Earlier this month I was so excited to bring you guys my astore. It was an opportunity for me to provide a place for my readers to purchase things I may use in my videos and blog posts as well a chance to monetize my blog. In all my excitement obviously missed a little bit of print that Amazon shared with me. I am unable to make a commission on things sold to people they deem as family, friends or associate. That means that if you are someone their computer algorithms deems as doing too much non-Amazon things with me you are now aka family, friend or an associate. Basically I can have everyone I know shop with them through my site and never receive a dime for bringing them business. The only persons that would be benefitting from me having an astore would be Amazon. I haven’t given up hope yet. Still looking for another affiliate program to share with you guys. I hope I find it soon. Thanks for understanding and being patient.
P.S. I was only making a 4% commission on things sold through them. You would have thought it was thousands of dollars they were parting with for each sale…jeesh
So last week I did my very first live broadcast on a new social platform named Periscope. I used the broadcast to introduce myself and The Chef In Pearls to those who tuned in. I used the same platform again when I snagged an interview with Chef Tregaye from Food Network notoriety. The interview went well but I need some additional equipment to make interviews even better. So, so far I got the whole stationary thing down packed time to take it on the road. That’s what I thought I was doing today when I decided to visit The Grant Park Farmers Market. I wanted to give everyone a peek into some of the things I like. Well here’s that video…..
Not too bad for my first on the go broadcast. So here’s the complete list of 6 things you need to know:
1. You have got to have comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing ( especially if your learning from the vendors)
2. Try to walk the entire market quickly first. This give you an idea of who is there and what you may be interested in before you start shopping.
3. Bring your own tote bag. It is key. Most vendors do not provide shopping bags ( it’s also a way for you to do your part in saving mother earth)
4. An insulated bag or a cooler is great to keep things cool. Throw in a little ice or ice packs and your good to go.( Nothing worse than buying some butter and it’s all melted before you even get it home)
5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The vendors/farmers/artisans want to share their knowledge with you. They want you to enjoy their produce/products in the best way possible so ask questions. From how to best use it or how it was grown/made.
6.Taste. Yup if they are offering samples try it. (I always check to see if there are too many bugs hanging around before trying) Generally speaking if they are offering samples then go for it. You’ll be surprised at the new things you’ll bring into your kitchen be a use you gave something new a try.
There was supposed to be more video but as always life happens and I had to cut my trip to the market short. I was still able to snag somethings before leaving like the last peaches of the season from Pearson farms ( their peaches are unbelievably yummy), some zucchini blossoms (I haven’t decided how I’ll cook them yet) and Greek style yogurt made in Norcross, Ga (vanilla because I like to add my own fruit and granola when eating).
If you’ve got a local farmers market in your neck of the woods by all means head to. Find something new to try out in the kitchen. It’s a great way to make new memories. Now go forward and make some.
P.S. Hey like I said I’m still learning so I hope you’ll follow me on my Periscope journey @TheChefInPearls.
P.S.S. Don’t forget to check out my store^^^(just click the tab that says store) if you need a good tote or insulated bag. Feel free to check out the other items I have there too.
So what do you do when you have over 10 pounds of leftover Italian sausage? You put them to good use (Don’t ask where they came from). My son was determined to eat sausages for a week straight but his sister wanted no parts of that. I was able to create 4 meals before having to call it quits. The following are pics of the dishes (requested by the kids).
What are some dishes you might have created using Italian Sausages?
Go buy a pound of Italian Sausages and see what you can create. Now go forward and make memories
Okay there are new things coming to The Chef In Pearls’ website. Some of you may have noticed one change already. I have added a custom aStore (Amazon Store). Yep I thought it would be great to be able to provide you a way to find the equipment and ingredients for recipes and tips I share. Yea I even plan to include clothing and make up items pretty darn soon. All you have to do is click the Store tab and it will take you to my customized store. If you check out over in the upper right side of the blog you’ll also see an ad for eShakti, one of my new favorite places to get clothing. They carry sizes 0-36, so there is something for everyone. So click on the ad to see what they may have for you.
I have also made the decision to start making videos. Yes you’ll be able to see and hear me on my own YouTube Channel, at The Chef In Pearls of course. And for some instant gratification I have joined the Periscope family. Yep, I will now be able to live stream places, events, cooking me being me or whatever you guys might be interested in. Just download the app and follow… you guessed it, The Chef In Pearls. I hope to be able to do my first live stream this evening from Centennial Park, downtown Atlanta. For those of you who tune in you’ll see one other change I have made. I won’t tell what it is you’ll have to tune in.
If you are not following me on all my social media outlets, shame on you. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and now Periscope @TheChefInPearls.(I am pretty consistent with my branding) Looking forward to the new memories we’ll make on these social platforms. Don’t forget change can be a good thing.
My kids are like most kids they love pizza. What makes them slightly different from most people’s children is that, although they love a good pepperoni pizza they much rather have something a little more upscale. I decided I wanted to make pizza out of freshly made flat bread. The above picture was the ending result. Grilled Chimichurri Salmon and Shrimp Flatbread pizza.
I am going to include the links to the recipes I used to get this wonderful meal made. The first thing I did was to prepare the seafood which meant I needed to make my Chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri is an Argentine sauce used mainly with grilled meats. I used it on seafood and had pretty tasty results. I chose this particular Chimichurri Sauce because it did not use cilantro ( I am not a fan of cilantro. It’s one of those things you either love or hate . I hate it). I reserve at least a 1/2 cup of the sauce to be used later. I then seasoned the shrimp and salmon steaks with Old Bay seasoning in separate containers. I then covered them the seafood in the Chimichurri sauce and refrigerated them.
We are fans of onions so I set out to caramelize onions for an additional topping on out pizza. Making caramelized onions is pretty easy but if you need a recipe to follow here’s an easy one, The onions take on average from 30-45 minutes to cook so plan accordingly. In keeping with the time issue I proceeded to make the dough for the flat bread, it needs an hour to rise. I found this recipe on the New York Times website. I only made 2 changes:
1. I used 1/2 the amount of salt called for in the recipe.
2. I used a grill pan instead of firing up the outdoor grill.
Instead of using a tomato base for the pizzas I decided to do a ricotta cheese base. I used 1 cup of ricotta cheese and stirred in a Tablespoon of McCormick’s Montreal seasoning, 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning and 3 cloves of chopped garlic (you can use more or less garlic depending on your preference). Once my flat breads were made and cooled I spread them with the ricotta cheese mixture to start my pizzas off. I took the seafood out of the fridge and grilled them in my grill pan making sure not to over cook. When the salmon was cool I used my hands to break up the fish into nice flakes, I didn’t want hunks of fish but rather sexier pieces of fish. I placed the ricotta covered flat bread on a baking sheet(I was able to do 2 at a time) and continued laying the yummy goodness on top. I added shredded cheese next ( Monterey Jack and Mozzarella), then the caramelized onions followed by the seafood. I placed it in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melted. Once It came out I drizzled some of the reserved Chimchurri Sauce on top. Viola Pizza is done.
Let me know if you make this dish. I would even like to see pictures. Email me at info@TheChefInPearls.com. Now go forward and make memories.
This past Monday July 6, I turned the ripe age of 43. I know most people start dreading birthday after they hit about 35 but not me. I embrace them. I look forward to every year I am blessed to be a part of this life of mine, good and bad. As I get older I get wiser, well at least I like to think so. This year was not my usual gathering of friends and associates. This year as a true Cancerian I crawled into my shell a bit, kept it low-key. My daughter wanted to make sure it was enjoyable so she made plans for me to visit the M.A.C. counter ( yes I love me some make-up) and then we would have dinner at Makan ( a Chinese/ Korean fusion restaurant) I found out about this restaurant through Thrillist (shout outs to them). I had been determined to experience true Ramen soup when I happened upon their list of top Ramen places in Atlanta. I knew the real deal could be nothing like the instant stuff Momofuku created how many ions ago.
So where do I start I met the best make-up artist at the MAC counter, Tommy and Al. They helped me get my make-up shopping on. I learned a little ombre lip action while they were at it,too. We left there and then headed to Makan where we got a chance to take advantage of their “happy hour”. It was an excellent and cost-effective way to try things out. I tried 3 types of Ramen. Let me just warn you the Korean Spicy Ramen felt like satan had made himself comfortable in my chest. It really is spicy.I should have known just from the fact that the soup was red. I enjoyed the pork buns, the spicy wonton dumplings but my favorite for the night was the Kimchi Fried Rice. Too spicy but oh so flavorful. We left there and headed to Jeni’s for ice cream. Yummy. They had a version of an ice cream I grew up liking but isn’t made anymore, Butter Almond. Nostalgia in a styrofoam cup. And what kind of Birthday celebration would it have been without cake. Yes and I got it from my favorite bakery, Apple Butter Bakery. Since I am a chocolate loving girl I had the cake version of their tall, dark, handsome cupcake. As always I was more than pleased. Well until next year.
I made plenty of new memories. Now it’s your turn go visit one of these places and let me know what you think. Go forward and make memories.
P.S. Oh yeah my Birthday outfit was another eShakti find. I got so many compliments on it. eShakti sells customizable clothing in sizes 2-36 check them out. A gift to all for my birthday if you use the code: CASSANDRAMASON you’ll receive a special discount. Now go shop. BTW I’m still accepting gifts
My mother recently was ordained an Evangelist at her church. She invited me to come witness her dedication. I was definitely the proud daughter in attendance. My OOTD sleeveless tank top: TJMaxx Skirt: eShakti Purse/Shoes: Cato (Sorry for the scrunched up face in some of the pictures. The sun was in my eyes.)
Now go forward and make memories.
Yup I said it. I finally found a Mexican restaurant that I truly enjoy. Now don’t get me wrong I eat Mexican food at other places but they never truly satisfy me the way I have longed for. Tacos and Tequila is the first Mexican restaurant I have gone to that makes me want to stop writing and head over there for dinner, right now. I won’t do it even though I really want to (no really I want to).
I visited their Ponce de Leon Location and was greeted very warmly. As we were escorted to our table I was taking in the over all look of the restaurant which was inviting and very clean (they even received a score of 100 on their inspection score). Our waiter Mateo took the time out to talk to us about the choices of margaritas we could have. We even learned about the restaurant’s specially created tequilla. I’ll have to try it the next time I go which I hope is soon. We ended up having the 20 oz. Skinny Girl Margarita (don’t judge me). We were offered the gratuitous chips and salsa that was actually good. The salsa was not chunky but instead a smooth blend of what tasted like roasted peppers. It wasn’t too hot but carried the right amount of heat for me. Mateo took our orders I had the Beef Brisket Chimi Rica and Jada (my partner in crime for the day) had Chicken Enchiladas. I cannot describe Jada’s meal but my meal was the bomb.com. A Chimi Rica is a flour tortilla filled with meat, in my case beef brisket, deep fried and covered in queso. My dish was served with refried beans, seasoned rice and guacamole. I have never had Mexican food that was this well seasoned and flavorful. The service was fast and the food delicious. I would definitely visit them again. We left feeling completely satisfied and full. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who happens to be in the metro Atlanta area. Check out their website here
If you get a chance, check them out and go forward make memories.
I fell in love with Martinis….Apple Martinis to be exact over 10 years ago. I had long been a fan of vodka but now I had another cocktail made with vodka to add to my list. I learned that today, June 19th, was National Martini Day. A day dedicated to the celebration of Martinis. How could I not write about my love of Apple Martinis?
Okay it’ story time. I wanted to bring my love of Apple Martinis to one of my best friends. I traveled to Kissimmee, Florida to visit with my friend Alison, whom I’ve known for over 20+ years. We decided to have dinner at a local Cheesecake Factory. We had been assigned the world’s best waitress that night. She asked for our drink orders and so I had to have an Apple Martini. Our waitress looked at me and asked if I liked jolly ranchers. Who doesn’t like a good jolly rancher candy? She informed me then I must have my Apple Martini with the addition of Midori, a melon liqueur. You tell me that by adding another liqueur I can be drinking a cocktail that tastes like candy? I’ll take it. That was the beginning of all of my Apple Martinis having Midori added to them and my continued love of Apple Martinis.
Here’s a recipe for an Apple Martini with Midori.
2 oz Vodka ( I’m partial to Tito’s Handmade Vodka)
1 oz Apple Schnapps
1 oz Midori melon liqueur
1 squeeze of lime juice
Prep martini glass by chilling it either in the fridge or allowing to sit with cubes of ice. Once chilled rim glass with sugar(dip rim of glass in lime juice and then into sugar). Add Vodka, Schnapps and Midori to a shaker over and shake well. Strain into prepared glass and finish with a squeeze of lime juice and a thin slice of green apple.
Please enjoy this drink responsibly. Now go forward and make memories.
(recipe courtesy of drinkmixer.com)
Normally on a Sunday I tend to be a little more traditional with a full cooked meal. This Sunday was a little different. I wanted to go to the farmers market which for me is therapeutic. It relaxes my mind and brings out my creativity.
Well after more than an hour in the market I realized we had passed the hour for brunch and moved into the hour of a late lunch or an early dinner. What shall we have. Sandwiches. What kind? Roast beef chimed my daughter. And now i was on the hunt for the right fresh ingredients to make the ultimate roast beef sandwich.
I started off with the roast beef of course. What type of bread shall hold all this goodness. Well the market makes a french loaf perfectly sliced for sandwiches. Done deal, It took a place in the cart. I know I wanted to make a spread. What goes best with beef than some fresh herbs, oregano and flat leaf parley. I’d incorporate into some cream cheese once we got home. What other things did I want to adorn what was to be the ultimate roast beef sandwich. I wanted heirloom tomatoes but the we out so I went with yellow tomatoes instead. caramelized onions and mushrooms made the list followed by alfalfa sprouts and green leaf lettuce. Home we headed.
I immediately started the onions and mushrooms. Then I created the spread I envisioned. I used 4 oz. of cream cheese that I softened in the microwave for a few seconds then I added 2 tablespoons each of chopped parsley and oregano, a pinch of salt and black pepper. then combined it all. I used it on one side of the sandwich. I added butter with a little oil to a pan then added the bread slice with no spread to the pan . I added cheese on top of that, then roast beef, the mushroom onion mixture, topped by two slices of the yellow tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce and the slice of bread that had the herb spread on it. I toasted the sandwich until golden brown on both sides. Removed and cut in half. Boy did everyone enjoy it..
If you re-create this sandwich let me know. Now go forward and make new memories.