Blogs

April 24, 2017

A young avid New Yorker who grew up amongst a musical family manifested the power in him and took it upon himself to hone his craft. Ben Parag is a singer who has been mesmerizing local audiences for many years. So when he took part in the popular talent show call Dil Hai Hindustani, he had a large fan base which grew even larger. Even if one didn’t have the required channel that the talent show aired on but is a member of Facebook, you would have seen his performances via multiples videos. Because of his great talent and dedication to this art form, love and support for Ben began to grow rapidly.

We all couldn’t contain ourselves when super stars such as Shah Rukh Khan and Vidya Balan were a fundamental part of the singing competition and also fell for Ben’s voice. Judges Karan Johar, Badshah, Shekhar Ravjiani, Shalmali Kholgade have all fallen in love with this talented artist from New York. Having his Guru ji’s Kinnar and Payal Seen gracing the big stage where he had been performing week after week was very special. It was so heartwarming to witness him bow to their feet. Let’s talk about Ben’s adorable parents; each time the camera panned on their faces I could see both excitement and anticipation. Ahhh! The love and support of a parent is priceless.

The excitement rose when our Benny made it into the finals. We saw him grow as an artist and performer. However Ben was eliminated after reaching the top 8 Acts, because of a lack of votes. But this star, our star had already found a place in many hearts. We all know how phenomenal he is. He made us feel proud as West Indians and happy to have a Guyanese National performing in a mega platform.

His God father, Pundit Ganesh knew he deserved a royal welcome back home. With a great team they managed to orchestrate an incredible parade and free concert. The parade proceeded with a horse and carriage. Ben was accompanied by his parents and guru ji’s. Supporters gathered on 124 Street Liberty Avenue and walked down to 133 Street. I must say the venue had a real concert feel to it. Platinum celebrations did a great job. Pictures posted included performances by Ben’s bother Bobby, International dancer Zaman who danced to a medley and the event was hosted by Kishore. The audience sang along; as Ben performed it was lovely to see both his guru ji’s conduct as he performed. Ben was accompanied by Joey on the keyboards and on the drums.

When the concert ended there was a meet and greet for his fans to finally be up close with Ben. Enjoy the pics

Yum

Seared Beef Strip with Espagnole Chocolate Sauce

April 21, 2017

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 Beef Strip loins
  • 1 Tsp Chief Brand Salt
  • 1 Tsp Chief Brand Black Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Of Small Diced Onions
  • ½ Tbsp of Minced Garlic
  • 1 ½ Oz of Dark Rum
  • 5 Oz of Beef Brown Stock
  • 1 Oz of Dark Chocolate ( Shaved )

Method

  • Place a medium sauté pan over high heat.Add 2 Tbsp of veg oil to the pan, and place strip lions on to sear. Cook for 2 Minutes on one side, then flip and cook 1 minute on the other.
  • Add the butter and as it melts, use this to baste the steak as it cooks.
  • Season Strip loins with salt and black pepper on both sides.
  • Remove pan from heat but let the steak sit in hot pan to continue cooking on its on.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat; add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and sauté the diced onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the dark rum to deglaze, and then pour in the brown stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half the quantity. Lower the heat, and add the shaved dark chocolate in.
  • Remove pan from the heat and stir to melt chocolate. Add a dash of salt and taste. Flavours should be balanced with a savoury yet slight sweet note.
  • Take your strip loin, and cut on the bias, and drizzle your Chocolate Espagnole sauce atop.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes, sauté vegetables or even roasted sweet potatoes.
Blogs

Soaring with a Soul Mate

April 18, 2017

Someone once said to me, you can fly once you’re anchored down with the right person in your life. That poignant saying was stuck in my head for days; I mean subconsciously it was in the back of my mind and the more I thought about it I realized how true it is. With the support of a loved one, you can feel like you’re on top of the world.

Compromise in any relationship is needed, however if you find yourself giving up things you are passionate about because your partner is putting you down for it, then that is a bad sign. Some people are possessive, controlling and feel better once they have the upper hand in the relationship. If these signs are visible in the beginning, don’t ignore them as they can be the crystal ball to seeing into your future.

Soaring with a partner is visible and a smile and will power exudes when you have someone rooting you on and encouraging you, resulting in remarkable things that you thought you won’t capable of.

The power of a partner; don’t rush – take your time to find the one.

Choosing a partner means choosing someone who you will have countless meals, birthdays, etc. so it is important to choose wisely. Take the time to figure out if the one that you are with is compatible because it is a key component.

When it comes to dating, too many people focus on the amount of time they spent with someone rather than how happy they are with the person. What would you prefer 10 years of major roller coaster rides with a person or 10 years of normalcy?

Amongst many purposes in life, soaring is key to moving up to bigger and better things. It will keep us motivated and give us a sense of purpose and with the right partner we can fly to higher heights.

I have seen people be too picky with a long list of what they want in a partner, which is fine, but keep in mind we are not perfect. I recall one my friends married a guy who she had met online and she said to me, “I will help him to dress better and start living a healthier lifestyle”. Fast forward 5 years later they have a beautiful baby girl and he accepted to make the changes to help him and their relationships. Although it is not quite possible to change someone’s personality or other things, but when you meet someone who may not fulfill the list of things you are looking for; there may be a possibility of finding a soul mate in the unexpected.

Don’t Settle! Know your worth, be your own decision maker and if you happen to bring your boyfriend/girlfriend around a family member and they pick up on a vibe and express it to you, please consider it more than likely their vibe is true.

Great luck finding the one

Seafood Uncategorized Yum

Shrimp and Crayfish Potato Chowder

April 14, 2017

Ingredients Needed

  • 6 Oz Potatoes, Peeled and Medium Diced
  • 4 Each Cray Fish, cleaned and heads removed
  • 4 Each Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp of Veg Oil
  • 1 Tbsp of Butter
  • 3 Tbsp of Julienned Onions
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Slivered
  • 3 Tbsp of Small Diced Carrots
  • 3 Tbsp of Small Diced Celery Stems
  • 3 Tbsp of Small Diced Sweet Potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp of Small Diced Red Sweet Peepers
  • 3 Tbsp of Whole Kernel Corn
  • 3 Tbsp of Heavy Cream
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste Method
  • Season shrimp and crayfish with minimally with salt and black pepper. Set aside to marinate.
  • Meanwhile, place potatoes in a pot and cover with water to the mere top. Boil until potatoes are tender. Place potatoes and its water into a blender while it’s still warm and process until smooth.
  • Season this potato water with salt and black pepper until favorable to your taste. Set aside.
  • Place a sauté pan over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and butter and sauté the slivered garlic and onions until translucent. Add the carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers and corn and sauté until fragrant, maybe about three minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and set aside.
  • In a shallow sauce pan, pour your potato water in and bring to a simmering slight bubble. At this point, add your Cray fish and shrimp and poach for two minutes or until seafood is cooked.
  • Get your soup bowl ready and pour the seafood and potato soup into the bowl. Drizzle on the sautéed vegetables atop the soup, and gingerly spoon on the heavy cream on the soup.
  • Serve with a crispy piece of garlic bread or toast.

Recipe by Chef Jason Peru

Dessert Yum

Angel Food Cake

March 3, 2017

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 12 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Glaze:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Special equipment: a 10-inch nonstick angel food cake pan

Directions

For the cake: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on medium speed until frothy. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 to 4 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle the flour over the egg white mixture. Using a spatula, carefully fold in the flour until incorporated. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch nonstick angel food cake pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and a skewer inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall of the pan comes out clean. Invert the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the Glaze: In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, honey, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour into a serving pitcher.

Using a spatula, loosen the cake around the sides and middle. Release the cake and place on a serving plate. Cut into slices and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with lemon zest and mint sprigs.

Photo Credit: rachaelrayshow.com

Dessert Yum

Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies

February 17, 2017

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 6 ounces high-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, plus 4 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown muscavado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Bring the cream to a simmer over low heat in a small saucepan. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat and cook, without stirring until amber brown. Slowly whisk in the warm cream until smooth and let cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter, corn syrup, sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool until thickened at room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on the narrow ends. Spray the foil and pan with nonstick spray.

Combine the butter, unsweetened chocolate, 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate and espresso powder in a medium bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Let the chocolate melt over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, both sugars, vanilla and salt until smooth. Whisk in the melted

chocolate mixture until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the flour in 2 additions (the batter will be thick). Stir in the remaining 4 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate.

Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of half of the peanut butter caramel every 2 inches over the top of the batter. Carefully add the remaining batter and smooth over the caramel. Smooth the top and dollop the remaining caramel over the top. Use a butter knife to swirl through the batter to get a marbleized effect.

Bake until the top is set but still soft and the edges are puffed and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 23 to 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out still gooey (be brave!–under baking the brownies is one of the secrets to their fudgy texture). Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the neatest cuts, refrigerate the pan for about 20 minutes before cutting the brownies. Using the foil, lift the brownie slab out of the pan. Carefully peel off the foil and put the brownie on a large cutting board. With a large sharp knife, cut the brownies into 48 squares. (The brownies can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days; they can also be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 weeks.)

 

Photo Credit: thecandidappetite.com

Yum

Chief Brand Steak & Potato Poppers

February 10, 2017

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 Each Beef Strip Steak
  • ½ Tsp Chief Brand Salt
  • ½ Tsp Chief Brand Black Pepper
  • ¾ Tbsp of Chief Brand Steak Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 12 Each Baby Potatoes
  • ½ Tsp Chief Brand Salt
  • ½ Tsp Chief Brand Black Pepper
  • ½ Tsp of Chief Brand Smoked Paprika Powder
  • ½ Cup Cheddar Cheese ( Shredded )
  • ¼ Cup Milk, warm
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp of Minced Parsley
  • ¼ Cup of Chief Brand Chadon Beni Chutney

Method

Preheat Oven to 350 Degree Fahrenheit

Place strip steak onto a cutting board, season liberally with the salt and black pepper.

Then sprinkle on the Steak Seasoning on both sides also. Let sit for 5 minutes to marinate.

Meanwhile, wash and scrub potatoes skins and place in water to boil until cooked

but still firm to the touch.

When slightly cool, cut into halves and with a melon baller, carefully remove the inside potato flesh, leaving the jackets intact. Place all the removed potato flesh into a bowl; add the cheese, warm milk, butter and parsley. Mash until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste and place into a piping bag with a medium tip.

Pipe potatoes back into the jackets and place on a tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Place a skillet pan on the high heat. When heated, add the vegetable oil and place the two steaks into the hot pan. Cook on each side for 2 ½ minutes, remove and place on a napkin to rest.

Take potatoes out of oven and set aside. Slice steak into small bias pieces on the slant and shingle two pieces atop each potato popper. Continue until all steak is used. Then drizzle a little of the Chadon Beni Chutney atop the steak and potato poppers. Garnish with a slice of sweet pepper.

Gallery Personal

Trinidad and Tobago

February 1, 2017

I took this captivating picture with my Canon DSL camera. It is a view of Maracus Lookout near Maracus beach on the island of Trinidad. It is located on the north side of the island, an hour’s mountainous drive from the capital city of Port of Spain via the North Coast Road.

This view is absolutely stunning.

Yum

Cauliflower Massouri Dhal

January 27, 2017

Ingredients Needed

2 Tbsp of Veg oil.

½ Tsp of Chief Brand Cumin Seeds (Geera)

1 Tbsp of Minced Garlic

1 Tbsp of Minced Onions

1 Tbsp of Minced Pimento Peppers

½ Tsp of Minced Ginger

½ Tbsp of Chief Brand Curry Powder

½ Tbsp of Chief Brand Geera Powder

½ Tbsp of Chief Brand Amchar Massala

1 Tsp of Chief Brand Turmeric (Saffron)

1 Cup of Massouri dhal (fine split pea lentils)

1 Head of Cauliflower (Florets Only)

5 Cups of Vegetable Stock

1 Tbsp of Minced Fresh Chadon Beni

½ Tsp of Chief Brand Chili Powder

Chief Brand Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Method

  • In a medium sauce pan over high heat, add the oil followed by the garlic, onions, pimentos and ginger and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add the spices and cook over high heat for about one minute until curry spices are parched. Now add the massouri dhal, cauliflower florets and vegetable stock. Stir, cover and bring to a boil and then simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  • Puree with stick blender until slightly smooth and season with salt and black pepper to the end. Add the fresh Chadon beni and the chili powder.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Dhal should be slightly thick whilst still seeing the soften grains of the lentils inside with small fragments of cauliflower. Serve over basmati rice or with roti.