Sunday, March 23, 2014

Be Back Soon

Sorry I've been so quiet y'all!!! I have a huge board exam on April 1st, it actually last two days.  It's costing me about one thousand bucks, so I definitely don't want to go through this again.  So I'll be under a rock until then but afterwards I can't wait to get around to sharing my renovated house, planning for South Africa (less than one month!) and more Southern cooking!  see you soon!!!

p.s. have you check out my tumblr???

Monday, March 17, 2014

St Patrick's Day

Hey guys!  Happy St Patrick's Day!!!  I celebrated mostly on Saturday, enjoying beer and watching seeing some Irish bands downtown.  I am so loving this weather...until today.  That's North Carolina for you - sun on Saturday followed by sleet on Monday!

Below are some fashionable ways to celebrate!  

Loeffler Randall Mint Mini Rider - love, love this bag

Have a great day!!!  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pie Please

I've taken a break from cooking recipes off of pinterest and have been concentrating on traditional Southern recipes.  I don't think people need to confine themselves to a certain niche, but my inspirations are my grandmothers and they were definitely Southern chefs.  Also, I don't anything makes you feel as warm and fuzzy inside as dishes like fried chicken, collards and sweet potato pie.  Unfortunately nothing will raise your blood sugar like these dishes either!  My plan is learn the cooking without alterations first (like when I made chicken and dumplings with crisco), then make exchanges with things to make it healthier when I cook it again.  Already I'm making my pancakes with half whole wheat flour - half white and they're still delicious.  Maybe next time I'll go 100%!

These are my study materials.  Paula Deen's cookbook is amazing and I haven't been disappointed by a recipe yet.  Also, she doesn't use many ingredients - sugar and butter! - so I don't have to do much extra shopping to cook from her book other than keeping fresh buttermilk at hand.  Bless Your Heart and the Blue Willow Inn are also traditional Southern cookbooks and I'd recommend them both.

Today let's talk pies!  I think I have always preferred making pies to cakes and in my opinion they pair better with ice cream too!  Here are some recipes I've cooked in the past couple of weeks.

Bourbon Pecan Pie - the recipe in Paula's cookbook isn't available online, which makes sense.  But this is a similar version she shares on her site.

Caramel Banana Pie

Aaron dolloped extra caramel on top of his slice :-)

The caramel banana pie recipe is from Bless Your Heart.  Did you know you can make caramel from sweetened condensed milk?  

Foolproof Caramel

1 can of sweetened, condensed milk

Take a can, remove the label.  Put the unopened can in a large stockpot and cover with at least 4 inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then down to a simmer.  Simmer for 3 hours.  Add water to the pot as as needed so that the can is never exposed.  After 3 hours, remove the can from the stockpot and cool.  After cooling, when you open it up, you have a creamy caramel!  

I like this recipe for when you have a lot of things going on around the house and need to make an easy caramel.  It is a foolproof way to make caramel and not burn it, it's also a bit creamier and less sweet then if you had just heated sugar.  It's still pretty sweet though, so for many things you'll probably only need one can.  You can use it to make pie like I did or drizzle it over cakes and brownies!  

Enjoy the recipes!  I hope you all are enjoying your weekend and St. Patty's celebrations!  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Five

Friday Five

1. I've been MIA for so long because we've been renovating our house! Goodbye wallpaper, hello to fresh paint on the walls and cabinets and granite countertops!  A contractor did the work for us, but it's still been busy with clearing out the rooms and now putting things back.  I can honestly say my house is a hurricane right now.  Here's a sneak peak until the house is clean!

My handy husband with our new applicances!

2.  It feels that a girl's wardrobe is never complete.  I've been eyeing these pieces hoping that with spring there will be some huge price cuts since it seems my taste is getting rather expensive.

3.  Today is employee appreciation day.  Interns (me!) got the day off! Yayyy!!

4. There were fashion shows -and then this happened.

Chanel Fall RTW 2014

5.  Lupito Nyong'o's amazing speech at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon

"I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: "Dear Lupita," it reads, "I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me."
My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.
I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.
And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.
And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.
And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty.”