When I was young, I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that other kids were able to do. My parents never took me to McDonalds. The first time I went was in kindergarten, when our class visited one on a school trip early in the morning and we were each given a free pancake breakfast. It was magical to my five year old self! I never went to Chuck E Cheese for birthday parties. Heck, I wasn’t thrown birthday parties period, not until I was about ten years old. I didn’t get new clothes in September for school. I didn’t go to many movies or get a lot of toys.
My very first movie was the Duck Tales Movie when I was in the fourth grade. I was overwhelmed by the experience. Who knew that a cartoon could look that amazing on a giant screen, watched in a dark room with a group of strangers? I was in complete awe. I’ve never forgotten that feeling.
Remember back in the day when movies were only five bucks? That had seemed like a fortune at the time. The most popular movie theatre in Vancouver was at Station Square, which also housed a supremely popular video arcade called Johnny Z’s. Wow, even typing those names out brings back a flood of memories. I can still remember how Station Square smelled – that warm scent of popcorn mingled with something dark and dank, probably from all the sweaty, teenage boys at the arcade, with an undertone of metal from the video games and ever-flowing river of quarters.
We had Wednesday afternoons off every week at my elementary school and my friends and I would take the skytrain to the mall without fail. We’d hang around in that dark arcade, our senses assaulted by the flashing lights and tinny mechanical music and sounds coming from the machines. Then we’d walk across to the theatre for cheap matinees, where we’d all pitch in to buy a popcorn and soda for a row of us to share.
I remember watching The Lion King for the first time and I swear, to this day, when I hear those first few powerful notes sung to an image of the rising sun, I get shivers down my back. The opening sequence to that movie is the perfect partnership between stirring imagery and devastatingly effective music. I bought the soundtrack and memorized every word to every song the summer that movie came out.
Gawd, The Lion King premiered in 1994. 19 years ago. Can you believe it?!
In one scene, after Scar has murdered Mufasa and taken over the Pride Lands, he tells his captive Zazu to sing him an upbeat song. Zazu sings a few lines from “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts.” That part of the movie always made me laugh and for some reason, I immediately thought of it when I found out this week’s Sunday Supper theme.
We’re making food inspired by music. I had no idea how many song titles have food in them (there are a lot! Just check out the incredible list at the bottom of this post). Our host this week is the fabulous Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen. This girl has a legit musical background: she plays the piano, she played orchestral percussion through high school and received her degree in mallet percussion (which is super cool). She’s also married to a musician so she knows what she’s talking about. Plus she just posted a kick ass recipe for Bourbon Brown Sugar Ice Cream. We both love booze in our sweets – we’re obviously soul mates.
I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts is an old song – it was written in 1944 and popularized by artists such as Merv Griffin and Danny Kaye. I was inspired by this song to make coconut rum blondies, stuffed with butterscotch chips, chocolate chips and dried cherries. I warn you, these are ridiculously delicious and highly addictive.
Coconut Rum Blondies (adapted from Something We Whipped Up)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus more for the top
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark rum
3/4 cup chocolate chips, plus more for the top
3/4 cup butterscotch chips, plus more for the top
3/4 cup chopped dried cherries (optional – you can substitute another dried fruit or omit altogether)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper and butter generously.
Toast your coconut flakes over medium heat in a pan. Keep an eye on it – it browns pretty quickly. You don’t want it to burn. Set aside and allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the brown butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely. Add the vanilla extract and rum. Slowly add in the flour mixture until completely combined. Fold in the toasted coconut, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips and dried cherries. Pour into your pan and smooth the top (it’s a pretty thick batter). Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing and cutting.
Heaven. Coconutty, chewy, sweet, boozy heaven.
When I tried these the next day, I grimaced a bit because the rum flavour was insanely strong. It seemed to overwhelm all the other flavours. But as time passed and the flavours were allowed to mellow and combine, the rum taste acted in perfect harmony with the coconut, the caramel notes of the butterscotch chips, the dark sweetness of the chocolate chips and the earthy, bittersweet notes of the chewy dried cherries. I know I say this a lot but I seriously could not stop eating these.
I had to give away the majority of the pan, otherwise this baby would be sitting on my hips and stomach right now. I kept them at room temperature and I mean it when I say these blondies get better with time. And they’re ridiculously easy to make.
Do yourself a favour – bake yourself a pan, have the Lion King playing in the background, and visit the rest of my Sunday Supper friends. It’s amazing what we can create with a little musical inspiration!
Prelude (Beverages):Calimocho (Red Red Wine Cocktail) from La Cocina de Leslie inspired by Red Red Wine by UB40 Dark & Stormy Cocktail Recipe from An Appealing Plan inspired by Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen Horchata from Treats & Trinkets inspired by Horchata by Vampire Weekend Orange Crush from Magnolia Days inspired by Orange Crush by REM Pineapple Lemonade Slushy with Coconut Water from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz inspired by Lemon Tree by Peter, Paul & Mary Strawberry Tequila from Shockingly Delicious inspired by Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles
Overture (Appetizers):Mustard Dill Beer Bread from Curious Cuisiniere inspired by In Heaven There Is No Beer a German Polka
Intermezzo (Entrees & Sides):Chicken and Bacon Cheddar Waffles from I Run For Wine inspired by Glady’s Knight Classic Fried Chicken from The Food Army Wife inspired by Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band Margarita Chicken from In The Kitchen With KP inspired by Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet Meatball Duet from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings inspired by On Top of Spaghetti by Tom Glazer Pan-Seared Halibut with Corn Hash and Asparagus Puree from Crazy Foodie Stunts inspired by Saturday Night Fish Fry by Louis Jordan Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork from Neighborfood inspired by Something Like That by Tim McGraw Spaghetti and Pork Meatballs from Family Foodie inspired by On Top of Spaghetti by Kidsongs Teriyaki Burger from Juanita’s Cocina inspired by Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet
Finale (Desserts):Banana Cream Pie Bars from Peanut Butter and Peppers inspired by Tra La La Song by The Banana Splits Banana Pancake Ice Cream with Maple Brittle from Foxes Love Lemons inspired by Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson Cherry Pie from My Cute Bride inspired by Cherry Pie by Warrant Cherry Marshmallows from Pies and Plots Chocolate Cappuccino Cream Puffs from Runner’s Tales inspired by Choux Pastry Heart by Corinne Bailey Rae Chocolate Chip, Walnut and Caramel Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwich from Ruffles & Truffles inspired by Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani Chocolate Covered Caramels from Big Bear’s Wife inspired by At Last by Etta James Coconut Rum Blondies from Gotta Get Baked inspired by I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts by Danny Kaye Easy Blueberry Recipe: Fruit Tart from Growing Up Gabel inspired by Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino Espresso Nib Ice Cream from Vintage Kitchen Notes inspired by Black Coffee by Ella Fitzgerald Fancy Watermelon Lime Popsicles from Daily Dish Recipes inspired by Watermelon Crawl by Tracy Byrd Fresh Peach Pie from Killer Bunnies, Inc. inspired by Sweet Sweet Pie by PWEI Jammin’ Oatmeal Cookies from What Smells So Good? inspired by Jammin’ by Bob Marley Many Flavors Whipped Cream from Noshing with the Nolands inspired by Whipped Cream and Other Delights by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass Peach Basil Pie from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen inspired by Peaches by POTUSA Pina Colada Poke Cake from Cookin’ Mimi inspired by Two Pina Coladas by Garth Brooks Peach Donuts with Brown Sugar from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks inspired by Peaches by POTUSA Peach Strudel with Honey Bourbon Frozen Yogurt from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures inspired by My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music & Wild Honey by U2 Rainbow Pops from The Urban Mrs inspired by Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice Salted Ripple Chip No-Churn Ice Cream from Cupcakes & Kale Chips inspired by Ice Cream by Sarah McLachlan Salted Peanut Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream from girlichef inspired by Salt Peanuts by The Quintet Shall We Dance? Fairy Cakes from The Ninja Baker inspired by Shall We Dance from the Japanese Film Sugar Crusted Zucchini Bread from That Skinny Chick Can Bake inspired by Sugar, Sugar by the Archies Tangerine Sorbet from Webicurean inspired by Tangerine Speedo by Caviar Yeasted Banana Bread from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner inspired by I Like Bread and Butter by The New Beats
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