Cherry Pineapple Cobbler (Dump Cake)

cherry pineapple cobbler dump cakeThis is a super easy dessert that is perfect for potlucks or quick family dinners. I usually have all of the ingredients in my pantry so I can throw it together at a moment’s notice.

I’m redoing an earlier post of this recipe because I could never get any good photos of the dessert – it was always gone before I remembered to take a picture! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cans crushed pineapple

2 cans cherry pie filling

1 box yellow cake mix

2 stick of butter

1 cup chopped pecans or sliced almonds

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pour both cans of crushed pineapple with juice into a 9 x 13″ baking pan.  Pour cherry pie filling over the top, distributing it as evenly as possible.
  2. Open the bag of dry cake mix and pour it over the fruit. Try to spread it evenly so the crust will be the same thickness throughout. Sprinkle the nuts over the top.
  3. Slice the butter into thin pats, and place on top of the dry cake mix. It may take 1 1/2 – 2 cubes of butter depending on how thick you cut the slices. It will work either way.
  4. Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and set in the middle. The fruit  should be bubbling up around edge of the dish.
  5. Serve warm or serve at room temperature; it’s nice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!  Refrigerate leftover portions.
Family size pan of cherry pineapple cobbler

Baked to golden perfection and ready to serve hot with vanilla ice cream. Delish!

 

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Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake

I adapted this recipe from my Blueberry Breakfast Cake, and I have to say that I like it even better! The tartness of the fresh cranberries provides a good contrast to the sweet cake. This recipe is for a large casserole dish (9 x 13″) or could be used to make two loaf pans of quick bread. This would make a great addition to a holiday brunch or special Christmas morning breakfast. Enjoy!

fresh cranberry cake bread

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

zest of a large orange

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

juice of a large orange (about 1/4 cup)

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups flour

1 1/2 TBSP baking powder

2 tsp kosher salt

1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries, chopped

1/4 cup flour

1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Wash cranberries and discard any soft or discolored berries. Chop and set aside in a small bowl.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter, orange zest and sugar.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add orange juice and mix again.
  4. In a separate bowl mix 4 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add to butter/egg mixture, alternating with buttermilk.
  6. Add 1/4 cup flour to chopped cranberries and toss to coat.
  7. Remove mixer bowl from stand and gently fold in cranberries.
  8. Spread into greased 9×13″ pan.
  9. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

 

canning apple butter jam

Easy Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

apple butter jam on toast

If making jam intimidates you try this easy slow-cooker method for apple butter. It would be very difficult to mess this up! It only takes a few ingredients and some time. This recipe is based on one I found on Money Saving Mom. The original blog post has super cute printable labels too!

Ingredients

6-8 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2-3 TBSP pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups raw sugar or brown sugar (I used a combination of 1 cup raw and 1/2 cup brown)

4 TBSP ground cinnamon

1- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Directions

1.  Peel, core and slice your apples. This is the hard part, unless you have one of these nifty machines. Mine is from Pampered Chef, but other companies make similar Apple Peelers.

apple peeler slicer Pampered Chef type

This is a specialized kitchen tool, but so great if you like making apple pies or jam!

2. Place the apples and vanilla in the slow cooker on low.

peeled sliced apples

Filling up the crock pot. See how nice and evenly sliced the apples are! Using the slicer made it go fast, even with my 4-year-old helping.

3. Cook for 5-6 hours or until the apples are soft.
4. Blend apples with a stick blender
5. Add sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Stir well and cook for an additional 5-6 hours on low.

apple butter jam in slow cooker crock pot

This is the first batch finished and ready for canning. The house smelled AMAZING!

Tips

  • I have a seven-quart Crock Pot (an extra big one) and used about six pounds of apples for my first batch of jam. I realized that I could safely use more the second time since they cook down so much.
  • When using the larger amount of apples I used the higher amounts of spices listed above (3 TBSP vanilla, 4 TBSP cinnamon and 1 1/2 tsp of cloves).
  • I also switched from the thick to the thin slice handle on my apple machine. I was able to really pack them in on the second batch!
  • I cooked my second batch on high, so I added 1/2 cup of water to the apples when starting them cooking to prevent any sticking or burning in the bottom of the cooker. I cooked to apples for 4 hours, added sugar & spices and cooked 2-3 hours.
  • I canned mine. I got 6 half-pints out of the first batch, and 8 half-pints out of the second batch.  If you don’t want to can it, just place in air-tight containers and keep refrigerated.
canning apple butter jam

Finished jam canned and ready to give away for Christmas. I think I need to make a few more batches — we’ve already eaten a couple pints ourselves!

 

Zucchini & Tomatoes

This is a super simple side dish using only a few ingredients. The canned tomatoes provide most of the seasonings and give it zesty Italian flavor in minutes. I like to use this as a quick side dish for barbecued steak or chicken. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4-5 small zucchini

1 can (14.5 oz.) Italian recipe stewed tomatoes

2 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp coarse ground garlic powder

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice zucchini into thin rounds, 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.
  2. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium-high.
  3. Cook zucchini several minutes until zucchini become tender. Season with garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Add canned tomatoes including liquid.
  5. Simmer until heated through and zucchini are fully cooked.

Honey Lime Grilled Chicken

grilled chicken with honey-lime marinade

This marinade is a keeper for sure! It was so easy and the chicken stayed moist with a lot of lime flavor after being cooked. It would be great for grilled chicken tacos. Hmm…I’ll have to get right on that!

Ingredients

4 large (or 6 small) chicken breasts

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup olive oil

2 TBSP honey

2 TBSP minced garlic

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a gallon size zipper bag.
  2. Shake well to mix.
  3. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes to a few hours before cooking.
  4. Grill chicken over medium low heat until done, at least 165°F using a digital meat thermometer.

 

 

Guacamole

chip and guacamole

Avocados are in season in California from June through October. Now is a great time to mix up a batch of guacamole!

I prefer Hass variety avocados over the green-skinned kind. Hass are the smaller, dark green fruit with bumpy skin that turns black when ripe. Hass have a higher oil content making them creamier and richer than other varieties.

 

Green-skin (Zutano variety) on the left, Hass on the right

 

For this batch of guacamole I’m using both because that’s what I was given. Hey, never turn down free avocados!

INGREDIENTS:

For a party-size batch of guacamole:

5-6 avocados, pit and peel removed

1-2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 TBSP minced onion

2 cloves minced garlic

2 TBSP lemon or lime juice

1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro

Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Smash avocados mix in lemon or lime juice
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately or chill with plastic wrap pressed to surface of guacamole up to 2 hours.

Alternate Prep (QUICK & EASY)

3 ripe avocados, pit and peel removed

2 TBSP prepared salsa

Mash the avocados and mix in salsa for instant guacamole!

Carrot Cake

slice of carrot cakeI wanted to make My Wonderful Husband a treat for our anniversary. I was waiting for a delivery so I had to figure out something from what I had on hand. I came up with carrot cake. I bought a 10 pound bag of carrots at Costco a couple of weeks ago. Time to finish those things off! The rest of the ingredients are staples at our house.

This carrot cake is moist but not oily and lightly spiced (which is what my husband prefers). It’s nice to detect the flavors of the ingredients and not be overwhelmed with spices. It’s carrot cake, not spice cake, after all.  The cake is flavored with carrots, golden raisins and pineapple and topped with cream cheese frosting.

This recipe adapted from Carrot and Pineapple Cake by Ina Garten.

Ingredients for Cake:

2 c. sugar

1 ½ c. vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 ½ c. flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp kosher salt

1 c. golden raisins

3 c. shredded carrots

¾ c. chopped pineapple (canned is fine)

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. cream cheese softened

2 sticks butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1 lb. powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°

1. Using a stand mixer beat sugar, vegetable oil and eggs until well combined and lighter yellow in color. Add vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

3. Mix dry ingredients into egg mixture.

4. Add raisins, carrots and pineapple, mixing on low speed until combined.

5. Prepare two 9 inch round cake pans by lightly coating with non-stick spray, lining with waxed paper or parchment and spray again.

6. Bake at 350° for 45 -55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool in pans 5 minutes, the transfer to cooling racks.

8. Once the cakes are completely cooled whip together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Once combined add the powdered sugar and mix well.

9. Frost and assemble the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and refrigerate leftover cake – if there is any!!