Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Bermuda Farine Pie

It’s that beautiful time of year again. It’s the time to spend with family and friends and gather over gifts and food. Yes ma’am… it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Growing up in Bermuda Christmas didn’t feel completely like Christmas until I smelled the Farine Pie baking in the oven. Yes… I watched my mom prepare it but until the house was inundated with the delightful smell of Farine it wasn’t quite Christmas yet.
For years I was intimidated by this traditional Christmas Pie. My mom’s pie is sooooo good that there was no way I could even come close. I was even intimidated by the whole process. It seemed that she put so much work into it. There are recipes online, but I would ask her every year for hers. And in the beginning I would mess it up. I mean, it would taste good – but it wouldn’t taste like HERS.
I gave up. My mom had that “mom” touch. I began to think that it was just as important to keep that Bermudian tradition going with MY pie. I had to realize that my pie still tasted good. It was her recipe but just me making it. I also had to realize that she had been making this pie for years and her mom for years before her. I knew that with time, my pie would taste like hers. But even if it didn’t – it was still delicious. I guess I want to relive that Christmas morning feel, when I was a child – waking up to Farine Pie for breakfast, with fried ham and turkey – and Chow Chow Sauce. But again, I was giving this to my family even though it wasn’t my mom baking it – so I was indeed succeeding with my Farine Pie and the tradition it holds.
Farine is a root vegetable and looks like a course flour. It is called YUCCA in America, it also known as Cassava. Some people in Bermuda make a Cassava Pie instead of Farine, Cassava pie is made using the farine (or yucca) in it a wet state. Farine pie is made using the vegetable in its dried form. Mix this with sugar and eggs and spices and you have a pie. Now when I say pie, some folks get confused because this in no way looks like a pie. It more or less looks like a dry cake baked in a baking dish – a cake with a layer of chicken in the middle. Yes.. chicken. No.. not a chicken pot pie.. It’s like a chicken cake in a pan.
Confused more? See picture below...

Now hopefully the pictures make it clear. This is not a pie – not a traditional chicken pie. And it isn’t savory or sweet, it is both. Trust me, it is delicious. It’s even delicious when you fry it up for breakfast in a pan with a little oil - just until the edges are golden brown and crispy.
I was contacted by Bermuda Bliss Magazine to do a tradition Bermuda Christmas recipe and chose to submit Farine Pie as I have been meaning to add this to my blog. Please visit Bermuda Bliss Magazine to subscribe and enjoy reading about the many wonders of my small beautiful island. It’s a good thing that now I have it online as I won’t pester my mom to send it to me every year. But, it may serve me well just to keep asking her for it every year, since we are talking tradition here .
Bermuda Christmas Farine Pie  

Adapted from: my mom, Patricia Raynor


4 to 5lbs chicken
4 cups farine
2 1/2 cups sugar
14 eggs - room temperature
6 sticks of unsalted butter - room temperature
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup condensed milk mixed with 1 cup water
1 to 2 cups reserved chicken stock


Soak farine overnight with enough of the milk and water solution to dampen farine. Mix should have a large crumb like texture when soaking. Do not over saturate farine

Boil Chicken. Once Chicken has cooled remove the bones from the chicken and shred the meat with a fork, or chopped and set aside. Reserve chicken broth. - For convienence you can buy a rotisserie chicken and chicken broth - if you want to cut time, I won't tell and neither will those who eat it. :)

Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9x13 pan - A 2 inch deep pan is fine but I suggest using a 3 inch deep pan if you want deeper layers.

Cream butter and sugar with the mixer's paddle attachment on medium speed. Cream for 5 minutes. This process is important as it incorporates air and results in a creamy and fluffy base for the rest of your ingredients. 

Add salt, nutmeg and vanilla and mix till just incorporated. 

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl and gradually add to creamed sugar and butter. Take your time with this process and ensure proper incorporation after each addition of whisked eggs. After all eggs are added mixture will look curdled - this is normal.

Slowly add your farine to wet ingredients on low to medium mixer speed. Be sure to incorporate the farine with the wet ingredients well.  

Pour half of the batter into pan and smooth it out. I like to have approximately an inch of batter on each farine layer.

Spread chicken on top of the farine layer. 

Next, add the remaining batter on top of your chicken layer and smooth to cover. If you add the batter it in large spoonfuls over the chicken layer, it makes it easier to spread without disturbing the pie's under layers. Just gently join the spoonfuls of batter together with a motion like you are frosting a cake.

Poke a few holes into the pie batter and pour some of the reserved chicken stock on pie. Be careful not to over fill.

Bake for 2 1/2 hours.
Enjoy with your favorite Chow Chow Piccalilli Relish! 

Additional Tips: On the oven rack under the pie, place a pan filled halfway with water that is large enough to cover more then circumference of the pie. This will  prevent your oven from smoking if some of the yummy broth spills over the sides of the pan. Also optional is to reduce the temperature of the oven to 325° after an hour and a half of baking at 350°. This prevents pie from over browning.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My favorite way to Metemgee

I thought I would re-post this recipe as it is one of my favorites! I tasted this dish when I moved here to the United States 10 years ago and my Mother-in-law prepared it for dinner. We would go visit her on some Sundays for dinner and needless to say the food was always top notch. This dish stood out to me because it was unlike anything I had before. It was truly a 'rooted' dish...a rooted, delicious, and wholesome dish. The simple ingredients combined made such a 'flavorable' impression with me that I had to master this dish and have it in high rotation in my house.

This dish is a Guyanese staple and I first posted about it here and credited my talented source. Fast forward 4 years I have now adapted my preferred way to prepare this recipe with some slight changes. I want to share it with you so that you can enjoy this dish in your home just like my husband and I do. Seriously... I would eat this every day if I could. Hell.. I actually can.


For the Stew:

  • 1 tablespoon oil - I use coconut oil.. well just because I like coconut oil.
  • 1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic - I don't mince my own garlic. The horror! I do love Trader Joe's Minced Garlic :)
  • 1 14 ounce can of coconut milk - Keep the milk simple.. the less preservatives the better. Again Trader Joe's coconut milk has my vote, hands down. 
  • 3 cups water
  • 10 sprigs of thyme- this is important as I notice the dried thyme does not flavor this dish as well.
  • 2 scallions - chopped roughly
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes- Feel free to add more. I do.
  • salt to taste - I add about a 1/2 teaspoon.
  • 1/2 pound cassava pieces - chopped in 2 to 3 inch pieces. This is called yucca in the USA. Took me a while to figure this out. Oh.. and on my lazy days I use frozen yucca which is found in the ethnic freezer section in your market place.
  • 2 sweet potatoes - peeled and cut in large chunks 
  • 2 ears sweet corn on cob - sliced in approximately 1 inch thick chunks
  • 2 plantains - I also cheat with this and buy the large bag in the freezer section. 
  • 1 pound of white fish - fried with your favorite fried fish recipe. I marinate mine in mustard and coat in coconut flour and shallow fry till fully cooked golden brown.
  • Fry fish and set aside.
  • Saute chopped onion in the heated oil in large pot until tender - about 4 minutes on medium heat. 
  • Add minced garlic and continue to saute for an additional minute.
  • Add can of coconut milk, water, thyme and scallions and red pepper flakes and yucca and bring to a boil. 
  • Turn down heat slightly and let pot simmer for about 35 minutes. 
  • Now add your sweet potato and plantains and corn and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Prepare your dumplings - see easy dumpling recipe below.
  • Add your dumplings and cover dish and let simmer for another 10 minutes.

For the Dumplings:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup warm water

Combine all dry ingredients - then add oil and water and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Drop by spoonful in stew and cover - allowing dumplings to steam and cook into lovely mounds of delectable dough.

That's it! Honestly.. the best advice I can give for this dish it to take it slow. Those 35 minutes while stew is simmering is a great time to get your next few steps prepared. Have all your ingredients chopped and ready to add for the final stages. I cut up my potato during the 35 minutes and have it set aside in a bowl of water. I have the corn cut and the plantains ready to go when the recipe calls for it. Then I whip the dumplings after I add the potato, corn and plantain.

After the stew is ready I pour in a dish over my fried fish. Make sure you get at least one or two of the yummy vegetables in your plate. You will be amazed at the flavor the coconut milk is as it absorbs the savory flavors of the other ingredients and blends well creating a melody in your mouth. TRUST ME.. you will love this dish!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Curry Coconut Burger with Avocado and Strawberry Salad

I had the wonderful opportunity of submitting this recipe and an article on summer flavors in the Bermuda Bliss Magazine. To keep up with all the latest happenings, recipes, fashion and more Bermuda going ons.... please make sure you subscribe TODAY!

Curry is a staple in my house, perhaps a bit more then I care to admit. I cook curry lamb, curry fish, curry chicken  and curry vegetables with my eyes close.  I decided to add this oh so versatile seasoning in a burger. And yes... curry is very versatile as you can simply sprinkle it on any meats or vegetables with your other staple seasonings prior to cooking.  I go deeper into a "Summer time Caribbean vibe" with this burger and I add coconut. Curry and coconut pair well together but rarely if ever, would we think about putting those ingredients in a burger to throw on the grill. Well, I did. And you can take this combination into so many directions. I imagine grilled pineapple slices on top, or even plantains. This can be one delicious tropical burger. Or you can keep it savory and just add the staple tomato, onion and mayonnaise. Either way, if you love coconut and you love curry, you can't go wrong in how you dress this burger.


1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp of cream of coconut  - you can find this in the liquor section of the grocery store :)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp of lime juice


Mix all the above ingredients until well combined. You may want to get your hands in there and mix the ingredients to ensure they are well combined.

Roll the mixture into patties - no bigger then 1/2 inch thick. Let the burgers sit out for about 10 minutes to bring to room temperature before cooking. Pre-heat grill to medium high heat and grill burgers for 5 minutes on each side.  Here's a tip for grilling burgers: Do not move the burger until you need to flip the burger to cook on the other side. Sometimes it is so tempting.. but don't do it. Don't disturb the burger. We want to ensure even steady cooking and once the outside has seared it helps to keep the juices inside.

Strawberry and avocado salad? Yes please! We have a serious fruit like avocado paired with a fun sweet fruit like strawberries to create an amazing experience with your taste buds. I added lemon juice and olive oil (to my preferred taste which is a tad heavy on the lemon and light on the oil) and mixed this salad carefully to not upset the structure of the fruits. If you want more of a crunch in this salad do not hesitate to add chopped pecans or slivered almonds. This was the perfect touch to accompany the curry coconut burgers to make a great delicious flavorful meal.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

I perhaps, maybe the only one in this house that loves Bread pudding. My husband states that it has always reminded him of soggy bread. Ever since he made that statement I haven't made any since. Especially since I'd be the only one to eat it. Having gained 30 pounds in the course of two years and now working ever so hard to lose it...that would be a no-no.

Sunday, I made pancakes. What does this have to do with bread pudding? Well, leftover pancakes actually fair well  to be used as a delicious dessert. I used bite size pieces of pancakes and added a maple syrup, egg and butter ...with pecans and voila...a dessert that my kids..and even my husband enjoyed.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

  • 6 cups of bite size pancakes - mine were homemade - but feel free to make them from a box mix.
  • 2 cups of bite size breads pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup pancake syrup - yummy
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans 
  • Pre-heat oven to 375.
  • Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  • Place the bite-size pancake and bread pieces in the pan and pour the melted butter over it.
  • In a bowl mix the pancake syrup, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. 
  • Stir the pecans in the mix then pour over the pancake and bread pieces. 
  • Push the bread and the mix around the pan with a rubber spatula to ensure all pieces are covered.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
Please understand that this isn't a traditional bread pudding. The consistency is amazing. And it isn't technically a pie.. it has no crust.. but because the bread holds up really well.. as it isn't "soggy" - it is easy to serve and cut.. heck.. you can eat it with your fingers like a dessert bar...or a breakfast bar :)

Of course..this is a treat you should enjoy very infrequently as a cup of pancake syrup isn't exactly something that should be taken lightly. But it sure is delicious.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hot Cross Cupcakes.

Growing up in Bermuda for 32 lovely years of my life - every year we traditionally had Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday and Easter feasting celebrations. We normally split them apart and slap a delicious Fish Cake in the middle.

Of course my three kids enjoy Bermuda fish cakes and hot cross buns..but I wanted to do something fun for Easter. Something fun yet traditional. Something fun yet familiar. And something that screams fun to my kids are cupcakes.

This house is full of cake and most recently cupcakes. I found a new love for them. How fun is it to enjoy cakes of all different flavors in a 4 bite or more, or less ... sweet sensation? Thrilling.  So, Hot Cross Buns..as cake? No..better yet..as a cupcake?? I couldn't wait to try this!

Digging through old Bermuda recipe cookbooks I came across a great base for the cupcakes. With some tweaking I can turn a delicious Raisin Cupcake into something that tasted like that bread bun of joy I bake each Easter. But sweeter.

I hope you enjoy making...and eating these as much as we did!

Hot Cross Cupcakes


adapted from: Kathleen Mayor's Raisin Cupcakes
source: Traditional Bermuda Recipes Cookbook

1 1/4 cup raisins - the sweeter the better 
2 cups Barritt's Bermuda Ginger Beer (about a can and some) - feel free to add the remaining ginger beer to some Goslings Black Rum and sip while baking :)
1/2 cup unsalted butter - 1 stick
3/4 cup brown sugar - I used light but feel free to use dark
1 egg - remember to use room temperature eggs when baking
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Recipe Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Sift the flour with nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt then set aside.
  • Place the ginger beer in a small pot and add raisins - bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Reserve the liquid.
  • While raisins are boiling cream the butter and sugar with your mixer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Stop mixer and slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the boiled reserved ginger beer and raisin liquid. I let mine cool for about 5 minutes prior to adding. Mix till combined - about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the raisins that have been boiled in the ginger beer. Try not to eat them all while adding them :)
  • In a lined cupcake pan dollop the cupcake batter to fill the liner about 1/2 to 2/3rd's full.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.  
This recipe didn't quite make 2 dozen cupcakes but I did fill my liners 2/3rd's full. The house smelled liked gingerbread while baking and hours after. It was hard to wait until the Hot Cross Cupcakes cooled before taking a bite into one.

The surviving cooled Hot Cross Cupcakes had the pleasure of being glazed with a simple powdered sugar and vanilla glaze. I took about 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar and added 1/4 cup of water and a teaspoon of vanilla. This created a watery sugar glaze in which I brushed each cupcake with. I wanted a touch more sweetness on the top of the cupcake since I wasn't covering them completely with buttercream. In addition to that, it gives a nice shine that is familiar with Hot Cross Buns.

To create the cross on top of the Hot Cross Cupcakes I used my go to recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream which you will find at the bottom of this recipe post here :) and applied with a piping bag using a medium round tip. Too keep things simple you can put the frosting of your choice in a piping bag or Ziploc baggie and scissor snip the corner. Voila..

Do remember to have fun with this! You can use a jam glaze on top of the cupcakes to add some other flavor variation.. you can even use ginger beer instead of water to mix with the powdered sugar glaze. Next time I make these, which will be soon,  I am going to add a cinnamon sugar topping. Oh boy! But for now.. let's just enjoy these as a dessert treat at Easter Brunch. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

SPA PARTY for the 8 year old

Someone was excited to have a party :) - She only wanted girls.. so the perfect theme was a spa for her and her diva friends.

I tell you.. planning a party for a bunch of 8 year old girls is hard work.. but not as hard as actually having those 8 year old girls in your house to entertain. This age is tricky... they are not to kiddie and not to oldie.. not pre-teens.. not into things that 5 year old girls would be either.  So this party had to be quick and entertaining... I hired a Mobile Spa Party to come and set up the actual spa part. I didn't want to spend to much time and money on that part...plus I wanted someone else to entertain the girls. I only have one girl child.. I couldn't imagine entertaining 8 of them :)

The best part for me was planning the FOOD! I had lots of help with Pinterest and lots of fun setting everything up. I also enjoyed doing the cake.. of course. She requested a "blingy" cake but I wanted to still have it fit to the theme of the party.. so I did a gold confetti cake. I had wanted to practice making one of these for a while and it was the perfect opportunity to!

Anyway,  before I continue to ramble on - just take a look at the pictures and feel free to grab any and all of these ideas for your little ones spa party.

I would totally do this again.. in a heartbeat....after a few years break. :)

I love this shirt from POCKET BABY ~!  

Kya has ruffles in her bedroom.. so we carried the theme to set the dining table. I didn't do a separate dessert table as I wanted the girls to sit and enjoy and grab what they wanted while they ate.. and that they did...

Oh.. the cupcakes.. .welp.. first I put green icing on them, but the green was a tad too dark and it looked like Christmas trees. My child was not to excited about them and truthfully neither was I. I whipped up a fresh batch of Italian Meringue Buttercream to quickly resolve that issue.

Because I was leaving the chairs in place I wanted to decorate them. Hobby Lobby has awesome mesh ribbons and fabrics so you can get very creative.

The girl child wanted lemon berry fruit punch. No.. I did not make it from scratch.. I bought the drink and poured. Easy peasy.. work smarter not harder. And the girls loved it.

Ahhh - the cake. Listen.. a confetti cake takes a whole lotta confetti. And a whole lot of gold highlighter. I didn't even go thick on the gold highlight edible paint because I loved how the colors of the confetti shined through. I hand made the banner... and I don't like to sew.. .but this was easy. Thread.. fabric and ribbon and straws. BAM! You have a banner. I used adhesive stones to put her name on the banner and inside the straws are skewers so they would balance properly on the cake.

So.. I was going to make the marshmallows from scratch but I ran out of time (sewing that banner and redoing buttercream perhaps). I bought marshmallows and dampened them and me and the girl child rolled them in non-perils and sprinkles. Done. Those were eaten up quickly. 8 year old girls don't care if marshmallows are store bought or from scratch.

The cookies!! I don't do cookies although I would like to think I could... but I am so type A that the imperfections would annoy me and I would throw more cookies in the trash before I am satisfied with one. I happily ordered these from KJ Cookies  on Etsy.com and was extremely pleased. I can't wait to order from her again as they were delicious.

Thank you Pinterest.. Tuna and chicken salad "flip-flop" sandwiches. I used scallions and red pepper the make the straps. I had a flip flop cookie cutter to create the shape. I also did a yogurt and granola parfait.. as you can see in the left corner of the picture above. Easy and delicious.

Fruit kabobs... you can't tell too much but the girl child and I cut the melons into flower shapes. It helps to have so much fondant cutters to create such things.

The favor bags actually came from the Mobile Spa Party.. they included all sorts of goodies you would find at a spa.. headbands, nail polish etc...

The table for the girls to pick out there colors and tattoos and all sorts of stuff. They also created bottle top necklaces which I thought was a fun idea and an added favor for them to take home.

Thank Pinterest again for the photo booth backdrop. Layer three plastic tablecloths and shred them. Then take three strips and braid at the top. I added some gold fabric to give it some pop.

Things got a tad out of control... Prop take over.

Toast to the birthday girl after all is said and done...sparkly cider anyone?

My happy 8 year old. Oh the things we parents do to make them happy...which of course makes us VERY happy too.

Happy Birthday my Princess.

Next year we will just go to the movies :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Johnny Bread

Most Bermudians wake up mornings and crave Johnny Bread. Well…any right in their mind Bermudian anyway.

The quest for the perfect Johnny Bread is something that has drove me a little nutty. So I turned to my fellow Bermudians on this quest and asked for a few recipes that they use. I received 3. Although the ingredients where the same the amounts of each ingredient differed. Also the technique in executing the delicious breakfast bread differed as well.

My first attempt was with baked Johnny Bread. Although easy to execute I felt I failed because my bread was a tad dry. Perhaps I should NOT have baked it in my cast iron pan. Perhaps I should have cut in the butter better. However, the taste was great! And  my 13 year old teen boy child enjoyed this one more so over the others.

This recipe came from my friend Jenita. I will definitely be making this again and updating you on the outcome!


Jenita’s Recipe for Johnny Bread

Jenita Johnny Bread

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter

Mix dry ingredients.  Cut in butter.  Add beaten egg and milk.  Make dough in to a ball adding more flour if dough is too wet.
Put dough in greased rounded cake pan and flatten into circle.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


My next recipe comes from Julianna. The is out of the Ethiopian Orthodox Cookbook. It uses less sugar.. and less butter and the outcome was not only pretty Johnny Bread like but also darn delicious. It’s technique was to roll the dough and cut round circles which is the typical way to prepare. It allows for good judgment in sizing your bread so that it is perfect enough to cut and butter up and put cheese on. Johnny Bread is friggin delicious toasted with your favorite melted cheddar.

Ethiopian Orthodox Johnny Bread


1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp margarine
2 tsp baking powder

Mix dry ingredients then add water. Knead lightly into a ball. Let sit for 10 minutes. Roll out on lightly floured board and bake in cast iron frying pan on low heat. I use a glass and cut round circles and fry in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil. Keep an eye on them low heat. I have also baked in the oven. Flip to brown other side.  Enjoy.




My third and final recipe comes from a recipe that I have wanted to try for ages. Again..same ingredients but vastly different in amounts. This one has more volume of ingredient therefore making more bread which is good for my family of 5. I found the execution very difficult as I tried to follow directions on each one as they were written so I can compare. This recipe suggest that you break of the dough in tennis ball size pieces. Now that is pretty big size pieces…and the trick to perfect Johnny Bread is when you are “baking” them in the pan over low heat you have to make sure your inside is baked as well. This method caused me to over cook the outside and under cook the inside. I had to make the dough more like 3/4 of the size of a tennis ball!

This recipe got my vote for BEST tasting recipe! They are all similar and great in taste but this one reminded me of my younger days spent in Bermuda eating toasted Johnny Bread with cheese.

I am going to try this recipe again with the technique of rolling and cutting dough in circles and this recipe in full does suggest trying it that way.

Lambes Johnny Bread

source: Big Oven


Pictured sliced and toasted with cheese! YUM!

3 cup Flour

3 tbsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 cup Sugar

1 cup milk

1 Egg

1/2 cup Margarine; or shortening

Oil; for frying


Cut margarine into dry ingredients until crumbly.

Mix the milk and egg together and slowly add to the crumb mixture.

Combine thoroughly and knead on a floured board until well incorporated and not too sticky.

Break off pieces about the size of a tennis ball. Flatten to about 1/2 inch and fry in shallow oil over a low to medium flame until golden. Repeat on other side. –  (((I would use the roll out on floured board and cut in circles technique instead.)))

Drain on paper towels and serve with butter and/or cheese.