Bring Back Cheddar

Cheddar and Smoked Chicken Salad with Creamy Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

It wasn’t until Cabot Creamery delivered a box of cheddar, that I decided to toss cheddar back into my salads. The only reason why I stopped, was because feta, parmesan or goat cheese also became a few of my favorite salad additions. As a kid, Dad used to effortlessly toss large garden salads of tomato wedges, crisp iceberg lettuce, chunky carrot slices and thick, sliced cucumbers with cheddar chunks thrown into the bowl. Other people made similar salads with cubes of meat. Dad also introduced to us to salads made with greens grown from our backyard garden. When most people were eating sweet iceberg, we were munching on delicate, bitter greens: the type of pre-washed greens most people currently buy. Today’s salads are nuanced plates with artfully arranged vegetables.

Read more

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.

Read more

Get It Before It’s Gone

Apple Cider Beer Shrimp Boil

Sorry to break the news, but Summer is almost over. I agree… it went by fast. Winter seems as if it last forever. One day I was celebrating Spring at a tasting organized by Angry Orchard to introduce their seasonal Summer Honey Apple Hard Cider that is available from March into August. And, now I’m publishing a recipe using their Summer Honey into the late Summer.

Read more

#SmoothieNumbers 27: Raspberry, Hibiscus Tea and Fresh Coconut

SmoothieNumbers 27: Raspberry, Hibiscus Tea and Fresh Coconut

In New York, most African-American festivals have a vendor chopping the tops of fresh coconuts, in which straws are inserted for a quick sip of refreshing coconut water. The heavy fruit is returned, in which the vendor splits it in half to scoop out the white flesh. Once home, thoroughly clean the pulp and chill or freeze until ready to use. For this Smoothie Number, the pulp is added to frozen raspberries and chilled hibiscus tea for a refreshing drink on a hot and humid day. The drink is tart and sweet with a subtle hint of coconut, but it has tons of vitamin C.

Read more

What Makes a Happy Meal

West African-Inspired Salad

We initially didn’t eat want the healthy options on fast food menus, because it wasn’t going to be a happy meal. Today, chefs are creating healthy meals into exciting options. Such as Panera Bread announcing plans to eliminate chemical preservatives and artificial ingredients from their meals by 2016. It was an 11 year process of working with chefs and nutritionists to change how fast food corporations offer healthier options with tantalizing ingredients.

Read more