Chef Jamie Oliver’s Spicy Jerk Ham


Easter is a ham’s time to shine, but Thanksgiving or Christmas—fuggedaboutit! “No more!” says the pig. Tired of being the other meat, your ham is claiming center stage this holiday season. Move over turkey! Chef Jaimie Oliver adds a Caribbean spin to pork with this recipe for Spicy Jerk Ham.

For poaching

  • 1 x 5kg leg of ham
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 6 Scotch bonnets, halved
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 stick of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small leek, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves,
  • 1/2 bunch thyme,
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Jerk marinade

  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 8 Scotch bonnets chillies, stalks removed
  • 250ml dark rum
  • 250ml malt vinegar
  • a small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked

Ham glaze

  • 3/4 jar good quality, fine-cut marmalade
  • 125ml golden rum

Read more:

Memories of hot cocoa—a cup of warm comfort

I used to drink chocolate milk when I was a kid; it was a real quick fix. Just pour some milk in a glass and add two tablespoons of the powdered chocolate and that was it. This wasn’t my favorite beverage, but it was a good enough drink to settle down with on a Saturday or after school on a weekday. Sometimes my mother bought the powdered strawberry mix, but I didn’t drink the strawberry milk. That often stayed right in the cabinet unused. It wasn’t until I was just out of college and visiting my aunt at Christmas when I tasted something different—hot cocoa. Now, I’m not going to say that I never had hot cocoa before because I’m sure that I did, but this time it was so memorable.

chocolate with marshmallows

Take an occasion like Christmas. Add on a spoonful of Christmas music like Donny Hathaway and little Michael Jackson from the Jackson 5 Christmas Album ( a classic in a lot of African American families).  Sprinkle in some family with just a pinch of understanding about how precious this Christmas was because it would probably be our last holiday with my aunt, who was dying from an incurable disease. Then serve this reality with a cup of hot cocoa fully loaded with marshmallows from the hand of that loved one. This made for a special cup of hot cocoa and a memorable experience.

My aunt was a very direct person—intentional in getting in your business, especially if your business was raggedy. She loved you straightforward. She was the kind of aunt that said what she thought and didn’t mince words, like the time she asked my 22-year old boyfriend what he wanted with an 18-year old girl. Talk about OMGeesh! Soooooo embarassing! Do you think I told her that? No way! I just went with the flow and watched him sweat. Survival of the fittest dude!

My aunt had no children of her own, but that never stopped her from making her influence felt. She was strong and intelligent and she expected her neices and nephews to be that way too. However, she was a little different on this Christmas. It was just a few months after we learned of the disease she had been living with for seven years. It had robbed her of her full-figure. It had stripped her of her smooth glowing brown skin and left a ash-gray cover over her normally vibrant brown complexion. She was frail—less than 100-pounds—but she was still just as strong, just as concerned and just as loving as ever. So that Christmas she fretted over her neices because she wanted to and since then, hot cocoa with marshmallows has always felt like a cup of warm comfort. It takes me to a time of love and celebration that was so fleeting and sweet, and much like those fluffy marshmallows I could just lay back on the memories and rest for a while.

My aunt died the following summer, but oh how I remember her unabashed love, advice and correction. I will also always remember the way she loved on me with a cup of warm comfort that made everything all right that one Christmas.

Click here for a homemade recipe for hot cocoa with marshmallows.

Vegan Gravy Recipe

Use this vegan gravy recipe as a substitute in your bisquits-‘n’-gravy meal, or for any other dish that calls for a gravy – gravyhanksgiving stuffing, Salisbury “Steak”, Vegan meatloaf or even with veggie burgers. It can also be used as a supplement or even substitute for meat gravies.


  • 8 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic — squashed and minced
  • 2 slices yellow onion — chopped
  • 8 Tbs all-purpose white flour
  • 4 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 Tbs tamari (soy sauce)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 white mushrooms — sliced (optional)
  • extra flour or cornstarch (optional)


Pour vegetable oil into saucepan. Cook the garlic and onion in oil for about two minutes on medium or medium-low heat, until the onion is tender and translucent.

Add the flour, yeast, and tamari to make a paste.

Add the water gradually, stirring constantly.

Bring the gravy to a boil on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly — the gravy has to boil for it to thicken.

Add pepper. Stir in the sliced mushrooms, if desired. Add salt, if desired.

Click for Cooking/Food Themed Apparel

At 12-years-old her headbands helped educate 45 African Girls.

At 12-years-old her headbands helped educate 45 African Girls.

Beverly B. Media and Communications

Image: Image:

by Courtney Connley

At just 12-years-old, Mary Grace Henry became determined to make a lasting impact in the life of an underprivileged girl. Starting out with a sewing machine and the drive to teach herself how to sow.

View original post 99 more words

Thanksgiving Vocabulary en Español (el Día de Acción de Gracias)

Prepare to speak Spanish on Thanksgiving by learning these words related to the holiday.


Keep in mind, though, that names of foods don’t necessarily translate well, or might not be understood in Spanish-speaking countries, due to cultural differences. For example, the various words that can be translated as “pie” include pasteltarta,empanada, and even pay. All of those words except the last also refer to other types of desserts, and it might take an explanation or picture to make the meaning clear to someone not familiar with the food being talked about. The flip side of that, as an example, is that while the word relleno would normally be used to refer to turkey stuffing, the same word can be used for just about any type of food filling. Someone unfamiliar with U.S. holiday cuisine may not know specifically what the word refers to without an explanation.

Click to See Listing

Receta para Arroz Con Dulce (Recipe)

MCCN’s Erika Holmes shared with us as a  Puerto Rican you can expect to find Arroz Con Dulce on the Christmas Table Spread. We found this recipe on the great web site El Boricua, which should be on list for all things Puerto Rican.

(Serves 12)

  • 1½ cups rice
  • 4¼ cups coconut milk
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 ounces ginger
  • 6 whole cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg-optional
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (reserve to use at the end)


Wash rice and soak in water to cover, generously, for 2 hours. The rice will soak up the water so use plenty.About twenty minutes before rice is finished soaking combine the 4½ cups of coconut milk, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg in a medium size caldero.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to moderate, cover and boil for 15 minutes.Drain rice thoroughly and add to caldero. Mix and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and cook unitl rice is completely dry, without stirring.Add the sugar and raisins, stir, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 15 minutes, without stirring.
Add reserved 3/4 cup coconut milk and stir. Turn heat to moderate and boil for about 30 minutes, or until rice dries again. In this cooking period, turn rice over occasionally and scrape bottom of caldero.

Remove spices. Spoon rice into a flat serving platter. Allow to cool at room temperature.

This is served cold.


Portuguese Sausage Dressing Recipe


n a spin on the familiar Thanksgiving sausage and bread dressing, this version uses linguica (Portuguese sausage), a common ingredient in Hawaii.

PREP AND COOK TIME About 1 hour, plus 30 to 40 minutes baking time

MAKES 16 servings

Marinated giblets and 1 cup marinade from
Hawaiian-Portuguese Smoked Turkey
(Click to See Recipe)
1/2 cup butter
3 cups finely chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. minced fresh sage
1 tbsp. minced garlic
8 oz. linguica (Portuguese sausage)
16 cups 3/4-in. cubes coarse, crusty white bread
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley1. In a small saucepan, bring giblets and marinade to a simmer over medium heat, cover. Cook giblets 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool; finely chop. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

2. Preheat oven to 375[degrees]. Melt butter in a 10- to 12-in. skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, and chopped giblets and saute, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup chicken broth, poultry seasoning, sage, and garlic. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until celery and onion are tender, 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut linguica in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/4-in.-thick half-moons.

3. Put bread cubes in a large bowl and stir in celery mixture, linguica, and parsley. Stir in 1/2 cup giblet cooking liquid and remaining 1 cup chicken broth.

4. Spoon dressing into a 4- to 5-qt. baking dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake 25 minutes, uncover, and cook until browned on top, 10 to 20 minutes more. Serve hot.

Click Here For More Great Recipes for Thanksgiving in Hawaii

Make a Mexican-Influenced Thanksgiving Meal with a Mole-Roasted Turkey

Ready to take a walk on the wild side this Thanksgiving.  Ready to shun the usual light brown glaze of your turkey in favor mole turkeyof a blackened one. They say the darker the turkey the juicier the meat. Okay, I made that up, however;  prepared properly, Epicurious says, ” This gorgeous bird emerges from the oven nearly black and very deeply flavored.”  Make mole part of your Thanksgiving Day celebration, adding a little Mexican flair to your Thanksgiving menu with this Mole-roasted turkey with chile gravy.

If you are looking at the picture and expecting the turkey to be crispy, it’s not. The mole sauce makes the skin very tender and juicy. Sides are optional, but if you are looking to go all the way with this Mexican-influenced Thanksgiving meal, stuff your bird with masa stuffing. Click the links below to learn more about making this truly unique Thanksgiving meal.  Let us know what you think about the recipes.

Making the Mole:     Mole sauce for turkey

Making the stuffing: Masa stuffing

Making the turkey:   Mole Roasted turkey and Chile Gravy

Recipes from

How to Remove Common Food and Drink Stains

  • For chocolate, scrub the stained area immediately with ammonia, then wash as  stainyou normally would.
  • For egg stains, scrape off the excess with a dull knife, then soak the stain in cold water. Launder as you usually would. If the article requires dry cleaning, sponge the stain with cold water and take it to the dry cleaner right away.
  • Fresh coffee and tea called for the “hot waterfall” approach. First, stretch the stained part of the fabric over a bowl, as if you were putting a head on a drum, and secure it with a rubber band. Then pour boiling water over the stain from a height of two to three feet. Be careful not to burn yourself! Wash the article as you normally would, using a small amount of bleach if the fabric can tolerate it. The “hot waterfall” also works to loosen fruit and berry stains. It works with red wine if you first sprinkle a little salt on the stain.
  • After a wine spill, blot up as much of the wine as you can, then rinse with cool water or club soda. Sprinkle a little salt on the stain, and create a paste of salt and water. Then, if the fabric will stand it, pour boiling water through the stain with the cloth stretched over a bowl or bathtub. For tough stains, try blotting the stains with one of the following: 1/3 cup vinegar in 2/3 cup water; 2 tablespoons ammonia in 1 cup water; or alcohol, either straight or mixed with an equal amount of water. Rinse well and then launder as usual. In some cases, you may have to use an enzyme detergent to remove wine stains.
  • If spilled beer has dried onto clothing or tablecloths, mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and dish washing liquid, then sponge it onto the stain. Rinse with warm water and launder as usual.  Tips from the “The Old Farmer’s Almanac
  • Good House Keeping Has tips on how to remove spaghetti sauce stains based on the what kind of material whether tablecloth or rug.

Matzo Lasagna

Lasagna is making its way onto many a holiday table. Increasingly, it’s a standard at Thanksgiving in the U.S. However, just because it’s a standard, doesn’t mean you have to use a standard recipe. Try this recipe for matzo lasagna. It’s another spin on lasagna—a kosher spin.


1. Six pieces of matzo
2. Two eggs
3. 18 0z or one container of ricotta cheese
4. Spinach (optional)
5. One teaspoon of salt
6. One teaspoon of pepper

Click this link for recipe instructions Lasagna matzo