Ginger Mint Fruit Salad


Refreshing!  This is a fruit salad with mint leaves tossed in a ginger syrup.  It was an excellent addition to our lamb dinner.  For some reason, the recipe makes a huge quantity of the ginger syrup.  I would at least halve the syrup the next time I make this.  I found the recipe here: Playing House.

Ginger Mint Fruit Salad
Adapted from Gourmet
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

For ginger syrup
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups thinly sliced fresh ginger (1/2 lb; from a 10-inch piece), left unpeeled

For fruit salad
4 cups (1-inch pieces) fruit (I used strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries and apples)
3 tablespoons small mint leaves

1. Bring water, sugar, and ginger to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, then stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes. Pour ginger syrup through a sieve into a bowl, discarding ginger.

2. Chill, covered, at least 2 hours.

3. Toss fruit and mint with 1/4 cup syrup, or to taste. Extra syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.


Coconut Chocolate Cake


This was our dessert for Easter dinner.  It was fabulous.  The combination of chocolate and coconut has been a long-time favorite of mine.  I found the recipe at this blog here: Sugar & Spice by Celeste.  The only thing I did differently was to skip toasting the coconut sprinkled on the cake.  I wanted a pretty white exterior instead of a crunchy brown one.  I’m sure it would taste delicious either way.

Dreamy Coconut-Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a different bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and coconut extract; Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed of an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water…the batter will be very thin!

Pour batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely and add icing…along with the toasted coconut on the top of each layer.

Coconut Cream Cheese Icing


1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted (see note below)

1.Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream. Beat in the salt, coconut flavoring, and vanilla extract. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if necessary to thicken the frosting, or more cream to thin. Stir in the coconut. If desired, spoon toasted coconut evenly over frosted cake.  *** I did not stir any coconut into the frosting, but simply sprinkled it on top of the cake.

Pomegranate & Feta Salad


This was delicious!  It was similar to the cranberry, feta & almond salad I posted about, but nicely different too.  I loved the pop of the juicy pomegranates, the zip of the red onion and the tang from the Dijon vinaigrette.  This is a keeper.

  • 1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach
  • 1 pomegranate, peeled and seeds separated (I found a package of pomegranate seeds at Costco)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
  • red onion to taste, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. In salad bowl, mix greens, pomegranate seeds, feta and red onion.

2. In separate container, whisk together vinaigrette and drizzle over salad.