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thursday thoughts

I’ve been trying to figure out how to embed images on wordpress, and how you go about giving the right attribution. You can find this artist on etsy- Naomi Wilkinson-. I love her color combinations. They remind me of a beautiful fishsite in Uyak Bay. Danny and Sandy are both artists and it’s evident everywhere–driftwood sculptures on the shed, painted cabin floors, wooden canoe paddles holding up the laundry line. Even the rocks on their paths are handpicked and pretty. The first time I got to visit their site, I was so inspired I went home and painted the trim around our woodstove the orange of that mermaid’s tail.

Someday I’d like to make a place that upliftingly beautiful. By August, I sometimes feel like my greenhouse is close. It’s just missing a clawfoot tub.

I wonder if I thought of this website more as a place, would that give me some sense of purpose? Because honestly, most of time it seems like we’re all sending these posts out into the world without much of a point. Well, beyond “here’s some more stuff to buy.” Maybe if I was trying to create a little place of inspiration I’d feel better about updating and spending time on this, even though I’d still be thinking that there are already a bajillion moms-turned-blogger who take better photos. Something else that’s been bothering me: who is my audience anyway? And how many books does a writer have to sell before they can give up updating a website and just write books?

I’m pretty sure that my sister is my sole reader. My mom would read this too, but my dad tends to think that all computer problems were caused by the last person seen near the computer desk. Hi Mary Beth. You’re the best. I hope something on this site makes your day a little better.

MaryBeth met us in Hungary the spring I was pregnant with Liam & we took the train to Dubrovnik[/caption]


Or maybe if I just managed to share something useful every once in a while, like the greatest coconut cream pie recipe ever, I’d feel better about this site. I first had Tom Douglas’s coconut pie at Dahlia Lounge in Seattle. Someone must have told me to try it because I don’t even like coconut, but I love this dessert. I like to make two or three miniature pies from the recipe and leave them unexpected in friends’ fridges.  This recipe is in Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen cookbook and it’s also here at cake spy.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie

For The Coconut Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

For The Pie

  • One 9-inch Pie Shell
  • prebaked and cooled
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Garnish

  • 2 ounces unsweetened “chip” or large-shred coconut (about 11/2 cups) or sweetened shredded coconut
  • Chunks of white chocolate (4 to 6 ounces, to make 2 ounces of curls)


1. To make the pastry cream, combine the milk and coconut in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both the seeds and pod to the milk mixture. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and stir occasionally until the mixture almost comes to a boil.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour until well combined. Temper the eggs (to keep them from scrambling) by pouring a small amount (about 1/3 Cup) of the scalded milk into the egg mixture while whisking. Then add the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan of milk and coconut. Whisk over medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble. Keep whisking until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the butter and whisk until it melts. Remove and discard the vanilla pod. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place it over a bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until it is cool. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a crust from forming and refrigerate until completely cold. The pastry cream will thicken as it cools.

3. When the pastry cream is cold, fill the prebaked pie shell with it, smoothing the surface. In an electric mixer with the whisk, whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla on medium speed. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip to peaks that are firm enough to hold their shape. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the whipped cream and pipe it all over the surface of the pie, or spoon it over.

4. For the garnish, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the coconut chips on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, watching carefully and stirring once or twice, since coconut burns easily, until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Use a vegetable peeler to scrape about 2 ounces of the white chocolate into curls.

If not serving immediately, keep the pie refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap. The finished pie should be consumed within a day. Prepare the garnishes just before serving. The coconut pastry cream can be made a day ahead and stored chilled in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap as described above. Fill the pie shell and top it with whipped cream and garnishes when you are ready to serve the pie.
Recipe borrowed from Cakespy via, Copyright © 2002.