Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chocolate Rum Cake

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This Chocolate Rum cake is a new twist on my Aunt Sandy’s Cayman Rum cake! On a recent cruise, I was able to sample a chocolate Tortuga Rum cake, which got my wheels turnin’! “Hmmm, I bet I could do this with Aunt Sandy’s recipe!” This cake is rich, and oh so fudge-y. A rum lover’s delight!

Chocolate Rum Cake

Cake

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix

1 3.4oz box Jello instant chocolate fudge pudding mix

1/2 cup Cruzan dark aged rum

4 eggs

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp pure vanilla

Glaze

1 stick unsalted butter

1/8 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup Cruzan dark aged rum

1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Generously grease a 10″ bundt pan. With a stand mixer (or hand mixer), mix the cake mix, pudding mix, rum, eggs, water, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Pour the batter into the bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes (depending on your oven…mine takes exactly 55 minutes). While the cake is cooling, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the rum. Let stand a few minutes to cool slightly. Poke some holes in the cooled cake, and pour the glaze into the bundt pan. Let sit about 10-15 minutes (longer if you wish) so the cake can absorb the glaze. Carefully turn the cake onto a large plate or cake stand. You can dust with some powdered sugar for presentation…but, I just dive right in!

~Enjoy~

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lime~in~de~Coconut Cocktail

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My toes in the sand, an ice cold Lime-in-de-Coconut cocktail in my hand!
From Painkillers in White Bay JVD, Cayman Sunsets in Grand Cayman, to Miami Vices in Cancun, or Scooby-Doos in Cozumel…Strawberry Shortcakes in Aruba, and Bob Marleys in Jamaica~there’s a captivating cocktail to accompany the memories from each of our Island adventures. But of all the fruity concoctions I’ve had the pleasure of sipping on in paradise, this one tops the list as the most memorable. I discovered the lime-in-de-coconut cocktail on a recent trip to St. John to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.
The best way to describe it? A cross between a pina~colada (minus the pina) and a margarita (minus the tequila)! It’s a mix of both light & dark coconuts rums, whole lime wedges (yes, the entire wedge), Coco Lopez, fresh lime juice, and lemon-lime soda. It’s very light and refreshing, not too “alcohol-y”, and creamy! But what makes this cocktail so unique, are the small bits of ground up lime peel throughout! Ooohhhh, so good!!
I have searched all over the net & Pinterest for a recipe that comes close to the real deal. The best one I’ve found is from  http://rumtherapy.com . But, I’ve tweaked it a bit to my liking!
Lime-in-de-Coconut Cocktail
1oz dark rum
4oz coconut rum
2 lime wedges (the entire wedge, peel and all)
2oz Coco Lopez
4oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 can lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-Up)
Ice
In a blender, add the rums and lime wedges. **important** be sure to blend the rums & lime wedges together in the blender before adding in the other ingredients, so that the lime wedges are good and ground up before the ice goes in! Blend until the lime wedges are ground up into tiny little specks. Next, add in the Coco Lopez, fresh lime juice, soda, & ice. Blend until smooth. Garnish your glass with a sugar rim, lime slice, and don’t forget the paper umbrella!
~Enjoy~
Below is the link to RumTherapy’s version of the Lime-in-de-Coconut Cocktail

http://www.rumtherapy.com/2013/03/lime-in-de-coconut/

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Aunt Sandy’s Cayman Rum Cake

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Aunt Sandy’s Cayman Rum Cake

“Dippin’ our toes in the water. I don’t care if it gets any hotter, its you and me rememberin’ how to have fun. Let’s put our hearts together, two parts love and a pinch of good weather. Top it all off with the sun. Mix it with rum, mmmm, mmmm, mm, mm…” Brothers Osborne-Rum

 
I love that song! When I’m at the beach, I love indulging in a fruity rum cocktail or two! In my opinion, anything with rum is the ultimate tropical treat! This rich, moist bundt cake is perfect for a summer BBQ or pool party. It’s always a hit with our crowd!! I got this recipe from my Aunt Sandy. She and her family vacation in the Cayman Islands several times each year. Whenever she makes this cake, she uses Tortuga Rum which is made in the Cayman’s. But, I haven’t been able to find it here in the states, so I substitute with dark rum or coconut rum.
Enjoy~Cheers!!
 
Cayman Rum CakeCake:
1 cup chopped pecans (optional…see directions below if using)
1 package yellow cake mix
1 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup rum
Glaze:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/8 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup rum
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325. Generously grease a 10 inch bundt pan. If using pecans, sprinkle the pecans around the bottom of the greased bundt pan.
Mix all the cake ingredients together with a hand mixer, about 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.
 
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
**note, I use the convection feature on my oven and it takes exactly 50 minutes**
While the cake is cooling, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the rum. Let stand a few minutes to cool slightly.
 
Pour the glaze into the bundt pan. Let it sit about 10-15 minutes so the cake can absorb the glaze.
 Carefully turn the cake onto a large plate or cake stand.mmmmmmm!!
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sweet, Juicy Pineapples

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Our family loves pineapples! I can’t help but sing the theme song to Sponge Bob Squarepants whenever I see one of these peculiar looking fruits. Picking a sweet, juicy pineapple from the grocery store…is a struggle. Especially after eating the most unbelievably delicious pineapples we had ever eaten, during our family trip to Maui last summer. There aren’t even words to explain how much better they taste in Hawaii. Its almost as if they are a completely different fruit than what we get here in the continental US. At the resort, we struck up a conversation about pineapples with another vacationer. He shared a very interesting tip with us. Although we can’t have fresh Maui pineapples here at home, this trick makes store bought pineapples a very close 2nd place!
The natural sugars settle to the bottom of the pineapples during shipment and while sitting on the grocery shelves. This method forces the natural sugars to trickle back down throughout the fruit, making it sweeter and very juicy. Who knew?! It’s so simple, and it really makes a big difference!
Start with a fresh, whole pineapple. Turn it on its side, and slice off the top. Then turn the pineapple upside down onto a plate, and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. We like to let ours “marinate” overnight. Then slice and enjoy!
 I found a few other interesting tips on The Huffington Post website. I have summarized a few of them below. Be sure to click on the above link to see their entire post.
The pineapples you get at your local grocery store or farmer’s market are as ripe as they will ever get. Once picked, they do not continue to ripen. Don’t leave a green pineapple out on the counter in hopes that it will ripen. You will end up with a spoiled fruit, trust me I know from experience! The green and brown color variations that you see, depends upon where the pineapple was grown. A green pineapple can be equally as sweet as a brown one (I try to choose pineapples that have a combination of both green and brown colored flesh). The sweetest part of the pineapple is the outer flesh, so when slicing off the outer skin, shave thinly. Don’t worry about those “brown eye” spots. They can be cut out in a shallow diagonal “v” cut to insure that you keep as much of that sweet outer surface as possible (see Huffington Post article for a photo demonstration). Pineapples kept at room temperature should be eaten within 2 days, and refrigerated pineapple will last about 1 week. Pineapple cores contain Bromelain, an enzyme that is an anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxer, digestive aid, and also interferes with tumor growth. Take that, cancer! Fun fact…pineapples are a great meat tenderizer!
 I picked up this pineapple slicer/corer at Bed, Bath, & Beyond today for $20. I was curious after seeing a similar one on this same Huffington Post article. I prefer to slice it by hand, but I’m anxious to try this when I’m in a time crunch.
*** For those 21 and older…we like to drizzle a little Malibu Coconut Rum on sliced pineapple for parties or an adult beach snack! Please drink responsibly!***
Thank you for visiting!!