April 30, 2012

Minced Crawfish

Disclaimer: We use the words "Crawfish" and "Lobster" interchangeably here in the Bahamas.  The technical term for our lobster is called Spiny Lobster.  It does not have claws like Maine Lobster. So they are only harvested for their tails.

I haven't bought crawfish in years.  Generally I find that it's too expensive.  But I was in the mood for crawfish a few weeks back and got a few from my sister.  They weren't as big as these:
But they were $20.00 and enough to make a great dish of Minced Crawfish.

To prepare the crawfish, first,boil the tails in salted water until bright red/orange.

These are clearly under sized crawfish, which is against the law, I know. I was shocked to see these poor babies.  But I wasn't about to throw my $20.00 away on principle.

Next, let the crawfish cool and remove the flesh from the shells.  To do this, flatten the crawfish with the underbelly facing up.  Take a large sharp knife pierce the bottom of the tail and press down the middle. You can then open the tail and remove the flesh. Be sure to move the intestine tube in the middle.

This is what you end up with. Now you need to shred the meat. This is the most tedious part of preparation.

Now you can prepare your minced Crawfish.

MINCED CRAWFISH by Sapphire Ridge Chronicles:
2-3 cups shredded lobster meat
Juice of 1 lime
1 medium onion diced
1 medium green pepper diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
8 oz. petite diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. ketchup or tomato paste
vegetable oil
Salt, pepper, and hot pepper to taste

Once your lobster is shredded, add the juice of 1 lime. 
Heat oil in frying pan and saute the onion, green pepper, garlic and thyme until onion is translucent.  Add the crawfish and saute for about 5 minutes. You want to almost dry it out. Then add your tomatoes and ketchup/tomato paste. Add your seasonings to taste.

Serving suggestion: white rice, cole slaw and fried plantains

April 24, 2012

Cookie Love!

I love to bake. Cakes, cupcakes, anything, but right now, I love baking cookies.
So this week, I'll be sharing my three favourite cookies! 

My friend just requested this recipe yesterday after I gave her some Oatmeal Raisin Cookies last week.
I originally found the recipe on  but I had to do a little tweaking.   You can have soft and chewy (my fave) or crispy. The texture really depends on how long you leave them in for.

3/4 Cup butter, softened
1/2 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 Cups quick oats
1 Cup raisins 

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In large bowl or mixer, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins. I usually soak my raisins in warm water for a few minutes to plump them up before I add them.  Make sure to drain/ squeeze excess water.  If soaking raisins, batter may be a bit sticky, no worries, use as usual.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

April 23, 2012

Travelling Ritual

I always get the travelling blues whenever I have to leave my family for a few days. I have so many things to do and nothing packed.  I just don't feel like doing anything.  It happens every time (sigh). 

But soon I'll go from the blues, to panic mode. My adrenaline will be pumping in overdrive. I'll get everything done because I won't sleep tonight. When I get to the airport tomorrow, I'll find a corner and just fall asleep. I have a special talent of sleeping ANYWHERE.  

That's my ritual, I guess.  I must do better.
What's your travelling ritual?  What preparations do you make, mentally and physically?

April 20, 2012

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

Easy, easy, easy!!!! I'll say it again...easy, easy, easy!
My husband and son love these with breakfast....

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls (makes 8)
2 oz. butter, melted
1 pkg. crescent rolls
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1Tbsp. water

Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Unroll crescent rolls and brush top side with melted butter.  Sprinkle each triangle liberally with cinnamon sugar. Starting at the base of triangle roll toward the point. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 mins. until golden brown.
While rolls are baking, mix powdered sugar and water to make glaze.
As soon as you take the rolls out of the oven, drizzle glaze on each.

April 10, 2012

Fathers and Sons

My husband announced this morning that he "needs to change gears" with our eight year old son. He feels it's time to get tough on him. When I heard these words this morning, my heart sank just a little.  My initial thoughts were, "But he's just a baby."  

In the Caribbean, the battle of fathers vs. sons is quite commonplace.  I cannot count on my two hands men that I know who have great relationships with their fathers. Frequently I hear, "I don't talk to my old man." 

It's always the same scenario....son wants to prove he's a man and father wants to prove that he's the ONLY man in the house. Many times, there is a physical altercation and most times the son leaves the home. In very rare cases, the two men work things out.  Some pretend to get along just to please the wife/mother.

I know, he's EIGHT. Why am I thinking about this? It just seems to be the natural progression when a father decides to be tough.  You're afraid that tough equates to lack of affection toward his son. No more hugs or kisses. Just handshakes and "You could do betters". Then we end up with the scenario I  described earlier.

Now, I must say that my husband is a great father.  And I don't put him in the same category as the traditional man from the Caribbean.  I trust that he will give affection and tell our son he loves him. But, I can tell you that from the time my son was born, I have prayed that they will never end up at odds with each other.  Yes I expect disagreements, but I don't want separation physically or emotionally.

I do have to reluctantly agree that we I have to stop babying him.  Just last night he came into our bedroom and said that he couldn't sleep.  He expected us to tell him to come into our bed, but he was told to go back to his own bed.  I admit that I still cut up some of his food.  And yes, I de-seed his oranges.

I believe that boys do need to be taught how to be men.  In my opinion, the best person for that job would be his father. But we all know that not every boy is that fortunate to have his father in his life.  My son is especially lucky because his father lives in the same house as him.

Many men say they do things a certain way or act a particular way either positively or negatively because, "that's how my father did it." We as parents need to understand that fathers are more than basketball coaches and wrestling partners to their sons.  They are life-coaches. They are constantly teaching their sons knowingly or unknowingly. And I am grateful to my husband that he wants to teach him purposefully and deliberately.

April 8, 2012

In Defense of Grits (Video)

Just a short video about a conversation my husband and I had.  Let me know what you think!

April 7, 2012

On Becoming A Grandmother

My husband and I were in the kitchen this morning talking while getting breakfast ready.  Somehow, we got on the topic of becoming grandparents. (For the record, we are too young to be grandparents, and are not expecting any in the near future. At least for another ten years.)
So I tell my husband that I am looking forward to becoming a grandmother, but I don't want to be called "Grammy". Nor do I want to be "Nana", "Ma", "Mama" or "Mummum" (that's what the children call my mother).
It seems as if the first grandchild names the grandparents. Usually, they try to find a name that distinguishes each grandparent from the other that is also easy for them to say. I will not allow that! They will not name me "Moomoo" or "Meemaw" or "Gammy" just because they can't speak proper English.  I will NOT accept it!
So I thought about it for a while and I've come up with  the following options:
  1. "Sasha Fierce" but quickly changed my mind after reading on the history of that name.
  2. "Birdie" because it gives the impression that I'm skinny and demure.
  3. "Diva" because I want to be the sexy grandmother. 
Whatever name is chosen, it will be on MY terms.  I don't care how sweet and cute and cuddly they turn out to be.

So, if you are a grandmother, what do they call you?  Or, if you're like me, what would you like to be called? I know that I have a while before this is relevant for me, but it's always good to be prepared, don't you think?

April 5, 2012

A Good Friday Tradition with Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Here in The Bahamas, we have a tradition of eating Hot Cross Buns and fried fish on Good Friday. It does not matter what denomination of faith you are, this is what you eat. 
The tradition begins by going down by to the dock to buy fresh fish during Holy Week. 

The great thing about the Bahamas is we have a bountiful resource of fish.  We can choose from Grouper, Snapper, Crawfish, Goggle Eye, Turbot, Jackfish and many more.


    My personal favourite for frying is the Snapper.

Once you've gotten your fish, you need to get your Hot Cross Buns.  
For a few years, I either bought my buns from the local bakeries or was lucky enough to get some from my Aunt who bakes her own. 
I was always intimidated by Hot Cross buns.  I assumed that they were difficult to make. It wasn't until a few years ago when my husband suggested that I make them myself, I gave them a try. They were not good.
After that, every year I would try a new recipe or modify an existing one.  None of them were satisfying, just ok.  Then, in 2010 our local newspaper featured a recipe for Hot Cross Buns from a local chef.  I tried it, and not only was it easy, but it was the best Hot Cross Buns I've ever had.

This recipe makes a lot of buns, so prepare to share. 

HOT CROSS BUNS by chef Bernard Bodie
makes about 2 dozen 
2 cups water
2 pounds all purpose flour
1 egg
8 oz. sugar
8 oz. shortening
1 Tbls. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. allspice
2 1/2 tsp. molasses
1 pound raisins (use discretion)
Simple Syrup:
1 Cup water
2 1/2 Cups granulated sugar
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 Cup water
1 tsp vanilla

BUNS: In large mixing bowl for electric mixer, pour water.Then add all ingredients. (Scary right, but trust me it'll be fine). Mix for 10 mins. on low speed, then 10 minutes on medium speed. After ingredients are well mixed, let rest in bowl for another 10 minutes. 
Next weight each piece to 3.5 ounces and place in pan with 1/4 inch space between them.
Let rise to the size you wish, then bake for 45 mins. in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.
As soon as the buns come out of the oven, glaze with simple syrup mixture. Allow buns to cool before piping cross onto buns.