Thursday, March 27, 2014

Having a Hot Time in the Old Town!





We finally made it!!  We have been trying for weeks to find time to head back to Birmingham to eat at Chris Hastings' Hot and Hot Fish Club.  We were so honored to discover that the Hot and Hot was a Three Friends and a Fork Twitter follower, so of course we knew we just had to put The Hot and Hot at the top of our "restaurants we HAVE to visit" list, not that they weren't already.  We really wanted Sherri to go with us, but we plan to take her on a return trip very, very soon!  Right, Parker?

I have been wanting to take a trip to the Hot and Hot for a long time, but my desire was further fueled when Chef Chris Hastings beat Iron Chef Bobby Flay in the Iron Chef competition.  It is the only time I have pulled for any chef over Bobby Flay, but I had to support one of Alabama's own in that contest. As it was, Hastings narrowly beat out the Iron Chef by one sweet point. During the competition, Chef Hastings served his creations on dishes hand thrown by Earthborn Pottery in nearby Leeds, AL., another place we need to visit. (The food at the restaurant is also served in Earthborn pottery.)  Finally, our interest in Hot and Hot was piqued anew when we discovered our newest Twitter follower. Oh yes...our heads swelled a bit when we got that news!

 You would think it would not be so hard to get to the Hot and Hot.  It is only a couple of hours south of us and we go to Birmingham often.  The restaurant is only open for dinner, however, and reservations are a must.  This time we were determined, so Lu and I made plans to meet our friends, Merri and Susan, got our reservations and headed back to Birmingham.  The Hot and Hot is located in the Highlands Park area of Birmingham, just west of Birmingham's Five Points.  The restaurant is in an old building that first saw life as Caddell's Creamery, a burger joint in the 1950's.  In the 70's and 80's it was transformed into a pool hall called the Upside Down Plaza.

When we arrived, we were seated near the large crescent shaped bar surrounding the food preparation area.  The tables are tightly packed and the place quickly filled up.  The only problem was that the place was so tightly packed that my chair was bumped by the waiters the entire meal.  The food was so good, however, I was able to overlook the constant jostling. The menus at Hot and Hot are seasonal, depending on what is fresh and in season.  Even the bar menu is seasonal with drinks that feature fresh fruits available for each season.


We made our choices pretty quickly.  While we waited for our plates to arrive, our waiter brought us an Amuse Bouche.  It was a tiny little bite to wake up our appetites.  I'm not sure what all was in that little bite, but I hated that my three friends dove into their's so quickly.  I didn't have time to steal them!  The bottom of the bite was either a pickled apple or pear topped with a tangy mousse.  Wow, it was good!  We were really looking forward to our entrees now!

Merri decided on the chicken fried steak, which was actually a grilled strip loin with fingerling potatoes, collard greens and buttermilk gravy.  Merri doesn't even like collard greens, so it was a real tribute to the Hot and Hot that she really liked these.  I tasted them and they were so good! The steak was tender and juicy.  Merri made a great choice!


Susan settled on the grilled yellowfin tuna.  It came sitting in a pool of turmeric whey broth, pine needle ash and fennel top puree, accompanied by hominy and root vegetables and drizzled with pine needle oil.  Susan's fish was amazing...perfectly cooked, medium rare, and well-seasoned.  I've never had pine needle ash and pine needle oil, but the hands that prepared that dish must have used just the right amount, because the fish did not taste like a pine tree.  It was just very, very good.


Luanne selected Rora Valley Farms chicken roulade with fried egg yolk.  Her entree was accompanied by Carolina Gold rice risotto, English peas, oyster mushrooms, and Cipollini onions.  The chicken was moist and flavorful.  With the risotto, peas, onions and mushrooms, it was a very tasty dish.


I chose seared Diver scallops with Hedgehog mushrooms, celery root puree, red watercress, braised greens, roasted spring Vidalia onions and pickled rhubarb.  My scallops were crispy and golden on the outside, delicate and buttery on the inside...just divine!  I had never had Hedgehog mushrooms before, but I loved them.  They were meaty and looked and tasted a lot like Merri's steak.


For dessert, we shared a plate of ice creams...four different flavors with a New Orleans twist.  One of the flavors was Bananas Foster, another was a praline flavored cream.  One had a peanut butter flavor with some sugary peanuts on the side and, for the life of me I cannot recall what the last flavor was, but it was all very good, a perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Birmingham is turning into quite the foodie town with chefs like Chris Hastings and Frank Stitt.  The farm to table trend that these chefs and others have brought to the Magic City is one that, hopefully, is here to stay.  If you haven't visited Hot and Hot, I encourage you to blaze a hot trail to Birmingham as soon as possible!

Three Friends and a Fork and our friends Merri and Susan give Hot and Hot Fish Club three HOT Yums UP!




Hot and Hot Fish Club on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tau Poco...Say What?

Whenever I am out with my friend, Lu, the one thing you can be sure of is that you can never be sure.  This day was no exception.  We started out with a plan...head to Birmingham to visit with Sherri.  That was it!  There was no planning beyond that one simple goal. After that, it was all up for grabs!  But, if you know anything about us at all, you know we are going to find food.  So, as we hit the road, the conversation went something like this...
Me: Have you thought about where you would like to eat lunch?
Lu: No, but I'm hungry, so let's decide.
Me: I will do a search.  

At this point I begin punching buttons on my phone and end up on Urban Spoon.  Now, if you have ever been on Urban Spoon, you know there is a section called Hottest in Alabama.  Well, yours might not say Hottest in Alabama.  It might say Hottest in Texas or Colorado or wherever you happen to be from, but mine says Hottest in Alabama.  (By the way, if yours says Hottest in something besides Alabama, let me know because just the fact that you are reading this is so cool!  Anyway, I digress!)  There is also a section called Talk of the Town and since we were in Birmingham, that was the town in question.  So, that was our starting point.  Lu is driving, I am reading off the Talk of the Town sections for Birmingham.  Here were our choices:


  1. Primeaux Cheese and Vino
  2. Tau Poco
  3. Hot and Hot Fish Club
  4. Cafe Dupont
  5. Foodbar
  6. Highlands Bar and Grill
  7. Dixie Fish Co.
  8. Todd English P.U.B.
  9. Vittoria Macelleria
  10. Fish Market









  • Some of these we had been to before...Cafe Dupont, Highlands Bar and Grill, and Fish Market.  Some, we knew were not open for lunch...Hot and Hot Fish Club.  So that left us with Primeaux Cheese and Vino, Tau Poco, Foodbar, Dixie Fish Co., Todd English P.U.B. and Vittoria Macelleria.  Of those, we had already passed the exit for Primeaux Cheese and Vino, so we eliminated that one.  Good, we had our list whittled down to five.  Of those five, Foodbar was only open at dinner and Vittoria Macelleria was closed for the day.  We weren't really wanting seafood and the reviews for Todd English P.U.B. were not promising, so we settled on Tau Poco on 20th Street North.  First, we liked the name.  Second, we liked the concept, kind of a multi-ethnic global food truck without the truck.  And, finally, Tau Poco's chef, Chris Dupont, owns Cafe Dupont just down the road and we already knew we liked that restaurant.  

  • So Tau Poco...here we come!  First, the decor...eclectic and colorful!  Painted by Veronique Vanblaere, who owns the Naked Art gallery, the look is bright and multicultural.  On the restroom door, Vanblaere painted the different words for restroom from languages all over the world.


  • As the menu says...1200 possible combinations!










  • As for the menu, we might not be sure how to pronounce all the words, but we googled the meaning of Tau Poco...Little Vessel.  Appropriate for the concept, because the first thing you do in this eat by numbers establishment is Step 1..pick a vessel...sort of like the holder for the rest of your choices.  There are four to choose from: a Venezuelan corn cake, a Moroccan flatbread, a Korean pork bun and napa cabbage.  Lu went with the flatbread and I opted for the corn cake.  Step 2, we were on to our protein.  The choices here were Japanese steak, Moroccan chicken, Korean pork, fennel sausage and Peruvian vegan ceviche.  I chose the Korean bossam pork and Lu got the Japanese miso BBQ steak.  Step 3, the next choice we had to make was for sauces to go on our meat.  At the suggestion of our hostess, I ended up with bossam and ginger scallion.  Luanne, true to form, went through her problems with sauces so that our hostess could see the limitations and challenges she would have when helping Lu choose a sauce.  Those of you who have been with us for a while know the drill...Lu doesn't eat mayo, ketchup or mustard and nothing made with or similar to those ingredients. Armed with the required information, our hostess suggested the ginger scallion and chimichurri sauces.  For Step 4, we had to choose a side.  My choice was the Caribbean plantains and Luanne, who wanted the plantains but, (ever the professional and in the interest of our readers), chose something different... the Korean kimchee and the Israeli couscous.  Finally, Step 5, we were onto drinks...Mexican Coke or Sprite, Jarritos (a variety of fruit sodas) and water.  Lu loves fruity drinks, so she got a mango Jarritos. I got a Mexican Coke.  What is a Mexican Coke, you ask?  It is a Coca Cola, but unlike the American version, it is made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup.  Trust me on this...it makes a HUGE difference!  Mexican Coke is much like the Coke I remember from my childhood in those little tiny glass bottles...so much better.   

  • Since Sherri could not eat with us, we asked her what she would have chosen.  She said she would have gotten the Korean pork bun, the Japanese beef, the bossam and ginger scallion sauces, the plantains and the mango Jarritos to drink. We cannot get Parker to embrace the concept of choosing something different in the interest of our readers...even if she is not actually eating the food! 
  • Waiting on our lunch!



    Korean Bossam Pork with Venezuelan Cachapa Corn Cakes and Caribbean Plantains

    Japanese Miso BBQ Steak with Moroccan Msemen Flatbread and Korean Kimchee

  • So, what was the verdict?  We loved our multicultural lunch.  Our favorites were Luanne's beef brisket, my corn cakes, the plantains and the smoky, bacony Israeli couscous. I am not a big kimchee fan, but Lu loved it.  The yummy sauces added an extra dimension that should not be missed. Tau Poco is definitely not the place for those timid eaters who refuse to try anything new, but if you like to venture out and sample cuisines from around the world, there is no better place than Tau Poco.  Go pick your own little vessel and fill it up!









    Three Friends and a Fork give Tau Poco 

    3 International Yums UP!


















    Tau Poco on Urbanspoon

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    This Rooster Rules the Roost!



    I just got back from a lovely trip...no, not along the milky way, but it might be close!  It was a ladies only trip to the Red Rooster Retreat on Smith Lake, near Cullman, AL.  What was so great about this trip, you ask?  Oh, well, let me make you a list.

    1. You go off for a few days with some of your best girlfriends.
    2. You wear pajamas for every one of those days and you aren't even sick.
    3. You don't do one single thing you don't want to do, not one!
    4. You have all your meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, prepared for you every single day.
    5. The meals are ahhhhmazing!
    6. You leave your dirty dishes sitting right on the table when you are through eating and someone else cleans them up!
    7. You can scrapbook, sew, quilt, read, sleep, walk, watch television, sit in the hot tub or do absolutely nothing... It's up to you!
    8. You do not have to make a single decision about anything other than what you want to do with your time.

    The Red Rooster Retreat is the brainchild of Jim and Jennifer Bridges.  They wanted a place on the lake where they could hang out with their grown children, but in order to make it happen it would have to pay for itself.  So....the Red Rooster was born.  It was built in 2005 and opened for business in 2006.  It sleeps up to 23.  The large central room is set up with tables for whatever crafty thing your group has in mind...scrapbooking, sewing, quilting, etc.

    Our group usually starts arriving on a Thursday afternoon around 2:00. As soon as we unload all our "stuff", we rush to change into something more comfortable...those comfy jammies that will be our friends for the next several days.  Then we get busy setting up our tables.  For our group it is scrapbooking.  We drag out all our paper, pictures, scissors, tape, glue and get everything organized before we begin.  By the time we leave, the tables look like they have been visited by Edward Scissorhands, but we do try to start out with neat areas!

    We work and talk and laugh until that first dinner bell rings.  Part of our discussion revolves around wondering what we will be eating, so when that bell rings, we jump up like we have never before in our lives eaten a meal.  Jennifer, or Aunt Jenny, as she is known by our group, because her niece, Deborah, is one of us, is an extraordinarily talented cook and she is creative, too.  We never know what the meal is going to involve, but we do know it is going to be wonderful! The most decadent part of eating at Aunt Jenny's?  You get up and leave your dirty plate sitting on the table!  I know, it feels almost sinful!  But we do, and then we are back to scrapbooking and talking or sleeping or...well, you get the picture.  We carry on with this until we decide to go to bed and then we get up the next day and start all over again...waiting on those dinner bells like Pavlov's dog.  After each meal, we declare we will never be hungry again, but when those smells start wafting from Aunt Jenny's kitchen we are helpless and our tummies start rumbling again.  Here are some of the yummy plates that came out of that kitchen on this past trip.

    Pork tenderloin, butter peas, Brussel's sprouts, potatoes, slaw and roll

    Taco soup, grillled cheese sandwich, peanut butter cookie

    Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, salad roasted broccoli and roll

    Blueberry French toast, scrambled eggs, blueberry muffin

    Hot chicken salad, chips, pickles, orange congealed salad and pumpkin bread

    Eggs Benedict, cheese grits and grapefruit
    So, the moral of this story is: If you get an opportunity to visit Jenny and Jim at the Red Rooster, pack your bags as fast as you can! Then you, too, can look as happy as this group!
    Three Friends and a Fork and this happy group give The Red Rooster Retreat 3 relaxed Yums UP!



    Here is the link to the Red Rooster Retreat website: http://www.redroosterretreat.com/

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    We Love Snow Days!





    Here in the deep south most of us don't get enough snow to cause us to hate it the way our friends in the north do.  Oh, sure, some Southerners claim they hate the stuff, but I don't think they have the right to hate it as much as someone who has snow on the ground all winter. We get snow and, at worst, it hangs around for a few days before it has completely disappeared. As children, we learned to love snow, not only for the fun we had playing in it, but also because schools were sure to be cancelled at the mere mention of snowfall.  For me, the best snow days involve staying home, reading good books and making comfort foods. Southerners can't drive in snow, so the best thing we can do is stay put and make a big pot of soup and that is just what I did today. I made my favorite tomato bisque with grilled corn, Cheddar Bay biscuits, grilled cheese sandwiches and cream cheese banana bread. The Cheddar Bay biscuit recipe can easily be found with an internet search, so I won't bother posting it here, but I thought I would share the soup and banana bread recipes.  The tomato bisque is one I have been making for several years and I have tweaked the recipe a bit.  The banana bread came from an old Southern Living cookbook, and I have also made some slight changes to that recipe as well.  I think you will enjoy both of these recipes.


    Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

    Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread
    1 (8 oz.) pkg, cream cheese, softened
    ¾ c. butter, softened
    2 c. sugar
    2 large eggs
    3 c. all purpose flour
    ½ t. baking powder
    ½ t. baking soda
    ½ t. salt
    4 very ripe medium bananas
    1 c. pecans chopped and toasted
    ½ t. vanilla
    1 c. powdered sugar
    3 T. fresh orange juice
    1 t. grated orange rind
    Directions
    Combine cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each one.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add to butter mixture and mix until blended.  Add vanilla, bananas and nuts and mix until just incorporated.  Their should still be little chunks of banana.  Spoon into two (8 x 4 inch) loaf pans which have been greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.  Remove and cool for 30 minutes more. 
    In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, orange rind and orange juice.  Drizzle over loaves.

    Creamy Tomato Bisque with Grilled Corn

    1 T. butter
    2 T. olive oil
    2 large shallots, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, pressed
    1 can tomato paste
    1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, undrained and crushed
    2 T. granulated sugar
    1 c. fresh basil, chopped
    1 large carton beef broth
    ½ t. salt
    ¼ t. freshly ground black pepper
    1 c. whipping cream
    5 oz. blue cheese
    4 ears fresh corn

    Directions: Melt 1 T. butter with olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic and sauté  until tender 3-5 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste.  Add tomatoes, sugar and basil and sauté 3 minutes.  Add broth, salt and pepper.  Use immersion blender to puree at this point  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, uncover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often.  Stir in cream and blue cheese and simmer 15 minutes, stirring often.  Rub corn with olive oil and grill 12 minutes turning every 3 minutes.  Cut kernels from corn and stir unto soup.  Makes 11 cups.

    Enjoy your snow day!


    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    War Eagle, Anyway!

    Our favorite college football team came out of nowhere to win the SEC Championship, which meant they were headed to play for the BCS Championship in Pasadena, California.  But...we had a different plan.  My boys thought it would be fun to go to Auburn to watch the game with a bunch of their friends, so that is just what we did.  My friend, Teresa and I loaded up two SUVs with 7 teenage boys and all their luggage and headed south to the Loveliest Village on the Plains.  The boys had a great time and would have had an even better time if their team had won the championship, but, alas...that is the way it goes in college football and in life...you win some and you lose some.  We are proud of our Auburn Tigers anyway.  They played a heck of a game and had a phenomenal season.

    While we were in Auburn, we checked out a cute little restaurant called, Acre.  I was interested in Acre for a few reasons.  First, the Acre website drew me in with the beautiful pictures and the following description:
    Acre highlights new Alabama cuisine inspired by our Southern heritage. The food is responsibly grown, harvested, sourced and prepared by a staff that enjoys the extra dedication and labor required by our type of food. The menu moves with the rhythms of the seasons and the unpredictability of the harvest. Our food and service is casual but clean and focused.”
    Secondly, the prices were reasonable.  This is important when you are feeding a bunch of teenage boys.  Finally, there was a wide selection of interesting food options to choose from and they didn't sound ridiculously fancy or pretentious, also important when choosing a restaurant for teenagers.  


    I was impressed with the decor.  The whitewashed, wide-plank barn wood walls and the natural elements made the interior welcoming and relaxing.  The restaurant had lots of natural light from the many large windows and high ceilings.  We sat at a heavy wooden table with wooden benches for seats. Our table was located near the kitchen where we could see dishes as they were brought out.  


    We started out with some homemade pimento cheese and chips.  It was so good...or at least I think it was!  The boys snatched it up pretty quick and after that I didn't get anymore, but my one or two bites were really good!



     Several of the guys ordered the Half Pound Brisket Burger with Charcoal Onion Jam, Crispy Pork Belly, Arugula, and Wright Dairy White Cheddar on a Brioche Bun.  The guys took this picture, so you can't really see just how thick and juicy the meat on the burger was, but it was probably a good inch and a half thick.  This burger was a big hit!



    Most of them got the burger with a side of fries, but some of them opted for the homemade potato salad.


    A couple of the boys got the Steak Frittes, which were described on the menu as Grilled Flat Iron Steak topped with Avocado Salsa Verde.  The sauce was delicious, but some of the guys forgot they didn't like avocado, so I saw them scraping the sauce off the meat.


    Teresa and I both went with the Red Snapper Tacos with Red Pepper-Carrot Slaw, Avocado, Cilantro, Chipotle Aioli and served with Smoked Paprika Chips.  The tacos were wonderful and the fish was perfectly cooked!  Are you really surprised I ordered a fish taco?



    Finally, JD couldn't resist the Frog Legs.  When we asked our server about them he said, "Imagine the most tender, falling off the bone chicken and that is what they taste like."  JD concurred.  He loved them! They came sitting in a puddle of some kind of white sauce.  I'm not sure what it was, but it was very citrusy and JD loved it, too.


    Acre was wonderful and we will definitely be back.  Our visit to Auburn was lots of fun, even if we didn't bring home the crystal ball.





              The guys, Teresa, me and Three Friends and a Fork are proud to give Acre a championship
                                                                  3 Yums UP!




    Acre on Urbanspoon

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

    100 Foods to Eat in Alabama



    The Year of Alabama Food promotes 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.  I was checking out the updated list, and so far, I have eaten 35 of the recommended dishes.  I have actually been to more than 35 of the establishments mentioned in the list, but I did not always order the recommended food.  Some of the recommendations I wholeheartedly agree with.  I love the Athenian fish at The Fish Market in Birmingham, but I always order Athenian Snapper rather than Athenian Grouper.  I just prefer red snapper.  The recipe is delicious, so pick your favorite fish and dive in! I also love the Chilean sea bass wrapped in banana leaves at Cosmos in Orange Beach.  From my own hometown in Scottsboro, 8 restaurants made the list.  I have been to and enjoyed all 8 of them and even tried 7 of the recommended dishes.

    Many of the restaurants mentioned on the list are wonderful, and I highly recommend them even though I did not try the dish that made the list.  The SpringHouse restaurant in Alexander City is amazing, but I never made it to the S'mores.  I can tell you, everything else I had was absolutely wonderful, so I have no doubt the S'mores would be as well.  Nabeel's in Homewood is one of my all time favorite places, but I have never once tried the Camel Rider sandwich or the moussaka.  The chicken salad is delicious, however, as is the hummus and tzatziki.  I have documented the love The Three Friends had for SAW's Soul Kitchen in the Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham, but we did not go to SAW's BBQ in Homewood and order a BBQ stuffed tater.  If the BBQ tater and the restaurant in Homewood is just half as good as the food we enjoyed in Avondale, that would be one fine tater!

    One dish on the list which I have tried and would not go back for is the orange roll at the All Steak in Cullman.  All Steak has always been one of my favorite restaurants.  I even had my rehearsal dinner at the original All Steak location when I married.  The restaurant subsequently moved to the top of Cullman Savings Bank building.  The food remained delicious even though ownership changed.  The famous orange rolls went through a transformation about the same time and I felt it was not a change for the better.  The rolls were smaller, less fluffy and a much brighter orange.  They were still good, just not quite as good as the original.  Recently, the restaurant has changed hands, and again, the orange rolls have suffered.  My family went to All Steak's new location on 3rd Avenue SE.  We were all disappointed in our meals, but the orange rolls were especially disappointing.  They were really underdone.  I mean the rolls were runny dough in the center.  You needed a spoon to eat them.

    Next week, as a New Year's gift, I am going to give you two recipes for orange rolls.  One of them is very easy, the other a bit more complicated, but it is almost identical to the very first orange roll I remember having at All Steak the very first time I ate there.  Both recipes are delicious, a sweet end to a meal or a breakfast treat.  So, check back.  I think you will like them both. Here is a sneak peak!



    Saturday, December 28, 2013

    What's in a Name?






    I recently read an article in Huffington Post entitled Retro Holiday Foods We're Glad Are History.  Now, I will admit, some of the foods were questionable.  Apparently, in the 50's, 60's and 70's, anything could be turned into a Christmas tree, because there was a tuna tree, a cocktail weenie tree, a shrimp tree and even a tree made of Cheerios.  Those were all a little strange, so I can see why they were included on the list.  Tomato aspic has always seemed a little odd to me, so I have no problem with adding it to this list.  There was a Christmas candle salad using bananas for candles and a plum pudding, neither of which tempted me in the least.  But, there was one entry that bothered me.  It is a cookie called Santa's Whiskers and it just so happened that I was whipping up a batch when the Huffington Post article caught my eye.  I've been making Santa's Whiskers for Christmas for years.  Why?  Because they are delicious!  The author of the article apparently included this sweet little cookie on the list, not because it didn't taste good, but because she didn't like the name!  Well, I don't care what you call it, Santa's Whiskers are delicious and do not deserve to be lumped in with the other food oddities mentioned in the article.  They are buttery and full of pecans and red and green candied cherries and wrapped in coconut...delicious! So, in an effort to rectify this situation and save Santa's Whiskers from being buried in the trash heap of retro foods, here is the recipe.  Try them for yourself and see if you don't agree that they are worth saving and baking!

    1 c. butter, softened
    1 c. sugar
    2 T. milk
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 ½ c. all purpose flour
    ¾ c. chopped red and green candied cherries
    ½ c. chopped pecans
    ¾ c. flaked coconut

    Cream butter.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add milk and vanilla, beating until smooth.  Stir in remaining ingredients except coconut.  Shape into two (8x2”) cylinders. Roll each cylinder in coconut, cover and chill 3-4 hours.  Cut into ¼” thick slices.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 375˚ for 12-14 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.