Monday, January 15, 2018


Well, the new year is upon us, and January has proven to be a total jerk when it comes to weather. It’s been super cold and snowed, then it warmed up to almost 60 degrees, only to be followed by freezing rain, ice and more snow. Winter can go suck rotten eggs. But at least we’re cooking tropical food from Saint Kitts & Nevis today, so I can pretend that maybe it’s warm outside. I tried to go look, but the sun on the snow just about blinded me. 

Yeah, and pretty much like I thought: everyone has eaten this up, and I've only gotten on piece.
 Now, I’ve made several banana breads, but this Island Banana Bread seemed slightly different.  First I mixed 2 Tbsp of softened butter and 2 Tbsp of cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Then I added in 1 egg, 2 mashed up bananas, 1 tsp of vanilla extra, and 2 Tbsp of rum (it called for dark rum, but I can’t have dark liquor, so I’m using Captain Morgan’s white rum). I mixed everything together well. In a separate bowl, I mixed together 2 c of flour, 2 tsp of baking soda, 1/8 tsp of salt and ¼ of brown sugar. I left out the nuts (but if you wanted to, you can add in ¼ c of walnuts or pecans), but I did add in ¼ c of coconut flakes into the flour mix. At this point, I slowly added in my dry ingredients to my wet ingredients, stirring in between. Then I pre-heated my oven to 375ºF and laid a piece of parchment paper inside, cut so that the bottom and long sides were covered. Then I poured my batter into the loaf pan and baked it for 40 minutes, checking it at the 30 minute mark to make sure. While it was baking, I made the glaze. In a small saucepan, I mixed together 2 Tbsp of butter, 2 Tbsp of lime juice, 2 Tbsp of rum, ¼ c of brown sugar, and ¼ c of white sugar. I heated it until it started to boil. Then I added ¾ c of powdered sugar (a ¼ c at a time) until it became the consistency of honey. I pulled it off the heat and added in 2 Tbsp of coconut (I left out the nuts). When I took the bread out of the oven, I spooned the glaze over the top and let it sit up for 30 minutes. This was awesome. It was a little sweet with the glaze (I might cut the white sugar out of the glaze next time), but otherwise, it was delightful when it was warm.

This is one of the better fish recipes I've had.
Next I made the National Dish, which actually consists of four dishes. The first part is Stewed Saltfish. I used cod for this since when I tried to look this up, I basically found a bunch of references to Salted Cod. So, you know… But I thawed it out and salted both sides of it liberally. Then I heated some oil in a skillet, added in some green bell pepper, scallions, garlic, and a little onion powder, letting it cook together for about 5 minutes. Then I added in a can of diced tomatoes, letting it simmer for 2-3 more minutes. At this point, I added in my fish, a little butter, and a little bit of ground pepper. I covered it and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until the fish was flaky. I topped it with a little bit of scallions I had left over. I thought this was great! The saltiness of the fish was balanced by the scallions and tomatoes. I would definitely make this again. And it didn’t take that long to make, either – a great dish for a weeknight.

Although it was supposed to be plantains, the sweet potatoes were actually pretty good with this recipe.
The second part is Spicy Plantains. Normally, I don’t have much trouble finding plantains at all, but this weekend, I went to three different stores looking for them with no luck. So, considering this is a spicy dish, I substituted sweet potatoes instead of bananas. I peeled and cut three sweet potatoes and parboiled them until they were kind of soft but not to the point where you could easily break it apart. I drained the water and added in some ginger, a little onion, some salt, and a little cayenne pepper and stirred everything together. Then in a skillet, I heated some oil and fried them until they were golden brown. I really liked this, and it wasn’t nearly as spicy as I thought it was going to be. I mean, I only used ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper. I could definitely have added more, but then no one else in my family would’ve eaten it.

I know I was a little heavy on the potatoes with this meal, but I see no problem with this.
Part three is Seasoned Breadfruit. Because of the weather, I wasn’t able to get to the international grocery store, so I had to substitute for this: I went with some tri-color petite potatoes for this (golden, red, and purple potatoes). In a pot, I melted some butter and then added some oil. Once the oil was heated, I threw in some diced onions and sautéed them for about 5 minutes. Then I added in the thyme, garlic, and diced red pepper and sautéed them for another minute. I added in my diced potatoes and some chicken broth along with a little salt and pepper and let it cook until the potatoes were soft.
These actually look like glazed doughnut holes, but that might just be the fat girl in me talking.
And finally, the last part is Coconut Dumplings, the one part I had all the ingredients for. In a small bowl, I mixed together some flour, salt, butter, coconut, and oil. I had to use my fingers to crumb the butter into the mixture. Using a little more than a ½ c of water, I made a thick dough and kneaded it for a couple of minutes. I formed balls about the size of golf balls and then dropped them in boiling water. I let them cook for about 10-15 minutes, draining them on paper towels. I kind of liked these – they went well in between bites of the saltiness of the fish. They were certainly a little chewy from being boiled, but coconut added a little texture and sweetness to it.

I liked this meal quite a lot. It'll make for some good leftovers tomorrow.
And as I come to the end of my first country of 2018, I realized I have to make the difficult decision of pausing on the blog. Again. I’m making some changes in my career path, and I need to finish up some courses in order to try to merge into digital and content marketing. Up until recently, it was just something I was casually learning, but now… there is more of an urgency behind it. I basically need to fast track this. But I’ll be back as soon as I can. It might be a month; it might be two. But I’ll keep posting articles and videos on the blog’s Facebook page, so check me out there. And I want to take a quick moment to give a shout out to a lady who was one of the Band Moms when I was in high school and the mother of one of my friends. She was the Queen of Sass and No Nonsense along with being a fan of this blog. She passed away this week and will be sorely missed.

Up next: Saint Lucia

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