Lavender isn’t traditionally an African ingredient (at far as I know). The best is grown in France, where it’s mixed in an Herbs de Provence blend of thyme, savory, rosemary and other herbs. It also nicely pairs with sweet potatoes, a starchy root vegetable, in which African slaves who were brought to the Americans, found to be similar to their native yams. Serve this dish with Broccoli and Freekeh Pilaf or Brazilian/Stir-Fry Style Collard Greens.
Fresh Sweet Potato and Rosemary Pasta with Harissa Spiced Roast Tomatoes, Collard Greens, and Chickpeas garnished with toasted Pine Nuts
My friends must think I’m avoiding them. April has proven to be whirlwind of hi-strung energy. There are too many priorities that can’t be ignored or delayed. In the beginning of April, I canceled a few coffee dates. Around mid-April, meetings were rescheduled for May, after canceling for the third time. When dates are canceled, it throws another person’s schedule off. It’s not like my friends have extra spare time. In addition to juggling priorities, the landlord schedules much needed repairs and a painting job for the whole apartment. There’s dust and painting supplies everywhere. The saying, if the house isn’t in order, life is unorganized. Read more
Sweet Potato and Chocolate Cream Bars
Someone said, “There goes the neighborhood’s intelligentsia,” upon hearing about a bookstore closing in the neighborhood. It was a quaint shop of diverse — mostly African-American — literature, music, and small gifts. The book store owner gladly ordered any book upon request, and she welcomed suggestions about upcoming books and authors. When I first moved into the neighborhood, seeing a book shop prominently display African-American literature, from the Nobel Peace Prize to the urban world fiction authors, warmed the heart. The shop had a cozy atmosphere with stained wooden shelves, framed autographs from notable authors, a painting of an angel reading a book that doubled as the shop’s logo, a play corner for young kids, and a long comfortable window seat. It was difficult to not stop in to say hello on the way to the coffee shop. Other times, a cup of coffee was enjoyed in the shop. Not only was the shop a place of literature, for it supported the community. It sponsored poetry events for young adults, introduced new authors, held reading workshops for children of various ages, and organized book clubs for adults. Read more
Smoothie No. 11: Pumpkin and Apple Cider
Pumpkin and Apple Cider is no. 11 of the Smoothie Numbers series. They’re quick postings listing the ingredients for making refreshing, healthy drinks in a blender. Read more
Frittata with Baby Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Young Fontina Cheese, Red Onions and Fresh Rosemary
Does this recipe look crazy or tastefully coordinated? It was a well thought out experiment, because green compliments orange. The difficult decision was determining which big cheese to add to the frittata. Ricotta was too salty for the dish. Comte would have competed with the other flavors. Fresh mozzarella is a mild cheese with an overvalue taste (For example, a macaroni and cheese recipe with more than four cheeses, including mozzarella, is showing off gooey numbers. The strategy is the masterful coordination of three to four chesses to create a creamy, sharp taste). A short trip to a store’s cheese department helped finalized the decision. The sales clerk offered a few suggestions of cheeses that would’ve naturally dominated the dish. Concerned about choosing too strong of a cheese, mozzarella was about to be the winning choice, again. That’s when it was suggested to try a young fontina cheese, instead. It’s another mild cheese, with a little more flavor. A winning cooking strategy demonstrating a brilliant coordination skill, young fontina paired well with the spinach and the sweet potatoes.