I have tried several times to start a food blog & as I was going through my tumblr I found a few links to some recipes I used before.
Grilled rosemary lambchops: http://ntricateminds.tumblr.com/post/6009388838/grilled-rosemary-lamb-chops
I am horrible at this blogging thing. Me & my camera don’t have a real relationship yet (I’m working on it) but when I get in the kitchen or go off to experience a new place I like to be completely emerged in the moment as opposed to making sure I have my camera to document that moment. I always get request for my recipes & or processes so I promise to get better at it. Honestly though, I draw my inspiration from the innanets (googledotcom) & other foodies/chefs that I follow or have befriended from my social networks. I cook according to feelings, trials, & errors so I don’t plan on becoming a professional food blogger, I am just here to share my experiences. In fact this soup has so much shit in it that I didn’t know what to name it actually (hence the long title)…
This soup was inspired by my fridge. I always have quite a bit of fresh vegetables on hand thanks to the farmers market & I had tons of kale oon hand that I wanted to use up before it went bad. I always braise my kale but I wanted to do something different. I originally was going to make a kale, sweet potato, & meatball soup inspired by the kitchenista diaries but once I got to cooking this soup went in a totally different direction. I started adding too many different vegetables due to the fact that most were going bad (see my mushrooms below) so I ended up omitting the potatoes & just making it a kale, andouille sausage, pork meatballs, & mushroom soup.
In hindsight I would have probably added some orzo pasta or the potatoes but this soup was perfect just the way I prepared it. For leftovers tonight however I did make a pot of my sticky rice & ladled some of this soup over it & it was a hit!!
I don’t measure when I cook but I will do my best to reiterate my measuring process.
Ingredients I used:
about 1 lb of ground pork (farmers market purchase so I don’t remember the exact weight. Also, feel free to use ground beef, chicken,lamb or turkey…whatever floats your boat)
- italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- handful of Spinach (chopped into small pieces)
- Worcestershire (about 10 shakes, yes I counted)
- 1 half rind of andouille sausage chopped (also feel free to use what you prefer)
- 1 chopped green pepper & onion
- 3 cloves of garlic (or as much as you would like)
- Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
- Spanish smoked paprika
- Herbs de provence mix : (mine consisted of thyme, rosemary, lavender flowers, savory, basil, tarragon) if u don’t have this mix (I got it from a local tea & spice shop here in Detroit) any mix of these seasonings will do.
- 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 box of chicken broth
- 1 bunch of kale roughly chopped
- 2 cups of water
- 1 bag of chopped mushrooms (another farmers market buy, these
- were purchased whole then chopped so I honestly don’t know how much I used)
1. Prepare Meatballs: Mix pork, about 1/4 cup of the chopped onions, the chopped spinach, some salt & pepper, smoked paprika, bread crumbs & Parmesan cheese in a small bowl with a fork. Beat egg in a separate bowl & then add it to the meat mixture & mix until sticky enough to form into mini meatballs. ( you may need to add more egg/breadcrumbs depending on the consistency…I did not measure the bread crumbs so you will have to eyeball it. the mixture shouldn’t be too wet or too dry as pictured below.
2. Sear meatballs: place 1-2 tblsps of EVOO into pan & sear the meatballs on all sides using tongs. The key here is just to form a nice crust on the meatballs as opposed to cooking them all the way through as they will finish cooking in the soup.
I had about 3 batches to fry up. You can also move the pot around slightly to ensure even cooking & that they don’t stick…add extra olive oil as needed. I had about 3 batch
3. Remove meatballs & sear andouille sausage: Same concept here you won’t need to cook them thoroughly just enough to release the flavors & get a good sear on them.
4. Remove Sausage & sweat out onions, green peppers, mushrooms & garlic: cook veggies in olive oil, scraping the pot to get all the drippings left by the meats off. Add the garlic the last 3 minutes of cooking veggies so it does not burn.
5. Add chicken broth & water to the pot & bring to a boil: I had a little extra spinach leftover so I added it to the pot.
6. Season stock: I added more smoked paprika, black pepper, a tad bit of salt (make sure to taste your stock to ensure correct salt content that is needed) & the herbs de provence.
7. Add Kale & simmer on low for about an hour: This is an estimate as your stove and pot may be different from mine. I just cooked until the kale tenderized & my stock turned a deep green color.
8. ENJOY!!! you can ladle the soup over rice or add some orzo pasta to the mix the last 30 mins of cooking.
Shopping at farmers markets has become a way of life to me. There’s something about shopping outside on a beautiful fall day, embracing your neighbors, and knowing that you have just supported something authentic. I still have to shop in … Continue reading
Gonna try to stay out of my feelings in this post although it will be quite hard, as my grandmother passed this past May (5-3-13) and it was a very hard loss for me. This woman taught me most of what I know about cooking and was unrivaled in the kitchen with her New Orleans roots shining through every meal she prepared, with love & great technique. She’s left me with so many wonderful memories & life’s lessons that I am grateful to have spent so much of my time with her in the kitchen as well as outside of it. Most of my family say I am a mirrored reflection of my grandmother & I simply wouldn’t have it any other way. She was the epitome of strength, love, wisdom, and sophistication. I’ll stop there as I don’t want to start tearing up in front of my 2 year old so without further ado…How Gmas taught me how to prepare the perfect pot of sticky white rice…..
Now when I say the perfect Pot of rice I put special emphasis on POT…The type of pot you cook your rice in makes a huge difference…don’t believe me? Try making 2 cups of rice in a huge pot…just try & report back to me later. I have found the perfect pot of rice for me & quite frankly you are probably gonna have to find the perfect pot for you. Just make sure it’s medium in size (not too wide, not too small) & it has a tight fitting see through lid.
This is the pot I use. This pot is pretty old & I’ve had it for about 5 1/2 years now. It is Emeril Lagasse brand 3qt sauce pan that I received in a set that I ordered back in the day after receiving a bonus from my banker days of Chase bank when I won top banker in my region (yah I was sort of a big deal) anyway, get you a good sturdy, heavy duty sauce pot with a clear lid.
A see through lid is of importance, as it will help you to gauge when your rice is done. (I know I know, you’re thinking, what?!?! no timer??? NO!!!! I have no set time as to when your rice will be done…when it comes to perfectly steamed rice you have to trust the process & know from experience)
The experience of my grandmother & I that is….
Now cooking liquid could be any of the following or a combination of a broth/stock (most common are chicken & vegetable stock), coconut milk, plain ole water or any liquid of choice really. I was preparing rice for a pot of red beans that had been simmering for a few hours so I would normally use just plain water as to not take away or add any extra sodium to my dish, however, I had 3/4 cup of chicken broth leftover in my fridge that I needed to use before it went bad so I used it and for measuring sake I filled the cup with water which measured out to 2 cups of liquid. So for the sake of this blog I measured (as hard as that was)& I used 2 3/4 cups of long grain rice (it’s what was left in the bag).
3/4 cup of chicken broth & 1 & 1/4 cup of water. Now here is where you can get creative (but I’m saving that for another rice post )
Now the general rule of thumb per packaging is 1 cup of rice to every 2 cups of water but I did say this was my G-mas recipe & she didn’t use no damn measuring cups so I’m gonna show you all how to properly measure rice to water ratio per my G-ma using the good ole finger method. Yes, your index finger. (giggity)
First of all rinse your rice!!!! We rinse our rice to rid it of surface starches & to help it along in the cooking process. We always use long grain rice with a pot of red beans (Nawlin’s tradition) & rinsing it is a sure fire way to the perfect pot of sticky steamed rice.
Ok so where were we…oh yah, after I rinse the rice, I place it in the pot then fill it with liquid up until it’s about an inch of water over my rice & the way I measure it is with my finger. (grandma wouldn’t have it any other way). I tried to get a clearer shot but since I added chicken broth my liquid was a bit cloudy. I used 2 3/4 cups of rice & the liquid measured up to the second line on my index finger. (I know it sounds crazy but trust me it works) So just remember general rule of thumb (pun intended) is that the water should measure up to the next line on your finger that is not touching the rice.
Bring it to a boil…no, no, no DO NOT ADD SALT… well I didn’t because my meal is plenty seasoned and the rice is just an offensive lineman to my Quarter back (football reference) and stir to break up the grains from sticking together…
After it’s boiling good & have boiled for about a minute or two…cover, lower temp to barely on & let it do it’s thang!!! Don’t touch that damn lid…don’t open it, don’t think about opening it…don’t even look at the pot sideways…just let it cook!!
This is what your pot should look like as it’s cooking, plenty of condensation. PAY ATTENTION to the lid & how much water has risen…..
After about 10-15 mins of steaming check the rice BUT DON’T OPEN THAT LID!!! Unless of course it looks like this…
When most of the condensation has dissipated s & I know you are anxious to open that lid DON’T!!! Turn the fire off & let it sit for at least five minutes. Your rice will continue to steam & the rest of the condensation should dissipate, it may not fully & that’s ok, but as long as you can see rice through the lid that is an indication that your rice is done. Also, check for the brightness of the rice, it should be bright white not opaque in color like it’s uncooked.
After about 5-10 minutes of letting your rice rest you can now finally unveil your perfect pot of sticky rice. Fluff & enjoy!!!!!!
My latest Tea With T focusing on small business structures. When I tell you all this video was a pain in my knee cap to record I’m not over exaggerating. The bees were relentless in their final attempts to survive being that it is getting cooler out & tried everything they could to attack my cup of honey lavender tea with raw organic honey in it (no surprise there lol). It was a challenge but also fun because I branched out & tried something new. I’m getting better at this filming thing & I promise my videos will get crisper, information to get better & editing to be sleeker as I get the hang of this thang. All production is done by your truly so I hope u all enjoy Thanks for watching & don’t forget to catch the bloopers at the end!!!
I recently posted a video on my Youtube channel on the weekly wash & styling process I do for Cupcake’s hair. I came up with this process when I started noticing a ton of shedding of her hair and her hair was constantly dry. I also wanted to help along her hair growth around her edges and that bald spot babies get because they sleep on the same spot. Well a year and a half of doing the exact same thing has yielded great growth results as well as healthy and happy curls for my baby. I realize I am not as descriptive as I needed to be in this vlog so I decided to blog about it as well.
For starters I Co-Wash cupcakes hair. Co-washing is an alternative method to shampooing and an effective way to clean curly hair. Curly African-American hair needs tons of moisture daily and washing with shampoo tends to strip the hair of it’s natural oils. I also found that using those baby shampoos or all into one body wash/shampoos they market did nothing but dry out her hair even more. Once I stopped using those products and just using what I use on my hair on hers, the overall health of her strands got better. (As a side note while there are good baby products out, cupcake has the same curl pattern as I so I cut out the extra expense of purchasing separate products, however beware of certain adult products on sensitive baby skin. I make sure to use all natural products that are sans parabens, sulfates, mineral oils and any unnecessary toxins and chemicals).
Co-washing can be done with any conditioner in my experience. I make sure to use a conditioner with plenty of slip (where when applied it easily detangles hair and you can easily glide fingers through hair). The Miss Jessies conditioner I used in this video is expensive but it is definitely one of my favorites. The Shea Moisture line makes a great co-wash conditioner & so does the Curls unleashed line. I generally browse Target or Walgreens ethnic hair care section & purchase what’s on sale from my favorite brands as well as here’s a link to my Amazon store that will show you products I recommend for hair and baby.
Sealing the hair is important. Sealing the hair with an oil (specifically the castor oil I used in this video) is a great way to ensure maximum moisture is retained. A while ago I started adding castor oil to my co-washes and deep conditioning treatments as an added sealant bonus. When I rinse the oil/conditioner combo I have no problem with buildup and my hair feels strong and clean. Since I had the Whipped Products oil cleanser on hand I use that along with my co-washes and it does an amazing job with sealing & assisting with cleaning my hair. (I still can’t stand the smell but since I bought it I gotta use it right
After rinsing her hair I DO NOT towel dry. This aids in helping control unnecessary breakage and frizz. I do squeeze the excess water out of her hair before I remove her from her bath.
Applying a leave in and sealing her edges and ends with castor oil is also a very important piece to her hair growth journey. Castor oil has amazing growth properties for hair and I believe has sped up her hair growth tremendously.
I style her hair in bantu knots to help retain the moisture and allow the leave in conditioner and castor oil to do it’s thang. I’ve also done two strand twist but I make sure to try not to manipulate, pulled taut or stress her hair follicles in anyway with the use of barrettes, rubber bands or tight braids. Babies hair follicles are very delicate and should be treated as such. As babies their hair shouldn’t be manipulated much so that it can grow in as healthy as possible.
The few things we absolutely need to do to Black children’s hair are: Keep Clean. Keep Moisturized & keep protected.
Hope this article has enlightened you all and let me know what are your hair processes for your baby girls?
My advice for those looking to start a small business.
Anyone remember that song by Xzibit??
This album banged so hard…