Tag Archives: Coconut Cream Pie

Meal Planning – Week 1

I am a big believer in meal planning and follow it regularly.  I recommend meal planning for several reasons:

  • Eliminates last minute meal planning – that’s when you leave work with no idea what’s for dinner and, suddenly, as you pass a supermarket with a deli or prepared food section or a fast food outlet and, well, you know the story – that becomes dinner.
  • Saves money and reduces food waste – have a plan in mind for using leftover meat such as ham, turkey, or roast beef. For example, use the leftover meat in sandwiches, casseroles, and/or soups. These are great ways to stretch the food dollar and eliminate food waste.
  • Healthier way to eat – You will eat less pre-packaged foods that often have way too many preservatives, additives, and other unhealthy ingredients. Meal planning means you are in control, to the extent possible, of what is in your food.
  • Less stress – Once you have a plan in place for meals for the week, you don’t have to stress each day over what to make for meals.

The keys to good meal planning are:

  • Make meals with ingredients you know your family will like – doesn’t have to be fancy, new, or creative. Sometimes, the old faithful comfort foods are the best.
  • Make the meal plan on the weekend and formulate the shopping list BEFORE you go to the supermarket and then stick to the plan, avoiding distractions of already-prepared or frozen entrées that supermarkets display to tempt shoppers.
  • Make your To-Do list for the meal preparation for the week – for example, if you are making baked beans on Saturday, get those beans soaking overnight on Friday evening.
  • Read each recipe carefully to ensure you will have all the ingredients and that the method is easy to understand and do-able in the time in which you have to do the food preparation.
  • Watch the supermarket sales flyers. Know your favorite dishes and buy ingredients for them when they are on sale. You’ll be more likely to stick to a meal plan if you already have most or all of the ingredients for a recipe on hand.
  • Plan around what’s in season. One of my favorite soups is cream of cauliflower which freezes well (provided whole milk, not fat-reduced, is used). I make several batches of this soup each fall when the locally-grown cauliflower is in season. I would not make it, however, in January with imported cauliflower that has traveled thousands of miles for days and is highly priced. Good meal planning needs to take place, on an ongoing basis, throughout the year.

Here is my suggested meal plan for the upcoming week, focusing primarily on dinners with some suggestions for a couple of lunches making the most of a boiled picnic ham. I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own shopping list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like milk, butter, eggs, spices, etc.  Click on the green hotlinks to access the recipes.

MONDAY

Blueberry Muffins – These are great breakfast or coffee break muffins and they freeze very well.  Nice treat to start off the week!
Shopping List: Blueberries (fresh or frozen), orange juice, orange rind

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Muffins

Dinner:  Meatloaf
Serve with mashed or riced potatoes and your favorite side of veggies. Homemade mustard pickles go great with meatloaf!

Shopping List: Ground beef, onion, prepared mustard, tomato soup, dry onion soup mix, graham wafer crumbs, fine bread crumbs, garlic powder, vegetables of choice

Meatloaf with Riced Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
Meatloaf with Riced Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables

Dessert:  Gingerbread
At least once every winter, I have to have a dose of this yummy comfort food! Drizzle with brown sugar sauce for an extra-special treat!
Shopping List: Applesauce, molasses, coffee

Gingerbread
Gingerbread with Whipped Cream and Brown Sugar Sauce

 

TUESDAY

Homemade White Bread – This is always such a treat!  This bread will be super good with the ham sandwiches this week!
Shopping List: All-purpose flour, dry yeast, milk, butter/shortening

White Bread
Homemade White Bread

Dinner:  Old-fashioned Boiled Ham Dinner – This is truly dinner-in-a-pot and is my definition of “comfort food”!  The meat and vegetables are all cooked in the same broth in the same pot. Make sure you cook enough veggies for Wednesday night as this always tastes even better the second day. Easy to heat the vegetables in the microwave and, poof, you have two nights’ meals prepared in one effort. You’ll want those mustard pickles or mustard beans with this dinner!
Shopping List: Smoked pork picnic shoulder (ham), parsnips, carrots, rutabaga (turnip), potatoes

Boiled Ham Dinner
Boiled Ham DInner

Dessert:  Blueberry Grunt
This is such an incredibly yummy dessert – serve it with your favorite vanilla ice cream!
Shopping List: Blueberries (fresh or frozen) and lemon rind, vanilla ice cream

Blueberry Grunt
Blueberry Grunt

 

WEDNESDAY

Lunch:  Ham Sandwiches made with homemade white bread!  Don’t forget the mustard!

Dinner:  Leftover boiled ham dinner from Tuesday.

Dessert: Cherry Wink Cookies
Shopping List: Dates, cornflake crumbs, maraschino cherries

Cherry Wink Cookie
Cherry Wink Cookie

 

THURSDAY

Homemade Tea Biscuits
Shopping list: Whole milk, whipping cream, unsalted butter

Tea Biscuits
Tea Biscuits

Lunch:  Ham Sandwiches

Dinner:  Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole – this is a great way to use up left-over cooked ham and stretch its use. Serve these with those tasty biscuits and perhaps a green salad!
Shopping List: Rice, cream of celery soup, sour cream, liquid chicken bouillon, broccoli, canned pineapple chunks, Parmesan cheese, fine bread crumbs, leftover cooked ham, and ingredients for a green salad and dressing

Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

Dessert: Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
Shopping List:  Chocolate chips and coconut

Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares

FRIDAY

Dinner:  Mac ‘n Cheese with a green salad and homemade tea biscuits
Shopping List: Elbow macaroni, liquid chicken bouillon, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, salad ingredients and dressing

Mac 'n Cheese
My Island Bistro Kitchen Macaroni and Cheese

Dessert: Cinnamon Sweet Bread
Shopping List: Staple baking ingredients

Cinnamon Sweet Bread
Cinnamon Sweet Bread

SATURDAY

Dinner: Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts with Rice
An extra special weekend treat!
Shopping List: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, onion, fennel, orange juice, orange rind, chicken stock, maple syrup, orange marmalade, rice

Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken
Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken

Dessert: Coconut Cream Pie
One of the best pies going!
Shopping List:  9” pie shell, coconut milk, whole milk or cream, sweetened shredded coconut

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

SUNDAY

Dinner:  Bistro Burgers with Home Fries
Shopping List: Ground chuck, mayonnaise, maple syrup, ketchup, rhubarb relish, Dijon mustard, sour cream, onion salt, Parmesan cheese, Blueberry BBQ sauce, dry onion soup mix, bread crumbs, Cheddar cheese slices, red onion, tomato, prosciutto, fresh pineapple, bread and butter pickles, hamburger rolls, potatoes (for home fries)

"The Bistro Burger"
“The Bistro Burger”

Dessert: Leftover Coconut Cream Pie

Meal planning can be a challenge, especially with high food prices, ingredient availability (particularly in winter for fresh local ingredients) and, of course, for those who are busy and time-challenged.  However, with having a plan in place and establishing a routine for meal preparation, it is a way to eat better, save money, reduce food waste, and eliminate the stress of last-minute meal preparation that can sometimes result in unhealthy food choices. For those with children, it’s a good way to help them make good food choices and engage them in meal preparation by assigning them tasks to help with the work of making meals.

 

 

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

Funny how certain foods will evoke great memories. When I was a small child, our family often went to a tiny local restaurant in North Tryon, PEI, on Sunday evenings for dinner.  Simmons’ Restaurant was built and run by Jean and Harold Simmons and they served up really good traditional home-cooked meals.  One of the desserts I most fondly remember from their restaurant was coconut cream pie with mile-high meringue. Every time I have coconut cream pie, I remember Sunday dinners at the Simmons’ restaurant.

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

While not all coconut cream pie recipes use coconut milk, I have included it in my recipe to give the pie extra coconut flavor. It does make a difference.  Some tips on successfully making custard pies:

  • Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a smooth custard.
  • Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs while they are cold but let them come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before using them in either the custard or the meringue. Room temperature eggs will blend better into the custard and, for the meringue, they will whip faster with more volume.
  • Temper the beaten eggs with a couple of tablespoons of the hot custard mixture before adding the eggs to the custard. This will prevent the eggs from curdling.
  • Stir the custard constantly as it cooks to prevent it from scorching.
  • Add the sugar slowly to the egg whites when making the meringue and do so after first beating the egg whites to the soft peak stage.
  • Work quickly to make the meringue as it is important that it be applied to piping hot custard in order for it to seal to the filling. This will also help prevent the meringue from shrinking.
  • When applying the meringue to the pie, make sure it completely covers the custard, right to the pie shell edges. This will seal in the custard and will also help to keep the meringue from shrinking.
Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie

Ingredients:
1 – 9” pie shell, baked
¾ cup granulated sugar
3½ tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup whole milk or 10% blend cream
3 extra large egg yolks, slightly beaten (reserve egg whites for meringue)
1½ tbsp  butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond flavoring
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Meringue:
3 extra-large egg whites, room temperature for 30 minutes
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp vanilla
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Method:
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium-sized saucepan.
Combine coconut milk and milk (or blend cream). Gradually whisk liquid ingredients into the sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (apx 10-15 minutes).

Stir approximately 2 tbsp of the hot custard mixture into the beaten egg yolks then pour the eggs into the custard and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove custard from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Gently stir in the coconut.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To make meringue, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while continuing to beat egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form.

Pour hot coconut custard into cooled, baked pie shell.

Spread meringue over hot custard, spreading to the edges of pie shell to completely seal it.

Swirl meringue into decorative peaks with the tip of a knife, if desired. Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until meringue is lightly tanned in color. Cool pie on wire rack for at least 3 hours before serving.

Yield: 1 – 9” pie

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Coconut Cream Pie

Yield: 1 - 9" pie

Ingredients

  • 1 – 9” pie shell, baked
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3½ tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup whole milk or 10% blend cream
  • 3 extra large egg yolks, slightly beaten (reserve egg whites for meringue)
  • 1½ tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond flavoring
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Meringue:
  • 3 extra-large egg whites, room temperature for 30 minutes
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Combine coconut milk and milk (or blend cream). Gradually whisk liquid ingredients into the sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (apx 10-15 minutes).
  3. Stir approximately 2 tbsp of the hot custard mixture into the beaten egg yolks then pour the eggs into the custard and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove custard from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Gently stir in the coconut.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. To make meringue, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while continuing to beat egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Pour hot coconut custard into cooled, baked pie shell. Spread meringue over hot custard, spreading to the edges of pie shell to completely seal it. Swirl meringue into decorative peaks with the tip of a knife, if desired. Sprinkle with coconut. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until meringue is lightly tanned in color. Cool pie on wire rack for at least 3 hours before serving.
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Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie