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Archive for the 'BygFood' Category

Fried Green Tomatoes

Author: Tafari, Saturday, August 24th, 2013 at 8:34 PM Mindspill

Summer just isn't summer without fried green tomatoes! And what a perfect Saturday to have them. I went a little extra & made pesto with basil from my garden and added a little creamy brie to make this snack more decadent for a midday boo up.

Bygbaby Cooks: Couscous Salad

Author: Tafari, Saturday, July 20th, 2013 at 8:45 PM Mindspill

Ingredients: - 1 cup Pearl couscous - 1 cup Chicken stock - 1 cup White wine - ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil - ½ Small red onion diced - ½ Cucumber (diced) - ½ Red bell pepper (diced) - ¼ cup Green olives (diced) - 1 tsp Lemon zest - 1/8 tsp Cumin - 1/8 tsp Crushed chili flakes - Fresh dill (as desired) - Fresh basil (as desired) The Jump Off: In a saucepan, bring chicken broth, white wine, chili flakes, and cumin to a boil. Add couscous and boil for about 5-6 additional minutes covered.  The couscous will absorb the liquid and delicious flavors while cooking. After boiling remove from heat and allow the pot to sit covered for about 5 more minutes. Your couscous should be soft, so be sure to test after sitting. Alternative |  Follow the package cooking instructions…. I just tend to do my own thing. After the couscous has cooled, pour it into a large mixing bowl and add your olive oil and stir. Add all of your diced veggies & herbs to the bowl and toss well. Salt & pepper to taste and allow your salad to chill before serving. Perfect alone or with chicken or fish for a light meal. Mindspill

Bygbaby Cooks: Roasted Potatoes with Herbs de Provence

Author: Tafari, Monday, July 8th, 2013 at 8:27 PM Mindspill

Ingredients: - 2 pounds of fingerling potatoes - 1/2 tsp Sea salt - 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence - 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil The Jump Off: Preheat your oven to 350º Thoroughly wash then slice your potatoes in half or leave them whole if you're about that life. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl with the rest of your ingredients and mix well making sure to evenly coat. Pour your concoction into a 10-12" pan (non-stick, aluminum, cast iron, whatever) and place in the oven for 1 hour. Allow to cool a bit and serve. These multi-purpose potatoes are great to serve during brunches, lunches or interviews by the pool (had to make a Biggie reference). Enjoy!

Bygbaby Cooks: Spicy Pinto Beans

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 at 8:58 PM Mindspill

Pinto beans are my FAVORITE beans!!! Growing up beans were a constant in my diet and I grew to hate them. All beans. Pinto beans, lima beans, navy beans, baked beans, kidney beans, pork & beans.... YUCK.... A few years a go, I opened myself back up to beans and enjoy differently from how my momma prepared them, which usually involved a nasty looking ham hock bobbing up and down in a steaming pot. I think I just had a real bad flashback. The other day, I made a pot of pinto beans and called my momma to brag. She was like, OK, baby. Ingredients: - 1lb Dried Pinto Beans - 1lb Fresh Chorizo (Mexican sausage) - 1 Medium Yellow Onion (diced) - 1 Jalapeño (seeded and diced) - 1/2 Red Bell Pepper (diced) - 4 Garlic Cloves (minced) - 1 Tsp Cumin - Sea Salt - Fresh Cracked Black Pepper - 6 Cups Chicken Stock (Homemade or store-bought (if you're basic)) - 3 Tbsp Olive Oil Mindspill

The Jump Off: Soak your dried beans in water over night. Be sure to cover the beans fully. After soaking, drain and rinse your beans. You will notice they have softened a bit. Go through the beans and check for small rocks. Set beans aside to continue your prep. In a large heated pot (medium heat), add your olive oil & toss in your chorizo. Stir and break up the chorizo as it browns for about 3-5 minutes. The toss your veggies in and cook until the onions become translucent. Toss your beans into the browned chorizo and veggies and stir to coat the beans then add your chicken stock in. The six cups should cover all of the ingredients fully. Add your cumin and bring the pot to a good boil, which should take about 5-8 minutes. Once you have a boil, bring the heat down a bit and cover the pot for an hour making sure to stir occasionally. After an hour, uncover your pot and let the beans cook for another thirty minutes to thicken the beans a bit. Salt & pepper to taste. I garnished my beans with fresh scallions and served them with yellow rice and an avocado salad…

Bygbaby Cooks: Red Lentils With Ham

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at 9:03 PM Mindspill

Thought I'd make something for me to have a few days this week because I haven't felt like cooking much theses days. I got a few packs of pinto beans and a pack of red lentils. Needless to say, it will be a gassy week but it's all good! This recipe has a fair amount of prep work but it's totally worth the time to prepare this earthy hearty meal. And the Mid Eastern flavor is soooooo very delicious! Mindspill

Ingredients: - 3 Cups of Red Lentils - 8 Cups of Chicken Broth (homemade or store-bought (if you're basic)) - 1 Cup of Celery (diced) - 1 Cup of Carrots (diced) - 1 Large Onion (diced) - 1 Jalapeño (seeded and diced) - 4 Garlic Cloves (minced) - Small Piece of Ginger (minced) - 1/2 Lb Ham (diced & totally optional) - 2 Tsp Turmeric - 2 Tsp Paprika - 2 Tsp Cumin - 1 Tsp Za'atar - 4 Tbsp Olive Oil The Jump off: Soak your lentils in water for about an hour to soften then. After soaking, drain and rinse your lentils and set aside. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a heated pot. Once the oil is hot, toss in your ham & vegetables. Watch and Stir the mixture until vegetables sweat or at least until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Once the mix is set, toss in your drained lentils and stir. This will coat the lentils with flavor. Once mixed well, pour in your chicken broth. The lentils should be covered totally by the broth. Bring your lentils to a good boil then reduce your heat to about medium so that the lentils slow to a simmer for about 35 minutes. Leave your pot uncovered and stir the lentils occasionally. Now.... In a separate saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and stir in your spices. Let them mix well. This should take no longer than 1-2 minutes at the most. Then thoroughly stir the seasoned oil into your lentils. This will no doubt add a little more color to your dish. Salt & pepper to taste. I served my lentils over Basmati rice because I like rice with everything but these lentils can certainly stand by themselves!

Bygbaby Cooks: Bloody Good Martini

Author: Tafari, Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 9:10 PM Mindspill

Like a food nerd, I got excited when I went to the market & found blood oranges in the produce section. Blood oranges happen to be one of my favorite citrus fruits. Not too sweet, super juicy, and fun to look at. When you slice one open, you never know what you will see. The flesh of the fruit can range from dark orange to dark red. I was having company for dinner the other night and was going to keep it simple with wine but since I scored the blood oranges, I decided to have some fun and do martinis instead. Mindspill

Ingredients - 3 oz fresh blood orange juice - 3 oz Tanqueray Gin - 1 oz St Germain (elder flower liqueur) Add  your liquids to a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour the refreshing concoction into a chilled garnished martini glass and enjoy. This mix is enough for two drinks. If you’re in the market for a great citrus juicer, I HIGHLY recommend the Breville Citrus Press. I found one on eBay as a refurb a few years ago via Breville and it is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Man Woman & Child

Author: Tafari, Thursday, February 7th, 2013 at 11:15 AM Mindspill

And then there were three. Introducing Reginald Alexander Butler.... Photographing this precious baby boy was fairly easy and he cooperated without a fuss and for that, I was grateful... Babies seem to have their own agenda. At least when I encounter them. Congrats again Adrienne and Reggie! Mindspill Mindspill Mindspill

Bygbaby Cooks: Cumin Lime Carrots

Author: Tafari, Sunday, December 16th, 2012 at 4:48 PM Found these carrots on Pinterest earlier this year & they are one of my favorite things to snack on. Very easy to make & super savory. Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lb Peeled baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup Fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • Fresh pepper
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
The Jump Off: Preheat your oven to 350º. Add all of your wet ingredients and cumin to a bowl and mix until fully combined. Toss in the carrots and coat them. Season with a little fresh pepper and coarse sea salt to taste. Add crushed red pepper to taste. This bit of heat adds a nice counter punch to the sweetness from the carrots/honey & acidity of the lime. Add the coated carrots to a baking dish or oven proof pan being sure to add all of the remaining juice. Bake for 25 minutes or until tender. Toss carrots, garnish with cilantro, and scallions. Allow to cool and serve. Side note: The 1st few times that I made this, I had a lot of juice left over, I drained it and reduced it in a saute pan then poured the reduction back over the carrots. This added a very nice concentrated flavor punch!

Celebrating With Cake

Author: Tafari, Thursday, December 6th, 2012 at 7:21 PM Mindspill

People usually get happy at the thought of eating cake. Why though? Is it because cakes are comforting, decadent, stir great memories or is it simply because people just love CAKE? Last week, a friend informed me that she was retiring at the end of the month. It was both sad but happy news as she will be missed. After she broke the news, I promised that I would make her a cake for our next meeting. Last night, I made her and the rest of our group my super super delicious cream cheese pound cake. But this one had to be a little more special. After the cake was done and I popped it out of the pan & marveled at how awesome it looked.  The morning, I dusted it with some powdered sugar just because… There is nothing like a well dressed cake. I couldn’t wait to see the reaction of my friends upon presentation of the cake. It was all smiles from the room & it made me feel great to see others being excited and celebrating a wonderful person. Speaking of cake, one of my favorite cake rememories is when my mother made a yellow cake covered in apple jelly when I was probably 12 or 13 years old. My brother, sister and I destroyed that cake in less than 2 days. It was the bomb and I honestly think that it’s the best cake that I have ever had.

Bygbaby Cooks: Baby Bundts

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 at 7:21 PM Mindspill

To say that I’m obsessed with bundt cakes wouldn’t be an understatement by any means! Lately, I have been low-key dreaming about them. Totally random, I know but my momma kinda got me excited, then I stumbled upon a great recipe for a cream cheese pound cake and I freaked it out a little bit for my taste. Next thing you know, I’m making zebra bundts (example) and the experimentation into baked delights took off. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my friends and family were raving about my new found skills/obsession. Pictured above is one of my small cream cheese zebra bundts drizzled with a dark chocolate Kahlua ganache with a little powdered sugar. Well, I gotta go, time for me to enjoy another slice!

Bygbaby Cooks: Potato, Leek & Olive Frittata

Author: Tafari, Monday, November 19th, 2012 at 11:45 AM Mindspill

Who doesn't love a good savory brunch dish??? Last week, I whipped this up and while it took several steps to prepare, it was worth EVERY moment & it was enjoyed by all. Ingredients - 2 Leek stalks thinly sliced - 4 Yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), unpeeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (using a mandolin will save you time and give you a uniform thickness) - 6 Large eggs, at room temperature - 6 Cloves garlic, chopped - ¼ Cup of kalamata olives coarsely chopped - 1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley - 3/4 Cup or crumbled feta The Jump Off Heat 3 tbsps of olive oil over medium-high heat in a 12” nonstick skillet. Add the potatoes and cook to until softened and slightly browned. Add onions to the potatoes until they become soft, about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/4 cup water and cover the skillet & reduce the heat to medium-low and cook about 5 minutes. Put the potato & leek mixture into a large bowl and cool (keep at room temperature). Combine the eggs, garlic, olives, and parsley, in another large bowl. Fold in the cheese and the cooled potato mixture. Preheat the broiler. Add 2 tbsps of olive oil to the same skillet and apply medium-high heat. Pour in the egg/potato mixture, spreading evenly. Cook, uncovered, until the sides are set and the top edge begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Run a flexible heatproof rubber spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen the frittata. Cover tightly; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the center is almost set, about 5 minutes. Broil the frittata until the top is fully cooked and begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Mindspill Let the frittata rest for about 5 minutes. Loosen the frittata again around the sides and underneath as far as possible. Garnish your dish with a little parsley and serve from the pan or slide the frittata onto a platter. Cut into wedges & serve with a great bottle of chilled Prosecco. A little sour cream on the side sends this over the edge!

Southern Eats: Fried Green Tomatoes

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 at 9:15 PM Mindspill

Who in America in their right mind doesn't love fried green tomatoes? Ingredients: - 2-3 Green tomatoes - Panko breadcrumbs - Salt - Pepper - Smoked paprika - 1 1/2 Cup olive oil The Prep:::::
Grab two bowls, one for your panko and the other for your eggs, which should be whisked well. I also added some seasonings to the eggs to ensure flavor.
Slice your tomatoes. Using a mandolin would be a better option for slicing to ensure uniform thickness. Once sliced, season to taste (I like mine a little salty) then set aside. Add olive oil to a 12" fry pan (allows for cooking more tomatoes) on medium high. Mindspill

The Jump Off::::: Now that everything is set up, take some of  your tomato slices and dip them in your eggs, next dip them in the panko being sure to coat both sides, then place your breaded tomatoes in your hot oil. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until golden. Remove the cooked tomatoes from the oil and set them on paper towel for cooling and excess oil removal. Repeat.... If you notice that your panko is getting yet, add more to the bowl. Mindspill

For fun, you can use just about anything for a condiment. I had every intention of making a basil/lime mayo but.... I saw that I had some blue cheese dressing and the rest is history.