Monday, 14 December 2015


Christmas is the time of year to say thanks to all your family and friends who've supported you throughout the year. It's also a perfect moment to restore broken relationships, forgive and share with the less fortunate in society.
The essence of Christmas sometimes is lost, when one only concentrates on what presents they can receive, what to wear, what parties to attend or what they'll eat without including extending a helping hand to the less fortunate. 

Christmas needn't be expensive and riddle one with debt, especially when your next pay check will arrive 6 weeks later. Budgeting and being clever with what you give is paramount in achieving a successful Yuletide. 
During my childhood in Ghana, Christmas was centred on food, visiting family, friends, sharing food or clothes with a struggling neighbour, going to church and forming new relationships. 

I've compiled a series of inspiring, competitively priced recipes and ideas for Christmas presents, which will be featured on my blog till Christmas Eve.

 A great and fulfilling thing to do at Christmas is to give to individuals who are less fortunate. Giving to one who cannot reciprocate the favour and knowing you're responsible for placing a smile on their face at Christmas is an amazing feeling. Try it and share your experience.

Homemade presents are a great way of showing appreciation to your loved
ones and equally satisfying to spend the time making it.

I chose to share this recipe as it's a snack that's readily available in Ghana , particularly after church services. Truthfully as a child, I had the dilemma of using the money my Mum gave me for offertory  to buying more of the peanut brittle (Nkatie cake) or (Kubey cake)Caramel coconut bites (not a fair choice) than to use it for what was intended. Mum sussed out my dilemma and gave me the eye to let go of the money and rewarded me later with choice. I would love to hear from you about your childhood experience with Nkatie and Kubey cake. 

Thanks to everyone who contributed in naming the snack (Peanut brittle) in their respective traditional languages. 

Here we have Peanut brittles or Nkatie cake (Ghana), Konkada (Togo) and Granat cake (Sierra Leone). Feel free to share more traditional names by leaving comments below. 

For a cost effective way to wrap your present, use a brown or white baking paper and a ribbon for a festive look. 

180g  of roasted peanuts 
150g of caster sugar
100g of glucose syrup
10g of butter

A silicone mat is required for this recipe. However if you don't have one a well oiled surface will be idle 

Cashew nuts, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios or Hazelnuts 

How to roast peanuts
Preheat the oven to 160*c
Evenly spread 250g of raw peanuts in a baking tray.

Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until it browns slightly. 
Remove the tray from the oven and leave the peanuts to cool down completely. 

(Peeling peanuts) 
Place the roasted peanuts in a clean Kitchen napkin and rub in between your hands for about 3 minutes.
Shake the nuts (for the skins to settle at the bottom) 
Separate the peeled peanuts from the skins and empty the skins in your bin. Place the peeled peanuts in a bowl and set aside.

Light Caramel sauce
Place the sugar and glucose in a heavy based saucepan. 
Mix everything together till you have a thick paste. 
Ensure the paste is evenly distributed in the saucepan and place on a medium heat. 

Watch the sugars dissolve and turn into a plane brown colour. This should take about 7-10 minutes. 

Don't be tempted to leave your caramel as it burns quickly.

Remove the caramel from the heat when you've achieved the pale brown colour. 

Add the peanuts and butter to the caramel and mix quickly. 
Tip the contents on top of the silicon mat and spread evenly using a spatula. 

Leave till it cools down and cut lengthways or to your preferred shape. 
Store in an airtight container till you're ready to wrap it as a present or serve. 

All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog. 
Try the recipe, leave a comment, subscribe and share.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


Cocoyam is a root vegetable readily available in Ghana and it's  rich in Vitamin B6 and magnesium. The Cocoyam leaves (African Spinach) traditionally known as Kontomire in Ghana, are rich in Vitamins A & C and contain more protein than the corm.

 The leaves are used for , sauces, stews (Palavar sauce, Kontomire stew etc) and soups in  Ghana. Cocoyams are used the same way one would potatoes and has a slight earthy taste.

 It's popular in most Asian cuisines and readily available in both African and Asian grocers. 

Dishes made from Cocoyam includes Fufu, Chips, Pottage to mention but a few. 
During my childhood, Cocoyam wasn't as popular as Yam, hence I'm creating new ways of incorporating Cocoyam in everyday dishes. 

I was rather surprised about a trip to Thailand (stayed in the Sarojin hotel, Khao Lak) where we were given complimentary snacks of Cocoyam crisp. My husband couldn't understand my excitement and I had to explain the limited ways it was used in Ghana.

I pinched myself to think an ingredient that wasn't popularly used had many uses and nutrition contents. My personal mission is to create as many recipes from Cocoyam. 

Anyway back to 2015, I found  the Cocoyam in my local Asian grocers and I couldn't help but grab a few. 

The grocer then informed me he's just taken stock of some fresh Guava's. Naturally I bought more than I needed, simply because it's been a while since I tasted fresh Guavas.

After my grocery trip, I was  too tired to cook and wanted to create a one pot dish. I started imagining the flavours I wanted for this dish. 
I wanted something that would compliment the moorish, earthy taste of the Cocoyam. The idea to incorporate the Guava was to add a tangy and sweet flavour to the soup. 

I've always loved Cocoyam pottage or just steamed to accompany any vegetable sauce or stew. 

I wanted an unusual colour to the soup, as this will get any guest guessing and question the dish. 

My husband saw the soup and I silently grinned at his  uncertain reaction to the colour of the soup. A taste of the soup, got him going for seconds and I knew I just cracked another recipe.

Why not try this recipe  in your Kitchen, leave a comment on the blog,  subscribe and share. 
Enjoy the recipe.

1 large peeled and diced Cocoyam 
2 tablespoonfuls of Olive oil
2 large chopped Banana shallots
200g of chopped purple cabbage
2 peeled cloves of Garlic 
100g of diced Guava
700ml of Vegetable/ Chicken stock
20g of peeled and diced Ginger
7g of Guinea Pepper or black peppercorns 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place a saucepan on a medium heat, add the olive oil and Guinea pepper.
Add the onions and fry for a minute
Add the diced Ginger and fry for 2 minutes. 
Add the garlic and Cocoyam cubes. 
Stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the stock and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then add the Cabbage and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until everything is soft to touch.    

Blend everything to a silky smooth consistency. 
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with sour cream, a drizzle of Olive oil and a rustic bread. 

All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.