garlic and toss until the carrots are slicked with oil and the garlic bits are distributed evenly. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Add the coffee beans to the hot skillet and remove from heat. Shake until the coffee is aromatic and the beans look a bit oily, about 3 minutes. Scatter the carrots over the beans in a single layer and cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of heavy-duty alumnum foil. Bake until the carrots are fork-tender and infused with coffee oil, 2 to 3 hours. 

Lift the carrots from the bed of coffee beans and serve immediately. Discard the coffee.

Store: for up to 3 days, covered in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in a low oven.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout cookie?  For me, it's Thin Mints!!  Besides eating way too many of these cookies, I love using them in recipes.  One of my favorites is this mint pie.  I've been making this recipe for years, since high school and that's lots of years!!

I needed something for treat day at Tim's office and wanted to use ingredients I had in the house.  I keep a box or two of Thin Mints in the garage freezer.  Out of sight out of mind, I kind of forget they are out there, so I am not tempted to eat them.  Too bad that doesn't work with ice cream.   While not as gooey as traditional gooey butter cake, these bars are a delicious combination of mint and chocolate!  I believe Tim said they got a thumbs up from his coworkers.

Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars

 Recipe Courtesy of Picky Palate

 1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 stick softened butter
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup Andes Mint pieces (I used crushed thin mint cookies)
1 small can Sweetened Condensed Milk
20 Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies, broken into pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 9×13 inch baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
2. Place cake mix, butter and egg into a large bowl, mix until dough forms. Using hands is easiest to mix together. Press dough into bottom of prepared baking dish. Top evenly with chocolate chips and Andes mints. Drizzle sweet milk over top and top with broken pieces of Thin Mint Cookies. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until baked through. Immediately after removing from oven, take a plastic knife around edges to loosen. Let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
Makes 12 bars

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Deconstructed Nutella Cheesecake

Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.

It was such a hit and we all had so much fun that she decided to see if she could get enthusiasm for another round of cheesecakes. Yep. This is an encore performance by some of her favorite foodie bloggers.

Happy Anniversary, Camilla!  Cheer's to many more!!

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts.  I love to eat it, who doesn't? Making it is fun, too.  This year, I decided to choose a deconstructed cheesecake.   The crumbs for the crust go in first, topping with the cheesecake mixture and a little bit of fruit.    Easy and beautiful!!  I love when a restaurant serves a small dessert, like this one.  Perfect when you just want a bite or two!!


4 oreos, crushed
2 heaped tsp. butter, melted
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp. nutella

Place the oreos in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Divide this mixture between two dessert glasses, reserving a teaspoon for garnishing if desired. Place in the refrigerator.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and nutella together until smooth and thick. Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle and fill with the cream cheese mixture. Pipe the mixture into the glasses, garnish with the reserved crumb mixture or fresh fruit, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

More than #SixteenCheesecakes

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wacky Cake - Secret Recipe Club

For March Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned The Tasty Cheapskate.   Jean, the blogger behind The Tasty Cheapskate, says :

"I grew up neither cooking nor eating much. There were so many other things to do (like exercising compulsively. And high school! Cuteness! Grades! Rah!). And though my mom made most of our food (cheapskatery was a major theme of my childhood), I still managed not to learn to cook. I only ate foods, after all, with no fat, and the concept of whole foods was a little lost on us, (as it was on many in the '80s and '90s). We were more in the fat-free margarine camp (oh look, I can see my liver glowing). So fortunately, I've gotten past all that. I cook now. And eat. Good things, very good things (no offense to all the weirdo diets out there). Though--for the record--I'm still really cheap (not margarine cheap, my friends, but cheap). It's in my bones." 

Stop by and check out Jean's blog, lots of tasty recipes!!

Normally for SRC, I have a hard time deciding just which recipe to make.  For the second month in a row, I had no trouble deciding.  Early in my travels around Jean's blog, I found her recipe for the Wacky Cake.  Wacky Cake is perhaps the first cake I ever baked.  I remember how much fun this cake was to make and still have the recipe card written in my grade school handwriting.  Not familiar with a Wacky Cake?  The cake is made in the pan, has no dairy or eggs but does have vinegar.  I've always thought the addition of vinegar is how the cake got it's name. Some say the cakes name came from the depression era and was considered wacky because of the omission of eggs or dairy, which were rationed during that time.

If you have kids or grandkids, this is a great cake to make with them.  Everything gets dumped into the pan and when you add the vinegar, it may even fizz.

Wacky Cake
Recipe courtesy of The Tasty Cheapskate
Serves, well, it should serve at least 24
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cost: $.88
(flour: .16, sugar: .32, oil: .12, cocoa: .18, other stuff about .10)

2 C flour
2 C sugar
6 Tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. espresso powder (this is my addition)
2 C warm water
2/3 C oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla (or 1/2 tsp mint) extract

In a 9x13 inch pan, mix dry ingredients
Add wet ingredients.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick (knife, fork, whatever) comes out clean. Note: It is possible that if you bake this in an aluminum pan, vinegar/baking soda will react and cause it to taste like metal, so use glass or a non-reactive metal.