Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cuckoo for Coconut

My friend Lisa sent along this recipe for a coconut bundt cake just in time! I had a holiday champagne and dessert party to attend, and thought that the recipe would lend itself nicely to a festive holiday dish. So I tweaked it a little and made individual mini-bundt cakes, and added coconut and powdered sugar to the top to resemble snowflakes. Adorable - and a big hit at the party!

Coconut Bundt Cake
Contributed by Lisa Payne

Blend together:
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons Coconut flavoring
Add to the above:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
Grease and flower a bundt pan; pour mix into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes away cleanly from the center (check the cake after an hour since oven temperatures will vary).

Coconut Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
In a sauce pan bring the ingredients to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes; remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring. Pour over the cake that you have removed from the bundt pan; let stand 4 hours.

(For my variation, sprinkle the top of the cake with coconut immediately after soaking with the sauce - it will help the coconut adhere. Lightly dust with powdered sugar.)

Shameless Wine Plug #1: Chariot Gypsy

At our house, we're drinking a lot of Chariot Gypsy at the moment. Made and distributed by some of our friends here in Napa, Chariot wines are "your source for ready-to-drink, food-friendly wines at palatable prices." Now that's a mission statement I can fully endorse! The Gypsy - a red wine blend - is awesome! Look for it at Trader Joes if you're lucky enough to have one in your neighborhood. Look also for Chariot's other varietals - pinot grigio, sangiovese and syrah. Thanks Neal and Jeff - and keep it coming!

Take a Dip!

Want an easy and tasty dip recipe for the holidays? This one's a real crowd pleaser - and super easy! Great for veggies, chips, crackers... anything dip-able.

Ultimate Dip
Contributed by Cheryl Paddack

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 shots Worcestershire sauce
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
Mix all ingredients (measurements are approximate - add according to your taste). Commence dipping!

Rice Krispies - still a treat!

Grab the kids - this one's for them! My mom sent along this tip: check out the Rice Krispies website for loads of yummy holiday goody ideas that are super kid-friendly. Even the youngest of babes can delight in creating Rice Krispies "presents," "gingerbread houses" and the like. I whipped up these cute little petit four packages in no time at all. (Especially because I didn't make the Rice Krispies treats from scratch - that would be crazy! They come in packages these days, don'tcha know... grin...)