Monthly Archives: March 2014

Coconut Pineapple Bread

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After a week of sunshine, beachside tanning and subsequent sunburns, returning to the cold, DC winter weather is fairly depressing.  Baking always elevates my mood and after a steady diet of pina coladas, the flavor combination that sounds most appealing to me is pineapple and coconut. With this bread I can pretend I’m still in Cancun, and not actually in the GW library avoiding my Spanish homework. The only Spanish I want to be speaking involves asking for a cocktail, but I don’t think my Spanish professor would appreciate an essay about margaritas.

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Coconut Pineapple Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons milk

2 cups frozen pineapple chunks

1 cup toasted coconut (save two tablespoons for garnish)

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray or grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the applesauce, sugar and vanilla extract until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the flour and milk. Fold in the pineapple chunks and toasted coconut. Before mixing in the pineapple, however, make sure to coat it with about three tablespoons of flour. This will ensure that the pineapple doesn’t sink to the bottom and stays suspended in the bread.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of coconut on the top of the batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the bread in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, turn right side up and cool completely.

Enjoy!

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^^ Check out the steam rising from that baby, fresh from the oven.

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Saint Patrick’s Day Brownies

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I returned from Cancun about five days ago, and until now the thought of alcohol has physically nauseated me. It only takes a weeks worth of sexy bananas (a pina colada turned questionably pepto bismal pink) to turn you off drinking forever, or at least craving a short hiatus.

Just in time for Saint Patrick’s day I think my spring break hangover has finally subsided! Thanks to the Aleve and  Smartwater, without which this speedy recovery would not have been possible. Thus, I will honor the occasion with an alcohol infused dessert: mint chip brownies with Bailey’s frosting.

Find my favorite brownie recipe at the Amateur Gourmet (I just added a cup of Andy’s mint chips to the batter). And the frosting recipe at Recipe Girl.

Cheers and happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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Sweet Virginia

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This statement sounds a little pretentious, so bare with me, spare your judgement until post explanation. After returning from France, I have developed an interested in the localized food movement (such a pretentious statement, I warned you). However, this interest stems out of a necessity our American culture just doesn’t understand, and Europeans drill in at a young age. While in France I learned from my classes, the farmers markets and the people, that specialized local products, are healthier for the environment, the animal/insect producers, and the workers involved.

This interest spurred me to visit a local honey production company in Virginia a couple of weeks ago. Although it is off season and the bees are technically hibernating, during my visit I got to learn more about the endangerment of honey bees, their incredible benefits and the local food movement in Virginia. After a day of painting beehives and touring the facilities, my pathetic attempt at manual labor was rewarded with some of the best honey I’ve ever had. It was so impressive to see that Americans are finally catching up and focusing not just on quantity but on quality, and the community building aspect of food. I look forward to returning in April when the bees are pollinating, and refilling my already empty honey jar.

To read more about Sweet Virginia’s mission and the honey bees, click here.

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Snickerdoodle Pie

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Spring break starts next Friday which means the crazy dieting has begun. Although it may seem difficult to loose the ten pounds of lingering holiday weight in just a week, my roommates and I have taken up the impossible task.

Instead of just eating healthy, we have avoided restocking our fridge in general. Unfortunately this strategy has not procured our eating, just GREATLY lowered our standards. Cheese rinds, raw pasta and grapes bordering on raisins have all become fair game. I swear one night I witnessed my roommate making a smoothy from non alcoholic apple schnapps, a frozen vegetable medley and some grapefruit.

However, unfortunately for my Cancun body, my happiness depends on both baking and consuming good normal food. So after a couple of days of bottom barrier eating habits, and baking avoidance, I finally gave in. And since I threw in the diet towel, I had to go all out with a cookie/ pie/ cake all rolled into one- basically just giving the middle finger to my bathing suit. 100% worth every bite.

Find the recipe for snickerdoodle pie here.

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