A couple weeks ago I bought a huge box of honey mangoes (our fave!) and *thought* they were just on the verge of being perfectly ripe…maybe in a day or two. It turned out I was right but we just couldn’t eat them fast enough so I turned to Pinterest for help.
There were a lot of mango “ice cream” and “mousse” recipes that popped up immediately but I just wasn’t getting any inspiration from them and then I stumbled across a Mango Pineapple Crumble that sounded different and delicious!
And I was right! I don’t know if I’ll ever make a traditional apple crumble again because this more tropical, summery version is just soooooo extremely good. And the sweetness of the fruit means you need to use little to no sweetener. The gooey fruit filling paired with the crisp, salty-sweet topping studded with little pieces of nuts is to-die-for.
We ate it with a little scoop of our homemade vanilla dairy/sugar-free ice cream. So good! And perfect for any Easter gatherings coming up!
Have you heard about chia seeds yet? They are an awesome super food that have so many health benefits, it’s truly unbelievable. From lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol to helping surpress appetite, I am sold on these little seeds of goodness. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find all kinds of information on them.
The first time I ever saw them was in a water bottle that the cashier was drinking out of at my local health food store. They looks like hundreds of little bubbles in her water. She explained what they were and all the benefits and I was intrigued but didn’t purchase any until recently. I love to put them in my oatmeal and my juicing concoction I make in the morning. I’ve also had them baked into thin, crisp bars (recipe courtesy of my friend Joelle…I’ll be blogging it soon!) and can now add jam to my list of uses for chia seeds! The seeds actually absorb water like crazy so instead of using pectin to make the gel-like consistency of jam, these seeds do all the work! It’s totally amazing and so, so tasty. I just used honey to taste to sweeten this jam, so even though I list an exact measurement, feel free to use however much tastes good to you.
I made three different kinds, Strawberry, Strawberry Pineapple and Peach. I think I like the Strawberry Pineapple the best. Because I made three different kinds, I went ahead and froze two of them, so we’ll see how those hold up after they’re thawed out. So far I’ve enjoyed it by the spoonful, on whole-grain sprouted bagels and plan to make some whole wheat waffles to try the spread on. I am so excited about this stuff…healthy and good for you. Enjoy!
1 c. Fresh Strawberries (or fruit of your choice), finely chopped and slightly mashed (you can also pulse the fruit in your food processor, which I'm going to try next time)
¼ c. Water (I would use a little less if you have a significant amount of juice from your fruit)
2 T. Chia Seeds
3 T. Raw Honey (or agave, stevia or other natural sweetener)
Warm fruit and water in a bowl in the microwave for 1 minutes. Stir in chia seeds and honey and let set on the counter until cooled. Place a jar or other air-tight container and let gel overnight. Top whole grain bread, bagels, pancakes, waffles, etc with the jam...or just eat by the spoonful. 🙂
I wanted to make something extra special for my father-in-laws birthday because he definitely deserved it. He is one of the most selfless, giving people I know and his birthday lunch needed a fabulous cake! Jeremy told me he had mentioned pineapple and yellow cake so I thought hmmm, Pineapple Upside Down Cake?? Sounded good to me! Now I had never made one before but I had had plenty in younger days…Pineapple Upside Down Cake seemed to show up at every church potluck and family gathering we had. You know the kind, made with boxed yellow cake mix and canned pineapple slices..and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that version but I wanted to try my hand at a totally from scratch Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
I found this recipe on simplyrecipes.com and only made a couple of changes, nothing major at all. As for the cake, I really liked the way it turned out, more like a pound cake. I thought the addition of almond flour was somewhat odd but it added a nice texture to the cake. It was definitely better the second day after the pineapple juices and butter/brown sugar mixture had time to seep into the cake a bit more. I served it at room temperature with vanilla ice cream and everyone loved it. I’d say it was a successful birthday!
5 Slices Fresh, Cored Pineapple (or 1, 20 oz. Can Pineapple Slices)
1½ c. All-Purpose Flour
6 T. Cake Flour
6 T. Almond Flour/Meal
¾ t. Baking Powder
½ t. Salt
1¾ c. Granulated Sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
4 Large Eggs
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
¾ c. Sour Cream
For the Topping
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10-inch, round cake pan. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly into pan. Pour butter evenly over brown sugar. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the butter/sugar mixture and fill the center of each pineapple with maraschino cherries (I used 5 cherries in each center).
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, almond flour/meal, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, beating well after each addition. Pour cake batter into pan.
Bake in oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until a tested inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely or turn out onto a platter after 10 minutes and serve warm.
My resolution to bake classic cakes has so far been a success, starting with this Coconut Cake and now the Hummingbird Cake. If you’ve never heard of the Hummingbird Cake before, it goes all the way back to, well, it’s hard to tell where or when exactly it came on the scene. The first published recipe for the cake showed up in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living magazine and was submitted by a woman named Mrs. L.H. Wiggins but it’s roots trace from the deep south aaaaaallll the way to Jamaica! How crazy is that? You can read more of the history and details here.
I used a recipe from myrecipes.com that was a little of a modernized version of the cake with the addition of white chocolate to the cake and the frosting and a touch of almond extract. I was tempted at first to leave the white chocolate out of the cake but I’m so glad I didn’t–I LOVED getting little bits of white chocolate in every other bite. This cake is very, VERY dense, almost like banana bread and the flavors of the almond extract, cinnamon and banana are incredibly delicious. I can’t believe I waited so long to make this cake!
2 c. Chopped Bananas (about 3 medium-large bananas)
4 oz. White Chocolate, finely chopped
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1½ c. White Chocolate Chips, melted and cooled
1½ (8 oz.) Packages Cream Cheese, softened
6 T. Butter, softened
4 c. Powdered Sugar
1 T. Pure Vanilla
½ c. Chopped Toasted Pecans (for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3, 9-inch round pans and then line with parchment paper (optional).
For the Cake
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened (do not overbeat). Stir in vanilla and almond extract, pineapple, pecans, bananas and white chocolate.
Divide batter evenly among the three pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
For the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Combine cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until creamy. Add melted chocolate and vanilla, beating well. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at medium speed until mixture reaches desired spreading consistency (do not overbeat).
To Assemble the Cake
Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle ½ cup of chopped pecans on top. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
The nights are getting cooler which means it’s time to break out the hot cocoa and apple cider. I thought it would be fun to share some recipes for hot drinks, both classic and new. Oh and for those who prefer a bit of booze in your holiday drink, I’ve got a couple of those too.
I had heard about a new bakery in Hollister, MO, The Catering Divas Divalicious Bake Shoppe (what a name!) and got my chance to stop in and visit a couple weekends ago after a trip to White Water in Branson with my sister and her husband. I felt a little bad dragging them along for my “research” but they didn’t seem to mind. After a short little drive right down into the heart of downtown Hollister, we arrived at our destination. I was a little shocked to learn the bakery was just a tiny room off of a bar, so that was a little off-putting at first but the space was cute inside. On the small countertop were a few pieces of pineapple upside down cake, cookies, brownies, a couple of pastries, a few cake pops, zucchini bread, some quick breads and rolls and a few chocolate cupcakes in the refrigerator. I thought they’d have more to choose from because they supposedly stay open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday so they might have had a rush that day, but we still managed to choose quite the selection between the four of us.
The things we chose were cupcakes (chocolate with peanut butter buttercream and chocolate with vanilla buttercream), red velvet cake pops, a brownie and a slice of pineapple upside down cake. The pineapple upside down cake was good but I probably wouldn’t get it again (only because everything else we got was way better). The brownie was really yummy, more cake-like with a chocolate glaze, drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with pecans. The red velvet cake pops were also really, really good and not sickeningly sweet like a lot of cake pops I’ve tried. Possibly the best cake pops I’ve had yet!
And finally, the cupcakes were delicious. They only had a few chocolate varieties left (I typically like to try white cake with vanilla buttercream). The chocolate cake part was very moist and had a mild chocolate taste and both the peanut butter and vanilla buttercreams were amazingly smooth and not too sweet…I think the frosting might have actually been an Italian or Swiss buttercream because it definitely did not taste like a typical powder sugar buttercream.
As for the prices, they were very good, if not even a little low on some things. Jeremy and I got four items and only spent $7. Overall, we liked the treats very much–you can definitely tell that the owner knows her cake! I’m already thinking about stopping by for a cupcake the next time I’m in Branson. Let me know if you’ve been there or plan to stop by sometime soon–I’d love to hear your thoughts!