Micky Duffy’s Pineapple Sheet Cake

July 31, 2011 at 5:53 am | Posted in dessert | 44 Comments
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I got the recipe from our friends Greg and Cauleen who got the recipe from Greg’s cousin Jimmy’s wife, Lisa, who got the recipe from her 2nd cousin’s wife Micky Duffy who brought it to Lisa’s bridal shower 29 years ago. Each invitee to that shower was asked to bring their favorite recipe to share with the bride-to-be. Which by the way, isn’t that a wonderful idea?

Jimmy and Lisa live in Missouri and visit Greg and Cauleen each Summer. This photo of them was taken on a day trip to Vail.  During their visit, we were invited over to Greg and Cauleen’s for what I thought was to be an innocent afternoon meal,  meet cousins Jimmy and Lisa, and enjoy your normal run of the mill pot luck food, only to find myself blindsided by a couple of fabulous food discoveries. A bottle of the best BBQ sauce I’ve ever tasted which was a Missouri souvenir they brought to Greg. And this delicious cake that Lisa prepared for the pot luck, which upon my first bite had me begging for the recipe…and I don’t even like cake.

First let’s talk about Blues Hog barbecue sauce that hails from Perry, Missouri. An original recipe created by Bill Arnold, the Pit Master and Chef of the Blues Hog Cookers.  Their website tells me that the formula is award-winning and made from the highest quality sugars and spices in a way which sets their standards high above other commercial sauces. It contains no preservatives, is low in calories and contains no fat. The sauce has been successful in winning many competitions and is being sold and shipped all over the United States and  foreign countries.

To me the flavor was a perfect blend of spicy and sweet and as their web site says “sticks to your meat”. I can’t remember what Greg grilled, but I most certainly remember how good that sauce tasted.

Barbecue schmarbecue…let’s take a look at this cake.

Not only did Lisa serve up this delicious cake, but just happened to have with her the original hand written recipe that was given to her 29 years ago. A food blogger’s dream come true. You really should give recipe this a try. It’s a super easy cake to make and with a can of crushed pineapple, incredibly moist and dense. When topped with that cream cheese, pecan frosting, every bite is divine and addicting.

Thanks to Lisa for sharing this with me, it’s now my go-to “wow them” recipe.  And believe me there’s a reason Micky Duffy underlined “very good’

Micky Duffy’s Pineapple Sheet Cake…It’s What’s for Dessert.


Arugula, Cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

July 24, 2011 at 9:52 am | Posted in Fruit, Salad Dressings, Salads | 44 Comments
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With soaring temperatures and our famous Rocky Ford Cantaloupe just hitting our markets does anything sound better than a fresh salad of fruit, greens, a citrus vinaigrette with a kick and topped with a creamy avocado? No way to describe this but simply delicious. You’ll notice I didn’t have any avocado on hand but did have some hearts of palm that made an impressive stand-in appearance.  Want to make it a main course?  Just add some shrimp that’s been cooked and cooled…like you’d prepare for shrimp cocktail. Thanks to Fresh and Foodie for posting this recipe.  Let’s take a look.

Arugula, cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette (adapted from Fresh and Foodie):
• 5 ounces arugula, washed and spun dry
• 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon (I used cantaloupe)
• 1 avocado, cubed
• 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
• The juice of 1 lime
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large salad bowl, toss the arugula and watermelon. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Add cubed avocado to the vinaigrette and toss very (very!) gently. This step prevents the avocado from browning in the salad.
3. Add vinaigrette and avocado to the salad bowl and lightly toss to combine. Top salad with freshly cracked pepper before serving.

Arugula, cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette…It’s What’s for a Dinner Salad.

No Recipe Required: Fresh Sweet Corn with Avocado and Cilantro

July 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Posted in Mexican/Southwest, No recipe required, Quick and Easy, Vegetables | 34 Comments
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  • Fresh sweet corn from three ears of corn
  • Place in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with a pat of butter
  • Microwave for one minute
  • Top with sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Fresh Sweet Corn with Avocado and Cilantro….It’s What’s for a Summer Side Dish.

Wedding on Top of a Mountain and Breakfast Enchiladas

July 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Chicken, Mexican/Southwest | 29 Comments
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Ever tried drinking and dancing for hours at 11,500 feet? It’s a tough job. Even raising a glass of champagne to toast the bride and groom can cause a slight shortness of breath. 🙂 Nonetheless, seems like we managed. A couple of weeks ago Brian, son of friends Tom and Kathy got married to Melanie on top of a mountain at a ski lodge above Keystone Resort. It was hands down the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended.

Continue Reading Wedding on Top of a Mountain and Breakfast Enchiladas…

Bobby Flay’s Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro

July 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Posted in From the Grill, Potatoes | 136 Comments
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I just discovered grilling potatoes last summer and am loving every crispy smoky slice I’ve plated. Wanting to try grilling sweet potatoes, I Googled and the top recipe was this Bobby Flay Grilled Sweet Potato with Lime and Cilantro recipe.  I saw absolutely no reason to look any further.  Bobby Flay recipes never disappoint and I thought the lime and cilantro were a perfect combination for the sweet flavor. 

This somewhat put me in mind of one of the delicious Mexican snow cones I had in Tucson.  Sweet, salty, spicy and limey. How can you go wrong with that combination? Rather than take the time to parboil I decided to slice the potato lengthwise into big paddles using my mandolin set on 1/4 inch thickness, then I grilled as Bobby’s recipe indicated. They grilled up very nicely. We found these to be a delicious side dish for grilled chicken thighs and a fresh salad.  A wonderful summer meal.  The only thing I would change is to at least double the lime zest and the cayenne. Seemed like there wasn’t enough to go around, and I only used one large sweet potato.  I’d also take the time to wedge and pre-cook before grilling.  That big orange paddle wasn’t as attractive as the white potato paddles I grilled last week.  Let’s take a look.

Bobby Flay’s Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro

  • 3 sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until fork-tender; let cool. Slice each potato lengthwise into eighths. Preheat a grill to medium or place a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Mix 1 tablespoon salt, the lime zest and cayenne in a small bowl. Brush the potato wedges with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown on all sides (including the skin) and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter; immediately season with the salt mixture and sprinkle with cilantro.

Bobby Flay’s Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro…It’s What’s for a Summer Side Dish.

Tri-tip Steaks with Anchovy Caper Butter

July 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Posted in Beef, Bread | 40 Comments
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Every time I look at this photo, it reminds me of a billboard we saw somewhere in the middle of Kansas along I-70 advertising steak at a restaurant called Montana Mike’s. It’s simply a ridiculously huge closeup shot of steak that fills the entire billboard. We LOL’d and thought it looked like Kansas’s had invented the Red Cliffs of Dover rather than offering up a good steak. Of course when you’re in the middle of Kansas on I-70 you’re easily amused.

What’s all the fuss about anchovies? 

Continue Reading Tri-tip Steaks with Anchovy Caper Butter…

Old Fashioned Lancaster County Macaroni Salad

July 4, 2011 at 10:28 am | Posted in Pasta Salad | 32 Comments
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A few weeks ago, our good friends Greg and Cauleen traveled back east to visit family in Lancaster, PA. They brought us back some great foodie souvenirs including the cookbook from which I prepared the above macaroni salad and an array of Kitchen Kettle Village goodies.

Kitchen Kettle website tells me that they’ve been preserving the bounty of Lancaster County PA for over 50 years and offer an assortment of jams, jellies, sauces, relishes and baked goods including a Shoofly pie that they’ll ship to your doorstep if you’d like. They also have a recipe section for their products, so I’ll be anxious to see what I can whip up with that jar of  pineapple jalapeno jam. 

Continue Reading Old Fashioned Lancaster County Macaroni Salad…

Grilled Asparagus and Steak Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

July 1, 2011 at 6:07 am | Posted in Beef, Salads | 35 Comments
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During the summer months, I cannot get my fill of lean meats, greens and fresh homemade vinaigrettes.  Here’s another recipe for a flavorful dish with an exciting new dressing.  Don’t let the length of this recipe scare you away, this salad packs bright flavor with minimal fuss.

Grilled Asparagus and Steak Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette (Another great find from Food and Wine Magazine)

Continue Reading Grilled Asparagus and Steak Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette…

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