Classic Coconut Cake

Light and creamy with more than a hint of coconut. This cake is one of the best coconut cakes I’ve ever made (even though that doesn’t say much…) If you’re a coconut-fan, this cake is a must-try!

I found this recipe on The Heritage Cook and modified it just a bit. I used coconut milk instead of regular milk and I reduced the sugar (like usual). Also, instead of making frosting, I made whipped cream from heavy whipping cream and stirred coconut flakes into it .

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • whipped cream (enough to cover the cake)
  • coconut flakes (2-3 cups)

Method:

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix the vanilla extract into the milk. Beat the butter until creamy; add sugar and continue mixing. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well; the mixture should be thick and creamy.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter-sugar-and-egg mixture, beating on a low speed. Add 1/2 the milk mixture and beat well. Add another third of the flour, then the rest of the milk, and then the last of the flour, mixing well between each addition.

Evenly divide the batter into two prepared cake pans. Bake on 350F for 20 to 30 minutes. Afterwards, cool completely. If you want a four layered cake, divide the two cakes into half (I used a string to do this).

While the cakes are cooling, make the whipped cream and, once ready, stir 2-3 cups of coconut flakes into the cream. Once the cakes are cooled, take the bottom cake layer and frost; repeat for the other layer(s). Once the layer(s) are stacked on top of each other, frost the sides. Enjoy your masterpiece!

Cookie Dough Brownies : Take-Two

A few months ago, we made Gluten Free Cookie Dough Brownies:  http://wp.me/p3nMNw-4H . Today we decided to make it again, but this time as the classic flour version.A few notes on the recipe: we added dark chocolate chips to the brownies for extra chocolatey-ness. Also, we found that the cookie dough was very dense, so we added two tablespoons of milk to make it more spreadable.

Brownie Recipe from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-brownies/ :

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

Cookie Dough Recipe from  http://www.diettaste.com/desserts/eggless-cookie-dough.html#sthash.RZMN69cF.dpuf :

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

First heat the flour on medium heat until it turns slightly tan. Once flour changes color, place in a separate bowl and add all other ingredients.
Once the brownies cooled, spread the cookie dough on top and serve!
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter (or vegan margarine or nut butter)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (or ¼ cup brown sugar + sweetener equal to ½ cup sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

– See more at: http://www.diettaste.com/desserts/eggless-cookie-dough.html#sthash.RZMN69cF.dpuf

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter (or vegan margarine or nut butter)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (or ¼ cup brown sugar + sweetener equal to ½ cup sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

– See more at: http://www.diettaste.com/desserts/eggless-cookie-dough.html#sthash.RZMN69cF.dpuf

Nutella Milkshake

Last night as I was browsing Pinterest, I suddenly had a burst of inspiration (also known as pinspiration). I found two recipes for nutella milkshakes and decided to try making one the next day (today).  Since both recipes contained the same ingredients (nutella, milk, and ice cream), my adventurous side kicked in and I decided to ‘invent’ my own milkshake recipe, using the recipes I had found as guidelines.

As I was gathering my essential three ingredients, I noticed we had a container of liquid heavy whipping cream; as I reached for the whipping cream, all I thought was “why not?” You don’t have to use the heavy whipping cream, but I recommend it because the whipping cream gives the milkshake a much creamier taste and fluffier texture.

The links to my “guideline” recipes are from The Little Kitchen and Kirbie’s Cravings

Ingredients:

  • about 2 tbsp. nutella
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 – 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Method:

Put the ingredients into a blender and blend together (about 30 seconds). Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Easy-Peasy Lemonade

Whether you felt it or not, today was one of the hottest days of the year! In such heat, a quick-to-make yet refreshing drink is definitely on demand. For this recipe, all you need are three ingredients: lemons, water, and sugar. Hope you find this drink as thirst-quenching as I did!

Ingredients:

  • 3 lemons
  • water
  • sugar, to taste
  • ice

Method:

Thoroughly wash the lemons and juice them. Pour the lemon juice into a pitcher and add about 2 quarts of water. Stir the desired amount of sugar into the lemonade and add a few cubes of ice before enjoying!

Toll House Cookies

Admit it. We’ve all tasted those amazing Toll House Cookies and, no matter what recipe we’ve tried, have never been able to quite replicate them without heading to the store and buying the pre-made cookie dough.

As I was flipping through the pages of The Ultimate Cookie Book by Catherine Atkinson, I saw it. This had to be it. Golden brown and soft yet crispy on the edges. And then I saw the recipe name: Toll House Cookies. My search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie had ended. And your search ends here as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips

Method:

First beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly add the egg mixture into the butter and sugar, beating on a low speed. Sift together the flour, baking soda and a dash of salt before stirring into the liquid mixture. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until combined.

Take small spoons of the dough (about 2 tsp.) and shape into a ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet. Bake the cookies at 350F for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Cool for 5-10 minutes before enjoying these dream-like cookies.

Chocolate Whirls

These bite sized treats are chocolatey goodness surrounded in a whirl of puff pastry. Paired with a glass of milk, the chocolate whirls make a scrumptiously light dessert! This recipe was inspired from the “Chocolate Whirls” in The Ultimate Cookie Book by Catherine Atkinson.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb 2 oz puff pastry
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • golden raisins (to taste)

Method:

First mix the sugar, cocoa powder, and eggs together until smooth. Next, spread the softened butter over each puff pastry  sheet until evenly distributed, then cover with the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle desired amount of raisins over the pastry. Roll the dough into a scroll shape then cut into sections about an inch wide. Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 425F for 10-15 minutes. Once the Whirls are cooled, lightly dust them with powdered sugar.

Makes about 20 Whirls

Waffles

If you’re looking for an easy, tasty breakfast, look no more! The recipe you’re about to read is simple and rewarding. Just a few notes on the ingredients: if you don’t have vanilla sugar, feel free to use vanilla extract. Also, we used coconut oil because 1) it’s one of the healthiest oils and 2) the coconut oil gives the waffles a hint of “island bliss”. If you choose  to use coconut oil, warm the milk a little to make sure the coconut oil doesn’t harden. On the other hand, if you use another oil (eg. canola oil or vegetable oil) you don’t need to warm the milk. And now, without further ado…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

First combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the eggs and 1/4 cup of the milk. Mix well and add the sugars and salt. Add a 1/2 cup of the milk and mix well. Lastly, pour the oil and the last of the milk into the bowl and mix until the texture is smooth and liquidy.

According to the directions of your waffle maker, bake the waffles. Top with blueberries and maple syrup and enjoy this tasty breakfast!

Pork Lo Mein

Looking for a delicious and easy-to-make Chinese dish? What better to try than pork lo mein? This yummy meal combines the stringiness of egg noodles, the crunchiness of bean sprouts,  and the savory sweetness of vegetables to make a meal worth making again (and again).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless lean pork, cut into thin strips
  • 24 oz egg noodles
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh gingerroot
  • 2 carrots, cut into short, thin strips
  • 8 oz mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 fl oz chicken broth
  • 14 oz bean sprouts
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped scallions
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • dash of sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:

First, pour the soy sauce and sesame oil into a large plastic bag; add the black pepper. Place the shredded pork into the bag as well, and securely close the bag. Tumble the pork around in the ziploc bag until most of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Prepare the egg noodles as directed on the package. Set this aside as well.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan. Add the pork and stir-fry until it becomes a light brown color. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a clean deep pan, heat the rest of the oil and stir-fry the garlic and gingerroot for about half a minute (garlic burns very easily, so be careful!). Add in the carrots and cook for a minute or two. Next, add the mushrooms and cook for about a minute before putting in the bell peppers. After a few minutes add the pork, salt, and chicken broth. Cook until at least half of the chicken broth has evaporated.

Toss the pork and vegetable mixture into the eggs noddles and put on medium heat. Stir to combine the ingredients. Add the bean sprouts and then the scallions. Stir until well combined. Serve with soy sauce and enjoy!

*This recipe was adapted from Chinese Cooking: A collection of easy and elegant recipes

Chicken Enchiladas

Last night for dinner we made these tasty chicken enchiladas! We found the recipe on food network (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-enchiladas-recipe/index.html) and adjusted it a bit (as usual).

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken breast
  • salt and pepper according to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup thawed corn
  • 28 oz crushed canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • corn tortillas (about 20)
  • enchilada sauce
  • shredded Cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro

Method:

First, season the chicken with salt and pepper; than heat up the canola oil in a pan and add the chicken. When the chicken browns on one side, dust with cumin and garlic powder before turning it over. Once both sides have cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan the chicken cooked in, add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Add in the corn and, about a minute later, the tomatoes.  Shred the chicken breasts by hand and stir into the mixture. Chop up the onion and finely slice the garlic before adding it to the pan. Mix in the flour (this helps the mixture set).

To soften the corn tortillas, place a damp paper towel on a plate and put a corn tortilla on top of it. Add another paper towel and corn tortilla; repeat for about six tortillas. Microwave the tortillas for about 30 seconds. Repeat this process to heat all of the corn tortillas.

Coat the bottom of a baking pan with enchilada sauce. In a separate bowl, lightly dip each corn tortilla in enchilada sauce; place the chicken mixture in it and fold over. Once each tortilla is stuffed and in the baking pan, coat with more enchilada sauce and add the shredded cheese on top.

Bake the enchiladas on 350F for about 20 minutes. For garnish add sour cream and cilantro. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cheesecake

Happy Mother’s Day! What better to make than a strawberry cheesecake for this special occasion! Easy to make, this cheesecake will have you (and everyone else who tries it) hungry for more! For the original recipe go to Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 9 crushed graham crackers
  • 3 1/2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • fresh strawberries

Method:

Mix the crushed graham crackers with the butter. Take the mixture and press it firmly and evenly on the bottom of a well-greased baking pan.  Bake for about 10 minutes on 325F and than set aside.

With an electric mixer beat together the sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice, and lemon peel.  Next, add the sour cream and beat until well mixed. On a low speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Pour into the crust. Bake for about 40 minutes on 350F. Once the center is almost set, take the pan out of the oven and let cool.

Cut the strawberries into thin slices and place on cheesecake. Enjoy and have a great Mother’s Day!