I’m so excited to be on the panel to discuss building an honest business. from @trialsntresses via @igrepost_app, Amazing Full guest panel revealed: @curlsandmo Seanna Kaye of @naturalhairdoescare @wondercurl @naturalpartnersincrime will all be in the building sharing how to build an HONEST successful brand / business in the natural hair community !!! Along with the fabulous @heygorjess as our VIP guest blogger!! Get your hands on tickets at tntendofsummerbash.eventbrite.com (early bird special ends soon!!) We have a few vendor slots left if you are interested send us an email at trialsntresses@gmail.com #nynaturals #trialsntresses #naturalhair #teamnatural #curlfriends #nycnaturals #naturalhairevent #luvyourmane

Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam

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Going gluten-free is hard, like really really hard when you crave burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches every now and then (yes, there are gluten-free buns, but it’s just not the same to me). The other thing that makes it hard? Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam. Ah, yes, my love of tomatoes turned into a delicious jam that is robust in depth and flavor. Think gourmet ketchup that is sophisticated and bold. Couple spicy smoked tomato jam to your burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches and you’ve created a meal that’s too yummy not to get seconds.

Because I am addicted to smokey flavors, I have amassed an arsenal of spices that have been smoked and will work on just about any food you want to give that bold flavor to. I also used all of these spices in my Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam, but you don’t have to and can still get the flavor you’ll love. The beauty of home cooking, it’s always the way you like it.

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Liquid smoke. I am sometimes on the fence with this. I like it enough because it’s easy to use, but sometimes it changes the flavor of what I’m trying to make. But, it works well in tomato jam.

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If you’re lucky enough to have a Savory Spice Shop near you, I say go in there and stock up. I walked in and asked ‘What do you have that’s smokey?’ and the sales guy took me all around the store, had me sampling and sniffing their spices. They have an amazing selection of just about any spice you can imagine. I especially love the Red Rocks Hickory Smoke and use it to give my tofu a “meaty” flavor.

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Trader Joe’s has a nice spiced section and everything is priced right. Okay, Cayenne pepper isn’t smoked, but I used this for the spicy in my Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam recipe. Smoked Paprika is an absolute must if you love smokey flavors. I added boat loads of this. I also love the South African Smoke and use it on most of my veggies, especially when eating raw beefsteak tomatoes and avocado. If there is anything you have to make sure you need for your Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam, I’d say the Smoked Paprika, Cayenne and sea salt.

To make Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam, you will need:

3-4 large beefsteak tomatoes (or 6 Roma tomatoes)
1/2 cup brown sugar (more or less depending on taste)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
sea salt (smoked optional)
smoked paprika
cayenne pepper
liquid smoke (optional)
smoked hickory seasoning (optional)

Chop the tomatoes coarsely, I wanted my jam to be chunky like a chutney, but you can chop it in the food processor if you want it to be more smooth. Chop the fresh garlic.

In a medium size pot on a medium heat, add olive oil, tomatoes, sugar, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, stirring occasionally. Add your seasonings and taste until it’s the flavor you want. Add more cayenne to make it more spicy. Allow to simmer until most liquid has cooked out of your jam and it’s a thick consistency.

Remove from the pot and into your canning jars. For the proper canning technique, you can read this.

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Vegetarian burger with Spicy Smokey Tomato Jam (using swiss chard).

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This right here will change your life! Sauteing peaches or nectarines in olive oil and black pepper adds sweetness to your grilled cheese.

Fun rainy day project. Use pipe cleaners to give your dolls a curly makeover. Soak the heads in hot water. Once hair is dry, voila!
#naturalhair #teamnatural #barbie

I’ve been craving BBQ, so I cut up organic (extra firm) tofu and fried in olive oil until it was crispy and then drowned it in BBQ sauce. I’m happy.
#tofu #vegan #vegetarian

I rarely eat when I’m not hungry, but this got me too excited that I couldn’t wait.

RAW VEGAN TACO RECIPE

To make the meat:
2 cups walnuts, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
Chipotle, chili, cayenne, seasonings to taste, garlic powder and a pinch or 2 of salt.
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Pulse in the food processor until it resembles ground meat.

To make vegan sour cream:
3/4 almond meal (or 1 cup soaked almonds)
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
I blended in my Magic Bullet and added water until I got the consistency that I wanted.

Use Swiss chard or lettuce for the shell.
My meat eating friends, for those of you who say “you need meat”, if I didn’t tell you this wasn’t meat, you’d have no idea.

Breakfast: homemade vegan, gluten-free banana bread (that didn’t come out quite right) with homemade strawberry jam and Earl Grey tea.
I will try the bread again until I perfect the recipe.
#vegan #vegetarian #healthy #nosugar #yum #breakfast

Summer Tomato Recipes

Summer has finally decided to make its presence and this Jersey girl is thrilled because with the warm weather means that tomatoes are finally in season. The best tomatoes are Jersey Tomatoes, no lie. They’re always so sweet and the beefsteak tomatoes are so meaty that it makes being a vegetarian even more special. Mmm, I need a tomato now. Truth be told, I wasn’t always a fan of tomatoes; okay, I hated tomatoes growing up. I got upset with a server once who left the tomato on my burger after I said ‘no tomato’ and her response to my pointing out her oversight ‘you can just take it off’, take it off, after tomato juices have ruined my bun!!! That was then, back when I was younger and impetuous.

My love for tomatoes came much later in life. I was at a friend’s backyard one summer day, after hours of laying about the pool when his mom brought out tomatoes from the local farm (yes, I live near farms) and I decided that I should give tomatoes another try. These were beefsteak tomatoes. I cut them up and added sea salt and ground garlike then took one careful bite. There was this cornucopia of amazement happening in my mouth. I went on and on about how delicious the tomato was that my other friend, who liked tomatoes, but didn’t love them, had to try them for herself. She too became enamored with this savory summer fruit. After that, I always had tomatoes in my kitchen and use them as often in recipes as possible.


There are some great and simple recipes using tomatoes such as a Caprese salad, but how about trying them a different way? Here, I’ve compiled a list of interesting tomato dishes; some I have tried, some I want to try.

1. Ginger Tomato Sorbet

2. Spicy Tomato Jam

3. Tiered Tomato Soup

4. Chilled Yellow Tomato Soup

5. Grilled Tomatoes Basil

6. Cherry Tomato Salad w/Basil & Mozzarella

Thought I’d post a pic of my sparkly nails before they chip.
#nails

Only I would look at headlamps on a tow truck in NYC and see a photo shoot.
#werk #bwbnyc #nyc #naturalhair #teamnatural #frohawk

Just another thing I come across on my run here in Central NJ. Growing up in Northern NJ, I had no idea there was so much wildlife here.