I don’t deal well with cravings. Never have. They ping around my brain until the whole thing is lit up like a pinball machine. It’s dangerous to walk around in such a state, but I’ve learned the hard way that indulging is the only way to reset, even if you possess the willpower of a thousand Southern Baptist virgins, as I do. My most recent reset took place over the weekend as I gave in to a weeks-long craving for coconut cake. Now I’m happy and sane once again after devouring far too much of it.
At least it wasn’t heavy. Cooking Light is a great resource for all kinds of healthy dishes and not-too-bad-for-you desserts, so I turned to their website for super-light coconut cake and cream cheese frosting recipes. Since baking frightens the bejeezus outta me, I’ve been reading a lot about it online, where I learned that cakes benefit from sitting in the freezer for a few hours before you frost them. Like a little bakery penalty box, the freezer forces the cake to get its crumb together before it gets back in the game. Who knew? Pretty much everyone but me! So after dutifully freezing and thawing the cake before applying the crumb layer (a crumb layer — brilliant!), I got down to the serious business of frosting with my new offset spatula and produced a cake I wouldn’t be ashamed to serve to guests.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough cream cheesy goodness (or hours of daylight) left to test my new decorating tips, but maybe I’ll try them next time. I’m already planning my next baking adventure — a red velvet cake for a friend’s birthday in a few weeks. And she’s kind, so she won’t mind if her cake looks like something from a 1st grade science project.
The reason there was NO TIME for decoration was because we needed to get the Cinco de Mayo celebration rolling so as not to bring shame on white people everywhere with our lack of (relative) inebriation. I knew I didn’t want to make regular skirt steak fajitas, but wasn’t sure what to prepare instead. After I tooled around online for a little while, the paper of record came through with a recipe for fish tacos that really surprised me — not like, “Where am I and where are my pants?” surprise but more like, “Cool … I didn’t get sick from those 25-cent oysters!” surprise. I’ve only had fried versions of fish tacos, so I didn’t know how this broiled one would work, but it was really delicious, even with the substitutions I made. As banana leaves are few and far between in Ringwood (where Gil and I are probably the most ethnically exotic folks around), I used about a teaspoon of pureed chipotle pepper with adobo to give the sauce a smoky flavor, and I used scrod instead of halibut because I didn’t want my tacos to taste like ass. We had pureed black beans with chorizo on the side and would’ve had corn fritters with roasted garlic and cilantro sauce, too, but it was impossible to get everything finished at the same time.
So Saturday was a little rushed, I guess, but we enjoyed our Cinco de Mayo anyway. The traditional Mexican gin martini might’ve had a little something to do with that — the Official MI Husband is turning into quite the mixologist!
recipes after the jump
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