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Grandma’s Italian Cream Cake

This white cake made with buttermilk, coconut, pecans, and cream cheese frosting is my mother’s favorite. She recently found Grandma’s hand-written recipe – Grandma always served an Italian Cream Cake at the family’s Thanksgiving feast.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings Total time: 2 hours

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars

I made these granola bars a lot when I was home on maternity leave. It could be hard on those long, sleepless days to get a meal in, but these were easy to grab and eat with one hand while holding a dozing baby in the other.

Chose whatever fruits and nuts you like best, and these will quickly become a favorite snack.

Yield: 16 squares Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Nikki’s Healthy Cookies

These butter-less, flour-less, egg-less (but delicious!) cookies contain ripe mashed banana, coconut oil, oats, almond meal, coconut, and chocolate.

Yield: 3 dozen bite-sized cookies Total time: 45 minutes

Coconut Custard Meringue Pie

I made my grandmother’s coconut cream pie recipe successfully for years, and then all of a sudden it stopped working for me. I had moved, so my kitchen tools and the environment were different, and that’s the only reason I could think of that my tried-and-true recipe no longer worked. Seeking a substitute, I found success with this recipe from Food & Wine.

Yield: 8 servings Total time: 6 hours

Mom’s Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake is a Southern favorite. Coconut and chopped nuts are baked into the cake, which is frosted with cream cheese icing.

Yield: 12 servings Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Audrey’s Coconut Mojitos

“We’ve had Mojitos all over Florida, my husband came up with the BEST recipe. The coconut rum adds a wonderful flavor, and the powdered sugar kinda makes a frosty, minty, refreshing drink! And mint grows like a weed, anywhere! A back-door herb bed, a flower box in a sunny window…it just grows and grows!”

Yield: 1 serving Total time: 15 minutes

Roasted Gingered Sweet Potatoes

I love taking this dish to a potluck. For one thing, it really stumps people. For another, I love the combination of sugar, red pepper, and coconut.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 1 hour

Carribean Rice

This recipe starts the rice in the microwave, but you can cook it however you’re used to. Then add mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, almonds, coconut, and spices.

Yield: 6 servings Total time: 30 minutes

German Chocolate Cake Brownies

My friends Pamela and Dale helped me out with a computer problem I was having, so I wanted to bake them something as a thank-you. I had just finished baking this pan of brownies, when a tiny thought occurred to me: I wondered if Pamela liked coconut. A quick call verified that she didn’t. I ate this pan of brownies, and I made her a plain version with milk caramel.

Yield: 9 servings Total time: 1 hour

Chocolate Chocolate Coconut Cookies

These cookies of chocolate chips, coconut, and chocolate dough are my absolute favorite.

Yield: 4 dozen Total time: 2 hours