When retro is new again (Pineapple Upside Down Cake in a Skillet)

skipaheadOver the weekend we celebrated my littlest sister and her 19th year. Yes, my sister is entering into her last teen year. I just can’t believe it. She’ll always be my baby sister though. After all, when I’m 99 she’ll only be 89. Spring chicken!

My baby sister and my baby boy.

My baby sister and my baby boy.

To celebrate her birthday, we went to the zoo and then made any cake she wanted. She could have chosen a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate ice cream. Or a lemon infused three-tiered cake with butter cream frosting. But no, she chose pineapple upside-down cake. And when I told her she was being retro and a little bit too easy on me she blinked back at me confused. Apparently 19 is too young to know that a pineapple upside-down cake is old-school.

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

Happy Birthday, Michelle!


Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (In an Iron Skillet)

Overall: four-star

DSCF48701This is such a throw back recipe. It reminds me something that my grandmother probably made as a newlywed. I’d never made it though and it was really pretty good. The flavor didn’t blow me away, but it was easy to make and such a sweet presentation. (Recipe here, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl.) Continue reading

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February is to cheetah, as March is to turtle: The Best of March

I have a feeling you’re tired of hearing it, but man was March long. Whereas February was a breeze, I felt like March was three months long before the first week was over. Whereas. Does that remind anyone else of the analogy  questions we used to have on tests in school?

Pop quiz!

  1. Apple is to fruit, whereas carrot is to ___.
  2. Coffee is to cup, whereas soup is to ___.
  3. Stinky is to Beaker the dog, whereas adorable is to ___.

Answers: vegetable, bowl, and Little K.

What? You’re saying that last one wasn’t on your ACT test? Well it should have been. Look at how sweet my baby boy is. I’ve got more Easter pictures on the way too – that post is coming soon! And guess what! It involves eggs. (Are you surprised?)

Anyhow, what were we talking about? Oh yeah. March was long. I think part of it had to do with the fact that we’re all hungry for Spring and it just doesn’t seem to come. And Easter screwed me up this year. We did Easter in Wisconsin with my family and whenever we see one another we always part ways telling the other when we’ll see each other again. It only happens once a month or every other month, so we like to remind one another that we’ll see them again soon. Well I think we left off in February saying “see you in a few weeks for Easter!” A few weeks was two months. But, finally, Easter came and went, and with it March. So, without further ado. Here is the best of March!

Best of the best: The two total package recipes this month! Chocolate chip banana bread and Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce.

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Pie on Pi (Five Fruit Pie)

Because I’m incredibly original, I give you pie. On March 14th. Which is 3.14, which is also known as pi. Complex stuff.

pie-pi

I have a thing for pie. I love pecan pie, cherry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, and my Grandma D’s pumpkin pie. (Well really any pie she wants to make, I’ll love. But that’s one of her best.) I love pie so much E and I served it at our wedding. I don’t mean that in an offhanded way. We skipped wedding cake all together and bought 30 some pies from our favorite little pie shop in Wisconsin: the Norske Nook. (Note: I’m not endorsing their food – that’s kind of a mixed bag. But their pies are phenomenal!) It was amazing. I think I had like three pieces of pie that night.

I think most everyone loved having something a little different to choose from and I know people really got into trying the different flavors. E definitely was on board with the pie decision.

If you’re wondering, it’s strawberry rhubarb pie. Now wonder no more. If E has a grin this big, it’s because he’s eating strawberry rhubarb pie.


Five Fruit Pie

Overall: four-star

See? The grin isn't quite as substantial for this pie. It's still there - there is rhubarb and strawberries - but those damn blueberries and raspberries got in the way!

See? The grin isn’t quite as substantial for this pie. It’s still there – there is rhubarb and strawberries – but those damn blueberries and raspberries got in the way!

A great recipe for the indecisive. It has a mixture of berries, rhubarb and apples. The berries kind of all blend together and you can’t pick out a distinct flavor, the rhubarb gives it all a tartness, and the apples are a nice crunch. All together, tasty! (Recipe here, from Taste of Home Magazine.)

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Sugar-Induced Coma (Cream Crowdie Ice Cream)

Over the weekend the lovely Miss Rachel, of Rachel Running Wild, and her boyfriend invited us over for ice cream from the book I found for them on my Maklemore Challenge. Five flavors later I was dizzy, lethargic, and probably suffering from sudden onset diabetes. The five pieces of broccoli from the veggie tray were all that saved me from a sugar-induced coma. The ice cream was amazing. They served the best chocolate ice cream I’ve had in a long time, vanilla (I’ll punch you if you say vanilla is plain. Seriously. Watch out.), coffee stout, and cream crowdie. They all were amazing, but the chocolate and cream crowdie were my favorites.

Rachels' cat, Lila.

Rachels’ cat, Lila. She’s much bigger now. The cat, not Rachel. Rachel is still as tiny as she was in junior high.

Because Rachel is super-cool (she’s my sister, of course she’s super-cool), she wrote up a guest post about the recipe and the process to make the ice cream. But first, a bit about her: Rachel is the middle sister of our notorious Wisconsin clan. She went to college in Iowa at Luther College and has a health and environmental studies degree. Rachel is an avid promoter of organic home gardening and upcycling. (When I was a kid I called her a hippie because she had goofy round glasses. She didn’t talk to me for at least a week. Now when I call her that, she beams proudly. #truestory) She also loves the snow and all sports requiring the fluffy stuff, like skiing and snowshoeing. When it comes down to it though, she’ll always be a distance runner at heart. (Wow, typing all that up really drove home how shockingly different we are from one another. All the more reasons why we work so well with each other – not something I could always say!) But there are lots of similarities between us too. She runs her own blog, Rachel Running Wild (go check it out right now, I’ll wait for you.) She’s an animal lover and spends as much time outside as she can. We both go crazy for Parks and Rec and nearly any dessert we can get our hands on. Especially ice cream.


Ice cream never lasts long in our house. It’s the sole purpose for out freezer, really. We have a bag of peas and ice cube tray in there too, but that’s just to keep the ice cream company. We always have several WiLd flavors on hand – from Salted Caramel and Coffee Stout, to Beet. Yup, you read that right. Beet ice cream with Mascarpone, orange zest, and poppy seeds. Crazy stuff.

Where do we get these wild flavors? …well from milk, cream and sugar for starters! We bought this ice cream maker about two years ago and absolutely love it. Until trying your own (or someone else’s!) homemade ice cream, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on. There’s definitely a whole new depth of flavor, creaminess, and just plain deliciousness that you get with homemade ice cream.

So when Krystal gave us her thrift shop findIce Cream: The Perfect Weekend Treat, I was a bit excited. We decided to turn it into an ice cream extravaganza! (And by extravaganza, I mean FIVE flavors of ice cream and nobody’s allowed to go home until they’ve tried them all.)

The recipe we decided to feature for the party was Cream Crowdie Ice Cream. According to the tidbit in our book, “Cream Crowdie is often considered the national dessert of Scotland… consisting of oatmeal, heavy cream, and Drambuie with (optional) raspberries.”  Sign me up!

Cream Crowdie Ice Cream

raspberry goodness

raspberry goodness

Overall:

four-star

This was a easy ice cream to make and had pretty good flavor overall. The oatmeal added an interesting flavor, but took away a lot in the texture department. If you give this a try, leave the oatmeal out! (Recipe here, from Ice Cream: The Perfect Weekend Treat.)

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10,000 calories per day is about right, isn’t it? (Caramel Banana Bread Pudding)

Happy March!

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With the impending blizzard, I decided E and I could use a little hibernation food. I went through my recipes and came up with Caramel Banana Bread Pudding. It’s the first recipe submitted to the website, thanks Vicki! [No, it’s not my mom who submitted the recipe! Nuh uh! No way! No how! Ok. You’re right. It was my mom. But hey, help a girl out and submit one yourself! Seriously, I need some new recipes – tell me what to make next!]

I read through the ingredients and immediately realized this was going to give me diabetes. It’s bread, layered with chocolate and caramel, topped with more caramel. Oh, and butter. But, to be fair, there is a banana some where in there too. So, that cross cancels some of the sugar, I think. With that in mind, I did some quick math and realized that my daily calorie allotment is 10,000*. So really, this is like diet food.

* Note: I should mention, math is not my strong suit.


Caramel Banana Bread Pudding

Overall: three-star

You have a decision to make. This is not a cheap recipe. It’s not a fast recipe. It’s not an easy recipe to make. It’s definitely not a healthy recipe. But it tastes amazing. Does that negate all the previous downfalls? (Recipe here, from EveryDay with Rachael Ray Magazine.)

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