Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sticky BBQ Ribs

My love for spare ribs started in secondary school (in Nigeria) when one Sunday, a classmate brought in some ribs from her mom's restaurant (Pintos) for us to share. 

Many a restaurant rib later (although somehow I live in Texas, the land of bbq and haven't had any here) plus many 'so-so' attempts at making mine; I discovered a method of making 'sticky' wings after watching a unique method by an Asian chef on Food Network's Diners, Drivers and Dives.

The method is a simple 2 step process.

Step One: Boil ribs (I used pork ribs) in a saucepan with your favorite spices and enough water to just about cover the ribs. My choice spices were curry powder, thyme, garlic powder, ground ginger, onion powder, salt (seasoned salt), black pepper and a dash of maggi sauce. Once softened to your liking, drain boiling liquid/stock.

Step Two: Turn oven broiler on. Place ribs in a single layer in a baking pan lined with foil and brush favorite barbecue sauce over them. Place under the broil and keep an eye on it to prevent burning. Turn over to the other side and brush sauce on the other side and repeat broiling. Each side should take about 5 minutes to brown/char.

The result is a deliciously sticky and tender rib. Next time, I'm going to try teriyaki sauce instead of barbecue sauce. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Oatmeal-Apple Pancakes

Today's recipe is semi-homemade (whatever happened to that show on food network?). These days in an effort to be healthier but not necessarily completely give up foods I love, I look for ways to make them more nutritious and filling.

All you need for this one is 3 simple ingredients:
1) Pancake mix (a simple, just add water mix is perfect)
2) Quick oats or minute oats
3) Chopped up apples (peeled)

- Mix all ingredients in a bowl with water to desired thickness (use box instructions and add water to adjust for the added oats)
- Heat up skillet, or griddle, spray with cooking spray and scoop pancake mix unto it
- As soon as the bubbles start to appear on the surface, flip and cook on the other side for about a minute or two (until no longer runny when pressed with a spatula).

Enjoy hot alone, with syrup or like I did with cut up fresh strawberries and sugar-free syrup.

Filing and delicious!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Not your mama's Banga Soup

Banga soup is a staple in West African culture. In Nigeria it has now become a nationwide staple, but originally it was a Niger-Delta delicacy. My people (Isoko wado) usually eat this soup with starch, but being a Lagos-Isoko chic and one who's mum doesn't care much for starch, I have no idea what that tastes like - but love it with poundo yam or poundo plantain.

I attribute the love of the poundo plantain to my Abidjanaise days - Sauce Graine avec foutou banane. Delicious!!!

Also, I am not one to wash palm kennels like my mama used to when I was a kid.Thankful the stuff is being done by machines and canned, for a modern/easier twist to the process.

Anyways, here we go!

- 1 can of palm nut concentrate (Trofai, Ghana Fresh or whatever brand)
- 1 large can of tomato sauce
- 1 pack of chicken gizzards
- 1/2 a red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 a large onion (thinly sliced)
- 3 whole frozen Tilapia fish each cut into 3 or 4 pieces depending on size
- seasonings - salt, ground red pepper, ground ginger, ground garlic, maggi(boullion cube)

- Place gizzards in a large pot with onions and seasonings (minus red pepper), add water and boil until tender.
- Add sliced red bell peppers and can of tomato sauce and boil for about 15 minutes.
- Add can of palm nut concentrate and about a can full of water and boil for about 5 minutes.
- Salt Tilapia fish and add to the sauce.
- Add ground red pepper and salt to taste (add another maggi cube if necessary).
- Reduce heat to a simmer and boil until clear palm oil floats to the top.
- If you like, do like I do and scoop excess oil from the top.
- Turn of heat and enjoy!

I love Banga soup with pretty much anything. I had it with poundo plantain one day, boiled plantains on another, and can't wait to have it with rice.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Super Easy (and kinda healthy) Pigs In A Blanket

Like most of my recipes, I am usually inspired by a good sale at the grocery store. About a week ago, I found some turkey sausage with cheddar cheese (on the inside) on sale for $0.99. They were close to their expiration date and immediately pigs in a blanket came to mind. It seemed like the perfect way to cook them all at once and experiment a little as well.

I decided I wanted to use biscuit dough rather than crescent roll dough like most recipes call for - in my mind biscuit dough is less greasy and dough-ier. I didn't quite buy the dough that day but I did today for $0.83 (store brand).

(so sorry for the empty packs :-))

With only two ingredients, it is super simple. There are 10 biscuits in the pack and they are pretty small, so I used 2 biscuits for each pig in a blanket. The pack of sausages was 6 but I used only 5 for obvious reasons (the left-over one would make a perfect part of tomorrow's breakfast :-))

Preparation is super simple:
- Going by the directions on the biscuit pack, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grab 2 biscuits, press them together and flatten out to about 1/2 an inch thickness.
- Roll each sausage in the flattened biscuit dough
- Place on a baking sheet - folded side down
- Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes

Enjoy on it's own (like I did) or with your favorite dipping sauce.

Friday, January 23, 2015


My go to quick pick me up snack is puff-puff. I used to think it was so hard to make and it probably is when making a large batch. But for me and my quick mix to satisfy a sugar craving, here's what you do.

I make 2 versions, one with or without bananas. The bananas make it more nutritious but let me warn you - they are addictive.

All purpose flour
Granulated sugar (to desired sweetness)
Instant yeast
Warm water
Cooking oil
Bananas - optional


  • Mix flour sugar, sugar and instant yeast and warm water until you get a sticky consistency and all ingredients are properly incorporated.
  • Cover in a bowl with a cloth and leave to rise at least an hour.
  • If using bananas, mash and incorporate into the mixture.
  • Heat cooking oil and drop spoonfuls of the mixture in the hot oil
  • Fry, flipping until browned on both sides and cooked on the inside (a few minutes)
It is best enjoyed hot but still delicious when cooled down.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Spicy Gizzards

Happy New Year y'all. Here's a quick yet yummy one perfect for any occasion. 


A pack of chicken gizzards (turkey is fine as well)
Garlic powder
Ground ginger
Light soy sauce
Chili garlic sauce (or sweet chili sauce)

  • Season cleaned gizzards with a generous amount of garlic and ginger powders and place in a sauce pan.
  • Place on mid/low heat (gas mark 4) and allow to cook in own liquid stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until soft. Add little amounts of water from time to time if needed.
  • When soft and most of the liquid is done, add soy sauce and chili garlic sauce to taste.
  • Stir continuously for about a minute until gizzard if fully coated.
  • Take off heat and enjoy!

This delicious protein on its own as a snack (skewer or stick in toothpicks) or along with your favorite sides.

(Pictured here with a mixture of greens and boxed broccoli rice to which I added chopped carrots)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ham, Potato and Egg Casserole

I am always looking for interesting ways to cook potatoes. Given that they are starchy and high carbohydrate vegetables; and usually fats like butter and cheese are added to make them taste delicious, doing the diet thing, I tend to want to stay away.

When I do get a craving, not wanting to go for a mash or use them in my go to shepherd's pie, after a little recipe research, I came up with this. It is in some ways like a frittata but I skip the stove top portion and go straight to the oven.


One large russet potato (baking potato)
3 large eggs
Deli sliced ham (or whatever protein you have)
1/3 cup of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of skim milk
1/3 of a large red onion
1/3 of a large green pepper
salt and black pepper to taste


- Peel and thinly slice potatoes and boil in water until tender
- Dice up onions and green pepper finely
- Whisk eggs and milk together and season with salt and pepper
- Slice up ham
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F once potatoes are done
- Grab a baking dish and spray with cooking spray
- Layer potatoes
- Scatter diced up onions and green peppers over potatoes
- Pour over egg mixture and place dish in oven
- After about 15-20 minutes the eggs should have almost completely come together
- Scatter shredded cheese over the top of the casserole
- Place in over for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the casserole start to brown.

Allow to cool and enjoy!