#avaeats: Dirty Thirty!

#avaeats: Dirty Thirty!

img_2058This post is rather late, as February 3rd was almost a month ago, but I hit my Dirty Thirty! The big 3-0!

29 was rather insane but everything happened for a reason. I reminded people of my worth, made huge life decisions, leaped out of my comfort zone, strengthened friendships + made new ones and left the security blanket that is the Trini parent’s home. As I grow, I’m excited to see how #avaeats grows with me. I bought a rice cooker—the same one mom has. It was all in preparation for 30.

While my 29th birthday was lit, it wasn’t what it could’ve been— I didn’t surround myself with the right circle. Ché told me after my 29th I’ll never have to plan another birthday again.

 

 

 

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So 30. It was dirty! Ché planned a private cannabis-infused dinner by someone I admire, chef Jourdan Cha’Taun (and her poodle, Chalky.) I’m usually in awe when I watch Jourdan’s twitter videos of her medicated meals, so my excitement to actually taste them was through the roof!

Jourdan started the evening off with a blackberry bourbon lemonade. The tangerine juice ice cubes added a little more sweetness to the cocktail, which I appreciated. It was infused with rosemary and mixed so well that I had another.

img_2237Our first course winter salad with fried brussel sprouts, romain and medicated kale chips and citrus vinn. With very earthy flavors, eating the orange slices added a little kick I enjoyed, and I never thought I’d love kale chips so much!

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Next was shrimp scampi ravioli with medicated roasted red pepper marinara and homemade French bread.

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Then we had a sous vide ribeye marinated in a sativa red wine, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and a baked lobster tail. I’m not a red wine drinker, but I definitely sipped a little with this course. I knew dessert was coming, so I made sure to save some room: the doggy bag queen has arrived!

Another cocktail was introduced, using ginger and fresh pear juice from juice mami Jourdan.

If you follow me on twitter, you know about the birthday cake debacle. Jourdan definitely made up for it with these mini s’mores cheesecakes with a medicated graham cracker coffee crust and brûlée bananas . I love roasted marshmallows!

I watched her plate and put the finishing touches on each course. Watching chefs plate is oddly soothing, yet gets my adrenaline pumping! I’m freakishly inquisitive in the kitchen so I’ll take any chance I can get at a front row seat.

You’re probably thinking that after five courses of medicated dishes, one might be too high to function. I won’t lie, I had to take a nap on her couch for a little bit before the fourth course, but drinking and other cannabis activists added to that, so I definitely wasn’t burnt out. Jourdan made sure to use an appropriate dosage for each dish to give us a well rounded and high evening. There wasn’t an overbearing taste of cannabis, like in some dishes I’ve had in the past, and the cannabis that you did taste enhance the flavor of the entire dish.

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We got a little care package at the end of the night: what was left of our fourth course, some ravioli and French bread from the second course, mini s’mores cheesecakes and bananas, what was left of the sativa red wine and a bottle of that pear-ginger juice.

img_2129Jourdan is an amazing chef and excellent host, from smudging the candles to the mint water to the flowers on the table. I couldn’t have asked for a more special birthday celebration.

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We got back to Greensboro that Monday with bags of leftovers from Atlanta. The way I was at home eating, I was a little buzzed until Thursday. Ever had a medicated French bread grilled cheese with prosciutto?

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Hello Greensboro!

I’m here and I’m settled(ish).

I’m not exactly used to being home all day; I’ve always had a job back in New York, so now I’m developing housewife tendencies and cooking any and everything my heart desires and belly craves. I’ve been here for a few weeks, so one can imagine the cravings I’ve documented so far.

I celebrated my birthday: dope post to come!

img_1967I need to start dinner before Chéo gets home from work. In the spirit of my cravings, I craved my favorite panini from Sergimmo so I had to satisfy it somehow: prosciutto, salami, mozzarella, baby spinach and fig jam on a ciabatta roll.

Made by Justy’s Valentine’s Day Special

img_2228Remember that amazing weed infused cake I got from sugar high for my potluck over the summer? Their baker and cake designer Justy reached out to me about sampling her (not infused) Valentine’s Day special—remembering how yummy my unicorn cake was, how could I turn her down?

The variety for the special is everything! Chocolate hazelnut, fruity pebble‘s, tie-dye unicorns: each cupcake was so moist and flavorful, anyone would love them as a Valentine’s Day gift! There are only a few days left, so jump on it now!

2017 Surprise Holiday Party

2017 Surprise Holiday Party

As always, our holiday party was a surprise. I wasn’t in the guessing game mood, I just wanted prosciutto.

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It was just waiting for me.

This year’s surprise holiday party activity was a pizza making class at Le Pain Quotidien, instructed by Chef Dawn Kinard. We got our hands dirty & made our own pizza dough to take home, as well as sauce prepared by Chef Dawn. Using previously prepared dough, we made personal pizzas for lunch with some toppings to choose from: mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, ricotta and parmesan.

 

 

There was a contest for the best tasting pie, judged by Chef Dawn: I came in second! Prosciutto, pepperoni, olives, ricotta and parmesan, so good!

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Unlimited champagne: thanks el jefe!

The party continued across the street at Bleeker Street Bar: libations, pool, darts & the usual RE shenanigans.

I drank everything bubbly, had two shots, then melted in the back seat of an Uber—just like last year!

#avaeats 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

#avaeats 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Hello December! The Christmas countdown has started for me: I have 24 days left to get a handful of gifts Chéo, my tribe, my office Secret Santa and my mom. While I have tunnel vision to buy gifts for my loved ones, I always make a note of anything I see that I may like for myself. Here are 12 of my favorite food-ish finds, in case anyone wants to bless me this Christmas.

Please note: I’m not receiving any type of compensation for posting these gifts, all items were found out of pure internet-surfing boredom.

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Two of a Kind Less/More Jigger – Kate Spade
Did someone say jigger shot? This Less/More jigger from Kate Spade is the perfect way to glam up your bar!

 

 

BFFs: Chicken and Waffle Hard Enamel Lapel Pins – Minimalust Studio
Chicken and Waffles has become one of those random cravings for me. I wear my heart on my sleeve; with this, I can wear my craving on my lapel! Or I can give one to my BFF. Sorry Christina, I’m cutting you out of this one!

 

 

 

Bitches Get Stuff Done Oven Mitt – alwaysfits.com
This Is Fucking Delicious Oven Mitt – alwaysfits.com
I’m convinced I’ve inherited a tongue that cusses like I sailor from my daddy—I use the term “get shit done” almost daily. I literally lost my shit when I saw these oven mitts floating around Facebook.

 

 

Unicorn Tea Set – Angioletti Designs
I wouldn’t be me without a sprinkle of unicorn somewhere on my list. This gorgeous tea set includes a 23oz teapot, 2 cups with saucers, a creamer and a sugar bowl. What I love about the Angioletti Designs shop is their flexibility—if you’re not a unicorn lover but you love the style of the set, they can customize the decal for you! And they have payment plans! It gets no better!
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Peace, Love & Good Food (thanksmas edition) – Gabrielle McBay
This is the one thing on the list that I’m not asking for—because I already have it! I’ve been following Gabrielle on twitter for a while, so once she started dropping these cookbook tweets, I stalked her a bit until she released it. She even included some hacks and prep tips that I greatly appreciate!

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Wake & Bake Spoon Set – SSEngraving
Imagine eating brownie batter off of these!

 

 

Porcelain Popcorn Pin – Monochromatiques
I’m not the biggest popcorn fan—I hate having things stuck in my teeth—but how can you not love the realism of this pin?

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Pomegranate Salt & Pepper Shakers – Michael Aram
Everyone needs gold-tone salt and pepper shakers, because yes. Each Michael Aram piece is handmade, so no two items are exactly alike—talk about lavishly unique.

9 cheeseboardVienna Transforming Bamboo Cheese Board Set – A Picnic at Ascot
I love a charcuterie platter, it really is the simplest way to make sure your guests—and even you—have something to nibble on. With levels and a hidden drawer for the tools, this is how you elevate your bad & boujee.

 

 

Eco Resin Platter – Nanna Woo Handmade
I found this shop on Instagram a few months ago and instantly fell in love with this Eco Resin collection. I saw a video of the process to make a plate from start to finish and I was mesmerized. I just love gold flakes!

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Courtly Check Cookie Jar – MacKenzie-Childs
Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite movies and this cookie jar just screams Tim Burton’s rendition.

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Munchies – Plusheez
Because you really can’t have one without the other.

Happy Hella Late Thanksgiving!

My phone has been on the fritz lately—you know how iPhones get once a new one is released—so I’ve been a bit unplugged from my phone and glued to my iPad on WiFi. I couldn’t take a decent photo for almost three weeks! But I’m back in business!

Happy hella late Thanksgiving!

Simone and her family opened their Atlanta home and table to Chéo and I, and we instantly felt like we’ve been down with the crew since forever. I finally met her Chéo’s doppelganger/her husband, Carlos, and their adorable baby girl, Aria. Sim’s mom and her wife, Hilda and T, are definitely couple and family goals—so warm, loving, hospitable, and hilarious!

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This was my first American* Thanksgiving so visions of mac & cheese and sweet potatoes danced in my head on the hour-long drive as I balanced a pan of pumpkin cheesecake brownies and a Baileys cheesecake/chocolate cake on my lap. The other sumptuousness: mashed potatoes, brisket, green beans, cranberry sauce, gumbo and rice, cornbread stuffing and the juiciest fried turkey I’ve ever had! I never show up to anyone’s home empty-handed, so that pan of brownies and cake I balanced on the way over was my dessert contribution. I tried something new with both recipes and got rave reviews!

We left at the end of the night with leftovers, a new family, and a little something extra.

 

*I had to explain to Christina what I mean by an American thanksgiving. Thanksgiving isn’t really celebrated in the West Indies, so it’s just another cook-up day to be with family. While my American friends would have mac & cheese and sweet potatoes and turkey, we’d have a few of those dishes along with roti, curry and callaloo.