Coconut Spice Mochi Brownies

Enjoy this mash-up of brownies, gingerbread, and Hawaiian butter mochi. This is a super simple holiday dessert recipe that packs a ton of tropical flavor.

1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.

2. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl:
* 6 eggs (beaten)
* 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
* 1 can (400 ml) of coconut milk
* 400 ml of cow’s milk (use the can of coconut milk to measure)
* 1 stick of butter (melted)

3. In another big bowl, mix the dry ingredients:
* 2 cups of mochiko (glutinous or “sweet” rice flour)
* 1 cup of unsweetened dry shredded coconut
* 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1.5 cups of coconut (or brown) sugar
* 1 teaspoon of baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
* Optional: since this is the holiday season, I kicked things up by adding1/4 teaspoon of each of the following dried powdered spices: cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger. If you really want to live on the edge, you can put some cayenne pepper in this too.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into a 9 x 13 inch (33 x 23 cm) baking tray. Bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!

These brownies are great by themselves or warm with some ice cream, or you can always reheat them in the microwave or a toaster oven to serve later. If you want a drink pairing, port wine works well. Or a not-too-smoky whisky.



I got back late Friday night from a 5 day holiday on Saba in the Dutch Caribbean with my ITP pals Elizabeth and Catherine.  Saba is a tiny, tranquil island with no beach, but excellent diving and hiking.  We stayed at El Momo Cottages and I took a PADI Scuba Diver certification course at Sea Saba.  We came back tanned (a little sunburned actually) and relaxed and ready to take on the last 6 weeks of thesis before graduation (cue freak out now).  Photo essay and travel details below.

Saba Quick Guide

Stay: El Momo Cottages
Just the right kind of rustic (pictured above and below). Proprietors Andries and Marieke are gracious hosts. It’s a bit of a schlep up the hill and stairs, but the view is worth it. The homemade breakfast is a great way to start your day, while the homemade flavored rums make an excellent nightcap.

Eat: Brigadoon
The best restaurant on the island. Owner Tricia is a lively hostess, while her husband holds down the kitchen. Stick with the fresh seafood dishes and definitely try the luxurious seafood chowder.

Dive: Sea Saba
Professional and friendly staff. Scott was a knowledgeable dive instructor who explained things very clearly and helped reassure us total beginners.

Snack: Saba Snack
Tiny snack bar on the main street in Windwardside. Soursop smoothie and a coconut cookie (pictured below) make the perfect mid-afternoon post-dive snack.

Above: St. Maarten through a 70’s-tinted prop plane window. Below: Winair prop plane.

Above: View into the cockpit.  Below: Local wildlife.

Above: Mango tree.

Above: A final taste of the islands: smoked herring-stuffed plantain washed down with piña colada at the St. Maarten airport while waiting for our flight home.

Additional photography courtesy of Catherine White.

Kia’s Homemade Bake Sale

My friend Kia has just opened up a bakery business based in Jersey City, NJ, which also serves the NYC area. The baked goods look delicious!  Definitely check them out for the holiday season!

Kia’s Homemade Bake Sale

Memorial Day Weekend


Above: With Tricia at her Going-Away Party at Union Hall in Brooklyn.

Below: The Notorious MSG filming in Chinatown.


Below: Vintage Americana at Coney Island.


More Coney Island pictures click here.