It’s been a few days now, and I’m still floating on cloud 9. I just wanted to take a second to thank the First Lady and President of the United States for welcoming me into their home a few nights ago for Michelle’s 50th birthday bash. I started the night off playing with Bey, then the President and First Lady so graciously invited us to stay for the party like we were part of the family. I am still in awe of how sincere and genuinely appreciative that they both were of us being there.
I was very pleased to meet so many people all the way from Bill Clinton (of course we talked about playing the saxophone together), and Paul McCartney and Rev Al Sharpton. I’m not one to be star struck, however, when I saw Stevie Wonder walk in the room, my knees buckled! Haha! I could barely make out a sentence except, “You’re my hero!” I guess that’s what happens when you meet someone you’ve wanted to play with your whole life, huh?
The most amazing part of the night was just being able to witness the over-flowing amount of love the President had for the First Lady. I’m just in complete awe.
Happy Birthday First Lady! You are such an inspiration and amazing role model!
With all my love,
Like the musician that I am, I put my improvising skills to the test last week in the kitchen when I decided to make stuffed peppers based off of Cooking Channel host, Bal Arneson’s stuffed pepper recipe (http://m.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/stuffed-peppers.html)
Instead of following her recipe to the T, I worked with what I had, subbed out some spices, and the brown rice for quinoa, and it came out incredibly!
Here it is:
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups roughly chopped mushrooms sautéed
4 med Yukon gold potatoes boiled then mashed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup spinach chopped
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
Pinch red chili flakes
1 tsp salt
4 bell peppers bottoms leveled off, tops cut off and seeds scooped out
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In the same pot that you mashed the potatoes in, stir in all the filling ingredients, and stuff the peppers to the brim. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 mins, until skin is wrinkly and tops golden.
You can improvise too!:
Try using any kind of rice, barley, or grain to stuff your peppers
Experiment with different spices
Add fresh herbs!
Chet Baker was keeping me company in the kitchen as I threw together a quick dinner. It seemed to work out perfectly as I was pairing a unique voice in the music with a unique ingredient to add to my cous cous.. pomegranate seeds! If you have not tried them, please do. They are perfect in the winter time, and add little pops of sweetness to any savory or sweet dish.
What you need:
1 cup Israeli cous cous
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cups kale chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
salt and pepper to taste
This one’s so simple. Ready in a matter of minutes. So press PLAY on the song below and go get started!
Cook cous cous according to directions with chicken stock. Meanwhile, in a pan heat oil over medium. Cook kale for 4-5 minutes or until it reaches desired tenderness. Add 1 tbsp of water at a time if pan becomes too dry. Once cous cous is done, stir it into kale, and add pomegranate seeds. Season to taste.
You can improvise:
Try adding a different fruit to your Cous Cous. (It could even be dried!)
Add different vegetables! (Mushrooms are lovely)
Experiment with different fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme work great!)
Marinated Skirt Steak
- 2 lb skirt steak
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 2 green onions roughly chopped
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Trim skirt steak of all membrane (this will make it tough when grilling). I recommend visiting your local butcher to get the best cut. In a large ziploc bag, marinate steak with all ingredients in refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Make sure your grill is really hot (600-700 degrees F). Cook for about 3 minutes on each side for med rare, 3.5-4 minutes for med. You can use a meat thermometer if you’d like. RARE: 120°F – 125°F; MED RARE: 125°F – 130°F; MEDIUM 130°F – 135°F. Let sit for at least 10 minutes! With a very sharp knife slice against the grain.
You can improvise:
- Slice steak and serve in fajitas or tacos (or use the left overs for this!)
- Try using this marinade on the skirt steak’s cousin, the flank steak
- If not using a grill use a very hot cast iron pan
Brussel Sprouts with dried cranberries and walnuts
- 1 lb brussel sprouts, core sliced off then sliced lengthwise into 3-4 pieces
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- handful crushed walnuts
In a medium pan heat olive oil over med. Add brussel sprouts. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sauté for 7-8 minutes or until brussel sprouts reach desired tenderness. Add water 1 tbsp at a time if pan becomes too dry. Stir in cranberries and walnuts. Serve.
You can improvise:
- add your favorite kind of nuts (pecans are yummy too!)
- Try a different dried fruit like blueberries or apricots!
Apple Pie Filling
Yield: 1 pie
3 lb Granny Smith apples peeled and cut into similar size slices
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
Stir all ingredients together. Layer in your favorite pie crust shell/homemade pie crust. Bake!
You can improvise:
- Try a different type of apple
- Add your favorite liquor instead of brandy. Experiment!
- Serve it in an apple crumb or turnover. You aren’t limited to a pie!
Happy New Year, everyone! I’m down in ATL at the moment spending time with my little cousins and family. Naturally, we had to get into a little smoothie making fun for breakfast. Now, my two little cousins are so picky.. Will not eat fruit, vegetables, or anything with a “weird” texture. You can imagine the kind of food in this house then :o.. haha. So, while I’m down here, my mission is to sneak some more nutrients in, without them knowing it 😉
Here goes nothin’ in Adi’s Kids Kitchen:
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries and pineapples
2 small bananas (or 1 medium)
juice of 1 grapefruit
2 tbsp plain greek yogurt plus a dollop for serving
BLEND until smooth.
And here’s the result (please take note of the Duck Dynasty pjs)
Look at that face! It was a success! Mission complete 😀
You can IMPROVISE on this recipe too:
Use any kind of frozen fruit you like.
Use orange juice instead of grapefruit.
Use a different flavor of greek yogurt (like vanilla).
Wishing you all good health, happiness, and love in 2014!