Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Making whey

I did this yesterday and it worked!

The cream cheese was delicious - I added a little salt.

From Wellness Mama

Whey and Cream Cheese Recipe
Prep time
Total time
How to make whey for fermenting vegetables and other foods and get probiotic cream cheese!
Recipe type: Fermented
Serves: 4+
  • One 32-ounce container of full fat organic PLAIN yogurt
  • Cheesecloth or thin dish towel
  • medium-size bowl
  • string or rubber bands
  1. Pour the yogurt into cheesecloth or thin towel. You can pour the whole container, or just use half if you don't need much whey. Make sure the towel is thin, as it will absorb too much of the whey if it is a very absorbent towel.
  2. Pull the ends of the towel up and secure with string or a rubber band.
  3. Tie the towel with yogurt in it to a cabinet handle above the bowl.
  4. Leave it alone overnight to drip.
  5. In the morning, if the dripping has stopped, pour the liquid in the bowl (this is the whey... yay!) into a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to six months.
  6. The "yogurt" left in the towel is actually cream cheese now. Put in its own container and use as you would store bought cream cheese.
  7. Use the whey for homemade salsas, sauerkraut, fermented veggies or pickles and more. (all recipes to come soon.... just waiting on the garden to start producing!)

Fermented Salsa

I'm trying this today!

From Nourishing Days

Lacto-Fermented Salsa

makes 1/2 gallon of salsa
Recipe Notes: I use a food processor because it really speeds things up. You certainly don’t need to – simply chop everything up to your liking and continue with recipe. Also I like to store mine in 1/2 gallon jars instead of quarts to save on refrigerator space. Fermented salsa is salty, so don’t be alarmed. The salt and they whey are what will preserve it and give it those wonderful probiotics.
  • 1 large onion or a large bunch of green onions, cut into large chunks
  • 3 small bell peppers, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves (unchopped)
  • 2.5 pounds roma tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons coarse celtic sea salt (I only added 1 Tbs and it seems quite salty)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 cup whey
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
  1. Combine onion, bell peppers, garlic, and cilantro in food processor. Pulse 3-5 times until coarsely chopped. (At this point if the lovely smells coming from this combination don’t make you swoon then I don’t understand you.) Add 1/3 of the tomatoes and pulse 2-3 times until room is made for additional tomatoes. Repeat with another one third of tomatoes. Finally, add the last of the tomatoes and pulse an additional 3-5 times.
  2. Pour contents of food processor into large bowl. Add the lemon juice, sea salt, cayenne powder, and whey. Stir well and allow to sit a few minutes while you prep your containers.
  3. Wash two quart jars or one 1/2 gallon jar well with soap and hot water. Do the same for a food funnel and jar lids. Ladle the salsa into jars, leaving 2-3 inches of head space. Add water to submerge the salsa.
  4. Close lid tightly and leave at room temperature for a few days, until bubbly and fermented. During this process the solid vegetables may separate from the liquid. Simply stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until redisbursed and submerged under the liquid. Transfer to cold storage. Should keep for months.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

soft sugar cookies

I made these today, and they were great!

Award winning sugar cookies

recipe from Allrecipes
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the creamed mixture until dough comes together. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in sugar. Place them on an unprepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
3.Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottom is light brown. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Addictive tomato soup

(I moved this recipe over from my old food blog - sogoodsoeasy.blogspot.com )

"My new favorite addictive taste"

That was Reid's response to this easy soup I put together a few years ago

There's no exact recipe

Here's what I did:

Sauteed in olive oil: half a large onion, a small pepper and three cloves of garlic - all chopped.

While cooking, added hot pepper flakes (generous pinch), dried basil (about 1/2 tsp) and dried oregano (about 1/4 tsp).

Poured in 2 cans chopped tomatoes and 1 can chicken broth

Added pepper to taste plus a couple teaspoons sugar (I used brown)

Simmered 15-20 minutes

Took off heat and stirred in 1/2 cup cream

Simmered 15 to 20 minutes

Perfect with crusty fermented european bread

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Soft Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookes

I have made these cookies 2 times already this fall and they are a hit!  They stay soft and make the BEST breakfast the next day!

Soft Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree {canned pumpkin}
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
for the glaze-
3 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside. In a large bowl, stir butter, oil, pumpkin, sugars, vanilla and eggs together until incorporated and smooth. Slowly mix in all dry ingredients until completely incorporated. Scoop onto prepared baking sheet using 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and flatten to 1/2 inch thick using the bottom of a glass. If the dough is sticking to the glass, press the bottom of the glass in granulated sugar before flattening. Bake 8-9 minutes.
While cookies bake, stir all ingredients together for glaze until smooth.
Once cookies are finished baking, cool 3 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons glaze over each warm cookie. Let glaze harden 2-3 hours before serving. OR eat them warm with lots of runny glaze :)

Pumpkin pie spice Recipe 
(in case you live in Ghana and can't find any)
from the kitchen

How To Make Pumpkin Pie Spice

Makes 2 1/3 tablespoons

What You Need

Ingredients1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Measuring spoons, bowl, whisk or spoon


  1. Measure: Measure out all ingredients in the order listed (to ensure you don't double up or leave one out) into a small bowl.
  2. Mix: Whisk or stir to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 year

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quick white chicken chili

I created this quick easy version based on the ingredients I can find here in Ghana

Simmer a chicken breast in chicken stock (I use the "Better than Boullion" brand we brought from the US) seasoned with medium chopped onion, 2 sliced garlic cloves, a bay leaf, and any herb that sounds good.

Remove chicken. Strain broth. These can be refrigerated until you are ready to make the chili.

To make the Chili:

Saute about 1/4 cup chopped onion in a little oil. Add 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp oregano. Sauté for a few minutes. Stir in 2 cups of chicken broth (reserved from cooking chicken breasts). Drain and rinse one can baked beans and add to broth. Chop chicken breast and add to soup.

Serve topped with grated cheese and chopped tomatoes.

This was so good - I will definitely double it next time - or triple.

And I might try adding some veggies - some pumpkin?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sweet and sour sauce

Wow! Sweet and Sour Sauce

Reid loves this and I figure out a way to make it in Ghana - most ingredients are easy to find - especially nice fresh pineapple and juice. I made a 1/4 recipe to test it out and it served us both with some leftovers. I simmered a little cooked (tough) chicken in the sauce for 10 minutes and it was nice and tender.

This recipe is from Allrecipes
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Nana Nat
Photo By: Sam
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 6
"This is a quick sweet-and-sour sauce you can serve over meat, vegetables, rice, pasta, or any combination thereof!"
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits,
undrained (I used fresh pineapple and juice)
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon steak sauce
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper hot
sauce (I left this out)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1.Stir water, sugar, ketchup, pineapple, vinegar, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, steak sauce, and hot sauce together in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove 1/2 cup of the sauce to a small bowl; whisk cornstarch into the sauce in the bowl. Bring the sauce in the saucepan to a boil, stir the sauce with the cornstarch into the boiling sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before using.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vegetarian Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

I might try this one

It's from Kalyn's Kitchen

Vegetarian Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup with Lime

(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe adapted from Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes found in Fine Cooking Soups and Stews.)

1 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced small
1 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
3/4 - 1 tsp. ground cumin (I used a whole teaspoon, but I love cumin)
1/4 tsp. ground fennel
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch piece
2 cans (15 oz. can) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock (or use 3 cans broth and just freeze the extra)
salt to taste
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream for serving
lime wedges to squeeze into the soup, optional

Heat olive oil in heavy soup pot, add diced onion and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until onions are just starting to brown. Add minced garlic, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground fennel and fresh-ground black pepper and saute 1-2 minutes more, or until spices are becoming fragrant.

While onions are cooking, peel and dice sweet potato and rinse beans until no more foam appears, then drain. After onions and spice mixture have been sauteed, add the diced sweet potatoes, black beans, and vegetable or chicken stock to the soup pot, along with salt to taste. Let soup simmer on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are falling-apart tender. (There will be some foam from the beans that rises to the top during cooking; just skim off with a large spoon or stock skimmer.)

When sweet potatoes are tender, use a slotted spoon to remove 3 cups of beans and sweet potatoes; then use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the remaining soup. (Be very careful with the hot soup if using a regular blender; fill the blender container only about 3/4 full and hold the lid on the blender with a towel or hot pad draped over the lid.)

Add the reserved sweet potatoes and beans back into the soup and simmer about 15 minutes more. Taste to see if you want to add more salt; then add the lime juice and simmer about 5 minutes more.

Serve hot, with a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream. If desired you can serve with lime wedges so people who want to can squeeze more lime juice into their soup.

This printable recipe from KalynsKitchen.com.

Key Lime Coconut Energy Bites

This looks good

It's from Spoon Full of Flavor

Key Lime Coconut Energy Bites
Key Lime Coconut Energy Bites
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups Medjool dates*, pitted
  • zest and juice from 3 key limes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  1. Add the almonds and cashews to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped (but do not pulse too long, you do not want the nuts to turn into a paste). Add the dates, lime juice and zest. Pulse until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture starts to clump. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll in coconut to coat outside of the balls. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
If Medjool dates are not available, any other pitted date will work.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

This is good!

We can get a kind of squash/pumpkin here and it makes a great pumpkin pie. I peel, cube, and roast it (tossed with a little oil - 400 degrees until tender).

2 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten (Ghana eggs can be small so I often add an extra egg)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Make your favorite pie crust recipe. I used McVites Digestive biscuits, crushed, mixed with a little melted butter. I patted them in the bottom the pie pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

I threw all the ingredients into a vitamix and blended until smooth. You could also use a mixer with speed on medium - beat pumpkin with evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. 

Pour into a prepared crust. Bake 40 minutes or until when a knife is inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.

Serve with whipping cream!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - made with oil

I haven't tried these but I will soon

From The Best Ever Cookie Collection

Simple Chocolate Chip Bars Recipe for a Small Batch

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Grease a 8x8-inch pan with cooking spray.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Beat together the oil and sugar with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  5. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  6. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring until well combined.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using).
  8. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (avoiding chocolate pieces as they will be melty).
  9. Cool on wire rack.
  10. Cut into desired size bars.
  11. Store the cookie bars in the pan covered with foil or plastic wrap or remove them from the pan and place them in an airtight container. These chocolate chip cookie bars freeze well too.
This recipe for Simple Chocolate Chip Bars makes about 12 cookie bars.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dark Chocolate Cake - using oil and cocoa powder

Butter is expensive in Ghana, and good cooking chocolate is non-existent - so a delicious rich chocolate cake like this that uses oil and cocoa is perfect.

From Allrecipes.com

I cut the recipe in half and baked it in a loaf pan.

Dark Chocolate Cake II
recipe image
Submitted By: Kellygurll
Photo By: megumi
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes
Servings: 12
"The absolute best, richest, and easiest one-bowl chocolate cake recipe ever! It's great topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting!"
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup cold brewed coffee (I used water and vanilla extract)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vinegar (oops - forgot the vinegar and it was still good)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan.
2.In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, milk, oil and vinegar. Mix until smooth; the batter will be thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
3.Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Grown up Hot Chocolate

(secret ingredient - but this cocoa is good without it)

I've discovered a newer, darker way to make hot chocolate here in Ghana.

We have wonderful cocoa powder so I don't like to mess with it too much. That means - much less milk (and our milk is yucky boxed here anyway).

Fill a cup about 2/3 full of water. Heat in microwave until very hot.

Stir in 2 or 3 tsp of good flavored cocoa powder (please not Hershey)

Add a tsp or 2 of a good quality sweetened cocoa mix if you like - I use starbucks

Stir with small whisk

Add a little milk to fill your cup (to taste)

Drink, if you dare - or add sugar first - to taste

We've also been adding something you can only find in Ghana - Dawadawa powder. It does for cocoa what soy sauce does for rice - deepens the flavor (umami taste)


But chocolate is wonderful any way any time any place

My original hot chocolate recipe is here

Monday, May 5, 2014

BBQ Sauce

I've had this recipe forever - and love it.

BBQ Sauce

1 med onion
1 T shortening
1 cup catsup
1 cup water
2 Tbs vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 ¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp red hot pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp celery seed

Saute onion, add rest, simmer 20 mins