Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR

HISTORY OF WATCH NIGHT

( New Year's Eve)

Many of you who live or grew up in Black communities in the United States have probably heard of "Watch Night Services," the gathering of the faithful in churches on New Year's Eve. The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year. Some folks come to Church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year's Eve event. Like many others, I always assumed Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious celebration, but my grandmother said no there more to story, enjoy the whole story of watch night as told by my grandmother.

December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve." On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were praying and shouting and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God. Black folks
have gathered in churches annually on New Year's Eve ever since praising God for bringing us safely through another year. It's been 141 years since that first freedom's eve and many of us were never taught the African American history of watch night, but tradition still brings us together at this time every year to Celebrate "HOW WE GOT OVER".

KWANZAA RECIPE DAY-6



6th Kwanzaa Principle: Kuumba or Creativity
Health Principle: Use imagination to keep diet and exercise routines interesting







Okra, Corn and Tomatoes

Ingredients

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen cut okra
1 (14.5 ounce)cans diced tomatoes
1(20 ounce) packages frozen corn
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 - 1 tsp Cayenne pepper(depending on your heat tolerance).

Place bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir to release some of the juices, and then add the onion and okra. Fry until tender and browned, stirring constantly. Add a little vinegar or squeeze of lemon can be used to brighten the taste and reduce the sliminess.Be careful, as this tends to brown quickly. Pour in the tomatoes, and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Mix in the corn, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with Creole seasoning, salt and pepper, and serve.


To make this a one pot meal, add 1/2 pound of cook chicken and ½ pound of kielbasa sausages use a little sprayed in a pan, cook the smoked sausage until it’s a bit blackened on both sides and add with the corn. You can also try 1 pound of clean and deveined raw shrimp add with the corn. Its great serviced over white rice.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

KWANZAA RECIPE DAY-5




5th Kwanzaa Principle: Nia or Purpose
Health Principle: Good health is not accidental. Make health your purposeful objective every day.

In 1880s and 1890s immigrant laborers brought cabbage to America. The term cabbage is a derived from the French word "caboche" (head). During slavery, children that weren’t big enough to work were fed at the Master house. They got milk and mush for breakfast and bread and pot liquor (the liquid remaining after cabbage was cooked).


Fried Cabbage Greens

INGREDIENTS
6 slices of bacon*, cut into thirds
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 head cabbage, cored and sliced
1 white onion, sliced
1 pinch white sugar

DIRECTIONS
Place the bacon into a large pot over medium heat.
Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes
or until bacon is crisp. Add cabbage, onion, and sugar to
the pot; cook and stir continuously for 15 minutes, until
tender.
*Use 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (health choice)
Tip:
If you like your bacon a crisp, remove it before you add the cabbage, add the bacon when it ready to service.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

KWANZAA RECIPE DAY-4

4th Kwanzaa Principle: Ujamaa or Cooperative Economics
Health Principle: Buy food from local farmer’s markets and co–ops. Food will be fresher and you’ll be supporting businesses in your community.

The first group of Africans slaves landed in Jamestown Virginia, they brought food over to America including seeds of there native crops and introduced several plants and black-eyed peas was one of the seeds. Black-eyed are healthy and slaves ate them to become strong. One of the more popular ways of cooking black-eyed peas is the dish called Hoppin John", a traditional African-American dish served on New Year's day for good luck.

BLACK EYED PEAS
(Hoppin John)

Ingredients:
1 pound black-eyed peas or 2 package of frozen
4 cups water
1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 or 4 smoked necks bones* or smoked turkey parts
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper (optional)
3 cups of cooked rice

Preparation:
Thoroughly pick and wash the black-eyes peas in strainer picking out small pebbles. Place peas in pot and add water covering the peas, place in refrigerator for 24 hours. (If frozen eliminate this step)

*Clean smoked neck bones (there is a brain stem that runs down the neck of the pig), When the bones are chopped, the stern can be found in the channel-like opening, remove it.
Boil the bones or turkey parts until they are ½ way tender using enough water to cover, through the boiling period maintain this level of water,use the pot liquor add with water to make 4 cups, Add Black Eye Peas Combine with salt, pepper, onion, water, and pork or other meat, you can add crushed red pepper if you like spicy food. Bring to rapid boil, cover and reduce heat simmer for 1½ to 2 hours or until tender.
Serves 4 to 6

Tips:
If you're up to the challenge, you might try adding the rice to the black-eyed pea mixture.
If not, I suggests, "cheat" at serving time placed the black-eyed peas on top of the rice on your plate this works for me.
The challenge: After the peas are tender, Add the rice, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Mix well, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

KWANZAA RECIPE DAY-3


3rd Kwanzaa Principle: Ujima or Collective Work and Responsibility
Health Principle: Make collective partnerships of family members, your health care team and friends to realize your healthy living goals.



Chicken Yassa
services 4-6

Ingredients
• 1 4-6 lb. Chicken
• 3 Medium Onions (Vidalia or other, thinly sliced)
• 1/4 C. Parsley (chopped)
• 1 t. Freshly Ground Pepper
• 1 t. Coarse Salt
• 1 Bay Leaf (crumbled)
• 1/4 t. Thyme
• 1/2 t. Crushed Red Pepper (Optional)
• 1/3 C Lemon Juice
• 1/4 C Oil
• 11/2C Water

Marinate at least 30 minutes, longer or even overnight is ideal.
Preparation
1. Cut the chicken in half or in pieces and spread out on a baking pan
2. Put giblets in water and simmer (for sauce for chicken and onions) (need 1 C. of stock)
3. Cover with the onions, parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme and red pepper
4. Pour lemon juice and salad oil over the chicken and onions
5. Marinate for at least 30 minutes
6. After marinating remove the chicken and broil until chicken is browned on all sides
7. Simmer the onion mixture over medium heat stirring occasionally to prevent onions from browning (approx. 5 minutes)
8. Return chicken to baking pan and cover with the onion mixture
9. Pour 1 cup chicken stock (including giblets) over the chicken and onions
10. Make white rice
11. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until onions turn a light golden color.
12. Serve over rice

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Symbols of Kwanzea

The Symbols of Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols and two supplemental ones. Each represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement. The basic symbols in Swahili and then in English are:
Mazao (The Crops)
These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor.

Mkeka (The Mat)
This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build.

Kinara (The Candle Holder)
This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people -- continental Africans.

Muhindi (The Corn)
This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.

Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles)
These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.

Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup)
This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.

Zawadi (The Gifts)
These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children.

The two supplemental symbols are:

Bendera (The Flag)
The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are the colors of the Organization Us, black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. It is based on the colors given by the Hon. Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.

Nguzo Saba Poster (Poster of The Seven Principles)

KWANZAA PRINCIPLE DAY-2

2nd Kwanzaa Principle: Kujichagulia or Self–Determination
Health Principle: It’s within your power to determine what your future health will be. Act on it.
My goals for 2011 –
Continual working toward a Health body, exercise 15-30 minutes 4-5 days
week, walking 3-4 days a week, eating healthy and losing 40 pounds.
Continual working toward my goal of visiting all 50 states, need to visit 3
states this year.
Craft atleast15 minutes everyday and use something new, or
different and just play around with a new or never used product once a week.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

KWANZAA PRINCIPLE DAY-1


Health Principle: Recognize the unity of your body, mind and spirit.



OXTAIL STEW

INGREDIENTS
1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 cubes beef bouillon
10 cups water
6 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup oil
3 pounds beef oxtail
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup water


DIRECTIONS
1. Place celery, garlic, tomato paste, bouillon cubes, and water into a large Dutch oven; stir until the tomato paste has dissolved. Add peppercorns and bay leaves, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oxtail and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove oxtail from hot oil and place into Dutch oven. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cook the onion until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes; add to oxtail.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, recover, and continue to cook until the oxtail is tender, but not falling off of the bone, about 30 minutes.
4. Remove oxtail pieces and place into a serving dish. Dutch oven and return to a simmer. Thicken with cornstarch dissolved in water, simmer for 1 minute until thickened and clear. Pour sauce over the oxtail.

Note
Oxtail should be ready when a knife slices easily through the meat. It should not be overcooked otherwise it will fall off the bones and go stringy - and if not cooked long enough it will not come off the bones easily enough. I normally find 4 hours cooking is just perfect.

Kwanzaa Principles our Healthy

Forty years ago, Dr. Ron Karenga, a civil rights activist and college professor, created Kwanzaa to introduce seven values common among most African societies to African Americans and the world. When activated, these important values can strengthen family, community and culture among Black men, women, children and family community groups of all kinds. Kwanzaa is a not a religious observation, but can certainly be viewed as a celebration of spirituality. Kwanzaa is not an alternative to Christmas, but because it is observed as Christmas ends, it provides opportunity for seven days of festivity for family and friends. Kwanzaa invites participants to meditate on and interpret its values in ways that are relevant to our individual and collective goals. Kwanzaa can be well applied as healthy living principles. With African Americans at the forefront of every lethal disease type, the principles of Kwanzaa offer new ways to think about how we can heal ourselves through positive and culturally relevant action steps. During this holiday season and throughout the coming year, we challenge you to put the principles of Kwanzaa to work with the goal of increasing the physical, mental and spiritual health of African Americans everywhere.This year I will share one of the principles of Kwanza each day and a recipe.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010




CHRISTMAS COUNT DOWN 5 DAYS OF QUICKIE RECIPES
Day 1 Quickie Recipes
Crockpot Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Ingredients:
2 cups dried red beans
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 ham hock
1 pound Andouille or Kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced
*2 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice

Direction:
1. Pick over the dried beans, and soak them in water overnight.
2.The next day, drain off the soaking water, and place the beans
in a crockpot. Cover with water, and stir in first 8 ingredients.
Push the ham hock down into the beans cover with lid and cook
on high heat for 5 hours.
3. Discard bay leaf stir in sausage and *salt and season to taste. Simmer for 20
minutes and serve over rice.
* add only after the beans or fully cooked.

Friday, December 10, 2010

COLLARD GREENS - DAY 10



Ingredients
1 1/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked neck bones) or smoked turkey wings (that what I use these day cut back on the old pork)
6 bunches collard greens - rinsed, trimmed and chopped (4 bags of *pre-washed greens
2-3 cups water (just to cover the meat)
5 cups chicken stock or (low sodium chicken stock in the can or cartons)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 onion coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

Preparation:
In an extra large pot, bring ham hocks and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Immerse greens in a sink full of water and wash well to remove sand and grit. Lift out, drain water, fill sink, and repeat the procedure approximately 3 or 4 times to ensure they are clean and free of sand, grit and insects. Cut out the thickest part of stems that runs down the center and coarsely chop the greens.

Increase the heat under the hocks to medium-high; add about 1/3 of the greens to the pot. Cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, until wilted. Add remaining greens in two more batches, until all the greens fit into the pot.

Stir in the broth, garlic, vinegar, sugar, black pepper, and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally about 2 hour or until the greens are tender. When done taste and adjust **seasoning.

Remove ham hocks and cut meat from bones. Dice and add back to the greens. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a serving bowl. If desired, pass the juices (also known as pot liquor) for dipping cornbread.

*wash your pre-washed greens just one time (yes they need to be wash).
** If it need a little salt, this is the time to add the salt.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

GRANDMA'S OLD-FASHION POUND CAKE

Day 9

The pound cake, most known as a rich cake, originally contained a pound of each of the main ingredients, including flour, sugar, and butter. That’s where the pound cake gets its name.
When I was a young girl, my grandmother didn't have a mixer she would beat this cake by hand and folded the dry ingredients in a little at a time before baking. She said it needed 300 strokes so we used to count as she mixed. She would bake it during the week for Sunday dinner, also she would bake one for my dad's Friday Fish Fry.


1,2,3,4 POUND CAKE


Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour sifted (to day we use Swans Down Cake Flour)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon orange zest, grated
1 - 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed


Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat on medium speed 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavorings, creaming by hand until smooth after each addition. Spread batter into prepared 10-inch bundt pan. Bake until tester inserted into cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack.
Glaze with OLD-FASHIONED BOURBON GLAZE: Combine sugar, bourbon, zest and enough orange juice to make a thin glaze. Drizzle onto cake.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Here is my favorite recipe for potato salad. I vary
this recipe from time to time based upon my mood and what I have in the refrigerator. I encourage you to do the same.



Potato Salad


Ingredients:

10 - 12 whole russet potatoes
4 to 6 hard boiled eggs chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
½ bunch celery chopped
¼ cup pickle relish
1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup yellow mustard
2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to tasted
paprika

Preparation:

1. Boil potatoes with skin on for 30 - 45 minutes. When fork can be easily inserted. Potatoes are done.
2. Pour hot water out and run cold water over potatoes to cool them off for 5 minutes.
3. When potatoes are cool, peel off skin and cut into bite sized pieces. If you overcook them, they don't really hurt
the recipe since the extra potatoes just mixes in with
the creamy portion of the mixture.
4. Stir all ingredients gently except for the paprika.
After all ingredients are well mixed, pour into a bowl.
Add the paprika across the top.
5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve
serve 16-20

Try 1/2 cup of slice black olives or 1/4 cup of sheered carrots or 1/2 cup of chopped green or red bell pepper or dell pickles chopped in place of sweet relish.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

FOOD ADVENT CALENDAR

I wanted to create a countdown to Christmas in a creative crafty way, I decided to create a homemade Advent Calendar filled with 24 recipes that are quick, easy and fast to prepare, along with a few of my family favorite Holiday goodies.
I will make my Advent Calendar based on Bean's Creation, I will just add recipes to mine. If you would like to make one check it out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1re9RvVHIA&feature=related

IT'S DECEMBER, CHRISTMAS DINNER TIME

WOW!!!! It's December already, time to pull out the family recipes. Okay let's get down to business and start cooking up some goodies. Get ready I will blog 24 recipes in the next 20 days.