Jamaican Blue Drawers for #SundaySupper

Jan 6, 2013 by

Welcome to the first #SundaySupper of 2013! I’m so grateful when I am able to participate and I’m more than happy to jump right on in at the start of the new year. Today’s theme is Whats on your recipe bucket list? My recipe bucket list is quite long. There were a few things I wanted to start off with but then I remembered that I promised myself that I’d make Blue Drawers. It’s a very simple sweet pudding that has been around for decades in Jamaica. I only knew about it as an adult and was surprised to know that some of my friends have only heard about it, but have never had it. I guess its something that our grandmothers would make. I’m no grandma, but I love exploring my heritage and learning about the food from the land of my birth. So let’s go!

Please check out all the exciting recipes that the #SundaySupper family have to share. I’m looking forward to seeing the dishes that we are all making for the very first time! I’ll consider this the post to kick off my bucket list recipes.

Blue Drawers (you might also see it as Blue Draws) has a few aliases … Tie-A-Leaf, Duckoono/Dokunnu and Boyo. It is originally a West African dish (Dokunu) that was traditionally made with plantains, but modern versions are made with cornmeal, sweet potato, green banana, cassava, or a combination of your preference. Blue Drawers is essentially a boiled pudding that is considered a treat because it is sweet as opposed to savory. Along with the selection of ingredients mentioned previously, grated coconut is always added. Consider this a mandatory ingredient. What really got me interested in making Blue Drawers, was that each portion is boiled in a banana leaf secured with thin strip of banana bark. Something about it just seems so rustic, and pure. I love that in Jamaica, it is pretty much still prepared that way. I always wondered about how this pudding ended up with the name “Blue Drawers”. Well, according to the National Library of Jamaica, it was given the nickname Blue Drawers because the banana leaves apparently have a blue hue once they are cooked. Well. Okay then! Who knew?

The fact that I did not have banana leaves did not stop me from preparing this pudding. I used the alternative…foil! It doesn’t look as rustic and earthy but it’s what I have access to. And it worked just great. I also added my very own special touch to this Jamaican treat ~ a simple coconut glaze with a hint of citrus to break up that coconut essence just a little bit.

 Jamaican Blue Drawers Collage



Jamaican Blue Drawers

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Jamaican
Author: Lyn via “Cook Up Jamaican Style, 4th Edition”
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 6
A traditional Jamaican dessert or snack made from cornmeal, coconut milk and raisins
  • 1 Cup Cornmeal
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1/3 Cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
  • ***
  • Coconut Orange Glaze
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/8 Tsp Pure Orange Extract
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, mixed spice, shredded coconut and raisins
  2. In a small bowl, add coconut milk, sugar and vanilla. Mix to combine
  3. Add the coconut milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and mix with a spoon until combined
  4. Prepare 12 sheets of foil, 12″ X 8″
  5. Using a standard ice-cream scoop, place a scoop of batter into the center of the foil sheets, and fold the foil around each scoop to form parcels
  6. Place the parcels in pot enough boiling water to cover them completely
  7. Cook on medium high heat for about an hour
  8. Remove each parcel with tongs and place on a bowl.
  9. Carefully unwrap each parcel over a few sheets of paper towels as some water may drip out
  10. For the glaze: In a small bowl, add coconut milk, and confectioners sugar. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Add orange extract and combine.
  11. Add glaze on top of each pudding once cooled


I took this photograph in August for 2012 while I was visiting Jamaica during the Jamaica 50 celebrations (Jamaica celebrated its 50th year of independence). I only knew of Blue Drawers by name. I had not had it at this point. Then a friend of mine gave me some that his mother had made. I knew that even if it was just once, I would make Blue Drawers. So keep in mind that this is how they would have been presented if I had banana leaves.


Jamaican Blue Drawers

Jamaican Blue Drawers


In terms of the main ingredient, I did make a very slight change. I used golden raisins instead of regular raisins.


Golden Raisins

Golden Raisins


I combined the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients to make a moist batter.


Blue Drawers Prep

Combining ingredients to make Blue Drawers


Combining the batter was easy, and so was the parcel preparation. There was no particular way in which to fold the parcels, so I just made them the best I could. Utilizing the scoop ensured that each pudding would be identical in size. I got exactly 12 scoops using this recipe. I made my parcels fairly small. I cut the ingredients in half in order to keep the servings small.


Jamaican Blue Drawers Parcels

Jamaican Blue Drawers – Preparing the parcels for boiling


Cooled Blue Drawers

Jamaican Blue Drawers-18

Jamaican Blue Drawers


I think adding the glaze gave it a modern touch. I enjoyed it with the glaze. The orange essence is very subtle.


Jamaican Blue Drawers with an Orange Coconut Glaze

Jamaican Blue Drawers
with an Orange Coconut Glaze


I hope you enjoyed this item from my bucket list. Whats next on your recipe bucket list?


Check out the recipes

This Week’s Sunday Supper Recipes:

Sunday Supper Specialty Breads:

Sunday Supper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks:


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Honey Cornbread Gruyère Muffins for #MuffinMonday

Oct 15, 2012 by

Good Monday morning to you all! Ready for another #MuffinMonday? I hope so – because today’s recipe is nothing short of tasty simplicity!

Our recipe is by Down Home With The Neelys from Food Network. I’m always looking at ways to bake with cornmeal. Yes, I’m quite fond of it. I was more than happy when I saw the ingredients. I was wondering what I could do to make this one different. I was tempted to leave it just as it is, actually. I’ll probably follow the original recipe at some point. But I decided to use up some Gruyère cheese that I had to see how well it would incorporate into the recipe. As fate would have it….it turned out FABULOUS! I liked the sweet and salty combination.I think next time, I’ll take hubby’s advice and cut the cheese into cubes instead of shredding. Perhaps it will be interesting to bite into chunks of melted cheese. We’ll see!!! Something tells me he enjoys #MuffinMonday just as much as I do.

For now, I just want to let you all know, that this muffin is perfect with a cup of coffee….especially on a Monday morning after a super busy weekend.


Honey Cornbread Gruyère Muffins


Honey Cornbread Gruyère Muffins

Recipe Type: Muffins
Author: Lyn, adapted from Down Home With The Neelys
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Cornmeal Muffins sweetened with honey, extra flavour with Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Cup Shredded Gruyère cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine milk, eggs, butter, and honey
  4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed
  5. Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.
  6. Evenly divide mixture into the muffin cups
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.


Yes, this is exactly how I had it. The kids were waiting patiently for me to finish taking pictures. They even offered to help because I was “taking sooooo long.” They were very kind this time. Probably due to the absence of chocolate chips.


Honey Cornbread Gruyère Muffins


And there you have it! A perfectly moist and cheesy muffin to start your week! A little bit of sweet, and a little bit of savoury all bundled up in a muffin.


Honey Cornbread Gruyère Muffins

Happy Monday and have a spectacular week!!

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week. Check out Muffin 101 here.



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Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding #SundaySupper

Jun 3, 2012 by

It’s time for another #SundaySupper and this week the theme is “Heritage”. I was undecided for a while as to what to prepare, but a quick phone call to my Mom helped to narrow it down. Most of my Jamaican favourites have already been shared on The Lovely Pantry, but I wanted to take this opportunity to share something new.

When I think about my heritage, I think about the country and culture that influenced my life the most. As some of you may know, I grew up in London England, Jamaica, and currently reside in Toronto, Canada. My parents always instilled in my brother and I, the importance of family, and knowing our heritage/culture. This was a challenge while raising a family in a foreign country with so many other cultures blended around you. But my parents made it work. From the music, to the dialect, to the FOOD – oh, my parents love their food!

I’ve always been a part of a close-knit family (more like a tribe). In fact, there are so many of us, we could form our own small community. As a child, my father showed us our family tree so that we could see exactly who started this awesome family of ours. I plan to do the very same thing for my children. It will be a larger family tree compared to what my father had shown me but it will definitely be a wonderful family project. Perhaps one day we’ll go to Cuba to see where my paternal Grandfather was born, and then perhaps travel to Ireland to see where his father was born. Hopefully we will get to do the same for my husband and see his German-Irish background. That’s the beauty of Jamaica and being Jamaican. We are truly “out of many, one people“.

Being Jamaican is great, but living and experiencing other cultures is amazing too! I love having friends and family, from other cultures. What better way to learn about this wonderful world we live in! We are all alike in so many ways, but our cultural differences are what make us so unique. I’m so honoured to participate in this weeks #SundaySupper and I look forward to seeing all the wonderful recipes from a diverse range of cultures.

I hope you enjoy my recipe today – Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding. Growing up, I much preferred cake over pudding. But after I made this pudding, I believe I have been missing out!!! Pudding of some sort (Cornmeal, Bread, Sweet Potato) can be found at many gatherings and is especially good with ice-cream. My pudding would not have been the same without a few “drops” of some Appleton Rum. This pudding is authentic at the very least, and I’m glad to have come across this recipe so that I could put my own personal touch to it. Enjoy!!


Cornmeal Pudding with Rum, Raisins and French Vanilla Ice Cream


Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding #SundaySupper
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Lyn
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 10-12
A traditional favourite for dessert, enjoyed with vanilla ice-cream!
  • 3 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 5 Cups Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg (or Mace)
  • 1 Tsp Allspice
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 2 heaping Tbsp Dark Jamaican Rum
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Spray and line a 9 X 13 inch baking pan
  3. In a large bowl, add Cornmeal, Flour and Shredded Coconut
  4. In a large bowl, add sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut milk. Combine with a whisk
  5. Add the liquid mixture into the flour mixture
  6. In a small bowl, add about a tablespoon of flour and the raisins. Stir to coat the raisins in flour
  7. Add the raisins to the mixture and stir just to incorporate
  8. Add Rum. Stir just to combine
  9. Bake for 50 minutes until a knife inserted in the centre, comes out clean

This recipe is adapted from http://cookingwithelise.com/?p=4822


Before I go into the photographs, I wanted to include images of the Jamaican flag as well as the Coat Of Arms :-)




I always remember pudding or “pudd’n” as we call it, being thick and moist. I figured the raisins wouldn’t sink in the batter, but I went ahead and tossed them in flour any way.


Raisins tossed in flour, cornmeal batter


Fold the raisins into the batter, ensuring that everything is full incorporated.


Raisins on batter


I had to buy a baking pan big enough to hold the batter for this pudding. Of all the items in my kitchen, I did not have a 9 X 13 Baking pan. I chose to line it because I find it easier to clean the pan but also to remove/transfer the cake after it has cooled. Parchment paper is one of those multi-use items that I always have handy.


Cornmeal Pudding Batter


50 minutes later, the pudd’n is ready! The kitchen smells AH-MAZING!


Cornmeal Pudding, Baked


Cornmeal Pudding is served in squares (or slices if you use a round pan). I prefer squares because it gives a great place to rest the ice-cream!


Stacked Pudd'n


You can’t go wrong with having pudding on the menu. It’s a crowd pleaser! Either that, or the rum just makes people really enjoy it.


Pudding and ice-cream


This is by far my favourite part of eating this pudding. A nice chunk of pudd’n with some softened ice-cream! Heavenly!


The best part!


My other favourite Jamaican recipes include: Oxtail (my favourite), Ackee & Saltfish (Jamaica’s National Dish), Escoveitched Halibut and Sweet Potato Bun. Let us not forget Rice & Peas!


Here are the recipes for todays Heritage theme. Check out the posts from these amazing food bloggers!


For more awesome inspiration, be sure to follow our Pinterest Board and also follow our #SundaySupper hashtag on Twitter. To find out more about or even participate in #SundaySupper as a food blogger, the sure to check here for further information.


Happy Sunday, and as we say in Jamaica…”Walk Good!” … which is the same as saying take care!


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Chicken Soup With Dumplings

Feb 20, 2012 by

Some recipes show up when they are most needed. If ever there were a time that I needed something to comfort me and make me feel better, now would be it. Last week was a rough week. Between eye infections, visits to the doctor, a trip to the hospital and a root canal, I’d say the members of my family have been pretty active. I think this is the first time in my young family’s history where we’ve all been hit with “something” in such a short space of time. It was a lot to deal with but I sure hope we are finished. Mama’s got things to do.

To put everyone at ease, we are all doing much better now. Apparently we bounce back very well. I was the one who ended up at the hospital after picking a strange infection after frolicking in a pool. The following day I went in for a root canal. I’m still eating soft foods for now. Which of course sent me looking for recipes – ah! the silver lining! Today’s recipe  is from Everyday Food, Issue 89. It was just perfect. I’ve made it twice so far and plan to make it again this week.

These are not the dumplings my mother makes! I’ve never had dumplings like this before. They were so good! Making them was fun too. Scoop with two spoons and drop in the broth. Its way better than rolling the flour in your hands and getting all messy. :-)


Chicken Soup With Dumplings



Chicken Soup With Dumplings
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Lyn
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4
A comforting chicken soup with dumplings
  • 10 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 6 Chicken thighs, cooked & shredded
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Spinach, thawed
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Season Chicken thighs with salt and pepper, brown both sides in a hot skillet.
  2. Remove from the skillet and cut into strips. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, bring broth to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  5. With a fork, stir in the buttermilk and spinach to form a dough.
  6. Using 2 spoons, form tablespoon sized balls and gently drop into simmering broth.
  7. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes, until dumplings are cooked through.
  8. Add chicken, gently into the simmering pot.
  9. Taste and broth and add salt and pepper as desired.
  10. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.




Dumpling Batter, ready to go.


Chicken, in strips


Dumplings in the pot


Chicken Soup with Spinach Dumplings



Chicken Soup with Spinach Dumplings


Now this was a soup worth  making!

Happy Monday! And to all my  Canadians in ON, AB & SK – Happy Family Day!


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