Coconut Lime Tequila Cake

We’ve been having some majorly cloudy mornings lately and that makes me want to do one thing: Bake. I don’t know why really. Maybe it’s because it feels like Christmas, or maybe that’s just the lie I tell myself, but either way, I bake.

Anyway, I woke up the other morning and it was cloudy, so I said to myself “Eff it, self. Let’s bake a cake.” I have all this tequila laying around because of my projects with Patrón, so I also decided to make it boozy. Because why not? Day drinking and cake for breakfast sounds grand.

I had that “put the lime in the coconut” song stuck in my head. So I did. In a cake. I went a little crazy, so it might seem like there’s a lot of steps, but it’s still super easy.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake Recipe via Melodrama

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake

Cake Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, cream room temperature butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and continue to beat for 5 minutes. Gradually add the eggs (one at a time) and mix well. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add them to the butter mixture alternating with the coconut cream.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cake cool in pans for 15-20 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

Coconut Custard Filling Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
1 cup Flaked coconut
Mix cornstarch with cream until dissolved. Add cornstarch/cream mixture, coconut cream, and sugar to a small sauce pan. Gradually heat to a simmer while stirring. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly add half of the cream mixture to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the sauce pan and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 2-4 minutes until thick and creamy. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool in an ice bath or cover mixture with plastic and store in refrigerator for 2-3 hours until chilled. Toss flaked coconut in a pan over medium heat until toasted. Set aside.

Tequila Lime Soak Ingredients

2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white tequila (like Patrón Silver)
2 tablespoons lime zest

In a small pot over medium heat, mix lime juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and starts to simmer. Remove from heat. Stir in tequila and lime zest. Set aside.

Buttercream Frosting
(I just used a standard buttercream with lime zest thrown in. You can use your favorite frosting.)
Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
zest of one lime

Cream together the butter and vanilla. Sift the powdered sugar and add it to the butter mixture. Scrape down the bowl often to make sure all everything is mixed in. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until it’s your desired consistency. Beat until smooth for about 2-4 minutes.
Cake Assembly Directions

Slowly spoon the tequila lime mixture over both of the prepared cake rounds and let the cake absorb the liquid.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake RecipeNext spoon the custard filling and half of the toasted coconut on one cake round and place the other on top.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake Recipe

Ice the cake and then coat the sides with the remaining toasted coconut.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake Recipe via MelodramaCut. Eat. Nap.

 

Classic New York Cocktail Recipe

Last night was the series finale of Mad Men which means I needed a good cocktail. After way too much careful thought I landed on the classic New York cocktail, both because I thought it was fitting and because it was strong enough to dull the emotions that the show evokes within me.

This whiskey based drink is one of those cocktails that have been around for like 100 years, but isn’t very en vogue right now. It should be though. It’s almost like a whiskey sour but sweeter and less tart. I like to use Rye, but you can use whatever whiskey or bourbon floats your boat.

Classic New York Cocktail Recipe - Rye, Lemon, Grenadine, orange peel, and sugarNew York Cocktail

2 ounces Rye Whiskey
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 splashes of Grenadine
1 piece orange peel

Shake well with ice and strain. Serve with a twist of lemon peel.

Makes 1 drink

 

 

 

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie with Maria Cookie Crust

One of my favorite treats when I was a kid was Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate and Maria cookies. I would always dip the cookies in my hot chocolate, just like my grandma did with her coffee, and experience the pure joy that only food gives me. I was having a late night craving and had the wild I had the idea of putting the flavors together in pie form. Sometimes I don’t want to drink hot chocolate, but I pretty much always want to eat pie. So I made my dream a reality.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

This pie has a crispy buttery cookie crust, much like a graham cracker crust. The filling is fudgey and gooey with a crackled top, and has all the flavor of Mexican hot chocolate.

Mexican Hot Chocolate PieQuick Note about Pie Pan Size:

For this recipe I used a 9 inch pie pan. You can use whatever you have, but if you use smaller pans you may not end up using all of your crust mixture or filling. But that’s ok, it’s better to make more and have some left over than not have enough.

Maria Cookie Crust

2 cups Maria cookie crumbs (1-2 packages of Maria cookies)

1 stick butter, melted

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Use a blender or food processor to finely crush your cookies into crumbs. (If you don’t have either of those appliances, put the cookies in a large ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.) Melt butter on stove stop or microwave. Mix melted butter and crumbs together until it has a wet sand consistency. It should hold together when you pinch it. If your crust is still a little dry and won’t hold together, you can add a bit more melted butter until it does. Put in pie pan and use your hands or a measuring cup to press and flatten the crumbs to the bottom and up against the sides.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Bake at 350 degrees for about 7-10 minutes until it has just set to the touch. You don’t want to over-bake or over brown it, since it’ll bake more with the filling. Set it aside to cool.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Filling

4 ounces Mexican Hot Chocolate, such as Abuelita

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1.5 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cinnamon stick

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Chop chocolate to make it easier to melt. Melt butter and chocolate together in a sauce pan with cinnamon stick over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and remove from heat. Remove cinnamon stick. While stirring constantly, add eggs and beat well until smooth.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Pour filling mixture into prepared pie crust until it almost hits the top edge of the crust. Do not over fill the pan.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes on center rack. The pie should be just barely set but remain gooey in the middle, and have a crackled top. It will set more as it cools.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Serve warm or room temp with ice cream or whipped cream. YUM!

Sally Draper’s French Toast with Rum Sauce

One of my favorite episodes of Mad Men is “The Beautiful Girls” (Season 4, Episode 9). There are so many things I love about this particular episode, but I love Sally’s scenes the best. I love any Sally-centric episode, really. She’s my favorite Mad Men character, because without going into years worth of details probably best saved for a therapist, I am Sally. Her scenes with Don always remind me of my relationship with my dad, and this scene is no exception. My dad is actually the one who taught me how to make French toast. Thanks dad!

Anyway, back to the food. Sally spends the night at Don’s apartment and in the morning he wakes up to her cooking french toast for him.
Mad Men

Mad Men

Mad MenMad MenShe thinks she put Mrs. Butterworth’s on it but it’s RUM. Oh Sally. She doesn’t know it but she’s a culinary genius.

Mad Men

Mad Men

Don is right. It isn’t bad. It’s actually quite delicious.

You might not want to just pour rum all over your french toast, because that might raise some red flags about your relationship with alcohol, but rum sauce is perfectly fine. Here’s how to make it.

Mad Men Inspired Food: Sally Draper's Buttered Rum Sauce on French Toast

Buttered Rum Sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup spiced dark rum
2 tbs butter

In a small sauce pan, bring sugar and cream to a simmer. Stir in rum and butter, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Serve over french toast.

I got challah from Canter’s and cut it into thick slices. Thick cut challah makes the best french toast. It soaks up a lot of the egg mixture so when you cook it the middle stays fluffy and the outside gets crispy and brown. Yummmm.

You probably know how to make french toast, but just in case. Here’s how I like to do it.

French Toast

4 pieces of thick cut challah
4 Eggs
1 cup Heavy cream
zest of half an orange

Whisk together the eggs, cream, and orange zest. Place bread in the mixture and let it soak for a few seconds on each side. Cook in a pan with butter.

Mad Men Inspired Food: Sally Draper's Buttered Rum Sauce on French Toast

New favorite breakfast ever. Thanks Sals!

Mad Men

‘Attaboy’ Cocktail Recipe

The best Sundays for me are spent inside, binge watching TV shows in my PJs, eating things I probably shouldn’t, and making cocktails. That’s what we did today. We’ve been re-watching every episode of Mad Men before the final episodes premiere, and I’ve been dying to break in my new glasses from Baigelman Glass, so we made Attaboys and ate poptarts. I’m tipsy as I write this, because this cocktail is strong and I drank a double. ANYWAY, here’s the recipe for your own Sunday Funday pajama cocktail party.

2 parts gin
1 part dry vermouth
A splash of grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

'Attaboy' cocktail recipe

Lucky Charms Cake Mix Cookies

I’m a huge fan of cereal. Any cereal. I can eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The sugary, food-colored kind is my favorite though. We were trying to think up a few fun recipes and it got me thinking –what can we make with cereal? What else goes well with milk? Cookies, duh.

Lucky Charms Cake Mix Cookies

These cookies are cakey and tender, they actually kind of remind me of cupcake tops (aka the best part). This recipe can be adapted to use any cereal (and trust me I’ll be doing that), but since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, Lucky Charms were the perfect choice. Besides tasting good, they’re super cute and colorful.

The base of this recipe was adapted from Betty Crocker’s Gooey Butter Cookie recipe.

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18 oz) box moist vanilla cake mix
1 cup Lucky Charms marshmallows

Directions Set oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Using a wooden spoon, stir in Lucky Charms marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours until firm. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until set.

Lucky Charms Cake Mix CookiesOriginally, I tried using the cereal pieces along with the marshmallows, but they got way too chewy and gross and didn’t add much to the flavor of the cookie. I would definitely recommend avoiding them. Just pick out all the cute marshmallows. They’re are the best part anyway.

Lucky Charms Cake Mix Cookies

Moonshine Cherry Vanilla Chocolate Milkshake

I recently received a jar of these moonshine cherries from Ole Smoky and I am completely smitten. I’m sure I’m going to be using them for heaps of things, but you know me and boozy desserts. I immediately blended them up in a creamy milkshake with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate shavings. They’re soaked in 100 proof moonshine so they have a serious kick. I was buzzing on both sugar and alcohol by the time I was halfway through the shake. Perfect.

Moonshine Cherry Chocolate Vanilla shake

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up I figured I would share my recipe with you. Either you’re going to want to share this with a date, maybe your gals if you’re into the Galentine’s thing, or you’re going to drink the entire thing alone while watching some Audrey Hepburn movie on Netflix. Either way alcohol, ice cream, and chocolate are pretty standard on Valentine’s Day. Here’s how to mix them all together for a bomb.com milkshake.

I used a 16 oz glass…don’t judge me.

1 pint vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup Ole Smoky Moonshine Cherries (with liquid)

2 tbsp chopped dark chocolate

Blend it all together with a splash of milk if needed. Serve with whipped cream, more chocolate, and a moonshine cherry on top.

 

Ole Smoky describes the cherries as “a sweet hello followed by a warm goodbye.” I can’t describe it any better. When mixed with creamy ice cream and bitter dark chocolate, it’s the ultimate dessert combo. Try it!

 

Thank you to Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine for providing product for this post.

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Heart Shaped Pepperoni Pizzas

My ideal Valentine’s Day is spent at home with a nice meal, good drinks, lots of candy, and a movie. My husband and I aren’t really into going out to crowded restaurants or the usual date stuff, so we usually put on some good tunes and cook together at home. A really fun thing to make at home is pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza?

Pizza is good in any shape, but if you want to get really festive for V Day, you have to make everything heart shaped. It’s a rule or something. Like heart shaped personal pizzas with heart shaped pepperonis, obviously.

Behold the perfect Valentine.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni PizzaThese are pretty basic but fun to make. Just make or buy your favorite pizza dough, separate it into 4 equal parts, and shape it into hearts.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni PizzaTo make the hearts I used a fondant cutter. A mini cookie cutter would also work. You can even fold the pepperoni and cut a heart like you would with paper hearts. Since I made mini pizzas I made mini hearts.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni PizzaAdd your sauce and cheese, and then the pepperoni hearts. Tip: If you put some cornmeal on your baking sheet your pizza won’t stick.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni PizzaThat’s it. Pop them in the oven and then behold the cuteness. I never want to eat regular shaped pepperoni again! So dainty.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni Pizzas

These are also perfect to make for girls night or with the whole family, any time of the year, really.

 

 

Aperol, Rose, and Sparkling Wine Cocktail Recipe

 

As you can see above, I really like this cool spot in San Diego called Polite Provisions, and one of my favorite drinks on the menu is the Veronica Rose. The menu’s description reads “Aperol, rose gomme, and sparkling wine”. Perfect.

It’s delicious and beautiful, but since I can’t get down to San Diego every time I want one, I recreated it at home. Here’s my version of the Veronica Rose.

Aperol, Rose, Sparkling Wine

 

This recipe makes two drinks:

1 oz. Aperol
1 oz. rose syrup (I recommend Royal Rose Syrup)
3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
4 oz sparkling wine

Stir Aperol, rose syrup, and bitters with a cube of ice, strain into chilled glasses. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist or, as I like to do, a rose petal.

Veronica Rose Recipe - aperol, rose, and sparkling wine

Or if you only want to make it a serving for one…get serious, just use a larger glass.

 

Aperol, Rose, Sparkling Wine

Make This Breakfast Quinoa A New Morning Favorite

Well, guys, the holidays are over so that means no more left over pie for breakfast. Now I’m only eating pie for dessert like a normal person. Bummer city! It’s cool though. I’m pretty excited for my pants to fit again.

One of my favorite healthier breakfast options is quinoa. Breakfast quinoa is almost like porridge or oatmeal and can be made in advance so it’s ready when you are. That helps when I wake up ravenous and want something fast. It’s good warm or hot and tastes great with fruit and nuts.

Breakfast Quinoa Recipe

 

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
2 cups almond milk
2-3 tablespoons agave
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small pot, bring almond milk to a boil. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Mix in the chia seeds, agave, and cinnamon. Cover and simmer for about 5 more minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

If you want, you can add fruit or berries at the same time as the agave, chia, and cinnamon.

Breakfast Quinoa Recipe

Enjoy hot or cold. Mix in fresh fruit or berries. Drizzle with agave or honey. Top it with more almond milk. So many options!

 

Breakfast Quinoa Recipe