Dump Cake with Cherries

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Dump Cake with Cherries! Allow me to explain what is a less appealing title for a cake recipe. Dump Cake, seriously? Before you head off in another direction, let me assure you this is literally the easiest cake recipe you’ll find today. It comes from one of those cookbooks put together by a group of church ladies in the early 1980s. And it is fantastic! After all, just “dump” the ingredients in a 9″x13″ pan and bake. Top it off with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. Can I hear a “Hallelujah”? 🌟

DUMP CAKE WITH CHERRIES

Ingredients:

1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling

1 15-ounce can crushed pineapple

1 18-ounce box of yellow cake mix

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 smidgen nutmeg

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup almonds, sliced

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Dump cherry pie filling into the bottom of a 9″x13″ glass baking dish. Spread into a single layer. Dump crushed pineapple, with juice, on top of cherries. Spread to cover. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over fruit layers. Top with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Dot with slices of butter. Cover with sliced almonds. Bake for one hour, or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm.

Li Hing Pineapple

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Next Step: Li Hing Pineapple! Talk to any adult who is native to Hawaii and you’ll discover a craze from their youth. It’s Li Hing Mui, a powdered flavoring that can be sprinkled on anything from fruit to candy to popcorn, and even rimming the glasses of adult cocktails. No kidding. So what exactly is this mysterious flavoring, you wonder. Li Hing is plum powder made from dried plums. It has a combination of sweet, salty, and tangy taste. Local children love it on sour gummy worms or shave ice. Anything goes. One taste and you’ll find yourself giggling like a kid.

LI HING PINEAPPLE

Ingredients:

Fresh pineapple

Li Hing powder

Instructions:

Peel and core fresh pineapple. Cut into chunks. Using a sifter, lightly dust the fresh pineapple chunks with Li Hing powder. Let rest for a minute. Serve.

Effortless Pineapple Chicken

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Effortless Pineapple Chicken! Has anyone noticed May is the peak season for pineapple? Yes, I’m talking about fresh pineapple. It is naturally sweet and loaded with juice. If you’ve never cut a fresh pineapple, there are plenty of step-by-step instructions on the Internet, not to mention YouTube videos that walk you through it. Trust me, the benefits outweigh the mystery. Step out of your comfort zone and take a walk on the wild side. Fresh pineapple, it’s the bomb!

EFFORTLESS PINEAPPLE CHICKEN

Ingredients:

6 chicken tenders, boneless and skinless

1/2 cup buttermilk

6 pineapple rings

1/8 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cooking sherry

Instructions:

Rinse chicken; pat dry. Place in a shallow dish. Pour buttermilk over all and marinate for 30 minutes. Roast pineapple rings on a baking sheet in a preheated oven set to 400° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika. Set aside. In a large skillet on medium heat, add olive oil. Take the buttermilk-laden chicken tenders and place in the skillet. Sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook chicken 2 minutes per side. Add pineapple rings, sherry, and Monterey Jack cheese. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 5 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

Zucchini Jammin’

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Zucchini Jammin’! Someone once told me that zucchini is like a chameleon; it can literally change a recipe into anything you want it to be. When I came across this old prairie cookbook, I was intrigued enough to put zucchini to the test. The results were astounding! Hint: The jam has a refreshing pineapple-orange finish and tastes wonderful on yogurt!

ZUCCHINI JAMMIN’

Ingredients:

3 cups zucchini, raw, peeled, and shredded

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice

3 ounce package orange gelatin

Instructions:

Boil zucchini in enough water to keep covered for 6 minutes. Drain. Add sugar, lemon juice, and crushed pineapple with juice. Boil 6 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Seal hot in jars.

Quazy Carrot Cake

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Quazy Carrot Cake! “What’s up, Doc?” is something we’ve all heard Bugs Bunny say more than once. You may find yourself asking the same question when you take a bite of this tasty version of Carrot Cake. It’s loaded with fresh carrots, pineapple tidbits, and chopped pecans. The crowning moment comes when you smack your lips together over the wonderful cream cheese icing. I have seen expressions of jubilation over this award-winning dessert. Treat yourself to something special this weekend.

QUAZY CARROT CAKE

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs

3 cups carrots, grated

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup pecans, chopped

Ingredients for Icing:

1/2 cup butter, softened

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9″x13″ pan with nonstick oil. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix well. Add oil, eggs, carrots, pineapple, and nuts. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Transfer to baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until done. Meanwhile, cream together the butter and Neufchâtel cheese. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. When cake is cool, top with cream cheese icing. Garnish with a pecan half.

Ina Garten’s Fruit Crunch Sundae

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Ina Garten’s Fruit Crunch Sundae! The Barefoot Contessa is a familiar face on the Food Network these days. Not only does she offer great ideas for any meal, but she makes them seem incredibly simple. Today’s recipe comes from a recent episode where Ina wanted to serve up a special breakfast for her husband. I like the idea of taking everyday food and turning it into something extraordinary. By baking a batch of crunchy granola and storing it in an airtight container, single servings can be assembled in a flash. Use whatever fruit is on hand to make it unique.

INA GARTEN’S FRUIT CRUNCH SUNDAE

Ingredients:

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup sliced almonds

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons pure honey

4 strawberries

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup pineapple tidbits

1 cup Greek yogurt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the oats, coconut, almonds, oil, and honey together in a large bowl until completely combined. Pour into a baking sheet and bake until mixture turns golden brown. Stir occasionally. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool. Stir once. Combine the strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple in a bowl. Using stemmed glasses or parfait glasses, layer granola, yogurt, and fruit until full. You may alternate ingredients to repeat layers. Serve immediately.

Edamame Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Edamame Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry! Mention the word “Stir-Fry” and watch people gather around the table. There’s something about the freshness of vegetables combined with chicken tenders smothered in a nutty savory sauce that screams “More! More!” It’s healthy, it’s easy, and it’s filling. The versatility of stir-fry makes an instant star of leftover ingredients. Everyone wins!

EDAMAME CHICKEN BROCCOLI STIR-FRY

Ingredients:

3/4 pound of chicken tenders, boneless and skinless

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 pound of broccoli florets, stalks trimmed

1 cup pineapple chunks

1/4 cup edamame, dry roasted nuts

Ingredients for Sauce:*

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons peanut butter, creamy

1 tablespoon molasses

2 teaspoons vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 garlic powder

20 drops of sriracha sauce

*If you’re short on time, you may substitute bottled Hoisin Sauce for the homemade one.

Instructions:

The sauce can be made first so it is ready when you need it. Simply mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth and creamy consistency.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken tenders in olive oil, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Chicken should be browned and cooked through after 3-4 minutes. Be prepared to add a tablespoon or two of water if the pan goes dry. Reduce heat to low. Place broccoli around the edge of the pan before finishing in the middle. Add pineapple chunks and edamame. Pour sauce over all and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes longer. Serve over rice.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter V

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Color of Food: Vanilla Pineapple Jam! I learn so much by following other foodies. My friend, Lathiya, featured this aromatic recipe on her blog recently. I never thought of adding vanilla to pineapple. The results are amazing! Shout out to her for more photos at http://www.lathiskitchen.org/2018/02/23 and a tasty fruit combination to smear on your morning toast or Greek yogurt. It’s Yumolicious!

VANILLA PINEAPPLE JAM

Ingredients:

2 cups pineapple chunks, drain juice if using canned

3/4 cup sugar

3 discs sugared ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

Using a 9-inch saucepan, combine pineapple chunks and sugar over medium-high heat to boil. Reduce to low and continue cooking. Gently mash the chunks with a fork as pineapple softens. Add sugared ginger, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Cook until mixture becomes jam, about 20 minutes. Add lemon juice; stir and cook 10 minutes longer. Jam will begin to thicken. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes before transferring to a jar. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter Y

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Home Cooking: Yakitori Chicken Skewers! Our dinner was supposed to be grilled outdoors. Thank goodness when the weather doesn’t cooperate, meat and vegetables can be broiled indoors with very tasteful results. The international marinade lends itself to an enhanced blend of aromatic soy, olive oil, and pungent ginger which is pleasing to the palate. The Japanese-style dish is a light and healthy alternative when mixed with fruit and vegetables.

YAKITORI CHICKEN

Ingredients:

2-3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, and cut into small sections

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup sake or vermouth

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, shaved

1 garlic clove, minced

6″ skewers

1/2 cup pineapple chunks

1/2 cup green pepper strips

Instructions:

Place chicken in a dish. Combine sugar, soy sauce, sake, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Mix well to combine. Pour over chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for one hour. Thread chicken, pineapple, and green pepper alternating on skewers. Preheat oven broiler on high setting. Place skewers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes; turn and broil an additional 5 minutes on the other side. Cook until chicken is fully cooked. Remove from oven being careful of hot juices.