Showing posts with label Le Creuset. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Le Creuset. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bacon-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

As you can see, there are two Bacon-Pineapple Upside-Down cakes on this photo; don't be fooled, on the left, is the page of the Food Network magazine, and on the right is my actual cake! I must say, I have never...well, almost never made a cake the turned out almost identical as the picture from a magazine or book...and I'm also proud to share the 'source' where the recipe comes from originally. Most food blogger...and I do say MOST are not willing to share the source of their recipes even if they adapted it from a source...which is even better because you get to take your own 'twist' on it, and share that as well.

Although in the 1970's we all just wrote down on little index cards recipes that we exchanged with one-another, and who knew where they originated from...some of them were 'hand-me-downs' and some were clippings from magazines, but virtually no one knew the actual source! In the 90's, when I got my first computer in 1995 and had the Windows 95, my neighbor, who was more advanced with computer knowledge even a few years prior, suggested that I should type up all my hand written recipes and create a file where I could easily find them. I spent hours and hours typing (good thing I took typing in high school) ...so I didn't have to peck with my index finger...lol!

Well, since then I got rid of most of my handwritten recipes...and I kind of feel bad about that!
Fast forward, here we are in 2014 with some pretty advanced cameras, and we are not only blogging about food, but taking some amazing food photos, as well! I do admit one thing, the only way we can mention that our recipes are original...and I do mean original creation, is that from memory, remembering a certain 'staple dish' with the ingredients we already kept in our memories; but than, we just have to remember the measurements...that is how our mothers and grandmothers cooked...a pinch here, and a dash, or just 'eyeballing' the liquid measurements. When it came to baking...they would pull out an old ratty cookbook, or a yellowed piece of handwritten paper when it came to baking...am I correct, or not?
All I can tell you that this is the best Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake you've ever had in your life...that is, if you LOVE bacon like most of us do. Forget about the calories, the fat, and cholesterol, just for once, and splurge a little! I got so hooked on the bacon dish and dessert creations just from that Food Network magazine; the bacon issue, that I plan to study it well, to make more recipes from it!

Especially, when you can buy a package of a very good quality bacon, and get the 2nd package for FREE...you certainly have a bargain for sure! Our local Publix Supermarket always, but always has the 'buy one'...and 'get one free' of so many different products every week, that you'd be amazed how much you can save!

Bacon-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
recipe, courtesy of Food Network Magazine
Ingredients
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, 9 to 11 minutes; remove to paper towels. Finely chop and set aside.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons drippings from the skillet. Add 4 tablespoons butter and melt over low heat. Pour into a 9-inch-round cake pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter mixture.
Place a pineapple ring in the middle of the pan, then arrange the remaining rings around the outside, overlapping them slightly if necessary. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the chopped bacon in the middle of the rings and between them.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the remaining 1 stick butter and the granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the batter is smooth, about 15 more seconds. Fold in the remaining chopped bacon.
Spread the batter over the pineapple in the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a rack and let cool 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a platter. Let cool at least 1 hour before serving.

Always use the freshest and ripest pineapple you can find...these were already pre-cut into logs, and I sliced them about 1/2 inch slices.
Fry 6 slices of bacon in a large skillet, on medium heat, and lay them on paper towel to soak up the excess grease.
On top of the stove, add the light brow sugar, the butter, and reserved bacon fat and let the melt down. Swoosh the pan to smooth it out. ( I used a Le Creuset enameled large cast iron skillet..
('thrift find' from Goodwill) a few years ago, for $3.99...don't even try to find one in such perfect brand new condition today...and forget about the old price!
Lay the pineapple slices carefully over the brown sugar mixture...you can overlap them slightly if they don't fit right. (You can use a cast iron skillet, or a heavy duty skillet. Cake pan also works well, but you have to transfer the brown sugar mixture from the skillet that you melted the sugar in)
Chop the bacon really fine...chances are, you may have a small amount left over!
Fill the holes of the pineapple slices, and all the empty spaces around them.
With an electric hand mixer, or stand-up mixer, mix the cake ingredients according to the recipe!
With a rubber spatula, carefully spread the batter on top of the pineapple slices.
The batter should look smooth, and spread all the way to cover the pineapple pieces.
Here's the finished result...perfectly baked, golden brown. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes then with a dull knife loosen around the edges. Place a large platter over the top, and carefully turn it upside-down. Wait at least one hour before cutting it. ( my cake was done in about 50 minutes) May not need 1 hr. to bake according to your oven.
Just to refresh your memory, after one hour of resting the cake...can't wait to cut into it...and share!
Moist, delicious, sweet and savory...hope you will try this! xo



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spicy Chickpea Soup with Egg Noodles

Homemade Spicy Chickpea Soup, from 'scratch'...you bet!
It's been almost a week now, since I last photographed the beautiful beach 'sunrise'. I just did not have the desire to even photograph anything I have cooked or baked. It takes time, effort, and either the proper light for food photos, you should not even waste your time. Both of my children and I have started to have dinner once or twice a week since a year ago...a new 'tradition'... (just us, and the four grandchildren, on a weeknight... it's really a special event for us. to have this time and reminisce about the past when they were little...sharing stories for my grand kids!
Unfortunately, some Nostalgic stories, and memories do 'pull my heartstrings'...seeing them as adults with their young children; watching the years passing by before our eyes. You have to keep in mind that the past no longer has a 'life force'...IT IS OVER~...it's the current situation that is in your hands. You can reminisce all you want about the past...regret the things that went wrong...it is the only part of your life that you cannot change!

 I realized that Nostalgia does not...has not make us happier...dwelling on the past Our life is like 'chapters' in a novel...a 'never ending novel' learning from that long journey we took...leaving the past behind...greeting each morning as we awaken. Learning lessons of the past...being who you are today, and not who you were 'yesterday'! Our past should not define us who we were yesterday!


I felt the need to make a soup, today... I'm so glad I had all the ingredients in pantry, fridge, freezer, and cupboard...just had to make the decision...bake, or cook something comforting...so soup is always the right choice, with a sandwich!

Homemade soup of any kind is so easy to make...just have either homemade broth, canned, or in a carton...chicken, or vegetable broth, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, carrots, tomatoes, and canned beans, or frozen vegetables of your choice.
Here's my easy method:

Saute chopped onion, 2 cloves sliced, or chopped garlic, along with chopped celery in reg. olive, or vegetable oil.(also, a few scraped and sliced carrots) Add crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, cumin powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste...

 (I didn't have fresh parsley) 1 Tbsp. of paprika paste, (tomato paste works well, or 1 Tbsp. of  paprika powder) 1 bay leaf...saute until onion is translucent, add a small amount of broth (32 ozs. in total broth)..Also, you can add frozen sliced carrots, abt 12 ozs. (I added frozen crinkle sliced carrots)....let the vegetable cook for another 15 min.

Add fresh chopped tomatoes...or canned diced tomatoes...tomato sauce works well,
You can add 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce in place of the (canned, or fresh diced tomato...I used Italian POMI strained tomatoes, about 1/2 container.

 Bring it to a boil, and now, add 2 cans of chickpeas, or garbanzo (same thing)...let it boil again, and add about 1/4 pkg of a 1lb. bag of egg, (or no yolk noodles)...let the noodles cook right in the soup for about 12 min. and it will be perfectly cooked...and delicious! When soup cools down, you can save them in plastic containers...even better re-heated~

I'm sharing with some really awesome 'thrift' finds with you...which I haven't in a while. I have a friend that does not approve of  buying someone's 'used' things...but the reality of it, and the most fun of it is that the majority of these wonderful useful things are donated by people who have paid 'good money' for the stuff, and most of the items are almost...if not 'new'...or barely used.
Every item has a 'story' behind it...where it came from, and why?...it was donated!

Just look at the bottom of this adorable little saucepan...LE CREUSET...made in France~
I love, love, Le Creuset pots, and pans. I bought a lasagna pan, and a skillet in the past few years (gave it to my daughter, she loves it)
The quality of this brand is 'unmatched'...cost 'an arm and a leg'...so expensive. very heavy cast iron, coated with super heavy enamel...food just tastes better, in Le Creuset. This particular little saucepan is an 'oldie, but goodie'...cost @ Goodwill, $6.99


I posted about these whimsical waiters, carrying bottles of champagne...by artist; Guy Bulut


I have this awesome and 'conversation' print hanging on my dining room wall for at least 3yrs now. Very well mounted, and framed, even with the wire hanger on the back. ($24.99)





So, what are the chances of finding another 'Bulut' print...3yrs later?...waiters in apron...in a Paris Café...I love this matching print...so well mounted and framed....couldn't just hang it simply...had to have it drilled with 'heavy duty hanger'...what a superb find...($29.99) ...worth so much more, and in great condition.










 A close up of this amazing print...such a 'conversation peace'...makes you feel like you're sitting in that French Café...just where I would love to be someday...soon!










 
Well, enough posting for now...I'll be watching the Winter Olympics from Russia ...and all day tomorrow!
Have a wonderful weekend! xo