Coconut Archive

Monday, March 8, 2010

coconut milk fudge

coconut milk fudge

I’ve got a mad case of wanderlust. You’d think that after taking in vistas like this two weekends ago and this just yesterday, I’d be happy just to be here. But even New York City on the stunning brink between a snow-blanketed February and a shiny, breezy March aren’t enough to keep me from dreaming about South America. Northern Italy. India. China. Austria. Rome. Cuba. St. Louis, if it promises me more spun sugar cake. And now: Brazil.

rolling in chocolate vermicelli
rolling in pistachios

There was an article in the New York Times last week about how sweetened condensed milk is having a “moment” — apparently eschewed by food snobs, home cooks from Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean couldn’t care less as they know it’s the manna, the building block of many awesome things from Key Lime Pie to Vietnamese Coffee to Dulce De Leche. It’s okay, I’m drooling too.

rolling in toasted coconut

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

arroz con leche (rice pudding)

arroz con leche

Almost without fail, January — which is always too cold, too dull, and too overdue for an antidote for holiday excess — puts me in the mood for rice pudding and this year was no different. I played around with it all month. I made my standard. I made a “creamiest” version I found online that landed me with an undercooked eggy puddle and a wobbly belly. I made a baked version that never came together. And I caved to my husband’s repeated request for chocolate rice pudding which is something you will never see on this site because it was, hands down, the most revolting looking dish I’ve yet to ladle into a bowl. (I added 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate added to my old favorite, and nixed the almond. See? Now I’ve saved myself a photography challenge!)

rice!

But it took me until February got me daydreaming of warmer climates to figure out what I’d really been looking for: arroz con leche. Now, here’s the thing — I did it wrong. I mean, it’s inevitable that it will seem wrong to someone who grew up eating it. There are as many versions of arroz con leche as there are Spanish-speaking grandmas who stir it up, and rarely are two versions alike. That’s the best part.

arroz con leche with raisins

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, February 21, 2010

thick, chewy granola bars

thick, chewy granola bars

I know, I know, I just talked up granola bars last September. Waxing on about granola bars twice in six months is just weird, right? I can’t help it, I honestly don’t remember last September. I was 37 weeks pregnant. I was as big as a house. I had a baby two weeks later, which I barely remember either, though that’s probably for the best. I forgot about the granola bars in my freezer too, until at least December and when I unearthed them they were so crisp I had to crumble them over yogurt. With a mallet. Then two weeks ago I bought a house-made granola bar at Whole Foods, sunk my teeth into it’s thicky, chewy, ingredient-laden madness and was consumed with envy; why haven’t I made granola bars that taste like that? (Minus about half the sugar; they’re crazy sweet. )

oatsbig, flaky coconutpecans, walnuts, wheat germ, cherriesmelted butter is always the answer

So I got back to the drawing board which quickly led me to a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. I’ve been warm to their recipes since they led me to the best whole wheat muffin I’ve ever eaten and this one did not disappoint. With a few tweaks — reducing the sugar significantly and putting it in a smaller pan in an attempt to make them as thick as those from Whole Foods — these were exactly what I had been pining for.

(And seriously, can you imagine a better food gift to bring to new parents? Trust me, few things are more welcome than delicious nutrient-rich food in compact/one-hand-eating-friendly packages.)

granola "batter", to be baked

Continued after the jump »

Monday, October 12, 2009

breakfast apple granola crisp

breakfast apple granola crisp

As excited as I am to be — slowly, tentatively — back in the kitchen, I seem to be stuck at the beginning, or at least the beginning of the day. I’m fixated on granola and eggy things, breakfast-y quick breads and this thing I made for the sole purpose of eating with my morning yogurt, and I suspect it has everything to do with us feeling almost constantly like we’ve just woken up. And too early, sigh.

apples

Fortunately, the cause is really cute and so we’ve decided to keep him, even if he at the advanced age of three and a half weeks has decided he no longer wants to sleep in those four-hour stretches he had teased us with in his misspent youth. However, I am stubborn and refuse to complain about the sleeplessness because there is nothing more predictable than new parents complaining about sleeplessness, and I hate being predictable. Instead, I have decided to embrace it, thus if I constantly feel like it is breakfast and I need a cup of coffee, then well, breakfast and a cup of coffee we will have.

peelings
cored

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

granola bars

granola bars

Some of you have asked me to share what kind of cooking I’ve been doing to stash in the freezer and hopefully tide us over for the coming storm (T-minus 22 days, not that anyone is counting). I know it’s common, in a fit of impatient nesting, for soon-to-be mamas to tuck away pans of enchiladas and lasagnas and meatballs and other hearty, freezable fare so that they don’t starve in those early weeks when the baby demands constant surveillance (okay, cooing), but despite understanding the logic behind this, I should confess: I’m prepping nothing.

dried apricots, cranberries and raisins

At least one of the reasons I’ve decided to ignore sound advice to cook and stash while I can is that food could not be easier to come by around here. Hummus platter with fava bean stews, pirogis and borscht and/or Tom Collichio-crafted sandwiches arrive so quickly after you call, we’ve become convinced that they’re actually preparing in our building’s basement and you don’t even want to know how many Thai and sushi restaurants there are per block around here (at least two). Plus, both of our families live within an hour of the city and (Hi Mom! Hi Alex’s Mom!) our moms are not only good cooks, but have vowed to keep us from starving. Wasn’t that sweet of them?

granola mix

Continued after the jump »