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Monday, February 6, 2012

What's Cookin' in the Parsonage?

Cozy lamp lights are brightening the corners of the counters.  Canisters of flour, sugar, tea and coffees stand at attention, some of their lidded hats cock-eyed from recent use.  The pantry has shelves as heavy as tree branches after a wet winter snow laden with spices, canned goods, pastas and breads.  Eggs, cheeses, jams, butter and creamy milks are chilling in the refrigerator.  This kitchen  is the hub of family life.   You see, cooking is more than just getting food ready for a meal.  It not only sustains life, it is life.  It turns a homecoming, a birthday, a guest's invitation into an event.  Cooking is making enticing aromas waft upwards, drawing the occupants of your home to the real living room ~ the kitchen.  This is the room where life really happens in a family. 

It's my desire to create that kind of atmosphere for those that are in my home, whether they're family or  guests passing through.  Good food draws people in.  The reason I started What's Cooking in the Parsonage was inspire other cooks to prepare good meals for their families ~ and to invite you into my  home to see and enjoy with us~not just the meals that we share, but also the events that take place around our little oak table. 


One such event was my husband's recent homecoming.  He had the privilege of attending a Prayer Advance last Thursday through Saturday.  I missed him terribly (It was only 3 days, I know...I'm pathetic), but it sure made me happy to have him return home!  He got here in time for supper~perfect timing!  I set the table with candlelight, using a beautiful chandelier he bought for me for Valentine's Day a couple years ago.  I tried a new recipe from Southern Plate - a great food blog!  I made her Mexican Chicken Casserole,




 fruit salad, homemade French Bread,



 and another new recipe ~ Pineapple Upside-down Cake for two from my Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Magazine.  The dessert was a reduced calorie cake that was as delicious as any "regular" recipe.  They are made in individual ramekins and turned out so cute!  I will definitely be making these again!



This next picture is a little blurry, but I had to take a close-up of the cake.  It was crispy on the edges, and had that yummy brown sugar topping...



Pineapple Upside-down Cake for Two

4 tsp, butter, melted, divided
4 tsp. brown sugar
2 canned unsweetened pineapple slices
2 maraschino cherries
1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Dash ground nutmeg
3 Tbl fat-free milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Pour 1/2 tsp butter into each of two 10-oz ramekins coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.  Top with a pineapple slice.  Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple slice; set aside.
2.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  Beat in the milk, vanilla and remaining butter just until combined.  Spoon over pineapple.
3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Run a knife around edges of ramekins; invert onto dessert plates.  Serve warm.



I believe my hubby was pretty happy about the meal event I created for his return.  Ooooh, a thought just struck me~would he go away again just so I'll create another special meal?  I can fix that ~ tomorrow we'll create a special day!  Let's see, it's Tuesday...  How about a meal that has food served in pairs...you know ~Two's-Day! =) 

What have you been cooking?  Any normal events turned into something special at your place?  I'd love to hear about how you celebrated!

From my parsonage kitchen,

2 comments:

Michelle said...

I made two meals that were spins on meals from restaurants this week.

Monday I made faijitas, I love to go to chili's so I made them at home.

I also made Hibachi chicken, which is another of our favorites from japanese restaurants. Super easy and actually pretty healthy since I can control the amount of soy sauce and salt that goes in.

I'm hoping it gets cold enough soon to make Pasta e Fagoli soup from Olive Garden. with the salad and breadsticks too!

I've been using fresh produce in my cooking and I'm getting hooked on fresh ingredients! :)

Denise said...

Michelle, you are so creative! These sound like great meals. I love that soup from Olive Garden! I just might need that recipe...