Baked Chocolate Coconut Doughnuts


Back to my blog – hope you haven’t forgotten me. I have been cooking and baking a lot this fall but have not taken the time to update and publish. Let me know what you think of these semi-healthy doughnuts..

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray (I like the ones made with coconut oil)


First, mix together in medium bowl:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

Then stir in:

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil

1/2 teaspoon coconut emulsion

Transfer batter to gallon ziploc bag. Snip off corner, then fill each doughnut pan cavity 3/4 full. Bake until puffed and golden, about 8-10 minutes. After 5 minutes, gently transfer to wire rack to cool. Then prepare glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 cup good cocoa powder

4-6 tablespoons milk

Blend until smooth. Dip each doughnut in glaze and top with toasted coconut flakes and sprinkle with mini semi sweet chocolate chips.



Fresh Cherry Clafouti

I made this today with another variation – 2/3 cherries and 1/3 blueberries. I could pretty much could live off of fresh berries and fruit this time of year. It was amazing….

Source: Fresh Cherry Clafouti

Hawaiian Pineapple Crockpot Chicken

On Sundays, I rarely want to make plans – I like to see how I feel as the day goes along – and many Sundays I don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen. Here’s a great recipe for those lazy Sundays…or Mondays…or


1 package (approx. 1.5 lb) boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 6 oz can pineapple juice

1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

3/4 cup fresh pineapple, chopped into half inch chunks

Place all ingredients into a crock pot on LOW for 6 hours. I serve this with red pepper brown rice mixed with 2 tbsp mango salsa. This dinner is so easy and delicious you will want to make it all the time. You can also make this as a party appetizer – just chop the chicken into two inch chunks before cooking and serve right in the crock pot. Aloha!


Caribbean Rum Coconut Pie

I have been absent from this blog (but not from the kitchen) for a few months. There have been many recipes that haven’t made it from the kitchen to the computer – other priorities beckoned. I just returned from St. Croix and enjoyed many delicious fresh coconut dishes. The one thing I was craving was coconut cream pie – but there was none to be found on the island (I checked)  Here’s a great recipe I created today that is short on prep time and big on taste.



1 ready to bake rolled pie crust, brought to room temperature
1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla bean paste or extract

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 cup tru whip or cool whip, thawed


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Carefully roll out pie crust onto 9 inch pie plate, using  pie weights to help keep shape. Bake 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.

Decrease oven temperature to 230 degrees F.
Spread the coconut out evenly on a baking sheet and bake it, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 -10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Add rum and continue stirring consistently for 1 minite more. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and the vanilla extract.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and chill until firm, about 3-4 hours.
top with whipped topping and with the remaining coconut. Store leftovers lightly covered in the refrigerator.

Christmas Party Meatballs

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 9.42.41 PM

These are so simple to make and are the perfect start to your holiday party. These can be made with either beef or turkey pre cooked meatballs. If you want them a bit spicier, then increase the chili powder by a teaspoon.


2 pounds (32 ounces) frozen pre cooked meatballs, turkey or beef

1  12 ounce jar chili sauce

1  14 ounce can cranberry sauce

3 tablespoons orange marmalade

3 teaspoons chili powder


In large saucepan, combine chili sauce, cranberry sauce, marmalade and chili powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring until blended. Add meatballs and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately. Makes 30 appetizer servings.

If you prefer, you can prepare this appetizer in the slow cooker. Place meatballs in the slow cooker first, then combine sauces, marmalade and chili powder and pour over meatballs. Cover and cook 4 hours on HIGH.












Pumpkin Macadamia Cheesecake

I am making this for Thanksgiving – along with pumpkin pie and something chocolate ….

Berries and Cocoa


I had an old recipe for pumpkin cheesecake that used a pre made graham cracker crumb pie tin (I told you it was old!) I did some experimenting and I came up with this easy and much tastier alternative: fresh graham cracker crumbs , butter and macadamia nuts. I added my latest favorite ingredient – Torani Caramel Sauce – and the results are amazing!


1/3 cup melted unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

2 large eggs

Torani Caramel Sauce (find it here:

fresh whipped cream


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in microwave, then stir in graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and macadamia…

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Light and Fluffy Vegan Pancakes


“Necessity is the mother of invention” – anonymous proverb.

One of our favorite things around here is weekend pancake breakfasts – my husband makes the most amazing pancakes!  Usually he makes them on lazy Sunday mornings or on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning – or whenever we have the time to hang out and relax. Recently a family member became a vegan (I can’t say who because she hates it when I talk to people about her being a vegan – but it is the only minor currently living with us.) We wanted to continue the pancake tradition so she could be included but didn’t want to give up the  amazing flavor of our homemade ones.

This recipe uses almond milk and vanilla bean paste for flavor, and extra baking powder for lightness and airiness. Even if you aren’t a vegan these are definitely worth a try –  this is a healthier, lower fat version of the original classic comfort food.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups water

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients together in seperate bowl. Make a well in center of dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until just blended; do not over mix  (batter will be lumpy.)

Heat lightly oiled griddle to 425 degrees. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle and cook until bubbles form on top of pancakes and edges are dry. Flip and cook until browned on griddle side.  Repeat with remaining batter. Top with powdered sugar and maple syrup and serve hot. Makes about 12 medium sized pancakes.