My Name.

I have built quite the following on facebook, here, and now in my community. Some see me as just my name. A unique name, and I always have to explain it, but assume I’m married because of the two last names. I had three at one point but that was a long time ago. I own my two. My maiden names. My family names.

I actually wanted to drop one due to my father. Our relationship is weird. Rocky but cordial. We are at this weird place where we are building but it’s still tense since his tact button is broken and his old views tend to come out a lot more than they should.

Ultimately, I chose to keep my name from his side. Not because it’s his, but because of my grandfather. The same reason I have my mom’s last name.

These names represent me in the sense of what great genes, and lessons I got from these men. I’ve heard some of the horror stories, and things that they did before me. The weird thing is, by the time I came along, they were different men. They were older, wiser, softer with authority. Since I was the first grandchild of both, it was made clear, I was to pass these lessons not only to my kids but younger cousins.

As I get older, and move into the new chapter of motherhood, these talks, memories, and “ah-ha” moments have kicked in full force. In some ways, I’m an awesome mom. I had a lot of people who helped me get to the point where we are, family and non family, but I also watched and learned from mistakes.

On the other hand, as an oldest grandchild, I’ve been slacking and I hope to change that. Not only for my sake, but my kids, and my cousins kids. It dawned on me as we continue to do family trees, and how difficult it is to know your history, if you don’t share, or just keep in touch. Both taught me that. Especially in the minority communities, not everything is written down, and keeping in touch is the next best thing.

Anywho, despite the strained relationship we have, I wear my last names proudly. I hope my kids wear theirs proudly too, despite their father. Even though a parent might be a jackass, the whole family may not be. They may have honor and teachings that shape you. A blood line of history that made you who you are.

I guess it saddens me that my kids will never know their Dad’s side due to stereotypes. He was damned from the beginning since he was mixed, and then marrying me, and having our kids made things worse. I don’t punish every Mormon I come across, but it still hurts knowing that they’ll never be accepted since they are half black. They may not have my last names, but I hope the wear their names proudly as we come upon them growing up to become adults.

As Wise One crosses the stage, I hope her great grandfathers look on with pride like I do. That their humble beginnings and making these families produced her. Their beliefs, lessons, humor, and honesty gave her the power she has now as she embarks on college life this fall.

I also hope they look on me as  I begin my journey of dreams and goals. That their talks and constant hard work shaped me into who I am today. Of course I don’t take away from my grandmothers and my mom, they all had a hand in raising me, but for some reason, that random talks with these men were lessons without me knowing it.

Slick ones they were.

As I work on things today, I grin at my crazy schedule, and Jill of all trades approach. In those two names, it’s one of many thing it has in common with each other. Humility, be grateful, hard working, being creative, and stretching a dollar to name a few others.

To daily success. You two men had a hand in mine.

~CSM~

My secret……

I finally have a minute to talk to you guys. I had Hyperdiva’s Bday party last night, which that will be a different post.

These secrets are kinda well know on my personal page, but I want to add them here.

I have actively begin to pursue my acting career. Singing up with Central Casting here in LA. Now for those of you who don’t know, it’s a casting agency that’s used for extras here in the Hollywood area. I used them a lot before I left California, but decided to go for it again.

I was also concerned because my eyelid never healed correctly from the cornea transplant. I’ll be honest, I really came close to giving up my dream career because looks are everything in the business. No matter how talented you may be, looks do play a role in advancement.

But I missed it. A lot. Each day that passed, I wanted my career. I think the moment it really hit home was the crew are almost adults now. I don’t have to worry about them as much, and they have their lives. I should have mine.

Here we are. I signed up, and will call daily to see about work and all I can say is watch for me on TV!

The second one, which I think I mentioned on here, is that I became an uber driver. Yeah…I have a love/hate relationship with this job. It lets me see parts of Southern California I would have never thought about, but it’s a true hustle to work for. One point I can say, is please, if you have a ride that’s 10 bucks or under…….tip your driver. We get what is left after fees, which can be 6-7 bucks. Not a lot.

I will be writing on both on here, because I’d had some really funny, weird, outrageous, and everything in between experiences with Uber.

I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I’m hoping to figure out to video option on this blasted blog. I’m really digging the video option for blogs. Keep a look out for that.

~CSM~

Eight Flavor Pound Cake…..Holy…..

It’s a weird time around here. Not in a bad way, just change. It’s the only constant in our lives right?

Here at Casa de CSM, we are changing again. Wise one will graduate in 71 days. We are running like crazied maniacs around here, signing FAFSA papers, deterring attention from the pending news of valedictorian and figuring out the new schedule.

Yeah, that last part.

Wise One and I will be attending the same community college for roughly 3 semesters. I’m finishing up, and she’s just starting.

Why am I telling you this on a baking post? Because it means schedules will change…..again. LOL. Gotta love that change right? Tonight, I’ll be taking a hard look at my schedule(work/uber/DS/school), and seeing where to shuffle posts around. This blog isn’t going anywhere! Two college students, trade school student, and dare I say it……middle school student.

Y’all pray for me!

On to that cake!

This pound cake was a staple in our family, and still is. My grandparents made it for my mom, uncle, and aunt. Then when my brother and I came along it was taught to us. “During the (civil rights) movement, this and fried chicken were packed on long trips with lemonade. These items wouldn’t parish on long trips”, my cooking lessons from my trio of parents always came with a history, math, or checking in talk. I still have them at the age of 35.

Note:the name of the cake is from the fact you are putting a pound of each of the main ingredients into the cake(butter, lard, sugar, and flour).

It’s a fattening cake, I’ll admit it. I decided to alter the recipe, since lard isn’t kosher.It actually came out just like I used lard. Since we have all kinds of readers, I’ll include both!

Now, one other thing I changed the flavors going into the cake. This were you have to be creative and skilled to pull this off. If not, it will be nasty. Seriously.


Here’s the recipe for a regular “Five Flavor Pound Cake”:

Now, you gotta understand. My Grandfather and Mom were from the south(Georgia and Virginia, respectfully). Grandmother is from Detroit, but my grandparents came up through the depression. In other words, counting calories or caring about fat intake was the lease of their worries. I want to try this out with olive oil in the next couple days and see how the difference is, if any.

I decided to tweak the recipe to reflect our lifestyle, and challenge my grandfather, LOL.

I did seven flavors. All of the fruity persuasion. I also decided to substitute the lard/crisco for real butter, so in theory, you have 2 pounds of butter, 1 pound of sugar and flour.

Eight Flavor Pound Cake

1 1/2 cup butter,softened

3 cups sugar

5 eggs, beatened

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon of each extract flavor: Raspberry, Banana, Strawberry, Coconut, Lemon, Vanilla, Orange, and Cherry.

Preheat at 325 degrees

Now, two things. The other half of the recipe is a glaze. I don’t do the glaze because the cake is sweet enough without it. Second, I posted this before but, I’m making a switch, so go with it! That’s the motto around here!

  1. Measure the milk into a liquid measuring cup. Add each extract into the milk. Set aside
  2. Mix Butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add one egg at a time, until mixed throughly.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder into another bowl.
  4. Add Flour, one cup at a time to butter bowl, and mix. Then add little of the milk mix at a time. Continue this method until all is mixed into one bowl.
  5. Spray coconut oil into your bundt cake pan. Make sure is greased good or the cake with stick.
  6. Bake at stated temperature for 1.5 hours or until a toothpick comes out clear.

If you want the glaze, in a saucepan, combine the water amount above, with the extract flavors, and 1/2 sugar. Stir overheat until sugar is dissolved, and pour over cooled cake once the consistency is a thick syrup.


Fattening yet beautiful cake. It’s made every now and again. Only cake that my crew doesn’t want icing on.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

~CSM~

 

My First Purim!

Hey Peeps!

OMG it’s been so long. I’ve been working, and finally bought a brand new phone and laptop to blog again! I also got this new gadget to hold my phone to give awesome video of entries during the week. I’m so excited!

Today, is Purim. As you guys know, I’m Jewish. Newly Jewish(thanks Ancestry.com, and family members who gave information to help out!), but I’m studying and learning daily. With that said, their are a lot of holy holidays, and this one is one of my favorites. Not to go into too much detail, it involves celebrating, eating, and dress up. I really like makes the baskets you give out, which leads into the post today!

Last year, I didn’t have to funds to participate in the festivities, and was bummed a little, but this year it’s on like Donkey Kong! I began to research where I could get supplies, and I needed, and the infamous Hamantaschen cookies.

These cookies are really cool, and the story behind them are interesting. I knew from last year I wanted to give a basket to Hyperdiva’s friend. She gave her one last year, so I decided to give a big one for her and her sister. Since then, my new client, Sassy Lady, is also Jewish. Since she’s a feisty 92 year old lady, I made her a slightly different basket, but one she should enjoy. A part of me is a little nervous giving them out, but I think everyone will enjoy them!


As I mentioned, I made Hamantaschen cookies from scratch. Its an essential part to the Purim gifts. They were so tasty last year, and I’m not gonna lie, I was a little intimidated, but I wanted to try, and want to embrace my roots as much as I do with my African roots.

Of course google let me know what to do. I hope one day my blog is as helpful as toriavey.com. Not only did I find hamantaschen cookie recipe, but I found two ways to make it, and five different recipes for the fillings. I kept it simple on the fillings.

Strawberry and Peach Apricot.

The dough was dairy free, which was great since dairy doesn’t fair well in our family. The only issue I had was the flour/water ratio. It’s something you have to play around with to get it just right to roll out. After that, the fun begins!

As you fold the cookies into the shape of triangles, you get a groove going and it goes by really quick. I baked two batches, twelve of each flavor. The crew liked them, so I’ll be baking more after I come back from going out to work. It’s been fun trying to learn more about my heritage and the foods that come with it.

Here’s a picture of Sassy Lady’s basket completed. It’s a surprise for her, so I hope she likes it. Hyperdiva has ran over in the darkness and delivered the basket to her friends. It’s a covert operation. You can’t be seen delivering the baskets or boxes you choose. Their mom text me saying ‘oh no, their dad is on their way to deliver her box’.


Hilarious.

To those who celebrate Purim, Happy Purim! For everyone else back east, stay safe through the blizzards. Out this way or anywhere, if you go out, stay safe, and tip your service people(including rideshares, like me! LOL). Have an awesome Saturday Night!

~CSM~

 

Tasty Tuesday Pt. 1: Thanksgiving Edition

Since Thanksgiving is today, I waited until today for a special edition of Tasty Tuesday!

One problem I have in my current place is lack of space. In Illinois, I ha a ton of space to bake and cook. Then mix drinks. Post it all and share with you guys. It’s a HUGE reason why the blogs slowed down. I thought hard on what I could do this year that was different but got dinner done quickly with a small space.

Crockpot! Why I didn’t think about this before? I mean how would one crockpot their turkey?

I’m glad you asked.

Last year, I marinaded my turkey in honey and orange marmalade. It was a hit, but being in Southern California, it gets too warm in here while cooking. Getting around some dishes aren’t possible, but the turkey…..it may work. I googled to see if anyone had tried it before.

Of course they did! I needed a bigger crockpot, which I was game for buying, because that’s my vice. LOL. The bigger crockpot gave more space to hold to the turkey and add my flavoring without it boiling over. After washing off the turkey, I placed it in the pot, and added my seasonings, and juices.

Now, you don’t have to add juices, but, with what I decided on it fit perfectly. Cutting a granny apple and naval orange, I placed it inside the turkey. I used apple orange pineapple juice for the juices to ad to the turkey,and seasoned with honey and garlic pepper.

One thing I want to stress is, to cook the turkey on high for two hours, and then on low for the reminder six hours.

I can smell the the turkey from over here. The smell you guys…….oh. my. glob. Between that, and the pies momhulk made last night……it smells awesome in here!

In part 2, coming later, I’ll post pictures, and tell you about what else we got on the menu!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~CSM~

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Spinach Spaghetti Bake……Huh?

Hey Peeps!

It’s Tasty Tuesday, and today was a hectic day indeed!

I had an IEP, last minute homework, laundry, and an interview to contend with. Along with all the normal stuff in between. No worries! Ya girl go this, and today was awesome! Ready for the dish? Let’s get into it!

My lovely cousin, Kendra, loves to post food recipes for days. Now most of the time, I like them, and keep reading, but this one caught my eye! It made my day getting this recipes, but you guys know me, I have to change something to make it my own……

The original recipe was called chicken spaghetti. It was perfect for today. You an make it up early, and cook later. It called for leftover chicken, but I didn’t have any, so I bought chicken breast cubed them, and used that. My recipes makes a huge casserole pan full. You can adjust how you want to lessen or double if needed.

Here’s my take on the recipe:

Chicken Spinach Spaghetti

2.5 pds of boneless skinless, cubed

2 jars four cheese Alfredo sauces

1 jar mushroom and green pepper spaghetti sauce

1 bag chopped spinach

1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese

2 boxes thin spaghetti

garlic pepper

1 Cucumber, peeled length wise

Cook spaghetti as directed, but break into smaller pieces. Drain and rinse.

In a pot, cook chicken cubes until they are white. Add spinach. Continue to cook in pot for ten minutes. Remove from heat. Add one jar of Alfredo sauce, half of the red sauce, and garlic pepper.

In a casserole dish, spray non stick spray into the pan. Place a layer of the spaghetti noodles, roughly half of what you cooked, into the dish. Then add you chicken mixture on top. Add the remaining layer of noodles.

On a cutting board, begin to peel the cucumber, length wise. Once you are to the seeds, take those long peels, and begin to layer them on top of the casserole. Lattice style. After you cover the dish, mix the remaining sauce and pour over the cucumbers. Top with the cheese. It should look like this:

20161114_170651

 

Real easy, prep is 20 minutes tops. You can freeze half, and eat the other. The crew loved it, and looks like I don’t have to cook one other night this week!

Until next week….enjoy!

~CSM

Halloween Party: Girl Scout Style

Being a Girl Scout Leader has challenged me in so many ways. Not really a bad thing. Actually a good thing. These girls keep me excited for Fridays, and on my toes.

This Friday was no different! For those who don’t know, Halloween is also Founder’s Day. Juilette Gordon Low was born on Halloween, so every year, depending on what level you are in Girl Scout, we celebrate her birthday in different ways. Since it fell on a Monday, we celebrated it on the Friday w had a meeting.

I have a multi age group (5-12) so this posed an interesting dilemma. It got my creative juices going on how do we celebrate both. Well oddly enough, the girls voted on “make up/special effects” for their ‘make your own badge’.

Now, you have to add on the diet restrictions in our troop too. I have two girls who are vegetarian, and four who are Jewish. Them having this party got you guys a blog!

 

We move to my zombie punch. Recreating my punch bowl from last year, I wanted to do have to same effect, but jazz up the punch. Problem: gummy worms are made from gelatin. Regular gelatin isn’t vegetarian or kosher. I racked my brain, and even posted on the facebook page about it. Then I see this at the store…..

Say Whaaaaa?????

A gelatin free dessert! I was having a “aaaaahhhhh” moment. You know the ones you see in cartoons with the light bulb. I never knew that was possible. I bought 4. 2 for the party, and 2 for my house!

The wheels were turning for sure. Of course I trolled the hell out of pinterest. I can’t take credit for everything! One idea that stuck with me was the snacks. Each snack I selected was made into monster body parts.

Jack o Lantern Quesadillas

These were easy to make. I called my coleader, and her friend over to help me prep. That hardest part was the cutting the shapes, which says a lot. Add cheese, broil for 8 minutes, and tada!

jol-quesadillas

Witches warts, Pumpkin Poo, Monster Scabs, and Spider Eggs

Peeps! This was the easiest part! Cups were filled with grapes(spider eggs), chocolate chips with cinnamon toast crunch(witch’s warts with monster scabs) and cheese puffs(pumpkin poo). 16 each, pre-made the night before.

party-snacks

Zombie Punch

Now, we had a malfunction, because what party doesn’t? It was ok, we made it work. I made the hand out of the jello and froze it. The punch itself was green juice and lemon lime soda. I had another bowl house the dry ice. It give the spooky illusion of a witches brew. The girls loved it!

halloween-blog

Price is Right: Halloween Edition

We got this foam board to decorate. Cups were filled with candy, expect for four. Each one of those had $5 gc to jamba juice. If you remember the wall punch game from price as right, people won money from the wall after punching in the tissue paper. Same concept, but everyone won at least candy. Hot gluing the cups to the board, we filled the cups with candy and topped them with tissue paper. Once done, it formed a pumpkin. The girls loved the game!

pumpkin-board1

As we set up for the party, the most expensive things were the supplies for the make up craft. Now I know why the entertainment industry is rich! As for the food, you can get everything from the dollar store, walmart, and things around your home.

Another Halloween in the books! I apologize for this post being so late, I’ve been so busy, but things are winding down a bit, so enjoy the post coming in!

~CSM~