Coconut Peanut Butter Brownies

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Hello bog friends– Been crazy days around here.  End of school, birthdays, showers, I’ve barely had time to cook up something to send along to you.  Been eating a lot of cobbled together dinners, completely unblogable.  But Saturday night I was asked to bring a dessert to an evening with friends and here it is…

I love brownies, hands down– and peanut butter– and coconut macaroons.  But all together???   Well, I gave it a try and these were really luscious.  It takes a few bowls, bouts of mixing, but these sweet things are definitely worth it!  Hope you give them a try too…

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COCONUT PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES

Brownies:
Brownie mix for a 8×8″ pan.
oil
egg
water

Peanut Butter layer:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tab. milk
2 tab. yogurt

Coconut layer:
1 large egg white
2 cups shredded coconut
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

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Make the brownie according to the directions on the box.  Spread the batter into a 8″ square or 9″ round pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray and put it into a 350 degree over for 25 minutes.

Take out the brownie ayer and let it cook for a few minutes, while you mix up the other layers.

To make the peanut butter layer, use an electric mixer to beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar and egg.  Then mix in the milk and yogurt.  Set this aside.

To make the coconut layer, beat the egg white several minutes until stiff peaks form –works well if you have a whisk attachment on your electric mixer.  Set that aside.  In another bowl stir together the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and salt.  Then gently fold in the egg whites until it’s all blended.

Then pour the peanut butter layer over the brownie layer in the pan.  And gently drop small spoonfuls of the coconut mixture over the peanut butter layer until it’s all covered.  Put it all back into the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the top layers are set and firm.  (if the coconut starts to brown before the baking is finished, cover the pan with foil.

Take it out of the oven, and here’s the hard part.  Let it cool for an hour for the brownies to firm up before you cut them into tidy pieces to serve.

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A Morning Arboretum Walk

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Hi all–  On Saturday, a group of friends trekked up to the L.A. Arboretum for a morning walk through the grounds.  Dot, our smiling docent, filled us in on the plantings from near and far, and detailed the history of the original owner of the grounds, the colorful Lucky Baldwin.

We explored the Baldwin Victorian Cottage…
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Wandered through the grounds…
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Through the orchid green house…

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Stopped to examine the growing grapes on the arbor…
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and strolled past bright waterfalls.
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Thankful for the day out in the warm sun to walk and talk with dear old friends.

Honey Lime Salmon

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Hi all– I almost called this simple salmon–because that’s what it is!  And I love the sweet, citrus, slightly spicy sauce.  And it’s ready in about 15 minutes!

I’m planning to make it for a summer dinner out under the maple trees with friends soon as school’s out. Serve it up with sweet corn, a bright salad, something cool and pretty to drink and a table full of old friends on a warm night.  Perfect.

HONEY LIME SALMON
5 tab. honey
grated peel of one lime
2 tab. lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Thai chili sauce (or Sriracha)
4 salmon fillets
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
green onion, extra lime for garnish

In a small sauce pan, stir together the honey, lime peel, lime juice cornstarch and chili sauce until the cornstarch is all blended (no lumps!).  Then heat the sauce for a couple minutes until it thickens, stirring now and then.  Set aside.

Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon fillets.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet and then lay the salmon in gently.  Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side (depending on how thick your salmon is), just until it’s beautifully browned and flakey.

Move it to a plate and brush each piece of salmon with the warm sauce.  Garnish with the green onions and lime slices.  So easy and delish!

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Oaty Coconut Milk Waffles

 

IMG_6417Hello all– I’m ever on the lookout for clever ways to disguise my breakfast oatmeal.  And here’s a good one.  Oaty waffles!  They are a sturdy waffle with  that rich coconut flavor and are just fine slathered with maple syrup or a little nonfat sour cream with jam.  We had them for Sunday lunch with eggs and mugs of tea.  Good old homey meal for two.

OATY COCONUT MILK WAFFLE
3/4 cups quick oats
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tab. brown sugar
1  1/2 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat the waffle iron.

Stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.  Then whisk in the coconut milk, eggs, canola oil and vanilla.

Cook according the the directions on your waffle iron. We have a stove top Belgian waffle iron that that we’ve been using around here for about 40 years– It took about 4 minutes on each side to brown nicely.

Keep them warm in a low oven until all the waffles are ready.  Oh yumm.

 

Kindess

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“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being; let me do it now.  Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
— Etienne de Grellet (1117-1855, French, son of advisor to King Louis XVI, who fled to America and became a Quaker missionary. )

Love, love these words, don’t you?  OK, so it’s 5:30 A.M. here.  And I’m only going to pass through this day ahead once.   So I’m excited for a fresh chance a day offers to spread a give out a little kindness at school with my kids, with friends at dinner, to my dear old Larry at home.  I’m sure it’s on your mind too.  There’s never too much kindness and goodness out there.  God keep us from neglecting or deferring–we need to see where this kindness is needed ahead…  thank you.

Ginger Peanut Broccoli Slaw

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Hi there– I am an avid cole slaw fan.  I’m always up for a new version, especially with summer right around the corner.  Lately I’ve been buying this bagged Broccoli Slaw at our market.  So much crunch and more veggie flavor than the cabbage I usually chop up.  And it’s easy!  Just open that bag and pour it into the sauce.  5 minutes.  Done.  And delicious!

GINGER PEANUT BROCCOLI SLAW
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup peanuts
1 lime, juice (about 2 tab.)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tab. canola oil
1 tab. rice wine vinegar
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. ginger, peeled and minced fine
1 bag “Broccoli Slaw”*

In a mixing bowl whisk together the cilantro, peanuts, lime juice, salt, oil, vinegar, sugar and vinegar until it’s all well blended.  Then mix in the bag of broccoli slaw and set it on the table!  What could be easier than that?!

*If you life in So. California, Broccoli Slaw is available at Stater Brothers.

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Ginger Apricot Chicken

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Hello dear friends– I think we all know the hardest part of fixing dinner is deciding what to try to summon up with the ingredients on hand– in our fridge there’s always chicken breasts lurking and jam and soy sauce…  and happily I had one little nub of ginger in the drawer. So we ended up with this chicken on the table– It’s sweet and savory with just little bite of ginger.  I think you’ll like it…

And can I say, I love that this dish is so easy? Ten minutes to get it into the oven and then it just bakes itself.  Gives you enough time to check your phone, get a drink, set the table and rustle up a salad or some broccoli and a sturdy loaf bread.  That’s it –dinner!

GINGER APRICOT CHICKEN
1/2 cup apricot jam
2 tab. soy sauce
2 tab. minced ginger*
2 shakes cayenne pepper*
2 tab. cider vinegar
2 large chicken breasts, filleted
1 tab. cornstarch (optional)

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In a saucepan, combine the jam, soy sauce, ginger and pepper.  Heat until the jam is melted.  Then stir in the cider vinegar.

Cut the chicken breasts horizontally to produce 4 thin fillets.  Dip the chicken into the warm jam sauce.  And set it into a baking dish.  Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken.

Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven, basting the chicken with the sauce a couple times while it bakes.  When done, remove the chicken to a platter and pour the sauce from the baking dish over the chicken.**  Bon Apetit!

*If you like your meals nice and spicy you can, of course, up the ginger and cayenne (me, I’m a spice whimp, so this little amount is just fine.)
**If you want the sauce to be thicker, pour the sauce rom the baking dish into a small sauce pan and set it to simmering.  In a container with a tightly fitting lid, shake together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water.  When it’s thoroughly blended, stir it into the simmering sauce for a minute or two until  it thickens.  The pour it over the chicken on the serving platter.

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