Recycling Fun on a Bun

Halfsmoke

Randomly, I found myself getting off the Metro Bus in northwest DC a few blocks from my old office on U Street. I couldn’t have been more than two blocks from my stop before the clouds exploded, pouring down rain, with gusting winds, and bringing a flash flood. It was horrible. I was going to a press event and dressed in pumps. Running was definitely out of the question. Quickly, I scanned the landscape for a spot to hideaway and when I looked up I realized I was standing right in front of a fairly new restaurant I had never seen before. It was called Halfsmoke. I dash in and was immediately consumed by the mouth watering aroma of grilled meat. I had found paradise and the carnivore in me wanted to scream and do a dance of joy. I wanted that meat so badly that I was ready to say oh well it’s raining let’s eat! LOL 😂 Continue reading “Recycling Fun on a Bun”

Girls Trip: An Incredible Reminder of the Value of Sisterhood

BlogHer_Girls_Trip-1

Fresh from the tattoo parlor, flaunting my first ink, 18 years old, and frantically waiting for my childhood friends to come visit me in Hotlanta for Freaknik ’93: I was filled with complete bliss. I was free, I was happy, and I was ready to party! This is but one of the memories that come to mind when I think of my college years. I was always a little awkward in my teenage years. I had a crew that I hung around but no one that I ever felt comfortable being my true self with. For me, there was something liberating about the independence of being on my own, far from my parents, and in charge of my own life. It took a while for me to settle into my new skin, which is why I was still waiting for childhood friends to come hang out with me, but it didn’t last long.

College was a time of self-exploration and a time for bonding with women who would forever be near to my heart. By the time Freaknik ’95 rolled around, I was firmly settled into what I like to call the Atlanta Bad Girls Crew. I had my circle: ladies that knew me, good, bad, and ugly; friends that were daily fixtures in almost every area of my life. School issues, boy issues, daddy issues, you name it; they were there. When it came time to party like rock stars – yep, they were there for that too. Little did I know, it would be the last phase of my life when I would have the opportunity to grow AND learn, AND share in such a way as to produce the types of bonds I shared with my girls.

Girls Trip centers around four college friends, who have drifted apart over the years, and decide to take a trip together down to the Essence Fest in New Orleans. Once all four are reunited, the drama quickly ensues and so does the viewer’s emotional roller coaster.

“When four lifelong friends—Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. James Lopez, head of motion pictures for Will Packer Productions, and Preston Holmes, executive produce.”

This movie had me so enthralled with each character. I laughed, cried, felt on-the-edge-of-my-seat rage, as well as flushed with lust drooling over the hot male characters on screen. I was taken back through memories of times forgotten by the buffet of cameos from bands and performers that provided the soundtrack of my youth. I almost got out of my seat when New Edition came on the screen, and let’s not forget Doug E. Fresh. Talk about “Teach Me How To Dougie!” Smoldering chocolate men, with velvet voices: yes, please!

Girls Trip reminded me of just how meaningful these times were and how special the women are that shared them with me. Most importantly, it reminded me of why it’s important to maintain these bonds, no matter where life takes me.

I was fortunate to be invited to a private prescreening by Universal Pictures and I am beyond grateful because I probably would have missed out on an incredibly amazing film. It’s no secret that I am no lover of comedy flicks. As a matter of fact, I avoid them like my life depends on it. I’m a notorious action junkie and especially have a thing for movies that contain shootouts in space. Girls Trip was a movie that I really thought I would hate. You can’t imagine my surprise to find myself sitting on the edge of my seat grinning from ear-to-ear through almost all of it. Girls Trip was just the right dose of funny, hard-hitting laugh out loud at just the right moments, and snicker under your breath funny at other moments. It had enough slapstick physical comedy to keep you on edge without feeling campy. Just when you think a character is going to seriously injure herself with some crazy antic, she gets up and the whole theater laughs with her.

Girls Trip was definitely funny, no question! However, the icing on the cake was that it oozed with positive Girl Power and left you with an “I am woman, hear me roar” rejuvenated zeal to go forth and conquer the world. I could probably write an entire book about how much value this movie will bring to any viewer. It’s one of those powerfully moving films that sort of sneaks up on you. I can honestly say the trailer does not even begin to express how good this film is and why I gladly recommend that all my readers go see it.

Girls Trip will be released July 21! Get tickets now! 

5 Foodie Finds at MetroCooking DC

Taste Artisanal Market Honey

This weekend, I visited MetroCooking DC food expo, held annually in Washington, DC. I love events like this because it’s a great way to discover the newest in culinary creativity. This year, just as in year’s past, was great. I laughed, I tasted, and, best of all, shopped to my heart’s content. Here is a list of my five favorite takeaways.

It should be no surprise that two of my favorite vendors at the expo are honey producers. I ❤ honey! Lots and lots of honey! 😀 I use it in my drinks. I use it in my baking and when making sauces. I dip cheese, bread, and fruit in it. I like to drizzle it over my honey, pancakes, sausage. You name it, it calls for honey. I simply can’t get enough of this stuff.

These ladies of Taste Artisanal Market are giving honey a makeover with their unique blends! I took home the Lavender honey. YUM!!!

Nutterly

Like nuts? Like chips? Why not chips made from nuts! 😁👍 These super tasty snackables made by Nutterly were the absolutely amazing. I took home all three varieties (hazelnut, almond, and pistachio). If I had to choose the best of the three, I’d go with pistachio but that could just be because I’m also a pistachio junkie. 😋

Falling Bark Farms' Hickory syrupOn a cold winter morning, there seems like there can be no better salvation than a plate of hot buttery pancakes drizzled with maple syrup. Well, there just might be, a plate of hot buttery pancakes drizzled with hickory syrup. If you thought hickory was just good for giving bacon great smoky flavor boy have you been underestimating this tree! You absolutely must try Falling Bark Farms’ Hickory syrup! My takeaway was the Brandy Infused Vanilla Hickory Syrup…OMG!!! 🥞🍴

Wouldn’t cha know, the crafty food artisans at Falling Bark Farms are also the producers of the second honey on this list.

Did I mention that I ❤ honey! 😋 Let me state it one more time for the record just in case you missed it the first time. What’s better in hot tea than lemon and honey, well how about one better. Falling Bark has Lemon Infused Honey! Got a great steak on the grill and need to give it a little extra something special. You must baste it with Falling Bark’s Cayenne and Lime Honey. These two precious elixirs are a foodie’s dream come true!Falling Bark Honey

I don’t at all care for Ethiopian food but these crunchy treats are sooooo good! 😋 Injera is the national bread of Ethiopia, made from teff flour that is mixed with water and allowed to ferment. It’s kind of like sourdough. It’s a bit tangy and most people I know love that about it. I for one am not one of those people. What I find great about these injera chips, made by Tsiona Foods, is that the sourness is practically gone and all you get is a light airy crisp. It’s sweet but not too sweet and almost melts on your tongue. 😀

Tsiona Foods

I hope you check out these products and if you happen to get a chance, visit this expo next year.

MetroCookingDC 2017