Blissfully Uninspired

shelled and unshelled pecans

shelled and unshelled pecans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a bit uninspired this week for my “It is Saturday, So It Must Be Recipe Day” so I am going to propose that we have an interactive post today. You are always great at this, so I know we are going to have fun and maybe learn a few things in the process. (Well, that sounds boring, but wait….)

My sister gave me the following recipe when I told her that I had volunteered to take the dessert to a potluck. First of all: WHAT WAS I THINKING? I usually volunteer to bring the salad, or a side dish, or bread (which is what I am bringing to a dinner tonight). But no, I got a little brave, and was buoyed by Robert Allen’s somewhat goading but inspiring quote: “Everything you want is just outside of your comfort zone.”

Yay, dump cake! :)

dump cake!  (Photo credit: Ameel Khan)

So I volunteered to make dessert. Then I panicked. Of course I make desserts for my family on occasion, and have been known to make a mean birthday cake decorated with all manner of candies, but baking for people outside my family is definitely not something even close to my comfort zone. So I asked my sister Peggy for a suggestion, and she emailed me this recipe, saying it was easy and really tasted good.

It has a rather indelicate name, and should I ever actually make it I may rename it Nutty Super Wonderful Cherry and Pineapple Cake, but for today, I will stick with the name that came with the recipe:

DUMP CAKE

1 – 20 oz. can crushed pineapple with juice, undrained

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

1 pkg. classic yellow cake mix

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

½ cup (I stick) of butter or margarine

i} Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13 x 9 inch pan

ii} Dump pineapple with juice into pan. Spread evenly.  Dump in pie filling. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over cherry layer. Sprinkle pecans or walnuts over cake mix. Dot with butter.

iii} Bake 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 12 – 16

Now, if you did not get the subtlety of this recipe—the word to take note of is “dump”—do not pour the ingredients into the pan, because then it would be called “Pour Cake” and that just has no personality.

No, I did not end up making this cake, but I think that I will for my husband’s birthday on March 21st as he loves cherries. The night of the potluck, I went out and bought a fancy dancey fudge chocolate bar cake decorated with chocolate curls. It was good—but I really wish I had made the dump cake.

Now here is the interactive part: this recipe probably has other renditions—if you know one, provide it for all of us interested in expanding our repertoires.

Are you familiar with this recipe or one that is blissfully similar?

~ Tour of My House In Words ~

Cover of sheet music for "Home! Sweet Hom...

Cover of sheet music for “Home Sweet Home”. Words by H.R. Bishop & John Howard Payne, music by   H.R. Bishop, Chicago: McKinley Music Co.1914 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I have a sign that says “Dreams…do come true” casually propped up on a bookshelf in my office. On the bulletin board over my desk is a handwritten note that says ~ “Everything you want is just outside of your comfort zone.” It is attributed to Robert Allen–I do not know who Robert Allen is, but I like what he said.

Over the doorway of the staircase that leads to our second floor is a quilted homespun sign with this message: “A clean house is the sign of a life misspent.” Suffice to say that I have not misspent my life, at least in the clean house category.

Above the door leading from the kitchen to the dining room is another sign. It demands in bold letters ~ “Give Me the Coffee and No One Gets Hurt.”

Upstairs in the bathroom is yet another sign. It is one that my husband chose and says: “Changing the toilet paper does not cause brain damage”. He loves this sign. No one pays any attention to it though.

Tucked into my bookshelf in my bedroom is another note–printed this time in black ink. The words are those of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  I read it almost every night before I go to bed–it says:

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day: you shall begin it well and serenely….”

So much for a tour of my house. Do you have any signs hanging in your home or handwritten notes tucked away?

Eazy, Smeazy

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. S...

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning, not an ending. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

This article expands on the quote I posted a couple of days ago. This is an excerpt from my weekly newspaper column — it is longer than my usual posts–sorry:

“Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.”  So says Robert Allen. He is the co-author of “The One Minute Millionaire”. No, I have not read his book. I just Googled him and that is what his official site says. He is apparently an author and successful. Enough said. It was really just his quote I was interested in—but people always seem to want to know who the person is that you quoted, so I have now done my due diligence. He is not my dry cleaner or the guy who cuts my lawn. Not of course that they wouldn’t have something profound to say—except I do not really have a dry cleaner and the guy who most often cuts my lawn is my eldest son.

So back to the quote. I often wonder why things always have to be difficult—because obviously being outside your comfort zone is going to be, well…..uncomfortable. I have picked up millions (okay hundreds) of books that start out telling you how to do something the easy way, but then, in the end what they are expounding is not easy at all.  For a long time, I was attracted to books that had the word “simple” in their title. My definition of simple involves things that are straightforward and uncomplicated.

Now I do not expect things to necessarily be easy (although that would be nice—it is too much to ask) nor would I want them to be effortless, as that would just take the fun out of everyday life—but why I ask you, do we always have to be ready to climb out of our comfort zone? It is our comfort zone for a reason—we are happy there.

But I guess that is the whole point. We are not always happy in our comfort zone. Things get stale, too workaday, and we find ourselves stuck in a rut without something to leverage us out of it. That is when we need to employ Allen’s theory.

So, taking that into account I have decided to climb out of my comfort zone, which will involve some hard work on my part. Perhaps, I will start out as simply as my feeble mind can conjure up, and work my way up to the bigger things. So here is my tentative list. I call it my “walking on fire” list, even though I never intend to walk on fire—I like the analogy.

Walk on Fire List

1. I will go to the grocery store with a list and follow it religiously. I will shop the outside perimeter of the store (as apparently that is where all the healthy stuff is) and avoid my evil cupcakes, my addiction to non-diet cola drinks (which I have kept under wraps since I found out how much sugar I am consuming), and my propensity for bologna (which I also try to avoid for many reasons—but sometimes I just can’t help myself). But the big thing here is I am going to stick to my list.

2. I am going to learn how to pump gas, as gas is always cheaper at those places where you pump your own gas. This is way out of my comfort zone, but I am determined.

3. I am going to write for my blog every day. (Okay this is not out of my comfort zone as I am already doing that—but I need to succeed at something on this list.)

4. I am going to become a stand-up comedian. Now this is so far out of my comfort zone that it is in someone else’s. First of all I hate memorizing, and I have never seen a stand-up comedian go on stage with notes written on a card. Second, I hate talking in front of people. Seriously, it is like a disease. Ask me my name in front of more than two people and I forget it. Third, I do not take criticism well (though a lot of comedians don’t either—but they just work it into their act.) Fourth, I try to make it a practice not to swear or be off-colour, thus cutting my audience down to about three people who would be interested in anything I would have to say. And fifth—okay this is not sounding too promising, I know—but if you don’t have dreams………..

5. I am going to stop procrastinating, get so organized I will not recognize myself, drive further than 15 miles from my home, and make a million in a minute like Mr. Allen. So there. If you can’t dream big, why dream at all?

(And yes, I know I did not spell easy correctly just in case you were wondering.)

Cover of "The One Minute Millionaire"

Cover of The One Minute Millionaire

Published in: on August 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm  Comments (32)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,