Cooking Magic

Well Washed & Powdered….

Posted on April 18, 2011

I’d like to think of myself as every woman. I try to be, but I think it’s impossible to be every woman all the time. I have my moments. I have a few alter egos, June Clever being one of them, but except for my anal tidiness, the other aspects of her don’t reflect through me as often as I would like.  For example. I HATE TO COOK. Well…let me say that another way. I HATE TO COOK WHEN IT IS EXPECTED OF ME. Cooking can be a very enjoyable experience when I’m in the mood, otherwise it’s nothing more than a chore. It’s one of the parts of being a wife, that still after 5 years of marriage, I am not used to it. I fully expect to be very rich someday, so I anticipate us eating out a lot, ordering in, or hiring someone to do it. 😀 . In the mean time, I am forced to shake the shit outta June every now and again to wake her up, and cook up a storm, to remind my husband that I AM every woman. Sometimes.

Now, I remember growing up, the women in my family slaving over stoves to please their men, and I swore that would never be me. Cooking seemed to be in direct cahoots with love, and it was one of the greatest gestures you could do for your man, yadda yadda yadda. I remember hearing my grandmother tell my mom and my aunts when they were growing up, ‘man a go bang are you’ or ‘man nar go want  are you’, if they ever expressed displeasure in having to prepare a meal. Maybe that’s where the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is his stomach” comes from.  Notice it says ‘the’ way, not ‘a’ way.

I may hate to cook most times, but every now and again I will knock up a lil sumthin’ sumthin’. Though unlike June Clever, I am not well washed and powdered in heels humming a happy tune, I’m in slippers and a towel, ready for the bath after I’m done sweatin’ up a storm, creating the magic. 😀

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Preparation
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Some previous cooking excursions.

Cooking Magic…Part Deux…

Posted on May 4, 2011

The batteries in my camera were dead , so I had not been able to take any pictures of my culinary escapdes for a while. I finally remembered to buy a couple of duracell batteries, so I was able to take these pictures day before yesterday.

Bon appetit.  😀 (said in my best Julia Child voice)

Notice there are three shared plates and not four. No pretty plate for me. I usually just throw whatever is left into a pot, stand there in the kitchen and eat. Also, Xion HATES vegetables, so I never put them on his plate. We usually just sneak them into his mouth between bites. Everybody’s happy.

Delishisness….

Posted on August 13, 2012

I did a quick knock up in the kitchen yesterday, that turned out pretty nice.  Mac & Cheese Pie, fried fish for hubby and chicken drumettes  for the kiddies. Also, simple mixed vegetables and local corn. (Nutten tarl sweet like locally grown Antiguan corn.) I shared their plates and they happily ate, while  I had what ever was left back, standing by the stove, out of one of the pots. Ah, the life of a housewife. 😀

It was all worth it though, to see extremely clean plates, followed by my three year old telling me,

“Mommy your food taste like delishisness.”

I’ll take that. Peep the awsomeness of my quick knock up dinner.

P.S I was not in the mood to cook yesterday, so there are no preparation pictures. Also, my fabulous gravy was made from scratch. None a that pre-mix or instant shit.  😀 (Fist Pump.)

Baked Mac & Cheese
Hubby plate with fish.
Kiddie plated Identically with chicken.

Mango Outta ya Nenen……

Posted on July 22, 2011
I’m loving this time of year. Not because it’s pre-summer/ summer or anything like that, because as an adult who lives in the West Indies, summer doesn’t mean anything unless your under the age of 21 or a teacher. 😀 My main reason for embracing this time of the season is MANGOES. ( I think they deserved to be in capitalized letters.) Every where I go now, I see street vendors with buckets, baths, pick-up backs and trunks, filled with mangoes and I just can’t get enough. I literally eat MANGOES until I get sick, and I don’t mean sick of them, I mean physically ill.  I will fight my own children for them, I hide them away and wait until they fall asleep to eat them, so I won’t have to share. 😀 I know I’m horrible.I admit I have a problem. A $5.00 plastic bag is not even close to sufficient to satisfy my mango libido. I have to have them hard and consistent, so when I buy mangoes it looks like this.

Mango is not necessarily a bad food to have a problem with, though too much of  anything is never good. I did some research and I discovered mangoes are pretty good for you.

1)    Mangoes are rich in vitamin A, which helps in maintaining good eye health.

2)    Many of the properties found in mangoes including vitamin C are known to reduce your risk of gastrointestinal cancers.

3)    Mangoes are rich in iron, which is beneficial to persons with anemia.

4)     The vitamin E found in mangoes is said to improve one’s sex drive as well as regulate sex hormones.

*That last point is however questionable, because as per my experience, the vitamins found in mangoes induce the ‘ITIS’ hormone, which causes one to shit due to severe belly cramps and then pass out from niggeritis* 😀

When ever my belly reaches to this point, , I ease off of the mangoes for a minute, and start thinking of other ways to enjoy my favourite fruit. I tried two mango recipes over the last two weeks. One was mango fritters and the other was a mango sauce, aka (mango gravy).

My mango fritters came out pretty nice. Actually it was mango and banana fritters. Some of the Mangoes had gotten a little soft, so I preferred to use them for the fritters. I cut the flesh off the seeds and added it to some bananas that had also gotten too soft to be enjoyable as they were. I then used a potato masher and mushed them up together. I added enough flour to thicken up the mixture, so it wouldn’t be runny in the frying pan. I then added a 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar, a splash of vanilla essence and a dash of cinnamon. 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder can be added, if you want the fritters to be uber fluffy, but they’ll turn out just fine without it.  I mixed that up in a bowl, then it was ready to be fried. You can make the fritters as big or as small as you would like, though making them too big, can cause the inside not to cook properly, even though the outside will look perfect.

The next recipe I tried was a mango sauce. It tasted pretty good, but my mangoes were not as hard as they should have been, so the sauce looked a bit more like vomit than I’d have liked. This is what it should have looked like.

If I can keep my self-control and not devour the hard mangoes as soon as I purchase them, I will be able to conquer the recipe, in terms of how it should be presentation wise. At least, I got the taste part down. I will post a picture of my next attempt into making the mango sauce.

Happy Mango Season.

 

Another first….Father’s Day Lasagne…

Posted on June 18, 2012

Sunday was Father’s Day, so like I normally do, I try to cook something extra nice on special holidays and occasions. I am a secret ninja Iron Chef in my mind,  though strangely enough, I hate to cook. When I do though, I go all out.  If I had more time, and was an actual housewife / stay at home mom, I believe I’d thoroughly enjoy cooking, however, by the time I get home from work, all I wanna do is take my clothes off and give the kids cornflakes for dinner, then go and lay down. lol 😀

Anyhow, Sunday, I got the bright idea to make lasagne. Now, I’ve never, ever, in my life attempted to make lasagne, so why I thought I could make it, I dunno. But, I’d already gotten the idea stuck in my head and I couldn’t get it out. Lasagne it was.

Now, please don’t think that my husband has gone lasagne-less, all the years we’ve been together. He’s been partaking of another woman’s lasagne, (my mother’s) so he’s been well fed. I wanted to change all of that for father’s day.

I went online to allrecipes.com and found a lasagne recipe that I liked. I then prepared a shopping list from the recipe ingredients, gave it to my husband and when he left to go and do the shopping, I prayed that I wouldn’t frig up his father’s day dinner. If I did, it would live on in infamy and recounted every father’s day, as the lasagne disaster. When he came back, I was ready…..

……ready to kick lasagne’s ass!

I decided to tackle the easiest thing first, which was cook and drain the lasagne noodles. Figured it may have been the one part of the recipe I wouldn’t f^*k up. 😀 My confidence went through the roof when they came out perfectly. I let them alone to cool.

Second thing I did, was take stock of all my veggies, to see what I was working with.

I sauteed the vegetables (zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower) in my cast iron murder pan, with some garlic, onion, red peppers and a couple dashes of season salt for around 8 minutes.( I call it a murder pan , because if I hit you with it anywhere on your body, you’ll die). 😀 See how it pretty?

I then made my cream sauce, which consisted of half and half, parmesan cheese, enough flour to thicken it, running spinach  and a couple dashes of salt.

Now it was down to the home stretch. So far so good. I prepared the baking dish with butter, then started to layer my lasagne. I started with the thick cream spinach sauce,  then the noodles, then the sauce again, followed by vegetables, a little more sauce, then the mozzarella and cheddar cheese mix. I repeated that 3 times.

When the layering was done, it looked like this….

The oven was pre-heated at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, then my lasagne experiment was put into it.

When it came out, it looked like…

It was DEE-LISH-OUS.

To accompany my lasagne, I did ground chicken for the kids and fillet fish for the hubby.

In the words of my daughter,

“Oh gosh mommy! Dis ya sweet”…

She  was actually giving me a thumbs up. 😀 I feel pretty proud of myself for tackling it.

My awesome dinner was topped off by a chocolate and strawberry cake, that I did not bake.

We ate well yesterday….. 😀

Hot cup a Bush Tea and Fry Fungi….

Posted on January 2, 2012

The Christmas holidays usually bring out the best foods out of the food vault. I didn’t do much cooking, but I sure did some good eating. Between my mom, and my husband’s aunts, we were very well fed.

Yesterday, he went to two different auntie’s homes, and got two different sets of food to bring home. He walked into the house and plopped down two plastic shopping bags with containers of food on our kitchen counter and I grinned from ear to ear. I began to unpack the food and then came across some spongy feeling foil wrapped thingamajig. I asked what the hell it was, to which he replied fungi. (pronounced foon- gee)

I am not a fan of fungi. I never have been, so I rolled my eyes at them, then my husband said,

“We gonna have them for breakfast.”

His intention was for us  to have them with the red herring he also brought home from one of his aunts. I’m not a big fan of red herring either. Anyhow, he swore I was going to love it.

So, this morning he goes into the kitchen and starts making breakfast. Surprisingly, it smells really good. I’m sitting in the living room watching tv and he brings me something to taste. It tasted fantastic. It was the fungi, but fried.

This is what fungi normally looks like.

Hubby cuts the fungi in slices, seasoned them and fried them in vegetable oil. This is  what they looked like after they were fried.

Fried fungi pattie

He then packed the slices like a sandwich, with the red herring, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber. It was absolutely fantastic.

From a now former fungi hater, this recipe is highly recommended. My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years and this was the first time I decided to try it. I don’t remember him fancying up the fried fungi before, like he did today. I also have no idea why I let my guard down and decided to give this version of fungi a try, but I am sure glad that I did.

*On a side note*

I am still not that big a fan of red herring and I am still tasting it when I burp 10 hours later, so I suggest using ling fish or salt fish instead, when you try this recipe.

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