Memphis has several farmer’s market during the week. I often get out on a Saturday morning, bright and early. Last Saturday I called my mom as I often do to see if she wants to go. She is a country girl by heart and loves fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farmer as my grandfather was a farmer. He farmed right here in the city of Memphis until the day he passed a way. I remember shelling peas, picking vegetables from the garden and being afraid to go down the rows of corn. As we got older and would visit our grandparents, you were required to take something back home to your parents. Something from the garden like a watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, or some canned good. My parents told me to never say no, just take it. I do the same with them now. I just take whatever they send home with me.
On my mom’s list was fresh peas and a cabbage. I wanted whatever fancied me. I like to be surprised and try new things. I also try to visit each table and buy something from a variety of farmers. They were ready for fall and wrapping up all the of summer fruits and veggies. I will be going back this weekend to grab a few more things to chop and freeze for the winter. I love the market feel.
It’s also time spent with my mom and afterwards we usually make a few more stops at different grocery stores or shopping just to see what we can find.
Fall was definitely in the air! I bought some gourds for decorations. I like the white pumpkins as well and just having the variety of pumpkins were cool.
Plenty of canned goods, peppers, baked pastries, natural cleaning supplies, pottery, and fresh flowers were available. Oh and I almost forgot the green apples are so good from one of the farmers. I have to go back and get those.
The first thing you take in when you walk through the door of Cafe 7/24 is the beautiful dark wood and then you suddenly look up and your breath is taken away by this huge, yet dainty, elegant chandelier. This was my third stop this week on the Memphis Black Restaurant Week 2017. It was created for numerous reasons and one was to expose all of Memphis to it’s diversity in the restaurant industry right here in our own amazing city. Well, I have discovered another jewel in downtown Memphis and it’s worth the trip.
I invited my brother out to spread the love this week and it was bustling with patrons from Memphis. Mr. Charles catfish platter is what I ordered and it was delicious. My brother ordered the Delta Burger on Texas Toast and it was also delicious. Food here is reasonably priced and the cocktail I chose was the CirocObama. Put your political preferences aside and order it. You’ll thank me later! I can’t wait to go back here for happy hour and more food. As a matter of fact, maybe today will be the day! It’s a great tourist spot.
This week is Memphis Black Restaurant Week 2017. I chose Sweet Potato Baby to start my week off. Sweet Potato Baby is owned and operated by executive Chef Aryen Moore-Alston, former 2014 competitor on Food Network Star. I ordered the Uptown Grill Cheese which consisted of bacon and a sweet onion relish. The combination of that with cheese was so delicious I savored every bite and I wish it never ended. There were three different type of fries and I chose the garlic parmesan fries. Included in this weeks lunch special (each restaurant participating has a two course lunch special and a three course dinner special for $25 this week) was the choice of a salad, soup, or dessert. I chose the Whipped Vanilla Dream Cake and it was a dream! You know it was the perfect sweet. What I mean by that is, it was not too sweet but right on the edge, just enough, perfect! It did not go over board. What I like about Memphis Black Restaurant you get the diversity of African American owned restaurants and they get the exposure they deserve. It’s a real economic boost that helps the city and the restaurants.
macaroni pasta (about 2 cups dry for four mini dishes)
Onion (1/2 cup or to your liking. My daughter doesn’t care for onions and manage to not get complaints with a 1/2 cup lol)
Casserole cheese (fine)
Jar of Chunky Garden Spaghetti sauce (now you see why it’s easy!) Plus veggies are in this sauce.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put your pasta on per directions on the bag.
Brown ground chuck, add in pepper to your desire, 1 tbsp of oregano and basil (depending on how much you like…a little of these two go a long way), 1 tsp of garlic or garlic salt. Drain. Remove from burner/ire.
Add sauce. Stir.
Add in macaroni. Stir.
Portion it out into mini back dishes. Top with cheese. Place the individual dishes on a baking sheet (I used my pizza pan). Bake for 20-25 minutes. Done!
You can a green veggie on the side or a salad and garlic toast.
This was suppose to be a recipe from Food Network, but I looked at everything that needed to go in there and I was thinking “Nope! I do not have time for all of that so I changed it. I have RA and Fibromyalgia for starters, and I was just not in the mood to do too much. So here is what I did. It looks nothing like the original recipe. I really went out on the fly.
1lb of dry navy beans
6 cups of chicken broth
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cup of fresh spinach or however much you would like! (frozen spinach-note it will add more water to your chili and dilute your chicken broth)
1 tsp of white pepper
1 1/2 cup of red bell peppers chopped (I already had some frozen in my fridge plus I thought it would bring color along with the spinach)
1/2 tsp of garlic salt
one package of chili seasoning ( I think I should have used two packs or at least a half of another pack)
The first thing I do is read the reviews of a recipes. I knew right away the problem with the way some people did their recipe. If you have dry beans soak them over night! They soak up liquid/water. If you try to soak then a few hours or not at all they will soak up your chicken broth and you will need to add so much more broth. And more than likely, people added water which dilute the seasoning and the chicken broth. Therefore, rendering their chili bland!
I seasoned and baked the chicken instead of pan searing it. I used 5 cups of chicken broth and beans to a pot and brought them to a boil and let them simmer for 45 minutes. I then added the chicken, the sixth cup of broth and packet of chilli seasoning. I simmered for another hour. I then added the spinach, red bell peppers and simmered another 20. ( you will warm it up over the next few days or freeze). It tastes delicious with shredded pepper jack cheese or mozzarella or whatever you like. We had garlic toast with ours. This was easy and you can take your time.It’s a good recipe for those of us who may not be able to use our hands to do so much cutting or standing for long periods of time. We ate it the first day, the second day and then gave some away. I had it for lunch after a few days later. I was thinking you could add other types of white beans, vegetables, but don’t forget to soak them and to add more broth. Letting it simmer down more because you don’t want it as a soup….or do you? I do have a plan to kick this recipe up a notch next time.
Imagine my surprise when I showed up to Court Square to get a feel for a group performing to potentially write a blog for them and the first thing I see are the ladies below. This is when I discovered this was a hair show with a theme to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital one of my favorite charities. My mom is retired from St. Jude and I spent many summers there as a child running around in the out patient department. I snapped as many pictures as I could and I got as much information as I could. So hold on to your roots…here we go!
The entire squad
The next group of students and young hair stylists were just as unique and creative. They were from Empire School of Beauty School.
The crowd was in total awe of the students’ creations from both teams. Empire walked away winners but, really both teams were winners. Anytime you lend your talent to support a charity how can you lose?
Some of the amazing vendors on display with their products and creations:
The link to their website: www.clutchclothingcollection.com You can follow them on Instagram @clutchseason and like them on Facebook Clutch Clothing Collection. Catch up with them this weekend, Friday at LOVE 7144 Winchester. No Cover Charge until 10 PM.
Her personality is just as vibrant and fierce as her display of accessories. Meet Jenni of J Chic Life Style. She’s a real “Style Therapist”. Keep up with Jenni on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @jchiclifestyle or www.jchiclife.style
What you want on a warm summer afternoon in Memphis, TN is Parker’s Water Ice. Thank goodness they were in Court Square! Strawberry lemonade please and thank you!
I walked over to her table and said “Ooo! Make Up Candy!” You can find Pink Powder Parlor online at PinkPowderParlor.com What a vast spectrum of pink from dainty roses to electric fuchsias! And many more colors!!!
So, I’m under the tent finishing up my Chicken on a Stick from Runway Grill, and I look up to see more hair models getting some Parker’s Water Ice.
I say to myself: “Is that? Yes it is honey.” Keith Turks from The Real Hairstylists of Memphis. Immediately I knew I was in for a slay. As I mentioned earlier, I had no idea what I was walking into.
Watch them work! I tried to pick a favorite model and hairstyle but it was impossible!
After getting my dance on in Court Square, because Keith Turks and models brought the beats, I decided now would be a good time for Cupcake Cutie. It’s only a few steps away from Court Square. Choose a a cupcake and pick an icing. I chose the lemon cupcake and strawberry icing.
One more vendor all the way from St.Louis, Brittany Raji. I am so glad I met her! @BeautyImpactAccesories on Instagram
My evening here concluded with the group I came to see,
Hothouse Gruv took us back, and way back with 90’s music. They came to show out with energy and a live wire performance! The dancers gave their all and talent was displayed in each member. It was great to end my evening as I headed to another even with a party on still on my mind.
Last but, definitely not least in any shape form or fashion is Stephanie Brown. She put this amazing show together and announced she will be joining Season 2 of The Real Hair Stylists of Memphis! Please stay in touch with Stephanie Brown by following her on Instagram @beautyonbeale, contacting her at Style Coach Forever and Stephanie Brown @stylecoachforever on Facebook. She is not just a Celebrity Hair Stylist. She’s a motivational speaker and so much more!