Tag Archives: deliciousness

Scrumptious skillet cake

Joe is a designer for Cuisine at Home magazine, and in his two or so years on the job, he’s turned into a bit of a chef. We eat more adventurously at our house. Mostly, he cooks. Sometimes when Joe brings home recipes he loves, I’ve attempted to branch out from my tried-and-true basics to expand my culinary repertoire.

This week, we wanted to have our neighbors over for dessert to “sweeten the deal” that we’ll be parking a dumpster in our shared driveway for a couple of weeks during the remodel that’s about to get underway. Joe had mentioned a pineapple upside-down carrot cake that is featured in the current issues of Cuisine is one of his all-time favorites. He was on shoveling duty, so it was up to me to recreate the deliciousness.

pineapple upside down cake

I think the secret to this cake is that you prep the skillet by melting a bunch of butter and brown sugar in it prior to laying down the pineapple slices and cherries and covering those with your carrot cake batter. You pop it in the oven and the outer edge caramelizes just so. Joe handled the skillet-to-platter flipping for me.


Cuisine doesn’t post their recipes online, and out of respect for the developer*, I’m not going to copy and paste the full thing here. You should be able to pick up a copy of Issue 98 at your local grocery store. Cuisine might not seem as newsstand sexy as some other cooking mags out there, but the way they showcase step-by-step directions really helps advance your skills in the kitchen. The fact that mine turned out pretty much like the picture is a testament to this! Also, they don’t print ads.

Cuisine 098 cover

*This recipe was developed by Joe’s awesome co-worker, Haley, who happens to be married to recently James Beard-nominated Proof Chef Sean Wilson.

Side note: I also love this recipe because I’m obsessed with being able to use our OXO pineapple rachet. Fresh – and you can drink a fizzy beverage out of a hollowed-out pineapple like you’re on a tropical vacation!


Filed under At home, Cooking

Thumbs up: Thelma’s Treats

I got to interview lots of great Des Moinesians when I wrote for Juice, and Dereck and Lana Lewis were some of the sweetest. I’m not just saying that to be punny, either. I got good vibes from these folks.

The son and mother duo ran Tank Goodness, which is probably the most genius business concept of all time: Warm cookie delivery. (They even donated some cookies to our Sweet Dreams event last month, because they’re generous geniuses.) I mean, whose day would not be made by getting a dozen cookies delivered to their doorstep? (Father’s Day idea, Des Moines readers!)

Since then, the Tank Goodness crew has changed names and expanded their concept, and I couldn’t be more excited for them! They’re now Thema’s Treats, named after Dereck’s 108 (yes, 108) year-old great-grandma. Perhaps snickerdoodles are the secret fountain of youth?

Thelma’s Treats is selling ice cream cookie sandwiches out of the cutest little cart, and Joe and I made a beeline for it when we rode down to the Farmer’s Market this weekend. They were set up down by the Science Center of Iowa on Saturday.

You should be able to see the big red oven mitt that caps off the cart. It was great catching up with Dereck and hearing about their plans for the business — like offering rentals for them to serve up ice cream sandwiches at graduation parties and weddings, etc.

I tried the spicy chocolate chip ice cream sandwich and I can say it definitely has a kick!

They are still doing warm cookie delivery, with new and improved boxes that look like cute vintage ovens. No surprise here, the Thelma’s branding is all done by my faves at Saturday Mfg. (Remember the great holiday office party decor they came up with?)

Anyhow, I get silly excited for good people who are finding creative ways to be entrepreneurial and brighten others’ days. Dereck says the Thelma’s team has a Kickstarter project in the works, so like ’em on Facebook to get updates. I’ll be sure to post about it when their project goes live.


Filed under Cooking, I love Des Moines