Jun 19, 2012

Coconut Crusted French Toast with Coconut Syrup

I came up with this for Father's Day. One of our family traditions is breakfast in bed for Mother's Day, Father's Day and birthdays. I never like to repeat myself with the making the same breakfast that I have made in the past. I decided to spice up an old classic. I used as much coconut as I could think of for these babies. Coconut crusted french toast with coconut syrup! If you are a coconut lover, you will love it! I thought it turned out delicious. And Broc loved it. Really, that was all that mattered, since this special breakfast was for him!

I think it would have been even better topped with some fresh raspberries. But since this little island is fresh out of berries, I just gave him a banana to enjoy it with instead!

Coconut French Toast

2 eggs
2/3 cup coconut milk
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup flaked coconut, sweetened
6 thick slices of bread

Combine ingredients. Dip each slice of bread into egg mixture, soaking both sides. Place in hot pan and cook on both sides until golden brown. Serve hot. Top with coconut syrup and flaked coconut.

Coconut Syrup

1/2 cup butter, (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cream of coconut
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, place butter, sugar, cream of coconut, coconut milk, salt and baking soda. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Serve warm.

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Jun 7, 2012

Tin Foil Dinners

I was reintroduced to these on Christmas Eve. I remember having tin-foil dinners before, but I had forgotten how fun and yummy they were. It was our first Christmas in the Caribbean, without snow. We met some friends at the beach for lunch, where sand angels were a fun alternative to snow angels! My friend Nicole brought tin-foil dinners. They tasted so yummy. It was like a Sunday dinner all wrapped up together. I was raving about how amazing these tasted and she was telling me how easy they were to put together. I was inspired to come up with my own version of tin foil dinners. It has become a favorite meal for our family to take and eat by the beach while watching the sunset on the ocean. It is the perfect meal to take to the beach or on a picnic or obviously camping. They are individually wrapped in foil, so they are actually stay hot for a while, after coming out of the oven.

Tin Foil Dinners

Makes 10-12 dinners

2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium sized onion (or 2 small onions), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons A-1 steak sauce
1 tablespoon Wochestershire sauce
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
6-8 carrots, sliced
red potatoes, quartered (I used one potatoe for each dinner)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tin foil into 10- 12, one foot squares. Lay squares of foil out.

Quarter potatoes and slice carrots. Set aside.

Combine ground beef, onion, garlic, onion soup mix, ketchup, steak sauce, Worchestershire sauce, cheese, mustard, salt, pepper. Shape into patties and place on foil squares. Add potatoes and carrots over the patties and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap dinners closed. Place in hot oven and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour or until meat is cooked all the way through and vegetables are tender. Enjoy with ketchup or hot sauce!

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Jun 4, 2012

Homemade Tortilla Tutorial

I was asked the question a few days ago, what my favorite food cuisine was? Hands down, without thinking- MEXICAN! Tacos are one of my favorite meals, ever. You know a good fresh fish taco with a nice creamy cilantro lime sauce wrapped up in a delicious homemade tortilla. Ah, tortillas- homemade, soft, warm tortillas! These tortillas are the thing that make those delectible tacos so amazing. Now, I do purchase store bought torillas on occasion when I am in a time crunch. But I am telling you there is just no comparison. These are hands down better than any tortilla you can buy in a bag. And they are worth taking the time to make them. If you are going for a "wow factor" make these the next time you make tacos! YUM!

I had never made homemade tortillas before moving to the Caribbean. We live on a small little island where you pay a pretty penny for store bought tortillas. Now, while living on a med-school budget can be challenging at times (especially living in a place where everything is 2x more expensive), it does have it's upside. This is when I was forced introduced to making homemade tortillas. And I am so glad I was. I got the recipe from my friend Kristen, who took me in and showed me what I had been missing my whole life. And now I just can't imagine my life with out them. Seriously, these babies are life changing! Make them! Your family will be forever grateful!

Homemade Tortillas

3 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 tablespoons shortening
1 1/4 cups warm water

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender or a fork. (I will continue to use a fork while my pastry blender sits in storage. One day we will be reunited!)  Add warm water and knead for about 8 minutes. You can see a difference in the dough after you knead it. It has almost looks shiny and smooth. Cover and let dough sit for about 10- 15 minutes. 

Roll into a ball just a little bigger than a gold ball, flaten, then roll out on a floured surface. 

Cook on an ungreased skillet about 1 minute per side or until tortilla starts to bubble. Place on a plate and cover with foil. This will help keep them nice and warm until you are ready to serve them.
I had a friend ask me to post my recipe with a tutorial. So here it is: 

Make your dough. After you have let it sit, roll into balls just a little bigger than a golf ball.

Take one of your dough balls and flatten it out on a floured surface. 
Turn to cover with flour.

Roll out into a circular shape

Over medium heat, place tortilla on skillet. Cook until you start to see bubbles 
(about 1 minute or so per side). When you see bubbles, flip it over. 

I usually have a system going where I am rolling out the next tortilla
while the other is cooking. If you do this, make sure to watch the cooking tortilla.
Do not overcook!!! If your tortillas are dry or hard you have over cooked them. 

Place cooked tortilla on a plate and cover with foil. 
This will help them stay warm until you are ready to use them. 


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