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The season of fresh-cut flowers has begun!

Oh, how I’ve missed making jam. Today I made a small batch of jam with some golden plums and local honey. It may have been a grey, rainy day (let’s not talk about the snow), but this jam definitely brightened up my little kitchen. Delicious!

Golden Plum & Honey Jam

makes 1-1/2 pints (can be doubled)

2 lbs. golden plums, chopped and pitted with skins on
8 oz. local honey
1 cup raw sugar
juice of 1 lemon

* Note: This recipe does not call for pectin. Because you can cook the skins of the plum in the jam, this provides enough pectin to allow the jam to set. You know, in case you were wondering.

Throw the plums and lemon juice into a large soup pot. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, mashing and stirring regularly.

Add the sugar and honey, cook down for another 10 minutes or so or until the jam has set (use the old plate-in-the-freezer test to check).

Ladle into 4 clean half pint jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Enjoy on some honey wheat toast, or your favorite breakfast bread!

Lately I’ve really been itching for springtime. The cold days have been getting to me, and I’m so glad things have warmed up a bit in chilly Buffalo. I’m hopeful again – spring will spring. It may take a few extra weeks this year, but it’ll come. I’m waiting patiently.

In honor of spring’s coming, I’ve decorated my wreath with a single hand-tied linen bow. This wreath hangs on the mantle and changes with the seasons; you may recall I decorated it for the holidays, and on a disheartened January afternoon – I pulled everything out and left it bare. Now I’ve got a bright linen bow, to me a symbol of spring air, warm breezes, and easier times to come.

I’d like to start by saying that I love this cake. This cake made my weekend.

This cake is moist but not mushy, perfectly chewy and rich, and so satisfying. It’s like this cake has no bottom – the bottom of the pan is lined with butter and brown sugar and pineapple so that ends up being the delicious top of the cake, and the top becomes this wonderfully crisp, golden-brown base that makes every bite special. This cake is already gone. I miss this cake.

I am especially proud of this recipe because not only is it my first pineapple upside-down cake, but it’s one of the first recipes I feel I really built myself. I used Allrecipe’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake recipe as a base to make sure I had my proportions right, but the rest was me.

Cake bonus: I had everything on hand in my pantry to make this cake. I love when that happens.

So, please. Make this cake. I swear it’s as good as I’m making it out to be.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups turbinado sugar
2/3 cup greek-style plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk (any kind – I used fat free)
1/2 cup fresh pineapple puree *
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract

Also:
About a cup of thinly sliced fresh pineapple chunks *
2 tablespoons butter, melted
A tablespoon or so brown sugar

I know it’s tempting and easier to use canned pineapple, but I think one of the reasons this cake was a success was because I used fresh fruit. I would strongly recommend you use fresh pineapple for this recipe, you won’t regret it! Not to mention all the extra pineapple you’ll get to eat if you buy the whole fruit!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together the dry ingredients, besides the sugar, in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, and yogurt and whisk together until fluffy. Add the milk, pineapple puree, and vanilla extract. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

In a bundt pan, pour melted butter along the bottom and spread evenly. Sprinkle with brown sugar, and arrange the pineapple chunks along the bottom of the pan.

Pour the batter into the pan, and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top becomes a dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

This cake is best enjoyed warm, or even better reheated in thick slices in the toaster oven with some butter slathered on top. This is not a crumbly cake, so it stays together well when sliced. Enjoy!