Pineapple Upside Down Cake and a #MadMenBlogParty

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Hey, remember that time I wanted to dye my hair like Joan from Mad Men? And it ending up being a total flop!!!

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Ooph, Christina Hendricks can rock the red hair, me- not so much. I just never could achieve the right kinda of red. Plus, I really don’t have the right coloring for it. I liked this red, but then it would fade so quickly while staining all our white washcloths, towels, and pillowcases. Then I played around with it myself and it got bright red. And then gave up and decided that I wasn’t Joan and had to just live with it. ha!

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The final season of Mad Men is starting this Sunday night and I am not excited about it. No, that’s wrong. I am really excited it is starting back up, but I am not excited that it is the final season. I’m so torn!! I already am dealing with the fact that Cougar Town had its series finale on Tuesday. At least we got to have fun with my Penny can and drink wine!

I love when I get to incorporate food into something, like when I did all my NASCAR related “Sprint Cup Snacks” posts and created recipes based upon where they were racing each week. So when this #MadMenBlogParty popped up I was really excited because it would mean I’d get to whip up something all vintage-y.

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To me a Pineapple Upside Down Cake would be a dessert that Betty Draper would whip up for a dinner party. And then Betty Francis would actually eat. ha!

Typically Pineapple Down Cakes are made in cast iron skillets, but I didn’t have a cast iron skillet large enough for the cake so I just used a 9″ round cake pan. I adjusted the process of melted the butter in the skillet to just melting it and then pouring it in the pan. I think it worked out really well.

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It looked beautiful. I loved the geometry of it. Plus, the red cherries in the center of the pineapple rings where so lovely. A nice pop of color in it.

So enjoy Sunday’s episode and the rest of the season! I know it will be amazing. It will be hard to say good bye to it once it wraps up, but at least it was a great run. Oh man, the fashion, the drinks, the story-lines. And Don Draper. Yum.

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Plus, what’s Mad Men viewing without some drinking so check out this drinking game. Not drinking? No worries, I’m not either now while doing Whole30, so just play with Mad Men bingo!

No matter what, enter this fun giveaway and be sure to check out Tom and Lorenzo’s episode and fashion recaps on Monday morning. I can’t wait!

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In the mean time…

madmenparty

Join us for a #‎MadMenBlogParty‬!

Cocktails

Appetizers

Desserts

MAD MEN BLOG PARTY GIVEAWAY

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win an adorable vintage 4.5 qt Pyrex mixing bowl (valued at $30)! Fancy martini glass! $100 giftcard from Modcloth! YES PLEASE!!!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Makes a 9″ cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 Cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 Cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple slices 
  • 7 maraschino cherries
  • 1/3 Cup chopped pecans

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the oil and milk to the bowl and beat for 1 minute. Add the vanilla, egg, lime rind, and lime juice, blending just until well combined.
  4. Melt the butter and pour into the bottom of your 9″ round baking pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar around the bottom of the pan.
  5. Arrange the pineapple slices on the brown sugar. Place 1 cherry in the center of each pineapple ring and then sprinkle the pecans on the pineapple slices. Pour the batter evenly over the top and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a circular platter.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

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Thirsty Thursday: Red, White, and Blue Sangria

red white and blue sangria

I can’t wait for Memorial Day.

Summer is my favorite time of year and Memorial Day weekend is the unoffical kickoff to summer. It’s going to be gloomy in Boston this weekend but I don’t care!  We are grilling no matter what!!! I just love this weekend and what it represents so I was excited when Amanda picked Memorial Day for our Thirsty Thursday theme this week.

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I know everyone thinks of flags for the Fourth of July but I think of the Red, White, and Blue just as much now. So that is why I made a Red, White, and Blue Sangria. Sure, sure the pineapple is actually yellow but let’s play along and say it represents the white. It’s a great summery drink to enjoy now or for the Fourth of July 🙂

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Amanda made Sarasota Lemonade. It’s perfectly refreshing and a great drink to cool off with while taking in some sun this summer! Sounds so good that I might have to sneak some to the beach… shh don’t tell!! 🙂

Red, White, and Blue Sangria

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups Sprite

Process

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the Sprite, in a large punch bowl or pitcher and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
  2. Serve well-chilled with a good scoop of fruit floating in each drink.

Inspired by Recipe Girl

Tropical Pork Pineapple Kebabs- SRC

Another month is wrapping up so it means it is Secret Recipe Club time! How is this summer flying by?!?! It is crazy! At least it has been jam packed with great food, lots of fun with family and friends, and some awesome adventures. It just makes me wish summer was so much longer.

 

 

This time I had the blog called Without Adornment by Bean. The blog is packed full of gluten free recipes, as well as other allergen free recipes. This is perfect for someone with allergies, as well as anyone who just likes great food. I immediately saw her Tropical Pork Pineapple Kebabs and knew they would be perfect for a satisfying summertime dinner.

 

The original recipe was just a guide with the ingredients, and not the amounts used. I generally cook that way so I liked that there was freedom to have my own stamp on this recipe. I added some soy sauce to the marinade just so it would not be too sweet for my liking. I also had zucchini in the fridge so I added that to the kebabs too. I served this with some rice that I prepared while Price grilled up the kebabs. Totally loving our new grill, this summer, and this recipe!

Beans recipe was gluten free which I respect because for a while last year I ate gluten free and enjoyed the process and felt better from it. Anyway, I did add the soy sauce for flavor but it does wheat so if you want this to be gluten free just be sure to use a gluten free soy sauce. Or you can use Worcestershire Sauce which is naturally gluten free instead of the soy sauce and has 80% less sodium than soy sauce.

Tropical Pork Pineapple Kebabs

Serves 4

Ingredients

For Kebabs

  • 1 pound of pork tenderloin cut into 1″ cubes
  • pineapple cut into 1″ cube pieces, approximately half a pineapple
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1″ x 1″ pieces
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4″ thick pieces
  • 8 oz whole white button mushrooms

For Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 gloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, known as sambal
  • 1 cup of diced pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

Process

  1. Soak 10 wooden skewers for at least an hour before using them.
  2. Prepare the marinade first by combine all of the marinade in a bowl or large plastic bag. Mix thoroughly and then add the pork pieces to the marinade. Store in the refrigerator while the meat marinates for at least 1 hour minutes.
  3. Once skewers are soaked and the meat is marinated, thread the pork, pineapple, pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms. Repeat the series twice and end with a piece of pork.
  4. Grill the kebabs over medium-high heat. Using a basting brush, brush the kebabs with the marinade each time you turn the kebabs grilling each side.
  5. Cook the kebabs until done with an internal temperature of the pork is 145 degrees. Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

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Secret Recipe Club

Check out my previous Secret Recipe Club Posts:

June: Cheesy Garlic Knots

May: Berry Brownie Torte

April: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

March: Sauteed Green Beans with Lemon and Almonds

February: Fried Pickles

Jan: No SRC postings

December: Shrimp Sriracha Stir Fry

November: Vegetable Enchiladas

October: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Check out the rest of the reveal day posts!



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Hummingbird Cupcakes

I previously wrote about Price’s birthday and how great a day it was. Well, the one thing that was missing was a birthday cake. I had originally planned on leaving early that day so I could make the cake before dinner, but that did not work out. Then, I intending to make it after dinner since I’m used to baking pretty late, but we drank quite a bit so that was scraped and we just went down the road for a little piece of cake. No worries, it all worked out but I still owed Pricer a cake. So the birthday cake became a First-Day-Of-Work cupakes. (I realized I left my can pans in CT in August for my dad’s Bday)

Back to Price… I told him to pick out a cake for me to make. So he picked out a few of my cookbooks and went to work. He picked a Hummingbird Cake from The Baking Bible: From the Oven to the Table. We had never heard of this cake before. I wanted to know why it is called a Hummingbird Cake, so I did a little research. My research yielded that the reason behind the name is unknown. It is suggested that is has to do with how sweet the cake is, being that hummingbirds eat nectar. The cake has Southern origins, but word spread about this cake when it was featured in Southern Living in the late 70’s.

The cupcakes were easy to make and produced a great result. The cupcakes were rich a moist- from the oil in the cake. While I like {cup}cakes with butter in them I appreciate baking with oil since I don’t have to wait for the butter to come to room temperature. And without having to cream butter and sugar together I didn’t need to use a mixer for the cake portion. The pineapple also made for a moist cake. However, the banana flavor was much more dominate than the pineapple flavor. I admit that just mashed up bananas and figured ‘close enough’… this just goes to show that measuring is really important! The frosting is a basic cream cheese frosting and it tied the whole thing together.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes
Cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1  teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sunflower oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup pecans, finely chopped, plus extra for decorating
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2-3 bananas)
3 oz/85 grams canned crushed pineapple (drained weight)
4 tablesppons pineapple juice from can
Frosting
6 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
4 tablesppons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or line 2 12 cup cupcake pans.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and baking soda in a large bowl, set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the wet ingredients together. Incorportate the wet ingredients and chopped pecans into the dry ingredients. Mix throughly with a wooden spoon.

Divide the batter into the cupcake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean

While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting by combining the soft cream cheese and butter. Add the sifted sugar and vanilla extract, and mix until smooth.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost with the cream cheese frosting. Top all with chopped pecans.





Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I made mini pineapple upside down cakes in a cupcake pan. I like turning full cakes into cupcakes, since they are fun to give out, it’s a perfect portion, and really cute. Well making a pineapple upside down cake into cupcake pan is really easy. So make them and you will happily enjoy some cake, as well as easily share with a friend.

 

I have this thing for pineapple. Love it. I put pineapple on my pizza. Love pineapple in fried rice. I always cook pineapple chunks with baby carrots. ( I learned it from my aunt and have done it like that since). Sliced pineapple is pure tart, sugary joy. Pineapple juice is great to start a mixed drink. My only beef with pineapple is how if I consume too much I quickly get canker sores. Damn you! Well, one of the standards is pineapple upside down cake; which I have never had before. How you ask? No idea but I decided I would need to have it before National Pineapple Upside Down Cake (today-April 20th) to understand the fuss. I now get it. Pineapple upside down cake is moist, sweet, sugary, and delightfully sticky. Sure you can avoid the stickiness of eating the cupcake  by using a fork but then you don’t get to lick the carmely brown sugar from your fingers.

 

 Now the standard is making this in 1 pan so you might be wondering about getting these cupcakes out. Well, don’t freight about getting them out of their cups- not really different than the standard cake. Instead of putting a plate on top of your pan and then flipping it, you use a cutting board and in 1 swift move flip it over. Ta-da, done. Don’t wimp out now. Give it a try and you will be happy you did.

 

 I used the pineapple upside down cake recipe from Ree Dummond’s cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Since getting this cookbook there have been quite a few nights sitting on the sofa while I flip through it and think how great it would be to make buttermilk biscuits, sunriser eggs, meatloaf, etc but I have finally made the jump and made her pineapple upside down cake. I divided the recipe in half to make the cupcakes, which perfectly equaled 12 cupcake, plus a tiny bit of extra batter to lick off the spoon. The only reason I made half the recipe is because I only had 1 egg in the house and I did not feel like going out for more eggs- ha! So feel free to make 24 cupcakes by doubling the recipe below. Ree has such a great book full of mouth-watering recipes. Can’t wait to try another thing in there.

 

 Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons of butter, divided into 2 and 4 tablespoon pieces
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 oz of chunked pineapple* (half of a 20 oz can), reserve 2 tablespoons juice (drink the rest)
12 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar
6 Marcschino cherries, halved (optional)

To make the batter, cream the 2 tablespoon portion of butter and shortening with the granulated sugar. Once they have been combined add the eggs and vanilla. Alternate the addition of the flour with the milk. Mix until all are gently combined.

In a small pan melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted divided it into the 12 nonstick cupcake cups. Add a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar to each cupcake cup. Add 2 pieces of pineapple* and cheery half (optional) to each cup. Divide the batter evenly, fill each cup just under the top of the edge. These don’t rise much but don’t do over the edge since they will rise a bit and make removal difficult.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until your toothpick is inserted and is removed clean. Run a knife around each cupcake to allow for easy removal. Take a cutting board and place over the cupcake pan. In one swift motion flip the pan over to invert the pan for cupcake release.  The cupcake generally invert easily, if you have any problems gently tap the tin for release. It is best to serve these warm, but don’t rush it and burn your mouth!!

If you happen to prefer, or have it and don’t feel like going to the store for anything else, crushed pineapple over chunks then use a bit of  that. Just do what makes you happy.