Friday, February 27, 2009

Spicy Peanut Stew


This is a recipe I came across for a standard stew with peanuts. It originates from West Africa, unfortunately I cannot say which country exactly but I am going to research this. Served with millet or rice, it has the traditional hot spices, beloved ground provisions and flavours that many of us of African and Caribbean descent know and appreciate so well.
You can tone down or increase the hotness by reducing or increasing the amount of cayenne as you see fit. If you cannot obtain all the vegetables fresh, use canned ones where possible. You can also use yams or eggplant (aubergine) instead of the sweet potatoes if you like. Enjoy!
2 large onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. peanut oil
1 cup (4 oz, 110 g) shelled peanuts
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into small chunks
1 small cabbage, shredded
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. grated root ginger
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro (coriander)
½ cup (4 fl oz, 120 ml) tomato juice
½ cup (4 fl oz, 120 ml) apple juice
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 oz. (225 g) okra, chopped
4 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tsp. salt

Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the peanuts, sweet potato and cabbage. Cover the pot and stew gently for about five minutes.
Add the cayenne, ginger, cilantro, juices and tomatoes, and simmer until the cabbage is cooked.
Add the okra. Stir in the peanut butter and salt. Cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more juice (or water) if the stew becomes too thick.
Makes six portions.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Etsy Finds: LouAnn Designs


Photo copyright of LouAnns Designs.
I am now the proud owner of this beautiful fabric and wood ball necklace by LouAnn Designs. The fabric and ball necklace comprises of soft polyester fabric in yellows, browns, teals and rust that are wrapped around and knotted between wooden balls. Very unique.
LouAnn, whose work can be found on Etsy, also specializes in decorative gourds, wall art and ACEOs. See more of her designs at www.louannsdesigns.etsy.com

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Brief History of Vanilla


Vanilla is a tropical climbing orchid, with a long green fleshy stem that sprouts roots that cling to trees parasitically. Its yellow or orange orchidaceous flowers grow in bunches, which bloom one flower each day, opening one by one during the two month season. Vanilla cannot grow naturally in temperate climates. In nature they are only pollinated by Mexican bees and hummingbirds that are capable of penetrating a tough membrane that separates the plant’s pistol and stamen. European entrepreneurs had transplanted vanilla to grow in other tropical locations but could not get them to produce the pods. In 1841, Edmond Albius (above left), a former slave on the French Island of Réunion, perfected a method to artificially fertilize the short-lived vanilla flower using a thin bamboo skewer to lift the membrane and use his thumb to smear the pollen. This gave great impetus to vanilla bean husbandry, and the method is still used today.

Albius’s manual pollination method is still used today, as nearly all vanilla is pollinated by hand. After Albius’s discovery, Réunion became for a time the world's largest supplier of vanilla. French colonists used Albius's technique in the East African nation of Madagascar to cultivate vanilla, and today Madagascar (mostly the fertile region of Sava) accounts for half of the global production of vanilla.

Unfortunately, Albius did not draw any benefit from an invention which made the fortune of the growers, and he died in poverty in 1880.

Next to saffron and cardamom, vanilla is the world’s most expensive spice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And the winner is......

Congrats to Tiggy at FuturePrim for winning the first-ever blog giveway at BajanScent!
I would also like to thank Carolyn G, Joan and Scentual so much for taking the time to participate as well.
I hope to have another giveway in the near future, I am thinking perhaps for Easter or maybe sooner.
Tiggy, your Lime Tea perfume oil will be shipped out to you right away!
Take care everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lime Tea Perfume Oil Giveaway

Thanks so much to you all for taking part in the recent giveaway! I will announce the winner on Monday, February 16th. The names will be drawn from a bag so everyone has a fair chance.
Thanks again and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Enter to Win: Lime Tea Perfume Oil


Welcome to my first-ever blog giveaway! Up for grabs is one 5ml bottle of Lime Tea Perfume Oil - a light, energetic blend of of lime, citrus, green tea and jasmine, all captured in a skin-soothing base of jojoba oil. Lime Tea contains both essential oils and fragrance oils.

Instructions:
Just visit my Etsy shop AmandaJones.etsy.com and then return to my blog and let me know in the comments section what your favorite item in my store was. Remember to leave an e-mail address with your comment so that I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.
If you make a purchase from my Etsy shop before the contest is over, comment here once again and I will add four additional entries under your name for the giveaway.

The giveaway begins as soon as this is posted on February 5,2009 and will end at 9am Eastern Standard Time on Friday, February 13, 2009.

Good luck to everyone!