Meet A Beautiful Mess

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Meet, A Beautiful Mess! Sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman are the owners of the company who, along with their fantastic creative team, focus on bringing happiness through a handmade life style. Their tutorials, recipes, decorating ideas, and photography are a source of constant inspiration!
They have apps too! I’m addicted to their Party! Party! app and the A Beautiful Mess photo app. I’ve used it here on the blog and IRL while on vacation! What can I say other than go by the site and prepare to be amazed!

Party!Party! app in action!

Coconut Cake

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It’s Jefrey’s birthday. You know what that means! Yay!

Coconut Cake

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line to 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper then set aside.

3 cups Cake Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6oz. (1 stick + 3 tablespoons) Butter (room temp.)
1 3/4 cups Sugar
2 Eggs (room temp.)
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 1/4 cup Coconut Milk

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients: coconut milk, vanilla and eggs and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
In turns on low-speed, add half the dry then half the wet ingredients then add the rest of the dry then the rest of the wet until everything is combined.

Pour the batter evenly between the two cake pans and place into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Place the pans on a wire rack to cool before frosting.
Tip: Make the cake a day before and store in wrapped in cling film in the fridge. The cold cake will frost much easier.

For the frosting:
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks Butter (room temp)
2 8oz. containers Cream Cheese (room temp)
1 lb. Powdered Sugar
2 cups of Sweetened Flaked Coconut

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whip together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Turn the mixer down to low-speed and add in the powdered sugar by small increments until well combined and smooth.

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Starting with the bottom layer smooth about 1/2 cup portion of the frosting onto the top then place the top layer on and spoon most of the rest of the frosting onto the top layer. Smooth the frosting over the side of the cake and smooth it over the sides and in between the cake layers. Make swirls on the top to form a decorative pattern.
Next gather the coconut in your palm and pat it into the frosting on the sides of the cake. This will be very messy!
Continue until you have a nice layer and all of the frosting is covered. Sprinkle the coconut onto the top.

Scallops and Herbed Risotto

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If you’re celebrating something this is the dish for you! Yet it’s so easy to make you could go for it on a weekday as well.

Scallops and Herbed Risotto
For the Herbed Risotto:
1 1/2 cups Risotto/Arborio rice
6 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Small Onion (finely chopped)
1 cup White Wine
2 tablespoons Fresh Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Tarragon, etc.)
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper

Heat up the chicken stock in a large sauce pan and set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed saute pan heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the diced onion, cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and half the fresh herbs.

Add the rice and stir to ensure it gets coated thoroughly in the oil. Toast the rice for about 3 minutes.
Add the wine. When the wine is all absorbed you can start to add the stock one ladle full at a time.

Ladle the hot stock into the rice by half cup increments, stir and wait until all the stock is absorbed until you add more. Continue with this process until the rice is fully cooked and tender. About 20-30 minutes.
You might not need all the stock, I always give the rice a taste every 10 or so minutes to test for doneness.

Right before you add the last couple of ladles full of stock add the rest of the fresh herbs. Lastly, stir in the parmesan cheese.

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For the Scallops:
1 lb. large Scallops (about 10-15)
4 tablespoons Compound Butter (divided) or, Plain Unsalted Butter if you’d rather.
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (divided)
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
Chopped Fresh Chives
Salt & Pepper

In a heavy bottomed sauté pan turned to medium high, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pat the scallops dry with a tea towel or paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 5-7 of the scallops into the butter and fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip and then fry for another 2 mins. Remove and place on a warm plate and cover with foil while working on the next batch.
Correctly cooked scallops are rare in the middle.
Repeat procedure for the remaining scallops.
Remove the scallops and place on the plate. Whisk in the heavy cream and reduce for 2-5 minutes, or until it is thickened.

Serve with the Risotto, the cream sauce poured over. Garnish with chives.

Dinner Tonight for iBooks

Guess who’s cookbook is being published for iBooks by Apple? Yep, that’s right!
It should be available Sept 6th! And here’s the best part, it’s only $1.99.
You can get it now as eBook from Blurb if you don’t have iBooks

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While we’re on the subject, my first book The Family Table is already available!
Simply open the iBooks app on your iPad and search Kathleen Rear.

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Handy format, easy, delicious recipes! That my friends is a win, win, win!

Hippy Mom

Hippy Mom

I was shopping with my teenage son at the “teen store” at the mall. While he was being forced to try on dress pants I was running around trying on various things I thought teenage me would have dug back in the day. He caught me at it; but instead of being embarrassed he thought the combo was fetching. “That’s cool! You could be “Hippy Mom”

Thus a new look was born…

No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream

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1 lbs. Frozen Strawberries (do not thaw!)
3/4 cup Sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream

To a blender add, condensed milk and heavy cream. Blend on medium speed until combined. Add the frozen strawberries and blend until strawberries are combined with the milk and cream.
Tip: You might need to stop the blender and mix with a spatula to get everything mixed.
Mixture will be very thick!
Spoon the ice cream into a covered container and place in the freezer for at least two hours or overnight.
Set your ice cream out for about 15 minutes to make the scooping easier.

The Packing Project: Episode 11

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Coco Channel is often quoted as saying: “Before you leave the house; look in the mirror and take off one thing.”
It was her advice when asked how to be simply chic.

I humbly offer similar advice when packing. Before you complete your packing, go through the suit case and remove two, or three, or even four things! It’s a trick i’ve come to rely on for packing light.
See above. My case is already chock full and i’ve yet to pack my shorts or tee shirts; not to mention my undies or Dopp kit.
Shame on me!
Lets see; I’ll bet I can do with out those two extra dresses, and perhaps a few less shoes!
And this way, i’ll have room to bring home some purchases made at that awesome surf shop near the house on Wailea!