Self Care in Color

A few weeks ago, I attended a virtual self-care retreat for Black women (how cool is that!) It was an amazing experience. The only drawback, the daily videos were scheduled 8 am eastern time, which meant I had to be up by 5 am Pacific. Of course, it wasn’t that difficult for me to get up.  I have a toddler. Those with small children know kids are usually breathing in your face at the crack of dawn. So, I was semi-awake for this inspiring event.

I enjoyed all the guest speakers, but especially the conversations on what is self-care (Tara Pringle Jeffersonand Black motherhood and self-care (Danielle Faust).

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Bloom Beautifully Self-Care Box

Jefferson talked about the importance of thinking deeper about self-care practices. The rhetoric tends to be go get a manicure or go to the spa, and all will be well. Jefferson encouraged Black women to take a more holistic approach. It could mean getting rid of toxic people in our lives. Or cutting out destructive habits (overextending ourselves, smoking) etc.

Faust discussed the challenges of finding time for self-care, especially as  Black mothers. In/outside the Black community, there is expectation of Black women sacrificing themselves for everyone else. The pressures triple, once we have children. We are raising Black children in an anti-black world. We have to protect our children differently than non-Black mothers. How can Black mothers indulge in self-care without feeling guilty or judged?

Recently, I celebrated my birthday. A good friend gave me a gift card to one of my favorite stores. I had to force myself not to buy my son a new outfit. It was a struggle to only spend the card on myself. Honestly, I kind of failed. I did get him a t-shirt. It’s this dilemma as Black mothers of knowing it’s okay to self-indulge, sometimes.

The self-care retreat was interesting and fun. When the organizer asked about ideas for next year’s gathering, I suggested more interactive opportunities. But she did a wonderful job for her first time!

She sent a link of Black women owned businesses that include coaching, counseling, products, etc. Personally, I’ve got my eye on Jefferson’s self-care boxI will make self buy it. I will make myself buy it… 😉

Support Black businesses this holiday season!!

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summer eating #3

“this is only for the grown and sexy people…”

Well, you don’t necessarily need to be sexy, but you do need to be grown. This recipe combines two of my guilty pleasuresanything fried and tequila. I love the simplicity of the recipe. Perfect adult snack for a summer evening with friends or alone. heh.

Deep-fried tequila shots

“Only five steps separate you from deep-fried boozy bliss. First: make an angel food cake (or, you know, buy one). Next, cube it up into poppable bites. After that, soak each cake cube in tequila, then deep-fry the cubes in oil until they’re golden on all sides. Finally, sprinkle your shots with powdered sugar. Placing them all in an actual salt-rimmed shot glass is up to you, as is deep-frying the worm.”  Recipe from: https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/deep-fried-tequila-shots-recipe-by-oh-bite-it

Wow. Life is good 🙂

 

summer eating #2

Funny enough, while I like to find recipes, I actually don’t like cooking all that much.  I guess I’m more into the eating part. However, now that I have a little one, I know I need to upgrade my cooking skills. Luckily, he is still in the formula/baby food stage, but I know the days of sizzling hot dishes and baked treats are fast approaching (yes, I’m pretending I will be doing this). So, I’ve been keeping recipes that are fun to make for/with kids. I came across these mouthwatering cookies.  I love sweets, so I may actually try to make this 🙂

White Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Ingredients

10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (zest from one orange), lightly packed

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

12 oz. bag white chocolate chips

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream the butter, both sugars, and orange zest until light and fluffy using an electric mixer (approximately 2 minutes on medium high speed). Add in the egg and vanilla on low speed until fully incorporated. Then add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Continue to gently mix on low speed until the flour is completely blended in.

Lastly, add the white chocolate chips and coconut and mix on low speed until both are evenly distributed. Using a medium scoop (approximately 1.5 tablespoons), scoop the cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the dough balls two inches apart from one another. *A standard baking sheet will hold a dozen cookies.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned, making sure to rotate the baking sheet after the first five minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a plate or cooling rack.

Recipe from: http://www.pbs.org/parents/kitchenexplorers/2016/03/24/white-chocolate-coconut-cookies/

summer eating #1

It’s hard to believe it’s June. This year has flown by and I haven’t accomplished anything on my New Year’s list. Oh well…

I love summer. I like to walk and it’s so much more fun to be outside when it’s nice and not when it’s freezing. I also love to get my grub on at summer bbqs, parties, etc. I’m a recipe collector, although the truth is they are more likely to gather dust in a drawer than  be made. But I like to keep hope alive. This week, I’m going to share some new recipes I’ve come across recently, in honor of summertime eating!! 🙂

*a friend shared this on Facebook. yum.

Garlic Fried Chicken

Ingredients
  • 1 to 1½ lb. chicken, sliced into serving pieces
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 piece raw egg
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 cups cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Combine salt, ground black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, Panko Bread crumbs, and all-purpose flour in a mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Combine the egg and milk in another bowl, and whisk. Set aside.
  3. Dip the chicken slices in the egg and milk mixture, and then roll in the flour, bredcrumbs, salt, pepper, and paprika mixture until all the sides are evenly coated.
  4. Heat a deep cooking pot and pour-in the cooking oil.
  5. When the oil becomes hot, deep-fry the coated chicken in medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the color turns golden brown. Note: Do not use high heat as it will cook the outer part of the chicken right away while leaving the inside uncooked.
  6. Turn-off the heat, and then remove the garlic fried chicken from the pot. Let the excess oil drip.

Recipe from: http://panlasangpinoy.com/2011/06/01/garlic-fried-chicken/

Happy Holidays!!

Normally, I love summers. However, after staggering around pregnant in stifling southern heat, I’m actually liking fall for the first time. It’s a bit calmer, cooler, and collected. This is the time of year to enjoy a delicious cup of hot cocoa. I’ve been guzzling it like water. Here is a recipe I found in my stash of recipes I will never make. It’s fun looking at them though. I wish everyone a safe and happy holidays. I will return in early 2016 🙂

Homemade Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 4 cups milk (Dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture boils. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and add vanilla; stir well. Serve immediately.

Recipe taken from: http://www.momables.com/how-to-make-homemade-hot-cocoa/

STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF A SECRET

On Facebook, I am in a group of dynamic Black writers/poets/dancers/visual artists. I have no idea how I got invited into the group, as I possess none of these skills, but I love the group as I am privy to exciting new work by other members.

Rosalind Bell is a writer and urban farmer. She has started an Indiegogo campaign to help fund a research project examining her family history/legacy.

“I ask for your financial help and support in my endeavor to discover, research and tell the stories of my ancestors and in so doing, tell the story of Louisiana before and after the Civil War, and unravel the secret of me.  How, in one of the most inhospitable to black life places in the whole wide world could both my progenitors have purchased the land? My first mother’s grandparents bought over 700 acres starting in 1881. And how were they able to secure it in the face of documented racist treachery. STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF A SECRET is as much a research project as it is a writing project. I must scour microfilm, parish and state records, attics, books and people to get what I am looking for. I am seeking $29,000 to cover this expedition.” https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-fund-standing-in-the-middle-of-a-secret#/story

Sounds interesting, eh.  And check out the perks! Goodness, a Louisiana Meat Lovers Delivery, Gumbo Fest, and more!

Support and/or share with your networks if you can!

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Rosalind Bell an urban farmer.

Happy Black History Month (BHM)!

I know, I know…where the hell have I been? My bad.  I got extremely sick near the end of January, had to move last-minute at the beginning of February, and then my laptop crashed soon after. Or so I thought. I was fiddling around with it last night and all of a sudden it wheezed on. It’s the only reason why I’m able to churn out this post today 🙂

I just wanted to peek in and wish folks happy Black History Month (BHM). I normally like to dedicate the blog to all things BHM, but just couldn’t get it together this time around. I hope folks have been able to partake in events in your area. There’s been some great happenings in my neck of the woods (an amazing feat since I live in a predominantly white city).

While BHM is all about celebrating the fabulous contributions of Black folks to this country that has treated us like crap, there is one VERY important issue that I feel often gets left out of BHM conversations…soul food 🙂

“The term soul food became popular in the 1960s. The origins of soul food, however, are much older and can be traced back to Africa. Foods such as rice, sorghum (known by some Europeans as “guinea corn”), and okra — all common elements of West African cuisine — were introduced to the Americas as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They became dietary staples among enslaved Africans. They also comprise an important part of the cuisine of the American south, in general. Foods such as corn and cassava from the Americas, turnips from Morocco, and cabbage from Portugal would play an important part in the history of African-American cooking.[1]”   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_food

A couple of months ago, I met a friend at Starbucks for drinks and homegirl talk. She decided to also get a salad. After we sat down, she opened the package and picked through the dish, then pushed it away with a frown on her face.  “What is it with white folks new obsession with kale?” She asked. “It’s so annoying and they don’t even cook it right!” I looked at her food. It was a raw kale with a few tomatoes tossed on top.

I laughed because I knew exactly what she was talking about.  It’s been interesting to see white folks (particularly white hipsters) carry on about kale, mustard greens/collard greens, watermelon, chicken and waffles, etc. foods they have historically looked down upon because it’s been associated with Black folks (ie soul food).  Now many are acting like they discovered these cuisines (kind of like how Columbus thought he discovered America) and are going extremely overboard with it.

Of course, no props are given to Black folks for cultivating these dishes and making them an American favorite comfort food. If anything Black folks choice to eat soul food has often been bashed as unhealthy.  Initially, I was reluctant to watch Byron Hurt’s “Soul Food Junkies” documentary that came out a few years ago. I thought “please no more dissecting of black folks eating habits.” While I did roll my eyes at some parts of the film, overall I thought Hurt was fair. I recommend it for folks interested in learning about what soul food means to Black folks. It’s not just about the eating, but a way to say you love/care about kin/but not kin folks too 🙂

**This will probably be my last post for this month. I will get back into the swing of things in March. I still have some life happenings going on…but let me leave you with this chicken and waffles recipe to get you through. You know I love a good recipe 😉

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  • 1 Tbsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (3½-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Active time: 30 minutes Total time: 30 minutes, plus marinating overnight

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/food/Soul-Food-Recipes-Brown-Sugar-Kitchen-Recipes

Favorite Things-3

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to make a sweet potato pie.

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I got the ingredients
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I did some boiling
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I misread the recipe and found myself with a mess. Wonk, wonk 😦

I should’ve known it was going to be a flop. I accidentally grabbed yams instead of sweet potatoes from the store. Yes, there is a difference 🙂

In any case, I was happy to recently come across a new zine called “Cooking With Mama, A Soul-Food Zine” by Patricia Jones.

“A legacy in a ladle: 
I was born in California, my mother was born in Kentucky, and her mother was born in Alabama. These recipes traveled with these women and they continue to nourish our family as I pass them on to my daughters. The most important ingredient of each of these meals is without a doubt Love. Cook these meals with the people you love in mind, including yourself. The flavor begins there. Bare in mind, these recipes are very traditional. There are not many quick shortcuts in here. You can’t be scared. No dippin your toes in, you got to put your foot in it.” -Mrs. Jones https://www.etsy.com/shop/PaperMulatta

The “Cooking With Mama… zine brings together my love of eating/recipes (y’all know I’m a foodie 🙂 and zines. This zine is definitely one of my favorite things this season. It would make a great gift for the foodie/DIYer in your life!!

I will be going on winter break starting today and will return early January. It’s been hard these last few weeks for folks across the country. This is a time to connect with loved ones, regroup and keep pushing ahead in 2015.

*Here is the recipe I tried to make. Maybe y’all will have better luck than me. 

No-Fail Sweet Potato Pie (I failed..haha 😉

3 sweet potatoes

3 eggs

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 store-bought ready to bake 10-inch pie

Scrub the sweet potatoes but do not peel. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and boil until tender when pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes; the timing will depend on the size of the sweet potatoes. Drain well, let cool, and peel. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until no lumps remain. Measure out 2 cups; reserve the remainder for another use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until blended. Add the 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes and beat well. Stir in the milk until well mixed, then gradually beat in the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Add the vanilla and stir well. Taste and adjust with a little more spice, if you like.

Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie crust. Bake until the center is firm and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool before serving.

Makes one 10-inch pie; serves 6 to 8.

 

Summer Recap #1

Damn. I can’t believe it’s September already.  My summer kind of sucked though, so for first time in my life, happy that it’s almost fall. I really don’t know what the hell happened, but glad to have those days behind me. I hope everyone else had a good summer. I really didn’t do much. I lost my main job, so spent the majority of my time looking for extra work. Since my funds were tight, I wasn’t able to travel.

The one blessing was that I was still able to get my grub on 🙂 If y’all haven’t caught on by now, I love to eat.  Despite having some personal setbacks, it was nice to be able to go out with friends. Good friends, food, and a drank can help ease the hardest of times.

I’m excited to get my blogging groove back.

Good riddance summer!

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Groupon meal 😉
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Breakfast with a buddy.
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Food cart treats-fried plantains and donuts.

Summer Eats/Drinks #4

This last post on summer recipes is dedicated to my Uncle Bill. He passed away yesterday.

Uncle Bill was a cook for the military for over 30 years. He could do just about anything in the kitchen, but he could really throw down on some ribs.

He was a kind man and I will miss him.

Rest in Peace Uncle Bill 😦

***

I am not a health conscious person at all. I think folks should be able to eat what they want.  However, I know that’s not practical.  I guess we should incorporate fruits and vegetables into our meals, at some point :o/

I’m still working on “eating healthy” (blah). I found this smoothie recipe in a local paper. I Googled and I guess this drink is popular with health folks, which ain’t me.

It seems like a fun drink to try this summer though  😉

Purple Monster Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients: 2 frozen bananas, skins removed and cut in chucks, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon honey (optional), and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional).

*You can substitute the orange juice with any mix of juices or even soy milk. The soy milk adds more of a milk shake quality than the juice does.*

Directions: Place bananas, blueberries and juice in a blender, puree. Use honey and/or vanilla to taste. Use more or less liquid depending on the thickness you want for your smoothie.

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