Sunday, September 20, 2009

Have a nice soak

If you need an easy and yummy marinade for chicken or turkey, here's one with a teriyaki taste. It's simple to throw together, and you can let it soak for as long as you want (at least an hour, though). You have the option of cooking your meat in the marinade or tossing the marinade and cooking the meat by itself.


3/4 c. lemon-lime soda
1/3 c. oil (I used canola)
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Mix ingredients in sealable plastic bag or container, then add raw chicken or turkey and toss to coat. Refrigerate for desired amount of time before cooking.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Put the lime in the coconut

I had leftover coconut milk frosting after making coconut cake, so I got creative and paired it with these lime cookies. I sang that Harry Nilsson song as I worked: "She put the lime in the coconut; she drank 'em both up... ." I had some good shoulder-shaking going on. Everyone seemed to like the results (the cookies, not the dancing).


3/4 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 limes, zest and juice
1/2 c. sour cream
3 drops green food coloring, if desired
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 c. flour

Beat together butter, sugar and lime zest. Add sour cream, food coloring, then eggs yolks and lime juice (it amounted to 4 tablespoons of juice for me). Add dry ingredients, then refrigerate dough at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (this is not required, but the cookies stick otherwise). Shape dough into balls and place on baking sheets. The cookies took about 16 minutes in my oven.

You don't want them to turn golden or they'll be crunchy when they're cool. If you see a golden color creeping out around the edges, get them out right away. They still look puffed and doughy when you pull them out, but they flatten as they cool. This way, they will stay soft even after they've cooled.

Coconut frosting:

1 can coconut milk, well chilled
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Plan ahead, and put the coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight or for at least four hours. The cream separates from the oil and rises to the top. (Reserve oil for another use if desired.) Beat coconut cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until thickened.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Creamy, dreamy coconut

Everyone commented on this coconut milk cake after tasting it a few nights ago at a family get-together. They all said they loved the taste and liked that it was "something different." I like the flavor of coconut -- fresh coconut, coconut milk -- but I despise dried, flaked coconut. I'm cringing at the thought of it. So I catered this cake to my taste. If you want to decorate yours with dried coconut, knock yourself out.


1 white cake mix
1 package coconut pudding mix (I used Jell-O brand)
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated for several hours*
1 c. sour cream
3/4 c. oil (I used canola)
4 eggs
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients. Open can of coconut milk and scoop out cream. Cream rises to the top during refrigeration. About half the can will be cream. Set cream aside. Measure remaining coconut liquid and add water to equal 3/4 cup. Add liquid to dry ingredients, along with sour cream, oil and eggs. Mix well, then pour into desired pan/pans (sprayed with cooking spray). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Don't overbake or cake will be dry. As soon as toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, take the cake out. Meanwhile, beat coconut cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until thickened. Use icing as desired.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The taste of fall

We grew acorn squash this year. We grew it last year, too. And we're going to grow it again next year. That's because it's so good. We like to make it into a sweet puree and serve it as a side dish. It would be fabulous for Thanksgiving. If you don't want a sweetened version, make a savory one by seasoning it with salt and pepper. Or use your puree to thicken a soup. It's up to you. Below are the directions for making brown sugar acorn squash puree.


2 whole acorn squashes*
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
Ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place whole acorn squashes on baking sheet. (This is the way to go. In the past I've cut them in half before baking, but they are a lot easier to cut when they're soft.) Bake for about an hour, turning over once after 30 minutes. Squash is done when it is easily pierced through with the tip of a paring knife. Let cool for a few minutes, then slice in half and scoop out and discard seeds. Scoop out flesh and place in mixing bowl or food processor. Add butter and brown sugar, then mix thoroughly. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top of individual servings.

*This recipe works well with butternut squash, too. Adjust ingredient amounts according to squash size.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Health food

This is the way my cousin eats a tuna fish "sandwich" -- inside a raw bell pepper. She really loves it. I thought we'd give it a try with the peppers from our garden. I'm sorry to say that my husband thought our meal tasted like grass. My 4-year-old had a few bites, so she must have thought it was fine. I thought it was OK -- it definitely tasted healthy -- but maybe a red pepper would have been more to my liking. If you are a fan of raw peppers (maybe you are someone who puts them on veggie trays) you will like this.


2 cans tuna fish, drained
Splash of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 whole bell peppers

Mix tuna with your desired amount of mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slice bell peppers in half. Remove seeds and membranes. Spread tuna mixture into bell pepper halves.