It’s hot AF. So I’ve been opting for flowy, breezy outfits as of late. It’s my hopeless attempt to not be completely uncomfortable during my commute, because for the most part I’m freezing my balls off at work and melting my buns off on my to work. But alas it’s a losing battle. I suppose dueling temps are the working girls eternal struggle. Anywho, here is what I wore.
I can’t eat a boring salad. There is simply no reason to. I’m on a forever quest to make new and interesting simple salads that taste delicious. My most recent obsession is grilled salad. After you make this salad head on over to my other grilled salad recipe and get you some.
What You’ll Need
- 2 heads of romain lettuce
- Fresh parmesan
- Grape tomatoes
- Fresh lime juice
- Olive oil
- Caesar dressing
Cut each head in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Get in the nock and crannies being careful not to rip the leafs off the head. Carefully slice the brown part off of the bottom of the stem, make sure you keep it in tact. Dry the lettuce really well and set aside.
I used a stove top cast iron grill pan, but feel free to use a traditional grill. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise (I used two heaping handfuls) and place them in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, I also added a dash of onion and garlic powder and a pinch of cumin, however those ingredients are optional. Squeeze juice of one lime and drizzle olive oil over top. You want there to be extra liquid to spoon on the grilled lettuce.
With the lettuce facing inside out, drizzle a bit of olive oil, not too much, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place each head inside facing down on the grill. The heat should be pretty hot so that you get those glorious grill marks and a bit of smokey flavor. This will take just a few minutes.
Serve immediately, if you let it sit the lettuce will wilt and that’s not cute! Spoon the tomatoes overtop the lettuce along with some of that good juice. Using a veggie peeler to shave off as much of the fresh Parmesan as you like. I added a small amount of Caesar dressing on top. What’s one more drizzle?
I served this salad with a simple baked chicken made with salt, pepper, fresh herbs and lemon. Enjoy!
Infused was such a blast and I had such a great time sharing my tips and tricks. Infused spirits are one of my go-to party tricks while entertaining. My philosophy for homemaking is that it should be simple but well done. As you will see from the recipes, you can pull together a great cocktail with minimal effort and ingredients that are easy to find. The possibilities are endless, but my two favorite flavors are ginger gin and hibiscus gin. During the workshop I shared my tips for beginner infusers, we made the hibiscus and ginger gin and then cocktails! Everyone had such great questions, which I captured below in the tips section.
- I prefer dried ingredients over fresh, because it’s so much easier to deal with. If you want to use fresh make sure that it is pesticide free,organic, and you wash it really well.
- Don’t use flavored spirits and stick with a mid level quality spirit. Don’t use the high quality stuff that you can sip on, personally I think it would be a waste.
- Make sure everything is super clean. Wash all utensils and container in the dishwasher or hand wash and sterilize in boiling water.
- Amazon, Joann’s Fabrics, and Michaels are great places to source mason jars of all sizes. If you are going to display them in your home like I do, IKEA has beautiful glass containers that are a step up.
- Have fun! Beginner infusions don’t have to be a perfect science. The ingredients you add are like salt, you can always add more if you aren’t achieving the level of flavor potency that you want.
Now on to the drinks!
Ginger Gin and Tonic Recipe
- 2 shots of ginger gin
- 1 shot of lime juice
- 1 shot sage simple syrup
Hibiscus Gin and Soda
- 2 shots of hibiscus gin
- 1 shot of lime juice
- 1 shot of sage simple syrup
- Soda water
Pour the gin, juice, and simple mixture over ice half way up your glass and top it off tonic. Enjoy.
So delicious and refreshing! Make sure that you do not miss out on upcoming events by signing up for the newsletter.
Having good teeth was always something that my mother stressed when we were young. It’s one of those things that she did not have until she was an adult and as kids she wanted us to have. I refused braces, because I didn’t think I needed them, but white teeth?! Sign me up. Back in the day we simply used to dunk our tooth brushes into a box of baking soda and call it a day. Now there are so many options, but with my sensitive gums I keep going back to old faithful. In addition to baking soda I’ve added activated charcoal to the mix. If you want, you can use them separately but I’ve found that the mix works wonders on my teeth and is a bit less harsh than using baking soda alone.
Activated charcoal helps whiten teeth while promoting good oral health by changing the pH balance in the mouth, helping prevent cavities, bad breath and gum disease. Baking soda has a mild abrasive action that helps to remove plaque and polish, clean, and deodorize your teeth.
I keep my mixture in a round shallow tin can, because it’s easy to use. First I wet my toothbrush, place my toothpaste on the brush, and then dip the brush into the mixture. You do not need a ton.
Here are a few tips for using this mixture:
- Only use 3-4 times per week, especially if you have sensitive teeth or gums
- Protect your bathroom surfaces, activated charcoal can be a pain to clean up so be careful
- Floss! The activated charcoal will highlight all the nasty build up on and between your teeth
Most salads are pretty lame. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, blah, blah…😴. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a simple salad but Summer is the perfect time to spice them up with grilled veggies. Grilling makes everything better. If you don’t have an outside grill, get yourself a cast iron stovetop grill pan for similar results! You can also roast the veggies.
What you’ll need
- 1 green squash
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 onion
- 1 each red, yellow, orange pepper
- Garbanzo beans
- Sunflower or flax seeds
Cut the squash in thick slices lengthwise, the onions in fat rings, and the pepper in large quarters. Everything should be fairly large so the pieces do not fall in the grill.
Cover all the veggies liberally with olive oil, season with salt, and pepper and get grillin’.
Let the veggies cool down a bit and cut them into bite size pieces.
In a bowl toss the grilled veggies, fresh arugula, beans, and seeds. For a salad like this you want a very simple dressing. The grilled veggies are the star of the show. I used nostrum cocktail shrub, olive oil, salt, pepper to make vinaigrette. You can use olive oil, balsamic or red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. And voilà you have a magical summer salad.
Using infused spirits is one of my favorite ways to enhance a cocktail. During the workshop we will make two of my favorite flavors, hibiscus and ginger gin. In addition learn how to make a tasty drink with your infused liquor.
All supplies will be provided with RSVP. Choose one of the two flavors to make and take home. Join me for a fun night of cocktails and infusions!
“Does that say onion and oxtail marmalade?!!!” Yes bitch. Onion and oxtail marmalade!
This gem is on the dinner menu at Mulebone. Not alone of course, but on the Mulebone burger. The only thing that I love more than sweet, is sweet and savory together. That day at Mulebone we also ordered the smoked beet salad. Smokey, sweet, salty, crunchy, smooth…all in play with this meal. While I wish the salad had more candied nuts (I have a thing about having a bit of everything in each bite), both were spectacular. You need to try this. Why? Because it makes everything better! My favorite way to eat it so far is on my now next level avocado toast. So damn good.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or whatever oil/butter you have in the house)
- 6 large white onions sliced
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 sprig of rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano
This recipe made about 6 8oz mason jars, feel free to cut it down.
Add the coconut oil to a sturdy deep pot and heat to medium/hot.
Wrap the herbs in a bundle with kitchen twine. If you don’t have the twine no worries you’ll just have to fish it out later.
Add the onions, mustard seed, brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir to combine, then cover the pot, lower the heat and allow the mixture to cook undisturbed for 15 or 20 minutes.
Remove the top, stir again and then partly cover the pot. Allow the mixture to cook until most of the liquid is gone and the onions have achieved a dark brown jamminess, approximately 60 to 70 minutes.
Taste the jam, and add salt and pepper and sugar if you’d like it to be sweeter. It’s done when the onions no longer have a hard crunch.
Remove mixture from heat, and allow to cool slightly. Spoon the jam into jar(s) or bowl, then allow to cool completely. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Put it on everything. Thank me later.
It happens to all of us. You wake up and you feel like 💩. I used to roll my eyes when I saw all the self help memes about happiness being a choice… like stfu. But I truly believe that it is barring extraneous circumstances. There are times when you need to be present in your whatever it is that you are feeling. And there is a lot of pressure the get over things and count your blessings, blah blah blah. While this is very true sometimes it’s not easy to simply decide and that’s OK. Now, if this in not one of those situations then here are my tips for turning your day around.
Step 1: Eat
Have a healthy snack. Emphasis on healthy, do not stress eat because that will make you feel worse.
Step 2: Hydrate
Drink lots of water, NOT coffee or another caffeinated beverage.
Step 3: Get Moving
Go outside and take a brief walk if you can to get the blood flowing. If not walk about the office or go in the bathroom and do some jumping jacks and power pose.
Step 4: Smile
You might look crazy but it’ll make you feel way better.
Step 5: Dance Party
I have several amazing playlist on my person at all times. Play some fun and maybe nostalgic music to a makes you feel happy. Music always transcends for me.
Step 6: Give Thanks
Get out of your own head and show some gratitude. Send someone who you are thankful for a nice text, FB message or call if you have time. It’ll make them happy and that will most definitely rub off on you.
Bonus: Make step six part of your bedtime or wake up routine. It is the fastest way to turn things around for me. If you journal write it down. If not start journaling, its good for you!
What do you do to cheer yourself up?
In my recent Simone Digital article I talked about challenging myself (read: more like doing the most). And this dinner was no different. It was really a pleasure to work with Anika, the owner of Nubian Hueman, and build the concept and menu for this event!
Vibrant, elegant, and communal. The dinner was held in honor of all the artists and curators who helped to bring together the Black Love Experience at the Anacostia Art Center. Not only to thank them, but to bring them together. In my mind a family style dinner was the way to go. I wanted it to be dimly lit, bright in color, and sexy. Deciding how you want your guest to feel during and after your dinner is a great place to start. That will help you narrow down lighting options and color palette. Read more