Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Creamy Dreamy Coconut Dessert

My sweet next door neighbor is 89 years young, full of stories (she had 10 kids!!) and amazing recipes.  She made this Coconut Torte, as she calls it for my husband to welcome us to the neighborhood and I'm not joking not only did he eat the entire thing, I'm pretty sure he licked the plate when he was done!  It's creamy, dreamy and the delicious crust adds the most amazing texture.  So after months of visiting her and growing more in awe of how she managed such a big family I finally remembered to ask her for her recipe which she graciously gave me out of an old family cookbook.  I immediately ran home and made it.  After devouring an embarrassingly big piece of this heavenly treat, I'm now in a food coma and I'm sharing it with you all so you too can be in sugar bliss!


1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups walnuts
1 stick butter

1st Layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 container Cool Whip
1 cup coconut

2nd Layer:
4 small packages instant coconut pudding mix
6 cups milk (use part half and half if you are feeling really decadent)

3rd Layer:
1 container Cool Whip
2 cups flaked coconut

For the crust, mix the finely chopped walnuts, flour and melted butter and then press firmly into an even layer in your cooking spray coated pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  I used a regular 9x13 glass cake dish which is great if you need to make this for a crowd because it makes a lot.  But, if you have little to no willpower like me you may want to split it into two smaller pans and share one with a friend :) Getting this out of my house is the only way I can get it out of my mouth!!! 

While the crust is cooling you can mix up the next layers.  For the white cream cheese layer, cram the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth then stir in the Cool Whip and coconut until combined.

For the pudding layer, whisk together the milk and instant pudding and set aside until thickened.  You are basically following the pudding package directions but instead of using 8 cups of milk for 4 packages you are using only 6 so it is extra thick and rich.  If you happen to grab the cook and serve coconut pudding instead of the instant (which I did), don't worry just cook the milk and pudding mix on the stove according to the directions and let it cool, it takes a little longer but will taste the same.

Now that your crust is baked and cooled, smooth on the cheese layer, then the pudding layer and finally top off with the last container of Cool Whip and sprinkle with the rest of your shredded coconut.  Pop it in the fridge to fully set and enjoy.  This keeps great in the fridge for several days, so you can totally make it ahead to save yourself time on the day of a get together, but beware you may have to hide it way in the back because if anyone sneaks a taste, keeping them out of it may be nearly impossible!  I'm speaking from person experience!!!  

Yes, there are a few steps, it is very rich and the ingredients make this a little more expensive than your average dessert, but for a special treat this is well worth the time and money.

Hope you love it as much as we do!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY Weekly Menu Board

In our house it is embarrassing how much food we waste each week and in turn how much money we waste by throwing food away and making extra trips to the store for more. So I'm making a serious effort to plan out meals each week and be more conscious of what I'm buying and spending.  In order to keep myself on track, or at least attempt to, I whipped up this cute, rustic of course version of a simple menu board and we LOVE it!

The main portion, which I forgot to take a picture of.. bad blogger I know, I know.. was a big thrift store floral print with a wood frame.  I took out the glass, covered the print in some tan linen fabric and hot glued that to the back, then took three pieces of twine and glued those ends one the back side, spacing them evenly down the side.  For the frame I painted it off white, then flat black and distressed it a bit with sand paper... super easy!!!

For the recipe cards I took these little wood pieces from Michael's and sprayed them with chalkboard paint.  They are only .29 cents a piece so I bought a bunch and then you can use chalk or I love chalkboard or bistro markers.. they look crisper than regular chalk and don't rub off as easily.  You could just print out the recipes that you do make on a regular basis and mod podge those on, but we like to try new things and mix it up a lot so I wanted to be able to change them frequently. 

For the days of the week, I just created a word document in a font I liked, printed them off and then using oval wood pieces that I found in the same section as the rectangle pieces, I traced around them, cut them out and then used mod podge to glue them onto the wood. 

Once the glue was dry I used a sharpie to color the edge of the wood pieces for some contrast and added a little Annie Sloan dark wax to the top to make it look aged.  Now just glue (I used a glue gun) the MENU letters (also from Michael's painted black) to the top and the days of the weeks plus a recipes oval spaced out on your fabric. 

Then just add clothes pin to the twine to attach your meal ideas under each day, I also added a recipes section at the bottom for extra blank pieces and a black burlap rosette just for fun.

This fit perfectly in a kind of awkward space in my kitchen, and I love it! 

The menu board is really helping to visually remind me to think out the entire week and so far we are doing so much better!!!

The entire project was so quick and easy, I can't believe I've had the idea and material for months and only now got around to doing it!!!

I hope you like it and it inspires you to be more organized with your meals and save some money!!

Because you know what that means... more money for shoes :)


Sunday, April 7, 2013

No Sew Hippie Headscarf

Yes, I'm alive!!!  Sorry for the the lack of posts lately, life is great but crazy and busy so thank you for hanging in there with me and if this is your first time to my little section of cyberspace thanks for checking me out!  

In honor of the crazy days and never seeming to have enough hours in the day to get all the things done that I need to, much less that I want to and fixing my hair well that's not even on my radar, so this is a project that takes only a few seconds and couldn't be cuter!

First grab a square scarf!  This is one I found at Walmart for $2.50, I just loved the colors and the price was right up my alley.  If you have one on hand even better, thrift stores are also great places to find fun old scarves.  

Now cut the scarf in half straight up the center so you have two rectangles.. not triangles!  You now have material for two headscarves, so make one for you and one for a friend... score!!!

Next, roll the cut edge under or towards the back of the scarf about and inch, you can press this to help keep the shape or add a few dabs of glue, but I just folded it! Now, give it another fold or two toward the center.

Then do the same on the other side so you end up with both sides meeting in the center.

And then depending on the design on the scarf and what you want to show, fold one on top of the other. This should give you a nice smooth finished looking folded scarf without having to sew a stitch. Again, you can add a few dabs of glue to help keep its shape, but I was lazy and wanted to wear this right now!  Patience is not one of my strengths :)

Now, you just put it around your head with the open ends near where you want the bow and tie it up.  To make this clear I tied it once in front of me to better show the simple knot.  Put one end under the other and pull it tight.

Then put one end under the other a second time and pull tight.  I found that by cutting the scarf in two rectangles instead of triangles you should have just enough of the two tails sticking out to look like a bow.  You can then flatten and fluff those ends as much as you want depending on how dramatic you want it.

Tah-Dah!  This takes seconds not only to make, but also to tie and it takes my" haven't had time for a shower" hair from sad to sassy!

I just started messing with an old scarf one day and came up with this "faux bow" by accident and I love it!  I think it's girly without having a huge looped bow on the side of your head, which would take much more material and may look cute on my 2 year old, but maybe a little ridiculous on me.. MAYBE!?!

So grab a scarf and save yourself some time and headaches on those days that your hair is on strike, which for me is almost everyday!