Today’s recipe, Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts, has all the ingredients to stock in the pantry for last-minute guests!

Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts

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One thing I’ve learned about entertaining is to never expect two dinner parties to be alike. There’ll always be different personalities–family, friends, people on the run, people who like to mingle or stay late, get into deep discussions—and often a new menu. My table is rarely the same. You just can’t have a repeat party, no matter how the details are dialed in. And that’s good, because each dinner has it’s own “specialness.” I like that!

Learning how to “go with the flow” with entertaining has really lightened my expectations as a hostess over the years. In other words, once my guests arrive, I really want to settle in and enjoy myself. I want to relax, and know that I have a plan (what to take out of the oven, what needs to go in the oven, around x-o’clock we need to sit down for dinner), and not stress over the little details.

Dinner party dishes.

I don’t know if you consider “doing the dishes” to be a minor detail, or a big detail. I think it has to do with our personalities, whether we’re more rigid and have to stay on top of things, or if we’re loosey-goosey, and we really don’t care—we just want our guests to have a great time.

I’d say I’m in the middle. I like to stay organized, but I don’t feel I need to be in the kitchen doing every last-minute dish (and missing out on the awesome conversation!)

That said, we still have dishes to do. Here’s my dishes routine for a small and large party:

Small party.

Often during a small party I’ll put the dinner plates in the sink and get right back to the conversation. A little bit of dishes is easy, right? And the last thing I want to do is to be doing dishes and leaving my guests.

Large party.

I feel a bit different about a large dinner party, like the one I had a few weeks ago with 16 guests. I’ve found with large dinner parties, if I don’t stay on top of the dishes – I am sunk! And I don’t ever hire help (although my kids have helped out, but now they’re all grown), so I have to be organized. Quickly, after we served the soup the other night, I loaded all of the dishes and other miscellaneous stuff into the dishwasher and got it started. I washed up the appetizer plates and set them aside so they’d be clean for the dessert. I needed to feel that I had some control over the kitchen, because next would be the dirty salad plates that I needed to use for dessert plates. I had to be organized.

Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts

Guests who offer.

So what about the guests who jump in to help with the dishes? Each hostess is different, but I really don’t want my guests leaving the table to do the dishes (unless it’s a very large party, then I welcome the help). If it’s a small group (6-8 people), I can definitely handle it myself. I have invited guests over to enjoy a meal in my home, not to do the dishes.

Ultimate goal.

My ultimate dinner party goal (besides the food turning out) is to have guests hanging around the dinner table, sipping on wine, water, coffee …  Ahhhh, it’s so wonderful to be with sweet friends and talk about life! A little bit of heaven on earth.

When it’s time to say goodbye, I really don’t think much about the work ahead. We send our guests off, and then Paul and I get back to the kitchen and get the dishwasher going, counters wiped off, blow out the candles,  and then we literally fall into to bed. Entertaining is a lot of work!

Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts.

Now what is this amazing little dessert I’m sharing today? Like I said above, all the ingredients are easy to stock in your pantry!

Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts

The recipe has been around forever, this came from my sister and I changed it up by adding a brownie mix and pineapple.

Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts

Make sure and serve it hot!

Hot with whipped cream or ice cream!

I love the crispy nuts on top! Oh, and remember if you want a quick way to toast the nuts, here’s my quick easy tip.


What are your thoughts about dish-duty, during or after a dinner party?

Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts

Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts
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Get the Recipe:

Cherry Pineapple Brownie Dessert with Walnuts

Keep stocked in your pantry a brownie mix, can of pineapple chunks and cherry pie filling, and walnuts. You’ll be ready to put a dessert in the oven that only takes about 10 minutes to prepare! Here’s a quick way to toast the nuts.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 8
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  • 1 19.5 oz pkg. brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup stick butter, melted
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 15-oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Spread the pie filling on bottom of pan; next, the drained pineapple chunks.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the dry brownie mix and melted butter. Mix together (will be clumpy).
  • Sprinkle the cake mix mixture on top of the fruit.
  • Toast the walnuts, then sprinkle them on top of the brownie mix.
  • Bake 50 minutes until bubbly and crispy.
  • Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream.
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