I realize this is an odd grouping, but I just wanted to write one post.
In May my father-in-law married a very lovely lady named Lee. Lee's birthday was on June 7, so I made her a fruit pizza. I didn't eat any, but Jonathan said it was good. I will attempt to post the recipe at the end, but I didn't write down exact amounts. I basically just made this up as I went. I added blackberry fruit spread to the crust before I added the cream cheese frosting. I used blackberry, because my father-in-law loves blackberries and I knew he would be sharing this with Lee. If I make this again, I will probably use strawberry or cherry preserves or maybe none at all. I've also seen it made with a sugar cookie crust, but Lee doesn't like really sweet stuff, so I used the crust recipe from my lemon bars.
My in-laws occasionally give us cucumbers from their garden, so I decided to make some cucumber pickles. Now, there is no canning or pickling process that I attempt when I make these. I just chunk up the cucumber and some white or yellow onion (Ed bought me yellow onions, so those are what I used), place them in quart-size canning jars, add garlic powder, dried dill weed, dried rosemary, and dried thyme then just pour vinegar over them until the jar is full. Place the lid on and pop the jars in the fridge. I was raised to love sour or tart food, so I LOVE these! We ate sour pickles instead of dill...I didn't really start eating dill pickles until I married Ed. I'm sure you could add some sugar to take the edge off the sour, but I just eat them as is.
Thinking of tart foods, I really miss sauerkraut. When I was younger, and my mother had to stretch the grocery budget, we would have wieners and sauerkraut instead of sausage and sauerkraut. Ed doesn't like sauerkraut so I've never made either for my family (though I would use sausage if I did make it). And even though my kids will eat almost anything put in front of them, I doubt they will enjoy kraut.
ELVIS PRESLEY CAKE
This is my favorite cake! I try not to push my food opinions on others, because everyone has different tastes, but this cake is AWESOME!! I probably only make it about once a year, because it is so rich. But I just love it, love it, love it! Can you tell I love it??
Bon Appetit, folks!
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
6 to 8 ounce jar preserves, jam or fruit spread (or you can just omit this)
16 ounce container cream cheese frosting (or you can make homemade)
Various fruit...I used fresh strawberries, fresh peaches, fresh kiwi, fresh blueberries, canned chunk pineapple, and canned mandarin oranges (see the picture for arrangement)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, powdered sugar, and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed until crumbly. Since I was taking the pizza to someone else, I purchased a round cake board and moved the crust from the pizza pan to the cake board, but it crumbled around some of the edges. My suggestion would be to purchase an aluminum disposable round pizza pan and form the crust in that, pressing it to the edges. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let the crust cool completely. Spread the preserves, jam, or fruit spread on the crust. Spread the frosting on top of the preserves. I only used about 3/4 of the container of frosting. I typically NEVER use canned frosting, but I was in a rush. If you would like to use the real thing, use the cream cheese frosting recipe from the Elvis Presley cake omitting the pecans. As I sit here thinking about it, leaving the pecans in might be a good idea. I started with the strawberries on the outside, and worked my way in toward the middle. Again, look at the picture to see how to build the fruit.
1 to 2 large cucumbers, chopped into large pieces
1 small or 1/2 of 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped into chunks
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
white distilled vinegar
Add all ingredients to a quart-size canning jar. Fill the jar with vinegar to the top. Refrigerate.
ELVIS PRESLEY CAKE
1 package white cake mix (make sure you have oil or butter and eggs for the cake mix)
20 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
2 cups white sugar
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Prepare cake according to package instructions. Bake in a greased 13x9-inch pan. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, place the pan on a cooling rack. Poke many holes in the top of the cake with a fork. Let the cake cool. Combine the pineapple with juice and 2 cups white sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil on high. Reduce to a lower boil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon the pineapple over the cooled cake. In a large glass mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese on low until smooth; add the vanilla and beat until well blended. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in the pecans with a spoon until mixed well. Spread the frosting over the cake.