Once upon a time, long long ago, on New Years Eve in the small town of Calabasas, California, one of us Husbands had a liiittle too much to drink. And by “too much,” we mean polishing off a half a bottle of whiskey in just a few seconds. Adam was fifteen years old, and it was one of his first times drinking alcohol. After ringing in the New Year and watching Dick Clark’s annual celebration in Times Square on TV, his parents went to bed, while he and a friend began to raid their liquor cabinet. They started by pouring an entire bottle of whiskey into two large glasses filled with ice, plugging their noses, and chugging the contents as quickly as possible. While his friend disappeared to the restroom, he continued to consume more alcohol, gulping Kahlua straight from the bottle. As you can imagine, this unfortunate combination of liquids obviously didn’t agree with his skinny teenage body. Things got a little foggy after that, and the next thing he remembers is a man from the fire department asking him, “What did you drink, son?” “Whi-key,” he weakly mumbled, lacking the strength to pronounce the S. Apparently, he had been calling out to his mother, helplessly and hopelessly intoxicated, and she found him lying on the floor in the den—the details of which we will spare you since this is a cooking blog after all. Long story short, the paramedics determined that he would be okay and there was no need to take him to the hospital. Ever since that delightful day, “Whi-key” has not been a part of Adam’s life… until last December when he tried a double chocolate bourbon milkshake which changed everything.
It is morning. You open your eyes, and for the first few seconds, everything looks unfamiliar. You are not at home. The room tilts slightly to the left and you hear a creaking wooden sound and water beneath you. Ah yes! You are on a private boat in the middle of the caribbean. It is summertime and you are on vacation. You took off work and your only responsibilities are to relax and enjoy the scenery. Everyone is still asleep so you make your way outside for some fresh tropical morning air. You quietly open the sliding glass door and are instantly greeted with a cool, salty ocean breeze while the warmth of the rising sun caresses your face. The sounds of water gently splashing against the sides of the boat and the pleasant rocking puts you in a meditative state and everything feels just perfect in that dreamy summer moment. It is just you, a glowing sun, a deep blue ocean, and a comfortable breeze that cleanses your mind and body from all the nonsense that clutters it from day to day. We look forward to vacations like these for good reason: they allow us to escape our daily reality and experience new sights, sounds and flavors. Of course it would be wonderful if we could just pack up and head to the tropics whenever we want, but this is not always possible for everyone. But there are things we can do to make up for it. And this coconut mojito cake is one of them.
Ice cream is delicious in a cup or a cone
on top of a cake, or beside a scone
on a hot summer day, it’s refreshing and cool
at the beach or beside a pool
in a sandwich or on a stick
bring us both and make it quick
smooth and creamy, a heavenly treat
a tasty way to beat the heat
in a car, on a boat
or simply inside a root beer float
by yourself or on a date
in a bowl or on a plate
breaktime at work or lunchtime at school
doesn’t matter where, there’s not a rule
from an ice cream truck in the afternoon
to a starlit night under a full moon
in layers of clothes or none at all
in the spring or in the fall
standing, running, or lounging in a chair
anytime, any place, anyone, anywhere,
so sit back and relax wherever you may be
and join us as we share this divine recipe!
There’s nothing like a tall glass of ugly apple juice on a hot day. It is just as tasty and refreshing as “beautiful” apple juice made from “pretty” apples. In fact, if you did a blind taste test, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two. From childhood, it is instilled in us that outward appearances aren’t important; that true beauty comes from within. This also applies to fresh produce, but over time we have forgotten these universal rules. We have become discriminatory toward the fruits and vegetables we buy, ignoring the imperfect ones with spots and wrinkles, which end up being thrown in the garbage even though they taste exactly the same. Every year, nearly 3 trillion pounds of food is wasted—more than enough to feed all 800 million people worldwide who suffer from hunger. That means 40% of all the food in the US is going directly into the trash. So what can we do? Sarah Phillips created an informative website called UglyProduceIsBeautiful where you can learn more about these issues, and helpful solutions to fix them. When she contacted us last month asking if we would like to contribute a recipe to her site, we felt it was important to help spread this message and thought it would be fun to create something beautiful and delicious with ugly produce. So we rescued some ugly apples from our local market and with just a few simple ingredients and a couple easy steps, turned them into delicious apple roses. Flaky and buttery, rich with caramelized brown sugar, and swirled with delicate slices of sweet apples, these elegant pastries prove that even the most homely fruit can be the start of something beautiful.
At this very moment, there are fifteen singers making beautiful music in our living room on this breezy Sunday afternoon. It is always a treat when Ryan’s choir rehearses here. Their resonant voices fill the house with rich harmonies and an uplifting spirit that purifies the soul. It is a gorgeous spring day and our windows and doors are wide open, so between songs, dozens of birds fill the gaps of silence with their inconspicuous melodies. The group is practicing a short, three-song set for a podcast they are recording next weekend including a powerful rendition of Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind.” It has been quite entertaining around here as the house has been filled with guests all week. On Thursday night we threw a fancy outdoor dinner party for thirteen of our friends, including a seven course meal, three different kinds of cocktails, and strawberry shortcake with homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert. We knew this week would be busy, so when planning our blog schedule, we wanted to find something delicious, yet simple. Like three ingredients simple. Well, we hit the jackpot.