Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

I am so excited to be getting back into blogging with my first blog hop in .... well, a very long time. I barely remember how to do these anymore, but I will try my best!

The objective of this hop is to share a gardening tip, a recipe or both which gives me a great opportunity to share some of my vegan discoveries. A little over three years ago, my family and I decided to start following a plant based diet. It was the best decision ever. Our health improved dramatically; my husband's daily migraines all but went away and my daughter was able to get off of her three daily medications for allergies. Even my mother who recently began living with us was able to get off of her diabetes medication. On top of that, I have so much more energy and I'm not trying to sound conceited or anything, but I look great for a woman knocking on 40. I teach college and my students thought I was in my 20s.

Anyway, I actually enjoy cooking so much more now that I am vegan. I get to be so creative and try new flavors all the time. Not to say that it was always easy. In fact, shortly after giving up dairy, I quickly realized that I had been a cheese ADDICT. So I spent several months discovering the best ways to appease that addiction the plant-based way. Today, I am going to share my simple go-to cheese sauce that can be used in a variety of ways. I like to keep it on hand for a quick easy mac and cheese that the kids love. I add a green pepper or salsa to make it a nacho cheese dip. I add a little cornstarch and agar and then refrigerate to make it a slice-able cheese. It really is a foundation recipe that can be tweaked according to your own preferences. After you read the recipe, please check out my giveaway.

Recipe


Ingredients
  • 2 12oz boxes of Pasta
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 white or yellow onion quartered
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • A dash of liquid smoke
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions
Boil vegetables and cashews until soft. If you have a high speed blended like a Vitamix, you don't need to boil the cashews. I discovered once when I was out of cashews that they are actually optional. It tastes perfectly fine without them. Put all of the boiled vegetables in a blender and just a little pasta water. Add the nutritional yeast and liquid smoke. Blend until smooth and creamy like hot  melted cheese. Keep adding water until it gets to the perfect consistency. Do not add too much water. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Add other seasonings like paprika to your liking. Pour of pasta and you have vegan mac and cheese!
That is an hones to goodness picture of my mac and cheese. In the background is my vegan Popeyes Chicken. I'll put that recipe up on my website!

Giveaway Time

Today I am going to be giving away a copy of the first book in the Priscilla the Great series.


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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

“She looks like me…even the glasses” A Wrinkle in Time Review


Image result for a wrinkle in time
A Wrinkle in Time is visually STUNNING, emotional, and exquisitely crafted.

Period.

      I’ll be honest. I didn’t really want to see it. I had seen several bad reviews about the film and I was dreading watching a childhood favorite butchered. But those reviews were wrong. I absolutely loved this movie.

     Almost from the opening credits, A Wrinkle in Time had already brought me to tears. I was transported to my ten-year-old self staying up way too late at night reading that beloved book and starting my love affair with science fiction. I never saw myself in the books I liked to read. My eclectic choices in reading material from British literature to Sci-Fi all but guaranteed that I would never read about people who looked like me. My favorite novels always featured fragile white girls who needed to be saved or strong white girls who did the saving. And that was okay. I absolutely loved those stories. The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Tess of the D’ubervilles were some of my stories that shaped me into the woman I am today. They were also stories that a little black girl in a poor neighborhood weren’t supposed to read. They were also the reason why a little black girl from a poor neighborhood began writing stories. I wanted those same stories that touched me to feature characters that looked like me.

     What brought me to tears in A Wrinkle in Time might have had more to do with the message Ava DuVernay recorded that aired before the start of the film. Immediately, I thought of an interview she had on The View. In it a co-host asked her about changing the race of the main character, Meg. “In the book, Meg is white. But you made her biracial,” the host says. Next, Ava said something that completely changed my perspective. “Is she? Because when I read it, she looked like me.” For some reason, those words just touched me. For every book I have ever read, the characters have always been white unless it was explicitly stated otherwise. But why? I think it was because I was subconsciously programmed to think that only white characters had stories interesting enough to tell. That is changing.

     Seconds after Storm Reid as Meg Murray appeared on the screen, my 12-year-old biracial daughter leaned over to me and said, “She looks like me. Even the glasses.” I almost lost it. I had to get up and get popcorn so as not to cry in front of my children. Maybe, just maybe, if I had seen little girls that looked like me leading big budget, amazing films, I would have had the awareness and self-confidence necessary to read a book like A Wrinkle in Time and see the main character as a girl who looked like me.

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