Pineapple Upside Down CakePineapple Upside Down Cake

I have always wanted to make an upside down cake. Its been one of those things on my baking check list that I have been waiting to cross off for some time now and finally did.

So what makes an upside down cake special? For me, it was always its presentation and the fact that it is served upside down (and hence called Upside Down Cake). After eating it, I have realized its special not only because of the way it is baked and served. The combination of melted butter and brown sugar that caramelizes with the fruit which embeds itself in a fluffy moist cake while being baked is what makes this cake a treat.

An upside down cake can be made with any fruit, and I have seen some lovely variations floating all over the internet. Since this was my first time trying it, I had to go with the classic American version- the pineapple upside down cake.

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Pumpkin Maple Butter Swirled Cheesecake Bars

Fall is here and that by default reads pumpkin to the food blogging world, or well at least to me! So when Sprouts sent me their new pumpkin label ingredients I was very excited to use them in my baked goods. I made some pumpkin donut muffins (will share the recipe soon) and these maple pumpkin butter swirled cheesecake bars. With just seven ingredients total, these cheesecake bars are an easy way to dive into fall flavors this month!

I am a big cheesecake fan. Probably the kinds who would join Chandler and Rachel with a fork, eating cheesecake off the floor (yes, I am a Friends’ nerd). A well baked cheesecake is the perfect dessert for me with its smooth and creamy texture and buttery graham cracker crust. And while I love cheesecake, the process of making it and the wait involved always makes me think twice before I embark on that adventure.

Enter these cheesecake bars. They are so easy to make, and the results- delightful. One of my friends, who is not a fan of cheesecake (such people do exist!) said she absolutely loved these. To give these cheesecake bars a fall flavor, I used pumpkin snap cookies instead of regular graham crackers for the crust and swirled some maple pumpkin butter over the top of the cheesecake mixture.

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Chicken wraps from Shumaila Chauhan on Vimeo.

I am a sucker for subscription boxes. I love them. Curated artisanal ingredients packaged in boxes and sent to your doorstep- sign me up!

In the past, I have subscribed to many subscription boxes and am always on the lookout for new ones. Recently, Talya, who is part of the This Table team, got in touch with me and asked if I was interested in checking out their new gourmet subscription boxes. Of course I was.

Operating from Canada, This Table curates artisan food from local herbalists to olive farmers to creators of hand-picked berry jams. The packaging of the bottles and its contents does remind me of the Eat.Feed.Love boxes, probably because both of them are Canadian companies and curate from the same local artisans.

This Table Gourmet Subscription Box

Similarities aside, I do like how This Table gives recipe cards, along with a little information about the artisans’ story. The ingredients included are something that I would definitely use in my cooking, along with certain ingredients that will push me to be creative, like their lemongrass mint balsamic vinegar. Each monthly box carries a theme and the one that I received was centered around a gourmet picnic- so the recipes in the box were all recipes that can be easily transported and good to eat cold. The box also carried a letter with ideas for meals that you could prepare for a lunch in the park for 2 or 4, using recipes that were given in the box.

Besides the ingredients shown in the picture above, the box also contained 13 recipe cards.  Each recipe given uses the ingredients in the box sent. For the review, I decided to try their Cali Chicken wraps which uses the olive oil sent in the box; the herby potato salad, the dressing for which is made from the basil pesto bottle in the box; and the dark chocolate espresso cookies that uses the 2nd Crack Coffee beans. While I made a few changes to each recipe, all of them turned out great, and something I would definitely make again.

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