Star Anise and Orange Duck Salad: A Harmonious Lunch Bowl

Star Anise Quinoa with Oranges and Smoked Duck Salad

As a graphic designer, I want my ‘brown bag’ lunch to taste and look visually delicious. Otherwise, I’m likely to toss it in the garbage and pay for a fresher option from a restaurant. Such actions eventually add up to plenty of regret and an empty wallet. Learning to pack lunches take time and practice. When lunch containers reveal a salad of crispy lettuce and colorful, layered ingredients or a fragrant soup waiting to be heated in the microwave, my wallet stays full.

The initial inspiration for packing lunches come from bento boxes with separate containers or compartments. The separate containers help maintain the freshness of the meal (good for hot and cold recipes). Another bento-style lunch is creating a meal in one bowl, in which the ingredients harmoniously enhance each other. Read more

Peace Through Pie

Rustic Ginger, Almond Pear Pie

The generation who actually heard Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech, I Have a Dream, in 1963, were closer to the realities of slavery. They were the babies who bounced on their grandparents laps. Their grandparents were the babies of former slaves. Perhaps, after slavery, people should have been content with just living. Maybe the next generation should have been fine with living within a “separate but equal” culture of hate. I suppose my generation should be happy to pretend Affirmative Action isn’t needed, and the reality of living in at least the middle class is fading into a dream of the past. Luckily for us, each generation was never content as they continued to march for their rights over the foundation of their ancestor’s sacrifice. They were the brave who dared to dream.

In honor of my Great-Grandparents who crossed the Atlantic ocean towards an unknown land, those who worked the fields from sunrise to sunset, those who wandered the South looking for lost loved ones after the Emancipation Proclamation, those who took a chance to move away from what they knew to venture out west and own a ranch on acres of land, those who joined the military and returned to marching against segregation, the grandfathers who worked in Detroit’s car factories, and those who would become the first kids in the family to earn a college degree… to them, it would be easy for me to live in peace.  Read more

Thank You, PBS Food

A Classic Turkey Bolognese Sauce Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese, Swiss Chard and Mushrooms

Last month, I was so busy with KwanzaaCulinarians.com, I barely noticed PBS Food recognized MyLifeRunsOnFood.com as one of the top 10 food blogs of 2012. It was a brief ‘WOW’ moment, then I was back to work. Then, the congratulatory emails came forward. They were returned with humbled thank you’s. Then, I went back to work. A few days later, my food world friend, Nicole, host of the online radio show, Hot Grease, made a striking comment, “[Non-ethnic] media lists rarely mentioned food bloggers of color. And, you’re listed with a few well-known food bloggers.” Oh. Double. Wow. She caught my attention.

Being one of the many food bloggers of color listed in a major media list, I feel truly honored. When Courtney of Coco-Cooks.com emailed a congratulatory note, I told her, “Let’s hope more of us get recognized.” Ironically, her recipes are crazy creative, and she should have been listed as one of the best a long time ago. I could mention more food bloggers of color, but the list will fill a whole page (Visit DuoDishes.com’s Blogroll for recommendations). So, thank you, again, PBS Food for being one of the few non-ethnic media outlets to recognize a food blogger of color. I’m hoping to see more of my friends being recognized for their creativity in the kitchen. Also, in addition to cooking our favorite soul and Latin dishes, rely on us for other types of cuisines, too.  Read more