Cream of Coconut Cake

I have been making one version or another of this cake for so long now that I couldn’t even begin to tell you where or when the idea originated.

Coconut Cream Cake is a fairly rich dessert.  It’s similar to a tres leche cake, except it uses cream of coconut as one of the components.  This one is also served right from the pan you baked it in, which can be a blessing for folks like me who can hardly get a small cake out of a pan in one piece.

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Fluffy Maple Vanilla Buttermilk Pancakes

Growing up, I vividly remember waking up on Saturday mornings, during my teenage years, when I was with my mom. The sun would be beaming through my room as the sun came up and I could smell the deliciousness my mom was whipping up in the kitchen. These memories are probably my most vivid from my teenage years besides the trouble I got in. To this day, Saturday breakfast is a ritual. I get up, put on some warm clothes, and head to the kitchen and start with making a pot of coffee and frying bacon.

This recipe isn’t my mother’s recipe, but it is one my wife and I have been fiddling with for the past few years. It’s over the top good and does well as a dinner option too.

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Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread is another fall favorite at my house.  I make this from the first leaf falling off the trees and all the way through the holidays. You might find it hanging out up until Easter.  This gets made a lot.  This another recipe of mine that is well used, and stained.

I make it in large loaves, small loaves, and mini loaves.  I give it away and I also freeze it for later.  Small loaves make great food gifts to appointments during the holidays.  Wrap completely cooled loaves in holiday colored plastic wrap, and add a bow.  When doing this I like to add a small container of whipped butter and perhaps a plastic knife since most places don’t stock serveware like we do at home.

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Sweet Potatoes and Killer Bee Honey Butter

There are many things in the kitchen that are pretty easy to cook and mashed sweet potatoes is one of those things. In my opinion, cooking a sweet potato is cooking 101. If you’re a relatively inexperienced chef, keep on reading. If you’re an experienced home chef,  you can probably skip to the delicious recipes closer to the bottom of the post.

Everyone has seen someone massacre a sweet potato by boiling it in water. I think this is about the worst thing you could ever do to a sweet potato. Roasting it in the oven or baking it in aluminum foil is the best way to maintain, if not improve, the flavor. The key to baking a sweet potato is knowing when it’s done. Under cook it and you’ll be eating grit. Over cook it and you’ll squeeze the moisture out of it and you’ll be left with a watery stringy mess. Bleh!

Ok, a critical part to cooking a sweet potato begins at the grocery store. The size really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you buy all of the same sized sweet potatoes. You want them all to get done cooking at the same time, so don’t go buying big potatoes and little potatoes. I have seen some pretty huge sweet potatoes and some so small I’m not sure why the store is even selling them. I prefer to buy sweet potatoes that are about 2.5 inches in diameter. Buy too small and they can over cook quickly. Buy too large and the interior can be under cooked while the exterior is mush.

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Frog Eye Soup

Frog eye soup was invented in my kitchen because of an ingredient shortage.  We had plenty of groceries in the house.  I am certain I was cooking for some holiday meal in the coming days.

My brother was making an unexpected visit that evening and I offered to make some homemade chicken noodle soup and sandwiches for dinner.  I usually have chicken noodle soup ingredients on hand and I knew this would not require another trip to the store, because everyone knows I love chicken soup!!

I happily went about my business in the kitchen and started simmering some chicken breasts in chicken broth.   I don’t always make a super-rich broth, especially when I am short on time.

I tossed in some onions, celery, and carrots.  About 20 minutes before my brother was schedule to arrive I discovered I had no soup noodles!! What? At my house?

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Candy Acorns

Candy Acorns are a cute edible addition to the kids’ table at holiday meals.  This is an idea I have seen all over the internet.

They also make nice finishing touches to pumpkin pies and many other fall desserts.

The flavor can be changed by changing the flavor of chips used for the end of the acorn, as well as changing the flavor of the candy kisses use for the big portion of this decoration.

I have seen these made with milk chocolate kisses and pumpkin spice kisses.  I used caramel filled kisses for mine and butterscotch chips for the ends as well as the “glue” to hold it all together.

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Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice is one of my requirements for a burrito or burrito bowl.  If you like your meat spicy like me, then this is required to cut some of the heat.

There are probably thousands, if not more, recipes for cilantro lime rice floating around on the internet.  But all of them seem to have the same ingredients, rice, citrus juice and cilantro.  If you have read this blog from the beginning you probably already know that I cilantro is NOT one of my favorite foods or flavors!

I can eat cilantro in small, VERY SMALL doses.  Since I make this recipe for myself generally, I do not use much cilantro.  If you are a cilantro lover, then feel free to add more cilantro.  I would just suggest that you taste your rice before adding more citrus juice or cilantro.

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Slushsicles

Jack Frost and Cranberry Daiquiri Slushsicles are a fun adult addition to adult theme parties.  They would also be delicious served on a hot summer day.  Change up the juice in either recipe to change up the flavor.  These do not freeze as solid as kid’s popsicles and that is because of the freezing point of alcohol.  The more juice you add, the more solid they become, it reduces the amount of alcohol in the slushsicle.

You can freeze just about any mixed drink you like, provided it has a high sugar content.  For whatever reason, sugar is required to make slushies freeze.  I have tried making copycat Mister Misty with less sugar and all I can say is it turned into a blender full of thin ice sheets.  Layers and layers of sheets.

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Beef Barbacoa

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Mexican food?

With Mexican restaurants being more abundant that any other international restaurants in any given town, you would guess that everyone likes it.  Well, guess again.  I have one in the household that doesn’t like Mexican food, at least the kind you get at a restaurant.

He will eat tacos and fajitas that I make at home, but they are not something I would consider remotely authentic.  Taco meat made with a packet of seasoning or chicken marinated in a different packet of seasoning are not my idea of Mexican cuisine.  But alas, I will make them just because both are easy and both will get eaten.  Midwest Quesadillas are considered Mexican to this person who shall remain nameless, delicious and addictive, but certainly not Mexican.

Now my idea of a Mexican dish look more like this Beef Barbacoa piled up in a burrito or burrito bowl.


I don’t know if this is authentic or not.  (I don’t know if Chipotle’s is authentic either, but it doesn’t stop me from eating there.)

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Corn and Roasted Poblano Salsa

This recipe for Corn and Roasted Poblano Salsa is perfect for topping burritos, tacos, or anything that needs a bit of sweet and spicy.

Roasting your poblanos before adding them to any Mexican inspired dish gives the dish a smoky flavor.  It’s very easy to do.  I no longer have a gas stove, I use induction.  Induction cooks like gas in most instances, but when it comes to roasting things over an open flame I am forced to fire up the grill.

You can do this over a grill, just use a medium to low heat and grill the peppers on all sides until they are charred and have black blistered skin.  You can also do this over a gas flame in the kitchen, or use a grill pan.

 

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