Thursday, May 20, 2010

Orange Pineapple Cake

I ran across this recipe for orange-pineapple cake a few months ago and had been meaning to make it for a while, but kept forgetting about it (so many recipes, so little time!).

Last night, I decided to just make it, and if people seemed to like it, add it to the rotation of cakes served up at St. Josaphat's during church dinners, parties or luncheons.

It wasn't a hard recipe, but as is always the case, the trick is having ALL of the ingredients on hand. A stop at my neighborhood Kroger insured that I had everything that was needed.

An interesting note about the cake batter - no oil or fat added. It did call for a half-cup of applesauce and an 11oz can of mandarin oranges (including syrup) as well as four egg whites. The cake was light but moist and orangey. The topping was a breeze - CoolWhip, a can of crush pineapple (un-drained) and a package of vanilla pudding.

I served it up this afternoon with a pot of piping hot coffee and we all took a mid-afternoon cake break. I vote that we make this a daily thing.

Many thanks to food-porn photog extraordinaire Liza Lagman-Sperl who makes everything look even more luscious than it really is for her wonderful pictures. Check them all out at:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Feeding Detroit: Pork Chops ala Polska

On the face of it, 280 pork chops sounds like a lot, but in a matter of about 25 minutes, they all disappeared. Today was the annual Polish Pork Chop dinner at St. Josaphat Church. It's hard to say what makes these pork chops Polish - maybe it's the Polish butcher who cuts them to order (about 1/2" thick with the bone left in), or the Polish folks who cook them up, or the fact that they are served at an old Polish parish. Either way, these pork chops are prepared the way my mom always made them. They are dipped in egg wash, coated with seasoned flour and browned in a frying pan. After that, the chops go in the oven with ton of sauteed onions and bake low and slow until they are fork tender and melt in your mouth. (The west dining room is ready for service)

We usually serve these with boiled redskin potatoes topped with lots of melted butter and parsley. This year, at the request of the dinner's sponsors, we made Potatoes Supreme. Some people call these cheesy potatoes, others call them creamy potatoes, but whatever you call them, they are one of those dishes that you eat at some sort of special celebration. The base is diced potatoes and then you add melted butter, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, onions, cream of chicken soup and some seasoning. They are baked until a golden brown top crust appears.

(The pork chops are ready to go into the oven and bake)

We always make kapusta (Polish sauerkraut) at this dinner. You'll see it mentioned in previous blogs - it cooks for 10 hours and has an aroma that anyone who had a Polish grandma will recognize. (Ken is mixing up the Potatoes Supreme - three huge batches to feed this hungry crowd)

The other items on the buffet included peas and carrots, cucumbers and sour cream (our sponsor always makes these-they are incredible), pickled beets, dill pickles, applesauce, rye bread and butter, ice cream and cookies. (Dad is getting the peas and carrots ready to cook)

This was a record crowd for this dinner. Tickets sold-out in a matter of a couple of weeks. It always amazes me that as much as people come for the food, they also come for the fellowship. When the hall is filled with people eating, laughing and celebrating the community of our parish, it's a beautiful thing. (One of two roasters filled with kapusta, cooking away and getting ready for the buffet)

(Dear friends Marianne and Helen making their way through the line - it's so wonderful to share these dinners with family and having a party!)