Breakfast, Recipes, Scones

Mystery Dish: Pineapple Scones

Sweet, tropical pineapple scones… with smooth coconut and crunchy cashews, these are a treat you won’t be able to resist!

Pineapple Scones... a tropical treat with crunchy cashews, smooth coconut, and sweet pineapple in every bite! Find the recipe on thepajamachef.com

This month for Mystery Dish, Kristi at Inspiration Kitchen was our host and she challenged us to use three ingredients from this fabulous list: apricots, asparagus, vidalia onions, fennel/tarragon, chicken, puff pastry, coconut, cashews, chocolate, and pineapple. I’m a fruit girl at heart, and there’s nothing I love more than a big bowl of fresh pineapple. Feels like summer to me! So when I saw pineapple on that list, I KNEW it would be front and center in my recipe. I had all sorts of ideas, but finally landed on the idea of a quick and tasty scone.

Pineapple Scones... a tropical treat with crunchy cashews, smooth coconut, and sweet pineapple in every bite! Find the recipe on thepajamachef.com

I know you might be thinking… pineapple? In a scone? Is she crazy? I have to admit I was skeptical too. Pineapple seems too… wet or something to be baked like this. But truly, these are some of the best scones I’ve ever made. They are sweet but not cloyingly so, light and airy with just a bit of crunch from the coconut and cashews. Tropical flavors at their best! On a whim, I stirred in some Lightly Dried Ginger that I received from Gourmet Gardens as part of the #HotSummerEats blogging event I’m joining this summer. And as I suspected, ginger + pineapple + coconut + cashews = heaven. Enjoy!

Pineapple Scones... a tropical treat with crunchy cashews, smooth coconut, and sweet pineapple in every bite! Find the recipe on thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Chili Lime Popcorn
two years ago: Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
three years ago: Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Pineapple Scones

  • Servings: 16
  • Print

from Land O Lakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained [reserve juice]
  • 2-3 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger – or lightly dried ginger from Gourmet Garden
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut + more for sprinkling
  • 1/3 cup chopped cashews

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and brown sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together pineapple, 2 tablespoons juice, and eggs. Fold wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined.

Knead dough in bowl a few times, incorporating a little more flour or pineapple juice depending on how wet/dry the dough is [I had to add an extra tablespoon of pineapple juice]. Dough will be sticky.

Divide dough in half, then pat each half into a circle. Cut each circle into 8 wedges [or 6 if you want them a bit bigger]. Do not separate as dough puffs during baking. Sprinkle dough with additional coconut. Bake for 13-15 minutes, increase oven temperature to 500 degrees for last 30-45 seconds of baking to toast coconut further if desired.

Allow scones to cool a few minutes, then cut wedges to separate into individual scones. Enjoy warm!

Check out what my other Mystery Dish pals made this month!

Pineapple Cake from I Dig Pinterest

Tropical Chicken Tacos from Inspiration Kitchen

Honey Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Skillet from Flavor the Moments

Chicken Alfredo Bacon Pastry Pockets from Simply Gloria

Ricotta Asparagus Tart from Yummy Healthy Easy

Pineapple Scones from The Pajama Chef

Disclosure: I received an assortment of herbs from Gourmet Garden to try as part of my participation in the #HotSummerEats blogging event, coming this summer. I was not compensated in any other way, and am not required to publish positive comments. My opinions are my own.

Pasta, Recipes, Sides

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

This is not your classic macaroni salad… and in my opinion, that’s okay. It’s even BETTER! This macaroni salad is sweet and creamy and has a nice, satisfying crunch to it. There’s fruit and vegetables and all sorts of yummy things! I know that sounds odd, but don’t turn away!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad | thepajamachef.com

I’ve never made a “real” macaroni salad before because I don’t really like pickles or relish and it seems like every macaroni salad calls for that. I’m not going to buy a jar for just one recipe [but spices on the other hand…]! So when I saw this recipe, I was sold. I don’t really know what made the original recipe “Hawaiian” because to me, you need pineapple to make a recipe Hawaiian. [BTW I know that is SO NOT TRUE but that’s where my mind goes!] So I added some. Duh.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad | thepajamachef.com

And I also added some mint for good measure. This addicting salad was just calling for some. Seriously. This is a great dish to make for summer picnics and BBQs, or just an ordinary dinner at home. Ben doesn’t even like mayo-based salads but he willingly ate [and enjoyed] several bowls of this. How’s that for rave reviews? Enjoy!

one year ago: Thai Tofu Ramen
two years ago: Strawberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal
three years ago: Margarita Cupcakes

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad | thepajamachef.com
Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup carrots, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook and drain macaroni to al dente according to package directions.

Stir together hot macaroni, mayo, carrots, celery, and vinegar. Combine sugar, pepper, and onion powder, add to macaroni, and stir well. Fold in pineapple and mint, then season with pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours to set, overnight if possible. Add a little more mayo before serving if desired. Enjoy!

Author: Sarah K. @ thepajamachef.com

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

Main Dishes, Other, Recipes

Quick & Healthy Pineapple Fried Rice

Lately I’ve been really into quick but still healthy meals. Working full time is great… but when I get home from a long day and an even longer commute, half the time I want to just curl up on the couch with my soft blanket and my Kindle, and the other half of the time I want to bake doughnuts, cookies, and muffins and skip dinner entirely. No idea why this disparity, but dinner is usually not my highest priority. But ya gotta eat, right? So I’ve been turning to quick meals that are still healthy and that make loads of leftovers to eat all week long, like this fabulous Pineapple Fried Rice. This crave-worthy dinner can be made in about 20 minutes so it’s awesome for busy or lazy nights when you just want something yummy but not heavy.

Pineapple Fried Rice | thepajamachef.com- a 20 minute quick and healthy #dinner #STARFineFoods #vegetarian

I started off this dish with the Asian Cuisine Cooking Oil from STAR Fine Foods which they graciously sent me to try out. If you can’t find this at your local grocery store, just add a little ginger [fresh or ground] and some extra soy sauce as the veggies are sauteing. Normally I wouldn’t think of using special infused oils on an ordinary weeknight, but I’m beginning to change my mind. They really make an ordinary dish shine–and cut down on my prep time so I can get back to my book sooner. 🙂 #librarianalert

Pineapple Fried Rice | thepajamachef.com- a 20 minute quick and healthy #dinner #STARFineFoods #vegetarian

For this batch of fried rice, I used garlic, carrots, edamame, peas, and green beans, but feel free to use whatever veggies you want. I’m thinking some sugar snap peas and broccoli would be good to try next time. What we especially loved about this vegetarian fried rice was the subtle sweetness of the pineapple with the salty soy sauce and sesame oil. Oh man, what a combo! This dish was hearty enough without meat [I totally think fried rice is one of those dishes where meat isn’t missed] but if you gotta have some, pork or shrimp would be good. Chicken is too predictable, methinks. Oh, and don’t forget the chopped honey roasted peanuts on top. Crunch crunch! 🙂 Cilantro would be a good addition too! TTYL 🙂 [I can’t believe I just wrote that. LOL! Hahaha.] Enjoy!

one year ago: Lemon Cranberry Muffins
two years ago: Camp Tecumseh Baked Oatmeal
three years ago: Pork Chops with Red Wine Sauce

Quick & Healthy Pineapple Fried Rice
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons STAR Asian Cuisine Cooking Oil [extra virgin olive oil infused with soy and ginger]
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup frozen edamame
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 2/3 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice, drained [reserve 1/4 cup pineapple juice and save the rest to drink or for something else]
  • 4 1/2 cups cooked, cold rice [day old if possible]
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • sesame seeds, for serving
  • chopped honey roasted peanuts, for serving

Directions:

Add cooking oil to a large skillet or wok set over medium-high heat. When hot, add carrots and saute for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in edamame, peas, green beans, and pineapple. Cook for a minute or so until they just begin to soften.

Add rice and soy sauce to vegetables, then stir continuously for about 4 minutes, until rice is hot and begins to crisp up.

Push all the rice mixture to one side of the pan and pour the eggs in the empty spot. Quickly stir the eggs on the hot surface until they just begin to cook, then whisk them into the rice mixture. Pour in toasted sesame oil, then stir to combine.

Remove from heat, and serve fried rice with sesame seeds and chopped honey roasted peanuts.

Time: 20 minutes.

Yield: 5-6 servings.

Disclosure: STAR Fine Foods sent me a complementary package of their new cooking oils and some other goodies to try out. I had no obligations to blog about them or provide positive feedback. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try them though! Thanks to Ruby and all the other great people at STAR Fine Foods for their generosity.

Linked up with: What’s Cookin’ Wednesday.

Desserts, Pies, Recipes

SRC: Pineapple Cream Pie

It’s a Secret Recipe Club Monday! They are my favorite Mondays so I’m excited. 🙂 This month I made a great Pineapple Cream Pie to share with you. And I wish you were here with me now I so I could give you a piece, because it’s a sweet, creamy, tropical treat. We loved it!

Pineapple Cream Pie | thepajamachef.com

If you’re new, you might be a bit confused. SRC? What’s that? Let me explain. It’s a pretty amazing blogging club. Basically, the premise is this: you’re assigned a different member’s blog every month. You visit their blog, choose any recipe you want, then make it and share it on your blog… all while keeping your assignment a secret! Everyone else posts about their secret blog the same day. It’s fabulously fun to try out new blogs. If you have a blog, definitely check it out and consider joining! I highly recommend it.

When I was assigned Lisa’s blog, before I even started perusing her recipe index, I knew I had to make a dessert recipe, no question about it. I mean, with a blog called Sweet as Sugar Cookies, how could I not?!? Lisa is such a sweetie [word choice –> totally on purpose!!]. She’s from Hawaii [how cool is that?] and she’s been baking since she was 12, so she has tons of great recipes on her site. Her passions aside from baking include her faith and her family, both of which come through so clearly on her site. When trying to decide what to make, so many things sounded delicious, but I pretty much narrowed it down quickly to this pie or ice cream. I just got an ice cream maker, and have yet to test it out. I think that all of her ice creams sound divine [especially spicy peanut butter, ginger, or cherry] but I wasn’t able to clear the freezer out quickly enough to make that happen. Sad day. So pie it was!! And guess what–making this pie was not a sacrifice at all. It was so tasty!

Pineapple Cream Pie | thepajamachef.com

This Pineapple Cream Pie is a snap to whip up–you basically make a flavorful vanilla pudding on the stovetop, stir in crushed pineapple, and pop it all in a baked pie shell to chill for awhile. When you’re ready to enjoy a huge piece, just top with Cool Whip or whipped cream. I used Cool Whip, and as you can see, it was a little melty. Though this pie won’t win any beauty contests [mine at least… Lisa’s is gorgeous, and she has a great family story to tell about it too. Check it out here!], the taste is just incredible. I made my pie in my fail proof pie crust, but feel free to use your own recipe or even a store bought crust. Ben and I ate this as part of our 4th of July meal, and have been snacking on it ever since. I’ve seriously never had anything like it… I want to say it reminds me of Banana Cream Pie, but it really doesn’t, so you’ll just have to try out this fruity cream pie for yourself. I can just imagine eating it on the beach in Hawaii… how perfect would that be? 🙂 Mmmm. Thanks, Lisa! Enjoy!

Pineapple Cream Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Print
pie from Sweet as Sugar Cookies, crust from Simply Recipes
Pineapple Cream Pie via thepajamachef.com - a creamy, tropical treat!Ingredients:

for the crust

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and frozen for at least 15 minutes, but better 1 hour to overnight
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-6 tablespoons ice water [very very cold water]

[You can also substitute your own pie crust recipe or a storebought crust.]

for the pie filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, well drained [crushed pineapple to equal about 1 packed cup]

for topping

  • 6-8 ounces Cool Whip or whipped cream

Directions:

To make pie crust, begin by freezing 8 ounces [1 stick] unsalted butter, cubed into very small pieces. Preferably, this will be done the day before you want to make the crust, but the butter needs to freeze for at least 15 minutes to an hour for ultimate flakiness.

After butter is frozen, combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor and pulse several times. Add half of the butter and pulse 6-8 times, then add the rest and pulse 6-8 more times. At this point, the dough should resemble cornmeal. Add ice water tablespoon by tablespoon, pulsing in between additions. I usually use about 4-5 tablespoons water, and the goal is to make the dough just hold together when you pinch it.

Turn dough out onto a clean countertop and gently knead it together to form a disk. You should be able to see pieces of butter–this is good, and will cause it to be flaky. Cover  disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour [or overnight].

When ready to bake pie crust, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Let dough come to room temperature for about 5 minutes, then roll into a 10-11 inch circle on a floured countertop. Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate, then lightly spray with cooking spray and cover with aluminum foil. Add pie weights of some type [pennies, dried beans, rice] to the top of the foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie from oven, reduce heat to 375 degrees, and remove foil and pie weights. Return to pie to oven and bake for 12-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown and fully cooked. Set aside to cool while preparing the pie filling. [At this point, crust can be cooled and covered until the next day.]

To make the pie filling, combine sugar, salt, cornstarch, flour, milk, and egg yolk in a large saucepan. Whisk together until smooth–yolks beaten, cornstarch and flour making no lumps. Set saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. The mixture should thicken as you go, and once boiling, let cook for 1 minute and keep stirring. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. Stir until butter melts, then add crushed pineapple. Stir and add to baked pie shell.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow filling to firm up, then top with Cool Whip or whipped cream as desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!

P.S. For more great SRC recipes, check out the links below! 🙂

Tuesday Talent Show on Chef in Training

Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Sweet and Sour Chicken {Repost}

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

this post is originally from October 13, 2011


Sweet and Sour Chicken | The Pajama Chef

Chinese is Ben’s favorite ethnic food, so I’m constantly on the look out for ways I can surprise him with some special dinners at home. First it was Healthy Fried Rice, next it was Sweet and Sour Chicken. Before I tried any of these recipes, I expected them to be really difficult. But you know what? Making Chinese food at home really isn’t that hard. It’s actually pretty simple; all it takes is a bit of effort.

Sweet and Sour Chicken | The Pajama Chef

In almost no active preparation time at all, you can have restaurant-quality Sweet and Sour Chicken on your table for everyone to enjoy. We loved how sweet and tangy this dish was, as well as the freshness and healthiness factors. Because nothing beats the impressiveness of homemade!

Sweet and Sour Chicken [from Mrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks or tidbits
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • brown rice, for serving
  • stir fry vegetables, for serving
  • sesame seeds, for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.

Put cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Crack eggs into another shallow bowl, and beat slightly with a fork. Season chicken with salt and pepper then dip in cornstarch and egg.

Working in two batches, brown the chicken, tossing every so often so that all sides crisp. Remove chicken to a large baking dish and arrange in a single layer, using a paper towel to degrease if necessary.

In a medium bowl, stir the sugar, pineapple, ketchup, vinegars, soy sauce, garlic, and red pepper together until sugar dissolves and sauce is fully mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Then pour half of the sauce over the chicken and toss to fully coat.

Bake the chicken for 60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. [This would be a good time to start your brown rice, if you haven’t already.]

Meanwhile, pour remaining sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat to low and simmer to reduce, about 20 minutes.

Serve chicken over rice and vegetables and top with additional sauce and sesame seeds.

Yield: 5-6 servings.

Time: 90 minutes [30 minutes active].