If you enjoy cooking shows and haven’t watched Pati’s Mexican Table (in Austin it’s on KLRU at noon on Saturdays), this is one you have to watch.  She frequently takes you to a beautiful restaurant in a city in Mexico and then comes home and makes something yummy.  My favorite episode showed scenes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico which put it at the top of my list of places I want to visit!  Anyway, she made these potatoes and they looked scrumptious so I knew I had to make them.  I made them last night when Joni and Kelle were here, and they did not disappoint.  Not only did the kitchen smell incredible while they were baking, Joni moaned at almost every bite – and I’m the one usually moaning!  (Actually I think we were all moaning inside.)  Seriously, if you are a potato fan and you like garlic, they are the bomb.  We even scraped the crispy cheese on the baking sheet that fell off the potatoes. Yum, yum, yum!!

2 lbs. baby potatoes (I did a mixture of red, purple and Yukon Gold, but all red would be good – just be sure they are small and similar in size.)
8 TB. olive oil, plus more to brush pan
10-12 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
¾  t. ground ancho (mild) or chipotle (spicy) chile powder
¾  t. kosher salt
1-1/2 TB chopped fresh rosemary, or 1-1/2 t. dried rosemary
About 1 c. grated parmesan cheese (or queso anejo)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Brush olive oil on a large baking sheet.

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Drop in the potatoes and cook until completely cooked and soft, about 20 minutes.  The tip of a sharp knife should be able to easily go through one.  Drain off the water and immediately place the potatoes on the baking sheet.  Don’t let them cool too much, or it won’t be easy to smash them.  With the back of a large spoon smash each potato lightly but firmly until it flattens halfway, but not completely broken apart.

While the potatoes are boiling, mix the olive oil, garlic, chile powder, rosemary and salt in a bowl.  Once the potatoes are all smashed spoon some of the garlic mixture on top of each smashed potato.  Cover with the cheese.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until they are golden and crisp.  Serve hot.


Jeana and I saw this recipe in a Bon Appetit magazine, and I promised her I would make it for her birthday.  It wasn’t difficult and was tasty, but honestly every step used a different bowl/pan so I’m not sure the clean-up was worth the pie.  I am putting this on the blog, because we all love coconut, and I want to be able to access the crust recipe.  Having said that, if you don’t mind all the dishes and you love coconut, this is a very light but tasty dessert and not overly sweet.

Nonstick oil spray (such as Pam)
1 large egg white
1-3/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ c. sugar
2 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ t. Kosher salt
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted, slightly cooled

2 wide strips lime zest
1-3/4 c. whole milk
¾ c. unsweetened coconut milk
¼ c. raw, skin-on almonds, coarsely chopped
2 TB unsweetened shredded coconut
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted, slightly cooled
3 large egg yolks
¼ c. cornstarch
¼ t. Kosher salt
½ c. + 2 TB sugar
2 TB chilled unsalted butter
1 t. fresh lime juice
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
2 t. vanilla, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Heavily coat a 9” pie pan with nonstick spray.  Mix egg white, coconut, sugar, butter and salt with a rubber spatula in a large bowl until evenly combined and the consistency of a stiff paste.  Using your hands, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie pan.  Bake until edges are golden brown and bottom is set and just barely golden, 15-20 minutes.  Transfer pie pan to a wire rack and let crust cool.  (Leave oven on to toast almonds and coconut.)  Brush crust with melted chocolate.

Bring lime zest, milk, and coconut milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Cover and let sit off heat 30 minutes.

Toast almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8-10 minutes.  Let cool.  Toast coconut on the same baking sheet, tossing once, until edges are golden, about 4 minutes.

Stir almonds into melted chocolate in a small bowl.  Spread in an even layer on a sheet of parchment paper.  Sprinkle toasted coconut over chocolate almonds and chill until firm, 8-10 minutes.  Coarsely chop, then cover and chill.

Pluck out lime zest from milk mixture and discard.  Return milk mixture to a simmer.  Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, salt and ½ c. sugar in a medium bowl to combine.  Whisking constantly, gradually add ½ c. milk mixture to egg mixture.  Whisking constantly add egg mixture to milk in saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbling (it will look like thick pudding).  Remove from heat and whisk in butter and lime juice.

Scrape custard into crust and press a piece of plastic wrap against surface.  Chill until set, about 2 hours.

Just before serving, whip cream and remaining 2 TB sugar and optional vanilla in a small bowl to medium-stiff peaks.  Spoon over custard, leaving about a 1” border, and swirl decoratively.  Scatter chocolate-almond bark around perimeter.  (If you aren’t serving the whole pie, only put enough whipped cream over the area you are serving.)  Pie without cream can be made 3 days ahead if kept chilled. 


I saw this on The Chew one day and knew I would eventually have to make it.  Last night for “neighbor’s night” I decided it was time!  It did not disappoint.  The dark chocolate gooey-ness was scrumptious with the middle running out almost like it was pudding.  Served with a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream on the side and the toasted nuts on top it was just perfect for a chocolate “fix”.  The original recipe had a salted caramel sauce drizzled across the top, but I ran out of time and didn’t get it done – that will give me an excuse to make it again!    

1 pie crust (I used the Pillsbury one that is rolled and in a box next to the refrigerated biscuits)
12 oz. Bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli baking bars)
1 c. butter
5 large eggs (room temperature)
1 c. sugar
1 TB vanilla
1/3 c. flour
1 t. salt
½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chunks
½ c. chopped walnuts, toasted
½ c. chopped pecans, toasted
Salted caramel sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put pie crust into pie pan and line bottom with parchment paper and baking beans or weights.  Bake for 8 minutes; remove parchment paper and beans and bake for 4 more minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.

In a small, heavy saucepan melt chocolate and butter over low heat.  Take off heat and let cool.  Using a mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thickened and lemon-colored.  Blend in vanilla.  Sift flour and salt together and add to mixture.  On low speed add the chocolate mixture and beat just until thoroughly blended.  By hand fold in the chocolate chunks.

Pour into the pie crust and bake about 25 minutes or until slightly dry on top and slightly jiggly in the center.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.   It may be served warm or at room temperature.

Garnish with toasted nuts and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, if desired.  A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream is also optional.


1 c. sugar
6 TB unsalted butter
½ c. sour cream
2 t. Kosher salt

Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy 3 qt. saucepan.  As soon as the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon.  When the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring.  As soon as the sugar crystals have melted and the sugar is dark amber in color, immediately add the butter to the pan.  Whisk until the butter has melted, then remove from heat. 

Slowly add the sour cream and continue to whisk to incorporate.  Add the salt and whisk until the caramel is smooth.  Let cool in pan for a couple of minutes before pouring it into a mason jar.  Let cool to room temperature.  Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Warm before serving.


Our beloved Blue Bell Ice Cream is off the freezer shelves with no promise of a return any time soon.  It’s summer, and we want ice cream dammit!!  We tried tons of brands and nothing really came close to making us happy.  Growing up in the country (before Blue Bell) my mama made homemade ice cream probably once a week so I decided to make my own.  Mom did at least have the electric freezer, but it was still a hassle keeping ice and rock salt in it and cleaning up the mess afterward.  So I bought one of the “new-fangled” kind that you freeze the bowl and then set it on the countertop and plug it in.  I am still experimenting with it to get it frozen properly, but most of the recipes I have used recommend freezing it in a container for a few hours after making it anyway, so basically I have been looking for a recipe that tastes good and has a good consistency after it has been frozen.  Everyone in my family is crazy about coconut so I tried this recipe, and it did make me happy!  Scott thinks it would be even better with some slice almonds in it to give it crunch so I will try that next time.  I am also considering adding fresh toasted coconut flakes in just before freezing.  (The ones used in the recipe get soggy and lose their crispness so it's best to strain them out.)  It does have a very intense coconut flavor, so if you are a coconut lover like we are you will be happy too!!

2 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy cream
2 c. coconut milk
1 c. toasted coconut flakes
8 egg yolks
1-1/2 c. sugar
Pinch salt

Bring milk, cream, coconut milk and coconut flakes to simmer in a heavy saucepan for a few minutes.  Turn off flame, cover it with a lid and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile whisk the rest of the ingredients together long enough  to dissolve the sugar.

Temper the hot liquid into the egg mixture.  Return all back into the saucepan over low heat, constantly stirring, just until the mixture starts to thicken.   Don’t let it bubble or it will curdle.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Chill immediately over an ice bath.  Refrigerate several hours or overnight so that it is extremely cold before putting it in the ice cream maker.

Put the ice cream in a plastic container and freeze several hours before serving.


It’s summertime, and a cool slushie makes the hot, humid days we’re having much easier to tolerate!  I got this recipe out of a Food Network Magazine, and it is truly delicious.   Just get the watermelon in the freezer a few hours before you are ready for the cocktail.  Enjoy!

4 c. chopped watermelon, frozen at least 2 hours or overnight
½ c. frozen limeade concentrate
3 oz. silver tequila
3 oz. orange liqueur, like Cointreau or Triple Sec
Juice of 1 lime

Blend all ingredients in a blender until slushy.  Top glass with margarita salt, if desired.