Thursday, October 20, 2011

NAMASTE CAFE & ORGANIC JUICE BAR




So it’s been only one day since my arrival in American, and two days here in new Brunswick. It took me that long to come across a hidden gem in this University City.
The Namaste Bar. It’s an organic juice bar found above a co op market just off Livingston avenue herein new Brunswick.
This is my second time coming to this place and i am surprise that in a town which is populated mostly by university students that there are not a lot of them sitting here eating or drinking. Then i look at the prices of the food and i understand why that is, they are students and not many of them can afford the luxury of eating organic.
But in the defence of this incredible place you don’t have to be rich you just have to want to eat good tasty and healthy food. Even if you can’t afford it every day, how much harm can it do to treat and indulge yourself at least once a week?
You are welcome by Drew Patch not only with fresh organic strawberries on the counter to help yourself too, but also with a great smile and philosophy you will rarely get anywhere else. Unlike any other cafe you may go to, from the moment you enter you are invited to ask as many questions as you wish. The people working here wants to get to know you, they want to hear what you have to say where you come from. Your opinion matters to them.
While eating or drinking creations with names like, Love juice, or 14 carrot cold, the baba ganesh wrap, and so many more delightful creations, you get to listen to great music browse on the internet, and get a history lesson of the music playing in the back ground.
Now i can go on talking about this place all day long, but the best thing to do is to visit the place if you ever get the chance. In the mean time you can visit their web page here: http://www.namastejuicebar.com/ where you can have a chance to have a first look at the place, there mission statement and philosophy. Until next time Namaste.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Temptation i can't stay away

I was trolling the net when I came across this; I found it so cute and sexy that I had to share. Now I have not tried this so I am leaving it up to you to tell me how it goes.

Chocolate Mug Cake for TWO

Prep time + cook time = 5 MINUTES extra 3 mins for newbies

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons sugar (u can decrease # of tbs if adding choc. chips or ice-cream)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 egg (lightly beaten)
3 tablespoons milk or water
3 tablespoons melted butter/oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

You could make this in a bowl and then pour the batter into microwave-proof dishes/mugs or you can halve the ingredients into each mug (should fill half way in the mug)

*NOTE: When cooking the batter does rise, so keep an eye out.

Method:
Serves 2

1. Mix dry ingredients together in the mugs or bowl
2. Add the rest of the remaining ingredients. Mix until combined.
3. Microwave one mug at a time on medium-high for one minute and an extra 30secs if needed. (It should be cooked but moist and gooey in the middle.)
4. Get a fork or spoon and DIG IN :)
Eat on its own or add a scoop of ice-cream on top of the cake

If you want to be fancy you could:
-remove the cake from the mug, serve on a plate with a scoop of ice cream and decorate with pieces of your favourite fruits
-dust with icing sugar
-drizzle chocolate sauce and sprinkle crushed nuts
Use your imagination; you could add many goodies :)

p.s This is finger-licking good and super super easy, like making coffee :)

Both the mug cakes I made last night got demolished so quickly that I didn't get a chance to take a photo of it. I found a picture that looked almost identical to mine to show you, minus the ice cream I served with my cakes.

Enjoy
When I do try it out I am going to do a few improvements on it
But in the mean time enjoy I am way to excited t wait to share this one.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

C.A.S = Crazy Ass Soup

C.A.S
As much as I am a passionate of food, and willing to cook up a storm anytime, be it for my friends, family or others, there are days when I just don't feel like it. Like today, I wake up nose stuffed and sneezing my head off, I am sick. I hate being sick. It makes me feel week and I don't like that. I am the only one in control of my destiny right? So I have to be strong, yet still I just can't bring myself to cook today it’s just not in the stars. So let’s just stay simple shall we. It’s going to be all can goods. This is no chef work, but sitting here filling yet another tissue paper with transparent mucus my head is saying no to my heart, or to quote my head perfectly,
 "HEART SHUT THE FRACK UP YOU ARE IN NO SHAPE TO COOK ANYTHING, OPEN A CAN SIT YOUR ASS DOWN AND EAT."
So it’s going to be soup, not sure I will like it but I really don't have the strength.
Well that was the plan, that is until I actually arrive in the kitchen then it became a bit more. I mean come on people, anyone who knows me know that I don't just do simple.

And that my dear friends and followers is how I came up with the crazy ass soup.

What you will need:
1 packet of chicken noodle soup (not into branding but I like maggi)
50cl of water
1 tsp of nuoc mam
1 portion bacon bits ( Lardons )
1 egg poached
1/4 of a carrot
Some rockette leaves

How to make:
1- In a pot pour in the contents of the packet of the chicken noodle soup and add nuoc mam and water, bring to the boil.
2- While soup is boiling in a very hot pan through in your bacon bits, without any additional fat. You will want to get them brown and crispy, not burnt.
3- Poach your egg

Some advice for a poached egg.  Make sure your water is boiling slowly; you do not want it boiling at high speed. Don’t forget to add a bit of salt to your water and a bit of vinegar, this helps the egg to coegulate.
Put your egg in only when the water is boiling and give it a little stir to make sure the white covers the yoke.

4 -julienne your carrots (julienne means cut into very thin strips)

5- Bring everything together:

Pour your chicken soup into a bowl, top with rockette salad and julienne carrot, put poached eggs on top and spread bacon bits above.
Bonne appetite!
Now I don't know if it was because I was sick but I found this soup very good and it made me feel a little better. Why don't you guys give it a try.
Until next time I am nursing myself with a mixture of honey, rum and lime juice.




Feeding the Buddha


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to my roots

                                                              
At one point or the other everyone goes back to their roots, the child goes back to the mother. At burials the priests say ashes to ashes dust to dust. How many of us have dreamt of creating our family tree? Go back to the birth place of our parents? We all have at one point or the other, in one way or the other, spiritually, physically, we have all taken one step to going back home, back to our roots. My journey home like any journey starts with one step and for me that has to do with the cooking.
As you already know, that is if you have read my other posts, my grandmother is from the Caribbean (see blog post Monday, July 4, 2011 Sweet memories). I was not the only one who learnt from her. My mom makes a pig snout and lentils soup with dumplings that is lovely. Being away from home for so long I missed it a bit, now that I am back I have decided to make my own version of it, minus the dumplings and a pinch spicier. Haa!
Now not many people outside of the black community eat pig’s snout. You see most of the people living in the Caribbean are of slave descendants. Slaves, they didn’t know when their next meal was, or what they were going to eat. What they had, was what the white masters did not want, the dirty bits. The pig’s ears, tails, the animal’s insides. To make it last, or change the taste they would add a lot of spice and herbs and other things just to make it edible.
Many great things have come from those old ancestral methods, like salt fish, smoked meat, the use of root vegetables that look like some alien’s excrements and so many fruits and vegetables the colour of the rainbow. As far as I am concern the Caribbean island is the garden of Eden split in hundreds of pieces.
Anyway let’s not stray from the subject like I always do. On the menu today
Pig’s snout in spicy lentil soup:
What you need:
500g of lentils
8 to 10 pig’s snout
(this can be bought at any Chinese market, it is found in brim. One thing you should know about pig’s snout is that it is marinated in salt so no need to add any to the snouts. It’s also very cheap and vey fatty)
1 packet of chicken soup or chicken stock
Ginger, Garlic, Cloves, Chilli 
 
Method:
In a pot pour in lentils and cover with water. Bring to the boil.
While lentils are boiling rinse pigs snout cover with water, add ginger, garlic clove, half an onion, 3 cloves. Bring to the boil and let simmer for an hour. Skim the top regularly.
After an hour checks your snouts to see if they are cooked, it should be firm but you should also be able to cut through them with a folk. Once they are ready drain them out of the water and cut into small pieces and set aside.
Check your lentils to make sure that they are cooked. When the lentils are ready, add chicken soup powder and add water. If you are using chicken stock there is no need to add any water.
Bring your lentils back to the boil add a small teaspoon of chilli, not too much, you don’t want it inedible. You just want to give it a touch of heat.
Taste your lentils make sure there is enough salt. Don’t forget that you are going to add the pig’s snout which is already salted.
In a pan sauté your pig snouts to add a little colour, and then add some finely diced onion, when the onions are translucent add the all to the lentils soup. Let simmer for five minutes and serve hot.
I like to add some flaked roasted almonds or some fresh grated carrots on top.
007
Enjoy.

I hope you like this one. If you guys know of any nasty bits like this and you are not sure how to prepare it or can’t come up with anything please share I am more than happy to help you out. You can email me or leave a message on my facebook page.
Until next time just remembers, mix cook eat and love.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

So i tried to do this with my last post but for some reason it just wouldn't work. i am just going to do it in a post all by itself.
I would like to say a big thank you to:

TheWitchWriter

@TheWitchWriter Crawford ville Florida
Butcher, Baker, and Candlestick maker. Slayer of things that go bump in the night. Witch. Mom. Wife. Writer.
I have been wanting to blog for ages and i have made several attempts at it before finding something that i am comfortable with and i would stick too. never i have i gotten such a warm welcome and support from a stranger across the ocean, like miss Bella Foxglove have given me. thanks to her i now have 6 followers on my blog and even though to some it does not seem like much, to me that's encouragement. so Bella my dear thank you very much.
 
I would also like to say thank you to those following me on twitter:

Cornelia's Kitchen

@corneliakitchen Bali

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Having my cake and eating it




I have been in a mood latterly. Asking myself those existential questions and so on, But I have come to the conclusion that in order to move on one must let go. And I mean let go of everything, just let go. You know what people, easier said than done, letting go is hard. I wish I was one of those people who just don’t care and don’t give a frack.
Well I am not and right now things are bringing me down I feel stuck and its driving me insane. That being said there are a few things that cheers me up, music and cooking are two of those things. Where I am going with this?
I listen to an old song I heard when I was younger, from lord of the dance which brought me into this Irish mood. Sometimes the Irish just don’t care they move on with their life they can be passionate  about things, so I got myself into the Irish mood and I wanted to cook something Irish inspired.
Hey when I hear Irish I think Guinness, whiskey, baileys, and a few other things. But for today we are going to stay on those. I decided despite my diet, despite all the crap that’s going on I am going to give myself a little bit of pleasure in the form of a few cup cakes. Do you guys see where I am going with this?
Chocolate Guinness cup cake, with a baileys and whiskey filling, topped with whipped cream lightly dusted with chocolate powder. Can you say yummmm and hell yes!
Now some people find the name Irish car bomb offensive, I think it’s a cute name for a cup came so I am calling my cup cakes
Irish Car Bomb Cup Cakes:
Here’s what you will need for the cakes:
125g of unsalted butter
125ml Guinness
75g of dark chocolate (I use 90% cacao)
140g of self raising flour
2tbsp baking soda
200g of sugar

What you need for filling

2 eggs
75g of sour cream
For the filling you will need:
100g of chocolate (again dark chocolate 90%)
60ml of bailey’s Irish cream
60ml of double cream
25ml of whiskey
Method:
Mix butter, chocolate and Guinness in a sauce pan on a slow heat till everything is melted together. Set aside and let cool down.
Mix flour, baking soda, sugar into a mixing bowl then add the Guinness mixture
Then add the egg and sour cream. Fill up your cup cake tins and cook for 15m in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius.  Stick a tooth pick into the cup cake if it comes out clean then it is ready. Put aside to cool and get ready to make your  filling.

Filling: in a sauce pan add chocolate, double cream, bailey’s Irish cream, and whiskey and stir on a small heat till the whole thing is melted together. It’s like making a basic garnish.
Once that is done, set aside to cool down. If you can’t wait that long I suggest you cool it down in a cold `Bain Marie`.
For the decoration:
Decorating is very simple, first you make a hole in the cup cake by using a cupcake corer, if you don’t have one, by all means be imaginative. I used a very small cookie cutter. Once that is done fill the cupcakes with the chocolate baileys and whiskey filling replace the top.
Top the cupcakes with some fresh whipped cream, dust lightly with chocolate powder and finally place a cherry a mint leave on top of the cream, and voila.
For me the best part about this is sharing the cup cakes with others, seeing their reactions, reminds me why I am a person who cares, why it’s so hard for me to let go of things.
I still believe there are certain things that I am going to need to let go of in order to move on and enjoy my life, but until then I will always have cupcakes and smiles.
“It is easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song, but the man worthwhile is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with years, and the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through the tears.”
 Irish saying

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cocktails with Richard Kovacs at B@1

I remember as a kid I saw the movie cocktail with Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown and Elisabeth Shue. I don`t think I got the full impact of that movie till years later when I grew up, but I do remember having a crush on tom cruise and loving all the party atmosphere that this film showed. Until a year ago I was enjoying the immense pleasure of working behind a bar making cocktails.
In my opinion there are two different categories of cocktail making, mixology and flair bartending.
The first is the pure art of mixing drinks, where as the later is more for show. The art of entertaining. Both categories have their merits, but in the end I remain a purist. To me mixology is where the chef meets the barman, add to that hundreds of people in front of you begging you to make them drinks after drinks, the music pumping, the occasional flirt from a sexy young lady, and you’re a rock star. Life for a barman can be good, and before you know it you’re feeling like tom cruise in cocktail.
Yesterday I went to London and visited my favourite cocktail bar, The B@1 Soho. B@1 is a chain of cocktail bars that open their doors for the first time in may 1998 in Battersea Rise London. 13 years and 9 more bars later, B@1 is a brand name well known in London and still growing. I remember the first time I set foot in the b@1 Soho, what a welcome I got it was fantastic, so much so that next weekend I brought a few friends with me, and boy did we have a blast, but that’s a whole different story.
Let me introduce you to young Richard Kovacs. Richard does both classic mixology and flair bartending. He was studying to become a computer engineer and started bartending only as a means of earning extra cash to enter BMX competition (if you don’t know what BMX is follow link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMX)
What Richard likes about his job at the B@1 is the chance of creating new drinks, meeting new people and like anyone in the bartending industry making people happy.
Today Richard is showing us how to make a planter’s punch.
Planter’s Punch:
1.25oz of black seal gosling’s rum
0.25oz grenadine syrup
0.5oz lime juice
3oz orange juice
Fill your serving glass with ice and set aside. In a cocktail shaker add rum, lime juice, grenadine and orange juice. Shake then pour over ice. Decorate with a slice of orange. Enjoy.
We will be visiting B@1 regularly to see what young Richard Kovacs and his other team mates have in store for us.
 Enjoy the video and don`t forget to comment.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sweet memories


When I was a child I always saw my grandmother as a witch. Not a crocked nose wicked Hansel and Gretel witch, more like good Samantha in bewitched. I believed that for several reasons.
One I was a child with a huge imagination.

Two the Caribbean culture is filled with stories of witches and if there are bad ones there must be good ones.
Finally three because of the things she was capable of. My grandmother had her own garden with herbs, mangos and cacao growing.  When I could not sleep at night she would make me a wild basil infusion that would knock me out like a log or if I was sick with a cold she would give me some herb remedy that would put me back into shape the next day.
Rest her soul she passed away at the ripe age of 98 and it really hit me hard. I think of her quite often and when I do I think of the dishes she made me as a child. One of my favourites was her bread pudding dessert. Now every culture has their own variation of this desert but my grandmother’s will always be the best one for me, to the point where I can’t enjoy any other.
This is a very easy desert to make and the recipe I am giving you can easily serve up to ten people.
Maggie’s Caribbean Bread pudding
Ingredients:
1kg stale white bread without the crust
75cl milk
200g brown caster sugar
2tbsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1tsp vanilla extract
100g soft unsalted butter
50g raisins
50ml dark rum
6 whole eggs
Preparation
Mix milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, or microwave so the milk is hot. Make sure the sugar has melted into the milk.
Pour liquid mixture over bread and let soak for 5 minutes. Crush the bread into the milk make sure there are very few chunks.
Add butter, vanilla extract to the mixture and mix till well incorporated.
Add eggs, mixing them in one at a time.
Finally mix rum soaked raisins in.
Pour your mixture into a greased pan, put into a pre heated oven at 180 ̊c and cook for 35 to 45 minutes.
Plunge a knife into the centre if the knife comes out clean then it is ready. Let it rest for an hour, and voila!
Bonne appetite.
Tips: sprinkle some caster or icing sugar over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven. This should give your pudding a nice shine
If you don`t have time to soak your raisins over night, you can bring them to a boil in some water stain the water out and then add them to the rum while still warm and let them settle for 10 to 15 minutes in the rum before using.
This is just the basic recipe but can be transformed into a very fancy dessert for your dinner parties. For example I once served this with caramelised pineapple rings and a ball of rum raisin ice cream.
As you can see in the photo, I dusted it with icing sugar added a ball of raspberry sorbet and drizzled with summer fruit dressing.
This pudding can be eaten cold or warm. I personally prefer having it warm.
Enjoy and don’t forget to comment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pickled cheese, who would have thought.

Hi folks, me again. My friends and I decided that we are going drinking. But cheap bastards that we are we don't go out until we use this typically American concept of pre gaming. So we all head out to this guys place, a Hungarian Erasmus student. For the love of me I still can't pronounce his name and here I was thinking it’s the alcohol, it wasn't, lol.
Anyway this guy introduced me to pickled cheese, when I think about it is really silly. After all it’s not the first time that I’ve eaten marinated feta cheese a goat's cheese, it is the same concept after all. I think what I was more surprised is that he told us in his country its typical drinking food, like nuts, or pickled eggs (not that I would ever eat a pickled egg).
Anyway I found this to be very interesting and quite good tasting. I immediately thought this would be perfect in a salad, which I did and will share the recipe with you.

Pickled camembert, mix green salad, berry dressing

Dressing:
1tbsp raspberry vinegar
2,5tbsp extra virgin oil cold press
Salt
Pepper
1 strawberry

Pickled cheese:
Camembert
Olive oil
Onion
Garlic
Smoked paprika
Jalapeño peppers

Salad:
Corn salad
Oak leaf lettuce

For the pickled cheese if you have noticed I have not indicated any quantities. You can make as little or as much as you want, adjust your quantities to the strength you want to give in taste.
It is quite easy to make chop garlic; onions and jalapeño peppers add to olive oil and warm very gently as to get the oiled infused. Sprinkle smoked paprika over camembert then pour warm oil just to cover the cheese. Put in a jar. Wait for a week mini.
for the dressing add a pinch of salt and pepper to raspberry vinegar, mix until all the salt has dissolved then add oil and mix till you have a homogenise mixture. Dice strawberry very small and add to dressing
Wash your salads and separate the leaves to your liking. put one or two pieces of cheese on a plate, try to drain as much oil as possible, dress your salad very lightly and put on the side of salad, and voila very simple and great tasting little dish.
For those of you counting your calories you may wanna be careful, lol. Also remember you don't have to stick to my recipe you can add other aromatic to your cheese, after all cooking is a question of love and passion.

I would like to say welcome and thank you to my first three followers. Please tell your friends about my blog it’s only gonna get better with time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

carrots, friends and dumplings

It's Sunday, I am surrounded by two François, a very old friend who is like a brother to me, and the other I have only just met, but feels like I’ve known him for ages. The table is covered with carrots and other stuff and I am cooking for what’s going to be a dinner party of fourteen people including myself. Only instruction is cook vegetarian and only fish for the main corse. It took me a few minutes to decide what I was going to do and this is what I came up with:

Starter
Carrot & coconut soup, served with herb dumplings

Main corse
Sea bass on garlic cream, served with stuff roast tomatoes

Dessert
Roasted pineapple, served with leffe caramel

But I won`t be boring you with all the recipes, just the first one for now. Carrot and coconut soup.
What you need:

500g carrots
250ml coconut cream
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
500ml fish stock
ginger diced

For the herb dumpling
250g of plain flour
2tbsp baking powder
1 baking potato
1 garlic clove
Chives and parsley

This dish is really simple to make, but it is also very tasty. I think it’s best to start by cooking your potato for your herb dumpling.
Mix together plain flour, baking powder with salt pepper and some water as to make a smooth round ball, add crushed potato, fresh herbs, and crushed garlic. You should end up with a well mixed flour ball; all that’s left to do is to roll out the dumplings in any shape or size you want. I made small balls as it’s to be served with a soup. Drop them in a pan of boiling water (I prefer use a vegetable stock or some other type of stock for taste) for five minutes. When they float on the surface of the water they are ready.

The carrot soup is even easier to make. Pour a spoon of olive oil into a pan, through in the garlic, onions, carrots, ginger,  and sautéed for two minutes pour fish stock and bring to a boil. When the carrots are all cooked, mix the whole till you get a smooth soup. Put back on the fire for a slow boil, add coconut cream and salt and pepper to taste.
When serving put a few herb dumplings into a soup bowl, cover with carrot soup, and top off with some fresh coriander and voila.

I have to say this starter was well received by my friends, and set the tone for the rest of the dinner party. After that it was François playing the guitar and singing, the girls being the seductive creatures that they are, a game of communist hold'em poker that’s going to last till seven am in the morning. All in all it was a great time.
If you guys want any of the other recipes in the menu please email me. You can follow me on twitter to find out when I am posting next or what the FRACK I am up too. I am going to see kung fu panda 2 and see what that inspirers me to come up with so until next time.
Mix it, cook it, eat it, and love it.

video