The Struggle is Real (Cheese)

Click, clack, click, clack.

There go my chubby, brown fingers flapping against the keyboard, typing out, “Where is the nearest Red Lobster?”

Unsurprisingly, Google Maps reported to me that even GOOGLE could not find a Red Lobster close to me.

My spirit dampened, but not deterred, I decided to turn to Pinterest. Pinterest provided me with a little ray of hope in the form of a “Better than Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits” recipe.

The only problem was, well, that there was more than one problem.

  1. No way someone from Pinterest had mastered the guilty delciousness of Red Lobster’s biscuits.


Like almost every thing in Lagos, cheddar cheese is quite expensive. It is good, but expensive. The cheddar cheese that you find in stores here is made from pampered European cows, those cows that roam the pastures freely, getting gentle pats on the head from European Farmer Brown, all while taking some selfies with their newest generation iPhones.  You know, the way cows should be treated, the opposite of how most of them are treated back home in the States.

And since I did not have any of that delicious, and pricey, cheddar cheese, I scoured the fridge for a substitute and found the following:


Grade A, all (not) American, cheddar cheese product. I said to myself “YOLO” and proceeded to cut it into tiny little strips to mix into my biscuit batter.


I meticulously cut those little cheese flaps into strips, like this:


And then, I cut those strips into little cubes. But, I did not take a picture of the cubes because I thought that:

  1. No one is probably going to read this anyway
  2. If you’re still reading this, you are smart enough to know what a cube of cheddar cheese product looks like
  3. I am writing a blog post about cutting cheddar cheese product into cubes. The only reason this is remotely interesting is because I am doing it while stationed in a foreign country


I decided to write about this cheddar cheese product substitution because I make a LOT of substitutions in my cooking when I cook here in Lagos, which is pretty much every day.

The final product turned out like this:


A few things about these little things:

  1. They’re REALLY UGLY
  2. The cheddar cheese product melted like actual cheddar cheese
  3. They were quite tasty, aside from needing to add a bit more salt to the recipe
  4. I felt like a culinary genius

What are your thoughts? Have you ever made a recipe substitution? If so, what? Leave me a comment.

Until tomorrow, my friends!

P.S. : In full disclosure, I must admit that these were NOT better than Red Lobster’s.

Introduction to My Strange Reality


I didn’t even look up.

My once frightened and forever fidgety interior had become an icy, straight-faced exterior.


This time, out of annoyance, I looked up. I saw a beautiful, shiny little dark brown face, her head wrapped entirely in delicate, deep purple cloth, pressing firmly against the window of my beat-up, clunker of a Honda Accord. The beautiful child begged for money. So many times before, my heart had broken. This time was different.

I looked back down at my phone, aimlessly scrolling through the first world problems of my Facebook friends back home, as I lived, day to day, in what many still call a third world country.

I thought for a moment about how I had become downright careless. Not careless meaning that I absolutely should not have had my phone out while in traffic. Not careless in the way that I had forgotten that smash and grabs are quite common in Lagos, Nigeria– the traffic “go-slows”, as the locals call them, give nefarious characters the time and opportunity to smash windows, snatch valuables, and make off like bandits, all while being armed with nothing more than perhaps a crowbar and athleticism honed by years of darting in and out of moving traffic all day.

No, I was careless in the way that one has fewer cares. Six months ago, when I first arrived in Lagos, fresh off the plane from Houston, Texas, everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, was absolutely terrifying.

But today, I both carelessly and without cares, made eye contact with the innocent, begging child, but only for a brief moment. Because although I did not react in a heart-warming way to my surroundings and those in it, my heart had not completely become cold.

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