Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Fete

"The thing I'm most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands"

I am super excited about having my first thankgiving gathering this year at my place. I'm not sure if it was laziness or lack of funds that prevented me in previous years but for whatever reason, I am ready for the challenge this year.
The menu is super exciting because I am cooking some dishes I am familiar with but also trying new recipes from my cookbook. We have Fried rice, Jollof rice, BBQ ribs, deviled eggs, roasted veggies, chicken casserole, pepper soup (posted recipes for these earlier) turkey gizzard mini kebabs, mini chicken drumsticks in 4 different flavors (bbq, buffalo, peppered and sweet chipotle). Also my friend Kemi will be making turkey, mashed potatoes, corn bread and caramel cake. My sister, the dessert person in the family will be making Pina Colada Cheesecake. That will definitely be something to try.

I'll make sure I post pictures and recipes :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nigerian Goat meat Peppersoup

                                                “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” 
                                                               ― George Bernard Shaw

First of all, Kudos to me to finally getting my pepper soup recipe right. I have tried everything from using meat stock as a base and just dumping the pepper soup spice in and some seasoning or just throwing everything tasteful in the pot and hoping it turns out right. Different people have different ways of making it but I wanted something with the most basic ingredients in my kitchen and finally I got it. 

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cube of maggi
1 table spoon dried/ground pepper.
1/2 onion chopped 
1 tbsp pepper soup spice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp curry
1 tbsp garlic powder
An assortment of goat meat (smoked meat, honey tripe, pomo, cow leg)

FYI, I have used this menu for chicken as well :)


  •  Rinse your choice of meat and clean it thoroughly. 
  • Place in a pot and season with curry, salt, maggi, onions, garlic powder, vegetable oil and ground pepper and let it cook until tender. Different types of meat cook differently so you may need to remove the goat meat to let the tripe and cow leg cook longer.
  • After everything is cooked thoroughly, add pepper soup spice and some more ground pepper if you like spicy food. Taste for spice and salt and add more as needed. Also you can add curry for color.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fried Rice and Grilled Salmon

                 "The only thing I like better than talking about food is eating."

I started practicing how to cook proper fried rice at like age 16, mostly because I wasn't a big fan of Jollof rice at the time and that's what most people preferred. We would be having lunch like on sunday and everyone would be eating Jollof rice and I would cook my own small portion of fried rice. Even now when I cook it, i try to use different spices to see what different seasoning does to it. Fried rice is very simple to make, i just throw everything in the pot and let it cook. 

Fried Rice


   8 cups Rice
   1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
   1 tablespoon curry
   1 teaspoon salt
   2 Know cubes
   2 cups mixed vegetable (frozen)
   1/2 pound small peeled shrimp
   1/2 pound chicken gizzard
   1 tablespoon dried thyme
   Substitute seasonings include; Basil, oregano, onion powder (very little),
   garlic powder. I add one of each not a combination of everything. 


  • Wash rice or parboil the rice and rinse it out
  • Add curry, salt, know cubes, thyme, vegetable oil and some ground pepper, just enough so it doesn't change the color
  • Add water, enough to cover the rice but not too much. Add shrimp and gizzard
  • Let rice boil, but not to a point where it's sticking together. Ideally the grain should be separated.
  • After the rice is soft, add the mixed vegetable and let simmer on low heat. 
  • Add more salt if necessary, more curry can also be added for color.

Grilled Salmon

1/4 Caribbean hot sauce
2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Juice of 2 limes or 1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 tbsp white vinegar

  1. Combine all the rub ingredients mix them into a paste, making sure that all the ingredients are fully integrated. The paste should be approximately the consistency of a thick tomato sauce. If it is too thick, thin it out with a little more white vinegar.
  2. Rub the paste on the salmon making sure you cover all areas. I usually put my seasoned fish in foil and leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours. 
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, I use a foil lined pan to bake it just for cleaning purposes. Spray pam cooking spray on the foil and place the salmon apart, spray the salmon and bake in the over for 25-30 mins. This is usually enough time to bake the fish so I wouldn't advice you stick a toothpick in it cos it could break the fish. Also anymore time than this and the fish could end up dry.
  4. Serve and garnish

Andouille Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo

           "Food for the body is not enough, there must be food for the soul."

Gumbo is food for the soul, nothing like a loaded soup on a cold friday night. I went to Pappadeaux for dinner early in october and my mum had always been raving about how good their gumbo is. I tried the andouille sausage and shrimp gumbo and fell in love right there and from then, I knew Gumbo was on my to cook list.
I found this very easy recipe online and tweaked it a little with some substitutes to make it more spicy and a little bit more flavored so I hope you like it. 

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano,
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Oxtail seasoning or whatever seasoning makes you tingle. 
  • 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, chopped
  • 1 pound smoked andouille  sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 pound okra, trimmed, thick slices
  • 2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined

You can add a cup of cooked long grain rice if you'd like but I didn't.

  • Heat oil on high heat until almost smoking. 
  • Add flour and stir until dark red-brown, about 5 minutes. 
  • Immediately add celery, onions and bell peppers. Cook 5 minutes, stirring and scraping bottom of pan often. 
  • Mix in bay leaves, salt, oregano and cayenne. 
  • Add clam juice, canned tomatoes and sausage. Boil 8 minutes. 
  • Add okra, reduce heat and simmer until okra is tender, about 10 minutes. 
  • Add shrimp to gumbo and simmer until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. 
I always try to have someone taste my dishes, and my friend loved it so hey I'm doing something right. ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Yet another diet.

“Food has replaced sex in my life; now, I can't even get into my own pants.”

This is not entirely true; I can still fit into some of my pants lol. I am on yet another diet because I stepped on the scale and yet another 3 pounds have settled on my body, added to the 5 pounds before that, plus the 6 I was ok with before the 5. It was ok when it was just 6 pounds though, I mean It didn't show and I’m like hey a girl can gain 6 healthy pounds, then the additional 5 pounds some months later but hey I was just coming out of winter so it was acceptable. The total of 14 pounds within the year and half is not acceptable so I am on yet another diet. Boohoo

I've come to realize that when it comes to diet and exercise, my problem is boredom. I get bored easily with the same routine which is why I couldn't stay in my birkham yoga class for more than a month. Also with food, I need at least a hot meal everyday which is why I dread the yogurt days and different types of cold salads. Add to the fact that I am not a big fan of spinach and my tongue starts to itch after 3 forks of salad that has lettuce, I knew I needed something!!

So my new diet system has 3 parts, my calorie tracker, my workout and my diet.
For tracking what I eat, I have my fitness pal which is an apple app that lets you track what you eat. It even has Nigerian food and a recipe builder where you can just add the ingredients you used to cook whatever your favorite dish is and it tells you how many calories each cup or serving is. The key to building your recipe is measurement so just have your basic tbsp., cups and tsp. measurements and you’ll be fine. It's pretty easy to use which is why it works for me. You don’t know how many cookies I have eyed with anger once I found out that 2 pieces were worth 300 calories.

Secondly, my workout, I have this weekly exercise routine that I found on pinterest. Its different routines every day of the week. There are several ones I do but I try to do a full body work out then focus on my abs after that. Plus I randomly add a session of insanity to the mix up and some walking. PS. I never do the whole insanity, after 5 mins I am gasping for my breath so I do as much until I can take no more. It's getting cold and I know for sure I will not be interested in that walk to the gym so I'd rather just exercise in my house in my sports bra and shorts and be comfortable. Also I have my dog cheering me on with her bark only cos she thinks I'm running mad moving my legs and hands in ways she doesn't understand. I also have a number of apps that I have used example the Nike running, a few ab work out ones since that is my fatty area so play around with it.

Thirdly, with the food, I have recently found ways to cook veggies that don’t require eating them cold straight out of the fridge so I'll be sharing some fav recipes. Plus for snacking since I sit at a desk for 9 hours 5 times a week, I try to eat fruits, granola bars and low fat crackers. Even sometimes I eat only half of my lunch so that in between 1pm and 6pm before I leave for work I can eat the second portion. It all depends on what works for you and what you like.

It's like the older I've gotten, the tougher it is for me to lose weight, it almost seems like my body and my fat are really good friends now because mandating the fat to leave with my diet and exercise is punishing my body to an extent. I hope this can become a routine within a routine for me since I'll constantly be switching things up. I just want to lose these pounds and look good honestly. I'll try to post every other day what I've had and know that I am not an expert on this, I am just a girl or should I say woman who needs to lose weight and doing it on my own terms.
By the way, I just burned a few calories from thinking, typing and proof reading this post. J

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Baked lemon Chicken

"So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being."

I had never made a casserole dish but wait till you try this. It is sooo DELICIOUS. I had a couple people try it and they loved it so i am tapping myself on the back.

Ingredients for Casserole
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
16 oz prepared wild rice sold at most grocery stores in boxes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper and dried ground pepper
Ingredients for Lemon Garlic chicken
6 tbsp olive oil
2 lemons
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper and dried ground pepper
3/4 lbs green  beans
5 chicken breasts

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the sliced lemon in a single layer at the bottom of the dish.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, black and ground pepper, green beans. 
  3. Remove the green beans and arrange on the lemon already placed in the dish.
  4. Place the chicken in the bowl with the seasoning mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken in the dish on top of the green beans. I put my green beans on top of the chicken as seen in the picture because I wanted it to be somewhat crispy but some of it burned on the edges so it's your choice. 
  5. Pour any remaining seasoning over the chicken and roast for 40-50 minutes. 
  6. For the casserole, the recipe says shredded chicken breast but what I did was boil one of the chicken breast and shredded it myself. 
  7. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrot until softened for about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, wild rice, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer. 
  8. Transfer to a small baking dish. Top with cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is all metled through out.

Friday, October 12, 2012

First blog for the third time.

"When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.  ~Laiko Bahrs"

As no one but my sister and I know, this is my third time reinventing my blog; I tried to write fictional stories but after a while I couldn't think of any more interesting things that could happen to my main character. I tried sharing fun stories from my life, then I joined coporate America and now I am just a boring person who wants to stay home when I'm not at work. I figured since the only thing I am guaranteed to do is cook because I love it so much, why not just blog about the different things I cook/ eat. Basically this is just an open invitation into my kichen, its my personal food blog which will mostly consist of food that I make and occasionally exceptional restaurant food that I might be recreating. There will be healthier food substitutes, pictures and recipes so check back often for food, desserts and appetizers from different parts of the world.