Lemon Coconut Bars for #SundaySupper

by Renee on April 20, 2014

Lemon Coconut Bars | Magnolia Days

It happened again. The same urge came about when Easter was near. It cannot go by without certain foods being involved. It started with a ham we enjoyed in a pre-celebration. Being a food blogger does make one celebrate holidays in advance. The leftovers became Ham, Turkey and Cheddar Turnovers. Moving on to the next food meant one thing, it was time to make lemon coconut bars.

Lemon Coconut Bars | Magnolia Days

Easter would not be the same without coconut. I’ve already eaten my way through a bag of chocolate coconut eggs. I thought about incorporating them into a recipe however they didn’t last long enough. Plus it was another excuse to buy coconut flakes and get baking. As usual, what to bake was the question. My friend Terry gave me inspiration for lemon bars and that was all it took.

Lemon Coconut Bars | Magnolia Days

How are the lemon coconut bars? They are lemon chess pie meets coconut over a buttery crust. There is the expected sweet/tart combination. Coconut gives an added chewy texture. Slivered almonds provide a crunch. The bars are baked in a 10×15 jelly roll pan. The ones from the middle of the pan are softer than those from the outside. It’s the same as with brownies – are you an inside or outside person? I’ll take the ones from the inside.

Lemon Coconut Bars | Magnolia Days

What food is always a part of your Easter celebration? The holiday won’t pass by without ham and coconut for me. There are lots of other favorites from Sunday Supper contributors below. Scroll down to see the list of recipes and links to each one. Big thanks to our host Alaiyo of Pescetarian Journal for hosting our Easter/Passover Feast event.

Lemon Coconut Bars

1 hour, 45 minutes

Makes 24 to 28 bars

Lemon Coconut Bars

    For the crust
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds
  • For the filling:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the topping:
  • Confectioners sugar
For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 10- X 15-inch jelly roll pan. Line bottom with parchment paper for easier removal of bars from the pan.

Whisk together flour, confectioners sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl.

Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in almonds.

Firmly press mixture into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown on the edges.

For the filling:

Whisk together all filling ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

Pour filling over baked crust.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set.

Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

For the topping:

Dust confectioners sugar on top.

Cut into bars or squares.

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Recipe adapted from Southern Living Our Best Recipes 2007 Volume 4

The Easter/Passover celebration continues. Check out these holiday recipes by Sunday Supper contributors:



Savory and Sweet Breads:

Sides and Salads:

Main Dishes:


Wine Pairing:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Sunday Supper LogoWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? Click here: Sunday Supper Movement


Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake for #BundtBakers

by Renee on April 17, 2014

Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake | Magnolia Days

What do Easter, spring, lemons, flowers, seeds, a book, strawberries, and a salad have in common? They are all parts to the story behind this Strawberry Poppy Seed cake. It begins with a simple theme for the Bundt Bakers group; bake a cake for Easter or spring. Plowing through my cookbooks and cake recipes gave the first impulse of one to make. It would be lemon. Yep, that was it. Well, until I went out and saw the first signs of growth on my poppy plant. It would not be long before those lovely flowers would be blooming. It inspired me to add poppy seeds to the cake. Lemon poppy seed cake became the plan.

A little voice in the back of my head questioned using lemon. While it is a common pairing for poppy seeds, something else might be more adventurous. Once again I checked in the ultimate recipe development resource book, The Flavor Bible, and saw strawberries listed under poppy seeds. Immediately my thoughts went back to the early 90′s when a friend brought a strawberry poppy seed salad to a potluck. Oh how I enjoyed that salad. The flavors went so well together. The cake plan changed again, this time for good.

Strawberries and Poppy Seeds | Magnolia Days

How is the strawberry poppy seed cake? The strawberry part is very subtle. There is a hint of it in the background against a nutty seed flavor. The color of the cake is not the expected pink or red. Only the glaze gives a clue as to what is inside.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake | Magnolia Days

It is a moist cake with an airy texture. Poppy seeds give a touch of crunchiness to each bite. There should be enough glaze to save for serving or you can make extra. A drizzle over a slice adds a pop of color. Plus it is a bonus to those who love glaze and frosting.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake | Magnolia Days

What cakes do you enjoy for Easter or spring? The bundt bakers have some mighty tasty recipes to share for this month’s theme. Getting to them is only a click away. Scroll down to find details on how you can join in the monthly Bundt Bakers fun. And big thanks to Tara of Noshing with the Nolands for hosting this month. For more spring or Easter recipes look at Lemon Parsley Cocktail and Coconut Cupcakes.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake

1 hour, 15 minutes

Makes 12 to 16 servings

Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake

    For the cake:
  • 16 ounce container frozen sliced strawberries with sugar, thawed*
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Milk as needed
For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan.

Put the strawberries and juice into a blender. Blend until puréed.

Whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add vanilla and beat to combine.

Combine buttermilk and 3/4 cup strawberry purée.

Add flour mixture in three additions, alternatively with buttermilk/strawberry in two additions, mixing on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread batter evenly in the pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick when inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out cake on to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Drizzle glaze over top of cake. Transfer cake to serving plate.

Keep cake refrigerated when not serving.

For the glaze:

Stir together confectioners sugar, strawberry puree, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Add milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached (should be pour-able but not too thin).

Extra or leftover glaze can be used for serving.


*You can also use fresh hulled and chopped strawberries that have been macerated with sugar. Leftover strawberry puree should be refrigerated and used within 1 week.

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What is Bundt Bakers? It’s a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Bundt Bakers Pinterest board for incredible bundt cake recipes and inspiration. Stacy of Food Lust People Love heads up our group and has a #BundtBakers page where you can find information and links to the recipes for each month.

Bundt Bakers Logo

How is the monthly theme determined? We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Would you like to join in the fun? If you are a food blogger, send an email to Stacy at foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com or ask to join our private Facebook group.


Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

by Renee on April 15, 2014

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce | Magnolia Days

It all started with the pasta. Unusual shaped pasta caught my attention during a recent shopping trip. Any unique shape or color does it for me. This time it was long fusilli. I’ve only seen short ones until that moment. The bag went into my shopping cart in a split second. Then it sat in my pantry while I figured out what dish to make with it. Another short on time day provided the inspiration. It is so quick and easy to make pasta with tomato cream sauce.

Convenience and speed are keys with this dish. I used store-bought marinara in a jar. You could use homemade tomato sauce if you have it on hand or want to make it. It takes more time to get the water boiling and cook the pasta than to make the tomato-cream sauce. Warm up the marinara, add cream, and then parmesan at the last minute. Toss with cooked pasta and garnish with more parmesan and basil.

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce | Magnolia Days

Which pasta to use with this sauce? Just about any shape or size will do. Use ravioli or tortellini if you want it to be a heartier dish. Lobster or crab ravioli would be awesome. The sauce is a little decadent. Some heavy cream every now and then is okay. All is good in moderation. Besides, the lovely red-orange color of the sauce is enough to make you want to dig in right away.

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce | Magnolia Days

Do you enjoy unique shaped or colored pasta? It seems to add a little extra special something to an ordinary dish. It has a fun adventurous factor too. I also have another bag of pasta in my pantry waiting to be used. Stay tuned to see what happens with it.

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

30 minutes

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Heat marinara sauce in a large pan or skillet over medium heat until sauce is hot.

Stir in cream and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese.

Add cooked pasta and toss to coat pasta with sauce. Use reserved pasta water, a little at a time, to thin sauce if too thick.

Transfer to a serving bowl, platter, or individual plates. Garnish with parmesan and chopped basil or parsley if desired.

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Ham, Turkey and Cheddar Turnovers | Magnolia Days

Stuff it, roll it, or wrap it. That was the criteria behind the selection of a recipe. The possibilities seemed endless. Should there be an attempt at making homemade sushi for the first time? Or perhaps turn a favorite sandwich into a wrap? There are burritos, boliche (Cuban stuffed beef roast), Thai basil rolls, and so much more on my to-make list. I finally decided on ham, turkey and cheddar turnovers because puff pastry is involved and that is always a good thing.

Puff pastry and phyllo dough get me every time. The thin flakiness makes an airy crunch unlike almost any other. I’ve made spanakopita or cherry cream cheese bites with phyllo sheets or shells. Turning leftovers into something special is easily done with puff pastry like I did with lingonberry turnovers and these savory ones. The way they puff up when baking is almost like magic.

Ham, Turkey and Cheddar Turnovers | Magnolia Days

How are the ham, turkey, and cheddar turnovers? They are flaky on the outside and full of savory goodness on the inside. Chopped ham, turkey, and shredded cheddar cheese are mixed with onion and seasonings to create a flavorful filling. The filling is stuffed inside oh so heavenly puff pastry. Folding the pastry over the filling and sealing it is a challenge. It will seem as if there is too much for each turnover. However, the filling shrinks and the pastry expands while baking so it all works out in the end.

Ham, Turkey and Cheddar Turnovers | Magnolia Days

Do you like foods that are stuffed, rolled, or wrapped? I sure do and so do a bunch of Sunday Supper contributors. We are even having a virtual event to celebrate them. Scroll down to find the recipe list and links below. Special thanks to Amy of kimchi MOM for hosting this fun event. Oh, and find more recipes by following the #WeekdaySupper hashtag on twitter.

Ham, Turkey, and Cheddar Turnovers

45 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Ham, Turkey, and Cheddar Turnovers

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 ounces finely diced ham
  • 3/4 cup finely diced turkey or chicken
  • 3 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick liner.

Combine onion, ham, turkey, cheese, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, and thyme in a large bowl.

On a lightly dusted surface, roll out puff pastry to a 12-inch square. Cut into 4 equal squares.

Divide mixuture among the squares, placing it on one side and leaving about a 1/2-inch border.

Brush edges with water and fold the pasty over to form a triangle.

Press edges to seal. Transfer turnovers to baking sheet.

Baked for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

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Recipe adapted from Ham, turkey, and cheese turnover from Woman’s Day.

Are you looking for stuffed, rolled, or wrapped foods? Take a look at these recipes by Sunday Supper contributors:

Starters and Snacks

Entrees and Mains

All Things Sweet

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Sunday Supper LogoWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? Click here: Sunday Supper Movement


Cuban Black Beans

April 10, 2014
Cuban Black Beans | Magnolia Days

Those are Cuban black beans in an Asian rice bowl. Yes, I had to put that out there at the beginning. The intention wasn’t to mix cultures. The beans do not have an Asian twist in any way. Color is the reason behind it. Red came to mind when I was determining the scheme of […]

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Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing

April 8, 2014
Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing | Magnolia Days

Creamy means comfort to many people. It evokes good feelings or treasured memories of simple pleasures. You warm your soul by relishing every spoonful of a hot and creamy soup on a cold winter day. Each sublime bite of pasta covered in a cream sauce is savored as if it is heaven on a fork. […]

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Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich for #SundaySupper

April 6, 2014
Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich | Magnolia Days

Pimento cheese is widely identified as being southern food. The interesting thing is that it did not start out that way. It was a delicacy for the rich because of expensive ingredients of cheese and imported Spanish peppers. Tea sandwiches made with it were served at high-class events across the nation. Once commercially made cheeses […]

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Slow-Cooker Cuban Pork

April 3, 2014
Slow-cooker Cuban Pork | Magnolia Days

An accumulation of citrus needed to be put to use. Extras were purchased to be included in photos. They do make great props and give a visual clue as to ingredients in the food. Letting the extras go to waste is not a good thing. The hunt for a recipe began. Flipping through a folder […]

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Orange Biscuits for #TwelveLoaves

April 1, 2014
Orange Biscuits | Magnolia Days

Flour, fat, and liquid are the only three things needed for a batch of fluffy biscuits. Well, that is when the flour is self-rising. Scoop out flour into a bowl, cut in the fat, and bind it together with liquid. Cut or shape then bake. It’s as easy as it sounds. The problem to share […]

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Lime Sugar Cookies for #SundaySupper

March 30, 2014
Lime Sugar Cookies | Magnolia Days

A tiny leaf emerges from a branch. Buds form and hold blossoms until they are ready to pop open. Spring brings and array of color against a background of green. Trees, plants, grass, and flowers come to life after winter dormancy. You go outside and feel warmth instead of brutal cold. The season is inspiring […]

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