Tag Archives: margarine

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

DSCN1087 DSCN1090

One hour later…

Cream the margarine and sugar.

DSCN1091

 

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

DSCN1094

 

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.

DSCN1104

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

DSCN1108

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

DSCN1122

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

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

 

 

Advertisements

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

My friend Dee told me of mouth watering mashed potatoes that she had at Cafe Brasserie at the Village Market. Her exact words were that with every spoonful the mashed potatoes melt in your mouth. I’m yet to visit the place to second her sentiments so for now I’ll stick to perfecting my own recipe.

When it comes to mashed potatoes, I’m never in the search of perfection but after my convo with Dee I got inspired to put more effort in my cooking and it definitely paid off.

Ingredients:

Potatoes, peeled, washed and cubed

3 bay leaves

Cold Water

Margarine/ Butter – I used margarine

Milk

Salt and pepper to taste

DSCN0412

I chose to cube the potatoes so they cook faster, more evenly and make the mashing process a bit easier. The other trick when making mashed potatoes is using cold water so that as the water warms the potatoes are also cooking.

In a sufuria add the potatoes, water and the bay leaves. Season with the salt and pepper.

The amount of water should almost be at the same level as the potatoes. Cover and let the potatoes cook until they flake easily when pierced with a fork.

DSCN0416

Once cooked, remove the bay leaves and drain the water.

Done
Done

Mash your heart out, well not your heart but the potatoes.

DSCN0422

Now to the exciting part. To make the potatoes fluffy and creamy is adding milk and butter/ margarine and mashing them in. The quantity of both is not standard as it would depend on how you want them. The main idea is to ensure the milk is warm and so is the butter that way the potatoes aren’t shocked if they were cold, make sense?

Ensure to add the milk in very small portions of about a tablespoon, the idea is get creamy mashed potatoes not potato soup 🙂

DSCN0426

After achieving the desired result taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

creamy?
creamy?

Serve immediately with some beef stew and veggies.

DSCN0432

Verdict:

Creamy? check

Fluffy? check

Melting moments? Almost there.

Variations: To add some oomph into the mashed potatoes you can add some sliced spring onions or some bacon. You can even grate over some cheese 🙂

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.

DSC07349

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

DSC07346

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

DSC07352

DSC07353

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

DSC07356

Pour and mix till combined.

DSC07358

Finally divide the batter evenly into the already prepared tin.

DSC07360

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.

DSC07364

Enjoy.

Black Forest Cake

If you like my page on facebook or follow me on twitter you must have seen my previous complaints about my black forest cake backfiring. It got so bad that I decided not to try again. I resulted in getting my brother to bake the cake then I do the frosting.

This past weekend we were having a bridal for a good friend of mine and I offered to bring a black forest cake. At first I had requested my brother to do the baking but on second thought I decided to ask him for his recipe. I needed to face my fears. I normally hate it when cakes back fire, though my friends think otherwise since they enjoy eating my backfired cakes, ha!

This recipe is a bit different from others that I have tried. The great thing is that it worked.

Before I go on, be warned this will be a very long post full of many photos so if you are yet to have lunch I suggest you eat first :-). Oh and another thing, making a black forest is a bit tedious, not the baking part but the layering and frosting so patience is key.

Ingredients:

For the cake;

7 medium sized eggs

220 g all purpose flour – about 1 3/4 cups

23o g sugar – about 1 1/2 cups

160 g margarine – about 3/4 cup

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon coffee

2.5 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon of passion flavour essence – optional

For feeding the cake

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

4 tablespoons of water

Some juice – optional

For the frosting

Whipping cream

Strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered

Chocolate

Equipment

Electric mixer

wooden skewer or toothpick

Start with baking the cake.

Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Grease the baking tins and line them with grease proof paper. I used 2 9 inch round tins since I wanted the cake to have four layers.

the main culprits
the main culprits

Baking this cake is pretty easy since you just dump in all the ingredients then using an electric mixer you combine the ingredients and the cake batter is ready.

All the ingredients
All the ingredients

Using the handy mixer…

Cake batter
Cake batter

Divide the batter between the two tins. Ensure they are more or less the same.

ready to be baked
ready to be baked

Bake for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. I said a prayer as I put the cakes in.

Excitement!!! I was jumping up and down. The cakes had not backfired. Thank you God.

Fresh from the oven
Fresh from the oven

Let the cakes cool for about ten minutes then remove them from the tins to cool further.

chilled out
chilled out

It’s advisable to let the cakes cool completely, this will come in handy when layering the cake. The crumbs won’t be as many.

I wrapped my cakes in clear cling film them I put then in the fridge.

Same day evening…

Layering and frosting.

Take one cake, I put mine on top of an overturned baking tin. This is to aid in layering the cake.

Start by leveling the cake.

Leveled, I guess
Leveled, I guess

Then slice the cake in half to form two almost equal layers.

tada
tada

Repeat the above steps for the second cake.

DSC08476
leaning tower of black forest

Now for the fun part.

the whipping cream
the whipping cream
strawberries and whipping cream
strawberries and whipping cream

To make the sugar water, combine the icing sugar, water and juice if using. I used some orange juice that I had in the fridge. For the extra kick I guess you can put a tablespoon of rum in the mixture instead of juice.

food for the cake
food for the cake

Place the bottom layer of the cake on a board, then using a wooden skewer or toothpick poke the surface of the cake.

DSC08486

Then drizzle about a tablespoon of the sugar water over the cake. This will feed the cake to ensure it continues to be moist and spongy.

Put a dollop of whipping cream on the surface of the bottom layer.

bottom layer
bottom layer

Spread it evenly on the surface of the cake.

DSC08489

Spread the strawberries. I had some leftover cherries so I threw them in.

DSC08490

Repeat the steps for all the layers.

DSC08491

DSC08493

After filling in all the layers, coat the entire cake with the whipping cream.

white cake...
white cake…

It doesn’t need to look perfect since you will pile on chocolate.

When it comes to putting the chocolate, you can be as creative as you want to be. You can choose to grate the chocolate and sprinkle it all over the cake. If you are in a hurry, like I was, you can cut the chocolate into chunks and stick around the cake. Don’t worry they won’t fall off, the whipping cream acts as the glue.

Decorate the top with smaller pieces of chocolate then make a border on the cake with whole strawberries that are slightly dipped in whipping cream.

talk of abstract art
talk of abstract art

DSC08505

the cake
the cake

By the way I used homemade chocolate.

The cake looks so huge, I guess it’s a 1.5kg.

When it got to cake time, I was anxious to see how the layers would look. Then the bride to be sliced the cake.

Need I say more?
Need I say more?

This cake may take long to prepare but, trust me it’s worth the wait. So go on try it out, in case you don’t succeed on the first attempt don’t give up there’s always a second, third or fourth try.

Coconut Chicken with Mashed Potatoes

I had missed eating potatoes and since I didn’t have the patience to bake the potatoes I decided to mash them. Making mashed potatoes is pretty simple, since you just boil the potatoes till they are completely cooked then you mash them like crazy. Of course there are a few spice addition here and there which I’ll share in a bit.

Sometime back my colleagues and I decided to do a lunch treat at a nearby food court. Being adventurous with the food selection I ordered some coconut chicken. Boy, wasn’t I disappointed, it was more like stewed chicken with lots of tomatoes and bell peppers and not even a hint of coconut, anyway since I had some boneless chicken breasts in the fridge I thought of making actual coconut chicken. After checking some online recipes I settled on trying it out my own way.

So for the potatoes;

Peel and wash the potatoes thoroughly. Cut them in halves. In a sufuria add the potatoes, salt and water to almost cover all the potatoes. In case you have fresh rosemary you can add about two sprigs. I also added some cinnamon bark.

Cover and let the potatoes cook completely.

Now for the chicken;

First, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Add one tablespoon of oil in a skillet, then brown the chicken for about 3 to 5 minutes.

chicken!

Remove from the pan then set aside.

1 onion chopped, 3 cloves garlic finely chopped and 1 teaspoon of ginger finely chopped

In the same skillet heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil then add the onions, garlic and ginger.

Season with some salt

Since I was doing this for the first time, I didn’t want to use a lot of spices lest I miss the coconut taste.

So I settled for some cardamon pods, cumin seeds, coriander powder, curry powder and good old black pepper.

5 cardamon pods, 1 tsp coriander powder,2 tsps curry powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp cumin seeds

Stir in the spice mixture.

all spiced up

Add 1 cup coconut milk and let it simmer with the spices for about 3 minutes.

Finally I added the chicken. (forgot to take pics 😦 )

Let the chicken cook for about 25 minutes or until the sauce is thick.

Back to the potatoes. Once fully cooked, drain any excess water, remove the cinnamon bark, then mash like crazy.

Mashed potatoes are like a blank canvas you can spice them up with almost anything. From chopped coriander or parsley to butter and milk. Adding some chopped spring onions or grating over some cheese.

Since I was out of parsley, I added 1 tablespoon of basil leaves, 2 tablespoons of margarine and about 1/4 cup of milk. The milk helps in making the mashed potatoes fluffy.

still in the mashing process

Dinner is served:

Mashed potatoes, coconut chicken and some fried cabbage and carrots.

Dinner

Not forgetting some kachumbari on the side.

Verdict:

Coconut – ty. The mashed potatoes were delicious and the basil added a nice touch. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again, of course with some few adjustments like more coconut flavour.

 

 

 

Choc-nut cookies

I’d missed eating cookies and since I had some chocolate chips and roasted groundnuts on hand I thought why not? Plus hubby being the cheer leader that he is encouraged me 🙂

Ingredients

2 cups baking flour

6 teaspoons of cocoa powder

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee powder

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1/8 teaspoon of salt

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup margarine

Zest of one lemon

3 eggs

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

Chocolate chips

A handful of roasted groundnuts, peeled.

Start by pre heating your oven at 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix the sugar and margarine and using a wooden spoon or electric mixture cream.

In a separate bowl break the eggs, add vanilla essence and the lemon zest.

One by one add the egg mixture into the creamed sugar and margarine, stirring after each addition.

The mixture will curd but it’s ok

the green things are the lemon zest

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients

flour,baking powder,cocoa powder,coffee,cinnamon powder,salt

Fold in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in three parts,

Then add the chocolate chips and groundnuts.

Line your baking sheet with some parchment paper, then using a teaspoon spoon the batter on to the tray. Remember to space them, since they’ll spread out while baking.

assembly line

Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are hard on the edges and still soft at the middle.

Allow them to cool completely and you’ll notice they harden.

tada

Verdict:

Tasty and chewy too.

The nuts felt a tad soggy though, I wonder how I can remedy that. Put them in while raw?

This recipe yielded 40 cookies.

Egg in a basket

I saw this recipe on Laura in the Kitchen and I just had to try it. She made it look very simple and true it was simple well except the turning I’m not good at that 😦

You just need some slices of bread, eggs and butter/ margarine. I used margarine.

First to make a basket.

Using a biscuit cutter or a glass cut out the middle of a slice of bread.

I used a glass
break one egg in a cup and season with salt. I also added some parsley

On a hot skillet melt some butter/margarine

Then put your bread

remember to also add the cut out bread

Then here comes the tricky part, gently pour the egg within the ‘basket’

‘egg in a basket’

Let the egg cook to your preference, then flip over to cook the other side.

voila

Breakfast is served 🙂

Delicious

Hubby loved it .

The beauty of this recipe is that it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Enjoy!