Sunday, November 30, 2014

Good Eating

I am so happy to announce the release of my new cookbook. It is time to have healthy food and good tasting food at the same time. Changing to a vegetarian diet was a difficult twist that upset my life. I understood all of the rational for eating better, but could not find food that tasted like the food I was used to eating. I set out on a journey to learn more about food and soul food cooking. I wanted to know why soul food was considered so bad.

My family was pretty upset about my change. They all love soul food but I never liked chitterlings, so maybe that is why I leaned towards a change easier than many others. I also want to be healthy. I found that we are not taught what it takes to make our bodies healthy, especially where food is concerned.

Over time I found some answers. I tried recipes in a lot of cookbooks to no avail. Then I remembered that we basically ate fresh food right out of the garden. I also remembered that my Home Economics teacher said that beans were a high source of protein. So I started there. Much to my surprise, I found out that people had been eating vegetarian food for over 100 years-maybe longer. I couldn't help but wonder why I had never heard of different kinds of eating while others knew a lot about it. And if it encouraged health, why wasn't that information made readily available to all of us.

I can't say enough about my love of biscuits. I didn't want to give them up, but I had long given up lard and crisco and that is how my auntie taught me to make them. I tried to make them with my new found ingredients. We often laugh about those hard little pieces of bread that were reminiscent of rocks. My nephews say they would use them to throw at the apples to make them fall from the top of the tree. I got to say that it was pretty bad. Whole wheat flour and cold pressed oils only made biscuits that were a far far cry from the light and fluffy biscuits of Marie Ponder's kitchen.

After so much trial and lots of error, I finally got it together. It was more about the technique than the ingredients. Don't get me wrong now, the ingredients do play a roll but the soft melt-in-your-mouth texture is in the touch. Breads and desserts are the biggest challenge. I could always stir up some squash, steam some broccoli or cook some lentils, no real challenge there, but that bread! I have now become know for those biscuits. When I travel to visit friends, they ask if I will make biscuits.

Now many foodies swear off bread and that is alright too. I like to live in the world of moderation and I think of bread as something I can have in moderation. Anyway, long story short is the birth of "Cuisine On The Nile Vegetarian Cookbook." Check it out at

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sewing It Up

I think of this as a big puzzle and I love puzzles. As a matter of fact, my whole family love puzzles. My brother talks of fond memories of putting puzzles together with our Mom. Not to mention all the puzzle fun we have had at family reunions.

Once I get all the pieces together, I stand back to see if it all works. Then I am ready to sew down all of the pieces. I use two different techniques for sewing the pieces to the foundation. I opted to sew this one with straight stitches as opposed to a zigzag stitch. You can hardly tell where I stitched.

Of course I still have a long way to go with the stitching but so far the start is promising. I'm still in the process of deciding the background. Pretty sure it is going to be a print pattern although I usually use a solid fabric for the background.

I haven't started to sew the lips yet. I saved them for last. I need to have a stretch of uninterrupted time to focus on them. I don't want to lose that look with rushed and bungled stitches.

You may have noticed that I finished the blouse and all outside edges. What I absolutely love- is the fact that the work ticks along over time. It is as if I have done what I always say is the key to art. I have arrested time and I will slowly bring it back to movement as it develops.