Thursday, August 7, 2014

Conquering Lasagna

Lasagna holds a special place in my heart. It has always represented something grand to me. I remember that in the summer of 2004, my mom came to Baltimore to spend time with my sister and I. In a bid to indulge in the fact my sister had her own apartment, I decided I was going to make lasagna for everyone.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Almond Oats Buttermilk Pancake

Almond Oats Buttermilk Pancake with Cherry Syrup and Salted Caramel Ice-cream
Almond Oats Buttermilk Pancake with Cherry Syrup and Salted Caramel Ice-cream

It feels like I have been away from this blog forever. Life has a way of getting in the way of the best made plans. This past week for me has been about handling change. I have had to put a lot of time into coming up with new plans. Thankfully, everything seems better at this point.

On Monday night though, I felt crap. When I feel crap, I often reach for food. I know some people might say that emotional eating is a dangerous thing. I agree. It is a slippery slope that can lead to trouble. For one night only though, I needed to self soothe with food. This led me to make buttermilk pancakes from scratch for dinner. The fluffiness of American style pancakes scares people from making it from scratch. The fluffiness is what has spurned a whole industry of pancake mix. This pancake recipe came out perfectly fluffy, even after freezing it, defrosting and cooking.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eid Mubarak!

I looked at my blog the other day and I realized that perhaps I have been neglecting this space. The truth is that the last week has been a surreal moment of happiness and introspection. As you may know, Ramadan has been on the final lap.

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Zucchini Affair

An assembled zucchini tart, pesto and feta cheese
Zucchini Tart
When I was in college, I remember telling my stepmom that I wanted to go study abroad. I remember her cheekily telling me, "But you are already studying abroad." Eventually, she and my dad agreed to let me spend a summer at Sussex University in England. England was always the dream. It was the place people talked about in posh tones. When people talked about traveling when I was growing up in Lagos, London was synonymous with foreign travels. I always wanted to see London. When I finally started traveling, I ended up in America so London was still a dream.When I finally landed in the Queen's own country, I knew not a  soul there. I followed instructions sent by the university and made my way to Brighton from Gatwick airport.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lemon Basil Brew

Chopped whole lemon and basil in a jar with simple syrup on a white chopping board
Lemon Basil
I can't remember if I have talked about this here but I don't drink. Okay! I actually do drink water and such. I guess a better way to frame this is "I don't drink alcohol." Never have, never will. For some people that is so hard to fathom. And just to avoid confusion, "No, I did not grow up in a household with an alcoholic." Some people will point out that it has something to do with being Muslim. Yes, it does but it goes beyond being a Muslim. I generally find that I don't like anything that will alter my body and mind. And no, just a little alcohol is also still going to alter your brain's processes. There is no such thing as being sober with just a little alcohol. So, alcohol for me is scary.

Chipotle Potato Salad

Potato salad made with new potatoes, mayonnaise, peas, chipotle sauce, peas and cherry tomatoes topped with orange-chipotle chicken breast on a bed of quick pickled cabbage
Chipotle Potato Salad
The problem with cooking for one person is the leftovers. Especially for someone who loves cooking, leftovers are the things that keep me eating the same thing over and over again. Leftovers are the blocks that stop me from creatively expressing myself in the kitchen.

As anticipated, on the night I made the lovely fried chicken sandwich, I had leftovers for some of my key items like the cabbage, homemade mayonnaise and the chipotle sauce. It was very important for me to use up the mayonnaise quickly because it had raw egg in it and therefore would not stay edible for a long time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Survive Summer Grill Season...

I was totally going to put up a very non-summer recipe today. However, I opened up the NYTimes and noticed that they have just released a summer cooking guide. I find the guide to be very simple but straight forward so I thought I would share. Also there is a recipe for corn soup using buttermilk that I feel was destined to be cooked by me. I still have excess buttermilk in my fridge from making fried chicken. The corn-buttermilk soup is now another option to consider. Check out the article here. Have a happy summer grilling!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Roasted Strawberry Basil Tea Cordial

A hulled strawberry holding basil flowers and leaves

A couple of weeks ago I posted up one of those listicles of recipes that always makes me salivate for food. This particular list was for strawberries. I remember reading the article and thinking to myself that I ought to make the roasted strawberry tea. Well, I did it. I made a version of the strawberry tea.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Flowering Basil

Basil Pesto with parmesan or parmiggiano reggiano, garlic, olive oil, garlic and pinenuts
Fresh Pesto
Something amazing happened at the beginning of the weekend. I got about 2 pounds of basil unexpectedly. The basil was so fragrant. It surprised and inspired me. There are a bunch of recipes coming up soon that highlights the fragrant nature of really fresh and seasonal basil. Until then, enjoy some of the fun that I had making pesto.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Seeking Buttermilk Dessert Recipes

I was going to post a recipe today. Since I am too tired to do that, I thought I should share one of the inspirations I am considering. I subscribe to Bon Appetit so when I was looking for recipes to finish up the buttermilk I bought to make fried chicken, I turned to the website. I found this article from earlier this year that had all kinds of dessert recipes for the buttermilk and it got me excited. Now, I am thinking maybe I should do two recipes from the list since I have about 2 cups of buttermilk in my fridge. I definitely love the idea of a pecan fudge because I love pecan pie. Also, I have never made candy before. The other recipe I am considering is the chocolate coconut cake. I might rework that as a banana chocolate cake though.

Check out the recipes and let me know what you think. Better yet, do you have a recipe for buttermilk to share?

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Food Garden

Picking raspberries.
One of my friends is house sitting for a couple weeks. She had mentioned constantly that she thought it would be good for me to visit the house. I was not so sure especially because it is Ramadan and I crave the comfort of my house and bed. However, in the name of friendship, I packed my bag before work yesterday and went to visit for the night. I got in so late but I was still in awe when I arrived by the bits of the garden I could see in the twilight. This morning when I woke up, I was stunned. It is so pretty. I took a bunch pictures because it is not just a flower garden but a mixed with food plants as well. I really hope one day I am able to create something like this for myself.

The view standing on the patio looking into the yard
The cherry tree has a radio playing to scare away birds.
Onions growing alongside dills
Squash flowers blossoming 
I love this flowery path

There were so many ripe raspberries hiding under the leaves

A cluster of lettuce

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pineapple Blueberry Syrup

Pineapple Blueberry Drink

Forgive the picture...there was no where else in the kitchen to take a quick picture that had enough light. This was drink was assembled in haste because I knew I had a longer recipe to execute. This is a pineapple blueberry drink. I have had a mason jar filled with pineapple syrup so I knew I had a fragrant base that could handle pretty much anything like blueberries. A quick crushing of the blueberries followed by pouring in the pineapple syrup made the flavoring for the drink that was later topped up with water.

Pineapple Blueberry Drink

1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/4 Pineapple Syrup

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Spicy Chipotle Fried Chicken Sandwich

bread, tomato, lemon, chipotle pepper and Bon Appetit magazine in place for cooking
Getting ready for the chicken sandwich!
Something that I have come to realize is that good food is not a measure of fancy techniques or fancy ingredients. A simple meal such as a Chicken Sandwich can be the best meal ever if all elements of the meal are made fresh and made with care. It is with this thought in mind that I set off on my chicken sandwich odyssey this past Tuesday night. The whole idea of making fried chicken has been on my mind ever since I got the June issue of Bon Appetit and read the story on Nashville's Hot Fried Chicken. The idea of eating spicy chicken stayed with me for over a month. In that month, I also picked up the June/July issue of Saveur and I was faced with a story on the Nashville Fried Chicken phenomenon again.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Mom's One Pot Beans Casserole

One Pot Beans Casserole
One Pot Beans Casserole
I was tempted to put off writing today because I am so tired from cooking. However, the recipe for today is in honor of my mom, whose birthday is today. It is a recipe for One Pot Beans Casserole, an adaptation of the way my mom made beans while I was growing up in Lagos. When I was child, I actually hated beans. I made myself so sick that my mom gave up and I did not have to eat beans. This
is quite funny to me now because beans is one food that I adore and I try to work into my diet often.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Orange Chipotle Chicken Part Deux

Orange Chipotle Chicken on Noodles
Orange Chipotle Chicken on Noodles
Today was one of those days when all I dreamt about at work was food. I knew exactly what I wanted for dinner. There is this recipe on my old blog for Orange-Chipotle Wings that I absolutely was craving. The fortunate thing about this recipe is that it is well suited for cooking frozen chicken breast since I had not planned this meal earlier. I pretty much followed the recipe because I was cooking about a pound of chicken breast. The only different is that my cooking time was doubled because the chicken was frozen.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Nigerian Hibiscus Tea

Cold-brewed Hibiscus Tea with Ginger Slices in a mason jar
Cold-brewed Hibiscus Tea with Ginger Slices
One of the things that I know for sure is that living outside of Nigeria has made me more Nigerian. I get to appreciate the cultural heritage more because I have access to more information more. I get to appreciate the food more because I miss the distinctively Nigerian way of cooking and eating foods. I also get to discover random things escaped my consciousness while I lived in Nigeria.

A couple of months back, I was on Instagram when I saw this post on Nigerian tiger prawns. It was the first time I ever knew that seafood from Nigeria is a thing. I grew up in Lagos and one of the perks of all that water is that I have pretty much been eating fish my whole life. When I was a child, if I ever got sick or my sister got sick, my mum would make us fresh fish soup. This was considered a delicacy because it used mostly catfish that would be freshly killed. The sad part of this is that I most likely would not have the appetite to enjoy the fish.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Beautiful Mess

lamb, rosemary, flat-leaf parsley, red pepper flakes, garlic
Rack of Lamb
One of the reasons why I cook more often than I bake is that I have no patience. Actually, maybe it is not patience. I just can't be bothered with recipes. Really can't be bothered. My relationship with food has always been instinctual. I look at food and I cook what comes out of me. I have been lucky that more often than not, the food is edible. Tonight though was a bust.

The Single Woman's Leftover Dilemma

Zucchini stuffed with leftover mushroom mince on a baking tray
Stuffed Zucchini
One of the things that always happens to me is leftovers. This is no surprise because cooking for one is a delicate walk between not wanting to cook at all and eating out or cooking and having to eat the same thing over and over again. The thing with me is that I don't mind eating the same thing over and over again. The repetitive eating is actually one of my coping mechanisms for singledom. I make one pot of food and I eat it for lunch over the week. Sometimes, I do that for dinner as well.

However since Ramadan started and I am only eating twice a day, I really feel like I ought savor the food I am eating. So I have taken to cooking every night. My Suhoor meal is pretty much the same thing each time because I treat is as a functional meal. For Suhoor or the pre-dawn meal, I eat overnight soaked oats. By the time Ramadan is done, I will be glad to go back to my smoothies and breakfast pizzas.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Haymarket Mushroom Dream

button mushroom, shiitake mushrooms, radishes and trumpet mushrooms on a white board

Last weekend, one of my friends, decided that we should go to Haymarket Farmers' Market in Boston. Haymarket is not really a traditional farmers' market because the food there is not artisanal and sellers are not farmers. What makes Haymarket special is the abundance of fruits and vegetables for cheap, really really cheap. One has to be careful though to ensure that they are getting good items because the items there are not exactly known for being fresh. My number one Haymarket rule is not to buy anything in bulk. If I can't cook it over the next couple of days, I won't buy it from Haymarket.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Watermelon Lemonade

Watermelon Lemonade
Watermelon Lemonade
One of the things that I really enjoyed when I went to Mumbai with my mom was the drink culture. Every time we went to a restaurant, they would serve us a new drink known as a 'Welcome Drink'. These drinks apparently were most from cordials but each drink was different from the last and the next. As someone who abstains from alcohol, I really appreciated the creativity that went into creating these non-alcoholic options. I also enjoyed the variety offered.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ramadan: Three Days In

As I sit here to type up this post, I am already in my PJs and partly nodding off with an overstuffed belly. It is the end of Day 3 of Ramadan and I am still getting into some sort of rhythm. One of the things that I have been thinking of all day is what a huge change in lifestyle that I am going through with Ramadan. I feel like when we talk about Ramadan, the focus is so much on the fast and the lack of food or water. There is more to Ramadan than not eating.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Apricot-Coconut Chocolate Bites

Dried Apricots, Coconut Flakes, Pecans and Theo Chocolate
Dried Apricots, Coconut Flakes, Pecans and Theo Chocolate 
Last week, one of my co-workers offered me a piece of chocolate truffle-like thing. It was amazing. Best of all, it was completely healthy. It had been made with a blend of dried fruits, nuts and chocolate. Lately, I am finding that I enjoy really different foods than I ever imagined I would. I am eating more vegan-oriented recipes. This chocolate bite was definitely vegan because the chocolate was mixed with coconut oil to make it softer and yummier.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ramadan: The Healthy Suhoor Options

It is that most blessed time of the year again for Muslim around the world, Ramadan. Ramadan is a very special time because it is almost like a reset. It is considered as the holiest time of the Muslim Lunar calendar. As a kid, I started fasting slowly. The half day fast gave way to the whole day fast gradually. This was in Lagos though where fasting usually goes from 5.10am-ish to 7pm. Now that I am living in Boston though, fasting is going to be a 19-hour daily extravaganza.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Oven Secret

An open sandwich with caramelized onion, charred jalapeno, roast beef and provolone toasted in an oven and topped with kale and peaches salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Is an oven a necessity or a luxury? The new oven was inaugurated with a Spicy Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich

I have a secret...Well, it is not really a secret. At least I did not think it was a secret until I said it out loud and everyone's reaction was a shocked look. So, a couple of nights ago, I came home and my room-mate had bought a new oven for the kitchen. I was super-excited when I realized it was for general use.

See, I have lived in this house for almost a year and we did not have an oven because the one that came with the stove was not working. I complained once and when nothing got done, I simply just moved on with life. In the grand scheme of life, not having an oven did not seem like a big suffering.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Inspired: 10 Strawberry Recipes

salmon on a strawberry tomato salad
Salmon on Strawberry Tomato Salad
Next week is the 4th of July. Although Ramadan and fasting would have started, it does not mean I won't still be excited about food. If anything, I think only eating two meals a day would make it more of a special experience. I am really looking forward to all the berries and cherries going on sale for this big summer event.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Savory Oatmeal with Ground Beef and Vegetables Stir-Fry

savory cheesy oatmeal served with ground beef stirfry
Savory Cheesy Oatmeal served with Ground Beef Stir-fry

One of my friends at work started talking about this recipe he discovered for oatmeal. It is a savory recipe that calls for adding cheese the oatmeal as it cooks. As he spoke about the recipe, I realized that I really wanted to try it out something similar. I am a big fan of oatmeal. The first time I heard about savory oatmeal was years back when Cameron Diaz caused a splash by mentioning her secret way of eating oatmeal. Now that it was back of my radar, my taste bud just won't let go of the idea. I knew that along with the oatmeal, I wanted some crunch to balance the creamy texture. I immediately knew I wanted a stir-fry.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Know Your Food: Is this American or Foreign or Both?

I read a lot of the NYTimes...let me just put that out there now. This evening as is normal for me, I have been catching up on the weekend long-form articles online. I found myself pulled in by this article "Why Are We Importing Our Own Fish?" This article tells the convoluted story of the American Seafood industry's practice of importing seafood that is native to North Atlantic water.

One of the things that I am learning, now that I work in a grocery store, is how convoluted the idea of food is in America. Growing up in Nigeria, I felt like I was better connected to the food. Of course, perception is different from reality and I am sure Nigeria has issues in its food chain. The more I learn about food, the more I realize that I have allowed myself to become disconnected from food. The whole idea of being able to identify the source of food and how food is created is something that I am slowly losing. It has become so easy to go the grocery store and buy food year round. The idea of eating seasonally and the excitement of the first appearance of seasonal food is something that I miss. I feel lik I can taste the difference in the food as well.

This issue of food is something that I will be talking about regularly as I come to terms with it. I hope you choose to read the article. It can't hurt to understand just a little more about your food.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Spiced Potatoes with Sautéed Kale and Peas

Spiced Potatoes with Kale and Peas packed into square pyrex dishes
Packed Lunch of Spiced Potatoes and Sautéed Kale with English Peas 

I am a creature of habit. Every Friday, after I am off the clock, I go around the grocery store where I work and complete my food shop for the next week. Over the week, mostly on Sundays, I make and pack my meals. So I will make 5 packed lunches for work. I will make 2 servings smoothies for breakfast and set up dinner if I have the energy. This past weekend, I had the idea of making a sweet potato/yam dish for lunch. Sweet potato is something that I have an affinity for. My sister and I believe that it runs in the blood because our father's ancestral home, Oyan in Nigeria, is known for sweet potatoes.

During my service year in Nigeria, one of the meals that I really loved making was sweet potatoes with vegetables. I would buy a vegetable known as ugu and make it into a soup with smoked fish, tomatoes, peppers and onions to be served with boiled sweet potatoes. I particularly like this meal because the green leaves of ugu would be slightly crunchy after cooking so it would balance the soft and mushy texture of the sweet potatoes. When I was shopping on Friday, I noticed that the sweet potatoes/yam did not look like it was in season so I decided to switch it up for red potatoes.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vegan India

Bay leaves, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon pods and mustard seeds on a white plate
Bay leaves, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon pods and mustard seeds 
A few year back, my mum and I took a trip to India. Specifically, we went to Mumbai and we stayed there for a week. We were lucky to have a couple of people taking us around the city who are native to the place. One of the questions that they asked us when we first arrived was if we wanted to eat vegan or eat meat. On the first night, my mum and I chose meat. We then realised that our hosts could not eat meat so we were left with these giant servings of food. The lamb curry we got served that night was amazing but everyday after that, we chose vegan.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Inspired: Garlicky Pasta with Shrimp

Garlicky Pasta With Shrimp Topped with Crunchy Panko Breadcrumbs in a white rectangular bowl
Garlicky Pasta With Shrimp Topped with Crunchy Panko Breadcrumbs
Today was going to be a great day. I pretty much had it planned out. Wake up early in the morning, take a shower and go to the movies. I planned on seeing 'Chef' by Jon Favreau. I had kept up with reviews for the movie during the release week. I even read a profile on Mr. Favreau in the NYTimes a few weeks back. The movie was definitely on my radar and I really did not want to miss an opportunity to see it in theatre.

Cue MBTA's craziness this morning. There was construction on the redline so it took me much longer to get into town than I had estimated. I was running 15 minutes late. I got into the movie theatre just as the Coca-cola ad that ends the preview session was finishing up. I was so relieved. And the movie started...and I was in awe. I loved the movie so much. It is very much a homage to the creative life, in my opinion. I loved the way food is treated with awe-inspiring amazing shots of foods being cooked and plated. It all looked so real.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Know Your Food: Slavery and Shrimp

Earlier this week the Guardian released one of their massive investigative articles and this one focused on Thailand. In particular, the story exposes the use of slavery in the Thailand seafood industry. The use of slavery in Thailand is global issue, not just because of the humanity involved, but because one of the country big exports is shrimps or prawns. Many global food retailers including Walmart source shrimps from Thailand. This implicates them in this case of modern slavery because they are an essential part of the supply chain.

The big retailers, both in the United States and other countries have the power to demand better in the supply chain. They can use their economic clout to demand that the supply chain be cleaned. They can set up realistic safe-guards to ensure that they are not supporting slavery by buying tainted seafood.

I know the article is long but I do hope you take some time to read this article

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Wild Rice Pesto Salad

Corn, Unshelled English Pea in a bowl, Basil, Unshelled Fava Beans and A Bag of Wild Rice for a salad
Wild Rice Pesto Salad

This is actually my lunch that I took to work last week. I need to get in the habit of posting my recipes earlier. Anyway, most of the cooking I do has to stand the test of time because I cook in bulk and then eat through out the week or sometimes within 10 days or so. This wild rice salad is something that I ate for a week and really enjoyed it. It had the right about of fresh flavor and kept me full for a long time. Plus, it tasted fantastic with the Feta Salsa I sprinkled over it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spinach Egg Shashuka

Chopped Tomatoes, Chopped Garlic, Sliced Onions, Spinach, Rosemary, Oregano and Eggs for a Shashuka
Prepping for the Shashuka

So last week, I was flirting with the idea of doing the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge. However, I changed my mind because I just don't do diet ever. I have had my issues with food in the past and anything that has to do with food restriction scares me as a trigger. I just prefer to eat in moderation and be able to eat everything. Although I ultimately decided not to do the diet/challenge, there are some recipes in there that caught my attention and I wanted to give them try.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Video: Stir-fried Supergrain and Shrimp

A stir-fried grain mix of quinoa, buckwheat and millet supplemented with shrimp
Supergrain and Shrimp

I have been experimenting a bit lately with video because I have become obsessed with Youtube videos. There are some recipes that I will be showcasing as videos instead of a write-up like a traditional blog. This stir-fried supergrain and shrimp recipes is one of my experimental video ones.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Raspberry Pomegranate Salad

Spring Mix Green tossed with a raspberry pomegranate dressing and topped with herbed goat cheese
Raspberry Pomegranate Salad With Herbed Goat Cheese

This recipe is what I am having for dinner tonight. Actually, I am eating forkfuls of this as I type in the recipe. It is not really a recipe, more like a guiding light to help you enjoy the taste I am currently savoring. The big flavor in this salad is the pomegranate molasses. I feel like I just made a new friend just by trying this molasses tonight. I had heard of it but never tried. So a couple of weeks back, I bought in the hopes that I would use it soon. I am so glad my lazy self finally decided that it was too hot to cook because the pomegranate molasses packs a punch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Inspired: Cast Iron Steak

Cast Iron Steak. Image belongs to, and is owned by NYTimes
With the Memorial Day weekend around the corner, summer is officially about to start. One of those things that I associate with summer is a good steak. The juicy tender steak with a salad is for one of my perfect summer meals. The thing  though is I don't own a grill. I am at this stage of life where I am still sharing a house with people so I can't accumulate too much cookware. Cooking for me is really about making do with what I have at hand. This can make things slightly difficult but I have learned to get around it.

The limitation on tools in the kitchen is something the average home-cook has to deal with. That is why I loved reading this New York Times article about how to cook a steak at home. I felt like it acknowledged the limitation of being a home cook so well. I might be writing about food but I am certainly not one of the really seasoned bloggers that have tons of equipments. Lots of people that love food are just like me (some write...some don't).

Now I feel inspired to start planning my Memorial Day meal. Maybe I might give myself a treat and buy a lovely juicy steak, just to try out this simple recipe for cast-iron steak. Although I must confess that I don't own a cast iron pan so this definitely will be done in my lovely non-stick pan.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Baked Eggs In Collard Green Cups

Eggs Baked Into A Collard Green Molded Cups
Eggs In Collard Green Cups

I have been meaning to put up this recipe since ages ago...okay, maybe it has just been for the past couple of weeks really. I feel like I have been so busy lately trying to keep up with work commitment. Plus, maybe there was a bit of procrastination involved. Anyway, I am here now and I can talk about the experimentation of a couple of weeks ago. It involved leftover blanched collard greens, eggs and some veggies.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Savory Vegetable Pancakes

Vegetable Pancakes With Coconut Milk and Peanut Butter Sauce Topped withSpicy Shrimp
Yummy Savory Pancake With Coconut Milk and Peanut Butter Sauce Topped With Spicy Shrimp

This past Friday I had a lazy morning since I was not working. This gave me the opportunity to make a fancy breakfast/brunch thing for myself. I have a thing for pancakes lately. I have been playing around with a basic recipe with add-ins that change things up a bit. This particular pancake has vegetables added to it because I had pulverized remains of vegetables from my juice making activities in the freezer.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Chicken Chili Pie

A fork in dish of just baked chicken chili pie, a spin on the traditional sheperd's pie
I might just eat it all by myself. This Chicken Chili was so comforting for the incessant rain in Boston.

Hello Lovely People! So I should have posted up more recipes this past week. Especially since I spent last weekend doing a massive batch of cooking. But life got in the way. I had the most sporadic week I have had in a long time. My work schedule was a mix of early and late shifts. Then I also had to study for my driver's license exam. So with grand flourish, now that all this is done, let's get back to the business of food. This recipe is what I call a leftover pie or a broke day pie.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Basic Tomato Sauce

One of the things that has formed the basis of my cooking for many years is tomatoes. It is the Yoruba girl in me. Tomato represents obe (stew) that is a staple of Yoruba cuisine. I am constantly experimenting with the best way to capture the flavor of the tomato.

As I become more exposed to other foods outside of Yoruba cuisine, I have become more comfortable playing around with the concept of the stew. The normal base of a Yoruba tomato stew/sauce consists of tomato, onions and red peppers all blended together. I have become okay with making my stew with just tomatoes and onions.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

(Wo)Man Vs. Bread

First Attempt At Making Bread

In March, one of my close friends was visiting in Boston and I decided that I wanted to make a special meal for her before she left. Given that I had a limited budget, I knew I wanted to do something that won't cost a lot to make but would still be really special. I settled on making her a chicken sandwich.

This wasn't just any kind of chicken sandwich though. The bread would be baked from scratch. The chicken roasted in house. And the pesto of cost was home-made as well. There was just a little problem with this plan...I don't have an oven at home. No! This post isn't about how to bake bread without an oven. Ok! Maybe on some level it is.

Strawberry Blueberry Crumble

Freshly Baked Strawberry Blueberry Crumble with Oatmeal Almond Crust.
Strawberry Blueberry Crumble

A few years ago, while I was working in San Diego, there was this recipe for berry crumble in either Self or Shape magazine. It became my go to summer recipe for a healthy dinner topped with yogurt. I usually had it cold. I regret losing that recipe. One of the things I realized as I researched crumble topping is that it is so easy to play around with the recipe. It is not a very finicky recipe.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Scallops and Mango Cucumber Salsa

Two seared scallops in a bowl filled with diced mango and cucumber with lime zest
Scallops and Mango Cucumber Salad
About a year ago, I discovered and started reading the food blog of the Sports Illustrated model Chrissy Teigen. One particular recipe that she had that was super hilarious was her scallops recipe.I had never had scallops before and I really still don't know much about it...except that succulent sea scallops are super expensive. I did not think much about it until this past week when I had the opportunity to get scallops at a discount.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Inspired: Ricotta Dumplings

The Faroe Island Salmon with Ricotta Dumplings. The photo was sourced from  

I have been craving ricotta lately since spring approached. My sudden craving for ricotta started because of an article in the April edition Bon Apetit on how to make it at home. Soon, I found myself boiling milk and cream together to make cheese at home. However, what is a girl to do when she makes too much ricotta?

Monday, April 21, 2014

NYTimes' The Hidden Dangers of Rice

A bowl of white long grain rice with Ayamashe Sauce
Last Friday as is my habit, I did my grocery shopping before I left work. I decided I wanted something low key so I settled on veggie fried rice. I would have put up pictures and recipes but my camera had a melt down this weekend so I have no pictures. Anyway, after cooking the rice on Saturday so get ready for Sunday cooking, I read this article on the hidden dangers of rice on NYTimes this weekend. I am sharing it because I found it really interesting.

The whole idea that rice could be a hidden danger is something that scares me. I am not going to over-react and say that rice is banned from my diet. Rice has been a central part of my food journey so far. I grew up eating rice. As a child, when we had the weekly food schedule, rice was served on Wednesdays and on Sundays. On birthdays, a pot of jollof rice with 2 fried whole chickens and a crate of bottles soda was the standard. For big holidays like the Eid-el-Fitr and Eid-el-Kabir, we had caterers come in and cook big pots of rice, including jollof rice and the Nigerian version of fried rice. Rice has always represented happy memories to me.

So after reading the article, I thought about and still made my pre-planned fried rice for lunch this week.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mixed Berries Ricotta Pancake with Quick Berry Syrup

Ricotta, frozen berries, milk and oats measured out for pancakes in mason jars
Ricotta, Frozen Berries, Milk and Oats

I have developed a craving for pancakes lately. Yesterday, while I was grocery shopping, I decided to get the things I needed for a ricotta blueberry pancake. When I grabbed the bag of frozen berries out the freezer though, I reached for the mixed berries so my direction changed just a little bit.