Sweet Potato Wedges

Hello Lovely,

Ingredients

For the wedges

  • 2 sweet potato, cut into wedges
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp garlic and pepper seasoning
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  2. Grease a sheet pan or line with foil or parchment paper.

  3. Toss the wedges with the oil in a bowl or ziploc bag and allow to soak for about 10 minutes.

  4. Arrange the wedges on your sheet making sure than none overlap one another.

  5. Sprinkle seasonings over wedges and drain the remaining oil over the wedges before placing in the oven and baking for 35-40 minutes.

  6. Once the potatoes are done, garnish with parmesan cheese then put it back in the oven (with the oven off) for five minutes to allow the cheese to melt a little.

  7. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce and enjoy!

Apple Dutch Baby

Hello Lovely,

Try not to kill me. I went to Amsterdam and didn't eat a dutch pancake. I KNOW! How could I? I saw them at a street cafe but I had finally gotten my acid reflux in check and I just wasn't hungry at the time. The last thing I needed to do was force myself to eat just so I wouldn't feel like I was missing out.

So this recipe was kind of my way of making up for it. Please forgive me!

I had half an hour to kill before I needed to be at church for a run through before service when I decided to make this for breakfast. I wanted a pancake but not just any pancake so I settled on this. I really shouldn't say settle because making a dutch baby can seem like a huge deal to some people. But it's so easy to make! I took a less traditional route due to my time crunch, but it was so delicious! Like a warm apple pie you can actually eat for breakfast.

Apple Dutch Baby

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, salt, and ½ tsp. cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth.

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a 10” skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add apple and sprinkle with brown sugar and remaining ½ tsp. cinnamon. Cook, tossing often, until apple is coated and softened, about 4 minutes. 

*SAVE ON SUGAR AND CALORIES AND USE THE SYRUP YOU JUST CREATED TO SWEETEN YOUR DUTCH BABY* Push apple to center of skillet; pour batter over. Bake until pancake is puffed and golden brown around the edges and center is set but still custardy, 12–15 minutes.

Serve drizzled with honey or syrup. I used my new jar of honey I got from a gift shop outside of Windsor Castle. It's infused with whisky, smells great and it's super delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • ¾ cup whole milk, room temperature

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you try this recipe, I'd love for you share it with me on my social media accounts. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to interact with me. You can even comment on this post if you have any questions about the recipe. I love hearing from you guys!

How to Make the Most of Your Mental Health Day

How to Make the Most of Your Mental Health Day

Some people think taking a mental health day means staying at home doing nothing. If you’re feeling burned out, it can be tempting to use the day to stay in bed and catch up on shows and movies. But lounging around all day is more likely to leave you feeling lethargic than rejuvenated. So if you're looking for new ways to take a break, here's a few suggestions for how to make your next mental health day count. 

Read More

Weekend Diaries

Hello Lovely,

This week has been great. I’m still working on my patio furniture but I finished the bar. There are still somethings I want to do with it, but it’s functional now. I got my final grade for grad school and guess what? I aced my final course! I’m still awaiting official word from the university that I have graduated and I can’t wait to get my diploma in the mail. I also had fun with a friend of mine who visited from Toronto. We went salsa dancing and I went to a street party with my best friend Krista.

I was finally able to sleep better this week, but poor eating habits triggered my acid reflux so I’m currently nursing that. I also recently started reading the Qur’an, something I’ve wanted to do for years. So far it’s an interesting read.

Speaking of interesting reads, these are some of my favourite reads from around the internet this week:

·        Make chores fun with this app

·        This is one of my new favourite shows on Netflix.

·        These instagrammers know how to stay fit

·        I love her DIYs

·        I’ve got to have some of these doughnuts

·        These are some great organisation tips

How was your week? Did you do anything exciting on the weekend to celebrate or unwind?

The New Drink that Has Me Excited to Go to Starbucks

Hello Lovely,

I don't know if you've noticed, but internationally, Starbucks has a line of new drinks that's practically breaking the internet. (I"m still waiting to be able to order The Unicorn Frappuccino.) But there's a new drink that has me really excited to go to Starbucks.

The new Horchata Almondmilk Frappuccino® Blended Beverage is every lactose intolerant person's dream! Hands up everyone who hates being charged extra just for soy or almond milk? Starbucks' Horchata Frappuccino this is the first Frappuccino recipe that uses almond milk as the original "milk" ingredient. The best part? While the inspiration for the drink stems from a summer favourite, Starbucks' new Horchata Frappuccino is a permanent menu item.

The coffee giant's newest blended drink, the Horchata Frappuccino, is made with almond milk, cinnamon dolce syrup, coffee and ice. The treat is topped with whipped cream, caramel, and cinnamon and sugar sprinkles

So I'm not sure when this drink will hit us here in The Bahamas, but if it never comes, now that we know what the ingredients are we can just customise our order and have people think we're ordering something from the secret menu.

Which new Starbucks drink are you most excited about this summer? Share what you last ordered from Starbucks in the comment section below!

Follow on Pinterest for more food news, drink ideas, and beverage updates!

5 Tricks I Use to Save Money at The Food Store

Hello Lovely,

While I was in London something that really impressed me was the cost of groceries. It was probably why I didn't eat out as much. Lidl was within walking distance of my flat. It reminded me Aldi's, which I was happy to see is also in London. You have to bring your own bags, otherwise bags can cost 5P and up. But everything was cheap. I got desserts for 60-90P and enough groceries to cook for nearly 2 weeks for under £30. But when I got back home and had to restock my fridge, I was outraged to see my groceries come to over $30 for items I could check out in the express lane. I knew immediately that I was doing something wrong. Especially because I had to go back twice afterwards over the span of two weeks. So after giving it some thought, I realised I needed a better strategy for saving money at the food store. I put my strategy to the test and it worked! So here are the 5 tricks I use to save money at the food store.

1. Make a list based on meal plans

It may seem cheesy but I save more money when I make a list based on meals I plan on preparing. I look at recipes, look at which ingredients I already own, then write down the ones I need to buy. You can use pen and paper or your cellphone. I get extra organised by writing the name of the recipe and then the necessary ingredients underneath. How does this save money: Choose recipes that use the same ingredients so you won't have to buy too many different ingredients. Also choose recipes you would realistically make during that week. And once you have a plan it's easier to stay on target.

2. Use a Reusable Tote

While it may take some of the local packing boys some getting used it, there are many benefits to using a reusable tote bag. Not only is it better for the environment, but it helps to keep you on task because you can't buy what you can't tote home. Lately I made a vow to use my tote bags instead of plastic so I always carry two tote bags with me to the store (they're not that big) but I can fit $60 worth of groceries in those bags.

3. Wait for the price to drop

Just because something is in season doesn't mean the price will always be low. One week the price of strawberries were $5.99, I went back the next week and the price dropped to $3.99 (which let's face it is the cheapest it's going to get here). They're always changing the price of fresh produce so keep an eye out.

4. Don't do all of your shopping in one place.

I recently started shopping at Solomon's Fresh Market again because of the wider variety and comparable prices, but there are still some items that are considerably cheaper elsewhere like SuperValu and Meat Max. However, I would never buy fresh produce from Meat Max or any Chinese food store and I would never get berries from SuperValu because I can buy mixed berries at Fresh Market, much cheaper. So learn which store sells what at the best price and plan your best gas route.

5. Use your stamps

In the Bahamas, we don't really have coupons or rewards cards. But SuperValu stamps are a godsend. I enjoy collecting them and saving them until I have about $20 worth of stamps. There's something exhilirating about watching your total be cut in half. Some people are more extreme than I am and save $60 or more in stamps. I always keep an eye out for stamps on the ground in public and once found almost 12 stamps just lying on the ground. Also if you go to SuperValu on Sundays, you get double stamps!

BONUS TIP: Buy in Season: Have you ever noticed that strawberries are cheaper in the summer? When you buy what's in season, you buy food that's at the peak of its supply, and costs less to farmers and distribution companies to harvest and get to your grocery store. It may seem like common sense, but it's one of those things many of us ignore when we're shopping.

I hope my tips have helped! What kinds of tricks do you use to save money at the food store? Share your expertise in the comment section below!

10-Minute Strawberry Cobbler for One

Hello Lovely,

Have you ever had a craving for something sweet but couldn't decide what to eat? Or maybe it's too hot to bake something? Well summer is almost over but you do not want to miss out and simple yet cool summer treats. I love mug cakes and even bought some packets in Switzerland. I'll share on those a bit later because today it's all about this baby right here! It's moist, delicious, sweet and harvests all the flavours of summer in one bite! You've got to try this!

So instead of rushing out to the supermarket for something store-bought, this 10-minute single-serving strawberry cobbler recipe is the fastest way to satisfy your sweet tooth. And best of all, we’re guessing you have most of the ingredients already on hand. Don't forget to wash it down with this little number!


DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder.

2. Add the butter and cut it evenly into the flour mixture with a fork. Add the milk and stir until the mixture comes together. Set aside.

3. In a large microwave-safe mug, stir together strawberries and confectioners’ sugar. Pour the oat topping over the berries.

4. Microwave the cobbler until the topping is set, 1½ to 2 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm with whipped cream or your favourite ice cream flavour.

INGREDIENTS

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup instant oats

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

5 tablespoons milk (of any choice)

1⅓ cups chopped strawberries

¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

Whipped cream, for serving

5 Secrets for Speaking & Presenting Confidently

Hello Lovely,

How many of you hate public speaking? I remember as a kid my dad enrolled me in Toastmasters. I hated the programme. I wasn't a social kid so going to the meetings was torture, and to be honest, I didn't really learn much from going to them.

I didn't actually get good at public speaking until the beginning of my senior year in college. I was working on a research project with a team. We each had to take turns presenting the information at an on campus research symposium. I was so nervous. I watched my classmates fumble and forget parts, but when it was my turn, something about it just came natural to me. And my professor noticed. She was so impressed by my performance she made me give the same presentation about 3 more times in her classes to her students before administering surveys to gather more information. I say made because she was one of those professors you just couldn't say no to. 

After that I never had a problem speaking publicly again. But that doesn't mean that I don't still get nervous. I recently gave my final presentation for my graduate degree (that's right, I graduated, woohoo!) and I had the worst anxiety leading up to it. So today I'm sharing my tips and tricks for speaking and presenting confidently. It's okay to feel nervous before public speaking, but there are some really easy things you can do to move past that nervous feeling and rock that presentation!

1. You'll do a better job if you actually care about what you're talking about

I think one of the reasons I did so well back in college was because I cared about the information. It was a project I was emotionally invested in and I love psychology. I find it easy to talk to others about mental health and disorders, because I'm passionate about the topic. If you love what you're talking about, it'll be easier to talk about it.

2. Know what you need to say

Memorise the material as much as you can. Nothing is worse than constantly having to refer to your notes when speaking. If you want to speak and present confidently, you have to know the material. Be prepared for a Q&A if time allows. 

3. Practice really does make perfect

No one knocks it out of the park the first time, so keep practising. If you can, use friends and family as your practise audience. That way, you can get feedback on how to improve before the real thing.

4. Dress confidently

It definitely puts a pep in my step when I know I look good. I exude a level of confidence when I'm wearing something pretty. If I'm nervous about doing something new or speaking I plan an eye-catching outfit. First impressions are critical so if I look like I know what I'm talking about, it tends to make me feel more confident and capable.

5. Get to know your audience

If you are booked to speak at an event, always get the logistics of the audience before preparing your speech. You don't want to give a speech tailored for middle-aged adults to a room full of teenagers. I've seen this happen to many people. They think they can use the same powerpoint for everyone because it's the same topic, but the powerpoint ends up being way too long for the alotted time frame or simply out of touch. Based on the age group and other demographics of the audience, it may be more appropriate to include jokes or speak from a more faith-based approach.

BONUS TIP: If you can, bring someone you know and you're comfortable with. Their positive energy and support will help you get through the presentation

I hope these tips give you the confidence you need for the next time you have to do any kind of public speaking. Do you have any other tips or tricks? I'd love for you to share them in the comment section.

My Beach Bag Essentials

Hello Lovely,

This summer has been amazing. Unfortunately, I travelled so much and had so many loose ends to tie up for grad school, I didn’t really have time for the beach. Plans fell through with friends, but I refused to give up. I finally got to go to the beach last weekend and it was just what I needed. Four hours of splashing and girl talk is the perfect way for me to end my summer.  Many of you will be hitting the beach today so I wanted to share my favourite items to take to the beach with me. I carry/use these 6 items every time and I think we can all agree they’re a must have for everyone hitting the beach before summer ends.

The perfect beach bag

I love my new beach bag I got in Exuma. It was costly, but this bag holds up well against sand and water. And it’s large enough to hold everything I need to carry. Try to find something cost-effective that still suits your personality. Don’t put too much thought into it though. No one really cares about the bag, it’s what in it that counts.

Absorbent Beach Towel

I’ve actually had this towel since high school. My dad bought it for me during one of his trips. The best part? It doubles as a bag! It’s pretty cool using this as a bag, then drying off with it and turning it back into a bag.

Sunscreen

Not pictured, but sunscreen ismust. As black people we often think we don’t need sunscreen since our skin doesn’t burn as easily, but we’re actually at a higher risk for skin cancer. So take the time to use a waterproof sunscreen before you leave the house so you travel with less and can focus on diving right in.

A snazzy pair of shades

I don’t understand how people can lay on the beach without sunglasses. Everything is so bright and hot! I’m sure that damages your eyes or something. Either way, I think it makes me look cool 😉

Something to drink

For me I always have two options: a beer and water. The perfect place to enjoy a beer truly is the beach. This time I tried bud light margaritas. None of us liked them, but we don’t waste alcohol. And once we were done, we drank an entire bottle of water to fight dehydration. If you’re heading to the beach, you have to pack water to drink to stay hydrated.

Separate bottle of water

I always carry a jug of tap water to wash my feet off with before getting in my car. It decreases the amount of sand that ends up in my car as evidence that I went to the beach. It’s also great to get some of the salt off your skin before it dries and makes you itchy.

What are your must-have beach bag items? Books? Bluetooth speakers? Digital camera? Share your favourite items to take to the beach in the comment section below and don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin’, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more stories and quick tips!