Ready for International Tea Day with Kenyan Tea

 

Shereen Shabnam Tea

Courtesy: Kibenda Tea Estate in Nairobi

I love tea parties….it is the perfect laid back way one can catch up with friends and family and I love the fact that I have a tea house right across my home near Citywalk. But how much do we know about the tea we drink. When it comes to tea, one usually associates the hot beverage with India, Sri Lanka or China. But did you know that, according to the leading online statistics portal Statistica, Kenya exports more tea than any of these countries above? In light of International Tea Day on 15th December, here are some fun facts you probably did not know about Kenyan tea.

1. Tea was first brought to Limuru, Kenya by by G.W.L Caine in 1903 from India. A short drive from Nairobi, you can visit the Kiambethu plantation in Limuru and take a tour of this historical site.

2. Many know that tea is ‘chai’ in Hindi and Urdu; but did you know that it is also called ‘chai’ in Swahili? That means that when you say ‘chai tea’, you are actually saying ‘tea tea’.

3. Over 60 per cent of Kenyan tea is produced by smallholder farmers. That means when you’re drinking tea from Kenya, you are most likely supporting the local tea farming industry!

4. Kenya’s top export is tea, with $915 million worth of tea exported around the world in 2013. Kenya mostly exports tea to Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the UK and the UAE. In recent years, Angola, Vietnam, Philippines, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Czech Republic, Myanmar and South Sudan are slowly joining the Kenyan tea bandwagon.

5. Kenya mostly produces black tea but in recent years, the market has begun to diversify with green teas, white teas and even white matchas.

Festive Hampers from Mastihashop

Gift boxes at Mastihashop
Gift boxes at Mastihashop

Mastihashop presents a wide range of gift boxes and hampers for Ramadan, Eid, for corporate giveaways and for all the popular festive occasions like birthdays, house warming and picnics. Gift hampers can be customized and presented with the company’s branding.

The exotic Mastihashop collection reflects the modernization of traditional food remedies and include Mastihq infused chocolates, sweets, savoury products, cosmetics and skincare, pharmaceuticals, gifts as well as exotic coffee, ice cream, desserts and milkshakes.

Corporate gifts

Mastihashop, offers clients the perfect bite, the perfect gift and a cosy hangout for coffee, is located in the Aswaaq Building in Jumeirah 1, Al Wasl Road.

Mansoor Al Bastaki of Mastihashop
Mansoor Al Bastaki of Mastihashop

Under the creative direction of the parent brand, Mastihashop in the UAE has evolved with Mansoor Al Bastaki, Founder and Director of Mastihashop in UAE at the helm. According to him, patrons and discerning UAE residents like to experience exotic food and products they normally find during their travels at their doorstep.

Mastiha/Mastic is a natural and rare tree resin, which has proven to have health benefits with its anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. Any raw Mastiha found around the world originates in only one place in Greece, in Chios Islands and Mastiha Shop is the sole supplier of the Mastiha raw resins.

 

A Jazzy Culinary Affair

Abu Dhabi is hitting all the right notes with the launch of JazzArabia the Middle East’s first jazz radio station at p&c by Sergi Arola, creating a unique ambience at the hotel as the new restaurant complements food and beverage offerings with distinct sounds that gets guests in the mood before their arrival with the sounds of the night and then following them home.

Top radio talent broadcast live from a custom-built studio inside this Spanish tapas restaurant by acclaimed two-starred Michelin chef, Sergi Arola. Through broadcasting a blend of mainstream, Arabic and Latin jazz music, JazzArabia can be streamed live or via the JazzArabia app, which is available for download from the app store on all smart devices.

As a Fijian I love dining with live easy music and welcome JazzArabia.com bringing a new element to the overall dining experience that perfectly complements the sharing concept at the restaurant.

The quirky infusions served at p&c by Sergi Arola certainly goes well with the casual, easy listening blend of music. With the growing social dining concept in the Emirate, trying new experiences with food and music is always welcome for food connoisseurs.

JazzArabia will also air the works of jazz legends, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and the more contemporary Michael Bublé and Diana Krall, meaning there is something for everyone. Leslie Nachmann, a world gold medal winner at the New York International Radio Awards, will be chief presenter. She currently presents on JazzRadio Berlin and on regional and national TV in Germany.

Artists featured on JazzArabia include all-time greats Frank Sinatra, alongside such contemporary jazz stars as Michael Bublé, Diana Krall and Natalie Cole. Crossover artists will include Amy Winehouse and Sade.

Latin greats will include Gilberto Gil, Brazil’s former culture minister, Tito Puente, Astrud Gilberto and Chick Corea. Arabic jazz will feature such artists as Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Anouar Brahem and Rabih Abou-Khalil. Rather than having separate programmes for each genre, JazzArabia will mix the different music styles.

p&c by Sergi Arola is a signature restaurant at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. A first in the Middle East for the Michelin-starred Chef Sergi Arola, the standalone restaurant brings an eclectic experience, pitting cutting-edge modernity against a traditional backdrop of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Shereen Shabnam

NEW EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF FOR TRADERS HOTEL, QARYAT AL BERI

Traders Hotel Shereen Shabnam

Food lovers in Abu Dhabi can now head to Traders Hotel to experience culinary delights by Ricky Rimenda Agustiana, the new Executive Sous Chef who brings more than seventeen years of varied culinary experience to the capital from across the globe.
Prior to the appointment he was at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, at the award-winning Pearls and Caviar. With previous Shangri-La experience Ricky knows the standard that has to be upheld throughout the company and outlets.
Ricky comes to Abu Dhabi with five years of experience from Dubai, UAE, where he worked in a luxury 5-star resort and excelled in his role. Before relocating to the Middle East, Ricky worked in Asia and the USA where he gained invaluable culinary experience. Ricky started his career in Singapore and Indonesia, before relocating to New York. Following two years in the Big Apple, Ricky was promoted to Chef de Partie in the sister company in Florida. Let me know what you thought of his culinary creations.

Ocean Spray Craisin Recipes for Ramadan

As the editor of 3 Menus of the Master coffee table cookbooks, I love getting recipes and would one day like a career that keeps me longer in the kitchen. This Ramadan, check out some awesome recipes from Ocean Spray – delectable!

Shereen Shabnam Craisin Muffins

Cranberry muffin

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tbs Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Egg (large)
  • 4 tbs Butter
  • 1 Cup Cranberries

Method

  • Keep the butter at room temperature to soften
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Mix butter and sugar
  • Slowly add eggs until all items are properly bonded
  • Add all dry ingredients
  • Add cranberries
  • In muffin tray decide mixture into 1/4 cup batches
  • Bake for 15 minutes

Cranberry and Oatmeal Cookie

Ingredient

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Instant Oats
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda

Method

  • Keep the butter out at room temperature to soften it.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Sift the flour and baking soda.
  • Combine all ingredients together in large bowl and mix with hands.
  • Roll small balls with dough and place on baking tray with baking paper.
  • Press down the balls and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Shereen Shabnam Goats Cheese and Craisins Chutney

Goat Cheese and Cranberry Chutney

Ingredient

  • 4 Apples
  • 5 Cups Cranberries
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Dates
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/3 Cup White Vinegar
  • Baguette Bread
  • Goat Cheese

Method

  • Chop onion, apples and dates.
  • Sauté onion, apples, dates and cranberries with butter in a deep pot.
  • Add sugar, spices, vinegar and orange juice to pot.
  • Bring to boil then reduce flame and let simmer until chutney consistency
  • Cut baguette bread into thin slices and sprinkle with olive oil.
  • Bake in the oven until dry.
  • Cut goat cheese into rounds.
  • Put goat cheese on cracker and broil in oven.
  • Garnish with chutney.

Cranberry and Eggs “En Cocotte”

Ingredient

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbs Cream
  • 2 Slices of Beef Bacon
  • 1 tbs of Cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Chop the bacon and cranberries.
  • In a pan cook bacon and cranberries together.
  • Strain bacon and cranberries and let it cool.
  • Whisk eggs, cream and seasoning.
  • Mix all ingredients together and put in an individual oven pan.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Shereen Shabnam Salmon with Craisin Salsa

Roasted Salmon with Cranberry Salsa

Ingredient

  • 1 Cup Cranberries
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 Salmon filet

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Chop onion, cranberries and coriander.
  • Mix with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Season salmon and seal on the pan.
  • Finish cooking salmon in the oven.
  • Garnish salmon with cranberry salsa.

Cranberry and Almond Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Cranberries
  • 1 1/2 Cups Basmati Rice
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

  • In large pot sauté onions with olive oil until they become translucent.
  • Add cranberries and rice and stir until rice is covered in oil.
  • Add chicken broth and seasoning.
  • Bring to boil and cover.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and keep until rice is cooked (about 22 minutes).
  • Stir in almonds.
  • Garnish with cranberries.

 

 

New summer offers by Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah

Shereen Shabnam Kempinski-Palm-JumeirahIts hot and I just feel like staying in a luxurious room all day fasting, reading and chilling while fasting – so I started looking at local hotel offers not that my work schedule will allow even a day off but loved the pictures from Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah – They just unveiled new offers for the summer for guests from the UAE and other countries including lower prices on suites and villas and free breakfast.
The offers, which are valid until September 2015 , also involve large discounts on services at the SPA and other facilities as well as internet, children’s club and free transport to and from Emirates Mall.
The hotel is ready to receive families and other guests from the UAE and the remaining GCC countries to enjoy summer and spend quiet holidays in a luxurious atmosphere, according to the hotel’s general manager Mr Alessandro Redaeli.

Alessandro Redaelli (2)Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah, the fourth royal-style building on Jumeirah Palm, comprises 244 suites and pent houses, has an advanced SPA, a large number of restaurants and bars, other facilities, as well as a clean 500-metre beach strip. If I do decide on a staycation in the next 2 weeks, this place is definitely an option.

Kempinski Palm Shereen Shabnam

Spice it up with ice this summer at Icons Coffee Couture

Icons Ice cream Shereen ShabnamJPGThe Innovative Ice -cream salad dressing!

It’s really hot at the moment so getting news on  ICONS Coffee Couture, a German coffee franchise and healthy coffee joint, unveiling their new range of ‘Sweet & Salty’ ice creams is a welcome thought.

Designed as a unique ice cream range, the collection includes not only ice cream smoothies and frappes, but also three salty ice cream dressings to make every salad deliciously sumptuous. Ice-cream enthusiast and innovator, Vasco Valenca De Sousa is the mind behind the Sweet & Salty range of Icons ice cream dreams which are only naturally sweetened with dates or agave to embrace healthy eating and face the summer heat with their cool ice creams.

I reckon I have had very brand of ice-cream the last few days –  At Icons, the sweet ice cream compliments well the upcoming Ramadan season, with dates coupled with classic flavors, chocolate and vanilla. The salty ice creams, a never-before heard of concept, includes herby pesto flavor, dense potato and fresh carrot variants.

What’s more –the salty range of savory ice creams are made to be used as healthy and delicious salad dressings! Once scooped and put over a dry salad, these ice creams melt right in, giving the salads a rich, creamy and refreshing taste.

Enjoy!