Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yum Yums: Quick and Easy Veggie Fritatta

One of my best friends and my niece were staying at my house and I was running out of breakfast ideas, FAST. I had just gone produce shopping the day before so my fridge was STOCKED with vegetables for me to use. We had a dozen and a half carton of eggs and some cheese, so I decided to make a fritatta! Now, I've never made a fritatta...but I DO believe that this came out freakin AMAZING. I honestly wished that I had made another one.

 For this recipe, you don't HAVE to use fresh vegetables. I know how difficult it is to find produce at reasonable prices, ESPECIALLY when you're on a budget. Frozen vegetables will do just fine, but one thing I'll recommend is after sauteing is to pour out any extra liquid they may extract. 
You can use anything you want in your fritatta, the possibilities are practically ENDLESS.
Don't get TOO crazy w/ the creativity and start throwin uncooked rice and oatmeal and stuff in there cause uhhhh...ew.

One thing I was thinking about, for us busy [college] folk, would be to make this sometime on Sunday, let it cool, cut it and place it in either individual Ziplocs or small Tupperware containers and freezing them so that when you're in a rush, or on the go in the morning, you can just heat up a slice in the microwave and be on your way!

Veggie Fritatta
Serves 3-6
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cook Time: 10-15 mins

1/4 of a large Onion, small dice
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 c. Fresh Spinach, washed, sauteed and chopped
2 c. Fresh Broccoli Florets, washed and blanched
1 Red Bell Pepper, small dice
2 Fresh Basil Leaves, chiffonade
1/4 tsp Red Pepper flakes
2 tbsp Canola Oil
5 Eggs, beaten 
1/2 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
3 slices of tomato
1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Preheat broiler on High

  1. Heat a medium sized iron cast skillet over medium heat, add oil. Add vegetables and red pepper flakes and saute' until broccoli is fully cooked.
  2. Add the cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to your eggs and whisk until fully incorporated. Add eggs to the skillet and allow it to cook for about 2 mins, or until it is halfway done.
  3. Place the tomato slices on top, and then sprinkle the cheese over the entire fritatta.
  4. Place fritatta in the oven and bake until cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from the oven and enjoy!
*IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A BROIL SETTING IN YOUR OVEN: Right after you place your eggs in the pan, add the tomatoes and cheese and bake in the oven at 350 F for 5 mins, or until egg is cooked.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Yum Yums: Chicken Fricassee

So I decided to try out this Chicken Fricassee I saw on this blog that I follow called Nibble Me This and it came out BANGIN!!
Check him out, he has some pretty good recipes! 

I did change a few things in terms of preparation and ingredients, so you can look and compare and choose which one you wish to follow!

5 Chicken leg quarters, separated ( will result in 5 legs and 5 thighs)
1 tbsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tbsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1/2 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tbsp Canola/ Vegetable Oil

1 Can Chicken Broth
2 c. Vegetable Broth
1 head of Garlic, minced
1/2 onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
3 slices of bread, cubed ( I honestly just used some hot dog rolls since we didn't have any bread.)
3 leave Fresh Basil, rough chop
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary, rough chop
1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme, rough chop
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 c. cream
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven 350 F

  1. Rinse off the legs & thighs and pat dry. Season thoroughly with salt, pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. 
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (if the oil is smoking, it's too hot). Making sure the skin is fully covering the meat, place about 3 pieces of chicken in the pan to sear at a time. Make sure that you hear a loud sizzle when you place the pieces in because you want to form a nice brown color on the skin. Sear the chicken on each side an set aside on a sheet tray lined with a sheet rack. 
  3. Once all chicken is seared, finish in oven for about 10-15mins or until thigh reads 165F.
  4. In the same pan, on medium heat, saute onions, garlic and pepper for about 2 mins. Stir in the bread until it is all generously covered in oil/fat. Add chicken broth and, using a whisk or wooden spoon, scrape of the bottom of the pan to lift off the fond- little brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan from searing. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. 
  5. Whisk the mixture so that the bread breaks up, but leaves no visible lumps. Add the veg stock and allow it to simmer until it's thickened. Once thickened, after about 5 mins,  stir in basil, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes and cream. 
  6. Taste your sauce, and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  7. Add all chicken back to the pan and allow to simmer for another 3 mins.
  8. ENJOY!
I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I did! I was surprised at how unbelievably delicious this was...just thinking about it has me starving! 


No More Store Brought Hair Products

I've made the decision to try and shy away from as many store brought hair products as possible due to the fact that I had a significant allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioner. 
When I tell you, I was soo upset at this cause Cantu was my MAIN staple product before I went off to NC. I don't know if they've changed their ingredients or not but I used my new bottle of Cantu on my twists, like always, but for some reason my cheeks and my hairline broke out, and my scalp would be itching like CRAZY. 
The next time I twisted my hair, I used regular shea butter and had no breakout. 
Since I've cut that product, along with countless others, I've found that my skin has been clearing up. 

Right now, I only use Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap to cleanse my scalp, baking soda to scrub occasionally, Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera Juice/Gel, Mayonnaise, Eggs and Flax Seed Gel.
I believe that less is more when it comes to my hair- it doesn't like too much product and I find that it responds best to things in their natural form. Using all-natural products/ ingredients has also been beneficial to my super sensitive skin. I am very acne prone and it seems like the smallest change in my regimen will break me out.
Right side

Left side
I've decided to do KinkyCurlyCoilyMe's Castor Oil Challenge for the fall to grow my edges back, because they've been thinning ALOT and I aint tryna be on no Naomi Campbell stuff...
(No she didn't)
Yes I did. LOL
Once I begin the challenge I will keep you guys posted.

Stay blessed!

FIT: My body as of 8/27/2012

BUST: 34 1/2"
WAIST: 28"
HIPS: 39"
WEIGHT: 143.3lbs

 My goal to maintain has been successful!!
I lost some hips though...no bueno. =, / 
..but at least my abs are rockin ;)

My diet has been mostly the same...with the addition of some occasional cheats. 
I still basically eat everything I want to, I just incorporate more vegetables and fruits into my day. I don't drink soda, AT ALL. I don't eat fast food, except the occasional Wendy's, Chic-fil-a or Subway.

When I make my plate, half of the plate is vegetables, 1/4 starch and 1/4 meat. 
I also eat all of my vegetables before I move on to the starch and protein.
I incorporate fruits and vegetables in to EVERY meal, including breakfast. I recently made a Veggie Fritatta that was freakin delicious! I plan on having that recipe to you guys soon.

 Making sure I eat a variety of fruits and vegetables has been helpful in terms of digestive health & bathroom-going. [T.M.I?]

My next diet goal is giving up white breads/ pastas, gearing towards more whole grain choices. I also plan on giving up refined sugar and flour. 
Wish me [add my wallet] luck!!


Don't have a gym near you?? No problem!

Away from school I have NO access to a gym, so the fact that these workouts are so readily available on FB makes life SO much easier. I was really worried about gaining all of my weight back over the summer, but I've been able to maintain doing these in conjunction with the daily workouts I've previously posted.

This first workout kicks my freakin BUTT. 
By the 3rd set, I'm usually like FORGET THIS!! 

But then I think about my goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and I continue to push myself. I find that stretching in between sets makes it a little easier to bear and helps to reduce sore muscles the next day. 

This next one isn't really a workout, just a series of moves you can add to any workout you're doing. I usually do 3 reps of each. I add these moves to the Monday and Thursday workouts.

This last one is my absolute favorite cause it's such a challenge! I usually do it when I'm watching Dr.Oz...lol. I've been able to complete it before the show comes back, but when I first started doin it, it was definitely a challenge! I encourage all of you to attempt this, you'll find that it actually isn't hard at all! How to do a burpee
How to do a Russian Twist 


Friday, August 24, 2012

Self Inspiration: Bullying

I haven't done an inspirational post in a long time. 
Even though I've, personally, never gone through any type of bullying like this, I know how bullying can hurt.
 I've only been bullied twice, in elementary school, and it was this guy that kept calling me ugly and a lesbian..and even though I didn't even know what a lesbian was(I was like, 7 -__-) it still hurt.
 And the second time was my "friend" <--the quotations are there for a reason
Shaniqua's friend who use to tease me about my clothes. Alot of the time, I would just try to not chill wit them but it'd be hard cause when I was stuck hanging out wit them,  she'd always have something to say about what i was wearing. I would always think to myself, like..what is her problem?? I don't say or do anything to this girl so WHY does she insist on bothering me? 
She would call me fat, tell me my clothes were ugly and I'd be like 0_O Why are you talkin to me? lol
First of all, she was ugly. Second of all, even though I was fat too, she was fatter than me soooo.....

Now that I'm older, I realize that she may have had some insecurities that she was dealing with so she decided to take it out on somebody that ultimately wouldn't do anything about it. Although her and that other boys' bullying didn't fully affect me, I do believe that they may have caused the little bit of insecurity that I have had throughout the years. 

One thing I've learned is that through God, everything is possible.  
Without Him, there is no me and He's the only judge I need to worry about throughout my life. 

Feel free to check out this beautiful video on bullying by JessicaLailah

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yum Yums: Spinach Ravioli + Turkey Sausage w/ Garlic Basil Sauce

As aforementioned in my Wash Day Rambling post, my humungo Spinach raviolis were made but had not yet been cooked for human consumption.
Well, I'm here to tell you that they HAVE been cooked, and were pretty freakin tasty too ;)
This inclination to make ravioli came about after I had bought a bag of spinach & was running out of ideas of what to make. I used it in omelets and rice, served it on the side or in salad but i wanted to do something different! Since I bought those won ton wrappers and saw that I was gonna be able to make ravioli w/ them, it was over. Spinach ravioli HAD to be made!0_0

This is another one of my simple recipes that can easily be cooked by anybody who may know their way around the kitchen a lil bit..but if not, I hope I make it easy enough to follow!! These can be made to be used the same day, or be frozen for future use, like I did. If you DO decide to freeze them, make sure you freeze them on a flat surface like so ---->>
BEFORE you put them into a container to freeze because if you don't they will all stick together and create a horrible mess and all of your hard work will be ruined..and you don't want that, do you? No. Didn't think so.

Here it goes...

Spinach Ravioli
Yield: 3-5
1/2 pack Nasoya Won Ton wrappers ( I got them from Shop Rite for like..$3)
4 c. Fresh Spinach, washed & drained
1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
2 c. Ricotta cheese
1 Egg, beaten
1 c. Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp Salt
1tbsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1 egg + 1 c. water for egg wash.
1/4 c. flour for tray
  1. Separate out the won ton wrappers, discarding the torn ones. I used 30.
  2. In a pot of boiling, salted water, blanch your spinach until wilted, strain, and then place the spinach into a bowl of ice & water to stop it from cooking any further.
  3. Remove the spinach from the water and wring as much of the water out of it as you can. *This process is done easiest with cheesecloth, but if you do not have any on hand, fold the spinach up in 2 coffee filters, 2 paper towels, and an old, CLEAN wash rag, [preferably one you don't care for too much] and wring it out. 
  4. Remove the spinach from the cloth and give it a rough chop.
  5. Combine spinach w/ egg, ricotta, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir until fully distributed.
  6. Wrap either a sheet tray, cookie sheet, or regular food tray in foil and spread flour onto the tray evenly. Lay out your won ton wrappers in 2-4 rows (depending on how big your cookie sheet/ tray is) and using a spoon, scoop a quarter-sized amount of filling and place it in the center of every other won ton wrapper.
  7. Using either a brush or your finger, brush the egg wash onto the outer sides of the won ton wrapper, around the spot where you placed the filling.
  8. Take the won ton wrappers that do not have any filling on them, and place over thee ones that do. In order to seal it, press your fingers around, not on, the area where the filling is and gently push outward, towards the edge of the ravioli. This will help push out any excess egg wash and remove any air bubbles. Repeat with all ravioli.
  9. If freezing for later enjoyment, keep on tray and freeze. Once fully frozen, place into Tupperware and return to freezer. 
  10. If you can't wait to eat them, get a pot of boiling, salted water ready, drop a few of your ravioli in and cook until they begin to float, remove and serve with the sauce of your liking.
  11. ENJOY!

Turkey Sausage w/ Garlic Basil Sauce
1/2 link Turkey Kielbasa,cut into 1/4in thick pieces
2 tbsp Garlic, minced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1/4 c. White Cooking Wine
1/2c. Veg stock
6 Basil leaves, chiffonade
Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Heat pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add sausage and sear on all sides until brown, but not burnt. 
  3. Stir in garlic and saute for 1 min.
  4. Turn up heat, add butter until fully melted and then stir in flour. Cook for another minute or so- be careful not to burn.
  5. Add wine and stir/whisk. The pan should sizzle alot when you do this, don't be afraid cause that's what you want. Cook for 2 mins or until the alcohol is cooked out.
  6. Add stock and bring to a simmer.
  7. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper
  8. Serve over ravioli
  9. ENJOY!

The sauce didn't look how I wanted it to but...it was still good!!!

Yum Yums: Simple, Easy, YUMMY, Carrot Soup!!

Yes. It is finally here folks...
Soup? In the summer?? WHY?


...we had alot of carrots in the fridge and I REALLY needed a reason to use my new immersion blender that I got for my birthday..

(it's sexy, right? ;) ) --->>

..so I was like, TA-DA! Carrot Soup!
Yeah, if only it were that simple.
I even got all fancy and made my own whipped cream [only cause the blender came with a whisk attachment] to put on top to create another layer of richness and flavor....mmmmm NOM.

This recipe is freakin simple, it's ridiculous. I think I even forgot that it was on the stove for a second until I got a whiff of cinnamon in the air (Cinnamon? Yeah.)

Alright lovies, here it is!!

Kayla's Slam-Bam-Jammin Carrot Soup! <--- (I don't really call it that)
Yields: 6 servings

1 bag of Carrots, about 7-8 medium sized carrots total, medium dice
1 Onion, medium dice
3 cloves, Garlic, chopped
1 tbsp Canola Oil
2 tbsp fresh Ginger, either chopped or micro-planed/grated
1 tsp fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh Sage, Chopped
7 oz. Vegetable Stock
1 can Coconut Milk
1 tsp  ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat pot over medium heat, add oil and saute carrots, onions and garlic together for about 2 mins or until onions begin to turn translucent. 
  2. Stir in ginger, rosemary and sage and continue to cook for another minute.
  3. Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the carrots have cooked all the way through. 
  4. Turn off the fire, grab a potholder and prop the pot up using one hand*. Using the immersion blender, blend everything in the pot until no lumps remain. 
If you do not have an immersion blender, use a regular blender or food processor, but DO NOT try to blend everything at once. Blend your soup in batches when using a regular blender/ food processor and DO NOT fill them all the way to the top. Once you've finished blending, return to the pot.

5. Bring to a simmer and gradually add coconut milk. If the soup is more thick than you'd like, feel free to add additional milk, cream, stock or water- whatever you prefer. I chose to thin it out with some more stock so that i wouldn't lose flavor. 
6. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg and season with your favorable amount of salt and pepper.

*The reason you want to prop/ hold one side of the pot up with your hand before you use the immersion blender is to avoid splatters, and to allow easier blending. 
This soup lasted me a week in the fridge, but it can also be frozen and reheated for whenever you want. Another plus to this is that it can also be enjoyed cold, so choose your preference and dig in!!

P.S. To make the whipped cream, get some heavy cream, salt and chopped ginger, place in blender (or use whisk attachment on immersion blender ;) ) and whip until stiff peaks are reached. Don't over whip it though, you don't wanna make butter! (or do you....?)

I just garnished with some scallions and julienned carrots that i roasted in the oven for about 5 mins. 

Post Surgery Bluesss...

Yesterday was surgery day =(
Don't worry folks, I'm alright..just a minor procedure. Needless to say that I can't freakin workout for the next 6 days, which BITES. >_<
*sighs* Besides that, bed rest has been pretty...boring. I HATE staying in one spot all day. I've been tryna give myself little busy work, like cutting up fruits and making crepes and makin my own soup and tea and stuff instead of bothering daddy, but it just isn't enough. 
I need to walk...jump...CRUNCH! 
One thing that I'm happy about is that the surgery is over...and as a result of the surgery I nabbed some comfy ass socks to wear around the house! 

The only thing I didn't like about yesterday was that while me, the nurse, and the anesthesiologist were talking she put me to sleep in the middle of the freakin convo! 
When I woke up, I was like o_O "que?"
And let me tell you, once I woke up my throat was D-R-Y! 
I felt like my mouth got raped by a Dyson vacuum cleaner...
And then they had the nerve to offer some dry ass crackers, cookies and pretzels..like, how the hell am I supposed to swallow that?? Really, hospital?? Really? They KNOW your mouth is dry after surgery...WHY would they serve you dry things to eat, like..that makes no sense to me. Can a sister get some Jell-o???
She gave me a cup of cranberry juice and 3 cups of water and I was STILL struggling to get those 2 lil graham crackers down my throat, I mean that mess was ridiculous!

After that little ordeal, I was still CRAZY sleepy from the anesthesia..so I kept dozing off until she told me that it was time for me to get dressed. Once I was dressed and back in the car, I was OUT.  Like a light? No. Like the power after PSE&G shuts that joint off for not payin the bill!!
He fell asleep on me earlier.
So, aside from sounding like I had a doritos bag stuck in my throat, and bein all doped up on whatever the doc gave me to subside the pain, yesterday mostly consisted of me sleeping. Boyfriend oovooed me when he got home from work and was complaining about how depressed I sounded, but he understood that that was just from the meds. When I woke up today I was still drowsy and the pain is faint but i'm good now. Me and my baby took a nap on Oovoo and all was well. Follow up appointment is in one week, so wish me health!!


P.S. I found this B-E-A-UTIFUL picture on tumblr today [while I was browsing and being insanely bored].  Hmmm, new background?? #CallItMaybe

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Canada Trip

Alright, so..I had a VERY painful trip. I mean, it was fun and all but I feel like God was testing me caussseeeee.....*sighs* notice how my faces get longer as this story goes on.

 So we went on this bus ride, right? And the flyer says to be there for midnight cause they're leavin at 12am, SHARP. -_- Mama (my grandma) likes to be early so we were out there from 11 waitin on this stinkin bus. So, FINALLY, the bus gets there and we load up and leave ( it is now 2 a.m) and we're headed to Jersey, from Brooklyn to pick up some more passengers -__-
WHY they couldn't just meet us in Brooklyn, I don't know. 


...so by the time we start heading up the road it's about 3something, and the host decides that he's only gonna let us sleep for a few hours cause we didn't come on this trip to sleep, we came to party (if you're West Indian, you'll understand) & he has the music blasting on the bus. We barely slept until about 6 and they woke us up...-____-

We didn't actually reach the Canada border until about noon, after we spent a good hour at the Duty Free shop. Getting through the border didn't take as long as i thought it would, so that was a plus. We stopped at the falls (Niagara) to eat lunch and take pictures and when I tell you, I wasn't ready for the heat that hit me that day..it was HOT. I was definitely NOT expecting for it to be THAT hot in Canada...it was ridiculous!! While at the falls I took some b-e-a-utiful pictures ( in the blazing heat) and got cooled off by the back spray from the falls. Once we were finished, we got BACK on the bus to then ride to Toronto. It was about 2 at the time, and by the time we reached Toronto it was after 4. It took us 12hrs to get to Toronto and it should've only taken us about 8 
1/2. -_____-

My grandma's cousin's son picked us up and took us to the house where I met my most ADORABLE cousin Andrew: the happiest baby alive!! Oh goodness, I just wanted to eat him up he was so cute! I told his mother I was gonna steal him, she thinks I'm  playin...lol. That same night we went to Panorama, it was very nice. All the bands that played were freakin wonderful. Idk who won, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

The next morning was carnival, we went downtown and stood in an area right before the bands went across the stage. I was SO surprised to see so many white and Asian/Korean people playing mas!! West Indians get MAD love in Canada, yo! I even saw this white dude DECKED OUT in Haiti gear..it was crazy. This was actually the first carnival that I've actually spectated, but I honestly didn't spectate for long. By the time the parade was almost over, I was down in someone's section dancin like I belonged in the band. lmao It was TOO fun. During the next two days of our stay it was pretty mellow, we went to a barbecue Sunday night and that's when I finally felt that Canadian coldness, ugh..I was FREEZING. Mama had been warning me about Canada after 6pm..cause that's when it starts to get cold, even though the two previous nights had been comfortably warm.

Monday was when we were scheduled to leave, and yet again, the flyer said we'd be leaving at 12:30pm, SHARP. We were there early, of course, and were sitting around until about 1 when they finally started loading the bus. -_______-
We get on the bus and rode a good 2 hours until we reached another duty free shop where, of course, we HAD to stop in. They said we were only stopping for 25 minutes...-_________-
*1 hour later*
We finally leave duty free and get to the border which was pretty much right down the block. The collect our passports and check them and you know there ALWAYS has to be one...so they tell the man that something was wrong/missing from his papers so he had to go inside while all of us stayed on the bus..and we waited..
*1 hour later*
So we crossed the border, and by this time everyone's pissed, and hungry, and gotta use the bathroom. We ask the bus driver when he's stopping at a rest stop and he's talkin bout some damn 2hours.

You have a bus FULL of people...we've been on this bus for 4HOURS, and you talkin bout we ain't stoppin to eat for ANOTHER 2 hours??? I was BEYOND pissed, like...I was so mad! What made me even more mad was the fact that he'd passed sooo many rest stops that we could've stopped at but when he finally DOES decide to stop, this nigga pulls into a Rite Aid parking lot ("say what??" Yeah.) So we had to cross parking lots and/or the highway to go get some food and bathroom relief and once we stopped, they cussed them OUT. It was too funny. After I got my food and used the facilities I was a happy camper. I went to sleep (itis) and within the next 2-3 hours we were back in Brooklyn.

So, just for the record, I'm NEVER going on THAT bus ride again. For $200, I can take my ass on a plane, eat some food, sleep wheneva the hell I want, and not have to worry about no bullsh**.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Yum Yums: Indian Spiced Roasted Chicken

Remember that oh, so BEAUTIFUL chicken I bought for $4 a couple of months ago??
 Yeah. I did something special with that bad boy! 
This recipe is type long in terms of ingredients, but not difficult at all! 
I did this recipe for my practical exam and freakin blew my chef AWAY. 
Yeah, ya girl knows her way around the kitchen..;)

1 3-4lb Whole chicken

2 tbsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp Ground Coriander
2 tbsp Ground black pepper
1/4 tsp Grated Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1 1/2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tbsp Paprika
2 tbsp Kosher Salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

2 Spanish [yellow] Onions
2 Garlic Heads + 2 cloves
3 Carrots
2 Celery Stalks

1 Piece of ginger about the length of your thumb
1 sprig of parsley
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Peppercorns

Make sure you place your vegetables so that the chicken elevated evenly.

The first thing you want to do is get your vegetables ready. This array of vegetables is known as mirepoix, which  is the combination of celery, carrots and aromatics to provide flavor and aroma. Mirepoix can also be used to elevate a roast during roasting and also provides additional flavor to the pan drippings to later make a sauce for your roast.

1. Rinse off your celery; cut the tops and ends off of your celery stalks and cut the stalks into 3 pieces.
2. Peel your carrots; cut off the tops and ends and cut the carrots into 3 pieces.
3. Cut the whole garlic head in half, the way you would cut a grapefruit.
4. Cut the onions in half, discard the outer layer, and cut the halves in half.
5. Set aside in roasting pan

You don't want the vegetables cut too small because you don't want them to burn while the chicken is cooking on top of them.

  • Next, I got the aromatics I planned on stuffing inside of the bird (Parsley, thyme, Bay leaf, ginger, garlic, peppercorns) prepped and set aside. I didn't chop anything up except for the ginger, which i cut into 3 pieces. 

  • Combine all of your dry ingredients with butter and mix together until fully incorporated.

Now it's time to prep the bird!!
If you've never worked with a whole chicken, don't be intimidated, it's not difficult at all.

  • Cut off the tail and discard.

  • Next, remove the wishbone.

 Here's an instructional video on how to remove it.

 What I do is sit the bird on it's butt, open the neck and feel for the wishbone with my fingers. 
Once I feel it, I take my knife and scrape up against it to gently remove the meat that's covering it. 
When the bone is about 75% of the way exposed, I just run my fingers along the bone to remove any excess meat and repeat on the next side. 
Once it's exposed, I grab the tip of the wishbone and pull it out. 
Don't worry if it breaks on you, just take it out.

  • Once the wishbone is out, throw the wishbone in with the mirepoix.
  • Continue prepping the bird by cutting off the wing. ATTENTION: Don't do what I did and cut off the WHOLE WING Leave the drumette part attached. Throw the wing and tip in with the mirepoix as well.

See the part over to the far right-->> ??? Yeah. Leave that^ on the chicken.

....like so.

  • The next thing you want to do is rub your fingers right under the skin of the breast to make room for the butter you're about to shove in there!

  • Now, take a glob of the butter mixture and shove it up under the breast skin. 

  • Once you get a good amount under there, use your thumb to push and evenly distribute the butter throughout the whole breast; repeat on other side. You can even try to get some butter in between the thighs for additional seasoning. When you feel as though you've stuffed enough butter in your bird, feel free to rub the rest of it on the outside. If you have none left, mix up some salt, pepper and curry powder to rub on it. 

The reason you rub the butter under the skin is to provide moisture and additional flavoring to the breast. Knowing that this is usually the driest meat on the bird, the butter will baste the breasts in conjunction with the fat in the skin to give in more moisture.

It looks kinda crazy, but it's gonna taste AWESOME!
  • Stuff your chicken with the aromatics you set aside earlier.

  • Finally, truss  your chicken, place it on your mirepoix and bake it at 350 degrees F, uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, or until the thigh meat reads 175 degrees F.

I don't have a pic of the final result (because they freakin ATTACKED it) but it was DELICIOUS! I hope you enjoy!!

P.S. Do NOT Consume the aromatics you stuffed inside of the bird. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Latest Protective Style: Two Strand Twist & Twist

I'm not in Canada yet =( but here's what I did with my hair...

I just did a simple Mayonnaise and Olive Oil mixture for my deep conditioner, it was about 1  1/2 cup mayo and 2tbsp olive oil; just enough to cover my hair without being runny. I washed my hair with diluted Peppermint Castile soap and finger detangled in the shower w/ Suave Tropical Coconut and separated my hair into 4 sections w/ 3 braids per section. Then, before I got out of the shower, I squeezed the excess water out of each braid- this helps me to reduce the mixture from becoming runny and dripping out of my hair. I applied the mixture to one braid at a time, and any excess mixture I applied to my scalp. I put a plastic bag on my head and chilled for about 2hrs and wrote my previous post.. ;)
Then, I rinsed it out and squeezed the excess water out of my hair again and sealed in the water with shea butter. After letting it air dry for about 10 minutes I proceeded to blow dry my hair, one braid at a time, on medium heat using the Tension Method (see vid below) and I didn't blow dry it fully dry; only about 85%.

So, after that I was interrupted by my mother cause she wanted to go out and eat so I had to throw a head scarf on my dried twists and left a lil bang out. It was cute! I liked it alot so I'll definitely be doing this again on one of my I-don't-feel-like-dealing-with-this-mess-today, days.

The food I had at the diner was soooo GOOD. I'm definitely gonna make this cause it's simple! Stay tuned for THAT!!

Doesn't this look delicious???

...back to the hair.

I simply just two strand twisted it. No parting- just grabbing a section and twisting it. I find that it's better to not part the hair because if I wanted to switch the sides of my bangs, I could! I also trimmed the ends cause I desperately needed it! I think I cut off a good inch. After I finished twisting it I separated the it down the middle and did a flat twiston each side, meeting in the back. Then I just tucked away the ends and pinned them down. You may need a few more pins for any twists that are sticking up.
This is how I had my hair before I took down my twists the last time. I like the simplicity-I can spruce it up with a flower, or just leave it plain; I can wear it with a dress and wear it while I'm working out without worrying about messing it up. The only thing I'm burdened with is my edges getting fuzzy =/
It lasted me 3 weeks before my edges got crazy fuzzy, then I just took them out and wore a twistout for the next two weeks.
Hopefully, this style will last me another 3 weeks!