Garlic and sage hasselback potatoes

So I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, I just wasn’t sure it was needed. There are so many hasselback potato posts out there, just do a search and see. Not that everything I post is completely unique, I learn and pick things from other chefs and bloggers too. I think I was just overwhelmed by all the different recipes people had already made.

hmmm, cheesy goodness!

hmmm, cheesy goodness!

And it’s just as well because they are so easy to change up, refresh and add flavour. They taste awesome when they’re just plain already but one could easily make them everyday for 30 days and not eat them the same way twice. So I decided to make the post just because of that versatility. You just have to have this in your list of things to make. The cutting is a bit fussy but you’ll get the hand of it quickly then it’s a breeze from there.    Continue reading  »

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Oriental inspired stir fried lamb

The flavours this reminded me of something I’ve had in an Oriental restaurant — nothing specific, my mind just went there the moment I tasted it.


served over white rice, loved the colours, even hubby mentioned how good it looked when I handed hi his plate…

It was delicious, made me feel like I should experiment more with stir fry meals, especially because they’re so easy to make. I like how easy it is to include vegetables in a stir fry dish. All the possible colour combinations are just too much fun. But first, the recipe…    Continue reading  »

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Sticky lamb meatballs

I started experimenting with these meatballs about 5 months ago, here is a photo of the first batch ready for the oven. I have made them many times since then, but it wasn’t until I made that tamarind glaze that they finally felt finished.


sticky goodness!

I will warn you, if you are the neat-eating-can’t-touch-food-with-your-fingers-type — these are not for you! These are meant to be eaten with your hands, they’re meant to be messy, and yes please, do lick your fingers afterwards!    Continue reading  »

Posted in Lamb, Snacks/Appetisers | No Comments

Tamarind Paste (ukwaju)

Tamarind is one of those things I remember very fondly from childhood. Up until recently I just ate them like candy.


the final product, all pretty in a jar

Then I used some in a dish a while back but I’ve never thought to turn it into a paste till now. By the way, if you haven’t tried that tamarind chicken you are missing out. It’s very simple to make and would be a good start to kick off your cooking with tamarind experience if you never have. It also doesn’t need the paste, so you won’t have to make it first. (Just a little warning though, those old photos are not pretty, I was still learning! He he he! Just focus on the recipe, don’t mind the photos, the recipe is a winner, I promise!)

Now, lets get on with how I made that paste. You will need some fresh ripe tamarind. They don’t have to be removed from the pods (they often already are before you buy), but if they are thats one less step for you.    Continue reading  »

Posted in Notes/Tips/How to, Random | 2 Comments

Wholemeal banana & oat cookies

So after eating all that plantain I was till on a banana kick! Decided to try this cookie recipe from a while back with banana instead of dried fruit, and wholemeal flour.


they are so delicious!

There are so many different kinds of wholemeal flour. Wholemeal is wholemeal, I’m talking about how fine it’s ground. I’ve purchased three different ones so far. One was supper rough, still had large pieces in it (thats the one I used for this recipe). Then there is stone ground and a super fine. I don’t have a preference yet, still experimenting.

On to the cookies!    Continue reading  »

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Plantain discs (2 ways)

I was eating some matoke chips one afternoon and I started to wonder how they cut them. I wondered if they would still be as nice to eat in a disc shape, which in my mind was a simpler shape to do.

Then I remembered I had some plantain, why not try some plantain discs? And thus began the experiment…


these were baked in the oven


and these were fried

I liked both, how you use them though will depend ones taste. The baked one turned out a lot like dried/dehydrated fruit, like raisins. So it would do nicely in a fruit and nut mix for example. The second one was crunchy, but when left out for more than an hour it became soggy, so better for a quick snack to be eaten immediately. Make them to be ready just as the kids arrive from school for example… Continue reading  »

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Spicy plantain wedges (2 ways)

So I found some really good plantain a while back and decided to experiment a bit. It is one of may favourite foods so I generally don’t like to mess with it. I always cook them the same three ways my mother did. I guess I just didn’t want to mess with my childhood memories! He he he!

they look good don't they?

they look good don’t they?

This time, I went out on a limb! I did a couple of experiments and they turned out well. This is the first batch, will share the other later in the week.    Continue reading  »

Posted in Matoke & Plantain | 2 Comments

Roasted cherry tomatoes and cauliflower

Roasting is a time saver! It even makes the veggies have a much richer flavour in my opinion. So far my most favourite thing to roast after meat is carrots, if you haven’t tried roasting carrots you simply must.


ready to serve

This time I tried out cherry tomatoes and I’ve decided they’re my newest favourite thing to roast. Thy add the most delightful splash or flavour when you bite into them, just awesome!   Continue reading  »

Posted in Greens/Vegetables | No Comments

June wa Ranja: Thanks-to-Siba grilled corn salad with basil pesto dressing

in her own words…

Sometime after the birth of my second baby, my girlfriends were finally coming over to my house to see the baby and to have a meeting for our investment company.

perfect balance or colour, flavour and nutrition

perfect balance of colour, flavour and nutrition

When trying to think of what to prepare for them I remembered Siba once preparing a simple elegant meal for her girlfriends. And that is what inspired this recipe.    Continue reading  »

Posted in Recipes, Salads | No Comments

June wa Ranja: Interview, part 2

If you have not seen the meatloaf post from this past Friday you simply must check it out! Also read the first part of this interview before you go on. We are getting to know the delightful June, here is part two of the interview…

How do you plan for your meals?
I don’t use meal plans. I generally decide what we shall have on the same day, usually in the morning considering the following factors:

– What is available in the fridge/pantry
– What we haven’t eaten most recently
– Whether I want (am available) to cook part of or the whole meal
– Whether there are specific plans for the next one or two days e.g. visitors, being away from the house

Yeah, so it’s a random system like that.

What was a favourite meal in your family when growing up? 
Growing up our family favourite was rice and dry-fried chicken. As I grew up and my mum got a cooker with an oven it became roast potatoes and slow roast chicken with a side salad. I remember when I finished my fourth-year exams in university, my mum and sister made all my favourite foods that evening and called the neighbours for a celebration dinner. It is truly one of my fondest memories of a family dinner growing up.    Continue reading  »

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June wa Ranja: Meatloaf according to the Sandwich King

In her own words…

I had always been curious about meatloaf from the TV shows I had watched growing up. The idea of all that meat cooked into something like bread was very exciting, and in my mind very tasty.



I had always thought it was a complicated process until I watched The Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, on food network preparing meatloaf for a sandwich. I replicated his recipe that same day excluding the Sandwich part. It has been my most successful experiment to date, and always a hit with my guests. I love it coz its simple tasty and all the ingredients are easily accessible to us locally.   Continue reading  »

Posted in Beef, Recipes | No Comments

June wa Ranja: Interview, part 1

It’s guest post day! Yaaaaay!

Have you ever met someone that just has you beaming in joy from the moment you meet them to the moment you part? Well, June is exactly that sort of person. I know she has no clue that she has that effect, because often, she will have you rolling in laughter as she gives the simplest story with such a straight face! She is such a delight to be around and it was great fun learning these recipes from her — yup! you read right, there are two!!

The first recipe will be up in a bit, in the mean time, get to know her a little bit…

Tell us about the beginning of your cooking journey…
Wow! I am surprised that my usually very sharp memory is failing me today….. But, I think I started with tea at 9 years old (Std 4.) I was taught by our helper then… Joyce. My main motivation for learning was so that I could wake up (very) early, prepare for school, make and have breakfast, and leave by 6:30 am to walk to school. Crazy, I know. My mum and I used to fight about me leaving too early all the time.

One of the other first memories I have about cooking was cutting out recipes from the Sunday paper with my mum and trying them out, with me as her sous chef. My favourite one that became a huge hit at home was the mahamri recipe which was even hung on our kitchen wall. Eventually I started making whole meals during the long holiday between primary and secondary school under my mum’s tutelage.

And the first meal you made for hubby?
Very funny story…. We hadn’t quite started going out yet; it was that awkward time when you both know you are more than friends but one or both of you won’t admit it (in our case it was me, lol). Anyway he came over to our house for lunch and I had prepared fish fillet which I had coated in breadcrumbs, deep fried it, then layered it with fresh tomato sauce and coriander and baked in the oven. This was made with roast potatoes and a side of vegetables. I wasn’t nervous because my neighbour and I had perfected this dish for our friends several times before.    Continue reading  »

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Creamy sage chicken

The first time I made this dish was well over three months ago. I had guests over so they were my first tasters. I didn’t tell them that though. They liked it, or so they said. I thought it needed some tweaks though so I’ve been thinking about it and remaking it since then.



Sometimes — well, many times actually — recipes aren’t perfect on the first round, I’m learning to take my time to tweak and adjust them. I’ve been going through my old posts lately and wow! I cringe and laugh at myself. Some of those recipes were put up way faster than they should have been. I really should have spent more time experimenting to make them better. It’s all part of the learning process I guess. I’m a lot less hasty now.

Alright, on to the recipe then…

Continue reading  »

Posted in Chicken | 9 Comments

Fruit & nut rice

My husband likes a lot of rice, so I’m always looking for interesting ways to make it. He also loves raisins (as I have probably mentioned enough times), so the leap to adding a nut wasn’t hard to make, one could say it just came naturally!



I truly enjoy how versatile rice is. It takes on colour and flavour so easily. Most of my recent rice recipes have been with jasmine rice, and this one is as well.    Continue reading  »

Posted in Rice | 1 Comment

Broccoli & Cheese Omelette

So I woke up one morning to find I had been tagged on instagram by @mwarv to make an entry for the #whpcolorfulcooking competition that week. I didn’t have much time left and since it was highly likely that I would not be home for the rest of the day, breakfast was my only opportunity!


with a healthy serving of fruit

If you saw the instagram post, then you’ve been waiting a while — I’m finally just getting around to making the post for it here on the blog.

I started by selecting the fruit. Then realised the omelette would look too plain next to them with nothing in it, plus I wanted to make it interesting for the post, after all it was a competition.    Continue reading  »

Posted in Eggs | No Comments

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