I Live Today

We all need a break from our hurried lives to do a bit more of what we love to do. In my case, I love food writing and developing recipes in my spare time, when I’m not doing design work for a nine to five job. Sure, there are more demanding tasks, but this time, I took a break from more important work to contribute a recipe to Black History Month’s Potluck, a group of African-American food bloggers sharing recipes during February. My recipe: Southern Style Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons.

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Adriana’s Tamale Party with Watermelon and Queso Fresco Cheese Salad

My cravings for Mexican food come from Mom’s Southern California background. The flavors and spices of the dishes bring comfort to my heart. Some people might say my love for Mexican food isn’t authentic, because it’s actually “Tex-Mex.” It could be true. After all, I didn’t grow up in predominantly Mexican community, nor is the culture and language part of my ancestral background.

Some time ago, Nicole Taylor of Hot Grease, organized a private dinner honoring Dr. Jessica B. Harris and cookbook author, Bryant Terry. Among the invitees were Adriana Valez, a writer for The Stir and CreoleMag.com. Naturally, the conversation centered around food. Somehow Adriana and I talked about Mexican cuisine and how her family held tamale parties. I eagerly asked her to organize one in Brooklyn, New York. She happily agreed to my request. Continue reading Adriana’s Tamale Party with Watermelon and Queso Fresco Cheese Salad

Tarragon and Pink Peppercorn Chicken Salad

Tarragon & Pink Peppercorn Chicken Salad

It started with an email from JCPenny a few months ago. The PR representative explained they’re changing their brand, and she wanted to give me a $200 gift certificate to spend. It was promptly delivered, and it wasn’t used until recently for the purchase of new bed linens for our new super pillow top comfortable mattress set.

Up until JCPenny contacted me with their much needed gift, my life was a hurricane of stress, sleeplessness nights, and regrets. Then, my life instantaneously started to change. Suddenly, I had a freelance job. As the job gradually started cutting hours, my sudden luck made sure I made a smooth transition into a full-time position as a Graphic Designer with a large Brooklyn non-profit organization. With this new 9 to 5 schedule, the gift certificate remained untouched on my desk until we could determine how to maximize its benefits. Continue reading Tarragon and Pink Peppercorn Chicken Salad

Shredded Kohlrabi, Watermelon Radish, Pear Salad with Arugula

Shredded Kohlrabi, Watermelon Radish and Pear Salad with Arugula

A winter farmers market initially looks deserted, but it has plenty of unusual root vegetables and varieties of dark leafy greens. The apples and pears overflow their crates. Some markets, such as New York City, also serve goat cheese, yogurt, cured and cuts of meats, milk, honey, bread, eggs, grains, and dried beans. Heirloom carrots in purple and varieties of potatoes are visual reminders of whole food’s diversity.

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Butternut Squash and Kale with Red Quinoa with Ginger Vinaigrette

Butternut Squash and Kale with Red Quinoa with Ginger Vinaigrette

Is there a whole grain recipe in your holiday menu? Impress guests with this vegetarian and gluten-free salad of red quinoa tossed with dice butternut squash, lightly sauté dinosaur kale and ginger vinaigrette. Currently in season in the Northeast region of the United States, butternut squash taste similar and can be used interchangeably with pumpkin. Use one large butternut squash diced in vegetable soups, pureed in breads and roasted for salads. It’s mildly sweet flavor compliments red quinoa’s earthy and nutty taste. Adding a bit of savory flavor is thinly sliced sauté kale. The vinaigrette adds tiny bites of ginger throughout the salad. Include this beautiful and healthy salad in your traditional holiday meal. Continue reading Butternut Squash and Kale with Red Quinoa with Ginger Vinaigrette