Blog

Turkey Fig Jam

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!

  1. Take one pound of figs, any color I used the brown turkey figs because it’s what I had.20170917_075907
  2. Add a half cup of sugar. You could use more but my figs started secreting a bit so I didn’t use a lot.20170917_080353
  3. Put the figs and sugar in a nonstick pot.
  4. Let the sugar dissolve and the figs become juicy.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of water and 1/4c of lemon juice.2017-09-17-09-07-43
  6. When that comes to a boil, reduce the heat and add a sprig of rosemary(press the rosemary to release the oils)20170917_090620
  7. 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.20170917_091501

Grab some toast, cheese or whatever and slather it on!!

20170917_093914

I Thought It Was A Tiffany’s Box

20170624_203115

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.

 

The Hazel door is Hazel…Jamie, YES!!

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.

 

Date Night…Treat Yo Self

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.

20170624_205620
Pocket Yumminess
20170624_205657
Velvety Grits

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!!

Blackened Catfish w/ Collard Greens.

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.

Well done Hazel…well done.

 

CHEFS Gala 2017

 

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!!!

13502958_10154250683679844_2581174159839392617_o
CHEFS Gala 2016

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.FB_IMG_1496952229268

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

Supporting CHEFS

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 

IMG_20170609_064737_246
Smoked Mussels on Ink Cracker from Commonwealth San Francisco

 

 

supports programming beyond CHEFS through auctions and the support of San Francisco. 

 

 

An InSATIAble Plate

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…

An Insatiable Plate (10)

Advertisements

SousSHE & FiftySevenNorth

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.

There are still tickets available. You can register here and more importantly donate here

Coffee& Me (1)

Here’s the menu we for Sis, Let’s Do Brunch & Spill The Tea

DESSERT (1)

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!!

FiftySevenNorth Presents…All Black Everything

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.

PP
Brunch, Tea and Talk
NewSOus1
Connoisseurs Of All Things Black

 

Sis, Let’s Do Brunch & Spill The Tea

WHO’S BRUNCHIN WITH US AND OUR GIRLS?!!

 

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

 
Catered by Fifty Seven North
Minimum Age 13 years old

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.

We can’t wait to see you in November!

Culinary Consulting Too

What She Does

As a Culinary Consultant and Personal Chef I provide an expertise in the strengths you’ve developed in your business and some of the weaknesses that have crept in. I work as an advocate for you. My mission is to observe, evaluate and optimize the performance of your organization.  I specialize in institutional cooking settings and as intimate as catering to the individual needs of two clients. 

The objective is to minimize risks and costs. Bringing someone in who is objective to closely monitor where you’re losing costs, time and especially credibility.


Kitchen Roles Are Pivotal

Take a look at your kitchen. Are the roles in your kitchen properly positioned?  Is there an advocate in the kitchen that isn’t being utilized? Will you invest your time or money into a futile situation based on ‘I’ve known them a long time?’

There’s a misconception that there has to be ‘tiers’ in the kitchen…i.e. Executive, Sous, Lead etc. That works, if it works. Not all kitchens are able to function that way. Knowing what works and does not is imperative. How do you minimize the risks of losing time and money?

If I had a facility that catered to 250 people I’d operate it differently than I would a restaurant that seated thirty at a time. A seasoned and experienced Chef knows their role and would assess if the kitchen needed a Sous, Lead, Pastry, Prep…etc. If you have a small kitchen those roles are minimized or obsolete at best. In a facility that has Managers, Dietitians, Aides, Chefs, Leads and so on and so forth… you need to do an assessment to make sure those roles are properly placed.

A Sous Chef for instance bears most if not all the responsibility in the kitchen.  Ranging from disciplining, training, staffing, changes and stepping in when the there’s a gap in the flow of the kitchen.  It’s not just a title it’s one of the most substantial roles in the kitchen.  The question remains, are they needed? Are there enough capable staff equipped with the knowledge as a Sous Chef? If so, the responsibilities can and should be extended to your staff.

A culinary consultant is not the answer to it all. They are however the person who will conduct an audit, assess the situation and call on other expert consultants if needed. A culinary consultant, one who is well versed is essentially the kitchen supervisor. They will improve the organization by collaborating on menu/recipe development, assist in the training the kitchen staff and implement the necessary guidelines to ensure a successful running kitchen.


What’s Up With the Turnovers?

The turnover rate in the hospitality sector topped 70 percent for the second consecutive year. There’s a lot of circumstances that some into play: temporary hires, students and wages.  In an ultra-competitive marketplace, knowing how to manage the potential gaps employee turnover can cause is a game-changer. From food safety to operational policies and procedures, risks lie around every corner.  There are four ways to mitigate employee turnover risks. 

Training, retraining and unlearning are key. When new employees come on board there should be a person or dojo(place of the way, how to)in place for them to learn from. If you have available staff training every new hire are they being trained properly? Has that individual been retrained in the past six weeks? Are you allowing unlearned behavior to carry on to the new employee? These are just a few of the circumstances that come into play when we ask ourselves why the turnover rate is so high.

Seeking the assistance of a Culinary Consultant ensures that you don’t lose focus from your core objectives. Creating a great atmosphere, delivering the best possible food and providing extraordinary customer service. It boosts moral in the kitchen and eventually mitigates turnover.


Great Management = Exceptional Staff

Upon delving into a kitchen, we start at the top. The basis to any well run organization are their leaders. Leaders aren’t always found in management, there are a few hidden gems amongst the staff. ‘The Advocate’ that goes unnoticed, but someone notices.

 

 

“Leadership styles differ, but at the core, good leaders make the people they are leading accomplish more than they otherwise would. The most effective leaders do this not through fear, intimidation or title, but rather by building consensus around a common goal.” – Tom Madine, CEO and president, Worldwide Express

Assurances for your employees, customers and partners should be advocating the philosophy of “Quality First”.  The quality of staff to employees, to food and to customers. The trickle down is effective.

 

Meal Prep Saturday?

It’s #SelfCareSaturday for me today. That entails  a little bit of self realization, self motivation…a little bit of selfishness, which is ok. I’ll get to that at a later time.  Today started out great. I was laying in bed wide awake at 5 a.m. wanting to get out. Before I could do that, I realized it was prep day and I was so excited. I had a great food week and couldn’t wait to put that into prep for the next four days. My meal prep has a four & three days run. I prep on Saturday morning for Saturday to Tuesday. Wednesday prep is for Wednesday to Friday. I do your standards of course the protein, carb and vegetable. I also make soups as a bonus or add on because soup and toast for dinner most times is just enough.


Getting back into the habit of: Waste Not Want Not, Be Ready So You Don’t Have To Get Ready or Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance(say that 5x’s fast). You feel me thought, right? Okay so here’s to being resourceful. I bought a couple of turkey breasts last week on sale. I  hadn’t planned on doing anything with them at the moment but I could not pass it up. I thought I could use at least one for sandwiches during the week.  So I just cooked them all.

I made an herbaceous rub and marinated them for  24hrs.


20170821_11023920170821_14161720170821_14162020170821_145321

I Cooked them off. Wrapped them individually, froze 3 and left one in the fridge for meal prep.


You know how you look in the fridge and think, “What else can I use?” That’s me all the time.  Since I do this a few times a month and often it’s too much, I made a mango salsa for citrus salmon over the weekend. Still had some leftover which I’ll use as a chutney for brunch tomorrow. It’s beginning to come together.


Removed the turkey from the fridge. Sliced it into 3 to 4oz portions. I didn’t salt the turkey. I knew the add-ons would provided the needed sweetness and saltiness.  It also allows you to turn your meals into the flavors you want. I opted for an island palate.


Since I went for the islands in this prep I used a rice pilaf I made yesterday that was a hit. It was fragrant and had all the seasonings from my jerk rub. If you’ve all made pilaf before you know there’s enough salt in there to satisfy an entire dish.

20170823_14421920170823_221311


My vegetable kinda fell through, in a good way.  The plan was to saute zucchini, that was the plan. In the process of doing that I loved the smell and taste so much I turned it into a soup(covers eyes). BRILLIANT!!!  Silky yumminess. I’m still eating on this.  I add soup to my meal prep every time. This go around I didn’t have to make one…aaayyyeee


We’re ready to prep. Herb turkey w/spicy mango salsa, Jamaican rice pilaf and steamed vegetables.  These food containers are perfectly portioned and reusable.

IMG_20170826_093653_019


They are easy to snap on and take off even after several wash cycles.

20170826_085447

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did making it. I’ll be back Wednesday morning with something new and yummier ;/ HA!!

Citrus Roasted Chicken

This is sooo delicious.  I mean it’s really, really good.

I had a young chicken thawing in the fridge for a couple of days.  I told the kids I would make them chicken and waffles pretty much all weekend. I just didn’t quite get to it. Thing is they’d rather have wings with their waffles, so I took the young bird for myself.

Roasted chicken with herbs and citrus sounded pretty good to me. I happen to have made a citrus rub earlier for salmon to marinate overnight. I had all these lemons, limes, oranges and the rub left over.  I was afraid that the chicken wouldn’t have much flavor since I was going to season it and immediately cook it. Ha…who am I kidding this rub was packed with flavor.

20170823_174546
Citrus Herb Rub

I had a mixture of oranges, lemons, limes and mandarins. I used a white onion too. It’s sweet and mild, paired well with the fruit without overwhelming it. It makes a beautiful sauce.


 

20170812_143557
Citrus

I cut the chicken in half and coated it with kosher salt.  Set it to the side. I rolled the fruit to extract as much flavor out of it as possible.  I cut the small fruit in half and squeezed the juice into a bowl. I quartered the oranges and put the juice in the bowl.


 

2017-08-23-16-17-17
This is all you need…oh and a roasting pan

I laid the juiced fruit pieces in the bottom of the glass roasting pan with the onions.  I then put the chicken that was completely dry  on top of the fruit and onions. I poured the juice on the chicken and coated it with the RUB!!!


 

2017-08-23-16-18-21
Over Season…Over Rub…Over Indulge

I roasted it for an hour total…10 min at 450° and 50 min at 350°. The aroma alone was BLAZING!! I covered it with foil after removing it from the oven for 10 more min.


 

20170823_173220


I served it over a jerk rice pilaf.  I will make this a million times over. I used my lemon pepper grind as a base for the rub. You can add all the herbs and spice you want to it. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Let chicken sit out and get close to room temp before putting it in the oven
  • Make sure chicken is dry to touch before putting the juice on
  • Use dry herbs in your rub
  • Use fresh herbs…i.e. lemon thyme to tuck in the chicken while cooking
  • Can marinate in a bag overnight with the citrus and rub(delicious either way)

 

Dairy Free Yogurt

I love yogurt. The taste, consistency and benefits. During the summer I can’t have it as much because my skin doesn’t react very well to it. Instead of buying ‘dairy-free’ I thought I’d try to make make some for a few days and store it.

I didn’t go looking for a recipe. I figured it’s close to a smoothie without the ice. It worked.

You want to get fruit not really high in water content otherwise you end up with a smoothie or chunky juice.

20170528_134355


 

DAIRY-FREE YOGURT

  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 8oz strawberries
  • 1 pint of blackberries
  • 1 mango(consistency)

Put the fruit in a blender and pulse/blend until the fruit holds the form of yogurt. There’s no need for fillers or ice. This was quick, easy and quite frankly my answer to cutting out dairy.

**Option of adding Benefiber powder or Chia Seeds. I didn’t use it in this one, but the option is there. **

**Wash your fruit…really well**

20170605_172532