Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Coconut Surprise Pie

I can't believe it's been over a week since I updated here.

I have done some cooking but I've also been eating out a lot lately.  

I let my inner child out Easter Weekend though.

We were invited to a friends house for dinner and I offered to bring dessert. My DH loves Banana Cream Pie and doesn't get it often.

I bought enough Bananas to make two pies and then we proceeded to eat half of them.

They were so good. But it meant I needed to go to the store and buy some more.

Well... Guess what? They were out of Bananas. Not one single banana was left in the store.
NADA, nothing, zilch.

A lack of something at the store has never stopped me from making something. I changed gears, and decided on a Coconut Cream Pie.

It just so happens to be one of my favourite pies.

I knew I had some shredded coconut at home, so I picked up a vanilla pudding mix, some whipping cream for topping both pies and as I was checking out I happened to glance over at the candy display and picked up a couple of Mounds candy bars.

I thought maybe chopping them up a little and adding them to the filling might be an idea.

After I got home I put the Banana Cream pie together, but that's an easy thing to do. I buy the commercial banana cream and layer it with bananas in a prebaked pie shell. Just sayin... I then put it in the fridge to rest up til dinner.

I hurried up and made the vanilla pudding, but instead of using 3 cups of milk, I only used two. I wanted it thick enough to cut.
When I went over to check and see if it had thickened enough I discovered I'd accidentally bought the cook and serve pudding.
It wasn't thick at all. In fact it looked just like milk, with flavouring.
I proceeded to add a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch to a half cup of milk, stirred that into my unset pudding and cooked it.

Cooled it down, and then I added a surprise, some chopped up Mounds bars. Along with 3/4 cups of flake coconut.

I was in the spirit of Easter I tell you, I was hiding goodies in the pie.

I then dumped placed the thickened coconut filling into a pre-baked pie shell, and mounded it lightly, then changed my mind and smoothed it out a little. And put it into the fridge to rest up for a couple of hours.

After both pies had a chance to rest up, I whipped up a pint of heavy whipping cream, with a scant 1/2 cup of icing or confectioners sugar. I wanted it stiff enough to pipe, but not too stiff.

That was when I had fun.


I placed some of the whipped cream into a piping bag with a star tip and proceeded to decorate the pies.
As I said, my inner child got loose on Easter.

I did toast a little of the flake coconut in a pan, and I had a little of the green tinted coconut left as well.

I also had a few malted milk mini eggs, so...

I made a nest and put the eggs in it.

Recipe for Coconut Surprise Pie

1 large package cook and serve Vanilla Pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 to 3/4 cup Flake Coconut
1 Mounds Bar, chopped up

1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped with 1/4 cup confectioners sugar.

Mix together until smooth and then cook until thickened. Set aside to cool.

When it's cooled, add the coconut and the Mounds bar and stir together. Pile into a pre-baked pie shell and then have fun decorating it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hazelnut Biscotti for Secret Recipe Club

 I was not prepared this month for my Secret Recipe Club reveal.

I'm still not, but I'm doing it anyway.

It's been a cray cray month for me, but I persevered and came out cooking.

The Secret Recipe Club are a bunch of bloggers divided up into 4 groups, A B C and D.   We are assigned a blog from our group and then have to find and make a recipe from that blog and reveal it on our assigned day.   Which is today.    

My assigned blog was Sweet as Sugar Cookies, and there was a surfeit of sweet recipes on her blog. Lisa does a lot of dessert/sweet treats and it was hard to choose.  


I don't make a lot of sweets, but I do love a good Biscotti and I found a couple of recipes that I could try. 

My favourite Biscotti is Almond Biscotti, but I'm open to new experiences.   I was going to do a Cranberry- Ginger Chai Biscotti,  However, I found out I don't really care for the taste of Chai spices.   '
It just so happened that Lisa had a recipe for Almond Biscotti.


I was going to make some Almond Biscotti, but I had a, ummm, accident when I pulled the almonds out of my pantry.  I dropped them.  All over the floor.


Back to the drawing board I went.

Just to the counter actually.   I had a bowl of hazelnuts sitting there and decided that they were going to sub for the almonds.
Whether they wanted to or not.
So I got cracking and managed to fill a half cup measure with the hazelnuts (filberts).

Almond  Hazelnut Biscotti
  3 c. flour   (I actually added 1/2 cup more flour because I used some Jumbo Eggs and the batter was too fluid)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt (omit the salt if using salted butter)
 4 Tbsp. butter
3/4  c. sugar
3 eggs  (I used Jumbo eggs)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped Hazelnuts

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture.  Mix in the hazelnuts.

 Spoon the batter out onto a silpat or parchment papered pan.  Make two logs, approximately 16x2 inches.  They will flatten out a little. 

Bake at 350F for about 25 min. until they are firm to the touch. 

Take out and slice into 1/2" thick slices  with a serrated knife.
Lower the oven temperature to 325F.
Place the pieces cut side up on a silpat or teflon coated parchment paper and bake 15 min. per side until biscotti are hard and dry.  (I like mine a little browned so added about 5 minutes to the cooking time and bumped the temp up to 375).

I just had a couple of slices with a cup of coffee.

I'm in trouble now.

I think I see an endless succession of Biscotti in my future.    

Now go ahead and check some of the other dishes our great bloggers made.  I know I want to see what everyone else made. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bunny Cake for Easter

I think I've mentioned this about 15 or more times, but I volunteer to cook a lunch weekly at our local senior center. 

Actually, I'm...

drum roll please...

the Kitchen Manager. 

Impressed?   Nah, me neither.

But I do get to cook for a large group of people every week, make menus and try my best to serve not only healthy food, but good tasting food as well.  

However, one of my secret passions is decorating cakes.  

I'm not as good at it as my older sister or my SIL, but I like to play anyway.  

Yesterday, I made a Bunny Cake for our cake raffle. 

And I didn't get pictures as I went along, cause I decorated it at 6 am and I was just barely awake.    I mean, I did get the turkeys into the oven to start them cooking for our lunch, but that was easy.   Little thought required there. 

To start with...

I bought a package of Pink Marshmallow Peep Bunnies and some mini malted milk eggs. 

I then made a white cake, frosted it with white frosting (icing if you insist). 

I tinted about a half a cup of shredded coconut with two (2) drops of green food coloring, shook it around, to disperse the food coloring evenly.   Debated on adding more food coloring, but decided it looked just fine.    I then put it aside to rest for a little while. 

It was all shook up, after all.

Around the perimeter of the cake, I placed the dozen Pink Marshmallow Peep Bunnies evenly.  Well, pretty evenly. 

I then made a nest of the green tinted coconut in the middle of the cake, and placed the mini-malted milk eggs on top of that. 
Some of them rolled off to the side, but I decided it looked OK.  

I thought that the Bunnies guarding the eggs was a fun, whimsical idea.  
I guess our guests thought so too, I got a lot of comments on it.   

So, if you're looking for a fun idea and and an easy dessert for Easter,  try this out.  

I had fun...

We served a full turkey dinner yesterday.  
Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Vegetarian Stuffing, Carrots and Green Beans and Gravy...
Gee no wonder I'm tired today.   But it was all good. 


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter Ideas...

Easter's coming...

Really, next weekend and I'm actually ahead of the curve here.    Well, sorta.

I wanted to share what I did last year and will be doing a repeat of again this year, my Deviled Egg Chicks.

These were so cute and cuddly.

Not really cuddly but they tasted delicious.    And were just plain fun to do.

If you're like many people you'll also be making a ham, well, let me share my Special Sauce recipe for that.

You just mix equal amounts of brown sugar and mustard together, and that's it. But, if you make it early in the day, the sugar crystals will dissolve into the mustard and create a totally wonderful experience.   I actually keep a bottle of this in my fridge cause it does go with so many other meats, like the Corned Beef I made last week.  

And you could also make a Potato Salad.   I made some a few weeks ago using my MIL's recipe and had people telling me it was one of the best they'd had.

I just realized I've never shared that recipe.  Shame, shame, shame.

I'll just share a picture for now though.

   I made it for our Senior Lunch a few weeks ago.   And it was good.  Along with the Deviled Eggs, Creole Succotash and Baked Chicken. 

Well, gotta go and see if there are any eggs left at the grocery store so I can get some baking done.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Chopped Pork Sandwiches for Senior Lunch.

I want to start off with thanking all the great volunteers who help me out every week.  From the prep to the final clean up, they are awesome, fantastic and very much appreciated. 

We made some Chopped Pork Sandwiches with Oven Fried Sweet Potatoes and Coleslaw for the meal this past week. 

We also set out plates with pickles and onions so our guests could 'doctor' up their own sandwiches. 

It wasn't a fancy meal by any means, but it did taste good.     

I have to confess something here. 

I love having a huge kitchen to cook in.  There is nothing like miles of counter space to clutter up with all my prep work.

And to be honest, by the time my volunteers showed up, I had already rinsed and washed most of the dishes.  

But I did leave them some work to do.    There were the desserts to portion out. 
And on the menu for this week...

Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans.    And I think there might even be a quick pickle in there as well.