{twd} coconut chai tea cake

What can make a coconut cake even better? Infusing the coconut milk with chai tea. The result was a cake that was amazing. And this cake was simple to make which is just what I need this week.

One of the steps in making the cake was to heat coconut milk and butter in a small saucepan. At this point, I threw in 4 chai tea bags and let them seep. The flavors played well together: coconut, chai, vanilla, and a bit of rum; the crumb and crust were just right; and I got to use my kugelhopf pan.

Thank you to Carmen of Carmen Cooks for hosting this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection. If you would like the recipe for Coconut Tea Cake, visit her blog or buy the book.

Oh, and because the recipe doesn’t use the whole can of coconut milk, I made this–Steamed Coconut Rice–and added peas. I suggest you try it


No peach pavlova thing today. Sorry SMSrs, I did not have the time this week.

I heart kumquats.  They are so cool–from their name to their taste. The lazy person in me loves that you eat them whole and don’t have to peel them. I re-visited Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking and made the Clemenquat Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Shavings. It’s a salad of celery, clementines, and yes, kumquats dressed in simple mix of lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil and topped with toasted walnuts and some parmesan. It’s fresh, sour, sweet, and very easy to make. The hardest part was slicing the celery.

Find the recipe here: Clemenquat Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Shavings

The $37 Drink

While I was in Vegas I craved a frozen strawberry daquari. In town there are alcoholic slushie stands EVERYWHERE. Of course, when I was craving one I couldn’t find one anywhere. I eventually found one…and it ended up costing me $37. Yes, $37 for a drink. It was larger, but still.

We stayed in a timeshare with a full-kitchen, including a blender. And as luck would have it, we also had all the ingredients to make my version of the $37 drink. It tasted awesome and  a lot better than the one I bought because the ingredients were all fresh and natural.

Here’s how I made it:

  • a bunch of strawberries (brought for the road trip, but not eaten)
  • a banana (ditto)
  • a bit of club soda (brought to make my favorite drink in the world: vodka + club soda with lime)

Blend it up until it’s a nice puree.

  • Add a bunch of ice (full-kitchen=ice machine)

Blend some more until it has a slushie consistency

  • Add a few sugar packets, to taste (part of the coffee set-up)
  • 5 generous shots of vodka (again, brought along for my favorite drink)
  • freshly squeezed lime juice (ditto)

Blend until just mixed. Pour and serve! It made 3 1/2 drinks.

{twd} dulce de leche duos…an awesome cookie

Tasty tasty cookies and not a speck of chocolate. These cookies are awesome. It wasn’t until I actually started making them that I realized why Dorie Greenspan calls them Dulce de Leche Duos. Not only is the filling dulce de leche, but it’s also used in the cookie itself.

I was in Las Vegas last weekend and had the opportunity to meet up with the lovely Megan of My Baking Adventures. She, too, is awesome. And beautiful. It was fun {and way too short} and I look forward to seeing her again the next time I’m in town.

Many thanks to Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake for hosting and selecting Dulce de Leche Duos as this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

{sms} apple pie with benefits

Apple pie with benefits? Yes. Usually the benefits would be ice cream. Vanilla is traditional, but cinnamon or Calvados ice creams would rock too.

In this case, the benefit is a sweet & creamy caramel sauce. Tart granny Smith apples play a nice counterpoint.

This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe–Double-Crusted Caramel Apple Pie was the bee’s knees. It was a cinch to throw together; it helped having pie crust in the freezer (I used something in my freezer! One down, a gazillion to go!).

The original recipe makes one 10 inch pie. I had 1/2 of Dorie Greenspan’s Good for Almost Anything Pie Crust which was not enough for the full size pie. It was just enough for one super-cute 4″ pie.

Short and sweet–I’m writing this on Friday as I walk out the door to head to Vegas for the weekend and on Sunday I’ll be heading back home. I just got back into the groove of baking and blogging and didn’t want to miss a beat.

Thanks to Susan of Baking with Susan for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.