Potato Love

Potatoes are bae. Love them in all their forms. Roasted, boiled, fried, mashed…..YUM!

We are in the midst of drought and vegetable prices have skyrocketed as supply is less than demand.

Luckily, H travelled to an area known for fluffy potatoes and came back with some plus fresh juicy carrots the kids and I keep snacking on.

I made potato bhajias the other night, with salad and panfried tilapia.

The bhajias were literally eaten off as I cooked by the kids, by the time I plated my portion, they were the few remaining, but hey, as long as we were all fed, it was fine.

For the potatoes, I just sliced them thin and dunked them in a thickish batter of gram flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and finely chopped coriander.

Do not overcrowd in the pan as you fry so they can get crispy and not clump together.

The salad was a basic kachumbari of onion, tomato, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon and a bit of chopped coriander leaves, I just added some grated carrots as these carrots are so sweet and juicy, I had to add them. J

The fish-fresh Tilapia was marinated in lemon juice, seasalt and black pepper, then pan fried. Do not forget to squeeze some lemon just before serving.

A delicious and filling meal.

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Crispy  fries potatoes, tilapia and kachumbari

Pranked!

I do not like pranks. Not one bit.

So my friend Hash decided to play a prank on me a couple of weeks ago.

She is a great baker and always busy, but she was my choice to bake Leo’s third birthday cake. I had booked months before. Yes, months and even paid a deposit. All that was left was for her to deliver.

Hash is meticulous, keeps time and keeps her word so I was sure she did not need to be reminded about the cake.

A week to the delivery date, I texted her. This is the texterversation took place:-

Me: Hey dear, hope you have been well, are we still on this Friday?

Hash: Hey, Huh? What’s happening this Friday? I am not in the Country till the fifteenth, what was it about?

Me: I am to collect my son’s birthday cake.

Hash: Oh Shit! I completely forgot!!!

I started getting a bit mad…

Hash: So, what do we do?

Huh? Was she for real, chic was asking me what to do? I was officially pissed so I just texted H to let him know what had happened. All he did was text back “ It is ok, we will figure out what to do.”

I had to head into a meeting so I did not respond but I was not pleased and how could I get another baker to do a great job in such short notice?

When I got back to the office a couple of hours later, I decided to ask Hash for my refund and get an acquaintance who happened to be an upcoming baker to do the job for me. I was really disappointed as I know Hash is very OCD about her work even if it  was some emergency.

Then my phone beeped ..

Hash: Are you there? I was kidding.

Me: Silent and seething..

Hash: I hope I didn’t give you a mini heart attack, I was just pulling your leg and yes, we are definitely on for Friday.

WHAT? This lady was playing a prank on me the whole time?

Needless to say, Hash is so sweet , you just cannot get mad at her. LOL

Sigh. I was happy though but those two hours were torture for me, no pranking Mama Njeri please, a beg oh!

Here is the wonderful cake she baked for my son.

Leo turns Three!

My  Lil’ man is three! Yipee! Oh how time flies.

It feels like just the other day we came home from the hospital and Njeri was a bit afraid of this constantly crying baby but she also showed him so much love and affection, and still does.

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Isn’t he handsome?

The two have a great bond. Oh they do fight like fiends (which siblings don’t?)but they also have their own little private jokes and games they play with each other.

We did not have anything big planned for his birthday. I am yet to throw a huge party for either of them, I have always preferred a family affair which I know will change over time as they grow.

His cake was this beautiful creation from a good friend who has become a leading baker in her own right. In her words, “it was not her best creation,” but  we loved it.

I really appreciate the fact that she pulled it off as she was also planning her twins’ birthday party and my cake was to be delivered the day before the party. Not withstanding the crazy butter shortage in this town. Argh!

I sent her an online pic of what I wanted and she nailed it! This is his current favorite cartoon. His first birthday was Lightning Mcqueen, Second was Paw Patrol (done by Hash too) and this was Blaze the Monster Machine. I am pretty sure next year will be auto themed too. Hahahaha.

Vanilla with buttercream frosting by the lovely Hashnunish Sultan. You can check out her creations on FB page, Custom Cakes by Hash.

It was a beautiful cake by a beautiful person and the taste was heavenly. Still licking my lips at the memory of the yumminess 🙂

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Vanilla with buttercream frosting Blaze Monster Machine Birthday Cake 

 

Breakfast anyone?

I love filling breakfasts.

Weekdays are great for cereals in yoghurt and overnight oats. Yum! Though I do make mandazis on weekdays sometimes after work.

I love cooking  up a storm on weekend mornings. Not only do I find cooking therapeutic, but it is also lots of fun. I do need lessons on plating though.

H and I came up with a new snack the other day, we had some yummy arrowroots from his Mother’s garden and we cubed this up in some yummy yoghurt. The result was absolutely delicious, creamy and filling. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, snack or even dinner 🙂

Potatoes for breakfast are not only filling but really delicious. My favorites are potato wedges sprinkled with herbs and salt and pepper, or pan fried sweet potatoes with paprika or rosemary.

Pancakes or crepes are great too. Banana and cinnamon mini pancakes are a hit with the kids. I like my besan pancakes though. LOL

I am not a fan of eggs, but you need protein too. Good quality bacon and sausages are a bit pricey, so eggs are healthier and way cheaper option though. I vary from poached eggs, omelettes or scrambled for H.

Vegetables can be roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and sauteed green peppers which are all favorites of mine.

I rarely make fresh juice, preferring fresh fruits, dependent on what is in season. Served alone or with yogurt.

Beverage of choice, tangawizi tea of course. (I use fresh ginger, toasted and crushed then simmered slowly  before adding milk and tea leaves.) Masala tea also goes down well on a slow weekend, I will do a separate post on how I make mine.

What is your preferred breakfast?

 

Project Manenos Part 2

Our kitchen is done. Yippee!!!!! OK 90% done as a couple of appliances are yet to be fitted but we love it. We decided to go with Streamline Designs. They were not the cheapest, but they were the most professional and great handiwork to match. They got the measurements right, the design right and the colours matched the tiles we had selected.

We had crazy quotes, even paid for site visits. But Streamline did not charge us for the visit. Their crew was on site on time, cleaned up after themselves and worked well with no supervision. Any delays were communicated, solutions provided and oh the quote broke down everything. No hidden charges, agreement had timelines attached that were met. (I love that btw). I cannot wait for the final reveal.

Now the rest of the space is staring back at us. We had not engaged an interior designer at any stage. We however realized we needed professional help with the rest of the finishing; someone who would be able to translate what we wanted the space to be. And so the search began.

To be honest we had no idea where to start. We went to the Ideal Interiors Expo at Two Rivers Mall, (which was a big disappointment) and managed to get a few contacts.

So, first visit by an interior designer was this past Saturday. A reputable and posh outfit but hey, our dreams are valid and they were not charging for a site visit. LOL

Anyway, the creative director and one of their designers came and saw the space, gave a few ideas, took measurements etc. Now, when we had visited their showroom, one of the sales ladies had told us that the cost of a render/ design began at Kes 40,000 minimum. Yes. I can see the look on your face. Buuut, if we selected some pieces from them, they would deduct the cost and work backwards. If not, the 40k would be for the design only. Which sounded great to us, and that why we set up the site visit and also as we were really interested in some of their stuff. Wallpapers, lamps etc.

Come Monday. We received an email from them to deposit over Kes 50,000 in their account to enable them design for us. I know……. Sigh.

BUT, here came the shocker. We were apparently misled by their sales staff. Or as they put it “miscommunication”. The fee was just that a fee. It could and would not be deducted from the cost of the materials we sourced from them.  Double Sigh.

Anyway, I got confused and decided to engage an interior decorator via email and posed a few questions so I could understand how these things work.

 

To be continued…..

 

 

 

Project Manenos

Mad respect to all in the construction industry, contractors, interior designers, masons, electricians, plumbers. It is no joke.

Our project is not too big but still takes a lot of time, energy and finances. Obviously.You can have an idea of how you want let’s say, the kitchen to look, and you are so excited, until the contractor tells you it is not feasible. Or informs you of things you might have overlooked. (Yes, I forgot the gas cabinet! LOL).

You will go on pinterest and get dizzy, get several quotations- some will make you roll your eyes and snort. Others will create such a wonderful design that you will want to sell your kidney to make it happen. And then. There are those who want to charge for the designs, others want to even charge for a site visit. Ah! it is tiring.

The past months have been spent looking at various quotations and making the decision on who will do the job for us. H and I decided on the guys doing the kitchen from the first meeting. Their guy was on time, did not charge, took measurements, asked questions, answered questions, advised us on the design options given the limited space. Came up with even better suggestions and creativity on how to go around some of the site’s structural challenges. Having seen and loved some of their work, I can’t wait for the job to get done so I can give a complete review and photos of course.

So, colours have been picked. RED kitchen anyone? Choice material selected including handles and countertop type. Let the work begin!

 

 

 

You should know people.

This morning as I dropped Njeri to school, I decided to walk her all the way to class and say hello to her classmates.

Oh the sweet little girls, playing with their play dough, others colouring and chatting. I walked round and said hey to each of them as I asked for their names. (What better way to match faces to the names when Njeri talks about school? Hehehehe).

Anyway, I got to one girl whose name I knew as she attended the interview same day as my daughter. I said hi and as I walked away this ensued:-

Little girl: I know how you know my name!

Me: You do? Oh, and how do I know your name?

Little girl: Because you see me on your TV!

Me: Oh! I do?

Little girl: Yes! That’s how everybody knows my name.

Me: Is that so? That is lovely.

At this point my mind was blank and I had to ask the teacher what  the little girl was talking about. Apparently she is in a local yoghurt commercial that I haven’t watched yet. Till now.

Oops, I really should know people. 🙂

PS: Zawadi is a very beautiful and confident young miss. And no, her name is not mentioned anywhere in the commercial. LOL