Tag Archives: bread

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

Pesto, Lentil and Basil Hand Pies

It looks like spring has arrived here in our part of the world. Temperatures have risen, the days keep getting longer and cherry trees are in full bloom. It’s done; there’ll be no going back to winter now.

Maybe it’s from being stuck under dark grey clouds for months, but this time of year makes me wanderlust.
My feet itch, not for any specific place, but the distant someplace beckons.

We walked under the warm sun this weekend, found a cosy patio and over coffee and scones, planned our next trip.

Whenever I feel restless and the urge to travel becomes unbearable, I read, I guess, as a way to travel through my imagination.

Continue reading…

Savoury Hand Pies


In Ghana, as with many other countries, savoury hand pies are generally called meat pies.
Our ‘meat pie’, similar to the Jamaican beef patty is a popular snack found everywhere in Ghana – from fancy restaurants, on the side of dusty country roads to busy bus stations and chaotic markets; often times showcased in distinct glass boxes.

The ones you get from the street vendors are undoubtedly the most delicious; the crust crumbly, and the spicy savoury filling can be anything… from corned beef to stewed tomatoes and onions, it’s incredibly wonderful with Fan ice cream or a bottle of cold soft drink.
In the years that I’ve been away, none of the Ghanaian-style ‘meat pies’ I’ve had have come close to what I remember.

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IMG_5013 Making Hand Pies
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I’ve come to settle for this other type of savoury hand pie; quickly made with yeasted (pizza/bread) dough and a fast tasty tomatoey sauce for the filling. They bare a slight similarity to calzones and any combination or variety of fillings work – but I always come back to this quick simple sauce.

I make them quite often because they’re so versatile; these hand pies can be eaten hot or at room temperature, they travel well, and freeze well.
The dough and filling can be made ahead of time which cuts the prep work down dramatically, I’ve tried a variety and combination of fillings – leftovers… sauteed vegetables, Ghanaian-style spinach stew and homemade pizza sauce have all become delicious fillers for these little pies.

The dough is from an old and trusted recipe; also freezes well… just remember to bring it to room temperature before use.
I used all-purpose flour for the pies in this picture, but I personally prefer whole-wheat flour because it adds depth and a nutty flavour to the pies.

To make this particular pie wholly plant-based (vegetarian/vegan) omit the sardines and add crushed chickpeas, lentils or some legume of your choice.

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Grab one of these pies and a cold drink… find the quietest spot in your home and sit, contemplate and let your mind wander and take you places. Enjoy!

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Sweet Buttery Beet Rolls


Being a romantic at heart, I secretly like Valentine’s Day.

I love the concept and romance of the day, though I can do without the commercialization, the fuss and the pressure to live up to some concocted ideal of the perfect love.

I like that there’s a day purposefully set aside to show love and affection, because life sometimes does get in the way of the good stuff.

In a perfect world, everyday would feel like Valentine’s, to be celebrated however we want – peonies on Saturday mornings, week-long dates, a year of Sundays with breakfast in bed, or a love story with its own soundtrack…

Or sharing the joy of life’s humble pleasures, like making something uniquely different, something delicious, decadent and possibly red…

I used Valentine’s Day as an excuse to make these sweet buttery beet rolls, it’s perfect – with its stunningly distinct red colour, buttery sweet and subtle flavour.

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Pain aux Cereales


For the few weeks I was on vacation last year, I had a morning routine; I’d bolt out of bed in the morning hoping I wasn’t too late, rush to the little boulangerie around the corner and buy a small loaf of pain aux cereales for breakfast.
It wasn’t the closest boulangerie and I’m sure theirs wasn’t the best pain aux cereales in Paris, but I loved the little shop because the woman was kind and engaging, and I got to practice my very limited French on her.
I also loved the novelty of the boulangerie being across the street from a Vanessa Bruno store, it felt very Parisian.

Still, the bread was very good, grainy and crusty on the outside; soft, pillowy with holes and perfectly seeded on the inside.
I’d have it with tea, sliced thick and slathered generously with butter and jam, or with my favourite discovery, speculoos butter.

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Ask any Parisian and they’ll probably say Eric Kayser makes the best pain aux cereales in the city; David Leibovitz called it ‘perhaps the best bread in the world’. I’ll definitely be testing that on my next visit.

In the mean time I’m making my own seeded breads at home!
I must warn you, my version of pain aux cereales isn’t authentic, not that I can say what is authentic.

I use my bread machine and my trusted bread recipe and throw in some seeds – two tablespoons each of flax, quinoa, millet and sunflower seeds.
Try this recipe here for a close to authentic version, although I do love how my loaves turn out – grainy and tasty, the nuttiness from the seeds is subtle and just perfect.

And for breakfast on Saturday mornings I’m transported back to that little apartment where everything tastes better and extraordinary, even the simplest meal of bread and tea.



Mango Nut Bread


These last few days, I’ve been miserable – my immune system seems to be winning the battle against the pollen.
I just wish I could send it a message to quit it already with this unnecessary warring since my allergy medicine can’t seem to get the job done.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve been sick – real sick… I spent this weekend with a cold – is that even possible, can I get a cold and seasonal allergies concurrently?
So I spent this weekend in this weird wired space where life is unhurried and my mind wanders.

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My dreams were of a long winding dirt road that leads to a small house on a mound, and beyond are the mango groves; under the bluest skies with billowy clouds that hang so low you can almost touch them.
I slept all day Saturday and had nourishing lentil soup from one of my favourite downtown restaurant.
My dreams again that night were of mangoes, sweet, sticky, pulpy, smooth and rich.

So while I recuperate and gather my strength, I’d like to leave you with this mango nut bread – because something had to come of these dreams.
If you’re lucky enough to get real mangoes, use them (about two of them), and perhaps toast the coconut flakes for few minutes before you use them in the batter – it makes all the difference.

Maybe it’s the delirium, but this is a wonderfully vibrant bread – and I love it dearly.

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