Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Let the Haggling Begin!

The nice thing about living near family is that you get to see them. My sister is hands down my best friend. I don't take for granted living near her because her husband is career Navy and we are never sure where his orders will take them. For now though I live within twenty miles of both my sister and my folks and within two hundred miles of my in laws. Consequently when any kind of event or holiday roles around there begins negotiations on how and where it will be observed.
Next comes haggling over who brings what to eat. Everyone in my family is convinced that they are pretty decent cooks and to be honest we are not fooling ourselves. (Toot, toot! Yes that is my own horn) I usually get awarded breads and desserts because I once was a baker for a living. My sister generally does sides and appetizers and mom (and dad) the main meat. Anyway, I was refreshing my mind on ingredients I needed for Father's Day desserts and stumbled across a couple of recipes for ya'll to enjoy.

Hawaiian Bread

1 tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp sugar
3 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1 egg
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)

activate yeast with water and sugar and add remaining elements until you have formed a dough ball. Portion into rolls and bake at 350 degrees. I almost never add the nuts or coconut they seem like over kill. Also the dough will be a bit sticky- at least mine always is. If you have leftover rolls I love spreading them with cream cheese and strawberry jam for breakfast. And since we are in the neighborhood:

Coconut Cream Pie

5 tbsp shredded coconut unsweetened*
10 graham crackers crumbed
2 tbsp brown sugar
5 tbsp melted butter

mix together coconut, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar with a fork in the bottom of your pie pan. Add the melted butter and then push mixture along bottoms and up sides until evenly distributed. bake at 325 until deep golden brown about 20 minutes. Cool while doing the following.

14 oz coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp butter

In bowl whisk together egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth. In medium sauce pan, over medium heat bring milk, coconut milk, coconut, remaining sugar, and salt to a simmer. Temper the egg yolk mixture then add to sauce pan. (to temper, add a little of the hot mixture from the saucepan to the egg mixture. This keeps the eggs for congealing and turning nasty if you add them in straight to the hot saucepan) Bring mixture to simmer, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter, stirred in thoroughly. Pour filling into cooled crust and cover with plastic wrap. Be sure to press plastic wrap onto surface of filling to keep a skin from forming. Chill until pie is cold and firm-about 4 hours.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dark rum
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

When you put the pie in to chill also make room in your fridge for a mixing bowl. Chill bowl, beaters and heavy cream. When pie is cold, take out your cold bowl and cream and add sugar, rum and vanilla and whip. low speed 30 seconds or until bubbles form, medium speed another half minute until trails form, high speed until soft peaks form about another minute. Spread over pie. Enjoy!

*toasted. If you have never toasted coconut, spread on baking sheet or pie pan in oven and toast about 8-10 minutes stirring twice. Oven at 325

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