Like most everyone else in Ohio, it seems, I’ve been stuck inside since Friday afternoon, when I left work in Mason to make the (hour-long, this time; the last storm, two-hour-long) trek back downtown. I knew I didn’t have a whole lot prepared, and didn’t want a frozen dinner, so I stopped by Shadeau bread to pick up some pastries and bread and noticed that they did a sandwich service. Yum! And they had soup– perfect for a snowy day.
We headed to Bockfest (that’s another post) and wanted something for dinner– of course, all of the restaurants were closed. Sigh. So we went back to my place and I made some of my favorite comfort food– pasta with browned butter and parmigiano reggiano. No recipe needed, really– simply take a stick of butter, cook it until the solids have turned golden brown and nutty, mix in some cooked pasta or egg noodles, add some freshly cracked pepper and some parmigiano reggiano to taste. Simple, delicious, and easy. Throw in some bacon and you have an eggless almost-carbonara (which is what we did on Friday night). Delish.
Saturday, we almost went to Lavomatic with 5chw4r7z and his lovely Mrs. 5, but they were closed, so I whipped up, due to popular demand, more of the chicken and gravy and mashed potatoes from last Sunday. It was enjoyed by both of us, though Terry had to remind me to remind him not to eat too much– we had dessert!
We both had a craving for Pineapple Upside-Down cake, so we trekked out in the middle of the afternoon to Vine Street Kroger’s. It gets a bad rap, but I found everything I needed for my meal, and despite being crowded, it was quick and everyone was friendly. Kroger’s really does need to improve the produce section, but they did have some organics and they had fresh vegetables and fruits– just not enough. I might go there more often in the future.
I went through my grandma’s recipes, but they called for shortening (which I didn’t have, and didn’t want to substitute for). I went through my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, which called for fresh pineapple– and that was something I definitely wouldn’t find at Vine Street Kroger’s. I settled on adapting this recipe from Simply Recipes, which I found via a google search. I made a couple of changes: first, I had no sour cream (and by that time, I wasn’t going out again), so I substituted yogurt. I also cut out the almonds, and found that the cake just wasn’t quite as dense as described. I also threw in some maraschino cherries, as that’s a sort of “tradition” both Terry and I agreed on.
The pre-caramelizing of the brown sugar made for a really superior topping. Most recipes just call for brown sugar and melted butter in the bottom of the pan, which is good but not quite this good. If I had a cast iron skillet (or I was at Terry’s; he has one), I would make the caramel in the pan and use that for baking as well– fewer pots.
Oh, and the batter? Delish.