One Red Couch

Author - oneredcouch

Plum Upside Down Cake


Plum Upside Down Cake
  1. PLUMS
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/3 cup water
  4. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  5. 1 1/2 pounds medium plums (about 6), pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  6. CAKE
  7. 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
  8. 2 tablespoons whole milk
  9. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  10. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  11. 2/3 cup sugar
  12. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  13. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  15. 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  16. 2 large eggs, beaten
  1. Step 1 Prepare the Plums
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil without stirring. Cook over high heat, washing down the side of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush, until an amber-colored caramel forms, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Immediately pour the caramel into a 9-inch (2 inches deep) metal cake pan. Carefully arrange the plum wedges in the caramel in concentric circles.
  3. Step 2 Make the cake
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream with the milk and vanilla. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. At low speed, beat in the butter until the mixture resembles moist crumbs, about 30 seconds. Beat in the eggs at low speed until incorporated, then beat the batter at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute; scrape down the side of the bowl. At medium speed, beat in the crème fraîche mixture until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape the batter over the plums and gently spread 
in an even layer.
  5. Step 3
  6. Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until golden and springy. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes, then invert 
the cake onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.
  7. Make Ahead
  8. The cake can be stored in an airtight container overnight.
One Red Couch

Summer Vacation 2018

Leaving Escondido, Father’s Day 2018 – 8am

Fixing the Brake Controller after the Cajon Pass – Hesperia

Amboy, Crater, along route 66 – this Volcano last erupted 500 years ago


Williams, Arizona


Grand Canyon, AZ

This pushed me to the limit with my fear of heights.

Campsite at Mesa Grande, CO

Mesa Verde, Colorado

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Between the Covers Bookstore, Telluride

Ikea Hack

When Jameson was ready to move from his crib to a “big boy” bed we got thought an Ikea Mydal bunk bed would be the answer. The only downside (other than what a pain it is to change the sheets) was that it meant no more cuddle time while we read stories or as they fall asleep. So, here’s our Ikea hack to try and still save floor space and have room for storage.

I love it, and I think they do to. 


Dinner was awesome last night and I wanted to save the recipes I used so I can remember for next time.

For the pork: Fennel Crusted Pork Chops

I used fresh fennel seeds from my fennel planted that had gone to seed. Then we finished the pork in our need wood fired oven. I think next time I might add the carrots to the oven with the pork as they could have used a little more “doneness”.

For the potato-parsnip mash: Mashed Parsnip Potatoes

I’ve made this before. I also added a couple of cloves of garlic to boil with the potatoes and I dramatically cut down on the butter and used half n half instead of cream. I like to serve them with a mix of horseradish and sour cream.

For the carrots: Glazed Carrots

I always make extra of these because they are great warmed up.



Pulled Pork

We made 30lbs of pulled pork for our New Year’s Day party this year. We did a few test runs beforehand to make sure there was no panic at serving time and I still second guessed myself on cooking time. The translation of my 2.5lb roast to 6 5-6 lb roasts needs a little tweaking. I think good to remember for next time is that it’s perfectly ok for the pulled pork to be done hours before it needs to be served. It seems to only get better with time.

Here’s the recipe:

‘Not so Sweet’ Pulled Pork

  • 2.5 lbs pork butt or shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • drizzle of oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t ground mustard
  • 1 t worcestershire
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl. 
  3. Place the pork in a roasting pan or dutch oven and pour the sauce all over. Cover and cook at 300 degrees for 6 hours. 
  4. Check at 3 hours and see if the sauce is cooking down too quickly. If so, add 1/2 – 1 cup water.
  5. If the sauce doesn’t cook down enough once the pork is tender, you can pour off the sauce into a small sauce pan and reduce to your desired consistency.

We also had some amazing cheese from Taj Farms as well as these Zucchini Pickles, Marinated Mushrooms, and Bean & Corn Salad.

Coming down

Our trip to Finland was magical. Probably one of the most awe inspiring places I’ve been to. Not only was the scenery beautiful but so was the company. Visiting my old friend and her growing family warmed my heart. She always makes me feel good about myself and inspires me to be a better,  happier, more content person.

We spent six months planning the trip and the palling entertained me and got me through some dark times. Now as we are returning back to reality, I decided to try to make one of the treats we had while we were there.

I found a blog with a great recipe. I’ll have to work on my technique, because hers are absolutely beautiful and mine are a little “rustic”.

Perfect Chicken Breast


Perfect Pan Roasted Chicken
  1. Chicken Breasts
  2. Shallot, Onion, or Fennel
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Salt & Pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Wash and pat dry your chicken breast with paper towel. Season exposed side with salt and pepper. Heat a drizzle of oil oil in a cast iron pan. Place the chicken in the pan, seasoned side down and salt and pepper the exposed top.
  3. Allow to sear (about 5 mins), then flip and place couple of sprigs of rosemary on top of each breast. Place the pan in the oven for 15 mins. After removing the pan, give the chicken a chance to rest in the pan for a few minutes before you cut into it.
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Rote Grütze

This is a super simple dessert dessert which was often served in the cafeteria when I worked at Hewlett Packard in Boeblingen. It great whenever you need a dessert for unexpected guests.

Rote Grütze
  1. 1 16oz package of Trader Joe's Fancy Berry Medley
  2. 1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar depending on how sweet you like things
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 1/4 cup cornstarch
  1. Stir corn starch into 1 cup water until dissolved.
  2. Combine berries, 1 cup water and sugar in a saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add cornstarch and water mixture.
  5. Bring to boil, cook until thickened, and remove from heat.
  6. Enjoy warn or cold with whipped cream, yogurt, or ice cream. Leftovers are great with pancakes or waffles.
Adapted from
Adapted from
One Red Couch