Random Recipe: Baked Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

I have been feeling blah about food lately, and needed some inspiration. Chris made this last night, and it hit the spot and was just what I needed. I only had to control myself a bit and not overstuff myself — which is hard to do when something is so yummy! Now I will tell you, there is a word I pretty much hate using: moist. However, baking this chicken with these specific ingredients meant that when you cut into the chicken it was the absolute definition of moist. The ingredient list looks long, but it is not hard at all (just ask Chris!)

Baked Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken [Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addition]

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks

Directions:

  1. Whisk cornstarch and water together in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Simmer over low heat (whisking occasionally). Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside so it will thicken.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Place chicken and pineapple chunks in any oven safe dish or pan. Pour sauce over chicken and pineapple ensure all sides of the chicken is covered.
  4. Bake (uncovered) for 30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

We served it over brown rice and then added some steamed broccoli. Yum!

Random recipe: Buttermilk Spice Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

Last Sunday was my birthday. Typically we do not make a big ordeal about birthdays and holidays. I can only remember one time since we have been married that I made Chris a birthday cake. On Sunday I was making a dry shampoo for my hair that involved cinnamon and realized we had less than a teaspoon left. I am one to say that the last person that almost uses an item up needs to put it on the list for the grocery. Chris was planning to go to the store that day, and when he got home we had a fresh jar of cinnamon.

I was inspired by the new jar of cinnamon. Knowing that there was fresh cinnamon led me to decide to make myself a birthday cake (well sort of). I did not really care about my birthday or making it for myself, I just had this overwhelming urge to have spice cake with nutmeg, cloves, and of course cinnamon. Oh man was it worth it! We have had a slice (or two) each night this week. Usually I am not one to make a cake. I feel they tend to go dry out too fast, so I resort to going to our favorite cupcake bakery, Saint Cupcake, where we can select a few different flavors to enjoy in the smaller cupcake format.

Buttermilk Spice Cake (Food Network)

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 1999

Ingredients
2 cups brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter. With the mixer running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, mixing well. With the electric mixer, in another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake until the center springs back when touched, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. After the cakes have cooled, invert them onto sheets of parchment paper. Slice each cake in half and set aside.

*Only change I made was I did not have allspice, so I used a bit more nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon in its place. Also, I did not slice the cake in half, I just frosted between the two layers and on the top. Slicing would have been too much work and I was ready for a slice!

The recipe from Food Network did not have a frosting recipe, so after exploring quite a few (and not wanting to use one with cream cheese) I found this one which at first Chris felt was too cinnamon-y. I thought it was perfect. The recipe comes with a cake recipe, but I did not have cake flour, and I already found the cake I wanted to make, so the link has both, but I only made the frosting.

Cinnamon Frosting (Better Recipes)
1 box (16 ounces) powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg white
Dash of salt
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Sift powdered sugar and cinnamon into a bowl.
2.  Remove 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture and place in a mixer bowl along with the melted butter.  Beat until blended.  Beat in egg white and salt.
3.  Add remaining sugar mixture to bowl, along with the milk and vanilla.  Beat at high-speed until it is of spreading consistency.

The photo shows a runny frosting. It was the first night but that was because we could not wait to dig in. By the time we had a piece the next night the frosting was firm. We drizzled some extra frosting on our slices the first night. This recipe is my new favorite.

Random recipe: Chocolate Chess Pie

My mom was not always the most amazing cook or baker, but somehow I have childhood nostalgia for a few recipes we made as kids. My mom’s recipes had a bit of an early burial. After college my sister purchased a used laptop. This was back in the day when a laptop was as thick as a brick, and cell phones were used in cars for emergencies and also looked like bricks. Not long after she purchased the laptop she decided to transfer all of my mom’s recipes over to the laptop and get rid of the paper versions. Made sense at the time right? Not until the laptop died and she lost everything on the hard drive. This was before we had a zillion ways to back up a computer.

It was a sad day. Over the years I have thought about that laptop and all the recipes we lost. I still have some of my mom’s cookbooks, but the recipes on index cards, worn and used are long gone. A few of the recipes I remember and have not tried to recreate, but there was one particular recipe that I have tried countless times to recreate with no success. I have tried to remember the ingredients and put together what I think were the amounts, and I have tried to find a recipe on the Internet with similar ingredients, with no luck. I have had runny finished products, nasty tasting ones, and ones that were just boring. Chris has given up on me finding it. I am relentless. I will try until I find it.

Recently I found this version on Design Sponge. Still not my absolute favorite but it gets closer to the real deal. We were lazy and purchased a pie crust rather than making it from scratch. For the full recipe click the link below (pie crust included). We also just used ice cream rather than their whip cream. To me a good Chocolate Chess Pie should be served warm with cold ice cream to make the pie congeal. A bit like a warm brownie and ice cream. If you have your own version, let me know – I will try it!

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chess Pie (From Design Sponge)

Pie Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk

In a medium bowl, stir together both sugars, the cornmeal, nutmeg and cocoa powder, mixing until completely combined. Stir in the vanilla, butter, eggs and evaporated milk and mix until fully incorporated. When ready to bake, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the pie and cool for at least one hour. Serve with ice cream.