Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

Photo of Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies on a baking sheet before they are set.

Mandolin Rain
We have a number of mandolins in our house. Some of them make beautiful music (well, if you’re into that kind of music. It’s all relative.). Two of them will slice potatoes so thin that the gratin you’re making will melt in your mouth and make you cry. Those two reside in the kitchen and one of them did damage to my finger Sunday night.

I will spare you the details. But, suffice it to say, after a trip to Urgent Care and a whole lot of gauze, I will be avoiding anything with a hint of danger in the kitchen for the foreseeable future. There will be no chopping, dicing, and certainly no slicing. There WILL be a glass of wine while I sit on the couch because I am also using this moment to avoid anything hot like an oven, the grill, or the open flame of my stove.

In short, the family is just going to have to fend for themselves for a bit. It will be good for them. Nothing like cereal and mac and cheese for a few nights to give them perspective on the dangers I face walking into the kitchen each night to make them dinner. My husband is considering a suit of chain mail because, sadly, this is not the first time something like this has happened and it will most likely not be the last because I am that person. The one who always manages to injure themselves in sometimes strange, but never surprising, ways.

And, as someone who has actually been thrown from a horse (more than once I might add) you do in fact need to get back on and try again. So, give me a week and I will be back at it. Although, I am considering a chain mail glove like our butchers have. I refuse to give up that gratin…

Truthfully, I am not going to pull myself completely out of the game—mainly because I want to make these beauties below. They are no-bake but they do require the use of the stove. I’m going to take the risk. After the week I have had, I’m worth it!

There are hundreds of versions of these Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies available online. I like this one from Food Network.

Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies Recipe
Adapted from The Food Network
Yields about five dozen cookies

These cookies begin on the stovetop and are set in the fridge. They are easy to make and yield a lot of cookies. It would be easy to substitute out the milk and butter to make a vegan version. And, you can always swap out the peanut butter for a nut butter of your choice. Plus, they are gluten-free. Read more…

Supu Viazi (Tanzanian Coconut Potato Soup)

Bowl of Supu Viazi (Tanzanian Coconut Potato Soup) on a wooden tabletop.

Soup-er Summer
I know. It’s 150 degrees outside and I’m talking about soup. Yep. I get it. Soup is not the first thing that pops into your three-in-the-afternoon brain in late July when it’s time to think about dinner. Most people opt for something cooler.

But, when you think about it, soup isn’t much more than a thinner curry or pasta sauce, right? Right? Ok, I’ll work on my sales pitch. But, maybe this recipe will change your mind. Because, for some reason, the flavors scream summer to me.

I found this Eastern African recipe for Supu Viazi while doing my deep dive into all things foodie and African. It intrigued me for a few reasons. This recipe comes from Tanzania which is not a cuisine you hear about with regularity. That in and of itself makes this recipe interesting.

Also, you might find my lack of knowledge about food in Tanzania a bit odd considering my Mother-in-Law lived there for multiple years right after my husband graduated from high school. It would be logical to assume that there would be a few recipes that she had picked up along the way and passed down. Alas, you would be wrong.

Lastly, when reading the ingredients, it just sounded so good in my head. It reminds me of a Thai yellow curry, just without the meat.

The best part? Assuming you have the ingredients, it’s fairly quick to prepare which makes it a good choice for some mid-week flavor…

The green banana is traditional, but you can swap it for a green plantain or leave it out altogether if either is hard to find. Just toss in a few more potatoes.

Supu Viazi (Tanzanian Coconut Potato Soup) Recipe
Adapted from Flavors of Africa by Evi Aki
Yields 4 to 6 servings Read more…

African Style Roasted Veggies

Photo of a plate of African Style Roasted Veggies

Hot and Veggie
When the weather is hot, I go veggie-heavy. This is by no means a revolutionary way of life. I know plenty of people who do this. Frankly, when the temps are above, say, ninety degrees, eating any kind of normal protein just seems heavy. Presenting me with a lovely and bright ceviche though, will change my mind.

My problem is I tend to get hungry later when I go full veggie. It’s a struggle I’ve dealt with forever. It’s why I am not a salad person. I will eat salad, but it won’t be the whole meal. Adding some grains or pasta helps, though. As does adding a lot of flavor. This recipe for African Style Roasted Veggies has lots of African flavor.

I made this last week when it was warm but before it got too hot to turn on the oven over the weekend. If you were looking for a recipe to try the Fonio we just brought in, this is the perfect thing. It’s also the answer for a veggie garden that has finally started producing. (It’s been a weird growing season.)

*Note-Plantains make a great addition to this recipe but can be hard to find. We have stocked them over the years in the store. But, have found that the day-in day-out demand for plantains just isn’t there. However, the recent rise in popularity of Caribbean flavors means that we are looking to bring them back in. Keep an eye out in the produce department.

African Style Roasted Veggies
Adapted from Africana by Lerato Umah-Shaylor
Yields 4 servings Read more…

Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream

Photo of a bowl of Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream

Something Totally Different
I have been overwhelmed with recipes since starting my journey into the flavors of Africa. Unfortunately, there are too many wonderful options to consider—and not enough time.

The recipe below for Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream is one I definitely want to try but just haven’t been able to get to. So I am passing it on to y’all in the hopes that someone out there is willing to give it a shot and let me know how it turns out.

Dried hibiscus flowers can be challenging to find. As an alternative, I recommend using hibiscus tea as a substitute. If you go that route, let me know what tea you use. I thought the Tao of Tea Hibiscus Ginger might be fantastic for this.

Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from Africana by Lerato Umah-Shaylor
Yields about 1 Quart Read more…