Sometimes It’s OK to Cheat: Dump Cake

So I know that here at ES (and in my life in general) there is a no-cheating policy. That is, make your own damn food, don’t use a bunch of boxed, pre-made mixes and shortcuts. Basically, don’t be Sandra Lee. Sometimes, just sometimes, though… there is a time to break the rules.

Now is that time.

Have you ever heard of “dump cake?” Kind of a gross-sounding name, I know. My mom used to make it for us when we were younger. It’s a very easy, quick, and delicious dessert comprised solely of peach pie filling, cherry pie filling, and yellow cake mix. After dumping those in a cake pan and baking, it kind of comes out as a cross between an actual cake, a cobbler and a pie. Anyway, this summer I got to thinking about my mom’s dump cakes and decided I wanted to bust out my grownup version of the old favorite. It still uses some of the “cheater” ingredients—canned pie filling and cake mix—but I changed up some of the flavors (coconut instead of cherry) and added a few more interesting elements to the topping (toasted coconut-almond crunch versus just cake).

I wasn’t sure if this old recipe would stand up, but the acclaim I received from everyone who tried it confirmed my actions. Sometimes it’s okay to be a cheater.

Peach, Almond, and Toasted Coconut Dump Cake

Read More
Sponsored Content
Coconut Mocha Syrup

100 Ways to Cook with Coconut

A lot of people think of coconut as a warm-weather flavor, but we’re here to tell you that it is delicious year-round, in both savory and sweet dishes. So while it’s almost September (still technically summer, though, dudes!) we encourage you to think outside the box and embrace the wonders of coconut for your year-round cooking needs. Shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut everything! We’ve scoured our favorite food blogs for some of those taste-the-tropics style recipes we all know and love, but we’ve also rounded up curries, soups, meats, pizzas, seafood and more, all celebrating one of our favorite—and surprisingly versatile—fruits.

Click on the photos for full recipes.

Coconut Lentil Soup Apple Cinnamon Cocomeal Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles Prestigio Cheesecake
Cauliflower Mappas Mango Coconut Popsicles French Coconut Pie Spicy Coconut Kale Quinoa
Grilled Coconut Sweet Potato Kebabs Coconut Limoncello Cupcakes 5 Ingredient Coconut Curry Coconut Milk Cornbread
Turkey Coconut Curry Soup Carrot Cake Granola Buttermilk Pancakes with Coconut Syrup Baked Coconut Shrimp
Creamy Coconut Vodka Sauce Sesame Coconut Bok Choy Mango Coconut Mojito Tropical Breakfast Pizza
Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk Samoas Bark Peanut Butter Coconut Protein Bars
Spicy Coconut Peanut Prawn Noodles Coconut Peanut Curry Dip Mango Milkshake with Coconut Sorbet Chocolate Almond Coconut Gobs
Kale Coconut Salad Pacific Rim Burger Coconut Cilantro Jasmine Rice Coconut Strawberry Sandwich
Chocolate Chunk Biscotti Thai Pot Pie Curried Green Beans Peanut Butter Coconut Cups
Mini Coconut Poptarts Coconut Flax Pancakes Blueberry Coconut Bread Pudding Coconut Curry Tempeh Wrap
Chinese Coconut Buns Pina Colada Donuts Thai Chicken Soup Pina Colada Cupcakes
Strawberry Coconut Buttercream Layer Cake Coconut Corn Chowder Chocolate Rumballs Coconut Curry Shrimp with Peanut Noodles
Sweet Potato Coconut Ravioli Red Curried Vegetable Tomato Soup Coconut Creme Fried Pie Fresh Corn Saute with Coconut Milk and Sriracha
Coconut Cereal Cookies Thai Ginger Peanut Dressing Coconut Pound Cake Coconut Bacon
Spicy Coconut Noodles Beef Rendang Creamy Bacon Rosemary Polenta Red Velvet Coconut Donuts
Coconut Peanut Sauce Beef Pistachio Coconut Rice Pudding Pineapple Coconut Tarts Coconut Cream Pudding Cookies
Grilled Tofu with Spicy Coconut Milk Sweet Potato Pecan Coconut Cake Coconut Lime Chicken Strips Tropical Kale Salad
Pineapple Tofu Curry Cowgirl Cookies Mango Coconut Tartlets Caramelized Banana Oatmeal
Coconut Lime Granola Coconut Green Curry Lentils Coconut Protein Bars Chocolate Crunch Quesadillas
Garlic Chili Coconut Mussels Coconut Date Bonbons Corn Squash Coconut Stew Banh Mi with Coconut Lime Dressing
Coconut Butterscotch Chow Mein Cookies Coconut Quinoa Hot Cereal Coconut Salted Caramel Pie
Coconut Hot Chocolate Creme Brulee Coconut Rice Pudding Coconut Jam Cookies Salmon Coconut Pizza
Mango Coconut Salsa Banana Coffee Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting Pumpkin in Coconut Milk with Crispy Tofu Coconut Mocha Syrup
Island Carrot Cake Coconut Buckwheat Breakfast Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Coconut Rice Krispy Treats Creamy Lemon Thai Inspired Noodles
Coconut Baked Pork Coconut Creme Brulee Vietnamese Clam Curry Indian-Style Chickpeas


All 100 Ways — 1,600 recipes and counting! — found here.

Sponsored Content

Endless Ice Cream: Lemongrass, Coconut and Ginger

Ahh, lemongrass. One of my favorite flavors. Every once in a while they have stacks of fresh lemongrass stalks at the grocery store. I happily buy several stalks of it and use it in soups, sauces, and stir-frys. I recently read that you can turn supermarket stalks of lemongrass into your very own plant, giving a bounty of lemongrass whenever you want it. After tasting this ice cream I think I’ll have to start growing my own- I anticipate making this happening many, many times.

Note: If you’ve never worked with fresh lemongrass before, here’s a quick run-down of what you’ll need to do: Trim the root end from the bottom and the papery end from the top of the stalk. You should be left with a 2″ to 4″ piece. Remove the outer leaves one at a time until the leaves are no longer brownish or papery. The remainder should be about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Grab a rolling pin, hammer, or anything heavy and sturdy. Beat the crap out of the pieces of lemongrass. This releases the flavorful oils. Finally, cut the bruised pieces into 1/4″ slices. You’re good to go.

Lemongrass, Coconut & Ginger Ice Cream

Read More
Sponsored Content

It is STILL Summer: Coconut Shrimp Meatball on Crostini with Fruit Salsa

Soooo, are any of you folks on Pinterest?  I am and I waste hours (yes, hours) of my life looking at pins, pinning pins, liking pins and thinking about pins.  Clearly, I have too much free time (at work).

It’s bumming me out lately that people are pinning Halloween stuff and (gasp) Christmas stuff.  I mean, slow down, y’all.

It’s still totally summer, if you ask me.  I literally just started buying and wearing tank tops because I sort of have a tan (a tan for me is not really a tan by normal standards, but at least nobody is blinded by my upper arms anymore).  Also, all the summer clothes are on clearance now and that makes me happy.

Let’s just relax.

And enjoy summer.

How about a coconut shrimp appetizer for your cocktail party?  It screams SUMMER!

Quit trying to plan ahead and live in the present…mostly just so I can enjoy my tank tops and flip flops for a little longer.

Coconut Shrimp Meatball on Crostini with Fruit Salsa

Read More
Sponsored Content

Chenopod Cooking: Spicy Coconut Kale Quinoa

When it comes to side dishes, I’m a creature of habit. I’m obsessed with dark, leafy greens like kale and chard. I’m also really into quinoa lately. Fun fact, ES friends: did you know quinoa isn’t a grain? It’s a “chenopod” (What is that? Real talk: I’m not sure.) Apparently, it’s more closely related to beets, spinach, and tumbleweed. Maybe tumbleweed will be the next hot food trend! You heard it here first.

Anyway, since I use quinoa so much in my cooking, I need to find ways to keep it interesting. One of my favorite methods is to cook it in coconut milk rather than water or broth, which gives it a slightly creamier texture. To balance out the sweetness of the coconut, I add lots of salt and spices. This is a very adaptable base; you can mix in whatever herbs and vegetables you desire.

Spicy Coconut Kale Quinoa

Read More
Sponsored Content

Cocktail O’Clock: Spiked Coconuts

Sitting in the sand, we sipped our spiked coconuts while sampling grilled mussels, pulled pork tacos, and assorted kebabs, and taking in the vast ocean views. Yep, coconut is yet another food that’s even better with booze.

The best thing about this beverage is that it’s beach-friendly: it can rest upright in the sand without tipping or getting sandy inside. Also, even if you’re not at the beach, one strawful of the subtly sweet spiked juice transplants you to a coastal town on the South Atlantic Ocean.


Using a small drill bit or screwdriver, punch a hole through the exterior of the coconut until you reach the center. Insert a small funnel into the hole and pour 1 shot of vodka inside. Cap with a small cork or whittled piece of wood, and refrigerate. The longer you let the coconuts steep, the stronger!

Sponsored Content

Cocktail O’Clock: Mango Coconut Mojito

I am not, nor have I ever been, a bartender.  I love mixed drinks, though.  And I’m super cheap, so I would much rather make drinks at home than pay upwards of $8 a glass on a super-sugary and not-alcoholic-enough drink.

Now, I promised myself a while back that I would not buy any more coconut rum because it’s too easy to consume in mass quantities and regret it later.  Buuuttt…I guess I break promises.

So, here’s a tropical drink to rock your socks.

Coconut Mango Mojito

Read More
Sponsored Content
Page 2 of 41234