Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

I get a little nostalgic when I make Hawaiian Wedding Cake. This recipe was very popular when I was a kid. I don’t know a lot of people making it anymore- and that is a shame. The cake is very tasty and quite easy to make.

This recipe proves that you don’t always need a lot of time, to bake a homemade dessert. You can make this moist and tasty cake in less time than it takes to make a box mix cake. Really. The ingredients are all combined at once in a mixing bowl, and stirred by hand until mixed.

Of course, time saving means nothing if the dessert doesn’t taste good. The cake is really good. It is studded with nuts, coconut and has plenty of pineapple in it, too. Once baked and cooled, it can be topped with cream cheese frosting, powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. You can even leave it plain.

The cake can make a nice gift, too. Use small foil loaf pans- and divide the batter among them, filling half way. Bake at the same temperature, but for a shorter time.

The mix of tropical ingredients certainly inspired the name of this cake. I don’t really know if people in Hawaii actually ever serve this cake at weddings. I like to think that they did. I do know how much I like it. I think you will, too.



Hawaiian Wedding Cake

2 c. flour

2 eggs

1 (20oz.) can crushed pineapple in its own juice, undrained

1 c. shredded coconut

1 c. sugar

1 c. chopped walnuts

2 t. baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool and dust with cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, or frost. Serves 12.

Frosting recipe:

8 oz. Cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1 stick butter, room temperature

Beat all together until fluffy. Frost cake and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Cake should be golden brown on top when baked

Cake should be golden brown on top when baked


Pineapple Blintzes

Pineapple Blintzes

Pineapple Blintzes

I taught a class last night on cooking with tortillas. We made some traditional dishes, but we also had fun making these fruit filled blintzes. We used the  tortillas to replace the crepes. Everyone loved them.


I soaked the tortillas in milk. That is the secret to make this dish work. By soaking the tortillas in milk, they soften up and can be used like a crepe. It changes their texture completely. Soak them for at least 20 minutes, or up to an hour. I placed the tortillas in a shallow baking pan and made sure to drizzle each one with milk as I added them to the pan. They will stick together if softened too long, so you might want to put the tortillas on sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to keep them separate as they soften. You could also soak them in almond or rice milk, or even fruit juice.


For the filling, I used a pineapple filling that I made from crushed pineapple, sweetened with sugar, a little vanilla and thickened with Clear Gel- a type of cornstarch.* Here is the recipe for the pineapple filling along with directions on how to assemble and prepare them.

Pineapple Blintzes


1 can ( 20 oz.) crushed pineapple, packed in juice, un-drained

½ c. sugar, or more to suit your taste

1 t. vanilla

¼ c. Clear Gel or cornstarch

2 T. cold water


Butter for frying

12 flour tortillas- 8-inch

Powdered sugar



In sauce pan, heat together pineapple, sugar and vanilla and bring to a boil. Combine Clear Gel with cold water and stir until smooth. Slowly drizzle this mixture into the pineapple, stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken quickly. You might not need to add all of the Clear Gel mixture. Once it thickens, remove from heat and cool down a little before making the blintzes. Makes about 3 cups, enough for about 12 blintzes.


To assemble the blintzes, place a softened tortilla on your work surface and spoon a little pineapple filling in the middle. You can do this with hot filling, but easier if the filling has cooled down or is even cold. Don’t over fill them or you won’t be able to fold them up. I used 8-inch tortillas and used about 1/4 cup of filling for each one. Fold the sides in until they almost meet in the middle and then roll the tortilla up to cover the filling. Place seam side down until ready to fry them.

Heat butter in a skillet, and brown the blintzes over medium heat until lightly toasted on both sides. They will be crispy on the outside, but tender in the middle. Put on a serving plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve while warm.

Note: They can be assembled ahead of time, then kept in the fridge until ready to cook. You can also cook them up ahead of time, and just warm in the oven when ready to serve. If rewarming them, cover to keep them from drying out.

I have made these before and use different fruit fillings. I’ve also made a cheese filled version a few times. It seems I usually have a package of tortillas, so it is a go-to dessert for me in a pinch. Nice brunch or breakfast dish, too. For dessert, you can also top them with ice cream or whipped cream.


* Clear Gel is modified cornstarch. It is used in commercial pie fillings and in many frozen dinners. It looks just like regular cornstarch. The big difference between Clear Gel and traditional cornstarch is that Clear gel won’t get runny when reheated. If you have ever used cornstarch to thicken a stir fry, you know that the next day, if you reheat it, the sauce thins out. Clear Gel does not do that- it stays thick. Clear Gel is available at stores in Amish communities and on-line.


Canning Pineapple

Canned Pineapple

Canned Pineapple

In a canning class a few weeks ago I shared some home canned pineapple with the students. I had promised to share the recipe. It is really simple to do and a great way to take advantage of a good sale. I found pineapples on sale for a dollar and grabbed quite a few. I canned them in juice although you can use a light sugar syrup, if you prefer. I think they look and taste great. Here is the recipe.






Canning Pineapple 

Wash pineapple. Peel and remove eyes and tough fiber. Slice or cube. Pineapple
may be packed in water, apple juice, white grape juice, or in very light, light, or medium syrup.  In a large saucepan, add pineapple to syrup, water, or juice, and simmer 10
minutes. Fill hot jars with hot pieces and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace. Wipe rime with dampened paper towel and apply lids and bands. Process in a boiling water bath. Pints 15 minutes, quarts 20 minutes.

Altitude adjustment- 1,001-6,000 ft. pints 20 minutes, above 6.000 ft. 25 minutes. Quarts 1,001-3,000 ft. 25 minutes, 3,001-6,000 ft. 30 minutes. Above 6,000 ft. 35 minutes.

Source. NCHFP

Pineapple Glazed Chicken

Grilled Pineapple Chicken

Grilled Pineapple Chicken

I found myself with an open can of crushed pineapple and I didn’t want to waste it. I have a number of baked dishes where I could have used it but I decided to go with a savory dish instead. I was getting together with friends to grill some chicken and ribs so I ended up making a glaze for the chicken with the pineapple.  We marinaded the chicken in about half of the sauce and brushed the rest on while it was cooking. It added just the right amount of sweetness without overpowering the meat.  Here is the recipe.




Pineapple Glaze

2 T. oil

 1 medium onion, minced

1 can ( 20  oz.)  crushed pineapple, undrained

1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

1/2 c. sugar

1 T. hot sauce

2 t. minced garlic

1 t. ginger

1 t. sesame oil

1 t. salt, or to taste

1/2 t. white pepper

In skillet saute onion in oil until golden brown. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, about 10-15  minutes. Adjust seasonings. Use as a sauce or glaze for meats.

Pineapple Glazed Chicken Wings

Pineapple Glazed Chicken Wings

Pineapple Glazed Chicken Wings

I have been using what is in my freezer and pantry fro some time now. Had company for dinner the other night and I came up with this dish, using what I had on hand. I used some chicken wings I had in the freezer and used a jar of pineapple chunks I had canned. You could easily use a can of pineapple chunks from the store or even fresh pineapple cut up. The dinner was a big hit so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Pineapple Glazed Chicken Wings

12 chicken wings

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can (or jar) of pineapple chunks, drained, reserving liquid- I used a pint jar- if using store bought use the 20 oz. can.

salt and pepper


1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

1/2 c. sugar

3 T. ketchup

3 T. sherry

2 T. soy sauce

1 t. minced garlic

1 t. red pepper flakes

reserved pineapple juice

3 T. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place wings in pan and season with salt and pepper. Bake chicken wings in roasting pan for 30 minutes. Add the onions and pineapple chunks to the pan with the chicken wings and return to the oven for 30 minutes longer. While chicken is cooking combine the first seven sauce  ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Check baking pan for any juices- Spoon them out and add to the sauce. Combine pineapple juice and cornstarch in small bowl, stirring until smooth and add to the sauce. Return to boil and stir until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Pour hot sauce over chicken and return to the oven to bake 20-30 minutes longer or until wings look nicely glazed and sauce has started to brown. Serve over hot rice or pasta, if desired. Serves 3-4.

Polynesian Cole Slaw

Polynesian Cole Slaw

Polynesian Cole Slaw

I got this recipe from a friend many years ago. We made it in class the other night. It’s a nice variation on a salad I enjoy a lot of different ways. The crunch of the cabbage goes well with the sweetness of the fruit. Since cabbage is on sale everywhere lately I thought I would share the recipe with you.


    Polynesian Cole Slaw

4 c. shredded cabbage

1 (11oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained or 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated

1 (8 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained, reserving 2 T. of the juice

1/4 c. mayonnaise

1/2  t. fresh grated ginger

1/4 t. each nutmeg and white pepper

Combine cabbage with fruit and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients including reserved juice to make dressing and pour over cabbage mixture, tossing gently to coat. Chill several hours or overnight before serving. Serves 8.


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