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The Mailbox: Readers help find recipes

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 - 12:00 am

Rave review coconut cake

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves 16

Ann Rosasco of Modesto lost her recipe for “rave review” coconut cake which called for a cake mix along with other ingredients and a cream cheese frosting with coconut and walnuts.

Pamela Ayala of Elk Grove shares this recipe that was one of her grandmother’s favorites.

INGREDIENTS

Coconut cake:

box yellow cake mix

One 3.5-ounce box Jell-O vanilla instant pudding mix

1 3/4  cups water

4  eggs

1/4  cup oil

2  cups flaked coconut

1  cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Coconut cream cheese frosting:

4  tablespoons butter, divided use

2  cups coconut

One 8-ounce package cream cheese

2  teaspoons milk

3 1/2  cups sifted powdered sugar

1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Cake: Blend cake mix, pudding mix, water, eggs and oil in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed for 4 minutes. Stir in coconut and nuts. pour into 3 greased and 9-inch layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove and cool on rack. Fill and frost with coconut cream cheese frosting.

Frosting: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in skillet. Add coconut, stir constantly over low heat until golden brown. Spread coconut on a paper towel to cool. Cream 2 tablespoons of the butter with cream cheese. Add milk and sugar alternately, beating well. Add vanilla. Stir in 1 3/4 cups of coconut. Spread on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Per serving: 693 cal.; 8 g pro.; 91 g carb.; 35 g fat; 102 mg chol.; 578 mg sod.; 3 g fiber; 54 percent calories from fat.

Sweet potato and peanut stew

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Serves 6

Teri Joseph of Grass Valley lost one of her favorite recipes, sweet potato and peanut stew, from The Bee, featured about 10 years ago. She was hoping someone had the recipe.

Sharon McKee of Sacramento share this recipe that she save from The Bee many years ago. It sounds like a match for Joseph.

INGREDIENTS

1/4  cup peanut oil

1  onion, chopped

1  red or green bell pepper, chopped

fresh jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and minced

4  cloves garlic, minced

1  packed tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1  tablespoon chili powder

1  teaspoon ground cumin

1/2  teaspoon red pepper flakes

2  sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/3  cup tomato paste

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

teaspoon peanut oil, optional

12  ounces ground beef or turkey, optional

2  small zucchini, 1-inch diameter, trimmed and sliced

1/2  cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth, preferably unsalted

Hot cooked rice or couscous, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, heat 1/4 cup peanut oil, add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook until the vegetables are tender but not brown, 7 to 10 minutes.

Add garlic and ginger; cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Add enough water to barely cover the vegetables and mix well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(For nonvegetarian version, if desired, at this point: In a medium skillet over high heat, heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil; add ground beef or turkey. Saute, turning often, until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate; set aside until stew has cooked for 45 minutes, then add the meat to the stew.) Add zucchini to stew; cook for another 15 minutes.

Place peanut butter in a small bowl; stir in 1 cup of the stewing liquid until smooth; add peanut butter mixture to the stew.

Mix well and cook stew another 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve plain or with hot cooked rice or couscous.

Per serving without rice, couscous or meat: 299 cal.; 8 g pro.; 26 g carb.; 20 g fat (4 sat., 10 monounsat., 6 polyunsat.); 0 mg chol.; 237 mg sod.; 4 g fiber; 58 percent calories from fat.



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