SAVEUR Blog Awards

Please nominate Africa In Our Kitchen for the best new food blog category. I would love to have the conversation about foods of the African Diaspora receive more exposure.

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Hello everyone,

I hope you can find time in your busy day to help Africa In Our Kitchen get nominated for the Saveur Best Food Blog award. There are many different categories and you can choose whichever one or more you think is appropriate for me. I was encouraged by a friend to participate in this competition even though my blog/website is very new.  So I decided to go for it. Nomination ends July 18th, so please act soon.

You can read more about each category definition HERE.

You can nominate more than one time so have fun with it!

You can nominate HERE.

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Adobo

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Adobo is a basic dry seasoning mix that is a cornerstone in Latin American cuisine. Primarily consisting of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, it can be purchased bottled in your International or Latin section of most grocery stores today.

My personal recipe incorporates dried oregano and dried parsley with no onion powder. When you make your own you can control the amount of salt you want to use. The Photo above shows the mixture available in “Africa in our Kitchen” gift baskets.

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Low Country Seafood Boil

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Low Country Boil cooked ingredients!
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Low Country Boil Ingredients

Summertime and the living is easy….  I was first introduced to a Low Country Boil when I visited my sister in Savannah, Georgia.  Low Country refers to the southern coastal region of the United States starting in the southernmost part of North Carolina and extending down to the northernmost coastal regions of Florida. It also includes the many islands off the coast of the U.S. which were home  to many enslaved Africans and their descendants. The culture that developed in this region is known as Gullah or Geechee.  Visit http://www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org to find out more about the Gullah/Geechee culture.

Low country seafood boil is a simple meal, consisting of fresh seafood, corn on the cob, smoked, spicy sausage of your choice, and potatoes. The spicing of the boiling liquid determines just how successful the meal will be.

My cousin shared a photo and caption describing how she and her family enjoy their summer, Sunday meals. She has allowed me to share this with you.  I hope this post will inspire you to try this fun, one pot dish sometime soon.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs and Goat Cheese

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I recently relocated from south Florida back to Chicago, so I haven’t posted for a while.  To continue with my Moroccan/Mediterranean meal, following is the recipe for the second entree, roasted sweet potatoes with figs and goat cheese.

 “Jerusalem: A Cookbook”* is the source for this recipe. A collaboration between two chefs, one Jewish and the other Palestinian, living in London. There they discovered their parallel histories (they were both born and raised in Jerusalem); became close friends and then business partners.

Through this cookbook I was introduced to a Jerusalem to which I’d not been exposed. The authors describe Jerusalem as, “A city rich with four thousand years of history, that has changed hands endlessly.  A city of such diversity that it puts the old tower of Babylon to shame.”

If you enjoy Middle Eastern food, I hope you’ll add this cookbook to your collection. It’s a wonderful read with great photos and historical background. The recipes taste great too!

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A Moroccan/Mediterranean Inspired Meal

 

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Moroccan Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs, and a salad of Water Melon, Arugula, Israeli couscous and Feta

For a recent birthday, a dear friend sent me a cookbook entitled ” Mourad, New Moroccan”. She knows how much I enjoy reading cookbooks and I highly recommend this for the history and background on Moroccan cuisine. Mourad provides recipes for traditional spice blends and instructions for preserving your own lemons, a key ingredient in Moroccan dishes. If you’re not into making your own spice blends and preserved lemons, you can purchase these items. I’ve included sources at the end of the recipe.

My friend and I had the pleasure of traveling to Morocco several years ago. The food was outstanding and the cookbook inspired me to plan a menu based on north African and Mediterranean flavors for friends recently. I’ve included a couple photos from that trip.

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Traditional tea service, Marrakesh, Morocco
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Tagine service, Marrakesh, Morocco

 

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Someone You Should Know

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Leslie Horne founder of Les’ Creative Hands

Mrs. Horne’s mission is to work with her clients to turn their ideas into fruit art that is delicious and appealing to the eye. Les’ Creative Hands came into being a year ago when a friend asked her to put together a fruit tray for an event. Well, Leslie doesn’t just put together a fruit tray. Based on the event, your ideas or theme, she creates healthy, artistic, and delicious fruit presentations that will amaze.

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Chicken Fricassee

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As young children and through teenage years, my siblings and I spent every summer with our father’s mother and family in Virginia. She was a fabulous cook. I learned years later when I called to let her know I was attending culinary school in Chicago, that she had attended Hampton Institute (now known as Hampton University) and trained as a professional cook in the classical french tradition.

My sister often joked that Grandma Connie could “fricassee” anything and make it taste good.

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Dry Jerk Seasoning

DSC00328Years ago while walking into a Barnes & Noble bookstore, the brightly colored cover of a book caught my eye.  It was on the sale table that’s always right in the lobby. The cover had a beautiful photograph of tropical fruits and a fruit punch.  The title, “the Caribbean Pantry Cookbook”, subtitled, condiments and seasonings from the land of spice and sun. The author is Steven Raichlen and the photographs by Martin Jacobs. Published in 1995 by Artisan, a division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

My passion for collecting cookbooks with storied backgrounds for each recipe and beautiful photography began with this book. Sitting down with a book like this, is for me, a mini vacation. But getting to the point; following is the recipe I use for Dry Jerk Seasoning.

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