Saturday, February 23, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Yesterday, Justin and I had a mavelous afternoon in Downtown Delray, eating cheesesteaks from Big Al's and wandering the streets of Pineapple Grove. On the drive home, Justin noticed a coconut laying in the road by our development, and naturally, got out to examine the fallen specimen. Alas, it was rotten, but it made me think of my favorite cookies: The Coconut Macaroon.

As if the road obstuction wasnt enough, I flipped open the latest issue of Bon Appetit, and "BAM", an article about coconut chips for baking instead of shredded coconut. Well, needless to say, we went to the grocery store to secure the ingredients for these delcious morsels. And! What luck! I found coconut chips! The glory of living in south Florida.

Coconut chips are, according to Bon Appetit Magazine, harder to find than shredded coconut. I found mine with all of the dehyrated pineapple tidbits and bagged mixed nuts by the produce section. But, if your grocery store doesnt have them, a health food store should.

The first time I made these I thought "this is too easy to be true!". And this time, when I whipped them up for dessert, Justin thought the same. Tell me what you think about this four ingredient recipe.

P.S. If you dont mind a fifth ingreident, feel free to add chocolate chips!


Coconut Macaroons

Yield: 2 dozen

4 oz Coconut Chips

3 oz Shredded Coconut

14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingreients with a spoon until the milk and flour completely coat the coconut.

3. On a greased sheet tray, place rounded tablespoons of the coconut mixture about 1 inch apart.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes; until the edges and bottom are golden brown. The center will look slightly moist.

5. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Measure Up!

You know how they say "good things come to those who wait"? Well, I have been patiently waiting for weeks since recieving an email from the nice people at OXO Kitchen Appliances for my very own set of Mini Measuring Beakers.

What happened was, one day I was leisurely surfing Facebook, when I came across the OXO page. They were doing a survey about storing spices, and what better to do when bored then fill out a survey? A week later, I received an email from them saying they wanted to "thank me for my time" with a complimentary set of Mini Measuring Beakers. Awesome!

And now they are here! They are so cute, and definitely handy for measuring small quantities of ingredients since they sit nicely on the counter. There will be no more fumbling with the measuring spoons and the bottle of vanilla! Don't lie, we have all been there, and spilled it all over the counter.

Aside from being super adorable they have other amazing qualities as well like being dishwasher safe, BPA free and they all nest together for easy storage.

Overall I love them and I think you would, too. Next time you're measuring a teaspoon of lemon juice, you will thank me.


*OXO did not pay or endorse this post. All opinions are my own, without compensation.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Ice Cream

It is February, the month of paper valentines, chocolate kisses, and long stem roses. In honor of "The Love Month", Justin and I made this post together. We did it all: went shopping, cut the strawberries, tempered the eggs, churned the ice cream, added the swirl, together. All in honor of "The Love Month".

In my mind, nothing says "I love you" on Valentine's Day quite like a big box of chocolate covered strawberries. It is such a simple combination that makes everyone come back for one more bite; the crunchy chocolate shell, the soft stawberry that is half sweet half sour...they are the perfect compliments to each other.

These little gems were of course on my mind when I was thinking of the perfect Valentine's Day recipe to share with all of you, and, just in case you couldn't guess, so was ice cream. Here is the result of all the things Justin and I love. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.


Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Ice Cream

Yeild: 1 1/2 quarts

For the Puree:

1 pound Strawberries, tops removed

1/2 cup Sugar

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

For the Custard:

2 cups Heavy Cream

1 cup Milk

3/4 cup Sugar, divided in half

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Salt

For the Chocolate Ganache:

6 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate

6 fl oz Heavy Cream


1. In a small pot, combine the cream, milk, vanilla, salt and 1/2 of the sugar. Bring to a light boil. While this is heating, fill a large bowl with ice and water.

2. In a heat safe bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the other half of the sugar.

3. Slowly stream in 1/3 of the boiling cream mixture to the egg mixture, while whisking constantly.

4. Now do the reverse. Pour the, now warm, egg mixture back into the pot with the cream. Again, whisk constantly until both of the mixtures are combined together.

5. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the custard continually until the mix coats the back of a spoon and a line can be drawn through it, or 160 degrees on a thermometer.

6. Immediately pour the custard through a strainer, into a clean bowl, set inside the earlier prepared ice bath. Stir occasionally until cool.

7. In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon. Puree until smooth. Strain to remove seeds.

8. Once the custard is cool, stir in the strawberry purée.

9. Refridgerate at least 8 hours.

10. While the mix is chilling, bring the remaining cream to a boil.

11. Pour over the chocolate. Wait 10 minutes and then stir to make a creamy ganach. Place in a ziplck bag and refridgerate.

12. Churn the ice cream base according to manufacturer's directions.

13. While packing the soft ice cream, alternate layers of strawberry cream and layers of ganache swirls.

14. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours. Scoop and fall in love.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Breakfast of Champions: Sausage Gravy

It is a warm 71 degrees here in South Florida making the whole "winter blues" thing very easy to deal with. The only downside of winter under the palms is that it is very hard to enjoy comfort food. I mean who really wants a heaping bowl of chili covered in melting yellow cheddar, crispy tortilla strips, and cool sour cream in the middle of a New England Summer? Not that many people, besides me, but I like to think I am the exception.

Regardless, I still make comfort food for Justin and I. Every now and again, usually when I have a day off or I go in to work late, I will make us a small batch of sausage gravy. Every time I whip up a bit of this super simple breakfast I think of two things: my mom ALWAYS mixing the milk and the flour together in drinking glass and waking up to the smell of it flooding the vacation house in Deep Creek Lake.

The best part of sausage gravy is how easy and versitile it is. Take out the sausage and add ham for a delicious alternative. Exchange the protien for spinach, corn, chard, etc. for creamed veggies. Leave out all of the add ins and pour that sawmill gravy over a pan fried pork cutlet and I am sure no one will complain.


Sausage Gravy

Yield: Enough to feed 4 hungry campers

1 pound Ground Sausage

1/2 Tbsp Butter

1 1/2 tsp Ground Thyme

4 oz All Purpose Flour

16 oz Milk, divided into 12oz and 4oz

Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper

Biscuits, Toast, Bagels, Something delicious to serve it over!


1. In a medium sized pot, heat the butter over medium heat.

2. Once melted, add the sausage, salt, pepper, and thyme. Break the sausage up with a wooden spoon into small pieces.

3. While the sausage is browning, mix 12oz of the milk with the flour. This is the part that my mom does in a drinkng glass with a fork, so I recommend you do the same.

4. Once the sausage is completely cooked, add the milk mixture.

5. Stirring occsionally, bring the mix to a boil for about three minutes. By the end of the three minutes the gravy should look rich and luscious. Here is where the extra milk comes in: in case it starts to clump together or look a little too much like paste, add it and stir.

6. Serve over your favorite breakfast bread with plenty of fresh cracked black pepper and a cup of coffee.