Apr 07

Roasted Honey and Ketchup Baby Potatoes

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I have always confessed about my love for potatoes. Yes I just had to be a cliche kikuyu girl. I can add them to anything. This recipe is pretty simple. It asks for baby potatoes pretty sure you can use normal sized potatoes too. If you do try please let me know. What I love most about these potatoes is the flavour. Its different. It not your everyday baked potatoes, there is something about them thats just fabulous, tasty and good to your taste buds. HAPPY COOKING!!

Roasted Honey and Ketchup Baby Potatoes

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 500 grams baby potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup (you can also use mustard, Dijon mustard, choma sauce, sweet chilli)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoons cayenne [pepper
  • Salt & Pepper
  • juice of 1 Lemon

Instructions

  1. Parboil the baby potatoes with the garlic powder till almost cooked. Pre heat oven to 200C
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the oil, ketchup, honey, cayenne, lemon juice salt and pepper You can adjust all the quantities of the ingredients to suit your taste,
  3. Add in the baby potatoes and gently stir, making sure they are all coated with the honey ketchup mixture.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes,turning halfway or until the potatoes are golden brown
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Mar 24

Mama Cici’s Mbuzi Fry

mbuzi fry

There is nothing better than my mamas cooking. Well, unless its my mama cooking outside in the wood fired jiko.

Anytime we see mum preparing to cook outside we know its going to be a great night for our taste buds. Mum always makes mbuzi fry and tumbukiza outside and on rare occasions maybe dry fry beef and it’s always such a delight. So yesterday after church I called mum up and told her I was going to see her and I wanted mbuzi for dinner. Mum agreed and she even taught me how to make this simple yet delicious meal. I really hope you will enjoy it and that it will bring you as much laughter and good memories as it was brought to our home. HAPPY COOKING!!

Mama Cici’s Mbuzi Fry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 legs of lamb, chopped
  • 6 large onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 hoho (green capsicum), diced
  • chillies, optional
  • 2 bunches dhania (coriander) chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 kgs potatoes, diced (optional)
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Fry 3/4 of the onions with the oil in a large cooking pot till translucent, add the chopped lamb and cook till browned. Add salt and about half the water, stir and cover and let it cook on low heat for about 30 mins.
  2. check on how done the meat is and if you are using potatoes and chillies add them at this point. Let them cook for 10 mins the add the tomatoes sliced halfway and the hoho . If you need more water feel free to add a little. let the tomatoes steam for about 10 mins the removed the skin and stir making sure you fully incorporate them.
  3. Add the dhania and let it cook for a further five mins and take it off the fire. Let it stand for 5 mins then serve with Ugali. Happy Eating!!
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Mar 20

Decorating with Baskets

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I totaly love a house thats well decorated. Especialy one which has pieces that are extremely outside the box. I love it when different pieces come together to form this absolutely amazing look. like the baskets above. How amazing is do they look?

I love the use of “African” looking pieces that are incorporated and made to look modern and chic. I’m not so sure how this is stuck on the wall but I am assuming you can use glue, the kind sold in the hardware shops or section in the supermarket. Here are a few ways you can use baskets to decorate you home .

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images

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All photo’s Courtesy of Google

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Mar 20

Frozen Banana Ice Cream

foodieinthedesert.com

I have told you time and time again how much love I have for Pinterest. It is amazing, the new things you discover up there or the new ideas you get are so worth the hour I spend there daily. For those of you who are still too backward and don’t know what Pinterest is where on earth do you live???? Pinterest is a social networking site where you share photos (pin) of things you find interesting (hence pinterest). It can be anything food, drinks, cats, cars, motor bikes, movies, your dream house, wedding ideas, party ideas, ANYTHING!! You save this in your own folders and you can later refer back to them. It’s like an online idea diary. I LOVE IT.
So I found this recipe on there and I thought that it sounded so impossible. I mean how do you blend frozen bananas and come out with a creamy substance? Doesn’t that defy logic? Shouldn’t you get a juice or flacked/shaved ice particles?? Turns out my science is wrong. Once the frozen bananas have been blended for long enough what you end up with is a creamy frozen dessert. Totally SUGAR FREE!!! How cool is that??? I loved this dessert not only coz I like bananas but mainly because it’s healthy. So on a night when you really want some ice cream but you are trying to watch your calorie intake, make this and your craving will be dealt with and your waist and hips will thank you later.

Froezen Banana Ice Cream

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • • Frozen Bananas ( to freeze just peel the banana and wrap in cling film, you could also chop it before freezing)
  • • Vanilla essence
  • • Optional: peanut butter, Nutella, cocoa

Instructions

  1. Put the bananas and vanilla essence in a blender and blend till smooth then put in a container and freeze for at least 1.5-2.5 hrs. Scoop to serve
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Feb 27

Kashata

Kashat-foodieinthedesert.com

I find that Kenyans have very few deserts or sweets that we can call our own. Unlike the French or English. Now this Swahili sweet will take your taste buds right back to when you were in class 2, you remember those days when you’d save money from your break or lunch so that you could afford to buy either kashata, mabuyu or cool after school? They cost just 1 shilling but those days that was quite something. And they came in all colors and in our heads we thought they were different flavours. Ohhh the good old days of pur innocence.
When I saw people asking for this recipe sometime last year on a facebook group I just had to look around for it. Hope you will love it as much as I did and I hope it will make you feel like a child again. HAPPY COOKING!!

Kashata

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup moist grated coconut (or one desiccated coconut moistened with 2 tbsp of milk or water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cardamon
  • ½ teaspoon food color (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the food color, water and sugar on medium heat till the sugar dissolves, continue heating the mixture till it thickens and becomes a syrup, it should be thick and should feel sticky between your fingers and leave a string when you pull your fingers apart. While this is happening add 2 tablespoons of water to your desiccated coconut
  2. Add the coconut to the sugar syrup and mix well ensuring that it is well incorporated, keep stirring and let it cook till it has reduced in size and it begins to clump up together, sort of foaming balls.
  3. Grease a cake pan or line with parchment paper. Using a spatula put the coconut mixture into the pan, patting down to about an inch.
  4. Let this cool for about 8 minutes and slice. Slice using one motion. Let this cool further before your serve
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Feb 25

How To: Homemade All purpose Surface cleaner

photo: mommypotomus.com

photo: mommypotomus.com

Whoever said good things don’t come easy did not have this method of making a cleaning agent. Its so easy to make and the best thing is….. you can use it in virtually every single part of your house, from the bathroom to your windows to your kitchen. and you do not have to worry about dangerous chemicals. How cool is that?

What you need

* An empty spray container (available in all supermarkets)
* 1 cup water
*1 cup vinegar
* rind of citrus fruit or
* 16 drops essential oil eg peppermint, lavender, lemon etc or
* herbs and spices eg rosemary, cinnamon, cloves, mint

Method

1. Mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water ( 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 2 cups water with 2 cups vinegar) in a container and mix well. Simple. its ready to use.

2. Prepare as you did in 1 then add the essential oils. shake well. This will smell better than the 1st method. You can also use vanilla extract or essence

photo: homemadefrontier.com

photo: homemadefrontier.com

3. Soak the rind in vinegar for at least 2 weeks and up to a month. discard the rind and mix the vinegar with water in a spray container. its ready to use

4. use whole spices and/or herbs and soak the vinegar for at least 2 weeks. Do not use ground spices

5. You can mix and match the herbs, spices, rinds etc to your liking.

NOTES
* The main purpose of the rind, essence, herbs etc is to give a scent to the cleaners so as to mask or to elimonate the smell of vinegar. Though this items sort of mask the smell, the scent of vinegar isn’t complelty eliminated from the cleaner. When sprayed the cleaner still smells of vinegar but as it dries the citrus or herbs used become stronger.
* Do not use this vinegar cleaners on granite or marble tops as the acid can make them fade. you can use them on any other surface.

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Feb 17

Oven Roasted Chicken with Onions

foodieinthedesert.com oven roast chicken

There times when one really can not be bothered to cook. Times when even boiling an egg is too much work. well that was me two weekends ago. I really just could not be bothered. It was a Sunday after church, i was sleepy and hungry so what I did i called Mr. Man into the kitchen and told him today would be the day I’d teach him how to fix something quick easy and tasty. He mixed up the marinade, we were to hungry to wait for the sauces to sit so he popped it into the oven and we sat then ate. EASY!! life should always be that easy. HAPPY COOKING!!

Oven Roasted Chicken with Onions

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 51 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 table spoon of oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Mix the garlic, salt, pepper , lemon juice and oil in a large bowil
  2. Make sure your chicken is completely dry by patting down with a kitchen towel, once dry add to the marinade and marinate it for at least 2 hours or overnight if you can ( I sometimes cook immediately)
  3. Place in a baking tray and cook for 25 mins, turn the chicken and add in the onions mixing them with the juices and oil already secreted. Cook for a further 15 mins then serve. I served mine with
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Feb 05

Different Raising Agents: Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Yeast and Eggs

Baking is a science. This I came to learn while trying to understand the difference between baking powder and baking soda. You see how cakes and breads rise is all about how the rising agents react with the other ingredients one is baking with. That is the science behind baking. In short raising (or leavening) agents make your cakes and breads rise, your mousse and soufflé light and fluffy. The most common raising agents are: baking powder, baking soda, yeast and eggs.
Let me apologise early for the long sciency post, happy learning!!
Baking Powder
This is made up of baking soda/ bicarbonate of soda, starch (potato or corn) and an acid (cream of tartar). Usually baking powder contains about ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for each teaspoon.
Baking powder-leavened goods are generally lighter and fluffier than those that rely on baking soda alone because the carbon dioxide is released twice, 1st when it comes to contact with moisture, then when it comes into contact with heat
You can substitute baking powder with baking soda, for every teaspoon of baking powder use ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
If you run out of self-raising flour and add 1-2 teaspoons per cup of flour to the flour and mix before using it the recipe as normal.
Baking Soda
Also known as Sodium Bicarbonate or Bicarbonate of Soda. When heated the sodium bicarbonate releases carbon dioxide that makes breads and cakes rise. It also produces sodium carbonate which tastes really bad that’s why you have to mix in an acid like lemon or sour milk, cocoa, buttermilk etc in order to neutralize this taste. And also aid in the release of the carbon dioxide.
This means that if your cake calls for baking soda and butter milk and you decide to substitute with regular milk, it will not rise.
Baking soda also helps with the browning of the cake. Therefore you need to use just enough otherwise your cake will be too brown. Remember baking is a science
Because baking soda reacts with the acid immediately it is mixed one has to bake the cake or pancakes immediately. If this is not done the results will be a chewy
You can substitute baking soda and baking powder as long as there is an acid in the ingredients

Yeast
Yeast is a natural raising agent. It takes about 2 hours using fresh, active dry, or, instant active dry yeast, for the bread to complete this proving stage. Yeast converts the fermentable sugars present in the flour/dough into the gas carbon dioxide. The baking process stops the action of yeast cells by killing them giving the baked product a soft and spongy texture.
Yeast needs sugar to grow and a warm environment. You can mix your dough with WARM liquid not hot, as hot liquid will kill the yeast.
You can substitute baking powder for yeast but the taste and texture will not be the same.
There are three types of yeast; fresh yeast, instant yeast and active dry yeast
Fresh yeast: used by profestional baker. I was told I can get this in nakumatt highridge but have never gone to check. If your recipe calls for the divide the quantity by 3 if you want to substitute with instant yeast
Instant yeast (quick rise or rapid rise): more potent that active dry yeast and can directly be mixed to your dry ingredients.
Active dry yeast: works just like instant yeast but needs to be activated using warm water first
If your finished product has a strong unpleasant alcohol smell or tasty a bit tangy when done then the dough overfermented. This can happen if you let it rise for too long or overnight in the fridge, if the dough was too warm,
Eggs
Yes eggs. I did not know this till a few years ago when I wanted to bake a small cake but I did not have baking powder.
For this to work you really have to beat the eggs that way incorporating a lot of air into the eggs. This is, together with the protein components , is what will help the cake rise. Beating the eggs incorporates air, which is evident with the increase in volume. The beating also denatures the protein in the eggs, which changes the shape and allows air to be trapped between the proteins. If what you want is a light, air filled texture then mechanical raising agents (like beaten eggs) are important eg for mousse and soufflé

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Feb 03

Bread Crumbed Sweet Potatoes

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There are things I generally never ate as a child. If you ask me why I never ate them I really wouldn’t have an answer. I just thought that they were gross and generally anything natural or healthy I just did not like. I also had silly thing I did not eat like beef!! Now this is a funny story..

When I was a toddler, must have been between 3 and 6, my mum tells me I always made a fuss about beef. I would state with authority that “mimi sikulangi nyama ya ng’ombe nakulanga ya mbuzi pekee” (I do not eat beef I only eat lamb) honestly there was no reason as to why I did not eat nyama ya ng’ombe and I was too young to even know the difference in taste between the two, but I was adamant about it so each time they cooked meat and I was in the kitchen they’d be forced to say “heeee hii nyama ya mbuzi itakuwa tamu” (this goat meat will be very tasty”) and yet they were cooking beef!!!!

My brother Nyaga also went through such a phase when he was around 6 or 7 years old. He was apparently, VERY allergic to the crusts of bread. He would make a big fuss and cry if u did not cut the crust out for him and he was allergic SMH. GOD children are stupid!! So like him and beard crusts I never ate sweet potatoes or enjoyed them till maybe 3 years ago. Now I’m learning new ways of making them like these sweet potato fries and this recipe today.

I do not really have the exact measurements for this as it was such a random make but I bet you will get the drift. I served it with string beans and stir fried chicken breast. Quite healthy I think

HAPPY COOKING!!!

Bread Crumbed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, boiled and sliced width wise
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Pepper
  • Chilies
  • Garam masala
  • 1 egg
  • Oil for frying, about 3 tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Mix the bread crumbs with pepper, chillies and garam masala. Beat the egg.
  2. Dip the sweet potato into the egg then coat with the breadcrumbs, place in hot oil and cook till browned then turn. EASY PEASY
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Jan 30

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Photo Credit http://www.thefoodadvicecentre.co.uk/recipes/healthy-cake-recipes/chocolate-guinness-cake/ Photo Credit http://www.thefoodadvicecentre.co.uk/recipes/healthy-cake-recipes/chocolate-guinness-cake/[/caption]>

OOOH MYYYY GUINESS!!!!! Talk of a moist cake, talk of a flavourful cake, talk of a cake that surprises you… then this is exactly all these things. I tried this cake out of curiosity. I really wanted to know how cake would taste with Guiness in it. I must have tasted Guiness before because the only thought I have on it is that it’s disgusting but I really cannot remember what exactly it tastes like.
So the cake is super moist. It’s ALMOST melt in your mouth. I reckon if I used real chocolate it would have been melt in your mouth. It does have a slight tart taste which must be from the Guiness. I felt lazy when it was time to put icing on the cake so I did not ice mine, and my phone camera decided not to take a good pic so I felt I shouldn’t post my own pic, so I went to Google and stole one ? In the process of stealing (well, borrowing) I came across Nigella Lawsons recipe which sound a lot more interesting so I’ll try that next time.

HAPPY BAKING!!

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250ml Guinness
  • 75g cocoa, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml sour cream (available in most supermarkets)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 275g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 350g caster sugar (available in supermarkets, if you do not have you grind normal granulated sugar using a spice grinder to make your own caster sugar)
  • For the Icing
  • 300ml cream chese
  • 65g mascarpone

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm round baking tin.
  2. Place the butter and Guinness in a saucepan over low heat and add the cocoa and stir continuously until the butter has melted and all the ingredients and well incorporated and smooth. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Beat the eggs, sour cream and vanilla in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Add the melted butter mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour and baking powder, followed by the sugar. Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  4. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Make the Icing:
  6. Combine cream cheese and mascarpone in a bowl, whisk until softly whipped. Pile on top of the cake when ready

Notes

adapted from http://milk-and.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/guinness-chocolate-cake-with-creme.html

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