Tag Archives: coconut

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What is that bowlful of creamy, berry-liciousness pictured above?  Why, that is a bowl of strawberry shortcake, minus the cake.  So it's really just a bowl of strawberries and cream.  Except it's not really cream, or at least not cow's cream.   And those aren't really strawberries...no, I'm just kidding, those are really strawberries.  I'm not that weird.  (Yes, I am.)

I had some food allergy testing done recently (more about that some other day) and 2 of the food items I'm supposed to avoid for the next 6 months are dairy and wheat.  That would pretty much eliminate the classic strawberry shortcake with berries, slice of poundcake and a big dollop of whipped cream.  But I can't completely give up one of my favorite summer treats!  There had to be a work-around.

I felt I could omit the "shortcake" for now (I will figure that one out later), but there was no way (NO WAY!) I was going to be able to give up the creamy contrast needed against the tart berries.  So what to do?

Lucky for me I ran across this recipe from ohladycakes.com!  It had the potential to solve my creamy-dilemma, but I was a little skeptical.  How coco-nutty was it going to taste?  Would it really be thick like heavy cream? Would it have a weird texture?

Here's the good news: it was the closest thing I have found to real cow's milk whipped cream without resorting to a can full of chemicals.  The flavor is really very mild and only faintly tasting of coconut.  The texture was fluffy, perhaps a smidge heavier than whipped dairy cream, but not in an unpleasing way.  Occasionally I would bite down on a tiny thread of coconut, which didn't bother me.

And it really was easy to make, as long as you plan ahead.  Here's the basic procedure:

Take a can of Thai Kitchen (yes, the brand matters) full fat coconut milk and put it in the refrigerator upside down overnight to allow the cream to harden and rise to the top (well, now it's the bottom) of the can.  The next day flip the can right-side-up, open it and drain off all the liquid coconut water, reserving only the very thick, almost chunky coconut cream that has coagulated on the bottom. (Don't you hate the word "coagulated"?)

Whip the thick coconut cream into a frenzy until it loosens up and the gradually add some powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla.  Whip it a few minutes longer to get it really creamy and lightened.

Then mound it on top of your bowlful of bright red berries that have been lightly drizzled with honey.  Sprinkle a smidge of nutmeg on top and you have a gluten/dairy free dessert that anyone would love!

Hop over to ohladycakes.com to read the full recipe and all her tips for making the most out of your coconut whipped cream.

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I'm watching my garden closely this week because I've got a ton of green tomatoes that are going to turn to red any day now.  I'm so excited to have...I don't know... something with fresh homegrown tomatoes!  Maybe a BLT?  Or fresh salsa?  Or just slices of tomato and fresh picked basil, drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper.... oh yeah, it's going to be delicious.

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thai coconut soup
from Epicurious.com

It all started with a birthday celebration and Voxer.

6 girlfriends and I went to a local Italian restaurant for Spaghetti Night and to celebrate some recent birthdays.  This group of gals could not be a more mixed bag: some married, some single; some with kids, some with no kids; ages ranging from early 30's to 60's.  Some have known each other since birth, some are new to the group.  But we are all friends.  We care about each other.  We do life together.

We had a great time celebrating and eating heartily (no one in this group is bashful about eating) then we hopped in our cars, drove away to our 7 different homes and went to bed.

And then the next day something strange and beautiful happened.

Bright and early the next day, I heard my phone buzzing, messages coming in on Voxer (an app that is like walkie-talkie meets voicemail).  But I was at work and I didn't have time to stop.  It seemed every 10 or 15 minutes my phone was alerting me to a new message!  Later in the morning I had a few moments and I listened to the thread of messages from all 6 of my friends and it went something like this (paraphrasing for the sake of time):

(Friend 1) Thank you everyone for coming out last night, I loved spending an evening with all of you, eating and being loud.

(Friend 2) Yes, thank you everyone, it was amazing to spend time with you all.  Let's do it again on St. Patrick's Day!

(Friend 3) I want to second that, I had so much fun with you all.  Send pictures!

(Friend 4) Amen, all my favorite girls in one place!  Will have to do a Shamrock Day just to have an excuse to get together again!

(Friend 5) Thank you all for such a wonderful night, I had such a good time laughing with you. Thank you for reminding me how beautiful life is.

Here's what I forgot to tell you about this group of gals: every single one of us is going through something.  Big things, little things. Life things.  And although we spent a good amount of time laughing and celebrating the night before, we also shared the challenges and heartaches we were dealing with that week.  That day.

So the Voxer conversation took a turn later in the morning that went like this:

(Friend 3) Friend 5, I went to bed with you on my mind and woke up with you on my mind.  I'm praying for you today!

(Friend 4)  Amen, I'm praying for all of you!

(Friend 6) Can someone pray for me, I've been sick for a month and now I've thrown my back out!

So we spent the next few hours sending each other words of encouragement and prayer.

Then out of the blue, the subject of soup came up:

(Friend 4) I know what will make you feel better Friend 6, my Thai Coconut Soup that you love so much.

(Friend 1) Umm... I really like your Thai Coconut Soup too!

(Friend 3) Yeah, I've been feeling under the weather.... I need some healing soup....

(Me) I don't think I've ever had this soup....

(Friend 5) I like soup too!!

So Friend Number 4 did something completely and totally selfless: she volunteered to make a vat of Thai Coconut Soup for all of us to share.  She packaged it up individually and all we had to do was show up at her house and pick it up.

And we did.Every single girl drove over to her house to receive her gift of soup.  And while we ate her Thai Coconut Soup later that day we knew we were loved, that we were not alone in this mean world.

I know I've shared this with you before, but I'm going to share it again today and I'll go on sharing it every time I feel like I should. Jesus made a big deal out of feeding people.  There is a connection between nourishing someone's body and nourishing someone's soul.  It's such a small act, but conveys so much.

I hope you all have a support group as amazing as mine.  I hope you have people in your life who will make soup for you when they find out you are sick.  If not, you just let me know.

Here is the link to the recipe on Epicurious for Thai Chicken Coconut Soup.  This is not the exact recipe that Friend 4 used but I think it's pretty close.

Maybe you can make a little extra and share it with someone this weekend.