One Sweet Date Night

“Oh, I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts, Deedly Dee! There they are all standing in a row.” OK maybe you won’t get this one unless you have children or are one, and I guess I am probably the latter of the two. Both Zazu and Rafiki sing this song from “The Lion King,” and it gets stuck in my head almost every time that I think of coconuts.

Movies are a great part of what I enjoy, including “The Lion King”, but it seems that sometimes it is the easy date choice. Every Friday for probably the last ten years, my wife and I have tried to make it a priority to have a standard date night. Sometimes they get routine by just going to a movie and having dinner. Not much conversation and interaction are involved when going to a movie, and I have been trying to think of more creative ways of enjoying time with my wife.

This last Friday for our date night we decided to make cookies for some of our friends and just spend some quality time together. We made Coconut Butter Cookies (this is where the coconut comes in) and Peanut Butter Cookies. It really didn’t take long to make the dough, then we realized that we had to refrigerate them for three hours. The Peanut Butter Cookies we could have made right away, but I like a chewy cookie. The recipe said, “for a chewy cookie refrigerate for 3 hours.” I decided to let them stand overnight, and we enjoyed the rest of the night together.

Both cookies are excellent recipes and are very easy to make. Do not let the wordiness of the one overwhelm you. It is an excellent recipe. We mixed each ingredient individually to get an even mixture and enjoyed the cleanup afterwards. After all you get to taste the cookie dough off of the bowl and spoon. It was fun, and we enjoyed being able to hand out the cookies to our friends.

So remember, “Have a sweet date night, and cook up something together.”

Recipes can be found Here:
Coconut Butter Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies

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Rasta Pasta

Rasta PastaOK, so Rasta Pasta just sounds cool. This recipe is from “Fins Up! (Jimmy Buffet) Cooking Class with Leigh Ocs.” This is a wonderful addition to the Tequila-Orange Shrimp that I wrote about last week. It has an unexpected Caribbean taste. But what else should I expect, it does have Jimmy Buffet’s name attached to the top.

I would have never imagined using coconut to make a creamy pasta, but it is exquisite! While the coconut flavor does come through, I might consider adding some coconut flakes to the prepared pasta or using real coconut milk to even further enhance the flavor next time.

I heated the coconut to a boiling point and let it simmer for a little while. Then strained it into a bowl and pushed as much flavor out of the coconut that I could get with a fork. Actually it did not seem like it was working, so I picked it up and squeezed the daylights out of the flakes to get as much of the juice out as I could. After setting the Water/Coconut Milk to the side, I boiled the noodles (Penne Pasta) to an Al Dente state.

While I was waiting on the noodles, I added the red pepper flakes, oil, and garlic into a frying pan. Once heated, I added the noodles, coconut water, and  remaining ingredients. Ultimately it is not a really difficult recipe. The sauce wasn’t as thick as I had hoped for, but the flavor was excellent.

Next time, I will make some changes to the recipe. First, I will use less water when preparing the coconut mix and possibly add some fresh coconut milk. Second, I will print the recipes rather than working directly off my cell phone. I accidentally missed a step toggling between two recipes. I don’t know if adding oil to the Al Dente noodles would have made a difference or not, but I hate to do things incorrectly on my first attempt with a new recipe. These minor changes might make a delicious difference in the future.

Either way, my wife, sister-in-law, and friend all enjoyed the taste and experience. This was a worthy experiment, and I will make it again down the road. Maybe next time I could add some broccoli florets as well.

So remember, “The recipe is not always right; take some time to make it your own.” I know I will.

What Makes a Cowboy Cookie?

OK, so I have been on this Cookie Kick for a little while now. I am sure that the calories are going to make me look as round as they are, but I have been enjoying baking and eating them way too much if you ask me! My latest experiment is the “TEXAS COWBOY COOKIE,” and they are wonderful.

I am not sure as to what makes a “Cowboy Cookie” though, let alone a Texas one. I am guessing it has to do with a comment made in the recipe. It states, “Makes 24 Texas sized cookies or 36 Yankee cookies.” Yes I guess everything really is bigger in Texas, even our cookies. These cookies are also very hardy and will fill you up pretty easily. They are everything that you would want a cookie to be.

Be careful when you make them though. The recommended recipe, is enough for a large posse. You might want to cut the recipe in half for just the family to enjoy. You can adjust the recipe a little through the Bigoven website. I have enjoyed having them around though – with the emphasis on the “round”.

Even though I am from Texas, these cookies are as cowboy as I get. In other words, just call me a city boy! I do love a hardy cookie though; especially one with pecans, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, cinnamon, oatmeal, and a whole lot of flavor. The cinnamon really enhanced the flavor, inspiring a miriad of comments from friends and family.

Check out the recipe. They are easy! They are filling! They are wonderful! Remember, “The size of a cookie can bring a whole new meaning to the term round-up.”

Click here for Recipe!