I’m A Newbie

I’m A Newbie
pic cred Inbound Authority

pic cred Inbound Authority

My blog is less than a year old which makes me a newbie at blogging.  Half the time I’m not even sure if I am doing it right,  I learn something new everyday. I don’t have a problem with saying I don’t know something.  I think that makes it easier to learn and for people to share.  As long as you act like you know people assume that you know and won’t share.

Because I’m new to this blogger game I knew I was going to need help. I needed someone who had the experience, the willingness to teach and a great personality. I turned to Ms. Stacey Taylor, the SistahChick. She felt honored that I would ask her to guide me along this bumpy path of blogging.  I felt even more honored that she accepted the role.  We connected on so many levels,  We are both mothers, entrepreneurs, natuaralistas and fabulous in our 40’s.  What more can a newbie want? I know there is a lot of hard work to come but I’m looking forward to it.

P.S. She doesn’t know this but I am officially making her my fairy godmother…hehehe

Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube @thesistahchick. And don’t forget to follow me if you aren’t already on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @TheChefInPearls

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Different

It's what sets us apart...how we stand out...being different isn't a bad thing...being different makes us who we are

It’s what sets us apart…how we stand out…being different isn’t a bad thing…being different makes us who we are

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A Quickie…Potato Wedges

A Quickie…Potato Wedges

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As you already know I am a football girl.  To be more exact I am a New York Giants football girl.  Unfortunately I now live in Atlanta Falcons territory.  So when my Giants were scheduled to play dem dirty birds of course I had to hit the kitchen.

I wanted to keep it simple so I went with making a batch of loaded potato wedges. Pretty simple to do and you only need a few ingredients.

baking potatoes

thick cut bacon

green onion or chives

sour cream

cheddar cheese ( shredded)

olive oil

kosher salt

black pepper

Lay bacon strips on a baking sheet. Place in cold oven and adjust temperature to 400(by doing this you actually have strips that don’t curl up)should take 12-15 minutes. Split potatoes in half(cuts baking time down). Drizzle potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & black pepper. Place potatoes cut side down on baking tray and place in oven, roughly 25-30 minutes. Check tenderness with a knife. Remove bacon from oven and place slices on paper towel to drain. While potatoes finish baking dice bacon and cut green onions.  I like to thin my sour cream out with heavy cream to make it easier to drizzle(you can add thinned sour cream to a squeeze bottle for even easier drizzling).  Remove potatoes from oven. You want to work with them while still hot. Place a couple of halves on a plate and slice into wedges.  Sprinkle with cheese, bacon, drizzle sour cream and then top with green onion. Viola.

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Lane Bryant OOTD

 Olive Blazer- Lane Bryant Seven Boyfriend Jeans- Lane Bryant  Booties-Lane Bryant Necklace- Gems and Baubles Handbag-  Gifted

Olive Blazer- Lane Bryant
Seven Boyfriend Jeans- Lane Bryant
Booties-Lane Bryant
Necklace- Gems and Baubles
Handbag- Gifted

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A Quickie. ….Flatout

A Quickie. ….Flatout

I wanted to add something else to the pantry list, flatbread. I usually keep naan in my freezer. Naan or nan or khamiri is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread. It is typical of and popular in West, Central and South Asia. I keep them for times like today where i needed a quick fix for lunch.

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On my last supermarket visit I decided to try Flatout’s Artisan Pizza Crust. I thawed one added sauce, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic and cheese  (all leftovers from yesterday’s frittata) placed it on a lightly greased baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

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Voila. ….lunch.  Cut & plated and added some wine. It’s all about the pantry baby.

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Always dressed…..

I don’t know if it’s because I was raised by a Jamaican mother or if it was the era I was raised in but I always feel like you should never leave your home not properly dressed. As a kid I remember seeing my mother getting dressed to leave the house, face made up and clothing well-chosen.  She never left the house less than and she never allowed her children too either. Now as an adult it is engrained in me. Where nowadays people travel in jeans, tees and flip-flops I still (even with having to basically undress for the TSA) show up dressed to impress. I agree with Miss Chanel…..you never know who you might meet that may change your life even at the local Kroger…. so get up, dress up and show up.

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Really Lane Bryant?

OK so everyone should have a good idea that I love fashion and looking good. As a plus-sized woman a take great pride in how I look so being able to find fashionable clothing is very important to me. One store that I frequent (a lot) is Lane Bryant.  At one point I only shopped there for the bras (topic for another post…good fitting bras and why they’re important) . Lately I’ve actually been buying more clothes. They have been doing designer collaborations with pieces that have been very stylish (although I’ve been wanting more color). One designer they have partnered with was Isabella Toledo, she even did a fashion show with real plus models.

A more recent collection has been 6th & Lane, which they kept with the black and white theme. As I flipped through their look book for the collection I happened upon what I felt would be the ultimate addition to my closet. It was a leather moto jacket but not just any kind of moto jacket. It gave me new life. It seemed to be part Edward Scissorhand part Sons of Anarchy, it made me drool a bit. I proceeded to create ensemble after ensemble in my mind. I went from softening it with a flowy dress, to pairing it with a great pair of boyfriend jeans and some heels.July-6th-lane-leathercoat

Back view

Back view

Front unzipped and relaxed collar

Front unzipped and relaxed collar

In my mind I was in outfit heaven until……I saw the price. $499.99 Really Lane Bryant?  It wasn’t even in store for me to touch and feel, to say yes the leather had come from a cow “that had died of natural causes”. or if the detailings were handmade by fairies.  Don’t get me wrong for some folks $500.00 is nothing for a leather jacket but I am currently not one of those people. I will have to wait until this goes on deep discount before I will be able to get my hands on this.  And pray they still have my size in stock.  SMH!

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Football Season is here!!

Giants football

I am a football fan. More importantly I am a New York Giants fan. I grew up watching football 1. because my bothers played  and 2. because back in the day we were a one t.v. household and my brothers were older and bigger and therefore controlled the t.v.  It was inevitably for me to have a love for football.  And so to this day I love football season and all the excitement it brings.

With football season comes Monday Night Football.  The N.Y Giants had their first game of the season on Monday Night Football.  What better way to enjoy than for me to have the usual suspects over to enjoy it with me, my brother Dion aka Santa Dee, my sister-in-law Cassandra aka Sandy, my girlfriend Nykki aka Nykki and my hubby.  With folks comes the need for food.  Menu sweet and simple:

Chipotle Rubbed Chicken Sliders

BBQ Spiced Chicken Nachos

Seasoned French Fries

Chipotle Rubbed chicken tenders on top ciabatta rolls with carmalized red onions, gouda cheese , pesto mayo, lettuce & tomatoes

Chipotle Rubbed chicken tenders on top ciabatta rolls with carmalized red onions, gouda cheese , pesto mayo, lettuce & tomatoes

closed chicken sandwiches

BBQ Spiced cheken  atop tortilla chips with black beans, diced red onions, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, siracha sour cream, shredded cheese and guacamole

BBQ Spiced cheken atop tortilla chips with black beans, diced red onions, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, siracha sour cream, shredded cheese and guacamole

We ate and drank well but My Dear, Dear Giants did not win.  Trying to figure out how I can get a meeting with management, the staff and the team. Until the next game…..

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A Quickie…..Cami Cakes

Cami Cakes sign

A dear friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) gave me a short list of places I should visit and try their eats. Cami Cakes was on that list. While out earlier this week I finally made it. I’m not even sure where to start about this place. I have gone to many places where the presentation was phenomenal from the opening of the door to the customer service but then fell flat on the taste of the food. Not so at Cami Cakes. I had the pleasure of visiting their Vinings location. The place was inviting and the staff friendly and most helpful. I wanted to try their Red Velvet cupcake but the young lady behind the counter would not sell me what she had been removing from the case. She said they were no longer fresh (so they aren’t all about profit but good eats). I opted for the Cami Sweetheart since I couldn’t wait for the fresh batch of Red Velvet. The Cami Sweetheart is Chocolate cupcake with a cream cheese filling topped with a chocolate glaze. It was delicious…the cake moist…the filling not too sweet…the chocolate glaze was the truly the icing on the cake. I was in cupcake heaven. I plan to visit their newest location that has a creamery……cake & ice cream. How could you go wrong?. They have several locations and also now ships across the states.  Click here for more on Cami Cakes

The Showcase of yummy goodness

The Showcase of yummy goodness

 

Presentation is KEY

Presentation is KEY

 

The Cami Sweetheart

The Cami Sweetheart

 

Cami Cakes Collage

 

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What’s in Your Pantry?

pantry

At any given moment I can whip up something scrumptious in my kitchen.  All because I keep what i consider staple items in my pantry.  Things I feel with a little time and some effort can be transformed into a meal. So what do I consider staples?

  • Pasta (1 long noodle i.e. spaghetti or fettuccine and 1 short noodle i.e. macaroni or rigatoni)
  • Stock or broth ( I keep chicken. beef and vegetable in the 32 oz size)
  • Flour (all-purpose & self-rising)
  • Rice
  • Oil (I like canola for frying & olive oil for sauteing)
  • Canned tomatoes (diced and pureed)
  • Canned beans ( black, pinto red or your favorite)
  • Onions
  • Bell peppers (I prefer colored to green ones)
  • Assortment of frozen vegetables (i.e. broccoli, mixed vegetables,corn)
  • Ground beef
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Milk

With a combination of just a few of these items you can have a wonderful meal.  For instance you can make a quick pasta e fagioli ( broth, short pasta, diced tomatoes, a can of beans)  or maybe a vegetable fried rice( oil, cooked rice, frozen mixed vegetables, onions) or even chili ( ground beef, beans, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers).  Once you have the basics or the items that you use repeatedly in cooking you will always be prepared to whip something great up.

P.S. My pantry list is a little longer than the one I have included because I have a pretty sized family and lots of friends who like stop by to eat)

P.S.S.  This post is dedicated to my son, Akeem, the newly wed and apparently the chef in his new household

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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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