Dump Cakes

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us- the unofficial start of the summer – and with the official start right around the corner and the inevitable warmer temperatures, you may be looking for desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth but won’t take too long to put together and don’t require a slew of ingredients. If so, today I have the recipe for you… A Dump Cake! And trust me, it tastes a whole lot better than the images the name may conjure up for you.

I wish I could say that I came up with this genius idea of a dessert myself, but the credit goes to Pioneer Woman: Ree Drummond. Warning… If you are adverse to box cake mix, can pie filling / canned fruit and butter stop reading now and deprive yourself of the opportunity to make something super simple and delicious. Hey, you have standards to keep. And yes, it only takes those three ingredients to make this cake.

To begin, in a 9×13-inch baking dish pour out a can of cherry pie filling and a can of crushed pineapple (okay, this version of the cake requires four ingredients, but, you could easily omit the pineapple.) Mix the two together well.

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Next, evenly pour the cake mix over the fruit… Make sure you get the corners.

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And finally, top it with a stick and a half of unsalted butter sliced into tablespoons, making sure to space the butter evenly over the cake.

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Bake it in a preheated 350 F oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour; until the top is browned and the fruit filling is bubbling.

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Let it cool for a few minutes before digging in. Enjoy slightly warmed with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream or a dollop or two of whipped cream.

This cake was so delicious that I soon made another one along with a peach version.

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Dump Cake

Ingredients:

Cherry and Pineapple

1 21oz. can cherry pie filling

1 20oz. can crushed pineapple

1 box white cake mix

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced

 

Peach

1 29oz. can sliced peaches in syrup

1 box yellow cake mix

12 tablespoon unsalted butter, sliced

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Pour fruit into a 9×13-inch baking dish. For the cherry and pineapple version mix both fruits together well.

Top evenly with the cake mix, making sure to get the corners.

Space the butter evenly over the cake and bake in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until the top is browned and the fruit is bubbling.

Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing so the cake can “set.”

Enjoy with ice cream, whipped cream or on its own.

Recipe from Food Network

 

2 Salads & A Salsa

With summer in full swing you are probably heading to quite a few BBQ’s or hosting a few yourself. Today I would like to share with you two salads and a salsa recipe that are super easy & super quick to make for any BBQ you may be hosting or invited to or for those days that you just want to make something quick and easy for dinner that doesn’t involve much effort or thought. With all of these recipes I suggest making them a few hours in advance and refrigerating them so all of the flavors can marinate together.

Green Bean – Cucumber Salad

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 English cucumber, sliced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add green beans. Boil the green beans until they are tender – approximated 7 minutes – and then drain and rinse under cold water.

2.  In a large bowl toss the green beans along with the remaining ingredients and then season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Black Bean – Corn Salad

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Ingredients:

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

1 cup canned corn

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

Juice of 3 limes

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Whisk together the olive oil, honey and lime juice in a measuring cup.

2.  In a large bowl add the black beans, corn, pepper, scallions and cilantro. Add the olive oil mixture to the black bean mixture and toss all the ingredients together. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the dice avocado. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup diced white onion

1 20 oz. can pineapple slices in juice*

2 tomatoes, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt

*Alternatively can use 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into rings.

Directions:

1. Soak the onion in cold water for 15 minutes then drain.

2. Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium heat and lightly oil the pan (you could also grill the pineapple on a grill.) Grill the pineapple rings until marked, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and chop.

3. Combine the pineapple, onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, ginger and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the lime juice and season with salt then toss. Serve with tortilla chips. This salsa also tastes great over salmon and grilled chicken.

Tropical Oatmeal Cookies

I came up with the idea for these cookies a while back and while I am sure there is a recipe somewhere floating around on the internet for them, I decided to take a chance and create my own recipe, albeit with some assistance from a few of my favorite cookie recipes. I really had no idea how they would come out, but, in the end they were delicious and incredibly soft and the add-ins of the white chocolate chips, shredded coconut, crushed pineapple and macadamia nuts complemented one another wonderfully.
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To begin I mixed together the dry ingredients – flour, salt and baking soda – and set it aside and then moved on to creaming together butter, sugar and light brown sugar.
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I then added in two eggs – one at a time.
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And then the vanilla extract.
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After adding in the flour mixture – I really did use flour for these cookies even though I don’t have a picture of it – I then added in quick oats.
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And finally I folded in my “tropical ingredients:” white chocolate chips, sweetened shredded coconut, crushed pineapple and macadamia nuts.
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After folding in all of the add-ins I used a cookie scoop to drop mounds of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
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I baked them in a 325 degrees preheated oven for 11 minutes and then let them cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

And while you may think these cookies would be on the sweeter side with the sugars, sweetened coconut and white chocolate chips, the measurements of each of the ingredients produced a cookie that was just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Tropical Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 36 cookies
Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F.
2. Combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda & salt – and set aside
3. Cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and then the oats.
5. Fold in the white chocolate chips, shredded coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts.
6. Drop rounded tablespoons (a small cookie scoop) of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes.
7. Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Enjoy!

Bite-Sized Goodness

As they say good things come in small packages and bite sized treats are no exception. You get all the flavor in a nice small portion. For Mother’s Day I decided to bake up some small treats as opposed to a large cake or pie and it was an overall hit.

First up are Mini Chocolate-Chip Cheesecakes. I came across this recipe a few years ago in a now defunct magazine and it was an instant hit amongst my friends. It’s been a while since I’ve made them so needless to say they didn’t last all that long.

I started off by making the cheesecake part of the bites by mixing together cream cheese, an egg and sugar. I then folded in the mini-chocolate chips and set this aside while I made the cake portion.

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To make the cake portion I mixed together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, water, oil and vanilla.

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Now it was time to assemble the mini cheesecakes. I spooned the chocolate mixture into the muffin tins until they were half full and then dolloped about a tablespoon of the cheesecake mixture on top.

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And after baking in a 350 degrees pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes they were all done.

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Up next… Pineapple Upside-Down Bites. I clipped this recipe out of the May 2013 issue of  Everyday with Rachael Ray. The recipe sounded quick and simple and only required a few ingredients: butter, light brown sugar, maraschino cherries, pineapple and yellow cake mix.

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I started off by preparing the cake mix per the directions on the package. The recipe actually calls for a 16.5oz box of cake mix, but since the recipe states that there would be cake batter left over I decided to use a smaller bag that is meant for 12 cupcakes or an 8×8 cake.

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Up next it was time to prepare the muffin tin for the pineapple portion of these mini bites.

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I spooned a 1/2 teaspoon of melted butter into each cup of the tin and then layered a 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar, a cherry piece and a layer of pineapple on top of it. Also, while the recipe didn’t call for it I sprayed the muffin tin with baking spray to ensure that the bites wouldn’t stick to it.

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I then spooned about a tablespoon of cake batter into each cup and then baked it in a 350 degrees preheated oven for 12 minutes.

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Once out of the oven I inverted the muffin tin on a baking sheet so the pineapple bites could cool.

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They tasted as good as they looked…

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Mini Chocolate-Chip Cheesecakes

Makes about 4 dozen

1 1/2 lbs (2 12-oz packages) cream cheese

1 egg

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 1/4 mini chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup water

1/3 vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

1. In a bowl, mix cream cheese, egg and 1/3 cup sugar

2. Add mini chocolate chips

3. In another bowl, mix remaining sugar with flour, cocoa, baking soda, water, oil and vanilla

4. Spoon chocolate mixture into mini muffin cups until half full

5. Place 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture on top of each cupcake

6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until top springs back when gently pressed

7. Cool on rack for 10 minutes before serving

 

Pineapple Upside-Down Bites

Makes 24

Prep 30 Minutes

Bake 15 Minutes

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

5 maraschino cherries, quartered

1/3 cup diced pineapple, patted dry

1 box (16.5oz) yellow cake mix, prepared into batter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the cups of two 12-cup mini muffin tins, layer 1/2 teaspoon butter, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, a cherry piece, a single layer of pineapple (about 5 pieces) and about 1 tablespoon cake batter (cups should be about two-thirds full; save remaining cake batter for another use).

2. Bake until golden-brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcakes, about 12 minutes. Immediately run a knife around the edge of each cake and invert to cool on a baking sheet. Serve warm or at room temperature.