Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I was feeling like a non-chocolate potluck dessert (a very rare occasion!) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake sounded really good.  I’ve never made it before and I thought cupcakes would be even better.  (I tend to prefer cupcakes over cakes because the ratio of toppings to cake is much more evenly distributed.)  Found this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes on the Betty Crocker website.  The brown sugar butter glaze caramelizes the tops and the pineapple perfectly to make these cupcakes sweet and luscious!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Extra Moist Yellow Cake and highly recommend it!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

20 oz. can of sliced pineapple, drained and reserve the juice

1/3 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

12 maraschino cherries, cut in half

24 baking cups

Spray the baking cups really well with non-stick cooking spray.

Drain the pineapple slices and set the juice aside.  Cut the pineapple rings into four pieces each.  Cut the maraschino cherries in half.

On low speed for 30 seconds, mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and pineapple juice.  Continue mixing on medium speed for two minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Put 1 1/2 tsp. of butter mixture into each baking cup.  Add a maraschino cherry in the center (round side down) and then add two pineapple slices on top of the cherry.  Lastly, add 1/4 cup of batter on top of everything.

Bake the cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Flip the cupcakes upside down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Carefully remove the baking cup liners

Serve warm or at room temperature.  You’re ready for potluck time!

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Memorial Day Potluck Recipes!

  

   

I can’t believe that it’s time to kick off BBQ season again!  We have our top recipe picks for your Memorial Day weekend potlucks with everything from savory dips, healthy and not-so healthy salads, delicious sides, grilled dishes, and of course, desserts!:

APPETIZERS:

Bruschetta Lentil Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Chili Cream Cheese Dip

Chili Sauce and Cream Cheese Appetizer

Feta-Stuffed Watermelon Blocks

Layer Bean Dip

Pizza Dip

Salsa Dip

Soy Chorizo Fundido

FROM THE GRILL:

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Grilled Corn Salad

Mexican Hot Dogs

Portobello Burgers

Tom’s BBQ Tri Tip

DESSERTS:

Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting and Salted Peanuts

Chocolate Caramel Cake

Classic Lemon Bars

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

Grandma’s Chocolate Eclair Cake

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Key Lime Pie

Lime Pecan Bars

Mini Lemon Tarts

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

Ridiculously Easy Coconut Cream Bars

Strawberry Dream Cake

SALADS:

Beet Salad

Broccoli Salad 

Cilantro Corn Salad

Edamame Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

Hawaiian Plate Lunch Mac Salad

Jamie’s Famous Pasta Salad

Multi-Bean Salad

Pea Slaw

Refreshing Watermelon Salad

Simple, Fresh, and Sweet Salad

Spinach Cranberry Salad

Tarragon Potato Salad

Thai Peanut Slaw

Watermelon Cilantro Salad

SIDES:

Baked Beans with Bacon

Baked Corn Casserole

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Potato Casserole

Twice Baked Potatoes with Soy Chorizo

* Let us know what you think of this post by giving us a star rating below!

Cinco de Mayo Potluck Recipes!

baked-corn-casserole  Watermelon Salad with Cilantro  layer-bean-dip

Margarita Sorbet Taco Salad Chipotle Bean Chili

I can’t believe it’s almost Cinco de Mayo!  This is one of my favorite occasions to host or attend a potluck.  Many of these recipes are very simple to make and there are excellent flavor combinations in each recipe. We’ve added some new ones this year including Watermelon Cilantro Salad and Layer Bean Dip!

Any of these recipes are delicious and would be perfect for your Cinco de Mayo potluck:

Baked Corn Casserole

Cannellini Bean Chili

Chicken Tortilla Dish

Cilantro Corn Salad

Layer Bean Dip

Grilled Corn Salad

Margarita Sorbet

Mexican Hot Dogs

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundaes

Quick and Easy Refried Beans

Salsa Dip

Soy Chorizo Fundido

Taco Salad

Twice Baked Potatoes with Soy Chorizo

Vegetarian Tamale Casserole

Watermelon Cilantro Salad

* Like what you see?  Let us know what you think by giving us a star rating below!

Greek Orzo Salad

Greek Orzo Salad is a fresh and healthy, yet filling, potluck dish that really goes a long way!  The oil from the olives and artichoke hearts combine with the lemon juice to make a nice, light dressing that complements the orzo and veggies without being too overbearing.

Ingredients:

6 to 8 ozs. of orzo, cooked according to directions

1 jar of pitted kalamata or black olives, drained and chopped

1 jar of artichoke hearts in oil, drained and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 english cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 red onion, chopped

8 ozs. firm feta, drained and cubed

Fresh lemon juice, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Olive oil, to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl.  You may not need to use the olive oil as the oil from the olives and artichokes, combined with lemon juice, are usually enough.

Cover and store in the fridge until potluck time!  Can be made a day ahead of time.

National Coffee Cake Day!

Today is National Coffee Cake Day and we have two fabulous coffee cake recipes.  Click on the links below to get the recipes!

Crumb Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

National Caramel Popcorn Day!

It’s National Caramel Popcorn Day!

I love caramel popcorn and Brandy’s recipe is one of the best caramel corns I have ever tried! The recipe is very easy and this caramel corn is extremely addicting. So, you should make at least two or three batches (made separately; don’t double or triple the recipe) for a larger crowd.

Ingredients:
8 cups popped corn

1 cup pecans, optional

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Remove ALL kernels from the popcorn and place the popped corn and optional nuts in a large bowl.

Cook brown sugar, butter, and light corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it boils. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes, without stirring.

Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir until combined. Pour caramel over the popcorn and stir to coat.

Bake for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet, stirring after 15 minutes.

Pour onto wax paper until cooled completely. Store in an airtight container, and hide it from yourself, until potluck time!

Easter Egg Nest Brownies

Easter Egg Nest Brownies are fun and really easy to make!  You can also make the brownies ahead of time and then let everyone decorate them at the potluck.

The inspiration for these treats came from different Easter cupcake pics that I found online.  I used brownie mix, but chocolate or vanilla cake mix will work great, too.

Ingredients:

1 batch of brownie mix (I used a box to keep things simple.  1 box will yield 12 brownies.)

1 container of pre-made vanilla frosting

2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Assorted Easter candy

Bake the brownie mix according to directions in a greased, regular-sized muffin pan.  Start checking them for doneness about 10 minutes earlier than the instructed time.  Let them cool completely (If you don’t, they fall apart).  Then, carefully remove them from the pan.

Mix the coconut and food coloring (start with 2 or 3 drops and add more, as needed) in a bowl until combined.

Frost the brownies.  Then dip them, face down, in the coconut.  Top with your favorite Easter candy and gently press it into the coconut and frosting.  For extra fun, you can add a Peep to the center.  Apply some frosting to the bottom of the peep and press it down on the cupcake.  It bonds perfectly!

Now, you’re ready for potluck time!

Easter Potluck Recipes

               

Easter potlucks are all about the brunch recipes, anything with hard-boiled eggs or carrots and great casseroles.  We have an assortment of great Easter recipes from appetizers and salads to breakfast casseroles and desserts.

Apricot Walnut Bites

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Brussels Sprouts Bon Vivant

Carrot Cake

Classic Lemon Bars

Crumb Cake

Deviled Eggs

Easter Egg Nest Brownies

Feta-Stuffed Watermelon Blocks

Lime Pecan Bars

Potato Casserole

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Spinach Cheese Strata

Spinach Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Dream Cake

Tater Tot Breakfast Strata

Thai Peanut Slaw

White Sangria

Sloppy Joe Day!

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Today is National Sloppy Joe Day!  Our recipe, a twist on the classic, is made even better by using crescent rolls, instead of bread.  And only 5 ingredients are needed to make this easy, crowd-pleasing casserole!

A few years ago, I saw this recipe on a Pillsbury commercial.  I made it for Superbowl Sunday and it has been one of my staple potluck recipes ever since.  You can make it right before potluck time or slice it into squares, store in the fridge, and reheat before serving.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

2 – 15 oz. cans sloppy joe sauce

3 cans of crescent rolls

Grated cheddar cheese (you decide how much!)

Brown the beef and onions over medium low heat until the meat is browned and the onions are soft.  Drain off excess liquid.  Add in both cans of sloppy joe sauce and simmer until heated through.  Take off the burner and let the meat mixture cool completely (if you don’t, the heat will make your crescent rolls soggy).

Spray a 9 x 13″ casserole dish with cooking spray.  Unroll and place 1 1/2 cans of crescent rolls in the bottom of the casserole dish.  Using your fingers, press the seams of the crescent rolls together.  Spread the meat mixture on top of the rolls.  Top with cheese.

Unroll the remaining 1 1/2 cans of crescent rolls.  Press the seams of each square (made up of two triangular crescent rolls) and lay the individual squares on top of the casserole, slightly overlapping, if necessary.  They don’t have to be perfect.  The goal is to just have plenty of crescent roll squares covering the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.  Let it cool before cutting into squares.  If you’re going to make ahead, make sure they are completely cooled, store in the fridge in an airtight container, and reheat right before potluck time!

 

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

guinness-chocolate-cupcakes3

Since I’ve seen so many recipes for Chocolate Stout cupcakes lately, I decided that I must make them for St. Patrick’s Day!  The stout makes them extra soft and fluffy.  I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website and loved it because they only need a few ingredients and are so simple to make.  I chose to do a vanilla icing, but you can also do an Irish Cream frosting, which is perfect for an all adults potluck.

Ingredients:

1 box deviled foods cake mix

1 1/4 cups Guinness stout beer

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 stick butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

4 T. milk

Using a mixer, combine together the cake mix, Guinness, oil, and eggs in a large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds.  Then, mix on medium high speed for another two minutes.

Line a regular-sized muffin tin with baking cups.  Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each tin.  If using a dark or nonstick pan, bake at 325 degrees (or 350 degrees if using a regular pan) for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Transfer to a rack and let cool.

In a separate bowl, mix the butter and powdered sugar until combined.  Add the vanilla, salt, and milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them, and store them in an airtight container until potluck time!  (I made them the day before and they were still wonderful, but I wouldn’t make them any earlier than that.)