I really like this week’s topic. In fact, I like it so much, that I’m skipping my update to go straight to the challenge.
Challenge Week 25 Topic: What makes you happy?
I’m happy just thinking about the question. 🙂 There are so many things to choose from. I could say my hubby, my bird and both on a lazy Sunday with a cup of rooibos tea.
I could say my current success with my health goals (I lost 3 pounds since my last weigh-in and my injury is healed).
I might even talk about my not-so-bountiful-except-for-the little-chipmunk garden that I strive to cultivate and nurture, or our bright sea green car that sparkles with cuteness.
Instead for this prompt, I’d have to pick one very important moment that never fails to give me happiness:
Cooking delicious food that everyone enjoys.
I love to cook for people. I like to spend time creating a dish that takes into account everyone’s tastes and serving it to happy eaters. I like to experiment with recipes and try new ones out, thus living on the edge (will they like it? will it come out okay?). I love being surprised when the recipe is exactly what it should be and even more. Nothing beats a group of happy people eating the same food and enjoying the company.
Take this recipe for example: Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits.
I’ve yet to meet a person that hated pineapple upside down cake. I love it and crave it from time to time. For some reason, it’s not a frequent visitor around these parts. The one thing about cake is that you need people (more than 2, anyway) to eat it. I had resigned myself to eating it when we next went to a potluck, until, that is, I came across this recipe featured on the Pioneer Woman blog.
A little note: I’m not actually all that keen on many of Ree’s recipes. Too many are so heavy in cream, butter, fats and sugars that I’m not sure if my body would even want to eat it let alone cook it. I follow it, however, because the pictures are gorgeous, the food does look tasty (albeit unhealthy), and a few gems come along.
These biscuits are exactly IT. They mimic the cake just close enough with the luscious pineapple and cakey batter, but they’re small, warm and easy. There’s only one pan, one bowl, and one pie dish needed. The ingredients are staples and the time to bake is fast. I made this twice and so far everyone has said that it was delicious and requested the recipe.
Sure, they’re more biscuit/cake than sponge/cake, but the flavors are concentrated because the batter highlights it by being slightly dense and wonderfully mild.
A tip: Don’t forget to add a spoon of vanilla ice cream. For the first dish we had vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream and the flavors melded so well together. For the second time we had homemade vanilla ice cream with great success.
Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits
(Original recipe can be found here. Alterations to the original recipe are in red.)
- 1 20 ounce can Pineapple chunks, juice drained, roughly chopped
- ¾ cups packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp margarine
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Splenda (1/2 packet)
- 6 tbsp margarine, frozen
- 1 cup Buttermilk (1 cup skim milk + 1 tbsp lemon – mix and set aside)
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Pineapple: Heat brown sugar and 3 tablespoons margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbly. Pour into a 9-inch round pie pan, top with pineapple. Set aside.
Biscuits: Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar with a fork in a medium bowl. Using knife, slice 1/4 inch slices of frozen margarine into dry ingredients (all 6 tbsp) and cut into dry with fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk with a fork, and mix until dough just comes together (dough will be slightly wet).
Using either 1/4 cup measuring cup or 1/3 cup, scoop out dough and dump onto a floured surface. Drizzle flour on top of dough and gently pick up to light form into a biscuit shape (do not try to knead or use too much force). Gently drop biscuit onto pineapple and repeat process until all dough rounds are covering the pineapple (about 6-8).
Bake until biscuits are golden brown and pineapple topping is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Be sure to either have a cookie sheet under the pie pan to catch drips or have the bottom of the oven covered in foil. (The first time I baked it there weren’t any messes. I wish the same could be said for the second time). Scoop and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.
Note: This recipe reheats perfectly the next day. Simply let cool and cover with saran wrap the night before. Remove wrap and heat oven to 400. Bake 5-10 minutes until bubbly.