One of my favorite things to do every day is enjoy the web comic Surviving The World by Dante Shepherd. I love his sense of humor and think his approach to sharing witty advice about our world in a white lab coat in front of a blackboard is pure genius. He also earns bonus points for naming his dog German...get it? German Shepherd. Hilarious! German is also featured in a few of the comics, like Canine Math.
These are a few of my all time favorites: Lesson #191; Monkey Feet; Lesson #45; Slurs; Recitation #20; Lesson #409.
It's because of this one, Breakfast, that inspired me to create the masterpiece known as the Cromufini.
I needed to start with the zucchini bread first, and I knew exactly which recipe I wanted to use: Food Blogga's. I've had her recipe saved in my favorites for months and hadn't had a chance to indulge yet. Perfect excuse!
The only thing I chose to do differently was use freshly grated coconut. I honestly believe the reason why many people claim they do not like coconut is because they've never taken the opportunity to enjoy it fresh.
Fresh coconut isn't a kick-you-in-the-face-sugary-sweetness-coconut-overload like that processed bag of coconut flakes tastes like. I promise people will be converted if you have them munch on a real piece of coconut. A fresh, mature coconut has a mild flavor with more of a coconut aftertaste, in my opinion. I love the energy I get from eating coconut. I never feel weighed down or have a sugar crash afterward.
Coconut and coconut oil is very healthy. The saturated fat contained within the coconut is high in medium-chain fatty acids, unlike most fats in the Western diet which are long-chain acids. The shorter carbon chain means the body moves the medium-chain fatty acid more swiftly through the blood stream into the liver where it is converted into short term energy use, instead of being converted into fat stored throughout the body. Coconuts are also high in lauric acid, also a medium-chain fatty acid, which is converted into a monoglyceride compound in the body which exhibits antiviral and antimicrobial properties. This means it helps the body fight against common diseases to serious lipid-coated viruses.
If you'd like to take a crack at eating fresh coconut, which I highly recommend, here's what to do:
Using a hammer and a nail, poke holes in all three of the coconut eyes and drain the coconut water into a glass. (Make sure when you're picking out your coconut to shake it around. You want to hear lots of sloshing and the coconut should seem heavy for its small size.) The coconut water is very sweet, so if you're unable to drink it straight, then dilute it with water or freeze and use in cooking, like with rice.
Next, you'll need a heavy towel. Wrap the coconut in the towel and then whack away with the hammer on a hard surface, like concrete. Try not to smash it into a million little pieces, because peeling it will be harder. Separate the hard outer shell from the meat. I rinse my coconut pieces under cool water to remove debris before shaving the coconut.
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the thin brown skin from the coconut. Voilà! Delicious, healthy, fresh coconut!
The zucchini bread came out perfectly! Within the sweet bread, I could taste the pineapple and the crunchiness of the coconut and walnuts. Mmm! I am sticking with Food Blogga's recipe from now on. Next time I might sneak in some golden raisins though. Shhh!
Next came the muffins. I came up with this Orange Marmalade Muffin recipe because I knew the muffin would need to stand out against all the wonderful flavors of the zucchini bread. These turned out with more of a cake consistency than I planned, but the flavor was wonderful. Adding some glaze or icing on top would be a nice touch.
Orange Marmalade Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup turbinado
3/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup apricot jam
3/4 cup raw milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350*F and butter a muffin pan. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set aside. In a small pan, melt the butter slowly on the stove. This should take about 5 min, until it starts to brown very slightly.
In a mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients on low. Slowly pour in the melted butter. Next add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the muffin pan, leaving room at the top for the muffins to puff up. Cook for 15-17 minutes.
~Yields 12 muffins.
~Original by Brie.
Finally, came the croissants. And this is where it all goes downhill.
I chose to make an original, simple croissant recipe by Julia Child via Mamaliga, which has great step-by-step instructions.
However, I've never made croissants before. I have always heard how time consuming these are, but figured I needed to make a go of it anyway. Things started out normal enough, but my first bump in the road was during the first rise of the dough. I discovered this does not work in the middle of the winter in a cold house. All my dough did was sag where I had snipped it.
Oh, well. It was time to move on. Next came all the many stages of rolling the dough, to make the many delicious layers within the croissants. I could not get my dough to stop sticking - to everything! The roller, the counter, me. It was ridiculous.
Also, see here where I rolled the butter on the counter. Don't - just don't do that. Such a rookie mistake, ugh. I had to scrape all the butter off the counter, so rolling it on that surface was worthless.
Then, when it came time to shape the croissants into their famous shape, my dough kept shrinking back up into little flat pieces of dough. I couldn't even bring myself to take a photo of what they looked like, it was so embarrassing!
This is the closest thing I got to a "normal" looking croissant. Pathetic.
I do have some good news though. My croissants were absolutely scrumptious! I giggled and ate my way through several of them.
In the end it was all worth it. I proudly present to you: Cromufini!
Dum...Dum...DumDumDum! Dum! Dum! Dum! Dum! (a la Space Odyssey)
It took me three days, but there it is, in all it's glory. Needless to say, I would recommend enjoying each of these treats on their own.
I know this post was super long, but thank you for enjoying my Special Project - Operation Cromufini.
Oh, and remember Lesson #324!