Cocada Amarela

(Angola Coconut Dessert)

September 2: World Coconut Day

We go nuts for coconuts, especially since Islander grew up eating a lot of it in Hawaii. The tropical fruit is grown in warm climates around the world and it has made its way into African recipes as well, such as cocada amarela. This shredded coconut dessert from Angola was influenced by the cuisine of Portugal. Cocada amarela blends the best of both countries, making this a sweet treat and global goody on World Coconut Day!


(Adapted from Whats4Eats)


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cups coconut, unsweetened, grated
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • Salt, pinch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


In a large pot, boil together the water, sugar and cloves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until it becomes like a syrup (or the temperature reaches 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer).

Remove from heat and discard the cloves. Reduce to low heat. Stir in the coconut, being careful not to burn the bottom of the pan. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a pinch of salt.

Add a spoonful of the hot coconut mixture into the egg yolk to temper it. Gradually add the rest of the beaten egg yolks and coat it until the dessert turns yellow.

Return everything to the pot and cook over very low heat for another five minutes, stirring constantly so the yolks do not curdle. Scoop into dessert plates and sprinkle with ground cinnamon (optional).


  • Search our blog for other recipes containing coconut.

Mango Bread

July 22: National Mango Day

Our elderly neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. O, who live across the cul-de-sac of Islander’s childhood home, have renamed their mango tree as “Mr. B’s mango tree” after Islander’s Daddy. He is welcome to pick all their mangos anytime. After he does that, he leaves a few on their picnic table so they can enjoy the fruits of his labor, too (and eat what their tree produced in their own back yard). He drops off the rest to other neighbors in the cul-de-sac and everyone appreciates the thoughtfulness.

One summer, there was just an overabundance of mangos and we could not eat them fast enough. So Islander decided to make mango bread with the overripe mangos and share with the neighbors, too. Mango bread is the first fruit bread she ever made as a teenager for her ‘ohana (family). Now, instead of mangos (since good ones are harder to find on the mainland), she is sharing the recipe for mango bread with the whole world (wide web).

Make mango bread for National Mango Day!


(Adapted from “Flavors of Paradise Cookbook” by Pearl City Community Church)


  • 2 cups ripe sweet mangos, finely chopped
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped


Chop the mangos finely and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar.

Mix in the oil, eggs and vanilla and stir until moistened.

Fold in the mango bits and their juices until well combined. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Place batter in a well-greased large loaf pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly in the pan. Take out the mango bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve. Store any leftovers in a sealed container.


  • Optional: Add ½ cup of raisins and ½ cup of coconut flakes in the batter before baking.

  • June is also National Mango Month.

  • Search our blog for more mango recipes.


June: National Okra Month

We had a few pods of okra left over and did not want to waste them. So we chopped them up and incorporated the little green bits into cute cornmeal balls called fungee (funjie). This simple side dish is from Antigua and Barbuda but many other Caribbean countries have a similar version. The recipe is easy, and it is often served with stews like pepperpot and fish dishes. We ate ours with grilled pork chops and bacon wrapped bananas. Savor the flavor of a year-round summer like in the Caribbean and during National Okra Month with a fun food from Antigua and Barbuda: fungee.


(Adapted from National Foods)


  • 6 okra
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup cornmeal
  • butter


Chop the okra pods into small rings. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add salt. Then cook the okra in the salted water for about 5 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

In the same pot, add the remaining 2 cups of water and cornmeal and keep stirring until it becomes like a thick paste consistency (5-10 minutes). Fold in the okra.

Add a little more water if the paste is too dry. Generously butter a small deep bowl. Scoop a handful size of paste and form a rough ball shape. Place in the buttered bowl and swirl it around quickly to keep the round shape. Place each on a flat surface. Serve warm.