Tag Archives: cinnamon

Best Oatmeal Cookies!

I’m that kind of person who gets inspiration from just anything. The other day as I was doing some shopping in the supermarket, I saw a packet of oats and there and then I knew I wanted to buy some.

The oats I used
The oats I used

 

Disclaimer: Prior to this, I had never had oatmeal cookies and the only oats I’d ever  tasted were part of my breakfast cereal.

Now to the recipe, since I was venturing into the unknown and we all know that Google is your friend, I researched on a recipe and settled on this one with some few tweaks.

Ingredients:

3 eggs well beated – I only had two

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup mixed peel – my own addition

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup margarine

1 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

2 cups oatmeal

For the desired best results start by combining the eggs, raisins, mixed peel and vanilla essence and let it stand for one hour.

The eggs and raisins
The eggs and raisins

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One hour later…

Cream the margarine and sugar.

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Add the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and mix well.

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after mixing well
after mixing well

Blend in the eggs raisin mixture and oatmeal and mix well.

the egg, raisin, mixed peel mixture
the egg, raisin, mixed peel mixture
the oats
the oats

The dough will be stiff. Don’t be alarmed. Roll them into balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet and flatten slightly.

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Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly browned.

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I used only half the dough. The rest I wrapped in some cling film then put it in the freezer. For the frozen cookie dough, always remove it about an hour before using to allow it to thaw.

crunchy
crunchy

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Very delicious and crunchy, a favourite of hubby’s.

Variations: You can also add desiccated coconut or chocolate chips.

 

 

Brown Cinnamon Chapatis

I try to cook chapatis often mainly because hubby loves them. When it comes to chapatis, I’m never a fan of brown ones, I always find the taste a bit off. That changed when my friend Yvie invited us for lunch and she’d made them. Needless to say, hubby and I ate those chapatis like crazy. They were utterly delicious and I couldn’t stop thinking of them 🙂 I had to try them at home. After consulting with Yvie, she mentioned that she used the atta mark flour.

The recipe is closely related to my cinnamon chapati recipe except for the use of atta mark flour and milk which was an ingredient I used after another pal Nzilani recommended.

Ingredients:

2 cups atta mark flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup warm milk / water

This yielded 10 medium sized chapatis

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Start by mixing all the dry ingredients.

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Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and the vegetable oil.

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Using a wooden spoon or your hands mix the dough. The dough will be a bit sticky to begin with, don’t worry it’s part of the process.

dry ingredients all incorporated
dry ingredients all incorporated

At this point, I switched to using my hands. Using some little flour, knead the dough for about 7 minutes. The stickiness should reduce and the dough becomes softer. Afterwards, roll into a huge ball and put in a lightly oil bowl then cover the bowl with a damp tea towel. Alternatively, you can lightly oil the dough then cover it with cling film.

All kneaded
All kneaded

Let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes. This part is vital.

15 minutes or so later…

Get to making the chapatis. To see the step by step process before the actual cooking refer to this.

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Cook away 🙂

Enjoy
Enjoy

Serve with your favourite curry.

I served them with some coconut butter beans curry which I’ll post soon 🙂

Verdict:

Delicious. Hubby enjoyed them 🙂

Buttermilk Pancakes

It’s been a while since I made pancakes. I have been a bit swamped with both school and work so these days we mostly have muesli or brawn sandwiches for breakfast.

This is a very simple recipe and other than the buttermilk which is a bit foreign the rest of the ingredients are easy to get. Essentially one can buy buttermilk but I’m yet to discover where 🙂 . In case you don’t manage to buy the buttermilk, you can do what I did, make some yourself.

Note: I have recently learnt from Lydz that you can use fermented milk (mala) which is the same as buttermilk. Also Cici reminded me that you can substitute the lemon juice with white vinegar. Thanks Cici and Lydz

For the buttermilk

2 scant cups milk

4 tablespoons lemon juice

Method

In a jug, pour in the milk then stir in the lemon juice. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes.

For the pancakes

1 egg

2 cups buttermilk

1/3 cup orange juice – freshly squeezed (you can use water)

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons sugar

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons chocolate shavings, optional

Vegetable oil for frying

In bowl, mix in all the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder.

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In the jug with the buttermilk mix in the wet ingredients, egg, vanilla essence and orange juice.

Make a well in the dry ingredient mixture then pour in the wet ingredients.

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And we are ready to cook these babies, oh sprinkle over the chocolate shavings.

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Pre heat your skillet, then add a tablespoon of oil.

Gently pour in the batter and cook.

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It’s worth noting that, my batter was a bit viscous. In case you prefer crepes you can thin the batter by add more water/orange juice till you achieve your desired consistency.

Done
Done

Ready for breakfast. You can serve as is or drizzle over some honey or maple syrup.

Verdict:

Super soft and fluffy.

Wholemeal Banana Cupcakes

By now some of you might have noticed that I really love ripe bananas and I like using them in my cooking. I think there are very versatile fruits, you can eat them as is, blend them with milk or yoghurt to make smoothies, bake them in cakes or muffins or even mix them in pancake and crepe batter. They can be even fried in butter to serve over ice cream as a sweet dessert, clearly the options are endless. Other than the fact that they are sweet, bananas are rich in Potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

What better way to use these fruits than with equally healthy ingredients, wholemeal flour.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup margarine

1 egg

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

3 very ripe bananas mashed

2 cups wholemeal flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg – optional

3/4 cup plain yoghurt

A handful of raisins

Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Line the muffin tray with cupcake liners. In case you don’t have the liners, grease the tray with some margarine then dust with some little flour.

In a mixing bowl pour in the sugar and add the margarine.

brown sugar and margarine
brown sugar and margarine

Using a wooden spoon, mix the two till creamy. Add the egg and the vanilla essence.

York yellow
York yellow

Once combined add the mashed bananas.

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In another bowl combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Add the flour mixture into the sugar and butter mixture in three proportions alternating with the yoghurt.

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In the third addition, mix the raisins with the flour.

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Pour and mix till combined.

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Finally divide the batter evenly into the already prepared tin.

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Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes.

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Enjoy.

Carrot Cake

Recently I have become the designated baker of cakes for a few functions. I thank God. So far I’ve baked cakes for a bridal shower and around 3 birthdays and thanks to some whipping cream and strawberries I’ve been able to pull the whole look together. Now the thing with my cakes is that I have only been making chocolate banana cakes. So recently my friend Nzilani asked for a carrot cake, new challenge? Why not.

I had only eaten a carrot cake once before and it’s my brother who had baked it. I decided to first bake one and see how it turns out before I can make for one dear Nzilani. After a few searches on google I felt confident enough to embark on this new baking adventure. Whoop! Whoop!

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp ground nutmeg

1 tbsp baking soda

2/3 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla essence

3 cups finely grated carrots

2/3 crushed pineapple (juice drained)

1/2 cup sultanas/ raisins

As usual start by pre heating your oven at 350º F

Then grease and lightly dust your baking tin. I also put some piece of parchment paper.

the tin

This cake is pretty simple to make, the only tasking part being the part you grate the carrots and crush the pineapples.

Start by putting the flour,sugar,cinnamon,nutmeg and baking soda in a mixing bowl.

flour,sugar,cinnamon,nutmeg and baking soda

Mix all the dry ingredients then add the vegetable oil.

Oily..

Add the eggs and vanilla essence next.

egg-citing

The finely grated carrots.

too bright… blame it on the flash

I bet you can buy a can of crushed pineapple from the supermarket but if you wanna be frugal like me, just get around 2 pineapple slices, chop them finely then crush whilst passing through a strainer. Set aside the juice for a relaxing drink after the rigorous baking.

Anyway back to the cake, before that, I wanna thank hubby, he did the grating of the carrots and crushing of the pineapples all the while acting as the photographer. Thanks hun.

After mixing in the wet ingredients i.e oil and eggs into the dry ingredient mixture the batter will look a  bit thick. You will be tempted to add some water but do what I did and resist the urge, I’ll tell you the reason later.

Finally add in the carrots, sultanas and pineapples.

almost there 🙂

After mixing them in I realised that the batter become light, must be the moisture from the carrots and the pineapples. So need to add any more water.

Pour the batter onto your prepared baking tin.

the batter

Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Carrot cake

Verdict:

Moist and tasty. I was very proud of the results. I’m definitely trying this again and again. Next I think I’ll make carrot cupcakes.

I’m yet to bake one for Nzilani since currently she’s not into sugar.

Drop Scones for Dinner

My friend Kui asked me if I knew how to prepare drop scones, at first I told her no but after researching I realised one just uses the basic pancake batter. The difference is in the size. You use a spoon to drop the batter into the pan and voila drop scones.

During my research, I landed on a you tube video that even had serving suggestions. The chef made some caremelised pineapples to serve with the drop scones. I just had to try out the recipe. So on our way home I tell hubby that we’ll have pancakes for dinner and surprise surprise he is ok with it. Well before you go to think I was going to make pancakes without a back up plan you are mistaken. I knew I had some leftover food in the fridge so in case he wasn’t full I’d re heat that.

For the drop scones, I used my basic pancake recipe:

1 1/2 cups all purpose

2 eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

zest of one lemon

1 cup water (The batter should be a bit thick)

Oil for frying

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Then add in the eggs.

Add the eggs to the flour, sugar and baking powder mixture

Add the vanilla essence, lemon zest and the water.

sorry about the shadow

So now, heat your skillet and prepare to cook the drop scones.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter and drop/pour over the heated oil in the skillet.

Drop! Drop!

For the caramelised pineapples you’ll need:

Pineapple chunks

11/2 tablespoons sugar

A pinch of cinnamon

1 cup pineapples chunks

In a pan over low heat, caramelize the sugar.

Sugar in the pan

So don’t do what I did and burn the caramel, the pineapples will have a sort of burned taste like mine did :-(.

Sprinkle some cinnamon over the caramel and add the pineapples.

Caramelising

Stir the pineapples to ensure all are coated with the caramel.

All coated 🙂

Everything is set. Plate the drop scones add the pineapples and drizzle some of the caramel over the pancakes. We also drizzled them with some honey.

Dinner is served 🙂

Drop scones

So, I take the dinner to hubby and again I mention that there’s food in the fridge in case he feels he won’t be satisfied.

Great thing, he didn’t ask for the food. He loved the meal. Yippee!!

Chocolate and Vanilla Muffins

I just felt like baking, plus I had some leftover yoghurt and I decided I’ll use it instead of milk.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup margarine

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla essence

3/4 cup plain yoghurt

1/4 cup water

2 cups all purpose flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder (optional)

A handful of sultanas

Start by greasing your muffin tin and remember to pre heat your oven at 350 degrees F (about 175 degrees C).

Using a wooden spoon/ spatula cream your sugar and margarine.

The sugar and margarine mixture

Then add in the eggs one by one.

in goes the egg

Add the vanilla essence.

In another bowl combine the dry ingredients except the cocoa powder,cinnamon and sultanas.

flour,salt,baking powder

Add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar in three parts alternating with the yoghurt.

pour in a 1/3 of the flour

Take the sultanas and coat them with about a tablespoon of flour. This will ensure that they won’t sink to the bottom of the muffins while baking.

flour coated sultanas

Fold them into the cake batter. In case the batter is a bit think add about 1/4 cup of water.

Now for the chocolate part;

In another bowl, mix the cocoa powder,cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix with about 2 tablespoons of water to get a semi thick paste.

cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg
semi-thick paste

Add half the batter into the paste and stir.

Pour out some of the vanilla better into the muffin tins, about a quarter in each tin.

the vanilla

Then add the chocolate batter. Sadly I don’t have pics since at that point my phone’s charge was out… 😦

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Muffins!!!

Choc-vanilla muffins

Verdict:

Tasty and pretty moist, I guess it’s because of the yoghurt.

Perfect for an afternoon snack with some tea or hot chocolate.

Cinnamon Chapatis :-)

To say my husband loves chapatis would be an understatement. I think he can even eat them daily.

So sometime last week, actually Wednesday, as we were on our way to visit my mum, we passed by those vibandas (road side kiosks) that make and sell chapatis and this is the conversation that ensued between hubby and I.

Hubby: I think I’ll learn how to make chapos

Me: (all perplexed) Why?

Hubby: Because at this rate, I’ll never get to eat them.

(It had been like 3 weeks since I last cooked them)

Me: Oh… (I burst out in laughter) I promise I’ll make them tomorrow.

Hubby: I won’t keep my hope highs

Me: When did I ever promise you something and I defaulted?

Hubby:…………… (silent)

So after that interesting conversation and my promise, I had to cook chapatis, no matter what. Luckily that Thursday we arrived home early. Funny thing is that hubby had already forgotten that I had promised to make chapatis O-o.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 salt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/3 cup warm water

Equipment:

Wooden spoon

Rolling pin

Wide surfaced pan- preferably cast iron

Board/ Clean surface

First to make the chapati dough.

In a bowl, pour in all the dry ingredients.

flour,salt and cinnamon

Make a well in the flour then pour in the warm water.

Mix with a wooden spoon, till the flour gets combined.

Add in the 3 tbsps of oil.

Once the dough get a bit formed, start using your hands. If it’s too sticky add some little flour. Knead the dough, for about 5-10 minutes. Form it into a ball.

The mixing should be almost clean if not totally.

Lightly brush the dough with some oil, about a tablespoon then let it sit for a while. Mine rested for about 15 minutes. The oil on the surface with prevent it from drying/flaking while resting. I also go an extra mile and cover with a polythene bag.

The chapati batter

Form the dough into almost fist sized round balls. Place on a well floured surface to avoid sticking.

My dough made 13 chapos

Now we begin the real work Well if it were my mother preparing these, she’d just roll them out and cook, she’s a pro like that. I use the longer method, which she taught me. *Thanks mum*

First roll out the small ball of dough, apply about 1/2 teaspoon of oil. Then roll it up.

Step 1: Roll it out
Step 2: Apply the oil
Step 3: Roll it
After rolling it in
Step 4: Fold the rolled in dough.

Repeat this process for all the small balls. It may seem a little time consuming but I guarantee it’s worth every second. This step will ensure that the chapatis have the beautiful layers as you eat. Next time, I’ll show you a time saving trick 🙂 *watch this space*

15 minutes later…

Now, we are ready to cook. Heat your skillet/cast iron pan. Don’t grease it.

Now take one ball, roll it out again. This time try and stick to the circular shape, no one likes rectagular chapatis. Also remember to lightly dust your surface/board with some light flour to keep it form sticking, also dust the rolling pin.

Ready to be cooked

In the pan, place the raw chapati.

In it goes

Rotate it to ensure it cooks evenly. It will sort of rise in some place, press to remove the air. Once one side is lightly browned, turn it.

Almost cooked.

Now, using a spoon, pour about 1/2 tablespoon of oil under the chapati, then rotate it. Once that side is cooked, turn and finish off the other side. Using the same spoon lightly press down the chapati and rotate.

Lifting to oil

Do the same for all the round balls. There is also another trick, though in my opinion it takes more or less the same time as this. I’ll share next time.

Voila, cinnamon chapatis.

Soft layered chapatis, full of cinnamon goodness.

Verdict:

Super soft. The layers were just perfect. Delicious.

Let’s just say, hubby was extremely happy.

We had guests over, the lovely Murigis and they loved them.

PS: I apologise for the poor picture quality, my camera is currently spoiled so I’m using my phone.

Indian Chicken Curry

I love chicken, so I’m always on the look out for easy chicken recipes. I decided to search online for some curry recipes, boy did I find many. I eventually settled on one that had easy to get ingredients. Armed with a shopping list I was ready to embark on this new journey of curries.

Upon reaching home I realised I missed some ‘minor’ ingredients (garlic,lemon juice) but that didn’t stop me. The great thing about cooking is even if you miss some ingredients you can still cook. This being chicken curry, then it’s safe to say the must have ingredient is chicken then again you can substitute it for fish. To eat is your own.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
salt and pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into chunks
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup plain yoghurt
3/4 cup coconut milk

In a skillet heat the vegetable oil, then saute the onions.

Sizzle sizzle

Once the onions are tender, stir in the ginger, curry powder, paprika, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper.

Stir for about 2 minutes

Add the chicken, yoghurt, tomato paste and coconut milk.

Stir in all the ingredients
The mixture

Bring the curry to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

The curry thickens after the simmering.

Serve over steamed rice or if you want to go all Indian serve over naan bread.

Tip: As a garnish, just before serving the curry, you can sprinkle some chopped dhania for extra flavour and colour.

Verdict:

Delicious!! Not to toot my own horn but I was shocked that I had cooked the meal.

The great thing with curries is that they taste even better the following day.

Treat yourself, try making this curry I guarantee you it will be a hit.

Cinnamon Pancakes

Saturday breakfast are always the best since I’m never in a rush to prepare breakfast so I get to try something elaborate.

Last Saturday was no different, I woke up in the mood for pancakes, normally i make lemon pancakes by just adding some lemon zest and juice in the batter but this time I decided to try cinnamon as the main flavour.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

3 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder

1 tbsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

 400ml of water

oil for frying

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients.

(forgot to take pics 😦 )

In a jug mix all your wet ingredients. Then make a well in the bowl with dry ingredients then pour in the liquid  and combine. The consistency of the batter is left to your preference. I like my pancakes fluffy so I left the batter to be a bit thick. Don’t worry about any lumps formed, I’ve read that they aid in fluffiness..not sure about that though.

Then i transferred the batter into the measuring jug that way it will be easy to pour the batter onto the pan.

i remembered to take the pic when i was almost done hi hi hi

Heat some oil on a pan. Then add the batter

I like cooking several at a go…saves time 🙂

Wait till bubbles have formed then flip them over for the other side to cook.

Then serve,

ready to eat

See how golden they look, perfect american pancakes.

We love sprinkling honey over them 🙂

Verdict:

Best pancakes I’ve made thus far *victory dance*. They were fluffy and the taste of cinnamon was just on point.

Hubby loved them.

If I could do it over again:

Wouldn’t change a thing 🙂

Note: When using cinnamon, always use small quantities since it has quite a strong taste and anything more than a teaspoon would be too overpowering.