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.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

NYTimes' Mujadara

coconut milk, brown rice and lentils measured out into mason jars
Coconut Milk, Brown Rice and Lentils

I have my cooking pretty much down to a science. On my last working day at the grocery store where I work, I plan my meal for the next week. I decide on my breakfast, my snacks and my lunch mostly. Then when I get off the clock, I shop for my ingredients before going home. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Beans Salad

A mix of red kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans.
Beans Galore!

As a child, I notoriously hated eating beans. Once my mom forced me to eat beans and I threw it up. This incident meant that I was not fed beans again in my childhood by force. In my adulthood though, it has become one of those foods that I find myself reaching for when I want something healthy and filling. My affection for beans has gotten stronger as I have discovered different types of beans, both fresh and dried. This week's lunch celebrated my love of beans by highlighting different kinds of both dried and fresh beans.