Friday, May 28, 2010

☕Heavenly Coconut Layer Cake☕

Welcome to the first edition of "Seaside Recipe Fridays!" :P

So what makes a recipe a "seaside" recipe? Why, anything that you
 find particularly yummy! It can be as complicated as a layer cake,
or as easy and comforting as Nonni's Taco Soup. The beautiful
ocean as backdrop makes any dish more beautiful; the fresh air,
combined with all the exercise you've gotten after happily wandering
 the beach for hours, invigorates the appetite. The perfect dish or
meal for the seaside is one that is made with love and is eagerly enjoyed.

Today's recipe is for ☁Heavenly☁ Coconut Layer Cake. My sister found
 this recipe on years ago, and all it took was one bite
to hook me. It truly is the best cake I have ever tasted, and this is coming
 from a chocolate lover. It's so yummy I even speak to it: Layer cake, 
you are so delicious. I also have taken many photos of the end result,
because I think it always looks so beautiful. (But no, that is not any of
the Coconut Layer cakes I've ever made below--wish it were!)

The reason this recipe is apt as the first for Seaside Recipe Fridays is not only
because it meets the criteria above, but because of the journal entry I wrote
below, connecting it forever to my experiences while living near the sea.

July 13th, 2007 (awaiting the birth of my first child, Adisenne)

I am eating some of the cake I made a day ago, which I think
of--for some strange reason--as "Addie's cake." Maybe she will love
it as I do, someday. It is actually Coconut Layer cake--soft and
beautiful, messy yet elegant, made to be eaten off a gorgeous
plate. This, in should be known now, is my most favorite
cake in the whole world. It is light and delicate, as the flavors
are, yet incredibly rich from the moistness of the cake and the
coconut-cream filling. It is not overly sweet, really--it's the
frosting that does it, a super sweet seven minute frosting, be-dabbed
with angel flake coconut; thus, milk or coffee is a must. It doesn't
need to be refrigerated (so Martha says), just left out to be admired
and cut away at.

Nate put it in our glass cake dome for me. It is such a happy cake,
with an old soul. It brings to mind Southern tea parties, or a Sunday
spent on a veranda, eating this cake and drinking lemonade or mint
juleps. But the biggest pleasure perhaps is knowing I made it
myself, from scratch--that something so homey and lovely, I could
create. I made its pale-yellow crumb, the soft coconut-cream, and
the sweet, textured frosting. Its smell is one I would happily dab
on my neck or wrists--a smell of sweetness, of home, of a sunny day
with birdsong wafting through the window.

I want this cake to be one Adisenne loves, a taste that makes
her think of home and her childhood. I want her to ask me to
make it for her, and I will, because I love her and want to
provide her with that elemental comfort. I want to make whatever
day it is made, when she asks for it, just a little bit better.
Because that is what life is, in its best moments: comfort, love,
pleasure, sharing; a pocket of time held in our mouths and in
our memories. Good food should be remembered that way,
and this cake is that--a sweet, sunny lapping, calling to you
"Eat me. Enjoy."

As said, this cake is absolutely beautiful, and equally delicious.
Don't be intimidated by the recipe, if you tend to be like me--
it comes together easily and is pretty simple, despite it seeming
otherwise. Make it the next time you need a "special day"--
serve on a vintage plate, garnish with a few fresh berries for
color, and enjoy.

Recipe: Coconut Layer Cake

♔the sea queen♔

Who introduced us to our "magic place"--our particular favorite patch of sea and sand?

Why Nonni, of course.

Don't all Nonnis know magic?
We ♥ you, beautiful Nonni.


Thursday, May 27, 2010


As you may now know, Addie's middle name (which is Narelle) means "woman by the sea."
I'd never heard it before, but it is Australian in origin, or at least according to the book I had.
We had already decided on the first name, Addison (which we spell "Adisenne"), but were
having a more difficult time finding a middle name. While driving along, I asked my husband
to pick a letter as I browsed through a baby name book. So that's the more-or-less fateful
way Addie's full name came to be. What made it so special to us was the meaning.
It seemed so appropriate, being that we were living by the sea.

In the same way, we came to choose Jake and Liam's middle names. I thought it would
be neat if all of their middle names were ocean-related in some way. So, Jake's middle
name is Kai, which is Hawaiian for "sea," and Liam's middle name--"Dylan"--means
the same thing.

I know for a fact that if we were not living near the ocean at the time, Addie's middle
 name would likely not have been the same.

The two older babies have been to our old dwelling-place, but Liam has yet to go
there. We have tons of precious photographs of Addie and Jake at the beach, so I thought
I'd include some here. After all, have you ever seen a real mer-baby up close?


Coming soon: pics of Jakey at the beach...

☞a sea-tale☜

Once, not so very long ago, we lived on the edge of the sea.

Our abode was simple--small, some would say--but it was large enough to contain
our dreams.

There, among the fresh air, sand, salt, and sun, our dreams took flight.

I was away from my large & loving family for the first time ever,
and it was hard.

I missed them.

But soon, it became like home.

We had the magic of the mountains and the ocean in one place...

at our fingertips.

We awaited our first baby, whose middle name we would choose
because it means "woman by the sea."               


Life was simple.
Life was good.

Nature was all around us as we'd never
experienced it,

dazzling us.

But like many things, it had to end.

Now I often think of that place--
the ocean, and our small house by the sea.

Even if we're not there, it is still a part of us,
continuing to enchant.

And to foster our dreams.