Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie

The one dessert that I get the most compliments on, is my coconut cream pie. I just found a new and better version that is heavenly. WARNING! This is not low fat. Try it on Fast Sunday. For those of you who may wonder what that our church, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", we fast two meals on the first Sunday of the month, then donate the money we would have spent on those meals (more if we are able) to the care of the poor and needy. If you're going to eat a big calorie dessert this is the day to do it.

Bake one 10 inch pie crust and let it cool completely.

Ingredients for cream filling:

2 cups toasted coconut
1 envelope (2 tsp unflavored gelatin)
3 TB cold water
4 large egg yokes
2 cups milk
1/2 cup, plus 2 TB sugar
1/3 cups, plus 1 TB cornstarch
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 TB vanilla
2 TB cold butter
1 1/4 cups of heavy cream

Pour the 3 TB cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top, set aside.

Beat the four egg yokes in a bowl and set aside.

Mix the milk, 1/4 cup of cream, and the coconut milk in a 2 quart sauce pan slowly whisk in the corn starch and the sugar. Stirring constantly, cook on stove until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Slowly pour the thickened mixture into the egg yokes while beating. It's best if two people are doing this part. When completely mixed, return to stove. Cook until heated, do not boil, this part doesn't take very long. Add 2 tablespoons cold butter, and 1 tablespoon vanilla, and the gelatin. Stir until the butter and gelatin are melted and then add 3/4 cup of the coconut, mix well. Pour this mixture in a shallow bowl or empty pie tin, cover with plastic wrap, and put in refrigerator. Let cool until completely cold. Now comes the part that makes it really wonderful.

Sprinkle 3/4 cups coconut on the empty pie shell.

Whip the remaining cup of cream in a medium size bowl until very thick, fold the pie filling into the whipped cream and pour into the coconut lined pie crust. Sprinkle remaning coconut on top and chill for several hours.

Try not to eat the whole thing at once!

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Fool's Day Menu

I have to admit that I am a big fan of April Fool's Day---A day set aside specifically for the purpose of playing practical jokes on people, what's not to love about that?? This year, in addition to the usual lunch-box switch-a-roo tricks, I decided to make a full-blown April Fool's Day dinner. On the menu: spaghetti with meatballs, cupcakes and bundt cake for dessert and red punch to drink------or so it appeared!

"Spaghetti with Meatballs"

1 box devil's food cake mix

1 can vanilla frosting

1/2 can chocolate frosting

1/2 tsp cocoa powder

3 drops yellow food coloring

3/4 cup strawberry jam

grated white chocolate (optional)

Mix cake mix according to package directions. Bake at 350 degrees in two 8x8 square pans for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then take one of the cakes and crumble it in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 to 1/2 can of chocolate frosting and mix until well blended (using your hands is the most effective mixing method for this). Form doughy mixture into 1-inch balls (should make about 12-15 depending on the size of the balls). Place cake balls into the refrigerator. Allow the other cake to cool completely in the pan.

Mix cocoa and food coloring with the tub of vanilla frosting. Apply a thin layer of frosting to the cooled cake. Spoon remaining frosting into a gallon size heavy duty Ziploc freezer bag. Snip a small corner off the bag (be sure not to cut the hole too large). Pipe frosting over the cake in random swirly patterns to create the pile of noodles, covering as much as the surface as possible. Coat cake balls in the strawberry jam and place on the frosting "noodles". Spoon remaining jam over the cake. Top with grated white chocolate if desired (I ran out of time, so I didn't do this part, but it would have been a nice "Parmesan cheese"-looking touch!).


If dinner is really dessert, it follows that dessert should really be dinner. These "cupcakes" were actually mini-meatloaves topped with garlic mashed potatoes.


1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef

1/2 cup crushed buttery round crackers

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 pkg onion soup mix

2 eggs

1/4 cup ketchup

2 T steak sauce

15 foil cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour onion soup mix through a strainer to sift out most of the powdery part (otherwise the meatloaf will be on the salty side) Stir the ground beef, crushed crackers, cheddar cheese and onion soup mix until well combined. Whisk the eggs, ketchup and steak sauce in a separate bowl until smooth. Mix the eggs into the meat until evenly combined. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Do not overcook.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

5 lb potatoes, peeled, diced & boiled

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened

1 large clove of garlic finely diced

1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup butter

milk (as needed)

salt & pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine everything EXCEPT milk. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Add a little milk (don't overdo it--mixture needs to be thicker than normal to hold it's shape) to create a creamy "frosting" like consistency. Spoon potatoes into a large gallon-size heavy duty plastic Ziploc bag. Cut off one corner and pipe potatoes on top of the meatloaves. Top with finely chopped red pepper "sprinkles" if desired.

"Bundt Cake"

1 14 oz jar pizza sauce

1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled

1 pkg (3.5 oz) sliced pepperoni

3 cups biscuit baking mix

3/4 cup milk

2 eggs

2 T butter, melted

1 tsp garlic salt 5-6 slices mozzarella cheese

In a bowl, combine the pizza sauce, sausage and pepperoni; set aside. In another bowl, combine the biscuit mix, milk, eggs, butter and garlic salt. Spread half of the batter on the bottom and up the sides of a greased 10-in bundt cake pan. Spoon meat mixture over batter. Cover with remaining batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Invert onto a baking sheet. Arrange cheese over cake. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Transfer cake to a serving platter and serve immediately.

"Red Punch"

Red Jello made in clear cups with straws went nicely with the dinner. It didn't take the older kids long to catch on, but the quints were hilarious to watch---they could not figure out why they couldn't drink the "punch"!