Friday, 27 May 2022

NEW BEGINNINGS: THE SWITCH.

 It has been the most difficult three years of my life, so far. What with being a Nigerian, living in Lagos (oh, I moved from Uyo to Lagos in 2016, so I am now a Lagos beb) and living in Nigeria with only a Nigerian passport. Abeg, anywhere you see me, give me a long, tight hug and squeeze dollaz and/or Mama Charlie into my hands...bad as e bad, Mai-Bornu and Uncle Clems, I go manage. 

Have you ever had to deal with discontent or rather, being stuck in a rut? That's where I was for the longest time. I was stuck in a rut. I knew I didn't want to bake cakes commercially anymore, but I had no idea what else it was I should be doing, and it really did my head in. I love baking, honestly I do, but the daily hike in the price of baking products, and sparse patronage, made something break inside of me. Also, the idea of baking, just to get by and pay bills did not sit right with me. I really just wanted to bake from a place of comfort, not necessity and survival. By the way, if you see any baker, hug them tight and dash them something. They're really going through it.





As I was saying, I graduated from University centuries ago, and had not used my degree for anything, or done any other thing academically that could get me a job, so I crossed that off my options.  I knew I wanted to do something very different from what I knew, something different from what I was known for, but I did not know what it was. Abi I should go read Medicine? Then I remembered I could not stand the sight of blood, or see flesh being cut, so I killed that thought. 

I picked up my pen and paper to write things I was good at, and could do for work, but nothing came to mind. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. So I kept baking, while dealing with that burn out. It was not a good place to be, and I never want to go back down there.

The whole of 2021, every time I'd scroll down my Twitter TL, there would be tweets about going into Tech. I would just shake my head and keep scrolling. As far as I was concerned, those people that were going into Tech, and already in Tech had two heads. Besides, I was 37 years old, how could I possibly venture into that? With which head? In my head, it was already late.

I kept seeing people tweet about this tech thing, I considered it fleetingly, but had no idea how to start. Then one day, I saw a tweet about AltSchool Africa, and their diploma in Software Engineering. I liked the terms and conditions, and on a whim, I applied for a diploma in Front End Engineering. All I had to do to qualify was to pass the assessment test, and the cut-off was 85%. I checked further, and Quantitative Reasoning questions were part of the test. "Is this how I will chop disgrace?" I kept asking myself. How on earth was I supposed to meet that cut-off point? πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“



I studied the materials we were given to prepare for the test, but I kept doubting myself. I would wake up some nights, drenched in cold sweat, because I suddenly envisaged how I would probably score 45% in the test. And I had told people already, that I was going into tech so my disgrace was going to be televised.






Thankful for Arit, Chy and Obinna who kept assuring me that I was not an olodo, and would pass the test, each time I ran to them to say how afraid I was of failing. They actually believed in me, more than I believed in myself.

Fast forward to February, abi was it March... test questions came, and I remember my hands shaking violently as I clicked on each answer. I was so sure I would not make the cut-off. Then, I submitted and waited for my result, which came almost immediately. I opened it sneakily and OMGGGGGG I PASSED. 

I mean, I scored 85 on the dot...EVEN THOUUUUUUUUGHHHH!!!!! I was INNNN! I could not believe my eyes. That pass was all the boost I needed.



April, classes started in ernest. When I saw what we were supposed to learn and do, I started wondering if I should not just quit while it was still early😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

What the hell is this HTML and CSS? Why do they look like Sanskrit and how on earth am I supposed to know and master these? "Ugo, are you sure you want to do this?", I kept asking myself. I kept at it, started trying it out myself, watching other video tutorials, practicing as lessons were ongoing.

 First page I ever did after writing a line of code got me really tickled. I squealed in excitement. It felt really surreal...it still does.



Two months in, and I am happy I started. I mean, see me writing lines and lines of code, able to link CSS to my HTML file, and do magic on my laptop. Heck, even showing others how to do stuff. I still squeal when I see my work on the live server. It is all so exciting for me. Is it easy? heavens, no! But I like that I am able to walk through every difficulty, eventually. I pray I never lose the excitement, and that I follow this course through, and complete it successfully.  

Meanwhile, here is a link to my first ever project.

https://ABOUTUGO.ugochiori.repl.co

and this, too.

https://Ugos-Responsive-PageFORM.ugochiori.repl.co

 I hope to share this journey with you, as I keep posting more of my projects as I advance and get better, so I consider you all to be my accountability partners. 

Saturday, 6 April 2019

A wise man once said,"the first job of a cake is to be vanilla". Words on marble, yup. This is why I always, always, always add vanilla to every cake I'm baking. Sometimes too, you just want to keep it simple, especially when you're using a strong flavoured frosting which brings us to our cake for the weekend... good ol' vanilla cupcakes with mocha frosting. These fluffy, moist, buttery cuppies drenched in mocha whipped cream frosting with a generous dash of  "JD" are so delicious you might not want to share. 
 "JD" infused Mocha-Vanilla Creamy cupcakes

Ingredients 
250g unsalted butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs (room temperature), lightly beaten
360ml unsweetened yogurt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Frosting 
  • 2 tablespoons, instant coffee powder
  • 226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners (icing) sugar, sifted 
  • 4 tablespoons, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup chocolate milk 
  • 3 tablespoons "JD" 
Difficulty level: Easy
Total baking/prep time: 1 hour

Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line your cupcake moulds with paper liners 

Whisk together the measured flour, baking powder and salt in a dry bowl; set aside.
Using your mixer, starting on a high speed, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence together for at least 8-10minutes until pale white and fluffy. 
Gently add the eggs to creamed moisture with mixer still running, allow to mix properly. 
Add the flour in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, mixing thoroughly after each addition, and ending with flour. 
Using a tablespoon, add 2 generously heaped spoons of batter to each case. It will be approximately just over half full. 
Place in the centre of your preheated oven.
Allow to bake for approximately 15minutes, then check
 for "doneness". 

To know that your cupcakes are done, check that they are light brown and when pressed in the middle, are springy to the touch or a toothpick comes out dry when inserted in the middle. 
Remove from oven, leave in mould for 5 minutes, then remove from mould to cool completely. 


FROSTING
Dissolve instant coffee in 1 tablespoon of water
Sieve icing together with unsweetened cocoa powder and salt. 
With your mixer at high speed, mix butter with 1 1/2 cups icing sugar for 2 minutes. Add chocolate milk, instant coffee and vanilla essence to mixture, add "JD", Allow to mix for 2 minutes, add remaining icing sugar, mix on a high speed for 3 minutes until it gets to a piping/spreading consistency. 
Pipe or spread onto the now cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle crushed peanuts on cupcakes. Serve with coffee, ice cream or anything really. 
Makes 18 cupcakes. 
Bon appetit. 
Eat responsibly. 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Yummy coconut flour pancakes

1/2 cup, coconut flour
2 packets, sweetener
5 large eggs
1/2 cup, almond milk
1 teaspoon, baking powder
1 teaspoon, vanilla essence
A pinch of salt
Coconut oil (for frying)


Instructions

Sift coconut flour together with the sweetener, salt and baking powder, set aside.
Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla in a bowl for 2 minutes. Gently pour in flour mixture and mix thoroughly.
Place your griddle or nonstick frying pan on low heat, add a teaspoon of coconut oil to pan and spread. Using a tablespoon, scoop a little of the pancake batter into pan.



 Be careful with these because they burn easily. Allow to fry till light brown. Flip pancakes after a minute and allow to cook till light brown. Your pancakes are ready to eat. Serve with yogurt and fruit.

Enjoy.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Green vegetable salad with fresh strawberry zobo drink



Life they say, is all about balance. Some days, you eat cupcakes. Other days, you eat salads. Also, some of us are trying to get back on track after the holidays. Some of us ate like we had no home training πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I'm judging myself. Anyway, I thought I'd share one of my favourites with you.

Then, I had a Kitchenbutterfly moment (yea, happens once in a while), and I made this really refreshing strawberry zobo drink.
Salad

1 ripe avocado
A generous handful of fresh lettuce
Grilled chicken breast
2 hard boiled eggs
Cucumber
A fresh tomato

Zobo drink

 1 cup, zobo leaves
4 tablespoons, honey
4 strawberries
Ice cubes
Vanilla essence.

Instructions
Salad
Wash lettuce, cucumber and tomato in clean water and salt or vinegar.
Shred lettuce in large pieces. Arrange on platter. Slice cucumber in round pieces, place all around the bed of lettuce. Same as tomatoes. Slice avocado in long thin strips. Add chicken breast and sliced eggs. Cover platter with cling film and set aside or refrigerate.

Zobo
Put 1 cup, zobo leaves in 3 cups, boiled water. Leave for 10-15 minutes. Sieve and pour into a jug. Cut up strawberries and add to zobo drink. Add honey and vanilla essence. Add ice cubes. Serve with salad. Enjoy.


PS: Do you have over ripe avocados and don't know what to do with them?
Make a healthy salad dressing. Cut up avocados into a blender. Add a few cloves of garlic, 3 tablespoons of coconut/olive/canola oil, a pinch of salt. Blend till smooth. Use as a dip or salad dressing.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year

Yea, I know we kept saying that 2016 was that awful year we couldn't just wait to be rid off, at some point, I thought so too, but I had to think about it all over again, and come to a conclusion that God was really kind to me in the past year. So yeah, this is me thanking God for all the good and awful things that happened in 2016. So, I moved to Lagos in the past year. Was really a sink or swim stunt, but God sent me angels in human form, and here I stand. Lagos has been good to me, I can't even front. And then, November 10, 2016 ,I received that horrorful phone call that I had lost my beloved cousin, Etieneabasi. Her death rocked my world so badly, I didn't like God so much anymore. How could He do this to me ? Etieneabasi was just 32 years old. Anyway, I want to thank God for being kind enough to have given her to us, even though the time was short. We are grateful we had her.
           Rest in peace, babygirl.

So, here are pictures of the cakes and cupcakes so far. For more, visit our IG page @McCreamyzCupcakes. And if you're in Lagos, and need cupcake/cakes for your occasions, or just because, holler at me on 08022520485.




























To new beginnings

Happy New year, guys. New year, new me... I promise. iKid iKid iKid. Seriously though, I'm really very absolutely excited about the year, 2017. I hope you all have written down all your goals for the year. God will see you through . I pray it will be breathtakingly beautiful for you all in Jesus' name. I really can't wait to resume posting recipes, and every other this post-worthy... But for now, here's a few pictures of me, during the holidays. (Yes please, it's my blog).

When the lighting is just right 



      

with the brother 



Old school themed service


Happy new year





With daddy 

Holiday workout
 





























2017, the year of The Bae. πŸ˜‰