Hi, my name is Oladunni! Welcome to my blog, Dooney’s Kitchen. This blog is going to be the medium for expressing my passion for all things food, and my favourite subject which is cooking. As we go along, you’ll get to know my background as a cook, and my journey to becoming a foodie. I’ll not just be sharing recipes, or talking about cooking, I’ll also be discussing the art of entertaining 9ja style (nobody host parties like we do. Lol) which will include planning meals for a party (enough of the boring Jollof rice), preparation for a party, and how to multi task your cooking and hosting duties (so you don’t spend hours in the kitchen and not enjoying your party) etc. Plus useful hints and tips to incorporate Nigerian cooking into a busy lifestyle. I promise to jazz up your cooking, and I will deliver.
I’ll like you to know the thought processes, that go into creating my recipes, and putting together a cohesive dish. My cooking is not structured or straight forward, it’s out of the box, it can go on a tangent sometimes and I can turn a mistake into a unique recipe. Reading about cooking should not just involve listing ingredients and listing steps. Its so much more than that, and that’s the intention behind this blog. Doing something different, approaching blogging about cooking from a personal angle. I want you to feel like you are right in the kitchen with me, and I want you to feel as if I’m standing in your kitchen, having a good laugh over coffee and whispering the steps to you, pointing out hints and tips etc. Cooking is more fun, and more personal, when it doesn’t feel like you are simply following instructions from a book or webpage.
So, a little history. I’ve always loved cooking, and growing up, I had so many great influences, from my late grandmother, to my mum, to aunties and friends. As a proud foodie, I feel eating should be more than just putting food on a plate for sustenance, going through the motions while you consume what’s on your plate. Eating to me is an experience. An experience that can should awaken and excite your taste buds, an experience that can be tame, wild, fiery, intense, passionate, fun, memorable, and above all enjoyed till the last bite. I could be preparing a meal, and the flavours and the aroma would evoke strong memories or transport me to a different place. The feeling I get, when I’m about to prepare a favourite meal, or try out a totally new recipe is so exciting, I can compare it to other women shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories. I live outside of London, and I’ve gotten up at 5am to go shopping at the popular Billingsgate Fish Market in East London. If that isn’t being crazy about food, I don’t know what is.
A friend good heartedly accuses me of being a food snob. Being labeled any kind of snob would ordinarily offend anyone, and you would be quick to deny that tag, but I accept it with pride (in a naughty mischievous way. Lol). As a home cook with a busy schedule, I do “cheat” a little in the kitchen. Hey if it gets you there faster, take a shortcut, but if you are going to “cheat” in the kitchen, don’t over do it. What do I consider kitchen cheats? Pre cut chips (seriously, I’m not going to spend time peeling potatoes, and cutting), Canned Chopped tomatoes (that’s self explanatory), making pancake batter in a blender (same result as manual mixing), using palm oil extract from a can (banga soup), canned beef/chicken stock (if the recipe calls for a little, why boil a whole chicken just for 100ml of stock) etc. Some shortcuts can be for the wrong reasons (in my opinion) though. An example is using pre cooked mixed veg from a can or bag (soggy mess) or making Moi-Moi or Akara with processed bean flour or dried de-skined beans. Why, why, why!!!!!! Later on in the blog, I’m going to post quick and easy recipes and cooking methods that I’ve created and adopted. I’ll call them Dooney’s Kitchen Cheats. Once again, welcome to the incredible world of Dooney’s Kitchen.