We just got back from 10 **glorious** days in Hawaii … long sigh … and man do I miss it! The day before we were heading home I had the revelation that I really enjoy wearing shorts. I don’t know if it’s their comfort or the fact that when you wear them, you’re expecting the weather to be warm and I love being warm. Not the snuggled up in a blanket in front of a fire warm (though that has a place too) but the vitamin D filled, sunshine inspired warm. And 10 whole days of it was ahh-maze-ing! We’ve been to Hawaii a few times over the past 5 years, the first for our bliss-filled Honeymoon, but each time after we’d been because I was working. Now I will admit that there are worse places to be working than in Hawaii but when it’s your job to keep 140 people happy for a week, it’s not as relaxing as I feel paradise should be. But this time around I had the pleasure of not having to worry about anyone except the hubby and me and it was absolutely wonderful. Plenty of time by/in the pool, one book read another started, 3 magazines read cover to cover and plenty of time listening to the waves crash dreaming of the future and what it’s going to bring.
Aside from the copious amounts of vitamin D I think the best thing about Hawaii has to be the fruit. Half a papaya with a squeeze of lime is my idea of the perfect breakfast. Lilikoi (passion fruit) is a delightfully sour yet sweet treat that is best scooped from it’s rind but made into so many delicious treats that I’m sure I had it in some form or another every single day. Then there’s the pineapple that while good from the grocery stores back stateside, it just tastes better in Hawaii. But to me the quintessential tropical fruit has to be coconut. From the smell to the taste, nothing says tropical quite like coconut. I only buy Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen for that coconut-y smell and I was pleasantly surprised to find an ad in the Real Simple Magazine I read on the plane ride home that my dear everyday moisturizer now comes in a light coconut scent so I’m anxious to finish off the bottle I have so I can be reminded of warmer places every morning. And coconut has inspired my latest creation in the kitchen and I’m calling it Chocolate Vacation Bread (though I use the term bread lightly here).
It was a bit of a clean out the pantry endeavor as I have a lot of bits and pieces of holiday baking projects leftover along with the anticipation of our upcoming vacation that inspired this warmly spiced yet tropical creation. I use applesauce and coconut sugar in here so you could make the excuse that it’s a little bit healthy and justify having it for breakfast (and I’m not saying I haven’t) but I find it to be the perfect afternoon pick-me-up with a warm cup of chai tea to remind me of warmer places while I pull up my wool socks and put on my favorite puffy coat before I head out the door.