Q. Some 20 or so years ago there was a cake mix for a chocolate cake with a coconut filling. It was very good but apparently it was discontinued. Do you know of a coconut filling I could make to use with a regular chocolate box mix?
Jeanne Cleary, Miami
I can’t imagine why those cake mixes disappeared. I hear at least a couple of times a year about Tunnel of Fudge, a Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe that morphed into a cake mix. The coconut filling was one of the variations. My sister gave me the shortcut recipe here, which is much easier than most I’ve seen.
Q. I am wondering if anyone knows a snack from Colombia, something like Cuban tostones, that is made with green plantains, red beans and queso.
I did not know this dish, but found a recipe that fits the description in The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen by Carolyn Scott-Hamilton (Fair Winds, $19.99). This is a wonderful snack or main dish, and I’m glad you sent the request.
The cookbook is a fun one, with beyond-tofu vegetarian recipes from around the world. I haven’t been disappointed by any of the recipes, and the lo mein has become a go-to recipe when I need a quick meal. You can hasten the recipe here by substituting a 15-ounce can of red beans for the dried.
Steak and blue cheese
Maria Teresa Vicaria asked for help finding a recipe her husband loved for “meat medallions with blue cheese” that she had clipped from my column years ago. I didn’t remember it, but luckily, Jessie P. did.
“It is expensive to make, so is our ‘go-to’ recipe for birthdays and other special occasions. I’ve been making it since I clipped it from your column years and years ago. I am always asked for the recipe,” she wrote.
The original recipe came from the Redstone American Grill in Minnetonka, Minn.