The Black Girl Magic Lit Mag Horror Issue

One of my writing goals for 2016 was to do more fiction writing. I’ve been having several short stories swirling around in my head. I’ve received a lot of rejection emails. So, I was pleasantly surprised when Black Girl Magic Lit Magazine accepted one of my stories…this past summer. It was a dream come true. I tried again for their horror submissions call, but alas it was not meant to be. I’m not hurt, though. Reading some of the excerpts from the latest issue, I can tell the competition was stiff! So grab their first horror edition. It’s a great way to get some early Halloween scares in 🙂

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Spa.Con

I’m a bit late posting this, but thought I would share anyway. Last weekend, I attended Arkansas’s first comic/sci-fi/pop culture convention. Spa Con. Being a lover of science fiction, you know I had to go. I took my little one along for the ride. The event was decent. It will probably get better as the new convention gets more national attention, vendors, etc. They also need to upgrade their folks of color representation. We love alternative worlds too!! However, for the most part, I had a decent time. And the event was an appetizer for the celebration of Black Speculative Fiction Month…which is in October 🙂

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/

Rachel Howzell Hall

I love a good mystery novel. However, I have a habit of reading the end of the book before reading the first page. A friend asked me once doesn’t that ruin the story for me, but I tend to lack patience. I want to know who the killer is… now! 🙂

It’s hard to find mystery novels written about black folks, by black folks. Especially, black women authors.  The only mystery series that comes to mind about/by a black woman is the Tamara Hayle adventures by Valerie Wilson WesleyI think she stopped writing the series a few years ago, though.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to read that a black mystery writer had fallen under my radar.  In the article, “Rachel Howzell Crafts a New Type of Hero in Her Detective Mystery,” I learned about newcomer Howzell. Well, actually she’s been around for a minute. Her debut novel “Land of Shadows,” featuring Detective Norton, came out in 2014.

It was exciting reading about the work of Howzell Hall. We need more black women writers across all genres of literature. With summer fast approaching, Howell’s latest novel Trail of Echoes should definitely be on folk’s reading list…

“On a rainy spring day in Los Angeles, homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton is called away from a rare lunch date to Bonner Park, where the body of thirteen-year-old Chanita Lords has been discovered. When Lou and her partner, Colin Taggert, take on the sad task of informing Chanita’s mother, Lou is surprised to find herself in the apartment building she grew up in. Chanita was interested in photography and, much like Lou, a black girl destined to leave the housing projects behind. Her death fits a chilling pattern of exceptional African-American girls–dancers, artists, honors scholars-gone recently missing in the same school district, the one Lou attended not so long ago.” http://rachelhowzell.com/

Faints. Sounds so good 🙂

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Brown Girls Do Ballet

A week later, I’m still staring off into space trying to process Prince’s death. As a proud Gen-Xer, Prince’s music was an integral part of my childhood. The iconic singer’s album “Purple Rain” came out in 1984, right as I was preparing for middle school. Even as a kid, I recognized the magnetism of his music, if I didn’t understand it completely (or catch onto all the sexy double entendres that Prince was notorious for).

Since his passing, there have been numerous articles/tributes honoring the singer. One article that stood out to me looked at Prince’s relationship with women entertainers. Prince seemed to have a genuine respect and admiration for talented women. This is not to say he was perfect. He did tend to engage in colorism in the women he choose to promote and was said not to be the greatest guy to be in a professional (or intimate) relationship with, but overall he did go out of his way to highlight exceptional women.

One person he is credited with giving shine to is Misty Copeland, the first black woman ballerina to be a principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater in over 75 years.

How Prince Gave Ballet Star Misty Copeland Her Big Break http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/the-wrap/article/How-Prince-Gave-Ballet-Star-Misty-Copeland-Her-7294782.php

The popularity of Copeland has created an increased interest in black female ballerinas. Copeland’s journey has been particularly inspiring to little black girls who rarely see themselves reflected in the world of ballet. The organization Brown Girls Do Ballet goal is to provide space for black girl ballerinas and other girls of color.

“Brown Girls Do Ballet® is a start-up organization dedicated to promoting diversity in ballet programs through various media platforms, training resources, and an exclusive network in the world of ballet. The mission of Brown Girls Do Ballet® is to help increase participation of underrepresented minority populations in ballet programs through organizing and arranging ballet performances and providing resources and scholarships to assist young girls in their ballet development and training.” http://www.browngirlsdoballet.com/

If you scroll the website, the images of all the brown girls in their poses/outfits is beautiful and touching. Almost makes me wish I was a little girl again. Never mind the fact that I have two left feet 🙂

See Prince what you started…Rest in Peace.

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Chasing Destiny

One of my favorite girl groups is En Vogue. They were the quintessential 90’s girl group with their beautiful harmonies, sleek fashions, and attractive but attainable looks.

I was pleased to see Kelly Rowland give homage to the group in her new show “Chasing Destiny.”

Rowland, one of the key members of Destiny’s Child, hopes to find the next generation’s “it” girl group.

The first episode was interesting, if not tedious. You know the cliche tryouts, backstories, and repeat singers from other reality shows who are still trying to catch a break.

However, Rowland brings charm and cuteness to the show, so it’s worth tuning in. She also has a vision for the group which is appealing. I had to smile when she said “give me my chocolate” when looking over photos for potential group members. Rowland recently talked about the importance of “chocolate” black women in the music industry.

One of my pet peeves with shows like this, is that so much effort is put into finding people, but often the groups go nowhere.

Sometimes it’s because they really aren’t all that great to begin with, but a lot of the times folks are extremely talented but not properly promoted.

I hope Kelly’s group actually make it. Especially since she does seem to want to expand the images of black women in music. This is needed as black women singers have become pigeonholed if they aren’t dipped in the Rihanna or Beyonce prototype. It’s why phenomenal singers like Jazmine Sullivan, Fantasia,  and others have struggled so.

Happy Spring Break!

I realized with alarm the other day, it’s been over a year since I’ve had a drink. I couldn’t drink while pregnant, and then I’ve been a busy new mom. But I’m determined to get my drink on. I’ve been saving this recipe for a while now. I will definitely be whipping it up during spring break. Of course, this is only for the grown and responsible folks 🙂

I will return in April…Enjoy.

Strawberry & Lime Moscato Punch

  • 1.5 liter of Moscato wine
  • 1 can frozen limeade concentrate, defrosted
  • 1 c strawberries, diced plus 1 c strawberries sliced
  • 1 lime sliced
  • 2 Liter 7 Up
 Instructions
  1. place 1 cup of diced strawberries and 1/4 cup of limeade in a blender and puree
  2. run through a strainer to remove most of the seeds
  3. pour into a pitcher
  4. add remaining limeade and moscato into the pitcher
  5. garnish with strawberry and lime slices
  6. chill in fridge
  7. when ready to serve top each glass with 7 Up

Recipe from: http://realhousemoms.com/strawberry-lime-moscato-punch/