Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vegan "Hamburger" Helper

Hey scholars!

One food I miss from childhood is the cheesy, what I thought was good, cheesiness of hamburger helper. So, I just had to fulfill this craving and veganize it. It turned out to great. Check out what I came up with.  

1 package Beyond Meat beef crumbles
1 package Daiya cheezy mac 
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
pepper to taste
I like spicy food, so I added a bit of red pepper flakes

*The "cheeze" was creamy, so I omitted the milk

Cook pasta according to package
Cook meatless crumbles according to package
Drain pasta and pour over crumbles
Add cheeze and seasoning

**For a short cut, you may use the seasoning from the Hamburger Helper or Velveeta Skillet boxes. I think the cheese sauces are separate from the seasoning. **

Mix well. Dip up. Bowl it. Enjoy!!! 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Favorite Snacks: Lärabar

Hey scholars!

Like everyone else, I like to be able to grab something on the go. One of my favorite go-tos, are Lärabars. These bars come in a variety of flavors, all of which, have been really good. They are vegan, non-GMO, kosher, dairy, free, and gluten free. I may try and make these for myself, but why?!?!?!? 


Monday, May 29, 2017

Cherry Berry Kiwi Smoothie

Hey scholars!

This summer in Memphis is promising to be a scorcher!! While I am not looking forward to hot ass weather, I am excited about the fruits coming into season and the mixtures of smoothies, juices, and "ice creams" I can concoct. Today, to cool off, I chose to whip up a smoothie based on what was in the freezer with a few kiwis plucked from my shelves. Here is what I came up with.

1 cup of frozen dark sweet cherries
1 cup of Kroger frozen mandarin orange, pineapple, and papaya blend
1 cup frozen strawberries 
4 kiwis
2 cups coconut water

Blend. Pour. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Strawberry "Ice Cream"

Hey scholars!

I thought I was going to have a strawberry smoothie this morning, but due to me having only a little bit of milk, I had a bowl of "ice cream" instead. It is healthy, so why not?? Here is a simple recipe for this delicious meal or dessert. 


3 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk, but any nut milk will work) 

Blend. Put in bowl. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Spiked Milkshake

Hey scholars!

I may have mentioned a candy shop here in Memphis before, Sweet Noshings. Here you can indulge in nostalgic candies from childhood to different flavored popcorn, coffee, drinks, and ice cream. One of the items that stuck out to me is their homemade Jack Daniels Honey ice cream. I am not much of a drinker, but when I do partake in a drink, I prefer Jack Daniels whiskey. This ice cream is nearly perfect, the only problem.... it is not vegan. So, of course, I had to veganize it. Here is what I used.


1/2 pint dairy free frozen dessert- Vanilla (I used Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple)
1 cup nut milk
As much Jack as you want ( I used about 2 cap fulls; early day tomorrow) 
*optional- frozen bananas (I will add these next time) 

Blend until smooth. Enjoy!!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Kiwi Melon Juice

Hey scholars!

This juice is something I whipped up because my refrigerator has been freezing my produce and rather than throw it out, I used what I could and hoped for the best. Here is what I came up with. 


1 small watermelon
13 kiwis
2 mangoes
coconut water

Wash and cut up the fruit. Run the juicer. Strain. Pour. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Summer TV Watch List

Hey scholars!

The school year is over! What a productive school year it was. I passed my written and oral comprehensive exams. My committee signed off on my dissertation prospectus and I presented to my department. I have employment for the summer as an African American history instructor and research assistant. And finally, I moved into my new apartment, which I absolutely love. Now that the school year is over, that means I can catch up on some television. Never has there ever been so much to watch on tv or through streaming services. It is impossible to watch everything or all of what interests me. However, there are some shows that I look forward to watching this summer. 

1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (season 3- Netflix)

2. Orange is the New Black (season 5- Netflix)

3. Grace and Frankie (season 3- Netflix)

4. Dear White People (season 1- Netflix)

5. Power (season 4- Starz)

6. House of Cards (season 4- Netflix)

7. Girlfriends Guide to Divorce (season 4- Bravo)

8. Queen of the South (season 2- USA)

9. Chewing Gum (seasons 1&2- Netflix)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tropical Sunrise Smoothie

Hey Scholars!

I have finally moved into my new place! This Memphis weather is beautiful and hot as hell. After taking a quick dip in the pool, I needed to hydrate something terrible. My go to for quick hydration is coconut water. Sometimes by itself, mostly combined with fruits and/or vegetables. As the summer nears, fruits like mango and papaya are my kitchen staples. I really did not feel like juicing, one because, I was about to go out to lunch, and two, I did not feel like going through the process. I did have time and feel up to throwing stuff in the blender. So here is what I came up with. 


1/3 bag of Kroger's fruit blend
1-2 cups of coconut water
2 mangoes 

Blend. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

Hey scholars!

Cravings. This week, I have been craving chocolate, so much chocolate. Last night, I needed a quick chocolate fix something terrible. I had the type of chocolate craving that would have made me irritable as hell if I decided to ignore it. Instead of indulging in junk, I wanted a smoothie. Last time, I made a chocolate covered strawberry smoothie. Rather than use strawberries, this time I tried a different berry. Growing up, I loved chocolate covered cherries, my abuela's favorite candy- they still are. A few days ago, I visited a candy shop with some friends. I saw some chocolate covered cherries and was inspired to make a similar smoothie. Quick, simple, delicious, and satisfying. Here is what I came up with. 


2 cups almond milk
1 cup frozen cherries
2.5 frozen bananas 
2 tbsp cacao powder 

Blend. Pour. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Waldorf Salad

Hey scholars!

When I was in Jacksonville a few months ago, I had dinner at a local bbq restaurant. Their version of a Waldorf Salad caught my attention. It was amazing. When I got home, I immediately went shopping to recreate this salad. Here is what I used:


Dole Southwest Salad Kit (toss out the dressing)
Baby spinach
Vidalia Onion dressing 

Assemble as you please. Enjoy! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Rise and Shine Juice

Hey scholars!

I like shopping at Whole Foods or should I say, Whole Paycheck, especially since some things, like figs, I can only find at this store. If I am on the road or out and about and need cold pressed juices, I pick up some here. One of my favorites is the Rise and Shine Juice. 

Since I can save money and make this myself, I decided to give it a try. OMG! This one is sooo much better!!


Fiji apples- 5 
Pineapple- 1 whole 
Mangoes- 3 mangoes
Red and green grapes- 1 bag of each
Ginger- generous size 

Run everything through the juicer. Strain. Pour. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Yellow Tropical Smoothie

Hey scholars!

This tropical smoothie is made of:

3 fresh bananas 
1 cup frozen pineapples  
1 cup frozen peaches 
1 cup toasted coconut milk

Blend. Pour. Enjoy! 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sinus Buster

Hey scholars!

Growing up in the Midwest, I have always has issues with allergies. Since moving to the South, they have gotten worse. This spring, my sinuses and allergies are doing the most. After doing some research, I found a recipe, a shot that can help alleviate symptoms. The ingredients are: 
1 tsp Garlic juice 
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp Pau d'arco powder
1 ounce Aloe Water
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp agave nectar (optional) 

Blend. Sip. Heal.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Vegan Tacos

Hey scholars!

Here is a simple, yet delicious taco recipe. 

Drain, rinse, and mix together black beans and corn (you can add taco seasoning to this mixture if you like)

Black bean and corn mixture (1 can of each) 
Homemade Guacamole (you can also used whatever brand you like) 
Homemade Salsa (you can also used whatever brand you like) 
Green onions 
Vegan cheddar cheese (I like the Daiya brand) 

I nix the taco seasoning because there is already so much flavor here!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice and Coconut Water

Hey scholars!

I love waking up to mornings where the sun is out and the weather is perfect, not too cool and not too warm. I needed a drink that would do this morning justice and nourish my soul at the same time. Sure, I could have come up with a thousand different combinations of fruits and vegetables, but today needed to be simple, yet effective. Here is what I came up with.


1 bag of Valencia oranges (not all oranges are juicable- not a word, but it is now; some oranges when juiced, taste bitter.)
2 cups of coconut water


I used my handheld manual citrus juicer that I found in the produce section. Using this instrument, I got about 2 cups of orange juice.

I then strained the juice because I do not like pulp in my juices. 

Pour in a jar and then top with coconut water.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

90s Nostalgia: Books from Childhood

Hey scholars!

I am packing my house to move in a couple of weeks. My books are taking the longest to pack. I have books from childhood in this house. This got me to thinking about the books that were crucial to my childhood.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry- Mildred D. Taylor- Although published in 1976, this book and the others in the series, were a big part of my childhood as I came to learn about the Black Freedom Struggle.

Goosebumps- R.L Stine; I had so many of these books growing up. Real talk, I still have several in my book collection. Some of my favorites include, Night of the Living Dummy, Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes, Say Cheese and Die, and Be Careful What You Wish For.

Addy Walker books from the American Girl Series- She is the first black American Girl Doll and was the only black American Girl Doll there was when I was growing up. Interesting enough, Addy Walker was born a slave, escaping the institution with her mother at the age of 9. While my white peers had a plethora of dolls to choose from, with different backgrounds, the only one who looked like me, the only one I wanted, was born a slave.

While in elementary school, I remember sitting with my mom and picking books from the Scholastic book catalog. The scholastic book fairs at school.

Best. Days. Ever.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Pop Culture: Words I Hate

Hey scholars!

The internet. I love it and I hate it. The reasons I hate it is because of the stupid trends, dumb videos, and annoying words that have been created and gone viral. What irritates me the most, are the words. The words I see often. The words I hear every damn day. The words I sometimes cannot define. The words I refuse to understand. The words I cannot escape because pop culture refuses to let them go. The words I hate although I love words. I hate these words. So what are they? Here is a short list of words I hate because of pop culture and the internet.   

1. Thot- Meaning that ho over there. Who gets to define and determine someone being a ho? Disagreeing with one's lifestyle choices does not give one the right to act as a judge.  

2. Fleek- Part of my hatred of this word comes from how pop culture treats black people and white people. This term was created by a young black woman. This term has been used by companies to promote their products, translating into millions of dollars. The woman who created this has not been compensated or recognized for this term. On the other hand, the young white man who does that Damn Daniel shit, has been recognized for it and has been compensated for it. The other part, I have been using on point for years and it has worked. I just hate this word. 

3. Bae- I am used to hearing how people from New Orleans pronounce baby and it comes out sounding like bae, I get that. Today's usage of abbreviated words just go hand in hand with text talk (i.e LOL and wyd?), you know, instant gratification and short attention spans. 

4. Basic (as in Basic Bitch)- I read the Urban Dictionary definition of this term. Nope. Basically, this word is dumb with regards to its reference to other people. 

5. Ratchet- It's a chickenhead, it's a's a ratchet. I cannot with these...adjectives?? Wait, isn't a ratchet a tool, not a person? But then again, aren't people called tools? What is a tool when referenced to a person?  

I'm sure this will be an ever-growing list... 

Travel Bucket List

Hey scholars, I am in the process of renewing my passport. I cannot believe it has been ten years since I got it. Thinking back to when I...