Monday, January 16, 2012

The Hunger Games

If you haven't read it...add it to your list!!!
I am typically a chic-lit/woman's literature fan....and didn't think I could get into this book. Well, I loved this book (and I will love the movie, too)!  It took me awhile to bite the bullet and give it a try....but once I did...I couldn't put it down!  Kept my attention every page of the way....very brutal and cruel... but, oh so  beautiful all at the same time! Despite all the blood shed...I still enjoyed every part of this book.  I fell in love with Katniss Everdeen's character...a girl with a big heart but ready to take on anything that stood in her way...when she feels something you seem to feel it, too!  I enjoyed meeting Gale in this first book and hope he appears more in book 2!??! 
 Already started reading it.......what a great way to spend a day off!

Muffin Tin Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake....doesn't that just scream the 1980's??.... crunchy brown sugar topping over pineapples and cake...brings back so many childhood memories. My mom used to make pineapple upside down cake in a cast iron skillet so the topping was nice and caramelized on top. Today... I just used JUMBO muffin tins instead of a cast iron skillet.
Normally, I would double this recipe because it only makes 6 Jumbo mini-cakes....but today I bought eggs at Target...and I assumed they would make it home with me...NO EGGS (I hate when that happens!!).   Today I made these for our great friend, Matt Naylor....he is celebrating his 49th birthday again today!  This is his favorite we are excited to share them wtih him tonight after a delicious meal at Vivo's!
Cake Ingredients: (remember this just makes 6 JUMBO mini-cakes)
2 eggs
2/3 C white sugar
4 T pineapple juice
2/3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 stick butter
2/3 C brown sugar
1-can pineapple rings
6-maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your JUMBO muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, add eggs, white sugar, and pineapple juice. Beat for 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and turn mixer back on for 2 minutes.
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Stir on low heat for one minute.

Place a pineapple ring in the bottom of each jumbo muffin tin. Add a cherry in the middle of each pineapple. Spoon over a layer of the warm brown sugar mixture.
Pour cake mixture over to fill muffin tin 3/4 of the way full.
Bake jumbo cakes for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake to help loosen in case it sticks a little.
Place a wire cooling rack on top, and quickly flip over.
Place wire rack of cakes on baking sheet to cool.
Yummy...we can't wait to eat them....Happy Birthday, Mateo!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Safe Haven

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Not sure how I felt about this book...I adore Nicholas Sparks, but it took me weeks to get through this book. I always love his "love story" type of stories...but this one got a little intense near the end. I really didn't want to turn the next page...but finally usual everything turned out ok, but it wasn't easy! 

Did you read this book? Did you like it?
The jury is still out for my...NOT my favorite!

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

Guesswhat I am reading now and am really having a hard time putting it down....