Confessions of a Serial Caregiver

picture of a coconut cake with birthday candles, June Cline, Sandy Weaver Carman, Voicework on Demand, Open Heart Communications, coconut cake, happy, recipe, happinessCathy Sikorski didn’t mean to become a caregiver. She didn’t seek it out, but in service to her Nana, she realized she had a talent, a skill and a hunger that needed feeding. Voila – a serial caregiver was discovered and one of the funniest blogs online was born!

While talking with Cathy, who in real life is an attorney, June Cline and Sandy Weaver Carman uncovered some funny stories, interesting coincidences and a couple of mouth-watering recipes. One is simple and the other a bit more complex, but Cathy swears they both are crowd-pleasers and you’ll make them over and over again.

Standing Rib Roast, Cathy Sikorski Style

Take a rib roast, coat it liberally with garlic pepper seasoning and roast it in an oven that’s been pre-heated to 500 degrees F. When you put the roast in the oven, turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F and roast until the internal temperature reaches the desired done-ness. (Cathy shoots for between 120-130 degrees and says it melts in your mouth!)

Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contesssa) Coconut Cake


3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don’t be concerned.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).

To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

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2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Serial Caregiver

  1. Donna, thanks for stopping by, and I’m so glad you like the show. Hope you like the rest of them when you have time, and if you like our theme music, hit the main page of the website and download the free ringtone. Happy Thursday!

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