Coconut Buttermilk Pound Cake

Remember when I said I wasn’t good at baking?

Apparently I lied, or so proclaimed Tim after he took his first bite of this pound cake. He proceeded to scold me in between shoveling forkfuls of warm, coconutty goodness into his mouth. He mumbled a few more times while chewing. I’m pretty sure he was telling me how amazing I was.

I actually was pretty impressed with myself, to be honest. I’ve never been good at baking. For my first real crack at making something completely from scratch, I was sold. I quickly proclaimed that I would bake two new cakes a month as part of my New Year’s Resolutions. I proudly stated this along with vowing to write a new blog post at least once a week.

For all of you who are still reading this blog, I’m sure you’re all saying, “Bitch, you ain’t written shit! I’ve been waiting for your take on cauliflower crust pizza and all I see are pics of your new cat and all of the beer you’re drinking late Saturday nights at Cask & Larder on Instagram! Your cat does not need her own hashtag!”

I vehemently thank you all for sticking with me through my slacking, and my posts of #MaeWestKitty. And the only other cake I’ve baked since this pound cake was a beautiful triple berry bundt cake with a lemon glaze. Stay tuned, because I’m sure I’ll post it on here in the next three to seven months. Its worth the wait, I promise.

So to keep with the theme of slacking, here is a recipe for all of us who slack once in a while. I don’t think there is anything wrong with treating yourself every now and again, and rather than going and picking up cake from anywhere with who-knows-what ingredients, I like to justify this recipe on the simple fact that when you make something you have control of the ingredients that go into it. You can use cage-free eggs, organic butter, and turbanado sugar if you like and you can always pronounce all of the things that you’re about to eat. For my pals that are on stricter diets out there, feel free to try this recipe using your favorite alternative baking flours. I’m curious to see how it adapts!

Enjoy!

Cake
1 ½ cups of shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of baking soda
½ tsp of salt
¾ cup of softened butter
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of buttermilk

Glaze
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 Tbs of buttermilk

1. On a baking sheet, toast your coconut until it is brown in the oven. Get ready for your kitchen to smell amazing. When it’s done, let it cool. Reserve ½ of a cup of coconut for topping later.

2. Turn your oven on to 350 degrees.

3. Sift together your flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

4. Cream together the butter and sugar until the butter is light and fluffy. I like using my hand mixer for this.

5. Slowly add 1 egg at a time into your butter and mix. Add in your vanilla.

6. Add a small amount of flour followed by a small amount of buttermilk in alternating portions, mixing well in between. You should do this about 3 times.

7. Fold in your toasted coconut.

8. Pour your batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

9. Cool your cake in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour.

10. Remove your cake and place it on the wire rack. Pour your glaze on top of the cake and then top it with your reserved coconut.

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Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Man, being sick sucks. When you’re not running for the nearest roll of toilet paper to wipe your face of snot, you’re gasping for breath because you’re too congested. Sleeping on your side means waking up with one functioning nostril. Everything hurts. The only thing that feels good is your fluffiest sheets and your ass nestled among every last pillow you have on your bed.

Luckily for me, I’m not sick. But my boyfriend is. And yes, I do have a picture of him swallowed in a cocoon of feather duvet and pillows. It’s pretty flippin’ cute. I’ve never seen a boy appreciate 700-thread-count sheets that much, and I’ll save him the emasculation of posting it on here.

Just check my Instagram, in case he ever pisses me off. MWAHAHA.

We finally had our first cold front of the season. It only took till the last week of October for cold-ish air to come barreling through Orlando. My favorite part of living on the third floor of my apartment is being able to leave the windows open for all of the crisp Fall air to come in. And yes, I do consider 67 degrees to fall under the definition of ‘crisp’. We’ve left the windows open all night as well, when it actually dips down to the mid-50’s. It’s quite the treat.

So naturally the third wheel to this sick-boyfriend-cool-weather combination is soup. But not just any soup. For the next 2 months, we’re all obsessed with eating anything orange or belonging to the squash family. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bagels with pumpkin cream cheese, and of course everyone’s favorite the Pumpkin Spice latte. Butternut squash soup is among this great and glorious category. I’ve tried my hand several times at creating that lovely, velvety smooth traditional butternut squash soup. You know the one that has just the right amount of sweetness, cinnamon, maybe nutmeg, and some other spices that I can’t seem to figure out and it always leaves me thinking I’m better off just buying it at Crisper’s or Panera Bread or some other place that gets soups right.

Not this time.

I perused Pinterest like I do for some inspiration and I came across a recipe for a Thai take on this classic. When I told the boyfriend, I saw the joy rise in his eyes. Apparently he has a thing for squash soups as well. Here’s my take on this recipe.

Do this!

2 Tbs coconut oil
1 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
3 Tbs red curry paste
4 cups of your favorite broth (meat or veggie)
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2” cubes
1 14 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
Salt & Pepper
Lime for squeezing

1. Warm your coconut oil in a deep pot (the kind you’d cook your pasta in) over medium heat.

2. Add your onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt and coat in the oil. Let this cook about 5 minutes, until the onion are translucent.

3. Add your curry paste and ginger and stir to coat your onions. Isn’t that color lovely??

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4. Drop in your chunks of squash, then add about 3 cups of your broth. Everything should be almost submerged. Bring this to medium-high heat and cover. Let it do its thing for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. When done, take it off the heat.

5. Carefully add the contents thus far into a food processor or even a blender. Since the soup is scalding hot, keep the food chute (that place you stick your food in when you’re shredding it) or the hole in the lid of your blender uncovered. If not, the heat will build up and shit will hit the ceiling in the most literal of senses. If you’re worried about being splashed, gently hold a paper towel over the opening. Hit the pulse button a few time to get it started, then let it blend away until you see no lump of squash or pieces of onion floating around.

6. Pour your soup back into your pot and turn the heat back on to medium.

7. Add your can of coconut milk and stir thoroughly. Depending on thick your soup is (most likely depending on how much squash you used) you’ll need to add your last cup of broth. If you’re out of broth, you can thin the soup with some water. No biggie. Heat this through on medium heat.

8. Taste test! Do you need some salt and pepper? More than likely you will! Depending on what broth you use (low-sodium, who-cares-about-sodium) you may need to add some or not at all. Always season soups at the very end.

9. Serve up with wedges of lime to squeeze. The lime brightens up the soup and really highlights the coconut and ginger.

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