A Sweeter Holiday Cheer

Hot Chocolate

Our Christmas joy is simpler than most households. Gifts are immediately purchased from online businesses that take forever to deliver, and now a third of my gift list is done. The rest of the list will finish in another week. Maybe, I’ll bring homemade goodies to my job and as gifts to others. We won’t buy a gigantic holiday tree. A trip to the florist for a few pine branches to place in a vase and decorate with ornaments is festive enough and easier to clean in January.

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Parade Magazine’s Community Table: Holiday Entertaining Made Easy with JeanMarie Brownson’s Chorizo and Seafood Stew

Jean Marie Brownson's Chorizo and Seafood Stew (Photo © Bill Hogan, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune and Agate Publishing.)

Jean Marie Brownson’s Chorizo and Seafood Stew (Photo © Bill Hogan, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune and Agate Publishing.)

Between all the exciting holiday parties is the option to entertain yourself at home. Open a bottle of wine. Read a book that has been collecting dust since it was gifted last year. And, make a fancy or simple dinner. The inspiration? JeanMarie Brownson’s Dinner at Home cookbook.

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Parade Magazine’s Community Table: A Globally-Inspired Southern Rice Pilaf and an Interview with Nicole Taylor of The Up South Cookbook

Nicole Taylor's The Southern Rice Pilaf from her "The Up South Cookbook"(Photo by ©Noah Fecks)

Nicole Taylor’s The Southern Rice Pilaf from her “The Up South Cookbook”(Photo by ©Noah Fecks)

Nicole Taylor’s The Up South Cookbook is a direct challenge to rethink the definition of Southern cuisine. As a proud southern belle in New York City, Taylor’s expanding knowledge of cultural food influences her to adapt traditional recipes. She also shares classic recipes seldom recognized outside their region, such as the Southern Rice Pilaf (see recipe below). Her recipes are globally diverse, but they’re undoubtedly Southern. In the following interview, Taylor discusses New Yorkers’ perception about Southern food and global influences.

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Well Wishes Needed

Cardamon Cake with Cashew Butter Frosting

August is our birthday month. It started off great. Jacinto remembered to wake up early the first Sunday of the month for us to attend church services, so we can stand together when the announcer ask for everyone born in August to stand up.

We dined at our favorite restaurant, The Cecil in Harlem. Danced to Lauren Hill and Lenny Kravtiz at AfroPunk Festival in the VIP section. Our birthdays are about two weeks apart, and when my birthday week occurred, it wasn’t a great start.

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