Friday evening kicked off the first 2022 event for Black Women of Barksdale. We hosted our first ever 2022 Vision Board Party and it was truly a great time. The way covid numbers are spreading right now it was the perfect intimate group size. A smaller group size allowed us to have craft space, and fully engage throughout the evening.Read More
Last week was my daughter Jordyn’s fall break. The kids getting a week off for fall break here in Louisiana is easily one of my favorite parts of living here. We got no such thing growing up in suburban Illinois (boooo!) so we’re definitely taking advantage while we live here. This year we made a last minute decision to spend fall break 2021 in Dallas, TX. We were only there for 24 hours but it was 24 hours filled with fun.Read More
Goudaaaa! *Sung in Marshall Erickson’s voice* If you never watched the tv show “How I Met Your Mother” then you won’t get the gouda reference…sorry! In other news, you never knew how much you needed this Bacon & Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese in your life. The flavor from the caramelized bacon pieces and smoky flavors of the cheese are a match made in heaven. Not to mention this is a stovetop mac and cheese recipe which means easy and to the point.Read More
We made it y’all! We officially made it to the month of fall! Fall technically starts on September 22nd. However, I don’t need that type of negativity in my life so fall starts on September 1st in this household. Here is how my seasonal calendar works: Fall is from September 1st to October 31st. Christmas is from November 1st until December 25th. Yes, I said fall and then Christmas to describe the seasons. Now that this is established, let me help you get prepared for fall by sharing the details of this delicious breakfast Cinnamon Apple French Toast recipe.Read More
In 2019 we started a tradition of taking a road trip before the new school year starts. We went to Lafayette, LA in 2019 and explored the area while eating good food. We obviously weren’t able to plan one for 2020 due to pandemic reasons. This year our before school road trip 2021 landed us in the Frisco/Plano, TX area. It was the perfect family mini vacation spot. Especially for those of us with little ones still. Frisco, TX is about 3.5 hours away from us so it was the perfect distance for a mini road trip with a 3 year old and 7 year old.Read More
Back to school season is here and parents all over are rejoicing. Well, most parents. I’m one of the thousands of new moms who sent my kindergartener to school for the first time. It’s been over two weeks and I’m still adjusting to my new normal. With that said I’m quickly learning the importance of easy and quick dinner recipes. It seems like the days are flying by and there enough hours in the day. One of my family’s favorite meals is spaghetti. Then again, who doesn’t love a good hearty spaghetti meal? A lot of people think buying the pre-made spaghetti in jars is the only way to enjoy a quick spaghetti meal. But here I’m sharing a flavorful and healthier homemade spaghetti sauce recipe that’ll stop you from ever buying the pre-made stuff again.
One of the reasons I prefer making my own homemade spaghetti sauce is because I can control everything in it. From the amount of salt to the herbs and spices. I consistently make mine using ground turkey for a hearty meat sauce. I crumble my ground turkey in it because it saves time instead of making meatballs. (Be on the lookout for a homemade meatball recipe next week) However, although mine is always made with ground turkey this recipe can be made for vegans and vegetarians. Just eliminate the meat and everything else is perfect for your own homemade spaghetti sauce.
This sauce is the perfect sauce to freeze for future meals. Most of us don’t like cooking every night if we don’t have to so meals that can be frozen ahead of time are ideal. You will also figure out what your favorite seasoning combinations are in your sauce. Some people will prefer to smoked paprika to regular paprika or more Italian seasoning than others. The ingredient list I give you here is the ideal for my family and our own taste. I also give you the basics so you can adjust your homemade spaghetti sauce to your own liking. As I say in most of my recipe posts: add as much spices as you’d like. You only need to go light on your salt and sugar. Everything else is fair game and will keep your meal tasting delicious. Let’s go ahead and get started on this homemade spaghetti sauce!
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 lbs. Ground Turkey
- 33.5 oz. Tomato Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion
- 1 Medium Green Bell Pepper
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley or 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
- 2 tsp. Paprika
- 3 Tbsp. Sugar
- 2 tsp, Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
Heat a large pot on medium high heat. Add your tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and sauté your diced onions, garlic and green peppers for about 2-3 minutes.
Add your Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and chopped parsley to the sautéed vegetables. Mix well for another minute or two.
Push your sautéed vegetables to the side and add your ground meat to the center of the pot. Brown and break your meat up into small pieces. (Use a potato masher to make your life easier)
Add your sugar, salt, and pepper to the meat and veggie mixture. Mix together then add your carton on tomato sauce to the mixture. Mix until everything is well combined.
Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover your pot, and let the sauce cook down for 10-15 minutes. (This will be a great time to cook and drain your pasta)
Adjust your homemade spaghetti sauce with salt and/or pepper to your desired taste and enjoy!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and one of my absolute favorite Valentine’s Day desserts are chocolate covered strawberries. Chocolate plus strawberry equals a match made in heaven. It feels good not feeling too guilty about eating a dozen all by yourself. You know, since it’s fruit underneath the chocolate LOL.Read More
Happy 5 year anniversary to us! On this day five years ago my husband and I said “I do”. Here we are two baby girls later and still finding ways to connection with one another. We often talk about how well we work because we’re a team. With each passing day and year we are able to go to the drawing board and be better than we were before.
This year will consist of so many changes for our family. Great changes but plenty of them. The biggest change of all: waiting for our second baby girl to make her entrance into this world. Unfortunately, this is the first wedding anniversary we will spend apart. Considering we’re a military family we should be counting our blessings that this is the first anniversary we’re spending away from one another. But it doesn’t make it any easier. Especially when I’d love to simply be in the presence of my favorite human being.Read More
Jordyn and I traveled to California last week. My husband was in California for a month and a half for work. Jordyn and I met him there towards the end of his work commitment. We flew there and road tripped back with him to Montana. Going to California is always a good time because we get to see so many of our loved ones when we’re there. My father in law even flew into town from Florida for a few days so we could spend some much-needed time with him. Although Jordyn and I ended up catching colds the last week of the trip, we had an amazing time, and can’t wait to see everyone again.Read More
Happy Black history month! This year my family and I made the decision to celebrate more Black holidays. For example Juneteenth and Kwanzaa. This also means Black history month and finding ways to honor what this month is about. I sat down and came up with a personal list of ways to celebrate Black history month this year, and realized there are more than likely many more people wondering the exact same thing. This decision lead me to do this post and share with all of my readers.
It’s also important for everyone reading this post to understand you don’t have to be Black to celebrate Black holidays. You don’t have to be Black to learn Black history because Black history is American history. It’s no different than when people of all backgrounds and ethnicities celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc. (Although Mexican people don’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo like you’d think) However, when we celebrate days and/or holidays specifically dedicated to our own culture we take immense pride in it. Especially as Black people where so much of our history has been erased or silenced, it’s important for us to take this time to learn about and take pride in ourselves. Here are five ways you can celebrate Black History Month this year.
We’ve all received the very watered down white washed version of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks in grade school, but have you taken the time to really learn about these individuals and their fight in the struggle? They don’t even bother to teach us about the importance of individuals such as Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey, but this doesn’t mean we can’t learn about them on our own. I recommend each of you to learn, in detail, about a prominent black historical figure. You can even step it up a notch and challenge yourself to research the name and background of a Black historical figure you’ve never heard of before. In this day and age of technology these names are no longer hard to find. 🙂
This may seem trivial to some but there are many of us who understand the importance this simple task. It is important we support each other when we finally receive the movie roles and portrayals we deserve. It is important we see Black excellence in the form of actors, creators, directors, writers etc. Year after year we hear the argument of there not being enough roles for Black people in all areas of film so when we are in them it’s important we support them. I’m not talking about supporting any films with Black people in them (or written by them) either. Movie roles that stereotype type us or make us out to be less than who we are and what we are should never be supported in my opinion.
Look at the success of the Marvel movie, Black Panther, a year later. We were able to see ourselves as the Kings and Queens we know we are. See ourselves as the intelligent and thoughtful people we know we are. We simply saw ourselves. To continue to see ourselves we have to support Black film and film makers.
Black people may be a minority in population but we are the majority in spending. Our buying power is unbelievable but we tend to put our dollars into businesses and systems that don’t support us. Seems counter productive, right? This month, but preferably this year, buy at least one item from a Black owned business. I have a list in my phone of items I want to buy from small Black businesses and plan on buying most if not all of them by the end of this year. For my bank account and husband’s sake I won’t buy them all this month. HA! These are a few of the businesses on my “Black owned to buy” list: Hillman Bookstore, Mahogany Cheers, and African Ancestry. Go check them out!
I touched on this subject at the beginning of this piece. We need to celebrate Juneteenth the same way we celebrate the 4th of July. We need to take the time to learn about Black history the same way we learn other’s history. It is important we celebrate and remember our ancestors and their accomplishments by celebrating their lives. Which means celebrating the days that aren’t marked on the calendar. The same way we celebrate Dr. King we should celebrate brother Malcolm on his birthday. Make sure to mark your calendars for these important days and make it a tradition to so every year. It’ll pass down from generation to generation until it becomes the new norm.
We need to give back. It’s that simple yet we make it so much harder than it needs to be. You do not need to be rich to give back to your community. You need to be caring and determined. Giving back doesn’t always have monetary attachment to it. What God-given talent are you sharing in this life? If you are an artist, volunteer some time to teach children in your local community about art. If you’re good with numbers, teach someone who lacks such knowledge how to balance their finances etc. However, for those of you who prefer to donate money find local organizations that directly benefit a large number of Black people and their advancement. Even if it’s a $10 donation, it’s $10 that will directly benefit the community. I will personally be donating to one of Colin Kaepernick’s #10For10 charities.
*Here’s an added bonus for celebrating Black History Month*
If you have not gotten the opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. I highly recommend you do. It is such a transformative emotional rollercoaster that leaves you with the idea of exactly how magical we are as a people. The things we have been through as a people yet how we continue to fight and come out on top is nothing short of the magic that is Black people. The museum is 7 floors so be sure you wear your walking shoes and dedicate an entire day to seeing all of the exhibits. We can’t wait to go back and visit ourselves!