My Mothers Pineapple Cake

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I remember this cake well.  It was made for every kind of occasion.  From birthdays to anniversary’s to showers to Christenings to First Communions, Confirmations and all kind of church functions.  It made a lot and looked great on trays with all the other cakes.  It is funny because I was asking my friend the other day about this cake, though she didn’t make it she knew about it because her aunt makes it to.  It is not a hard cake to make and it is easy to put together.  I haven’t made it in years so I was feeling my way through because there were things I had forgotten about.

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Grease a 9×13 inch pan.  Mine was a bit larger, so it you have one use it, your cake won’t be as high but still good.

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I like to make the filling first and set it aside to cool.  First empty out 2-19 oz cans of crushed pineapple into a pot.

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Add approximately 1/4 cup of cornstarch and about 1/2 cup sugar.  The sugar depends on how sweet you want it.  Just give is a taste and you’ll know.  Mix all off the ingredients together and cook over a medium heat until thickened.  Set aside.

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To me this is the trickiest part.  Pay close attention to what I am about to tell you.  You must use 1 cake of yeast but not the one you buy individually packaged in the dairy section of your supermarket.  Go the the bakery department and ask to buy a cake of their yeast. They might tell you the other stuff is the same but it is NOT, NOT as fresh and might not give you the same results.  Now I have to buy this yeast 1/4 lb. at a time, but that’s ok. All you do is cut it into cubes, wrap it individually in foil and put it in the freezer. It will keep for about 6-8 months.  Use it in other baking or make pizza dough with it.  It is the best cake yeast I have ever used.  If your supermarket doesn’t have it then try a bakery.

Into preheated milk with a couple of teaspoons of sugar, crumble the yeast, cover and let it bubble.

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This process does not take long if it fresh yeast.

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In a mix master bowl add 3 cups of flour and 1 cup of butter.  Combine together until you see little crumbs.

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Then add your yeast, 3 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

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I used a dough hook and combined the ingredients together. The dough will be firm but a bit sticky.

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Divide the dough in half, roll it out to fit the pan. Top the bottom layer with the cooled pineapple.

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Roll out the other half of the dough and place on top of the pineapple, tucking in the edges. Cover it with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size. Place into a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden.

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All ovens are not the same so keep an eye on it.  Cool.

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While cake is cooling, into a bowl add 4 tablespoons of butter along with 2 cups of icing sugar, combine. Add 3 tablespoons of milk, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, and grated lemon rind.  Mix until well combined.

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This was the original recipe for the icing but for my size of pan I found it wasn’t enough. So next time I would double the recipe.  Told you I haven’t made this in years.  On top of the icing you could sprinkle ground walnuts.

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I place the cake into the fridge so it is easier to cut.  Then I cut along the outside to make sure edges are nice and even. Next I cut across the cake.

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Then on a diagonal.  This way I have diamond shape pieces.

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They look so nice on a platter.  Make sure you cut with a hot wet knife.

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This is not a sweet cake.  If you want to add extra sugar into the pineapple then feel free to do so.



2/3 cup Of Warm Milk, Not Hot

1 Cake Of Yeast, Crumbled

2 Teaspoons Of Sugar

3 Egg Yolks

1 cup Butter

3 cups Flour

2-19 oz. Cans Of Pineapple Drained

1/2 cup Of Sugar

1/4 cup Of Cornstarch


4 Tablespoons Of Butter

2 cups Of Icing Sugar

3 Tablespoons Of Milk

1 Tablespoon Of Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Grated Lemon Rind

Pinch Of Salt

Ground Walnuts (Opt.)



Drain pineapple, place into pot with sugar and cornstarch.  Cook until thickened.  Set aside to cool.


Cream butter and sugar.  Add milk and grated lemon rind and lemon juice.  Beat until smooth.


Warm milk, add crumbled cake yeast and cover.  Set aside until it bubbles.  Add the yeast to 3 cups of flour along with egg yolks and sugar.  Beat with a dough hook until the bowl comes clean.  It will be a bit sticky so when handling use a bit of flour.

Spray your pan, divide dough in half and roll out dough to fit the bottom of the pan.  Place your cooled pineapple on top.  Roll out the remaining dough place on top of the pineapple and press down edges.  Cover with a dish towel, place in a warm place until doubled in bulk.  Anywhere from 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  Place into a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden.  Cool and ice.

This also freezes well in a container with a lid.

Have fun making this.  Enjoy!


Baba’s Apple Cake


I had the greatest role models in my life.  Teaching me what was important and what wasn’t.  When I look back,  these lessons in life meant more to me as I got older.  I’m sure it must have been frustrating for them seeing me make my mistakes.  If I could go back and redo things, I sure would pay more attention to what they wanted me do and do things the way I was told.

My role models were my mother and my grandmother.  These two women lived in Europe during Second World War.  They very rarely spoke about the those times but I could see the pain when on rare occasion they did share some of the stories.  My Baba often said, “If I could speak better English, I could write a book this thick.”  As she gestured to a height that was about 12 inches high.  I really don’t know why she didn’t write things down because her English was as good as mine.  She was a very smart and tough little women to survive what she did and then come to a completely foreign country, not speaking the language to start life all over again.

They imparted on me their love of cooking. They brought with them traditions be cannot be replaced.  These things live on in my heart everyday with the memories they created, now that are both are gone.  I try to pass these things on to my children and grandchildren hoping some day they will do the same.

Here is a recipe that Baba use to make, that my son well remembers because he just recently asked for it.


Peel and core 4-5-6 apples.


Add 1/2-3/4 cup of sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1/2-1 lemon rind and its juice.  Mix.  You can leave this overnight.


Into another bowl add 1/2 lb. of butter and 1 cup sugar.  Mix until well blended. Next add 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons of sour cream and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or even vanilla.  Mix well.


Add 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, pinch of salt and mix well.


Dough will be sticky but firm.


Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.


Then drop onto the pan, clumps of dough, about half.


With a spatula or spoon that has been continually dipped in hot water, slowly spread the dough to fit the pan.


My apples sat in the refrigerator overnight so I drained a lot of the liquid but I also added about 1/2 cup of flour.  This is to prevent the apples producing more liquid and making your dough soggy.


Next place the apples on the dough and spread them to cover the dough.


With the other half of the dough, drop it by the spoonful on top of the apples and spread it the same way as the bottom half.  Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.


When it is nicely golden remove from the oven and check with a toothpick.  I use a skewer.


Look at this skewer, it is clean, so I know my cake is ready.  I use to use a toothpick but this is a trick I learned in Ireland cooking with a Cordon Bleu chef.


Ta Da!  Let it cool.


Cut yourself a piece and sprinkle it with icing sugar.  Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!  This cake freezes well.



5-6 Peeled And Thinly Sliced Apples,(Next Time I would Use A Couple More, To Get More Of A Layer In Between The Cake Layers)

2 cups Flour

1/2 lb. Butter

2 Eggs

3 tablespoons Sour Cream

1/2 – 1 Grated Lemon Rind

1 tablespoon Of Fresh Lemon Juice, to taste

1 tablespoon Baking Powder

Pinch Of Salt

Icing Sugar


Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.

Combine butter and sugar, beat until well combined.  Add the eggs, sour cream, lemon rind and lemon juice, beat some more.  With all this beating I use a Mix Master.  Boy, am I dating myself .  It is sssooo much faster.

Next add the flour and baking powder.  When all the ingredients are well combined, divide the dough in 1/2 and pat it into the pan.  Next place the apples on top and finish off by dropping dough on top of the apples then spreading it out with a hot and wet spatula.

Bake in a pre heated oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden.  Cool and freeze or cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.




My Mothers Jam Squares

Jam Squares 019Another one of my mothers recipes.  Looking at her recipes brings back so many memories.  She was a woman that loved her family.  A woman that always put them first.  She wasn’t someone who just talked about doing for her family, she actually did it. She gave so much of herself in doing for others and never expected anything in return. She promised us that even after she was gone she would always be here to look after us. Always, always, always thinking of us, never herself.  She so loved her family.  I love making the things she use to make.  It somehow brings her back to us.  What a gift.  Thanks Ma, for everything you did for us.  We love and miss you.

Try making these squares.

Jam Squares 013Separate your yolks from your whites, placing the whites in a bowl and whipping them with 2 tablespoons of sugar, until the form nice soft peaks.  Set aside.

Jam Squares 001First add 1/4 pound of butter to your mixer bowl and cream it with 1/2 cup of sugar.

Jam Squares 004Add your two egg yolks along with your tablespoon of vanilla and mix until well blended.

Jam Squares 005Next add your 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda and mix until nicely combined.  This dough will be a bit wet.

Jam Squares 006Place the dough into a 9×13 inch ungreased pan.

Jam Squares 009With wet hands spread dough into the pan.

Jam Squares 010Top with approximately 1 cup of jam, more or less.  I used pear.

Jam Squares 015Top the jam layer with the beaten egg whites and with sprinkle ground walnuts.  Now don’t get your knickers in a knot. For people with nut allergies, you could also sprinkle on grated chocolate, coloured sprinkles, coconut anything that isn’t too heavy to sink into your egg whites.

Jam Squares 018Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 20-30 minutes.  The time will depend on your oven.  You do not have to have this deep golden colour.  Cool.  Cut into small squares with a HOT WET knife, by cutting down into the squares and not gliding the knife along the squares.  This will prevent the egg whites from ripping.

Jam Squares 020Enjoy!



1/2 pound Butter

1/2 cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

2 Egg Yolks

2 Egg Whites

2 Tablespoons Of Sugar

1 1/2 cups Of Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/8 Teaspoon Of Baking Soda

1 cup Of Jam

Ground Walnuts For Sprinkling


Separate your egg yolks and egg whites.  Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Set aside.  In another bowl beat egg yolks with the butter and vanilla.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix until it comes together.

Spread this dough into an ungreased pan with wet hands, top with jam first then the whipped egg whites, place into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.

Cool and cut into squares, with a HOT, WET knife.

These squares freeze well.

Making Ice Cream Without A Ice Cream Machine

Can you believe it?  I didn’t think it could be done and taste good but I was wrong. Listen to this, it only requires 3 ingredients, well 4 if you add an extra ingredient to jazz it up.  I couldn’t believe it.  My friend V, which by the way is my recipe buddy, gave me this recipe and encouraged me to try it.  I think she in turn got it from Michela’s Classic Italian.  The first time I made it, I only made 1/2 the recipe, thinking there wouldn’t be that much of waste it we didn’t like it.  Well, let me tell you the next time I made it I doubled it.  Everyone loved it.  So here’s the recipe.  I hope you do try it. Ice Cream and Poppyseed Cookies 012

In a large bowl add your 35% whipping cream, vanilla and your sweetened condensed milk and beat until… Ice Cream and Poppyseed Cookies 013

you are able to form soft peaks. Ice Cream and Poppyseed Cookies 015

Pour into a container with a lid and place into the freezer for 1 hour. Ice Cream and Poppyseed Cookies 008 Cut your cherries into halves. Ice Cream and Poppyseed Cookies 017

After 1 hour add the cherries into your ice cream, cover with a lid and place back into the freezer over night or for 5 hours. At this stage you can add whatever your little heart desires.  Crushed cookies, jam, candies, nuts, chocolate bits, remembering to lightly swirl the ingredients in. Ice Cream and Poppyseed Cookies 032

I chose to add the jam in in layers when placing the ice cream into the serving dishes.  Voila!  Homemade ice cream.  It really is delicious.


INGREDIENTS 500 ml 35% Whipping Cream 1 395 g

Can Of Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 Tablespoon Vanilla (Or Flavoring Of Your Choice)

1/8-1/4 cup Red Candied Cherries, Halved

1/8-1/4 cup Green Candied Cherries,

Halved 2 Tablespoons Of Jam, (Of Your Choice)


Into a large mixing bowl add your quart of 35% whipping cream, 390 gr. of sweetened condensed milk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla.  Whip until this mixture forms nice soft peaks. Pour into one container, OR pour half of this dreamy mixture into 2 containers (so you can make two different kinds), place into the freezer and leave for 1 hour.  Next, add a 1/2 cup of candied cherries cut into halves.  Cover the container with a lid and place back into the freezer for 5 hours or overnight. Place into serving dishes and top with whip cream, caramel sauce, shaved chocolate and enjoy!

So Simple Lemon Poppyseed Cookies

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I was not going to do any baking this year for Christmas but because of my blog I decided to make a few things.  I actually am late in starting.  Usually it is all done by now, sitting, waiting in the freezer.  I was going through some of my mothers recipes trying to find something simple and I came across this one.  The more traditional ones that she made are a little more involved and I just don’t feel like doing them this year.  So I thought I would try this one.  I had all the ingredients in the house so it was just a matter of mixing everything together and baking it.

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Into a bowl mix together eggs, oil, sugar and lemon flavoring.  Next add your flour, baking powder,baking soda, salt, poppy seeds and lemon rind.  Mix until well combined but do not over mix.  I use my mixer because it is so much faster.

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Next flour your board and rolling pin.  This is to avoid the dough from sticking.

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Then break off a clump of dough, sprinkle it with a little more flour and…..

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Proceed to roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness or there about.

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Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough.  I like to use straight edges because it saves me from re-rolling the dough, no leftovers.  Repeat with remaining dough.

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Place cut squares on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with sugar.  I like to use the coarse because it gives the cookies a bit of a crunch when baked. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-13 minutes.  You have to watch them as not to over bake.  In my oven was about 12 minutes.

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When baked place them on a rack to cool. At that point you can put them in a zip-lock bag and freeze them.  Actually I prefer them after they have been frozen and then defrosted.  Ice Cream and Poppyseed Cookies 037

But how ever you prefer them, enjoy!



2 Large Eggs

3/4 cup Vegetable Oil

3/4 cup Sugar

1 teaspoon Lemon Flavouring Or Juice Of The Lemon

1/2 Grated Lemon Rind Or Whole Lemon (If You Like The Taste Of Lemon)

3 1/4 cups Flour

1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Salt

1/4 cup Poppy Seeds


Mix all the ingredients starting with the wet and adding the dry until well combined but not over mixing. Roll the dough out in handful clumps to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with a cookie cutter.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10-13 minutes, or until nicely golden.

Cool on wire racks then freeze in zip lock bags or store in air tight containers.


Squash And Apple Crumble

File 3 031I love this recipe.  It uses squash so if you don’t get enough veggies this is a good place to start.

File 3 027Peel and thinly slice a squash.  I used my food processor which made the job so much quicker.  Next I cored my apples and also placed them into the food processor.  Placing all my squash and apple slices into a large bowl I next added 2 tablespoons of cornstarch,. 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup of oatmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons of lemon juice along with the lemon rind.  Give it real good stir.

File 3 026Butter a pan.  I use my corning ware which I love because it is so easy to clean.

File 3 029Add your fruit and squash. In another bowl mix together 2 cup of oats, 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1 cup brown sugar and 8 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter.

File 3 031Sprinkle on top of apple and squash.  Cover with foil and bake approximately 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until crumble topping is browned to your liking. Cool.

Serve with whip cream or ice cream and a caramel sauce.



Butter For Greasing The Pan

1 Squash, Peeled And Sliced

6-8 Apples, Sliced Same Thickness As Squash

4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Oatmeal

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Salt


2 Cups Of Oats

1 1/2 Cups Of Flour

1 Cup Of Brown Sugar

Whip Cream Or Ice Cream

Caramel Sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease your pan.  Peel and slice your squash, core and slice your apples, all being about the same thickness.  In a bowl mix together the squash, apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, cornstarch, and a quarter cup of oats or oatmeal.  Mix and place in the greased pan.

In a bowl combine the flour, oats and brown sugar.  Add the very cold butter and combine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Spread over the squash and apples, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until it is browned to your liking.  Cool.

Top with whip cream or ice cream and caramel sauce.

This is so good and you can convince yourself it is healthy so you can justify another piece.




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hand painted furniture and accessories

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... Making Broken Beautiful

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