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Archive for February, 2011

Hello and welcome to The Bluebirds Nest.  Today I am sharing a super simple recipe for the old-fashioned cutie, Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  To say I love this cake is an understatement.  It’s one of my favorite reasons why I have taste buds!  It’s something about the way that brown sugar crust on top of the cake crunches against the sweet syrupy pineapple…. yum!  I can’t talk about it anymore.  Lets get going!  For this recipe you will need:

One Yellow Boxed Cake Mix
Eggs
Water
Vegetable Oil
Brown Sugar
Butter
Pineapple Rings in Syrup
Maraschino Cherries

To begin, preheat your oven according to the directions on your cake mix and prepare it as directed as well.  I bought Kroger brand and I think it cost 89 cents.  This is not a glamorous expensive cake.  SO you can make 2!!  No… don’t make 2…  unless you really need it…

Confession:  I love cake batter.  If you’re honest, you’ll admit you eat spoonfuls of it if you’re alone in the kitchen… No?  Just me? Cool.  Anyway, next you need to cut up one whole stick of butter in to pieces and put it in a small pot with a tightly packed cup of brown sugar.  I used light brown sugar because that’s what I had in the pantry, but dark brown would be totally great too.  Melt these together over medium low heat.  Don’t try to sample the melted deliciousness.  It’s way too hot.  How do I know?  Don’t worry about it.

Ok, now you need to have your pineapple rings and cherries ready.  Pour the butter and sugar mixture into a 9×13 pan that you have sprayed with cooking spray until the can was completely emptied.  Next, line 6 pineapple slices on top and fill the hole in the center with a cherry. It’s so adorable and cheerful!

Next, you just pour the cake batter over the top and bake it according to the directions on the box.

When the cake is golden on top, pull it out and let it cool for just a few minutes.  Maybe like 5 or so.  Your kitchen will smell so delish and you will be anticipating that old fashioned goodness!  Grab a large platter and invert the cake onto it.  Right before you turn it over, offer a prayer to the pineapple upside down cake gods and then just do it!

Yeah…. there was a shifting of pineapple incident…. gah… its because I left my cake pan sitting on my uneven stove burner while I poured the batter over…. don’t be like me.  Keep the pan on your counter.  Oh well… it still tasted AWESOME!  It’s very light and fluffy and sugary and pineappley and just…. yum.

Make this asap.

Go.  Now.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,

Meagan

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Ok, so I am trying this thing out where I go to the grocery store ONCE and buy enough food for 2 weeks.  It’s a pretty big undertaking and it sort of makes my body tense up and my mind go blank.  It all goes back to my life long fear of budgets.  Before I married my fireman, I lived on my own in a little apartment with pink painted walls where I bought and did whatever I wanted.  Money was…well…. a part of my life but a “vewy scawey” part to say the least.  I operated on a system of denial, fear, and overdrafts.  Here’s how it worked:

I would only check my mailbox once a week because if I couldn’t see the bills, they didn’t exist.  When I did get the mail out, I would quickly separate the junk from the important junk and stack the important junk to the side while I pretended to look through the junk for coupons.  (I’ve never used a coupon in my life…Shhh!)  Once I realized I was not in need of a tire rotation, steam carpet cleaning, or bucket of chicken, I would gingerly throw the junk away and inch closer to the important junk.  I would rip open the electric, gas, gap card, macys card, car payment, insurance, visa, cell phone, and mastercard bills without looking inside  and then line them up on the counter so I could “eeny  meeny miney mo” them.  This is sad.  I’m realizing I may have needed to seek professional help. 

Anyway, Whichever bill was randomly selected was picked up and peeked at without being taken out of the envelope completely.  Once they were all skimmed over, I would take them to my laptop and sign into my online account manager.  While my username and password were being processed, I would close my eyes and cross my fingers while humming “taps” out loud.  ( I wish this was not a true story)  When I would open my eyes, I quickly glanced at my available funds while holding my breath.  If there was a decent amount in there I would just pay all the bills at once, say a prayer, and click “submit payments”.  Then feeling quite drained and relieved, I would have to lay down for a few minutes and let the blood return to my head. 

So, needless to say, when I got married one of the first things I did was to tell my new husband he was in charge of finances.  He told me he was fine with being in charge but I still had to “help” since I was supposed to be a “help mate” or some other such nonsense.  He had no idea about the avoidance or the rituals or the humming…. So after months of nearly biting his handsome head off when he would casually remark that “we have X amount left for the week so try not to spend anything else please sweetheart” I decided to come clean about my um… issues.  He said he understood my dilemma but I would have to try to move past it.  He would help me not to feel nervous.  He wasn’t nervous, so why should I be?  Because… because… just because!!  Yeah… I don’t really have any solid reasons that aren’t based on irrational fears or a general lack of organizational skills and/or self-control.  So… I gave in and I am… “helping”.  My help will be given in the way of grocery shopping for the purpose of meal planning.  We would like to cut way back on our restaurant eating and save our money for the house we just bought.  It’s a noble cause and tonight after work I plan on taking my first real crack at it. 

I will let you all know how it goes and share with you my grocery budget, list, and meal plans.  Hello.  My name is Meagan and I’m the opposite of a budget-a-holic.  I heard that admitting it was the first step!  Lets do this together.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,

Meagan

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Honey Child

There is a little Maltese/Yorkie who lives on our house.  Her name is Honey Child.  I got her as a Christmas 2009 present from my fireman.  He said she was my gift so I could name her whatever I wanted to.  When he heard the names I picked, he was sorry he said that.  I gave him a choice between “Princess Beyonce” and “Honey Child” just to make him feel a part of things.  According to him, he picked “the lesser of two evils”.  Secretly, I knew he would pick “Honey Child” because the guys at the fire house would NEVER let him live down “Princess Beyonce”.  Ha.  I’m so smart sometimes.  However, it really didn’t matter what her name was after I brought her up to the fire house in a red pleather fire captain doggie dress….

Anyway,  she is the source of so much laughter and excitement on our home.  I just wanted to share a few photos of her with you.  She is the cutest thing on four feet…. 

Honey Child and Mama

I woke up to this little face this morning!

Somebody is ready for a nap….

Rudely awakened!

Static Cling!!  this is what she looked like after she finished rolling around on the ground like a nut job….

We certainly love our pets and it’s easy to see how they quickly become a part of our families.  What furry family members do you have at home?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,

Meagan

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GIVEAWAY WINNER ANNOUNCED!!!!

Drum Roll Please………  The winner is GINA VINSON!!

The winner was chosen at random by drawing names out of a hat by my co-worker and friend Samantha Johnson.  Now, it is a CRAZY coincidence that today is Gina’s birthday!  What luck!! 

Gina was getting a birthday gift from me anyway, so now she will receive a bounty of birthday swag!  Maybe she should consider playing the lottery today too!

CONGRATULATIONS GINA!  and oh yeah, by the way… HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM THE BLUEBIRDS NEST!!

Love,

Meagan

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Last Day for the Giveaway!

Sorry for my recent absence.  I have been working on a ton of new things for the website and I’m really excited to share them with you very soon! 

In the meantime…. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR THE GIVEAWAY!! 

I have enjoyed reading your comments and favorite dishes from your homes.  I know that whoever wins the giveaway will give me a great family recipe to post and I’m looking forward to it!  I will announce the winner tomorrow so I just wanted to give a last chance shout out to all you fabulous chefs out there. 

Just to recap the rules:  Go to my post entitled “My First Great Giveaway Event” and leave a comment telling me what your favorite dish is for any of of the 4 seasons.  For example, maybe you’re dreaming of summer weather today and you just can’t wait to make your familys famous summer ________ (insert fabulous dish there).  Maybe your favorite time of the year is fall and you have a recipe for a mean _______(insert deliciousness there).  When I choose a winner, I will contact them and get their address information for shipping the prizes and complete recipe for posting. 

I hope I see a few more entries today!  Thank you everyone for your love and support with my new creative venture! 

Love,

Meagan

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