Tag Archives: coconut

Cranberry Coconut Smoothie

cranberry coconut smoothie

Sam made me homemade ravioli on our 3rd date, and it pretty much sealed the deal. Gotta love a man that cooks, am I right? 

Even though we both love to spend time in the kitchen, we each have our culinary specialties. If we’re cooking any type of asian recipe, or a baked good, I own the kitchen. He has dibs on mexican food, pizza and pancakes. Before I moved away, this little arrangement worked out really well for us. But being apart for four months has left me really missing him…. and his mexican food, pizza, and pancakes. Oh, and don’t get me started on smoothies.

cranberry coconut smoothie

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Katie’s Raw Energy Bites

raw energy bites

As you might imagine, there are a lot of truly magical things about living in Hawaii.

The traffic is not one of them. Especially this time of year. It’s like the holidays come around and everyone decides to drive like maniacs. Man oh man.

no bake energy bitesno bake energy bites

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Coconut Guava Popsicles

coconut guava popsicles

Since we don’t have family in the area, we rarely get drop-by visitors. But we were in for a huge surprise this weekend when Sam’s sister, brother-in-law and nephew drove up from California and showed up at our doorstep Thursday afternoon. Sam and I are probably the least spontaneous people, but we were happy to reorganize our weekend around our unexpected visitors. Our plans quickly shifted to focus around kid-friendly fun, like walks in the park, running through fountains, and eating popsicles until we got brain freeze. All in all a pretty fabulous 4th of July.

coconut guava popsicles

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Easy Coconut Caramel Sauce

coconut milk caramel sauce

This weekend was sunny and warm in Portland. Ironically enough, I’m working from South Carolina for the week – where it’s storming and humid. What are the odds?! Regardless of the weather, I’ve had a little bit of time to explore and check out the scenes. I’ve never been to the South before, so everything is new to me: the accents, the architecture, the food. And so far, it’s not disappointing. Southern hospitality is no joke. Everyone here is so friendly! It actually reminds me a little bit of home. 

coconut caramel sauce

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Hawaiian Bark with Kona Coffee, Macadamia Nuts & Coconut Flakes

Hawaiian Bark with Kona Coffee, Macadamia Nuts and Coconut Flakes

Chocolate Bark is a sneaky treat. See, it sounds fancy. But in reality it’s so easy to make that I’m almost embarrassed to share this Hawaiian Bark recipe with you. Almost

Chocolate bark is basically a homemade candy bar – topped with all your favorite ingredients. Pretty great, right? There are lots of great bark combinations using nuts, dried fruit, cereal, cookies and more. But I’m pretty predictable, and couldn’t help but top my latest creation with some of my favorite Hawaiian treats: Kona Coffee grounds, toasted macadamia nuts, and of course, coconut. 

In case you were wondering – yes, these are all cupboard staples in my house. Continue reading


Decadent Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

Let me tell you about what a great wife I am.

I found a delicious-looking Coconut Cake recipe in Bon Appetit, just in time for Sam’s birthday. I purchased all the ingredients (which required going to THREE groceries stores due to poor planning on my end). I made the cake. I frosted the sucker. And then? I remembered that my husband, who is not allowed to eat dairy or gluten, wouldn’t be able to eat this dairy-covered-gluten-filled cake. Epic fail.

With hours left until his birthday party, I whipped together some vegan and gluten-free cupcakes from a box of cake mix, frosted with whipped coconut milk. I was pleased with my quick fix, but felt horrible about the beautiful cake that sat on our counter, taunting him.

All I can say is – at least one of us was able to enjoy this decadent treat! The cake recipe is great, but the frosting is killer. The combination of cream cheese, lime and rum blend together really well. Let’s just say that I ate about half of it out of the bowl while the cake was cooling. And will probably be making it again soon… this time, not for Sam.

{Happy birthday, sweetie!}

Coconut Cake

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Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

If you’re not familiar with haupia, it’s a traditional Hawaiian coconut dessert; like pudding but slightly thicker. It’s usually served at luaus, so odds are you’ve tried it if you’ve ever been to one. Most people love it – including myself. But really, what’s not to love about coconut pudding?

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

It’s no surprise that I love tropical flavors – and cook with them often. But for some strange reason, I had never made haupia, up until recently. And I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. The most difficult part of the process is waiting to let the hot pudding set in the fridge.

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

Traditionally this dessert sets in a large baking dish and is cut into squares. But (since my baking dish was dirty) I decided to make individual cups. And I’m always looking for an excuse to use toasted coconut, so of course I made some to top it with.

So ono.

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut
Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut
Serves 8

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1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 T unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
1 heaping cup of coconut flakes

In a large pot, bring the coconut milk, water, sugar and butter to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. When the coconut milk mixture comes to a boil, whisk in the starch mixture. Whisk until smooth. Cook on low heat until it boils. Immediately pour into cups. Chill for at least 3 hours.
While pudding is chilling, spread coconut flakes over baking sheet and broil for several minutes, mixing often, until browned. Scoop onto pudding cups when ready.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

Adapted from Sam Choy’s Haupia Recipe



Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

Our wedding came with a number of challenges. 

The boxes of decorations that we’d spent 10 months making magically disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean between Portland and Hawaii (I’m looking at YOU, USPS.). 

Gail force winds made a surprise appearance two hours before the wedding started and forced us to re-locate the ceremony and reception to our Plan B (which, um, didn’t actually exist until that point). 

Oh, and my poor mother was sick as a dog. Silly stomach flu. 

Nevertheless, there were also many tremendously wonderful things about the day.

Like Sam’s super romantic vows to me. Oh, and the AMAZING wedding cupcakes made by my mother-in-law. 

My in-laws were in town last week to celebrate Sam’s birthday. And because our birthdays are so close (just 8 days apart!), they were sweet enough to throw me an early birthday party before they left and returned to LA. 

I know, I’m a lucky girl. 

But wait, it gets better. Along with dinner and presents, I was given the “secret” recipe to the coconut cupcakes from our wedding.

I hope these cupcakes bring you as much love and aloha as they did to me. Enjoy!


Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

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1 box French Vanilla cake mix
1 can coconut milk
Almond extract
Flaked coconut
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cup confectionary sugar
2 tsp coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla

Easy Coconut Cake Recipe
Preheat oven to 350. Empty package of cake mix and follow instructions on box except: swap water for coconut milk, and add a few drops of almond extract. Mix. Add 2 cups of coconut. Mix again. Fill cupcake trays to 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes.
While cupcakes are baking, spread about 2 cups of coconut flakes on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes (mixing flakes occasionally to avoid burning) or until toasted.

Chill mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before starting. Beat butter until creamy. Add cream cheese and beat until mixture is creamy again. Add coconut milk and beat. Add almond and vanilla extracts, and then the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
For a thicker, sweeter frosting, add more powdered sugar. I prefer mine a bit more on the cream cheese-y side. One frosting tastes to your liking, apply to cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/