kruizing with kikukat

Monday, June 30, 2014

Toaster Oven Food: Haupia Jello Dessert

Now that it's summer, I spend way more time at home.  Somewhere during mid-afternoon, I start jonesing for something sweet.  I don't need a big slice of chocolate cake to satisfy the craving, but I need something a little more than a chocolate chip cookie to quiet the demons.

This summer, my preferred theme is coconut.  I've made a bunch of things with coconut:  satay chicken skewers, coconut shortbread, butter mochi, ice cream topping, and granola. D2 and I love coconut, and I was happy to see that Costco is having a special on VitaCoco coconut water in mid-July.   I guess I'll be hitting the road to Kona in a few weeks.

In my series of toaster oven desserts, I have another one to add to the mix.  Haupia Jello Dessert is very versatile because you can vary the flavor of the Jello.  I used pineapple Jello because I was going for the pina colada taste.  Pineapple Jello isn't the easiest flavor to find, but I found it at KTA.  If pineapple Jello can't be located, my second choice would be lime.  The natural food stores here sell a Tahitian limeade, which has a nice hint of coconut flavor, making lime and coconut a proven combination in my book.

Anything made in the toaster oven can be thrown together and cooked a lot faster than a full-size dessert.  This makes it ready to eat that much faster.  Of course, in my house, its the refrigerator real estate which is in short supply, so having to store a square pan is a way more realistic expectation than trying to make room for a 9 x 13" pan.
click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 c flour 
     2 tbsp sugar
     1/4 c macadamia nuts
     1/2 c butter
     1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk (shelf-stable)
     1/4 c + 2 tbsp sugar
     7 tbsp cornstarch
     1 c water
     1/2 tsp vanilla extract
     1 pkg unflavored gelatin
     1/4 c tap water
     1 box pineapple jello
     1 c boiling water
     1 c cold water
Preheat toaster (or regular) oven to 350 degrees.  In bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, macadamia nuts, and butter.  Pulse until pieces are the size of peas.  Press evenly into a 8" or 9" square pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Cool.  Combine cornstarch and water in a bowl.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk and sugar.  When warm, stir in cornstarch mixture.  Add vanilla and stir constantly until mixture boils and is very thick.  Place pan into an ice water bath, stirring frequently to cool and to prevent skin from forming.  Change ice bath as needed.  When mixture is cool, spread evenly over crust and refrigerate.  Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over tap water to soften.  Combine pineapple jello, softened gelatin and boiling water.  Stir until dissolved.  Add cold water.  Pour carefully over coconut layer.  Chill until jello layer is firm.  Cut into squares to serve.

Last weekend, The Help and I made a quick run to Costco.  I was thrilled to see that the first shipment of Rainier cherries arrived!  Rainier cherries are my favorite cherry.  Not only are they absolutely gorgeous. . .blush on rich sun-gold fruit, but they hold a special place in my heart.  The first time I tried a Rainier cherry was straight off the tree in UGeo's backyard (Marine View house).

The 2-pound clamshell of cherries was obliterated early in the week in the span of a quick hour by THREE 11 year old girls who were hungry after splashing around for a few hours.  I managed to eat a dozen of them, and The Help had three (the three in the picture to the right).  It was no mystery as to how the cherries managed to disappear so quickly.  They were delicious.  They were plump, sweet, and juicy.  And they were all gone.

Never one to hide her feelings (or opinion), D2 suggested we make another trip to Costco. . .to buy more Rainier cherries.  I hadn't considered making a trip to Costco so soon, but The Help forlornly recalled about how perfect the three cherries had tasted.  As if the sob story wasn't enough, he reminded me that the Rainier cherry availability window was extremely short and would likely be closed by the time D2 returns from her upcoming trip.

So mid-Friday afternoon, I found myself on the Saddle, heading west to Costco. . .to get Ziploc sandwich bags, more cherries, and a bunch of things Kikukat Mom requested (can you believe Costco has been out of Ritz cracker and bamboo chopsticks for a while now?).

All the way over, D2 voiced her anxiety about the possibility of Rainier cherries being sold out.  She was relieved when, once in the store, we passed a lady with Rainier cherries in her cart.  D2 suggested we keep a visual check on her, just in case she took the last box.  Luckily, there was still an ample supply of Rainier cherries in the cold room, and we ended up buying two 2-pound clamshells of Rainier cherries.

The Help packed his camera equipment to get some sunset shots.  D2 estimates that she has taken over a thousand shots of D1 posing.  She said it was nice to not have to take pictures of D1 for a change.  D2 used my NEX to snap the shot below.  She did a lot of self-talk to get the shot, as she was hoping to avoid agitating the bee.  Photographers seem to do a lot of holding ass to get the shots they want.  I guess it's never too early to start building a portfolio!

Note to self:  Never underestimate the craftiness and cunning of little sisters.  While at Costco, D2 spied a pack of crab legs and asked The Help to buy it.  Being sensitive to those with food allergies, The Help hesitated, as he knew D1 would salivate profusely and pout at the sight of the forbidden food.   I relented, possibly driven by the fact that I forgot my purse at home, and assured him we'd only eat the crab when D1 was out for dinner.  On Saturday, as D1 was leaving to hang out with friends, D2 yelled, "don't be afraid to have dinner with your friends", in the sweetest, pedantic voice you can imagine.

No comments:

Post a Comment