Limes, coconuts & vacation things

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Hi friends!

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It’s been a little while… I took a tropical vacation (much needed) with my mama to Hawaii, and we had a blast! Photo evidence below, since word on the street says pics or it didn’t happen…

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This also means it’s been about three weeks since I’ve baked anything substantial (one batch of cookies for the plane doesn’t count) – this felt good! I wanted to carry over the nice island vibes, hence the coconut – not like I don’t use coconut all the time anyway, hahaa…

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This one was delicious! I very rarely bake with limes – mostly because I get annoyed juicing a zillion of them for just a little bit of juice – but they work fabulously here with the coconut and poppyseed. C and I decided that panna cotta makes the perfect vehicle for all the winter and early spring citrus, since it really lets the citrus shine.

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As per usual, it made a great dessert and late brunch post-hike. We further decided that it’s a little too easy to eat… as in, nothing stops you from eating the whole thing in one sitting! Ha, kidding, not like we’ve done that…. More like, it’s so light and delicate that it doesn’t way you down the way some desserts do.

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Regardless, it’s become a huge favorite of ours, which if you read this regularly, you’ve probably noticed!

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It’s nice to be back in the blogspace! I hope all of my blog friends are doing well :) Happy spring!

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Toasted Coconut & Lime Panna Cotta Tart on an Almond Poppyseed Crust

Gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 c cornmeal
3 tbsp poppy seeds
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, poppy seeds, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the panna cotta:

1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 c lime juice
1 tbsp lime zest, finely chopped
scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt

For garnish: sliced limes + toasted coconut

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the lime juice. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the 1.5 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, maple, salt, and lime zest into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours. Top with sliced limes, toasted coconut & sliced almonds.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight and is EXCELLENT for breakfast the next morning :)

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Now what?!

Nuts for coconut?

I can’t even believe I’m going to type these words…

Wait for it…

I FINISHED MY THESIS! For realzies. 92 pages? Check. Bound and printed? Check. Coherent (and relatively humorous) presentation? Check. Wait. NAILED. (Despite feeling I was going to go into cardiac arrest for the first few sentences, ha). I feel a thousand pounds lighter! [and mildly exhausted… this may be on account of running on adrenaline for the last 24 hours] Or maybe that’s just the removal of the pile of books that is now off my living room floor and back to the library…? It’s like my child. I sort of want to frame it, and keep it up on the wall forever and ever.

So…

I love the way citrus looks.

Now what?! So much free time, what to do, what to do?! Oh wait. That’s right. Bake more! And alternatively get more creative with dinner. Because I’m stuck in a dinner rut the size of the Grand Canyon. Except not tonight. Because tonight is a fancy-schmancy department dinner! YAY! Celebration time. And time to do all the fun senior-type things at the end of the semester (which is rapidly approaching, sheesh. Sloooowww for the cone zone, please). Which means that I have an excuse to bake a ton… in order to mitigate the amount of food to be carted back down to California when Kira and I move out, of course. You have to admit, this a is a perfectly valid excuse. Not that I really ever need an excuse to bake.

Except today. I was celebrating :)

mmm.

Coconut-Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Mega thanks to Christine for showing me this (and for several ingredient donations)! It’s adapted from Cooking Light. I made 1/2 the batch and ended up with 2 mini-loaves, though putting it all in one loaf pan would be fine as well (just increase the bake time). I reduced the sugar quite a bit, as sweetened coconut is already pretty sweet. This bread comes together quickly and is DELICIOUS. Just sweet enough, with a pronounced coconut flavor… mmm. It’s also decently not so bad for you, considering it comes from Cooking Light. Win all around :)

look at all that toasty coconut

Acquire:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • very heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 c Earth Balance (or butter)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4ish cup mashed ripe bananas (the riper the better, obvs) (about 1.5 bananas)
  • 1/8 c plain, lowfat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp rum (don’t leave this out, it’s YUMMY!)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/4 c shredded sweetened coconut + 1 tbsp (mine was probably closer to 1/3 c… I loooove coconut)
  • optional: chocolate chipppies! (But really… why would you leave these out?!)
  • 1/4 c powdered sugar
  • juice of one lime
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Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease your loaf pans of choice. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, combine Earth Balance and sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in the egg until well combined. Add in banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla, and beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add in flour until just combined. Stir in 1/3 c coconut and chocolate chippies, if using. Pour batter into the prepared pans, and top with remaining tbsp of coconut. Bake for about 30 minutes for the mini loaves, until a tester comes out clean. (Or about an hour for a larger loaf).

While the bread is cooling/baking, combine powdered sugar and lime juice, and whisk until smooth. When the bread is cool, drizzle the glaze over the top of individual slices, or poke holes in the bread and drizzle over the whole loaf… up to you!

Mmmm… post thesis and post workout zen :)

creative storage, heheh...