Tag Archives: nutmeg

Creamed Spinach

The other day I attended an ‘itara’ – it is one of those celebrations that lead up to a wedding, where the bride’s family go to see where the bride will be married i.e the groom’s parents’ home. The catering was so on point and for the first time ever I got to taste real creamed spinach. Creamed spinach is a dish many hotel claim to serve but I can guarantee you, it’s just a rip off, just ordinary cooked spinach if you ask me.

Anyway, after the wonderful experience, I got inspired to find out how to make it. As usual I searched for a recipe online and was pleased to discover that one of my favourite food bloggers Ree of The Pioneer Woman has one. Ree is such a funny writer and I always enjoy reading her recipes.

This recipe may look a bit complicated but I guarantee that it’s foolproof šŸ™‚ I sorta halved her recipe since I was just cooking for hubby and I. If you are planning to cook for more people I suggest you follow her quantities.

the cast of characters
the cast of characters

Ingredients:

For the cream sauce

Butter about 50 gms

3 tablespoons plain flour

1 small onion finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic finely minced

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

A pinch of nutmeg

For the spinach

Spinach – enough for 4 people (hard to say quantity, I bought 3 bunches for Kshs. 10 each)

2 tablespoons butter

In a sauce pan start by making the white sauce. Melt the butter, do this on low heat.

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Sprinkle over the plain flour and start whisking, I don’t have a whisk so I just used my handy dandy wooden spoon.

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Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently till golden brown.

Add the onions and garlic.

DSCN1291Stir together and cook for another minute.

DSCN1292Finally add the milk whilst whisking.

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Cook the sauce for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. It will start to thicken

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Now, saute the spinach. Here I got hubby to assist with both the sauteeing and the photography šŸ™‚

In another sufuria, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. You may be required to add in the spinach in batches. Luckily my sufuria was large enough so it sufficed.

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Add the spinach.

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How deceptive the spinach is, it fills up the sufuria only to wilt and reduce in after a few minutes of cooking. Ensure not to overcook the spinach, it should still have a crunch to it.

After
After

 

Back to the sauce, at this point, I got a bit worried cause mine had really thicken, nothing like Ree’s , don’t fret though. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add the pinch of nutmeg.

things are THICK
things are THICK

Now spoon over the sauteed spinach stirring it in gently.

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The thickness of my sauce didn’t mess up the outcome. Such a relief.

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In case you find it a bit too creamy for your liking add more sauteed spinach.

Serve immediately.

DSCN1311Wow!!! Someone say AMAZING!!!\

I dare you, try this creamed spinach recipe and for sure you won’t regret it.

Thanks Ree.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fluffy Banana Pancakes

Hey foodies, I’ve missed you. I know, I’ve been gone for long but great thing is I’m back and with new recipes to boot.

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while now but I kept on postponing. I have made banana pancakes before but I used to blend the ingredients together to ensure the bananas were completely mashed. This one time, I was in a rush so I decided to just roughly mash the bananas and the result was genius. I had guests over and would you imagine they finished the pancakes even before the chocolate cake was over.

The cast of characters
The cast of characters

Ingredients:

3 very ripe bananas

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 tbsp sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg powder – optional but you don’t want to leave it out

3/4 cup milk/ water – I used water

Vegetable oil for frying

 

Start by mashing the bananas. In a bowl, using a fork mash the bananas.

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After a few minutes of mashing;

DSCN0354One by one, beat in the eggs.

DSCN0355Then stir in the vanilla essence.

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Add the sugar.

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In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder and the nutmeg.

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Add a third of the flour mixture into the banana and egg mixture then add half of the milk/ water and stir. Repeat this step then finish with the flour mixture.

in goes the flour.
in goes the flour.

Note: In case you find the batter a bit viscous, you can add more milk/water to achieve your desired consistency. Since, I was aiming for fluffy pancakes I didn’t add more water.

The batter is done
The batter is done

Now to the cooking, if you have a non stick pan use it, in case you don’t have one like me start by pre heating your pan. This will prevent the batter from sticking. Once the pan is heated add about a tablespoon of oil and let that heat. Then add the batter, as for the size it all depends of your ability to flip the pancakes over šŸ™‚ .

Since the batter is thick, you can spoon it over to get drop scones or you can pour it out to get a pancake. I tried both methods.

Cook lightly on both sides, when bubbles appear on the top side the pancake is ready to be flipped. Keep a keen eye since pancakes tend to burn if not turned at the right time.

DSCN0377The flip side

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And we are done!

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Finally serve them up warm and drizzle over your favourite syrup. I just top them up with honey.

Verdict:

Extremely fluffy and the banana and nutmeg flavour, spot on. I dare you to try them.

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 180Ā°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 strawberriesĀ 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 350Āŗ F

Then grease and lightly dust your baking tin. I also put some piece ofĀ parchmentĀ 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 theĀ vegetableĀ 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 Ā bit thick. You will beĀ temptedĀ 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 šŸ™‚

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.

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… šŸ˜¦

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 anĀ afternoonĀ snack with some tea or hot chocolate.