Monday, May 14, 2012

Mildred's Swedish Cucumbers

This recipe for cucumbers was my mom's and I would be hard pressed to come up with a time that she didn't serve them to guests at her table. So I guess in a way it was her signature dish. It really didn't matter what time of year or the occasion, if she had company for dinner these were almost always part of the meal. They were also to be found in her fridge most of the time for a side with her meals or for the occasional snack. They are really super easy to make and do go with just about everything.

We thought we had lost dish with mom's passing but my daughter was going through some old cook books and she found a recipe card (with many splatters on it) that my mom had typed this on. So her cucumbers will live on for future generations to enjoy.

I know that all my kids love these and I will bet your family will also love this easy side dish. It is really at its best in the warm weather when the produce is at it freshest so give this a try with your dinner. I know we will be having it again soon too. 

Mildred's Swedish Cucumbers

½ cup white vinegar
¼ sugar
2 Tablespoons water
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh dill
2 large cucumbers

Combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile remove strips of peel (lengthwise) from the cucumber (leaving strips between) and thinly slice the cucumbers into a container with a lid.

Pour the hot vinegar over the sliced cucumbers add the dill and mix together until well combined.

Cover and chill until serving time.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake for a Crowd

A while back a good friend asked me if I had a recipe for a larger version of my pineapple upside down cake. You see usually when she takes the time to bake it is when the entire family is going to be over and one normal size cake just won't be enough. I told her I knew I had one here some place so I dug it out, made it this week and I am going to share it with all of you too.

This is just as easy as a smaller version but it will feed a crowd. So grab that 9”x 13” baking pan and make this treat for your next gathering. You will notice that I use a can of pineapple tidbits and a can of crushed pineapple for the topping of the this size cake. I do this because it frees me up to cut slightly smaller slices, if I put sliced pineapple on the top my kids expect their piece to have the whole slice of pineapple. If I use the tidbits and crushed it gives a nice even coating of pineapple and I am freed up to cut it wherever I want to cut it. The same goes for the cherries, I usually serve this with a bit of whipped cream and top that with the cherry, feel free to sprinkle the cherries on top of the butter/ brown sugar mixture before you add the pineapple if you want them on the top of the cake.

If you look closely you will notice my topping in the picture is not as wonderfully brown as it should be, that is because I got started making this only to discover I was low on brown sugar. I ended up using part white sugar and part brown sugar in the topping. It tastes fine it just isn't as pretty as using all brown sugar like you should.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake for a Crowd

½ cup butter ( 1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits (drain but reserve the juice)
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple (drain but reserve the juice)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups reserved pineapple juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Melt the butter in your 13”x9” baking dish and then add the brown sugar. Mix this together and spread evenly in the bottom of the pan.
Add the drained pineapple tidbits to the pan trying to make an even covering. Then follow with the drained crushed pineapple again in an even layer.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar baking powder and salt and combine.

Combine the oil, eggs, pineapple juice and vanilla extract mixing well.

Add the oil mixture to the flour mixture and using an electric mixer mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to combine (stir often)
Continue mixing with the mixer on medium for 3 more minutes.

Carefully pour your cake batter over your pineapple in the baking pan.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted halfway to the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan 5 minutes then invert onto a large serving platter. Allow the pan to sit over the cake so all the topping can drip down onto the cake.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

16 to 20 servings