I am the first one to admit that Paul’s 25 pound weight loss the first 6 months we were here in 2008 was primarily due to my cooking.  (Secondarily, it was caused by no more drug rep lunches, not eating Mexican food every weekend and the lack of easy availability to all things tasty in America.)

However, we have both realized recently that we have put on a few pounds.  Thanks to 2 weeks in Kenya with 6 meals a day followed by 8 weeks of guests, meaning me cooking yummy dinners every night including dessert. I have also figured a few things out in the last 3 years…where to buy meat, the best kind of cheese in Addis, how to make cheese sauce, perfected my high-altitude cookie recipe and at least once a week I make Paul’s favorite meal, pesto pasta.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes right now:

Christmas Morning Pancakes (easy enough for any weekend morning)

Mix together dry ingredients:

2 cup flour

2 T sugar

4 t baking powder

½ t salt


2 eggs

2 cup milk

1 T oil

Add wet to dry ingredients and stir.

I make this recipe at least once a week, of course, I am in a place where bisquick costs about 8 dollars for a small box.  I am curious to see if these still turn out in a low altitude place?  Let me know.

The other recipe that I make once a week is the 5 minute a day Artisan bread.  When I first moved to Ethiopia I was very afraid of making bread.  It never turned out the same and I am a wimp when it comes to kneading dough.  Then I was blessed to receive help from Etagainu who now makes sandwich bread once a week and usually pizza once a week too.  But dinner rolls are still nice every now and then and for that I love this recipe.  You can find the recipe online, but it is basically just warm water, yeast and salt and then flour of any type.  You don’t have to knead it and it is fail proof.  You stir it up, let it rise and then stick it in the fridge.  Then any time you want fresh hot bread you take some out and shape it, let it rise and bake it.  It is so yummy every time!  You can even do cinnamon rolls, pizza or our favorite, calzone!

And because you need something to go with that fresh bread, here is my favorite beef marinade:

You can mix this up and throw it in the crock pot or pressure cooker (or since you Americans can buy tender beef, you could get away with only cooking it for an hour in the oven.  Our beef is so tough I either cook mine for 4 hours in the oven on low or in the pressure cooker, slow cooker would work too).

Beef Marinade

Marinade meat for around an hour in:

¼ C oil

½ C soy sauce

1/3 C red wine vinegar

¼ C lemon juice

3 T worcestershire sauce

1 T black pepper

2 T dijon mustard

1 chopped onion

2 cloves pressed or slivered garlic (pampered chef garlic slicer is the best for garlic, chocolate shavings, almond slivers…if you need a Pampered Chef seller let me know!)

Serve with mashed potatoes since it makes a great gravy and don’t forget something green!

And just in case you were wondering, my favorite cookie recipe is the classic Nestle Tollhouse!  I am still trying to master the make ahead brownie mix, so if anyone has a favorite that you can do the dry ingredients ahead of time, I would love to try it at our altitude!