Pineapple Ginger Honey Chicken.

We are keeping it sweet and spicy in this recipe that can be done two ways.

The pineapple, ginger, jerk seasoning and honey make the main flavour base for the chicken.

You can choose to bake then toss in the sauce which you will have simmered down, or you can grill the chicken in a pan then add the marinade to cook down and cost them through. I tried both ways and they are equally delicious.

The heat and spiciness of the jerk seasoning go so well with the sweetness of honey and pineapple. Uganda pineapples are the sweetest, they will have your tastebuds dancing in delight. The ginger adds a tang and burst of flavour and of course you can never go wrong with some garlic and lemon when it comes to chicken.

Our ingredients are:-

  • 1 tablespoon each of honey, apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses.
  • A pinch of black salt
  • Crushed very ripe pineapple 2 cups (puréed pineapple)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • I teaspoon each, ginger powder,  garlic powder,  dried mixed herbs and paprika.
  • 1 tablespoon of jamaican jerk seasoning.
  • 1 kg Chicken pieces. ( I used wings both thighs and legs will work well too, just cook longer).

Mix all the above well.

Trim and clean your wings. Add marinade and refrigerate overnight or at least four hours.

The longer you marinate, the more the flavour spreads out in the chicken.

Preheat oven to 180°C 

Brush oil on baking rack arrange wings skin down and brush a bit of marinade bake for  about 40 minutes.

Turn and bake for about 10 minutes more to brown the other side. 

As wings bake, in a small pan heat remaining marinade till it boils, then reduce to a simmer till it thickens, if too runny you can add a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp water to thicken.

Put in a large bowl, add the now ready wings and toss in the bowl with some fresh chopped coriander leaves and some toasted sesame seeds. 

You can also grill them on the stove top and add the marinade last to simmer off and coat the chicken for the last 20 minutes of cooking. Ensure it doesn’t burn.

Serve with plantains or roast potatoes and a salad for a tasty, sweet and spicy meal. 

Had mine with deep fried potatoes and avocado kachumbari.

Remember to eat with your hands. 🤗

Ugali Mayai.

Ugali Mayai is an elite meal that reminds one of hostel life, a simple and inexpensive way to have your nutrients on the go. It is so easy to make, delicious, healthy and colourful. It is a great quick dinner recipe that will use your pantry staples on those evenings you do not want to spend a lot of time cooking.

Eggs are called “mayai” in Swahili and ugali, which I have explained in a previous post here, is one of my favorite meals, in spite of the fact that I am such a lousy cook when it comes to it. LOL.

Let’s get started.

Our ingredients are eggs, green pepper, chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped tomato, paprika and salt and pepper to taste.
I also used black salt in this recipe. It takes some getting used to but is great for roasted vegetables, and egg dishes such as this. The strong smell doesn’t linger and it does deepen the flavour of the dish.

Note: It is not a bad idea to have black salt in your pantry. It reduces bloating and heartburn, is rich in antioxidants, but since its not iodised and has fluoride, it should be used sparingly, and just to enhance flavour, not to replace regular salt.

Heat up your pan, and add some oil, followed by the onions and capsicum. Mix well.
Once onions are soft and translucent, add the paprika, tomatoes and minced garlic, as well as salt and pepper.
Let the tomatoes cook down. Meanwhile beat the eggs in bowl. Move the veggies to one side of the pan and add your eggs.
As the eggs cook, mix them up with the veggies, into a scramble.
The eggs are perfect with Ugali and green vegetables; kale,spinach, Swiss chard or collard greens go well with this too.
Colourful, easy to make and tasty too. Serve hot and eat with your hands!

You can add chili too and avocado on the side.

Enjoy!

Love,

Wanjoro.

Coconut Pineapple Pancakes.

These cocopine pancakes are insanely delicious, decadent and made with so much love, each bite is just heaven on your tongue. Don’t believe me? Try them and see.

There is something about coconut and pineapple that reminds one of slow lazy days, sunshine, clear skies and love. Make these for yourself or your loved ones and treat yourselves.

The basic pancake batter is an adaption for a fluffy pancake recipe shared by @nyaranyango on Instagram. I changed it up a bit and made the pancakes Kenyan style, more like thickish crepes than fluffy American style. Then filled them with a simple pineapple and coconut compote that is wickedly delicious.

Ingredients:-

  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour.
  • 1 heaped tablespoon custard powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice.

For the compote;

  • 1/2 a medium sized ripe pineapple, diced. (Ugandan pineapples are the sweetest and go in so well in this recipe).
  • 1 big lemon, juiced.
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • A small pinch of ground cloves and ground nutmeg.
  • 2 tablespoons Ugandan honey
  • 1 heaped tablespoon coconut flakes, dessicated coconut will work too.
  • A small splash of vanilla.
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water.

Begin with the pancake batter. In a large bowl, add the coconut milk and sugar and whisk together, then add the coconut oil.

Next all the rest of the wet ingredients, the yoghurt, vanilla, egg and whisk well.

Follow this with the custard powder and flour and mix to a smooth thickish batter. The juice and cinnamon go in last. Set aside for a while.

For the compote, aka the pineapple sauce. Keep the heat low as you make it, to avoid burning.

Heat your small sauce pan and add the coconut flakes. Toast them till they start browning a bit, remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add the butter and as it melts, add the honey, lemon juice, and mix well. When it starts simmering, add the diced pineapple and the ground spices, mix well and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes on low. The pineapples will remove their juice, soften and absorb the spices and lemon and honey slowly.

Once 15 minutes are up, if the compote is too runny for your liking, add the cornstarch and mix well, finish off with the toasted flakes and vanilla and switch off heat.

Let us now get back to our pancakes. I use a non stick pan and do not add oil as I already added it in the batter.

Heat your pan on medium flame, wipe with a kitchen towel and ladle some batter, then swirl it round. When it gets bubbles on the surface, flip and let cook on the other side. I like mine this golden brown colour. Remove from heat with a spatula and keep on a plate lined with kitchen towel. Repeat the same process until all the batter is done.

Now assemble and serve. I usually put the compote in the middle and fold the pancakes into a triangle shape as seen below.

The pancakes are perfect with a cup of ginger tea. Yum!

If you love coconuts and pineapple, these cocopine pancakes are definitely worth a try.

P. A. R. E. N. T.

What is a parent’s role in a child’s life?

There is a lot that can be said, but I came across this brief version I had jotted down years ago and thought I would share.

Parenting is hard, and we are all raising our children differently, these are just some things I learnt and try to apply, I am no perfect parent, nobody is, but we are all trying to do our best right?

1. Provider.

Once you get a child, you know your reason for living has changed. You are now conscious of being the provider to a little helpless human, till the time they can fend for themselves. How prepared are we for this?

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Keep in mind, humans are totally helpless when young, the child cannot provide shelter or feed or cloth itself, it is up to us the parents to do it.

The first seven years are said to be the most critical in setting the foundation for the kind of adult a child will grow to become. How are we fulfilling this provision role to ensure we set a firm and stable standard?

Parenting is not just paying the bills and ensuring the child is fed. Provision of basics is not enough.

2. Available.

Are we available when it comes to our children? Are we easily accessible to them or are they to be neither seen nor heard?

Do we look them in the eye when they speak to us, or are we buried in our phones, laptops and tv screens?

Are we approachable, or do they fear us?

Do we listen to them or just talk at them?

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Obviously, boundaries and respect are important, but we should not let them fear to come to us. We are all they have in a cruel world, if they cannot turn to us and trust us, who can they trust?

3. Responsible.

It is not enough to just provide as a parent, we need to be responsible for and to our children.

How quick are we to respond to their needs? (Including young babies).

I do not mean we should drop everything and centre our lives around them, but we do need to be responsive to their needs and teach them patience too.

When playing and they get frustrated, how do we teach them coping strategies? Do we demean them or do we help them understand that it is normal to get frustrated and anxious at times.

If it is about something they want, talking to them about the difference between wants and needs, will help in this.

I also learnt something the other day about looking for opportunities to say yes to their wants, as per our resources and dependent on what it is they need. “Yes, you can have that toy, but for your birthday, or special occasion”, instead of an outright “No!”

Children learn more by what they see, than what we tell them. Are we responsible human beings in our personal lives?

How can we expect our children to learn responsibility when they see us shirk ours in various ways; Escaping work early, lying to get out of family commitments, etc they see all this.

Let us lead by example.

4. Encourage.

We should strive to encourage our children at all times. Through their successes and failures.

It also doesn’t hurt to carefully steer them towards the vision you have for them, and encourage them accordingly.

This is tricky and it is easy to steer them towards our failed dreams; visions we had for ourselves and impose (read force) them to actualise them. Let us not do that.

Ask them what their vision is, and guide them accordingly, we know our children; their strengths, weaknesses, talents and that they like. That knowledge will inform us on how best to encourage them.

Also let’s not compare our children to others. It is so easy to do this, but let us not. Comparison is the thief of joy, do not be the one making your child miserable because they are not as good as the Joneses’ seemingly perfect child, or not doing things as well as their sibling. Just don’t. It inflicts wounds that fester inside and damage their self confidence and self worth.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

5. Nurture.

Encouragement and nurturing go hand in hand. As parents we must try to be dream builders not dream crushers.

Is your child talented? Encourage and nurture that talent but! there is a big but here – keep in mind they are still children. And we should still let them be children.

Let us take care of them, be protective of what we expose them too. This is easier said than done, as we might also end up being too protective. It is a delicate balance of allowing them to explore; but still remain within our sights.

6. Training.

As parents, we will drop the ball many times, let us not be too hard on ourselves. We can strive to not give up, delegate our role or neglect it as the sole providers and nurturers of these precious children, no matter how difficult it will get at times.

We should keep offering direction, guidance, and discipline. We are their first teachers. Language, values, manners, how they talk and how they think is up to how we train them.

Image Source : Etsy printable picture quotes.

Guiding them through each milestone is not an easy task, and many are the times we will ask ourselves what we signed up for and if we can hack it. We can and will hack this parenting thing but we have to be intentional in steering them the right way.

Leading by example, listening to them, correcting them, teaching them with love and patience the difference between right and wrong.

Training also includes basic body hygiene and how they conduct themselves in private and public. Toilet manners, table manners, making their beds, brushing their teeth, cleaning up after themselves, respecting authority and elders, proper communication. “Excuse me,” “pardon me,” “please,” “thank you,” “you are welcome,” ” sorry”, how to be safe, money sense, and many more.

We are the ones to teach them all this. Not the nanny, not the daycare provider, not the teacher, we the parents are the ones to do this.

There are age appropriate ways we can impart that knowledge to them as well as many teachable moments in our daily lives that we can use to do it.

Parenting is not an easy task, but with knowledge and guidance, and keeping a ‘village’ aka support system around us, that is respectful and shares our values, we will become more confident and feel less alone when navigating this parenting life.

What are some of your best parenting tips? Please share in the comment section.

Love,

Wanjoro.