Jamaican Festival

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

For me this is comfort food, making it perfect for a late Autumn evening. Although I’ve only had festival a handful of times in my life, eating this warm, sugary dough always feels so comforting to me. Festival has only a mild sweetness to it and is often served with savory dishes like ackee and saltfish or a chicken curry. I have used water for the liquid in this recipe but milk is also commonly used for more flavour. The cornmeal is great for a golden outer colour and gives it a nice crunch. In a way, Festival is like the Jamaican version of churros and could also be eaten as a dessert, dipped in melted chocolate or sprinkled with sugar.

Recipe: Jamaican festival (makes 6)


65g plain flour

35g fine cornmeal

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tbsp caster sugar

Pinch of salt

50ml water or milk


  • Heat some oil in a deep pan.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and gently pour in the water.
  • Use your fingers to mix everything together until it form a soft dough.
  • Next, split the dough into six equal pieces and roll into finger shapes.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the dough pieces to the pan and turn every 2 minutes until fully cooked and golden brown (roughly 6 mins, depending on the heat and size).
  • Place on a plate with kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil and serve warm.

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Seasoned Flatbread

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

A quick post today featuring chickpea flour which is a fantastic source of protein, flatbread is also the perfect accompaniment for curries, sauces and anything else you can dip them into. Enjoy this lightly seasoned recipe which elevates your average flatbread.

Recipe: Seasoned flatbread (makes 3)


50g plain flour

50g chickpea flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of paprika

1/2 tsp dried herbs

50ml warm water

1/2 tsp oil


  • Place the flours, salt, garlic, paprika and herbs in a bowl and combine.
  • Make a well in the middle and slowly pour the water in mixing with your fingers until it forms a dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, it may be slightly stiff because of the chickpea flour.
  • Leave to rest in a bowl covered for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.
  • Roll out each piece into a circle and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until it puffs up slightly, repeat until they are all done and wrap in a tea towel to stay warm.

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Chicken and Vegetable Pie

Hello Everyone, thanks for stopping by my blog today.

This chicken and vegetable pie was really delicious. A nice mixture of chicken, kale, peas and beans. You really get to taste the flavours of onion and garlic which compliment everything so well. It has a very rustic appearance and whilst it was in the oven, the sauce did seep through, but the filling still remained moist which was good.

This would be great for a family dinner or if you were hosting a dinner party, something tasty that everyone can tuck into without making too much mess. I’ve never cooked cannellini beans before but they are very tasty and full of protein which is essential for a healthy diet. Protein is also good for your bones, helps to reduce cravings and increases muscle mass.

Recipe: Chicken and vegetable pie (serves 3-4)

Ingredients for shortcrust pastry (bbcgoodfood)

225g plain flour

100g butter

Pinch of salt

2 tbsp water


  • Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and use your fingers to form breadcrumbs.
  • Add the salt and water to the dough and begin kneading with your hands until it forms a stiff dough.
  • Knead for a few minutes, wrap in cling film and leave to chill for at least 30 in the fridge.

Ingredients for chicken and vegetable filling

280g chopped chicken breast

1/2 tbsp chilli flakes, paprika, salt, thyme, garlic powder and turmeric

1 tbsp butter

1/2 onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

20g plain flour

55ml coconut milk

230ml chicken stock

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 carrot, grated

200g cannellini beans

70g peas

40g kale, roughly chopped


  • First, put a pan of water to boil along with the garlic, thyme, chilli, salt, paprika and turmeric.
  • Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the chicken pieces. Cook for 10 minutes in the liquid then drain and leave to cool before shredding.
  • Melt the butter in a pot, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until just soft.
  • Stir in the flour, milk and stock. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes in total stirring consistently. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Once the chicken has been shredded, mix in the carrot, beans, peas and kale.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 and lightly oil an oven tray.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and mix in the chicken and vegetables. Set aside and leave to cool down.
  • Next, split the dough in half and role both pieces out to 0.3mm at a similar size.
  • Put the larger piece of dough on the tray and place the filling in the centre leaving the edges free. Put the larger piece of dough on top and use your finger to wrap the edges together to form a secure pie.
  • Use a fork to gently crimp the edges and slice 3 holes in the top. Cook in the oven for 35 minutes until the dough is fully cooked. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

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*Possible amends to make to the dish: You could also half the amount of chicken stock to reduce the amount of sauce that comes out of the pie but that could make the filling a little dry. Also, brush an egg wash over the top for a more golden appearance.

Homemade Flatbread

Hello everyone, I hope your day has been well.

Today I made flatbread alongside lentil and potato balls with a simple, side salad. This post features the flatbread which was really quick and easy to make. Flatbread is usually a winner with most people and the great thing is that you can often customise additional herbs to suit your taste, this could include oregano, thyme or parsley. I opted to keep my flatbread plain with a neutral taste that would over power the other components of the meal.

I always enjoy making dough based foods because of the kneading process which can be quite relaxing with a smooth dough. Also the 30 minute resting time allows you to take a break or prepare other ingredients you might need. Flatbread is very popular all around the world and has many different names, it is usually served with curries, stews and dips but makes a great side to most saucy dishes.

Recipe: Homemade flatbread (makes 2)


150g plain flour

Pinch of salt

25g butter, melted

60ml milk (or milk alternative)

1 tsp oil, for frying


  • Mix the flour and salt into a large bowl. Melt the butter for 15-25 seconds in the microwave depending on the temperature, and stir into the milk.
  • Pour the milk and butter into the flour mix slowly and use a spoon to bring the ingredients together.
  • Once the dough starts forming, use your hands and knead the dough for a few minutes before putting back into the bowl covered with a tea towel or cling film for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and in the meantime, split the dough in half and roll out evenly.
  • It doesn’t have to be a perfect shape, but once its roughly 0.3cm thick, place in the pan and cook for 2 minutes max on both sides. It should still look quite pale but have brown circles across the top.
  • Once cooked, put onto a plate and wrap with a clean tea towel to keep warm and soft.

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Hot Cross Buns

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great Friday.

It’s looking really bright and sunny for a change but’s still a little chilly outside. Recently the lockdown rules have eased slightly in the UK which is a good sign of a new normal sometime soon, hopefully! Today I made hot cross buns, I think the last time I made them was probably a year ago and as the recipe was written down I’m not sure where it originally came from. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK and many other countries, a hot cross bun is a sweet, spiced bun made with dried fruit. It’s a little bit of a long process because you’ve got to let the dough rest and prove but the end result is definitely worth it.

A very popular tradition for Jamaicans on Good Friday is to eat bun and cheese. The bun is a similar vibe to the hot cross bun in the sense of it being sweet and spiced. Also, fried fish is usually eaten instead of meat.

Recipe: Hot cross buns (makes 6)


250g plain flour

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

40g caster sugar

4g salt

30g butter

140ml milk alternative, warmed slightly

4g dried yeast

40g dried fruit, soaked in orange juice an hour before (I’ve used sultana’s)

Cross topping: 2 tbsp plain flour, 1 tbsp water

Glaze: 1 tsp sugar with a little hot water


  • In a large bowl add all of the dry ingredients, then add the butter and use your fingers to make a grainy, crumble mixture.
  • Stir the yeast into the milk, then pour into the flour mixture and use your hands to form a dough. Knead for at least 5 minutes.
  • Flatten out the dough a little, sprinkle over the dried fruit and knead to fully combine. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel for at least an hour to rise.
  • After the hour, equally separate the dough into 6 pieces and shape into balls and flatten, place each one on a light oiled oven tray. Leave to prove until doubled in size covered with a tea towel.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. Use a piping bag to do the cross topping and use a pastry brush to add the glaze over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. Add the left over glaze once more and leave to cool before eating.

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