Taste the Islands: Lukka Kairi Restaurant Review

It’s no secret that The Bahamas has great cuisine, with amazing staff. And I don't doubt that for a bit. I have been dining in some of Nassau’s best eateries for many years now, and I must say it's quite an experience. Many of these restaurants have been around for years, while some come and go. And for those of you searching for a culinary experience like no other, look no further than Lukka Kairi.

Nestled amid the nightclubs and busy shops on the main street of Nassau, the interior will remind visitors of an authentic historical tropical paradise. I fell in love with the painted steps leading up to the restaurant that reveals of dramatic portrait of an Arawak. At the landing is an impressive tank filled with live conch and lobsters. The seating is spacious with all wooden furniture and flooring and a beautiful view overlooking the wharf. The decor allows the simplistic beauty of the food to really shine, though beauty isn’t the only thing bringing folks to Lukka Kairi. The restaurant buzzed with excited energy despite pretty empty until we were ready to leave when it began to fill with seemingly satisfied patrons.


I went with a friend of mine, looking for a Sunday brunch. We were disappointed to find that they do not serve brunch but decided to stay for the lunch menu, even after the waiter explained to us that portion sizes were meant more as appetizers than full meals. He explained that Lukka Kairi means "People of the Islands". Well sir, people of this island like food and lots of it for a reasonable price. This is something I would suggest they work on. Pretty food shouldn’t only come in small quantities, especially for the price. But I can appreciate that local farmers and fisherman supply fresh seafood and dining items for the restaurant. I originally wanted the spiny lobster roll, but when they told me the goat pepper was a part of the mix, I had to rethink my options. We started with a fruit cocktail drink (whose name I cannot remember) because everything else was essentially straight rum and it was only 11:30 in the morning. I settled on the ‘New Nassau Conch Chowder’ while my friend ordered a traditional conch salad. The waiter was correct, there was no way we could have shared orders, so we ordered the freshly baked bread with whipped honey butter. I was absolutely blown away by the presentation of these dishes and that alone is what I will come back for. Then I tasted it! Both of these meals were so delicious I wanted to lick the Mason jar my soup was served in. The whipped honey butter was so light, I felt like I was actually eating healthy and even the plantain chips that came with my friends’ conch salad was the best I ever had! The servings were bit pricey for the portion size, but it was well worth it.

 

Though I would love to be selfish and keep Lukka Kairi all to myself, the work of Executive Chefs Alpheus Ramsey and Monica Hutchinson is so good everyone already knows about it. There’s no doubt a table at Lukka Kairi will quickly become the hottest reservation in town. You could book a reservation for large crowds, but walk ins are always welcome and preferred.

*I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review. This is purely my opinion*

 

My Top 15 Posts of 2015

Hey Friends!

I'm so excited to close out this year! Not because this year sucked, no far from it! I had a great year! Of course there were some ups and downs, but the ups definitely exceeded the downs! I finally made it to one year in a relationship, I finally spent Christmas with him, things changed for the better on my job (notice I don't complain as much any more), I reunited with friends I thought I'd never speak to again, went kayaking, toured the seas on a pirate ship, tried The Cheesecake Factory for the first time, found out I'm expecting a goddaughter in February (my birth month), and so much more, but most importantly, I'm ending the year with a much stronger faith than what I started the year with.

I learned so much this year and I'm so happy that I was able to share it with you guys. You've become more than just my readers, you're also my friends. Over the course of the year I've met so many people who were like, "Hey I know you!" I had no idea my words reached so many of you and for that I am truly humbled. So to welcome the New Year and officially close out 2015, I have compiled (in chronological order from most recent to oldest) a list of my Top 15 Posts of 2015:

  1. Getting Vulnerable with Kamillah
I had the honour of meeting a great Bahamian artist while she was in town for a concert. Her name is Kamilah. She has such a gentle spirit but a powerhouse voice! I was completely blown away not only by her singing, but her playing. She has performed in the Apollo and now lives in New York as she chases her dreams. It's time to get vulnerable with Kamilah.

I had the honour of meeting a great Bahamian artist while she was in town for a concert. Her name is Kamilah. She has such a gentle spirit but a powerhouse voice! I was completely blown away not only by her singing, but her playing. She has performed in the Apollo and now lives in New York as she chases her dreams. It's time to get vulnerable with Kamilah.

 

2. Travel Diaries: Abaco

On Friday November 6, I travelled to Treasure Cay Abaco for the first time, with the expectancy to return on Monday November 9, but I actually returned on Sunday, one day earlier. It was actually my first time taking a domestic flight. I've been to other family islands before like Harbour Island and Andros, but I always took the boat to get there. I went with one of my good friends Catina, to shoot a wedding for a client. 

On Friday November 6, I travelled to Treasure Cay Abaco for the first time, with the expectancy to return on Monday November 9, but I actually returned on Sunday, one day earlier. It was actually my first time taking a domestic flight. I've been to other family islands before like Harbour Island and Andros, but I always took the boat to get there. I went with one of my good friends Catina, to shoot a wedding for a client. 

3. DIY Nautical Themed Wedding

I had the privilege of shooting Cameron & Tanishka Parker's wedding in Abaco on 7th November. I loved how they took charge of their own day and had fun with it. They came up with a lot of their poses in the spirit of the moment and brought a lot of energy. I saw genuine happiness in both of them, wish them nothing but the best going forward and thank them for allowing me to be a part of something so amazing! Out of respect for privacy this is not all of the photos but just a little bit of their love!

I had the privilege of shooting Cameron & Tanishka Parker's wedding in Abaco on 7th November. I loved how they took charge of their own day and had fun with it. They came up with a lot of their poses in the spirit of the moment and brought a lot of energy. I saw genuine happiness in both of them, wish them nothing but the best going forward and thank them for allowing me to be a part of something so amazing! Out of respect for privacy this is not all of the photos but just a little bit of their love!

4. 8 Irresistible Donuts to Kick Off Your Weekend

I'm positive that I'm about to be every girl on a diet's worst nightmare with this post, but I just couldn't help myself. I sincerely love doughnuts. Like LOOOOOOOOOOOVE doughnuts. My inner fat kid does a cartwheel anytime I see a doughnut or even hear the word doughnut. Well it tries but fails to complete the cartwheel, but even though my inner fat kid knows she can't do a cartwheel she still tries because that's how excited doughnuts make me!

I'm positive that I'm about to be every girl on a diet's worst nightmare with this post, but I just couldn't help myself. I sincerely love doughnuts. Like LOOOOOOOOOOOVE doughnuts. My inner fat kid does a cartwheel anytime I see a doughnut or even hear the word doughnut. Well it tries but fails to complete the cartwheel, but even though my inner fat kid knows she can't do a cartwheel she still tries because that's how excited doughnuts make me!

5. Seafood Margarita Alfredo

What I love about this meal is that not only is it a one-pot meal, but it was ready in less than 10 minutes and cost less than $10 to make! Now that's economical! Last week, I bought a bag of something called seafood combination for only $5.67 (yes I remember the price) and it did not disappoint! With real pieces of shrimp, octopus and mussels, this was worth every penny! Knorrs pasta sides are $1.89 here and tomatoes really aren't costly. While I didn't have any Basil, I did have the broad Thyme leaves that one of the teachers gave me. I toasted some bread, sprinkled it with garlic and had a delicious 5 star meal all to myself! 

What I love about this meal is that not only is it a one-pot meal, but it was ready in less than 10 minutes and cost less than $10 to make! Now that's economical! Last week, I bought a bag of something called seafood combination for only $5.67 (yes I remember the price) and it did not disappoint! With real pieces of shrimp, octopus and mussels, this was worth every penny! Knorrs pasta sides are $1.89 here and tomatoes really aren't costly. While I didn't have any Basil, I did have the broad Thyme leaves that one of the teachers gave me. I toasted some bread, sprinkled it with garlic and had a delicious 5 star meal all to myself! 

6. Summer-to-Fall Essentials that Looks Good on Everyone

Although summer fashion shows are now coming to an end, signaling the impending chill of fall, don't rush to ditch your summer duds just yet. I'm gonna show you how to transition some of your Summer Essentials into Fall Classics, while avoiding the seasonal mall rush!

Although summer fashion shows are now coming to an end, signaling the impending chill of fall, don't rush to ditch your summer duds just yet. I'm gonna show you how to transition some of your Summer Essentials into Fall Classics, while avoiding the seasonal mall rush!

7. DIY Catnip Toy

A really simple crap project that takes only 20 minutes and then you can spoil your cat rotten!  How do you treat your pets? 

A really simple crap project that takes only 20 minutes and then you can spoil your cat rotten! How do you treat your pets? 

8. Power Woman: Ria Georgina

The Bahamian Icon Awards may be over, but hype hasn't died yet! If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!  Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! I have the pleasure of calling her a friend so scoring this interview wasn't difficult but it was still a privilege to be able to sit down with her and talk about her and her brand! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

The Bahamian Icon Awards may be over, but hype hasn't died yet! If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!

Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! I have the pleasure of calling her a friend so scoring this interview wasn't difficult but it was still a privilege to be able to sit down with her and talk about her and her brand! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

9. 10 Things You Can Do When You're Having a Bad Day

I promise these aren't personal confessions (okay maybe they are) but I know what it's like to just be having a bad day. And as much as we may want to exact our revenge on that theif, or annoying co-worker or the person that didn't hire us, sometimes there really is nothing we can do about it. But even if we can't change our situation, we can change how we react to it. Here are some sweet suggestions for improving your mood a little.

I promise these aren't personal confessions (okay maybe they are) but I know what it's like to just be having a bad day. And as much as we may want to exact our revenge on that theif, or annoying co-worker or the person that didn't hire us, sometimes there really is nothing we can do about it. But even if we can't change our situation, we can change how we react to it. Here are some sweet suggestions for improving your mood a little.

10. The 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards

It was a night of Glitz & Glamour filled with celebrities and selfies, oh my!  f you missed the 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards on Saturday July 11, don't worry. I'm about to fill you in on everything you need to know about what went down!  

It was a night of Glitz & Glamour filled with celebrities and selfies, oh my!

f you missed the 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards on Saturday July 11, don't worry. I'm about to fill you in on everything you need to know about what went down!  

11. DIY Body Wash with Honey + Coconut Milk

It's about to be a new year, which means a new and clean start! And what better way to get a new and clean start than to make your own body wash? Made with Three Simple Ingredients...

It's about to be a new year, which means a new and clean start! And what better way to get a new and clean start than to make your own body wash? Made with Three Simple Ingredients...

12. How to Unplug & Let Go

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest person when it comes to letting go of grudges (when I'm angry at someone, it takes awhile for me to forgive and move on). But even I understand that this is not healthy. Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings and everything that happens around us, we lose sight of what's really important. When that starts to happen, it's good to just unplug and let go.

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest person when it comes to letting go of grudges (when I'm angry at someone, it takes awhile for me to forgive and move on). But even I understand that this is not healthy. Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings and everything that happens around us, we lose sight of what's really important. When that starts to happen, it's good to just unplug and let go.

13. Funfetti Waffles with Whipped Lemon Yoghurt Topping and Fresh Berries

I served this on a breakfast tray with Lemon Sweet Tea to my mum in bed while singing Happy Mother's Day to you in the Birthday Song tune. I even added, "Happy Mother's Day to the best mother in the world, but I'm sorry you're not better than bammy [my grandmother] but I love you anyway". She laughed because deep down she knows it's true. My grandmother is my favourite woman on the planet. She lives in Tampa so her present is in the mail. If someone you love lives nearby you, make these waffles for them to show them how much you care.

I served this on a breakfast tray with Lemon Sweet Tea to my mum in bed while singing Happy Mother's Day to you in the Birthday Song tune. I even added, "Happy Mother's Day to the best mother in the world, but I'm sorry you're not better than bammy [my grandmother] but I love you anyway". She laughed because deep down she knows it's true. My grandmother is my favourite woman on the planet. She lives in Tampa so her present is in the mail. If someone you love lives nearby you, make these waffles for them to show them how much you care.

14. Vegan Spinach + Mushroom Grilled Cheese

Can you believe that grilled cheese is so awesome, it gets its own month?! But even better, than a traditional girlled cheese, I added a cool, filling twist. Trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!

Can you believe that grilled cheese is so awesome, it gets its own month?! But even better, than a traditional girlled cheese, I added a cool, filling twist. Trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!

15. DIY Black Crop Top Without a Pattern

I can't stress out easy this tutorial is. This is roughly a 30 minute project. So turn off your phones and TV and buckle down with this quick and easy project to create your own trendy piece of fashion!

I can't stress out easy this tutorial is. This is roughly a 30 minute project. So turn off your phones and TV and buckle down with this quick and easy project to create your own trendy piece of fashion!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

See you in 2016!

Strawberry Cocoa Smoothie

I am so bloated after that trip! I can't say that I will immediately begin a weight loss regime, but I will start with simple cut backs, or at least healthier substitutions for how I've been eating these past five days. Do you guys ever pig out on your vacation or are you so disciplined that it doesn't even matter? I'm the kind of gal that pigs out just because the phone is ringing too much! Is that bad? I'm sure I'm not alone on this. So to satisfy my urge to consume in a much healthier manner, I made this smoothie to go with breakfast this morning. To be honest, I ended up drinking it more as a pre-breakfast snack. It was so good, I couldn't put it down! I adapted this recipe from my Smoothie Bible and I think you'll like it too. I added more cocoa than it originally asked for. The entire time, I kept singing in my head, "I'm in love with the coco". It was only this past week that I discovered 'coco' is not 'cocoa' as in 'cocoa powder' like hot chocolate.

Strawberry Cocoa Smoothie

Serves 1

Don't skimp on the cocoa powder. It enhances the flavour for a smooth flavour that bursts in your mouth. You'll be licking the cup when you're done!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup strawberries

  • 1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt

  • 1/2 packet Swiss Miss Cocoa Mix

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 3 ice cubes


Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Should be enough to fill a 12 oz. cup.

Eggnog Cookies

We wish you a Merry Christmas;

We wish you a Merry Christmas;

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Good tidings we bring to you and your king;

Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer!

 

It's that time of year again! Time for my annual Christmas Cookie Recipe!

But first, two things: What exactly is figgy pudding? And secondly, I have had a cup of good cheer today (whipped Pinnacle with cream).I hope you all had a great Christmas this year! I spent the day with three different families: My mums family, my dad's people and family, and my wonderful godchild!

 

And you know what goes great with a cup of good cheer?

Eggnog Cookies!

 

That's right!And it really tastes like eggnog too!That's because it actually has eggnog in it!I had so much fun making these (and wearing my new apron)!

 

And the cookies were a hit with my family.My nine year old cousin ate three within a six minute car ride.They are soft but not too soft, and kinda melt-in-your-mouth.These are also somewhat low fat in that I didn't use butter. I partially used margarine and substituted the rest with applesauce (a little tip I learned from Cook Yourself Thin). The applesauce makes it just a little bit chewy.They're so good I think I'll have one more with a cup of eggnog before I hit the hay.I know I know, let me stop talking and just get to the recipe already!

Merry Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza everyone!

Eggnog Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: About 24 cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, plus more for topping

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup plain, natural applesauce

1/2 cup margarine, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp rum (you won't even taste it or feel the boozy effects)

1/2 cup eggnog

 

Frosting

1/2 cup margarine, at room temperature (Or 1/4 cup margarine and 1/4 cup apple sauce)

3 - 5 Tbsp eggnog

1/2 tsp rum extract

3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon for 30 seconds, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, blending just until combined after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract, rum and egg nog.

With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Scoop dough out by the heaping tablespoonfuls and drop onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart.

Bake in preheated oven 11 - 13 minutes.

Allow to rest on baking sheet several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Eggnog Frosting and sprinkle tops lightly with nutmeg.For the Eggnog Frosting:In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until very pale and fluffy. Add in rum extract and 3 Tbsp eggnog and mix in powdered sugar. Add additional eggnog to reach desired consistency.

Recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy

 

Crab Rangoons

Ah! Rangoons!

My first time having one was from a Chinese Restaurant in a strip mall.

I was with one my grand aunt's and she treated me to Panda Express.

I picked the one thing on the menu I had never heard of before:

A Crab Rangoon.

It sounded exciting. Crab meat wrapped in a pastry with cream cheese?

And it was surely delicious!

A little more crispy that I'd prefer, but delicious all the same.

Naturally none of the Chinese restaurants in the Bahamas really do Rangoons. I think I've only seen it on the menu at one and I was not willing to pay that amount.

So I learned how to make my own!

This is my second Rangoon (the first being a Conch Rangoon) making these.

 

It's so easy there isn't much a recipe to share.

 

But I'll do my best to help those who don't even know where to start.

The great thing about recipes is that you can change them and make them your own to suit your taste buds, so you don't HAVE to do everything I did.

Your base naturally will be imitation crab meat. Roughly one cup of it shredded (this makes at least 10 Rangoons).

The next thing you HAVE to have is Won Ton Wrappers. These can be bought in any health food store (such as Solomon's Fresh Market - in the fresh vegetable section)

Then, this is where you can get creative.

Depending on your tastes and dietary needs, you can use mayonnaise, cream cheese or sour cream to mix with the crab meat. (I used mayonnaise because my cream cheese and sour cream are reserved for when my grandmother visits - tomorrow)

Use any blend of seasoning you like. (I used Italian seasonings and basil leaves).

Add vegetables if you want to feel healthy (I used raw mushrooms and celery, diced)

Once you have your crab meat mix, scoop roughly 1 tablespoon into the centre of one wrap. Fold in the corners, making sure they touch without tearing.

Spray a skillet with non-stick spray (I recommend this over butter or oil as you get a healthier and softer Rangoon.)

Place Rangoons in one by one, until pan is full, top down.

Placing it top down, seals the wrap so that you won't have to worry about your contents spilling when it's time to flip.

Allow to get golden brown before cooking the other side.

Once each Rangoon is done, take out of pan.

Garnish with additional vegetables and or seasonings if so desired or just consume!


See!

It really is that easy!