Thursday, May 21, 2015

Jessica's Day Out

Hi Guys!
 The other day I had an opportunity to personally experience one of the gems in Winter Park, FL the beautiful Leu Gardens . This place is gorgeous and a must if you are visiting the city and do not mind being outside and with nature.  Leu Gardens is a 50 acre land full of multiple gardens, exhibits and a museum.  If you get a chance you should visit, the 1st Mondays of every month is FREE!! Other wise the price is only $10 for adults and $3 for kids.

Once your inside the gardens, it feels as if you've walked into a whole new world of grass, trees, spring time, bamboo and beautiful flowers. It's like nothing you have ever seen before but should experience. This particular day the sun was bright and the wind blew a soft breeze, with sounds of wind and birds chirping. I felt very peaceful and relaxed while slowly strolling and seeing young families having a picnics, colorful roses, older couples walking hand in hand, pink bananas and a clock made entirely out of flowers. All while discovering that outside is not such a bad environment but a freedom.

My favorite part of the experience was the Palms, Cyads & Bamboo garden, I love the color, feel and sound of bamboo. I've seen the tree before but I have never seen so many in one place.  What a sight! I felt like an ant looking up at how high they went and how they did a dance and song to the wind blowing. Another favorite of mines was the rose garden, what girl doesn't appreciate a set of beautiful roses.

Now if for some reason those pictures doesn't persuade you to visit Leu Gardens, then you should know about the events that are hosted their from time to time, including the jazz n' blues stroll that happens once a year under the Florida night skies. Blues artist from all over the country come and play while attendees enjoy the blues sounds  while partaking in their own picnic items, beverages and foods. you must purchase a ticket for the jazz n' blues stroll. I went for the first time last year with friends and had a blast, this year I will be more prepared with blankets, refreshments and appetizing food to keep us satisfied while we enjoy the ambiance.
Till Next Time,
Bon Manjè

Monday, May 4, 2015

Everything He Had Spoken Came True...


Hello Guys!
 I was hoping to post before the end of the week, however time did not permit me. In any case, it's funny how God has all of these promises in the Bible and we sometimes think He cannot keep them or do the same for us, but it says in Joshua 21:43-45 that "not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; EVERYTHING he had spoken came true". God keeps his promises even when we don't, keep believing and speaking.

 Now about the picture up there, here is a quick recipe with delicious whole grain polenta. I decided to put a twist on this long time favorite of mines which I grew up calling mais moulin or polenta as it is called in the states. It is a creamy and delish form of grits made with cornmeal. This dish can be made in endless varieties including with avocados and meats but I decided to pear it with black eye peas and top it off with sundried tomato tapenade.
So let's begin the recipe breakdown for Polenta with Black Eye Peas topped with Sundried Tomato Tapenade:

Sundried Tomato Tapenade
  • 2 Tbsp. Basalmic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 jar of Mediterranean Sundried Tomato in oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Klamatta Olives
  • 1/4 Cup Green Olive
  • Salt & Pepper
 Toss everything in an electric blender or food processor and pulse for about 1 & 1/2 minute. It should be a chunky consistency.

Polenta / Mais Moulin
  • 1 Cup Cornmeal (washed)
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Black Eye Peas
  • 1/4 Onion Small Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
 In a hot pan add oil then garlic, sauté till a little brown then add onion, once fragrant add cornmeal salt and pepper then sauté. After about 4 minutes add beans and chicken stock then stir for 5 minutes and let water come to a boil, make sure to taste liquid for your liking. At that point start to slowly stir and keep stirring till the mixture thickens up. This can take about 10minutes. As soon as it is thick and creamy it is ready.
Plate and serve with the tapenade.

I hope you enjoy this colorful twist from the traditional polenta. For a spicy kick, try adding 1oz of jalapenos to the tapenade before blending.

Till Next Time
Happy Manjè