An Organic Meandering

Today’s Guest Post comes from Nailah. She is unapologetically herself and an all around incredible woman!

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In my life, the things that I don’t seek and I simply allow to find me, have always rung truest. I always have been on conquests for things unknown.

A wise man put things into excellent perspective recently.

I asked, “How do you find your purpose?”

He left this thought tickling the air: If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how can you find anything? Your purpose isn’t something you find. It finds you.”

At the ripe age of 18, I knew all there was for me to do, and I set out to do it. Looking to gain wealth and accolades were the commensurate details of my voyage. I bought into the stealth lie that my passion was quantified by manmade gizmos and gadgets, and failed to see that the journey is the most golden part of our experience. The destination is forever changing.

After several jobs and many trials and errors, I feel refreshed on my road in life. I had a

stint in NYC for the few past months experimenting in one of my favorite supreme art forms, fashion. However, I started to feel angst again, like it was being forced and coerced.

I switched lanes. I started interviewing for farm apprenticeships, and finally landed one in Pennsylvania! I have never felt more fulfilled in my life. Each day I work until my back aches, yet and still my heart smiles ad meets the sun daily in transcendent gratefulness.

More than anything, I am humbled and thankful. I have been steeped in patience and tempered in diligence that surmounts bitterness and self-doubt.

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Cheers to life- xx

Nailah Marie

Zoë on being internally driven

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I think that used to be one of the most intimidating questions I’d ever heard back when I was 13. How the heck was I supposed to know? Back then, my biggest concern used to be what colour sneakers I should buy for P.E. However, by the time it came for me to go to university, I had grown out of my childhood fashion dilemmas and had my heart set on being a chef. I had my mother’s full support, but every other family member tried to give me an alternative. My father suggested I study interior decorating and team up with him and his architecture firm. Both sets of grandparents suggested I go into medicine, one set even said that they would send me application forms for the local college to be an X-ray technician. Other family members  and friends would always gave me the ‘ oh that’s cute’ face when I told them my dreams and goals. I was basically on my own, but you know what? Not for one second did I buckle under the pressure of doubt. I knew exactly what I wanted and I went for it.

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sunglasses – random London market jacket – zara top – boohoo leggings – boohoo booties – H&M

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In 2008, I left my little rock in the sun, Jamaica, and went to The Culinary Institute of America. Hands down the #1 culinary school on that side of the world. This is where I met one of the strongest women I know and someone who has turned out to be one of my best friends: the wonderful Dionne Reid. Ten years, numerous restaurants and 5 countries later, all the persistence and hard work has paid off. Not only can I work any section of a kitchen, but I am now training to become a restaurant manager. There were times I doubted myself, times the hours were too long, the work stress too difficult, the lack of a social life or interaction unbearable. Times I hated putting on the tough role of being the only woman in the kitchen, trying hard to stay afloat in a man’s world. I had many moments when I wanted to pack my bags and go home, give up on being so adventurous and just have a normal life. But God took me through every step of the way, over every single hurdle. He kept me focused and kept my feet planted but most importantly gave me strength. I made it through and am STILL making it through day by day.

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So the moral of my little story today is this: Never let anyone tell you you can’t do something, especially yourself.

There is a whole world out there, it seems scary but there is actually so much waiting for you to experience, to expand your knowledge and broaden your horizons. Don’t hold yourself back from anything your heart truly desires, if the passion is there a way will always be made. Never give up on yourself, don’t let people put you down, everything you go through will always pay off in the end.

Even now my grandma will still drop a line like “It’s not too late to be a doctor.” Honestly all I can do is smile when she says it because I know what my heart is set on and I know I believe in me. You can do anything you put your mind to, your biggest supporter is YOU! Once you remember that, nothing else matters. As my man Bruno says ‘ Don’t believe me just watch!!’ Every time I here this song it just gives me a burst of confidence and energy. I hope it does the same for you 🙂

 

banana-orange bread with banana chip crunch topping

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hi guys! this is how you know we love our readers here at need4reid: we share our most guarded recipes. this recipe has been under development for a while and has finally been perfected. along the way, it has developed a mini cult-following at church functions, family gatherings and mini get-togethers among friends.
we don’t like to toot our own horn, but it’s been described by many as the “best banana bread i’ve ever tasted”.
it’s your classic dump-and-stir quick bread method and  doesn’t use too many utensils! so the next time you you have some overripe bananas give this a shot. just be sure to stop by and tell us how it went!
banana- orange bread
        2 cups sifted flour
        1 tsp baking powder
        1 tsp baking soda
        1/2 tsp salt
       2 overripe bananas (can be increased to 3 bananas if you like you bread extra pudding-y)

        6 Tbsp unsalted butter
        2 Tbsp coconut oil
        2 large eggs
        1/2 cup plain greek yogurt  (you may use sour cream instead)
        1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
        1 tsp vanilla extract
        1 tsp almond essence
        zest of one orange, finely grated
        1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
        1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
banana chip crunch topping
      1/2 cup st. mary’s banana chips, crushed
      3 Tbsp rolled oats
      1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
      1 Tbsp pecans, chopped
      1 Tbsp sliced almonds, chopped
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
      1 Tbsp dark rum
      1 tsp sea salt flakes
      1/4 tsp cinnamon
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method
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease & flour a standard sized loaf pan. combine all ingredients for crunch topping. set aside.
2. sift flour, baking soda, baking powder & salt in a large mixing bowl. add cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest and set aside.
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3. put butter, coconut oil and bananas in a microwave safe bowl. microwave for a minute. remove from microwave and mash.
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4. add sugars, yogurt,  eggs, vanilla and remaining ingredients. whisk until a homogenous mixture is formed.
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5. using whisk, mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture well.
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6. pour batter into prepared loaf pan. sprinkle the crunch topping evenly over the batter  & bake for 45 – 60 mins or until finished.
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enjoy!

broke gal quiche

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yields 6 -8 servings

here’s the thing about need4reid: we celebrate the boughetto. do not be alarmed if we wax poetic about a subject and then chip in a few cuss words. or wear a classy outfit and feature trap music in the same post. in the same vein, today’s recipe is on cheap quiche: the clear-out-your-pantry-quiche, the oops-i-knew-i-shouldn’t-have-bought-those-shoes quiche, the shit-it’s-month-end-and-i-don’t-wanna-starve quiche.
i’ve taken the liberty of sharing two ratios. a method by which i believe it is truly the easiest to not only cook, but cook well. below you will see a custard of a 3:1 egg to greek yogurt ratio, and a 1:1:1 ratio for the filling. simple, simple.

in fact, it’s the simplicity that makes this recipe so appealing. even the crust is simple; all the steps, from start to finish are done in the pie dish. i prefer a clear pie dish, because it’s easy to see all the browning action but you can use an opaque one or a 9-inch cake pan, if that’s what you have available. however, i wouldn’t suggest bring the crust all the way up the sides, since it is already very crumby once baked.

for the crust:

1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar 
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil (if you would prefer not to have a crust with a distinctive flavor use a full 1/2 cup of canola oil)
3 tablespoons cream (OR any kind of milk available in your fridge)

preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. mix together all dry ingredients with a fork in pie dish.
make a well in flour mixture and add oil and milk. use fork to combine until dough is formed.
use fingers to press dough to sides of pan. using the base of a measuring cup, flatten the dough on the base of the pan.
using the fork, make holes in the dough.
bake for approximately 20 minutes or until just starting to brown.
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poor girl’s quiche ratio:

1 cup meatkind (sausage, jerked bacon, ham, saltfish)
1 cup cheese (parmesan, cheddar, gruyere,fontina)
1/4 cup aromatics (onion, garlic, scallion, peppers, herbs)
1 cup filler (tomatoes, corn, callaloo, beans)

custard ratio:

3 large eggs
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 cup greek yogurt or cream
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste

for need4reid filling:

1/3 of a pack of uncured bacon
1 cup fresh corn kernels, from 2 ears of sweet corn
2/3 cup mexican cheese mix
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 diced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper , minced
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

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in oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place bacon on sheet tray lined with foil. season with half of ground allspice and red pepper flakes mixture. cook until crispy, approximately 20 mins.

remove bacon from oven. and place on paper towels to get rid of excess fat. drain the excess fat from the sheet tray into a skillet. heat skillet over medium high heat  till pan is smoking.  add corn kernels. using a rubber spatula, stir the kernels once they begin to blister. leave the kernels unbothered for 30 seconds, then stir again. continue this action until kernels are evenly blistered. season with salt and pepper.

lower flame to medium. add onion, tomatoes,peppers and garlic. cook until tender, approximately 2 minutes. season with salt, pepper and remaining allspice and red pepper flakes.

to assemble quiche:

Sprinkle half the mexican cheese mix over the bottom of the pie crust and top with the fillings.
Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, cream, parmesan, salt and pepper until homogenous. Pour the custard into the pie crust. sprinkle the remaining cheese over top. bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set but the quiche still jiggles a little in the center. Cool for at least 20 minutes if to be eaten immediately.

if not cool for 20 minutes, then refrigerate. to reheat, place in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven. reheat until quiche is between lukewarm and hot, because balance. plus, the custard will get rubbery, and that’s gross.

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let me know if any of you try this out!

N.B. –
•a flavoring oil adds dimension to the flavor of the crust, even after baking. don’t be afraid to use more adventurous oils, like toasted sesame seed oil.
• parmesan cheese  adds a delicate richness to the custard, if you decide to use this, limit the amount of salt used in the custard.
• it’s nice to save some decorative pieces of elements of your filling as garnish. not only does it look good when baked, it also indicates to your guests what is in your quiche.

 

JAMAICA JAMAICA haul

i’m still getting the hang of this YouTube thing. so please forgive the shaky camera, the interruptions and the beeping noise in the background.

that said, here is a run down of some must-haves and some indulgences i got while i was at home.

 

 

all prices mentioned except those from BlackUp Cosmetics are in JMD

Megamart – Jerked sausage
Sorrel wine
Calico Jack Rum Punch

Fontana Pharmacy – Ettenio Scalp Restore

Clinicare Pharmacy, Whitter Village – Starfish Oils Candle
LA Girl Concealer
Mango Pepper Jelly

Whitter Village Perfume Store – Black Up blush in BL03 and BL02

P.S. the buggers at TSA ended taking my sausage. i’m pissed.

i hope you enjoy the video! please subscribe to need4reid on youtube.

 

 

B.A.A.T.

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don’t trust a person who doesn’t love, or at least appreciate a good sandwich. just don’t. let me tell you why:
1. they don’t know how to get down and dirty with food. a sandwich doesn’t need utensils, it’s hand to mouth consumption. a person that doesn’t appreciate this is a prude. rid your life of them.
2.  bread is like edible tupperware. those two glorious slices of bread make all ingredients portable. a person that doesn’t appreciate a sandwich, doesn’t appreciate convenience. they will only make your life harder.
3. virtually anything can be made into a sandwich. you can get so crafty with your leftovers, and it’s so economical. which means, a person who doesn’t love a good sandwich is not only lacking in creativity, that person is also a spendthrift. you don’t need that drama.

so, my fellow sandwich lovers, meet the BAAT, the BLT’s sexier, sassier cousin- my favorite sandwich of all time (grilled cheese doesn’t count).

it is bacon! it is avocado! it is arugula and tomato! all of which get to love up on each other in between two slices of brioche bread. the sandwich is savory and sweet and tart and creamy. today,  i’ll be sharing the recipe with you. just picture that i’m drake and thank me later.

*all ingredients + wine may be sourced at whole foods

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B.A.A.T.

yields 4 servings

1 pkg uncured bacon
8 1″ slices of brioche (can be substituted for hard dough bread or challah bread)
2 oz arugula
1 avocado, halved then sliced
1 tomato, halved then sliced
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
Maldon sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper

method:

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. line a sheet tray or baking dish with aluminum foil.

2. slice the pack of bacon in three, so that each rasher of bacon is cut into thirds. arrange in baking dish and and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy and the bacon fat has rendered.

3. remove bacon and cool on a plate lined with paper towel. dip each slice of bread in bacon fat and arrange in baking dish. return dish to oven. once the bread is toasted, remove the dish from the oven; approximately 3 mins.

4. remove bread from dish. spread mayonnaise on bread then layer with tomato.  season the tomato slices with sea salt, add bacon, then layer the avocado slices on top. season the avocado with black pepper, add arugula and last slice of bread.

5. enjoy with a glass of rosé.

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laurent miquel père et fils cinsault syrah 2013 is an excellent pairing. the wine is refreshing and has a good amount of sourness that complements the fattiness of the bacon and avocado well. the strawberry and watermelon on the palate pairs well with the spiciness of the arugula. this rosé is perfect for warmer weather; fruity but dry.

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here’s a tune to jam out to while you cook!

 

photos by Herbert Yuen

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