For the Fellas

*Don't mix patterns without adult supervision. If you have never done it before without getting strange looks or have always been told not to mix colors and patterns, heed the following.

*When mixing patterns, don't go for two patterns of the same size. You can mix large box plaid with skinny stripes. Don't do fat stripes and large box plaid. It will make you look clownish. Stick to two, or at most three patterns. You come off as pretentious or awful if you get it right or wrong so just leave it alone.

*Do wear pink, but not in your athletic wear.

*Don't wear glitter. I know this is hard for the DC area folk, but this is important. There is nowhere outside of DC you can go with that attire on without getting sideways glances. There is a reason for this.

*Go outside the gray, black, green, blue color palette. Almost everyone looks sexy in some shade of red. I know Stace will cosign on this.

*Accessorize! I don't mean like gold teeth and giant necklaces with cross medallions in cubic zirconia. I mean like a nice grown up watch, a tie, a POCKET SQUARE, CUFFLINKS. MEN! I can't tell you how sexy those two things are. I'm telling you. Women notice these things. If you don't think you can pull of a pocket square without constantly fidgeting with it, then don't. But the cufflinks will get you points.

*Shoes. You're a grown up now. DO buy nice leather shoes you could wear to church or an interview. DON'T feel the need to wear tennis shoes to every club you attend.

*Don't be intimidated by fashion. If colors and patterns scare you, wear your basic neutrals, i.e. gray, brown, black, navy with a pop of color. Red, royal blue, green, purple, pink. Yellow doesn't look very good on many people, and sometimes only in varying shades. Ask a person whose fashion sense you trust to let you know. I can't tell you how great gray looks with all of the aforementioned. If you do nothing else, get you some nice gray slacks.

*Speaking of pants, they shouldn't bag around your ankles. Of course you don't want them to be too short, but there should not be several inches of fabric at the ankles.

I'm sure I'll think of more. This could become a regular feature. Stay tuned.....



I've seen it just enough times to know its about to explode. Get yourself and oversized hobo in the brightest color you can find. Now when I say oversized, I mean the bag should be the size of your TORSO! I kid you not!

I was at Sylvan learning center shadowing a teacher. One of her students was this chic college student from FSU. Student has problems with study skills but not fashion. Clad in a black, long sleeve boat-neck tee and black demin editor pants (i couldn't see her shoes) she had a red scarf tied like my scarf idol Nicole Richie, some oversized black shades (again Nicole), and the fiercest hobo in fire engine red!!!!! it had grommets along the zipper and the thing was HUGE! her moncromatic look was so streamlined and the pop of color from the bag was just enough fashion forward to not be trying too hard to be trendy. (that was a bad ass sentence)

I believe Modern Girl's Guide to Life said that's one way to be trendy w/o breaking the bank on a new wardrobe: update yor accessories.

Next point. Walking to class. a girl is wearing khaki bottoms, brown top and the biggest yellow hobo i've seen. i wanted it sooooo bad!

Last point. I saw a teal humongo hobo. chick was wearing my FAVE neutral combo of khaki and white. (I really HATE that combo. How neutral can you be??) and her color came from the bag. oh yeah, she had a denim vest on. more ick.

Note: i love the GAP, i am an official GAP groupie, I will spend my last dollar at the GAP (no i won't. publix, then the GAP) but please do not wear all their staples at the same time. Neutrals like denim, black, white, khaki, and sometimes gray are meant to be worn with COLOR! gray and pink is one of my FAVE combos! khaki and yellow i love as well as peach. how fire is black, white and magenta? or turquoise? now of course you can do denim with anything but if its with another neutral PLEASE don't forget to throw an actual color in the mix. thank you so much.

So yeah, go grab an oversized hobo. Ace, i'ma have something for you later. Unless you WANT a ginormous purse and some leopard print pumps...


Press Play

So.... I've had this Diddy post in the works for a week since I heard the cd. Of course I relied on AOL Music. I buy nearly nothing w/o hearing it there first. Why buy it when you can preview for free? Even for Diddy who I LOVE! 112 was my favorite group for the longest. Whenever I'm down, I reach for one of their cds. First I love Room 112 (the 2nd album), then 112 (the 1st), then Part III (take a wild guess). Because of my love for 112, when I was in my wild, hilarious stage, I used to tell people I was giving my first born to him and naming another child after him in thanks for 112. This was when I was "in love" with this guy. Our children were to be named Wendell, Wendella, Wendeesha, Wendara, Wendina, Wendy, Joiwynel (in honor of my friends who introed us), and Sean. See what I mean by wild, hilarious phase?

Anyway, when I saw all the guest appearances on this cd, I said, "Wow! Oh yeah! I've gotta do this!" Avant (love), Shawna (ehh), Big Boi (oh yeah! love 'kast), Ciara (yes), Christina (yes), Brandy, Pussycat Doll Nicole long last name, Nas, Cee-lo (Goodie Mo-b!), Mary J, Keyshia Cole (helps me let out my inner ghetto fab), Jamie Foxx, Timbaland, Twista. I mean, oh my! That's a lot of names and most of them are folk I can really get down with! I'm there!

Then I listened. The intro made me giggle. Blatant unwaranted cockiness a la typical Diddy. Its to be expected. "The Future" was out of control! Same vein. Only one of the first 5 songs have features. Diddy. Come on. Bring em already. What are you waiting for? The Pcat Dolls song? Its cool but its actually more intriguing with the video to accompany it.

AOL Music picked "Tell Me" f/X-tina as the best song on the album. Uh... not sure why. They always choose the expected song, though. Come on. Get it together. AOL Music, let ME tell you which song is the best on the cd. I'll drop that hot fiyah knowledge on ya! But you have to pay me.

Moving on. "Diddy Rock" has a hot beat but DON'T SING! PLEASE DON'T SING! Seriously. And don't talk abt your mom. Because it makes me want to make jokes. The blonde hair? Gotta go. The black Donatella Versace look is not sexy. The crazy makeup, gaudy attire. Diddy!! Send your mom to a stylist you know will make her look good. You moved from your shiny suit man! phase and all the baggy attire to never steppin out without looking like you belong on the cover of a magazine!

I digress. On "Diddy Rock" you go on to talk about claming your place... I hope you don't mean as a singer or rapper... You say you can make people feel good.. true. You say "I believe I can do anything..." I hope you mean other than sing, rap or dance. Because if you do, that's probably true. But you should leave those three to the experts. We love you for it Diddy, seriously. And the thanks mid-cd is quite bizarre. While we're on the subject of thanks, can we do away with the current trend to add thanks as the last song? Raheem Devaughn did this, as did Lupe Fiasco and it annoys me! Especially Lupe. His joint was a good 4 minutes long!!!! Hey guys! Can you not? If I want to know, I'll read the liner notes!!!

Now let's get to some of these guest appearances and the rest of the cd. "Special" was absolutely a stolen Mike J beat. Very 80s. At first I wasn't sure I was ready to go that route, techno, electronica, etc. though I know Stace loves it. The more I listened, though, I found myself wiggling in the seat, heading toward the center of my living room to shake it. Wait! Damn me. Lol.

I don't remember the name of the song that had Big Boi and Ciara on it but I knew it would be the joint! Knew it. Wrong. How you have Big Boi AND Ciara on a song and it bores me? Doesn't make me want to get out of my seat? Get outta here Diddy.

"After Love." At the end, he got me when he said, "I just wanna end this conversation on a good note. I love you very much." AWWWWWWW! The bf says that to me all the time! Its so adorable. It also made me say, "Damn you Diddy!!!!" He know good and well I've been rootin for him to get back with JLo. They were my fave couple ever! Loved it. Esp. now that they've left behind the hood-rich clothing and now look chic, you know y'all love each other!!!!! Sigh.

"Thru the Pain" f/Mario Williams (sounded like Mario Winans to me, but that's what AOL Music said)... FAVE SONG. I think b/c there was more Mario than Diddy. No I know. "Thought You Said" f/Brandy I liked also b/c again, very little Diddy. The speeding up at the end? A little too odd for me. I'll pass on that. Thanks.

That was as far as I got. So what did we learn from this. One. Diddy can't do it all. Two. Less Diddy = Better Song. Three. It's time for another cd with you only in the background doing your Diddy thing producing, etc. Three A. It'd be REAALLY great if you'd come out with a cd w/all these fab people everyone wants to hear with all of your great producers WITHOUT YOU ON IT! I'd really love that Diddy. And I'd tell everyone to buy it. I really would. Four. If you like a good laugh and don't mind buying random cds for a giggle, you should buy this cd. If you're looking for some answer to the grand design and what this all means, ya might want to Press Stop.


I'm at work eating Fruity Pebbles and drinking Hot Chocolate with mini marshmallows and wearing my cowboy boots. I feel like a kid again. I just wish my life was carefree like it used to be.


Panna Cotta

So on Friday I tried to tell ya'll what I was making this past weekend. It had all kinds of links and definitions, as usual but damn Blogger ate it. Bastard. I put a lot of time into it when I should have been doing some job related verbal ass kickin. Anywho. I made some panna cotta. What is that you say? Its a dessert, and as you already know dessert is my favorite meal. Panna cotta is Italian for cooked cream. You know since I went to Italy I think I know something now, hahah. So here's the Wik's definition. Not a very pretty picture of it, like this one. I was inspired to make this because I saw it on a few cooking shows and in some magazines. So I made mine, it looked similar to the Wik's. If I had a fancier mold it probably would have looked better. I used a tea cup. If I knew how to post pictures I would show ya'll how it came out. So to describe its taste and texture, its an eggless custard, that is kinda dense and really rich, to me it tastes like creme brulee. Its very creamy and can be frozen like ice cream, I think Haggen Daaz has one.

Here's my recipe. I made it up, since I usually will take several different recipes for something and combined them to make my own concoction. I don't remeber the measurements so I'll just make them up. I suggest if you want to make this that you find another recipe.

Panna Cotta

2 c Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 c Milk
1 packet of Gelatin
1/4 c Brown Sugar
1 c White Sugar
1 cap full Lemon Juice

Pour milk over gelatin and set aside to dissolve.

Spray non-stick cooking spray in 8 four ounce ramekins, or whatever type of container you have, i used tea cups.

Pour sugars and heavy cream in a pot over medium heat until it simmers. Stir constantly. Add lemon juice. Remove from heat. Add gelatin/milk mixture, stir until well incorporated. Put back over low heat for a few minutes. Pour into greased remekins. And refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.

Once firm, use a knife to go around the edge to loosen, and then turn the ramekin over on to a plate, remove ramekin. Drizzle with sauce. Sauce recipe below.

Variations: you may add berries, or any types of fruits or flavorings.


1/2 c jelly- any flavor ( i used grape, boysenberry, and raspberry)
2 caps lemon juice
1/8 c sugar

Put all ingrediants in a microwave safe dish, stir, then put in microwave for 1 minute or until everything melts.

Drizzle over panna cottas.



Get some animal print ones not now, but RIGHT now!! Preferably leopard/cheetah. I never thought I'd be advocating any of the big cats in a fashion sense but I am an accessory lady first. One time when I was sick and missed class, my spanish teacher was like, "where is Stace? You know, the one with all the hats?" Then there are my scarves. I LOVE scarves!! I'm a firm believer that accessories make the outfit. I am the type to wear a white racerback tank, some jeans and the fiercest shoes/purse/belt. Throw in a scarf or hat; sometimes both a la Alicia Keys... and I'm good. Actually, more so the shoes, scarf and purse; I've been slippin in my belt pimpin but I digress.

No I don't.

I was at the hair dresser on Friday morning (gotta get right before school) when I recognized one of the old ladies from my church. Waving, I got a blank look back. Okay...Alzheimer's acting up...I understand. She looked at my feet and looked back at my face. Then the recognition hit her like a ton of bricks. No lie, she exclaimed, "Oh my goodness! Chile, I didn't recognize you without some fancy shoes on! (I had on flip flops...it was 9am). Ms. Jewel proceeded to tell the earlybird salon patrons and the stylists how I have the most wonderful shoe collection. "You didn't think I was looking did you? Especially when you walk up to Communion, that's when I get a good look! After service too!"

Ummm, aren't you supposed to be focused on taking in the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ? I really digress now.

The leopard print pumps...not mules, not strappy stilettos but PUMPS, have been all over InStyle for the past two or three issues and I am soooo pissed I have no money to cop some RIGHT now before someone at FAM gets a wind of it...

When you get your pumps, they can be peep-toe, they can be platform; peep-toe platform are the rage and, I'll let you get a slingback in. They are especially at their banginest (thx Ashli) when there's a hint of color. Red is the rave and looks good with most animal print (I so don't see it with pony, cow, or giraffe). I still want a knee length, zebra print spring jacket to wear with some red pumps, while carrying a red umbrella, and rocking a red scarf...I don't even like red. Turquoise... I'm seeing a peep-toe leopard print pump trimmed in turq leather and with tiny satin turquoise bows going up the back of the shoe. Oooh, with a khaki pencil skirt and dark chocolate brown boatneck sweater. Of course you'll have your turquoise scarf tied in the best Nicole Richie fashion (or whever accessory floats your boat to bring everything together) . Very 50s chic.

Anyway, its not really a forecast but it is good fashion. I'm setting you free to get some animal print pumps! Go!

P.S. for those of you who read InStyle, I had brocade pumps last fall. Steve Madden looks out for me and I'm looking out for you! Leopard print! Go! Brocade! Go!


Cheese Balls

What ever happened to those Planters cheese balls that came in a blue canister with the yellow top? Those were the banginest cheese puffs ever. Anybody know where to find them, let me know.


My First Pierogie

So... pierogies are a big deal here in Pittsburgh. They're Polish food. Everyone knows what they are and grew up eating them. Its a pastry pocket filled with mashed potatoes. I didn't describe that well. Ok potato puree.

At the Pirates games, there are pierogie races. There are these people dressed up as giant pierogies and they race from the outfield to home plate along the hometeam side. And you pick which one you want to cheer for. Its hilarious.

So there's a Polish guy I work with (in a European sense, we have the most diverse work room. I work with Portuguese, Slovakian, Croatian, Polish, Italian people and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head) and he brought me some pierogies this week. I was kind of scared because I'd bought some frozen ones. Then everyone told me the frozen ones are gross. So I had my first pierogie, made my a church lady on Tuesday... it was delicious! Cheers to pierogies and to Pittsburgh for having lots of different cuisines and to food network for making me adventurous with food!! YAY!!

Oh yeah... I went to a place called Sharp Edge Bistro with my coworkers last week. I had the Belgian Burger. The description: tender lamb blended with fresh ground beef, minced shallot and crumbled bacon topped with smoked gouda cheese and stone ground mustard sauce. Sounds delicious right? Ehh... it was ok. The burger was a little dry. I love burgers. They're one of my favorite foods. And I love cheeses, too. The cheese, mustard and bacon were all good, it was the burger that was lacking. Quite sad. And here I was poised to go back there again. Oh well. So much for that thought. But its nice to try some Pittsburgh food. We'll be trying a new place once a month for lunch.


The Return

Ruben Studdard's latest album. I like it. He was on the TJMS this morn and Tom played snippets of each track. it's not like the first one which was obviously rushed. Ruben explained that American Idol is a beast after the season is over. He had to go on a 55 city tour and was demanded to spit out an LP for the fans of the Velvet Teddybear. I didn't hear the first one but the tracks they released for the airwaves, I was not impressed and borderline pissed.

So they call it The Return and he says its his return to mainstream music. Did you know in between his first LP and The Return, he had a #1 Gospel album? Being from Birmingham, he had to do something for the people he came from. Whatever the case, Ruben's latest is something I think I want...and I usually don't buy into popular music. His voice has matured into a smoother version of what he was before and if you like &/or miss Luther, get this CD. He sounds JUST like him!!!! Of course, he has a Luther track on there; probably my FAVORITE Luther song, If Only for One Night. I kinda get upset when these new Thundercats come and sometimes mess up my classics. So not the case. He DID this song and he did it RIGHT!

The opening track, 'The Return (of the Velvet Teddy Bear)' made my ears perk up and actually listen. I actually said, "uh-oh! let me find out about Ruben!"

Change Me, I don't like too much. It reminds me of that horrible '2004' song. This time, he's whining about something and just lists things in a melodic nature. No thanks.

Make Ya Feel Beautiful is presh as is Our Story. I really like Our Story and Rube said it's one of his favorites on this LP.

The two 'party' tracks on here (Get U Loose and What the Business Is) are reminiscent of Musiq Solchild's Just Listen. Remember in Fall 2000 when that song would come on and everybody just gets a good feeling as they two step with a total stranger? That is the ideal houseparty song! But back to Ruben. Those tracks also remind me of Frankie Beverly and Maze's 'Before I Let You Go' as well. Grab a partner and step!

Now Ruben is a love song artist. His last album's lyrical content drove me up the wall. Although I couldn't hear entire songs, I wasn't turned off by what I heard.

I don't remember the names or characteristics of the other tracks, I was honestly taken by the Luther track and couldn't believe how much like him he sounded. Plus, his personality is amazing. He's amiable and grateful. Love it!


Guess who cooked dinner?

It is I! The menu: meatloaf, haricots verts ((pronounced hair-i-cos vair)), and garlic new potatoes. In simple terms: meatloaf, skinny green beans and little potatoes with the red skins.

ground pork
ground beef
italian bread crumbs
oregano, salt, pepper
one egg (to hold it together)
salsa (for moisture)
diced onion
diced mushrooms
minced garlic

Combine, put in oven for about 25 minutes on 350.

haricots verts
long, skinny green beans
olive oil
minced garlic
salt and pepper

Melt butter in skillet with olive oil. Throw in the green beans. Cover to let them steam with the butter and olive oil. You'll want to turn them a couple of times so they get coated in the butter, olive oil and garlic mixture. This only takes about 5 minutes. You don't want them to be overcooked.

garlic new potatoes
baby red skinned potatoes, quartered or halved (depending on size)
salt and pepper
minced garlic

Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes, drain, return to hot pot, add butter, salt, pepper and garlic, toss to coat.

**Notes: To finish cooking everything at the same time, chop everything first, combine meat, put meatloaf in oven, then start cooking the potatoes. When you have about five minutes left on the meatloaf, put your beans on, then drain the potatoes and season.


Designer Water

As you may or may not know, I don't like water. I don't like to drink it, not too fond of swimming in it (mess up my hair?! Yeah, right) and on and on. However, everytime I go to the hospital, I get an IV because I'm dehydrated. When I was sick, among my list of things to do was, "stay hydrated. drink water and other fluids". I'd ignore the water part and fill up on Gatorade.

So we know how I am about my hair but we don't know how I am about my skin. Its horrible. Well I'm being extremely hard on myself right now but I think its so blotchy, blemish-y, greasy, porous, etc. I mean, I was on benzoyl peroxide before it was over the counter (now its clean and clear persa-gel). When at Hampton, I didn't go to class for a week because of a bad flare up (I later found it was an allergic reaction to something I ate). I cried sooooo hard to my mom one night, "Mommy, I'm so ugly! You should see my skin! *wailing* I don't want to go anywhere!!" She thought maybe it was the was HU's water. I mean, my skin has never been so bad I didn't want to go anywhere! In highschool, I just took my senior pictures a year later so my allergic reaction to Mary Kay would have faded, you know? Whatever the case, I start washing my face with bottled water. Nothing. Still ugly. Pops got me a prescription for doxycycline. An antibiotic that attacks the germs causing my breakouts. On top of that, take some vitamin E caps in addition to your multi-vit. It works for a while but my skin is still acting up!

So what would you do if you have bad skin andn you've tried everything from pro-active to clinique's 3 step, to actual prescription medication, to body shop's tea tree line, to oil of olay to clean and clear to toners and astringents and oil free moisturizers and gel mositurizers and on and on on??? Step your water game up right? I can't. Till I found something pleasing to my eye.

I drink Fiji bottled water. Maybe its a mind thing. I actually feel good when I drink this water and as a result, I drink more. Don't laugh when I say this but the bottle has a palm frond and hibiscus on it! The water looks sooooo clear! Its bottled where this is no air pollution! Its Artesian!!!! No? (hangs head)

Well not only Fiji but S. Pellegrino water...in the green glass bottle. The bottle is only 8oz and way more expensive than anyone's GALLON of water but I like green (sheepish). And its a glass bottle! No?? (hangs head)

Next on my list, Voss. I saw it at somebody's nightclub and wanted it immediately.

I think I'm starting to like this water thing!

Paula's Cheesy Ham and Banana Casserole

This is some nasty shit right here. Look at what Paula did. You'll probably stop after reading the ingrediants, maybe you stopped after the title. Some things just shouldn't go together. I'm actually surprised that Paula is still alive, all the butter she uses. As you can see, she doesn't mention how much to use in this recipe, she just says BUTTER. On her new show they made a sculpture of her head made out of butter. Thats just nasty.

Cheesy Ham and Banana Casserole

12 slices white bread
8 large slices deli ham
4 bananas, sliced on the bias
2 cups shredded Cheddar
2 cups crushed potato chips
6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly
ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9 by 13 glass baking dish. Butter both sides of the bread and layer 6 of them into the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping them as necessary but keep them even. Layer the slices of ham on top of the bread and then the bananas, 6 more slices of bread, then the cheese, potato chips, and bacon. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour this over the casserole almost to the top. Bake for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly. Cut into squares and remove with a spatula, like lasagna.

Please note that I have never made this, nor will I ever, unless I am trying to commit suicide. Therefore I do not recommend this recipe.

Gala Menu

So I went to a gala this past weekend. I promised I would show ya'll the menu:

Once we arrived at the museum, we were greeted at the door with an open bar and Hors d'œuvre: hoisin beef skewers (sounded like the guy said poison beef; really just beef on a stick with sauce); Maine lobster salad on a tiny piece of toast (which will now be referred to as a toastet); pecan crusted chicken with a Cajun remoulade (really just a Cajun mayonaise) also on a toastet; goat cheese and granny smith apple on a toastet. Everything was pretty tasty, my favorite was the lobster, and the goat cheese apple thing. Had my two vodka tonics. Guys I’m allergic to vodka. This has been going on for a while now, I just didn’t realize till someone pointed out the symptoms of being allergic to alcohol. Nothing too serious, I just get a stuffy nose every time I drink. Immediately, like within the first two sips. Of course it hasn’t stopped me from drinking.
After the cocktail hour, it was time for dinner. First course is a mixed field green salad, grilled plum tomato with a balsamic vinaigrette and a goat cheese strudel (goat cheese in puff pastry). Second course, filet mignon and grilled halibut, haricot verts (string beans), and mashed potatoes. Potatoes tasted instant. I don’t do instant. For dessert, chocolate
ganache with coconut chantilly (really a macaroon embedded in the ganache), with raspberry and mango coulis (fruit puree drizzled all over the plate) and fresh whipped cream, served with truffles, coffee and cordials. I had Bailey's in my coffee. I love love love dessert, and that was the bootiest dessert ever. I really don’t like chocolate, unless it’s a man, and I don’t really get down with coconut. Two thumbs down for that dessert.

All in all the food was alright. Glad it wasn't my $500. Pay me that much and my meal would be off the meat rack.


Chicken and Stuffing Bake

This has become one of my FAVORITE things to eat!!! I repeat, FAVORITE! Total comfort food!

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
I'm a dark meat person and use thighs.
Plus I leave the bone in and the skin on
4 slices of Swiss cheese
provolone girl here
6.8oz pkg of Chicken Helper chicken & stuffing
4oz sliced mushrooms, drained
hot water
2 tbsp of butter or margarine

Heat oven to 375. Place chicken in baking dish, cover with half of your mushrooms, then slices of cheese. Sprinkle with remaining mushrooms and stuffing
I seasoned my chicken with your basic s&p, garlic powder, and thyme before adding the aformentioned ingredients

Mix 1.5 cups of hot water and the seasoning mix; pour over stuffing. Stir 1 cup of hot water and gravy mix with whisk until smooth; pour over mixture in dish. Melt butter; drizzle over mixture.
I added dried parsely to my butter while it was melting on the stove. Stirred it around a bit then drizzled it over the dish.

Cover and bake 20 min. Uncover and bake 15-20 min longer or until top is golden brown and the juice of the chicken is no longer pink in the thickest parts.

Serve with crisp green salad and buttermilk biscuits for real comfort food and since the oven is still hot, whip up some brownies for dessert. Hmmmmm!

Smoked Salmon Spread

8 oz. bar of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 tsp. horseradish sauce
fresh dill
4 oz. smoked salmon, diced
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Serve in a bowl with crusty baguette or crackers.

Simple yet elegant. And yummy (unless you're Ashli, who felt slightly ill at the first word of the title). As seen on "Barefoot Contessa" with Ina Garten. Don't ask me about the name. I don't get it either. She says use Norwegian salmon if you can find it because its drier and slightly less salty.

This episode also included a super strong long island iced tea. I think that drink was created by a 10 year old boy, but if you must...


is this real??? i'm not sure

This is sad, and unfortunately true. You can click on the link at the bottom of the page to read more about these little girls.

What does it mean for Black America that a hate preaching music duo could debut on the Billboard albums chart? This week, the Billboard albums chart's top five is packed with nothing but new releases, with Bakersfield, CA Pop duo Prussian Blue shocking the nation by taking ..4 after selling 91, 000 copies of "End of A Black World" its first week out. The album is also serving as the soundtrack to a remake of one of the most controversial movies in U.S. history "Birth Of A Nation". "End of A Black World" is the third and most successful album for 12 and 13 year old Lamb and Lynx, who have recently relocated to a private compound in Salt Lake City, Utah after their last album gained them national attention and death threats. The girls were lost, especially in December of 2005 when their father was shot twice by an AME Minister. However, their father survived and their career was revived by what seems to be an unfathomable paradigm shift in American values. "It really breaks my heart to see those two girls spewing out that kind of garbage, " said Ted Shaw, civil rights advocate and president of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund. "Right now I am more so shocked that an album advocating the extermination of the black race could be so widely received by America, " continued Shaw, who plans to protest the girls' album and call for black artists to boycott Billboard. Jessie Jackson of The Rainbow PUSH Coalition gave the following statement, "White America has spoken. Billboard has spoken. This is only the beginning." The beginning is just what Lynx and Lamb, who have been nurtured on racist beliefs since birth by their mother April, are hoping for. "We hope to bring about change in our people, " said Lamb. "We hope that our album and 'Birth Of A Nation' will show our people exactly what needs to be done to make this country safe and white." When asked about their inspiration for their latest efforts, Lynx gave this response. "I saw white people hating white people. I was afraid that America wanted to be black, " said Lynx. "I saw that funny nigger's show where he made a mockery of the KKK and white people were laughing. This broke my heart." Lynx was speaking of Actor/Comedian Dave Chapelle and his comic sketch depicting a blind, African American, Ku Klux Klan leader who was unaware that he was not white. Dave Chapelle is also believed to be the inspiration of their single, "Funny Nigger, " which describes the gruesome fate of blacks who taunt whites. Dave Chapelle was not available for comment.

Prussian Blue appear to have gone from one of America's dirty little secrets to Pop princesses overnight. The group is now fielding offers from major record labels such as MGM and Geffen. This may be only the beginning.

Track Listing for "End Of A Black World"
1) Dawn of A New White World
2) Birth Of A Nation
3) Purest Soul
4) Tainted Blood
5) Affirmative Blaction
6) Reggin & Ekik
7) The Cleansing (interlude)
8) Short Drop and A Quick Stop
9) Burning Cross
10) N.A.A.C.P. (Niggers Against A Colorless People)
11) Funny Rich Nigger
12) Crack Babies
13) Nigger Lovers
14) No Darkie In Me
15) End Of A Black World
16) Hess' Praye

Also check the link to the abc news story http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id...

ear to the street

why does jay-z have a new single? can he please retire? that's devious! making everybdy think you're retiring so your album and concert sales would be record breaking. i really don't like him for that. i never liked him that much (I did respect though) but now i think he's just plain sneaky.

I haven't watched tv since aug 20 something... not a happy camper cause I feel like I'm missing out on some videos...

Camp Lo's new LP is fire. I missed them. Their off the wall lyrics (think GFK) are refreshing. Remember Luchini? and Sky Box? What are they saying????

Lupe Fiasco is fire. We first heard (in a mass production way) on Late Registration. Eh, not blown away. Cute but nothing serious. About 6 weeks ago, I heard his mix tape, Chi Town Guevara Mix Tape, DJ Envy Presents Lupe Fiasco...enthralled. At the risk of sounding corny, he's "what the game's been missing". A muslim, Lupe doesn't buy into the "foolishness" of liquor and women and other sinful temptations. But, as a person, he does recognize

I had a Geto Boy bop,
a Jay-Z boycott
cause he said that he never prayed to God,
he prayed to Gotti
I'm thinkin', golly,
God guard me from the ungodly
But by my 30th watchin' of
the Streets Is Watching
I was back to give him props again
And that was botherin',
'bout as uncomfortable
as an untouchable touchin' you
The theme songs that niggas hustle to
seem wrong but these songs was comin' true
and it was all becomin' cool
I found a condom on the ground that johns would cum into
and thought what constitutes a prostitute
is the pursuit of profit; then they drop it
The homie in a suit pat her on the butt, then rock it
It seems I was seein' the same scene adopted
prevalent in different things with the witnesses indifferent to stop it
They said don't knock it, mind your business
His business isn't mine and that nigga pimpin' got it

Lupe is BOMB!


Rhubarb Chutney with a few tips

Sometimes Rachael Ray uses these fancy terms so you feel cool when you make them. I will not, however be making this one. A chutney is just "a sauce or relish of East Indian origin, often compounded of both sweet and sour ingredients, as fruits and herbs, with spices and other seasoning."

Rache used rhubarb, golden raisins, sugar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and butter. I'd never seen rhubarb before. It looks scary. Its a bright red stalk with a white center. She diced it and put it in a pot with the other ingredients to make her relish, excuse me, chutney.

When you go to fancy restaurants and you see mango chutney on the menu, now you know what it is. Don't be afraid, but you may want to steer clear of the rhubarb. It looks scary. And my dad says it tastes disgusting no matter how you cook it. I know as a writer on a food blog I should be encouraging you to try new things, but Rache always says you eat with your eyes and nose first which is so true. That means you will not see me eating rhubarb, the aforementioned corned beef hash, or chitlins unless I'm just feeling really crazy one day. Or if Rachael Ray wants to hang out. I'll try anything she cooks for me first hand.

**Two tips from the same show:

1) If you're cooking for someone who doesn't like garlic pieces, but likes the flavor of garlic, here's what you can do. If you're making a salad, rub a clove of garlic along the inside of the bowl. When you toss the salad, it will have the essence of garlic without having large pieces. Also if you're sauteeing (lightly pan frying with butter and/or olive oil) vegetables or making a light sauce, you can put whole garlic cloves in the olive oil to cook up first, then add the rest of your ingredients. Garlic flavor will be infused in the sauce. For quick garlic bread, (I tried this one this morning), rub a whole garlic clove all over the slice of toast, then add softened butter (in the microwave for 15 seconds so you soften, not melt it). Its so yum-o, to quote Rache.

2) When cooking meat, let it sit out for about 5 minutes to knock the chill off a little bit so the meat doesn't get shocked when you put it on the hot grill. The same is true for baking, except you can let the ingredients (eggs, butter, milk/cream) sit out a little longer. Everything will be lighter and fluffier if you let your cold ingredients come to room temperature.


Brekky, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways..

*Sigh* Just got back from breakfast with daddy. Orange juice, hashbrowns, sausage bacon, 2 scrambled eggs. So yummy. For no reason. None at all. I also love grits, but I'm very picky about them, any sort of potato, omelets. BUT I don't like pancakes or waffles. I can eat A pancake maybe every once in a while. After eating a Belgian waffle in Belgium when I already didn't like waffles and their's were FAR superior to anything I'd ever eaten, I really swore off waffles. I'm not a big sugar girl anyway. I'm a savory sista. NO I DON'T EAT SUGAR IN MY GRITS!! That's some yankee stuff. Oh yeah, I like oatmeal with cinnamon, sugar and raisins in it. Never had Cream of Wheat (also Yankee food). Corned beef hash looks like chunky vomit to me. Never had that either. I do love liver mush! It looks nasty, too but I've been eating it forever and love the taste. Apparently you can't get it many places outside of NC. Definitely not up here in Pgh. This is my ode to brekky. I love you boo!


Not cause InStyle said it!

Guys, I've been on this tip for YEARS!!!! If you're going to buy a winter coat or jacket (or anything for that matter), make the print houndstooth! I mean, menswear is always silently smoldering in the fashion world; never quite going out of style (like freaking leopard print...that will NEVER leave!) but this is the season for it!

In this month's GQ, Common, John Legend, and Kanye West from G.O.O.D. Productions (World's Best Dressed Record Label) are seen sporting chevron tweed and houndstooth outerwear. In this month's InStyle, pinstripe, houndstooth, more houndstooth, and tweed are the rave. Basically, think: banker.

That's my forecast (cause I really did call it before InStyle and GQ) for the season!


Rebel Soul Music

"My music is just soul music, but I attach "rebel" to it because my music is revolutionary. I want you to evolve from your day-to-day thinking that most music being played on the radio doesn't encourage or inspire you to do."

If you watched Dave Chapelle's Block Party, you may or may not have seen him. He was wearing a jacket that was reminiscent of the Jacksons or maybe even EWF back in the day...it was leather and it was teal. he's a bad-ass rocker who has played guitar with the Roots but can carry himself. His name is Martin Luther and like his name sake, he grew up in a strict religious home. Raised on church hymns and rigorous piano lessons, Martin was born a rebel. After hearing Funkadelic, he knew what his mission in life was: rebel music.

A Morehouse Man with a degree in Media Arts accompanied by an Entertainment Law/Marketing concentration, he knows music and he knows the industry. How attractive is that?

This sexy bitch got m -i just found out he posts on Blogger!!!!! DYING!!!! and he posted a comment on my myspace page!!!!!!!!! DYING!!!!!!!!!!! can't concentrate now...what was I saying??? bump it! Martin Luther is the truth. Peep him. NOW! You'll thank me in the morning.

P.S. Martin Luther is just one of many brothers since Prince and Lenny who are tking the guitar by storm. We invented Rock and Roll and we left it to the wayside. Jimi Hendrix will forever be immortalized as the greatest guitarist ever but most of us reading this weren't of that era. George Clinton is still alive and his influence permeates EVERYTHING we listen to. I swear EVERY rapper has sampled P-Funk which is its own musical genre BTW... Bootsie Collins brought forth the importance of the bass guitarist which used to just be the background. For most of us reading this, Prince and Lenny are our guitarists. Not the hugest fan of either, I definitely respect the both of them and love what I do hear by them. Then I got a mix CD with ML on it...and Cody Chesnutt...and Amp Fiddler. Check all these guys out. They're bringing rock and roll back to us.

caldo verde

Now I am reaching deep down to my Portuguese roots, sharing with you this authentic soup that you will probably find at most Portuguese restaurants: Caldo Verde, which means green broth. This dish is similar to collard greens, but i hate collards, but love me some caldo verde.

2 bunches of kale, cleaned and chopped-cut out stems
linguica sausage or churico- sliced
1 chopped onion
1/2 jalapeno pepper chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup rice
1 can pink beans
1 packet sazon
2 cans chicken broth
4 cups water
3 potatoes cut in to 1/2 inch chunks
olive oil
2 tsb sofrito
black pepper to taste
adobo seasoning
garlic & onion powder
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Portuguese bread

Chop all ingredients that need chopping.

In a large pot, drizzle olive oil to cover bottom of a heated pan. Saute onions, jalapeno, and garlic, until translucent. Add sliced sausages, cook 3 minutes. Add sazon, sofrito, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Stir in rice, making sure to cover with seasoning and oil. Add chicken broth and water, turn heat up high and bring to a boil. Stir in kale, bring back to a boil. Add potatoes. Once potatoes are cooked, add pink beans. Cook for 15 more minutes.

Mrs. A- this is a meal in itself, no need for side dishes. Just Portuguese bread.


The New Sound (4/2006)

There was the Philly vibe for a while right? When people started getting tired of commercial r-n-b so they "invented" the term 'neo-soul' for that alternative sound. Jill, the Roots, Musiq Solchild who's just Musiq now...even Jag and the Jazzys got a little airplay. Then you definately remember how Atlanta was ruling the airwaves for what seemed like forever? Between Usher's "Yeah" and D4L's "Laffy Taffy", T.I. and Jeezy, "The Love Below" and "Speakboxx" ATL was the place to be...again. Toni Braxton, TLC, Da Brat..the days of So So Def, LaFace and whoever else was fortunate to be in the A at the right time has been heard and now that that's done, we are on to Texas.
Starting last spring, we heard sprinkles of Slim Thug and Paul Wall. I was fortunate to have a roomate from Texas when I was at the illustrious Hampton University and I heard Lil Flipper before he dropped the '-er'. I heard chopped and screwed Trick before HE even heard it. When people were asking, "Who is Mike Jones?" I was answering. Last summer, I spent time in Texas; even road tripped from Austin to Tally and naturally, I heard all that we are hearing now. Chamillionaire, all that. I actually like Texas music. Its is definately alright with me (in a commercial sense). Of course Destiny's Child was always around but no-one ever really thought of them as a Texas sounding group; R-n-B doesn't have a sound...or does it?

Detroit is where it is AT for music guys! If you are looking for a breath of fresh air, pick up a DET based CD. The production of JD will be missed but TRUST, he will not be forgotten. From real instrumentation to off the wall drum patterns, Detroit has my musical heart. Slum Village got some commercial appeal when "Tainted" came out Fall 2003...and that's when their hook/bridge artist first caught my eye. Dwele. He is it. If you haven't peeped him, please go get his CDs. Naturally, the bestest made me a mix CD with this dude on it bout three and a half years ago and I am JUST now HEARING this dude! You know how you listen to music but you don't really HEAR it? Or maybe you were trying to hear but it wasn't the right time for that piece...yeah.

So after Slum Village and Dwele, who is next? Platinum Pied Pipers. Simply put: Awesome. They are my SHIT!!! I have listened to that CD three times in a row! ?love said he listened to it SEVEN times in a row and made 28 people listen to it, 3 at gunpoint because he is willing to go to jail for Platinum Pied Pipers. I am seriously thinking about buying Mini Me their CD just so they can get that much more support from me.

If you have the choice to listen to great music, check out Dwele and Platinum Pied Pipers. While you're at it, do like Dead Prez said, "Turn off the Radio"

smashli's extra crisy fried chicken -revised

here's an FYI for that ass, if its my own recipe, which this one is, i don't measure so bare with me. i'm just gonna list the grediants. and another fyi, if you like extra crispy fried chicken i have the banginiest fried chicken, i'm a little skeptical about posting, but this is the first thing i ever learned to cook so i feel its a pivotal dish to my foodieism. it seems to get better and better every time i make. as of lately i don't like other people's fried chicken, b/c mine is bomb (i got that from stace). so here we go:

The Grediants:

chicken ( i only like chicken wings so thats what i use)- however many you want
oilcast iron skillet or fry daddybrown paper bags

eggs- depends on how much chicken you're making
buttermilk-enough to cover all chicken
hot sauce- as much as you'd like
minced garlic
season salt
garlic powder
onion powder

crispy crunchy coating
1 tsp cornstarch or backing powder
pepperseason saltgarlic powderonion powder

Ok so you have to season and marinate the meat for a couple of hours. Put the clean meat in container that has a cover. So scramble some eggs, pour over the chicken. Shake dry seasonings on top of chicken, add a spoonful of garlic and hot sauce. Pour buttermilk to cover all of the chicken. With gloved hands, combined all grediants thoroughly. Cover container and fridgerate for a couple of hours.

In a brown paper bag, combine flour, cornstarch or baking powder, and dry grediants. Give it a good shimmy.

now its time to coat the chicken, shake off excess marinade before putting in flour mixture. I usually coat 4-5 pieces at a time. Put chicken in the bag make sure the pieces aren't touching to prevent them from sticking to one another and missing out on the flour, and then shake, making sure each piece is coated. Repeat until all chicken is coated well. Then fridgerate for 15 minutes. (This helps the flour stick better). While chicken is in the fridge, heat up oil, make sure there is enough oil in the pan, so that the chicken will be completely covered. Once oil is hot, add chicken to the hot grease, don't let the pieces touch each other. I usually cook my chicken in the fry daddy, and that will cook 8 pieces at a time. Cook until chicken is a deep golden brown, and looks extra crispy and floats. Remove chicken from grease with a slotted spoon, drain grease, then place chicken on brown paper bags or cookie rack, to drain off anymore excess grease. Let cool and serve.


Buffalo Wings: heat some hot sauce and butter together, dip wings in mixture, heat in oven.

Crispy BBQ Wings: heat some of you special bbq sauce, dip wings, heat in oven

Try Serving with (requested by Mrs. A):
Mac & Cheese
Rice & Beans
Mashed Potatoes
anything soul foodish- chitterlings, pig feet, fat back, i dunno

and that's how i became a foodie

i know, i know, i'm way late. but i was super busy, but now i'm here. i'm sure you're all wondering how i became a foodie. good question. i would have to say it all started in college, the late years. ***sidebar- if you were unfamiliar with my alma mater, the illustrious Hampton University. so anywho, i only ate chicken for the longest, and i sure as hell didn't cook. i didn't have a domestic bone in my body until senior year at the illustrious one, when i moved off campus with my girl C. and she's about as non-domestic as they come, so thats when my life changed. it was domestication at its finest, i was actually borderline obsessive compulsive, but thats so not what we're talking about here. its all about food, but i'm getting there. senior year is where my inner housewife was born. all i did when i was out of class, which was by 12 noon daily, i would cook and clean. so i would watch foodtv on my free/stolen cable, and thats where i would get all of my cooking ideas. i was always experimenting with cooking. and thats where my culinary skills blossomed. and the broke hungry college kids were loving it, always interested in being lab rats with my experimenting. it came to a point where we had to stop answering our door at dinner time, b/c someone was always knockin just when we sat down to eat. musta though 10B was the cafe or something. and thats how i became a foodie.



That's one of the Raheem Devaughn songs I can't stop thinking about!!! He's going on tour and guess what city he's not going to... that's right, Pittsburgh. Of course. Know why? Because no one comes to Pittsburgh. And all the other places he's going to I can't go because its not on my off days. Of course not. Because that would be far too convenient and we can't have that!!! If you haven't heard the love experience, what on earth are you waiting for? Christmas? You're in luck. Its right around the corner. Get it for yourself early. It's worth it. Need a preview (this is ridiculous b/c this cd is old), check him out on myspace. All the cool kids are doin it. If you want to see him, head to his myspace page for a list. I'm not helping anymore. I'm going to pout now. HMPH!


Salmon Croquettes

1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
2 lightly scrambled eggs
1 15 oz. can of flaked salmon
3 cloves fresh garlic (optional)
1/2 medium onion (optional)

Get a large skillet of vegetable oil piping hot (you know its hot enough when you see waves, or you stick the back end of a wooden spoon in and little bubbles form around it). Combine all ingredients, form into small patties. Pat additional breadcrumbs on the outside of each patty. Fry for 2 minutes on each side. Drain and serve! Yumm-o! :D

**Do not overcook. They cook deceptively quickly and you don't want a mouth full of burned patty. The original recipe called for regular bread crumbs. I had italian on hand (includes oregano, garlic powder and parmesan cheese) so I used those. WAY more delicious than I had even anticipated. Invigorating. Enjoy.