Showing posts with label Hawaii. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaii. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hawaiian Luau Cake from @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

Just took a vacation to Hawaii. It was so wonderful. I have been writing nonstop for about a year and then dealing with some personal family issues, so I was really ready for "nothing."  I mean nothing. I wanted to lie in a chaise lounge and read a book and not think about anything. Very little Internet. Very little social media. I did some; I cannot lie. But no writing. No characters swimming in my head. No PR to sell my latest book. It was wonderful!!

Anyway, while I was there, I thought of a fan, Robin Coxon, who responded to a question I asked a few months ago: what recipe would you like to see on this site? And she wanted a Hawaiian Luau cake that her mother made, but never wrote a recipe for.

I felt challenged when I came back. I could do this. I looked online and found a number of Hawaiian-type cakes, but nothing seemed quite like Robin described it, with the fruit and coconut and, well, everything.

So, with a little imagination, I mixed up a couple of recipes and came up with this. It's pretty much a dump cake until the sauce portion. Everything goes into the bowl and stir. it's really moist. It's really sweet. It's perfect for a book club meeting.

Robin, I hope you'll test the recipe and tell me if I came even "close"!!!  :)

Hawaiian Luau Cake

2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 16-ounce can of fruit salad, with liquid

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup flaked coconut

         1 more cup white sugar
         1 cup milk
         1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
          1 cup flaked coconut

Sift together flour, 1 cup of sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

Beat 2 eggs and pour over dry mixture. Add fruit salad, WITH liquid. *Note: most cans of fruit salad are 14.5 ounces. I added about 2 tablespoons of chopped pineapple to enhance.

Stir together until well incorporated.

Grease and flour 9 x 13 dish. Pour in mixture.  Smooth out.

Mix brown sugar and coconut and sprinkle over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, until brown and toothpick comes out clean.  It will be a “low” cake.

Over medium heat, cook together sugar, milk, butter and coconut. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and boil for 5 minutes, until thickened. Pour over cake while still hot.

Serve warm.


*If making this gluten-free, substitute 2 cups gluten-free flour (white in color) for the regular flour and add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Make sure you sift as directed with the sugar, baking soda and baking powder.

Savor the mystery!

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Author Terry Ambrose Shares a Recipe from Hawaii and a #Bookgiveaway

In a former life, author Terry Ambrose was a skip tracer and repo man, fascinating experiences that he now puts to use in his mystery novels, as well as his columns on avoiding scams. 

As a writer for the Crime Fiction Examiner, he has done interviews with some of the top names in mystery writing. Be sure to check out his wonderful website here, which is more of a mini magazine, where he posts interviews and reviews, and often runs fun contests for readers. It is now my pleasure to welcome this talented man to our Kitchen. Take it away, Terry...      
~ Cleo Coyle

Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. Or, as we say when in Hawaii, mahalo! My wife and I have visited the islands for twenty-five years. We fell in love with Kauai on our first trip and return for our "island-fix" almost every year.

Kauai is geologically the oldest
of the main Hawaiian Islands.

While we’re visiting, one of our favorite foodie places is Sweet Marie's, a gluten-free bakery. Marie’s deserts are exquisite and we liked her Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroons so much that we reconstructed the recipe from the list of ingredients. After a couple of very tasty mistakes, Kathy hit on this oh-so-easy and yummy recipe that will transport you to coconut-lover’s heaven.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroons

Servings 26


1 - 14oz Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 - 14oz Sweetened Flaked Coconut

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, coconut and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto baking sheet.

3. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until tops start to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Place macaroons on wire racks until completely cool.

During my thirty years of writing mysteries, Hawaii has had a continually increasing influence on my work. The first McKenna Mystery came about when we were living in Arizona. In looking back, the desire to write that book was probably a subconscious effort to escape our 100-day string of 100+ degree days.

Food is not a central element of the McKenna Mysteries, but scams and cons are. There is always at least one in each book and BIG ISLAND BLUES, the latest in the series, is no exception. 
For this adventure, McKenna visits the Big Island to help find his best friend's missing niece, Andi Kapono. 

Soon, McKenna realizes he's being tracked by an island hacker and Andi is on her own hunt to find the truth behind a bizarre-sounding curse that threatens those she loves. If McKenna doesn't find Andi soon, they could both become a killer's next victims.

In addition to mysteries, I also write about real-life scams and cons on my website at and in my monthly newsletter, "The Snitch," where you will find a recipe, a scam tip, contest information, and more.

About the Author

Terry Ambrose started out skip tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that “liars come from all walks of life.”  It was Terry’s experience in skip tracing that led to his creation of McKenna, the protagonist in his novels Photo Finish and Kauai Temptations. And ultimately, he says, it led to the two main characters in License to Lie. A resident of Southern California, Terry loves spending time in Hawaii, especially on the Garden Island of Kauai, where he gets to “invent lies for the unsuspecting to read.” He says his years spent chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—“always keep your car in the garage.”

You can visit Terry’s author page on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or learn more about Terry and his books by visiting his website

Terry's Book and Latte
Birthday Giveaway!

“Big Island Blues sizzles from a gripping
beginning to a finale both taut and sweet.”

~ Award-winning
author Carolyn Hart

Terry is celebrating 
his birthday today!

Thanks to all of you for your kind
Happy Birthday comments
for Terry!

Congrats to our comment
giveaway winner...


Jen's comment was randomly
selected to win Terry's
latest mystery, Big Island Blues,
the $10.00 Starbucks Gift Card

Thanks to everyone for commenting
and thanks especially to Terry
for spending his birthday with us...