Swaying palms, soft air, warm turquoise waters... ahh... this is my happy place. I go there on occasion when things get just a little too crazy around here. I just close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and for a few glorious moments I am sitting on a white sand beach wriggling my toes in the warm, soft sand.
6 months ago, I went there with my husband... in real life! Our household had been a bit hectic (that comment is actually the worlds largest understatement!) and Mommy was close to "the edge". 5 days before our departure my amazing husband suggested a trip to the South Pacific for a 12 day cruise including 6 different islands on a small ship sailing out of Papeete, Tahiti. I looked at him like he was crazy... as if I could get all my duties covered, pack my bags, throw a Super Bowl party for 50 and get out of here in 5 day. Well, thanks to my mom and a small village of wonderful girlfriends, we did it!! And I'm here to attest that I had the much needed, well deserved, and fully enjoyed, tropical vacation of a lifetime. (You can actually read my review and see pics on Cruise Critic here).
Brilliant, warm turquoise waters combined with soaring majestic peaks. Lush emerald vegetation met up with dazzling blue skies filled with pillows of white clouds. And there I was, sailing through it all. For twelve gorgeous days we sailed the South Pacific with our fellow guests, getting to know many of them during our travels. We particularly enjoyed a couple we met at the airport on our departure from LAX who hail from Palm Desert, just a few hours from us.
Bob and Susie truly exemplify what Liv Life stands for... they genuinely live everyday and have gleaned more from life than many of us ever will. Dinners on our voyage were filled with stories from before we were born taking us to distant lands, romantic ski trips and lives that are full and memorable.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of visiting Bob and Susie again and in honor of our recent tropical voyage I brought some of my favorite Coconut Biscotti. This crisp cookie, adapted from Cooking Light, is enhanced with a teaspoon of coconut oil and a dash of nutmeg. The flaked coconut adds a touch of texture and gives a wonderful, light coconut flavor - reminiscent of the South Pacific.
So kick off your shoes, close your eyes and come with me to Bora Bora! With our Coconut Biscotti in hand we can all enjoy a moment of blissful peace in the midst of our busy, overfilled, hectic lives and enjoy a touch of tropical balance for the rest of the day.
adapted from Cooking Light
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
2 large eggs
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 300°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place sugar, vanilla, coconut extract and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until thick. Add flour mixture and flaked coconut, stirring to combine (dough will be very sticky). Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured surface and knead lightly 7 or 8 times. Shape the dough into a 15 x 3-inch log and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone liner. Pat the log to 1-inch thickness and bake at 300° for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
Move roll to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 20 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet, standing them upright (not on either side as this allows both sides to be baked at the same time and does not require turning half way through baking). Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake 20 minutes - note that the cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool completely on wire rack.