Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dreaming of a tropical island

With baby #3 on the way, S. and I are itching to get away on a vacation--by ourselves. We have never done this since having B., 4 years ago (yesterday). The only time I have been away from her was while I was at the hospital after having Little Man. I remember all the trips we took before kids. Some of my favorites: Costa Rica, Hualtuco, Mexico (all over Mexico, actually), Hawaii, London...

It does make me a little nervous to leave the kids for a long time. I mean, we don't have the best luck on trips. During our honeymoon in Costa Rica we almost died 3, yes, THREE times. Here's how it happened: We arrived in San Jose, and boarded a small, single-prop plane to Playa Langosta (no biggie, right? Keep reading). We were kayaking in a river and we saw a crocodile right by our kayak, it came a little too close for comfort. After staying a few nights at Playa Langosta we headed to the Arenal volcano that heats some hot springs at the nearby Tabacon resort. As we approached the volcano we saw hundreds of toucans flying away from the volcano, not usually a good thing. As we got closer, ash started falling on our little VW van. Uh, how do you say, "turn around" in Spanish? We arrived at the hotel, only to be directly evacuated down the other side of the mountain to another, not so posh, hotel. As we were driving down we saw a wall of volcanic ash rolling down the side of the volcano. It was the largest eruption in 30 years. So, we continued our vacation, eventually returning to the original hotel, and then to San Jose for our last night. As we were waiting to board our plane back to the states, S. was reading a local paper and saw that the same plane we had taken to Playa Langosta had crashed in the jungle the night before.

So, as we think of where we might go, my mind turns to the potential cuisines. This inspired me to make a Coconut Tart with Lime Curd.

Coconut Tart with Lime Curd

Makes 6 individual tarts
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place coconut and sugar in a food processor to blend. Add egg whites and mix. Press mixture into a well-greased 4 inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Lime Curd

adapted from Barefoot Contessa

4 limes at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt

Remove the zest of 2 limes with a vegetable peeler or zester, being careful to avoid the white pith. Squeeze the limes to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and process for 2 to 3 minutes, until the zest is very finely minced. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lime zest. Add-- the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lime juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lime curd will thicken at about 175 degrees F, or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Carefully remove tarts from pans, pour curd into coconut tarts. Wait about 20 minutes until curd is set. Add sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries.

I want to try this crust with chocolate and almonds--an Almond Joy-type creation. Yum.


Amanda said...

Confessing we're pregnant are we? Ha ha! Yes, vacations are fun. You guys should definitely go somewhere fun before the third one comes along. I still really want to go to Europe with Ben, but that will have to wait... who knows how long! At least we got to go somewhere after his graduation. It's always fun when the parents come along too! ;)

TWilton said...

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MUDRICK FAMILY! How far along are you? Are you out of the sickies yet, or are you one of those blessed individuals who has no idea what I am referring to? Hey, I love you guys! Thanks for filling the earth with more Mudricks! Also, now that I think of it, can we arrange a marriage between the families, or is that too old-fashioned?

Gregory and Michelle Olson said...

I can't belive it. Congrats!!!
We miss you guys.

Kristen said...

Congrats you guys! That's awesome. (Kristen Durst here in case you don't recognize just the "Kristen" it will show in the header.)

Jules said...

Um, trac--
Unless you start having some girls we can't arrange a marriage. B. is spoken for (actually 2 times over), plus she's too old for Maddie. If this one is a girl, Declan is in the running. And, no, I don't get sick (at least I haven't with the first two. I'm not even due till February).

henryteachers said...

That's exciting news with a third on the way! Wow, what crazy adventures you've had on vacations. Definitely take a
trip--3 kids is a lot more to handle than 2. Have to tell you on Sunday we made make your own kebabs for Father's Day with family. It was a so yummy!

Carrie said...

What?! So who is R's competition? Thought we had that deal sealed! Ha! Wouldn't that be fun for us! We are super excited for you guys...I know you were recruiting for Spring 08 babies. Who else got in on the race? Do ya know? Anyone willing to confess?

Brooke said...

Congrats!! I've heard the third kid really changes everything. So definitely, go on vacation. We're heading to VA next Saturday morning and we leave for Peru the morning of the 5th. We decided Macchu Picchu was easier without children in tow.

Daisy said...

Have a great vacation -- without the unnecessary excitement, I hope. Congrats on the new one on the way, too.

Nicole said...

Oh my goodness those look good. So does all the rest of the food. Yum! Great blog!

Nicole said...

Oh, and congrats on your upcoming miracle! :) (I hit publish too soon!)

SKISL said...

Congratulations! You can learn the most interesting news from a food blog-


Shannon said...

Nice to meet you last night! These look great. GOod luck planning that vacation!

teamstowell said...

I'm speachless, mostly because I'm drooling. Keep the (magic)recipes coming...I used two for the Elders...I'm on a roll now!! Maybe a great big green salad...oops, is this where we make requests??

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog when I was browsing for new recipes, and knew that I'll have to give this a try!
You say that you have to cream the butter and sugar w/a electic mixer and paddle attatchment, is that a necessary step? Could you just do it by hand, or on low without a paddle?
Thanx so much! ;)