Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Do you like an easy and yummy dessert? Like right now easy? When I want easy I always make this one….it takes a few minutes to put together…and it is soooo worth it!

I LIKE pineapple and marachino cherries….
 I love desserts with fruit in them….

And I LOVE Pineapple Upside Down Cake….yum! 

I just doctor up a yellow cake mix by adding a cup of sour cream, a small vanilla pudding,  and a few other things….

Ingredients and Recipe

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Nuts make anything tastier…mmmm…..

Then I spray a cake pan (glass, oval shaped) with Pam and pour 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter  and some chopped walnuts.
Line Pan with…..
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 cup to 3/4 cups walnuts

Brown sugar and the walnuts…don’t forget to dot them with pieces of butter…..

Then after mixing up the cake mix….I decorate that nutty, sugary pan with the rings of pineapple….

 Then dot the insides of the pineapple with marachino cherries.  They add the really pretty touch to the dessert. Then pour the cake mix on top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes on 350.  It is super easy!

Mixing up the yellow cake mix batter……
Adding the extra oil, sour cream and pudding to the mix……

All those nuts and the brown sugar and butter make it a decadent topping for your yummy pineapple cake! 

Bake up that baby!  
Here it is just out of the oven….The sour cream and pudding mix make the batter really rich and tasty! 

Let it cool about 10 minutes and then cut spoonfuls and turn them over as you
dish out the servings….topped with whipped cream of course!  

Try to include a ring and a cherry in each serving for a great presentation….
This is one of my husband’s favorite desserts!  

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Okay the Girl Scouts in my neighborhood delivered our boxes of Thin Mints cookies over the weekend and of course they were seriously gone in a day! What is with those cookies I ask you!  Everybody loves the Samoas, but I am very addicted to the Thin Mints.

So on my Facebook page today one of my friends put up this picture with the yummy recipe to go with it. I’m trying it!  I’m craving minty chocolate cookies ever since I downed the last sleeve of my Girl Scout Cookies. It was so weird because a day later I found 4 little cookies in a leftover sleeve my husband had been eating and I seriously felt like the Easter Bunny had just laid a Cadbury Egg in my basket! It is embarrasing!

I’ve got to get over this Thin Mint addiction I’ve got!!!  Especially because, well, you know what my doctor told me…..nothing greasy, fried or yellow! So I’m sure those cookies have something yellow and buttery in them. I’m not going to think about that today.  Those darn girl scouts. Hmph!

Kelly’s Thin Mint Cookies for the severely addicted …..

Cookie bottom: 
1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix (I like the ones with pudding in the mix the best)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together (do not follow the directions on the back of the cake mix- disregard them completely). Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-9 minutes (don’t cook any longer than that! You don’t want them to be overdone!). Let cookies cool completely.

Peppermint Frosting: 

1/2 c. butter, softened (Uh Oh, it’s YELLOW! OLD DOC WON’T LIKE THAT!) 
2 Tablespoons milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
Green food coloring (optional- I added about 8 drops to get the colors of green that I had)
Mix together all the ingredients (add more or less powdered sugar until you get the consistency you like). Spread on top of each cooled cookie.

Chocolate Topping:
2 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. butter    (Oh NO, not again!)  
Melt chocolate chips and butter together in a double boiler OR in a microwave (I usually microwave for 30-second intervals, then stir and repeat until the chips are fully melted). Spread melted chocolate on each cookie- I have found that it works best to use the back of a spoon to spread the chocolate around.

Now they even have THIN MINT ICE CREAM!! What ‘s a mint fiend to do? 

Okay this recipe is a keeper.  If you have the darm Girl Scout Cookie cravings like I do. Thanks Kelly, our wonderful PTA President, for giving me a fix on my Thin Mint addiction.  

White Chicken Chili Party!

Have you ever gone to a homemade chili tasting party? Well it’s a lot of fun. I got to taste chilis of all sorts.  Here is just a sampling a bunch of friends of mine enjoyed….

We had Great Harvest Bread and cookies to go with our soup luncheon…..

Here’s all the ladies lining up for the tasting party…

I loved this one…it was white chicken chili…yummo! 

Here’s my friend Bethann telling me where to go taste her soup…hehe….it was good too! 

We had lots of varieties of chili.  some veggie, some chicken…some beans…

I’ve never seen so many kinds of chili!  Some even had cinnamon in them!  And it tasted really great! 

Our featured speaker was the FOOD NANNY….I see her on T.V. all the time! 

Here I am with “The Food Nanny” who was our luncheon speaker….

My Favorite Chili Recipe is White Chicken Chili

  • 1 can navy beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or make your own with a few cubes of chicken bouillon)
  • 2 tablespoons  butter (to saute and caramelize the onions)
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 small can diced green chills 
  • 2 cups white chicken meat,  diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2  tablespoons lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper
  • a shake of garlic salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Lawry’s or Johnny’s Season Salt to taste


I start with the onion and butter for any stew or soup I make, saute it for 7 minutes or so turning constantly. Then I chop up all the veggies.
I only had 1/2 a white onion, so I added a little purple also…it will add more color to my veggie stock! . 
I LOVE my new cutting board…cute “Give Thanks” motto….
Then I pour in water and 2 bouillon cubes for the chicken stock. You could add cans of Swanson chicken stock instead.  Add the veggies and let them boil for 10 minutes. Then add the turkey cubes and start spicing it with pepper and spices.
Here are the Bouillon cubes….they are easy to make a flavorful stock…
I chopped the  into small cubes….well…..sorta…I’m a messy chopper! 

 I add everything and then taste it.  Sometimes I will actually add a few teaspoons of sugar. Sometimes it just evens out all that salty taste. I will usually add a few more shakes of Lemon Pepper and Lawry’s at the end.  Then lastly add the beans. If you add them too soon they will turn to mush.  My turkey chili is very dense with veggies, not a lot of broth.

I added a little bit of all of these spices…shake and taste…that’s my style….
I didn’t have garbanzo beans on hand…these are canned white beans…..I coulda used another can of beans! 

Here’s my White Chicken Chili…’s pretty good too! 

I looked over some recipes from the “skinny” cookbooks. They seem to be slim on ingredients but heavy on spices. What do you think? I’d much rather have a variety of yummy veggies!
cookbook chillis
Order Bread Online
Great Harvest Bread….My Favorite!  

We had  some Great Harvest 12 grain bread so I buttered one to go with my chili.  I love that GREAT HARVEST! The nuttier the bread, the better I like it!

loved the yummy and healthy cookies at the end too….mmmm ….I took 2….snicker…

Chicken Walnut Salad like Paradise Bakery

Walnut Chicken Salad with Fresh Parmesan Cheese…just like Paradise Bakery…only with a little bit added….

Have you ever had the Chicken Walnut Salad at Paradise Bakery and Cafe?  I love that place. They give you a cookie with each order. I like a little sweet with my salad or soup, ya know?

The Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie at Paradise Bakery….
Yummy place for salads and a quick lunch….

I’ve actually gone there twice in one week once, just to eat their soups and salads.  My favorite is the Chicken Walnut. And I can’t pick a favorite soup. They are all really good there.

The Asian Salad is pretty good at Paradise Bakery too….but….the Chicken Walnut is the best.

 The only thing is….they DON’T put enough walnuts in the salad. No way. I always go up and ask, “Did you forget my walnuts?” And they ALWAYS tell me “NO”.  I just like a lot of crunch in a salad.

Their sandwiches are pretty good too…

Chicken Walnut  – One of my favorite salads there!  Here is what they say is in the salad……
Our famous Chicken Walnut salad  on top of romaine lettuce tossed with Caesar dressing, garlic croutons & parmesan cheese. 

Use up lots of your fresh veggies….I added some purple onion to my hubs…he’s an onion lover!
I just got some fresh shredded Parmesan cheese from the deli… 

I like sweet, red peppers in mine.  We both love cucumbers too…and the Walnuts of course…

So here are the INGREDIENTS  for 2 salads
Romaine lettuce cut into bits 

1 tomato cut into wedges and then halved
1/2 cucumber cut into spears and then chunked
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese (or more to your taste)
Seasoned croutons
1 grilled chicken breast cooled and cut into chunks
ground pepper
1 Tablespoon for each salad of Caesar dressing. 
1/4 cup walnuts (or more if you like)

Add some black pepper to it right after tossing….

Directions for Chicken Walnut Salad
Cut up all the veggies and lettuce and place into 2 salad bowls. Add the fresh Parmesan, the chicken and the walnuts. Add Caesar dressing and  croutons and shake on some black pepper.  Enjoy!  

Yum…this is sooooo tasty and yummy! 

Chicken and Broccoli Divan over Noodles

I have always loved Chicken and Broccoli.  I used to make it and put it over a Stove Top Stuffing recipe as a newlywed. 

Chicken and Broccoli Divan ……great over Noodles…

 I am trying to reduce the calories in some of my cooking though. So instead I’m going to try it over noodles. The basic recipe is yummy, filling and pretty easy. 

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

RECIPE for Chicken and Broccoli Divan over Noodles

  • 3/4 pound chopped fresh broccoli (steamed 5-7 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat ( I grilled 3 breasts) 
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 + cup milk (depending on how thick you like it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Johnny’s Season Salt
  • Dash of lemon pepper or regular pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or your cheese preference
  • 1/3 cup sauteed onions 
  • 1/3 cup sauteed red or yellow peppers if desired
  • wide egg noodles cooked and drained.

Some of my ingredients for the sauce, and wide egg noodles to spoon
the yummy stuff over!  
I used up my yellow peppers and it added so much flavor I’d do it again! 
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Place the broccoli in a saucepan and steam approximately 6 minutes. 
  3. Place the cooked broccoli in a casserole dish. Top with the grilled, sliced up chicken and grilled onions. In a bowl, mix the soup, sour cream, spices and milk, and pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese or a mix of cheeses.  
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
  5. Spoon over cooked and drained individual plated servings of wide egg noodles. Enjoy!  

Steam your veggies…… I had broccoli and some leftover raw zucchini

I had a bit of leftover yellow pepper, like a 2 inch x 4 inch sliver so I added that to my onions as they were sauteing just to use it up. Surprisingly it added some pretty color and yummo flavor! 

Stir fry your peppers and onion….
Spay Pan in a casserole and pour veggies in…..

 I also had a 1/3 of zucchini so I added it to the broccoli. I had used some of the broccoli when I grilled veggies a few nights ago so didn’t have quite 3/4 pound, so that’s why you can see zucchini.

Mix the milk, Cream of Chicken soup and sour cream and spices…..
Cut up your previously grilled chicken….I used 3 skinless breasts….

Put those in with the veggies….

 But these are good additions for health and low cal too! Woop!

Pour the soup and sour cream mixture over the veggies and chicken….

I topped mine with shredded cheddar and fresh Parmesan cheese … then bake it up! 
My finished Chicken and Broccoli Divan comes out bubbly and cheesy and good! 
 And color is always an added bonus!  If you like crunch like I do you can top this with slivered almonds or Chinese crunchy noodles too! 

Chicken and Broccoli Divan over Noodles

This is delicious and very filling so you don’t eat that much! We had enough for 2 for lunch the next day too.  Yummy stuff.

The Weekday Chef

Light Wheat Bread

Grandma Merlene’s 90th birthday was yesterday. So I decided she might like some homemade bread.

Here’s grandma Merlene, 90 years old today! She’s holding her light wheat bread

I have an old Amish white bread recipe that I love. But I want to get a little healthier. So I often put in a cup and a hlaf of wheat flour to the recipe so it is like a light wheat bread. It is not too heavy, but it has a hint of wheat to it,but still light and fluffy like a good homemade white bread should be.  Not too dense, if you know what I mean.

Warm water mixed with the yeast….then add sugar after it foams up a bit….

I was going to use honey in this recipe but I used sugar instead, but I used
both kinds of flour.  
I used the Wesson canola oil for my bread….

Then add the oil and salt. 

2 Cups warm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
4 to 4 1/2 cups white flour

In a large bowl yeast in water, then add sugar to feed yeast.  Allow to foam up. Add salt and oil and mix up. Add flour 1 cup or so at a time. Knead dough until smooth 3-4 minutes. Place in oiled bowl for an hour to rise and Cover with a damp cloth till doubled in size. Divide dough in half and form into loaves and place in 2 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.  Can make all white by substituting wheat flour for white and it is just as easy and yummy.

Cute flour and sugar holders…..I need some of these…

You could use your dough hook, but it seriously takes about 3 to 4 minutes to get it all ready  to rise!  I just
do it by hand because it is so easy to clean up. 

While it was baking I thought I’d put up my St. Patrick’s Day stuff.  I only had enough for the front table….

My St. Patrick’s Day front entry table….I made the leprechaun a few years back with my class.
We used empty lamination rolls for the body.  It took me a year to save up enough at my school! 

Anyway, Grandma Merlene loves homemade bread.  I hope she liked mine. 

And I had to have a few slices too….good thing this recipe makes 2 loaves!   
Anyway,  this wheat bread is real easy, yummy, and good for you! Wanna bite? 

Turkey and Veggie Wraps

Try these easy turkey wraps for a quick lunch or  a healthy dinner! 

I love the Ranch salad dressing you can get in the big jug at Costco. It is really creamy and delicious. And I’m trying to cut down on my fat because my skinny and red-headed doctor told me to. I guess I eat too much yummy stuff. (go figure) and my lipid profile is high (what in heck is a lipid?). So he said “Don’t eat anything yellow  (Huh?), greasy or fried!” What the heck? What does that leave?  (Well, chocolate isn’t yellow…hmmm…)

 Anyway,  I decided to make a healthy dinner (for a change). Here is my yummy, veggie and turkey wraps. I started to put mayo on them and realized (Eek! MAYO is YELLOW! CRAP!) So as depression started to settle in, I opened my fridge and found the ranch dressing. He he….it’s not technically yellow!  (But the mozzerella cheese is!) Okay, so it’s not completely fat free, but what in the world IS?

My ingredients (I forgot to picture the avocado too) and also salt and pepper….

Turkey Wrap ingredients

These are the ingredients in my easy and very yummy turkey wraps.  I like Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Turkey meat because it is kind of dry for deli meat and it is smoked and delicious.  I hate deli meat that is really wet and kind of slimy, ya know what I mean?

Best of the Deli meats is Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Turkey…

So I either get it from the butcher (Target’s Archer Farms turkey is really dry and good) or else this is the brand I like.  Costco has a prewrapped deli turkey that’s good but we never finish a package, they are all so huge. So my vote is for Oscar’s brand, you know….I still have love in my heart for the little weanie the drives all over America….so….Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh turkey it is.

Spread the ranch dressing on a flour tortilla…..

Add the Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh turkey, then cucumbers (sliced thinly) and tomato wedges…(I used Romas)

Some sliced olives and a little grated  Mozzerella cheese on top….(or your favorite cheese) unless
you have the same cheese hating doctor I’ve got….notice how sparingly I spread the cheese? 

Some slices of fresh, red peppers and some avocado, and salt and pepper, DONE! 

 I usually buy the bigger flour tortillas that you can actually wrap around the veggies a few times. But these smaller 10 inch tortillas were on sale for $1.00 at Walmart, so...whateva…..  Spread a teaspoon (or more if you don’t have my doctor…or my lipids) on the wrap with a knife.  Then add the veggies of your choice. I add cucumbers, tomatoes, red, sweet peppers, olives and avocado, salt and pepper to the turkey. Then wrap it up!

Turkey Wraps….so fresh and yummy! (not to mention EASY and HEALTHY!)

It’s delicious with some baked Tostitos and maybe some fresh fruit.  That was dinner last night. I just realized as I went to make a piece of toast this morning that …..oh NO!  BUTTER IS ALSO YELLOW!  Oh MAN that’s a bummer! Whaaaa!