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By Minna LaFortune

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Dec. 20, 2023: Merry Christmas to you and yours; may all your dreams come true and may your menus be delightful and tasteful this holidays!

As we entertain those we love, may we also remember those less fortunate and those who may be lonely at this time of year. Share your blessings and invite those who you can.

As you prepare your feasts, try to do some easy to prepare dishes with two to three ingredients. Dishes that can be served as appetizers or side dishes include Rosemary Roasted Irish Potatoes, corn casserole, baked yellow yam  dumplings, baked plantains and bacon and Pig in a Blanket.

Also it sometimes helps to keep your main course simple – such as roasted beef or chicken or lamb or Cornish hens or baked Ham served with a starch and a side of steamed vegetable.

This will help you to have more time to converse with your family and guests. If you did not get to bake the traditional Caribbean Black Fruit Cake , try an easy Christmas dessert from Trinidad called the Trinidad-sweet-bread.

Trinidad-Sweet-Bread Recipe


1/2 pound butter, softened
4 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons almond extract
9 cups all-purpose flour
9 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 cups shredded coconut
1 cup chopped dried mixed fruit
1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Grease two 5×9 inch loaf pans and set aside.

Blend together the butter, sugar, eggs, evaporated milk and almond extract.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

Add to wet ingredients and stir.

Add coconut, coarsely mixed dry chopped fruit and raisins.

Mix well and pour into prepared loaf tins.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Bon Appetite and a Merry and safe Christmas to you and your family!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD). Check out her food group on Facebook at
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