Coconut Cream Cake

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Since we were in Asheville last weekend with friends, we celebrated Morgan's Father's Day Monday evening.  Dell Harper has been on quite the baking kick lately, and wanted to make "that coconut cake that we made Daddy last year.  I already asked him, and he said yes!"

Whelp, there you go.

So Coconut Cream Cake- delightfully easy, preschooler friendly, and delicious.

This was a fan favorite growing up- my brother especially. I think Deeds agrees, ha!


Excuse the pictures- I hurriedly tried to snap some before the mob fully descended.  I was rather unsuccessful.

Ingredients

  • 1  package yellow cake mix
  • 1 14-15 oz can cream of coconut
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 16 ounce whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 8 oz package flaked coconut

Directions


  • Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions in a 13x9 pan.
  • Remove cake from oven. While still hot, using a utility fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake.
  • Mix cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk together. Pour over the top of the still hot cake. 
  • Let cake cool completely.
  • While it's cooling, make your whipped cream- beat with electric mixer or hand mixer until peaks form, adding sugar to taste.  The cake itself is really sweet, so I like to keep my whipped cream not so sugary. 
  • After the cake is cool, frost with the whipped cream and top with the flaked coconut. Keep cake refrigerated.
Now, don't go all out with a homemade yellow cake here.  Cake mix is fine for this purpose.  However, make your own whipped cream.  It takes five minutes and the rewards are exponential.

As the kiddos say "Soooooooo GOOOOOOD".  This is drawn out to the nth degree, and takes them about five minutes to say.

We had Morgan's faves of Beyonce Love Chicken, steamed broccoli, and wild rice.  Sooooooo gooooooood, indeed.

Five on Friday

Friday, June 17, 2016

1) VBS

This post was originally planned for last Friday, but didn't happen.  We had VBS at church last week- super fun, but super exhausting.  My body rebelled at the end by lapsing back into morning sickness mode.  I must admit, I am sick of throwing up this go around.

Enjoying the amazing Kona Ice Truck at the VBS celebration carnival.

2) Cheap Summer Activity

I picked up a couple of squirt bottles for the kiddos at the dollar store.  It has given me hours!  Hours that I should be weeding, but have instead sat in my chair and read my book while they play.
 Squirting each other, squirting bugs, squirting chalk to make paint, and squirting dirt to make mud.

Don't squirt Mama!

3)  Redemption Road


Have y'all read anything by John Hart?  Southern, literary, thrillers.  YES, PLEASE!  His latest does not disappoint- set in a small North Carolina city (which, IMHO, more closely resembled my own small East Tennessee city), it follows a young cop as she recovers from a traumatic ending of a controversial case, while delving into her complicated relationship with her pastor father, and the release of another cop from jail for a murder he may (or may not) have committed.

Just try it.  It's good.

4) The Girls in the Garden- Lisa Jewell



Slightly lighter, but just as suspenseful.  I loved this book- reminiscent of Liam Moriaty, it uncovers the mystery of a 13 year old girl found beaten in the park behind her home in a lovely London Square.

5) LOFT Jewels

LOFT is having a great sale right now.  Due to my burgeoning waistline, I'm focusing on accessories. I have a bunch of necklaces from LOFT and always get so many compliments.  I could spend a fortune on all the goodies they have right now.

On a more serious note-
Addressing the recent tragedies is beyond by ability as a scribbler of our daily mundanities.  Like all of us, I am heartbroken and speechless.  The hate threatens to overwhelm us all, and I have no words or way to properly address the situation.

Now, back to the mundanities- I have to get these kiddos dressed and fed.  Some days that alone seems insurmountable!

Thanks to the Five on Friday ladies!


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Cooking and Listening (Part 3)- Greekish Dinner and Belgravia

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

 First up- a bell pepper salad.  Sometimes, I like a cooked vegetable salad, even in the summertime.  And roasting your peppers always takes them to the next level.

Roasted Pepper Salad

Ingredients:
3-4 bell peppers- I used one of each orange, yellow, red, and green
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup feta (more to taste)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped (optional)
2 T olive oil
kosher or sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Chop the bell peppers into bite size pieces.  Toss with olive oil, onion, and salt.  Spread out on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the peppers are to your desired degree of roasted-ness.
  4. Mix with feta and olives- if you do it when the vegetables are still warm the feta will melt a bit.  It's tasty.

And that's it!  Super simple and super delicious.  Serve chilled, or at room temperature.


It's the perfect accompaniment to One Pan Greek Chicken and Rice!

Here's my hasty picture before we dived in.

Here's the food blogger's picture- lovingly styled and fussed over.  Either way it tastes good.  Recipe is shamelessly cut and pasted from RecipeTinEats- find it here.  It's soon tasty, and I love anything that cooks altogether.  I brought this to some families after a baby as well- perfect comfort food yet not too detrimental for your waistline.

INGREDIENTS
Chicken and Marinade
  • 5 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in (Note 1)
  • 1 - 2 lemons, zest + 4 tbsp lemon juice (Note 7)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp salt (normal salt, not kosher or sea salt flakes)
Rice
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil, separated
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup long grain rice (Note
  • 1½ cups chicken broth / stock
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp salt (normal table salt)
  • Black pepper
Garnish
  • Finely chopped parsley or oregano (optional)
  • Fresh lemon zest (highly recommended)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine the Chicken and Marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag and set aside for at least 20 minutes but preferably overnight.
To Cook
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade, but reserve the Marinade.
  3. Heat ½ tbsp olive oil in a deep, heavy based skillet (Note 2) over medium high heat.
  4. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, then turn and cook the other side until golden brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  5. Pour off fat and wipe the pan with a scrunched up ball of paper towel (to remove black bits), then return to the stove.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Then add the remaining Rice ingredients and reserved Marinade.
  7. Let the liquid come to a simmer and let it simmer for 30 seconds. Place the chicken on top then place a lid on the skillet (Note 3). Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (so 45 minutes in total).
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, garnished with parsley or oregano and fresh lemon zest, if desired.
NOTES
1. I use bone in, skin on chicken thighs because there's more flavour. But you can use skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets if you prefer. If you do that, place the chicken in the pan 20 minutes into the baking time because the chicken won't need as long.

For drumsticks, you won't be able to sear them as successfully, but that's ok, just sear briefly and bake for the full time (45 minutes).

This can be made with breast as well but it won't be as juicy because the meat isn't as juicy. :)

2. The fry pan I used was 26cm / 10" in diameter and 6cm/2.4" deep. It's the perfect size for this.

3. I don't have a lid for the fry pan I used but I have a lid for a larger pot which I just placed on top. Otherwise, foil works just fine, or even a baking tray.

4. I garnished this with slices of lemon which I seared in the pan after cooking the chicken.

Now for listening.  All y'all Downton fans will love this one- Belgravia by Julian Fellowes.  He's the creator of Downton Abbey, as well as an excellent author.  It's not a podcast per se, but a serialized novel.  You can find it on audible.  Each episode is just over an hour.  I'm 3 in, and HOOKED.

Here's the blip-

Julian Fellowes’s BELGRAVIA opens on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, 15thJune 1815, when the Duchess of Richmond threw a magnificent ball in Brussels for the Duke of Wellington.  Just before 1am, word came that Napoleon had unexpectedly crossed the border and Wellington and his troops had to leave immediately to prepare for war.  Many of the officers died on the battlefield, still in their dress uniforms.

At the ball are James and Anne Trenchard, who have made their money in trade.  Their beautiful daughter Sophia has caught the eye of Edmund Bellasis, the son and heir of one of Britain’s most prominent families.  An event takes place at the ball that has a seismic effect on all their lives.  Twenty-five years later, when the two families are settled in the newly developed area of Belgravia, the consequences of this terrible secret still resonate.  Behind the doors of these magnificent new houses lies a web of gossip and intrigue.

Sounds amazing, huh?  

Okay- I apologize for the cut and paste blog post, but I've got a crazy week of work! Make some chicken and listen to some British aristocratic scandal. XOXO!