Posts tagged dinner pairings
how to make black eyed pea salsa (inspired by crooklyn)

crooklyn movie

Though Crooklyn is probably one of Spike Lee's lesser-known films, it's nonetheless one of my favorites. The main character of the film is Troy - a 10-year-old girl growing up in Brooklyn. Set in the early 1970s, the coming-of-age story centers around one summer where Troy encounters everything from bullying older brothers, to neighborhood dope fiends, the strange customs of Southern cousins, and tragic family loss. Even though I'm technically a child of the 80s, I was born in the 70s, so this film sparks a lot of nostalgia for me. Plus it features some very fine performances by Zelda Harris (who plays Troy), Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo (as Troy's parents), and a brief surprise appearance from my fairy godmother, RuPaul.

If you've seen the movie, you may remember the following comical scene involving one of Troy's brothers and his dinnertime dilemma with a plate of black-eyed peas.

When I saw this recipe for black-eyed pea salsa on The Pioneer Woman's blog, it seemed like just the right snack to go along with a viewing of Crooklyn - not only for the black-eyed pea reference, but also because salsa and summer go hand-in-hand, in my opinion.

black eyed pea salsa

This salsa would make a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish or just eaten on its own with some blue corn tortilla chips. And a big hunk of sand cake for dessert (just watch the movie, you'll get it).




Watch Crooklyn on Amazon Instant Video OR on iTunes

View the Black-Eyed Pea Salsa recipe on Pioneer Woman

how to get sexy with food

Food is sex

 In a recent article on this here blog, I mentioned that eating was one of the few activities that engages all 5 senses at once, and that travel was a close second.

Well Dear Reader, once again, I have something to confess. My Southern demureness (and the fact that my Mom occasionally reads this) kept me from truthfully asserting my real choice for 2nd place in the 'stimulates-all-your-senses' category... Sex.

There. I said it.! Have you clicked away yet? Unsubscribed? Fine. Better do it now before we really pass the PG-13 zone (Yes, mom. That includes you.).

So, why the change of mind?

After reading a recent Creative Loafing article on the eroticism of food, I was emboldened by this quote from chef-cum-prophet Paul Luna:

"Sexuality and erotica play essential roles in exploration and self-discovery. These elements seem to be culturally suppressed in Atlanta and Southern culture — at least, overtly."

Well, I'll be.

Not one to be restricted by the often prudish Southern attitudes towards either food or sex, I decided to take Chef Luna's quote as a challenge to overcome my own self-repression and explore - in one fell swoop - the various facets of the food-sex connection. I hope it's as good for you as it was for me.


Erotic Foods

The most commonly cited erotic foods are usually ones that resemble certain parts of the human anatomy, such as: asparagus, bananas, figs, and pomegranates. But you already know about those, so let's indulge in a few lesser-known sensual foods.

Mole (pronounced, mole-ay) - A Mexican sauce that comes in as many varieties as there are sexual positions (well, almost).  When prepared from scratch, it's a labor of love that typically combines rich chocolate with chiles and spices pinch-the-taillike cumin, and cinnamon. Like most new adventures in bed and out, mole might take some getting used to,  but if you find it's not for you, you can always go back to more tried-and-true tastes.


Peel-and-eat crawfish - The well-known instruction to 'pinch the tail, suck the head' is sexy, albeit in a somewhat juvenile way. But hey, silly can be sexy too. Plus, any eating experiences that requires tearing at food with your hands, getting your fingers all messy and sucking your digits clean can be a real turn-on. Of course, you're not limited to crawfish. Try other peel-and-eat seafood, fresh cut fruit, Moroccan or Ethiopian food, or, for you prudish Southern-folk, barbecue.


Truffles - Truffles have an earthy, mouth-watering flavor, but they can be both hard to find and very pricey. As an alternative to whole truffles, a bit of sprinkled truffle powder or drizzled truffle oil can transform a conservative dish into something downright decadent.


Mango - This one has highly personal significance. I dated a gent once who literally made me blush at his method of consuming every fibrous piece of a whole fresh mango, all the way down to the pit. But even if your mang0-masticating skills aren't as... entertaining, the fruit itself  - with its blushing exterior, brightly colored flesh, and exotic fruity flavor - is enough to titillate.


Sexy Food on Film

Like Water for Chocolate - An enchanting story of two lovers who, for years, can only express their passion for each other through food. Keep an eye out for the making of Mexican mole.


Tampopo - Man, those Japanese are weird. While this film centers around a Japanese housewife on a quest to make the perfect bowl of ramen, the movie is interspersed with several seemingly unrelated food scenes. Of particular interest are scenes of a couple who really enjoy playing with their food. Like, really.


The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover - a deliciously dark drama that is at once brutal and beautiful.


Eat, Drink, Man, Woman - A Chinese dad and his three daughters experience life and love with su912weeks-foodscenemptuous family feasts as a constant backdrop.


9 1/2 Weeks - Kim Basinger, a young unscary-looking Micky Rourke, and a refrigerator full of goodies. A classic 'food-play as foreplay' scene.


Oh, and let's not forget the erotic scene from The Matrix:Reloaded in which the Merovingian delivers a sexy slice to an unsuspecting diner (extra points for both Monica Belluci's appearance and her character's name: Persephone).


Food, Sex, and Song

According to an article in Psychology Today, the link between food, sex, and music isn't circumstantial, it's scientific. Here are some sexy food-centric sounds to get you in the mood.

Ungodly Fruit - a sensual, lilting instrumental from Wax Tailor.


The Sensual Woman - Jello makes a notable appearance in this slickly sexy song from the soundtrack of Snatch (warning: some explicit language).


Sweet, Sticky Thing - a classic from the Ohio Players album 'Honey'.


Kelis' Milkshake - Yeah, I did it. So what? You need the Vitamin D.


And for a song that seems to be a song about food that's really about sex but is really about neither, D'angelo's soulful ballad 'Brown Sugar' takes the cake.


You might also want to check out my YouTube playlist: music to cook to - lots of spicy, savory, and sweet sounds for heating things up in the kitchen or any room of the house.


Food Scents that Stimulate

Some food scents are so arousing, you might even call them 'olfactory Viagra'. But these scent-ual smells don't have to be confined to the kitchen. Scented candle, oils, and scrubs are perfect ways to bring the smell of your favorite foods into the boudoir.


Coffee - Even if you don't enjoy drinking this stimulating beverage, the scent of a fresh-brewed pot or freshly ground beans is quite invigorating, even arousing. Maybe that's the reason so many first dates happen at coffee shops? Or maybe it's because coffee and sex have been inexplicably linked since the 16th century. If you really like the scent of coffee, a quick home-made body scrub of ground coffee and olive oil is an easy way to be enveloped by the aroma all day long.vanilla-and-flower


Vanilla - a comforting smell whose soothing, calming effect could ostensibly make your sweetheart more open to your advances. It's also alleged to stimulate the production of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen.


Japanese Quince - Some historians believe that the apple referred to as 'the forbidden fruit' in the Garden of Eden was actually a quince. Ancient Greek mythology associates the quince with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. While I can't tell you what a quince tastes like, I can tell you what one smells like. Well, kinda. The japanese quince scented products from Seda France are so mouth-wateringly good that they're well worth the price.


cheers, k


title photo:Food is sex by Mr. dale, on Flickr

stone soul christmas playlist

If you're anything like me, you're probably fed up with all of the treacly department store and easy listening Christmas music you've been hearing for the past month or longer. Actually, according to the graph below, it seems most of us have been listening to the same tried-and-true Christmas songs for 50 years or more.

I think it's high time we change that played-out record. Don't you?

With that thought in mind, I put together the 'Stone Soul Christmas' playlist featuring 26 tracks of soulful, funky, and bluesy Christmas songs. Have a listen:

This music selection is ideal for:

Those who love Christmas music, but want to add a little more spice to their holiday music selection.


This musical selection pairs perfectly with:

Wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve, cooking dinner on Christmas day, sipping hot toddies, snuggling by the fire, and getting down under the mistletoe.

holiday cheers,


photo: christmas cd cover by happy_serendipity, on Flickr

amuse bouche: hosting a dinner party


"As W.S. Gilbert said, 'When planning a dinner party, what's more important than what's on the table, is what's on the chairs.' " ~ from, "Giving a Dinner Party (I)" in Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days


I sometimes imagine the afterlife as a decadent feast that never ends. Only in heaven, you're surrounded by all the wonderful people you love, and in hell, you're surrounded by all the awful people you hate. The finest meal can be a misery if the wrong people are at the table. And last night's leftovers becomes a royal banquet when shared with pleasurable company. The best dinner parties are those where each person brings their own special something to the table, yet everyone shares a common trait: the ability to just let go and savor the moment.



music to cook to: C.O.L.O.U.R.S. mixtape by Fonzworth Bentley

fonzworth bentley presents colours

Summer is officially over, but here in Georgia we’re still in that weird phase between summer and true fall that I call ‘second summer’. We’ll continue to see temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the day (without the stifling humidity, thank god), and we’ll really only notice it’s fall when the sun sets and temps reach a more autumnal range of 50s and 60s.

As always, I tend to find metaphors for life in nature. As I approach my mid-thirties, I kind of feel like I and all of my peers are entering into our own ‘second summers’. We still have the youthful exuberance and silliness of our 20s, we still like to party and dance like we used to as younguns but, thankfully we’ve traded the stifling atmosphere of the club for the more comfy atmosphere of house parties and private venue shindigs. Our priorities have shifted from student loans and changing majors to mortgage loans and major changes in career, marital, and social status. And though we may still like to booty-shake and drop it like it’s hot, we know better than to do so in public, for fear that someone from the office or the PTA might see.

While cleaning out some files from my digital library this week, I happened upon an obscure and almost-forgotten track I’d saved a couple of years ago. The light party track, “Everybody”, was an unexpected yet effective collaboration among Fonzworth Bentley, Andre 3000, Kanye West, and Sa-Ra Creative Partners. And as you can tell from the video, these guys had a lot of fun working together on it.

As it turns out, “Everybody” is just 1 selection from a 17-track mixtape entitled, “Fonzworth Bentley Presents C.O.L.O.U.R.S. by Derek Watkins”. The mixtape features Fonzworth’s musical collaborations with several heavy hitters, like U.G.K., Faith Evans, Lil’ Wayne and Anthony Hamilton – all artists who came into their own in the 90s. The mixtape obviously never received a lot of press or any airplay; I hadn’t even heard the entire playlist until this week. But as I listened, I realized that the C.O.L.O.U.R.S. mixtape was the perfect ‘second summer’ soundtrack, especially for us Georgia born and bred folk. Once you have a listen, I think you’ll agree that it conjures up all the good times and the party-days of southern summers past, and would make a worthwhile addition to your next house party or an appropriate backdrop for your next “remember when we used to…” conversation.

This musical selection is ideal for:

Georgia representers, A-town stunnas, anybody who ever yelled ‘yeek’ at the club or the talent show, those who partied and/or studied in the AUC in the 90s, and everybody who knew Fonzworth Bentley when he was a Morehouse student named Derek Watkins,

This musical selection pairs perfectly with:

A late afternoon weekend barbecue featuring turkey burgers, veggie skewers and portobello mushroom caps instead of the pork ribs, mystery-meat hot dogs, and beef burgers we downed without consequence when we were younger. Serve with a nice pinot noir or craft beer – not the Icehouse and Arbor Mist that were more appropriate for our as-yet-unexpanded drinking palates and budgets. Okay, okay. You can bring back the old school hunch-punch if you want, but just this once. ;-)

Stream the C.O.L.O.U.R.S.  mixtape for free

Download free tracks from the C.O.L.O.U.R.S. mixtape

Purchase the mixtape on Fonzworth Bentley

cheers y’all,


i'm listening to: jill scott - the light of the sun

Buy on The Light of the Sun (Deluxe Version) - Jill Scott | Buy on Amazon | Listen (Grooveshark)

Album: The Light of the Sun (Deluxe)

Sounds Like: The official 2011 soundtrack of the 'grown ass woman'

Makes Me Wanna: laugh, dance, sing, cry, and stage a one woman lip-synch show in my living room

Filed Under: r&b, new / progressive soul

Favorite Tracks: Le Boom Vent Suite, So Gone (What My Mind Says), Shame

I am currently obsessed with this CD. Once again, our girl Jill has found a way to put words to the silent songs I sing about love, life, relationships and black womanhood. How does she do it? I don't know. Don't really care. Just glad that she does, and glad that she does it so well. I think you will be to. Cop. Now.



music for independence day – a collection of freedom songs

a sign reading welcome to independenceIs it just me? Even though Independence Day has come and gone, I can still sense a distinct feel of freedom in the air. Several of my acquaintances are making bold choices, breaking with normal patterns of behavior, becoming a little more daring, a little more liberated, and a lot more in touch with the little voice inside that often urges us: Just do it. Just be you. Tell your story. Dance your dance. Sing your song. For this past 4th of July holiday, I compiled a personal collection of songs about freedom and independence that I thought captured the spirit of the holiday while not necessarily being all about American patriotism. I decided to call it the ‘End Dependence Day’ playlist.

I hope you enjoy this selection of 20+ tracks that convey the importance of freedom of mind, body, heart, and spirit. More than that, I hope that in some small way, this playlist might inspire you to: make a fool of yourself for a good cause, to tell fear to go take a long walk off a short bridge, or to flip yourself the finger in the mirror – partly to symbolize defiance of your own unrealistic expectations, but mostly to see how badass you look doing it.

End Dependence Day Playlist on Grooveshark

End Dependence Day Playlist on iTunes
cheers, k

Photo: Welcome to Independence by taberandrew