Pin Project #6: Coconut Oil

So, have you heard the buzz about coconut oil? Apparently, it is like manna… or something. You can cook/bake with it (substitute for butter & oil), it does wonders for your hair and skin, heck – you can even eat it by the spoonful and live to be 100! (Can we all just take a minute and acknowledge that we are still talking about OIL here…who wants to eat a spoonful??) With all that in mind, I have been wanting to try it out and see what all the excitement has been about.

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Pin Project #2: Coconut Bars

Today is Sam’s birthday and to celebrate I made him one of his favorite dinners (vegetarian enchiladas – but with no cheese for his new vegan sentiments) and I tried a new pinterest recipe: Black-Bottom Coconut Bars. Like usual, Martha Stewart did not let us down. These little tasties were gooey-chewy brownie on the bottom and nutty, crispy coconut macaroon on top. In other words, DELICIOUS. The only modification I made was substituting coconut oil for the butter. It was all I had on hand. PS: Sorry for the night-time photo op that did NOT do these babies justice.

Happy birthday to the most amazing husband in the world! XO

“Taste of Summer” Cake

Last week I had a carton of strawberries that was beginning to get a little soft….sounds like the perfect excuse to make a cake, to me! This cake is wonderful during the summer or for those long winter days when you need a little taste of summer. It would also make a great valentine dessert – maybe get creative and arrange the strawberries into a heart? This cake was slightly modified from Smitten Kitchen (surprise, surprise).

Strawberry Cake Ingredients:
6 T. butter (room temp)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 c. granulated sugar (plus 2 T. for on top)
1 large egg
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 lb. strawberries, hulled & halved (I added some raspberries that I had in the fridge…or see below for other delicious ideas!)

Possible modifications: blueberry & lemon zest, apples or pears (thinly sliced!) & cinnamon, raspberries & choc chips! NOTE: you need to use a 9″ deep-dish pie pan or your cake will overflow!

Directions: Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into a buttered/greased pie plate (deep dish!) and arrange strawberries on top – cut side down.

If you’re feeling in the valentine spirit maybe make a heart shape. Sprinkle with 2 T. sugar over berries. Bake for 10 mins. and then reduce oven temp to 325F until cake is golden and a tester comes out free of batter (50 mins). Serve with whipped cream or just lightly dusted with powdered sugar.

Sweet and simple.