Trinidad Coconut Roll Recipe

Trinidad Coconut Roll Recipe

Growing up in Trinidad we didn’t buy much candies.  It just wasn’t in our family’s budget to get expensive candies.  One thing I remember growing up there is the number of sweets my mom used to bake for us every week.  My dad however was always planting all kinds of fruit trees so we always had something to snack on.

Trinidad coconut roll

This year for Christmas my sister challenged us to focus on recipes that reminded us of home.  Ones we grew up with and enjoyed all year round.  She however had a handy Carribbean recipes cookbook and I only had my Coconut Milk Fudge recipe that I’ve mastered, well aside from Curry Chicken.  However for family occasions my mom always makes the Curry Chicken and fudge was a no-brainer for me.  I wanted to try something different so I started searching the web for a recipe for coconut tarts.

Living in Trinidad we had two coconut trees in our yard, so we would use freshly grated coconuts for this recipe but since I didn’t want to waste time looking for them in the store I purchased Baker’s Grated Coconut in the packs.  It worked perfectly with the recipe.

Trinidad Coconut Roll (13)
Dough rolled out with coconut filling

The key to pulling this recipe off well is the amazing short dough crust.  When I started looking for recipes online I could only find tarts like mini tarts baked similar to pie.  That wasn’t what I wanted.  I couldn’t rely on my mom for help with the recipe because since her stroke, she doesn’t remember most of the meals she prepared back when we lived there.  I searched and searched till I found the perfect recipe I could tweak to make the dough for the rolls.

Trinidad Coconut Roll (14)
Coconut Roll ready for the oven

With this dough you can either use it to make rolls or cut them in rounds to make tarts.  I liked making the rolls because it seemed like I ended up with more.  One bit and I was instantly back in Trinidad, as a young girl in my mother’s kitchen.

Trinidad Coconut Roll (1)

I couldn’t wait to take these to my family’s Christmas dinner.  I knew they would be a hit with my family.  My brother was the first to take a roll, since he had to leave early.  Once everyone tasted them they were gone before I knew it.

These are super easy to make and they store well in an air tight container.  It doesn’t require to many ingredients, so it’s a very affordable treat to make for your family.  Check out the recipe below and if you grew up on these and try the recipe let me know how it goes.


Trinidad Coconut Milk Fudge

Trinidad Coconut Milk Fudge

When I was a little girl M& M’s and Snickers were rare treats, the only way to get them was when my grandmother would visit the United States – the States like we call it in Trinidad.  Even then there wasn’t a guarantee she would bring us back of the special treats you could only get there.  Yes we had our own Trinidad, or I guess Caribbean versions of these candies from Charles Candy company.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed those treats and especially now that I live in the States I would love to have them but back then when that was my only option I longed for M&M’s and Snickers.  Another great thing about living in Trinidad were the homemade treats.  My mother baked fresh bread every week, sweet bread, cassava pone, sugar cake, beef pies, tarts, guava cheese, tamarind balls, sweet mango, I could go on and on about all the different things she made when we were kids and the items we in season.  Again all things I couldn’t appreciate back then and now that I am an adult with my own family I would love to share that culture with them.

Coconut Milk Fudge

When I was pregnant with my fourth child I was craving fudge for some odd reason.  There’s a candy shop close to where we live and they sell fudge I would go there and purchase fudge all the time but I just wasn’t quite the same as the fudge I grew up eating in Trinidad.  Last summer I wanted some fudge badly and I just didn’t want the fudge from the store.  I even tried multiple recipes I found on Pinterest for microwave fudge but that didn’t cut it.  Eventually I found a base recipe on the Carnation Condensed Milk UK website that I figured would work.  I immediately gave it a try, and with lots of trial and error I finally got a fudge that reminds me of my childhood in Trinidad.

Up making fudge for my sister.

A photo posted by Nickida Stephens (@nostephens) on

One of road blocks to making Trinidad fudge is the mixing.  I can remember my mom mixing up the fudge by hand with a wooden spoon.  It could take up to an hour to get it done.  Honestly I don’t know how she did it at least once a month.  Whipping the fudge by hand is a very tedious task because if you do it too slowly it will turn into caramel and over mixing results in a crumbly fudge.  I use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment to mix my fudge after boiling it on the stove.  I mix is on low for about five minutes and then to medium for another ten to fifteen minutes depending on how firm I want my fudge.  When using a stand mixer make sure you don’t keep it on a low-speed setting because it won’t get enough air and just be a caramel consistency.  It does boil down to personal preference.  I like my fudge firm with a smooth consistency.

Trinidad Coconut Milk Fudge

Any thing I like about this fudge is the use of Coconut Milk.  It really reminds me of home when I make the fudge using ingredients my mother would use.  Of course my mom made her own coconut milk and mines comes in a can but either way it gives the fudge a whole new flavor profile.  You can also just use evaporated milk in place of coconut milk if you prefer.

I don’t know how to eyeball the proper boiling point for fudge like my mother would do when making it in Trinidad so I use a candy thermometer to make sure I have to proper boil I need.  You’ll also need a non-stick stock pot, something that won’t make your fudge mixture burn easily or stick to the pot.  Make sure it’s a deep enough pot so in case of any splatter you don’t get burned.  Be very careful when transferring from the pot to the bowl.  I burned my finger really badly once with the hot mixture.

I hope you give this fudge a try to if you’re from Trinidad and you make it be sure to leave a comment letting me know how it turned out for you.  Remember it can take some trail and error but it’s so worth it in the long run.

[gmc_recipe 15864]

Moffett Watch Review

Moffett Watch Review


I love creative gift ideas.  I was set a set of Moffett Scented Watches to review.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

There are some things that are forever tied to certain memories in your mind.  Some are good and some may be bad but it never fails when one thing pops up or happens you think of the other.  When I was asked about review Moffett Scented Watches I immediately remembered being in primary school in Trinidad.  I was about eight and my parents brought me a Strawberry Scented Pen & Pencil Set.  Strawberries doesn’t grow in Trinidad, it was imported at the time (I don’t know if they import it now), but I will never forget the scent from those items.  Just thinking about the scented watches now is making me think of those items.  I was excited about trying out the watches and seeing how they would smell.  I knew they would end up being gifts to my daughter but I couldn’t wait for them to arrive.

The package arrived while we were away and when we got back I couldn’t wait to open it up and smell the watches.  I received a starter pack and two mix & match packs for review.  Moffett Watch offers two options for their starter packs.  You can either choose a black watch that comes with a candy apple and black current scented dial or you can choose the white watch with an orange and coconut scented dial.  I choose the latter because I wanted something to remind me of the islands and Trinidad.  The starter packs cost $24.50 and you can purchase it from their website.  These packs are a great way to get started with these watches.  You could pick either color watch for a male or female in my opinion it really comes down to the scent you want to choose.

The Mix & Match Packs costs $12.50 and comes in eight different flavor choices.  The choices are: black currant, blueberry, grape, strawberry, coconut, candy apple, orange and pineapple.  All the mix and match packs comes with an interchangeable band and a scented watch dial.  With each mix and match pack its like having a whole new watch.  The choices of scents make it possible for anyone to enjoy these watches.  They are fun and functional at the same time.



This watch fit both my wrist and my daughter who’s seven.  It has a decent band length to fit different wrist sizes.  Changing the bands and watch dial was very easy.  My daughter could do it on her own with very little assistance.  It’s a very simple watch, great gift idea for someone just learning the basics about times because the watch isn’t complicated and filled with useless items.  All the numbers are clear and easy to read.  The skunk is quite cute to me.  I like that touch since these watches don’t stink at all.  The scent from the watch isn’t overpowering either.  It’s perfect.  This watch would make a great gift for anyone who loves watches, it’s something whimsical and fun to share with others.  It’s almost time to head back to school and this would be a great addition to your shopping list to get kids off to a great school year.

If you’re interested in learning more about Moffett Watches and their products be sure to visit their website.  While you’re there send out a tweet it could mean a discount on your purchase.  They also offer free shipping in the Continental United States with all orders $25 and over.



Paratha Roti with Organic India Ghee

Paratha Roti with Organic India Ghee

I was born in Trinidad and moved to the U.S. when I was fourteen.  There are lots of things that remind me of home and today I want to share a Paratha Roti with Organic India Ghee recipe with you, as well as some things about my childhood.  I specifically chose this recipe because when I was living in Trinidad I had lots of memories of my mother and grandmother cooking with Ghee.  Most of those recipes were from Indian culture and were always delicious.  When we moved to the U.S. we couldn’t find Ghee in the local supermarkets so my mother’s stopped making a lot of those recipes she used to me including Paratha Roti.  A few weeks ago I was contacted by Organic India to try their Organic Ghee and Tulsi Tea.  I immediately knew what I was going to make with the Ghee and couldn’t wait for it to arrive so I could try making my own Paratha Roti for my family.

Paratha Roti is a type of Indian bread that we usually eat with some sort of curry.  We like to eat ours with curry chicken, beef or goat and with curry potatoes and chick peas.  You can eat with with just about anything you choose and it’s not that difficult to make as long as you have the right ingredients and cooking utensils.  You will need a rolling pin or a tortilla press and a tawa or a large skillet.  Here’s the list of ingredients you need for making Paratha Roti.

4 cups flour

6 tbsp. Organic India Ghee (Ghee is clarified butter)

4 tsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1 3/4 cups water

Follow the steps below to make your Paratha Roti and enjoy it with my curry chicken recipe.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add water to make a shaggy soft dough.  Rub 1 tablespoon of oil over dough.  Cover with a clean cloth and let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes. 

Divide the dough into six equal balls after resting.

Roll each ball out and spread ghee and sprinkle with flour.

Make a cut from the center out to the edge and roll making a cone.  Press the peak and flatten the center of the cone.  Leave to “rest” about 15 – 30minutes.

After about 30 minutes, roll out on a floured board with a rolling pin or a large tortilla press.

Using the flat side of a cup or other utensil, dip into butter or ghee and coat an already hot tawah or skillet.  Place the dough onto the tawah or skillet.

Spread the ghee or butter on one side using the flat edge of the cup, then turn over onto the other side to cook.  Spread butter or ghee on the other side the same way.

When cooked on both sides use a wooden spoon to break up the roti to give the ripped up, flaky appearance.  Serve warm.

With the right tools making Paratha Roti can be easy and it’s a great way to experience another culture in your own home.  I also found a great step by step recipe with lots of photos at Cooking with Ria if you need to see the steps if it’s your first time.  You can visit her website to view it.

I had a great time making Paratha Roti for the first time and I plan to make it again in the near future.  I made mines smaller because my skillet was so small but I plan to get the larger skillet or tawah to make it easier in the future.  Organic India has lots of other products for sale on their site including their Organic Ghee – an 8 oz jar costs $12.99.  You can use Organic Ghee for lots of things around the house besides just cooking.  You can use it in skin care routines including massage rubs, bath scrubs, and tired eyes.  It can be used for numerous things in the kitchen as well.  Organic India sent me a recipe for a coffee drink that is sure to help you keep your energy levels up throughout the day and it’s easy to make.  You can also give it a try if you are a coffee drinker.


1 cup of organic coffee, herbal coffee or chai tea

1 tablespoon organic coconut oil

1-2 tablespoons ORGANIC INDIA’s Ghee

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor for 20 seconds–BAM! Frothy, natural energy that won’t cause that dreaded afternoon slump.

Visit the Organic India website, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about all their products and some of the benefits of their organic line.

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Stewed Oxtails Recipe

Stewed Oxtails Recipe


I was born and raised in Trinidad and now that I’ve been living in the US for most of my life I have days where I long for the days of my childhood and growing up in the Caribbean.  One of the biggest things I miss after my family and friends of course is the food.  Everything is just so different as far as food goes.  The fruits are different, we use different vegetables and some of the meat we would eat is considered weird for lots of people here.  My husband is American but dating and marrying a woman from the islands means he has tried some of our foods either from my mother cooking it, Caribbean restaurants or when we go to festivals.  One of his favorites is Stewed Oxtails and since he liked it so much I had to learn how to make it once I saw the Oxtails at one of our local supermarkets.

Everyone makes their oxtails different and I didn’t know for my first try if I wanted to try a Trinidad or Jamaican version,  I searched the web and found one on TriniGourmet that I loved and decided that’s the one I was going to use.  The key to any good island stew is browning.  You can buy this stuff in a bottle or you can do it the old fashioned way with oil and brown sugar.

Heat the oil

Heat the oil in a large stew pot.  Make sure it gets nice and hot.  I recommend if you have a fan over your oven to put it on and open a window if you are using this method.

seasoned oxtails

Season your oxtails at least an hour before cooking.  Put it in the refrigerator to marinate.  Pull it out while your oil is heating up.

Brown Sugar in oil

Pour the sugar in the oil and keep stirring it in the pot.  Don’t leave your pot unattended.  This stuff can burn easily so continue to stir until it’s a chocolate brown color.  It will smokey so make sure you have a window open or a fan running.

Pour oxtail in pan

Pour the oxtails in the pan and mix it up so they all get coated with brown sauce.  Stir for about a minute or two and add your water or beef stock to the pot.  Reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer.

Stewed Oxtails

I added potatoes and carrots to mines but you don’t have to add them to yours.  You want to cook the oxtails until they are soft and tender.  You can tell because they will start to fall off the bone.

Stewed Oxtails

Serve over white rice while warm and enjoy.

I hope you give this recipe a try and be sure to pin it for later.

[gmc_recipe 7963]


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Purchase Handcrafted Products Worldwide from NOVICA

Purchase Handcrafted Products Worldwide from NOVICA

Disclosure: I was provided a gift certificate for myself and one to giveaway in exchange for a review.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

I was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, I love the culture, food and heritage of the country but since moving to the United States it’s been harder to get some of the things that I long for that reminds me of Trinidad.  That’s the beauty of traveling and visiting foreign countries, you get to experience some of their amazing cultural offerings and that also includes the shopping.  I love get beautiful handcrafted items from all over the world.  It’s like taking a small part of that moment and getting to also remember it and share it with others.  Getting beautiful handcrafted items though could also come from local places as well.  We recently took a family vacation to Lancaster, PA and the Amish businesses there had lots of offerings for people like us who wanted to have those items and memories and wanted to share them with friends and family.  National Geographic is a household name, they have been taking us on lots of cultural journeys from the comfort of our homes and with NOVICA they have taken it a step further.

Novica-Jewelry-PieceAbout NOVICA:

A National Geographic affiliated fashion and home décor website, Novica has quietly become the world’s largest curated marketplace of handmade goods with over 30,000 products from around the globe. A fair trade brand committed to sustainability, Novica connects artisans directly with customers for value added pricing. To date they have sent over $46 million to artisans around the world to preserve the arts in a mass produced world.

Sourced from around the globe, each handmade product listed on Novica goes through a certification program to guarantee the 100% premium quality of each item. We practice fair trade, so none of the artists are charged any fees for listing their items on the website. Artists remain fully independent – they are free to raise prices, lower them, or remove the items from the website. Novica has cut out the middleman, adding value to both the artisans and customers.

My thoughts:

I really love the whole idea behind a site like this, and it doesn’t surprise that it’s coming from the people behind National Geographic.  Imagine being able to hop on the internet and pick up a handcrafted piece of jewelry, clothing item or something special for your house from an artisan in Brazil, Africa or India.  Now you can send amazing gifts from different cultures to your family without even traveling.  I really love that these artist who wouldn’t have the opportunity to offer their products to such a huge market now has the ability to do so and provide for their families.  Artists can even apply for micro-loans to help them expand and grow their business.  With a site like NOVICA you can get all your holiday shopping in one place.  The site is broken down into sections to make shopping a breeze and if you have a hard time deciding you can always send a gift card to your recipient and they get to choose what they would like on the site.

Be sure to stop by the NOVICA website and see what they have to offer when you are shopping for your holiday gifts this year, and also connect wit them on Facebook and Twitter.  It’s a great website and it serves a great cause.

One reader has the chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate for the NOVICA website.  You must be 18 or older to enter.  The giveaway will start now and end November 9th at 11:59 PM.  Enter via the tool below and Good Luck.

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Music That Plays The Soundtrack of my Life


Today’s writing prompt is about music and the soundtrack of your life.

I love music!  It’s the one thing that I feel can convey exactly how you are feeling in different stages of your life.  Each song means something different at different times.  Sometimes the same song takes on new meaning when things change in your life.  I want to share some of the songs on the soundtrack of Nicki’s life.  I’ll share the meaning to each song under the video. These are a few of the song on the soundtrack of my life.

I grew up in Trinidad and this is what we call Soca music. The artist singing most you probably won’t know but his name is Super Blue and I couldn’t share any thing about Soca music and not mention him. He was one the main artist I grew up listening to and Carnival in Trinidad was not the same if you didn’t hear a song from Super Blue. I share this with you as the music of my culture and upbringing. This reminds me of home and warm sun rays, Carnival parties and mud mas. J’Overt morning, Moko jumbies, and the beginning and the end. See in Trinidad Carnival Monday and Tuesday marks the last days before the beginning of Lent. People party, drink, have fun and then they fast for Lent. Although I love my life living in MD, I still long for comforts of home and that includes the music.

My family moved to the US when I was in high school and I think it was the first time I had any sign of depression in my life. Everything was brand new and things were nothing like it was in Trinidad. I couldn’t just go play with my friends, even calling them was a feat because it was an international call. School was so much more different. This song is what helped me sleep at high and helped me get through. I ended up in an honors program and graduated in the top 1% of my high school class. This song would be on repeat until I fell asleep. This song still touches me now, because I am fighting back tears listening to the music. #Powerful.

This was always the song I though would be my wedding song. I love this artist so much I even started a yahoo fan club for him. It’s still a great song but it wasn’t my wedding song. I didn’t have one because I ended up having a small intimate wedding.

This is me and my husband’s song. It’s a long story but I’m his sunshine and he’s my moonlight.

I love Adele and I really liked this song and this fan created video. I watched it daily when I was pregnant with my youngest son.

This is the last one I’ll share, we just got hooked on Just Dance 4 and the kids love this song. We sing it in the car up loud and it’s just so much fun. Here’s the video game version.

What songs are on the soundtrack of your life?


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My Curry Chicken Recipe

My Curry Chicken Recipe

Growing up on the island of Trinidad means I had a chance to experience different kinds of foods.  Indian foods were very popular in Trinidad, and since my mom always made Indian food, I naturally think that all households in Trinidad makes it.  You just have to know how to cook curry chicken it what I though as I got older.  When I got married to my husband (who is American) I figured the pressure was off, but I was wrong.  He got accustomed to eating island food from my mom so now I have to get my skills up.  Today I am making curry chicken.  This isn’t my first time making it but I don’t make it often either.  Here’s the steps.

Gather up all your ingredients.  I used chicken wings for my curry but you can use any part of the chicken you choose.  you need three small-medium potatoes.  You can peel them if you like or leave the skin on.  Cut them into small bite size pieces.

cubbed potatoes

Pour oil into your hot pot, wait for the oil to get hot and then mix your curry powder in the oil.  I will say make sure you are using a very good put, especially not one that sticks or burns easily.  You don’t want to ruin the dish by using a bad pot.  You are only stirring the curry for about 10 to 15 seconds in the oil because you don’t want it to start to burn.

prepping curry

Add your chicken to the put and stir it to coat the chicken with the curry mixture.  You can season your chicken with curry prior to adding it to the pot if you want more curry flavor and you can always add more while its cooking.  Its really up to you and your taste buds.

making curry chicken

Next pour the water, your can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) and potatoes into the pot and stir it all together.  I didn’t wash the beans off I just opened the can and poured it in to my curry because I wanted the starch from the liquid in the can to help with thickening the curry.

Goya Chick Peas

Bring your pot to a boil and then turn the heat to medium and leave uncovered and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes.  You will know when its done because the potatoes will be soft and the chick peas will also be very soft.  If your sauce is too runny then lower the heat and let it simmer a bit longer in the pot.

curry chicken

We ate ours with white rice, however you can eat it with whatever you feel like eating yours with.  I generally prefer my  curry with Roti or Paratha.  You can make curry chicken, beef, pork or beef.  Really you can curry whatever you want.  I know some people love vegetarian curry as well.

Curry Chicken Thighs

Ok I will say that I don’t have exact measurements for this recipe I just estimate.  So I guess I can estimate a recipe but you gauge it when you are using it to suit your own taste.  I will note that I do not cook with onions because I have an allergy, but you can certainly add it to yours as well as garlic and other herbs and spices as well.

My Curry Chicken Recipe

Recipe Type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Nickida Stephens
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
My estimated curry chicken recipe.
  • 5-7 chicken wings cut into two pieces (so 10-14 wing dings)
  • you can use any kind of chicken you want just adjust the recipe as you go
  • 3 small to medium potatoes (peeled and cut into bite size cubes)
  • 1 can of Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp of curry powder (you can add or take away according to your taste)
  • 2-3 cups of water to start (you can add more or less depending on the size of your pot)
  1. Cut your chicken wings in half so you end up with wing dings. You can season your chicken with a little salt and pepper or seasoning salt if you like. You can also add some curry to the chicken while you are prepping the other ingredients for added flavor.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into bite sized cubes. You make leave the skin on if you prefer just wash them thoroughly.
  3. Heat the oil in your pot on the stove and just when it starts to get hot pour in the curry powder. Stir it for about 10 to 15 seconds and then pour in the chicken. Stir the chicken to coat it with the curry mixture.
  4. Pour in your water, chick peas )straight from the can) and potatoes. Stir to mix it all up. Don’t pour all the water in at once because you don’t want to make the curry watery. You can add water later on if you need more.
  5. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium-low temp and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. You will know when its done because the potatoes will be soft, as well as the chick peas. If the sauce is not thick enough turn the temp down to low and let it simmer until your desired thickness.

Remember you can add more seasoning and flavor to this to suit your taste. Some people prefer adding hot pepper to their curry to make it spicy and its really up to you if you want to add onions, garlic and other herbs to your curry recipe.

 The key to making good curry is finding a good curry powder that you like, making sure you have a nice stock pot and allowing it to simmer.  Here’s some great cooking essentials that would work great for cooking any kind of curry.  If you use thighs in your recipe cut them in half across the bone.  They book better that way to me.

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links, clicking on them doesn’t cost you anything and if you make a purchase I may receive a small fee that helps me keep my blog going.  Thanks for reading.