Monday, June 18, 2012

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.

My Grandma J was a big influence in my life and she taught me a lot about cooking, especially southern cooking. I spent more hours than I can count in the kitchen with her. Then we would sit on her couch, eating whatever we had prepared, watching her “stories” on tv. I love it that I have so many wonderful memories of her and any time I find myself missing her I can go to the kitchen and make something for my family that she taught me how to make. I know she would love that.

My grandma had a sweet tooth. I’m pretty sure she ate a bowl of ice cream every single night or at least that is how I remember it. Even though my grandma loved sweets, she didn’t make too many desserts.

One of the first things that I remember learning to make with her was pineapple upside-down cake. That was her go-to dessert for any occasion. And I was constantly requesting it.
Grandma J’s food was delicious, although not always completely from scratch, which is another thing I loved about her. And I don’t think I will ever change the way I make pineapple upside-down cake.
This cake is a favorite of my husband so I make it for him a couple of times a year. We usually enjoy ours with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Pineapple Upside-down Cake
1 yellow cake mix + ingredients needed for the mix
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 can pineapple tidbits and the juice
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Open the can of pineapples and separate the pineapple from the juice. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Once melted, add in brown sugar and stir until combined. Pour into a 9x13 cake pan. Top with the pineapple.
Now it’s time to mix up the cake. Follow the directions on the cake mix, except that you will substitute the pineapple juice for the water. If there isn’t enough, use water to make up the difference. Once the cake batter is ready, pour the batter into the cake pan and spread the cake batter out so that all of the brown sugar/pineapple mixture is covered. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Green Beans with Pine Nuts.

I love it that the Bachelorette is on! I’m a huge fan of Emily and am so excited to watch her season.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette always makes me think of my friend Amanda. We used to have Bachelor/Bachelorette watch parties, pre-sweet baby Slade, who is actually a toddler now, and her move to Dallas. We cooked dinner, drank wine and watched the shows. We always had a blast. But then she moved to Dallas and I had Slade, and now I watch the Bachelorette with my husband. I love it that he watches with me (for the sake of spending time together, of course, not because he enjoys the show) but it’s just not the same as my watch parties with Amanda.
So what does that have to do with green beans? At one of those watch parties, Amanda added pine nuts to her green beans which forever changed the way I made green beans. I immediately started adding pine nuts to my green beans and I’ve been doing it ever since.  
This recipe has evolved over the years to its current form. These green beans were my staple side dish before I discovered roasted broccoli.
On this particular night, we enjoyed grilled pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes with our green beans.
Green Beans with Pine Nuts.
2 cups frozen green beans
1 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
1 tsp. onion power
½ tsp. white pepper
2-3 tbsp. pine nuts
1-2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
Heat a sauté pan over medium low heat. Add the green beans and let cook 3-5 minutes. Then add the olive oil, onion power, white pepper and pine nuts and sauté until the green beans are thoroughly cooked. Remove the pan from heat and stir in soy sauce.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Green Chili Burgers.

I love trying new burger recipes and this recipe did not disappoint. I have a feeling that I'll be making these on a regular basis since my husband requested that I make them again after his second bite on the night I tried this recipe. Needless to say, there weren't even any leftovers that night. And this has been added to my menu plan for next week.


Green Chili Burgers
Slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 pound ground chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 (4 ounce) cans of diced green chilis
2.5 ounces of monterey jack cheese, cut into four chunks + more for topping
1/2 tablespoon honey
juice of half a lime
hamburger buns

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. In a bowl, combine chicken, oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, cumin, garlic, and 1/2 a can of green chilis. Mix until just combined, and divide the mixture into fourths. Take one fourth of the mixture and place a chunk of cheese in the center and form the patty around the cheese so that the cheese is completely covered. Repeat for each remaining patty.

Place in skillet and cook on each side until golden and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once you flip the burgers, add additional cheese on top to melt.

While the burgers are cooking, combine remaining green chilis in a bowl with honey, lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. When ready to serve, spoon green chilis on top of the burgers and eat!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shrimp Tacos.

We decided to put a spin on taco night at our house with shrimp tacos. I thought the Pioneer Woman's Shrimp Taco recipe sounded great but my husband turned his nose up at it because of the tomato sauce/enchilada sauce that went into the shrimp. So we used her slaw recipe, minus the cilantro, and I simply sautéed the shrimp in a skillet with a mix of spices. It was so delicious!

This was truly a quick and easy dinner. I made the slaw in about ten minutes while my son was napping and let it sit until dinner time. Then all I had to do at dinner time was cook the shrimp and assemble the taocs.


Shrimp Tacos

½ head cabbage, thinly sliced
½ head purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1 whole jalapeno, chopped
½ c. whole milk
½ mayo
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine cabbage and jalapeno in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Pour over the cabbage and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. white pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Put ingredients in a zip top bag and toss gently until the shrimp are evenly coated. Pour the shrimp mixture into the skillet. Cook until the shrimp are opaque.

For tacos:
Corn or flour tortillas
Lime wedges
Pico de gallo