Is love a crime?

Two days ago my nephew Noah called the police for me. For me! His aunt. I was shocked. Mind you, he is four years old and the phone he used was literally a handheld one…he was dialing on his hand. He was very polite as he asked the police officer to come to his home right away. He then informed me that I was going to jail. My crime? Telling him I loved him too many times.

He warned me. He did. He said “Say you love me one more time and I will call the police.” So, I called his bluff, looked him in the eye and slowly said, “I love you!” That was it! He immediately dialed his palm and got on to the imaginary air police and was told that one imaginary officer was on their way. But it got me to thinking, how fortunate is he? To know that he is so well and truly loved that he can put limits on the number of times he is told he is loved, or limit the number of hugs he will receive on a daily basis. Secure in the knowledge that at any time, he can call or video chat any member of his family and know that he will see a smiling face, patiently listening while he reads his book about the lion and the mouse for the fifteenth time. Or listen in awe of how he ran so fast down the road. Or how many dinosaurs he saw last night.

I wondered, does he even realize just how loved he is? Is it just one of those things that is taken for granted? Like knowing that you will take in oxygen the next time you inhale? It also got me to thinking, when do we realize that not everyone around us loves us and, why we feel so sad and lonely at this realization. We want to have everyone love us, listen to our stories, marvel at the perfectly ordinary things that we do, and we are saddened when we think or imagine that everyone on this planet is NOT our number one fan.

Ahhhh….but what about the many, many people that do love us? Whether they tell us twenty times a day or they show us how much they care by doing such simple things. Bringing a drink for you because you are wrapped up in a movie on TV and didn’t even realize you would have loved a drink. Covering your shoulder at night with the blanket. Making a simple sandwich. As we grow up, not many of us are told constantly that we are loved, but many of us are loved, by a great many people. We just need to take the time to realize that the glass of water that was given to you when you didn’t even realize you were thirsty was, an act of love.

I pray that Noah always feels that love and always is secure in the knowledge that he is so greatly loved. Bake good and lovely choices all!

xo, Lisa

How can a Trinidadian not like pepper?

Yup, it’s true. I do NOT like pepper. Actually more to the point, I cannot handle pepper. It gives me heartburn and terrible tummy cramps. I am talking hot sauce or pepper sauce as we refer to it in Trinidad. The really ironic part? I make it. Even more ironic-er is that my husband consumes it like it is gravy or ketchup. Bearing in mind he is Finnish and has only come to know the sauce in recent years, he went from eating tabasco and thinking that that is super hot, to eating Scorpion peppers from Trinidad.

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper are reputed to be one of the hottest peppers on the planet. We actually held the world record for a while there, weighing in at a whopping 1.2 million Scoville heat units. Which is all to say, it’s freaking hot!

Some of the peppers ready to be transformed into pepper sauce

Back to the sauce, simple enough to make and depending on how many peppers you use will decide how “hot” the condiment turns out to be. To be honest there is no real recipe for this (at least for me) its a glug of this, a dash of that. A pour of sugar and as many peppers as you like or as can fit into the blender. The ingredients are essentially oil, sugar, white vinegar, salt, mustard (preferably yellow or sweet yellow) and of course the peppers πŸ™‚

This of course tends to go well with the aforementioned doubles πŸ™‚ But if you are anything like my husband it pretty much goes on anything except probably cereal! There are the standard comment I get at work when I say that I cannot eat anything spicy is always “But you are a Trinidadian!” Well, half anyway, but still I want to like it I do, I make the thing for goodness sake! But I simply cannot handle it and do not fully appreciate the joy of the burning sensation in the mouth, the runny nose and the watering eyes. The looking for something to cool off your tongue as it feels like it on fire. Sorry, I miss it, but I so don’t miss it.

Bake good choices today folks!

xo, Lisa

Can you have a single Doubles?

Before you say yes, ask yourself…”Have I ever had a really good doubles?” Of course, this may be the second question you ask yourself. The first one for many a non Caribbean person, the first question may well be, “what on earth is (or are) a doubles?”

Well, remembering this is only my blog and not an official site for national treasures, a doubles is a food that many a Trinidadian consider a staple. There are some Trinis that do not like doubles (GASP) and cannot see what the rave is about, but for those of us that do enjoy the delicacy, doubles is a must.

So, to get to the point, and according to a Google translation, “doubles is a common street food originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Doubles are made with two baras and filled with curried channa and various chutneys.” A bara is a deep fried dough resembling a flat bread, think pita but hand-sized. The channa filling is well-spiced curried chick-peas.


Doubles made by my awesome sister, Danielle!

Below is the recipe for the bara (the flat-bread deep fried dough).

Recipe from Chef Brigette Joseph @chefbrigetterj


2 cups of flour

Β½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

ΒΌ tsp tumeric

1 tsp yeast

2 tsp light or dark brown sugar

lukewarm water

oil for frying


Mix flour, baking powder, salt and tumeric together in a medium sized bowl with a fork to ensure that the tumeric is combined throughout.

Add brown sugar and yeast to mixture and mix further.

Add water to the flour mixture in steps to ensure that you don’t add too much and make the dough too wet. Add just enough to combine the flour and using your hand to bring the dough together.

The dough will look a bit shaggy, but at this point you can add a drop of water to bring it all together and knead for about 5 minutes til it makes a nice ball. The dough will have a very light yellow hue at this point, do not worry, it will get more yellow as it rests.

Place dough ball at the bottom of a bowl (you can use the same mixing bowl) and cover with oil.

Cover bowl with a towel and let rise for about an hour. While dough is rising, prepare container lined with paper towels and a dish towel to hold your fried bara and place the container next to the stove.

To Fry:

After the dough has risen to about double in size, pinch off pieces of dough about the size of a ping-pong ball and place the small balls on a greased tray to wait for shaping and frying. 

Pour vegetable oil into a deep pot to fry bara, about 2 inches deep as you don’t need much for frying.

Rub some oil on a flat surface (preferably close to the pot with the oil) that has been cleaned and sanitized.

Place a dough ball on the greased counter-top and using your fingertips, flatten into a circular disc until very thin. It will be very sticky, so use oil to grease your fingertips. You can flatten a couple of these while your oil heats up as it fried very quickly.

Place bara dough with two hands into the oil very carefully.

2 SECONDS LATER using a pair of tongs, flip bara in oil for an additional ONE SECOND and remove from oil quickly (but carefully).

Place in the draining bowl and cover with a dish towel. Repeat until all balls of dough are fried.

Makes 20-22 palm-sized bara

If you cannot get the true, authentic version right now, then making them is a must. You will thank me for it. Bake good choices folks!

xo, Lisa


Ha ha! For those of us not quite fluent in Finnish, korvapuusti are Finnish pastries. The translation is “slapped ears”. Don’t ask…all I know that I absolutely love these beauties. I have them every time I am in Finland and on occasion I actually bake them! (oooooooohh, aaaaaaahhh)

These are similar in taste (to me) to a cinnamon bun, if a cinnamon bun sprayed itself with with cardamom perfume πŸ™‚ Cardamom is not an ingredient I had used previously, or even heard of if I am truthful. But, when getting recipes (and eating treats) from my aunt in-law, this seems to be an ingredient used in a lot of Finnish baking. It is a spice that has an almost licorice taste to me. Google says that it has a complex aroma with a piney, fruity and almost menthol-like flavor. Just a little is needed as it can overpower if used in large quantities.

Recipe from the Spruce Eats is a really good one. This one is in English as the aunt’s is in Finnish πŸ™‚

Now, mind you the korvapuusti traditionally does NOT have the above cinnamon bun shape. They have a more triangular shape. Mine look more like cinnamon rolls. But they sure did taste good, no matter the shape. I baked one good choice here let me tell you πŸ™‚

xo, Lisa

What started this love affair?

Today I was sending a message to my friend who I had not heard from in a super long time and I was getting her up to speed on what I had been doing since last we met. Funny thing is, as I mentioned when I started baking it took me back to the exact date and how this love affair with baking all started.

I had taken temporary leave from my job and I was (as expected and predicted) pretty bored. I had begun researching and cooking recipes I found online, on cooking shows, in books…you name it I tried to cook it. Then one day I was in the grocery store and I saw these cookie cutters. There were hanging near to the flours and chocolate chips in the baking aisle and my mom thought they were cute and bought them for me. Maybe I could do some sugar cookies, she thought. I bought icing in a tube and thought no more of it.

Wilton Icing

That night, I looked at the recipe on Google and went with that. Baked and decorated my first batch of Christmas cookies. Let me tell you…..I was SOOOOOO proud of my cookies! Nobody had better, they were simply too cute to eat. I could not believe that I had created edible art. It was a masterpiece you could eat! Mind you, they looked incredibly amateurish and for sure this was someone’s first time every touching a baking sheet and dough. But man! I was intensely proud. I immediately took a picture and sent it to my sister.

The cookies that started it all…

This was at the end of November 2016. By Christmas, thanks to my sister and her amazing social media and people skills, I had a full on cookie operation going. Orders that kept me up till the wee hours of the morning. To ‘relax’ I used to bake cakes πŸ™‚ I used to scoff when I heard people use that tired, over-used phrase “passionate about baking”. But I am telling you after that wake up, eye opening, ahhhhhhhh moment, I was hooked. I cannot get enough of baking. I would wake up and immediately think of what I was going to bake today. My family obviously are my guinea pigs, and most times my harshest critics.

My husband, bless him, puts on at least 2 kilos when we are on vacation. It is his duty and responsibility to consume full-sized cakes, numerous pastries and countless cookies. I really have to learn how to halve recipes if for nothing else but his waistline! Good thing he loves to go to the gym:) Baking Good Choices has evolved over time, I actually started as Yummy Crumbles and have changed over the years. I long to be back in the kitchen baking away. It is totally my Zen place and where I find peace and utter joy. I wish you all a bakealicious day and continue to bake good choices!

xo, Lisa

Let’s talk cookies!

Yes! Finally, let’s talk about some baking πŸ™‚ A good if not excellent choice always when it comes to baking is cookies! From sugar cookies to chocolate chip. Chocolate or peanut butter crunch. Complex or simple, cookies are simply always a good choice when it comes to baking. Whether you have them with milk, coffee, water or wine, a cookie always seems to hit the spot.

In some countries cookies tend to be known as biscuits, I use both terminologies, but I guess, a chocolate chip biscuit just does not have the same “ring” you know? But anyway, I tend to scour the internet for the recipe. The one, that will yield the magical OMG moment when you take the first bite. Depending on what you are looking for in a cookie could determine what type of recipe and method you would prefer. For example, when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, there is a plethora of opinions on that topic. Chewy, soft, crunchy, gooey? Loads of chips or just a hint? Large or mini? With a sprinkling of salt or none? Chocolate chunks or just chips? Personally, it depends on my mood I suppose. I generally like, crunchy on the outside with kind of soft, chewy, gooey goodness at the centre.

There are some very good recipes out there and I think I still stop scrolling whenever I see yet another recipe pop up on my feed, but there are some go-to ones that I depend on as they are tried and true and come from bakers I admire and trust. There is Tessa Arias from Handle the Heat. Her Bakery Style Chocolate Chip cookies are out of this world and I love that she pairs simply great recipes with the science of baking. So I know WHY I am adding baking powder and not baking soda. Why you should chill your dough overnight, even though I want cookies RIGHT NOW!

My attempt at Tessa’s Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another type of cookie I love is the simple roll out cookie. These are what plays a major part of my life. I love to decorate cookies and for a while I made and sold decorated cookies (that’s another story for another day). But another well known cookier that do not spread is Georganne Bell or To me, it is very important especially when doing cookie shapes that they remain the shape I cut them, so it is recognizable as well as gives an amazing decorated cookie. She has two recipes that are also keepers for me. The one linked below is a vanilla and there is another is chocolate….OBVS!

Vanilla 2.0 cookie –

Amber Spiegel from has an amazing royal icing recipe as well as her vanilla cookie. There are sooo many recipes out there and obviously you can’t try all. I mean it would be a lovely experiment but not very practical I think πŸ™‚ Let’s not even get started on cakes and pastries. The world of baking is just so infinitely large that even if you just sample a small bite, it will make your day that much sweeter. Find your recipe and bake good choices today and always!

xo, Lisa

Love is in the air

Or at sea, or across lots and lots of miles of land and ocean. Happy Valentine’s day to you. Today is a day all about love, hearts, chocolates and flowers. I am not able to be with my loved ones except via social media at this time, and I am guessing some if not most of people are in the same boat. This has been a strange year, continuing from the last one, but it gives us all a chance to reflect on many things. And today I choose to reflect on one of the greatest loves of my life.

I miss my mother. It’s been almost a year since last I was at home and a lot has changed in that year. But the one constant has been my mummy. I do miss her so very much. It’s amazing how much our relationship has changed over the years. I remember being a rebellious teenager and I don’t know when the dynamic changed to her being my best friend. When I am at home, we do everything together. One of our favorite pastimes is going to the grocery. May sound very weird to most people, but we love it. We even have the groceries mapped out and what we get in each. She is the most amazing and genuine woman I have ever known and everyday I try to be just a little more like her. Her love and kindness. Her belief that there is good in everyone, even if you have to dig a little deeper to find it in some more than others. Her deepest wish for her family is that we all find peace with each other.

She possesses a kind of innocence that I love. It’s almost child-like. When I chat with her there is ALWAYS a smile on her face, it’s like just me talking to her makes her so happy. It makes my heart full. I truly, truly love that woman with a depth and breadth that I cannot describe. Although I will never have the joy of knowing what it is like to be a mother, I can only hope and pray that I may be as loving and as amazingly beautiful a person as my one and only. My mother.

Happy Valentine’s day Mummy, I love you more than you know.

xo, Lisa

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on

Waffling is a verb

I love me some waffles. Sometimes onboard we do a show of appreciation for the crew members and we make waffles. There are different toppings of course. Ice creams, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, nuts, caramel.

I love mine plain. Hot, a little more brown than others like. Looks like it spent too much time on the beach under the noon sun. Juuust this side of crispy. Yummers!

I sometimes have a waffle and pancake morning when I am at home. Blueberries are the fave add in although, bananas come in a close second. And trust me, even cold pancakes and waffles make an excellent walking around snack.

Not a pro by any means, and I don’t really have a family held secret recipe (although I am working on one). I do love me some waffles. No waffling about on that one.

xo, Lisa

My blueberry waffles

You’ve got that baking feeling.

So, I am still not able to go home. Sounds strange? Well, due to the ongoing, everchanging nature of the pandemic my home country still has not opened the borders. Which mean I am still not able to go home.

In the beginning I didn’t look at this in a positive light as I was thinking of all the things that I could be doing if I was home. But now, I choose to look at it as all the things I am doing now that I would not do if I was home.

Gigabytes of pictures of sunsets. Trying to find an interesting angle on a coffee cup that will make an excellent picture. Reading books, learning to knit and bullet journaling.

But I have to say the one thing I do miss about being home, besides being home is baking. That, I can’t do where I am. So, instead I scour the internet for recipes and save videos and make promises to myself that that will be the first thing I create when I get home.

I am content to some degree as I have realised no amount of shaking my fists at the sky will change things. I continue to find recipes and cookie decorating techniques and videos and hopefully one day soon I will be home, baking good choices.

xo, Lisa

Sunset from the deck just outside of Barbados

What makes you truly happy?

If you are reading this, your answer may very well be the same as mine. We could even shout it out together (if we were in the same room).. BAKING!

Yup, baking. It is amazing how many emotions that one simple word evokes. Pictures of warm, delicious goodness coming straight from the oven. You can picture the steam rising off a loaf of freshly baked bread. The joy of seeing your cinnamon rolls, hot and full of cinnamony gooey-ness. I know, I know the joy of waiting to see the finished cookies at 2 am. Seeing that perfect chocolate chip cookie and cannot believe that you, simple amateur baker, you made this work of art!

I have been writing and pinning so many recipes for when I eventually go home that I don’t even know where to start anymore. There are recipes for cookies, muffins, breads, pizzas. The list just goes on and on. But I am so excited. I ordered all these cookie cutters and sadly, I was not home for Christmas to use them, but hey there is always next year, and who says, you cannot have gingerbread people in April?

There are loads of things, hobbies, people that make me happy. But baking truly is an activity that creates this feeling of sublime peace. My Zen, my go to place when I am upset or just need to release stress. It is where I can create, combine and come up with something that may not be perfect but something that I am perfectly happy with. Baking is a science, we know that, but baking is also a passion. I realized that you cannot have one without the other in order to create truly great bakes. I follow awesome people like Tessa Arias from Handle The Heat, Gemma Stafford from Bigger, Bolder Baking and so many more. I learn different techniques, hack and so much more from all of them. I am pretty far off from being anything close to resembling a professional, but I have the passion and that, is a happy start.

xo, Lisa