Pina Colada Cheesecake

Years ago I bought several Southern Living recipe collection cookbooks, and while I’ve found numerous recipes in them that I absolutely love, I think this cheesecake recipe is my family’s favorite. It’s creamy, easy to make, and it tastes like a trip to the tropics. My family requested this cheesecake for Thanksgiving this year instead of the usual pumpkin one I usually make, and it was a huge hit.

While this recipe is not Paleo, I did make it gluten-free as I used gluten-free graham-style cracker crumbs in the crust. You can’t tell the difference.

The key to making a good cheesecake is having ingredients at room temperature. The cream cheese and the eggs whip up easily at room temperature so you can get more air into your cheesecake batter. The one exception is the sour cream, but that is mixed in during the later stages, so I just pull that from the refrigerator when needed.

The original recipe calls for pecans in the crust, and it’s good that way, but I sometimes change it up and use macadamia nuts instead. I think it gives the cheesecake an even more tropical taste. Whichever nut you use, it will be delicious. 🙂







Pina Colada Cheesecake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1-3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used gluten-free)

3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (can use pecans)

1 tablespoon sugar

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup cream of coconut

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup light rum

4 teaspoons coconut extract (I usually use good vanilla extract)

Glaze (Ingredients and instructions below)

Garnishes: Whipped cream and toasted coconut


Stir together the first 4 ingredients, and press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a lightly greased 10-inch springform pan. Set pan aside.

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar at medium speed in a large mixing bowl for 3 minutes, or until the cream cheese is fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the crushed pineapple and the next 4 ingredients, beating until well blended. Pour the batter into the crust.

Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 minutes, or until the center is almost set. It will jiggle in the middle but firms up as it cools. Cool on a wire rack. Spread the glaze over top of the cooled cheesecake. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight. Garnish as desired.



1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (plus the juice)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice


Stir together the cornstarch and water until smooth. In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch mixture, crushed pineapple, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat, and cool completely before glazing the cheesecake.


Visit Canning and Cooking Iowa Style’s profile on Pinterest.

Mom’s Dinner Rolls

We stayed home this year for Thanksgiving. Our oldest son was recovering from surgery, and my parents were traveling to Kansas to have Thanksgiving dinner with my father’s sister and brothers, so I asked my family what they wanted for dinner. These rolls were the first thing they mentioned. “We have to have Grandma’s rolls” was the request. Of course it was. I hadn’t made these rolls since we lived in our old house — and that was over 18 years ago. I’ve never had to because we go to my parents for the holidays, and Mom makes the rolls. But what’s a Mom to do when her oldest son gives her those puppy dog eyes and says please??

I’ve been following a gluten-free Paleo-style diet, but I didn’t want to tweak this recipe this time. That will be for a future baking trial when I’ve got plenty of time to play with the different flour types. Mom also used this dough recipe to make delicious cinnamon rolls, and I’ll add those instructions at the end of the post. I didn’t make the prettiest rolls by any means. They’re larger than Mom’s, but again, I haven’t made these in close to 20 years, but I was pretty happy with how they tasted, and the boys were very happy with the results. The rolls definitely didn’t last long 🙂



Mom’s Dinner Rolls

1 package dry yeast (or 2-1/4 teaspoons)

1 cup lukewarm water (115 degrees Fahrenheit)

1 cup milk, scalded

6 cups all-purpose or bread flour, divided

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten


Mix together the yeast and the warm water. Let set until the yeast begins to proof, about 5 minutes. While the yeast is proofing, scald 1 cup of milk. Let cool to room temperature.

Combine the yeast mixture and the cooled milk in a large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups of flour to the bowl, and mix until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, melted butter, salt, and beaten egg. Add to the flour mixture, and mix until combined. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of flour 1/2 cup at a time (you may not need the entire 3 cups), and knead with the bread hook on your mixer until it pulls away from the bowl.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. When doubled in size, punch down the dough, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise again. Form dough into dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls (instructions below), and place rolls on a greased baking sheet. Let the rolls rise again for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Bake rolls at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven. After removing the rolls from the oven, brush the tops of the rolls with butter while the rolls are still warm.


To Make Cinnamon Rolls:

Prepare dough as above. After the dough has risen the second time, roll out the dough in an oblong shape. On the dough, spread softened butter and sprinkle generously with a sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up the dough jelly-roll style, and slice into individual rolls. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise again for 30 to 40 minutes. Bake as above. Glaze the rolls with your favorite frosting while they’re still warm.

Visit Canning and Cooking Iowa Style’s profile on Pinterest.

Paleo Banana Blueberry Muffins

I’m always looking to modify favorite recipes to a more Paleo-friendly or at least gluten-free version. My kids love it when I bake, but I admit I haven’t baked as much since switching to a Paleo-type diet. I will still occasionally bake, as I did for Thanksgiving, but I either can’t partake in what I’ve made, or if I do I pay for it later with horrid GI symptoms.

I’ve save a ton of recipes on my Pinterest site, so if you’re looking for a starting place with gluten-free and/or Paleo recipes, be sure to check out the link at the end of this post. Let’s be honest. I collect recipes, and I’ve done so my entire life. Pinterest is a huge enabler for this hobby, and I love the fact that I can find gluten-free and Paleo recipes for just about anything on Pinterest. There are some talented cooks and bakers out there who have graciously shared their creations with the world, and I for one am extremely grateful for it. I found this delicious and easy recipe on the Bakerita blog, and it has tons of terrific Paleo and gluten-free recipes. Whenever I make a Paleo or gluten-free recipe, I usually don’t tell my sons that I’ve made a modified recipe until after they’ve eaten it, so when they kept going back for more of these muffins, I knew I’d found a keeper 🙂

You could make these into mini muffins, and the recipe says it will make 36, but I made regular-sized muffins and ended up with 15 yummy treats.




Paleo Banana Blueberry Muffins


4 ripe bananas, mashed

4 eggs

1/2 cup almond butter

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups blueberries


Line a muffin tin with muffin liners, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl or mixer, combine the mashed banana, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and nut butter until thoroughly combined.

Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, and fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes (11 to 13 minutes if making mini muffins), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, and allow muffins to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Visit Canning and Cooking Iowa Style’s profile on Pinterest.

Bacon and Potato Quiche

I needed something quick and easy to fix one weekend morning after Cody’s surgery, but I didn’t have time to run to the grocery store for any special ingredients. I stumbled across this quiche recipe on Simply Stacie’s website, and it’s definitely a keeper. I had all the ingredients on hand, so throwing it all together was a snap. It has everything in it that makes a great weekend breakfast: potatoes, bacon, cheese, and eggs.  The original recipe called for an entire package of bacon, but I only used half, and there was plenty of bacon in my opinion. My sons, of course, said next time to use the entire package. 🙂


You could probably make this crustless if you wanted, but since I had a couple store-bought pie crusts in the freezer, this was one way to get rid of them and make some room in the freezer. Feel free to add different ingredients to what is listed in the recipe (mushrooms and/or spinach would be awesome) or change up the spices if you don’t care for thyme. Since it’s almost Thanksgiving and my outdoor chives are dormant, I omitted the chives that the recipes calls for, but once they’re up in the spring, I plan to make this with fresh chives, which should add another layer of onion-y flavor that will be delicious. Enjoy!






Bacon and Potato Quiche


1 refrigerated pie crust

Half a package of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup potatoes, cut into a small dice

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)

1-1/2 cups half and half

4 eggs

Salt and pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the refrigerated pie crust, pressing to fit. (Or use a premade frozen pastry shell like I did). Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake to 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Turn down the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon pieces on a paper towel and set aside. Leave about 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan.

Add onions, potatoes, and thyme to the skillet, and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat until the potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the half and half, eggs, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spread the shredded cheddar cheese on the bottom of the prebaked pie shell. Top with bacon pieces and the potato mixture. Pour the egg mixture over top, and sprinkle with chopped chives if using.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes or until the filling is set when you test it with a knife. Let the quiche stand for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Visit Canning and Cooking Iowa Style’s profile on Pinterest.