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Strawberry-banana icebox cake

15 Feb

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I’ve been wanting to try an icebox cake for about a year now – mostly during hot season when I didn’t want to turn the oven on! Well, tonight was the night I finally got around to it. Two thumbs up, y’all. Next I want to try it with mango and passion fruit, but I think I’ll keep the bananas in any case since they go well with the vanilla pudding.

1 packet Petit Beurre cookies
1 batch homemade vanilla pudding
1-2 bananas, thinly sliced
handful of strawberries, sliced

Use a loaf pan for a taller dessert that you slice thinly or an 8×8 for making square servings. Spread a thin layer of pudding (still warm is fine) on the bottom of your pan. Add a single layer of Petit Beurre cookies. Add a layer of fruit, topped with more pudding. Spread the pudding out to the edges and try not to leave any dry spots. Keep layering until all ingredients are used, ending with pudding on top and some fruit as decoration. Cover and chill for at least three hours. Slice and serve!

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Homemade vanilla pudding

15 Feb

Soooo good. Way too easy and too fast to make. This is dangerous…

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cornstarch (maizena)
1 cup milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, milk powder, and salt. Slowly pour in 3 cups of water, whisking constantly to break up any lumps that form. Add vanilla. Bring to a boil over med-high heat and then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Hypermarché chili

30 Nov

Chili is one of those things that I’ve never really mastered without a seasoning packet. But tonight’s version with ingredients from Hypermarché Exclusif on the VDN in Dakar may have broken that streak!

250g ground beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup TVP*
1/8 cup cornmeal
2 lg cans whole tomatoes, crushed or blended
1/2 teaspoon salt or one beef bouillon cube
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons chili powder (or more to taste!)
1 lg can kidney beans, drained
Mimolette cheese
Drained lait caillé nature (Ardo brand is best!)

* Textured Vegetable Protein. Or you can use 500g ground beef. But we like the mixture for health reasons and also because it makes a nice, thick chili.

Brown ground beef with garlic and onions in a pot over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, salt/bouillon, oregano, cumin, cayenne and chili powder. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Mix cornmeal with some of the tomato liquid, then add to the chili. Stir to combine and simmer for a final 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with grated mimolette cheese and lait caillé sour cream‘. Jalapeños from America are optional. 😉

Emergency milkshake

13 Nov

A friend recently served us milkshakes at their house. I took one sip and thought, “Wow! They used homemade ice cream for these!” Nope. In fact, the recipe couldn’t be easier. And it’s perfect for hot season (which will end soon, inchalla) when you need an emergency pick-me-up.

(Just ignore the Starbucks cup. I know it's hard.)

(Just ignore the Starbucks cup. I know it’s hard.)

Emergency milkshake
1/2 cup whole milk powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
15-18 ice cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the milk powder, sugar and water in the blender and let sit a couple minutes. Add the extract and ice cubes. Blend until smooth.

Drink right away or pour into cups and freeze until more firm, if you prefer.

Mint milkshake: replace the 1/2 tsp vanilla extract with 1/4 tsp mint extract + 1-2 drops of green food coloring.

Coffee milkshake: add stick-packet of instant coffee, like Via or Carte Noir, before blending.

Mini veggie wraps

12 Oct

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mini pitas (these are from Layal Bakery)
chopped, peeled cucumber
cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Shady Shack garlic sauce
basil leaves

Spread the garlic sauce on the pitas. Top with cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Go to town.

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The ‘Ooh Nana’ blended drink

12 Oct

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 2.49.19 PMI call it the ‘Ooh Nana’. Basically chocolate milk and loads of ice in the blender… then a hint of mint (‘nana’ in Wolof).

2 Tbsp good, dark cocoa powder
4 Tbsp milk powder
sugar to taste
pinch of salt
1 cup of water
1 cup of ice
2-3 drops mint extract

Mix together the cocoa, milk powder, sugar and salt. Add a splash or two of water and stir until smooth. Add the rest of the water and stir until evenly mixed. Put the ice in the blender, then add the chocolate milk and mint extract. Whirl it up until the ice is blended in.

Mango lassi

25 Sep

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Two of my favorite things, combined into one delicious summertime drink.

1 large ripe mango, peeled a cut into chunks (mango soleil is my favorite in Dakar!)
1 cup lait caillé nature
4-6 ice cubes
2 Tbsp milk powder

Put it all in a blender and whirl it up!

Cilantro-lime fish cakes with sriracha dipping sauce

18 Mar

Picture 1
I just made these for lunch in under 15 minutes. So good! I love fish, cilantro and sriracha sauce, so this recipe was calling my name. (Plus I had some cooked rice to use it.) My son loved the fish cakes by themselves, but for me the dipping sauce makes them perfect.

2 cups cooked Senegalese broken rice, cooled
1 1/2 cups sardines or leftover fish
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsps mayonnaise
1 egg
2 Tbsps lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
Sriracha dipping sauce (recipe below)

In a large bowl, mix together the rice, fish, onions and cilantro. In a separate bowl, whisk mayo, egg, lime juice and garlic together until smooth. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the rice and fish. Stir to combine.

Tip: Use a stick blender to purée 1/4 to 1/2 of the mixture, then mix it with the rest. This helps it stick together better.

Drop the mixture in a greased, hot skillet by spoonfuls about 1/4 cup each. Pat them out with a spatula to 1/2 inch thick. Add the fish cakes to fill the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Picture 2

Sriracha dipping sauce
2 tsps lime juice
2 Tbsps sriracha sauce (or more!)
3/4 cup mayo
1 good handful chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 cup diced onion

Use a blender, food processor or stock blender to create a smooth – or chunky – sauce. Your choice!

Morning Glory Muffins

25 Nov

Perfect Sunday afternoon treat, despite the name.

1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/3 unsweetened lait caillé
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 apple, cored, peeled and diced
1/4 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup dried flaked unsweetened coconut

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; break up any lumps with your fingers or a wooden spoon.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla, then add to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add apples, raisins, carrots, zucchini and coconut and stir gently until well combined.

Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tins, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Roasted okra ‘fries’

25 Oct

Husband and toddler tested… approved! Okra is very nutritious, and roasting is so much easier and better for you than frying it. Score.

500g okra
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Rinse the okra then let dry. Trim away the stem ends and the very tips, then place the okra in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil until coated.

Place on a baking sheet in one layer. Roast in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan every five minutes.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot.