Chef Darlene Talks Back To School Healthier Food Options

A Note From Chef Darlene...

"Back To School"
With the lazy days of summer vacation dwindling, it's that time of year again - the kids have picked out their favorite lunch box and it sits waiting to be filled with healthy foods! I hope this is the new school year attitude for all. Just remember planning is essential; develop a system that makes the buying and preparing easier. Just a few suggestions: Think Fresh!!! and be a label reader! and be more aware of hidden preservatives in packaged foods. Family meals don't have to be elaborate to healthy. "Keep it simple" but a balance meal with simple vegetable side dishes and fruit and yogurt for dessert. Most of important this year, take time out of your busy schedule for "Family Meals" Turn off technology and talk into each other!
The "Dump Cake" I have made many times. This incredibly easy recipe is designed for kids to bake! Just remember allowing the kids to help with the cooking, you are creating "family time" and precious memories! Canned fruits are dumped into a baking pan, topped with a cake mix, butter, and nuts,and then baked. The result is something in between a cake and a cobbler. Delicious and leftovers can be frozen and warmed back up in microwave. If there is any left over! Now get busy creating new memories with your family in the kitchen. Enjoy! Chef Darlene
1 (16- ounce) or 2 small cans - Crushed Pineapple, undrained
1 can prepared Cherry Pie Filling (or your choice! Apple, Raspberry and even lemon! and look for the pie fillings with No High Fructose Corn Syrup)
1 (18.25- ounce) packaged yellow Cake Mix
1 stick Butter cut into slices (I like to use the soft tub butter with cinnamon)
1/2 cup chopped Nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, etc., your choice) but remember this optional! if your family member has any allergies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 for glass baking dish) Grease well a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan.
Dump pineapple (including juice) into the prepared pan; spread evenly.
Dump cherry pie filling over pineapple, spreading evenly.
Dump yellow cake mix over the top, spreading evenly.
Cut cold butter into 1/4-inch slices and arrange over the top. Sprinkle with nuts.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (about 40 minutes).
Chef Tips:
I like to add cinnamon (remember cinnamon is good for us too) sprinkle a little or a lot over the top of the butter. After about 40 minutes of baking the true test of the doneness is if the pie filling is bubbling out on the sides. The more you make this recipe the more you will get creative. * You might substitute yellow cake mix for a chocolate mix! Yum!

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