Monday, 30 May 2016

Caribbean Food Series (Rice Dishes)

Caribbean Food is notably the most highly spiced and flavorful food in the world. It tickles every taste bud and leaves you wanting more every time. Every Island has a signature dish and a special touch that they place on the not so signature ones that make it unique to it's culture and people.

Let's explore every island and their diverse palette and dive into some delicious cuisine shall we, as we seek to diversify the meals on the international table with some Island flavored recipes.

Today, we shall explore rice dishes as the Caribbean has a number of spectacular ones from each island. Each dish was of some influence to the natives that inhabited the island, whether it be the Chinese, the Africans (whether Nigeria or Ghanaian) or even the Spanish settlers.

  • Fried Rice or Vegetable rice (as known by some)

2 cups cooked rice (see note below)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced carrot
2 scallions
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large onion diced
3/4 teaspoon salt (optional) as per individual taste
1/2 cup diced celery

The first thing we need to do is to chop and cube all the vegetables we’ll be using in the vegetable fried rice. Try to keep the pieces uniform in size to allow for even cooking and try not to be too big as we need everything to cook fast.
Heat the vegetable oil on a med/high heat is a wide pan, then add the crushed garlic and ginger and stir for 2-3 minutes to release all the flavors so as to properly infused the fried rice with tons of flavor. Then add the diced carrots and allow to cook for a few minutes.
Add all the other vegetables after the carrots have cooked for a few minutes and stir, allowing to cook for a few more minutes. Follow up with the soy sauce and sesame oil and the rice.
NB: When pre-cooking rice, it is important to not cook all the way, only cook 75% of the way then take it off and run under cold water in order to separate the grains and keep them that way.
At this point the salt could be added to taste. Please keep in mind that the soy sauce does contain salt so add a little at a time, tasting as you go.
Serves: 3-4 people

  • Chicken Pelau


  • 2 – 2 ½ lbs. mixed chicken pieces or legs and thigh, cut up and rinse with lime juice
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ¼ cup green seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium size carrot, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced/chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced/chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, DE-stemmed or leave whole
  • 4 pimento flavoring peppers, chopped, optional
  • 2 cups frozen pigeon peas, boiled for 15 minutes
  • 2 cups parboiled long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoon brown or white sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 4 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 2 packs chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon cooking margarine (golden ray) optional
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, optional   
Season chicken with green seasoning salt and black pepper for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. Add onions, tomatoes, carrot, bell peppers, pimento peppers, celery and thyme to marinated chicken, set aside.

Caramelizing or Browning the Sugar and making the Pelau
Heat a large pot on high heat, add oil and heat for about 2 minutes .Add the sugar, DO NOT STIR! At least not yet. Allow the sugar to melt until it starts to get brown around some of the edges. It should start getting light brown in color, and going from liquid too almost frothy and bubbly in less than a minute . The entire browning process, should take at least 2 - 3 minutes or so. Start adding the seasoned chicken a few pieces at a time, stir constantly to ensure all the pieces get coated evenly with the caramelized/burnt sugar.

DO NOT ADD THE SEASONINGS FROM THE BOWL, AT LEAST NOT YET. Save the seasonings, YOU WILL BE USING IT SHORTLY. After adding all the chicken pieces cover the pot and allow to cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes
Open pot lid, turn up the heat for about 3 – 5 minutes so as to allow the chicken to get A NICE AND FINAL brown color, STIR!
Add any seasonings that was left over from the marinated chicken bowl, Stir.
Add the drained cooked pigeon peas, Stir. Cover Pot with lid for 5 more minutes
While chicken is cooking, rinse rice in warm water about 3 - 4 times and drain.
Add rice to pot and stir. Add golden ray butter if using, bouillon seasoning, ketchup, coconut milk, STIR!
Add water and mix together. Cook on high uncovered for 2-3 minutes.
Add the whole scotch bonnet pepper, ONLY IF YOU LIKE AND IS USING HOT PEPPER
Turn heat to very low, cover pot and simmer for about 30 – 35 minutes, checking periodically to ensure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pot, Taste and adjust seasoning if you need too.
After you turn the heat off, add the parsley and mix in with your pelau.

Just keep in mind your liquid should be about an inch or so above your rice, the trick here is to allow your pelau to simmer on very low! You can also use canned pigeon peas, if you use the can, there is no need to boil before use. If you can get the fresh peas, even better, just follow the same directions as for the frozen.

Enjoy eating pelau with a cucumber salad, coleslaw, avocado and/or pepper sauce. 

  • Coconut Rice


3 cups of coconut milk
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tsp of Garlic
1 1/2 cups of rice
1/2 cup of raisins 
1 onion
salt  (as per taste)
black pepper (optional/as per taste)
1/2 teaspoon thyme 
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 cup cashews
Coconut Flakes (optional)

Chop the scallion, parsley,garlic, and thyme, Put everything (minus half of the coconut flakes) into a pot with the rice, pour in the coconut milk and cook.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Artist "Prince's" time in the Caribbean with BONUS

May he rest in peace!

The Artist, as he re-branded himself while he was alive, had many great years of life, especially at him craft to which he was devoted; his music. However, he also spent some of those years in his Caribbean hideaway, though it was not so hidden, being as it was basically an island and all (LOL).

So, where did The Artist go to get a relaxing dose of Caribbean sun, sand and surf? He went to the majestic island of the Turks and Caicos.

Prince's Caribbean getaway is now valued at an amazing US$12 million dollars for all interested parties. It boasts of 10 beautiful bedrooms, sea views all around, and of course the signature purple driveway. The Artist certainly loved his space as it had more than enough space for him to take a vacation from each room by simply going to another wing of the estate, as it stands at 10,000 square feet. The Artist also loved beaches so much his estate had two (2), just for him and who ever was lucky enough to be there with him as they were private. 

Five Random Facts About "The Artist" formerly known as "Prince"

  1. His actual name is Prince.
  2. He was also a songwriter for a lot of the greats.
  3. He was a Jehovah's witness.
  4. He was born June 7th 1958
  5. He also did films (Purple Rain).

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Beyonce's Caribbean heritage

Photo Courtesy: Atlanta Black

We are sure that most of you have already heard this, but we thought we would share anyway. Does Beyonce hail from a Caribbean heritage, mixed with Creole?

Now, where does it all come from and who gave her what. Let's dig in shall we and discover Beyonce. From her mother, she received the Creole heritage. Creole is a mix of French, African and Caribbean cultures, it can be found anywhere in the world, but predominates in the Caribbean. Beyonce however, received it from Louisiana, the most popular of creole cultures in the United States. Tina Knowles parents were both born in Louisiana and so were their parents (seriously deep creole roots). 

Meanwhile, on her father's side of the fence flows the Caribbean waters....or so any Bahamian would claim. Based on the Bahamian last name "Knowles", it is widely speculated that Beyonce from her father's side could have roots in the Caribbean. However, Mr. Knowles have since denied that, as he is not aware of any direct or indirect family links to the island. 

How sad, we were actually hoping to claim the singer as a pumpkin-vine descendant of the Caribbean. However, this is mostly speculation and has yet to be proven. Until then, let's keep enjoying her hit music and being snooping around her personal life in search of entertainment shall we, lol. 

Don't forget to check out our other posts in our Archives, as well our business blog (The Business Spotlight), and continue to have a great day. 


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Vacationing in the Caribbean in 2016

There is no place like home! That is if your home is a beautiful Caribbean Island. Yeah, no Caribbean island can boast of first world status. But, this is the beauty of it we don't have first world problems (lol)....The Caribbean is famous for it's laid back lifestyle (some more than others) and it's scenic beaches and resorts. If you haven't been to the Caribbean we suggest you make it your place to visit this year. It especially comes in handy for those seeking to escape the bone aching cold winters.

If you are looking for the cheapest all inclusive vacation, the Dominican Republic currently holds the mantle on that this year. When we say all- inclusive, we mean all- inclusive with luxury of course. Consider also when planning your Caribbean getaway, whether you are planning this trip in the high season or the low season (meaning peak travel time into the Caribbean or off peak travel time). In most islands, December through to April is the peak season while June through to October is the low season. 

Air+Hotel packages are sometimes a deal worth considering and sometimes not. We urge that you consider prices together as well as separate when making bookings. 

Here is a small list of the Best and Cheapest Caribbean Islands that you should consider coming to when planning your Caribbean getaway.

Firstly, we would like to state that this article is in no way sponsored by the Dominican Republic.

Now let's proceed...

  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
High Season - US$135 - US$373
Low Season - US$80 - US$373
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
High Season - US$188 - US$708
Low Season - US$113 - US$609
  • La Romana, Dominican Republic
Hgh Season - US$181 - US$373
Low Season - US$142 - US$256
  • Negril, Jamaica
High Season - US$229 - US$967
Low Season - US$146 - US$757
  • Ocho Rios, Jamaica
High Season - US$199 - US$1,156
Low Season - US$159 - US$640

Whichever destination you choose, we are positive you will have the most relaxing and enjoyable stay here in the beautiful Caribbean Island getaway.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The future of online shopping with Google Tips

The future of online shopping? Where is it now and where is it heading? What are the best places to shop online? Affordable online shopping and much more.

Everyone and their uncle has switched from the hassle of running around from store to store in order to find items to the preferred ease of shopping online. Now, is this necessarily a bad thing?, I mean think of how much quieter the malls are to stroll through now, lol ..... 

However, in economy's in the Caribbean that try to make online shopping difficult with increased taxes and additional costs it would really help to have some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of online shopping. So, we hit the google net (lol) in search of some handy ways to accomplish online shopping smarter.

Google Tip 1). 
Research, Research, Research

To ensure you are getting the best price do some research using comparison sites such as Price Grabber or Yahoo Shopping before deciding on a site. Simply enter the item that you are looking for and the store with the cheapest price for it will be given to you. Pretty handy right!

Google Tip 2)
Be creative

So, if you are like some of us and could use a discount on the already discounted price lol. It is worth monitoring the price of the item over the next week as most sites use a price surge that cause the price to fluctuate due to demand and other factors. Rumor has it some sites even price things based on your personal browsing habits. Slickdeals provide a great price alert system for popular ecommerce sites such as amazon. They send you an email when the price drops to where you are comfortable purchasing it at which point you can do so.

Google Tip 3)
Look for coupons

With all the above intel in your pocket, you would be amazed that you can get the price even lower by simply looking for coupons on handy sites like DealNews and Fat Wallet.

Google Tip 4). 
Digital Gift Cards

Gift yourself a digital gift card. Sites such as Giftcardgranny and Cardpool help you save anywhere from 2%- 30% on your purchase with digital gift cards.

Google Tip 5)
Leave the item in your cart

Did you know that if you leave the item in your cart for a bit, the e-retailer most times send you an email offering an even lower price for you to complete the purchase. 

Google Tip 6). 
Get free shipping

If you can, try to avoid paying for shipping at all costs. Many large ecommerce chains give you the option of avoiding the shipping costs, whether by adding a filler item at a small cost or by signing up for membership to one of their clubs. Either way you win, and it saves you a lot in the long run.

With all these amazing tips above it's safe to say the future of online shopping is as bright as it will ever be. As it is right now some store actually sell more online than they do in store, the convenience of it all is just undeniable as well as the luxury of shopping at home. While the pleasures of shopping in stores will never actually loose it's zeal as for some it's quite therapeutic. The online shopping lifestyle is on the rise.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Must read and follow travel blogs

We don't know what you have been doing lately, but we have been basically stalking and obsessing over travelling. 

The greatest hobby of millennials and those in admiration of them, if you haven't been bit by the travel bug yet, you soon will be. Our obsession led us to several noted and absolutely stunning websites and blogs online that make you feel basically like your wasting your life away and should sell all your belongings and purchase a one way ticket all around the world. (If only it were that easy) 

So, we have decided to share these travelers and their blogs with you, and hopefully spread some inspiration. But, watch out now, you might get bit by the travel bug.

  • Suitcase Stories Blog - This dynamic couple has been travelling for more than 5 years at this point and is over 35 years plus. Remember that thing I mentioned above about quitting your day job and selling all your stuff and travelling the world....well, surprise these people actually had the balls to do it. And they have been winning ever since. On their website Suitcase Stories you can learn how you can do the same if you have a similar dream of travelling the world. And the bonus with this couple is they teach you how to do so in absolute luxury. 

  • A luxury Travel Blog - This guy and his team are killing the game. He has an amazing site as well called A Luxury Travel Blog that is simply dripping with the most luxurious travel information you could ever need. The owner Mr. Paul Johnson has the travel industry at his feet, as he and his team has been in it for quite some time and served them well with their insightful blogs and stunning photography and forthcoming reviews. With 25 years under his belt, he has proven to be quite the go to person in the luxury travel industry. This site has been featured everywhere worth reading since 2006. Chances are you already know about this site, but in the rare event that you don't, please we urge you to check it out. We promise it would be quite the helping hand, when planning your next luxurious getaway.

  • The Budget Savvy Travelers (Audrey and Harry) - What a eccentric and comedic couple. We absolute love the off kilter style of their website's blog posts. They bring you travel prospective in a fashion that has never been portrayed by other travelers. Quite a relate-able pair their site Budget Savvy Travelers is more targeted to the average traveler, looking for a good time in an affordable manner. Reading their adventures and receiving their advice is like having a travel buddy that you have known forever, which to us is quite enjoyable. They have only been on the road for 2 years now, but have a lot to show for it and a decent amount of advice riddled with inviting humor to share. Definitely, worth a binge reading session or 3....!

  • Independent Couple (Radoslav and Barbara Cajkovic) - A young, savvy and artistic pair, these 2 are yet another unique portrayal of the world, from the eyes of millennial minded, independent thinkers. Showing a deeper look into the experience of travelling the world, along with a more in-depth look into each culture they interact with. If you are looking for more than just helpful travel advice and would like also a more soulful approach to the diversity of cultures that encompass the world these young people will take you their through their own individual eyes in a thought provoking way. Their site The Independent Couple.

  • The Nomadic Tribes - This couple brings to the table with or without intention (a more romantic vibe) sprinkled with the I've known you forever and still love the crap out of you kind of love that we all secretly admire. They are professionals at the travel and writing game, but to be quite honest we just love them for the flair of romance they bring. Their site The Nomadic Tribes brings to the table quite a bit of adventure to our delight. Give them a read if only to be transported by their captivating literature while on their travel journeys.

Now we will stop here for the moment, but, there are many more to be added on. We don't want to shove it all down your throat at once. So, go have a long gander at the above suggested sites and be sure to come back to see who we have added to the list.


Sunday, 15 May 2016

St. Kitts Music Festival 2016

What will you be doing on the 23rd to the 25th of June..... well if your calendar is not free you will be missing out on a fabulous show in St.Kitts. 

Yes, the St. Kitts music festival will be on this June, and it promises to be one that you do not want to miss. 

You will not believe the line up, 50 cents, Damien Marley, the OJay's, Morgan Heritage, Taurus Riley, Leroy Sibbles, Crucial Bankie, Marcia Griffiths, Dexter Daps, El Mayor Clasico, The Original Bouyon Pioneers, Kes the Band, Nu vybz, LAX, Shanna, KJah, Maleek, Rodney, Mod Stoney and more.....

Location: Warner Park, Basseterre, St. Kitts. it's the 20th year anniversary celebration. Tickets are not yet available, however, if you are really interested you can contact the Festivals Secretariat Office at Port Zante for more information.

(tel: 869 465 1999 or email:

Come and celebrate the 20th anniversary celebration with this beautiful island. The various Beach Parties, Cultural Events and Boat Rides surrounding the festival make it even more enjoyable and alluring. 

When the festival is over however, the magic doesn't end as the beauty that is St. Kitts is the gift that keeps on giving. Visitors and locals are encouraged to stay and enjoy tours of the island and all it has to offer.

This festival has an alluring quality about it that proves, flying to St. Kitts is easy, convincing yourself to leave the majestic island is hard.

Let us know if you have ever attended and what was your favourite part in the comments...

Shop for beach wear and more for your trip to the islands: Click on the images for more.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

The Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba

Lights! Camera! Action!..... Coming this September is the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival in Aruba and it promises to be a big one.

The official days of the festival are September 23rd and 24th. This year's performance will be done by Kool and the Gang, Tony Succar, Dumpstaphunk, New cool collective featuring Matt Bianco, Unity, Ben Liebrand, and Izaline Calister. 

Ticket are currently on sale as early bird tickets and will last unti lthe 30th of June afer which the price may go up.

The Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival 10 edition will be held at the Renaissance Market Place. Besides the amazing musical line up, we urge you to attend this festival also for the mouth watering Aruba cuisine, along with art and cultural festival before, during and after the event. 

The perfect ambiance to unwind and just relax and enjoy some great Caribbean vibes.

To keep up to date with the festival and the timetable of the event. Check out the official site Aruba Jazz.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Best travel gear on the market (Top 20)

Want to know what are some of the best travel gear on the market. Keep reading below and find out. For more in-depth information on the products shown, click on them!

So, if you travel a lot and don't own at least 3 of the items listed below. We honestly don't know how you get through it. We have referenced the best, and the most experienced travelers to help the up and coming budding travel enthusiasts be much better prepared for every scenario in the most efficient way with the list above. 

From the fold-able hangers, to the mosquito prevention hand bands, to the passport and ticket holder, the portable steamer, the wrinkle release downy spray, universal charger port, the product and shower organizer, the Burt Bee's travel kit, the travel journal, the disposable urinal, the electronics travel pouch, inflatable travel pillows, blow up foot rest for kids, the travel pods plus the delicious travel sweets.

These are definitely (unanimously voted) as the top must have travel products.

And we won't bore you with too much chatter about them, simply click on the product for all the info you will need.

You're welcome,