I Dream in Coconut Cream

Have I ever mentioned that my ten year old son is odd? I mean, he has the usual quirks of kids his age – not wanting to take a bath regularly, forgetting to do his homework, wanting to stay out playing with his friends when he should be getting ready for bed – but there are some things that I just have to shake my head at. His undying devotion to Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, for starters. Neither the husband nor myself listen to either of them with any regularity, but for some reason my son is completely obsessed with them – and the Millionaire Quartet in general. How many other kids can tell you who Carl Perkins was, or can rhyme off the names of the members of Johnny Cash’s band? Then there’s the World War II fixation, which has him lugging home books the size of small countries so he can find out more. I swear, he’s got the soul of a crusty octogenarian. He tells us to turn our music down.

Those things aside, he’s a pretty good kid. Except for his bizarre dislike for certain foods. Not olives or capers, which he gobbles down by the handful, but coconut. How can you hate something so tasty?! I, on the other hand, love coconut . All things coconut – coconut milk, coconut candy, coconut shrimp. It’s the flavour of my all-time favourite pie. But pie, as you may know, can be a hella lot of work. And sometimes, you just need a quick hit of that coconut cream pie flavour without all the hassle

That’s where these cupcakes come in.

I found the recipe on A Delightfully Sweet Life and knew it was the answer to my prayers. All the flavour of my favourite pie in the convenient form of a cupcake. And trust me – the flavour is there. The cake is light and sweet but not overpoweringly so – I would almost say that in a way I actually prefer it to the pie. But please don’t tell the pie that – don’t want any hurt feelings.

As good as the white chocolate frosting sounded, I wanted something a little more…tropical to accompany my cupcakes. So I did like the song says and put the lime in the coconut. However, there was no need to call a doctor – no bellyache came from this heavenly pairing. Just pure coconut perfection. I included the recipe for you so you can have the option too.

Coconut-Lime Frosting 

 1 1/2 cups icing sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter 

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 lime, squeezed for juice 

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sweetened coconut flakes (more to garnish as desired)

up to 2 tbsp corn starch to thicken 

Stir ingredients together in large bowl until smooth, then frost cakes. Use additional coconut flakes to decorate.

Locke Street Festival, Hamilton – September 8th

I had drafted this post for my regular Tuesday She’s So Savvy feature, but that Savvy lady is away on business and not able to post from the PC she’s using on her travels. PC – enough said. If it were a Mac she may not have had an issue…

But I digress: I’m not here to discuss the merits of Apple vs Microsoft. I’m here to make sure that the video I created out of this past weekend’s Locke Street Festival experience gets seen! However, I just ask that whilst viewing you be aware that it’s my first time using iMovie and that I put this together using a series of photos because any of the video I did shoot was pretty much unusable – meaning I won’t be entering any TIFF documentaries anytime soon. So please, be gentle.

And this is me, finally shutting up…on to the post!

She’s So Savvy Glamanomics Urban Explorer Edition:

     Locke Street Festival, Hamilton Ontario

It’s easy to get caught up in a city like Toronto, with it’s million plus population and seemingly endless things to do. At times you can forget that there’s anything outside of it. Trust me, I know: when I first lived downtown, I remember thinking for the longest time that there was nothing north of Bloor or west of Dufferin. To go anywhere beyond those borders was unthinkable. But now that I live in a city about eighty kilometres southwest of TO, I’m experiencing what you might call a bit of a cultural renaissance. And, believe it or not, there’s a whole big world out here beyond the 427.

But rather than having you read about my latest experience, I’ve put together a little video to share. It’s from the Locke Street Festival that happened this past Saturday in my newly adopted hometown of Hamilton. Where better to start, I asked myself, than one of my favourite streets in the world? Now please understand that that’s saying quite a lot, considering that it shares company with Via Condotti in Rome where you will find Prada, Valentino,  and Gucci: and London’s Conduit Street – home to Vivienne Westwood and Burberry boutiques, and the original Alexander McQueen boutique which has since moved to another cherished street of mine, Bond Street. Are you sensing a theme here? So maybe I like to shop a little bit. But never mind that – the best part about Locke Street is that it is but an hour’s drive from TO on a weekend. Most days, it would take you that long just to get downtown to Dufferin from Yorkdale.

Without further ado, you can watch the video on my Facebook wall here. Please excuse the music; I had originally set this to  ‘Day Tripper’ by the Beatles because, while lyrically it may be somewhat inappropriate, its title and jaunty tune seemed to capture the spirit of the moment. However, Facebook would not allow it to be posted, so I have spent the better part of the day rearranging it with generic Apple=provided music. And at one point I even thought I had to lost the entire project altogether, but let’s not go back to that dark place again.

If you’re looking for more information about the shops mentioned and this fabulous stretch of street, here are some helpful links for you to check out:

Locke Street Farmer’s Market – local produce and crafts provided by area farmers and artists

Nerdbiskit – cheeky little buttons and other adorable accessories, specializing in plush moustaches

Spencer’s Mercantile – probably the most unique store I have ever encountered, this is my son’s favourite store on the strip

La Jardinere – beautiful and unusual flower arrangements along with equally beautiful resident birds

Pure Home Couture – it had me at the pink on pink stripes leading up to its boutique loft, which I think must be what Heaven looks like

Bitten – not just another cupcake joint, they have the Hunka Hunka Burnin Love: banana cupcake with peanut butter buttercream topped with a strip of candied bacon. BACON

 Shirin’s Fine Foods – the aroma wafting from the open doors of this Old World deli-bakery as we walked by was nothing short of intoxicating. Of course, it was perogies

The Vintage Garden Tea Room – over 50 varieties of tea on offer, available for purchase or to enjoy on-site

 Al Simmons Gun Shop – yes, you read that correctly: gun shop. Responsible gun ownership is a civil responsibility

Locke Street Shops – gives you a comprehensive listing of all the shops on this fabulous stretch of street

There are no shortage of deals to be had on Locke, not just at the Festival but all year round. It’s the perfect place to get that special gift for the friend who has everything, and don’t we all have a friend or two like that? Believe me, it’s worth a trip down the QEW, even if it is well past the Dufferin Gates.