Life Archives - The Chef In Pearls

For the Taataas…Breast Cancer Awareness

For the Taataas…Breast Cancer Awareness

I did this shoot for the taataas. Truth be told I did this shoot because I wanted to honor those I know who fought the horrible fight against breast cancer. The ones who won and the ones who didn’t. I did this shoot to honor them. To honor the bravery they had to fight such a fight.  I had to be brave too. I never show this much skin. Plus size woman aren’t supposed to.  But I did it for the taataas.  I did it so that we recall our fallen sistas ( and brothas). I did it for the ones who feel less than because they lost what they thought made them whole (mastectomies can be hard not just on the physical but the mental as well). I did it so we remember our monthly breasts exams. One arm behind your head while checking feverishly in a circular motion with the other hand. So we are the first to notice when something isn’t quite right. I did it for my friend, Sandra Hutchinson, who survived breast cancer but still passed on.  I did it for Michelle Munroe who won that fight and continues to be a support for others ( I see you girl). I did it because I needed you to see this 46-year-old mom who breast-fed children. That these taataas were more than something to just look at. I needed you to see that they don’t stand up like 20 years ago. Nothing a good bra can’t fix. I did it because it was freeing. I did it because of the memories I created and will be able to share. I did it because I want you to be aware that we are nowhere near where we need to be in fighting this fight against breast cancer. I did this for… the TAATAAS!

Embroidered Mesh Top: Lane Bryant

Pink Hooded Jacket: JC Penney

Pink Shorts: JC Penney

Shades: Versona

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Diner en Blanc Atlanta . . . Another one in the Books

Diner en Blanc Atlanta . . . Another one in the Books

30 years since created + 5 years of Atlanta participating + 3,500 people all dressed in white + 1 location = Diner en Blanc Atlanta. This was the year Diner en Blanc turned the big three O and if that wasn’t enough Atlanta celebrated 5 years of being on board. I had goals set for this year’s Diner en Blanc. I wanted to cover 3 different Diner en Blanc and each location I chose held a special place in my heart. Jamaica, New York and Atlanta. My heritage, my past and my present. It would have been an homage to myself of sorts.  Like all good plans sometimes they just don’t work out they way you want. I reached out to the planning committee for Jamaica and have yet to hear from them. I guess I was not persistent enough. I started to be a little smarter with my approach. I reached out to a friend who worked with the planning committee in New York. She helped to connect me with the right people. I was in for New York! Plane ticket purchased, dress ordered, restaurant connection made, itinerary created. The only thing left for me to do was to pack. Then life hit me with a big blow. My Dad’s wife, my bonus Mom, passed away.  I talked a big game to myself and others. I was still going to New York. I was still going to cover at least 2 of the three locations for Diner en Blanc. Yeah I was a tad delusional. Death can do that to you. I had to cancel my trip to New York, I missed my Mom more than I realized.  As if wanting to add insult to injury, it seemed as if there would be no Diner en Blanc Atlanta. My 30 year Diner en Blanc blog post was dying right before my very eyes.  Ugghhh!

Just when I thought I would have to try again next year. I sent one more email to Diner en Blanc Atlanta. I didn’t get an email reply. Instead I received a phone call from Carla Griffin letting me know my name had been added to the media list. Whew. I guess one-third of an original idea is better than none. While I may not have been able to do Jamaica or New York, I enjoyed covering Diner en Blanc Atlanta. Which says so much as Atlanta is the location of my present life. What better way to pay homage to myself than with living in the present. Thank you to the planning committee of Diner en Blanc Atlanta. It was great meeting new people and having the Diner en Blanc experience! Since a picture speaks a thousand words, I am gonna let the below clip say all that I can’t.

Some of you may remember that I atended Diner en Blanc last year, if not then check out last year’s memories here.  If you wold like to create some Diner en Blanc memories of your own,  visit Atlanta.dinerenblanc.com to see how you can be down for next year. Hey maybe we will run into each other and make some memories together! Now go forward and make some memories.

Until next time. . .

~The Chef In Pearls

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Practice What You Preach…It’s About Time.

Practice What You Preach…It’s About Time.

How can I tell people they need to stop “trying” and do and I wasn’t doing the same. I was letting my need to get it just right stand in the way of all that I know I needed to accomplish. I created not one but two different series that I needed to bring to life in front of the camera. They would help me connect even further with followers. Introduce them to new people and places. I had people willing to work with me. I asked everyone and anyone that I thought was interesting if they’d be interested in being a part. And they all said “Yes”. I never received a “No”. So what was my hold up. I could list all the excuses I gave myself but the reality was I was letting fear of not being perfect, not having the “right” equipment, not being able to edit like others hold me back.  It was time for me to practice what I preach.

Well today I give you the first interview in my series “Conversations with The Chef In Pearls”. I will say that this interview didn’t go quite as  planned.  Footage got cut off, I lost my editing twice, spent time uploading the wrong version once edited. The bottom line is I did it. With every hiccup I was improving my abilities. I tell people constantly, “We are a people that do, not try, whether we fail or succeed. We do!”  So today I do! I present to you “Conversations with The Chef In Pearls featuring Dr. Leni Sorensen.”

 

 

After watching this interview  I want you to go and do that thing that you have been wanting to do. Like Nike …Just Do It. You will be amazed at the memories you will create from just doing. So glad to say that I do now. I am no longer a hypocrite because I practice what I preach. Now go forward and make some memories of you doing.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

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August Recap…

August Recap…


I know we are in a whole new month, September. But I never got to share all that I did in the month of August. So here’s a recap of all I did.  At the beginning of the month I got to visit a really great spot in the Dunwoody, GA area. It’s called Crafthall Kitchens. They are a 3 in 1 restaurant serving up gluten-free options that are amazingly good. You can read all about them in my next blog post where I’ll go a little more into detail. Just know that if you happen to get there before my post definitely try the fried avocado taco. You won’t regret it.

As always I fit in a trip up I-85 to visit my Dad and my bonus Mom. Once a month I work my way to Winston-Salem to check on the parental units and help them however I can. No big deal just teaching my kids through example. The daughter was in tow. We did get to check out a new to us breakfast place in Winston-Salem named Breakfastime. There were some hits and misses for me. No green tea offering, cold home fries, didn’t try the biscuit because it too came out cold. I did like the omelette I had but not enough to return.  Back down I-85 to Atlanta, GA.

When I returned to Atlanta I had a weekend of unexpected poetry and music. I don’t know if you have ever heard of the talented Mumu Fresh. Well if you haven’t I need you to check out her NPR little desk concert. Now that you have been officially introduced you will understand why I was hell bent on going to see her live at my favorite hole the wall music spot, Apache Cafe. I was so focused on getting to see her live in my neck of the woods that I didn’t even know that she was a part of  an erotic poetry night. Say what? Her friend and hostess for the night was Miss Ingrid B. If you have never been to a show she has put on you are truly missing out. She does a great deal in the Miami area and time to time in Atlanta. Keep an eye out. But back to Mumu she left me wanting for more. her talent is un-ending. I was literally left in awe as I watched her layer different recordings of her vocals to create the music she then sang over. Yeah she is not a part of that auto-tunes era, she is a true musician in every form. Since my life is never as simple as most the following night I was blessed with a ticket to take in “The Red Light Special” hosted by none other than my friend Journee Poetess. Did I mention that I had no clue either of these nights included erotica? Journee showcased some amazing talent from poets, to musicians, to a comedian. It was a hot night not to be forgotten.  Since I am a lover of music her closing act, Cristina Rae, vocalist extraordinaire left me with goosebumps. I am currently working out my schedule so that I am able to catch some more of the music she is serving. Her vocal range will leave you wanting for more.

As if August couldn’t be any better for me, I was back to host the 4th Annual Veggie Connection. I have been with Lateefah Smith since her inception for the event. As always she provided for a really great event. Not only did I host but I also did a demo. I showed attendees how to make an Un-Tuna Salad. I showed them my basic “tuna” salad recipe which includes corn, red onions, bell peppers and a few other things (video & recipe to come). I even gave them a sample of  an Un-tuna salad that had a spicy curry mayo base. Yeah I was doing it like that for the vegetarians and vegans.

I got a chance to visit High Hog Farm, only one of my favorite places in Georgia (even though I have an allergic reaction to their cats and dogs). I was there to help my sister friend Kiesha Cameron with the planning and organizing of a 3 day workshop on Provisioning with Leni Sorensen. Name not familiar to you? She is another person you should Google because the knowledge and history this woman brings to any table is amazing. When I first met her last year at the Food for Thought Conference. I thought this is what a 70 something year old Cass is going to be like. Well versed, opinionated and strong willed. Definitely my kind of woman. Interested in learning more about the workshop then hit the link. What link? This one right here.

What better way to close out the month than with me being the August feature on Flavorful World. Sometimes you think no one is noticing your work and then boom. Would you like to be our feature for August? Heck yeah I do. So I did. You can read my interview right here.

August has come and gone. It was memory filled. And I have seen some good and some bad but I keep moving. Thank you guys who are subscribed and those who dip in and out to see what I have going on. I appreciate the love you all give to The Chef In Pearls. I hope you had some great summer memories because Fall is on its way. Go make some last minute Summer memories before it is all gone.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

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#DanceDestinations…Alvin Ailey

#DanceDestinations…Alvin Ailey

This past Saturday I did a little time travel. I was taken back to being a little school girl. I was dressed in my uniform, sitting in our school’s auditorium waiting anxiously for the lights to dim and the curtains to open. We were in for a treat. The dancers of Alvin Ailey were coming to perform for us. They would travel from Manhattan to our little Catholic school in Queens. It wasn’t our first time seeing them and I hoped it wouldn’t be my las. I was always excited to see them. They were brown men and woman, who had come to share their talents with me, with us. They made me want to be an Alvin Ailey dancer. I knew all too young that little black girls could never be prima ballerinas (thank you Misty Copeland for changing that narrative for young girls today) but I knew I could strive to be apart of the Alvin Ailey dance troupe, a group created for African-American dancers.

Fast forward to present day Cassandra. I still have a love of dance but I am far from being the dancer I thought I wanted to be. Don’t get me wrong, if you throw on the right music I will still put down some moves on the dance floor. Rochelle worked hard on getting us an interview with a couple of the dancers but unfortunately their tight schedule did not allow us that opportunity . . . this time. There is always next year! However, we still were given the chance to see them perform.

Once again I sat anxiously waiting for the curtains to open. We had arrived 15 minutes late due to life and unexpected events, so we had to wait to be admitted for the second act. We were seated less than 20 rows from the stage. The curtains opened and there he stood, stage left with his back to us, facing the back of the stage. I felt myself holding my breathwaiting for him to move. Then I heard Nina Simone fill the theater and he moved. He danced like Nina herself commissioned him to express her words to the world. I was moved. Cliche, I know but I was. I watched, all the while anticipating the dances that were performed at my little Catholic school in Queens. Then the final scene, Revelation started. The little girl that lives in me was clapping with joy. The dances I watched as a child were being performed. Wade in the Water and Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham were the dances that always stood out in my memory. At this age the songs and performances took on new meaning for me. I was watching old memories with a new understanding. Alvin Ailey has taken on a new understanding as well. They are no longer just an African-American Dance Theater, they are now an American Dance Theater. Diversity. I still know that if I were a dancing chef I’d have a chance at Alvin Ailey. Some things will not change.

Thank you Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Dawn Parker and The Fox Theater for a wonderful night of memories. The next time they come to town I suggest you grab tickets early. The show will leave you wanting more. Maybe you’ll have a childhood memory come full circle. Or maybe create a new one for yourself. So go forward and make some new ones.

Until next time….

~The Chef In Pearls

P.S. All pictures of dancers and performances are courtesy of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

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Lost File . . . Weapons of Mass Success

Lost File . . . Weapons of Mass Success

I guess it’s a little late for Happy New Year wishes. However, I have never been one to really follow anyone’s rules so . . . Happy New Year from the Chef In Pearls!!! I hope 2017 brings you everything your heart desires and more. It took me this long to write something because I was in a pensive mode, working on what will be the next move for myself and this blog. The truth, which hit me like a ton of bricks, was the I have all the necessary tools to be successful. I have a God given talent and it is up to me to make sure I share it with the world. With that being said, I present to you my weapons of Mass Success!!!

 

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I believe these few objects are what I will use to become successful.  There are other tools as well, but none as strong as those pictured. Sometimes I will have to use them collaboratively and others I will use them separately to make my point.

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No chef is worth their salt without a good chef’s knife. I personally prefer a 10 ” blade. As a chef returning to the kitchen I need this to make the magic happen. Yes, I did kind of slip in my plans to return to the kitchen. I will be returning as a private chef. You will be able to hire me to cook in your home or any private kitchen. And know that I will have have this baby in tow. More to come on me returning to the kitchen, later.

 

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Aprons are a big thing for me. I mean any fashionista who cooks values keeping her clothing as fresh as can be. I have the traditional chef’s coat but because I love to show off my clothing choices, I prefer a good apron. It covers and protects my clothing while still keeping me fashionable. You will find me in a chef’s coat from time to time but the apron is my go to piece. It is one of my success tools whether I am teaching a class or whipping up meals for clients in the kitchen.

 

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The camera has become an integral part of my arsenal. I am no expert with a DSLR, like the pictured above, but I am very proficent with the camera on my Samsung Galaxy 7. ( No, not the Note 7s that were exploding.)  I use my camera to try and convey the deliciousness I create in the kitchen or the great outfits I pull out of my closet. The camera helps to keep my social media channels up-to-date on everything going on with The Chef In Pearls, from cooking to events to video creation.  It’s how I stay relevant with current followers as well as make new follower.

 

Weapons of Mass Success

 

I know it’s time for an upgrade but . . . Life. This baby has been my ride or die for the last few years. She has helped me with getting blog posts out, creating menus, writing recipes and so much more. She allows me to communicate to the world the things that run through this beautifully insane and creative mind of mine.

And let’s not forget the key component to what we know to be The Chef In Pearls. Me., Cassandra Mason. Anyone can use the above mentioned tools but only I can bring to life the things I do, they way I do. There is only one me. And I am proud to be able to bring to life The Chef In Pearls brand. There is so much in store for me and you as my audience.

What would be your “Weapons of Mass Success” tm? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time go forward and make memories.

~The Chef In Pearls

P.S. It is near the end of the year and I never got around to posting this. As I read it I realized that I wrote these words knowing that putting on “paper” makes a thing real. I may not have shared with everyone until now but I knew it existed. You know what? These very things have been bringing me success. I don’t measure or can’t measure success based on others metrics. My idea of success include an increase of brand awareness, increased client list (more cooking), increased partnerships and most important increased faith in my abilities. As my daughter likes to keep reminding me, I am living what looks to be my best life. I worked hard for it and I know what I have done for 2017 will only get better in 2018. The grind will be real for 2018. Are you ready to take that ride with me?

I know for some my review of 2017 is kind of early but it needs to be. I have to plan for the new year and I cannot do that without evaluating where I am coming from. The experiences have been amazing and the memories seem endless. I have learned from all of them good and bad. I hope this post causes you to take a look at the beginning of this year and where you are now. Have you accomplished the goals you set up for yourself? Do you need to re-evaluate? Do you need to focus more? Go through those memories and see what you’ve learned. It’s never too late to start working towards those goals.

Cassandra- The Chef In Pearls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chance Meeting…Maynard Eaton

Chance Meeting…Maynard Eaton

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, good or bad. One must acquire the skill of taking the experience and learning from it. I was meeting the other half of the Dynamic Duo, Rochelle Wharton for lunch at BQE Restaurant and Lounge. We were having a working lunch about our blogs and where we wanted to take them . We arrived at a pretty weird time. They were shutting down their lunch/brunch menu and preparing for their dinner crowd. So depending on what we wanted, it may not have been available. Wait I am focusing on the wrong thing here. This was not about whether or not we were going to be able to eat but rather about us being in the right place at the right time. You see that Thursday was our chance meeting with Mr. Maynard Eaton.

On arrival, we decided to sit at the bar, one seat over from a rather handsome older gentleman. This gentleman turned out to be Maynard Eaton. We introduced ourselves as bloggers and chefs which seemed to peek Mr. Eaton’s interest. Before long we learned that he had his own publication here in Atlanta, taught journalism at Clark Atlanta University, and also ran a live streaming news program entitled NewMakers Live. It was his outlet to Atlanta and beyond used to share what he felt was news worthy. He invited us to the next show happening that coming Monday.

Now I could have focused on how things weren’t going well at that moment. Referencing the aforementioned food selection dilemma we seemed to be facing. But if I did I would miss out on what turned out to be the reason we were there. It was our chance to meet Mr. Eaton! Let’s fast forward to Monday night at NewsMakers Live. This show is normally done live but it was being taped that night. Mr. Eaton arranged to interview a few candidates running in the next city election. I was told that just prior to me arriving, Mr. Eaton referred to Peter Aman, a mayoral candidate, as being the next black mayor of Atlanta. The joke here is that Mr. Aman is very Caucasian. See what I mean about things happening for a reason. Had the show been live instead of taped he would not have been able to cut the film and re-take as if nothing ever happened. I heard it caused a big laugh from everyone including Mr. Aman. In all I had a wonderful time. I got to meet Mr. Peter Aman, Mayoral Candidate, along with Matt Westmoreland, City Council Candidate. I also got to learn a thing or two about doing interviews while watching Mr. Eaton, something I want more knowledge on for upcoming endeavors. Like I said everything happens for a reason.

 

What are your thoughts on chance meetings? Do you think like I do or do you have your own theory? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

I think all my memories are news worthy. So no doubt I believe the memories I made that night were too. Now I want you to go forward and make new memories.

Until next time.

~The Chef In Pearls

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A Sea of White…Le Diner en Blanc

A Sea of White…Le Diner en Blanc

It was 5:04pm when I received the text notifying me of the location for this year’s Diner en Blanc. We were to report to Gate 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Wait . . . the newly constructed Mercedes-Benz Stadium? Perfect!! I was less than 15 minutes away enjoying drinks with my blogging partner, Rochelle Wharton of Culinary Vegg Out. We would be part of the digital media covering Diner en Blanc. We left P.S. 404  to head to the festivities. As we drove up to the stadium, all I could see was a courtyard engulfed in a sea of white. As each bus allowed guests to disembark, it became wave after wave of white descending upon the stadium. Have you ever seen a sea of white created by people? It was a magnificent sight.

After parking we make our way to gate 2, where we obtained media passes for ourselves and our guests, Paris Coburn and Dionna Collins. From there we were guided in the direction of the media lounge. Walking through the gates there were people bustling to and fro claiming their space in the courtyard, setting up their tables and chairs. This view of the white sea resembled choppy waters before a storm. So much movement!!  Some people pulled wagons while others toted bags. Some were very creative with the way they transported all their Diner en Blanc needs. In the midst of all this choppy water, I began to see where the vision was heading. During the setup there was music played by a live orchestra and cirque style performances throughout the venue.  Once at the media lounge I got to finally meet the face behind the emails, Ms. Lisa Fisher. As one of the three hosts for Diner en Blanc Atlanta, it was great to be able to put a face to a name.

The media lounge was wonderful, decked out in all white sofas, white tables and white chairs. We had our own bar and a lovely spread for us to nosh on. We were able to network with other media outlets and reacquaint with others met at previous events. And then it was time to go to work. Time to share through my social media platforms all things Diner en Blanc. When I looked out into the courtyard again that once choppy sea of white had simmersed to a lull with light ripples caused by a few late comers. It was beautiful to see how the table settings came together with the people seated all around dressed in white. The sight was brilliant!

To signify the start of Diner en Blanc there is the traditional waving of the napkins. You can catch a glimpse of it here. The party was now under way. There was a live band and a male vocalist, not sure of their name. I somehow missed it amongst all of the fun being had. There was  a guitarist who performed with some of the aerialists of Liquid Sky Entertainment on stage with him. It was great. Then DJ Grace Lamour took to rocking the crowd.  People danced the night away. There were plenty of photo ops available for attendees. There were two beautiful white Mercedes-Benz cars, a photo booth with the Diner en Blanc backdrop, the stadium with the great Falcon Sculpture and let’s not forget the lighted letters of Diner en Blanc for people to choose from. The sea of white was taken a step further later in the night when another tradition took place, the lighting of sparklers.  Here is a small glimpse of the stars above the sea, a grand sight to see.  Let me stop rambling on and share some of the pictures from the night.

 

 

All told Diner en Blanc was a breathtaking event. I was sad to see it come to an end but I am super excited thinking about the 2018 edition. Diner en Blanc Atlanta was made possible by the diligent efforts of our gracious hosts Lisa Fisher, Tina DeRenzis and Helen Mitchell, who produced a memorable event. Thank you to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a wonderful location. Special thanks to Diner en Blanc sponsors Lanson Champagne and Evian-Bedoit who provided the drink options for the night. And let’s not forget all the people who attended. Without them how would I have been able to experience such a stunning sea of white. I look forward to what this team has to offer everyone for the 2018 Diner en Blanc Atlanta.

 

Diner en Blanc Atlanta 2017

Diner en Blanc Atlanta Hosts Lisa Fisher, Helen Mitchell and Tina DeRenzis,

I made so many memories that night. So many that I wouldn’t know where to start or end. I hope this post makes you want to participate next year. Stay in the know for Diner en Blanc Atlanta  2018 at atlanta.dinerenblanc.com. Now go forward and make new memories.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

P.S. Here’s a video of inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium

P.S.S. Watermarked pictures were captured by Averi Washington for Diner en Blanc Atlanta all others are C.I.P owned

 

 

 

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Give Me Five… No Kid Hungry

Give Me Five… No Kid Hungry

I am blessed to have lived a childhood where I did not have to worry about hunger. That doesn’t mean there were no hard times in my family’s life. It just means my Mom had a nifty way of making sure as kids we never knew about it. I managed to raise 3 kids and none of them experienced hunger. However, that is not the case for so many children, 1 out of 6 kids do not have a decent breakfast before school. WIthout breakfast they are more likely to miss school, less likely to get better grades and less likely to graduate high school. It is said that 13 million children suffer from hunger. This is where No Kid Hungry comes into play. The goal is to raise awareness of this epidemic happening in one of the richest countries in the world. They also help to raise money to help fill the gap in areas where this is happening.

This past weekend I had the honor of serving as media coverage for the Give Me Five . . . No Kid Hungry Fundraiser.  5 featured chefs and 5 sommeliers crafted a 5 course meal all in the name of raising awareness and money. This was the 11th year for the fundraiser. Attending this event was an “extra happy” event for me. It’s was a chance for me to play dress up, eat good food and do my part to share all of the going ons during the event. It was a win-win situation all around for me. The atmosphere was totally different from the event I had gone to earlier that day. You can read about my time at Culinary Fight Club right here.

The event started off with a cocktail reception and passed appetizers, where entertainment was provided by a live harpist.  All great events start with bubbly and this one did not disappoint. Within the next hour we were ushered into the ballroom that was so exquisite. There was a Jazz Trio playing wonderful music as we found our seats. The concept of the event had the chefs and the sommeliers to create wonderful pairings for each course. And they definitely achieved that goal. Now I could sit here and write about each course but I honestly feel like the pictures will speak volumes. Believe me when I say the only way you are not drawn in by the pictures would be because you are blind. One of the coolest thing was that they held a live auction during dinner. It was very exciting to hear the auctioneer roll those numbers off his tongue urging and pulling people into outbidding one another, all in the name of a good case.

Give Me Five was a wonderful event but if you are like me and were moved even the slightest by the statics I shared, you may want to make a donation. You have several ways you can help out. You can make a one time donation, make a monthly contribution or find a local restaurant or event that supports the cause and participate through them. Feel free to click here and check out the options yourself.  Let’s work together to help make fond morning memories for some needy children.

 

Until next time

~The Chef In Pearls

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So I Had A Birthday and 45 Looks Good On Me

So I Had A Birthday and 45 Looks Good On Me

Forty-five years ago, in a hospital in Brooklyn, NY my mother gave birth to who you have all come to know as The Chef In Pearls.  I’ve shared that I am a born and bred New Yorker, who transplanted to Atlanta, Georgia. Here is a new factoid for you the readers: you need to know is that I LOVE a good birthday. They are a big deal to me as I look forward to them the way a shopaholic looks forward to a good sale. I mean, I just turned 45 and I’m already planning for my 50th birthday. As if I don’t have other birthdays between now and then. Don’t get me wrong I do plan on celebrating each and everyone until my 50th but I am extra excited about reaching that milestone age.

With that being said I had wonderful plans for my birthday. I wanted to celebrate for a week straight, something to do everyday. I thought about going to a local spa with several salt pools, doing a movie night, or even doing a 5k for charity. Yet as my birthday grew closer, I realized I really didn’t want to do those things anymore. I just wanted to have good vibes for my birthday. I wanted to be around people who would not only celebrate with me but would celebrate me. I knew my best friends of nearly 30 years wouldn’t be able to make it. We had already made plans to celebrate together later in the month. So I pulled out my trusty phone and crafted a text message that I sent out to a handful of friends. The response was want I wanted…yes I’ll be there.

What happened next brought me pure joy and happiness. Let’s start with the fact that my sous chef and friend, Linda Adamswithe, drove in from South Carolina to make me queen for the day. She said with that crown I could have anything my heart desired. What I desired was a menu of appetizing food. She helped me to craft and create a wonderful menu for what would become my birthday gathering. We made crackers from scratch, my recipe for marinated feta cheese crumbles, hummus, and marinated tortellinis — all in the name of a wonderful appetizer board. It was also filled with fruits, nuts, cheeses, dips, veggie and assorted sausages …it was just a beautiful site to see. Then Linda pulled out her bartender’s cap and created a Sangria that left everyone wanting more. But the piece de resistance were the grilled oysters that she pulled off so lovely. Not over cooked and served on a platter of kosher salt with lemon wedges and sriracha for those that needed a bit of spice in their life. Yeah I’d have to say…we did that!


Honestly, as much as I enjoyed the food we created I enjoyed having friends and family around even more. Turning 45 to some may be a thing they want to avoid. Not me, every chance I get to live a little more life I embrace it. I want to grow old and be able to look back through my memory files and smile a big smile. Birthdays are blessings from God and as long as She gives me breath I will continue to celebrate them.

What are somethings you like about celebrating birthdays? Do you have a tradition? Or do you wing it every year? Tell me your fondest birthday memories.

Until next time

~The Chef In Pearls

 

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The Chef In Pearls

Cassandra Mason is a Lifestyle Chef and Gourmet Cooking Instructor who enjoys demystifying the art of cooking for One. You can catch her live demonstrations across major social media as @TheChefInPearls.

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