Tag Archives: pineapple

Pineapple upside-down cake, using box mix

11 Jan

I’m alive!  My fingers and palm are tingling a bit as I type this, because I contracted a particularly virulent strain of hand, foot, and mouth disease from my baby (it’s not as bad as it sounds).  Yesterday I had a 103.1 fever, and last week he had a 103.1 fever.  I took him to the ER, I gave myself a Tylenol and a nap.  It’s been mildly hectic.  As I’ve said before, I’m so impressed with stay-at-home parents and I don’t know how anyone gets anything done with their kids (like, for instance, a Ph.D. thesis).  Baby had a mild fever the day before his crazy one, so I kept him home with me.  We went to the store, and I thought hey, it’s never too early to introduce kids to the things you love to do, so let’s bake a cake!

I’ve blogged before about a super easy pineapple upside down cake, but that required some amount of measuring so I decided to just go with a box cake.  Semi-homemade all the way, snobbery be damned!

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If Rooney Mara and Al Pacino got together and decided to combine last names, would they be the Maracinos?  Also that would be gross because she is 30 and he is 75 and unrelatedly he is 5’7″.

The topping is the same as for the easy-peasy amazing cinnamon buns I’ve done over and over again: put a stick of butter in a pyrex in a cold oven, and turn it on.  You could definitely do this with only half a stick of butter instead; I just had a frozen stick so used the whole thing.

Meanwhile, drain the pineapple rings and you’ll get just under a cup of pineapple juice.  This is great, you use it to make the cake, following the box instructions and subbing juice for water.  Also I’m not so great at following instructions, so I used yogurt instead of butter (I got the “butter recipe” box).

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Do you ever worry you won’t measure up?

 

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That even with all the eggstras you’ve added to the world, the whisks involved with you weren’t worth the benefits?

I mentioned that I didn’t feel like measuring, so I didn’t, but you probably know how big half a cup is, and can eyeball about that much of full fat yogurt.  (Remember, we’re using yogurt to replace butter so we need the fat).

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It’s important to remember that we were all once babes in the woods, and also it doesn’t matter how effective/efficient you are, but that you made an effort.

If you were starting with half a stick of unfrozen butter, it’s probably melted by now.  If like me you had a stick of frozen butter slowly melting in your oven, you have some time now to play patty cake or clean up or sit.  Whatever floats your boat.

Once the butter is all melted, take it out of the oven and sprinkle brown sugar all over it, then lay down the pineapple rings and sprinkle maraschino cherries everywhere they’ll fit.  Pour on the batter.  I put in about half the batter, then sprinkled it with coconut, and added the other half to cover the coconut.

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Sometimes you feel like you’re a ringer, but you’re just cherry-picking examples where you don’t fit in.  (Incidentally I’ve been using the sports idiom “ringer” wrong my whole life I thought it was a great person you save for the end who will win the game what’s the word for that?)

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Cakes are like onions; they have layers! (Shrek joke, does that date me?)

Bake it for 40-45 minutes, let it cool for a bit, and then invert it onto a plate.  Honestly the hardest part of this cake is finding something to invert the cake onto.  I ended up picking up the whole thing and putting it back into the Pyrex after, for storage.

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Everything will be okay, just turn that brown upside down!

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Even if you miss, there’ll always be an imprint of your attempts at success (I located the sticky pineapple ring and put it back on the cake, btw).

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Pineapple upside down cake, adapted from Betty Crocker

1/4 c (half a stick) of butter

1/2 c brown sugar

1 can pineapple slices in juice

1 small jar maraschino cherries

1 box yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1/2 c full fat yogurt

1 c sweetened flaked coconut

Put the butter in a 13 by 9 dish, and put it in the oven.  Turn to 350.

Meanwhile, mix the eggs, juice from the pineapple, cake mix, and yogurt until almost totally smooth.  This is a good place for kids to help!

Once the butter is melted, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over it, then lay in the pineapple slices and put in the maraschino cherries wherever they’ll fit (take off the stems).

Pour half the cake batter oven the topping, then sprinkle the coconut all over it.  Pour the rest of the cake batter over.

Bake for 40 minutes or until brown.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife all along the edge and invert onto a plate.  Eat.

 

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I am [not a] bro (sia)

5 Dec

The first time I had ambrosia was in my college’s dining hall salad bar, senior year.  I saw the label “ambrosia” and noticed mandarin oranges, so I grabbed a scoop.  FOOD OF THE GODS.  Who knew mini marshmallows, mandarin oranges, pineapple, and coconut went so well together with whipped cream?

Since I’m sometimes interested in health (or since I always dislike the idea of cool whip and sometimes dislike the idea of washing my mixing bowl and beater), I used full-fat yogurt + honey + vanilla instead of whipped cream.  Honey makes everything better!  The tang of yogurt + honey really complements the pineapple and sweetness of everything else.  I also added some green grapes and toasted pecans for color and texture.

I had to make an extra broceries trip since I don't usually have mini marshmallows in my house

I had to make an extra broceries trip since I don’t usually have mini marshmallows in my house

This is one of those cut up everything, mix, and let sit sort of “salads”.  More like a dessert which happens to live in the salad bar.

The bodega downstairs is called Go Grocer, but only men seem to work there so my friend calls it Bro Grocer

The bodega downstairs is called Go Grocer, but only men seem to work there so my friend calls it Bro Grocer

I wish I could tell you how to cut pineapple.  If I wasn’t operating on such sleep debt I would have looked up several links/researched, then taken step by step photos of the process.  But instead I just hacked at the pineapple and tried to cut out the eyes using a paring knife, which didn’t work great.  The point is, you need your pineapple in bite size chunks.  Canned pineapple would also work, but theoretically fresh will be better (because it’s not soaked in syrup).

I wonder if the star of The Pianist was in a frat.  They'd call him Adrian BROdy.  Oh they already call him that.

I wonder if the star of The Pianist was in a frat. They’d call him Adrian BROdy. Oh they already call him that.

My husband prefers ambrosia without pecans- I’ve made it three times since having the baby, with/without grapes and with/without pecans.  I like the nuttiness that helps weigh down the salad, but that also keeps it from tasting like angels are breathing into your mouth, which is maybe the point of ambrosia.  If you opt for pecans, chop em up and throw them into a frying pan on medium heat for a few minutes.  I left them for as long as it took me to cut the pineapple and grapes.  You can tell when they’re done because they’ll start smelling toasty and nutty and yummy.

According to urban dictionary, I am not a bronut- I am not your friend willing to share my donut.  Nor am I a crazy friend.

According to urban dictionary, I am not a bronut- I am not your friend willing to share my donut. Nor am I a crazy friend.

So you’ve got half a pineapple, a big handful of grapes, a handful of pecans, about a cup of mini marshmallows, a can of mandarin oranges, and a cup of shredded sweetened coconut tossed together in a bowl.  Now stir up your yogurt + honey + vanilla, and toss the whole thing with the dressing.  Let sit for at least an hour for the flavors to meld, and enjoy.  I think it’s better if you let it sit overnight so the marshmallows and coconut melt a little bit due to the acidity of the pineapple.

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If these captions aren’t enough I can just tell you straight up I know zero about bro culture.

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Health-conscious frat guys love their brogurt!

This dish just bros me away

This dish just bros me away

Ambrosia- cobbled together from the internet

1/2 fresh pineapple or a can of pineapple

1 c mini marshmallows

1 c green grapes, halved

1 c shredded sweetened coconut

1 c pecans

1 can mandarin oranges

3/4 c plain yogurt

1 TB honey

1 tsp vanilla

Toast pecans in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, maybe five minutes while you cut up the pineapple and grapes.  Mix yogurt, honey, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss.  Leave in fridge for at least an hour, preferably 6-8 or more.

 

Pineapple upside down cake

24 Jul

Last month I thought about going to a party for a friend’s birthday, but then sat inside and played board games instead.  To make up for it, I baked him a cake!  This actually happens fairly often, but without the cake part.

Anyways, pineapple upside down is my second favorite cake (it’s hard to beat carrot cake).  Also, I’ll take this inopportune time to give a shout out to the incredible Alliance Bakery down the street from my old apartment, who made our hilarious and wonderful wedding cake.  It was a delicious light lemon cake with a mango mousse filling and a simple buttercream frosting.  Also, because our initials spell out YAM, we asked for it to be made in the shape of a sweet potato, but to try very hard to make it not look like poop.  They did a fantastic job and I wish I had more pictures of the cake… unfortunately I only have one and it’s in B&W

You should try to get there early; there are often hordes of people at Alliance (WOW reference...)

You should try to get there early; there are often hordes of people at Alliance (WOW reference…)

Also that photo (and all my wedding photos) were taken by my best friend who happens to be a professional photographer, so if you’re in Singapore and need photos taken I recommend her.

ON TO CAKE I PROMISE IT’S NOT A LIE.

One, I already have a spouse.  Two, why would you wed pants?  Marry-chinos, yeah right.

One, I already have a spouse. Two, why would you wed pants? Marry-chinos, yeah right.

All I had to buy for this cake was the pineapple and the cherries.  I’m curious what I’ll do with maraschino cherries (any ideas?  Shirley Temples, I guess?).  Also, this is a one-bowl cake, which is so great! (Two if you use a separate bowl to microwave butter)

First, melt half a stick of butter and pour it in the bottom of your cake pan, then sprinkle brown sugar over it.  Takes about 30 seconds in the microwave to melt half a stick of butter.

This is getting me so many brown ie points with my friend

This is getting me so many brown ie points with my friend

Then cram as many pineapple rings as you can into the pan-I got in six.  If you’re using a square pan you might have better luck.  Also throw in as many cherries as will fit, because when else will you use them?  I realize that I did not need to put maraschino cherries in the cake but they’re literally the cherries on top so it’s hard to say no.

If you like it you should put at least six rings on it

If you like it you should put at least six rings on it

Fun fact: pineapples don’t come from trees.  They’re actually the only edible species of the bromeliad family of plants- this is the only fact I remember from signs at the University of Washington greenhouse in 2011, when I visited to see a corpse flower.  Those are flowers that smell like rotting carcasses, hence the name.  I recommend checking it out if you’re ever near one (they don’t bloom often).

Back to cake.  Melt a stick of butter in the bowl (again I did 30 seconds and it gets almost all the way melted, and if you stir the blobby butter it’s basically melted), and mix in the sugars.

Everyone was bowled over by this cake

Everyone was bowled over by this cake

Does not melting the butter all the way really work?  You butter believe it!

Does not melting the butter all the way really work? You butter believe it!

Then add the rest of your wet ingredients.  It really does help to mix butter and sugar together at the beginning of your recipes when baking, then adding wet, then dry.  Otherwise the sugar doesn’t incorporate as evenly/well.

Yes, I milk my jokes as far as I can- please laugh to protect my eg(g)o

Yes, I milk my jokes as far as I can- please laugh to protect my eg(g)o

I sort of gave away what happens next.  Here’s another chance to use more bowls, if you mix your dry ingredients first.  Or you could sort of sprinkle the other dry ingredients over the flour and whisk it all together (one less bowl to clean!)

Whenever someone says they like my blog, I'm floo(u)red

Whenever someone says they like my blog, I’m floo(u)red

Also have you used rubber spatulas (not an Amazon affiliate link I’m not that fancy I just googled ‘rubber spatula’)?  They’re amazing for scraping!  Fun fact I was first introduced to these when I was about seven and baking a cake with my Swedish grandmother (long story not actually related to her but did go to her house every month and called her “Grandma”), and she showed it to me and called it something like a ‘fun ruiner’ or ‘child spoiler’ because it doesn’t let you lick the bowl.  Cool story Yen.

If you couldn’t tell the program I’m at right now is sort of intense and I’m a little unfocused because I’ve been mathing all day.  Yay math!  It’s SO MUCH FUN I’ll have to blog about this summer’s math sometime too.  Random groups!  Nilpotence!  I like that word because it’s like you’re so helpless you aren’t even impotent, you’re nilpotent (this has nothing to do with the definition of nilpotent).

BUT SERIOUSLY LOOK HOW AMAZING THIS SPATULA IS

BUT SERIOUSLY LOOK HOW AMAZING THIS SPATULA IS

Right, cake.  Pour the batter over the pineapple topping, pop it in the oven for 40 minutes, let it cool for a bit, and invert it onto a plate.

Yes I love this spatula.

Yes I love this spatula.

Also new cake pans, thanks wedding registry!

Also new cake pans, thanks wedding registry!

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Pineapple upside down cake- recipe lightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction– honestly I suspect hers might be better than this one so you should check that out.  But if you want the cake I made see below

3/4 c butter (1 and a half sticks)

1 1/4 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

can of sliced pineapple

maraschino cherries

1 egg

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 c oil

1/2 c milk

1 TB vanilla

 

First, melt half a stick of butter in the microwave, then spread out into a cake pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 c brown sugar over, then top with pineapple slices and cherries to your liking.  Don’t throw out the can of pineapple!  Measure out 1/4 c of the juice for later.  Turn on oven to 350.

Next, melt the other stick of butter, and mix in remaining brown sugar and the white sugar until smooth.  Add in the egg, pineapple juice, oil, milk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth again.  Then add flour and sprinkle the baking powder/baking soda over.  Mix well.

Spatula that batter into your pan, and bake for 40 minutes or so, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool.

Run a knife around the edges of your cake, then put a plate on top of it.  Flip the whole thing upside down and lightly bang on the bottom of the cake pan to drop the cake onto the plate.  Yum!

Hummingbird muffins (pineapple loaf)

30 Mar

Last Christmas was the first time I met a lot of my fiance’s extended family, and I wanted to make a good impression, so I brought one of those delicious fruitcakes from my very first blog post.  Turns out people don’t like fruitcake much (why?!  It’s SO GOOD!!!).  This year I brought a loaf of hummingbird cake, which is essentially banana-pineapple cake with some nuts.  Turns out you should refrigerate it, so keep that in mind if you make this.  It is still quite tasty and moist, though not as good as the fruitcake (but not nearly as labor and time-intensive).

I don't have my Ph.D. yet, but you could still call me doctor for doctoring this cake mix!

I don’t have my Ph.D. yet, but you could still call me doctor for doctoring this cake mix!

The bananas look a little beat up in the picture above, but they aren’t actually that ripe.  So I cheated and threw them in the oven to roast to get a riper flavor.

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We're GOING (roasted) BANANAS IN HERE!

We’re GOING (roasted) BANANAS IN HERE!

Another reason this was not time-intensive: it’s semi-homemade!  I used a box of “supermoist” yellow cake mix instead of measuring out flour etc.  I didn’t have instant pudding on hand (the only time I can recall buying instant pudding was in the future, for my barely-semi-homemade banana pudding), so I subbed in some powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mixed in some cinnamon, then made a little yolk-y picture.

If John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were in my kitchen, I bet they'd race to pull the eggs out of this bowl.  It'd be a Face/Off.

If John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were in my kitchen, I bet they’d race to pull the eggs out of this bowl. It’d be a Face/Off.

This all happened while the bananas were roasting.  I also drained a can of crushed pineapple, so I could put the juice into the egg-cake mix-sugar batter.

Our dog was standing in the kitchen and looking at this and kept saying "fruit roof!"  But since he's a dog, we thought he was saying "Fruit Loops!" and gave him a handful of cereal. That story is ridiculous.  You know we have two cats, we certainly couldn't also fit a dog in the apartment.  Much less a talking one.

Our dog was standing in the kitchen and looking at this and kept saying “fruit roof!” But since he’s a dog, we thought he was saying “Fruit Loops!” and gave him a handful of cereal.
That story is ridiculous. You know we have two cats, we certainly couldn’t also fit a dog in the apartment. Much less a talking one.

While the iced teas are popular, sometimes Snapple likes to make wacky promotional flavors, like pie.  Pie Snapple, however, was a dud, and Mr. S. decided to pull out his support.  Pi-napple was a huge hit!

While the iced teas are popular, sometimes Snapple likes to make wacky promotional flavors, like pie. Pie Snapple, however, was a dud, and Mr. S. decided to pull out his support. Pi-napple was a huge hit!

Once those are mixed with the yogurt, you can mash the bananas.  I love doing this with super ripe bananas because they yield so easily under your fork!  Also, I appear to use banana a LOT when baking (I love bananas!)  Mix in the pecans and pineapple with the banana, and then mix those with the cake mix.

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This guy used to mix up letters and numbers.  So when his girlfriend asked him to pick up some home decor items at this one store, he was very confused to find himself at a historic pier.  Though he messed up in that direction, he'd never do the converse: for instance, look at this bowl and say it's a pur-one.

This guy used to mix up letters and numbers. So when his girlfriend asked him to pick up some home decor items at this one store, he was very confused to find himself at a historic pier. Though he messed up in that direction, he’d never do the converse: for instance, look at this bowl and say it’s a pur-one.

Batter batter batter SWING!  Actually don't, please, you'll get cake all over the floor.

Batter batter batter SWING! Actually don’t, please, you’ll get cake all over the floor.

I initially meant to make this time and labor-intensive cake (just how labor-intensive?  You crush the pineapple by hand instead of buying the can), but went with these little muffins and a mini-loaf instead.

No pun: I suddenly wonder why they don't sell cake batter the way they sell cookie dough: just pour and bake.  It seems like something people might use... maybe not.

No pun: I suddenly wonder why they don’t sell cake batter the way they sell cookie dough: just pour and bake. It seems like something people might use… maybe not.

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Bake til done!  While it’s cooling, make a quick icing drizzle with cream cheese, milk, and powdered sugar:

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Even if something REALLY SAD just happened, you probably shouldn't cry over this.  You'd get saltwater in your icing

Even if something REALLY SAD just happened, you probably shouldn’t cry over this. You’d get saltwater in your icing

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If you’re talented/pinterest-y, you can make a pretty drizzle.  If you’re me, just chuck it on.

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It’s been a little while since we’ve had a picture of me eating, so here’s one!

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Hummingbird loaf: adapted from this recipe, who took it from Dole (the company)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 1/4 c powdered sugar, divided

4 eggs

1/4 c full-fat yogurt (I use greek)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple

2 bananas

1/2 c chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla

1 TB milk

2 oz cream cheese

 

First, roast the bananas: put on a cookie sheet, in their peels, and throw in the oven.  Set oven to 350.

Drain pineapple, reserving 1 c juice.

Mix cake mix, 3/4 c powdered sugar, cinnamon.  Mix in eggs, pineapple juice, yogurt until smooth.

Do something else for a few minutes (I emptied the dishwasher)

Remove bananas from oven.  Peels will hopefully be black by now (about 10 minutes).  Carefully peel, then mash.  Add pecans and pineapple to bananas, then fold the mixture into the cake mix.

Pour into greased mini loaf pans or muffin tins (I made 12 muffins + 1 loaf out of this).  Bake in that 350 oven for 30 minutes, check the muffins.  If toothpick comes out clean, they’re done.  Loaf should be done around 40 minutes.

While they cool, smash cream cheese with remaining 1/2 c powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Drizzle icing over loaves/muffins.  Store in fridge if they last more than two days.

 

 

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