Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poached Eggs

The way I see it, poaching eggs is like a food blogger's rite of passage.  Egg poaching attempts, disasters, failures and glorious triumphs alike are all well documented and photographed everywhere in the cookery blogosphere.  It only seemed like the proper farewell to my small Greenville apartment kitchen to do the same with my first crack at it.  Yes, pun intended.  And not to brag or anything, but I did it on the first try.  Correction, I rocked it on the first try. 

I've already previously admitted to my blog crush on Deb over there at the smitten kitchen, so when I ran across her beautiful step-by-step picture instructions on how to conquer the poached egg, it was a no brainer.  My first poached egg attempt would be a la smitten kitchen. 

I was fully prepared for my first one, two, three tries to be miserable.  I had set aside half a dozen eggs alone for the challenge.  I refused to be afraid, but at the same time was also already forming my post of epic failure in my head.  What I wasn't prepared for was for it to be... easy? 

What I did then  immediately fear was hatred from all the bloggers out there who have tried and tried to defeat their fear of poached eggs, only to end up with pots full of murky water and egg scraps.  Good thing I am not above begging--Please don't hate me.  I almost always burn the popcorn.  And it wasn't long ago that a small fire erupted under my broiler.  My cooking karma was bound to give me a softball to knock out of the park one of these days.

In the end, the moral of the story is, fear not.  Not everyone is destined to be haunted by botched egg poaching.  Just head on over to the smitten kitchen, read the instructions all the way through at least five times and get a pot of almost-but-not-quite simmering water on the stove.  Together, we can do it.  We can vanquish once and for all this fear of poached eggs!  And, yes, it was delicious, as all poached eggs are.

 I'm moving!  So unfortunately I will be sans kitchen for a few days.  But rest assured, those are new cooking magazines in my carry on bag and my apartment in Indiana has more than one usable counter.  I will soon make a grand return.  So, I leave you to wait, patiently of course, with one last question.  Has anyone out there tried a recipe yet?  Cause I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Slice-and-Bake Chocolate Cookies

Although I follow a few different food blogs out there in the blogosphere, my absolute favorite food blogger is Deb, over at the  Her writing is engaging and witty, she's incredibly informative, and on more than one occasion, her pictures have made me want to lick my computer screen.  So far I have been able to resist the urge, but just barely.

With that said, it is a little shocking that I haven't actually tried a recipe from her vast archive.  Even more shocking when the smitten kitchen is behind the majority of recipes on my online Recipes to Try list.  I finally put an end to my holding out this weekend with her Slice-and-Bake cookies, a recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan.  Unfortunately, for my first of many recipes from the site, they didn't quite blow my mind as I had been hoping, although I will chalk that up to my lack of imagination and ingredients, rather than a faulty recipe. 

Deb gives a good little laundry list of possible variations for this slice and bake, many of which I want to eventually try.  I do love how simple yet adaptable the dough is and the idea that you can keep a log or two in the freezer and at a moments notice pop out a few dozen cookies.  I went with the chocolate because I didn't want to make just plain cookies and I really didn't have anything in my pantry (which at that point was residing pre-move on my dining room table...) to mix-in.  The batter itself was yummy, although you could taste the flour, something I had hoped would cook out.  The final cookie was good, it just wasn't exciting in any way.  It lacked a little bit of sweetness and some chocolatey goodness, both issues I think could have been easily resolved with the addition of some chopped semisweet chocolate goodness.  Seeing as there is a multitude of ways to adapt the cookie, it's safe to say that in the near future there will be a repeat.  Or at least a frozen log in the freezer...

I'm moving!  So please excuse any lack in cooking and posting.  In my heart, I have one more post in me before leaving South Carolina, but my head would like all of it's cleaning deposit back, so we'll see what the outcome of that battle is.  If you don't hear from me until I'm in Indiana, I'm sorry!  But that just means I'm getting ready for new adventures in a brand new (to me at least) apartment kitchen.

Slice-and-Bake Chocolate Cookies
borrowed from

makes about 50 cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2/3 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, room temp
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

Although the recipe calls for doing this in an electric mixture, my KitchenAid was already clean and packed away, so I preceded by hand, maybe another reason my cookies weren't as stellar as I hoped.  I summarized the smitten kitchen instructions below:

Using the paddle attachment, mix butter at medium speed until smooth.  Add sifted confectioners' sugar and continue to beat at medium speed until butter and sugar is smooth and silky.  Beat in egg yolks and salt.  If adding any mix-ins, do so now.  On low speed, add flour to mixture, beating until just incorporated.  It's better to underbeat than overbeat and it is ok if the flour isn't fully incorporated.  Divide dough in half and form into balls; wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

On a smooth surface, take each ball and work into a log, about 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter.  Rewrap each log in plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.  Batter can be stored, ready to bake at this point, in the fridge up to 3 days.  Additionally, it can be frozen at this point for up to a month.

Preheat oven to 350°F, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Remove logs from fridge and using a sharp knife, cut log into cookies about 1/3 inch thick.  Try as best as possible to keep thickness consistent.  Put cookies on baking sheet with around half an inch of space in between; they will expand.  Bake for 10-14 minutes.  Cookies should be set, but now browned.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.  For storage, put cookies in an airtight container.

Make sure to head on over to to check out a list of fun variations!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mustard Vinaigrette

I know, another bottle picture as the opening photo?   Not exciting.  And I know, a vinaigrette recipe?  Not exciting once again.  But my dinners have not been exciting this week.  In fact, dinner has largely been salads with chopped chicken on top and a side of sweet potato fries.  Oh CostCo, will I ever learn...

I've been making my own vinaigrettes for my salads, because one, I'm avoiding buying anything new at all costs and two, it's incredibly easy.  You take an oil, an acid and whatever seasonings you want and swoosh it all around until its all emulsified and there you go.  You can use any oil, but I usually stick with olive oil.  You can use any acid, although it being a vinaigrette, vinegar is the usual suspect.  And when you read an article about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, you use that because, well it's homeopathic awesomeness.  And if you're me, you have a bottle in the pantry leftover from some delicious German Potato Salad.  Plus, there's something amazing about the combination of mustard and apple cider vinegar.  And you may just lick your plate after dinner.  Again, if you're me...

And if you were wondering, yes, I do like the word emulsify.  I'm a chemical engineer.  I once had a professor tell me I would understand her entire class if I could just understand the mystery of salad dressing.  I tutored that class for 3 years afterwards.  I so get the mystery of salad dressing.

Mustard Vinaigrette

I'm just giving you ratios here, so you can make as big or small a batch as you want.  It will keep for a few days in the fridge.  Just remember to shake the bejesus out of it to emulsify it again!

1 part dijon mustard (or yummy hot and sweet mustard from Trader Joes)
1 part apple cider vinegar
2 parts good olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Combine in a jar with lid.  Give a good shake to emulsify.  Keep any extra refridgerated.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hoisin Honey Marinade

A marinade isn't very exciting, I know.  And it's not even like this is one of those knock your socks off, get your hinny into the kitchen kind of marinade.  Even more sad, I'm losing a pretty cinnamon twist picture at the top of my blog to one full of bottles and a honey bear.  But, it is a new recipe and it is something I cooked, and ate and it was good.  And, well, hey look, I warned you, it's going to be a rough few weeks here. 

Due to the low excitement level, I'll keep this short and sweet.  The inspiration for this came from Cooking Light's March issue, with a segment devoted to the art of broiling.  I had even bought the hoisin sauce originally to make the broiled tenderloin recipe.  And like a dope, I opened the sauce immediately to taste just a bit of it, being a hoisin sauce newby, and then didn't touch the bottle till about a month ago.  There it was sitting in my fridge, unused but still opened and therefore not movable across state lines.  I really hate wasting food, so I wanted to try and use it.  Seeing as I had chicken in the freezer, I slightly modified the recipe so no new purchases would be needed to round out the ingredient list.  My marinade was born.

It's good.  The chicken sat in the marinade in the fridge for a full day and ended up very flavorful.  I cut up the breasts into strips, eating one breast right away and saving the others for cutting up on salads.  The chipotle peppers add some heat, not to mention pretty red flakes on the chicken.  It's a good, easy recipe.  Safe to say, at least the majority of my hoisin sauce will go this way, and that's not a bad way to go. 

Hoisin Honey Marinade
Inspired by Cooking Light's Broiled Tenderloin Steak

This was the perfect amount for two chicken breasts.  I mixed everything in my OXO measuring cup and poured into a plastic baggy.  Worked out fantastically.

2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2-1 tsp. chopped chipotle peppers in adobo

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cinnamon Twists

Don't you just love it when your coworker comes to you on Monday at 2 in the afternoon and is nice enough to not only tell you that there is a potluck tomorrow, but also give you a list of what everyone is bringing so as to make sure you don't double up.  This is especially frustrating when you are on a strict, albeit self-imposed, no grocery shopping until half of that crap left in my fridge is gone.  Ah, the joys of moving in 16 DAYS!  It's going to be an interesting few weeks to say the least.  I feel I should apologize in advance...

 So, bound by my own stringent rule making, I had limited options.  Frozen chicken breasts, puff pastry and sweet potatoes fries are the basic contents of my freezer.  I remembered seeing "Lemon Sugar Puff Pastry Twists" (quite the name, I know) awhile ago online.  The absolutely gorgeous pictures, which easily put mine to shame, had convinced me that was to be the end results of my left over puff pastry dough.  I just didn't realize the end would come so soon!  While I did have a lemon left over in the bottom of my fridge, all of its zest was stolen for the zucchini bread.  I then remembered, that it was supposed to be a healthy potluck.  And lucky for me, I will be convinced until the day I die that cinnamon is healthy for you and me and everyone else.  And that is how we got here.

They were quick and easy, and maybe not necessarily healthy, but they were still all easily demolished at the potluck, with coworkers coming up to me later asking if there were any leftover.  A surprise hit I would say.  And yay for using only what's in the freezer, fridge and pantry!

Cinnamon Twists
Inspired by Cookin Canuck

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c. Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In wide, shallow dish mix cinnamon and sugar well.

Lay out puff pastry sheet on well floured surface.  Roll out puff pastry dough until it's about an inch longer in each direction.  Using a sharp small knife, or pizza cutter, cut the sheet in half horizontally.  Next, cut vertical strips about 1 inch wide, or about 12 per sheet.

Brush both sides of each strip with butter.  Dredge both sides in cinnamon sugar mixture.  Twist sheets as you lay them on the baking sheet.  Cook 8-10 minutes, until strips are puffed and golden.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zucchini Bread


It still bewilders me when someone says that they don't like zucchini bread.  I have discovered something though, if you keep asking and asking them about it, eventually they will admit to the fact that they have never actually tried zucchini bread.  Now, I'm all for hating on foods (hello clam chowder!), but come on people, at least try it first.  It's only fair.  So, if you are in fact one of these people who think they hate zucchini bread, beware, because I will find you and force feed you a piece my beautiful zucchini bread.  Just ask Ben.  Yep, he was one of these people.

I knew the moment I saw those beautifully, huge, firm green zucchinis last Saturday that zucchini bread was in my near future.  And I couldn't be happier.  Mom used to make this on a week night for the next morning's breakfast.  It rarely lasted the whole day, and she always did a double batch, making two loafs.  For making zucchini bread, the general role of thumb was that for each loaf you shredded a medium sized zucchini.  However, my zucchinis are some of the biggest I've ever seen.  That mammoth boy to the right there sufficed for two loafs all on his own.   He got shredded to the nub and combined with your basic quick bread ingredients.  Plus heaping teaspoons of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg and lemon zest.
This is the recipe my mom always used and I have no idea where she initially got it.  I hardly change a thing, except to add heaping in front of "1 tsp. of cinnamon".  That and I don't actually measure the grated nutmeg or the lemon zest.  But that's half of the fun of using a microplane, just grating and zesting right in to the bowl.  Have I mentioned my love affair with my microplane?  I actually want another one, mostly because I want more, but also because they come in multiple sizes!  Mine now is specifically for Parmesan, zest and coconut.  Obviously, I must have the one specific for nutmeg and cinnamon stick grating!

The recipe is so easy, I have yet to foul it up ever, and I've been helping make zucchini bread going on at least 16 years now.  You whisk up the dry ingredients real fast, then throw them all together with the zucchini, egg, oil and lemon zest.  There was always the option to throw in a half a cup of nuts or chocolate chips if you wanted, but it's so not necessary.  Two hints: one, as with all quick breads, don't over mix the batter, this will cause the loafs to be flat and not rise as much.  And number two, if you double the batch, make sure you check each loaf separately, mine were done 4 minutes apart.  They came out golden brown, with scraggly cracks across the tops, a sure sign from my childhood of deliciousness.  Yum.

So, if you are counting that does mean I am still left with one zucchini in the vegetable crisper.  All day I had been wondering if I could use this recipe and make muffins out of it, but I didn't have the guts to experiment with it tonight.  Any thoughts from any of you out there?  Can you magically turn quick bread into muffins?

And in case you were wondering, Ben is now a convert.  The boy who hated zucchini bread just asked me to save him some, and he won't even be here for another week.

Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. (heaping!) cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. suger
1 c. shredded, unpeeled zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 egg
1/4 c. oil
1/4 tsp. lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottom of loaf pan.

Whisk together the first 7 ingredients (through sugar).  Mix in shredded zucchini, egg, oil and lemon zest.  Mix until just combined and do not over bet batter.  Pour into prepared load pan and bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes.

Coal in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and left cool.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer Linguine


Yesterday morning I spent putzing around the Greenville Farmers Market.  It's only a little 3 block thing, but I'm still shocked by some of the stands they have there.  There's local honey, fresh pasta and ravioli, different kinds of meat and sausage, even seafood!  Somehow, someway, I managed to keep my purchases to a minimum yesterday.  Only 4.  It was a challenge.  And even more impressive, I managed to use 3 of them in dinner that night.  I made Summer Linguine, courtesy of the ever wonderful Heidi Swanson and her new cookbook Super Natural Every Day.

It starts with zucchini and I had gotten 3 ginormous and pretty green zucchini.  I only used one, but don't worry, the other two have big plans: zucchini bread...yum...  So you shred and shred the zucchini and put it in a colander with a few pinches of salt and let it sit.  The salt works to draw out the water in the zucchini, which is a surprising large amount.
      I also got a bunch of spring onions at the market.  I absolutely love that one of them is purple, even though I have no idea why.  It's just so pretty and bright.  The original summer linguine recipe doesn't call for onions, but these were fresh and bright and they were going in too.  So, a few of those got chopped up with two small cloves of garlic.  And with that, prep was completed.

My other market buy that made it into this dish was fresh pasta, fresh garlic chive fettuccine to be exact.  Not quite linguini, but it was fresh!  It was garlic chive flavored!  Plop, and that was in a pot of boiling water.  And once that was done cooking, everything gets a quick saute in a skillet, in stages and that is that.  Less than 5 minutes in a skillet and it goes on the plate, topped with a little bit of Parmesan.  It came out so pretty, with the green zucchini and bright little red pepper flakes, it did look summery.   I guess if I can't have summer vacation, I at least can have good summer food.

I shared with two friends from work, to rave reviews.  "You can make zucchini pasta for me anytime!"  But with all the fresh ingredients, how much credit am I allowed to take?    

Summer Linguini

1 large or 2 medium zucchini, grated
8 oz of linguine, or other flat pasta
2 Tbs. oil
1-2 cloves of garlic
2-4 spring onions, chopped
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Parmesan to top

Grate zucchini and put in colander.  Sprinkle well with coarse salt and let drain 10-15 minutes over the sink.  Remove and place in paper towels or clean dish towel; squeeze excess water out.  Set aside.

Make pasta according to package directions.  Drain, but reserve about a cup of pasta water.

In medium skillet over medium high heat, heat oil.  Add garlic, onions and red pepper flakes.  Saute 1-2 minutes until the garlic and onions become fragrant.  Add zucchini to skillet and cook another minute or two more.  Add pasta and toss until zucchini is completely throughout and cook another minute, to heat pasta through.  If needed, add more oil or pasta water until desired consistency is reached.  

Top with fresh grated Parmesan and eat immediately! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mojito Cake-Tails

I have wanted to make this recipe for over two years.

I had a summer internship where I lived in Providence, Rhode Island.  It was here that I got my first taste of living, and eating, independently, in a country where my favorite spice was familiarly called cinnamon, and not “Zimt”.  Not that I didn’t love my summer living in Germany, because I did, and not that I didn’t cook there, because I did, it just wasn’t really the place to sit around in the kitchen and discover things, when I could be out in Germany, discovering things.  Like Biergartens, famous castles, and Weinwanderung--a wine hike.  So it was a lot of chicken breasts and cold cut sandwiches, with amazingly delicious, fresh bread.  And the occasional Ananas Eis from the ice cream cart in the park.

On the other hand, during the Providence Summer, I had a sufficiently stocked kitchen and I cooked often for me, my roommate and her ever present boyfriend.  I tried new things, some of which are already in my green cookbook, and my purple recipe file began to grow exponentially, with the help of a color printer at work. 

This is one of those recipes, Mojito Cake Tails. (Ha, get it?  Like a cocktail, but a cake!)  You start with a pretzel and butter crust, packed tightly into the bottoms of muffin tins and you top it with this creamy, dreamy, lime and mint flecked cream.  Then you freeze it.  No baking, no buttering or dusting tins, you could probably even cheat and just use CoolWhip instead of whipping some cream up yourself.   It is the perfect summer dish, served cold from the freezer; it’s refreshing.  It wasn’t overly minty, not too much lime, if I had to complain I would say that there wasn’t enough rum.

The recipe said it made up 12 servings.  With 3 cups of crushed pretzels, we easily filled the bottoms of 17 muffin tins, and most of those had thick bases.  You could likely stretch this to 18-20 with no harm, because our cream tops were overflowing as well.  And be sure to chop the mint super fine.  Can I say again, they were delicious?  Cold and dreamy, with the salt from the pretzel crust balancing out the sweet cream.  The mint and lime epitomized summer.  The perfect end to a grilled Memorial Day dinner. 

There were rave reviews from aunts and uncles alike, most of whom stuck their fork in the middle and ate it like a popsicle.  A delicious, summer, adult popsicle.  Happy Summer!

Mojito Cake-Tails

2 sticks butter
3 c. salted pretzels, finely crushed 
1 1/4 c. sugar, plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
Two 8 ounce packages, cream cheese, softened
Grated peel of 3 limes
1/2 c. lime juice
2 Tbsp. white rum
3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
2 c. heavy cream

Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a medium skillet.  Stir in pretzels and 2 tablespoons sugar and cook until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to bowl and let cool slightly.  Press about 3 tablespoons into bottom of muffin pans.  Freeze for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy.  Mix in remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar on low speed.  Gradually mix in lime peel, lime juice, rum and chopped mint.  In a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold ito cream cheese mixture.

Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among muffin cups; swirl and smooth the tops.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 8 hours, or overnight.   To remove from muffin tins, dip a butter knife in warm water, then run around each cake.  Cake-tail should pop right out, but if it doesn't, invert pan.  Serve with a mint sprig or lime twist for garnish.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

German Chocolate Bundt Cake

I know I've been a little MIA this last week.  It's been busy, with two long weekends of travel plans, complete with flight cancellations and a holiday vacation home in Arizona.  And all that other time in between, I was either too tired or busy repacking to really bother eating more than cereal for dinner.  Bad, I know, but packed along side my swimsuits and summer dresses were new recipes to try at my parents' house in Arizona.  And I've come back with two new yummy deserts!

One reason for heading home, besides the long holiday weekend, was for my dad's birthday.  So, naturally, my mom roped me into to making his birthday cake.  Which, also quite naturally, was German Chocolate Cake.   Which has been my father's birthday cake for who knows how long.

There was always the old classic Betty Crocker standby recipe.  But I also came armed with three other options.  After consulting the birthday boy, we decided to go with the bundt.  With a small modification, but we'll get to that.  

It was fun  to be cooking in my mom's kitchen again.  There are vast expanses of counter tops, lots of useful tools like pastry cutters, and someone else is buying the ingredients!  And the best part is, I got to cook with my mommy,  looking all cute in our half aprons.

The bundt cake itself came out delicious, with a caramely pecan and coconut layer in the middle, the chocolate cake moist and delicious.  Unfortunately, the original recipe called for a powdered sugar glaze to be poured over top.  Really?  A powdered sugar glaze?  Come on, that's not German Chocolate Cake.  So the orange Betty Crocker was called out of retirement for some German chocolate cake frosting, the recipe (tried and true, but somewhat modified ), I included below.

The overall effect was delicious, even after a frosting mishap that ended in a little bit of scrambled egg being strained from the frosting.  I couldn't imagine this cake with something as puny as a powdered sugar glaze, and I wouldn't skimp on the traditional German chocolate frosting.  Oh, and some of the cake stuck to the bundt pan, most likely because we left it to sit too long before flipping it out, which you shouldn't do, but what else is frosting for?

Happy Birthday Dad!

German Chocolate Bundt Cake
Adapted from Cooking Light, via

For Streusel:
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 c. sweetened, flaked coconut
1/3 c. chopped pecans

For Cake:
Cooking Spray
1 Tbsp. sugar, for dusting
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 ounce German baking chocolate
1/2 c. boiling water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large egg whites (save the yolks!)
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. low-fat buttermilk

For Frosting:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Sweetened, flaked coconut (~1/2 c.)
Chopped pecans (~1/2 c.)

Preheat oven to 325°.  Coat 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray, and dust completely with sugar. 

Prepare streusel by combining flour and brown sugar in a small bowl and cutting in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in coconut and pecans.  Set aside.

Combine cocoa and baking chocolate in a small bowl.  Stir in boiling water and mix until chocolate is completely melted.  Set aside.  Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in another bowl and whisk together well. 

In mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter at medium speed until creamed.  Add vanilla and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.   Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat well after each addition.  Stir in cocoa mixture.

Spoon half of the batter into bundt pan and distribute evenly.  Sprinkle streusel mixture evenly over top.  Spoon remaining batter over streusel.  Bake at 325 for 55-60 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then immediately invert onto serving plate.  Cool completely.

For the icing, mix sugar, milk, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in medium sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until think and carmel-like, about 12 minutes.  Stir in coconut and pecans in equal amounts until desired thickness is achieved.  Beat frosting to a spreading consistency and frost cake.