LEMON DHANIA RICE

I love quick fixes. Especially on days when I am DEAD BIT tired. I love it when I can get home from work and just put rice in the microwave let it cook, remove it and just a put a thing here and there and in a few seconds the rice is transformed. By now I am sure you all know of my love for all things dhania (coriander/cilantro) I think I could add dhania to tea if I could 🙂 I learned this recipe a couple of years back from a magazine. I do not remember the name of the magazine so I honestly do not know who to give credit to.

 

This is an easy way to spruce up rice for a sweet and spicy dish or just to eat. It is important to make this dish as soon as the rice cooks because of the melting of the butter and also if the rice stays the lemon tends to be soaked up by the rice so the flavour is not the same. HAPPY COOKING!

 

Serves 3-4

 

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 1 cup of cooked white rice
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • small yellow bell pepper diced
  • About 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Salt to taste

 

METHOD

1.        Cook rice as you normally would.

2.        As soon as it’s cooked put in the butter and stir to melt ensuring it is completely melted well distributed.

3.         Add the lemon juice, bell pepper and dhania. Stir to combine

4.         Add salt and pepper to taste.

5.        Serve immediately.

6.        How easy is that!!!!

7. HAPPY EATING!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

I saw this recipe last week on the Goddess of Baking the recipe was quite straight forward and I thought, why not try it. Its probably been over 8 years since I baked my last cookies/ biscuits so….. These cookies are more of quick cakes. The texture is very cake like. I think they would make a nice packed snack for kids for maybe for a party. ENJOY!!

Makes  24

INGREDIENTS

     whoopies

·        1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

·        2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

·        1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

·        1/2 teaspoon salt

·        9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (decided not to use shortening and it turned out perfect!)

·        1 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light…)

·        1 egg

·        1 teaspoon vanilla

·        1 cup milk

Salty Peanut Butter Filling

·        3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (or crunchy)

·        3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

·        3/4 cup confectioners sugar

·        1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD

Whoopies

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil
  3. In a bowl, sift together, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar with a mixer on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add egg and vanilla and beat for two more minutes.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk and beat on low until incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour and milk and beat until combined.
  7. Using a tablespoon, drop batter on baking sheet two inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes each or until pies spring back when pressed gently.
  8. Remove from oven and cool for about five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Filling

  1. Beat peanut butter and butter on low until creamy using a mixer.
  2. Add sugar and salt and beat on low to incorporate. Increase speed to medium and beat for about four minutes until the filling is light and fluffy.
  3. Spread filling on flat side on one cooled cake or use a pastry bag with the 1M tip to make the swirly look.  Top it with a second cake and press gently.

MANGO and CUCUMBER SALAD

 

I learnt this recipe a few years ago from a cook my mum had hired. Like I have mentioned before I never used to like green things (vegetables) but when I saw the mangoes and dhania (coriander) I just had to try it. I LOVED it. To be honest this lady had a way of making me appreciate stuff, she also made me start eating mushrooms with her mushroom chicken, but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, so in January just after I posted the Thai-style Beef and Mango Salad and when my gal Mona was in Nairobi my mum decided to send her a list of stuff to buy and bring for me, on the list was mangoes, cucumber and dhania. My mother in her note specifically asked Mona not to buy apple mangoes but a different type of mango and she even went ahead to draw the shape of the mango, clearly she isn’t a farmer coz she did not know the name and she specifically told her that they had to be firm. So when Mona told me this I really laughed at the fact that my mother drew the mango but I also wondered why she specifically said that Mona shouldn’t buy the apple mango, which my mother knows are my favourite. Anyway I appreciated the gesture and called to thank her but forgot to ask why the specifications. I kept the mangoes to ripen. Then a week later it hit me!! MUM sent me all the ingredients for the mango and cucumber salad, is that what she wanted me to make? So I called her and she confirmed this, HOW SLOW COULD I BE??? By this time my mangoes were slightly too ripe but I made the salad anyway. This salad is good with this type of mango

I don’t know what they are called but I guess any mango would do. Also ensure your mango is not too ripe. It should be a bit firm for the best results.

SERVES 4

 

Ingredients

  • 3 mangoes, peeled and cut into medium strips
  • 1 large cucumber cut into strips
  • About a ¼ cup of dhania or small handful
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

 

METHOD

1.      In  a bowl mix together the mango, dhania and cucumber

2.      Add the lemon and vinegar. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if using.

3.      Toss to coat and place in the fridge until ready to serve

4.      HOW EASY IS THAT???

5.HAPPY EATING

 

NB: you can use rice wine vinegar if you want to I use white vinegar because that was what was available.

ROSEMARY and GARLIC BAKED FRIES

I love fries. Did I say I love them??? NO, I am IN LOVE with fries. When I was in high school I think I ate them every weekday for 3 years and maybe still on the weekend and I NEVER once got tired of them. When I was growing up my mother always said that I will one day grow up and stop eating them with so much vigor but either I am yet to grow up or she was wrong. Unfortunately though, as you grow up you begin to notice that fries (or chips as we like to call them) are really not that healthy!!!  And after high school you realize that you can not eat the same way you did in high school and not add on some weight. Anyway a few years after high school and a couple of kilos up I decided to join a gym and get a trainer. This trainer decided that he will cut short my love affair with potatoes and I was so heart broken, a few months into training and I was allowed to eat some potatoes but still no fries, but he told me how to bake fries, I honestly did not even think that this was possible. I went home VERY skeptical about baked fries but at the end it was not that bad, with time I experimented with different spices and LOVED this one best so most nights when I feel like a steak and fries, I throw them both in the oven and save on a shit load of unwanted fats. HAPPY COOKING!!!

 

SERVES 1-2

 

INGREDIENTS

·        3 potatoes (sliced into chips)

·        1/2 tsp garlic (or regular) salt

·        3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced

·        2 teaspoon dried rosemary

·        1 Tbsp vegetable oil

·        1/2 tsp pepper

 

METHOD:

1.      Preheat oven to 230 degrees Celsius.

2.      In a large bowl, mix oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and potatoes together.

3.      Spread the potatoes onto a greased baking sheet in a single layer.

4.      Bake about 40 minutes, or until golden brown (turn after about 20 mins to bake both sides).

5. HAPPY EATING!!

 

NB: If you want you could bake the fries with out the garlic then fry the garlic in about 1table spoon of olive oil then toss the baked fries in the oil. This gives a bit of a different intensity of the garlic flavor.

PULL APART LEMON BREAD

I have ALWAYS wanted to bake a loaf bread ever since I was in high school, and yes that a LOOONNG time ago. I remember when I was in form 3 (grade 11) one of my classmates had a bread cook book that I borrowed for quite a long time and I read it from cover to cover every other day for about a month and I was kind of hooked on the idea of making bread.

Well almost a decade later and I never tried to make a loaf of bread till last weekend.

I saw this recipe first on Pinterest. When I followed the link I found it on Clockwork Lemon she calls it pull apart lemon coffee cake, but I didn’t see the “coffee” part nor feel the cake part so I dropped the two tags. Any who I thought it looked sooo interesting and sooo delicious, I just had to try it.

So last weekend my gals Mo and Mona came over and as Mona drunk, I kneaded and Mo wrongly filed my recipes (the girl has no idea about file organization!!! She even punched all my recipes on the wrong side!!!!!! <3) Anyway I digress. The process was not as hard as I thought. For the first part I used my hand mixer and the kneading was not for that long BUT the waiting was excruciating. In total you have to let the dough rest and rise for about 2 hours, bake for about 40 mins and not forgetting the time it take to prepare, look for ingredients etc so you can easily get impatient. So we sat, napped drunk and 4 hours later the bread was ready and smelling amazing. Of course we all baked the bread the drunkard and the faux secretary included. The bread was so nice, it tasted as though it had marmalade on it already. I think I would use a little less sugar the next time though. This is what the original bread from Clockwork lemon looked like

I did not have cream cheese so I did not make the icing but I honestly think it it not really necessary due to the fact that the bread has a lot of sugar but could be worth the try. Because this was my first attempt on bread I did not change a thing,  But with too much sugar or not this bread is definitely worth trying out. HAPPY BAKING!!!

 

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Yeast Dough

·        2 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour (You might not use all of this)

·        1/4 cup  granulated sugar

·        2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast

·        1/2 teaspoon salt

·        1/3 cup  whole milk

·        2 ounces unsalted butter

·        1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) water

·        1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

·        2 large eggs, at room temperature

Lemon Sugar Filling

·        1/2 cup granulated sugar

·        Zest of three lemons

·        1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

·        2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

 

Tangy Cream Cheese Icing ( I did not use this part)

·        3 ounces cream cheese, softened

·        1/3 cup  powdered sugar

·        1 tablespoon whole milk

·        1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

METHOD:

1.      In the microwave heat the butter and the milk together until the butter melts. Set aside to cool slightly.

2.      While it is cooling Mix two cups of the flour with the yeast and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer.

3.      add the water to the milk mixture and stir in the vanilla extract

4.       Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixer and stir until combined.

5.      Turn the mixer on low speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing each egg until it is combined. Add another ½ cup of the flour and the salt and mix till combined.

6.      Sprinkle the dough with 2 tbsp of flour and knead it with the dough hook for 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should become soft and smooth from the kneading.  Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place  45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Make Ahead Tip: If you want to make the dough the night before you bake it just gently deflate the dough after its first rise, place back in the bowl and cover it with plastic. Stick it in the fridge overnight (it will continue to rise, but at a much slower rate. Plus you get added flavor in the bread from the benefit of a slow, cold rise) The next day take the dough out and bring it to room temperature before proceeding with the next steps. I like to cover my dough with a damp piece of paper towel and stick it in my oven at the lowest temperature until it is room temp

7. Mix the sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest. It will draw out the citrus oils and make the sugar sandy and fragrant.

8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan or spray it will baking spray

9. Forming the loaf: Deflate the dough with your hand. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 20″ by 12″ rectangle.  This part is a lot easier with a ruler on hand! Use a pastry brush to thickly coat the dough with the melted butter

10. Use a pizza cutter, pastry cutter, or a sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise in five strips, each about 12″ by 4″ (it might not be this exact size, but try to make the five strips be equal sizes).

11.Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon sugar over the first buttered rectangle and gently press the sugar in. Top it with a second rectangle, sprinkling that one with 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon sugar as well. Continue to top with rectangles and sprinkle, so you have a stack of five 12″ by 4″ rectangles, all buttered and topped with lemon sugar.

12.  Slice this new stack crosswise, through all five layers, into 6 equal rectangles (each should be 4″ by 2″.) Carefully transfer these strips of dough into the loaf pan, cut edges up, side by side. it might be a little roomy, but the bread will rise and expand after baking. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place  until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes.

13. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes and then check to make sure that top isn’t browning too quickly. If it is, just cover the top of the loaf with tinfoil and continue baking. My loaf took a little over 50 minutes to bake completely ( I think this is because I was using a microwave convention the original recipe took about 40 mins). When done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.

14. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the milk and lemon juice. Stir until creamy and smooth. Spread over the warm bread (you might want to put some plastic wrap or parchment paper under the bread to catch the drips)

15. HAPPY EATING!!

CHILLI BEEF AND SPINACH

 

I had earlier on in my blog posted that I am not a fun of spinach or any dark greens for that matter apart from Kale( sukuma wiki). Well this is one of the recipes that are weaning me into eating spinach, I still can not eat them by themselves but I guess as long as they get into my mouth and eventually my stomach that should count right???? I loved the chilli flavour in this dish and also the fact that I made it in less than 20 mins. I also had this on its own with no accompaniment and I really enjoyed it, I think it would go great tho with either rice or Ugali (Kenyan meal made out of maize meal). HAPPY COOKING!

SERVES4

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon of peanut/Sesame  oil (this is great for stir fry’s coz it has a high smoke point but if you don’t have regular vegetable or olive oil is fine)
  • 400g beef fillet/steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 small fresh chillies
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bunch of spinach, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce ( when I don’t have this I mix soy sauce with just a bit of brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour
  • ½ teaspoon beef stock powder (such as royko)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) water

 

METHOD

  1. Combine beef, oil, chillies and garlic in a bowl and marinate for at least 20 mins (This is optional but adds to the flavour in the meat the longer the better)
  2. Heat oil in wok
  3. Add combined beef, oil, chillies and garlic in batches
  4. Stir fry until beef is tender
  5. Add spinach, sauce and sugar
  6. Add blended corn flour, stock powder and water
  7. Stir until sauce boils and thickens

 

NYAMA FRY ( FRIED MEAT)

 

A few weeks ago I woke up thinking of nyama fry, and not just any nyama fry but fry from Nerkwo. For those of you who have been to Nerkwo you know that having this nyama an experience in it self. Now being in the middle of no where and over 1000kms away from Nerkwo all I could do is message my girl Fresh, who introduced me to this delicacy, and tell her how much I craved for Nerkwo’s nyama. Now this is are the times you know who your friends are coz the silly girl told me “ohh now you have made me want some I’ll have to go get some this weekend” I hope you chocked as you ate it (I still love you, you know I don’t meant that 🙂 ) any way as she declared that she was going to have some that weekend I declared that I was going to try DIY (Do It Yourself) Nerkwo’s fry that weekend. She then told me the bitter truth that it will not turn out the same, this I knew was the truth coz no two hands are the same and maybe they give us donkey meat and that is why we can’t understand why it tastes sooo good and its nothing like the meat we eat else where. Anyway, that was a joke, before I am sued for defamation. So I gave it a go but it did not turn out as good as Nerkwo’s but it was still q2uitenice. I hope you will like it to. HAPPY COOKING!!

 

SERVES 4-6

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg beef cut into bite sized cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 30ml vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

METHOD

1.      Tenderize the meat using either tenderiser or a meat mallet if necessary

2.      Place the beef, garlic and ginger in a large pot and leave on the heat. Add the salt

3.      Stir the ingredients in the pot to ensure they are all mixed together then reduce the heat, cover the pot and leave to cook for about 15-20 minutes (depending on how soft your meat is)

4.      Ensure that you keep checking on the meat so that it doesn’t burn. If the meat was in the freezer you will most probably not need to add any water as it will have sufficient water in it.

5.      Once all the water has dried out, taste for doneness. If the meat is not yet cooked add just a little water and cover and leave for a further 5 minutes or so.

6.      If the meat is cooked add the oil and stir through.

7.      At this point add the chillies and onions and cover.

8.      Once the onions caramelize and start to turn transparent stir in the coriander.

9.      Serve immediately with Ugali and Kachumbari.

10. HAPPY EATING!

HASSELBACK POTATOES

 

So I saw this photo up on Pinterest. I actually saw it through a friend I was following and one of her friends had Pinned it, I know long string.

Anyway I just had to try it, I love potatoes anyway they are made I love them. My friends like making fun of me and saying its because of what part of the country I am from, well maybe it is 🙂 but bottom line is potatoes are GREAT. It was put under the name of sliced baked potato but I did some research and found out that it’s a Swedish version of roast potatoes with the above name This meal took about 30mins in the oven. Its easy as. I made two I used salt in one and aromat (spiced salt with flavouring) in the other they were both as good. Next time I’ll try and put in some garlic see how it goes.

 

 

 

The last photo is the one that was pinned on pinterest, looks a bit different from mine guess coz the potato was bigger and they cooked for longer. But truth be told it is very hard to get a meal looking like what someone else has posted on the net. I had this with a seared steak and it was quite nice. HAPPY EATING!!

Method

Thinly slice the potato almost all the way through. drizzle with butter, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for about 40 min. EASY PEASY!!!  HAPPY EATING!!

 

 

 

CITRUS CHICKEN WITH CORIANDER SERVED WITH GREEN SALAD

 

A couple of my readers have been urging me to post a few healthier recipes once in a while seeing as they are all trying to loose some weight. According to my cousin Ciku its time for operation nyorosha tumbo (flatten stomach). I tend to love green salads. Unfortunately for you guys I did not mix this one, I bought the premixed out available in the fresh food section of Nakumatt, they sell it for Ksh.99/=.  I think they mix baby spinach and romaine lettuce, it is great. If you do not want to buy the premixed one you can make your own using lettuce, rocket, baby spinach etc. I then added one tomato, grated half a large carrot and sliced half a small onion into it. I reckon it’s quite a healthy meal save for the fact that I am obsessed with 1000 island dressing so I used that. I think it would be just as great with the healthier and less fatty dressing.

 

The chicken is about 270 cal per serving and it tastes great. The biggest advantage to it is how fast it is to make, I came from the office yesterday at around 6.05pm I sliced the chicken mixed up the marinade and chicken and was  of to work out by 6.15. Came back at 7.30pm put it in the oven hit the shower and by the time I was out dinner was ready :-). HAPPY COOKING!!

 

Serves 3-4

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g chicken breast fillet
  • 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon  of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Green salad (pre made)

 

METHOD

  1. Slice put the breast fillet into strips
  2. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, coriander, salt and pepper in a bowl
  3. Place the breast into the bowl and mix up.
  4. At this point you can place it in the fridge to marinate or cook immediately
  5. Bake for 15-20 mins or until tenderloins are tender ( when I make enough just for me about 10 mins is enough)
  6. Serve with the green salad

 

NB: You can swap the coriander for oregano if you wish.  Many people say chicken goes well with oregano but i honestly can not stand that herb but I guess you can always try it for yourself.

WATER MELON SORBET

Sorbet is one of those things I used to LOOOVE when I was in campus. I particularly loved the strawberry, lemon and water melon flavours. Just over a year ago I visited Kisumu and had really nice lime sorbet some place near the Nakumatt there but that was the last time I had any sorbet 😦 This was the first time I tried makingmy own  sorbet, I have made ice cream, severally, but I never thought of trying a sorbet. It turned out quite good but too sugary in my opinion. Once I tasted it and thought it had too much sugar I thought of using Splender (diabetic sugar) the next time, when I shared the recipe with my pal Marie she instantly said she would replace the sugar with splender. I am not quite sure if she has tried it yet but will ask her how it turned out. Anyway I put the recipe as I used it but would advice you to use less sugar if you are trying to watch what you eat. HAPPY MAKING!!!

6-10 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  cups of sugar
  • 1 cups of sugar
  • 8 cups of watermelon
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon or lime juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

METHOD

1.      In a saucepan bring water and sugar to boil. Reduce heat, simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved completely. Set aside to cool

2.      Place the water melon, lemon/lime juice and zest in a blender or food processor and puree.

3.      Press the puree through a fine sieve/strainer to remove the seeds.

4.      Combine the sugar syrup and watermelon juice

5.      Place in an air tight container and put in the  freezer for about 4 hours the remove and stir

6.      Return to the freezer till firm.

7. HAPPY EATING!!