Lately I have been having a difficult time being content with the present. I’m continually looking forward to the things yet to come, whether it be our upcoming vacation this summer, moving back west if all goes well with Alex’s residency placement, potentially fulfilling my dream of moving to Italy short-term to immerse ourselves in Italian culture, language, and cuisine, or maybe at some point dropping everything to travel for a year like the Bucketlist family – which we are obsessed with! (Seriously, go check them out).
Is it just me or is it difficult to be content with ordinary life when social media is always telling us to look forward to the weekend, to congratulate ourselves that we made it to Friday, praising the exciting and picturesque portions of life, thus disregarding our simple day to day lives. I mean no one wants to see an Instagram post of me doing 4 loads of laundry while Alex studies the entire day away (which is exactly how today is going). Instead, I find myself continually brainstorming new picture ideas or new recipes to draw in more readers or finding inspiration from picture perfect food or travel posts on Instagram. Ultimately this is leading to me losing a lot of time each day, when I could instead be outside or being present by investing in my community and others.
Biblically I know that the true secret to contentment is through our relationship with Christ, prayer, and thankfulness. But that’s been a real struggle when having to focus a lot of attention on the world of social media in order to grow my blog. Anyways, I am still working on it, but I just wanted to share some thoughts because I value vulnerability and actually being a real human in an picture-perfect focused world.
I choose to share this pear upside down cake recipe this week because while I wasn’t able to photographically capture it as I would have liked, it’s an amazingly delicious cake. I made it a month ago but because I didn’t think the pictures were good enough I hadn’t released it yet. Pretty stupid huh? So in an effort to fight against perfection, here it is! Honestly, this cake has the perfect amount of spice to complement the caramelized pears. It is light and fluffy and packed with flavor. Serve it with either some vanilla ice cream or a little bit of whipped cream to create the perfect treat.
PEAR UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt in a skillet or an 8” cake pan:
2 Tablespoons butter
3. Spread the melted butter so it coats the bottom and sides of the pan. Sprinkle evenly over the butter:
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
4. Gently place on top of the sugar, in a circle pattern:
1 1/2 pears, thinly sliced lengthwise
5. Set aside the pan.
6. Sift together into a medium sized bowl, then set dry ingredients aside:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
7. Using an electric mixer, cream together:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8. Whisk in:
1 teaspoon vanilla
9. Beat in one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between:
2 eggs, room temperature
10. Alternate between mixing in half of the dry ingredients and half of:
1/2 cup milk
11. Continue alternating until all the ingredients are just combined.
12. Pour the batter over the pears in your prepared pan, and gently spread the batter evenly so as not to disturb the pears’ placement.
13. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. To invert the cake, run a knife between the cake and the pan to prevent the cake from sticking. Place a plate or a cooling rack on top of the cake pan, then in one swift motion, flip over, gently lifting the pan up from the cake.
14. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.