Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Good Tuesday morning!

Mountain pictures fill the Gallery this morning... and quite possibly every morning for the remainder of the week. What can I say? Our family is SO much more photogenic in the mountains. (Perhaps I should take Copper next year because he is certainly NOT photogenic in Alabama.)

RANDOMNESS #1 - Before I talk about our 15th Annual Mountain Trip, I just want to say Mikie and I watched our pre-recorded Pioneer Woman Cooking Show after arriving home last night, and it was good.

I now know how to make peanut butter cup s'mores AND chocolate mint s'mores. Oh... my... goodness! Who would have ever dreamed you could improve the original graham cracker/Hershey chocolate bar/roasted marshmallow s'more? Before I watched last night's show, it was inconceivable. (Did you know some people in Oklahoma use THREE large marshmallows on ONE s'more? I didn't. I mean, the marshmallow to s'more ratio is HUGE in Oklahoma. What can I say? We've been doing it all wrong in Alabama!)

I want to have a fire... tonight... in the firepit... TONIGHT... and cook s'mores! (I know I said "tonight" twice!)

RANDOMNESS #2 - Before and after we watched the Pioneer Woman Cooking Show, Mikie and I watched Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Fun fact for you... We are trying to eat at as many of the places shown on this show as possible. It's a "bucket list" thing.

So far, we've only been to four together. (I think Mike visited one without me in his travels, so, of course, it doesn't count.) One in Memphis, Tennessee (The Little Tea Shop), one in Jacksonville, Florida (13 Gypsies) one in Marietta, Georgia (The Marietta Diner) and one in good ol' Birmingham, Alabama (The Original Pancake House).

If all goes well, I'll be able to add another one to the list after Spring Break. But that's another story for another time.

I mentioned all of the above because cooking shows tend to get me in the mood to cook. The mood won't last long, but Tuesday night's menu is looking pretty good, Mikie. Don't work too late!

RANDOMNESS #3 - 15th Annual Mountain Trip - Day One - As the title indicates, this was our 15th Annual Mountain Trip with my side of the family. Fifteen years. That's a very long time vacationing with six kids.

When we first started, Zac wasn't even a year old and our oldest, Austin, was only five.

Now, Austin is 20 (practically 21), Brad is 19 (practically 20), Josh and Katie are 18, Roxie is 15 and Zac celebrated his 14th birthday this past Sunday in a cabin in the woods.

Vacationing with six preschoolers is very different from vacationing with six 20-somethings and teenagers. Very, very different. In a lot of ways, it is easier. Older kids are very good at entertaining themselves. They can fix their own snacks. They can fix their own drinks. They go to bed late. They sleep late. If you give them a specific time to leave the cabin, they work toward that end.

With the right mindset, it can be a lot of fun, and for the Parental Units it is very freeing.

Back in the day of six little guys, I was in charge of the craft portion of the trip, Bev was in charge of a birthday party (we usually go in January or February which means Katie or Zac celebrate a birthday in the mountains), the grandparents were in charge of planning one (and only one) outing (Dixie Stampede, The Aquarium, etc.) and the rest of the time was spent walking on the long, curvy mountain roads in front of our cabin.

We encountered dogs, horses, cows, but very few people. And that was fine with us.

With semi-adult people, the plans have changed a little. The craft portion of our trip has been replaced with group games and movie nights. We still celebrate a birthday, but Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey is a thing of the past. When we go on an outing, it can last all day long, and we don't worry about getting back for nap time. (Well, I do, but everyone else seems fine.)

But we're just going to talk about this year's trip. And Day One of this year's trip was exactly the same as the past 14 years... Let's-Get-There-And-Get-This-Party-Started!

Grandmother went up first thing Friday morning with Brad and Austin.

Bev's family followed around 2:00 p.m.

The remaining Faulkner Five left around 3:00 p.m.

We do not make fun plans for Day One. Day One is strictly a travel day.


That's it. That is the one and only rule for Day One. The people who arrive at the cabin before Aunt Belinda HATE this one rule, but they follow it to the letter because otherwise Aunt Belinda is not pleasant for the remainder of the trip.

And when Aunt Belinda is not pleasant... Well, I'll leave that to your imagination.

Day Two was fun, but we'll cover that in great detail tomorrow!

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Another FINE recipe from Pinterest. I'm not making this until the weekend, because only Austin and I will enjoy this kind of cake. On second thought, I am not making this cake until SUNDAY because The Boy will need to take all remaining pieces of this dessert to Jacksonville. It will NOT need to stay in the house with me over one day.

You will need the following:

1 box angel food cake mix
1 large can crushed pineapple

1. Put dry cake mix in bowl. DO NOT add the water as directed on the box.

2. Add entire can of pineapple with juice.

3. Mix carefully until all dry mix in incorporated.

4. Pour into either a tube pan, a 9" x 13" pan or cupcake pan with liners. Bake at 350 degrees for the time listed on the box for the correct pan size. (It will be around 30 to 40 minutes.)

5. When sides pull away from pan and a toothpick comes out clean, cake is done.

If you try it before I do, let me know what you think. Otherwise, I'll give you the low-down next week!

Have a beautiful Tuesday. I'll be back on schedule tomorrow with more mountain stories (some of them actually true), a Seasonal Tradition, Wednesday Wisdom, more mountain pics, etc., etc.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.


The Enchanting Belinda


  1. Oh My!! Where is this wonderful Cabin/Retreat that houses your family with goodness?
    Inquiring mind in Calif wishes to know so she can plan a trip there...jacuzzi tubs and private baths & john deer and that lovely bear on guard--Yipee!!

  2. Hey, Andrea...

    The cabin is in Wear's Valley (about 10 miles out of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee). This specific cabin is called Arrowhead, and we rented it from Volunteer Cabin Rentals. (They have a great website with pictures of all the cabins they rent.)

    I'll have more pictures of the scenery and other cabin "amenities" over the next few days.


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