Roasted Pineapple with Honey & Cashews

It has been so ridiculously cold this winter, I cannot stand it!  It’s Wednesday night and all anyone can talk about is the upcoming snow storm we’re expecting.  It’s supposed to last all night and into tomorrow, ending in the evening on Thursday.  I’m just over it!  It’s all over the news, twitter and facebook… shut up people!  Let’s talk about how the Phillies started Spring Training today!!

Snoop can show you exactly how I feel!

Snoop can show you exactly how I feel!

All I keep thinking about is how badly I wish I had another pineapple to make this dessert again.  But I don’t have one… and it’s already snowing.  BOO!

Stelly loves the snow!  The doggies are so excited.

Stelly loves the snow! The doggies are so excited.

Roasted Pineapple with Honey & Cashews

Ingredients:

1/2 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Orange Juice (I used Trader Joe’s fresh Tangerine Juice)

3 Tablespoons Honey

1 ripe Pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 8 wedges

1/4 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt

1/3 cup Raw Cashews, coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoons torn Fresh Mint Leaves

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.*  Stir the brown sugar, OJ, and honey in a large bowl until sugar dissolves.  Add pineapple and carefully toss to coat in the mixture.  Let marinate, tossing occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Place pineapple on the prepared sheet and reserve the marinade.

2.  Roast the pineapple for 15 minutes.  Turn, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelized (10-15 minutes longer)  Drizzle remaining marinade over the pineapple and let cool slightly.

3.  Divide pinapple among bowls (Dave and I ate the entire thing ourselves!!).  Spoon greek yogurt alongside.  Garnish with cashews and mint.  

Slighty adapted from:  Bon Appetit

*Make sure to line the entire pan!  The marinade is very liquidy and mine leaked all over the pan- it was a tough one to scrub off when I was finished.

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pineapple

What’s so funny about this recipe is that I originally posted the Bon Appetit version on my facebook so I would remember to try it!  Dave’s Mom thought it was mine and re-posted on her own wall showing me off!  I was happy to have all the love but that was enough inspiration for me to make it myself.  It’s probably the best dessert I’ve ever had.  After the Banana Cream Pie at Chef Vola’s.  

The original recipe uses pistachios, but Dave loves cashews and I had ’em so i used those instead.  Also, you can swap out the greek yogurt for some creme fraiche if you’re feeling fancy.  Whatever you do- don’t skimp out on the fresh mint.  Seriously.  It’s like a dollar at the grocery store and you can use the rest in tea and in recipes like this (I made it last week and holy moly it’s amazing).  While every single part of this dessert has its own perks… the mint… oh my gosh…. the mint.  It just makes this dish.  I don’t know why but it just does and it’s SO GOOD.

Anyway, this is a super easy dessert that will seriously impress people, so give it a try.  I can’t wait to make it again!

Pineapple Salmon

Have you ever tried grilled pineapple?  This past summer, I tried it out on the BBQ and loved it!  Since it’s not quite BBQ weather, I decided to try to do a salmon with pineapple baked on top.  We even baked the salmon in the entire can of pineapple juice which kept it really moist and flavorful.

Pineapple Salmon from It’s Good To Be The Cook

Total Time:  15 minutes
Ingredients:
4 servings of Fresh Salmon
1/4-1/2 cup Sweet Chili Sauce (I use Trader Joe’s… it’s the best)
1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1 can Pineapple Chunks
Sea Salt & Pepper
Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 375.
2.  Rinse and cut the salmon to fit a baking dish.  Season w/ just a pinch of salt and pepper.
3.  Put both sauces on the salmon, using a spoon or a brush.  It doesn’t have to go on evenly.
4.  Dump the can of pineapple with the juice over the salmon.
5.  Bake the salmon for 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness and size.  (Here are some tips if you need help deciding if your salmon is cooked!)  **At about 1/2 way through baking time, take salmon out and “baste” using a spoon, putting the juices over the pineapple and salmon.
6.  Serve and enjoy!

Before being baked

Finished Product

Pineapple Chicken & Homemade General Tso Sauce

Just when you thought I was off my Asian kick…

Time for a new recipe for Pineapple Chicken with Homemade General Tso Sauce!

Ingredients for the chicken:
3 Chicken Breasts
2 Slices Pineapple (canned, in pineapple juice)
2 Tablespoons Pineapple Juice (from the can)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Hot Cherry Pepper, diced
1/2 Onion, diced or sliced however you desire
1 teaspoon Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Teriyaki Sauce
1 Bag Steamfresh Snow Peas, cooked

3 Servings Instant Brown Rice

Ingredients for the sauce:
2-3 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce
2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1 pinch Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Honey
1 teaspoon Garlic
1 teaspoon (or more) Sriracha Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon Cornstarch (plus 1 teaspoon Cold Water)
1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds

This amazing dish was so simple!!

For the chicken: Start by sauteeing the onions and garlic in a grill pan with 1 teaspoon Olive Oil. Cut your chicken breasts into small pieces or 1-2 inch long slices and add into the grill pan. Season with the Cayenne Pepper. After chicken is almost cooked (just a few minutes) add the rest of the “chicken” ingredients EXCEPT the snow peas and brown rice (the peas will fall apart if they are added in too early). Mix to combine well with the sauce. It shouldn’t be too saucy.

For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, combine the Teriyaki Sauce through the Sriracha Hot Sauce and stir with a whisk. Toast the sesame seeds and add them into the sauce. Now, stir a teaspoon of corn starch in with a teaspoon of cold water in a separate container. Add the cornstarch mixture into the sauce, lowering the heat to medium. Stir the sauce until it becomes thick.

Serve the chicken mixture over some brown rice and spoon the sauce ontop for a quick, healthy, spicy & sweet dinner!

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Eva Longoria’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

A recent episode of the daytime cooking show, “The Chew” inspired my Mom to try out a new recipe of her favorite childhood cake: Pineapple Upside Down!

The recipe we used is actually from the gorgeous Eva Longoria (I find it hard to believe she can look like that and eat cake!!) who published her own cook book “Eva’s Kitchen” last April. I could tell my Mom was really excited because we normally don’t make cakes from scratch… in fact I don’t think I ever have! She even went out and bought us cake flour.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 7 Pineapple slices
  • 7 Maraschino Cherries (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour (or cake flour)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2/3 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Egg

First, we preheated the oven to 350. The recipe calls for you to use a flameproof cake pan and melt butter and sugar in it, over the stove. Instead, we used a saucepan… melting 1/3 cup of butter over the low heat… then mixed the brown sugar in. It takes a while to constantly stir the sugar/butter until it is completely blended, without any pools of melted butter ontop. It took about 4 minutes.

Next, we poured the caramel in a baking dish… and here’s the fun part: Arrange the pineapple decoratively ontop of the caramel. We decorated with lots of Maraschino cherries too!

It was very fun decorating with fruit

In our mixer, we then combined flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed (so it didn’t fly all over the kitchen) until it was well combined. *There’s a note in the original recipe… “Eva likes to use cake flour” … that was enough for us to go buy some!*

Dry ingredients- mix on LOW!

Next, we added the remaining 1/3 cup of butter, milk, and vanilla. We beat in the mixer on medium speed for about two minutes before adding the egg and beating for another two minutes. Finally, the batter gets poured over the pineapple.

The cake gets baked in the preheated oven until it is golden brown and passes the good ole toothpick test. Ours took around 45 minutes. It’s very important to follow these instructions for removing the cake:

Remove the baking dish from the oven and tilt it in all directions, releasing the cake from the sides of the dish.

Cool in the dish for 3 minutes.

Turn the pan over onto a serving plate and let stand for another 2-3 minutes.

Carefully lift the pan off the cake.

Don’t forget the pan/baking dish will still be VERY HOT! (I almost did!)

Ours turned out fabulous, with the exception of the giant crack down the middle! We put the cake back together and served it to our family… everyone loved it. The best part were the sides of the cake where the caramel reached and cooked right into it. The cake itself was so fluffy and light and so flavorful.

My favorite plate we own!!

If you want to be more adventurous, try to replace some of the milk with pineapple juice from the can! I would also suggest making more caramel if you would like your cake to be even gooier than ours!