Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake Crisp..er, cobbler..thing

I just don’t know what to call these things.  I made the full 13×9 pan this time.  I divided most of the leftovers into individual portions, set them out on a silicone mat on a baking tray, and froze them solid.  The cakebergs went into a freezer bag for storage.

I followed the same method as all of the others:  Pour a can of cherry pie filling into the pan followed by a can of pineapple chunks.  Use crushed if you prefer.  Sprinkle old fashioned rolled oats atop that, then empty a box of yellow cake mix onto it.  I like to add chopped hazelnuts-a good cup of those went on top the cake mix.  Finish the assembly by adding 2 sticks of butter, scatter thin slices about or do what I do, freeze the butter then grate it on.  Works great!  Just be sure to get it really cold first!  I also sprinkled some brown sugar as a finishing touch, maybe  a quarter cup.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until the top browns and the juices bubble up.

Hazelnut crunch peach dump cake.

These are so easy.  We made it peach this time because that is what turned up in the freezer.  I forgot to look at the weight on the label but I would guess a pound or less.  Just right for the 8×8 pan.

Combine 3/4 cup of brown sugar with the fruit and add an appropriate juice.  We had some of those juice boxes and the choice was either punch or banana strawberry, we went with the latter.

I didn’t cook the fruit this time, and added no corn starch, just the fruit, the brown sugar, and the juice.  I warmed it to speed the thawing of the frozen peaches.

Dump the fruit into the pan and sprinkle on some rolled oats.

I suppose more wouldn’t hurt, this turned out well enough.

Now sprinkle half a box of cake mix over the oats, I tried to get it pretty even but I am not sure it is necessary.  I may go for clumps next go around.

Now distribute a stick of butter over the cake mix.  A grater like this one works well but remember to put the butter into the freezer for a while first.

Now sprinkle on whatever else strikes your fancy.  We’ve been using chopped hazelnuts to good effect.

Now pop that into a 350 degree oven, set the timer for 30 minutes, then take a look.  I gave mine more time.

You want it to toast on the top, you should see the juices bubbling up.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Enjoy!

Muffins

That last batch of muffins went fast.  They had some ripe bananas on sale (manager’s special!) the last quick trip Mrs J made to the store so she bought a bunch.  Time for more muffins!

This time I had bananas aplenty.  I made some additions to the same recipe I linked to last time-along the same lines as for my last batch.  Then I made additions to my additions.  I used more chocolate this time, four ounces of Baker’s sweet chocolate, about a cup of hazelnuts, and a good cup and a half of raisins and chopped dried apricots.  I soaked the dried fruits for a half hour to hydrate them a bit.

I had enough batter to make 16 muffins.  We only had 12 cupcake paper cups left so I just buttered four of the cups in that old muffin tin of Mrs J’s.  They popped right out.  It looks like the old tin made slightly bigger muffins than the newer one, but for some reason the four muffins in it baked quicker than the dozen in the other.  I pulled those four from the oven after 20 minutes, and left the others for another three or four.

Bitsy helped out a lot.

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Made more perfecter

Sorry, just had to use that title!  LOL  Mrs J really liked TaMara’s apple crisp the other day and she set out to make it for herself.  Some slight alterations to the recipe:  She wanted more juice so into the apples cooking  in the skillet went a half cup of apple cider with some corn starch so that it would thicken a bit more, and a few raisins because why not?  Heh, indeed.  Fresh grated cinnamon and nutmeg added some nice flavors.  She used the Splenda branded brown sugar.

The crumble topping looked like some hazelnuts would help it so the rest of a bag went in there, probably 1/2 cup.

It stayed in the oven long enough to toast the topping:

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Thursday Night Menu: Dinner Guest Edition

Chocolate Pecan Torte

A few weeks ago, LFern and Mr. Fern made dinner for me.  I thought I should return the favor.  The menu is filled with my favorites.  Nothing new here, just some surefire good food.

On the board tonight:

  1. Pasta Caprese
  2. Caesar Salad
  3. Chocolate Pecan* Torte

Pasta Caprese

From August 2010:

Pasta Caprese

  • 9 oz linguine or fettuccine
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 oz cubed mozzarella
  • salt & pepper to taste

saucepan and large serving dish

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While it’s cooking, mix remaining ingredients together. Drain pasta completely (dab with paper towels, if necessary) then add to tomato mixture. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors blend. Serve warm or you can refrigerate and serve cold. Add a nice loaf of bread for a complete dinner.

I use a fairly expensive mozzarella for this dish because it’s softer, tastier and absorbs more flavors. Any locally produced mozzarella would work. Also, my local farmers’ market has a pasta vendor, who hand-makes many flavors of pasta. This dish works very well with flavored pastas – fire roasted chili, lemon pepper, tomato basil, red bell pepper – the list goes on. You can also change-up the cheese to a Queso Blanco (again, use a fairly expensive or locally produced one), use cilantro instead of basil and use a chili flavored pasta for a whole new dish. The possibilities are endless.

Caesar Salad – would you think less of me if I told you I bought a ‘salad kit’ so I could focus on the rest of the meal?

This is becoming my favorite chocolate cake.

From January 2011:

Chocolate Hazelnut*Torte

  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp milk or cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 7 eggs
  • 3 tbsp Frangelino (opt)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts*
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform baking.

In a medium saucepan, whisk the chocolate, milk and butter together over low heat until a smooth mixture forms. Set the chocolate mixture aside to cool.

In a blender, beat eggs well. Add sugar, blending until the mixture turns thick and pale yellow. Add the Frangelino and gradually add the cooled chocolate mixture, blending slowly until combined. Add baking powder, vanilla and nuts; mix until just combined.

Bake for 40 minutes, turn oven down to 350 degrees, then cover with foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on rack until completely cooled. Serves 12 small portions

*I had to make do with pecans because there was not a hazelnut to be found at the grocery store today.  Was there a shortage?  embargo?  and I missed it?

One last note:  This entire meal (minus croutons) was gluten free for LFern.  The pasta is Tinkyada Rice Pasta, you’d never know the difference, it’s good stuff.

Mmm…chocolate filled cannolis

We made up a bunch of cannoli shells for the picnic last week but Mrs J came down sick and we never got around to filling them till today.  They’ve been in the freezer and seem none the worse for the wait.

Last filling she made up was the basic vanilla filling of sweetened riccota and cream cheeses.  They were pretty good but I prevailed upon her to do something chocolaty with these.  I found a filling recipe and printed it out but she went her own way on this batch.

We made a smallish batch using the following recipe:

1 c riccota

1/2 c cream cheese

1/3 c cocoa powder

1/2 c Splenda

1/2 c semi sweet chocolate chips-whirled for a bit in a processor

3/4 c chopped hazelnuts

Mix in a bowl and then pipe the mixture into both ends of the cannoli tubes.

Thursday Night Menu: Fettucini, Apples and…Lemons?

We have a cheese warehouse here. It’s an amazing place with 2000 square feet of refrigerated retail space filled with cheeses from all over the world. They even provide you with a jacket to wear while you shop.  I drive by it on my way home from work almost every day. Sometimes I have to stop and buy some truly wonderful cheeses. Which is what I did for this recipe. Go for the best cheese you can find for this recipe and you won’t be disappointed. The lemon pie may see a bit out of place in this meal, but I had a request for one this week, so since I was making one, I thought I’d include the recipe.

On the board tonight:

  1. Herbed Fettuccini
  2. Apple Salad
  3. Tangy Lemon Pie

Herbed Fettuccini

  • 9 oz fresh fettuccini
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz fresh spinach, torn
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz fresh parmesan, grated
  • or goat cheese (chevre)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 6 oz artichokes hearts (opt)
  • Parmesan for garnish

2 large saucepans and large serving bowl

Cook pasta according to pkg. directions. Next bring broth to boiling in second saucepan. Add green onion & spinach. Reduce heat, cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 4 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted. Add parsley, herbs, salt & pepper; mix well. Remove from heat; cover and set aside. Drain cooked pasta and remove to serving dish, cover & keep warm. In saucepan over medium heat, combine cheese, milk, and butter. Stir until cheese is melted. Add pasta; toss to coat. Add vegetable mixture, hazelnuts, artichokes, and half of the chopped tomato to the pasta mixture; toss gently to mix, heat until warm through. Transfer back to a serving bowl, garnish with remaining tomato and more cheese if desired.

Apple Salad

  • 16 oz spring greens, washed
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 Fuji (or other sweet red) apples
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 oz toasted slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

serving bowl

Layer greens in bowl. Core and cut apples into large chunks. Layer over greens, add raisins & nuts. Mix together vinegar, oil, salt & pepper. Drizzle over salad, toss, and then crumble feta over the top.

Tangy Lemon Pie

  • 12 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 9 inch graham cracker pie crust
  • 4 oz whipped topping

Combine milk, yolks with mixer or blender until well mixed. Add 6 tbsp lemon juice, mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 250° for 20 minutes. When pie is cool, top with whipped cream and refrigerate. Decorate with lemon slices if you like and serve.

Shopping List:

  • 9 oz fresh fettuccini
  • 4 oz chicken broth
  • 5 green onions
  • 4 oz fresh spinach
  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2 oz fresh parmesan, grated
  • or goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 oz chopped hazelnuts
  • 6 oz artichokes hearts (opt)
  • 16 oz spring greens
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 Fuji (or other sweet red) apples
  • 4 oz raisins
  • 2 oz toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 12 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 9 inch graham cracker pie crust
  • 4 oz whipped topping

Also: dried basil, salt, pepper, milk, butter, apple cider vinegar, olive oil