Herb and Cheese Rolls.

I am a big fan of savoury / seasoned breads. Such as these yummy cheese and herb rolls.

Don’t they look lovely?

I like using this recipe from half-baked harvest, though I usually make a few changes here and there.

These rolls are so soft, fluffy, buttery, well seasoned, herby, cheesy and great to have with some soup on the side or even on their own.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

1. 3-4 cups of all purpose flour.

2. 1 small packet of instant yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp).

3. 2 tbsp honey.

4. Small pinch of salt.

5. 1 cup of warm milk.

6. 2 tbsp of melted butter. Have some extra butter on hand to brush on the rolls once out of the oven.

7. 2 eggs.

For the herb and cheese filling our ingredients are:-

1. 2 tbsp chopped coriander.

2. 2-3 cups cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese (grated).

3. 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese.

4. 1 minced garlic clove.

5. Salt and freshly ground back pepper.

6. Mixed savoury spice seasoning.

This is the savory seasoning I used.

7. 2 heaped tsp mixed herbs (mine had thyme, oregano and basil).

8. 1 tbsp sesame seeds.

Let’s get started.

1. In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt, and mix well. Add the sugar, milk, beaten eggs and butter. Mix with a wooden stick then once its kind of a shaggy dough, knead with your hands till it is soft and smooth.

2. Cover with a cloth and let rest for about one hour in a warm place, or till the dough is doubled in size. I usually keep mine in the oven with the light on.

3. For the filling, chop your coriander, which can be alternated with parsley too and set aside in a bowl. Add the grated cheddar and mozzarella, mixed herbs, salt and pepper, and the savoury spice and mix well.

4. In another small bowl, add the cream cheese, a little bit of salt and pepper and the minced garlic and mix well.

5. Get a baking tin and line it with parchment paper.

6. Once dough is ready, punch and knead a bit to deflate it. Roll it out to a rectangle shape, but not too thin.

7. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough generously, then sprinkle the cheddar and Herb mix.

8. Roll it tightly into a log shape, same way we do with cinammon rolls, then slice into 12 pieces.

This recipe makes 12 rolls.

9. Place the cut pieces in the baking dish, cover and let rest for half an hour.

10. Preheat oven.

11. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the rolls and bake fo 25-30 minutes at 170°C. You can let them brown a bit and you will smell and see the cheese bubbling on top. They smell so good!

Love it when the cheese bubbles over. Yum!

12. Once out of the oven, brush generously with some melted butter and let rest for about 10 minutes.

13. Serve warm as a brunch side, or with soup on the side.

They are fluffy, soft, well seasoned and so tasty.

They bake so beautifully too. See how well browned the bottoms are. 😍

We have had them here on their own, with some roasted tomato soup and some pumpkin soup.

Had them with some pumpkin and bell pepper soup.
They go well with some roasted tomato soup too! The soup recipe is from here.

Definitely worth a try!

Pumpkin, Chana Dal and Ground Beef Curry.

A colourful, delicious, healthy and filling curry that is easy to make, and does not take too long either.

You will need:-

  • 1 cup already boiled chana dal.
  • About 300g of ground beef.
  • 3 tbsp of cooking oil.
  • I large chopped onion.
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds.
  • 1 heaped tsp smashed ginger, garlic and some turmeric.
  • About 2 cups chopped pumpkin cubes.
  • I small bunch of coriander, leaves and stems separated and chopped.
  • 1 green pepper, sliced.
  • I cup homemade tomato sauce. Can be alternated with 3 tomatoes, peeled and pureed.
  • 2 tsp curry powder.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
Look at those lovely colours.

To begin, heat your oil in a pan and the onion.

Once onion is soft and getting a bit browned, add your ginger, garlic turmeric paste and the roughly crushed coriander seeds.

The green pepper and coriander stalks will go in next. Then the curry powder. Mix in well and let cook a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn.

Followed in my the beef mince. Let the meat cook on high heat till it is no longer clumpy and has began to brown.

Once the meat is cooked down well and dried out, add the tomato sauce or tomatoes and a small pinch of sugar. Cover and let them cook down, before adding the already boiled chana dal.

Look at how colourful it is. If using tomatoes, you can add a cup of water so the curry does not become too dry. If using tomato sauce, add water if needed and remember to check and add your seasoning (salt) as you go.

Add the pumpkin last as it will not take too long to cook and you do not want it to turn mushy. You want the cubes cooked, soft but still firm. This should simmer for no more than ten minutes as the mince was already fully cooked before adding the lentils.

See how colourful it is!

Once done, add in the coriander leaves and switch off the cooker. The curry is pleasing in terms of how it looks, the aroma and how it tastes.

You can serve this with chapati or rice.

We had ours with plantain stuffed chapati whose recipe I have already shared here.

This is definitely worth a try.

Let me know how yours turns out!

Love,

Wanjoro.

Instant Pot Beef Stew.

I think I may have just found my best beef stew recipe yet!

It is aromatic, rich in colour and flavour, and the beef is so ‘melt in your mouth’ tender, the kids will enjoy it.

Also, it is fast to make as it’s made in the instant pot. Which I really need to make more use of other than for boiling maize and legumes.

You will need:

  • I kg stewing beef, cut in medium large chunks.
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • About 1 heaped tbsp of crushed ginger garlic paste, mixed with some coriander seeds and some whole turmeric.
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise, yes, mayo. I used low fat gluten free option, but any can do.
  • I cup homemade roasted tomato sauce. 4 Chopped tomatoes will do too. Peeled and chopped.
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice blend. The one picture has cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamon and bay leaf.
  • Salt and pepper.

Method.

Crush the ginger, garlic, turmeric and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.

These are the only ground spices I used. The flavour is amazing in this dish!

(I am a firm believer that spices and herbs should not overtake any dish’s natural flavour. A little goes a long way in this meal. We are also lucky here that a lot of our livestock and poultry is still naturally reared which makes it more flavourful).

Rub the beef chunks with the mixed spice and mayo, as well as a teaspoon on the ginger garlic paste. You can let it marinate overnight if possible or at least half a day.

Switch on your instant pot and select sautè function.

Add the oil, then the onion, followed by the remaining ginger garlic paste. Let cook without it burning then add the tomato sauce and the meat. Cover.

Select meat function on the instant pot.

Mine cooked for thirty minutes at normal pressure. Let it release pressure naturally for about ten minutes then do a quick pressure release carefully.

Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.

This is what it looks like without further simmering.

You can have it this way, just remember to garnish with some coriander leaves.

If you however want to thicken the sauce and deepen the brown colour further, select the sauté function again and let it cook for about 8 minutes, keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

The sauce will thicken further and the brown colour will deepen.

This meal is so good. Once served, you may think it was made for hours.

Serve it with a side of your choice. We had ours with celery rice. I have already shared the recipe for that here.

Simple Vegetable Curry.

This is a simple vegetable curry that is full of flavour, filled with lots of healthy vegetables and comes together quite easily.

You can use any vegetables you have on hand. So feel free to mix and match as per your favourites.

I like this curry powder and this is the mixd spice blend I used this time round.

Our ingredients are:-

  • 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil. You can use ghee too if you wish.
  • 1 large chopped onion.
  • 1 tsp cumin and mustard seeds, and 1 bay leaf.
  • 2 tsps garlic ginger paste.
  • 1 tsp grated whole turmeric.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 juicy tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1tsp mixed spice blend.
  • 2 heaped tsps Kenyan curry powder.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • 1 cup already boiled chana dal.
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 eggplant and I courgette, chopped and soaked in salty water.
  • 1 cup chopped green /French beans.
  • 1 small bunch coriander, separate the stems and leaves.
  • 1 cup, bell pepper, You can use any colour or all colours.
  • 1 can of coconut milk.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Tips:

*Boil your chana dal in a pinch of turmeric, 1 bayleaf, 3-4 cloves, and a cinnamon stick. It adds flavour and extra colour to the lentils.

Remember to skim off the foam as the lentils boil. Do not forget to discard the whole spices once boiled, drained and cooled.

Tip 2. *Soaking the eggplant and courgette (zucchini) in salted water lets them retain their shape and flavour once you cook them. Remember to drain and rinse before adding to the pan so the meal is not too salty.

Method.

Heat oil in your saucepan and add the cumin and mustard seeds.

Add onion, let cook till soft then follow with the turmeric and ginger garlic paste.

Add in the mixed spice and curry powder and let cook down a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn…

…then add the tomatoes, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cover and let cook down till tomatoes are mushy and oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.

Drain the soaked vegetables and add to the pan. Mix well and let cook a bit covered on low heat.The veggies will all release their liquid and absorb the spices’ flavour.

Once the vegetables are cooked a bit, add the coconut milk and garam masala as well as a small pinch of sugar. A teeny weeny pinch.

Cover and continue cooking on low for about 20 minutes.

Once done, give a final stir and check seasoning and if the veggies are cooked to your liking.

Garnish with the chopped dhania leaves then serve.

This dish goes well with some steamed rice or chapati.

We had ours with some butter naan and ndengu rice.

The curry is colourful, flavourful, filling and healthy. Definitely worth a try.

A great family meal to add to one’s repertoire.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Leo’s Banana Bread.

My son loves bananas. If there is one fruit that this household can never get enough of, it is this.

He likes helping me out a lot in the kitchen too and has a keen interest in how food comes together. I was therefore not too surprised when he asked to be taught how to bake banana bread.

He can fry up a mean egg. Helps in shopping (safely), stirring and cleaning up; he is my little sous chef and I am always happy to have the extra help.

So here is his banana bread Version. We used self raising flour, grated chocolate, coconut oil and love. Lots of love to make this heavenly coconut scented banana and chocolate loaf.

It is moist, fluffy, aromatic and so delish!

To make it you will need:-

  • 11/2 cups self raising flour.
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil.
  • 1-1/2 cups of really ripe mashed banana.
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured yoghurt.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon.
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate.

Method.

1.Mix the bananas, oil, egg, sugar and yoghurt together. Add in the vanilla and ground cinammon, then the flour. Fold in the chocolate last.

2. Pour into a greased or parchment lined loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 35-40 minutes.

3. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove onto a rack to cool, and let rest 30 minutes before slicing.

The cake is moist, aromatic and so delicious, but not too sweet.

Perfect on its own, with some tea or hot chocolate, with some custard or vanilla ice cream.

It keeps well in a covered dish for a couple of days on the countertop, that is if you still have some leftover, which I doubt will happen.

Mmmh! looking at this image makes me crave it!