Burning Down The Kitchen with I Breathe…I’m Hungry…while making her Coconut Frenzy Cake

coconut cake

Hi folks.

So today I have a special treat for you but before we get to that I did promise some news. I do not want to take the spotlight away from my lovely featured blogger today so I am going to post the breaking Lunatic news on Friday. I hope you can all hang on that long. It’s pretty cool news and I look forward to sharing it with everyone. I promise I take absolutely no pleasure in torturing you until then. *evil laugh*

For now, on with the show!


I am so excited to share this lady with those of you who might not know her. Mellissa is a super cool, wickedly talented, chic and happening blogger. She does low carb food that will rock your world. I have no idea how she works her magic on the stuff she makes but I kind of love carbs and shy away from anything low carb, but she makes it look incredible.  She blogs at I Breathe…I’m Hungry. Mellissa is really sweet and blew my mind a little when she seemed taken aback that I would email her. She’s way more successful than I am but she touched my heart with her sincere down to earth response to my email. I am a fan of hers and this girl kicks serious ass when it comes to page views. So I was curious what tricks she had up her sleeve. I was mildly disappointed she didn’t have any black magic tricks that would make me as wildly successful as her. I was willing to forgive her though as she is such a genuine and hilarious chick. You know I love me some funny, snarky folk. Mellissa fits the bill and we’ve been on an emailing craze ever since. I still don’t know her magic tricks for blog success. I mean it just cannot be her simply stunning photographs, or diet friendly food right? I mean that’s crazy talk. So if you’re looking to learn some stuff this lady is one to follow. From her Coconut Frenzy Cake to her Low Carb Caramel Machiatto Tiramisu to her Better Than Potatoes Cheesy Cauliflower Puree to Low Carb Red Velvet Crepe Cake to her Tourtiere (French Canadian Pork Pie) you will be mesmerized by her brilliance. Make sure you stop by after the interview and say hello to one of my new BBFF’s, Mellissa.

Rapidfire Q & A with Mellissa from I Breathe…I’m Hungry…:

1. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?

I started the blog in July of 2011, mostly out of boredom and maybe a little bit of loneliness.  We’d moved to SC from CT but were still traveling a lot for work and I needed something to keep my mind occupied – especially when we were on location and my husband was working long days.  I didn’t plan it to be exclusively a food blog, just thought I’d write about whatever I was up to in the kitchen, garden or wherever.  It quickly became all about the food though, since I spend most of my time in the kitchen and I love feeding people.


2. What is the most rewarding part of blogging?


Definitely the people you meet.  I’m building friendships with other bloggers that I respect and admire which is awesome.  But even more so is all the comments I get on the recipes from my readers – especially since I went low carb.  It’s so satisfying to have someone say that they loved the recipe and it’s helping them stay on track and meet their weight loss goals.  People have been really complimentary, which makes all the hard work I put into it so worthwhile.  A blog without comments is a lonely place.


3. Are there any downsides to blogging?


Definitely the people you meet.  There is this one chick who is always emailing me and bothering me on FB and twitter all the time!  It’s like holy stalker Batman!   Er wait…..that’s you…..forget I said anything… 😉   Actually I think the hardest part about blogging, especially food blogging, is the time it takes and being balanced about it.  I have a son who will be five in July and I try to manage my time so I’m not always sitting at the computer or standing at the stove and leaving him to his own devices.  I’m getting better at balancing everything –  I try to have one or two days a week where I’ll do my cooking and photographing for several dishes at a time to set me up for the week.  Then I do my posts in the morning or at night after he’s gone to bed and I can answer comments and do boring administrative stuff.  It’s a constant balancing act though and I don’t even post every day – I don’t know how you manage to be so prolific and still have a life.  Got any secrets of your own to share???


4. You made the switch to low carb, what inspired you to do that?


Well the easy answer is to lose weight – but I actually started posting recipes in January before I was even doing low carb myself, because I figured it would fit with everyone’s post holiday resolutions to lose weight.  After a few days of posting recipes I figured why not start again myself (I’d done it years ago with good results) if I’m already cooking the food?  I originally planned a week of low carb recipes and that was it, but I never stopped and it’s been great – for me AND the blog!


5. Do you find it difficult to follow the diet or is your body loving it so much it’s not a big transition?


Surprisingly, this time around I don’t find it difficult to follow at all (other than when certain other bloggers who will go unnamed are always posting turtle this and turtle that and chocolate covered popcorn – thanks a lot, some friend you are!).  Of course there were the usual unpleasant detox side affects when I started – headaches, cravings, fatigue, etc. but once I got over that I had tons more energy and all of my stomach issues (likely gluten related) disappeared, which was so great that it made me not want to cheat.  I have better skin and of course the weight loss doesn’t hurt!  People always talk about making long term lifestyle changes and for me it never seemed possible – I love food – and especially carbs!  But I found that eating low carb has actually changed my relationship with food so that it feels easy to me now.  It may not be for everyone but it works for me.  Having the blog also keeps me accountable which never hurts!


6. Is it difficult to adapt recipes to a low carb diet?


Sometimes, but I love the challenge of it.  I get all “In your FACE, carbs!” when I can successfully pull off a good substitute.  (Yeah. I’m a tad competitive if you hadn’t noticed)  There are a lot of great products out there that make it easier, like coconut flour, flax seed, sugar free flavored syrups, stevia, etc.  I’m having a lot of fun coming up with new versions of old favorites – and it keeps me from get bored with low carb myself too.  Have not yet perfected the cornless, low carb tortilla chip yet but I’m working on it.  The one food item that I miss the most on low carb is nachos!  I can eat all the yummy toppings but have nothing to put them on.  It’s my Moby Dick – I will conquer or die trying.  (Umm…was that last bit too much? OK maybe not DIE trying….unless my kitchen explodes or something…that would be unfortunate…..)


7. What’s your favourite post you’ve done?


I should say the “Better than Potatoes” cheesy cauliflower puree because that one really put me on the map with the low carb community, and I still get tons of hits from it every day.  But my personal favorite is the Limoncello Pound Cake because even though it was a lot of work to make, I was really proud of it.  It tasted amazing and pushed the envelope for me since baking is my least favorite part of cooking.  Even taking the photos was a lot of fun with all of the icing drizzling all over the place.  Plus I still giggle when I read it and if you can make yourself laugh then it must be funny right?  Or maybe it’s just me.  My husband always says nobody makes me laugh harder than I do and he finds that hilarious.  I do crack myself up a lot….not sure what that says about me – I’m either funny or demented or maybe just a little bit of both!


8. Do you have a kitchen disaster story to share with us? 


How much time do you have????  Actually not anything too dramatic – I’ve used ice cube molds to make cookies without thinking and melted them recently.  I once was throwing a dinner party and was cooking stuffed acorn squash as my side in a glass pan.  I was worried they’d burn on the bottoms so I poured water into the pan while it was in the oven baking.  Cold water.  You can guess what happened – yup, they shattered and I had to scrap the whole thing!  What can I say, I was like 22 and it was our first dinner party so I was all frazzled and stupid.  Don’t remember what I made as a replacement but nobody went hungry.  Hey at least I never tried to bake a ham with the plastic still on it!  Went to a friend’s for dinner who did that and we had to order pizza…  Oh and kimchee – twice.  Kitchen still stinks…


9. I’m popping in for dinner, what would you make me?


Turtle soup!  I’ve never had or made it before, and it would probably taste like crap, but I love the humor of it since you are obsessed with everything “turtle” flavored and are always tormenting me with your recipes.  Plus it’s low carb, heh heh….. win.


10. Do you have a signature dish you are known for by family and friends?


That’s a tough one since I rarely make repeats – I’m always on to something new or I get bored.  For our friends in CT maybe the salmon burger (http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2011/10/salmon-burger-with-dillcaper-tartar.html) because when I was working on the recipe to enter Ultimate Recipe Showdown (never made it on) I had several tasting parties for everybody to critique them and some of them still talk about it and say they crave them.  Or pizza – the last year in our old house we made pizza in the wood fired oven my husband built every weekend and we always had friends and family over to make and eat them.


11. How is life with a youngster? Is he a good eater? 


Matt and I were married and content for 13 years before we got pregnant unexpectedly.  It changed everything, as having a baby will, but even though things are harder in some ways, we’d never want to go back to life without him.  He’s the love of our life but way too smart for his own good.  He questions everything.  You know how your mom says to you when you are young “I hope you have one just like you someday?”  Well it happened (thanks a lot Mom!) and he is just like I was – can’t get anything by him and he will call you out on the slightest hypocrisy.  For example, a few months ago he was getting fresh and telling me he wanted something “Now!” and so I’m all calmly explaining that it’s rude to say that, etc. etc. and ten minutes later we’re running late and he was taking his sweet time getting dressed so I told him to “Put your shirt on, NOW!” and he looks right at me and says “don’t be rude to me Mommy.” He keeps my road rage under control too.  I’ll be driving along and get cut off and mumble “stupid moron” under my breath, but he has ears like a bat so instantly I hear him pipe up from the back seat, “that’s not nice mommy, don’t say stupid.”  How can you argue with that?  As far as being a good eater, he’s getting better.  When he first started solid food he’d eat anything.  His favorite cheese was Manchego and his favorite meal was curried shrimp with brown rice.  I was like the rock star of healthy mom’s, he drank green smoothies every morning, then greek yogurt with fresh fruit and agave nectar, etc. etc.  I was so proud and maybe a tad self righteous about it.  Then life got crazy and we moved South and during that transition he somehow started living off of happy meals and PB&J and I felt like a loser!  Now we make him try everything at least once and he’s been doing well so I’m hoping he’ll have a well rounded palate as an adult.


12. Is butter a carb? Sorry I had to pull a Mean Girls moment on you. Butter or margarine?




13. Sweet or savoury?


Savoury, hands down.


14. Fruits or veggies?


Now that I’m low carb, veggies – cauliflower especially.  Before that, probably fruit.


15. Sweet or salty?


Swalty  (see what I did there?)


16. Fave thing to snack on?


Nachos.  How I miss you….


17. If you could meet any one foodie celebrity who would it be and why?


Anthony Bourdain – he’s snarky and hilarious and incredibly intelligent – hanging out with him would be a blast.


18. Apron or no apron?


No apron – hate them.  But I use up a TON of paper towels when I’m cooking from always drying my hands so an apron would probably be cheaper come to think of it…


19. You take gorgeous photos, what kind of camera do you use and do you have any simple tips for those of us who struggle with the photo part of blogging?


Thank you!  *blushes*   I’ve come a long way since I started.  A few years ago when Mason was a baby, I was struggling with being at home all the time and not having any intellectual stimulation, challenges, etc.  I started taking pictures of flowers from my garden while he napped, just to have something to do and got hooked on photography.  I finally got my first real camera, a Canon Rebel Xsi about a year later and really started applying myself on how to use it.  I moved on to food photography just for fun and then I started the blog about 6 months later, still pretty dismal at it.  I had no idea how to style or compose for professional looking food photography.  Then I found Foodgawker and Tastespotting and got rejected like 36 times before they finally accepted one – then another 36 until the next one.  Those were stressful times because it was hard for me to figure out what they were looking for and it started not being fun anymore.  Once I chilled out about it, I got better and started getting accepted pretty regularly which really helped my blog traffic.  I still have a lot to learn, and Helene DuJardin’s book Plate to Pixel was a huge help for me in laying out, working with lighting, setup, etc.  I would say it’s important to look at what people you admire are doing, find your own personal style, and figure out what the big deal is with lighting and white balance.  There are also some great photography sites with free tips like Taylor Takes a Taste and others, so go do some research and practice, practice, practice!


20. Where do you see yourself and the blog in 5 years time?


In a literal sense I’m not sure where I see myself because we may be relocating to Greenville, SC for work reasons in the next year.  But I can say with almost total certainty that I’ll be happy because no matter where we live, I have an awesome family and we’re a  great team.  As far as the blog goes, I’m working on a cookbook proposal which is exciting, but may go nowhere unless it gets picked up by a publisher (any agents out there reading this, have your people call my people!).  I desperately need to move to a more recipe friendly site design with a print feature and index, so that’s something I’ve been working on and dreading.   I really hope that the blog will survive and thrive in the next five years since I really can’t imagine not writing it anymore.   Oh and did I mention that I’ll be fantastically wealthy?  And a size two.  Can’t forget those important certainty’s…


Dare Portion: 


I gave Mellissa the choice of 3 and she actually did 2 of them so colour me impressed!


Dare #1:


Show us the inside of your fridge without tidying it up first!


Mellissa’s response: Here it is, not very exciting.  If I had the time and money I’d go to Costco and buy a hundred dollars worth of bacon and take everything else out of it so it would have just been full of bacon.  Would have been funny…..oh well.



Dare #3:


Open your oven and let us see inside! (No one will do this one, lol!)


Mellissa’s response: Easy, told you I don’t bake much!



Okay so don’t you just love this gal now. She is such a talented lady yet so down to earth. I adore her answers and I love her ability to poke fun at herself and me. Always makes these interviews more fun when the subject has a good sense of humour.


I chose to make Mellissa’s Coconut Frenzy Cake. I did not do the low carb version though. Simply due to the fact that I have no low carb alternatives in my house when it comes to baking. And I am lazy (probably from all the carbs I eat) so I did not get to the store to buy any. So I adapted a bit. It’s what I do people. I like sugar. Sue my lazy, sugar loving, carb eating butt. I can’t help myself. I blame the carbs.


This below is Mellissa’s version of her cake.


coconut cake


This is my version of Mellissa’s cake below:


coconut cake


I did chose to swap out a couple of things so if you eat low carb please go make Mellissa’s version of this. Mine does not qualify as low carb at all.


coconut cake


Coconut Cake
Recipe type: Dessert, Baking, Cake
  • For the cake portion:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk, use the thick part at the top of the can
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • For the filling portion:
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • ½ cup coconut milk, use the thick part at the top of the can
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon coconut milk, found under the thick part of the can you used earlier
  • For the frosting portion:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut milk, the thick part of the can
  1. For the cake portion:
  2. Soften your cream cheese in a mixer.
  3. Add all your other ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Pour into springform pans and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Slice into 3 to 4 layers.
  7. For the filling portion:
  8. Mix up all your ingredients in a bowl and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes to soften.
  9. For your frosting portion:
  10. Pop your heavy cream in a mixer and whisk until it's doubled in size and has some peaks.
  11. Now add the other ingredients and mix well.
  12. Putting it all together:
  13. After you slice the cake into thin layers, place first layer on a plate or board.
  14. Layer with the filling.
  15. Add another layer of cake.
  16. Add another layer of filling.
  17. Repeat until you get to the last layer.
  18. Now frost the top and sides minimally.
  19. Let set up in fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
  20. Remove from fridge and continue frosting as desired.
  21. Decorate with extra coconut.


coconut cake


This is one coconutty cake. Which is just fine by me cuz you all know I love me some coconuts. Honestly one of my fave things to eat in the world so this made me grin from ear to ear. Very yummy cake.


coconut cake


Thank you to Mellissa for letting me get to know her a little better. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you my dear. We are now bestest friends for life and I was not kidding when I said we could totally hang out and have lunch. You are amazing and I adore you. Even if I think you must have some kind of voodoo going to make low carb appealing to the likes of this sugar-coated chick.


I hope all the readers enjoyed getting to know Mellissa a little better. She is an amazing cook and I hope this prompts any of you not following her to rush over and do so. You can follow her blog, I Breathe…I’m Hungry, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Toodles and smoochies! xx


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  1. says

    Kim, thanks so much for asking me to do this – I can’t even tell you how honored I am! You are an amazing person and I am so glad we’ve become friends – I smile in anticipation every time I see your name in my inbox. Love ya! To all of Kim’s fans a) I did not pay her to say any of those sweet things about me, and b) please don’t send me death threats because Kim is leaving you (US, she won’t tell ME either!!!!) hanging on her big news!!!! I swear I had no idea she was going to postpone because of me! @#$%!!!!! I think she got, or is getting a new camera finally – anyone else have a guess?????

    • Kim Bee says

      Love right back at ya Mellissa. I am so glad I emailed you. It’s been so fun getting to know you.

      Lol I think you’re safe my dear. Most of my lovely readers know me and know I am usually behind the 8 ball with news. I did not want to distract anyone from your feature cuz you are so awesome.

      I wish it was a camera but it’s so not.

  2. says

    I’m a lazy, sugar loving, carb girl with a growing butt… I can’t bring myself to bake low carb.

    This cake looks awesome I will have to check out the lower carb version as well just in case I decide to be good for once.

    Oh man her oven makes mine look SCARY! I think I’m going to set the self clean mode right now….

    • Kim Bee says

      Lol me too but I aspire to behave better. This is one tasty cake. I was really pleased with it.

      I hear you. My oven looks like something exploded in it.

  3. says

    What a wonderful interview!! I love the question about camera and photographing because that’s where I still need to learn my craft. I also bought plate to pixal… it’s wonderful and helpful. This coconut cake is beyond amazing looking… I would want to devour it in one bite… but it looks so good that I would have to savor it slowly. :)

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Ramona. I need to read my plate to pixel. I have so little free time but really need to delve into it. What I’ve read so far is wonderful. She makes it easy to understand. I love coconut. Cannot find enough excuses to use it.

  4. says

    I adore this series. I get to meet great people I don’t know, I get to see great food that I can’t eat, I get to clean my laptop because I drool all over it. Seriously, that cake is amazing.

    • Kim Bee says

      Lol Kristen you poor girl. I need to make a gf version for you. I love me some coconut so any excuse to play with it is fun.

  5. says

    :)) What a great post, Kim! You are incredible!:))
    Thank you for your lovely recipe, and mouthwatering photos, Mellissa..I love Q&A..so cool!
    I must say I really enjoyed this guest post..Thank you ladies, enjoy your day!

  6. says

    Well, this was fun. I hadn’t read Melissa’s blog yet but based on her personality I can see why you two hit it off so well! :) Your cake came out gorgeous and that’s from someone who is not too fond of coconut. I also love the plate. I think I need to go a Home Goods prop shopping spree! :)

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Anita. You will adore her too. She is so much fun. I think that plate is from Sears. I got a set of them from a family member and at the time hated them. (not a neutral kind of gal, I like color) But they sure are great for food photos. Lol.

  7. says

    Such a fun read!! I am constantly blown away with Mellisa’s creations, love her laid back attitude, and sense of humor. I’ve been following her blog for several months and it’s been amazing to watch it grow and become so popular in such a short amount of time!

    • Kim Bee says

      Thank you so much. I adore Mellissa. She is such a sweet lady. And her snarky self makes me howl with laughter too. She really is incredibly talented. I see a cookbook in this lady’s future for sure.

  8. says

    I so want to make coconut cake! Both versions look amazing! No one in my house likes coconut but me and I know I would eat the entire cake, which is why I have yet to ever make one. But now I really want some!

  9. says

    Loved this post! Cannot believe I have never visited Melissa’s blog! Definitely about to change 😉
    What a fabulous cake – both versions = SO yummy!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks so much Nami. I am such a sucker for coconut. I was eating spoonfuls of the flakes while I made my cake. Lol.

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks so much Stephanie. Mellissa is a class act. I love her recipes and her personally. She knows her stuff.

  10. says

    I seriously love this series! With so many amazing bloggers out there, I find that I miss out on some great ones – like Mellissa! Thanks for helping us get to know her Kim! And my goodness, I do loveeeeeeee coconut cake!

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Kels. I enjoy doing this kind of thing so much. It’s just so nice to promote others. Coconut rules, I adore anything with coconut in it, on it, or filled with it.

    • Kim Bee says

      Lol Matt. I have a feeling me and her together would drive everyone around us nuts. We both think we’re hilarious. And we giggle like lunatics. Hope miss thing is feeling better. xx

      • says

        I’m getting there – I think my funny is broken for a bit though. Hopefully getting resolution on my health issues will bring it back! Will keep you posted! Thanks again for the great interview and sweet comments. XOXO

  11. says

    I had the pleasure of finding Mellissa’s blog the other day and I emailed her for inclusion in our next cookbook, Low-Carbing Among Friends, Vol. 2. :) I enjoyed the interview very much. You two are so funny!! I wish I had more of that in me…but alas I’m pretty boring by comparison. Kim, I had to come and check out your blog. It’s been so long since I saw you commenting on my blog – call it curiosity! I totally understand though – you have a gazillion people commenting and you love your carbs! LOL Thanks for sharing this interview and the cake looks amazing! Hugs, Jen.

    • Kim Bee says

      That is so great you’ve asked her to be included. She is so talented and I really think she is a huge rising star. I don’t think you are boring at all. You just gotta let the silly seep out. Once you do it’s all down, er, uphill. I am so glad you popped by. I do tend to love my carbs but I’ve been slacking on blog commenting for quite some time. Life got crazy with my daughter’s stuff and I fell wildly behind. I am glad to reconnect and even though I’ll admit to being a carb addict I think there are some great low carb options that would help shrink the size of my bottom. Hope we stay connected. Blogging is so much work. I remember thinking I would blog to save time by not sending out so many recipes via email. What was I thinking? Lol. Hugs right back at ya. xx


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