With each passing year, I approach the end of year in relative shock not quite comprehending how time passed so quickly. This year is no exception, there is one day left in 2016 and it’s mind boggling to me.
What is even more amazing is the amount of cakes we churned out. Never mind that we are not a bakery or patisserie. Let’s also not forget the tiny fact that no FFF staff member has any formal baking (or cooking) training whatsoever but someone how we cranked out cake after cake after cake.

The hallmark of our cakes is that we use entirely edible elements on them. Although we admire the creativity that fondant covered cakes deliver, we don’t care much for fondant.

This year we buttercreamed, ganached, sprinkled, gold foiled, chocolate caged and goodness knows what else our cakes to yield some pretty remarkable creations.

In not particular order, here our some of our favorite cakes of the year.




We also made so many cheesecakes that it was not possible to capture them all in pictures. But here a few of them;


There were a few interesting cupcakes; from hi-hats to green velvet cuppies.


It would be safe to say that it was a sweet year. The year was made even sweeter by the unwavering support of friends and family. From my best friend who buys every appliance, gadget and organic ingredient imaginable, to my Grand Soeur  who filled my life with sprinkles, and gold leaf and glittery dust. How can I forget my Nwa nne’m in France who sent me the most astounding package filled with even more colour, recipe books and loads of props.

I have a friend in South Africa who will support me even if I put a piece of coal on my dp; she sent me the most beautiful cook book.

How about my husband who takes stunning pictures of our cakes and transforms them through his lense.

And then there is the FFF team; my crew who are in the front line with me, day and night supporting me as we create and innovate.

Please forgive me for not disclosing the full identity of the people listed above; they don’t care much for publicity but I just had to divulge the fact that my journey has not gone unsupported.

The truth is that it would be impossible for me to list every single person who has supported the FFF dream but it is possible to express my gratitude.

For everyone who has supported me I am humbled and grateful and I look ahead with excitement and fresh aspirations.

Happy New Year in advance.

The silence on this blog has been so loud that it is deafening. Strange because the quiet belies the flurry of activities that have surround Food Fashion Fusion.

I have missed writing and sharing my kitchen exploits; indeed I have been involved in a few adventures over the past few months.

The most notable of them is that we set up shop 6 odd months ago…..well not really a shop but we now have a studio, a factory, a production base, a gathering place, an office….call it what you will but it really is not a shop in the walk-in-and-buy-something-off-the-shelf-kinda-way. In fact there are no shelves.

So yes, I have vacated my kitchen and my home no longer looks like a tornado has taken up permanent residence in it. I have to admit that the process has been tedious but so worth it and I am eager to share some of our activities with you.

As soon as we moved in October, after extensive battles with all manners of artisans from, painters, plumbers, carpenters to gardeners, we landed two major catering gigs. One was for the launch of Grace Foods’ products in Nigeria and the other was for the launch of the luxury arm of a Rental and Events company called Rent-a-Party.

Dunn’s River Spice Table Display at the Grace Foods Launch

Slices of Banana bread for days!

Canapés spread at Rent-a-Party Launch event

Both clients were very specific about what they required of us and they were both very detail oriented. The pressure was on but we executed it flawlessly. It was such a buzz!
Around this time we also officially joined instagram; all thanks to Femi who literally dragged me on kicking and screaming…..although I will admit now that has proven to be a useful marketing and communication tool.


Shortly afterwards, we went into the busy festive end of year season and it was a bake-a-thon. We baked, canned, preserved, packaged and delivered to all parts of Nigeria until we could barely move!!


By the new year, we had settled in nicely and felt ready to spread the FFF gospel.

 There is so much more to share with you so please come back soon.😀

 

 

 

Incredibly it is that time of year again, come this Friday, November would have rolled round and in my opinion that would mark the commencement of the end of the year.

With this period comes global festivities such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year not to mention end of year office parties, awards and other such celebrations. These flurry of activities raises the question of FOOD; GLORIOUS FOOD.

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Usually, in Nigeria, The Christmas holidays conjures images of rice and chicken. And if you’re adventurous you might throw in some turkey. I say, step out of the box, burn it and explore other lush options of culinary wonders.

Instead of regular jollof rice, why not try my Thai style spicy jollof rice or maybe tasty easy one pot Dafaduka, give roast potatoes a rest and tackle the amazingly fragrant rosemary oven roasted yam. So you think that you just cannot dispense with chicken, then why not try some of my chicken piglets? Or give your whole roast chicken a fresh twist by infusing it with lemon and lemon grass. Breakfast shouldn’t be left out of the fun, there are fun crepes, pancakes and the like to explore. How about my marmalade filled French toast and zingy tangerine and blueberry compote to give your taste buds an exiting start. Make fun salads with unexpected ingredients.

Here are some of my holiday picks for the upcoming Holidays.

Marmalade filled French toast and zingy tangerine and blueberry compote.

Zingy start to any day

Zingy start to any day

Ingredients for marmalade filled french toast
4 slices of fresh soft bread
2 eggs
2/3 cups of milk
3 – 4 tablespoons of butter
marmalade

How To:

Combine egg and milk in a bowl and whisk until mixture is homogenous. Set aside.
Cover one slice of bread generously with marmalade and lay the other slice over it and pinch the edges closed. Steep in the milk and egg and milk wash and set aside.

In a pan melt the butter and add the immersed sandwich. Cook on each side until golden brown.

Ingredients for compote
This compote is a blueberry and tangerine compote
1 cup dry blueberries
1 cup tangerine juice
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cups of sugar
2 tangerine wedges (garnish)
Cocoa powder (optional garnish)
Mint (optional garnish)

How to

Soak blueberries in tangerine juice for 15 minutes. (If using fresh blueberries skip this step)
Add soaked blueberries and juice into a pan along with sugar and butter. Bring to a boil and the simmer for 6 – 7 minutes until mixture thickens slightly. Stir often.

Remove membrane from tangerine wedges and scoop out the pulp.
Plate up french toast. Place compote on the plate, scatter the tangerine pulp about the plate and finish off with a dusting of cocoa powder and a sprig of mint.

First stage of satisfactionIf you would prefer a more savoury affair for breakfast then barbecue chicken and veg filled crepe is the meal to try. The best part? It makes for a great brunch for those lazy days where you sleep in and can’t be bothered with an early meal.

Savoury delight for a great start to your day

Savoury delight for a great start to your day

Recipe:
Ingredients for crèpes with barbecue chicken filling
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter, plus more for cooking crepes
Directions
Put the flour and salt and in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.Heat an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a small pat of butter in the pat and swirl around so that it lightly coats the surface.

Add 1/3 cup of the batter and move your wrist in a circular pattern to coat the pan with thin even layer of batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until the first side browns lightly, then flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

To make Chicken filling you need
1 ripe tomato
1/2 green pepper
1 tsp of chives
1 tsp basil
2 tbs oil
1 tbs BBQ sauce
1 cooked chicken thigh (see recipe for herbed chicken on my post Tomatoes, chicken and Mince, Oh My!
5 tbs of a cooked tomato sauce
1/2 chopped onion
1 chopped spring onion (garnish)

Heat the pan with oil, add onions and turn down the heat. Add the basil and chives then add tomato sauce, keep the heat low. Take the meat off the chicken bone and shred. Add to the pan along with BBQ sauce. Stir for a minute, add the tomatoes and chopped green pepper. Leave the heat on for another minute and turn it off.

Fill crèpes and enjoy!

You could serve with a side of yoghurt to give the meal an extra boost.
Savoury crepes and a side of yoghurt

Savoury crepes and a side of yoghurt

Crepes and pancakes are fun and os easy to make. See BN Cuisine with Nkem: Delightful Crepes and Delicious Pancakes for more fun, easy, yummy recipes.
Worth waking up for

Worth waking up for

My Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice is a pleasant twist to our Nigerian Jollof rice.

jollof

Ingredients for Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice

3 cups Basmati or Jasmine Rice

3 table spoons olive oil

1 canned chopped tomatoes

4 pieces of dry lemon grass

1 can coconut milk

1 big onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 table spoons of salt

3 table spoons sweet chilli sauce

1 table spoon dark soy sauce

2 table spoons freshly ground black pepper

2 table spoons chilli flakes (optional)

2 spring onions/ shallots (garnish)

The How:

Chop all vegetables and set aside in individual bowls.

In a pot heat olive oil and add onions and garlic. Be careful not to burn then, after about 3 minutes on medium heat, add the canned chopped tomatoes, allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the coconut milk, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, black pepper, salt lemon grass. Simmer for another 10 mins. Depending on the instructions for cooking the rice you may have to allow the mixture cool first before introducing the raw rice. Cook until rice is tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Garnish with chopped spring onions after serving.

Serves 4

birthday lunchFor your chicken roast, freshen it up by adding lemons and lemon grass to the stuffing. For a step by step guide, visit my Facebook page.

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Want a different take on potatoes? Try hassel back potatoes and Marsala chicken or fragrant rosemary roasted yams and chicken

CLose up of Hassel back20130923-183206.jpg

Salads get a raw deal (lol, pun intended) but they can be delightful accompaniments to meals. With a few unexpected ingredients like Ube or flowers from chives you can really make a salad the focal point on your table.

20130923-181242.jpgTomato canapeSee recipes for these delectable salads on my post “Nigerian flair to the everyday Nigerian fair”

What festive season is complete without dessert? NONE! There are so many simple recipes that are amazing to eat and fuss free to make. My go choices are homemade no churn ice cream and my banana bread varieties. My facebook page has all the recipes you need. The ice cream was inspired by a recipe I saw on Nigella Lawson’s website and I have adapted mine to make so many delicious varieties.

Banana bread galore 4

Homemade icecream and banana breadNeed I say that there is a wealth of options to explore on the gastronomical landscape.

If you would like some help with bringing some interesting variations to your dining table over the holidays, kindly contact me and I’ll be happy to provide a special one-of-a-kind service to you.

 

 

It’s Christmas, Easter, a wedding, a birthday, Mothers’ day, Fathers’ day, an Anniversary and every other celebration that mankind has designed to make gift giving more tedious than it already is.

Special executive Christmas gift boxes


If one were to choose to celebrate every occasion on the calendar, how many different gifts could you possibly give to one person? It all gets very confusing and I dare say casts a dark cloud on giving gifts.
Over time, I have found that the best gifts to give are the simple, useful items. Of course what is considered to be simple or useful is relative, however, there is little use in giving something that is of no use or value to the recipient.
Yes, we all know that friend or family member who seems to have it all, who never seems to need anything that you have to offer or that you could afford for that matter.

Gifts for children


I have known one of the best gift givers in the world for fourteen odd years now and I can honestly say that I have learned a lot from watching her assemble, wrap and primp a variety of items before presenting them to delighted persons. My best friend, Moji can dress a can of tuna and make it look like the last tin of sturgeon roe (a.k.a caviar) left on earth.

Christmas gift boxes


And so, following her lead, I have put my spin on gift giving and have had immense fun in the process. The first rule is to have a budget and stay within it. Secondly, know the recipient; it is entirely counter productive to give a Muslim friend a rum drenched cake or a diabetic a basket bursting with chocolate. Thirdly, where possible, use a collection of items to make up the gift. And finally, have the gift(s) beautifully packaged.

Arrangement ideas for gift boxes


So, for instance, do you want to give a gift to your husband who is a sweet tooth, mad about cars, thinks that Jeremy Clarkson is a sage and dreams of speeding down the autobahn in a sleek shiny Maserati? The solution is simple, you probably couldn’t afford to buy a Maserati for him (but if you can, great!) so buy a book about luxury sports cars, get a DVD box set of Top Gear, gather a collection of his favourite chocolates and candies (if they are shaped like a Maserati it would be a bonus). Wrap each item with the proper wrapping paper, assemble the items in a beautiful gift box and voila! You would have given him a simple useful gift that he would cherish (while he continues to nurse his dreams of driving a luxury car).

Masculine Christmas gift boxes


In my opinion the presentation of a gift is just as important as the gift itself. So be sure to experiment with various kinds of wrapping papers, trimmings, ribbons and bows. Also, make sure that the actual wrapping process is symmetrical and tidy. It is usually ideal to use soft wrapping paper or tissue wrap for cylindrical or curvy objects and heavier paper for square objects.
If you find that you do not enjoy wrapping gifts and hate to get embroiled in doing up fiddly bows then use the services of the professional gift wrapping department which most gift shops offer.
I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for and putting together all the gifts featured here. I find it to be therapeutic and especially rewarding when people gasp with surprise or coo with joy when they receive their gifts. A la prochaine! 🙂

Christmas gift boxes assembled and ready for delivery

There is something enthralling about watching a meal come together especially when you are working with a variety of ingredients; from fresh herbs and prime cuts of meat to freshly ground pepper.
When I am in the kitchen I like to experiment, trying my hands at preparing different  ingredients and attempting new cooking techniques. Sometimes my experiments yield delicious outcomes and other times it yields disaster! But today, I am focusing on my more successful experiments: Christmas Lunch 2010.
The day started quietly enough, it was Christmas day but neither Femi nor I were up to visiting anyone nor did we want anyone visiting us, truth be told. We looked forward to a quiet, lazy day in.
And so I thought to myself, “I’ll boil the obligatory rice and whip up some tomatoe sauce and maybe toss some chicken in the oven”, that shouldn’t take too long should it?

And so I busied myself with prepping the ingredients and the wheels began to turn in my head as I remember an episode of the Food Network’s “Everyday Italian” where Giada De Laurentiis made this amazing venison medallion sauce. I didn’t have any such “posh” cut of meat in my freezer but I did however have some minute steak which were medallion shaped and this is how I “invented” my very own beef medallion black pepper sauce; so much for an uncomplicated lunch.
I was on a roll and my mind raced with so many ideas. Next were the chicken fillets, well this would be a cinch, I had seen Anthony Worrall Thompson stuff chicken breasts with seared seasonal vegetables and cheese and I had multicoloured silicone food loops that would be perfect for securing the chicken. This was turning out to be so much more fun than I had anticipated.

And on I went until I ended up with a veritable feast of stuffed chicken breasts, beef medallions in black pepper sauce, potato and chicken casserole, steamed rice garnished with fresh parsley, and a warm salad. For dessert, I had purchased a red velvet cake from “Cupcake Couture”; Blueberry and White chocolate cake and Banana raisin cake from “Seye Bakes”, and chocolate & mixed nuts from the Shops.

It turned out well actually, if I do say so myself. And eventually, we did have a guest over. And all three of us tucked in merrily.
It was a succesful day in Flab 🙂