Tropicana Bars

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Tropicana Bars! When you combine exotic fruits, flaky coconut, and macadamia nuts, you may feel as though you stepped off an airplane onto a tropical island in the Pacific. This mouthwatering dessert is perfect for summer. Go ahead, take a bite for a quick trip to a faraway destination. Let your mind wander to swaying palm trees, magical waterfalls, and sunshine that warms the body as well as the spirit.

TROPICANA BARS

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups Zucchini Jam*

1/4 cup flaked coconut

1/4 cup macadamia nuts, crushed

1 tablespoon crystallized sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream together sugar and butter. Set aside. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together until blended. Combine dry ingredients with sugar mixture until crumbly. Spread 3/4 of batter into a 9″x13″ greased dish to make a crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Layer with Zucchini Jam, coconut, and nuts. Crumble remaining batter over all. Sprinkle with crystallized sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into 24 squares.

* For Zucchini Jam recipe, please follow the link below.

http://Snapshotsincursive.com/2016/04/12

Tilapia Macadamia Fillets

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Tilapia Macadamia Fillets! Tired of hum-drum meals? The crispy crunch of tropical nuts on the outside are a prelude to the moist flaky fish inside. Turning that taste into a healthy and delicious dinner option is spot on! The subtle hints of sesame, green seaweed, and Parmesan cheese add to the nutritional value making this a new favorite to try again and again.

TILAPIA MACADAMIA FILLETS

Ingredients:

2 tilapia fillets, boneless and skinless

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon furikake seasoning (sesame seed and green seaweed)

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse tilapia fillets and pat dry. Mix together all dry ingredients and spread on a sheet of waxed paper. Using a wire whisk, combine egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Dip one fish fillet at a time into the egg bath, coating both sides. Once wet, dredge in bread crumb mixture to fully cover both sides. Set aside and repeat for the second fish fillet. (For a crisper crust, repeat process in egg bath using all coating mix.) Place fish fillets in a nonstick pan and place to oven. Bake 8 minutes, gently turn over and bake 4 minutes longer. Do not over cook. Garnish with cilantro, lemon slice, and whole macadamia nuts.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter M

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Macadamia Nut Pineapple French Toast! Forget the maple syrup. Indulge instead in a tropical fruit explosion of flavor. Some compare this breakfast specialty to caramelized pineapple bliss. I suppose the taste could remind you of a tropical Pina Colada cocktail. It’s that good. For your next “Staycation”, why not treat yourself to paradise on a plate. 
MACADAMIA NUT PINEAPPLE FRENCH TOAST
Ingredients for Sauce:

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon coconut syrup

1 teaspoon almond extract

8-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 smidgen nutmeg

2 tablespoons shredded coconut 
Instructions:

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Do not scorch. Add brown sugar. Stir. Gradually bring to a boil. Add cream, stirring constantly. Cook until thick, about 4 minutes. Turn heat to lowest setting. Add maple syrup, coconut syrup, and almond extract. Stir until smooth. Add pineapple chunks, cinnamon, nutmeg, and shredded coconut. Cook until tender. 
Ingredients for French Toast:

4 slices Hawaiian sweet bread, sliced thick

3 whole eggs, beaten

1/2 cup light cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons butter

Macadamia nuts, chopped

Fresh strawberries 
Instructions:

Whisk together eggs, light cream, and vanilla extract. In a shallow dish, place 4 slices of Hawaiian bread, single layer. Pour custard egg mixture over bread; turn to coat both sides completely. Let moistened bread rest to soak up liquid. In an iron skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter on medium-low heat. Transfer the soaked bread to the skillet. Cook until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes per side. Add butter as needed. If cooking in batches, transfer browned French toast to a wire rack on a baking sheet and kept warm in a 200° oven. To serve, place one piece of French toast on a plate. Cover with pineapple sauce. Top with second slice of French toast. Add more pineapple sauce. Garnish with sliced strawberries and macadamia nut pieces. Dust with powdered sugar. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter P

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Second Helping of Pina Colada Pie! Sometimes it’s necessary to serve your guests a dessert low in sugar. This one is perfect because it boasts tropical flavor with enough fruity sweetness to satisfy that sugar craving which follows at the end of a meal. Please note you may substitute a sugar-free graham cracker crust for the homemade cookie crust. 
PINA COLADA PIE
Ingredients for Homemade Cookie Crust:

2 cups Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies, crushed

1/4 cup butter, melted
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix crushed shortbread cookies and melted butter. Press crumb mixture into a pie plate sprayed with nonstick oil. Bake 10 minutes. Cool before filling. 
Ingredients for Filling:

2 8-ounce blocks of Neufchâtel cheese

1 small box Sugar Free/Fat Free Lemon Jello

1 small box Sugar Free/Fat Free Vanilla Instant Pudding 

4-ounce of Lite Cool Whip

1 8-ounce can crushed Pineapple in Natural Juices, do not drain

1 teaspoon Coconut flavor
Instructions:

Soften Neufchâtel cheese and add other ingredients. Stir until well blended. Pour into pie crust and chill for several hours or overnight. 
*Garnish: Toast 1/2 cup flake coconut in 350° oven for 4 minutes. Watch! Set aside to cool. Fresh strawberries also make an appealing garnish.