Love jams, jellies and honey. Woke up this morning wanting avocado toast with jam. I had some turkey figs that started sweetening on their own. They were left over from a fruit platter I made earlier in the week. Waste not, want not…absolutely.
Quick! Easy! Yummi!
Take one pound of figs, any color I used the brown turkey figs because it’s what I had.
Add a half cup of sugar. You could use more but my figs started secreting a bit so I didn’t use a lot.
Put the figs and sugar in a nonstick pot.
Let the sugar dissolve and the figs become juicy.
Add 1/2 cup of water and 1/4c of lemon juice.
When that comes to a boil, reduce the heat and add a sprig of rosemary(press the rosemary to release the oils)
As the liquid thickens remove the rosemary
The house is now fragrant and warm. While the jam is simmering and coming together grab two mason jars or a medium sized ramekin(if you’re going to enjoy it sooner). Pour the figs into the mason jar and put the lid on. It’s still hot so it’ll continue to soften while in the jar.
Grab some toast, cheese or whatever and slather it on!!
I attended a concert Wednesday night in San Francisco. Raekwon The Chef was headlining at Slims nightclub. We were riding around looking for parking and I saw a door on the left side of Market.
I am very familiar with this part of San Francisco as it houses my favorite little chocolate shop, Littlejohn’s Candies. This door looked like a Tiffany’s Box in the middle of the street. I’d never noticed it before and I know I would have. Thinking about it now maybe the color of the door is Hazel…hmmm.
I was intrigued. I googled ‘Hazel San Francisco Market Street’ and Hazel Southern Bar & Kitchen popped up. You had me at Southern Kitchen, let’s see what you’re working with. I researched a little more…it was a new spot. Some of my favorite things were on this crisp and beautiful menu. The skeptic in me arose, collard greens on Market Street?! What’s the set-up like? Who’s cooking? Who runs this joint? Instagram…YES!! The owner Jamie and Chef Casey Hatwig seems to have it on lock. Ok..ok so when will I make my reservation? What will I eat? How many to-go boxes will I need? These are all important and thought out queries. I decided on the eve of my birthday to partake on a date night in the city with moi.
June 24, 2017 a little overdressed compared to the patrons at Hazel, I arrive. I was met by the doorman who welcomed me and told me to enjoy the evening as I walked in with huge smile on my face. I was asked if I had a reservation and I replied, ‘Nope, table for one please.’ I got seated at a community table and it was great. I looked side to side and across from me to see what the plates looked like. I wanted to see what they were enjoying, devouring and craving.
The menu wasn’t overwhelming at all. Besides by the time I made the decision to go I had an idea of what I wanted. I started with a blackberry lemonade and the collard green dumplings. The were crisp bites filled with creamy greens on top of a spicy peach chutney…yummerz.
The slight obsession I have with all variations of shrimp and grits I couldn’t wait to try theirs. The shrimp and grits arrived as I inhaled my second dumpling. I paused, smiled and dug into this velvety seasoned small plate of deliciousness. The shrimp had a perfect amount of spice.
Mentally I was prepared to get the oxtail w/gravy. Honestly it didn’t look as aesthetically pleasing on the plate as I imagined. I instead went for the blackened catfish. It was served on a bed of cabbage w/collard greens and green beans w/caramelized onions. The green beans were served al dente, perfect. Everything was seasoned to perfection. So the collard greens on Market Street were a HIT!!
I can’t wait to go back with the whole squad in tow. In a few weeks as a matter of fact. Oh and the bill…well let’s say I was pleasantly surprised that a phenomenal dinner, as it was, for one in San Francisco with cocktails costing less than $60.00. Southern comfort at its best.
I attended Episcopal Community Services annual CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services) Gala which directly helps support the culinary program in San Francisco. A culinary program that I myself graduated from last year. I attended the Gala last year as a student and it was an instant manifestation on my culinary path….and it was EPIC!!!
The restaurants and mentors that lend their time, resources and essentially their livelihoods to the CHEFS program are unmatched. Whether they are coming in as guest Chefs or providing the students with certain skill sets that are beneficial far past the kitchen. There’s also in-kitchen, hands-on training and an internship at a local restaurant or institutional kitchen settings. It extends to helping with housing, life skills, that go beyond just classroom instruction.
#CHEFSGalaSF supports programming beyond CHEFS and gives a platform to the disparities plaguing the city and abroad. This years gala raised over $400,000 in their efforts, which surpass putting people to work in the culinary field. It has given people who would have otherwise checked out a meaningful opportunity to give back to society. For some of us, it was an opportunity to acknowledge our gifts and to expand on them.
Back to the GALA…I had a blast
I arrived this year as a fan, a foodie, a proud alumni of such an amazing program and so many phenomenal CHEFS, restaurants and philanthropists in one room for one reason…to ensure resources are available to help in the fight against homelessness.
Bespoke San Francisco hosted this years event and it was emceed by Leslie Sbrocco for the fourth year in a row. some of thee best restaurants that San Francisco has to offer were in attendance. YUMMERZ👅 I look forward to what the Chefs come up with and they did not disappoint. The food was beyond amazing. The students themselves participated and hands down had two of the best cuisines served that evening. I kept going back for the Thai bite with the candied ginger…SOOO GOOD. Chef Corina and Chef Harold led an amazing team for this year event. The presentations were inspiring and inventive. In particular for me Commonwealth served Smoked Mussels w/Squid Ink Cracker, Fermented Garlic Aioli and Wild Fennel. AMAZING!!! They were hidden amongst mussel shells…so creative…and delicious
#CHEFSGalaSF supports programming beyond CHEFS through auctions and the support of San Francisco.
I am an institutional cook by nature…by trade…and profession I suppose. Growing up in a big family I never quite figured out how to make small amounts of anything. Seems to work out perfectly, especially for my friends and neighbors. Making this crisp easily became a dessert for sharing.
Over the weekend, we were sitting around pondering on what to have for lunch. We decided to make stuffed muenster burgers and homemade ice cream. In the midst of it all I remembered I promised a friend I’d make a cherry cobbler, crisp or crumble. Something, anything with cherries he said. I thought a crunchy topping of granola on a pan of sweet black cherries would close out the weekend beautifully. Truth be told I’d find any reason to bring out my dutch oven.
Whether I’m frying chicken or braising oxtails it is the perfect tool for everything. I think this is a Martha Stewart one that’s withstood the test of time. Opened up a #10 can of sweet pitted cherries, ready to go.
It may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. I can either get four skimpy pies or 2 bountiful ones. We went for the latter. I used my deep dish pie plates that are reserved for Caramel Dutch Apple Pie(I’ll throw that up later). I want to say they’re Pyrex I may be wrong. Nah, definitely ceramic Pyrex…right?!
Nevertheless, they cook beautifully. Ceramic holds that heat and all the good stuff bubbles up and sing such pretty songs.
Now I always…always have some kind of granola, trail mix or something hanging around.
That goes back to… I always make too much of something, so there’s always some around. This time I had a candied pecan trail mix I made for a plane ride earlier in the week. In this mix their were cranberries too. I thought man that would definitely have a tart bite to it. Perfect for the crisp topping to counter the sweet, right?!
Now usually I use softened butter but I went for the melted. It gives a more crisp as opposed to the crumble. Now people may ask, “what’s the difference”? One has more of a coffee cake crumble consistency and the other is more like a thin crispy granola bar. It can make for a better base if you so choose to use one. For this crisp I did. I got my cherries ready to go on the stove. Feel free to add and play with this. You can’t go wrong. I’ve added cayenne, rum, apple pucker(I know) and other crazy things but it always comes out delicious.
Takes a little bit to get it thickened. I didn’t add a thickening agent, but you absolutely can. I went for whatever I had in the kitchen. This time just sugar(s)got this good glaze. I reserved some of the juice(syrup) for cocktails, dessert toppings and for tea. It’s a cheap and expensive hack, ya know.
Here’s my cocktail…my fave Canada Dry & whatever else. Today is cherries and I must say, YUMMERZ!!
I love making these crumbles & crisps because they’re so satisfyingly easy to make and everybody gets excited when they come out of the oven bubbling and smelling like, well it depends on what you added…maybe pucker?!
Summer is here and although I am not excited about this heat, the Farmer’s Markets are in full bloom. Happy for all the rainbow foods we’re about to get into(insert claps & sighs)!!
In preparation for what’s to come I ramped up my Farmer’s Market lookouts in the Central Valley area. I have not abandoned my Bay Area offerings, but I was told to take a look around where I live…so we did.
In my quests I stumble across quite a few outside and inside markets. Most of the outside Farmer’s Markets are a mixture of produce, cosmetics, art etc. I don’t mind at all, but I did find myself getting side tracked. When I go to the Farmer’s Market I’m usually looking for inspiration. I may pick up something I have never tried before and cook based off the suggestions from the Farmer’s or vendors themselves.
Ginger Laced Fruit Salad
I, of course get the the staples, a ton of fresh fruit, flowers and spices to accompany the fruit, like ginger, cloves and mace. The best thing to do after a day at the market is to make a banging fruit salad and take in your finds for the day.
The first market I always hit up is right in my backyard. I mean I am a San Joaquin County resident it’s only natural to see what we have have to offer. What I found is an abundance of fresh everything. San Joaquin County Farmer’s Markets are vast and bountiful. Right here in Downtown Tracy, every Saturday with fresh produce, organic produce, baked goods, flowers, home accessories, gifts and more. Their motto is, “From Our Family Farms To Yours”.
We do a lot of Farm to Table recipes, sustainable foods and try to use as many local resources as possible. Getting some good local sourced honey was my ultimate goal on this day. A lot of the vendors were eager to tell me about some of the local farms like A Jar Of Honey in San Jose. I had a friend bring me some from that apiary. She uses it exclusively for her delicious Boba Milk Teas.
Watermelon & Feta
Today I used it to make a balsamic glaze for some of the watermelon I picked up. I’ll put up the recipe for that too.
I look forward to going down and visiting with Stefan to fill me in on more about his girls at A Jar Of Honey.
Went to Hawaii and my girl ordered this watermelon and feta salad…Now I’ve made this salad a million times but never like this. the presentation was sic!! I said I’ll never make it the same again. Oh to be inspired…
You could dice, slice or melon ball this watermelon the flavor is the same. Add a little sea salt, some pepper or even togarashi…ENJOY!!!
Food Crawling in the ATL with my sisters & co-culinarians during Black Restaurant Week…EPIC!!!
First off, I had never been. Secondly, Darius, of Darius Cooks by way of Chicago decided to open a restaurant in Atlanta…and thirdly DARIUS OPENED A RESTAURANT IN ATLANTA!!
We planned a mini sisters retreat that included food crawls, shopping and getting our souls fed. We all had our particular places we wanted to visit. There were restaurants, churches, museums, malls and the ‘AS SEEN ON TV’ stuff as well. My sister had all the local spots down , thanks to Atlanta’s very own T.I. and his ‘favorite spots’ to grab a bite. Our goal in every city, every time is the best place for wings & tings. J.R. Crickets, apparently was the place to be. The wings, the atmosphere and savage cocktails.
So look…those wings were banging. I wanna say we had a 20pc dirty bird, if the dirty bird is spicy, wet with lemony pepper. That’s how I remember them anyway. There’s a crab place in Chicago and you mix all the flavors of throw it in the bag… these were like that. YUMMERZ!! With the wings we were told we had to try the Bob Marley. The word was one of these will put you on your ass. I passed on it but the rest of the party indulged on a few of them. I heard it was deliciously strong, worthy of the name and look.
On to the next day, maybe the day after that…either way it was now Greens & Gravy Day. Now I want you to know I prepared for this like a new job, like an exam, like a last meal type of day. I follow Darius on periscope for reasons other than food, but his love of food made me fall in heavy like with him. The advantage of that was I knew what he had planned to put on the menu. I was in it with him while he was setting up the restaurant. When he found the location, picking the decor, hiring staff…all of it so we were ready. I made sure to reserve our table, with Opentable months ahead because he had his soft and grand openings no too long before we were set to arrive. I downloaded the menu to go over it with my sisters because we wanted to be strategic and order everything to taste every thing. Luckily for us we met some other ladies on an earlier excursion who were going to join us also. This was perfect. We were sat at the last table in the back. The space is intimate and seats maybe 30 with a few tables outside.
We’re here, we’re seated and ready! I knew going in I would be having the lemon pepper honey drizzled fried chicken(I KNOW RIGHT). That would be for the table as it is a signature dish. At this point I knew the menu like the back of my hand. I watched their faces as they looked it over salivating at the descriptions of all this down home food with a twist. Decisions had been made and we were ready to load Zac, our waiter up with our orders.
Some of the other things we had included crab & shrimp deviled eggs, butter pecan cornbread, macaroni & cheese, fish & grits, jamaican jerk grilled prawns & grits & lemon pepper fried spare ribs. First and foremost the lemon pepper honey fried chicken was the star. I could’ve only eaten that and been satisfied.
Butter Pecan Cornbread
Crab & Shrimp Stuffed Deviled Eggs
Jamaican Jerk Grilled Prawns & Grits
Admittedly I wasn’t over thee moon with the rest of the spread, but it was good. I really loved the mac & cheese though. Just so happened the day before we went to another restaurant in Atlanta and had shrimp & grits/mac & cheese. We were underwhelmed, very underwhelmed. I needed my palate redeemed afterwards. Greens & Gravy did just that.
It was so homey and the music was that Saturday and Sunday morning cleaning music. I will be going back for the atmosphere, the food, the music and for Darius of course. #BlackBoyJoy
I am a huge fan of sushi, sashimi, ceviche, fish tartare,poke and more of the same, I suppose!!
I recently took a trip to Hawaii and there was poke everywhere!! I MEAN EVERYWHERE!! We chose four different places to taste poke specifically at each one. I was not disappointed in the least. They all offered something different, yet the same satisfying taste of traditional poke…at least I think so.
Poke /poʊˈkeɪ/ (Hawaiian for "to section" or "to slice or cut"; sometimes stylized Poké to aid pronunciation) is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as a main course. Traditional forms are aku (an oily tuna) and he'e (octopus). He'e (octopus) poke is usually called by its Japanese name "Tako" Poke, except in places like the island of Ni'ihau where the Hawaiian language is spoken. Increasingly popular ahi poke is generally made with yellowfin tuna. Adaptations may feature raw salmon or various shellfish as a main ingredient served raw with the common "poke" seasonings.
My favorite cuisines by far is that of Asia, Southeast Asia and The Caribbeans. The flavors are so dynamic and fun to work with.
I interned at an Asian Fusion restaurant in San Francisco the summer of 2016. There is an Ahi Tartare on the menu and I couldn’t wait to get to work everyday and make it. The aroma of sesame oil, fresh cut onions and beautiful bulbs mixed with this beautiful piece of ahi…ohm
Here’s my interpretation of one of my favorite dishes to both eat and share with other people. It’s a stand-out at intimate dinners and parties. Hope you enjoy it too!
Fresh AHI…is a must. Cut them into cubes or ask the butcher to do it for you. Put that aside in a cool place(fridge).
Heat up a dry skillet and add the sesame seeds. Toast them for 3-5 minutes and set aside.
Mix the other 8 ingredients. Allow them to marry and sit for for 30 minutes to and hour. You may let it sit longer if you’re not using/eating the poke immediately.
When you’re ready toss the mixture with the AHI. When serving top with the toasted sesame seeds and nori.
Serve it on top of a bed of lettuce, a himalayan salt block or a rice cracker…
#AllBlackWeekend in the Bay started with hashtags: #BlackPantherSoLit #WakandaForever #FoodArtLoveNoir & ended with a BANG!
The premiere of Black Panther was a prelude to our, Food Art & Love event. With so much #BlackLove in the Bay Area and all the people who came from other states to be a part of the premiere the anticipation was insurmountable.
Saturday night in the International Suite at Oakstop in Oakland was the first Food, Art & Love Noir.
An evening of amazing food, art, music, spoken word, silent auction, raffles and more, presented by Fifty Seven North & NoPrints.
We brought out some of the Bay Area’s best to give attendees a night of culture, for us and by us.
Chef Satia of Fifty Seven North offered up hors d’oeuvres & bottomless mimosas & bellinis. Some of the offerings included food from their menu: jerk rib tips, rice pilaf, lamb meatballs & gouda grit cakes w/fire prawns.
Randy Babb of NoPrints premiered new pieces and showcased his vast collection of prints, canvases, jewelry and more. Guests walked away with prints he auctioned off and won an original piece in the raffle.
Several artists volunteered their time, art & expertise to this event and we are thankful. Thank you to everyone that came out and made this night magical. We look forward to seeing you in June at the next Food Art & Love Noir.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR ESTEEMED PHOTOGRAPHER @AESTHETICSONASH FOR CAPTURING US IN THIS AMAZING SPACE.
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2018 IN THE INTERNATIONAL SUITE 1721 BROADWAY OAKLAND 6PM-10PM…COME GET YOUR CULTURE ON!!! LOCAL BAY ARTISTS, CHEFS & VENDORS ARE EXCITED TO SHARE THEIR CANVASES WITH YOU!!
This is an event for True Lovers of Food, Art & Love
Come out and partake in a night of Love …Food, Art, Music, Performances and more.
Amazing offerings by local Chefs.
Soak up some of the most amazing artists’ creative works…
There will be a silent auction, raffles, complimentary drinks, dancers, an open mic…and much more
If you can’t hear it, then get the wax utensils Write my rhymes straight up, don’t get with no fancy stencils The rhymes we get is sweet, we stay away from tart Our perfection is at work, perking up the art…
Just in time for Valentine’s Day we’re hosting an intimate cooking class in Dublin, California Saturday February 3, 2018. Join Chef Satia & Chef Lorraine in creating a five course intimate meal for two with signature cocktails.
Follow the link for tickets and to register!! You don’t want to miss this…
Hey…we’re only two weeks away from catering this amazing event for SousSHE. I am beyond excited to be a part of such an amazing organization at its inception. Our motto at FiftySevenNorth is …’you can’t get full if your soul isn’t fed’. I live by that and do my best to fill my soul daily. This is a cause I can get behind and am proud to be connected to.
SousSHE began with an idea to connect with young women and girls through food.
Growing up we had women come into the community and introduce us to a world larger than where we lived. They did it through town halls, dinners, field trips and conversing with us.
As a young girl growing up in Chicago, in the projects that was a big deal. It set a foundation for us to mobilize that same energy and zest for life. I vowed to use my expertise in the field of food and social reform to reach as many as I could in the community. I reached out to my friends and family to implore they do the same in their field of work. Whether it be nursing, retail, or education we all have the same wants, needs and the desire to be heard.
We all have a story to tell and there is someone who needs and wants to hear it. I have talked to
women all across the country and one thing remains the same PEOPLE START TO HEAL WHEN THEY ARE HEARD.
SousSHE will now travel the Nation and the world communicating with women about their Aspirations and Inspirations. Giving one another the opportunity to learn through their Struggles, their Ownness, their Strength, their Superpowers and about being Empowered, being Dope, being Free, being Intentional and being Purposed.
There is strength in unity and we are responsible for our greatness and I want to be a part of you knowing that for yourself.
Join us at our summits, forums, brunches and dinners.
Join us in Aspiring To Inspire One Girl At A Time!!
We’re actively looking for Connoisseurs of all things Food, Wine, Art, Music and Love. There are several upcoming events we’ll be hosting and we’d like for you to be a part of that. Send an email with your name, business and title. I’d like to add you to our mailing list to interest you in several opportunities surrounding the Bay Area in the new year.
We are a Black Owned Catering and Event Company. We partner with many other businesses and organizations in an effort to promote the small business forum. Circulation of our dollars, knowledge and kick-back is pivotal in order for our community to thrive.
Saturdays In November Are For Brunch in Berkeley!!
Aspire To Inspire One Girl At A Time.
We’re sooooo excited for our first seasonal Sis, Let’s Do Brunch & Spill The Tea. Be ready to fellowship with black girls over some amazing food and tea. This will be a brunch centered around the lives, dreams and aspirations of young women.
We’ll welcome guest speakers who will share their journeys as an inspiration. Young women will tell of their aspirations and inspire us all. Then we spill all the tea…encourage the conversations, change the narrative and aspire to inspire one girl at a time. Not one to miss.
Join us November 18, 2017 in Berkeley California. If you’d like to sponsor some young women to be a part of the conversation contact the coordinator. Not one to miss. If you’d like to be a part of this event as a sponsor or guest speaker contact www.fiftysevennorth.com/contact
Get your tickets here. Your ticket includes comradeship with amazing black women in finance, art, service and philanthropy. A swag bag from SousSHE, a photo…catered brunch from @fiftysevennorth and a myriad of tea from @Teavana.