I’m waiting for my ride uptown here in wonderful Thunder Bay. Southern Ontario is finally thawing from the deep freeze, but up here we’re in the tundra. We’ve been icebreaking in the harbour and in the bay, and it hasn’t been enjoyable. Try baking a cake when it feels like you’re trying to stand still in a washing machine. And it’s LOUD. Ships are so industrial (Obviously, right? Thanks, Chantelle, for pointing that out.)

Today’s delicacies: toffee chip blondies and leftover pineapple upside down cake from yesterday. The cake turned out really awesome, actually. I keep playing with the cake part of the recipe, trying to find the perfect combination, and I think I finally did. I’ve been using my Aunt Lois’s coffee cake recipe for a lot of things lately, so I substituted that for the actual cake recipe in the Betty Crocker book. It was the best pineapple upside down cake I’ve ever made. I LOVE coffee cake because it’s so moist from all the sour cream in it, and it’s simple and versatile. And I’m sneaky, because we have all this whole wheat flour on board that another cook ordered and didn’t use, so I throw 1/4 of a cup into nearly everything I bake, just to get rid of it. Nobody notices. I also prefer using the canned crushed pineapple and the canned pineapple tidbits instead of placing rings in the bottom of the pan. I don’t like the rings because then I feel like you have to cut the pieces to fit the entire ring on it, or else it’s awkward to cut, and then they end up being too huge… and also because the brown sugar and butter mixture sinks in to the cake better when you use the crushed pineapple. It caramelizes the top (or bottom?) of the cake so much better. I threw a bit of the reserved pineapple juice into the cake batter, which flavoured it a lot as well. It was tasty.

Tomorrow the crew is getting chocolate explosions (it’s actually called Molton Lava Cake, but the way I was taught to do it was called Chocolate Explosions, and I like that better). They were all watching me putting it together on their coffee break, and some of them peeked in over the serving station to see what I was doing and got a little too excited because they thought it was for tonight. We have like 7 guests coming tomorrow, so I made it in advance so I can take it a little easier throughout the day.

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