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Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Food Industry

 

Being that am not exercising good blogging principles by blogging every other day, I went ahead and opened another blog for recipes and foods only! oh boy! What am I thinking?! Well my life isn’t what you would term as ‘very’ exciting, so having 2 blogs is going to really stretch me here, but maybe just maybe, it could be the beginning of something new and exciting. I will work on linking the blogs so that they supplement each other.

The recipe experience and highlight of the week for me and my hubby was ‘adventuring’ at a grilling restaurant and we had these flame grilled cherry and ginger spare ribs with potato wedges and steamed veggies on the side. Of course my hubby had no particular inkling towards the veggies but I felt obligated to eat mine in the hope that my body understands that it has eaten something health-ier! The ribs were very tender and well marinated. We had a chat with the chef, Chef Edward, who is adventuring in the restaurant business. Also came to find out he’s going to cater for the Masaku 7’s, this is the newest and upcoming Rugby team from Machakos or rather the Eastern province (county now, I think).awuwu!

The food industry in itself is quite extensive and very interesting. Its intriguing how we take food so lightly here in this Kenya of ours. I aint saying that we ‘all’ do, but generally that’s how we have been brought up. The people who I give credit to for enjoying and working on their meals are the Swahili in the Coast province( oops county). Having been privileged (not coz am loaded cash-wise, no, just God’s favour) to have eaten at some of our big hotels, and having no particular culinary training, its sad that not ALOT of thought is put into meals. You think well, this is a big hotel, and whatever they service in terms of food will knock my socks or skirt off, then, comes disappointment. I mean with a little bit of keenness and money to buy those ingredients, the now widely travelled and learned Kenyan can pull off some of the moves the ‘chefs’ make. We just need to up our game, am talking about hotels and restaurants and caterers.

We have so many upcoming caterers who do the most shoddiest of jobs, yet they are making a kill in terms of clientele, because we hardly put to mind what we are serving or being served. Being brought up in Kenya and with average incomes (money is relative to every individual), I hardly think we have the luxury to know what it means to be served great food. Though I do believe that the moment you take a particular keenness to something, you discover so much about that thing it’s almost embarrassing to imagine you had no idea or had never contemplated how much that thing was far-reaching, knowledge-wise.

Anyone out there who loves eating out ones in a while and is especially attentive to the service they receive can conquer with me that, we are not doing well in the food industry but (yes but), we are improving due to the rising competition. Employees at those places are bored to death and thus bore you to a point of not really enjoying your meal. Every now and then when you do come across a cheerful waiter/waitress, it’s a breath of fresh air. Another trend that we have is starting off with great food and workers then, I believe, as the ‘greed’ or thirst for more money engulfs us we cut down on ingredients and thus totally spoil the quality of food. They end up underpaying and mistreating their employees who eventually quit, and gradually when the customers notice (they all always seem to think we don’t notice) they take their leave. That business owner ends up operating on losses and wounded pride.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Meat

 

grilling pork in the microwave

Wow okay, so we don’t eat a lot of starch and meats, being healthy is top on my (yes my) list, and through out the week the menu is on healthy foods. But weekends, well lets just say, having had a long hard week, it definitely pays off to eat ‘happy foods’, lol! To the utter joy of my hubby. Anyway, the other day I wanted to experiment on pork (am loving pork everyday). So I will try to put the ingredients, you can measure accordingly, depending on the size of your pork. NOTE: use reasonable and appropriate ingredients. Oh just to mention, tried to make Grilled smoked Pork on our Microwave (that has Grill option) and it didn’t go as planned, next time it shall, so ended up pan frying the pork.

What was to be Grill Smoked Pork Ingredients;

Brown Sugar

Honey

Lemon Juice

Vegetable Oil

Red pepper flakes or Chilli Powder

Step one is to marinate the pork in all the above ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once ready to cook, you can either grill or pan fry on a non-stick pan. I never add oil to the pan, just let the pork sizzle in its own fat.

Mashed Potatoes

Buy potatoes, peel and boil in salty water.

Once tender pour out water and add, cream or milk, butter, black pepper a bit of chilli powder lemon juice coriander (dhania) if you wish and mash it all up.

Peas

Boil them and either fry with onions and butter OR fry onion in vegetable oil add tomatoes and the cooked peas and allow stew to simmer in medium heat.

All done simple and fun, serve and enjoy!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Pork

 

Home Made Comfort Foods

It is sad to note that with increase in economy a lot of things are becoming lesser and lesser of importance to the average or ‘common’ Kenyan. Meaning the Kenyan whose getting a paycheck at the end of the month with a substantial amount of money worth spending. There was a time that life wasn’t this complicated, forgive me for sounding like a whiner and not ‘in touch’ with reality, but I miss those days, don’t you? We could enter a supermarket with Kshs. 2000 and buy so much stuff for the month or even months. Anyway refer to a previous post for my total disregard of the times we are living in.

On a happier note, this Sunday was pizza Sunday, hooray! And my lovely wonderful awesome husband made, yes I said it right, made us some overly delicious pizza. To think that in this age, an average pizza costs Kshs 600 is just shocking. We are talking about a pizza that can only satisfy 2 chicks who rarely eat that much, meaning you’d have to spent Kshs 1000 plus to get a pizza that gets the attention of your stomach. I think the last time I bought a pizza it was around Kshs 300 or so (I don’t pay myself first often enough), and that only happened when it was a special-treat day. Its becoming more and more economical to buy ingredients of comfort foods and just make from home. I think this is especially good because its high time Kenyans learnt how to make other foods aside from, umh Ugali, Sukuma, Rice, Githeri, Beef stew (with too much unnecessary water), Mukimo, Njahi, Pilau… you can add any that comes to mind.

Do not get me wrong, because, am well aware of the economical situation in Kenya, I live in Kenya, Nairobi to be exact! But there are those times when as a family or pals, you just want to relax and treat yourselves to something nice. Averagely that would mean going to town, to a chips joint and ordering chips and chicken. 1/4 chicken in town is roughly what?, Kshs 140, Burgers cost Kshs 250 or so, Chips is Kshs 60. Considering that the price of potatoes has come down, you can make so much fries at home for Kshs 60. Now when I come from work I pass by the market (kawangware to be exact and like twice a week) where if it’s a kuku-feel-day, the local butcher can cut for me gram-wise chicken, meaning my options are not limited to the kilogramme. This works out so well, coz its pocket friendly and definitely healthier, because I get to choose how to cook it.

Red meat is something we should all strive to stay away from, once a week is the best you should do. 1/4 kg of meat is Kshs 80 (for now) depending on how large your family is, dictates how much you will buy. Pork I have come to discover to my utter shock(guys from central county, largely farm pigs), is cheaper than meat (no, that’s not the shocker), but there are so many ways you can cook pork and enjoy it. Please don’t make pork stew, just wrong, unless you are cut the tenderloin (no fat). If you can find someone who sells chicken at a good price, take that option as well, or better still have a mini chicken farm (now, I get my mum). Fish is something that is becoming evasive, but we pray it shall be restored into the market for all of us fish lovers to be able to buy and enjoy it more often than not.

When you have a mum who farms, take advantage of that by ordering legumes from them and any ‘wild’ vegetables, for the lack of a better word I mean vegs like managu, kunde, terere etc which are great sources of fiber, the only challenge is undoing them from the stem, but hey ‘mtaka cha mvunguni sharti ainame’, I don’t know how to translate this in english. Locate a person who can also supply you with onions and tomatoes in plenty and at a good price, this helps your budget alot. Back in the single hay days this stuff wasn’t important, I enjoyed my tea/bread/egg days once in a while, but now, cooking has never been this much fun. So single or not cooking is for all, explore and discover, but don’t overindulge the ‘wrong’ foods.

Not actual Pizza but another made later on, simple ingredients

So back to the pizza, we bought pizza base bread at Uchumi or you can learn how to make it (my next mission), and the other toppings my hubby made at home (curious of what they were aren’t you, siri yetu) and if you have an oven great, if not put in microwave and let the melting of cheese bring everything together. Ofcourse don’t put uncooked toppings and expect them to cook in the microwave, duhest! You can do the same with a burger, buy the meat, bread and have your own homemade delicious inexpensive burger.

The average cost of the home pizza came to around Kshs350, remember they were 2 pizzas whose price in a restaurant would have been around Kshs 500 each or more. Anyone want to order a home-made pizza?

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Easy Made Foods

 
 
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