Tag Archives: food

a little nonsense now and then

or getting creative is always a welcome diversion in the midst of feeling mentally overwhelmed.

I have to renew my Acute Cardiac Life Support certification every 2 years, so since they like to make this as difficult as possible, I had to go pick up a CD from a simulation center. A CD mind you that didn’t work on any computer I tried it on, and that also didn’t work after calling the troubleshooting hotline (useless I tell you). Then I tried downloading it to my computer from online….to no avail.

Thanks to one of my co-residents I finally got it to work. But that was half the battle. The stupid simulations are way too difficult and obsessed with minutiae to be much help to me.

So when I wanted to scream and throw the computer against a wall, I instead made the custard for ice cream.

Blackberry-Raspberry Basil to be exact. Churning will happen tomorrow.

after finally beating the ACLS at its own game. I made some jewelry (1 for me and 1 for a friend). I am pretty pleased, since I just picked up this hobby again a few weeks ago.



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Ghanian Adventure

My good friend and former co-worker Karen is from Ghana. Her father was Ghanian and her mother is British….come to think of it, she didn’t come to the states until she was much older. …..I forget this until I hear her talking to people in the dialect she grew up speaking.

At any rate, we live in the same apartment complex, and she mentioned that she would like to take me to eat Ghanian food if I was interested. Which of course, I was. We made a little jaunt out to Northern Philadelphia, to a place that will remain cloaked in anonymity because I cannot remember the name and didn’t write it down.

It is a little mom and pop establishment, slow cooking things throughout the day, so if  a dish runs out, it is gone until the next day.

Below are a few dishes.

Before I share them, one thing. You eat with your hands. Actually, your right hand (to be culturally sensitive). So they even give you a bowl of warm water with soap, to wash your hands prior to eating. I’m a leftie, through and through…..so I didn’t succumb to social pressures. 🙂

that is Kelewele– fried plaintains seasoned with pepper and citrus. quite yummy.

that is an entire tilapia. grilled. complete with its head attached. messy to eat without utensils. but oh so satisfying.

that is Kenkey- cassava that is boiled, then mashed into a paste, and then I believe baked in a corn husk (kind of like a tamale). It has a sour-ish taste, reminscent of Ethiopian injera. the sauce next to it is tomato, pepper, onion, and lime. you’re supposed to break off pieces, mold it into a ball in your hand and then dip it into the sauce.

that is Karen’s meal- Omo Tuo and peanut butter soup. that is sticky rice to the right, and then a savory soup with unsweetened peanut butter as a base….it’s very earthy and has meat in it…i believe it’s beef? I’m not sure.

All in all a very yummy and educational experience. I would go back!

The ladies at the restaurant tried to convince me not to get the kenkey because they thought I wouldn’t like it. (oh the assumptions about American palates!) They were very impressed that I liked it.

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Strawberries forever

this is why I clearly need a new camera….at any rate, I’m a fan of strawberries. Always have been. I went to the Union Square Market last Summer with some friends and bought them fresh from a farmer’s stand. They were so tiny and sweet, and fragile. A far cry from the jumbo and often flavorless ones you find in the grocery store. I bought two pints from the farmer’s market last Saturday, along with some rhubarb:

to make a pie. I opted for a strawberry-rhubarb crumble Pie.

I made my own crust, because I enjoy doing it—–

the KEY is using cold ingredients—cold butter and ice water, and not mixing it too much.

My friend Telsa graduates today from her graduate program, so I’m taking this little darling over for the celebration tonight.

I hope to make strawberry ice cream this summer as well….but I also told my friend Donnie, that I would try my hand at Shinerbock Ice Cream too.

We’ll see!

And I’ll get a new camera so that I can actually do everything justice.

STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB CRUMBLE PIE (courtesy of Taste of Home)


  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 pound rhubarb rib, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or sliced frozen rhubarb, (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 1 unbaked pie shell (9 inches)

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed


  • In a large bowl, beat egg. Beat in the sugar, flour and vanilla until well blended. Gently stir in rhubarb and strawberries. Pour into pastry shell.
  • For topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit.
  • Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° bake for 35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 8 servings.

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eat your greens

Got home on the late side this evening. Had small group for my church, so I went right there after work after a quick run into Whole Foods for dinner.

I went to Reading Terminal Market (another post for another day) on Saturday with my friend Telsa, who also has a blog, which I have subscribed to….I should make sure she is on the side there in my blogroll. We met up with our friends Krystal and Ayschia for a bit of farmers’ marketing and lunch. I bought some farm fresh organic strawberries and rhubarb for a potential pie, as well as some arugula for salads during the week, and fresh kale. I’ve never bought kale before, but Smitten Kitchen sparked my interest with a recipe for baked kale chips.

Here is my result:

She recommended just cutting or tearing the leaves off of the tough stems, after rinsing them, and then tossing with olive oil and seasoning with salt. You put it in the oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes or so (depending on how fast your oven is), and voila.

I also went to Terrain, an amazing sort of home and garden store in Glen Mills, PA by the same company that brings us Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Free People, a couple of weekends ago. I lucked up on a salt sampler that should be fun to experiment with this summer:

from left to right: Brittany grey salt; Himalayan pink salt, Alder-wood smoked salt, and sea salt.

The pie is coming….scout’s honor.

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A little nonsense now and then…

Jessica from “How Sweet it Is” Blog, if you read this please know that you are my favorite person right now.

A couple of days ago,  Jessica posted a recipe for homemade funfetti cupcakes. I was inspired by this, so I decided to make a funfetti cake instead, and to exchange the buttercream frosting for 7-minute frosting (one of my favorites).

I used nonpareils instead of jimmies, since I don’t care for jimmies as much. I also used almond milk, since I had no regular milk in the house.

Besides the brief moment when I thought my mixer broke (it was just the socket), everything went smoothly.

The 7-minute frosting recipe was courtesy of Paula Deen. My one alteration was using a 1:1 substitute of white vinegar for the cream of tartar or corn syrup since I had neither.

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes (courtesy of How Sweet It Is Blog)

makes 12 cupcakes or 1 layer cake

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup milk or almond milk

1/3 cup assorted brightly colored sprinkles + more for top of frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Fold in assorted sprinkles.

Pour into cupcake tins or a basic cake pan and fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool, then frost.

7-Minute Frosting (Courtesy of Paula Deen on foodnetwork.com)


Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

I finished a night shift at the hospital and instead of sleeping baked this cake. Not a bad breakfast.

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Summer (near) New York City

Being from the South, New York is this very glamorous place full of hustle and bustle and everything one could ever need.

Now that I’ve moved to Philadelphia, I’d say that all of the above is indeed true.

Some friends from college and high school live in NYC, so I have had the pleasure of visiting quite frequently. My goal is to eat at as many new places as possible, which I’ve done a pretty good job of so far.

I keep a running list, and for every place I mark off, I add a new one to the bottom.

But life is short, and a good meal is so important.


Salivating? I know. They were as good as they look.

The place to check out is Barrio Chino (Spanish for Chinatown). It is located on the edge of (duh!) Chinatown. Don’t walk too fast, or you’ll miss it. Look out for  wide open windows, with beautiful people pouring out of them–Margaritas and mojitos in hand. It fills up fast, so I say go early evening. I don’t remember if they take reservations…..but they do take credit cards. (vital info for places in the city).

Barrio Chino

253 Broome St

New York, NY 10002

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