Why am i doing this?

Peace and Blessings my lovelies

I know iv'e been a bad blogger... le sigh. Can i be honest with you? Well the reason i fall off the blogesphere from time to time is MOTIVATION! So with that, i'm currently working on revamping this blog. I would like it to reflect my interests in food. Mainly, not just writing recipes, but musings, tips, take questions, etc.

I would love the feedback from those of your who have chosen to come along with me on this food journey.
What things would you like to see in this blog?
What food areas would you like me to cover?
Any specific Caribbean/ American fusions are you interested in?

So for those who may or may not know, the Muslim Holiday of Eid Ul Adha is fast approaching.. November 16th to be exact. What food related traditions have to established with your family? For my family.. its making pasteles... yummy.. Im working on posting the recipe.

That's if for now, i'm looking forward to all your feedback. You can comment here or on the Facebook Fanpage. I would like to keep you motivated in the kitchen right along with me.

Happy Eating.....


Happy 48th Trinidad & Tobago!!

Today is the 48th anniversary of the beautiful twin island nation Trinidad & Tobago's independence!!! Happy Birthday to my homeland. My parents came to the United States for a better life for their children, but never forgot the beautiful island to which they were born and the lessons they learned there. Being a Trinidadian American shapes so much of my life esp the culinary aspect. In honor of Sweet Sweet T&T Independence Day this blog entry will just be a few pics of my family's travels to the island.. Enjoy!

What's for Iftar- Curried Channa Rice with Shrimp

Normally I don't do much home cooking on a Saturday, however with this being Ramadan things are different. My husband and I decided to not eat out for the month of Ramadan (not including Masjid and friends' Iftars). So my usual Saturday evening dinner out after a day of running around the city with my two favorite people (Hubs and little M) is on hiatus for now. All this to say YEAH more content for my blog and for you!

As you may already realize i love anything curried or with Channa (chick peas). Some time ago i started making Curried Channa rice, and i absolutely loved the recipe. On this particular occasion, i decided to kick it up a notch.... so i added Shrimp, and let me tell you it was YUMMERIFIC!! Give this recipe a try with or without the Shrimp or maybe chicken. It may become one of your favorites as it has surely become one of mine!!

Curried Channa Rice with Shrimp

  • 1 C parboiled rice
  • 1 can Goya Chick Peas (Channa)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 medium onion; chopped small
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1tbsp CHIEF Curry powder; + 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp green seasoning
  • 1 tsp pepper sauce *
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • ½ tbsp Golden Ray Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 C stock (chicken or vegetable) or water

½ lb Medium/Large Shrimp

Marinate with:

  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tbsp green seasoning
  • ½ tsp pepper sauce
  • 2 tsp CHIEF curry power
  • 1 tbsp Organic no salt seasoning

  1. In a dutch oven or cast iron pot, coat the bottom with Olive Oil. Add the butter, garlic, ginger, thyme, red pepper flakes, and 1tbsp of curry powder.
  2. Turn the burner on medium high. When the garlic starts to “dance” (sizzle around the edges) add the chopped onions and rice to the pot. Allow the rice to toast in the pot for 1min (stirring constantly to prevent sticking).
  3. Add the stock/water to the pot first then remaining ingredients (channa, green seasoning, pepper sauce, chicken bouillon, curry powder and cumin).
  4. Turn the heat down to medium-low, then the stock/water start to simmer, taste the water to make sure there is enough flavor (adjust if necessary).
  5. Set time for 20 minutes and cover the pot.
  6. When the timer has 8 minutes left, add the marinated shrimp and stir in completely.
  7. When the time goes off, turn off the heat and keep pot covered for the steam to finish cooking the rice.

Happy Eating..... Ramadan Mubarak!!

Time Saving Tips: Simple Sahoor Smoothie

So i have to admit, this Ramadan has been a challenge in time management for me. I'm not very good at going to bed at a reasonable hour..... tisk tisk ..i know. I'm usually up Facebooking with my sisters! With Fajr (Dawn prayer) coming at about 5am, this means getting up at 4am to eat Sahoor (meal before Dawn)!!! What this all boils down to is 4 hours of sleep before having to get up and prepare a meal... this was my dilemma before getting SMART! Why not prep ahead??? Decide what you would like to eat the night before, and prep what you will need, stick it in the fridge and WALA....you won't be stuck eating cold cereal every morning, LOL

My go to Sahoor is a smoothie, bagel thin with cream cheese and some fruit (and don't forget your vitamins and lots of water). You can prep your smoothie the night before, esp if you have one of those handy "Rocket Blenders" with the individual cups. Put your fruits in the blender cup the night before (according to Mammy, you can store your prep ahead smoothie for about a week). In the morning all you have to add is the yogurt and liquid then blend! Throw in a shot of protein powder or powdered greens and your in business!

Simple Sahoor Smoothie*

  • 3 large frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp frozen blueberries
  • 2 chunks of watermelon
  • ½ container of 6oz Light n Fit Yogurt
  • 1/3 C Pomegranate Juice
  • 1/3 C low fat milk

*If using a regular blender, make double the recipe and save the rest for the next morning, add some ice and re-blend!

What do you do to make preparing Sahoor easier on you??

Happy Eating............Ramadan Mubarak!!

Easy Entertaining- Green Meadows Sheppard's Pie 2-4-6

So your tired of eating alone, and you can't always make it to the Masjid (mosque) for Iftar (meal after breaking the fast). Invite a friend or 2 over, maybe couple who lives close by. One of the beautiful things about Ramadan is sharing a meal with your fellow believers. Who said this has to be relegated to the weekend. With easy entertaining ideas, enjoying Iftar with company can be done any day of the week.. weekend or work evening. One of the easiest ways of making a mid week group Iftar is to use ramekins. The portions are already pre-determined in a neat little package, and they are SUPER cute. Serve with a salad and you've got a great meal!

Now i got the idea for this particular recipe from not wanting to dirty another pot to make vegetables, lol. I was in one of my meat and potato moods, and decided to make Sheppard's pie.. its meat, its potato its DIVINE! Only thing missing is vegetables, so why not add it in to the potato mash. Broccoli mashes well (and i already had it in my freezer), so i said why NOT, lets try it.. and i gotta tell you, it came out delish! hence the name: Green Meadows Sheppard's Pie, i know i'm corny :-)

Green Meadows Sheppard's Pie

  • ½ lb Ground Turkey, seasoned well
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • I small onion, chopped small
  • ½ Yellow or Red Sweet (bell) pepper, chopped small
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • ½ tsp Rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 tsp pepper sauce*
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Salt /Pepper
  • 1tbsp Golden Ray Butter (Trinidad Butter)

Potato & Broccoli Mash

  • 4 medium/large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 C frozen broccoli
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ C low fat milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • ½ C Sharp cheddar cheese; separated


4-6 Ramekins

Preheat oven to 400F.

  1. In large non stick skillet, coat the bottom of the skillet with Olive Oil. Add the Trinidad butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and rosemary. Turn the heat on medium high.
  2. When the garlic starts to dance (sizzle around the edges) add the onion and sweet pepper, salt the vegetables. Sauté until the onion are translucent and soft.
  3. Add the seasoned ground turkey to the skillet, cook for 1 min before adding the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup , pepper sauce and paprika. Continue to cook the ground turkey until fully browned and all the juices have dried out.

  1. Place the potato cubes and smashed garlic cloves in a pot and cover with water. Salt the water and put the pot on the stove over high heat.
  2. When the potatoes are half way done, add the broccoli to the boiling water.
  3. When the potatoes and broccoli are tender, drain off the water, and add the butter, milk, cream cheese and about half of the cheddar cheese.
  4. Mash together with large fork or potato masher until you reach a smooth consistency ( a few lumps are fine).

Arrange your 4-6 ramekins on a baking sheet. Evenly distribute your cooked meat in the bottom of the ramekins and top with generous helping of the potato & broccoli mash. Top each individual pie with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and the rest of the cheddar cheese.

Bake for 10-15 min.

Serve on small plates with a salad.. and enjoy!

How do you make having people over for Iftar easy on you??

Happy Eating…. Ramadan Mubarak

What's for Iftar- Busy Evening Burrito

OK So Ramadan has started, the first day of fasting has been completed! What happens when you keep yourselves so busy (in an effort to not keep thinking about being oh so hungry, lol) that your realize you haven’t started preparing Iftar and all you have is a half hour…. GASP… Do you panic?? NO you remember you have ground turkey and ground turkey canmake simple, quick, and healthy meals!!

Busy Evening Burrito

Picadillo – Minced Meat

  • ½ lb ground turkey; well seasoned
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp rosemary
  • 1 medium onion; fine mince
  • 1 carrots; shredded
  • ½ Bell pepper (any color), chopped small
  • ½ tsp CHIEF curry powder
  • 1 packet Sazon (optional)
  • ¼ C stuffed pimento Olives**, chopped small
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 pad, Golden Ray Butter (aka Trinidad Butter)*


Sliced Cucumbers

Sliced Tomato

Sliced Zabuca (Avodaco)

Rice, any left over rice (“Arroz con Maiz” goes well, see past post for recipe)

2-4 large Whole Wheat wraps

*Can be substituted with Butter

**Optional, don’t need to use them if not already on hand.

  1. In medium/large skillet, coat the bottom with the generous layer of Olive Oil. Add in the butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary, curry powder and Sazon.
  2. Turn on heat to medium high. When the garlic starts to dance (sizzle around the edges) add in the onion, bell peppers and carrots. Salt the vegetables.
  3. Cook the vegetable mixture until the onions become soft and translucent.
  4. Add the ground turkey in the center of the pot, cook the turkey until all the liquid is dried out of the skillet. (as the turkey cooks mince with your utensil so the meat is finely minced)
  5. Set aside. (This recipe makes more than enough meat for 2-4 wraps. If you have left over meat, it can be used in various recipes, save the remaining meat in refrigerator.)
  6. Layer the whole wheat wrap with Picadillo then the rice, follow with the toppings.
  7. Cut in half, Serve with steamed vegetables.

How do you make sure you always have a quick meal option??

Happy Eating.. Ramadan Mubarak!!

Ramadan is HERE, Let be Prepared!!!


Before I get into the main topic of this entry, Ramadan Preparations, I wanted to share a little about the month of Ramadan.

Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar, the month in which the Holy Quran “was sent down as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment” (2:185). One of the most visible ways in which Muslims observe the month of Ramadan is by abstaining from food and drink (fasting) from dawn to sunset. The Quran says “Oh yea who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint” (2:183).

Ramadan is not just about not being able to eat, in fact that may be seen as the easier part of observing this Holy Month. “Ramadhan is a struggle to be more obedient to G-d by working to improve your discipline to keep your human form in the group picture”- Hakim Sabree. Ramadan for me is a renewal of spirit and faith, where you strive to improve your entire life! Trying to stay in this frame of mind, as I prepare for Ramadan I try to streamline my daily routines as to not distract from the month’s observations. As this is a food blog, here is how I prepared my kitchen for Ramadan:

The Ramadan Essential Shopping

This year I strived to very proactive with my Ramadan prep (can’t pretend that I have always been this prepared), I made a list of what I thought would make Sahoor (meal before the start of the fast) /Iftar (the meal at the breaking of the fast) cooking much easier. I went to Costco (along with every other Muslim in the Northern VA area, lol) and got stocked! But this is the thing, just don’t (like most) just buy out the entire store, shop smart! Here are my essentials:

  • Rice, Pasta, bread (bagel thins and whole grain wraps), Cereal, Crackers
  • Eggs, Milk, Butter, Cheese, Yogurt (individual size and large Plain)
  • Pigeon Peas, Chick Peas, Corn, Tomato Paste, Pasta Sauce
  • Onions, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, avocado, salad greens, tomatoes
  • Fruit: Apples (to make apple sauce), mango, water melon, frozen strawberries & blueberries (to make smoothies) POM pomegranate juice, dates
  • Broccoli, Stir Fry Veg mix, Green beans
  • Ground Turkey, Talapia, Shrimp

This list did not include the things I keep on hand, for those items check my past post: "Welcome to my Journey"

· Before shopping, try to clean out your refrigerator (this also helps you assess what items you really need to restock).

· After you shop, organize and put away all your items. If you shop a big box store like Coscto, take everything out of the extra packaging and put them away.

· Try to keep your pantry and freezer stocked, so that you don’t find yourself having to run to the grocery every week!

This Ramadan I will be focusing my blog on helping you prepare healthy and fast Sahoor/Iftar and creating a special and memorable feast for the celebration of Eid Ul-Fitr.

I hope this post is beneficial to those of you who are observing Ramadan as well as my friends of other faiths!

Ramadan Mubarak.. Blessed Ramadan..

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