Jamaican Carrot Drink

Sep 20, 2012 by

Greetings friends of The Lovely Pantry! I have certainly been missing in action for the past few months. Mainly because I went to Jamaican for most of the summer. I usually take the time to spend with my family and my friends during the summer months. The connection is very important to me. Sometimes, you need to reconnect and rejuvenate, and that’s exactly what I did. I’ve been trying to get back into blogging but obstacles just keep popping up. Since I’m no quitter – I’m going to press on and continue what I really enjoy doing with the friends that inspire and encourage me every day. I should also try to make nice with my scale. I did not hold back when it came to food while I was in Jamaica! LOL!

A big hearty THANK YOU to my fabulous Food Blogger friends who did not hesitate to guest post for me while I was away! Sofie, Chung-Ah, Renee, Anuradha, and Sandra ~ You guys are so AWESOME!

Today’s post is a wonderful refreshing drink that is quite lovely with a Sunday dinner, or a special drink for entertaining. I got the recipe from a book given to me by the BESTIE a few months ago. I’ve added it to my growing collection of Jamaican Treasures and I’m so happy to be sharing the recipe with you here. The book is called The Real Taste of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson. I had it on my wish list for so long! I believe I had the book years go but gave it away because I wasn’t really into cooking at that time. I’m glad I have it once again! I’m keeping this copy! It has sentimental value :-)


Jamaican Carrot Drink – Perfect for a Sunday afternoon beverage


Jamaican Carrot Drink

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6

A refreshing drink made from carrots, water and evaporated milk


  • 2 Cups Diced Carrots
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Evaporated Milk (Reduced Fat)
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Tsp Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Ice Cubes


  1. In a blender, add carrots and water
  2. Pulse until blended, in intervals for about a minute
  3. Strain the carrot mixture into a jug
  4. Rinse the blender jug
  5. Pour the strained juice back into the blender and add the milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and ice cubes
  6. Blend again in intervals for no more than a minute
  7. Strain a second time into the serving jug and refrigerate
  8. Serve cold and enjoy


Original recipe from A Real Taste of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson

I found that it was best to strain the liquid twice in order to yield a much smoother and more refined drink. I used 2 different sized strainers. The second time I used a much finer sieve.


Jamaican Carrot Drink with freshly grated Nutmeg


I’m just too excited. I love books – of course photography books and the like, but I have a soft spot for Cook Books. I just can’t have enough. Here are a few books that I got on my recent trip to Jamaica (except the one by Enid Donaldson). I absolutely adore the book called Jamaican Food, that documents the origin of certain foods that are a big part of the culture and some foods/dishes that are unique to Jamaica. I’ve never had a book like this before. Clearly, I have some reading and cooking to do!


Lyn’s Jamaican Treasures


I’m happy to be back! I feel like giving my kitchen a big hug!

Take good care everyone! *Virtual Hugs for you all*

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Mixed Mashed Roots, Guest Post by Sofie of The German Foodie

Jul 10, 2012 by

Hi friends! Its been a little while since my last post – and I have an awesome excuse! I am in beautiful Jamaica spending some time with my loved ones. I really needed a break and I’m embracing my time here completely. I’ve had a weeks worth of rest so far and look forward to getting out and about, to experience my most favourite foods and places. I’ll be sure to have fun with my friends, take lots of photographs, collect Jamaican Cook Books and  most important of all – get some sand between my toes! Time with my family and friends is something I treasure deeply. It’s really good to be home!

While I’m away, I have some fantastic friends who have been so kind to guest post for me. I can’t tell you enough how excited I am to have a few of my favourite food bloggers share great healthy meals right here at The Lovely Pantry!

To kick things off, Sofie is going to share her own personal family recipe – Mixed Mashed Roots. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of doing this? For those who don’t know Sofie, she’s this really smart and cool lady that loves to cook and bake. Sofie inspires me with her German recipes and gorgeous food photography. We are regular participants in #SundaySupper and members of the Food Bloggers NetworkPlease visit her blog called The German Foodie. I want to try EVERY recipe on her blog. A few of my favourites are: Strawberry Shortcake, Sofie’s Southern Corn Fritters, and German Cheesecake. Sofie, perhaps now is a great time to tell you that I have made your Corn Fritters about 3 times. The fritters always seem to disappear before I get to take photographs and actually create a post. I will make them again and again!

I’m so glad to have met Sofie. Please enjoy her post today.


I am an expat German living in Northeast Ohio, and blogging mostly about authentic German food and my own original recipes inspired by German food. Having grown up in the border region with France in a very cosmopolitan city, even for its size, I am also drawn to all sorts of ethnic recipes.

I have been baking ever since I could hold a spoon, and it is my great passion in life. I have somehow always baked. I love to explore and experiment, to create and yes, eat what I have created. I am not just a consummate baker; I like to cook as well, especially seasonally.

I am thrilled to be guest posting at the Lovely Pantry today, and since Lyn specifically requested something healthy, I decided to pull something out of my cooking hat that’s been a popular side dish in our household for years. It’s also one of the ways I can get my husband to eat potatoes without complaining (he’s not a huge fan of potatoes).

This is a simple dish, and one you can either make in a vegetable mill (moulin à légumes), with a potato masher, or simply in a food processor. I like mine chunky, so whatever the veggie mill produces is fine with me – if you like yours smoother, pass it through a fine-meshed strainer as a last step.

Mashed Roots – Photography by Sofie Dittman of The German Foodie


Mixed Mashed Roots
Author: Sofie, The German Foodie
  • 3/4 lb (350 g) potatoes
  • 2 lb (900 g) yams
  • 1 1/3 lb (600 g) carrots
  • 1 – 2 medium onions
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  1. Peel and cut all vegetables into chunks about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length and put in a stockpot (about 8 quart or 7.5 liters capacity).
  2. Add one tablespoon of salt, a little olive oil and enough water to comfortably cover all of the vegetable pieces.
  3. Bring to a boil and then cook until all ROOTS are tender (they should be on the soft side). Strain the broth and save in a bowl.
  4. Mash all of the vegetables until they become creamy and no large chunks are left. If needed, add some broth to achieve the desired consistency.
  5. Add salt and pepper (and more olive oil if desired) to taste.
  6. Serve warm as a side dish.
  7. Serves 4 – 6.


Mashed Roots – Photography by Sofie Dittman of The German Foodie


Mashed Roots – Photography by Sofie Dittman of The German Foodie


Mashed Roots – Photography by Sofie Dittman of The German Foodie



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Sweet & Sour Muffin Meatballs

Mar 12, 2012 by

I love when I find a good recipe. Better yet, I love when I find a good recipe that I can improve on :-) A while back, I wanted to make meatballs but not just regular plain meatballs – nothing boring. I came across Sweet & Sour Muffin Meat Loaves from myrecipes.com so I decided to try. The first time I made it, I wasn’t sure of the texture and it certainly did not have the colour I was hoping for. I tried again, taking notes on the changes I made and I never looked back. Instead of calling them meat loaves, I’ll say that these are awesome baked meatballs, full of flavour and a nice rich colour.

I wanted to serve it with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots but.. since the meatballs were super spectacular, I’d have to jazz up the company! This was such a great meal! It was different and comforting.


Sweet & Sour Muffin Meatballs, Carrots & Baked Potatoes


Sweet & Sour Muffin Meatballs
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Lyn of The Lovely Pantry
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 20 mins
Total time: 1 hour 40 mins
Serves: 4
Baked meatballs with a sweet and sour sauce
  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Turkey
  • 1 Cup Ketchup, divided into 2 1/2 cup portions
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 Tsp All Purpose Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 Large Carrots, cleaned and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 White Potatoes (or any kind you like suitable for baking)
  • Olive Oil for the potatoes
  1. Preheat your oven to 450F
  2. In a saucepan, set carrots to boil about 20 minutes until soft. Drain and then mash with butter and maple syrup. Set aside.
  3. In an oven proof pan, grease the potatoes with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Pierce the potatoes with a sharp knife. Cook for 1 hr, until the skin is crispy and a knife goes through the skin with no resistance
  5. Grease a 12 Cup Muffin Pan
  6. In a 1 Cup measuring cup, mix 1/2 cup ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar
  7. In a medium bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, onion, breadcrumbs, soy sauce and remaining ketchup
  8. Add salt and pepper, combine well with a fork or better yet, your hands
  9. Add about a tablespoon of ketchup mixture to each muffin cup, reserving about half of the liquid
  10. Form the meat into 12 meatballs, as equal in size as possible
  11. Place in each muffin cup, pressing down to flatten the top slightly
  12. Bake for 30 minutes
  13. After 20 minutes, brush each muffin with the remaining ketchup mixture and continue baking until cooked through
  14. Remove from oven and allow to rest before carefully removing the meatballs.
  15. When the potato is cool to the touch, slice and serve

The muffins can be baked alongside the potatoes once the potatoes are half-cooked.
I used tongs to remove the meatballs from the muffin pan
Portions can be 2 meatballs per person, with meatballs left over for lunch the following day


And here’s the fun part!

Add ketchup mixture into each muffin cup



Add each meatball on top of the ketchup mixture


After about 20 minutes, the meatballs will look something like this


Partially cooked meatballs


Brush the meatballs with the remaining sweet and sour mixture


Meatballs brushed with sauce


Pop them back in the oven for about 10 minutes or so. Your kitchen will smell marvellous. Don’t let your meatballs burn! Watch them carefully. Cover with foil if needed.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs - cooked!


I especially love the dark, caramelized sweetness of the meatballs and the sweet and sour sauce. I found that it paired well with the carrots and potato. Each component complimented each other quite nicely.


Dinner is served!


Take a bite!


Meatballs, Carrots and Baked Potato - Stacked


Seriously. I’m hungry.


Happy Monday, friends! ~ Lyn



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Chicken And Dumplings

Feb 27, 2012 by

I seemed to have developed a strange attraction and liking to dumplings. But not the dumplings that my mom or grandmother made. These dumplings are not the Caribbean way! But I just love them! I also love the way the chicken is cooked down into a stew. My husband loves how fluffy the dumplings are, and I totally agree.

This Chicken and Dumpling meal truly makes me happy. No leftovers whenever I make this :-)

I know you guys loved the Chicken Soup With Dumplings. But THIS is where the party is at! LOL Yes, I love it that much.


Chicken and Dumplings


Chicken And Dumplings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 5 Carrots, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces on the diagonal
  • 1 Tsp Dried thyme
  • 1/4 Cup Unbleached, All Purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 8 Chicken Thighs, Skinless, Boneless
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Grapeseed Oil (to cook chicken)
  • Dumplings:
  • 3/4 Cup Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
  • 1 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 Cup Peas, thawed from frozen


  1. Season Chicken with salt and pepper
  2. In a skillet, add some Grapeseed oil and brown chicken on both sides
  3. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside
  4. In a warm dutch oven over medium heat, add butter.
  5. When butter has melted, add onion and sauté until softened
  6. Add Carrots and Thyme
  7. Stir 3-5 minutes over medium heat
  8. Add 1/4 cup flour to make a roux. Stir in gradually to combine
  9. Gently whisk in chicken broth
  10. Bring to a boil while whisking to remove any lumps of flour
  11. Add Chicken. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes
  12. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and milk
  13. Combine with a fork
  14. Using 2 spoons, form dumplings and place in the dutch oven (about 14-16 small dumplings)
  15. Cover and cook for 15 minutes (stir once or twice during this time to ensure chicken doesn't stick the bottom of the dutch)
  16. Add peas
  17. Cook for 5 minutes until peas warmed through and dumplings are cooked
  18. Gently stir
  19. Serve immediately

Adapted from Everyday Food


Dumplings in the pot!


This is a definite favourite for me. I just need to win the kids over and then this could be a weekly item. Too bad they are going through that funny texture phase.


Chicken and Dumplings – Dinner is served


Okay, I need to back away from the computer. I’m getting hungry for dumplings.

Have a great week, everyone!


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Lyn’s Oxtails

Feb 3, 2012 by


Lyn’s Oxtails with carrots and white kidney beans


Oxtail is one of my most favourite and beloved dishes – ever. It’s a popular Jamaican meal which has a deep, rich flavour that I love so much. It’s a heavy meat so I choose not to eat it too often. I think its safe to say I have it about 3-4 times per year, at most. I’ve had it at a few restaurants here in Canada as well as in Jamaica but I’ve always been concerned with the taste and how it is prepared. Oxtails taste differently every where I go. Some places are better at preparing it than others, and that’s expected.

Traditionally, the Oxtails are seasoned (often overnight) then browned in oil before being cooked down in water over a few hours, and may include dumplings or as we call them in certain dishes – “spinners” (elongated shaped dumplings). This is how my maternal grandmother used to cook it for me and it took her hours! I have fond memories of her at the stove making it, because we both loved it so much. Alas, this is when I was young and slender and nothing could change my figure (LOL). So now that I’m older and more conscious of what I consume, I try to have my favourite things in moderation. I also find ways to prepare them that I find acceptable. For me, this means no frying in oil. This may not be acceptable to some traditionalists, and that is okay :-)

I bake my Oxtails in the oven. I’ve been doing this for years and I’m thinking it tastes better than some of what I’ve had at restaurants… hmmm…

Here’s how I do it.


Lyn’s Oxtails

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8


  • 3lbs Oxtails
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Tsp All Purpose Seasoning
  • 2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Pimento Seeds
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot, sliced about 1/4 inch
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 Can White Kidney Beans (Or Lima), rinsed and drained


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. In a deep bowl, mix oxtail and ingredients together
  3. Once combined, pour into a large oven-proof baking dish with a cover
  4. Set timer for 4 hours
  5. check every hour and add water (1/4 cup or so to keep the base moist) to ensure it doesn't dry out (or burn)
  6. After 1 hour, I usually have to add more all-purpose seasoning and water. Stir to combine. Then add white kidney beans and carrots at the 3rd hour. Cover and cook for an hour
  7. Within the last hour, check to see that the meat is soft, tender and falling off the bone
  8. Depending on the size of the meat, it may need an additional 30 minutes or so to cook
  9. Serve with white rice or Jamaican style rice and peas


It is a good idea to season the oxtails and allow them to rest in the refrigerator overnight for the best flavour.

When purchasing, pick up Oxtails or request that it be cut into small pieces (2-3 inches in diameter) as they cook in about 3 hours. Larger pieces take a lot longer.



I should mention that there is usually a certain amount of “heat” in most Jamaican fare. And by “heat”, I’m referring to Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper. If you wanted to add heat, I would probably add the pepper at the beginning and remove it half way through so that it does not burst. I personally cannot eat too much pepper because it gives me some major heartburn! Plus, my little ones palates are so darn sensitive. A little is fine though, it gives it a little extra kick.

There are so many variations of Oxtails that I would love to try. One of my Aunts introduced me to this method (as in, using the oven). Another Aunt of mine prepares her Ox with BEER. I think I’ll be giving her a call soon for that recipe :-)


A special shout out to my cousin Shelley – Happy Birthday sweetie! This recipe is for you ~ now at least you’ll have it in writing :-)

Take care, guys! Have an awesome weekend! ~ Lyn



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