|A happy healthy heart is important!|
– Instead of using creams to reduce itching and swelling from mosquito bites,use banana peels.
|A happy healthy heart is important!|
I know that I’ve been silent for a short while, I’ve actually been busy running up and down, putting some business in order. I’m glad to announce that I’ve decided to finally start the bakery I’ve been dreaming about since last year. The beginning of this year I found a great partner, my wonderful sister, and we’ve been working on the logistics since then. We officially registered our business two weeks ago and have been setting up the bakery in Nairobi.
It’s going to be a “cottage industry” for the time being, that meaning that we will operate from home and we will distribute the baked goods to our wonderful customers ^_^!!The only part we’re left with now is finding our small bakery team, training them until we open on March 15th, 2012.
I will make sure I keep updating everyone on the progress and any upcoming offers. I thank you for your support and ask you to keep supporting us in this wonderful journey in becoming the best bakery in Nairobi and I’m very delighted to share with all of you my love of banana bread and all things quick breads! Check out my new website and if anyone has any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact us. Thank you ^_^!!
Surprisingly, pancakes are also a kind of quick bread, hence the name pan-cakes. Once in a while I’ll wake up in the morning and just feel like having some pancakes. I especially love orange flavored fluffy pancakes. Here’s my recipe:
– 2/3 cup Milk
– 2 Tablespoons Sugar
– 1 cup Self-Rising Wheat flour
– 1 Egg
– 1/8 cup Margarine or Butter
– 1 Orange (Medium-sized)
– Orange rind
– Extra vegetable oil for pan.
1.) Combine flour and sugar in a separate bowl and set aside.
2.) Wash the orange and grate it for the rind and set aside in a plate. Then squeeze the orange for juice and set aside in a cup.
3.) Whisk the egg and margarine/butter in a large mixing bowl and then add the milk and orange juice; whisk until well blended.
4.) Slowly pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients as you whisk until there are no lumps in the batter. Add the rind and slowly fold until thoroughly blended.
5.) Heat a frying pan with some vegetable oil on medium heat.
6.) Pour not more than 3 spoonfuls of batter onto the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface.
|bubbles on pancakes|
Flip with a spatula, add a small amount of vegetable oil and cook until brown on either side.
7.) You can serve your fluffy delicious pancakes on a plate.
*If you don’t have self-rising flour; add 1/4 teaspoon of Baking powder.
If you don’t particularly want the orange flavor, you can make the pancake recipe above an omit the orange juice and rind. You can flavor with 1 teaspoon of Vanilla essence
Serve with butter & syrup or top with fruits like ripe bananas or strawberries. How do you like to eat your pancakes?
I say the second time because the first time, half-way through my baking, I smelled burning and when I checked, my batter was boiling over like porridge, it was quite disturbing! Sometimes, even for a seasoned baker, baking doesn’t go very well or as planned. I’ve put together a few trouble-shooting tips to help you avoid a situation like mine, or if you have a situation like mine, how to figure out what happened. ^_^
1.) BATTER OVERFLOWS
This is what happened to my batter. Possible causes are:
– Excess baking powder or baking soda was used in the recipe. The solution to this would be to make sure the correct amount of raising agent is used as stated in the recipe. Also, if the recipe calls for self-rising flour, do not use any other raising agents in the recipe since the flour already contains them; or if using; use small quantities.
– Using a baking pan that is too small. The solution to this would be to use the correct baking pan stated in the recipe. If it’s a 9″ Round pan, make sure you use the same as stipulated or a different shape but still an equivalent size.
2.) CAKE SINKS IN THE CENTER
– Batter was over mixed. It is very important in every recipe, to mix the batter as instructed, not more – not less.
– Cake removed from the oven too soon can also cause sinking. The solution is to make sure you follow the correct baking times and when in doubt, just insert a tooth pick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, remove from the oven.
– Opening the oven door during baking. Make sure while you’re baking, you don’t peek, especially during the first 15 to 20 minutes of baking time.
3.) CAKE DOMES/PEAKS IN THE CENTER
– Oven too hot at the beginning of baking. Make sure you preheat your oven to the right temperature. Also if you can, purchase an oven thermometer for accurate measurement of the oven temperature.
– Too much baking powder or baking soda. Make sure you use the correct measurements of raising agent as stated in the recipe.
4.) CAKE STICKS TO SIDE OF PAN
– This happens if the pan is not sufficiently greased and floured. Make sure you always grease and flour the baking pan before use. You can also grease the pan and then put parchment/grease-proof paper before pouring in the batter as well.
– If the cake is turned out of the pan immediately after baking, it sticks to the side of the pan and will leave parts of it in the pan.This can be avoided if after baking, allow the cake to cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan before removing it.
– Cake cooled too long in the pan. To make sure cake doesn’t stick to the baking pan, make sure after you cool the cake in the pan for at least 5 minutes; remove it and place the cake on a cooling rack.
5.) CAKE IS DRY
– Too much flour was used. Make sure you measure the flour appropriately with a measuring cup and follow recipe measurements of flour accurately.
– Not enough liquid in the batter. To solve this problem, make sure you follow the recipe accurately and check to make sure you have the correct batter consistency for your cake recipe.
This tips will help you avoid disastrous situations while baking. Enjoy your home baking ^_^!
My way of doing so this year, is by baking one of my favorite cakes, a pound cake, and decorating it pink ^_^ Here’s my recipe, enjoy:
|My Pretty Valentine’s Cake|
Valentine’s Day Pound Cake
– 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
– 1/2 cup Sugar
– 2 Eggs (beaten)
– 2 cups Self Rising Flour
– 1/8 teaspoon Salt
– 1/2 cup Milk
– 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
P/S: You can also use margarine instead of un-salted butter; if you do, don’t use salt.
* Use the link to make frosting for the cake and add the color of your choice for your frosting. Use liquid pink food color, at least 1/2 teaspoon.
|Valentine’s Day Pound cake|
Most of us may be wondering what kind of gift to get our loved ones for that special day. Gift buying can be confusing at times, so I’ve put together a few ideas that are both helpful and budget-friendly to guide you in your gift-buying endeavor.So whether it’s this weekend or on the actual Valentine’s day, use these ideas to help you have a no-stress Valentine’s gift giving day ^_^
GIFT IDEAS FOR HER
1. Beauty Gift Bag
This is an especially good idea if you want that special lady to know how thoughtful you are. Some supermarkets are offering gift bags for beauty products for ladies. You can choose from a variety of products for her.
It would be even better if you have an idea what that special lady’s favorite scent is e.g. vanilla, apple or citrus. Then choose the products with that in mind. If you’re a creative person, you can go the extra mile by assembling a gift bag yourself. You only need to purchase an empty gift bag and tissue paper or crepe paper,then purchase some beauty products you would like to gift, for example; a body wash with a matching lotion and a scented candle. Then assemble the gifts into the bag and voila! you have a custom-made beauty gift bag.
2. Spa Gift Voucher
Ladies love spas, they love to be pampered and taken care of. Another perfect gift to give that special lady in your life is a spa gift voucher. It gives her a chance to take a day off and relax, all thanks to you ^_^! If you know of a great spa near her, visit and ask them if they give gift vouchers, they’ll be sure to assist you.
5. Flowers, Chocolates and Dinner
If you want to keep it simple and classic, treat that special lady to dinner and present her with flowers and chocolates. Most ladies love flowers and chocolates; who can resist a wonderful candlelit dinner? It’s sure to please her.
GIFT IDEAS FOR HIM
For that special man in your life who has great taste in accessories, a good quality watch would be a great present. Make sure you get a watch that suits his style and makes a statement about his personality. He will appreciate it and keep it close to him, (literally, on his wrist).
7. Beer Mug Set
If your special man loves hanging with the guys on some weekends, hosting a barbeque while enjoying some beer, this is a great gift for him. Get him a nice set of beer mugs he can use and they’ll always have a special meaning for him.
8. DVD Gift Set
If your special man loves watching movies, this is a great gift for him. Get a collection of DVDs from his favorite genre, e.g. Action, Sports, Wrestling or Documentaries and wrap them up for him. He will appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into his gift.
9. Apparel Accessories
If that special man in your life is stylish and loves his accessories, gift him with some that will make sure he always thinks of you. Cuff links, a nice tie and a leather wallet are great gifts to get him to show your appreciation of him. Make sure the cuff links and the tie match and the wallet is genuine leather.
10. Swiss Army Knife
For that special man in your life who is a handy-man in the house and has lots of tools. Get him a Swiss Army Knife, he will appreciate this multifunctional tool.
GIFT IDEAS FOR BOTH HIM OR HER
11. Box of Chocoloates
A gentleman who has good taste can enjoy a box of chocolates as well as any woman can. It is a classic and simple gift that will always be appreciated.
12. Fruit Baskets
An all-around healthy gift that anyone will appreciate.
If that special someone enjoys a good glass of wine, gift him or her with a quality wine for Valentine’s day.
14. Quality Stemware
For that special someone who enjoys a good glass of wine and has a fully stocked bar ^_^! You can add them some stem ware to compliment the wine.
15. Gift Vouchers
This is a simple and safe gift that anyone will always appreciate. It is hassle-free and guaranteed to always be appreciated. Just choose a favorite supermarket, specialty store, barber shop, salon or even a butchery of that special someone’s choice and get him or her a gift voucher.
Whatever your plans are for this Valentine’s Day are, enjoy yourself and make sure you let all your loved ones know how special they are too you ^_^
How are you planning on enjoying this Valentine’s Day?
Today is Boy Scouts day, it is the day we celebrate the birth of scouting. As for me, I’ve decided to commemorate this day by sharing another classic cookie favorite recipe – chocolate chip cookies.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
We all love chocolate, so why not some chocolate chips in a cookie? Here’s my recipe:
– 1 cup Sugar
– 2 Eggs
– 1 cup Butter (or Margarine)
– 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
– 2 cups All-purpose Flour
– 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
– 1 teaspoon Salt (don’t use if you use margarine)
– 10 oz./ 300gms Semi-sweet Chocolate chips or chunks
Enjoy your chocolate chip cookies! Do you like your cookies with milk? What else do you like to take with your cookies? Do share ^_^
HAPPY BOY SCOUT DAY!
We have a Cookies recipe Booklet – click here for details.
Of all the bread spreads in the market, my favorite is peanut butter! Not only is it healthy, but since I love peanuts, it has a very wonderful “nutty” smell to it that I particularly like.
Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
– 1 cup Sugar
– 1 1/4 cup Butter (un-salted) or Margarine
– 2/3 cup Peanut Butter
– 2 cups Self Rising Flour (P/S: You can also use plain all purpose flour)
– 1/8 teaspoon Salt (If using Margarine; don’t put salt)
-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Flavor
YIELD: 12 – 18 pcs
Baking at home or hobby baking is different from professional baking, however there are a few tricks professional bakers rely on that can be applied to home baking. Here are some of the professional tips you can depend on that will enhance your home baking experience.
1. Oven Preparation
To get great results from your home baking, make sure you always preheat your oven at least 8 – 10 minutes before you put in the product you are baking. Baking at the center of the oven also makes sure of even circulation of heat which makes sure your product is baked evenly.
3. Recipe Preparation
When baking, make sure you first read the entire recipe before starting so as to understand every step of what you’ll be doing. Make sure you take out all ingredients as well as the equipment to be used ahead of time. Being prepared will make the baking process easier and more fun.
|Prepare your equipment ahead of time|
4. Personal Touch
When decorating an iced cake, frost the cake then simply add a ribbon or a bow to give it a personal as well as a professional touch.
You can also sprinkle icing sugar on a cake to give it a simple yet professional look.
|Icing sugar sprinkled on a cake|
Another good idea for a chocolate cake, is to take a doily
|Example of a patterned doily|
and lay it on the cake. Then sprinkle icing sugar on it and remove the doily. This gives the cake an antique look on top of the cake. You can also use any other pattern and sprinkle icing sugar.
|Image courtesy of creativejewishmom.com|
5. Cooling Quick breads
When your baked goodies are ready and you take it out of the oven, don’t cool them in the pan they were baked in. Give them 3 – 5 minutes for the pan to cool and remove them from the pan onto a cooling rack. If you cool in the baking pan, cakes and breads may become soggy and get stuck.
Whatever you’re doing, whether it be baking or decorating, have fun ^_^
Some excerpts courtesy of The Budget Chef website
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For all those who have tasted Coconut Cake, nothing beats that delicious coconut frosting covered by coconut shavings, yum! Sometimes though, I want the Coconut Cake without all that sugar, so I decided to make a Coconut Loaf Cake without frosting. I used a fresh coconut that my sis had bought and it turned out to be quite delicious. It still hit the spot! Here’s the recipe:
- - 1/3 cup Un-salted Butter or Margarine (*if using butter; add pinch of salt)
|Grease & flour your loaf pan|
|Creamed coconut mixture|
|Delicious and so moist ^_^|
P/S: If you don’t have a coconut, you can use store-bought coconut milk or coconut powder to make the milk.
*You can double or triple this recipe if you would like a bigger cake.
Share this recipe in your network with anyone who you know loves to bake ^_^