Why Pineapple Hill?

The pineapple has been a symbol of hospitality since the days of the early American colonies. According to legend, the symbol began with the sea captains of New England who would spear a pineapple on a fence post outside their home to let the community know of their safe return home and to invite friends to visit and share their hospitality.

Likewise, we hope Pineapple Hill Designs boutique will make you feel “Welcome”! We know how important it is to find something special for that certain someone or just the right accessory to complete a room. We believe everyday is a day to celebrate, and we have just the thing to help you create something special out of the ordinary.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Tip - Tomato Plants

Trick the Little Birdies

via Real Simple

Hang unbreakable ornaments on tomato plants early in the season. When pesky sparrows or blue jays come to peck, they’ll find the hard bulbs (instead of juicy treats) and abandon their attacks by the time the real fruits ripen. 

So remember to keep a few of those non-breakable red balls out for spring planting time.  If you don't have some ... Get some  now while they're on sale!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Tip

The quality of your baked goods is greatly affected by their spot in the oven.
 The best bet for cookies?  
The bottom third of the oven.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Tip - Roll Out Cookies

  "10-Minute Roll Out Cookies"

FREEZE: Roll-out cookies – all the fun, none of the fuss.

via King Arthur Flour Blog

Want to have ginger snowmen, fresh-baked and ready to decorate, in just 10 minutes?
Sure you do! Who wouldn’t, given the hectic schedules we all pursue at this time of the year.
Between work and holiday shopping, chores and holiday shopping, errands and holiday shopping – and holiday shopping – who has time for making cookie dough, rolling it out, cutting, carefully transferring cutouts to cookie sheets, baking, cooling…
You do!
The secret?
Doing all the heavy lifting ahead of time. Having cookies all cut out and ready to pop into the oven the moment the kids come home (or the grandchildren show up).
By the time you get the icing and sprinkles organized, and the kids settled, the cookies will be baked, cooled, and ready to ice.
No way!
Yes, absolutely. Thanks to the modern miracle of electricity and freezers, you, yes you, can cut out your cookie angels, snowmen, and stars ahead of time, freeze them, then pop them in the oven whenever you’re ready.
Don’t care to fuss? This technique works fine for any rollout cookie; no need to frost or decorate.
And how about chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, and all your other favorites?
Yes, they’re easily made ahead and frozen. Twenty minutes after unexpected guests arrive, you can ask, “Can I offer you a nice warm cookie, just out of the oven?“
Now THAT’S hospitality! 
Place the following in a mixing bowl, and beat until combined:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
Add 1 large egg, and 2 tablespoons molasses.
Beat until smooth. Amazing how that one egg smooths things out, eh?
Add 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. Mix until thoroughly combined, then add an additional 1 1/2 cups flour, for a total of 3 cups. Add 3 tablespoons cornstarch, along with the second batch of flour.
Mix to combine.
See how dry this looks? Scrape the bowl, and continue to mix…
…until everything looks well mixed, with no dry spots.
Divide the dough in half, flattening each half slightly to make a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight. This chilling period will make the dough easier to handle.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and place it on a piece of half-sheet parchment (16 1/2” x 12 1/4”).
If you don’t have parchment, place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.
Roll it 1/8” to 1/4” thick. A thinner cookie will be crisper; a thicker cookie, more solid/soft (though not bendy soft; just softer than crisp).
Draw a mental line down the center of the sheet; or actually cut your dough in half, using a knife or pizza cutter. Your goal is to cut cookies that will fall  on one or the other half of the paper; you’ll see why in a minute.
Cut out cookies, removing and saving the dough between them. You’ll re-roll and cut these scraps.
As the dough gets warmer, it gets trickier to remove the crooked, awkward pieces of dough in between cutouts; a toothpick helps.
Now, take a pair of scissors and cut that sheet of parchment right down the middle.
If you like, you can start with a half-sheet of parchment, rather than rolling on a full sheet and then cutting; you’ll just need to use a smaller piece of dough.
As you continue to roll out dough and cut cookies, lay the sheets of cookies into a 9” x 13” pan. Continue until you’ve used all the dough.
If you prefer rolling cookies on a floured surface, you can pick them up and transfer them to the parchment in the pan. If you don’t have parchment, substitute waxed paper or foil.
Why roll directly on the parchment? It’s great for sticky dough, and/or intricate shapes. It’s easier to pick up a piece of parchment with cutout cookies than it is to successfully move delicate cookies from your rolling surface to a pan.
Next, cover the pan with plastic wrap (or a shower cap), and place it in the freezer. Once the cookies are frozen, you can leave the pan in the freezer; or, to save space (and get your pan back), remove the pan from the freezer, quickly peel the cookies off the parchment, and store them in a zip-top bag.
I say quickly because you don’t want cookies defrosting and getting soft; they’ll stick together in the bag.
Ready to bake?
Remove the cookies from the freezer. If you’ve kept them on the parchment, simply transfer cookies, parchment and all, to a baking sheet.
If the frozen cookies have been bagged, take the bag out of the freezer, and quickly place the frozen cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Do you see the word “parchment” being used constantly here? It’s the test kitchen’s best friend – and it should be yours, too. There’s nothing like parchment for keeping pans clean, moving stuff around, storage, preventing sticking, and a host of other uses.
A single piece of parchment can be used over and over again, too. What’s not to like?!
Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges, or until they feel firm, about 10 to 13 minutes.
Remove them from the oven.
See how the edges are just slightly brown? It’s easier to see on the right of these cookies.
When the cookies are completely cool, you can choose to decorate them – or not.
I have a huge personal antipathy towards decorated cookies; the process ratchets my stress level WAY too high. So I prevailed upon my long-time buddy and fellow test-kitchen baker, Sue Gray, to do some simple decorating as I took the photos.
First, Sue whipped up some royal icing (honestly, it took her like 2 minutes), and put it in a plastic piping bag. After adding a small, plain tip, she was ready to go. She piped lines on the snowman’s hat, and sprinkled with black sparkling sugar
…then shook Frosty to get rid of any excess sugar.
Next, she piped a face, and buttons…
…and a scarf, which she sprinkled with red sugar.
After shaking off the excess, she used a paintbrush to clean Frosty’s face.
Decorating like this isn’t hard, honestly; I just don’t have the patience (nor artistic bent) for it. So – thanks, Sue!
“Hey, how did she make that sparkling sugar stick onto the guy on the right?”
Brush the baked snowman lightly with corn syrup, honey, or maple syrup thinned with a bit of water; immediately sprinkle with sugar, shaking off any excess.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

New Contest

Pineapple Hill is participating in a fun give-away with a Houston Photographer ,
Baldwin Photography
You can check it out 

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Snowman Cupcakes

Snowman Cupcakes

Too cold to make a snowman outside? Gather the kids and create your own snowmen in the warmth of your kitchen!

via Land O'Lakes


1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate or Devil’s food cake mix
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
3 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk*


3/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow crème


3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, if desired
24 large marshmallows
Black decorator gel
Fruit leather or fruit strips
Gummi candies, rings, disks, etc.


Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 24 muffin pan cups; set aside.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in large bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed.

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

Place 3/4 cup butter into medium bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add marshmallow crème; continue beating until well mixed. Frost 12 cupcakes. (The remaining 12 cupcakes can be eaten as is or frozen in a container with a tight-fitting lid for future use.)

Place coconut in shallow bowl, if desired. Roll edge of each frosted cupcake in coconut.

To create snowmen, use 1 marshmallow for head and 1 for body. Draw eyes and mouth on marshmallow head using black decorator gel. Using toothpick, poke hole into marshmallow for nose; insert small piece of gumdrop into hole. Draw buttons on marshmallow body using black decorator gel. To make scarf, cut 2 (2x1/2-inch) strips of fruit leather, make “V” shape notch in 1 end of each strip.

To assemble snowmen, place small amount of frosting on top of marshmallow body; place ends of 2 scarf pieces on frosting. Place small amount of frosting on scarf pieces; place marshmallow head on top. Create hat using decorator candies or gumdrops; attach to head using small amount of frosting.

Insert 2 toothpicks into bottom end of body, pushing through into head and leaving enough toothpick ends to insert into cupcake. Place snowmen on cupcakes, securing with toothpicks.

Recipe Tip

Place cupcakes on large platter covered with decorator sugar or coconut to create a winter wonderland centerpiece for your gathering.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Peppermint Whoopie Pies

via The Real Butter Blog

Servings: Makes 3 dozen sandwich cookies
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 7.5-ounce jar marshmallow fluff
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup crushed peppermint candies (about 50 peppermint discs)
Cooking Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts; mix well. Slowly add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Cover dough and chill at least 30 minutes.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheet, placing cookies 2 inches apart. Bake cookies 9 to 12 minutes, or until firm. Cool cookies on pan 3 to 5 minutes or until set, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
For filling, in large bowl, cream together butter, fluff, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar slowly; mix well. Spread flat side of half the cookies with heaping tablespoon of filling; top with second cookie to create sandwich. Roll edges in crushed peppermint candies; chill cookies to set filling.
Store unfilled cookies and filling in airtight containers in refrigerator for up to 1 week, and filled cookies for up to 3 days. Bring cookies to room temperature before serving.

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