Red Carpet Read: Soul Train Awards 2015

Red Carpet Read: Soul Train Awards 2015

The 28th annual Soul Train Music Awards aired this past weekend and with it came a bevy of fashion hits (and misses ) on the red carpet. Scroll down to see who I felt left the Vegas strip a winner and who got dealt a bad hand.

 

MC Lite in Byron Kars

MC Lite pulled off this classic lady look with a mixed media frock by Byron Lars.

 

Demetria McKinney in Maria Harper

Demetria McKinney looked stunning in this jewel toned purple gown, with a dramatic hood by Maria Harper.

 

R & B Songstress Shanice in a sassy little white beaded dress with a pop of red!

R & B Songstress Shanice in a sassy little white beaded dress with a pop of red!

 

The always fresh, Janelle Monae in her usual style staple: black-and-white

The always fresh, Janelle Monae in her usual style staple: black-and-white.

 

The ever-individual, (and fellow Texan) Erykah Badu wowed in this Stephane Rolland look.

The ever-individual, (and fellow Texan) Erykah Badu wowed in this Stephane Rolland look.

 

And now the misses…

This Balmain for H&M dress on Kat Graham was too revealing and did not fit well.

This Balmain for H&M dress on Kat Graham was too revealing and did not fit well.

 

Although, I love a good LBD, this one on Tisha Campbell needed some tailoring to flatter her shape.

Although, I love a good LBD, this one on Tisha Campbell looked boxy and needed some tailoring to flatter her curvy shape.

 

Although I love a risk taker this short suit designed and worn TaRhonda Jones was poorly tailored and didn't feel like an evening look for an awards show.

Although I love a risk taker this short suit designed and worn by TaRhonda Jones was poorly tailored and didn’t feel like an evening look for an awards show.

 

All Images Courtesy of Getty.

American Music Awards Red Carpet Read: The Black Dress Takes Center Stage

American Music Awards Red Carpet Read: The Black Dress Takes Center Stage

Although the sun was blazing down on the red carpet at this year’s American Music Awards, the fashion on display was experiencing a black out. From more modest silhouettes to sparkle and barely-there styles, some of the nights biggest stars proved that black is always the new black.

Take a look at my top picks below:

Meghan Trainor

Meghan Trainor

 

 

 

Ciara wearing Reem Acra

Ciara wearing Reem Acra

 

Christina Milian in Laquan Smith with Karrueche Tran

Christina Milian in Laquan Smith with Karrueche Tran

 

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner

All Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.

 

Lemon Scented Shrimp and Cheesy Grits Recipe

Lemon Scented Shrimp and Cheesy Grits Recipe

This recipe is one of my favorite ones to make, especially when I have guests. Being from the south, Grits were always a staple in the pantry and adding delicious plump and flavorful shrimp is a way to make this versatile grain shine. Enjoy a bowl with your family and loved ones this winter.

What You’ll Need:

1 lb Shrimp (I like 20-25.. meaning that you’ll get amount of shrimp per pound)

White Corn Grits, I like Bob’s Red Mill

1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped

1 Small Red Bell Pepper, chopped

2 Garlic Coves, chopped

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Cajun Seasoning

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Optional)

1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

1 Small Jalapeno Pepper (Optional)

3 tbsp Lemon Zest

2-3 tbsp Lemon Thyme

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Butter

1/4 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/4 cup Vegetable Broth

Heavy Cream

Juice of half a lemon

Sunny Side Up Eggs for topping (optional)

Peel and clean the shrimp and place in a medium size bowl. Sprinkle with all seasonings and half of the lemon zest and set aside. Chop onions,red pepper and jalapeno (if using) and saute with garlic in skillet with butter and olive oil for 2-3 minutes until all veggies are tender.

Add the shrimp and the lemon juice to the skillet and cook another 3-5 minutes, until they are pink and firm to touch. Add a splash of veggie broth and cream to the pan, about 2 tablespoons of each, this will end up making a nice sauce for the finished dish. I like to cut the heat off and cover the pan for the last minute and let the shrimp steam so they don’t over cook.

Cook Grits per package instructions with one adjustment. Instead of water use the veggie broth and add another splash of heavy cream. You can also do half the broth and half the cream depending on how much dairy you want to add. Using a mix of broth and cream instead of water not only adds flavor but gives the grits a much creamier texture. It will make them brown instead of white but gives the dish a more homemade and rustic look.

Once the liquid evaporates if the grits aren’t quite done, add more broth and cook another 1-2 minutes until they are smooth to taste. Add in the cheddar and additional lemon zest. I also add more salt and pepper during this step.

Now to build the finished product. I top each bowl with  sunny side up eggs, more lemon thyme and cheese so each bite is packed with flavor. If you have scallions on hand, they also add a nice fresh crunch.

 

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

My Vegetarian Chili Recipe

My Vegetarian Chili Recipe

With the cold weather quickly approaching NYC, I am pulling out some of my favorite winter comfort food recipes. Growing up my Dad made the BEST chili. When I moved away from home to go to college and became a vegetarian, I tried so many times to recreate the meatless version to no avail. It wasn’t until  I started trying different types of meat substitutes and the trail and error of different spice profiles that I finally reached my chili nirvana. This was confirmed when he tasted it and now requests it whenever I’m home for the holidays.
I make this so many times each winter season and get many requests for the recipe from my friends.. so here it is. I hope anyone who makes it feels the warmth, love and comfort it’s meant to bring with each and every bite.
Enjoy!
1 Bag of Morning Star Farms Veggie Ground Beef Crumbles (in grocery freezer section)
1 Small Yellow Diced Onion
2 tablespoons Chopped Garlic
1 Diced Jalapeno (remove seeds if you don’t want it too spicy)
1 Bay Leaf
1 Box Vegetable Broth
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (I like the ones seasoned with Oregano, Basil, Garlic)
Chili Powder
Onion Powder
Cumin
Chipotle Powder (optional)
Smoked Paprika
Salt
Pepper
Assorted toppings of your choice
Start by sauteing garlic, onions, and jalapeno on medium heat in olive oil with salt and pepper about 2-3 minutes. Add the bay leaf and the veggie ground beef crumbles. Cook crumbles until they are browned about 4-5 minutes. Add both cans of diced tomatoes and add part of the box of veggie broth, about 2 cups. The ingredients should appear more like a soup so if it doesn’t, add more broth. At this point add in your first round of all seasonings, being very generous with chili powder,  cumin, and smoked paprika because these are what will give you that chili flavor. Be careful of the chipotle powder because it is very spicy. Cover and lower heat to simmer while stirring until broth has thickened and cooked into crumbles. About 20-25 minutes. I add seasonings again to taste. Because the meat is veggie, there’s no salt so you want to make sure there is enough added.
Once the crumbles are soft and not chewy in texture and you have a nice thick consistency and the deep red flavor from the chili powder, it is done. I like to add Fritos (I’m a Texan) or tortilla chips, sour cream and sharp cheddar to mine and top with scallions. But oyster or saltine crackers or cornbread are just as delish too.

 

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