Friday, May 27, 2011

Tommy Bahama's Pina Colada Cake: Evidence that Tommy does Everything with Flair

In Palm Springs, CA, there is a Tommy Bahama's store and cafe. If you are ever there, you should probably get the coconut shrimp and perhaps the goat cheese with mango salsa. Actually, everything on the menu is good, get whatever you want.

But for dessert, you have to get THIS cake. Pina Colada cake.

Look at the back of that. All layered in coconut. And the pineapple. My gosh.

It is a personal favorite of mine. I am constantly trying to recreate the flavor combination- case and point these cupcakes and this citrus dump cake. My parents actually went to California without me once and brought it back to Chicago for my birthday. An entire, four layer cake. They had to carry it on and, apparently, this cake weighs a ton.

You wouldn't think it from the light fluffy cake and mousse.

Also, that's my friend Adam creeping over the cake. He lives in California... I am pretty jealous. Especially since he could always drive and get this cake. 

If he wanted to drive 5 hours or so. Which. For tihs cake... I might.

Each forkful is like a floating piece of summer. It's like eating a tropical cloud.

If that sounds appealing.

The pics seen above are taken in Tommy's from my latest trip there. With my family and Adam, we had a big lunch at Tommy's, finished off with this cake. It was an amazing amazing trip. It may have been winter but, I promise you, in Palm Springs it is still 80 degrees. Tropical cake is more then applicable.

Clearly, no one else liked it.

I doubt the REAL recipe in the Tommy cafe' uses cake mix. I don't know why that's what the Tommy's website uses but, since I would likely have made a mix cake anyway to save myself the time and a dime, (all about the rhyme!), I am not complaining. However, I think when I make this, I will be making my own white chocolate mousse. Mousse is completely underrated and is exceptionally fun to make. While I always make a mess, it is always a really fun mess.

I'll let you know how this all turns out.

Make it yourself and enjoy :)

Pina Colada Cake Recipe (Straight from the Tommy's Website)
1 box Pillsbury Deluxe White Cake Mix
1 box Swiss Chalet White Chocolate Mousse
1 Quart Heavy Cream
8 oz Crushed Pineapple-drained
½ Cup Toasted Coconut

Bake cake as directed in 2 - 9" x 12" rounds. Cool. Slice off rounded top level with baking pan and cut each cake into 2 layers (4 cake layers in total). Make Mousse according to the directions. After the mousse mixture is complete, slowly add heavy cream. Increase speed until mousse and heavy cream are incorporated. Continue whipping until stiff. Assembly: Generously brush each layer of the cake with Tommy Bahama Golden SunTM Rum. Spread the mousse mix evenly ¼" thick on the first layer. Sprinkle with some of the pineapple. Top with next cake layer and again, spread with mousse then pineapple. Continue with each layer. The layers of the cake and mousse should be the same height. Coat the sides and top with the mousse mix. Sprinkle toasted coconut over the finished cake.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fruit Pizza

I love this recipe. I had posted this before as "Berry Happy You're a Citizen!" fruit pizza, which I had made with red and blue berries (as shown above) to celebrate a dear friend of mine becoming a dual American/Canadian citizen. At that party, people had thought I had BOUGHT the tart, it looked that good. 

Well, I mean, really. It does look pretty daggum good!!! This one here is a rainbow pattern, I don't know which I like more! The baby tartlets were adorable but, the big pizza is always a hit. I made it in a tart pan so the edges were lovely for the citizenship party but, it still is an attention getter with all that fresh fruit and lovely cream...

I mean, wow. Can't you see why? I vote you make this today. With all the fresh spring berries, it'd be perfect.

Or soon. Just make it VERY soon :)


Fresh Fruit Pizza
-1 package sugar cookie dough
Grease pizza pan (or, as I used, fluted tart pan), press dough to edges and smooth. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes.

-1 8oz cream cheese
-1 8oz cool whip
Once cookie crust is cool...pour and spread onto crust.
Decorate with fruit, coat in glaze.

-1/4 cup water
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 teaspoons lemon juice
-1 teaspoon cornstarch
-1/2 cup orange juice
-Dash of salt

Use a spoon to pour over tart and then a detail brush to smear and coat all the fruit. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Ultimate Star Wars Feast

A long time ago, in a kitchen far far away... I made a ridiculous amount of geek food for a friend's birthday dinner.

When I had asked him what he'd like for dinner, telling him I'd make him anything, he had said he trusted me to make an amazing meal and he just had one request. Could it be Star Wars themed?

My roommate (his girlfriend) and I both stared for a second before smiling like fools. This was suddenly a present for ME! I am pretty sure my answer was "I guess I could deal with that" and inside I was doing excited cooking cartwheels.

Not surprisingly, I then got carried away. The facebook event was sent out to our friends, ("When 900 years you reach, cook this good you will not"), the grocery list got astounding, and I piped more geeky icing in one sitting than ever before.

I'll explain each piece on their own individual page. I tried to get this up and posted by May Fourth (For May the Fourth be with you) and then again for Revenge of the 5th but, it was too many photos to edit and recipes to upload. However, you'll find the entire menu below. May the force be with you.

Blue Milk Cocktail
Yoda Swamp Soda
Death Star Ritz Crackers
Sarlacc Pizza Dip
Tauntaun Guts
Battlefield Squash Lasagna 
Boba Feta Salad

Assorted Galactic Cheesecakes

YAY CHEESECAKES! I took this plain recipe for Cheesecake which I used for the Jar Jar Cheesecake and made three different flavors by separating them into mixing bowls and pouring into mini cheesecake pans. 

The Death Star has the addition of chocolate chips. I piped it with black icing after smearing it with some gray/blue icing. 

The Chewie cheesecake is made with nutella and chocolate chips.

And Yoda! Aw, Yoda. My favorite character, so ugly he's cute. This is a key lime cheesecake. I juiced some key limes and zested them into the cheesecake batter. 

All the cheesecakes have a graham cracker crust. 

Make and enjoy :)

Jabba's Frog Guts



See? Not so gross taken in context. Pesto. Confetti meatballs.

Super yummy.

Everyone at the party was staring at me like I was crazy when this crock pot full of green goo presented itself. 

"It's like the frogs that Jabba is always eating!" I exclaimed. They still stared at me like I was crazy. I bullied a few into taking a few bites though and then, suddenly, they were gone! Inhaled.

Everyone said they were their favorite thing there. Everyone. out of 16 people, everyone said they loved these.

So, see? You need to make them. The recipe is here for the meatballs. I had originally planned on being super cutesy and making them shaped like frogs but, when I tried to put them in my frog molds I made a disastrous mess. So! Just normal meatballs it was.

Serve with some pesto sauce and enjoy. 

Boba Feta Salad

This is a simple greek salad. It's a lot of feta, greek dressing, sun dried tomatoes, red peppers, and some croutons I made up. They are shaped like stars and I TRIED to make these ones look like the ships. Some fighters and the MF.

Can anyone kinda see that?

Just me then. Awesome. Well! You can at least see the stars. And appreciate the rest. To make croutons: cut out bread with cutters. Brush with butter and olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with oregano, basil, and some salt. Broil until golden, approx 2-3 mins. 

Enjoy :)

Battlefield Squah Lasagna

So, this was my favorite thing made. Look how pretty it looks non-geeky.

I found the recipe from Martha. It was SOOOOOOO good.

And I found the LEGO characters and ship at target.

It turned out delicious and SO SO fun. Please make this. I love it. I am going to make it again once I find a butternut squash that is already diced up. It was a horrific trial to cut it up. I hate squash now. Working with it made me want to die.

So. I'll make it again when I find some butternut that I can work with. This is amazing tho. Try it out.

Tauntaun Spaghetti Guts

This is a garlic bread Tauntaun that is sliced open and bleeding spaghetti...

I personally think it'd be a very cozy place to spend a frozen night.

Mushroom vodka sauce, angel hair pasta, and mushrooms pan fried with garlic butter. I loved the simplicity of this dish, it was just jars and boxes, but I adored it. The Tauntaun itself was a huge success. 

Sarlacc Pizza Dip

This dip caused a shocking amount of debate amongst my friend.

Should the clam-shell like Sarlacc be present? Or should it be old school and just filled with tentacles? 

What do you guys think?

Either way, this recipe from Noble Pig was amazing. You NEED to make it. Some Pilsbury bread sticks were manipulated into the shell and tentacles. So good...

Strawberry Jar Jar Binks Cheesecake

Everyone hated this dessert.

Not because it tasted bad. Just because of the Jar Jar things about it. And Jar Jar needs to be cut into pieces.

This is a plain cheesecake recipe I found here. I made it, chopped in about a container of strawberries, piped Jar Jar on, and put a fruit by the foot tongue on the whole thing. I loved it, the foot tongue made me endlessly happy.

As did cutting up his face. He's annoying but, he tasted divine.