Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Triple Threat

Everyone knows about the Freshman 15, right? Well, at the company where I work, its more like the Freshman 50. We love food. We will drum up any excuse to bring food to work, and of course, that explains why we also have so many weight loss challenges here as well.
Our most treasured tradition here in the office is Birthday Tables. When it is your birthday, all your friends, family (yes, I have at least three close family members also working here, but that's a story for another time), and department co-workers bring in homemade goodies and set them all up on a table by your office.

The feeding frenzy begins when the birthday person arrives at work that day and takes a plate. Once all the contributors have had their fill, the birthday person then sends an email to the company letting them know that its a free-for-all and everyone is welcome to come scavenge.

We also have an office in Springfield, Missouri, and a number of people who work from their homes that don't get Birthday Tables. It just so happens that one of those people is in the office this week and her birthday is coming up, so our department decided to throw her a Birthday Table. She has no idea what we can do with food. Granted, ours is small department, so it won't rival some of the truly legendary tables we've had in the past, but for her, it will be pretty good.

I am in a rut, food table-wise and didn't want to make all my usual dishes, so I randomly picked the three easiest things from my recipe box and brought them in so we'd have extra food on the table.

Glamorous and gourmet, they are not. Pretty....yeah, not so much either, but these are three dishes that I never have leftovers of.

Pineapple Upside Down BiscuitsI originally got this recipe from Paula Deen’s cooking show on the Food Network, When she makes it, she makes individual portions in muffin tins, and while that looks a whole lot prettier than mine, I am usually feeding a crowd, so I have adapted the recipe somewhat. If you want a prettier presentation, and don’t have as many people to feed, use the Grands biscuits and do them in muffin pans, but only use a 10 ounce can of pineapple and leave the cherries whole.

1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cans refrigerated biscuits (20 biscuits, total)

Scatter cherries on the bottom of a 9x13 pan, cutting them in half if need be to make sure they are well distributed.Mix together pineapple, sugar, and butter and pour over the cherries. Top with all 20 biscuits and drizzle with reserved pineapple juice.Bake at 400 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden. Invert the lovely things onto a plate to serve.

Taco Bites
I know, this is hardly a recipe, but I keep it in my recipe box just to remind me to make it occasionally. I never have to worry about taking any of this home with me, and its the easiest thing in the world to whip up when you need something to take to a potluck.
1 package of 10 inch flour tortillas (I prefer Azteca for this because they don’t tend to crack when you roll them like some tortillas do)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
1/3 cup salsa ( I prefer “hot” salsa, even if you don’t like it hot, because the cream cheese mellows it out a lot, and picante sauce over chunky so that I don’t get bumpy taco bites)

Mix the cream cheese in mixer until smooth, then blend in salsa. Spread a thin layer of salsa on each tortilla and roll them up as tightly as you can without tearing them. Cut into bite sized pieces.
**note: It works best if you refrigerate the whole rolled tortillas overnight before trying to cut them. If they are still warm, they will just smush when you try to cut them.

Mom’s Black Forest Cherry Cake
My mom used to make this when we were kids and even though it is a very simple recipe, it is one that has always stuck with me. This cake ends up being so dense and moist, and the cherry flavor just runs through it. My mom always topped the cake with a second can of pie filling, but when I have time I like to make a chocolate ganache to drizzle over the top. No time for that today, but its still wonderful!

1 box chocolate cake mix (not the kind with pudding in it)
1 can cherry pie filling
¼ cup oil
3 eggs

Combine all ingredients together. Beat with mixer until smooth. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (took me an hour last night). Cool in the pan for 25 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Optional: decorate with a second can of pie filling and whipped cream.

How gorgeous is that? The picture doesn't do it justice, but it is so moist that it sticks to the bottom of the fork. Are you hungry yet?


Bev said...

I REALLY want to work in your office...maybe just for a day in mid-July? I have a major B-day then...hint, hint

Anne said...

I haven't had this cake in ages! Yum!