#food blogger

Turmeric Lemon Drink

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Shirt- Madewell|Trench-American Apparel (Similar)|Earrings- Madewell|Cap- Uniqlo

Jeans- Levi’s

Shoes- Nike (Similar)

Photography by. Bernadette Mira

My adoptive father surrounded the house I grew up in with photographs that he took throughout the years. I admired the rawness and shock that his photos invoked. When it comes to photography, I do have this pain that comes with it. I didn’t know that I would spend the rest of my life without them. I don’t have that family anymore that I grew up with. They aren’t the people who I thought they were and it has taken me a lot of time, but I have come to terms with that.

Even though that pain is there, I still enjoy taking photographs and capturing the human experience. One thing I find true that my adoptive father told me about photography in his most “arrogant stern voice” is, “It doesn’t matter what equipment you have. It all depends on the photographer and the story they want to tell.” That saying makes me frustrated. It’s almost as dumb as the saying, “There are no small parts, only small actors…” BUT it’s true. There are times when I get so hard on myself about not having the ‘best’ equipment or much of it. I mean, I  have been using the same camera for over ten years, which is a hand me down anyway. A Nikon D200, which is old as fuck.  I  grew up poor. Everything I have still and had are hand me downs. It makes me embarrassed yet, I will admit, I have produced some good images even with equipment that isn’t shiny and new.

As artists its easy to convince ourselves that we aren’t “good” enough and compare our work to other people’s’. It’s something I struggle with everyday, but I try to remember why I started taking photos. When I was 16, along with dancing, photography helped me capture the pain and sadness I was feeling then. I stopped when I started pursuing Musical Theatre, but once I opened up about being sexually abused to my adoptive family I started taking photos again to help me through the pain. That’s where I discovered cooking, food and product photography. As silly as it is, photography has saved me in some ways. So, in conclusion I will continue to take photos, even with the pain, even with shitty equipment, because it is a part of me. I’m not going to let that go.

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Turmeric Lemon Drink

(To heal colds and other remedies)

Serves 1

Ingredients

Juice from half of a lemon

1 cup of boiling water

1-3 turmeric ginger iced cubes

1/2 tsp. of turmeric 

5-8 thin slices of fresh ginger

1/2 tsp. of honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare turmeric ginger iced cubes the night before. Combine 1/2 tsp. of turmeric, 5-8 thin slices of ginger, and 1/2 cup-1 cup of water. Stir well and pour mixture into ice-cube tray. Should make about 5-7 cubes. Let them rest for 8 hours or overnight to freeze.
  2. In a kettle, boil 1 cup of water or more.
  3. Then add turmeric ice cubes, juice from half of a lemon, and honey into a heat proof mug.
  4. Once the water has boiled, pour the hot water over the ice cubes and watch them melt into the water. This should happen fairly quickly, about two minutes.
  5. After the ice cubes have melted, stir the mixture one more time then enjoy slowly or take it as a quick shot to help colds, sore throats, upset tummies and more.

 

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To my husband…

Today is my husband’s birthday. The most used sentence or thought that runs along the lines of, “I don’t know what I would do without you…” couldn’t be truer in our relationship. I honestly don’t know what I would do without him. He has gotten me through some tough moments in my life.

There are times when I think that he saved me from a bad situation when I was coping with a toxic family. He was the only one that took the time to understand me and genuinely cared about what I was going through. I have never met anyone else like that. Someone that is so kind and patient. He gave himself completely to me on the nights where I was curled up in ball on the bathroom floor contemplating suicide. He helped me out of that dark hole with his love and kindness. I will always be thankful for that.

So today is for him. Life can get in the way sometimes and it’s hard to stop and remember that we have loving people in our lives. It’s important to take the time to remember that. I have a loving husband and friend by my side for the rest of my life which is pretty amazing.

So, Happy Birthday my love. May this coming year bring you joy, growth and success, for you deserve it. Love always, your kitten.

Lemon Poppy-Seed Cake

By. Lady and Pups

Photography by. Bernadette Mira

Christmas Time is Here (Julia Child’s croissants with cranberry jam filling)

I will always remember that Christmas.

That time of year is back again and I can already feel the anxiety setting in. There are times when I can’t help but think about the past. Especially about the time I opened up to my adoptive father about being sexually abused as a child.

Christmas time when I was a younger was all that I waited for with every passing year. I remember decorating the house till every room was filled with some sort of tinsel or sparkling lights. I cherished every second of it. You couldn’t stop me from dancing to the Grinch soundtrack with The Who’s singing “Trim up the tree with Christmas fluff…” That time of year was magical for me. Over the years it unfortunately lost its sense of innocence. That Christmas when I told my father about being abused left me raw and alone. I will always remember that Christmas.

The week before Christmas I had to say goodbye to my husband. We were both celebrating the holiday with our families, me in Virginia and him in Florida. He was my boyfriend at the time, but I still found it difficult to leave him. Maybe it was because I knew that I could confined in him about being abused. As soon as I made it back to VA with my adoptive parents I felt this sense of gloom over the house. Before entering the house that I grew up in, I looked up at it and all the memories of being abused flooded in. How I stayed in that house for years, I still don’t know how.

When Christmas Day came along I kept on contemplating if I was going to tell my father or not. My mother who already knew and saw me get abused said, “It’s up to you Bernadette.” I had to build up my courage throughout the day until by 8 pm or so I sat my father down and told him.

The moment went by so quickly. All I remember is him saying a joke afterwards about me being abused and him getting me a wet wash cloth to wash away my tears. That’s how it was with them. They think by washing away the problems that they will magically disappear. That method never works.

Now, that I am estranged from them, I can’t help but feel that Christmas has to be perfect. It’s not healthy to think that way and I’m slowly working on it. Even though this year has been tough in so many ways politically, socially and personally,  I have a loving husband. I have a silly dog and a new family in my husband’s family. I have met new people who I can consider real friends. I know that 2018 will be better. I know this because I will keep on trying to live for me and not for the family I grew up with.

Julia Child’s Croissants

Volume Two of Mastering the Art of French Cooking 

By Julia Child and Simone Beck 

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 1/4 tsp. of yeast

3 tbsp. of warm water (100 degrees)

1 tsp. of sugar

Second half of recipe

1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp. of sugar

1 1/2 tsp. of salt

2/3 cup of warm milk

2 tbsp. of canola oil

1 3/4 sticks of chilled unsalted butter 

Cranberry Jam

Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. of nutmeg

Pinch of pepper and salt

1/2 tsp. of cinnamon

1/3 cup of fresh orange juice

1/2 cup of water

 

Croissant Recipe: Equivalent version of croissant recipe. Here is a video of the master herself making some croissants on the show the French Chef.

Directions for Cranberry Jam:

  1. Throughly wash the cranberries, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a medium size sauce pan, add all the ingredients and stir on medium to high heat until it starts to simmer.
  3. Once it comes to a simmer, turn down the heat between low and medium. Stirring frequently for 15 minutes or until the jam comes to the wrinkle stage.
  4. Once the jam has come to the wrinkle stage, take off the heat and cool for five minutes.
  5. Pour the jam mixture through a fine mesh sieve with a glass bowl underneath to catch the jam. Do this with a spoon and patience. This should take about 10 minutes to get all the mixture through.
  6. Cool the jam in a glass jar and leave in fridge until ready to use. Keeps up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Photography by. Bernadette Mira

I often wonder…

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Photography by. Bernadette Mira

I often wonder how people discover their “true calling”. Reading through Julia Child’s Life in Paris is fascinating and leaves me the question of how will I know what I would like to do as a career?  I mean Julia was in her late 30s if I remember correctly until she found her calling. Well, began to experiment with the idea of cooking. Perhaps, I am too picky when it comes to these things but I don’t want to be stuck doing something that I  don’t enjoy for years to appease others. I did that once, and I’m not going back there again (fingers crossed)!

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So, here I am. Spending most of the days carving out a schedule that wont leave me completely exhausted but filling it out with enough projects to leave me feeling productive. I have been playing with the idea of creating my own career, because being a young black woman in these times and let’s be honest ANY time, I have to create something meaningful for myself. I have learned through all the job interviews that no matter how talented I am that no one is going to give me the job I would ideally want because I am black. I am plunging in head first and fully going into the deep waters to discover myself.

I honestly have nothing to lose at this point. At the brink of living a world where everything seems to fall apart literally every week, I need to make the most of it while I can.

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Roasted Carrots and Potatoes with Hummus 

Serves 4

Ingredients 

Hummus

1 can of drained chickpeas 

1/4 cup of Tahini 

1/2 tsp. of paprika 

1/2 tsp. of cumin

1/2 tsp. of oregano 

1/8 tsp. of sea salt 

1/8 tsp. of black pepper

1/8 tsp. of lemon zest

juice from half of a lemon 

4 to 6 tbsp. of olive oil

extra oil for drizzling

Roasted vegetables 

4 to 5 medium size carrots 

1 medium size russet potato cut into half moons 

sea salt and pepper to season 

1 to 2 tbsp. of olive oil to coa

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F having a rack directly in the middle.

2. While the oven is preheating, throughly wash the vegetables and pat dry with a paper towel.

3. Then cut the stems/greens off the carrots and cut the potato into half moon shapes (diagonally).

4. Add parchment paper to the baking tray and add the vegetables to the tray while fully coating them in olive oil. Then season generously with salt and pepper.

5. Roast the vegetables to 30 to 45 minutes or until tender to the touch. Then let rest for five minutes and serve with hummus.

6. Prepare the hummus in a food processor. Add all the ingredients one by one and season to taste. Serve in a big bowl for easy reaching and sharing.

Note: If the hummus is too thick or dry, add water or olive oil 1 tsp. at a time until desired texture.

Enjoy…or as Julia would say, Bon appetite!

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Spicy Grilled Sriracha Corn

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Photography by. Steven Meisel(Top) and Bernadette Mira(Bottom)

Tomorrow is 4th of July and I am looking forward to relaxing and celebrating with delicious food. These two lovely ladies Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington photographed by the brilliant Steven Meisel, inspired me to create a dish that any person would enjoy for this 4th of July.

Naomi and Christy are definitely legends in the model world and are rightly so. They both give such expression and life into the photos they have modeled for. It was exciting to see the work that they both have done and being inspired by them.

By the looks of these two women, it’s time to stop with the chit-chat and munch down on something spicy, sweet, salty, AND OH SO butterlicious!! So, here we go! This 4th of July I introduce you to…

Spicy Grilled Sriracha Corn

Serves 2

Ingredients

Two medium size ears of corn

Sauce-

2-3 Tbsp. of Sriracha

1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. of black peppercorn

1/2 tsp. of red chili pepper flakes

pinch of ground garlic

pinch of sea salt

Garlic Butter-

2 Tbsp. of good butter (Kerry Gold)

1 tsp. of finely chopped garlic

Extra:

Grill Pan or Standing Grill

Vegetable oil (for brushing corn)

Brushing utensil

Tongs

Cook’s Notes: Corn with the husk intact, is so much better than the plastic wrap ones.

Directions:

  1. Shuck corn.
  2. Prepare grill pan or standing grill.
  3. Bring grill to a medium heat and lightly brush with oil.
  4. While the grill is heating up, prepare the corn and spicy sauce.
  5. Lightly brush corn with vegetable oil on all sides and set aside on plate.
  6. In a small bowl whisk together sauce ingredients until well combined.
  7. Brush the corn with the spicy sauce till completely covered.
  8. By this time the grill pan should be hot. Add the corn to the grill pan.
  9. After five minutes, raise temperature to high heat so the corn can get grill marks.
  10. Grill the corn for 12-15 minutes. Periodically flip the corn on every side so each side gets grilled.
  11. While waiting for the corn to be done, mix up the garlic butter ingredients in a small bowl. Then set aside.
  12. Once the corn has finished, transfer the corn to a plate to serve with garlic butter on the side.

Enjoy and Happy 4th of July!

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Photo by. Bernadette Mira