I cracked open my first coconut a little while ago and after making some coconut ice cream I still had some grated coconut to use up but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I rifled through some cookbooks, checked out epicurious, read some blogs… You see, I have a problem with making decisions. I saw tons of recipes that I could make, that I had the ingredients for and that sounded delicious, I just couldn’t choose which one I wanted to make. This happens every time I’m about to step into the kitchen. Unless I’m struck with a sudden craving and know exactly what I want and the recipe I want to use, it takes me forever to decide. I can sit for hours and look at recipes without ever deciding what to make. I’ll ask other people for suggestions and then reject what they give me, which leads to frustration on their part and a reluctance to offer up further suggestions. I’m like the annoying kid who says something like “Guess what I did today?” and when you give them an answer they respond “Nope, guess again!” Except in my case it’s “I don’t want to make that, tell me something else.” Eventually, like the annoying child, I am ignored.
All of this is to say that it took me forever to figure out what I was doing with the leftover coconut before I finally hit upon a recipe for Bill Granger’s Coconut Bread that I found at bakingsheet. It was supposed to make one loaf, but I decided to take this opportunity to use my mini loaf pan again, which made 8 mini breads. Mini breads are also more appropriate finger food for Stephanie’s monthly Blog Party. This month’s theme is Showers; baby showers, wedding showers, food showers… Ok, so I made that last one up, but other than the water kind that I take each morning, showers are not something that I attend. But any reason to make food is a good reason so long as you give me a lifetime to plan it. Eventually I will produce something like these little mini coconut loaves which are especially good when paired with some raspberry jam. You may have noticed a trend in what I bring to Stephanie’s parties, it’s always something sweet like cookies or fudge. I think I’m starting to become predictable and I don’t like that.
This time around I wanted to assure people that I could do more than just sweets so I also decided to bring some stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer. Choosing what to stuff the mushrooms with took considerably less time than deciding what to do with the coconut. That’s because cooking is much more lenient than baking, I can throw whatever I want into a pan and for the most part it will turn out alright. These stuffed mushrooms are an example of that. I combined chopped garlic, shallots and mushrooms and sautéed them in a little olive oil. I then blended this mixture with cream cheese, goats cheese, bread crumbs and a little white wine. I spooned it into some hollowed out mushrooms and baked them for 10 minutes at 400F. My appetizer was done in no time. I really liked the filling, but I can’t say the overall package appealed to me as much. If you like mushrooms though, I can confidently say that you’ll probably like these. The only reason I didn’t was because I used to have issues with the texture of button mushrooms, (though not morels or puffballs) and for some reason those issues flared up again. I like the taste of mushrooms, as evidenced by the fact that I liked the mushroom filling, but I just couldn’t eat the whole mushroom. I felt like a five year old as I scooped out the inside and ate it, leaving the mushrooms on my plate. Shame on me.
I can only hope that my drink is redeeming. It’s pretty, it’s fruity, it’s adaptable, what’s not to like? For a Mama-to-be you can make them au naturel, but for everyone else, I highly recommend the addition of coconut rum. I think I’ll call this little concoction a Fruit Shower in honour of the event. With my precious Blendtec, it’s simple to make, just throw some frozen peaches into the blender and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses, filling halfway. Then fill the blender with strawberries, raspberries and a big spoonful of frozen pineapple juice concentrate and give it another whirl. You might want to soften your fruit first if your blender doesn’t have a three horsepower motor. Or you can invite me to the party, I’ll bring the Blendtec, it’ll be a good time.