Jason and the babies are at the park, probably doing that adorable double swing twin thing, and I’m standing over a bowl of thinly sliced apples and pears sprinkled in brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
I’m slowly tossing it all together, sampling one slice at a time, making sure that all of the pieces gets their fair share of the good stuff. And I’m pretty sure that my grin looks ridiculous. Hopefully none of the neighbors are peeking through my kitchen window right now. I’m thrilled, ecstatic, snacking on a bowl filled with fall and I’d better stop with all of the snacking if I want any of these apples and pears to make it into the pan.
I’m about to top this mixture with white cake mix (yes, from a box) and melted butter. I’ll bake it until it’s hot and bubbly and then unapologetically eat it straight out of the baking dish, probably before it cools, because I can’t resist this Apple Pear Dump Cake.
Oh, and then I’ll top it with a big ol’ scoop of vanilla ice cream because that’s just how you EAT this sort of dessert. It’s the right amount of sweet, salty, soft and crunchy all in one. The perfect way to slowly slip into fall…and into a blissful food coma brought on by eating a giant serving of dump cake a la mode. Gosh I love this stuff.
Jason and the twins are home and he inhales deeply as he walks in the house, “Did you bake a cake?” “It smells so good in here!” Why yes I did and he never needs to know just how easy it was, or how many apples and pears I ate out of that heavenly bowl, or that I broke into the vanilla ice cream without him. Fall is on it’s way…
- 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 boxed white cake mix
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl toss together the pear slices, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
- Place the apple & pear slices into a 7x11 baking dish.
- Pour the cake mix on top of the filling spreading out evenly.
- Pour the melted butter over the top of the cake mix making sure to cover the entire top. You may want to spoon it over the mix to evenly drizzle it.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove from oven and sprinkle with the pecans. Return to oven and continue to bake an additional 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- *Adding the nuts in after the first 20 minutes of baking with prevent the pecans from burning.
Did you like playing with (or eating) playdough as a kid? I absolutely loved it! Not the eating part, just the playing part…moving right along.
As a wee child, I mostly enjoyed crafting little pizzas and other “edible” goodies out of my dough, and could sit for hours playing with the stuff. I’m pretty sure my Mom, or the Montessori Kindergarten I attended, or someone in my life, made homemade playdough for me because I have a rather unpleasant memory of tasting a chunk of it, ha! I guess those little pizzas were just too irresistible not to bite.
I honestly can’t wait for the twins to get to the arts and crafts stage so that I can sit for hours with them rolling out playdough and creating my own little factory of baby labor pizza makers. Oh, you know I’m just joking…sort of.
Last weekend we threw the twins a Very Hungry Caterpillar 1st birthday party for their friends at the Southern California Children’s Museum here in Pasadena. (I’ll be sharing photos next week!) Since every good kid’s party MUST have a fun favor, I made homemade Jello playdough for the littlest guests to take home.
Really it was just my excuse to buy Jello (one of my other favorite things) and try out this fun recipe. No more stinky sour playdough. This stuff smells like fruity heaven, and as my Mom put it, perfect for encouraging kids to eat it. Ha! Do I detect a bit of sarcasm there Grandma? Me thinks so. But make it I did, and gift it I did, and I will definitely be making it again for Millie and Jackson when they are old enough.
The best part is you don’t have to cook this recipe, or kneed in any extra food coloring if you don’t feel like dying your hands 50 shades of green, red and yellow. My only tip, definitely work in the extra ½ cup of flour that the recipe calls for! Trust me, it kneads it, haha, hoho, sorry…I’ve been snacking on playdough again. My first batch for the party was a bit sticky and could have used more flour.
So, do you have a good recipe for playdough? Ever made it with Jello? Tell me what you really think in the comments below. And here’s a nifty video on how to make it if you like that sort of thing.
- 1 cup Boiling water
- 4 Tbs Vegetable Oil
- ½ cup salt
- 3 ½ cups flour (1/2 cup reserved)
- 6 oz Jello Mix
- In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.
- Add in boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Add in vegetable oil, and mix until incorporated. The dough will still be very lumpy.
- Sprinkle work surface with reserved 1/2 cup of flour, dump out dough and kneed dough until its all mixed together.
- If the playdough is sticky add flour, if too dry add more oil.
- Store for in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.
Strawberries and Rhubarb…one final ode to summer before I throw in the towel on all things sunny and stock up on pumpkin. Blazing heat? Who cares, I’m ready for fall you guys!
But before I start sprinkling Pumpkin Pie Spice on everything, I thought I would share just one more recipe to savor the sweet flavors of summer. These Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies are sweet and perfect bites of fruity goodness.
Cook together fresh strawberries, rhubarb, lemon zest, sugar and corn starch until it’s bubbly and thickened. Try your best not to eat it with a spoon while you roll out the dough, and in less than an hour, you will have one of these sweet pies in your hot little hands. Really, it’s that easy, I promise!
Of course you could always make your own pie crust but with mini hand pies I always use store bought dough. Leave the homemade stuff for Thanksgiving (I say) and take some help from the grocery store for this one. Trust me, the filling is delicious enough. So, are you ready for fall or are you still savoring summer? I hope you will give these pies a try and let me know what you think. Up next…pumpkin season!
- 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
- 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh rhubarb
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 box Refrigerated Pie Crusts, softened as directed on box
- 1 egg
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In 2-quart saucepan, mix strawberries, rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened. Cool slightly.
- Remove pie crusts and unroll on lightly floured work surface. With 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut 14 rounds from each crust; re-roll scraps. Cut small shapes out of half of the rounds; these will be the tops. On cookie sheet, place half of the dough rounds 2 inches apart. Top each with 2 teaspoons fruit mixture. Brush crust edges with water; top with remaining dough rounds. Press edges firmly with fork to seal. Cut slits in top of each round.
- In small bowl, beat egg; brush over tops of pies. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.