Now this is how I'm a tricky minx...I forgot to post this blog when I cooked the food, so it's getting posted now, even though it is going to be hidden behind other posts...
This was a bizarre mix of recipes. First, you have the Cornbread Tamale Pie (p. 102). Absolutely bizarre. To make this, you brown some meat. Then you add beans, corn, tomato sauce, broth, some spices. After that, you mix some cornmeal and other stuff together and put it on top of the meat mix.
Heating the meat and veggie mixture...
This was made more exciting by the fact that I opened the cabinet to get some spices out, had condiments kamikaze me which tipped over the cornmeal mix, spewing cornmeal all over the kitchen. I took some mediation-type deep breaths and started over. Josh hurried over--I think he was afraid that I was going to explode--and cleaned the mess up. Fortunately it was all dry ingredients so it wasn't that bad.
The evil cornmeal, pre-explosion:
The cornbread mix (2.0) layered (messily) over the meat mixture:
The casserole was very very strange. Fairly good, even though I put about twice the spices in it, although it really could have used more cornmeal on the top. Now I've made a couple TJOC casseroles and I think that TJOC is a little too bland. I really recommend that you "spice them up". It won't hurt you to double everything.
I will admit that the cornmeal did settle into a top layer, like it was supposed to:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE pineapple upside down cake. So I thought that Pineapple Upside Down Cake (p. 691) would be a cakewalk (HA! I'm so funny!). My mom makes a great PUDC, her secret is that she replaces all the liquid in her recipe (well, not oil, but water type liquids) with pineapple juice.
This recipe was really good. All of you know that I have this overwhelming fear of baking. I consider myself an excellent baker but the altitude really screws me up. So I've been using the rule of thumb of decreasing the baking powder or baking soda a little. And it seems to be working! Even so, I don't enjoy baking as much here as I do in the midwest. It's hard to work so hard knowing that half of everything I make doesn't seem to turn out...
This recipe has a HUGE amount of butter in it which makes me happy! And I placed all the pineapple in the pan and the maraschino cherries...ate the rest of them...and continued on in the recipe.
The cake was BEAUTIFUL and tasty! I didn't make it in cast iron, because I'm scared of cast iron, but a cake pan worked fine. You HAVE to use a lot of butter or the cake will stick and it won't be beautiful. The buttermilk was good but I think next time I'll try mom's method--half buttermilk, half pineapple juice.
Cool PUDC fact--the cake was originally developed to popularize canned pineapple. So the recipe isn't very old--although it is delicious. And you can make a lot of different UDC's--different combos of fruit and spices are awesome. Peaches are especially tasty.
The first step is to place the pineapple slices down on a ton of butter, and then place the cherries (or pecans, if you prefer) and sprinkle the whole thing with brown sugar.
The cake batter is poured on top of the art that you just created:
How pretty! I think PUDC makes everyone feel like a 1950's housewife--in the best way :)