Mariah Carey’s ‘Secret’ Holiday Sauce Recipe

Holiday meal planning made easy by MiMi.

 

The “All I Want For Christmas” singer is currently vacationing in Aspen, Colorado with her family for the holidays in a sprawling mansion hosted by Airbnb, and while she’s enjoying the much-needed time off, she’s sharing her favorite holiday sauce recipe. While the Mariah’s World star prepares to dine with her family this Christmas, here’s the special sauce she’ll prepare:

Mimi’s “Secret” Sauce

Two 28oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes (crushed)
3 garlic gloves, minced
2 tea spoons of salt
1 tea spoon black pepper
1/4 chopped flat Italian parsley recipe
1/4 olive oil

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-heat.

Add garlic and cook until light golden brown, for about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and bring to boil, stirring frequently.

Add salt and pepper and lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Stir in the chopped Italian parsley.

Enjoy at Christmas or any time of the year!

Um, yum! Happy eating guys.

The Story Behind the Handmade Organic Doughnuts Atlanta Can’t Get Enough Of

The doughnuts from Decatur’s Revolution Doughnuts & Coffee are one of Atlanta residents most prized possessions. Find out why.

“You guys didn’t bring the peach-filled doughnuts this year?” I heard a patron yell out to the booth on a warm Saturday afternoon. “A new batch is coming right up,” the cashier responded with his pleasant smile. Every year, foodies and wine connoisseur’s alike gather in the south for another installment of Atlanta’s Food & Wine Festival. With five successful years under its belt, year six hosted over 100 vendors setting up shop to introduce their edible creations to purveyors. Some with hopes of gaining national exposure, with others just there to see pleased patrons flow by. Owners of local doughnut shop favorite Revolution Doughnuts & Coffee may not be there for all of the hype, but that hasn’t stopped them from getting rave reviews.

If you aren’t from the area, you may have never heard of Revolution Doughnuts before because there’s just one storefront location in Decatur, GA.

 

But, why? Why would a doughnut shop this popular not want to have a shop on every single corner?

Opening on National Doughnut Day in 2012, the exceptional doughnut company started selling their handcrafted doughnuts at the local farmer’s markets. Founded by self-taught baker and head doughnut maker Maria Moore Riggs, Revolution’s ability to become one of Atlanta’s most prized possessions was noticed right from the start by local foodies. “I started doing these baked doughnuts to sell at the farmer’s market, and they just were the hot ticket! People would run from the other side of the market to buy the doughnuts, and it just gave me the sense that people really craved comfort foods and things they really connect with from their childhood,” she stated.

 

As she talked about the moments of joy that came from having a doughnut as a child, I couldn’t help but drift off to my memory bank of summer mornings in Florida where my family and I would wake up to doughnuts and orange juice. Reserved for special days, I remembered just how much of a treat having one truly was. “Creating those memories of joy and happiness is what we need more of in this world,” I heard her say as I drifted back in from my own memory. “What’s the fan favorite doughnut? Mine is clearly the peach slider, but does everyone love them as much as I do?” I asked contemplating asking to be excused to grab a few from the new platter being put out. “Our all-time best-seller is the vanilla bean doughnut, but that’s just because some people just like to play it safe and keep it classic. But for sure during peach season, the slider is the hot number. Plus, we live in Georgia and peaches are the thing. It’s like the sweet moment right now for peaches.”

As I stood there with my sprinkled raspberry doughnut in my hand looking at the hordes of people fill the small area in the tent reserved for Revolution, I couldn’t help but wonder what really made these doughnuts as special as they are. “That’s one of our things is that we’re 100% made from scratch; we use organic flour, and we don’t use any artificial colors. Your doughnut is a great example,” Riggs pointed out. “The fact that you can find beautiful colors in nature. The raspberry sprinkled doughnut is a hot pink doughnut, but it’s 100% from the raspberry and we source these special sprinkles that are all made from natural colorants. We also make a lot of vegan doughnuts. It’s a whole different category of people who can go in and enjoy a doughnut that normally wouldn’t because of the additives in the dough.”

 

Though being an incredible baker has helped her company amass great success, being a woman in the industry has throw a few learning curves her way. “I think the hardest thing for me as a woman in the industry is learning to manage people,” she said. “Using a different style of management instead of this type of talk-down, militaristic style – which is often what you find in the kitchen environment. Where there’s usually a chef at the top giving orders, I’m much more egalitarian. I’m back in the kitchen every day, I’m washing dishes and mopping floors, and I’m glazing doughnuts. I do everything, and my team does everything. We help each other out; we work as a team. I’m not an authoritarian person by nature, so I’ve had male chefs say to me, “You have to yell at your employees more” and I just don’t operate that way. I don’t know if it’s a man/woman thing, but it’s definitely male/female culturally. I am much more egalitarian in the way that I operate, and I like it.”

But how, over four years, did the now beloved doughnut shop gain such a grand following? If you ask Maria, she’ll attribute it to the downturn of the economy. “People are really tightening their checkbooks for things like facials, pedicures, massages, dinners, and big trips, but they’re not tightening their budgets for a $2 doughnut. That’s a moment of bliss and it’s so affordable. It’s an experience that you can count on to be solid.”

If you’re hoping to have the Revolution make a stop in your town, you can get that out of your mind. Aside from their location in Decatur and the planned fall opening of their second bakery in Inman Park, this family owned business has no plans to franchise any time soon. Though I won’t knock the impact and chaos that ensues of the Krispy Kreme’s praised “Hot Light,” local bakeries will always be my thing. Whether you’re ready for it or not, the Revolution is here, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

One of Ayesha Curry’s Favorite Dishes is Perfect for Date Night

These balsamic lamb chops are sure to have you and your bae’s mouths watering.

“Lamb chops are hearty and delicious, and my family—especially Stephen—loves them,” says Curry. “To complement the rich flavor of the lamb, I like to make a sauce using a good balsamic vinegar, preferably one infused with fig. I sneak some sugar into the sauce too. These chops are great with Roasted Pear and Cranberry Brussels Sprouts or Herb-Roasted Potatoes With Lime.”

Chef Curry with the pot is coming to your kitchen!

Social media lightening rod and burgeoning business woman, Ayesha Curry, shares her tips for feeding your stomach and your soul in her new book ‘The Seasoned Life,’ in stores now. But, she’s giving us a sneak peek of one of her favorite dishes with this simple and savory recipe.


Ayesha’s Balsamic Lamb ChopsWhat You’ll Need:

8 small lamb rib chops (about 1½ pounds)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Leaves from 2 small rosemary sprigs

1 cup balsamic vinegar (preferably fig-infused)

¼ to ½ cup sugar (depending on how sweet your balsamic vinegar is)

Directions:

PREHEAT an outdoor grill or have a cast-iron grill pan handy. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the rosemary leaves and massage the seasonings into the meat. (This helps the flavors seep into the lamb and release the aromas of the rosemary.) Let the lamb sit at room temperature while you make the balsamic sauce.

IN A SAUCEPAN, heat the vinegar and ¼ cup sugar over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the vinegar has reduced by half and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 9 minutes. If the vinegar tastes too sharp for your liking, stir in more sugar until it reaches the level you desire.

IF USING A GRILL PAN, preheat the pan over medium-high heat. Grill the lamb chops until cooked through and dark grill marks appear, about 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare to medium. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Transfer to a platter and drizzle some balsamic vinegar sauce over the top. Serve extra sauce at the table so people can help themselves.

“Lamb chops are hearty and delicious, and my family—especially Stephen—loves them,” says Curry. “To complement the rich flavor of the lamb, I like to make a sauce using a good balsamic vinegar, preferably one infused with fig. I sneak some sugar into the sauce too. These chops are great with Roasted Pear and Cranberry Brussels Sprouts or Herb-Roasted Potatoes With Lime.”

Makes 4 servings

Create A Healthy New Year’s Day Brunch For Less Than Fifty Bucks!

Washington, D.C. personal chef Tianna Feaster shows you how to start 2009 off right with an appetizing meal that’s wallet friendly

Chances are one of your New Year’s resolutions includes eating healthier. Well, ESSENCE.com is helping you accomplish this goal while keeping your finances intact. Get started on the first day of 2009 by hosting a New Year’s Day Brunch for your loved ones for less than fifty bucks.

Washington, D.C. – based Tianna Feaster (pictured above) of Feast Your Eyes On This! personal chef service gives you the 411 on preparing a cost-effective brunch to help you ring in 2009 right.

Still nibbling on leftovers from Christmas dinner? Using ingredients that are already in your fridge and pantry, create a fun meal that you and your guests can enjoy without packing on extra pounds. Feaster shows us how to whip up a delicious turkey and veggie frittata, delectable roasted potatoes and a refreshing pomegranate mimosa for up to eight people.

“In this recipe I use egg whites, which help those who have high cholesterol, a lot of vegetables and turkey bacon instead of pork,” says Feaster, who has been cooking up scrumptious meals for those in our nation’s capital since 2006.

“The roasted potatoes are great because they call for olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary, cracked pepper and just a little kosher salt. Instead of frying they are roasted in the oven, which is a lot healthier for those who have high blood pressure,” she adds.

And haven’t you been wondering what you’re going to do with all that extra bubbly from New Year’s Eve? Mix up some pomegranate mimosas of course! Repurposing is the forgotten key to saving money.

“The cost to prepare this entire meal would be no more than $45 and that includes purchasing the champagne,” says Feaster. Plus, pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and are an excellent source of vitamin C.

The Glory of Greens Recipe

We all love collard greens — here’s one of my favorite recipes to make for cheap. Also, some rules about how to respect — and thus get the best taste from your greens.

Tips to remember when dealing with any greens:
1. Look for bright, green leaves that are firm, wide and healthy.  No dark spots!
2. Wash them carefully to relieve of any dirt, debris and or insects. Once or twice under cold water should do the trick.
3. Take your time.  Don’t rush the rendering process.  Do not overcook. A slow, stewing allows for all the flavors to meld together. Also allow the greens to still retain some color.  A little crunch never hurt anyone.
4. Do not drown your greens!  Too much water will cause them to become saturated which means an extremely soggy meal.
5. Buy locally from local farmer! Not only will you be supporting your community but also it is almost guaranteed to be the freshest of the fresh.  Throughout the US there are roadside markets selling greens everyday of the year.
6. When cutting, remember to roll up leaves in order to cook evenly.

Collard Greens
Ingredients
1/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, or smoked neck bones)
1 tablespoon House seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce
1 large bunch collard greens
1 tablespoon butter

Directions
In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add smoked meat, house seasoning, seasoned salt and hot sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand. The tender young leaves in the heart of the collards don’t need to be stripped. Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices. Place greens in pot with meat and add butter. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with favorite dish as a side.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Eating At Night Can Make You Gain Weight, But What If You’re Actually Hungry?

Here’s what to do when the munchies strike right before bed.

You’re just about to crawl into bed…and hunger strikes. You know late-night snacks aren’t great for your waistline, or your slumber. So should you try to ignore the craving—or eat something small? And if so, whatshould you have? Here’s my advice about what to do, and how to ward off pre-bedtime hunger in the first place.

First, figure out if you’re actually hungry

The first step is to determine if you’re truly in need of nourishment, or experiencing a false hunger triggered by habit, anxiety, or the desire for a reward. To do that, check in with your body: Do you have physical signs of hunger, like a growling tummy? When did you last eat, and what did you have?

For most people, a well-balanced meal (such as a generous amount of veggies plus lean protein, healthy fat, and a bit of carbs) should leave you feeling full for about four hours. So if you ate a healthy dinner less than four hours ago, and you don’t have any physical symptoms of hunger, blame “mind hunger.”

If your craving is driven by habit (for example, maybe you always pair snacking with watching Netflix before bed), mix up your routine. Do something else with your hands as you veg out in front of the TV. Try doodling, playing with a Rubik’s Cube, or doing anything else that keeps you occupied.

If your hunger is triggered by emotions (like stress, or anger), choose another way to self-soothe. Listen to a five-minute guided meditation. Or see if writing in a journal will do the trick.

Eating when you aren’t physically hungry is like putting on a sweater when you’re not cold: It’s not helpful, and can just make you more uncomfortable. On the flip side, getting to the root of what’s steering you to the kitchen can help improve your mental well being, and break the pattern of distracting yourself with food.

Snack smarter

Let’s say you establish that you really are physically hungry. Now try to assess how hungry you feel. Do you just need a few bites to take the edge off? If so, have a quarter cup of nuts or seeds (a serving about the size of a golf ball). The protein, good fat, and fiber they contain will fill you up, but not leave you feeling stuffed and sluggish. What’s more, as much as 30% of the calories in nuts aren’t digestible, which means the calorie count may be a third less than what the label states. And that’s ideal since you’re about to be sedentary for about seven to eight hours.

If you think you’re too hungry for just nuts, have some fruit too. Kiwis are a good choice, since they’ve been shown to help with sleep. A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men and women who ate two kiwis one hour before bed fell asleep more than 35% faster, slept more soundly, and experienced a 13.4% increase in total sleep time, compared to before the kiwi intervention.

Rethink your dinner

If you’re so hungry that nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit won’t cut it, you may want to reexamine the composition and timing of your dinner meal. I’ve had clients who weren’t eating enough at dinner and then had trouble falling asleep. Or they’d wake up in the middle of the night to binge. That’s because a low-calorie soup, salad, or diet frozen dinner at 7:00 pm just isn’t going to keep you sated until a 10 or 11 o’clock bedtime.

For a healthy and satisfying dinner, make veggies the bulk of your meal. The ideal amount is at least two cups in their raw state (about the size of two baseballs). Add protein from seafood, poultry, eggs, or pulses; and a good fat like avocado or EVOO. Top it all off with a small portion of whole food carbs like spaghetti squash, quinoa, or sweet potato.

Bonus: This type of balanced meal will also help you catch higher-quality Zs. Recent research suggests that eating too little fiber and too much sugar and saturated fat (the kind found in fatty meat and dairy products) can disturb sleep, while higher fiber meals lead to deeper slumber.