Chocolate Coconut Tarts

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Chocolate Coconut Tarts

Coconut Crust:

1 cup cream of coconut

2 tablespoon light corn syrup

4 egg whites

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 cup flaked sweetened coconut

1 cup toasted chopped almonds


1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups half-and-half

6 egg yolks

14 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Almond Topping:

1/8 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa

1/2 cup almonds


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut out squares of parchment paper to fit about (16-18) 4-inch pie tins. Center the parchment paper on each tin and place each lined tin on top of each other and weight down while completing recipe.

In a large bowl whisk together the cream of coconut, corn syrup, egg whites, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Stir coconut and chopped almonds. Lightly spray the lined tins with nonstick spray. Press the coconut mixture into each tin , forming a crust. Place tins on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; using the back of the spoon gently press down the center of the crusts, if they have puffed up. Turn off oven and return the sheet pans back to the oven with oven door held ajar.


In a large saucepan, whisk the cornstarch, espresso powder, sugar and sat until combined. Whisk in the heavy cream and half-and-half until incorporated. Place over medium high heat, whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Reduce heat; continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes longer.

Remove from heat. Whisk in a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk in the tempered egg yolks back into the remaining hot mixture; whisking constantly.

Return to medium heat and bring back to a gentle boil; cook 2 more minutes longer.

Remove from heat and whisk in the cooled melted chocolate and vanilla extract until combined. Place the filling in a glass bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool completely.

Almond Topping:

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and cocoa. Over medium heat bring to a boil; add the almonds . Continue to cook while stirring until the liquid has evaporated and formed a thick syrup. Pour the almond mixture over the prepared pan and allow to cool completely. Once cool, chop in coarse pieces.


Remove the crusts form the oven and allow to cool completely before filling. Fill the cooled crusts with the cooled filling and top with the almond topping. Gently lift the tarts from the tins with the parchment paper liner; serve.

Cremini Mushroom Turnover Appy’s


Cremini Mushroom Turnover Appy’s

4 Tablespoons butter

1 shallot, finely,diced

1 head roasted garlic

8 oz. sliced cremini (baby bellas) mushrooms

1 1/2 cups baby spinach, chiffonade

3 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 package frozen puff pastry containing 2 sheets

1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water- for egg wash

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sliced mushrooms until finely chopped. In a large saucepan place the butter, diced shallot, chopped mushrooms, and chiffonade baby spinach. Saute until liquid is evaporated and vegetables are tender. Pour in the white wine and reduce down to about 1 tablespoon. Pour in heavy cream and reduce down to nearly to the point that no liquid is present. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Stir in the grated cheese once mixture is cool.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Defrost the puff pastry sheets as directed on box. Cut each sheet into 9- 3 1/3 inch squares for a total of 18 squares .

Divide evenly the filling between the 18 squares.

Whisk together the egg and water. Using your finger, lightly wet edges of filled squares with egg wash. Fold meeting the corners into a triangle. Place each turnover on lined baking sheets, 9 on each baking sheet. Lightly brush egg wash over the top of the filled turnovers. Lightly sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt over the top along with fresh cracked black pepper.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

Bacon Appy’s


Bacon Appy's

Oh man oh man…. If you are a bacon lover, I have a EASY treat for you.
Take 1 lb. bacon;slice in half. Using club crackers, place about 1 T Parmesan cheese on top of cracker and wrap with the half slice of bacon. Place on baking sheet with cooling rack placed inside. Bake @ 250 for 2 hours.
I saw this on Food Network /Pioneer Woman. You can make ahead. Cool; freeze and warm as needed. All I can say is OMG!!

Prosciutto would be awesome with this as well.

Spinach Corn Strudel with Tomato Dipping Sauce


1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups corn kernels

2 egg whites

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

nutmeg ; to taste

salt and pepper; to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 cups fresh packed baby spinach

4 sheets of phyllo dough

4 tablespoons melted butter

Tomato Sauce:

3 tomatoes

salt; to taste

sugar; to taste

pepper; to taste

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup vinegar

6 fresh basil leaves , chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, corn, egg whites, lemon zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper until combined. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the spinach. Saute until soft. Place the spinach on a cloth towel and dry the spinach, squeezing gently. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Brush a sheet of phyllo dough with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the second sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Repeat with remaining sheets.

With the long side of the phyllo toward you, spoon the ricotta  mixture onto bottom third of the dough, spread spinach on top of the ricotta.

Roll the phyllo up from the bottom, like a log; tucking in on the sides as you roll. Place on prepared sheet pan and bake 20 minutes, until golden.

Cut the phyllo diagonally into 8 pieces for appetizers or 4 for entree. Serve with the tomato sauce.

8 appetizers

2 entree

Tomato Sauce:

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water, chill in ice bath, remove skins and seeds.

In a food processor, puree the tomato. Add the salt, sugar and pepper; to taste.

With food processor running , slowly pour in the olive oil and vinegar. Blend until mixture is smooth.

Stir in basil.



1 lb. ground lamb

1/3 cup raw white rice

1 egg

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

4 tablespoons butter

3 cups chicken stock or more as needed.

salt and pepper; to taste

1 (10 oz.) jar grape leaves in brine

Mix the meat, rice, egg, parsley and mint in a large bowl. Saute the onion and celery in the butter until translucent. Cool slightly and add to meat mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Carefully unroll the grape leaves, rinse in cold water and boil in large pot for 5 minutes; drain well. Spread out one leaf at a time on a work surface. Cut out the tough parts from the leaves, stem and hard rib. Place 1 tablespoon of meat mixture on grape leaf on the longest part of the leaf; fold over once; fold over edges toward the center and roll again to create a complete package.

Place the stuffed leaves, seam side down, lay in layers in a deep pan. Add simmering 2 1/2 cups stock, cover ans simmer for 1 hour. Serve hot or cold.

Chicken-Pear Turnovers

Chicken-Pear Turnovers



1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup white wine

2 shallots, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups heavy cream

salt and pepper; to taste


1 cooked skinless, boneless chicken, julienned

1 pear, peeled,cored and sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 small red onion, diced

4 oz. grated Gouda cheese

3(8×10) inch sheets Puff pastry

egg wash, plus one tablespoon water, beaten


In a heavy bottomed pot, add the juice,sherry, wine, shallots and garlic. Bring to boil ;continue to boil until liquid is reduced down to 1/4 cup. Pour in the heavy cream and bring to boil. Continue to boil until reduced down to 1 1/4 cup. Salt and pepper; to taste. Pour into a bowl to cool completely.


In a large bowl combine the onion, bell pepper, julienned chicken breast, pear and grated cheese; toss to combine. Add cooled sauce and combine.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the puff pastry into 12 squares or small squares if appetizers are preferred rather than entree. Divide the filling among the squares equally. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold over corner to create a triangle. Crimp edges with a fork. Brush the tops with egg wash and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Munch a Bunch



6 cups popped corn

1 -6oz. bag Frito Corn Chips

2 cups pretzels

3oz. can Chinese noodles

1/2 cup butter

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. hot sauce

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Combine the butter, Worcestershire Sauce, hot sauce and garlic powder. Microwave until butter is melted. Combine the remaining ingredients and toss with butter mixture to coat. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour ; stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool and store in a airtight container.