Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting

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This Yellow Cake is truly delicious, perfect for birthday and anniversary celebrations. When my first son  celebrated his first birthday we got him a cake for the occasion and we thought it was absolutely the best cake we had ever had, well my husband also remembers that cake and says that this cake tastes exactly like that one and that this is absolutely the best cake he has had in a very long time, our kids couldn't wait to slice into this little piece of heaven. The cake smells absolutely divine.

The frosting is also very delicious and pretty simple to make even though I was very nervous the first time I made it, its light and has a vanilla flavour and adds the perfect balance to the cake, they both compliment each other. When you make this cake for your loved one they will absolutely adore you and will remember it for years to come.

Cake

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter
4 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ cup milk
4 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

Frosting

4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons milk
Food colouring

Directions

For Cake:

• Preheat oven to 350 F and grease 2 baking tins.
• Put flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, whisk ingredients.
• In another bowl cream butter and sugar.
• Add eggs to butter and sugar and beat until creamy.
• Add milk and vanilla in with the creamed butter and sugar mixture.
• Gradually add in the dry ingredients and combine.
• Pour batter into baking pans and bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
• Let cake cool before icing, at least 2 hours or overnight.

For Icing:

• Add sifted sugar, butter, vanilla and milk to bowl and cream until light and fluffy.
• Add food colouring if using and beat ingredients.

To Assemble Cake

• Use a serrated edge knife to trim off the top of both layers to make the tops level.
• Place the first layer on a cake stand or plate and use a spatula to spread on the icing, then place the second layer on top with the top side facing down and spread on the remaining icing on the top and sides of the cake.

Chicken Stir Fry

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My family had this chicken stir fry for dinner recently and totally enjoyed it. If you are looking to make a dish in 30 minutes or less this one fits the bill, it is a pretty quick dish to prepare and you can add your choice of vegetables.

1 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons Thai Chilli Sauce

Directions

• Season meat with salt and black pepper.
• Heat pan and oil.
• Add chicken and brown on each side.
• Add carrots, onion and corn, stir for 1 minute.
• Add water and soy sauce, simmer for 10 minutes.
• Add Thai Chilli Sauce and stir for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
• Serve over rice or pasta.

Jamaican Meat Loaf

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Jamaican Meat Loaf is a really delicious and filling idea for a quick and easy meal on the go, it is simply a loaf with meat filling and it has been around for years. I made a batch of meat loaf for the very first time and the end result was terrific my entire family really enjoyed them. My husband says they taste just like the ones he used to buy in Jamaica, that is a huge compliment.

Dough

3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)

Filling

1 lb mince beef
1 tablespoon mince seasoning or (3/4 teaspoon salt)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 stalks scallions
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup water

For Dough

• Dissolve yeast in warm water.
• Put flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl; whisk ingredients
• Add olive oil to yeast and pour it into bowl of flour mixture, mix using a spatula until dough forms.
• Turn dough out onto surface and knead for about 5 – 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms. If the dough becomes sticky just lightly flour surface.
• Form dough into a ball and coat with a little olive oil.
• Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
• Leave dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour, it should double in size.

For Filling:

• Season beef with mince spice (or salt) and black pepper and let it marinade for 1 hour or overnight.
• Heat skillet on medium heat and add oil.
• Sauté the onions and scallions for 2 minutes, constantly stirring.
• Add mince and stir for 3 minutes.
• Add water and hot pepper sauce, let meat simmer for 20 minutes, until water has nearly dried out.
• Add bread crumbs and combine ingredients, stir for 3 minutes.
• Remove skillet from heat and leave to cool.

For Meat Loaf:

• Preheat oven to 450°F for 30 minutes.
• Grease baking sheet.
• Remove plastic wrap and punch down dough once to deflate.
• Turn dough out on a flat surface and divide it into 8 parts. If dough is sticky lightly flour surface.
• Use a rolling pin to roll out each dough into a circle atleast 1/4 inch thick.
• Spoon filling onto half of the dough leaving 1/4 inch of the edge clear.
• Lightly brush edge with water.
• Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and crimp edges using a fork and brush top with egg wash.
• Repeat the process with the other dough pieces.
• Bake for 15- 20 minutes or until dough is puffed and golden brown.

Rice and Peas

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Rice and Peas is a traditional sunday dish served along with a meat dish usually chicken and vegetables. It is full of flavour and it tastes so good, but the cooking process normally takes about two days because we normally soak the peas overnight to allow it to soften a bit which causes it to cook faster the next day. Here is an easier way to cook it, which significantly cuts the cooking time, but you will still end up with the same delicious end result.

1 can red kidney beans
4 cups long grain white rice
1 cup coconut milk
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks scallion
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoon salt
5 cups water

Directions

• Add kidney beans, water, coconut milk, garlic, scallion and salt to pot.
• Place pot on medium heat.
• When pot boils add butter and allow ingredients to continue boiling for 5 minute.
• Wash rice and drain excess water, then add rice to pot, stir pot and cover.
• Rice is cooked when water is fully absorbed.
• Serve with your choice of meat.

Coconut Loaf

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My husband absolutely loves this latest creation, he is a fan of everything coconut so I came up with this sweet loaf with coconut filling and it turned out better than I planned. My husband said this loaf is better when it is served cold and I agree, because the filling stays in place when sliced. So go a head and have a slice.


Dough:

3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoon instant yeast
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
2 eggs
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)

Filling:

2 large coconut, grated
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons butter

Directions

For Loaf

• Dissolve yeast in warm milk and set aside.
• Beat eggs and set aside.
• Melt butter and allow to cool.
• Add flour, salt and sugar to a large bowl and whisk.
• Add milk and yeast mixture to dry ingredients and mix.
• Add egg and melted butter to flour mixture and combine.
• Knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and cover bowl with plastic wrap set aside to double in size for an hour.

For Filling

• Heat pan on medium heat
• Add butter and melt.
• Add sugar, coconut, nutmeg and water and stir ingredients constantly for 10 minutes, then remove from heat, allow to cool. Divide the filling into 2 parts to be shared between the 2 loaves.

For Pastry

• Divide dough into two parts.
• Place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Roll out dough with a rolling pin until it’s a ¼ inch thick rectangle and trim edges to even up the sides.
• Add coconut filling along the length of the centre leaving the edges free.










• Use a knife to slice strips along each side, these strips will give the loaf a plait look.
• At one end take the left and right strip and fold it over the filling alternating to give it a plait look.

• Keep going until the filling is enclosed.
• Grease a baking tray and gently place loaf on to it, cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size, about 40 minutes. Repeat the process with the other dough.
• Preheat oven for 30 minutes at 350 F.
• Glaze pastry with egg wash and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Jamaican Easter Bun

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Since living in Dubai I haven't been able to enjoy the taste of easter bun and cheddar cheese because it's not sold here so this year my family will not have to do without this popular Jamaican Easter treat because I have finally made my first and very delicious easter bun, the only thing missing is the great taste of Tastee Cheddar Cheese that is produced in the caribbean and I don't plan on making that, so we will have to find a cheese substitute.
During the easter season in Jamaica, supermarket shelves are stocked with easter bun and cheddar cheese, but not for long because they are sold in the blink of an eye due to the fact that these are the most popular items to be bought by consumers and even given as gifts to friends, family and co-workers. For me as a kid, it was the best part of Easter. Family members would show up with a freshly baked easter bun and a tin of cheese and you would eat until you swear you don't want to ever see or smell either the cheese or bun ever again and then the next Easter rolls around and you start the process all over again. Its a delicious tradition, what can I say.

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ cup stout
2 eggs (beaten)
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mixed fruits (raisins and mixed peel)

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease loaf pan

• In a large bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, mixed fruit and sugar.
• Beat eggs and add cooled melted butter and stout and beat, then add to dry ingredients and mix batter.
• Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 70 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the centre comes out clean.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

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We are a great fan of spaghetti and meatballs in this family, especially when we want to make a quick and delicious meal in 30 minutes or less.

1 lb spaghetti

Meatballs:

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic
1 ½ teaspoon mince spice or ( 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper)
½ cup vegetable oil

Sauce:

5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
½ cup water
2 ½ cups pasta sauce

Directions

Meatballs:

• Season ground beef with garlic, mince spice or salt and pepper (whichever you desire)
• Add the egg and breadcrumbs and combine.
• Divide meat into about 12 – 14 pieces and roll each one into a ball.
• Heat pan and vegetable oil.
• Brown meatballs on each side and remove from pan.

Sauce:

• Drain excess oil from pan and replace pan on medium heat.
• Add olive oil and onion, sauté for 3 minutes.
• Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
• Add pasta sauce, water and meatballs and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
• Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.

Plate pasta and spoon meatballs and sauce over it. Serve.

Pepperoni Calzone

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Calzone is a savoury turnover with an Italian origin, it is made from ingredients similar to pizza. When making it I used the same pizza crust recipe, the only difference is that the dough is divided into smaller pieces that after rolling out and adding the toppings it is folded over to enclose the filling, but the end result is that it has the same great pizza taste, it's just easier to eat especially if you are on the go.

3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Filling

Pizza sauce
10 ounces pepperoni slices
8 ounces mozzarella cheese

Directions

Calzone Dough:

• Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.
• Put flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl; whisk to evenly distribute ingredients.
• Add olive oil to yeast and pour it into bowl of flour mixture, mix using a spatula until dough forms.
• Turn dough out onto surface and knead for about 5 – 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms. If the dough becomes sticky just lightly flour surface.
• Form dough into a ball and coat with a little olive oil.
• Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
• Leave dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hours, it should double in size.

For Calzone

• Preheat oven to 450°F for 30 minutes.
• Lightly sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal to prevent the calzone crust from sticking.
• Remove plastic wrap and punch down dough once to deflate.
• Turn dough out on a flat surface and divide it into 8 parts. If dough is sticky lightly flour surface.
• Use a rolling pin to roll out each dough into a circle atleast 1/4  inch thick.
• Spoon pizza sauce onto half of the dough leaving 1/4 inch of the edge clear.
• Top with pepperoni
• Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
• Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and crimp edges by holding the edge at one end and rolling it up and over all the way to the other edge, almost like a rope twist.
• Repeat the process with the other dough.
• Bake for 15- 20 minutes or until dough is puffed and golden brown.

Fruit Punch

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This is a really delicious fruit punch bursting with a bouquet of natural fruity flavour. My husband and I came up with this recipe a few years ago and it's been a hit ever since.

2 ripe bananas
1 cup diced pineapples
8 strawberries
1 ½ cups mango juice
1 kiwi
1 cup ice cubes

Directions

• Add bananas, strawberries, mango juice, kiwi and ice cubes to blender and blend until smooth.
• Serve immediately.

Strawberry Banana Shake

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There is a place in Dubai name D'Lush that sells great shakes and my favourite is by far the Strawberry Banana shake. I have wanted to replicate this shake for a while, I know the ingredients because you can actually watch it being made, I just didn't know the quantity of each ingredient. I have finally figured it out after a few attempts and have created my family's favourite shake. It is thick, rich and delicious.

2 ripe bananas
8 strawberries
½ cup milk
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 cup ice cubes

Directions

• Add the bananas, strawberry, milk, ice cubes and ice cream into a blender and blend until shake is smooth.
• Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Chocolate Coconut Cookie

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I'm really impressed by these cookies, they have this wonderful harmonious blend of coconut and chocolate and niether flavour dominates, you can still taste their distinct flavours. My husband loves chocolate and coconut so I created this special treat and he totally loves it, so do our kids. After I cut out these cute little stars and heart shapes there were left over dough and I came up with the idea to roll it into a log shape and slice it up and press down on each slice to form nice marbled circles and they look like a work of art. 

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
¼ cup shredded coconut

• Preheat oven to 350 F and grease baking sheet.
• Cream butter and sugar.
• Add egg and vanilla to mixture and beat.
• Add flour and mix.
• Divide dough into two equal parts.
• Add unsweetened cocoa powder to half the dough and mix.
• Add coconut to the other half and mix.
• Place dough in two separate pieces of plastic wrap and place in freezer for 15 minutes to get firm.
• Place a big piece of plastic wrap on the counter and use a rolling pin to roll out the coconut dough on it into a rectangle, place dough while still on the plastic wrap on a baking tray and place in freezer for 15 minutes.
• Repeat the same process for the chocolate dough.
• Make egg wash by whisking 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water.
• Remove both dough from freezer and brush the top of the coconut dough with egg wash the place the chocolate dough on top of it and remove both pieces of plastic wrap.
• Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and place dough onto baking sheet.
• For the dough that’s left after cutting the last shape, just form it into a log shape and slice with a knife, place them on cookie sheet.
• Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes or until the coconut section is golden brown. Place finished cookies on cooling rack.

Rock Buns

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Rock buns are a cross between a cookie and a cake, it has a rough outer texture yet is soft on the inside, it actually reminds me of an oatmeal cookie but has this incredible coconut taste.

½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup raisins
½ cup grated coconuts
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons coconut milk
½ cup butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs

Directions

• Preheat oven at 350 F and grease baking sheet.
• Put flour and butter in a bowl. Using your hands, rub in ingredients until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
• Add sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, coconut and raisins, then mix.
• Add beaten eggs, vanilla and coconut milk and combine mixture.
• Use a tablespoon and drop rock bun mixture onto baking sheet 1 inch apart.
• Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Meatloaf

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This is the first meatloaf I have ever made but seeing and tasting the end result was great, it was moist and bursting with flavour. My entire family enjoyed every bite.

2 lbs ground beef
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ cup ketchup
1 carrot, shredded
2 eggs, beaten

Glaze

½ cup ketchup
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Directions

• Preheat oven to 350°F.
• In a large bowl add the ground beef, diced onions, chopped garlic, black pepper, salt, soy sauce, ketchup, carrot, egg and breadcrumbs, combine.
• Put ingredients in loaf pan and smooth the surface.
• In a small bowl add the ketchup, soy sauce and hot pepper sauce and mix.
• Spread the glaze over the top of the meatloaf.
• Place meatloaf in oven and bake for 90 minutes.
• Remove from oven, drain excess liquid, slice and serve.

Apple Crumble

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A crumble is a British dessert that is usually served with ice cream, cream or custard. I remember eating apple crumble once before on my husband's recommendation and It was delicious. My husband says it tasted just like the apple crumble he has eaten in the past.

Crumble Topping:

½ cup cold unsalted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup flour
¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

5 apples
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Vanilla icecream to serve on the side when apple crumble is finished.

Directions

For Filling

• Grease baking dish and preheat oven to 350 F.
• Peel, core and slice apples.
• Place in a bowl.
• Add flour and sugar in with the apples and mix. Place in greased baking dish.

For Topping

• In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon and oats.
• Cut up the butter into small pieces and add to bowl, mix in the butter until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
• Add the sugar to bowl and mix.
• Spoon the topping over the filling in the baking pan and bake for 45 – 55 minutes.
• Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Shrimp Scampi

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Scampi is the name of several species of lobsters, but in the USA and United Kingdom scampi refers to a method of preparing seafood. Scampi is usually served with bread or on a bed of rice or pasta.

I have only eaten shrimp scampi one other time in my life and it was a few years ago while on vacation in the USA and it was the most wonderful dish I had ever had. From that day the taste has been stuck in my head and I can't shake it. I have been meaning to recreate the dish and finally gave it a shot. It tasted really great and my family enjoyed it as well.

1 lb pre-cooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 cloves garlic
2 - 3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

• Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain.
• Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
• Heat a skillet on medium heat and add butter.
• When butter has melted add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
• Add pre cooked shrimp and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
• Remove from heat and add the pasta and parsley, toss the ingredients to combine.
• Plate the shrimp scampi and top with parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Fruit Salad

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It is said by experts that we should consume 4 - 5 servings of fruits each day, here is one way of getting in a few servings, a quick, healthy and absolutely delicious fruit salad should do the trick. For the past 4 months I have been having a piece of fruit for breakfast, it's quick and simple, but lately I have become bored with just an apple or a banana, so I started making fruit salads instead, it makes breakfast so much more interesting. The kids seem to enjoy their morning fruit salads too.

1 cup green seedless grapes
1 navel orange, sectioned
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup pineapples, diced
1 cup cored and diced apples
Juice from 1 lemon

Directions

• Place apples in a bowl and pour in lemon juice, toss to coat apples, lemon juice prevents apples from turning brown.
• Peel and section oranges.
• In another bowl add the pineapple, strawberries, grapes, oranges and apples.
• Toss to combine and serve.

Pepperoni Pizza

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We love the taste of a good pizza in this house and our favourite pizza place in Dubai is Pizza Express, they make these great thin crust pizzas. I made these pizzas for dinner as a surprise to my boys and myself, you see I have never made a pizza before and these turned out really awesome. I am definitely giving Pizza Express a run for their money. I might even open my own pizza place. I am really and truly happy with the end result and I am also really proud of my accomplishment. I will definitely be making these again and again, my family won't mind one bit. I am the Pizza Queen.

3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Topping

Pizza sauce
10 ounces pepperoni slices
8 ounces mozzarella cheese

Directions

Pizza Dough:

• Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.
• Put flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl; whisk to evenly distribute ingredients.
• Add olive oil to yeast and pour it into bowl of flour mixture, mix using a spatula until dough forms.
• Turn dough out onto surface and knead for about 5 – 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms. If the dough becomes sticky just lightly flour surface.
• Form dough into a ball and coat with a little olive oil.
• Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
• Leave dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours, it should double in size.

For Pizza

• Preheat oven to 450°F for 30 minutes.
• Remove plastic wrap and punch down dough once to deflate.
• Turn dough out on a flat surface and divide it into two parts. If dough is sticky lightly flour surface.
• Place one piece of dough back into the bowl.
• Use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a 10 or 12 inch circle atleast ½ inch thick.
• Lightly sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal to prevent the pizza crust from sticking and place the pizza dough on to the baking sheet.
• Brush dough with olive oil.
• Spoon 1/3 cup of pizza sauce onto dough.
• Sprinkle 4 ounces mozzarella cheese on surface.
• Add a layer of pepperoni to pizza dough.
Repeat the process with the other half of the dough left in the bowl.
• Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crust has browned and cheese is golden.

Chicken Pizza

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3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Topping

Pizza sauce
12 ounces Butterball oven roasted chicken breast strips
8 ounces mozzarella cheese

Directions

Pizza Dough:

• Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.
• Put flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl; whisk to evenly distribute ingredients.
• Add olive oil to yeast and pour it into bowl of flour mixture, mix using a spatula until dough forms.
• Turn dough out onto surface and knead for about 5 – 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms. If the dough becomes sticky just lightly flour surface.
• Form dough into a ball and coat with a little olive oil.
• Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
• Leave dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours, it should double in size.

For Pizza

• Preheat oven to 450°F for 30 minutes.
• Remove plastic wrap and punch down dough once to deflate.
• Turn dough out on a flat surface and divide it into two parts. If dough is sticky lightly flour surface.
• Place one piece of dough back into the bowl.
• Use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a 10 or 12 inch circle atleast ½ inch thick.
• Lightly sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal to prevent the pizza crust from sticking and place the pizza dough on to the baking sheet.
• Brush dough with olive oil.
• Spoon 1/3 cup of pizza sauce onto dough.
• Sprinkle 4 ounces mozzarella cheese on surface.
• Add a layer of chicken to pizza dough.
Repeat the process with the other half of the dough left in the bowl.
• Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crust has browned and cheese is golden.

Mince Beef Pizza

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3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Topping

1 lb ground beef
1 cup water
1 tablespoon thai chilli sauce
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pizza sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese

Directions

Pizza Dough:

• Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.
• Put flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl; whisk to evenly distribute ingredients.
• Add olive oil to yeast and pour it into bowl of flour mixture, mix using a spatula until dough forms.
• Turn dough out onto surface and knead for about 5 – 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms. If the dough becomes sticky just lightly flour surface.
• Form dough into a ball and coat with a little olive oil.
• Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
• Leave dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours, it should double in size.

Cook Beef

• Season beef with soy sauce, salt and black pepper.
• Heat skillet and oil.
• Add meat to pot and stir fry for 4 minutes.
• Add water to pot and cook meat for 20 minutes or until liquid has dried out.
• Add thai chilli sauce and stir. Remove from heat and let meat cool.

For Pizza

• Preheat oven to 450°F for 30 minutes.
• Remove plastic wrap and punch down dough once to deflate.
• Turn dough out on a flat surface and divide it into two parts. If dough is sticky lightly flour surface.
• Place one piece of dough back into the bowl.
• Use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a 10 or 12 inch circle atleast a ½ inch thick.
• Lightly sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal to prevent the pizza crust from sticking and place the pizza dough on to the baking sheet.
• Brush dough with olive oil.
• Spoon 1/3 cup of pizza sauce onto dough.
• Sprinkle 4 ounces mozzarella cheese on surface.
• Add a layer of mince beef to pizza dough.
Repeat the process with the other half of the dough left in the bowl.• Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crust has browned and cheese is golden.

Chicken Salad Wrap

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We were out recently and in need of a quick meal so we had chicken salad wraps, they were really good and it gave me the idea of creating my own version, they turned out great and my family totally enjoyed them which I was happy about. Wraps are also a great and healthy way of not only cutting down on bread intake but giving your daily sandwich a new, exciting and delicious look. 

4 tortillas
2 - 3 chicken breasts
3 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tomato (chopped, remove seeds)
4 big lettuce leaves
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
3 teaspoon ranch salad dressing
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions
  • Cut chicken breast in strips and season with soy sauce.
  • Heat skillet and oil.
  • Add chicken to skillet and stir fry for 6 - 8 minutes browning chicken on both sides. Remove from heat, drain any excess oil and set aside.
  • Add tomatoes, mayonnaise, ranch salad dressing and chicken strips to a bowl and toss salad to combine.
  • Lay tortilla on a flat surface.
  • Place a lettuce leaf on the tortilla, then add some chicken salad near the edge and roll up the tortilla. 
  • Enjoy!!!

Carrot Cake with Rum Glaze

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This carrot cake is really moist and makes a delicious dessert. I made it while my little girl slept, so to prevent her from being startled awake by the sound of the food processor I had to grate the carrots by hand as opposed to using the food processor with the grater blade attachment. I really thought I was going to pull a muscle or sprain my hand during the process, I kept stopping to massage my hand. In the end it was all worth it since I got such a great end result.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
4 tablespoons coconut powder
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons rum

Directions

• Preheat oven to 350°F and grease baking tin.
• In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and coconut powder, whisk ingredients to evenly distribute.
• Beat eggs
• Add oil and vanilla to eggs and whisk, and then add it to the flour mixture and mix.
• Add the carrot to the batter and combine the ingredients.
• Pour batter into greased baking tin and bake for 58 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

For Glaze:

• Sift powdered sugar into a bowl.
• Add rum to sugar and whisk.
• When cake has cooled pour glaze over cake.  Enjoy!!!!

Stir Fry Chicken & Chinese Noodles in Pad Thai Sauce

8:10 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

We love Chinese and Thai cuisine in this family so I combined the two in this really quick and delicious dish.

8 ounces chinese noodles
1 lb chicken breast strips
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 stalks scallions
2 eggs
1 onion ( cut into thin strips)
3 garlic cloves (diced)
1/2 cup Pad Thai stir fry sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions
  • Cook noodles.
  • Heat skillet and oil.
  • season chicken with soy sauce.
  • Stir fry chicken for 6 - 8 minutes until cooked, remove from skillet.
  • Saute onion, garlic and scallions for 1 minute, remove from pot.
  • Add the eggs to the skillet and scramble.
  • Add the onion, garlic, scallions and chicken back to the pot.
  • Add the noodles and toss ingredients to combine.
  • Pour the pad thai sauce in to the skillet and stir for 2 minutes to coat ingredients.
  • Serve

Chicken Spring Rolls

9:12 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »

We went to a restaurant called Noodle Factory a few months ago and had some delicious spring rolls. I decided to try making them at home for us to enjoy and they turned out really great, my family kept coming back for more, they disappeared pretty fast. They were a definite hit.

1 Lb chicken mince
3 1/2 teaspoons thai chili sauce
1 onion, diced
8 ounces cabbage, shredded
2 stalks scallion
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
20 spring roll sheets
egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon water whisked together)
2 cups + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Dipping sauce (thai chili Sauce or plum sauce)

Direction

Filling
  • Season meat with black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Heat skillet and 2 tablespoons cooking oil.
  • Add scallions and onion, saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add chicken stir fry for 6 - 8 minutes or until cooked.
  • Add cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir fry for 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Add soy sauce and chili sauce and stir, cook for 2 minutes until liquid has dried out, remove from heat.
Spring Rolls

• Lay spring roll sheet on flat surface.
• Spoon filling on the corner of each sheet, brush the empty edge of the sheet with egg wash and roll the filling in the wrapper.
• Heat a pot and enough oil to deep fry the spring rolls.
• Add the spring rolls to the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Chicken in Tomato Sauce

8:27 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

I remember the day I came up with this recipe, I was going for something simple and tasty that only required regular everyday ingredients that can normally be found in your kitchen cupboard. This chicken in tomato sauce was the delicious end result. Enjoy!!!

1 whole chicken (2 lbs)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup ketchup
2 cups water
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Directions

• Cut up chicken.
• Season chicken with salt, black pepper and onion. Let it marinade for 2 hours or overnight.
• Combine water, ketchup and hot pepper sauce in a bowl.
• Heat skillet and add the oil.
• Remove the onions from the meat.
• Add the chicken to hot oil and brown on both sides.
• Add in the onions along with the ketchup and water to the chicken, the liquid should cover the meat.
• Stew for about 28 – 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened into a sauce.

Curry Chicken

12:51 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »

Curry Chicken is a very popular dish in Jamaica, it is oftened served with steamed white rice, but I prefer it with rice and peas.

A few months ago I bought a pack of curry powder at the supermarket and used it in my curry chicken dish but it turned out to be the wrong one so I ended up throwing out the rest of the curry powder because I didn't like the flavour. When I went back to the supermarket I was confronted with a selection of curry powder to choose from, I was thoroughly confused to say the least. I couldn't perform a smell test because they were all in sealed bags so  I relied on a colour test instead and my husband's memory of what the previous package of the curry powder we bought looked like. My husband's memory won.

1 whole chicken (2 lbs)
3 tablespoons curry powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 carrots
3 stalks celery
1 onion
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups water (enough to cover meat and vegetables)

Directions

• Chop up onion, celery and carrots.
• Cut chicken into pieces.
• Season meat with salt and 2 tablespoons curry powder.
• Add onion, celery, carrots and 1 tablespoon curry powder and combine. Cover with plastic wrap and marinade for 2 hours or overnight.
• Heat skillet and oil.
• Separate the chicken from the onion and vegetables.
• Add the meat to the hot oil and brown on both sides.
• Add the vegetables and onion to the skillet.
• Pour the water into the pot, the water should cover the meat and vegetables.
• Allow ingredients to cook for about 45 - 60 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened.

Baked Salmon Fillet

6:42 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »

I remember going to La Parilla restaurant a few years ago and ordering a salmon dish, it was fantastic, so because of that experience I decided to try preparing it at home. My first attempt at cooking it was a bit nerve racking but it turned out pretty good and I have made it quite a few times since then. I love making salmon dinners and my family enjoys eating it.

4 salmon fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, sliced
Foil paper
Broccoli
1 large Carrot, shredded
1 tomato, cut into wedges

Directions

• Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with foil paper.
• Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.
• Heat a skillet and melt butter over medium-high heat.
• Add the salmon fillets to the skillet and sear for 2 minutes on both sides.
• Place the salmon on the baking sheet and place slices of onion on top of each fillet then cover the salmon with another piece of foil paper and place in a preheated oven.
• Bake for 9 minutes.
• Place salmon on a bed of shredded carrots surrounded by broccoli and tomato wedges and serve.

Coconut Bundt Cake

5:20 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Coconut, unlike its name suggests is not a nut but the seed from a coconut palm. In Jamaica the white inner surface of the shell is grated and used for adding flavour to Rice and Peas, make desserts such as Grater Cake , Coconut Gizzada and Coconut Drops. The water inside the coconut is refreshing and has a slightly sweet flavour.

My husband and I love the taste of coconut, so I made us a special treat, a Coconut Bundt Cake and it was delicious. It was my first time making it and it turned out great, my family also enjoyed it and I especially love the bundt signature ring design.

1 cup butter
3 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ teasspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated coconut
1 1/2 cup milk

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and lightly flour a Bundt pan.
  • Combine flour, salt and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat.
  • Add in the milk and mix.
  • Gradually fold in the dry ingredients until properly combined.
  • Pour batter into Bundt pan and bake for 75 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Banana Raisin Pancakes

11:07 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

My older son absolutely loves banana pancakes and he always wants me to make them, so I decided to kick off the weekend with banana pancakes with a raisin twist, because he also loves raisins. With banana pancakes you don't need syrup unlike regular pancakes, they are perfectly bursting with flavour and what a way to get a serving of heart healthy potassium.

1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoon coconut powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons raisins
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

• Put the flour, coconut powder, salt, granulated sugar and raisins in a bowl and whisk.
• Beat the egg and add the bananas, milk, vanilla essence and whisk.
• Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine.
• Heat a skillet on medium heat and heat a little oil.
• Ladle the batter into pan and cook on both sides until golden brown.
• Serve.

Sweet Potato Pudding

6:05 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »

I love sweet potato pudding, so does my husband and most, if not all Jamaicans, it's a popular Jamaican dessert. I remember when I was a kid and my mother would make sweet potato pudding on the weekends which was a great treat. She would mix up the pudding batter and pour it into a cast iron pot lined with banana leaves. Then my mom would place the pot directly on burning coals and cover the top with another layer of coals to allow the pudding to cook both on the top and bottom at the same time like a convection oven. The pudding always turned out delicious.

After a few trials and errors, I decided to come up with a new recipe that would leave the pudding moist but still be able to slice it as opposed to spooning it out of the pan which has happened a few times in the past. It was a bit nerve racking wondering if my new pudding recipe would actually work and guess what, it did. I have come up with my own winning recipe and we all love the end result.

3 1/4 cups grated sweet potato
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup coconut milk
3 eggs
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup Appleton rum
1 teaspoon ginger

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking tin with parchment paper.
  • Put the flour, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl, whisk to combine.
  • Grate sweet potatoes.
  • Beat eggs.
  • Add coconut milk, eggs, sugar, ginger, rum, butter and raisins to sweet potato,  mix until properly combined.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the bowl and mix until all the ingredients are properly combined.
  • Pour batter into baking tin.
  • Bake for 2 hours & 12 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

Jamaican Beef Patties

7:06 AM Posted In , , Edit This 4 Comments »

I have finally made Jamaican Beef Patties and my husband and sons say they taste just like the ones we are use to eating in Jamaica, our home country. Patty is like the national pastry of Jamaica. When you think Jamaica, a few things come to mind, Bob Marley, reggae music, Jerk Chicken, the gorgeous sunshine, the beautiful  white sand and Jamaican Beef Patties.

There are two rival patty companies in Jamaica, Juici Patties and Tastee and they make great patties. When Jamaicans are travelling overseas, family and friends request patties and Appleton Rum, because Jamaicans get homesick for the taste of their food which are impossible to get in other countries, so as a result I decided to find or create the perfect patty recipe and I came up with this one after a few experiments.

These patties turned out great, when you bite into them the crust flakes yet when you touch them they have a soft yet puffy surface. I am happy with the result so is my family.

Crust

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (12 oz)
1 tablespoon curry powder

Filling

1 lb mince beef
1 tablespoon mince seasoning
1/2 cup diced onion
2 stalks scallions
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup water

Directions

For Crust:
  • Add flour , salt and curry powder to food processor bowl (use steel blades) and pulse for 2 seconds.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of butter to flour mixture and pulse 10 - 12 times (1 second per pulse) until butter is absorbed.
  • Add the remaining butter and pulse 2 times to distribute, there should still be chunks of butter in the bowl.
  • Add the water and pulse 3 - 4 times until dough starts to form. (Do Not Over Mix)
  • Place dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle. Lightly flour top of dough to prevent sticking.
  • Flatten dough with a rolling pin and roll back and forth to form dough into a smooth rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Then fold dough into 3 parts like a letter and roll flat.
  • You will still see pieces of butter in the dough but by rolling it into a rectangle then folding it into 3 parts like a letter and repeating the process about 5 - 6 more times it will melt into the flour. The butter causes the flaky layer of the crust to form. (If at any time the dough becomes soft and sticky, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour).
  • Fold dough into 3 parts like a letter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For Filling:
  • Season beef with mince spice and black pepper and let it marinade for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Heat skillet on medium heat and add oil.
  • Sauté the onions and scallions for 2 minutes, constantly stirring.
  • Add mince and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Add water and hot pepper sauce, let meat simmer for 20 minutes, until water has nearly dried out.
  • Add bread crumbs and combine ingredients, stir for 3 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat and leave to cool.
For Dough:
  • Lay the dough on a lightly floured surface and unfold.
  • Use a rolling pin to smooth out the surface, just a couple of rolls will do.
  • Cut the dough into 6 inch circles.
  • Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of meat onto half of the circle leaving space at the edge of the dough.
  • Lightly brush the edge with water and fold the other half of the dough over the meat to enclose it, press down on the edge with a fork to seal dough.
  • Place patties on a greased baking sheet.
  • Place patties in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 - 40 minutes. The bottom of the patties should have a light golden brown colour.
  • Remove from oven and cool, and then serve.

White Bread

2:23 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »

I have just made my first loaf of bread and it tastes fantastic. My husband said it tasted great both with peanut butter and without. It has a crispy crust and springs back when you press on it, almost like a sponge. It has a hollow sound and a nice golden brown colour. My son loves his bread with cream cheese.
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, warm
1 egg white,
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey

Glaze:

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water.

Directions
  • Dissolve yeast in warm milk.
  • Melt butter, about 30 seconds in a microwave.
  • Add melted butter to yeast and milk mixture and stir.
  • Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and mix.
  • Add egg white, honey, milk, yeast and butter mixture to the flour and mix until dough forms.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour at room temperature until dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch dough once to deflate.
  • Gently form dough into a rectangle and place dough into a greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan, ensure the dough touches all four sides.
  • Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Coat dough with the egg wash after it has risen a second time.
  • Place dough into a preheated oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove dough from pan and place on a rack to cool.

Orange Cookies

6:23 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
These cookies taste so delicious and crunchy, they have this wonderful orange scent and flavour, my son even helped me to make them. He used raisins to make faces on some of them. The orange cookies were a lot of fun to make. I think the cookie dough yielded about 25 cookies, I'm not quite sure because the cookies seem to have disappeared, so I never really got a chance to count them.

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (8oz) butter (room temperature)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoon orange rind
2 tablespoon orange juice

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking sheets.
  • In a large bowl add flour, salt and baking powder and stir.
  • In another bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks, orange juice and orange rind to the creamed butter and sugar and beat with mixer.
  • Gradually add flour to the creamed butter and sugar mixture and mix the ingredients until it forms a dough.
  • Form the dough into 1 inch balls and slightly press with the palm of your hands and flatten to about 1/2 inch thick and place them on greased baking sheets 1 inch apart.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 14 - 20 minutes.
  • Place on a cooling rack.

Beef Puff

8:57 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
      
           Made and Photographed by Reggae Chef

My family enjoyed eating the these delicious flaky beef puffs, they have a great buttery flavour. I used boerwors sausage because my family enjoys its flavour, but you can substitute with your favourite sausage.

Pastry Dough:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter or 12 ounces
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

Beef Filling:

1 1/2 - 2 boerwors sausage link

Directions

For Dough:

  • Add flour and salt to food processor bowl (use steel blades) and pulse for 2 seconds.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of butter to flour mixture and pulse 10 - 12 times (1 second per pulse) until butter is absorbed.
  • Add the remaining butter and pulse 2 times to distribute, there should still be chunks of butter in the bowl.
  • Add the water and pulse 3 - 4 times until dough starts to form. (Do Not Over Mix)
  • Place dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle. Lightly flour top of dough to prevent sticking.
  • Flatten dough with a rolling pin and roll back and forth to form dough into a smooth rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Then fold dough into 3 parts like a letter and roll flat.
  • You will still see pieces of butter in the dough but by rolling it into a rectangle then folding it into 3 parts like a letter and repeating the process about 5 - 6 more times it will melt into the flour. The butter causes the flaky layer of the crust to form. (If at any time the dough becomes soft and sticky, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour)
  • Fold dough into 3 parts like a letter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For Filling:

  • Split the sausage casings length wise and scoop the meat into a bowl. Sausage is already seasoned.
For Dough:

  • Lay the puff pastry dough on a lightly floured surface and unfold.
  • Use a rolling pin to smooth out the surface, just a couple of rolls will do.
  • Cut the dough into 6 inch circles.
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons of meat onto half of the circle leaving space at the edge of the dough.
  • Lightly brush the edge with water and fold the other half of the dough over the meat to enclose it, press down on the edge with a fork to seal dough.
  • Place pastry on a greased baking sheet.
  • Glaze top of pastry with egg wash using a brush (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water).
  • Place pastry in a preheated oven at 350°F for 20 – 30 minutes. It should have a light golden brown colour.
  • Remove from oven and cool, and then serve.

Croissant

10:01 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

           Made and Photographed by Reggae Chef

These croissants are very light and airy and has a great buttery flavour. They taste incredible. I can't believe I actually made croissants. After this I think I can tackle anything and come out on top.  So bring on the next project. It was a long process, the mixing the waiting, the shaping, but it was also nerve racking exciting and in the end wonderful.

There are videos at the end this post demonstrating how to cut and shape croissants, really helpful and one showing how to mix the dough.

Dough:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cold unsalted butter

Directions
  • Dissolve yeast in warm water for 3 minutes.
  • Add the milk, 1 egg, sugar, and salt to dissolved yeast and mix; set aside.
  • Place flour in food processor work bowl fitted with steel blade.
  • Cut the butter into ¼ inch pieces and put into food processor along with flour.
  • Pulse for 8 - 10 seconds (1 second per pulse), until the butter is cut into ½ in pieces.
  • Place the flour and butter mixture into a bowl and pour in the yeast, egg, milk sugar and salt mixture and fold in ingredients gently with a spatula until a moist dough is formed, do not break up butter.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. It can also be stored in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form dough into a square.
  • Roll out dough into a rectangle using a rolling pin. (If at any time the dough becomes soft and sticky, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour)
  • Fold dough into three parts like a letter, and then roll into a long rectangle.
  • Repeat folding and rolling process 3 more times, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The folding and rolling process allows the butter to be incorporated into the flour and that is what causes the flaky buttery layors that croissants are known for.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and unfold onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll dough in a ¼ inch thick sheet.
  • Use a sharp knife or pizza cuuter to cut dough into triangles at least 3 inch at the base and 5 ½ inches for the sides.
  • Roll dough into a crescent shape starting from the 3 inch base, roll to the top of the triangle and hold ends and curve it slightly, place them on greased cookie sheet.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 2 hours until dough has doubled in size.
  • Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water to use as an egg wash.
  • Remove plastic wrap and use a brush to dip in egg wash and lightly glaze the tops of the dough with it.
  • Place croissant in a preheated oven at 375°F for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
This video is demonstrating how to mix the pastry dough in a food processor.



This is a video showing how to cut and shape croissants.

Strawberry Danish

9:34 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
      
         Made and Photographed by Reggae Chef

Wow, I just made danish. I have always loved the taste of danish, its sweet buttery flavour and its light flaky texture. It never even occurred to me that I could actually make it. Well I did and it tastes wonderful. My family totally enjoys them. I am totally looking forward to breakfast on christmas morning. 

Making them was nerve racking, exciting and hard work, but it was worth it. Be sure to watch the videos at the end of this post showing you how to make danish by hand or by using a food processor.

Dough:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cold unsalted butter (cut into 1/4 inch slices)

Filling:

2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped hulled strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

Dough:
  • Dissolve yeast in warm water for 3 minutes.
  • Add the milk, 1 egg, sugar, and salt to dissolved yeast mixture and stir; set aside.
  • Pour flour into food processor work bowl fitted with steel blade.
  • Cut the butter into ¼ inch pieces and put into food processor along with flour.
  • Pulse 8 - 10 times (1 seconds per pulse), until the butter is in ½ in chunks.
  • Place the flour and butter mixture into a bowl and pour in the yeast, egg, milk, sugar and salt mixture and fold in ingredients gently with a spatula until a moist dough is formed, be careful not to break up the butter pieces while mixing.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. It can also be stored in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form dough into a square.
  • Roll out dough into a rectangle using a rolling pin. (If at any time the dough becomes soft and sticky, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour)
  • Fold dough into three parts like a letter, and then roll into a long rectangle.
  • Repeat process three more times by folding the dough into three parts and then rolling out with a rolling pin. The folding and rolling process allows the butter to be incorporated into the flour and that is what causes the flaky buttery layors that danish are known for.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Mean while, make strawberry filling for danish.
Filling Directions
  • Mix in the cornstarch with the sugar.
  • Put strawberries, sugar and cornstarch into a heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat.
  • Bring all ingredients to a boil stirring constantly, use a potato masher to crush the strawberries while it boils.
  • Let strawberry filling boil for 4 minutes or until it thickens.
  • Pour into a bowl and cool.
For Danish
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and unfold onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll dough in a ¼ inch thick sheet.
  • Roll up rectangular dough starting from the longest side into a cylindrical or log shape.
  • Slice dough into 1 ½ inch thick spirals.
  • Lay flat on greased baking sheet one inch apart and cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise and double in size for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Remove plastic wrap and use your finger to press the centre of the dough slightly to make an indentation for the filling to sit in.
  • Glaze danish with egg wash by first beating 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water then using a brush to lightly glaze pastry .
  • Place strawberry filling in the centre of the danish.
  • Place danish in a preheated oven at 375°F for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
This is a video demonstrating how to mix danish dough using a food processor.


This video demonstrates how to make danish pastry by hand.

Toffee Fudge

7:05 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
 
           Made and Photographed by Reggae Chef

This toffee fudge not only looks delicious but also tastes delicious. This is also my first time making candy and the end result is absolutely fabulous. I used brown sugar to give it a darker look but granulated sugar can also be used in this recipe.

1 cup butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ¼ cups milk

Directions
  • Line 9 x 5 inch cookie sheet with foil paper.
  • Melt butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat.
  • Add sugar and milk to melted butter stirring constantly with a spatula, bring mixture to boil.
  • Let boil for 15 – 20 minutes stirring constantly until it looks foamy or until candy thermometer reaches 239°F.
  • Remove from heat and stir until toffee fudge starts to thicken and has a smooth consistency.
  • Pour toffee fudge onto baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until toffee fudge hardens.
  • Remove fudge from refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Cut up and enjoy.

Cinnamon Buns

7:39 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

           Made and Photographed by Reggae Chef

This recipe makes incredible cinnamon buns and they give Cinnabon a run for their money.  My family thoroughly enjoyed the finished product and it was very exciting to create these tasty treats from scratch.  Definitely a labour of  love.

Dough:

3  1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
2  1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg (beaten)

Filling:

3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Icing:

 1  1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
 3 tablespoons milk

Directions
  • Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Leave for 10 minutes until it looks foamy.
  • In a large bowl combine sugar, salt and flour then stir in the melted butter, egg and dissolved yeast mixture. Put dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. Place dough back into bowl and cover with plastic wrap and leave dough to rise for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Grease a square baking pan. Mix together sugar and cinnamon for the filling.
  • Place dough on lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 1/4 inch rectangle.
  • Use a brush to coat dough with melted butter, then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon filling over the surface and gently press it onto the dough.
  • Roll the longest side of the dough and slice it using a sharp knife.
  • Place the buns in the baking pan about an inch apart. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for an hour at room temperature, then remove plastic wrap and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the icing by putting the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and mix in the melted butter and milk with an electric mixer. When buns are finished spoon the icing over them and let them sit for about 10 minutes.