Winner of Your Best Coconut

June 12, 2013

Congratulations to aargersi whose Coconut Tres Leches won the contest for Your Best Coconut!

Left: Fish for dinner -- made and photographed by aargersi. Right: Her winning dish, Coconut Tres Leches.

1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
Our whole lives are full of these, but today I am thinking about my maternal grandparents when they lived in Vista. My grandpa had a citrus grove, and avocado trees, kumquats, and a garden; and grandma would make lemon-limeade with club soda, and a butterscotch cake for every birthday (I wish I had that recipe -- anyone have a great one?). Going to visit them was always so much fun, and everything was fresh and smelled wonderful.  Makes me want to do everything fresh and from scratch.

2. What's your least favorite kitchen task?
Making the salad. I complain like a big baby every time it's my turn, and I pawn the task off on every houseguest we have. (You've been warned.)

3. Your favorite kitchen tool?
I use every doo-dad and gadget I own -- and there are a LOT, but I really, really love my millions of bowls (and platters and serving things -- I am obsessed).

4. What is your idea of comfort food?
Noodles, pasta, gnocchi, stuff like that. Preparation depends on the season. Right now it's all about the tomato and its good friend, basil.

5. What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
I will tell you my most recent one: I wanted to make a peach icebox pie for the frozen treat contest. I tried to play with a recipe -- I swapped cream and honey for sweet condensed milk, and used fresh peaches with a gingersnap crust and golden meringue. Sounds promising, right? Well, I started too late (Mr. Bottle Of Rose got me off schedule) but I got the thing baked and it was beautiful out of the oven. Then into the freezer for five hours.  When I tried to cut it, the middle hadn't set and came gushing out. Back into the freezer. Tried again the next day and here were the results: yucky, icy-textured non-custard, frozen icy peaches, mushy ginger snaps, and a meringue that was just weird. Epic fail.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • MenCanCook
  • AmyW
  • gingerroot
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • indieculinary
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MenCanCook June 15, 2013
Congratulations, Abbie! Will be doing this one shortly... Sounds absolutely superb!
AmyW June 14, 2013
Congrats, Abbie! And you know how I feel about salad ...
gingerroot June 13, 2013
Congratulations, Abbie! Add me to the list that would gladly make the salad - as long as we could use some of the beauties you pull out of your garden.
Kitchen B. June 13, 2013
This is on my 'to make list'! Congratulations. Smiled at the epic fail - comforting to share the true stories with us cooks: we're not alone, we're in this together!
indieculinary June 13, 2013
Congratulations, this looks delicious! My Grandma is a huge fan of Tres Leches; I'll make this version the next time she visits.
creamtea June 12, 2013
ChefJune June 12, 2013
Next time I'm in Austin, I'll be glad to make the salad. It's one of my favorite parts of the meal!
mrslarkin June 12, 2013
Congrats Abbie! I'll make the salad if you load the dishwasher. Deal?
aargersi June 12, 2013
fiveandspice June 12, 2013
p.s. I love making salad! I'll make salad for any of you salad-making-haters if we ever hang out! :)
aargersi June 12, 2013
You can come visit ANY time, for a LONG time! And not just because of the salad thing ...
fiveandspice June 12, 2013
Congratulations Abbie!!! And keep trying on that pie so you can share the recipe with us once you figure it out, because the idea is delicious!
savorthis June 12, 2013
Agreed! Someone made my (MUCH less ambitious) icebox cake with gingersnaps and recommended peaches to go with and I was swooning. So please make another go....that combination with meringue sounds great. You have until November to get it right :) Congrats on the win!
Lizthechef June 12, 2013
dymnyno June 12, 2013
Congratulations, Abbie! Let's(finally) make a date to get together in October when I will be in Austin.
aargersi June 12, 2013
ABSOLUTELY! We aren't going anywhere in October so just let me know!!!
hardlikearmour June 12, 2013
Congratulations, Abbie! It's hard to love making salad, but I'm with everyone else and would definitely make it to hang out with you around your pool!
aargersi June 12, 2013
you're on! I won't even make you do any annoying 13.1 mile slogs!
Midge June 12, 2013
Big congrats! Your tres leches will be happening in my kitchen soon. I bet that fish was tasty, what's underneath it?
aargersi June 12, 2013
A nice onion mattress under the fish, then tomaton and onion inside as well. Lemon, salt and pepper everywhere. He was delish.
Bevi June 12, 2013
Abbie, although I have a similar aversion to salad making, I would suck it up to eat with you at your house.
drbabs June 12, 2013
Congratulations, Abbie! Your peach icebox cake sounds good--too bad it didn't work out! (Next time....) Hoping to be one of the people who gets to come over and make salad for you very soon (we're on about 1 year countdown to moving).
aargersi June 12, 2013
woot! I will have the lettuce and stuff waiting for you! :-)
darksideofthespoon June 12, 2013
Congratulations! Tres Leches is something I've never really wanted to try (we even serve it at the restaurant I work at!) but this recipe has tempted me to give it a go - and I will. I'll let you know how fast it gets eaten. ;)