Friday 31 October 2014

With Love from The Google House, Nigeria

A few weeks ago, I was surprised to receive a call from the good people of Google Nigeria, requesting to meet with me to discuss an innovative project that they were about to go live with.
I was told about Google House, Nigeria. This concept has been done in France, Germany, the UK and in the United Arab Emirates. A space is taken over by the Google team and converted into a totally cool 'Google House' with several 'rooms'. The idea was to show select invited guests how Google apps made everyday life in these rooms a breeze. I was asked to be a part of this project and give demonstrations in the kitchen as well as show how to make simple but yummy treats that would be tasted by the group. After viewing the other houses online and then having the 'Googlers' in Lagos show me how the Google voice app made life in the kitchen a breeze, I was a convert.
The Google House Nigeria was set up on the 6th floor of Churchgate Tower in Victoria Island, Lagos and was the first in Africa. While whole house was super cool, my favorite room in the house was - say it with me - the kitchen. It was colorful and quirky. A lot like me. -)
It was such a wonderful experience for me. I am a people person and the opportunity to meet people and share my passion of not only cooking and sharing food but also incorporating 'foodie smarts' was one right up my alley.
I had the chance to finally meet the uber cool and fun Chef Eros who is as talented as they come. We talked food and food dreams, shared the kitchen space at the end of the event making little treats for the wrap party, took some goofy pictures and even danced a little bit. 

In between demo sessions, I had a chance to be interviewed for a docupiece for The Economist by the very talented Ema Edosio.
All in all, it was a fun 2 days. Even though I couldn't feel my feet a day after, I would do it all over again.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Dinosaur Scotch Eggs

I got tired of the scrawny scotch eggs sold at fast food places and made my dinosaur scotch eggs that I had with a salad for a complete meal. The recipe went out with our last newsletter. Send an email to to subscribe.


Monday 20 October 2014

Store Bought Salsa - From ordinary to pretty d***ned good

Have I said it before? I am not a food Nazi or a food purist. I am not one of those ít has to be homemade or I will surely lose my desire to live' kind of people and I definitely don't look down my nose at people that use convenience foods. If I do that, its probably because my nose is itching or something. Just a little caveat.
I will say though that some convenience foods need something extra- a little oomph to pass muster in my book. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and a can of something can be transformed into deliciousness.
A jar of pretty good medium salsa in my fridge. I get food gifts from friends and this jar of salsa was one of those gifts. A pretty good specialty salsa to be honest. But it lacked a little something for me.
I chopped up some spring onions/scallions - white and green parts, opened a small can of sweet corn and added some ground coriander. 
Stir everything together and serve with some corn chips. As simple as 1,2,3 but definitely not your average salsa.


Monday 13 October 2014

Kitchen Tip: Measuring Sticky Ingredients? No Problem

I know I am not the only one that rolls her eyes when a recipes calls for adding precise measurements of sticky ingredients like honey, peanut butter, molasses et al. I have no issue with the ingredients themselves. Shucks - I even steal a taste - some into mixing bowl, some into my mouth.

My issue comes with getting everything out of the spoon or cup into the bowl and then washing up afterwards. Baking is pretty much a science and everything has to be exact so incomplete measurements can change your results. Then I read somewhere that coating your measuring spoon or cup with oil makes the ingredients slide right out. I tried it and I haven't looked back since. The ingredients slide right out and also make washing up a lot easier.


Wednesday 8 October 2014

When Life Gives You Wilson's Lemonade...Make a Salad Vinaigrette

I am in mad scientist mode again. LOL

I like to play around with making my own salad dressings. They are so easy to make and once you get the hang of it, you will never look at store bought dressings the same way again. I should do a whole series on salad dressings shouldn't I?

Anyway, after this Sallah break, I had a big bowl of vegetable salad - carrots, pasta, cabbage, spring onions, tomatoes, boiled egg and some lettuce in the fridge courtesy of my friend Amina. I decided to play around with making a light vinaigrette using Wilson's Old Fashioned Lemonade. The way I saw it, that could add just a hint of sweetness and oomph to my dressing. After a few tries, I finally got this super easy and delicious vinaigrette right. It was so good that hubby used it as a dipping sauce with some pieces of warmed up French baguette.

This recipe can be multiplied in and you will need:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Wilson's Old Fashioned Lemonade
  • 1 teaspoon Sriacha hot chilli sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pour the olive oil, lemonade and hot chilli sauce into a bowl and whisk furiously until well combined
  • Taste dressing and add salt as needed
  • Serve immediately.
  • You can put this dressing in the fridge but remember to whisk again before serving to make sure all ingredients are combined.
Unexpected and totally delicious.



Saturday 4 October 2014

Liquid Gold - Malt Syrup

I don't know where this insane idea came from. Okay. Let me see....

I got some low sugar non alcoholic malt drink from a friend who works at the company that makes the stuff. I like the intensity of this drink when it is very cold. It has caramel, nutty undertones and one day I thought I would play mad scientist and see what would happen if I intensified the flavor.

I got a can, emptied it into a sauce pan. Set it on high heat and just watched it. It began to thicken and look like motor oil. Like sludge. I stirred it a bit and tasted it. OMG. OMG. I was in absolute shock. This malt drink tasted like caramel on steroids but with some nuttiness and bitterness to balance it out. I let it reduce some more - total time on heat 25-30 minutes and turned the heat off.

What to do with this black gold? My taste buds were singing. My heart was beating so fast. I kid you not. I instantly rustled up some buttermilk pancakes and drenched them in this sludge. OMG. Then hubby who was as stunned as I was suggested drizzling some over vanilla ice cream.

By the time we were done, I was licking the bowl and he was licking the spoon. Then we both went for the sauce pan and took turns licking that as well. With comments like 'why are you licking your finger twice. Its supposed to be one lick per person'. I kid you not.

This is my secret - well not so secret syrup.

Try at your own risk. I guarantee you will act a fool but in a good way.