Entrepreneurship 101- When the Egg breaks

 

 

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Three and a half years ago, I was working at a marketing communications company and was able to save some money to either buy a car or do otherwise, I did otherwise and rented a tiny little garage and turned it into an eatery.

Today I won’t be posting a recipe or telling you about some delicious meal I ate somewhere, today, I would be passing over some life and work lessons. You read my blog all the time, respond to my post and sent me email and text messages, so I think it will be cruel of me not to share what I learn with you.

“When the Egg breaks” and this is definitely not an egg to be used for a cake recipe or fried with vegetables for a Frittata, this egg is the most fragile you would come across ever!!

When I started my business, I was working an 8-6 job at east legon, closing and getting to the eatery was a real rough one. I would get calls from my then manager and chef for permission to buy one ingredient or another or at times, a staff called to report a fight.

Most people certainly think owning a shop, selling any item and making your daily sales makes you an entrepreneur but I strongly beg to differ, having a business is not waking up at 6am and annoyingly walking to the junction or driving your car to the office and hopefully getting the job done.

Today I will share with you some of my mistakes and hopefully you would avoid them to make you a better EP

The line between hobby and business

A hobby could easily turn into a business and vice versa, but this transition share the thinnest line I have ever known. Being passionate about the food business, I had to figure out that I could not handle my business like cooking for a handful of my friends or just making myself a portion meal. The moment you cross that line, you owe your customers MORE! More effort, more taste, more delivery and more reasons to come back.

A business is not a favour to another, you need not think in that coconut head of yours, that you are making mankind a favour, that without your no one will eat or you are the best (allow me to relate it to my field). When a hobby becomes a business, remember you NEED others, you need “these” others to trust you.

As a business, have your house in order, I won’t sit on my badly scattered bed and tell you it’s a one day affair to get the house in shape, it could take forever but do make an effort and it would be worth it

The Big Cs

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Hello, is this Jay? Please I would like to order a cake for Saturday

What type and flavour please?

I really don’t know

Ok, what about a chocolate cake with white choc cream?

Hmm, I don’t really like chocolate

Ok what about a red velvet?

Me, I don’t like all this red velvet cakes going around

Then I guess a vanilla should be good?

You know what, I will ask my mum and call you back…….

Customers, they could be the most annoying people in the world to the kindest people but most importantly they are the PEOPLE you need most!!

You cannot be a taxi driver and drive and pay yourself?

You cannot be a bank teller and have only you and your colleagues’ money in the bank

You definitely cannot cook food, eat it yourself and pay…..NOOOOOOOO

Last week, I disappointed a customer of mine and I still beat myself for it. It felt worse than when my first muffin turned out hard as rock, or when I burnt my banana cake. A couple of days later, the costumer openly displayed her disappointment of my action and she definitely had all the rights to.

Treat your customers the way you would want to be treated, it’s not enough to give them a good service ten hours after they need it, it counts to be give good service by good timing. Serving your customer is like seeing your doctor, you cannot serve them if you don’t listen carefully! When you break that egg with your customer, you can’t fix it back…no cello tape or glue will help!

Lead by listening

I do not mean lead by fishing for compliments, you can only be a good leader by listening to the people you truly patronise the service…your CUSTOMERS!

I won’t say I readily like to listen to criticism about my business, it kills my heart, it drains me to hear of a bad experience from a customer and it takes me a while to sink it in, but I have realised how important it is to pick the comment and wake up from the slumber and get to it!

Over the years, I have been eager to explain to customers why their food gets served late, why we don’t have a courier person to deliver our meals? but I began to realise your challenges are not your customers concern but how you solve it. The method of solving makes the customer appreciate the service when they find out later.

When you take that money or not

These days, there are various forms of payment, ½ before service or 30 days after service or the most preferred full before service or the most often used “giving your word”. No matter which option you go for, it’s your responsibility to deliver and deliver on time.

Have I taken money of customers and still delivered poorly—CHECK

Have I done jobs without payment and delivered excellently?—CHECK

Have I waited for more than 30 days for my payment and still waiting—CHECK, but none of these are excuses to make you deliver less than your standard.

As soon as you take any of the above moves, the “event” becomes yours, the wedding is yours, the funereal is yours so you “cant” be late. You have no cause to be? You need to deliver and when you don’t…you have lost your ego, your right and your opportunity. It would be tossed in frying oil and tossed like morning bofrot and guess what? the customer would be right if you put yourself in that position.

I have learnt mine and shared with you, we all have one embarrassing experience to share, but these stories is to make as better EPs, stronger and wiser. It helps us on our feet to fix our houses and make a herd of customers who will come back.

With all this, there is one thing I have learnt, when you break that egg, which you will break once or twice, remember it cannot be put back, but it has a way of giving you back a new window of getting other eggs and this time when you do, you must hold it like it’s your life.

I am young and I am learning….learn with me

I just broke an egg and I don’t like it!

Broken-Egg

Fried Apple Pie

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I go hard on my cravings, but usually when I have an ingredient, I think of something to make with it. Last week, I visited my cousins at Sakumono and my aunty gave me some juicy apples. I am not such a huge fan on chewing so I had to think of what to do with it. Apple crumble…..hmmm yes but then I thought of doing something different and I had dough in the fridge so….

FRIED APPLE PIES…enjoy making it!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter/ margarine
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice water (Very old with ice cubes)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Cut in very cold butter or margarine with a pastry blender, two forks or your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  2. Do not overwork it, stop it when the mixture resembles coarse sand
  3. Gradually add enough ice water to the mixture and mix until a ball of dough is formed.
  4. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap and form into a disc. For use later, press dough into a disc and store in freeze.
  5. For immediate use, roll out dough a lightly floured table and roll with a pin.
  6. When rolled, cut the dough in circle or any shape required.

Apple filling

Ingredients

  • 3 cored and chopped apples
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 teaspoon corn flour

On medium heat, cook all ingredients in a pan until apples are soft and almost melting

Assembling.

Take 2 teaspoon of your apple sauce and place in the middle of the dough. Quantity of the sauce depends on the size of the dough, you can make them super cute or jumbo size

Fold dough over sauce and prick with fork for a design at the edges, store in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up or when you are ready to fry.

Deep fry pies in oil for about 10 minutes on each side, be sure to make sure you don’t burn them.

Remove fried pies and drain in paper towel…sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or plain sugar and take a big bite

Enjoy,

Mukasechic :)

I am back!

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I am Backkkkk…………

Hi guys, I bow my head in shame and plead with you to forgive me. I have been a lazy friend, sister, acquaintance and blogger. I have no explanations or excuse. I am on my knees, please forgive me.

To a new reader, do not pity me, I deserve it! I deserted these lovely people for far too long but now, I am back to stay and for good!

Over my unnecessary leave, I have been quite involved in a new number of projects…whoop whoop, so you see, I was not just lazying about.

I am sure most of you know about my newest baby, Cooking in Heels. Ok, so if you don’t know, CIH, as I call it, is a new cooking show I have with Kim of Kimberry. Kim is the CEO of Kimberry in Accra, Ghana and makes some of the most amazing, tongue melting deserts and cakes. She and I decided to come together and form CIH. CIH currently has a relatively huge social media presence and would be telecast on TV and Youtube… and like we usually say….COMING SOON.

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Oh I forgot to tell you guys that I also quit my day job to focus on the restaurant, ohhhh yess!, I know you are surprised, I didn’t tell you I own a restaurant. Yes I do, years ago, I rented a tiny little garage and turned it into a tiny cute restaurant. This year, we are planning to do some major changes, call me about that, for those who have my number, please do not!

Enough about me, tell me what you have been up to and let’s get chatting again. Have you been cooking some yummy food, did you locate an amazing restaurant you would like me to check out? Did you break out with your boyfriend? Oh am sorry.

I sincerely do apologise for the break and now, I am back to give you simple yummilious recipes….most of it authentically African….Enjoy

Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes

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I have always admired bakers, but never wanted to be one myself, it took a lot of courage for me to even start to try baking recipes. Trust me, I have tried and tried and failed and failed and here I am. Other food blogs have inspired me to continue trying and I am improving, so I hope Mukasechic inspires you too!

Comeon, don’t be a scaddy cat, go ahead and give it a try.

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk- Please use whole milk not evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vinegar

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My homemade buttermilk....milk and vinegar
My homemade buttermilk….milk and vinegar
The batter
The batter
Getting the girls ready
Getting the girls ready

All nice and dressed up, these are super fluffy
All nice and dressed up, these are super fluffy

Recipe
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees / 180 G Celsius and prepare your cupcake pan with cupcake liners of your choice.
2. Pour together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar to the milk and set aside between 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Now add the 2 eggs and sugar and mix with a mixer, I use a handmixer
5. Add vanilla extract and vegetable oil and to the sugar and egg mixture and mix.
6. On low speed, add half of flour mixture, beat, then add half of milk mixture. Repeat until everything is combined and well mixed. Scrape down sides of the bowl too.
7.Now pour the thin batter into your cupcake pan and fill up the cupcake liners 2/3 full.
8. Bake in your preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes.

If you are not sure whether the cupcakes are ready, use a toothpick, stick in the center of the cupcake, if it comes out clean, yayyyy, its ready! but relax!
Let cupcakes cool for a couple of minutes before you remove them from the pan. Let cool completely on a plate or wire rack and now take a big bite…..

Tuesday Delight: Sarah tries my Banana Cake

So one of my very beautiful bestie, Sarah Mills(love her to bits) who is currently in Dubai sends me an email that she is going to try my Banana Condensed milk cake. I am not very worried because I know she can, she’s the best person to strictly follow a recipe unlike me. :)

Anyway she did try and loved it! I am so glad it came out well, its humbling to get such feedback, so in her own words I present Tuesday Delight with SARAH MILLS

Lovely turn out......
Lovely turn out……

“So I didn’t have school yesterday and I so wanted a break from case reading and bonding with Excel.
My only other options were exercise, TED videos viewing and reading.

I chose to do something different: bake. So I went to my girl Shella’s and she and I tried out Jay’s banana cake recipe.

It was such a fun thing to do. Easy to make and within 45 minutes (prep time inclusive) We had filled the whole apartment with smells of decadence.

It turned out really well. And it was so tasty too!

Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Looking forward to more”

Oh and this is Sarah, such a beauty. I told u!

Pic by Momento taken off Sarah's face book page
Pic by Momento taken off Sarah’s face book page

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Banana Condensed Milk Cake

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I am beginning to find baking and cooking as therapeutic and i cant seem to understand. Most of my friends dont understand why i cook at night when I get back from work so tired; well its simple, that is the only time i get to cook.

This week, i was inspired to try my banana cake recipe inspired by fellow food blogger Afrolems who posted a deli picture of her banana cake. I love banana so much, my colleagues once asked me of i am a monkey, funny enough i only love to eat it when it is transformed.

Its simple and totally delicious, go on and try it.
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The mixed batter
The mixed batter

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Trust me you would be happy when you lay your eyes on this
Trust me you would be happy when you lay your eyes on this

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Ingredients
250 grams unsalted butter (1cup/1pack butter)
1 cup sugar (I reduced mine a bit)
3 eggs
2 cup flour (sifted)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoon condensed milk (i added more:), i love condensed milk)
1 teaspoon salt
3 very riped banana (mashed with a fork)
juice of 1 orange (buy and squeeze yourself)

Recipe
Butter your pan or line with parchment paper, heat your oven at 170 degrees Celsius.
Beat your butter and sugar to form a creamy mixture using a hand mixer or whisk.
Gently pour in your egg one after the other and beat at low and when mixed, beat at high for 1 minute.
Pour your sifted flour and fold it in your mixture, add your baking powder and soda and mix.
Pour in your orange juice, condensed milk and mashed banana.
Gently fold them, don’t over mix but be sure to get a nice batter.
Pour the mixture in your buttered pans and bake at 170 degree celsius for 35 mins or until u put a toothpick in it and comes out clean.

NB: You can use margarine if you have no butter, so that would be one cup or 225 grams of margarine.

I would be telling you about my (Cooking in heels project), I know you have seen it somewhere…..Cooking_in_heels on instagram

Julia, Julie and Jay

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Some months ago, I came across a trailer of a movie produced in 2002 titled Julia & Julie. I loved the movie from the word go, I looked for it everywhere and even asked my colleague to try and find/download it for me

For months, I searched the internet and never found the full movie until this morning when Marie my friend and colleague handed it to me. I was over whelmed, I stopped all I was doing at the office to watch it. I borrowed an ear phone to fade out all unnecessary noise; even my boss couldn’t stop me from watching it.

The movie centers on Julie, a modern young wife who is bored of her job and the ranting’s of her successful friends and with the advice from her overly supportive husband starts a cooking blog. Her mission is to cook all 524 recipes in 365 days from the cookbook of the cooking legend JULIA CHILD.

Julie after the 365 days ...
Julia in her days found her love for cooking in Paris when she went there to visit her husband, in order to curb her boredom, Julia enrolled in a cooking school and the rest was history

Julia Child beating the men in class
Julia Child beating the men in class

The beautiful thing about the movie is that both characters are not professional chefs but their love for cooking is awesome and admirable. I would love to cook for my friends to have that sunny bright face after the first bite, to cook for my boyfriend, a special meal and desert because it is Tuesday, everyone deserves a great cooking experience…..

Julia and her amazing husband...Julia is played by the World's best actress Meryl Streep
Julia and her amazing husband…Julia is played by the World’s best actress Meryl Streep

The real Julia ...RIP
The real Julia …RIP

After watching the movie, I figured I need a challenge ….a fun challenge, so I present to you the

JULIA, JULIE & JAY CHALLENGE

Over the next months, I would try to cook a dish every weekend. This recipe could be African or continental, this could be a cake, a main meal, a side dish or a dessert.

This I would do with your help, send me some recipes from your towns, your countries, some you just know or just heard about….This is going to be my beautiful challenge….JOIN ME

Please send all recipes to jo_gyebi@yahoo.co.uk or jaygyebi@gmail.com

A Foodie’s week- Happy Birthday Kwaku Zee

So in this past weeks, I have not been able to upload my new recipe due to internet connection………..I should do that soon anyway.

Today is a special day, the birthday of the LOVE of my life and since he is a foodie in his own right, this is to him

On Saturday after finishing Miss Kane’s order for her boutique opening, I decided to perfect my chocolate cake recipe I got from Ree (Pioneer Woman)

So we made vegetable quiche, nkate cake (Peanut toffee) and grilled chicken for Miss Kane and she loved it! thank you for giving us the opportunity.

Back to my chocolate cake, I tried the recipe one more time and got it right, well my taster Debbie says so and i trust her taste buds, so the cake is actually on sale by order for 45ghc

The cake ...chocolate cake with crushed peanut toppings
The cake …chocolate cake with crushed peanut toppings

I have had a few nice lunch meals last week , not messing up my diet though :)

Fufu with peanut butter soup with goat meat and fresh tuna
Fufu with peanut butter soup with goat meat and fresh tuna
On Saturday I had some fufu and light soup with goat meat and Tilapia with my girl girl Dj
On Saturday I had some fufu and light soup with goat meat and Tilapia with my girl Dj
This woman makes the best boiled beans in Accra,
This woman makes the best boiled beans in Accra
Her fried plantain is the best ... just the right texture
Her fried plantain is the best … just the right texture
Abom from Shebrews ;) Abom is boiled and grinded  spinach leaves with salted fish, boiled egg, palm oil and avacado  Boiled yam and plantain as accompaniment
Abom from Shebrews ;) Abom is boiled and grinded spinach leaves with salted fish, boiled egg, palm oil and avacado
Boiled yam and plantain as accompaniment

My baby is my friend, my rock and my boo!
Happy birthday , the man with whom i make the fire :)
God bless the work of your hands and give you that amazing love and care you emit….Love You

My Man
My Man