Thursday, May 28, 2015

coconut brownies

Coconut and chocolate....  Need I say more?

coconut brownies

coconut brownies
coconut brownies
from two peas and their pod

makes 16-24 servings (depending on how you slice them)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut oil, melted
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
4 large eggs, slightly beaten*
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups coconut flakes, divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. 
  2. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine melted coconut oil with sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add in the eggs and stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla and coconut extracts. 
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Stir until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and 1 cup of coconut. 
  6. Pour the batter into prepared pan. 
  7. Top batter with remaining coconut.
  8. Bake the brownies for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. 
  9. Remove pan from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.
  10. Enjoy! 
*Just eggs makes these brownies more cake-like.  For a fudgier brownie, use 3 eggs and 1/4 cup milk.

Really--just go make some!  It'll be your new favorite brownie!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

coconut bread

My favorite food blogger posted this coconut bread, and I went home and made it without question.  I have a weakness for fruit breads like banana and pumpkin.  Now I can add coconut to the list!  This bread only carries a hint of coconut which makes jellies, jams, peanut butter, Nutella, etc the perfect pairing!

coconut bread
 {coconut bread}

coconut bread
 {can you see the coconut flakes?}

coconut bread
 {I tried it with both peanut butter and Nutella--both delicious!  Also just toasted with some butter--excellent!}

coconut bread
from smitten kitchen

makes 1 loaf

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or melted and browned, if desired
Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. 
  4. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to over mix.
  5. Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. 
  6. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. 
  7. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  8. Serve in thick slices, toasted, with butter and confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, nutella, butter and honey--the possibilities are endless!
What spread would you use with this bread?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

coconut curry fish

I've always loved eating coconut, but apparently I was in a coconut kick for a week or two so this week is unofficial coconut week here at a girl eats world!  I've got some delicious recipes lined up starting with this curry dish!

I am always trying to get The Hubby to eat more fish.  He prefers white, lean fish so I make it as often and in different ways to see how he really likes it.  He loved this recipe; he said that all the flavors worked really well together.  Bonus--it can be made in about 40 minutes!

coconut curry fish
 {served over rice}

coconut curry fish

makes 4 servings

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 oz tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
3 basil and/or mint sprigs, with stems removed and chopped
Rice, cooked
  1. Combine all ingredients except fish and basil, in a medium saucepan over high heat, whisking until smooth. 
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 25 minutes). Remove from heat. 
  3. Add fish and cover.
  4. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes and turns opaque.
  5. Serve over rice with basil/mint sprinkled on top.
Have you tried coconut in a savory dish like the above?  Did you like it?  If you haven't tried it, would you?  I'd love to hear from you!

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

In the midst of grilling, hanging out with family, opening the pool, laying out in the sun, and generally ushering the summer into our lives, let us remember what this day is for: for those brave men and women who gave their lives so we can do all those things.  Let us take a few moments today to honor their sacrifice.

I forgot the reason for the holiday, and I hope that this reminder helps you to remember as well.

Have a safe holiday!Pin It

Thursday, May 21, 2015

burgers | gouda, bacon and bourbon onions

I had this burger at a local restaurant, and I fell in love and became obsessed.  I ate this burger about 3 times in the last month, and it just keeps getting better and better.  I daresay it's my favorite with beer cheese being a close second.

gouda, bacon and bourbon onions
{gouda, bacon and bourbon onions}

gouda, bacon and bourbon onion jam

Gouda cheese
Bacon strips, cooked
bourbon onion jam
condiments like mayo and sweet mustard
  1. Place cheese on burger to melt.
  2. Construct rest of burger.
  3. Enjoy!
Have you ever had to replicate a burger you had at a restaurant?  I must confess that as I was doing research on  different topping combinations, I found some interesting ones!  I might get brave enough to try them in the future!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

burgers | pizza

The Hubby suggested this burger variation.  He had it at a restaurant once a few years ago, and he wanted to try it at home.  I was game; I wasn't sure if I would like it.  Boy, was I wrong!  I might like it better than actual pizza.... (too much bread in most cases and in my opinion)

pizza burger
 {view from the top}

pizza burger
 {pizza burger}

pizza burger

homemade pizza sauce
  1. Place hot pizza sauce on burger and place cheese on top to melt. 
  2. Top with pepperonis.
  3. Enjoy!
Do you have any strange toppings that you like to put on burgers?

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Monday, May 18, 2015

pleasing your palate | Memorial Day side dishes

It's a week until the official start of summer begins (although it's been blistering already here in the bluegrass....).  I know that we will all be grilling out this weekend so below are some ideas for easy grilling sides and make-ahead desserts!

baked beans

beer cheese
beer cheese (for those burgers!)

frozen berry cake

grilled asparagus
grilled corn

grilled potato packs


pasta salad


 ribboned asparagus salad

What do you have at your Memorial Day cook-ou?

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

bourbon onion jam

So one day, I had this AMAZING burger at a restaurant (which I will share later this month during burger week).  Part of that burger was bourbon onion jam which I promptly went home and made.  We ate it on EVERYTHING--sandwiches, burgers, baked items, grilled items, etc.  I'm certain this will be your next favorite condiment.

bourbon onion jam
 {bourbon onion jam}

one year ago:  shaved asparagus pizza

bourbon onion jam
from salted and styled

makes 3 cups

2 large sweet onions, finely diced
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup bourbon (your favorite)
  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat; add butter and heat until melted.
  2. Add onions and thyme cooking until onions are translucent.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Cool and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
  6. Put on sandwiches or over grilled items.  Use your imagination!
Pictured above the bourbon onion jam is on ranch baked pork chops (ranch dressing poured on pork chops and baked for 30 minutes or until done).

Have you ever had something at a restaurant and went home to make it?  It's not my first time and certainly won't be the last!  I made garlic butter lima beans and Cajun garlic bread from restaurant inspiration before! 

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

roasted asparagus with lemon feta vinaigrette

I made this dish for my mom for Mother's Day this year, and she raved about it as she ate it.  It's right up our alley--easy, simple, and delicious!  Plus, we used some foods from our local farmer's market which made it even better.

roasted asparagus with lemon feta vinaigrette
{roasted asparagus with lemon feta vinaigrette}

roasted asparagus with lemon feta vinaigrette
from GI 365

makes 2 servings

2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon mustard, Dijon or spicy
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons feta, crumbled
1 pound asparagus (local), washed and trimmed
4 eggs (local)
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, and mustard.  Drizzle the olive oil slowly, whisking all the while until the dressing is emulsified.  Set the dressing nd feta aside.
  3. Lay asparagus on a single layer of a parchment covered baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  
  4. Roast 5-8 minutes or until tender.
  5. Meanwhile, fry eggs to desired doneness (I like mine over medium).
  6. Place asparagus on a plate, top with eggs, dressing and feta.
  7. Enjoy!
Your eyes aren't deceiving you--those yolks are ORANGE!  They were so delicious too!  How are you eating your local produce like asparagus?

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Monday, May 11, 2015

seared steak with roasted poblanos and onions

With this warmer HOT weather, I'm trying to keep my meals light and simple.  This Spanish dish of a steak covered with paprika and seared with peppers and onions with lime juice sounded refreshing and delicious.  It was!  We had this as our Cinco de Mayo meal last week!

seared steak with roasted poblanos and onions
 {seared steak with roasted poblanos and onions}

seared steak with roasted poblanos and onions
 {just a squeeze of lime juice and ready to eat!}

seared steak with roasted poblanos and onions

makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 steaks
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 onion, wedged
2 poblanos, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch strips (if you want more heat leave some seeds)
4 lime wedges
sea salt chunks
  1. Heat a cast iron skillet with oil.
  2. Coat both sides of the steaks with paprika and black pepper.
  3. Sear steaks in skillet until desired doneness.
  4. Add onions wedges and peppers browning until caramelized on one side. 
  5. Cook until tender.
  6. Place onions and peppers on a plate.  
  7. Top with steaks.
  8. Sprinkle sea salt chunks on steak and serve with lime wedge.
What kind of foods do you like to eat when the weather is hot?  I lean towards lighter food with tons of fresh vegetables.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ribboned asparagus salad with lemon

I've personally always eaten asparagus cooked.  When I saw this recipes from a favorite food blogger to eat it raw, I was intrigued.  I made it for lunch right after buying some from the farmer's market last weekend.  My mom and I ate it ALL in one sitting.  Then I made more for her before going home so she had it for the week.  Needless to say, we are obsessed!

ribboned asparagus salad with lemon
 {ribboned asparagus salad with lemon}

ribboned asparagus salad with lemon
{close up of the salad}

ribboned asparagus salad with lemon
from smitten kitchen

makes 4 servings

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
1 pound local asparagus, rinsed
1 lemon, halved
Olive oil
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
  1. No need to snap off the tough ends of your asparagus. Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler to shave off thin asparagus ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end in your hand. Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling.
  2. Gently pile your ribbons on a medium-sized serving platter. 
  3. Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. 
  4. Toss gently to coat. 
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and almonds. 
  6. Eat immediately. 
Have you eaten raw asparagus?  How did you like it?  Will you try this recipe?  (oh pretty please do!)

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

what's in season | May

Yay May!  Local produce is beginning to make its way to the market, and I couldn't be more excited! 

 {My mom buying local asparagus over the weekend}

Here's what you should look for at your farmer's market:

Asparagus (already eating tons and have a recipe to share tomorrow!)
Kohlrabi (end of May)
Green onions
Peas (beginning mid-May)
Strawberries (beginning mid-May)
Turnips (end of May)

Have you been to your local market lately?  I personally cannot wait for strawberries to come in because I have a strawberry-rhubarb soda I am dying to make for my mom!Pin It

Monday, May 4, 2015

monthly munchies | May

I hope that you had a great weekend!  A royal baby was born, Derby was fun, and the weather was wonderful here in the bluegrass state!  I couldn't ask for much more!

{sometimes, what you need is strawberries, yogurt and chocolate instead of a real dinner}

Any way, what's happening this month?  I have some recipes lined up with coconut including bread, brownies, and curry sauce for fish (a bit obsessed with coconut for some reason....)  Also, I will be featuring some delicious burger combinations in preparation for your Memorial Day cook-out. 

Nothing else new and exciting really.  Getting a little personal here, but the last few weeks of life have been a wild (WILD) ride ending with us getting new car this weekend.  Needless to say my stress and anxiety have been through the roof over the last few weeks so I really didn't plan ahead much.  I should be much better this month with pre-planning for June!

I also went to see my doctor for a physical, found out I had gained about 10 pounds since last year, and promptly bought a fitbit (LOVING it by the way).  So this month I will be focusing on healthy dishes.  It won't be hard since local produce is beginning to show up at the farmer's market (check out my what's in season post tomorrow for May's produce list).

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