Last week we covered 2 skills in one week. Usually, we don’t do this but trust me you can only do SO much with either of them. I was eager to hurry up and get Introduction to Sugar Art out of the way. Although it was with one of my favorite instructors and it seemed to irritate everyone equally lol, I just didn’t really have a taste for it. It looks beautiful and to be able to manipulate it is truly a skill that deserves praise. However, I don’t see where it would fit in with my design aesthetic at all. Putting that medium on a cake seemed to be limiting to me and reminded me of putting denim on a wedding dress or something. lol meh… However, we were told to do whatever we wanted to do and for me, that means 1 of 2 things on my cake bucket list- a peacock or a hot air balloon. IDK when I officially became enamored with the two things but it borders on obsession at this point. lol Anyway, I chose the former and did a perched peacock on my 2-tier styrofoam cake. I hand-painted my fantasy version of the feathers by using luster dust to draw upside-down hearts in the center of each. I got to use a blow torch and all! It was pretty cool but extremely hot! The instructor also told us More >
Left to Right Counterclockwise:
- Paint Peeler Gun and Plaster Scraper from the Hardware store are chocolate making essentials. We also use a laser thermometer from Home Depot as well! Pretty heavy lifting for some cake decorators, eh?
- Me handling the chocolate using the Tabling Method to safely bring the temperature of the chocolate down
- The chocolate handling me lol
- The “paper test” to prove to my instructor (and self) that I’d performed the task properly
- The chocolate is now at working temperature and ready for dipping
- Chocolates in my chocolate box (the box is propped up bc I cracked it in the cab coming home, shhhh…lol)
- Finished product!
Can you believe that I am finished with the first half of the program?!?!?!??! OMG!!! Today marked the end of the 8th week. I think that I could walk away today and be satisfied with the amount of knowledge and my current skill-level. Sure, I have a long way to go but they can’t teach experience anyway, right? This week we journeyed into the world of chocolate. Not like the week that I thought was chocolate week…. this was a REAL chocolate week. We tempered 3 kinds of chocolate, 4 different ways! With that chocolate, we made truffles andMore >
I’m so sorry for not posting over the last 2 weeks. Both of my readers called and were like, “What up with the posts?” lol So, here I am. But I never said that I would post EVERY week anyway so I really don’t know how both of y’all could be mad anyway. lol
I apologize but week 6 brought about examinations or what they called, 1/3 term exams. o_O What kind of name is that? Just say you were behind schedule and missed the planned 1/4 term exams and keep it moving. lol Don’t just be making up stuff! lol Anyway, I was terribly stressed that week. I don’t think I’d been that stressed since those 2 weeks when Scandal went on hiatus. I know you’re thinking, IT’S JUST CAKE DECORATING AND BAKING!!! SUCK IT UP!!! And I was thinking the same thing but it is hard, lol. For this real-life mock situation, we were each given an order we were to complete. I was assigned a baptism cake for a couple’s first baby named Sophia. Awwww… It was so sweet. The couple provided an handkerchief sewn by the baby’s great-grandmother that they wanted me to incorporate into the design. It was to be white with pink accents and overall, “simple and sweet”….aka a cake assignment designed for a complete beginner. More >
This week was all about that wonderful thing we call CHOCOLATE!!!! We made several wonderful recipes:
Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Chocolate Pastry Cream and Enrobed in Ganache (Pic with the shards of multi-colored chocolate panels)
White Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with White Chocolate Ganache and filled with strawberry-raspberry jam
Rich Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache filling covered in modelling chocolate
We had chocolate coming out of our ears. We learned about Coverture chocolate (a higher quality chocolate with a greater percentage of cocoa butter than regular chocolate), Compound chocolate (a make up of chocolate in which a portion of the cocoa butter is replaced with vegetable fat i.e. shortening <bleck>..this is what you get when you buy the chocolate discs at Michael’s), and White Chocolate, which really isn’t chocolate at all because it lacks cocoa butter completely. After tasting about 20 or so different chocolates from all over the world, I learned that I really don’t care that much for white chocolate. First of all, it doesn’t have the same mouthfeel as real chocolate and it is HELL to work with!! Hell, I tell you!!! In fact, we were unable to mask the More >
Why is dude (bottom left) looking at me like that? lol
Monday, the 1st, was Canada’s “4th of July” and I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday! I really wish I were home just for today to buy my niece and nephews sparklers and poppers and chill with my family near some body of water with BBQ and a nice cold beer. I really don’t drink much but something about the summer makes me crave a beer. While I didn’t have the kids, the fam or the beach, I did have the 14th Annual Ribfest and Firework Show that would have to do. It featured 16 award-winning BBQ artisans from all over Canada and the US. Because it does not get dark to literally 9:40 pm here, the fireworks didn’t start until 10. Until then, I hung out doing chores and exploring through my new neighborhood and getting in my 45 minutes of daily walking that I do twice a week. lol What’s worse is that all I could think about while walking was the Ribfest. lol
It seems so strange to me that the liquor stores were closed on Monday. I’m not a big drinker but I wanted a beer that day. (Note- if I say “Im not a big drinker just before saying I wanted a beer again, it’s a cry for help. lol) Oh well, they really missed anMore >
Boy oh boy oh boy…. Did I have a WEEK!! smh…. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know part of the drama with my EX (HALLELUJAH!!!) room mate. To catch you up, on Friday I came home from school and took a nap with the intentions of going to my friend’s house in Pickering (about 2.5 hours away on transit) for the weekend to get away. I overslept as usual and it was 10:30 and too late to make the trip unless I called her to come get me (which is 35 mins. in the car). Anyway, I walk to the bathroom and her son asks, “Mommy? Mommy”? I reply, “nooo? but where is she”? He tells me she went out. I text her and ask if everything is ok because in my head I am thinking surely there must’ve been an emergency. She responds, “Yes, why”? I say “because you left” and she says, “Yes, I’m out with a girlfriend”.
I’m replaying all of this and I still can not believe it it all. lol Give me a moment to regroup……….lol
Her next text says, “Is my son ok, if I may ask”? I found it strange that she added the whole “if I may ask” portion and I decide to tell her that he’s fine but resolved that we needed to have a talk when she got home. Cut to More >
This week turned out to be a pretty awesome week for me. I completed my very first 2-tier cake!!! The top tier is a styrofoam dummy cake while bottom tier is made of a banana yogurt cake recipe with strawberry-raspberry italian meringue buttercream filling. Yeah, it’s good! I’ll have to make it for you some time. Styros are pretty standard in cake baking if you want the design aesthetic but don’t need the extra cake. I haven’t cut the cake yet because it is sooo pretty and I didn’t feel as silly for not doing so when I went to school this morning to find that no one else had and for the same reason. lol This was the first week that we spent most of the time just decorating. After baking and masking our cakes, we covered them in fondant and prepared our designs for them. BTW, if you ever bring yourself to hating someone (which you shouldn’t but if you do) make them mask and level your cake!!!! They’ll never cross you again. lol I got my cake pretty level and as you can see they’re pretty serious about it here at the school. (I still had more work to do to fill in the spaces, etc….and it has to be leveled ALL AROUND the cake so this pic was about 30 minutes before I was ACTUALLY More >
This week proved to be a much better week for TheITgurl! It seemed to be a little better paced and it centered around more baking and less of that dreadful cake decorating that almost broke me last week. All of the teachers are very (and surprisingly) nice! Some are more intense than others but that is respectable and still likable. Among other skills that escape me at the moment, we learned how to make:
Pesche (the peach looking cookie above…aren’t they darling?!)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
It was an eventful week that started with us being split into two teams and making about 260 cupcakes between us. THEN we had to make Buttercream for all of them! But that buttercream paid off because we needed it for those beautiful Cupcake Bouquets above! OMG! AREN’T THEY THE CUTEST THINGS EVER?!?? Edible Arrangements can pretty much call it a day… that fruit is never ripe anyway. lol
Today, we got an introduction to painting on cakes. We were asked to bring in a photo to use for our painting and I chose the ballerina pictured on the left above. (As if you couldn’t tell the professional pic from mine, More >
Before I continue, I need to clear up a few things. Y’all have been consoling me and texting me about my last post. lol I am ok. I was fine 10 minutes later. I just had “a moment”. I feel bad for making YALL feel bad for me. (That’s the type of person I am but you know that and that’s why you care like you do… so thanks!) Trust me, I am back to my normal self and I’ve fully recovered from my bus incident. Well, not completely because I still have some anxiety about misplacing things every time I board and stand to leave the bus….. the BUS! Your girl is on THE BUS!!!! I think I need some props! I’m not too good for the bus at all but I marvel at the independence I feel when I reach my destination. I feel like the few who commute to the school in their cars are taking care of their business, but the rest of us using transit, are KILLING IT! lol We’re more serious! lol
I made it through week one and I am ecstatic! I won’t say it wasn’t hard or that if I had I car, I wouldn’t have gone out to cry in it once or twice lol but I made it. There are 7 people in my program. I am the oldest and the only American. There are 2 ladies from India (who have also studied at Le Cordon Bleu inMore >
It has been RIDICULOUSLY LONG since I last posted! Not that I wasn’t feeling y’all but I have been terribly busy with my little business and trying to get to the next level in it and everything! Which brings me to my next subject….
I’M IN CANADA!!!!!!! I came up to attend Bonnie Gordon College for Confectionary Arts. I am in the 16 week Diploma programme (<–look at me…all British and all lol) and I LOVE IT SO FAR!! Mind you, it’s been one day… anyway, I will keep you updated on my experiences in the classroom as well as my life in Canada while here! No need to thank me. lol
Let me back up…. So I am staying with a friend of a friend’s friend in an apartment not too far from the school. (a 22 minute bus ride) When I pictured my travel life in Canada, I always envisioned something like my trips to Manhattan… stumbling downstairs from my high-rise hotel, taking a brief 1/2 block walk to the subway and ascending from the train at my destination. Not ONCE did I imagine uphill treks, overcrowded buses, pigeons and transfers. It NEVER crossed my mind!! NOT ONCE!! lol So I am getting a little more UNAVOIDABLE exercise than I expected and that excites me because I would desperately like to More >
Don’t you just hate when you go to do something and you simply can’t FIND YOUR CRAP!!!! UGH!!! I am a huge packrat but I’m not a hoarder. There is a difference! I know exactly what I have and know exactly where I (meant to) put it!! lol So I refuse to take responsibility for the disorganization of my kitchen cabinets or the shelves where I store some of my platters, large plates etc in the garage. Nope….not my fault. Someone else must’ve moved it!
It’s usually a gravy boat, an ice scooper or a martini shaker that seems to elude me, but on this day, it was a box of ramekins. I had the great idea to free up some space and move them from the cabinet into the garage and that would’ve been ok if I hadn’t had the SAME great idea for at least 2 rooms full of stuff from other spots in my house as well. Long story short, I found the ramekins and saved the day – ‘cuz that’s how I roll…..lol (Nevermind my garage looks like a commercial for hoarders at the moment and that no one but me could care less if I ever found them but still…. One can dream, can’t she?)
There aren’t many things that excite my husband and even fewer things that really ‘grind his gears’…. BUT if you were to ask him More >
Every year, we wait patiently for an excuse to indulge in the liquid fat we have come to endear as Egg Nog. While it is in stores as early as November, we do the right thing (as part of our civic duty to mankind) and wait until Christmas Eve to pour the first glass. I can never get through more than one but Greg will drink and drink mainly because he doesn’t like wasting money. lol This year, I wanted to show him that I am a changed woman— capable of saving and repurposing like never before. Starting with that pint of egg nog we usually discard. Nope! Not this year! I’d been dreaming of things to do with Greg’s favorite drink all Fall and into Winter. My co-worker made a pumpkin pie with egg nog that was quite tasty and inspirational…thanks Francis!! So I wanted to take something I already knew was a sure shot and just sub out and sub in some things to make it fit my needs. Basically what I do with everything, all the time. This is my creation so please try it and love it as you would me. lol
Egg Nog Bundt Cake
1 ½ cup All-purpose Flour
1 ½ cup Cake flour
1 tea Baking Soda
1 tea Baking Powder
¼ tea ground nutmeg
1 tea Salt
3 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature (I love More >
I have really been on a crusade to bring you some very simple yet stunning desserts to make your holiday(s) a little easier. Maybe it is out of guilt since I don’t have to cook at ALL this Thanksgiving *kicks feet up*, or maybe it’s just because I (HA!) like you. Sorry, I couldn’t say that without laughing. lol But listen here….. it pretty much doesn’t get any simpler or FANTASTIC than this recipe here. No mixer needed, you only need ONE batch because it makes 2 dozen, it takes about 20 minutes and all others will have to step off because you are about to KILL it in the kitchen. TRUST ME! (ß I know I say this a lot, but somehow I feel like you aren’t keeping an accurate count of all the bangers I be dropping. The score is like
Fierce Foodie: “50-leven” Dry Tasteless Inedibles:“0”. Lol And yes, “50-leven” is a real number and integer. Lol PLEEEEEASE…if you are debating whipping something up because of time or because you feel like you are already doing too much disregard all of that and MAKE THESE CUPCAKES!!!! SICK OUT DELICIOUS!!!
A few basics of course: USE REAL BUTTER, UNSALTED and preferably KERRY GOLD!! I know it is a little pricey, but you only need 1 ½ sticks and it is a More >
There was an overwhelming response on Facebook to the Pumpkin Carrot Cake post from last week! It really was an excellent cake and one that I thought I would surely be making EVERY holiday from here on out. (Thanks Ben Starr!!) However, among the praise (from those who were fortunate enough to actually eat it in my office) and thank-you’s (for finding and sharing the recipe) were some emails expressing some serious dismay. People were intimidated. Whether because of the lengthiness of the recipe, the 5 layers, making the meringue or because of Ben’s 32 hour long tutorial—they were intimidated. I honestly thought that it would help to add the link but it did NOT! So I was upset because I wanted to share it with the world but it is no good if folks can’t recreate it themselves. It reminded me of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by Ms. Badu, “…what good do your words do if they can’t understand you…” The only alternative was for me to bake the cake for you all and that ain’t happening so you know what I did? I devoted my Sunday to coming up with a simplified version of the cake -One that would mimic the flavor and moistness of Ben’s cake but did so without making it difficult More >
Last week was our annual Thanksgiving party in our office. Not that I’m not used to being clawed after and desperately desired, but folks were emailing me their requests for their favs of mine and I was eating it up, chile! Lol On top of it all, I was happy since I will not be cooking for my family this Thanksgiving. We will be at the in-laws’ crib in Lake City on Turkey Day. IDK how we are going to do this since neither of us are eating meat or dairy and the Grandma and host has never met a dish that didn’t beg for some hog maws or a pig foot for seasoning. Plus she is an EXCELLENT cook so this will be hard. Pray for us. My friend, Corrin said the holidays are for people like me to stress over. Lol I think she is absolutely right! I crave that rush from planning and preparing the seemingly impossible fantastic meal that my diners expect. I want to get up at 4 am to make piecrust and dice giblets. I want the house to smell of food that can’t be consumed until I SAY SO, waiting until that perfect moment when your stomach is LITERALLY on your back and your eyes beckon for me to relent. Wait…for a second, I stooped talking about food. Lol
Anywhoooo, I made a turkey (as well as my More >
You know I’ve been on a serious pumpkin kick lately. From whoopie pies to doughnuts to cheesecakes –pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin! Every once in a while you find a recipe that kinda changes the game. That recipe for me, is this one! I discovered it in a magazine about 2 years ago and it has haunted me ever since. I KNEW it was good but I was scared of change. lol Ben Starr is the creator of this recipe and I I have officially been “Starr Struck”! I won’t go on and on because the recipe itself is pretty lengthy but SIMPLE. But, but, but….it is TOTALLY worth the effort!! Just get organized, measure the ingredients as accurately as possible (by weight is best!), prep as much as you can before you even cut the oven on – “mise en place”! (<–French for having everything in place)
Now, for the BEST part……. Ben has a video tutorial on making this cake!!!!! Yep, a step-by-step guide for making the cake of your life! I’ve reorganized the recipe a little to help it flow for my pretty little head but other than that, it is pretty much the same. I would recommend making the cake as is and then making your changes. Just out of respect for my new baby, Ben! lol
Happy Halloween!! I think this is the first time in my life that I have said that. Growing up in a Christian household, we were not allowed to participate in the “holiday”. I recall going to and LOVING “Hallelujah Night” at the church as an alternative to the joining the rest of the world on their fast track to hell. Lol (but seriously, my church didn’t preach that, they just wanted a safe place for their members to fellowship). A lot has changed since I was a kid though. I am learning more and more to judge people and things more on their intent and a little less on what they actually do. Let’s face it, people are dumb but that doesn’t make them bad. Lol While we are still looking forward to going to the now “Fall Festival” at one of the local churches (Thomasville Rd. Baptist), we will allow the kids (my nephews) to partake in trick or treating around the neighborhood as well. Nooo, they (we) don’t worship devils or idolize goblins. We don’t wish ill on anyone or practice voodoo. We are not praying to any little “g” gods….not even Beyonce……They (we) just want candy!!! Lol So the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I will gaily walk the streets tonight and enjoy all the laughter, More >
Today was a pretty interesting day. Some of my friends accused me of only posting advanced level recipes. That is “a lie ‘fo God” (lol) as I swear I do not consider myself to be advanced at all. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not going to downplay that a sista got skills, lol but it really is only because I have become a student of sorts. I puts in work! I am learning and I am always trying to improve upon something that others might consider perfect. I think it is the nature of the beast.
I’ve made caramel apples before but they involved making homemade carmel, a candy thermometer and enough ingredients to throw out the first batch like I had to. lol (I ALWAYS have to toss the first batch whenever I make caramel, btw. I’m not ashamed at all. Told you, I’m learning too….. lol)
I had my girlfriends in mind as I made this all too simple recipe. They are going to LOVE it! It is made up of 3 ingredients and literally takes about 10 minutes and you’re done!
A couple of things I’ve learned though:
1) supermarket apples have a pretty wax coating on them that gets in the way of caramel sticking properly. To rid your apples of this, dip them in boiling water for about 45 seconds and wipe withMore >
I have pretty much been on a pumpkin craze since the first hinting of fall. I think that I am in love with it because I didn’t care for it much as a child and now that I am able to cook, I feel like I’m accepting this culinary challenge when I pop open a can of it to make something that would convert people over to it. I’m like the Christian Settlers in Jamestown. (I’ll wait while you Google it) lol
My preference has always been sweet potato and pumpkin will never replace it completely in my heart because it has an added fullness of flavor that pumpkin can’t match. I think pumpkin is milder and lends itself more to all the heavy hitter spices of the season- cardamom, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, etc. I also love the challenge of making believers out of people who say they don’t eat certain things. This was definitely the case with my kids in Teen Top Chef, as many of them scoffed at the idea of eating pumpkin donuts. “I’ll help cook them, Chef Z. But I’m not eating them”, remarked a few students. I played along with the arrangement because I knew they would love them just as soon as they started smelling up the kitchen. And they did. They’re unbelievably moist, perfectly sweetened and More >
I kinda went bananas with bananas on this cake. lol I love the flavor of bananas but sometimes they can go gooey baby foodey like, you know? I love the heartiness of a good, dense pound cake but it doesn’t need to choke me to prove its love to me. It should be moist and soft but you should know when it’s in the room. I made this cake after having leftover buttercream from some macarons I made. I will be putting up what works for me after I can complete at least 10 batches successfully. Stella at Bravetart has been such a doll in helping me in my macaron journey!! I’m using her recipe so if you want to test your hand at them before I give you a “novice approach”, check her out! She is good! She has emailed me and tweeted me a few times! It’s like meeting the Pastry Chef version of Madonna! She’s been featured in “Food & Wine” magazine and all! And she talks to little old me! Don’t look at me like that! #youcare lol
Okay….enough of my mini brag session, lol Back to the cake at hand!!!! Let me come back to reality because it was a cake decorator’s disaster! (But we don’t have time to go on and on about that.)
Great thing it was absolutely divine and folks in my office chew More >
Sometimes you just need a quick breakfast so that you can get out the house and pretend the laundry isn’t there calling you. lol But then it has to be somewhere that isn’t too fun or too indulgent since you probably didn’t go to church that morning, either. I think that place is Sam’s Club. So when Greg is yelling that he is hungry and I’m running from all three- the laundry, my mother’s condemnation for not going to church AND Greg, this is the dish I prepare. lol
There are easy dishes and then there are EASY dishes!! This is the latter! I’m talking stupid easy! Kelly Bundy stupid! Give it a try, please!
10-MINUTE SAUSAGE EGG BAKE
1 tbsp. butter or cooking spray
1 box Jimmy Dean pre-cooked sausage patties (I like the turkey sausage)
1- 1 1/2 c. Green Mountain Organic Salsa
4 lg. eggs
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or any other melty cheese…try to shred it yourself for better taste)
1/2 to 1 c. goat cheese
Put oven rack in middle of oven and turn oven to Broil.
Butter a 9 inch pie pan.
Heat 8 Jimmy Dean precooked sausage patties in microwave for 2 mins.
Dice meat and spread across bottom of dish.
Top with 1-1/12 c Green Mountain organic More >
Recently, a friend and co-worker of mine (Jennifer) asked me what foods I’d discovered since being on a vegan diet. Jokingly, she offered “vegetables”. lol While I laughed, I think she was spot on. But even greater than veggies (since I definitely used to get at least 1 with dinner) was my new reliance on fruit. I’ve never before appreciated the power of fruit to quell my sometimes insatiable sweet tooth (ok, teeth!) and not leaving me feeling like I’m initiating a East Coast/ West Coast Battle between my two thighs. Of course I love my Green Smoothies at 7:30 but at 10:30 when it’s time to eat again, I am really excited about my nut butter (peanut, hazelnut or almond) and banana toast! Truly geeked! It’s fast, filling, nutritious and delicious. What else do you need out of a (second) breakfast?
Nut Butter and Banana Toast
2 packets Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter* (or 2 Tbsp. natural nut butter of choice)
1 medium banana, thinly sliced
2 tbsp black Chia seeds** (or flax seeds)
1 tsp all natural Coconut Sweetener (optional)
2 slices brown rice bread (or a high fiber wheat bread)
Slice banana as thinly as possible, lengthwise.
Toast bread. While still warm, spread with More >
As I told you, I plan to sprinkle in a few of my favorite vegan recipes every now and again. I’m still getting my vegan “sea legs” (get it? …I kill me!) so I took a few recommendations from folks in hopes of getting a good footing in this diet. Greg and I have been drinking Green Smoothies for at least 5 days a week for the past 3 months. They are amazing! You get serval servings of the recommended fruits and veggies in one sitting. We’ve used kale, red lettuce and spinach (our fave) as the “green” and then have added all sorts of fruits – banana, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, mango and even avocado. While I want a $400 Vitamix blender, for the moment I have a little “bullet-esque” Bella blender I got at a Macy’s One-Day sale (which they have like 6 days a week lol). It is fine until you start getting into the tougher greens. That coupled with the fact that the spinach has the mildest taste in the smoothies, makes it our favorite green so far. We are open to suggestion, though!
I love love love everything LIME!!! I have a Pinterest Pinboard dedicated to lime, my favorite dessert is the Key Lime Pie and my poison of choice is a Patron shot with a lime wedge. (However, if I More >
I wanted to share this recipe I found on a wonderful Ecuadorian (Latin) website, Laylita.com. I will definitely be going back to this site and trying new things and directing you to the stuff that gets the FierceFoodie nod! Good stuff! Anyway, this dish is EXCELLENT and will have your diners thinking they are at a fine dining establishment and you swooning because it is amazingly easy! I’m talking, reality-tv- “Rock of Love” -with -Bret Michaels- and “For the Love of Ray-Jay” -EASY! lol
I wanted to post the recipe up sooner but we had a busted pipe in our master bdrm and had to take refuge at a hotel for the last two nights. Needless to say, Y’all, were NOT on my mind. lol The recipe says to marinate your fish for 1-2 hours but I did it for 1 and it was flavorful still. Enjoy!!! We sure did!!
2 ½ lbs chilean sea bass (or any other fresh fish), cut in medium size chunks
1 lb large/jumbo shrimp, deveined (I leave the tails on for visual appeal)
¼ cup lime juice, from about 2 limes
Juice from 2 oranges
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tbs sunflower or olive oil
1 medium sized onion, diced
2 bell peppers, More >
What began as a raw food diet for 2 weeks quickly (I’m talking 5 hours later) morphed into a something else. lol I got up and made humongous fruit salads and drank a water. We went to the movies to see Ted and came out STARVING!!!! In a panic, I scurried to find something for us to eat before we completely gave up and went to Chick-fil-a, lol. (hmmmmm…chick-fila) We quickly drove over to a vegan spot I knew of from doing the Daniel Fast with my church. Sooooooo, that was the end of our raw foodist journey. In any event, today marks the 1 month anniversary of our attempt at Veganism!!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, we are more like Pescatarians since we have fish on the weekends…and more like vegetarians since I’m pretty sure that we probably had a condiment or two that would be shunned by our “fellow” vegans. Long story short…we are eating better, cleaner and there is absolutely no meat allowed on this journey. Pseudo-Vegan Pescatarians. POW! LOL Until I turned on my PC at work this morning, I honestly hadn’t noticed it had been a month. I was ecstatic!! I don’t think I’ve tried any lifestyle change that has fit into my current “lifestyle” as easily as adapting to this diet. (Am I using More >
I really can’t give my mother all the credit, afterall, my father is her right hand in the kitchen. Being from Miami, I am privy to cuisines from all around the world. However, some of the foods I love most, originate from just a few miles south of my home. This recipe is a mix of influence from the Florida Keys and the Caribbean – “Floribbean”! (I coined that term myself…at least I think I did. lol) I also can’t say that my parents will be ok with me adapting their recipe and sharing it with the world so please keep quiet about it.
This dish gets better the longer you allow it to marinate so at least give it 30 to 40 minutes before serving if you can. Too long though, and the conch toughens a little. Let me know how it goes for you! The freshness is unmatched and there is nothing missing but the sand between your toes. (sand! not dirt, lol)
Big Zina’s Floribbean Conch Salad
1 pound conch, 1-inch chopped pieces, tenderized
1 tomato, diced
½ lg cucumber, peeled and diced
½ orange bell pepper, diced
1/3 red onion, diced
1 (5.5oz) can, tomato juice
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (Juice of about 9 lemons)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tea. jalapeno pepper, seededMore >
I have been experimenting more and more with the use of sour cream in my cooking, particularly, baked goods. I am impressed. It adds moistness and flavor- good combo. I usually don’t post a breakfast recipe in the middle of the week but I felt it necessary since my sister’s boyfriend just called me to ask me what I’m cooking for HIM when I get to Miami tomorrow. o_O lol. I thought that if I put up another recipe, it would reiterate my original purpose—to get OTHERS into cooking!!! lol These pancakes were quite fabulous! While we hear about blueberry, and strawberry pancakes a lot, banana pancakes were the most googled pancake recipe in 2011! go figure! (<–ok, so I made that up but it’s possible. lol) I like banana danggit so you will too! MUAH!
Kev…this is for you, boo! lolIngredients
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving (slices)
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste)
Pure maple syrup (Grade B if possible)
Optional Ingredients: nuts, chocolate chips, More >
I absolutely love teaching the Teen Top Chef cooking class at the teen center, don’t get me wrong. The kids are nothing like the scary kids in the news or the one’s with the spinning heads in the grocery store. They are pretty mild, interested enough and I always smile for some reason throughout the class…for reasons other than my usual goofiness, of course. HOWEVER, I am terribly excited about not seeing them for the next 2 weeks. I need a break! Lol I have other projects and things in the works so I need to take advantage of this little sabbatical. For the last class, I decided to make pancakes with them. We made two types: Banana and Red Velvet. I was hoping to post on the Banana pancakes but I think the recipe needs a little tweaking before I debut it so stay tuned. J While I posted a Red Velvet pancake recipe about a year ago, I’ve made a few adjustments and I believe and it is camera ready! It is basically the same but with the great addition of sour cream and a teeny meeeny bit more sugar. However, credit is due to the good people over at Food Republic via the food babe over at Carnal Dish!
This pic is not my normal, Fierce Foodie kitchen pic as it was taken at the Teen More >
I am in food lust with the folks at Food Republic so when I was thinking about goodies for my hubby for game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, I stalked their pages for something tasty! Their site seems so ummm….MANLY. PERFECT! I thought that I was going to watch the game with him (it is on as I’m posting this) but decided against it as “Monster-in-Law” is on. I LOOOOVE THIS MOVIE! lol and hopefully, you will LOOOVE these wings!
I marinated them about 7 hours. This meant that immediately after serving breakfast, I began prep for dinner. Yeah, I’m a bad mammajamma. I was able to get all of the spices for this dish at a local Oriental Market since I was next door at the Seafood market, but you may be able to find them in the ethnic section at your local grocery store.
I usually don’t really care for cilantro but this dipping sauce has lime juice and you know I love ANYTHING with limes! It was the perfect complement.
The wings are warming in the oven at this moment. Greg can’t concentrate on the game and eat at the same time so they must standby until halftime. (when I tell u he is spoiled?!!!) smh….
Servings:20 wings Ingredients FOR THE WINGS: 24 drummettes 2 More >
4 tablespoons oil
2 lb flank steak, cut diagonally against the grain into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 scallions, white and green parts
1 1/2 cup broccoli florets, sliced
1/2 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (I only had apple cider on hand and it was perfect!)
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 teaspoons chili sauce with garlic (<–not optional!!!!)
prepared Jasmine rice (which means cook the rice first, people)
*I used safflower oil because I had it on hand (and literally already on the counter) for a cake but any other neutral tasting oil will suffice (i.e. canola or vegetable)
Okay so I must say that THIS RIGHT HERE, is what you’ve been looking for! NOT ME SILLY!! THIS RECIPE!! lol I hate the recipes claiming to be modified versions of “Chinese Takeout” etc because while you may save a little in calories and cash, the taste decreases as well. Plus, who wants to slave over a hot stove to produce takeout quality food? That’s kind of dumb, folks….
Anyways…. This recipe is adapted from “CookingMore >