Tag Archives: Cooking

2016 Was Not So Bad Regardless of What Facebook Says

2016 has been a trying year for all. There have been disappointments, deaths, and disasters. Not to mention the rise of the Donald. Social media posts show heartbreak over celebrity deaths. Someone has created a GoFundMe account to protect Betty White. Many people are eager to see 2016 go in hopes of a better 2017.

If you really think about it, there have also been joys, births, and good times. Isn’t every year a mix of triumphs and disappointments? It is called life. We as humans increment the vastness of time into yearly increments. Perhaps it gives us some sense of control over the uncontrollable. The truth is – bad stuff happens and so does good stuff. Your happiness cannot hinge on the nature of what is happening around you.

I have been cooking lately. Well, learning to cook. Yesterday, I decided to do it big. The meal planned – fried pork chops, mashed potatoes from scratch, and roasted garlic asparagus. I prepared by reading highly rated recipes. I watched how-to videos on Youtube. I was PREPARED. Armed with ingredients, knowledge, and determination – I was ready. I started cooking. Everything seemed to be going great. Food looked good, smelled even better. After much sweat, I was finally finished. I fixed my plate. It looked good enough for Instagram. I cut into the perfectly browned pork chop. It was too salty. I felt the wind escape from my sails. I was not only cooking for myself but for my boyfriend, too. I was near tears. My friend said that is was okay. He stated that the only way to learn is to try. I began to feel less terrible.

That is my 2016 in a nutshell. It started with great aspirations. I even had a plan, a vision board even. I tried my best and still some things failed – relationships, promotion attempts, finishing my second book, weight loss. It was like those Facebook videos you watch of someone taking off in a race and then some invisible leg extends in front of them and they trip and fall. It feels like the fall is so hard because the person running was moving ahead at full-speed expecting to finish first.

I had started writing a great story based on my childhood adventures – over 10,000 words. I had written some wonderful poetry almost 30 pages worth. I went to Texas for a work conference and lost my thumb drive. Talk about tripping over an invisible leg. Man, I was hurt. Thankfully, the 10,000 words had been backed-up on the cloud. The poetry only exists in my head and heart.

I am ready to start again.

If you have been graced with another day of life, you have another chance to get it right. Some failures require some hard work. Others require some downtime for healing. No matter how comfortable, resist the urge to stay here. This place is meant to be temporary. You have to get up and keep running.

2017 is what you make of it. Start again. Be enthusiastic again. If you should fall, get back up and continue.

This Girl Be Cooking Yo. . . Cornbread!

In my effort to increase my culinary skills, I have taken on some staple recipes. This week's item is cornbread, and not that sweet corn cake known as Jiffy Mix either. I got this recipe from the queen herself – Paula Deen.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish (I substituted an equal amount of olive oil for the butter.)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I substituted lowfat buttermilk.)

Mix dry indredients in one bowl. Mix eggs and buttermilk in one bowl. Fold egg mixture into dry mixture. Oil 8 inch pan. Pour mixture in pan. Cook for 20 minutes at 425 degrees (preheat oven) or until golden brown. Test center with knife or toothpick. If it comes out clean, it is done.

I also cut this recipe in half. I used this website to make it easier seeing that the measurements are not metric.

I LOVE this recipe. It is easy, simple and tastes so yummy. It is not too sweet either. The bread came out moist and soft. My mother can really cook. . .everything but cornbread! lol I am going to make mine for her when I visit home. Envy me, Mom, envy me! lol

Check out my pics:

Ingredients
Ingredients

DryIngredients
Dry Ingredients

Batter
Batter in Pan

GoldenBrownFinish
20 minutes in oven at 425 degrees

Slice

Have a slice?

 

I made some vegan black eyed peas yesterday. I am taking them and this cornbread to work for lunch tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

The Daniel Fast Detoxes More Than Just Your Body

I and a co-worker started the Daniel Fast- (again)<–Click Here- on Tuesday of this week. For those of you unfamiliar with the fast, it is an eating plan that is primarily vegan plus no sweeteners or leavened bread. Its origins are in the book of Daniel (Daniel 1:8-14).<–Read more here. I started this fast for a combination of reasons – spiritual, weight loss, detox, etc. Plus I need more discipline in my life. Today is day 5 and eating vegan is becoming routine.

Since starting this fast, I sleep better. Acid reflux was ruining my quality of life by affecting my sleeping pattern and mood. Acid reflux was also causing upper respiratory issues. After just 5 days, I totally feel a difference. There is nothing like a good night's sleep.

Plus I am cooking! I made vegan collard greens and they were good. I made my own salad dressing today after being inspired by a friend who made salad dressing for me. She wanted to encourage me on this fast. (Wasn't that the sweetest thing?) I look forward to coming up with new creations. 

I am down like 7 lbs. I feel less bloated. My clothes are fitting beautifully.

Now, I am not going to lie. The first day was a breeze but day 3 was HARD!!!! That is why it helps to have someone else do it with you. Me and my coworker keep each other motivated and lifted up. It can get expensive eating fresh fruits and veggies. Planning ahead is key. I started going to fruit and vegetable markets and stocking up on brown rice, beans, onions and garlic. Having a slowcooker and rice cooker helps.

Prayer is the another component of this fast. I have been praying with more clarity. I have a few big decisions to make in my life and need God's guidance. I want to stay in His will. Prayer and fasting is the best way I know to get closer to God and to hear His voice clearly. 

I plan on transitioning to a clean way of eating. That just means eating as close to nature as possible, cooking my own meals, and resisting the urge to snack. Pray for me 🙂

Sixteen more days to go.