๐ŸŒบSORREL ๐ŸŒบ

๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…Season’s greetings everyone!!๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ… We’re 22 days away from Christmas and since I’m in the spirit, I thought I’d whip up a batch of sorrel! Sorrel (Hibiscus) is a popular drink in Caribbean homes throughout the Christmas season.

I recently received my Decemberย Callalooboxย and it was full of goodies! Sorrel, lime pepper sauce, hot chow, mixed essence, black cake and split peas *which isn’t in the picture because I have no self-control and I ate it right away ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚*. Check outย Callalooboxย to get these products I’ve used in this recipe and a whole lot more! The boxes would make great presents for those who love Caribbean food or those who are ready to spice up their kitchens ๐Ÿ˜Š. Callaloobox is a new U.S. based subscription box service featuring seasonings, marinades and hot sauces from the Caribbean. Each box contains different products considered to be cornerstones of Caribbean cooking. When you receive the box, you’ll find an info sheet describing the main ingredients in each product along with some uses and helpful hints! Check them out here

I made a quick video showing how easy it is to make this delicious drink!

 


Ingredients

  • ย 3 oz dried sorrel
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 grains clove
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp mixed essence

Directions

1. Bring the water to a boil

2. Add all the other ingredients and stir for 1 minute.

3. Cover and remove from heat and let steep for at least 1 hour.

4. Taste for strength and sweetness. If it’s too strong, add water. If too tart, add sugar.

5. Strain liquid into a jug or bottle and refrigerate.

Enjoy cold!

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CREPES

Hey all! We experimented with crepes this morning because we’re getting bored with scrambled eggs. It was easy and pretty quick to throw together. I paired it with a fresh mixed berry compote and all was well at the breakfast table again ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

INGREDIENTS

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tbsps sugar

1/4 tsp coarse salt

3 tbsps butter (melted)

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS

1. Put all ingredients in a blender for about 30 secs until smooth and bubbles appear on top

2. Let the batter sit for about 15 mins, then warm a 12″ pan over medium/low heat. 

3. Add a little butter to the pan and pour about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan and swirl till it reaches the edges

4. Cook for 2-3 mins then gently flip and cook for another minute.

5. Roll the crepe onto a plate and serve with your favorite toppings.

We had a lot of berries so we made a mixed berry compote.

MIXED BERRY COMPOTE

Here’s a simple recipe that can be made with fresh or frozen berries. I like to use it over crepes, cheesecake, sweet breads etc ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

INGREDIENTS

3 cups berries ( I like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)

2 tbsps lemon juice

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tbsps butter

DIRECTIONS

1. Put skillet over medium/low heat and melt butter.

2. Add sugar and lemon juice and stir until dissolved.

3. Add berries and stir gently until the juices spring.

4. If you like a thicker sauce you can mix some cornstarch with cold water and add to the compote and cook for a couple more minutes until thickened. 

Serve warm over crepes, or on cheesecake, sweetbreads, muffins, a hamburger ๐Ÿ˜‚ ok maybe not a hamburger. 

EASY PUMPKIN PUREE

Hey all! I’ve picked the last of my pumpkins today and I was lucky enough to get 13 this year! *I knew 13 wasn’t unlucky ๐Ÿ˜‚* 

Our family planted a few types, Big Max, Connecticut, Amish and Ghost ๐Ÿ‘ป pumpkins. We used the large Big Max pumpkins for carving jack-o’-lanterns and I’m using the Ghost pumpkins for Fall decorations and I’m about to roast the Amish and Connecticut pumpkins and then make puree which I’ll use in pancakes, pies, pumpkin rolls, pastries etc *drool*

So here’s the easiest and shortest recipe ever!

ROASTED PUMPKIN PUREE

1. Wash and dry the pumpkin ( The smaller pumpkins are a bit sweeter)

2. Stab repeatedly *I had too much fun ๐Ÿ˜‚*

3. Put pumpkin in a glass baking dish or tray and bake at 350F for about 45-60 mins or until fork tender. 

4. Let cool, cut in half, scrape the seeds and guts out and then puree the flesh in a food processor/blender.
That’s it! Super easy and so much better than the canned puree and it also freezes well. I like to store 2 cups of puree in each freezer storage bag, so when I need it I know exactly how much is in there.

Here are my pumpkin farmers ๐ŸŽƒ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿšœ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŒพโค๏ธโค๏ธ

PUMPKIN AND CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

My mini chef and I experimented with pumpkin muffins today and it was quick and super easy! They are moist and yummy, can’t wait to have another for breakfast!

Filling Ingredients

8-ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Muffin Ingredients

1 package spice cake mix
15-ounces canned pumpkin

Optional: confectioners sugar to sprinkle on top 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put muffin liners into pan.

2. Beat filling ingredients together until combined.

3. Beat muffin ingredients together until combined. (only use the mix and the pumpkin, nothing else) Batter will be thick.

4. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom.


5. Drop in a level tablespoon of filling.

6. Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups full.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Makes 12 muffins

THE BEST CINNAMON ROLLS EVER!!

So today was the first day of my diet….. and I made cinnamon rolls ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ The universe was trying to tell me something because this recipe fromย twopeasandtheirpodย kept appearing on my news feed! You must try this recipe! It’s so delicious!

yield:ย 30 CINNAMON ROLLS

cook time:ย 17 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CINNAMON ROLLS:

  • 2 packages yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons), dissolved in 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 6 tablespoons shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (you might need more if the dough is sticky, up to 9-10 cups)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Softened butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Raisins
  • Cinnamon

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    DIRECTIONS:


    1. 1. Add yeast to cup of lukewarm water and sprinkle in a little sugar. Set aside for about five minutes.
      2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add shortening, sugar, and salt to hot water and beat for 30 seconds, using the beater blade. Let cool to lukewarm temperature. Stir in 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and mix until well combined. Mix in the beaten eggs.
      3. Gradually stir in the remaining flour and mix with the dough hook for about 2 minutes. Remove dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Knead by hand, add a little flour if the dough is still sticky. Knead until dough feels satiny and smooth.
    2. IMG_20171004_182733130.jpg

4. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. After the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and divide it in half. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough into a rectangular shape. Spread dough evenly with softened butter. Sprinkle dough with brown sugar, raisins, and cinnamon. Make sure you use LOTS of brown sugarโ€ฆyou can omit the raisins, but my family loves them, and sprinkle on loads of cinnamon.

 


5. Roll up dough into one long roll. Cut rolls, using a piece of dental floss or thread, about two inches thick. Place rolls in greased 9X13 baking pans. Now follow the exact same steps with the other half of the dough.

 

6. Let the rolls rise until double in bulk. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until brown-only about 5-7 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let the rolls cool to room temperature.

7. While the rolls are cooling, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Frost the cooled cinnamon rolls generously!




STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE BAKED PANCAKES

Another lazy Sunday and another baked pancake trial! I’m trying the strawberry cheesecake today because I needed to use up the last of my strawberries. I made one change this time, I added some melted butter to the batter because it can be a bit dry. I mean after all butter makes everything better ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Here’s the recipe:

Servings 4-6

INGREDIENTS

4 cups pancake mix

2 cups milk

4 eggs

1 cup strawberries (sliced)

6 oz cream cheese (cubed)

6 tbsp melted butter

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 425หšF (220หšC).

2. Pour pancake mix, butter, milk, and eggs into a bowl and mix just until combined.

3. Pour batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread to the edges.

4. Place strawberry slices on top of the batter, followed by the cream cheese cubes.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

6. Cut into squares and serve immediately, or freeze up to 1 month. To reheat, place on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 20 seconds per pancake on the plate

TIP: I also like to brush a little butter on top as soon as I take it out of the oven, it softens the too and gives a pretty sheen.

CALLALOO BOX FOR THE WIN!!

Hey everyone! So as most of you know I’m from the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago and cooking is near and dear to my heart! I use a wide array of spices and seasonings, a lot of which I can only get in Trinidad. Since I’ve moved to California 12+ years ago, I’ve searched and searched for Caribbean stores where I can purchase the items I need, but with no success. I’ve only found one place and it’s 3 hours away and that’s so inconvenient!

Thenย CALLALOO BOXย came into my life and made everything better! Callaloo box is aย new U.S. based subscription box serviceย featuring seasonings, marinades & hot sauces from the Caribbean twin-islands of Trinidad & Tobago.ย The founders are 3 girlfriends who are all immigrants from Trinidad currently living in the U.S. and Canada. Eachย month the box will contain different products considered to be cornerstones of Caribbean cooking.

Their aim is to get these products into the hands of anyone interested in Caribbean cooking that live in the U.S. and don’t have easy access to them, or anyone who simply loves food, cooking and experimenting.

A specialย discount code NATASHA5ย is available to my followers forย $5ย off of their 1st box when signing up for a month-to-month subscription!!

They currently only offer U.S. deliveries but are actively working towards ย launching deliveries to Canada next year.

When you receive the box, you will see that it includes an info sheet describing the main ingredients in each product along with some uses and helpful tips.

You can check them out and subscribe on their website atย www.callaloobox.comย or followย across social media (IG, FB & Twitter) at the handle callaloobox.

Here’s my dinner of bodi *Chinese long beans*, cucumbers and kuchela, which I received from the callaloo box!! It’s a spicy mango condiment that adds so much flavor to your meal!



BAKED PEACH AND BLUEBERRY PANCAKE

Hey guys! So I’m all about quick and easy breakfasts and I’ve added a new recipe to the collection. I found this recipe on BuzzFeed and it is yummy and super easy for a busy morning. As they said “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Here’s the recipe:

Servings 4-6

INGREDIENTS

4 cups pancake mix

4 eggs

2 cups milk

1 peach, sliced

1 cup blueberries

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 425หšF (220หšC).

2. Pour pancake mix, milk, and eggs into a bowl and mix just until combined.

3. Pour batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread to the edges.

4. Place peach slices on top of the batter, followed by the blueberries.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

6. Cut into squares and serve immediately, or freeze up to 1 month. To reheat, place on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 20 seconds per pancake on the plate

LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD

I’ve been on a bread baking spree! I have to share this delicious recipe from twopeasandtheirpod. Check it out here!

  yield: 2 LOAVES

 prep time: 15 MINUTES

 

cook time: 60-65 MINUTES


total time: 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE BREAD:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini

FOR THE LEMON GLAZE:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon sugar mixture, eggs, olive oil, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients until combined, the batter will be thick. Stir in the zucchini and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans.
  5. Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Place the loaves on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife. Carefully remove the loaves from the pans. Let cool completely on rack.
  7. While the bread is cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the loaves. Slice and serve.