Thug Kitchen: Vegan with attitude!

I have been out in the world exploring and finding new things to share with you out there. I am usually on the computer quite a few hours a day, working from home, doing other writing when all I can dream about is my GoddessDomestique. Even as I crochet and create new things I dream of taking time and writing to y’all about what is going on in my creative world.

However, I am going to tell you about someone else’s world. Now, the site I am going to show you is not exactly work appropriate, mainly because the owner of the site has a bit of a potty mouth. Honestly, he cusses like a sailor and I LOVE IT.

This site is what happens when you keep it vegan and real in the kitchen. I am talking about none other than Thug Kitchen. Think Samuel L. Jackson as a vegan and wanting to spread a little bit of that lifestyle to those who don’t know any better. At least that is the voice that I read his recipes with in my head.

I have introduced TK to most of my friends and family via facebook and am now proclaiming to the world. Now you don’t have to be vegan or thuggish to enjoy the special brand of humor, good health and “realness” that TK seeks to provide. But you do need a good sense of humor and a place to laugh out loud.

Try thug kitchen out for size. I think you will like what you find. And as TK would say, “Eat like you give a fuck”.

M.

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Crochet

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Crochet Newpaper Boy Hats

Hats that I made for my Etsy Store. It is so nice to crochet again.

I remember learning to crochet. I as 7 years old and was vastly interested in the things my mother was doing. She had just completed making beautiful blankets for each of her three little girls. I being the eldest and wanting to be able to do anything my mother could do, I asked her if I could learn from her how to do it.

How she decided to teach me was brilliant. Because I am left handed she didn’t try to teach me how to crochet in the right handed fashion. She sat me in front of her and had me mirror her movements. Correcting me as I went but soon I was creating long chains of stitches. And when I got bored of endless chains, I figured out how to crochet in a round. I remember the math coming to my brain rather easily.

But there have been gaping holes in my education. It took me 15 years to figure out how to crochet a basic granny square, took me 10 years to make a news boy hat. But I was making little dolls clothes and other kinds of hats and blankets for most of my time crocheting.  What is surprising is that i t would take me years to learn to read a pattern as I found it easier to just build what it was I was seeking to build.

So I told you that story to tell you that I started crocheting again. I am making things and am remembering how much I need to make things. So I ask, are you a maker? Do you see the things that you could make when you hold the materials in your hand? Do you seek to bring your ideas and creations into the world?

If you do then you will find inspiration here, crochet, cooking, home making and, other crafts will fill this blog. Tell me what kind of things you would like to see and hear about and I will be sure to add those as well.

And if you are not a maker then that is all right. You can certainly become a maker. But if that isn’t your thing you can always buy things from my new Etsy Store.

 

Happy Crafting!

Smoked Paprika and Greens revisited…

smoked paprika

Adding the taste of slowly smoked bacon is a shake away with this smoked paprika.

 I recently spent two weeks on what I could call  a fast but what most vegans would call  everyday food. Fresh squeezed juice and  quickly but gently cooked veggie soups were on  my menu during that time. What I found that I  missed the most was the flavor of pork,  specifically bacon and ham hocks in my slow  stewed greens.
What I was able to do was replace that flavor  with a spice and in the discovery of that spice I  learned to love it and use it whenever  appropriate to replace that flavor, smoked  paprika was the spice that saved my palate  from a fate worse than bland food.

I was originally turned on to the spice by none other than the great and mighty (giggle) Tim Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Workweek. I was browsing his blog and came across a recipe for eggs and thought it was genius, as the spice makes plain eggs whites worth eating. Here is a link:  http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2011/02/16/slow-carb-diet-seasoning/
So I was on this fast and missing my bacon when I remembered that one doesn’t need to add bacon for the flavor. What I did was get out the smoked paprika, some canned white beans, frozen kale and spinach and make this lovely soup:
Hearty Beans and Greens Soup
One bag or block of Frozen Spinach, defrosted
2 cups of kale
2 medium onions sliced
2 stalks of celery
1 can of white beans (drained and rinsed)
1 32 oz container of stock of choice
2 cloves garlic (to taste)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon of Smoked Paprika

Caramelize the onions first in the olive oil. You want them to be golden in color before you get started, so that you bring out the flavor and sweetness. So keep the heat at no higher than medium, you don’t want to rush this part.

Once the onions are ready to add the celery, garlic and, smoked paprika, let the new veggies get translucent.
Then add the kale, spinach and beans to the mixture and add all of your stock or water.
Taste for flavor adding more of anything that you think is needed, simmer for about 15-25 mins more, serve. Makes about 4-6 bowls depending on how hungry you and yours are.

The beans give the soup body and a heartier texture and the greens and onions really bring a robust flavor that southerners will recognize and enjoy.
This is also one of those soups that just gets better in the fridge as the flavors marry, if it lasts long enough to become left overs. A bit of crusty bread and you have the makings of a great dinner. Enjoy!

Perogies and Proposals

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Perogies with Brown Butter from The Brick Store

This is one of the best things you can have to eat on the square.

I have a thing for downtown Decatur, GA. Now for those who don’t know about Decatur. It is a fairly large city pressed up against Atlanta. There are old neighborhoods and a lot of history and it has the cutest little square.

On this cute little square is a group of restaurants and bars that serve everything from sushi, sandwiches, Irish breakfasts, and awesome beer. One of my favorite is The Brick Store. The inside of the place looks like a tavern in World of Warcraft. No it does. The door’s handle is an awesome wrought iron branch attached to a huge rough wooden door. The interior is on the dark side with exposed brick and a vibe that begs for beer in steins. There are two bars a circular one in the back and another one upstairs. The bars serve different things but it is all available when you order it wherever you are. The menus have leather covers and they look like someone hand cut a stamp to print them by hand. The beer list is long and very very interesting. There are things in there I would never be brave enough to drink but not much.

So there I am hanging out with my friend and we are in the mood for a snack. We order a bunch of appetizers: the pretzels, some beer battered chicken and perogies. The only real sin I committed was not having beer. But I was driving and didn’t want to indulge in more than the iced tea.

The appetizer perogies are so much richer and tastier than the entree version. Caramelized onions, crispy sage and pecans dot the plate and drizzled on all of it is the brown butter. This dish is complex in flavor and very satisfying in its ability to be enough. I should have had a salad.

So as I and my friend sauntered, wobbled from the restaurant we noticed a group of young adults (20 somethings) doing a bad YMCA rendition. We giggled to ourselves and moved on toward the car. Suddenly I realized that my friend was surrounded by the group of young people who turned out to be a group doing a scavenger hunt.

They took a picture of his cool tattoo and then demanded to be part of the fun. The little brunette in the batman shirt got on one knee and proposed. Lol. I said yes and got a bit of snickers from the group. We giggled away feeling lighter then we had when we went to the pub.

Pesto’s Past…

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basil

This is one of my basil plants this year. It’s variety is Sweet Basil. I also grew Cinnamon Basil as well.

I have a lot of food memories that inspire me to try new things and, cling to things that I love. Here is a little more about me that I am sure you thought you didn ‘t think you would learn but, as you get to know me I am sure you will learn that I don’t mind sharing, my plate, my life or, my experiences.

When I was eighteen I fell in love for the first time with a man much older than I. He had a very flexible schedule and, so I was able to visit him during the day when I graduated from high school early. I would go into town here in Atlanta, to his wonderfully beautiful apartment. It was well lit with natural light, spacious and very well decorated. When we first started dating he would make me wonderfully light lunches that were mainly big salads with mixed greens, vine ripened tomatoes, and sheep’s milk feta drizzled with a little olive oil, salt and vinegar of my choice.

One luncheon I went to my lover’s home and he was busy in the kitchen. There was the smell of basil, olive oil and, garlic. His kisses reeked of it. He was at his blender madly stuffing leaves of basil into it with splashes of olive oil. He even had a pot of water going with a box of penne ready for it. He asked me to drop in three handfuls of penne and to open a bottle of wine. He drained the penne and put it back in the pan and then proceeded to pour a  fair amount of this green stuff on our pasta and get to stirring and stirring. He then plated the mixture and added a topping of cheese. The pesto and pasta I had that day would become a staple and tradition for me.

Now in my mid thirties I grow my own basil for pesto. I also make pesto fresh when I want it and put a portion away to freeze for the winter.  I love being able to taste summer and, the Atlanta sunshine in my dishes. I have even come to make pesto sauce with pecans, walnuts and, cashews as well as the original pine nuts. I guess as it is one of the things in my life that reminds me that life isn’t just worth living, it is worth taking a moment to really focus on. For me food, drink and, awesome company are some of the things that I take time and build memories around.

I will put down my recipe for pesto and a list of things that I am known to with it. But please just use the ratios as guides and not laws. Remember that because  you are using a fresh herb you want to balance for taste and that it might be sharper or sweeter than the last batch you had. Oh and don’t just stick to basil and pinenuts, try spinach and walnuts, mint and cashews or whatever combination that you could come up with.

Pesto Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves (more or less to taste)
  • Salt and  pepper to taste

In a food processor you want to start with your pine nuts and chop them up a bit, add your basil, garlic, cheese and pulse to chop up. Then in a slow stream you want to add the olive oil. Texture is up to you,  tend to go for a bit of a courser sauce but, for some smoother is better.

If you are going to freeze it I would recommend not adding the cheese as it doesn’t really freeze that well.  When heating it up, add the cheese then.

Put on eggs, chicken and veggies for a nice fresh addition to flavor.
Enjoy!

M

Dappled Shade

I am not sure where this is but it is somewhere I would like to spend my hot summer after noon with a blanket a big book and a pitcher of iced tea with peaches in it. That is so beautiful.

Bill Chance

There are few things as beautiful as dappled sunlight meandering down through a grove of trees.

–Me, 1998

Even on the hottest, brightest, summer days an overhead canopy of old trees makes for shade and comfort.

The air is still and hot and innervated with the sounds of cicadas desperately trying to find their mate before they die, too soon. Their song is desperate – they have waited for over a decade in the dark, hard ground and now have only days in the sun. Their abandoned skins, dry and hard on the barks of trees, their gray blue dead bodies, spent, line the concrete paths.

Everyone has a grove of trees that brings back some sort of memory – you should revisit it and walk around. It looks different… the trees grow slowly, but they grow, the weeds are trimmed in a changing shape – like a slow wave…

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Dumplings, Curry and no Chicken….

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Veggie Curry Soup with Dumplings

Soup and Dumplings but no chicken… Still excellent!

I published two new guides on Snapguide today. One on how to make biscuits and another on making a veggie curry soup with dumplings. Why not Chicken and dumplings? Funny you should ask. Last night my roommate came home and told me some frightening news which can be found here.

Now stereotypes aside as a Southern, Black woman whose main meat source is chicken it really cuts into my protein intake.  I was first grossed out and upset. Now they are saying that one needs to be more mindful of kitchen cleanliness and so forth. And when working with chicken I try to maintain an area where there is only chicken and areas where everything else lives.  Now because of a shift in my own diet away from red meats in general and trying to eat more veggies and other good things from the earth I find myself at the same place I was with pork a while ago, mainly deciding to all but give it up.

So here I am facing a choice. I was going to make Chicken and Dumplings.  I was in the middle of making the dish when I decided not to include chicken.  Honestly, it was a difficult choice. What was difficult was what I was going to put those dumplings in. So I looked around my kitchen and the answer was staring me in the face.  I had bought some baby corn, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts for another dish but decided that a veggie curry wouldn’t be too bad.

So in a moment of Goddessness ™ broke out my Flavor Bible and did some thinking. Opened the cans, drained and let fly. What happened next was beautiful. Fluffy little pillows of dumplings, tender but still identifiable veggies and a broth that will only get better tomorrow. Now I did publish a Snapguide for this and the dumplings but I won’t assume that you have Snapguide.  However, if you want to get it, http://snapguide.com/.

Veggie Curry Soup with Dumplings

Dumplings

9 oz by weight or 2 cups All Purpose Flour
4 oz butter (out of the freezer cold)
6oz milk (1 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt

In a mixing bowl put in your dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder and mix with a fork.

Cut up your ice cold butter and cover over with flour mixture.

With your super clean hands squish the flour into the butter ( yes squish is a technical term. lol ). You want to end up with pieces no bigger than peas.

Add the milk slowly until the mixture is just moist.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly dusted counter top.

You want to roll out the dough and then fold in half and roll out again. Folding a total of 6 times. You do not want to over work your dough.

Wrap your dough in clear wrap and put in the fridge for an hour.

Reserve.

If you were to make biscuits you would continue thusly:

Roll out,  cut into favorite shape and slide into a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until golden.

Veggie Curry Soup

64 oz of chicken or veggie broth
2 medium Onions
2 large Celery Stalks with leaves
1 bell pepper worth of peppers ( I didn’t use bells I am growing banana peppers and cherry bomb peppers.)
1 small can of bamboo shoots
1 small can of  water chestnuts
1 can of baby corn
2 large carrots
Soy Sauce
Curry Powder or paste
1 hot pepper, seeded
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste
1 batch Biscuit Dough

Chop your veggies into fairly uniform sized pieces.

Heat a heavy bottomed pot 4 quarts or larger with olive oil. Once hot add carrot ( if using ) and onions. Cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the rest of the veggies and cook until mostly tender but not quite done.

Smother with the stock and seasonings. Tasting constantly to check the flavor. Simmer for half an hour or until the carrots are tender.

Bring the mix to a boil.

Drop Biscuit dough into the soup a tablespoon at a time.  Don’t over crowd  your pot. They tend to float when they are done.

Serve.

There are several things I like about this recipe.

1. If you wanted to add chicken or any other meat  you could. My short cut of choice is to use precooked meat. Why not save yourself time?
2. You can use this for company. To extend the recipe just keep adding more stock, veggies and meat to what you already have. Just don’t let the pot go empty.
3. On a dark and stormy night it is comfort food at it’s best.
4. The dumpling (biscuit) recipe scales up very well. And you can even half it for just a couple of biscuits.

Let me know what you think about this.

M.

Snapguides

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Picture of Pasta made with bacon and cheese.

Dinner edited by Instagram and Gimp. This was an awesome meal.

I created a two of Snapguides over the last couple of days and have been a bit overwhelmed with the positive response. Makes me want to make more. So now I am excited to try things that I have been reading. Tweeking other things and Oh YOUTUBE.

That is the thing that I haven’t touched yet. I created the channel but of course I haven’t created any content for it yet. I am still working on the scope of Goddess Domestique. I know the name sounds a little pretentious and like she(I) is a bit of a know it all or wants to be. But I think that a goddess or god, as the case may be, lurks in all of us.  For me the internet took me out of the book store dreaming about what I want and how I might do something and put me into thinking of an idea, researching it when it wouldn’t let me sleep, planning and then finally executing it. I have made ren faire costumes and new clothes out of old clothes, learned to make washing powder for my clothes that doesn’t upset my roommates super sensitive skin and leaves my whites bright all because of a whim and the internet.

So this is my way of giving back a little to that spirit of sharing what I have to give and putting it out there for someone to find and be inspired and encouraged by.  So to start I think I should just get in there with a tutorial about something.  What could it be about?  Well you might find a snapguide about to go with the video when I figure out what I am going to wear on camera.  Should I just go tee and jeans or go all out with the skirt and heels?  Well a goddess, a true Goddess, is a woman who can do what she wants whenever so.  LOL, I will know what I am wearing about an hour or so before you do.

I am also really excited  in general. I mean I am going to have to work on the ‘set’ and figure out how much more light I will need and all kinds of technical stuff that I have no idea about. And right now I don’t have a boom mic so sound might be an issue.  I am totally on a tread-string budget so I will be working on those equipment issues later.  So being that I am committed to learning about this process and improving over time I figure, what the hell just get out there and do and the rest will come later.

While I am at it. I am still working on graphics and such. Trying to find some free music and  find my video editing software. I think I have something on the Windows 7 laptop. Yes, I am thinking aloud or typing…whatever. You are peering into my little mind.  Like it?

Oh and by the way, if you don’t have Snapguide get it.  I found this chef who simply calls himself Fred and he can cook. The photos of his food makes me want to eat my phone.  He is so good that when I cook the things he makes guides of and takes a picture of it I still want to eat my phone.

He has a snap guide for Carbonara that I am still snacking on (glad I made a double batch). I couldn’t get the Pancetta and I didn’t have any olive oil (left that at the store)and so had to use bacon and bacon fat. Yea, yeah I know you can’t go wrong with bacon fat but seriously it is better than anything I have ever had in a place here in Atlanta.  Check him out.

M.

Cleaning and Collards.

Image

First off I am Goddess Domestique. You could call me Dom for short but that might give people the wrong idea… or the right one.. depending on the circles. Anyway, I decided to start this online presence to have a soap box for me to stand on and spew all manner of positive thinking, awesome creations and cool things that I see and need to share. So with that said here I go.

I had been kicking around the idea of doing a cooking show, domestic goddess blog and today I just decided to stop thinking and start doing. There was nothing really standing in my way of doing what I do anyway and instead of not recording it for the masses to think about and chew on I made a conscience choice to pull out my IPod and see what could happen.

Now I have spent all of yesterday creating the accounts, editing my photo and coming up with a graphic idea (really just using stuff I had already made but hadn’t used) of what I wanted GD to look like.

I started with brown because well I am brown and chocolate is brown and flavor comes from browning and it really goes well with gold, pink or blue. All things you could see me in as we move this blog along.

Look, I want to get to know all of you and I want to also hear what you have to say.

You can find me on youtube, tumbler, snapguide and twitter with my id. GoddessDomestique.

Can’t wait to hear from you.