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Sorrel Drink (recipe & video)

Sorrel Drink (recipe & video)
Christmas in Trinidad is a diverse multicultural affair. Not just for the Christian population, but also through the secular participation of the nation at large through the enjoyment of our local christmas songs (called parang) and especially the creation and consumption of our traditional Christmas foods. No Christmas in Trinidad would be complete without some rum-soaked black cake cold thick Punch... 

Carmen’s Jamaican Ginger Beer (recipe)

Carmen's Jamaican Ginger Beer (recipe)
This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Trini Christmas mom’s ginger beer brewing in the sun The above scene and bottle feel as though they have always been with me, they occur with such comforting regularity. Ginger beer is something that is enjoyed by both Trinis and Jamaicans however in my experience many Trinis enjoy theirs much weaker than my mother makes hers. Many people can’t... 

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)
Like sorrel, Black Cake in Trinidad is a Christmas institution. Made predominantly of alcohol drenched prunes, currants and raisins, variations abound (and I love taste testing when we make the visiting rounds). Still, the best black cake is always the recipe that one grew up with. In this case my black cake comes from my aunt, who also uses this recipe to make grooms’ cakes for weddings (in... 

Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Shiitake Mushroom Gravy (recipe)

Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Shiitake Mushroom Gravy (recipe)
Ever since watching the documentary FForks Over Knives last year I have actively been conscious of keeping my animal protein intake (both meat and dairy) to a minimum. It’s been quite a revelation for both my mother and myself in terms of the improvements that we have found in our overall well-being. As a result my enthusiasm for raw and vegan recipes (which have already been highlighted on... 

Sarina’s Coconut Rice With Lentils and Cashews (recipe)

Sarina's Coconut Rice With Lentils and Cashews (recipe)
This recipe is a staple side dish of mine that I’ve adapted and modified at length through the years. Both colorful and flavourful I think it creates a texturally interesting background for spicy curries and other East Indian flavoured entrees. Why not try it with Tridoshic Dal, Coconut Chicken Curry, or Vegetable Curry in a Hurry? Coconut Rice with Lentils and Cashews INGREDIENTS: 1/2 lb.... 

Trinidad Mauby Drink (recipe)

Trinidad Mauby Drink (recipe)
This recipe made 3 rum bottles worth of mauby. They were done within 24 hours! Learn more! • Mauby – An Overview • Mauby Bark: Three Things You May Not Know TRINIDAD MAUBY INGREDIENTS 12 cups water 4 pieces mauby bark (you can add a few more if desired) 1 small sprig aniseed 1 piece cinnamon 3 cups sugar (or to taste) 1 – 3 tablespoons Angostura bitters (to taste) METHOD 1. Place... 

Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes and Lemon Zest (recipe)

Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes and Lemon Zest (recipe)
I originally made this recipe way back in 2007 for Weekend Herb Blogging (hosted this time around by its founder Kalyn). I loved how the lemon zest really spotlighted the flavour of basil – an herb that we used to grow at home. As soon as we get another plant I will update this post again to reflect a new pic Funny what a difference new cameras and experience have made in my shots, but it’s... 

Plantain (or Moko) Baked In Orange Juice (recipe)

Plantain (or Moko) Baked In Orange Juice (recipe)
My mother first made this recipe in 2008 and it was a hit! Plantain is rarely showcased this formally on dinner tables and it really is a shame. In this case, lengths of ripe plantain are oven-baked with orange juice and zest. The result is creamy, with a slightly caramelized exterior. My personal suggestions with this recipe are to 1) make sure the plantain is adequately ripe i.e. that the skin... 

Green Olive Tapenade (recipe)

Green Olive Tapenade (recipe)
Tapenades are one of my entertaining ‘secret weapons’. Blend a few ingredients, add a drizzle of olive oil, some salt and pepper and people think you have been slaving for hours This one for Green Olive tapenade is one of my favourites. Because there are so few ingredients it becomes even more important that you make them of the highest quality that you can afford. I find that the flavour... 

Easy Vegan Spicy Peanut Soup with Fresh Mung Bean Sprouts (recipe)

Easy Vegan Spicy Peanut Soup with Fresh Mung Bean Sprouts (recipe)
Made on a rainy night, this spicy vegan peanut soup was a cinch to throw together. The flavours of peanut and ginger combine to create a spicy, sweet and silky texture and the crisp, cool crunch of the bean sprouts prevents the overall flavour profile from ever becoming cloying. This is a rather non-traditional (in this part of the world) take on comfort food. Although I used supermarket beansprouts... 

Sarina’s Ochro Rice Recipe & Thoughts On Umoja/Unity: As Mentioned on NPR

Sarina's Ochro Rice Recipe & Thoughts On Umoja/Unity: As Mentioned on NPR
Last month I was invited to participate in the blogging collective “Kwanzaa Culinarians“. Linking writers throughout the African diaspora it includes such heavyweights as Chef Bryant Terry, as well as known foodies like Sanura of “My Life Runs On Food“, Courtney of “Coco Cooks” and Chrystal & Amir of “The Duo Dishes“. Needless to say, I took it... 
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Trinidad Saltfish Accra (recipe)

Trinidad Saltfish Accra (recipe)
I see plenty of recipes for accra in West Indian Cookbooks but often they bear little resemblance to Trinidad Accra. My Jamaican mother tells me that what she knows as accra is a saltfish fritter, flat, fried brown. Here in Trinidad however accra is a puffy fried dough ball, made of a highly seasoned dough into which shredded saltfish has been mixed. I’ve had it at weddings, gatherings, and... 

Pawpaw a.k.a Papaya Nectar (recipe)

Pawpaw a.k.a Papaya Nectar (recipe)
MMMM pawpaw. Growing up it was probably near the bottom rung of my favoured fruits. It wasn’t sweet enough, the seeds wigged me out, and the texture was just too bleh. In an effort to get me interested my mother would serve it to me drizzled in honey. This attempt worked more times than not, and as I got older my palate started to enjoy and appreciate this fruit, with or without adornment. It... 

Sarina’s Tropical Mango Hot Sauce (recipe)

Sarina's Tropical Mango Hot Sauce (recipe)
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Top Trini Condiments This post was originally written for a 2007 installment of “Waiter There’s Something in my…”! The theme was sauces. Originally I had thought of coming up with a pasta sauce as I haven’t made pasta in a while, however over the past week we have been flooded with mangoes (from friends and neighbours). The influx... 

20 Ways To Enjoy Ginger!

20 Ways To Enjoy Ginger!
. From Epicentre.com: Ginger is one of those ingredients that can be many things to many people. Not only is it used in cuisines around the world, but it also comes in a variety of forms fresh, pickled, dried, and crystallized among them . People who bake may immediately call to mind the ground ginger they use in gingerbread or the jewel-like crystallized ginger they add to holiday cookies and cakes.... 

Wholewheat Bake (recipe)

Wholewheat Bake (recipe)
This post was originally published on October 13, 2006. It has been updated twice since then. Bake is a popular breakfast bread here in Trinidad. Hearty by nature, its heavy crumb keeps you feeling satisfied for hours. Especially when taken with a savory topping. My version here, raises the fiber content through a healthy dose of wholewheat flour. Be sure to pay attention to the resting time and... 

Sarina’s Cranberry Almond Slaw (recipe)

Sarina's Cranberry Almond Slaw (recipe)
Salads in Trinidad are traditionally a disheartening affair that leaves you wondering why the cook/establishment even bothered. Two wilted lettuce leaves, a force-ripe watery slice of tomato, and some slivers of cucumber served either unadorned, or swimming in some vague mystery oil with specks of pepper flecked throughout. All that’s missing is a headstone for your plate. Most people down it... 

Basil Lemonade (recipe)

Basil Lemonade (recipe)
This Basil Lemonade recipe was originally made for Stephanie’s 43rd edition of Blog Party! One of the things that I love about adding basil to beverages is the muted herbal flavour that it imparts. This lemonade is no exception. It softens the acidity of the lemon/lime juice, and also mellows out the overt sweetness. Be sure to blend the basil leaves and lime juice completely before adding... 

Grated Carrot and Raisin Salad (recipe)

Grated Carrot and Raisin Salad (recipe)
This salad is a nostalgic favourite of mine. It was the only form of vegetables that my Aunt provided on a regular basis when I (and many of her godchildren) would spend part of the school holidays by her. From young I enjoyed the contrast in textures between the smooth creamy mayonnaise, and crunchy carrots… and the occasional burst of sweetness that the raisins provided? Heaven! So imagine... 

Dasheen Balls (recipe)

Dasheen Balls (recipe)
I have a confession to make. I have grown up utterly hating ‘provisions’. You know what I’m talking about. Yams, eddoes, dasheen… I always had a fondness for cassava so that was granted a pardon, but the others? I wanted nothing to do with them. The antipathy began from childhood and stretched without interruption into my adult years. Memories of fist sized cubes of starch...