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 or 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  »

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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.

delicious!

delicious!

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  »

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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.

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hmmmm!

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  »

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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!

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deliciousness!

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  »

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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!

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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  »

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Vegetable Confetti

So I thought my idea for the name of this side dish was completely unique! Ha! I’ve just done a quick Google search as I prepare this post hoping to get my ego stroked and … not so much.

800k + results!! At least it wasn’t over a million results right? (^_^)

#colour

#colour

I had been thinking about the idea of a colourful vegetable mix for a while but it wasn’t until Wanjiru and I were making these skewers that I decided it simply must be done! Those colours were just too yummy!   Continue reading  »

Posted in Greens/Vegetables | 4 Comments

Ina’s go to recipe for maridadi veggies

It doesn’t take long to discover that Ina loves her traditional veggies. So I asked her to share with me how she likes to prepare them.

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yum!

So she shared with me her got to recipe for traditional veggies. I tried it out with managu…    Continue reading  »

Posted in Greens/Vegetables | 2 Comments

Ina wa Maridadi blog

One of the things I really enjoy about blogging is interacting with other bloggers and exchanging ideas. So when Ina made her invitation post I took her on.

We haven’t met yet but we’ve been chatting about putting more relevant and quality local content online. I hope the conversation will bare some good fruit. In the mean time get to know her a little bit more below and visit her blog too. Start with this post that I really like.


Starting out
I have loved cooking food for as long as I can remember. However the first time I cooked Ugali we almost slept hungry. It must have been around the time I was in class 8 and I kept turning the Ugali till the sides of the sufuria became brown, I just did not know when to stop,even when there was the smell of burning ugali I soldiered on. In hindsight I think I expected to hear bells ringing to signal me to get it off the jiko.

her favourite tools

her favourite tools

In class 4 we had a book — I cannot remember the title now — that had the recipe for pancakes, I actually tried them out but made the batter too thick and sweet and forgot to add salt. Now that I am more experienced I know all sweet dishes need salt to balance out the flavours.    Continue reading  »

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Chilli mushroom side

If you are looking for an easy side to add to your spread for the dinner party, this is it! Doesn’t take much time at all to prepare and tastes great.

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yummy chilli buttery mushrooms

If you wanna switch it up a bit, throw in a bit of double cream at the end to make a little sauce, to serve with pasta, like capellini… hmmm! Wouldn’t that make a nice quick dinner? OH! and freshly ground black pepper too, just a tad though, not too much, cause there’s already chilli in there — unless you like a lot of heat. That’s an idea for another post though, for now, lets focus on the easy side dish…   
Continue reading  »

Posted in Fungi, My recipes | 1 Comment

Oven roasted asparagus

Eating vegetables — green things specifically — does not come easy for me. I often force myself to eat them. Sounds crazy, I know! I’m a foodie, I cook a lot and I run a food blog. But I’ve been pushing myself to venture outside of my usual go to greens. It’s going pretty well I think.

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those onions! yum!

Asparagus! Have you ever tried them? Well here’s a good recipe if you decide to. After several attempts at cooking it I’d say this is the best so far.     Continue reading  »

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Wanjiru wa Drew: Mahamri / Mandazi

Today Wanjiru Kihusa shows us how she makes this classic pastry. A great followup to the skewers from Tuesday — if you missed those just see the previous post once you’re done reading this one.

I have wanted to learn how to make these for a long time, I just never got around to it. But I’m glad I waited cause there’s nothing like getting a tried a true recipe from a friend, and even better, with a demonstration!

In her own words…


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how pretty are they?

This is a recipe that I receive from a friend. I tried it and the mahamris were perfectly soft on the first round so I was really happy with it. It goes like this:    Continue reading  »

Posted in Pastries, Recipes, Wives | No Comments

Wanjiru wa Drew: Sausage mishkaki / skewers

I recently had the pleasure of hosting Wanjiru Kihusa — in case you are wondering, she is every bit as gracious in person as she sounds on her blog! Do visit it, it is a gem. I love reading it. She discusses sensitive issues in a very gentle way and she still manages to keep it real. While she was over, she showed me how to make these awesome skewers.

In her own words…


mnb

yummers!

These skewers are very simple to make, I like them for snacks or appetisers when hosting a group. Most especially a group that you host regularly like a bible study group where you’re not expected to serve a full meal, just snacks and drinks. You’ll need a large onion, Red, yellow and green bell peppers, a carrot and a pack of sausages of your choice.    Continue reading  »

Posted in Beef, Recipes, Snacks/Appetisers, Wives | 1 Comment

vegetable fried rice

I like the colours in this one, very appetising to look at. I like the versatility as well, it can be different every time because you can use whatever selection of vegetables you have available or that suit your mood.

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delicious!

It can also be a meal on it’s own, just add extra portions vegetables and throw in some mushrooms or beans for protein and bam! — one pot dinner.   Continue reading  »

Posted in Lunch/dinner, My recipes, Rice | 1 Comment

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