Monday, June 26, 2017

Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Are you a fan of fresh pineapple or do you prefer your pineapple in a can?  I love pineapple and once I experienced the joy of eating fresh pineapple it became fresh pineapple at my house all the time.  Oh, occasionally I may buy a can of pineapple for a specific recipe, but quite honestly, I can't remember the last time I did.

I purchased a fresh pineapple about a week ago, planning to make a special dinner, but plans changed and a week later that pineapple was still sitting on my kitchen counter.  I decided I needed to do something with that pineapple right away, not wanting to waste a beautiful pineapple.  An old-fashioned pineapple upside down cake was in my future.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Fresh Pineapple

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Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapples can be a bit pricey.  In my grocery stores I look for a pineapple to be less than $3.00 before I buy it.  That's more than you would spend for a can of pineapple, but you get more fruit from the fresh pineapple.

Don't buy your pineapple already cut up in the produce section of your store.  It is very easy to prepare the pineapple yourself.  Select a firm fruit, that has a fresh fragrant scent. Keep your fresh pineapple on your counter until you are ready to use it.   It's best to use your pineapple within three or four days from when you bought it.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Fresh Pineapple

How to Prepare A Fresh Pineapple

What do you do with your pineapple once you get it home?  It is easy as can be.  First, cut the top and bottom off the pineapple.

The First Step in Cutting Fresh Pineapple
Cut Off the Top and Bottom
Next, stand it on it's end and cut down the side removing the skin and the eyes.

The Second Step in Preparing a Fresh Pineapple is to Slice the Skin.
Cut Down the Sides

Finally, you'll want to remove the core.  For today's recipe I cut the pineapple into round slices and cut the center out of each slice using a small, round biscuit cutter.  Usually I cut the pineapple into four sections, vertically and then slice the core from the point.

Core Each Pineapple Slice
Cut Out the Core

Now you are ready to eat those delicious chunks of fresh pineapple or use it in one of your favorite recipes.  Today I decided to make a pineapple upside down cake using my cast iron skillet.  It's a delicious way to highlight the beautiful pineapple.

Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes one cake

Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ingredients
Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ingredients
  • 1 medium pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch rings
  • 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dark rum
  • fresh maraschino cherries

Directions
Prepare your pineapple slices and set aside.  Mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Melt four tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the brown sugar, stirring to combine.  Cook the brown sugar and butter together over medium high heat for about 2 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Add the pineapple slices in an even layer.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and turn over the pineapple slices.  Add the cherries to the pan making an attractive arrangement.  Set aside while you make the cake batter.

Pineapple cooking in Caramel Sauce
Cook the Pineapple with Butter and Brown Sugar

Cream together the remaining butter and the granulated sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the flour mixture and the yogurt, alternating between the two, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Stir to combine.  Add the vanilla and the rum and stir well.

The Pineapple Upside Down Cake Batter
The Batter will be Light and Fluffy

Spoon the cake batter over the pineapples in the skillet.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30- 40 minutes, until browned and a tester comes out clean.
 
The Baked Pineapple Upside Down Cake
The Baked Cake

Cool for 3 to 5 minutes on a rack, but not longer or you may have trouble getting it out of the pan.  Run a knife around the pan and then place a cake plate on top of the skillet.

Loosen the Cake from the Skillet
Loosen the Cake from the Skillet with a Knife


Invert the skillet onto the cake plate carefully.  Remember your skillet is really hot, so use oven mitts.  Remove the skillet carefully. 

Invert the Skillet to Release the Cake
Invert the Skillet onto the Cake Plate

Cool.  You can serve this cake warm or at room temperature.  A little dollop of whipped cream is a yummy addition.

Serve Your Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Essential Baking Tool (This is an affiliate link for which I will receive a small payment when you buy.)
A 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet



Enjoy!
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rosemary Grilled Red Potatoes

This recipe for rosemary roasted red potatoes is a perfect grilling season recipe, but can just as easily be made in your oven.  If you love garlic and rosemary, this recipe is for you.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes on the Grill

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Rosemary Grilled Red Potatoes

Roasting the potatoes on the grill results in a more smokey flavor, especially if you use one of these handy, dandy grilling pans.
Grilled Rosemary Red Potatoes


My Favorite Grill Pan
I've owned this grilling pan for several years and have used it to cook vegetables, potatoes and fish on the grill.   It really makes it easy to grill anything that might be cut into smaller sized pieces that might otherwise fall between the slats of the grill.  I love this pan and use it nearly every time we grill.

There's nothing fancy about these grilled potatoes.  The flavor comes from lots and lots of garlic and a smattering of freshly chopped rosemary.  Don't forget the salt and pepper.  They will help to round out the flavors that will be enhanced by the grill.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes Ingredients

Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 4

  • 4-6 red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper to taste



Directions
First, infuse the olive oil with garlic and rosemary.  Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the garlic and rosemary.  You'll hear the garlic and rosemary sizzle when you put it in the pan.  Stir and set aside to cool.

Infuse the Olive Oil

Heat the grill.  Place the potatoes in a bowl and pour the olive oil mixture over them, tossing to coat the potatoes completely with the oil mixture.  Generously season the potatoes with salt and pepper.  I used approximately a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.   Toss the mixture again to make sure the potatoes are well coated.

Season the Potatoes

Place the potatoes in your pan on the grill.    My grill has three burners, so I turn off the center burner and place the grill pan over the turned-off burner section.  This allows the heat from the other burners to surround the pan, without getting it too hot right under the potatoes.

Potatoes Roasting on the Grill

Cover the grill and cook the potatoes for approximately 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Turn the potatoes with a spoon two or three times while they are roasting.

To make these potatoes in your oven, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Prepare the potatoes as you would for the grill, except spread the potatoes on a sheet pan.  Roast the potatoes for 30-45 minutes, until they are browned and tender.

These potatoes are a tasty side dish addition to any grilled menu.   You'll find many, many picnic and barbecue recipes on my Pinterest board.  Follow me for grilling inspiration.

Shared on Meal Plan Monday.

Before you go....Never miss a Just One Donna post by signing up to receive posts in your email or your favorite RSS feed.  Links are in the sidebar.

Enjoy!
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Better Than Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice

Truth be told, a favorite dinner treat at my house is the occasional Chinese takeout.  We've become particularly fond of fried rice and dumplings as our go-to takeout meal.  On days when I'm feeling particularly energetic I will make the fried rice myself.  The dumplings I leave to professionals.

How to Make Shrimp Fried Rice

Quick and Easy Shrimp Fried Rice
Better Than Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice

I actually prefer my homemade shrimp fried rice to the rice from the Chinese restaurant.  This recipe is very quick to make and I know exactly what ingredients I am using.  I like having that control.  The flavor is delicious.  Make this shrimp fried rice recipe and you'll want the skip the takeout, too.

Fried rice is easy to make at home and is a good way to use up many of the odds and ends of meats and vegetables that you may have hanging out in your refrigerator.  There are a few things you should keep in mind when you are making fried rice at home to ensure your success.

Better Than Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice

How to Make Fried Rice at Home


Use rice that is at least one day old.  Fried rice needs to be made with rice that has chilled and hardened slightly in your refrigerator.  Otherwise, it will be gummy and clumpy.

Use a hot pan.  Yes, you can use a wok, but a wok is not necessary.  I own a couple of woks but rarely use them.  I'm usually just too lazy to get the wok out.  What's more important than the pan you use is that the pan you choose can take the heat.

Prepare your ingredients before starting to cook.  The fried rice cooks up very quickly.  You'll need all the ingredients ready to go.  Make sure all your chopping is done in advance. and the ingredients are at hand beside your pan.

Use what you have on hand.  One of my favorite kinds of fried rice to order for takeout is house fried rice.  It has everything but the kitchen sink in it.  This is a good way to use up leftovers at home. Let's make some shrimp fried rice, shall we?



Shrimp Fried Rice

Print Recipe
Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients
Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 4 cups day old white rice, chilled
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, shells removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced, green parts reserved
  • 1 cup frozen carrots and peas
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Directions
Assemble your prepared ingredients.    Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl.   Set aside.

Getting Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients Ready
Get the Ingredients Ready
Heat a large, heavy skillet or wok.  Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil.  When hot, add the shrimp to the pan, cooking for a minute or two until it begins to turn pink.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add one tablespoon of oil to the pan.  Add the onions, celery, garlic, and ginger to the pan.  Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the rice, stirring to cook and brown slightly, about 2 minutes.  Pull the rice mixture to one side of the pan.  Add the eggs to the other side of the pan, cooking the eggs until they set.

Eggs for Your Fried Rice
Make Room in the Pan for the Egg
Add the carrots, peas, and soy sauce mixture.  Stir to combine.  Remove from the heat and garnish with the green parts of the scallions and serve.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Leftovers taste great, too. Add about a teaspoon of water to your bowl and reheat in your microwave for lunch the next day.

Shared on Meal Plan Monday.

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Enjoy!

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Thirty Minute One-Pan Chicken Dinner



As the weather warms, I find I want to spend less time in the kitchen than during the colder months of the year.  For quick meals, I keep a stash of boneless chicken breasts on hand in my freezer.  That way I always feel ready to pull a tasty dinner together quickly.  This is one of those dinners.  Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas is a recipe that takes just a few simple ingredients to make a satisfying dinner you can have on the table in thirty minutes.

Quick and Easy Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas


Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas

I love that this dish is a one pan recipe for those of us who aren't eating potatoes or rice.  I like to serve a salad on the side for a dinner that is sure to please the pickiest eaters in your family.  Add rice or mashed potatoes if that's your jam.
One Pan Chicken, Mushroom, and Peas

There's plenty of yummy flavor in this chicken dish.  The bacon, onions, and mushrooms add flavor and texture.  The chicken stock makes a nice sauce and the vinegar adds brightness.

My tip for you today, is to prep your chicken breasts before you freeze them.  I like to trim all the fat from the chicken breasts when I take them from the package.   Have you noticed how big and fat chicken breasts are these days?  Well, when the breasts are large and thick, I slice them in half to make thin cutlets that don't need to be pounded.  Then I wrap each cutlet individually in plastic wrap. All the cutlets the get placed is a freezer bag for long term storage.  This makes it easy for me to take out just the amount of cutlets I'll need for my dinner and no prep will be needed.

This recipe uses frozen peas because I always keep them on hand in my freezer, as well.  You can, of course, use fresh peas.  You'll just want to cook them a few more minutes than recommended for the frozen peas in the recipe.


Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 4
Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces sliced baby Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

Directions

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture to cover. Brush off excess flour.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown both sides of the chicken and remove from the pan.

Brown the Chicken Breasts
Add the bacon and mushrooms to the skillet, cooking until browned.  Add the onion to the pan, continuing to cook until the onion is soft and tender.  Add the chicken stock and vinegar.  Stir to release the yummy brown bits.

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the chicken back to the pan. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.  Add the peas and parsley, cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the Frozen Peas
Don't overcook at this point.  Just a couple of minutes with the cover on will thaw the peas and keep them fresh tasting.  Serve immediately.

If you love this quick, one pan dinner please share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Yum.  I appreciate your shares!

Enjoy!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Baked Italian Squash Casserole

I've been planting my backyard vegetable garden these past few weeks and am looking forward to the all the fresh vegetables that will be ready for harvest in July and August.  This summer you'll see me post a few more vegetable recipes. That's because I love fresh vegetables and I believe it is possible to make vegetables a delicious complement to my meals.  I know many of you may not feel the same way, but I hope you'll take advantage of the bounty of locally grown fresh vegetables in your neighborhoods and try one or two of my vegetable recipes.  Perhaps you'll become a vegetable lover as well?

Oven Baked Italian Squash Casserole


Baked Italian Squash Casserole
Today's recipe is one of my favorites to make with the produce from my garden.  Fresh zucchini and yellow squash, onions, tomatoes, and parsley are delicious cooked the day they are picked.  You don't need a backyard garden to make yummy vegetable dishes.  You can make this recipe any time of year with produce from your grocery store or the farmers' market.
Oven Baked Italian VegetableCasserole

Choose your favorite vegetables to mix with some olive oil, seasoned bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese to produce this tasty casserole that even tastes yummy reheated.  If you want to make this a one pan meal, add chunks of chicken.  Saute the chicken in the pan before the vegetables and then continue with the recipe as written.


Baked Italian Squash Casserole

Printer Friendly Recipe
Baked Italian Squash Casserole Ingredients
Serves 6
  • 2 pounds of zucchini and yellow squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 large tomato, cut into chunks
  • 2 small, or 1 large onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and the squash cooking until the squash begins to brown. Season with some of the salt and pepper.  Remove the squash to a 13x9 inch baking dish.

Cook the Squash and Garlic

Add the remaining olive oil to the same skillet.  Add the peppers and onions, cooking for 1-2 minutes.  Add the tomato and season with the remaining salt and pepper.  Cook until the peppers begin to soften.  Add the pepper mixture to the pan with the squash.  Stir to combine.

Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes Add Flavor and Color

Sprinkle the mixture with the bread crumbs and the chopped parsley.  Stir to distribute throughout the vegetable mixture.  Top with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Ready for the Oven

Bake the casserole uncovered on the center rack of your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, but still crisp, and the cheese has melted.

Tender, Crisp Vegetables...
I love these veggies as leftovers for breakfast or lunch the next day.  Try them as the filling for an omelet with a little extra cheese.  Oh, so, yummy!

Do you like this recipe?  Please share with your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Yum friends!

Enjoy!
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