Jan 16, 2015

Upside-Down Pineapple Cake

Yesterday was my youngest brother-in-law's last day in Nova Scotia before he headed back to school in Florida. I can't believe how fast the last five weeks have flown by! It was great getting to spend some time with Joseph, he's grown up so much since he left for Pensacola a year and half ago. Joseph is the baby of the family and his older siblings (J included) have always treated him that way. These past five weeks I think they all saw their brother as more than the baby and I think their relationship with him changed and grew. It was great to see. He and J spent some one-on-one time skiing and I have to admit it made me really happy. (I'm a dork, and I accept that.)
The entire family went over to my mother- and father-in-law's place for lasagna last night. My mother-in-law doesn't make lasagna very often but we all get pretty excited when she does. I will always pick my mom's chilli, my mom's turkey dinner, and my mom's cookies but when it comes to lasagna my mother-in-law definitely wins. (Just don't tell my mom!)
I was off yesterday so I volunteered to make dessert. I've always wanted to try a pineapple upside down cake and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I was really happy with how well this cake turned out, and how simple it was to make. It was a huge hit with the whole family. If you're looking for something new to try, I definitely recommend giving this cake a try!

Upside-Down Pineapple Cake
Makes: 9 Pieces
Prep Time: 20 min. Total Time: 60 min.
Source: compliments.ca

[ Ingredients ]

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp butter
9 slices pineapple (drained)
9 maraschino cherries
3 tbsp water

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup of butter
1 large egg
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

[ Directions ]

1. Pre-heat oven to 325° F.
2. In a small saucepan heat brown sugar, butter and water. Stir mixture until it boils.
3. Grease the side of an 8x8 baking pan and pour the mixture in. Arrange your pineapple slices and cherries. (I had to cut a couple of the slices to get them to fit properly.)
4. Using an electric mixer cream the sugar and butter. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix well.
5. Combine all the dry ingredients and then use a spatular to fold them into the wet ingredients.
6. Pour the batter into your greased pan and put it in the oven for 40 minutes. Check to make sure the cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the centre. If the toothpick comes out clean it's done.
7. Once cake has completely cooled invert it on to a plate and serve.


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Jan 15, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

I absolutely love to read. I've been a reader as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school I loved my mom's old Nancy Drew books and the Baby-Sitter's Club. In junior high and high school I read pretty much whatever I could get my hands on. When I was in university I didn't read as much as I would have liked, but over the past couple years I've turned back into an avid reader.
Lately I've been stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to reading. There's so much fantastic YA dystopian fiction that I want to read every series I hear about. I feel like I need to branch out though, I can't keep reading the same type of book over and over again. A couple of my staff mentioned the 2015 Reading Challenge that PopSugar posted. Since they both decided to give it a try I figured I would too.
There's one category for each week of the year, but I'm not going to do them in order. I'm a little behind since it's January 15th and I haven't finished a book yet this year, but I think I can catch up.
Here are the categories in case you're interested:
1. a book with more than 500 pages
2. a romance
3. a book that became a movie
4. a book published this year
5. a book with a number in the title
6. a book written by someone under 30
7. a book with nonhuman characters
8. a funny book
9. a book by a female author
10. a mystery or thriller
11. a book with a one-word title
12. a book of short stories
13. a book set in a different country
14. a nonfiction book
15. a popular author's first book
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet
17. a book a friend recommended
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book
19. a book based on a true story
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list
21. a book your mom or dad loves
22. a book that scares you
23. a book more than 100 years old
24. a book based entirely on its cover
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't
26. a memoir
27. a book you can finish in a day
28. a book with antonyms in the title
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit
30. a book that came out the year you were born
31. a book with bad reviews
32. a trilogy (the first)
33. a trilogy (the second)
34. a trilogy (the third)
35. a book from your childhood
36. a book with a love triangle
37. a book set in the future
38. a book set in high school
39. a book with a color in the title
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic
42. a graphic novel
43. a book by an author you've never read before
44. a book you own but have never read
45. a book that takes place in your hometown
46. a book that was originally written in another language
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday)
48. a book written by an author with your same initials
49. a play
50. a banned book
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show
52. a book you started but never finished    
I'm currently reading "Midnight Crossroad" by Charlaine Harris. I picked it up from the library because I enjoyed her Sookie Stackhouse series, but I'm struggling to get into it. I'm hoping that trying to get the next book checked off my reading challenge list will keep me motivated to get through it.
Are you doing any reading challenges? If you're not enjoying a book do you keep reading until the end, or do you start a different book?

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Jan 12, 2015

Planning a Bridal Shower

Some days, as I'm scrolling through Pinterest, I get a little sad that it wasn't around when I was planning my wedding. However, now that I'm planning a wedding shower for my sister-in-law to-be  I get to take full advantage of the wonder that is Pinterest.

Tracey's shower won't be until May, but I've got so many great ideas already! Here are just a few of the things (I think) I've decided on...

Burlap & Lace "Bride-to-Be" Sash | I haven't decided if I'll order this adorable one from Etsy or if I'll try to make my own, but this sash is absolutely perfect from Tracey. She's a country girl at heart so we'll be going with a rustic theme, and our bridesmaid dresses are a pretty plum colour.

Burlap & Lace Invitations | I love these invitations! I love the colours, the fonts, the style, EVERYTHING. As soon as we nail down all the time/date details I will be ordering these. I just can't get over how perfect they are.

Burlap Countdown | I thought this was just really cute. I'm looking forward to making some of the small, personal details that Tracey will love. I'll probably make a similar "sign the guest book" sign, but I haven't figured out what kind of guestbook to go with yet.

Picture Garland | I think this idea is really sweet. I've already asked the groom-to-be to start gathering up as many photos as he can. I'd really like Tracey to be surprised when she's sees the pictures on it. It looks so simple to make too.

I've got so many more ideas floating around in my head, I can't wait to put it all together. Have you planned any showers or parties recently? Any tips or things I need to make sure I remember?

Mingle 240

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