Have you ever wondered what happens when you find a gift card nearly a year old, book a reservation four weeks out, decide to take the day off, clear your hubby’s schedule, dress up a tad, and see what the food fuss is about? I’ll tell you what happens. What happens is the total elevation of ones […]
Source: Thank You, Prince
#TBT Happy 4th Anniversary to my amazing godchildren Rakia and Patrick. I love you all more than hot chocolate cake and a cold Coca-Cola!
More than 12 years ago a little, squeaky-voiced girl with a ponytail, a pastel ribbon and a love for all things Winnie the Pooh bounced into my life and impacted it more than she’ll ever know. She wanted me to help her find a job. She ended up helping me find so much more.
The next several years would prove difficult for her siblings and her as they lost their beautiful mother, Roxanne. Proving to be the perfect administrator through life and even in her legacy, at the urging of the squeaky-voiced girl, just prior to becoming ill, Roxanne asked my former husband and me to be godparents. We accepted, having no idea what the future had in store.
With wonderfully loving and overwhelmingly supportive grandparents (beautiful Granny Agnes:), and others who loved her (shout out to DeAndria and Desmond for being amazing siblings)…
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Who’s the next great American chef? Chances are it’s one of the uber-talented students from Birmingham’s Wenonah High School. On April 10th, students from the school’s Academy of Culinary Arts displayed their cooking skills to a crowd of educators, community leaders, family and friends as they competed in A Taste of Wind Creek’s “Ready. Set. Cook.” sponsored by Wind Creek Casino and Hotel and held at Innovation Depot. The winning prize? One thousand dollars donated to the school’s culinary arts program. The other winning prize? Well, that’s simple says the student’s culinary arts instructor Diann Pilgrim. “This event provides another opportunity for exposure for our students. It will show them that they can accept any challenge and succeed in it,” she said. And boy, did they succeed!
In a battle of the best, school seniors were pitted against juniors in a three-person team of chefs-in-training who raced the clock ala “Chopped” style to prepare a five-ingredient dessert which was a surprise to them just minutes before the one hour given to prepare the dish. There was sweat. There was panic. There were giggles. There was lots of prepping and even more taste-testing. In the end there were two amazing desserts which emerged from the teen food geniuses. Chef Brandon Thrash, culinary instructor at Wind Creek’s Atmore location coached the future chefs as needed while they prepared their dishes. He said this event was Wind Creek’s specific effort to focus on the educational component of culinary arts. “It’s important to give back to the state who gives us so much. We want these students to know they are capable of being successful in this industry starting now,” said Chef Brandon.
Somehow I was chosen to be a judge. I not only got to watch the action unfold up-close, but I was also able to be one of the first to taste the undeniably delicious finished products of Chocolate Mousse with Fried Banana and Caramel Syrup served up by the Grub Club, also known as the 11th Grade team, and the winning dish of Strawberry Mille Fuille with Basil Syrup from the 12th Grade team also known as 17 Flavors. The dishes prepared by the students could rival that of a seasoned expert any day.
While students hurriedly prepared their dishes under the watchful eye of the glaring media lights and cameras, and onlookers gazing from the outside of the glassed kitchen, the hundreds of guests in attendance were treated to a treat, for lack of a better phrase, by the renowned chefs of Wind Creek Casino. A Taste of Wind Creek not only placed a spotlight on the up-and-coming chefs of tomorrow, it also allowed the culinary arts scene right here in Alabama and right at Wind Creek’s casinos to shine. Guests feasted on foods from four stations including fried green tomato and prawn stack with crab cakes and brandy cocktail sauce, a (super-succulent) beef tenderloin carving station where the chimichurri sauce settled perfectly on the tender loin which was perched atop a warm roll and topped with microgreens, vanilla crème brûlée crisped to perfection with a surprise raspberry bottom, and shrimp and grits with crawfish tasso gravy and sausage from the hotel’s upscale FIRE Steak House. I was in foodie heaven! FIRE and I will meet again for sure.
Wind Creek is traveling across Alabama to promote the importance of workforce development and how vital it is to reach people at a young age to help develop their skills. Through a partnership with Birmingham Ed Foundation, Birmingham City Schools and Wind Creek, the Wenonah High School students were fortunate to be included on the tour and empowered for the future. “Wind Creek wants to offer more training and skills to better the industry. Being here with these students is very important to us,” said Chef Peter D. Andrea. Next stop for the Taste of Wind Creek Tour is May 3rd in Huntsville with a summer menu coming soon. If you see me in Huntsville please save a seat and a shrimp for me.
Recently, I had an opportunity to speak to single women and married couples at the Can You Relate Conference 2017. It was great for me too as my husband and I learned so much from the others. I spoke on the ABCs of Singlehood and thought I’d share a few tidbits of what God and a lot of mistakes in life afforded me to know.
As a newlywed of only three whole months, I realize I’ve been single in every decade of life. From my first high school heartbreak to all of college, to part of my 20s, to my divorce in my 30’s to my early 40s and now, finally I’m married again to my very best friend. With that, came a lot of opportunities, as I now like to call them, to see singlehood differently, realize the error of my (old) ways, work on fixing those things which had hindered me (like my sassy, quick-witted mouth), learn from those around me and get myself together. I, by no means, know all there is to know about singlehood, but let’s just say singlehood and I tangoed enough over time for me to at least figure out 26 nuggets to share with you. The most important of them all is that being single is a blessing, if you allow it to be.
Here’s 1-8. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!
- A-Attitude adjustments are a must through each season of singlehood. You won’t always like it, but that doesn’t have to affect who you are or how you see yourself.
- I would be dishonest, also known as a liar, if I painted being single as peaches and cream with a cherry on top. It’s not. With that said, there is a LOT about it which single people may not like. When those times arise, it’s important to keep attitudes in check as not to further delay the process and progress.
- B-Be not deceived by the myths of marriage…It’s not always fun. It doesn’t cure whatever was wrong before you said “I Do”. A slothful single woman can easily become a lazy married one. An angry single woman can easily become a married bitter wife. Marriage is WORK!!!! It’s more than about cuddling, cute selfies and hot sex.
- Reality shows, social media, other people’s marriage, possibly even one’s own first marriage might have painted a picture of marriage which simply isn’t real, or isn’t real all the time.
- C-Celebrate the milestones of others who are walking paths you desire to tread…weddings, anniversaries, new babies. (Even throw the celebrations yourself!)
- Wanna show God you trust Him? Do something for someone else in the very area you’re waiting on Him to do something for you.
- D-Do things now which will benefit you later…save money, protect your credit, balance your schedule and bank statements, manage your household duties, take care of yourself.
- E-Enjoy controlling your coming and going, your calendar, the remote, the thermostat and the radio.
- That really is a blessing!!! (Ask me how I know as I have to watch movies and sports sometimes when I’d rather watch Food Network and HGTV all the time.)
- F-Forgive any and everyone who needs to be forgiven, including yourself.
- Do this as often as needed.
- G-Get out of your head with the “by this age I shoulda” dates and age ranges which aren’t fair or feasible.
- God does NOT operate on your calendar, schedule, timeframe or deadline. And that’s a GOOD thing! The sooner that’s realized the better life will be.
- H-Heal from past hurts, self-inflicted and otherwise.
- You know what’s hurting you. Do something about it now. Get help for it so that you don’t run the risk of hurting that man God is preparing to find you. (If you think God is going to let your pain hurt a husband…well, let’s just say He loves him, and you too much for that…which may explain the delay in delivery of your beau, boo or bae.)
To be continued…
The show must go on, my loves. And it only gets BETTER!
Hear ye! Hear ye! You are currently in the midst of the intermission of a COLOSSAL come back story! Yes, sir. Yes, ma’am. You are. Yeah, you!
See, you thought the lights going out or coming back on to empty seats meant it was over. You thought because someone decided to get out of his or her row the show was not going to go on. You believed the closing of the curtain meant “The End.” Sike!
Surprise!!! It was only the beginning… a part two, an interlude, an intermezzo, a break, a reprieve, a respite, a scene change, a character shift, a cliff-hanger even. It’s a bunch of things, but it’s certainly not over.
So go right on and get back in position. Upgrade your props. Plan your after party. Print more tickets. Allow the Director to rearrange some plots. Allow the Director to rearrange some people. Refresh your face. Fire…
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Source: Hold On for Dear Life, Dear