Author Archives: kooksfood

Chocolate and coconut cupcakes with chocolate, hazelnut and sea salt butter cream icing.

photoI know its been a LONG time since I last blogged but school and now move to new home and job have kept me super busy! However, really enjoying the new life in Toronto, though of course missing the friends I made in Dubai. Anyways suffice it say I’ve been a lazy blogger but this recipe was good enough to bring me back in! lol

The cupcakes were adapted from my chocolate and chili cake recipe but using things I just had around the house. Which… bonus! When I’m bored, I bake. However, I’m also waaaayyy too lazy to go and buy anything I don’t already have in this house which is why this is perfect. And why my chocolate cake recipe is awesome (modest I know!) because it is fool-proof baking and versatile.

Anyways on to the recipe…



For the cupcakes (makes 6 muffin sized ones)

1.25 cups plain flour

3/4 cup caster sugar (can add more if you prefer it sweeter)

2.75 tablespoons cocoa powder

.75 tsp baking powder

.75 tsp baking soda

0.5 cup light coconut milk

Glug of vegetable oil (maybe 1-2 tablespoons… I just did a quick pour)

1 tsp vanilla extract or essence

0.5 cup boiling water

1 egg

sprinkle of cinnamon powder

sprinkle of sea salt

How to do it…

Basically this is is the easiest cake recipe ever. Mix all the ingredients listed together in one bowl up until the boiling water. Make sure the batter is starting to form (it will still be quite dry / doughy) at this stage. Then pour in the boiled water. Now your mixture is quite liquidy. That’s fine – it’s what makes the cup cakes so moist. Taste. If you want add more sugar or cocoa. Sprinkle some sea salt and cinnamon into the mixture. Taste and adjust if need be. Then crack in the egg. Stir. Pour the mixture into a greased muffin tin and bake for about 15 mins in an oven pre-heated to 375. Once the top is no longer goopy and you put a knife or toothpick in cleanly through the cake it’s done. Mine cooked in 12-15 mins. Leave aside to cool and focus on the icing now.

For the icing

softened unsalted butter



icing sugar


coconut milk

sea salt

How to do it…

Cream (mix) the softened butter with some vanilla and coconut milk. Then add icing sugar, slowly sift it in until you get your desired texture and taste. Add in a little bit of cocoa and nutella (to taste). Add a bit more icing sugar if you need it for texture. Afterwards sprinkle in sea salt (again to taste)

Once the cup cakes are cooled, ice them!

Enjoy x


Been a while…

imageThe MBA has been so busy, but well worth it. I’m still cooking but not so much inventing And lack of time means I’ve ignored the blog. Wanted to share a picture of a yummy lunch that I made yesterday. Which combined my favourite ingredients of: grilled prawns, pasta, butter (only a little) and spices.

P.s. I’m writing this because according to gmail an old friend started following my basically defunct blog and wanted to ensure she had something new to read! :-p

Honey, Soy, and Chili chicken

Wow… it’s been a long time since I’ve visited my blog 😦 Unfortunately super busy these days with the MBA but I’m sure as the year goes on there will be plenty of times where I will procrastinate and turn to writing here instead.

This recipe is a super easy one (again)… but what can I say…am a student once again.

Basically, in a blender add: garlic, ginger, red chilies, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and chili sauce. Blend. Can also add lime juice.

The blended mixture should be quite loose and liquid-y – not a paste and not too thick with honey (although adjust to suit tastes).

Transfer the liquid to a pot on the stove and gently heat until just warmed through. Swirl a bit and let the mixture stand. Heating the mixture just lets the flavours combine a bit more.

Add to the now-cooled mixture some chopped chicken and allow to marinade for a few hours.

After marinading. Cook on the stove top and enjoy with some rice. Top with a little coriander and spring onions.

Enjoy x

Ugh… I did it again (No photos). Mexican Dinner

I am SO sorry… I keep reminding myself to take photos of my food. But once it’s ready and the wine uncorked and the friends in the house, I completely forget to take a photo before everyone starts digging in. 😦

Anyways many many nights ago I had some friends over for dinner. These are the same friends I had over for dinner in my first recipe that I blogged, so it’s quite fitting that this will likely be my last Dubai based food post.

Dinner was:

  • 4 different types of Quesadillas (cheese, cheese and jalapenos, mushroom and beef, cheese and black olive tapenade)
  • Beef and mushroom tacos
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Homemade salsa


Into a blender chuck in and blend:

  • 1 avocado
  • green onions
  • red chilies
  • coriander
  • lime
  • salt
  • paprika
  • olive oil

Season to taste and sprinkle a little more chopped coriander on top.


Similar to the guacamole. Chuck into a blender and blend!!

  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • garlic
  • green chilies
  • olive oil
  • coriander
  • salt
  • pepper

The Quesadillas:

Grill your quesadillas. Basically to assemble: corn tortillas, homemade salsa, cheese (I used Gouda), and then toppings. I made four quesadillas and used the different toppings as above. Grill on both sides until cheese is all melty and then cut into triangles.

Beef and Mushroom tacos

Saute your beef with onions, a little garlic, some seasonings (salt, pepper, tabasco, paprika, etc), and veggie stock.

Saute your mushrooms with a little rosemary, paprika, butter, salt and pepper.

To make your tacos, grill tacos with a little cheese (until melted) and then top with chopped lettuce, beef, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Note: I made this dinner over a month ago but have just been busy with my holiday to China and moving to Canada. Currently I am staying in a hotel so there won’t be much cooking going on.

Pasta with a chilli butter and sweetcorn sauce

So continuing with the theme of saving money and eating what’s actually already in the house. I made a very random pasta sauce out of:

  • butter
  • garlic
  • chillies
  • sweetcorn
  • coriander
  • green onions
  • red wine vinegar (because it was close at hand)
  • garlic peri-peri sauce (I would have preferred lemon but I didn’t have any in the house, so used this as an acidity substitute)

Really simple… boil pasta, mix with sauce. But how to make the sauce…

Take a chunk of butter and slowly melt it in sauce pan. Add salt + pepper and chopped garlic and red chillies. Cook it slowly so that the butter doesn’t burn but slowly froths. Add in a little splash of olive oil and some canned sweetcorn. Mix. Then add in some garlic peri-peri sauce and whisk so that it all emulsifies. Keep the heat low and allow to cook through / warm. At the end add a teeny splash of vinegar and the chopped spring onions + coriander. Once the pasta is boiled mix through.

I know this sounds like a really strange “sauce” but it’s actually quite tasty. I got the idea from a friend who for my birthday made pasta with grilled cajun prawns, in a lime-butter sweetcorn sauce. A little tequila would have been perfect with that as well…. but never mind.

Anyways budget friendly and tasty! Enjoy x

Eating on the (very) cheap and an apology

First of all… apologies for my laziness. No other excuse, I have been super busy with work and preparing for moving to Canada and though I do have time, cooking and blogging about it was not how I have wanted to spend my free moments! eeeks.

But I’m back. Sort of. Uber quick post and no pics because the food… it ain’t pretty but it is cheap. Dirt cheap, in fact, it cost me nothing. No… some romantic young(ish) thing didn’t come swooping in and make me a deluxe gourmet dinner at his own cost, although… line starts here?! lol

No rather than some tv trope or kind friend… I was pragmatic. This is a rare occurrence so it should be celebrated. lol

Perhaps I should explain my psycho babble a bit. Here’s the thing. I’m leaving Dubai and moving to Canada next month. For my MBA. Which means I need to be sensible with my pennies, it also means I’ve gone from going out once a week to 5 times a week. No joke. As such, the poverty fairy, is striking. Gasp. Or at least I need to be sensible and save my dough for what really counts… drinking with friends. :-p

As such, how proud am I that tonight’s dinner cost me nothing at all and actually helped me get rid of more pantry item?! Very. Anyways… moving on: what did I make tonight? Well, the world’s weirdest bolognaise, but hey it was free and I have 4 less things to worry about throwing away in 3 weeks time.

Basically, I have beef kebabs in my freezer. Rather than buying mince, I decided to grill those and then chop them up. The “bolognaise” was made by using up a tin of cherry tomatos, a tin of mushrooms, and a few sundried tomatos in a jar.

First, I grilled my kebabs in a pan. Then when nice and brown and soft, I dumped in the cherry tomatos, a splash of red wine and water, the mushrooms and some chopped garlic and chilies. I then added a veggie stock cube and let it all simmer together. I removed the kebabs chopped them up and then added back into the sauce. Super simple, tasty (seasoned with paprika, salt, and pepper), and FREE!

Obviously the cost part depends on what’s in your kitchen, but a really easy dish thrown together with stuff in the house, in like 15 minutes. Less than luxe but still delicious food on a student budget… :-p

Quick update on my Christmas menu

Well… first things first… I tend to overcook. The Christmas menu I had outlined earlier (and I will get to the recipes) even when portioned down was still A LOT of food. So this is how we managed to eat it all:


– Smoked salmon (8 pieces – all gobbled down)

– Scallop, chorizo, and halloumi skewers (6 pieces – all gobbled down)

– Chocolate and alcohol = no room for my chipolatas.

But the good thing is sausages keep and are also very very good as cold sausage sandwiches, which means:


– Honey, chilli, and soy marinated chipolata sandwiches with crusty French bread and mustard. YUM

– Cheeses for lunch

– Friday night: 12 am Christmas Eve chocolate chip pancakes (1 small one)

Saturday lunch

– Roasted mushroom pasta

p.s. also note: I was too busy having fun and eating to take photos  – I did remember towards the end and snapped 1 photo of an almost decimated plate of starters but… eh…. that’s the point of food – to be eaten! 🙂