Posts made in February, 2012

light triple coconut cream pie

14

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 in Food

I usually like to have some related childhood anecdote or some interesting (to me, at least) story to tell with each recipe I post, but today, I got nothin’. Which is sad really, because this coconut cream pie is probably in my top five favorite recipes ever posted to BTHR. I should really being doing it justice with some deep and poetic story, but I’m totally blocked.

I have no fond childhood memories about coconut cream pie. No funny stories from college. Nothing. The only thing even close I have is that my Mama always requested coconut cream cake for her birthday. But that’s a whole other type of deliciousness.

Part of it could be because last night, instead of staying home and doing homework and coming up with some narrative about this pie, I skipped out on all of my duties to go to a basketball game. It was totally worth it. Even if I have to live the rest of my days knowing that this superstar recipe is paired with a lackluster write-up.

In case you were wondering, my team totally slaughtered the other guys. And we were underdogs. Love it when that happens!

Alright, let me say what I actually can about this pie. It’s another one of my attempts to have healthy (or at least, less unhealthy) desserts in the house. This one was a huge success! Although I need to note that it’s probably not all that healthy that Babyface and I finished the whole pie within 36 hours. It was so good that I found myself waking up in the morning and immediately thinking about it. That’s a good pie.

I made the custard using skim milk, light coconut milk and low amounts of sugar, which allows for a smooth and creamy filling without the calorie-bomb of cream. The light sugar amount allows the coconut flavor to really shine through. Sometimes I feel like pies just taste like straight up sugar, but this one really lets the flavor shine through.

The second part of the “triple” is the coconut whipped cream. Instead of heavy whipping cream, I whipped up coconut milk sweetened with just a touch of confectioner’s sugar. This pie topper gives another layer of coconut-y flavor and lighter nutrition facts. That switch alone saves about 50 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving. Plus, I think it tastes even better than whipped cream. And then to top everything off, I sprinkled on some crunchy, toasty flaked coconut. The rest of the pie is so smooth and creamy that the crunchy stuff is a really interesting change in texture.

The end stats are pretty exciting.

This pie is so good that I hope you forgive me for my terrible post. I will hopefully be back tomorrow with a lot more to say.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 6 hours

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Adapted From: Cooking Light

 

Ingredients

For the Custard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1-13.5 ounce can of light coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Coconut Whipped Cream
  • 1-13.5 ounce can of regular coconut milk, refrigerated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
For the Pie
  • 1 prebaked pie crust
  • 3 tablespoons toasted coconut

Instructions

  1. Prepare the custard by whisking together the eggs, flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the skim milk and light coconut milk. Heat until small bubbles begin to form along side of pan (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stream milk slowly into egg mixture while whisking rapidly. When all the milk is added, return mixture to the saucepan over low heat. Simmer until thick and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, transfer to a heatproof bowl and stash in fridge or freezer until custard is room temperature. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. To prepare the whipped cream, spoon out the top cream portion of the refrigerated coconut cream into the bowl of a mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in vanilla and confectioner’s sugar.
  5. To assemble pie, pour cooled custard into crust. Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until custard is cold.
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P.S. The share/print functions on my recipe service are acting up. If you’d like to print or share this recipe, go here.

Do you ever have writer’s block?

 

fab freebie: LARABAR for Kroger shoppers

0

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 in Food

Attention Kroger Shoppers! Shop the Kroger Cart Buster event from February 26–March 10 for great values. Find out about all the savings at www.CartBuster.com! And from February 29-March 6, download exclusive, digital coupons for Kroger’s “Deal Of The Day” for even MORE savings at http://bit.ly/wxfnlU. Happy Savings!

 

I’m a huge fan of all things free.  I’ve been known to take things that I have absolutely no need for just because I didn’t have to pay for them. Free is really awesome when it’s a product or item that I need or love. So when Kroger contacted me through Clever Girls Collective, telling me that they were passing out free LARABARs today, I was all over that!

I’m usually not a big fan of using BTHR as a sounding board for marketing folks, but in this case, I figured since they were dolling out free, all-natural goods, I’d make an exception. If you’ve never had a LARABAR before, they are 100% natural energy bars made with dried fruits and nuts. They come in a million different flavors and are sold at most major grocers. And if you have a Kroger nearby, you can go get yourself one for free today. This is a great chance to check out a high-quality natural food item for no cash at all.

All this week Kroger is running a Cart Buster promotion with lots of great deals in store and some amazing digital coupons online. One of those coupons goes live for today ONLY and gets you a free LARABAR. All you have to do is head to the Cart Buster website, click the Deal of the Day link and download your coupon. Just make sure you do it before the day is out. Go snag yourself a snack!

Thank you to Kroger for sponsoring my participation in the “Deal Of The Day” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

crispy baked fish and sweet potato chips

8

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 in Food

You know those dive restaurants that are so incredible and well-known that they can pretty much do whatever they want and still stay in business? They usually have crazy inconvenient hours (10am-11:30am) and ridiculous policies (cash only) but even though they are totally not customer-friendly, the food makes it 100% worth the inconvenience of it all?

Well, in a nearby town growing up, there was a seafood joint and it was one of these places. Thanks to being über landlocked, finding good seafood in Indiana is always a struggle, but this place was on its game. Freshly flown in seafood daily means you can have all kinds of crazy demands as a restaurateur. Everyone looked past their shoddy dinning room and ridiculous hours because the food was so good.

It was also all completely deep-fried. And pretty much the picture of unhealthy.

I was thinking about this place the other day and decided I needed an ode to this restaurant of my childhood. I wasn’t about to drop my heart-healthy fish into a deep frier, but this oven-baked method gives a really great crunchy texture that, in my book, tops its deep-fried cousin.

Instead of pairing it with the standard french fried potatoes, I went with a new sweet potato fry method I discovered on Pinterest. Thanks to the Art of Doing Stuff, I will forever and always have an awesome sweet potato fry recipe in my repertoire. What would I do without Pinterest?

I used a really nice wild-caught cod fillet that I found in the seafood case at my local grocery store, but any firm fish would work for this method. My parents’ have a lake stocked with catfish. You better believe that I’ll be doing this to some fresh catfish fillets this summer. Salmon would also work fine, but, as always with salmon, the flavor will be pretty fishy and pronounced. The beauty of a mild fish is that the breading doesn’t get overpowered.

Crispy Baked Fish

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 15

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound white fish fillet, cut into 2″ strips (cod recommended)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice cereal, crushed
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, adds a cheesy flavor)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 475°. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray rack liberally with cooking spray.

In a shallow dish, combine brown rice cereal, panko, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. In a second shallow dish, whisk together egg white, egg, and milk. In a third shallow dish, add flour.

Bread fish strips by dredging in flour, then egg mixture and then pressing into the panko mixture, coating all sides. Place on rack and then repeat with remaining strips. Spray all fish with cooking spray.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until breading is crunchy and fish is opaque and flaky.

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Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large zip-top bag, add cornstarch and sweet potatoes. Seal bag and toss to coat. Remove sweet potatoes from bag and shake off excess. Place on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes, using hands, toss to coat. Spread potatoes out in one even layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until potatoes are tender and crispy.
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Do you have any dive restaurants you like to go to?

About 2 minutes away from my house is a hamburger joint that has been around since the 1930s. They have crazy weird hours, are cash only, and completely out-of-the-way of our touristy downtown, but the burgers are incredible and totally worth the hassle. If they’ve been around for over 80 years, they must be doing something right.

things i’m digging…

25

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 in Lifestyle

1. Clinque Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder.

I got this stuff on a whim before I went to an awards show last summer, and I fell in love with it. I just ran out a few weeks ago and I figured I didn’t need to shell out the $20 to get more makeup when drug store stuff would do. Within a few days of wearing the drug store stuff, my face broke out. Then I tried mineral makeup I had stashed from a few years ago, same deal. After two weeks of a broken out face, I decided to suck it up and buy from Clinque. I’m happy I did. I love how light and sheer this stuff is. I don’t wear makeup all the time, so it’s important to me that when I do, it doesn’t look like I’m a totally different person. And this stuff fits th bill.

2. fun.

(Source)

I’m totally late to this game, but I’m in love with this band! Think Mika meets Vampire Weekend meets awesome. And they totally live up to their name. I can’t wait for summer so I can roll the windows down in the car and blast it.

3. Google Chrome.

I’ve been a Firefox girl for years, but over the past few weeks, my beloved FF has been really struggling to run all my app tabs (Gmail, Facebook, BTHR, Google Calendar, TeuxDeux, Pandora, MyFitnessPal, etc.). Babyface switched to Chrome and said it handled multiple tabs much better and boy, is he right. Everything moves totally smoothly now. My favorite part? You can set up different users. So with a click of a button, I can toggle between my BTHR Google accounts and my personal ones. Beyond that, I LOVE all the apps and extensions available. Like the extension that automatically continues Pandora for you. Total Chrome convert.

4. Sparkle tip nails.

You all know I love fun nail designs, but my favorite recently has been these cascading sparkle tips. I’ve done them in all kinds of colors (I think my favorite was hot pink with gold) and they remind me of fireworks, which I love. They are so easy to do and create a really interesting design even on short nails. Quick how to: (1) put on your base color and let dry (2) using a sponge eye shadow brush (you can get them in multiple packs at CVS for cheap) pat on layers of a contrasting color in a gradient fashion—thick and opaque at the tip, more transparent as you get down the nail (3) touch just the tip of the nail with chunky sparkles (4) top coat.

5. Audiobooks.

I never got into audiobooks, mostly because I felt like the whole point of reading a book was to actually stimulate your brain while reading. But I’ve recently found myself out walking for hours at a time thanks to my Avon Walk training schedule. Music gets boring after a while and it’s almost impossible to read while walking, so audiobooks have come to the rescue! I check them out from my library, plop them onto my iPhone and off I go. I barely even noticed I was outside walking for almost four hours this weekend. Still, I’m reserving my must-reads for the printed (or Kindle) version. And I’m not counting any audiobooks to my 50 books in 2012 goal. Sidenote: I’m sure podcasts would accomplish the same thing. If you have any good podcast recommendations, I’d love ‘em.

What are you digging?

simple grapefruit soda

22

Posted on Feb 27, 2012 in Food

We rarely had soda in our house growing up (or as we like to say in Southern Indiana, “Coke”). It just wasn’t something that was a pantry staple in my parents’ kitchen. Sure, we’d buy some two liters when company was coming over, but everyday beverages were limited to tea, water and milk. This made getting a soft drink from the gas station during a road trip a real treat. We’d be in the car pulled up to a gas pump and my Mama would turn around to the backseat and ask me if I wanted a Coke, and I remember always being so excited. And then paralyzed with indecision. So many flavorful, sugar-y choices at my disposal. It took me forever to decide.

The novelty of soda wore off when I hit high school, got my driver’s license and started making my own money. Suddenly, I could buy a soda whenever I wanted and thus began the standard country girl three-a-day Mountain Dew habit. I switched to Diet Coke in college, but the soft drink dependency still raged on. No longer was it a fun treat for road trips, but it was a necessity for daily life.

Once I started getting healthy, I began to read about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and then quickly realized that soda was nothing but bad news for my health and weight loss efforts. My daily soft drinks were replaced with water and I never looked back. Now that I’m a few years removed from a soft drink habit, I’ve gained back the novelty of it all. Buying an all-natural soda from the store now feels like a treat again! The one issue: those all-natural soft drinks are pricey as all get out. It’s hard to justify paying upwards of $2 for some flavoring and carbonated water. So, to the kitchen!

I love this refreshing soda because the sweetness level is totally customizable. I love sparkling flavored waters (like LaCroix) but sometimes I crave a little touch of sweetness, but often the natural sodas on the store shelves are sugar overkill for me. I can find a happy medium by making my own. Plus, this sucker has real fruit juice! No more empty calories. Each serving of soda provides 100% of your RDA of Vitamin C and 35% of your Vitamin A. Soda that’s not just not bad for you, but is actually good for you? What a crazy thought!

Simple Grapefruit Soda

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • Juice of one pink grapefruit
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons agave or simple syrup (see note)
  • Ice
  • Seltzer water

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine grapefruit juice, lemon juice, salt, and agave or simple syrup.
  2. Fill two highball glasses with ice. Pour half of grapefruit mixture into each glass. Fill to top with seltzer water. Stir well.
NOTE: Blue agave is a great natural sweetener for this drink because it dissolves into cold liquid. However, it has a very distinctive flavor that some folks don’t like. If you aren’t a fan, use flavorless simple syrup instead. To make, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and heat until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Did you drink soda/pop/Coke a lot growing up?