Featured

Morning Walks

Birds chirping, bees buzzing,
The leaves of palm trees clapping.

Bushes rustling, nightengales singing,
Little grass twits fluttering.

Trees swishing, little toads whistling,
Noisy woodpeckers knocking.

Chippie’s feet pitter-patting, my flip flops clip-clopping.

This is the soundtrack of our early walks, in the sweet n cool December morning.

 

-Amanda Lazarus (Crazy A)

Featured

CAFE DOLCE: The new “Hot Spot” in town!

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 12.10.20 PM
#CafeDolceJa

 

A recent pop up cafe has hit the restaurant scene in Kingston, Jamaica. Tucked away between the Tile City and Kohler show rooms at 114 Constant Spring Road, (on the right at the intersection of Grants Pen Constant Spring Road) this cafe has lots to offer! For such a cozy spot one would think that it would be cramped but it’s actually an excellent use of space. There is even an mezzanine loft area above with single couches where you can work quietly in your own little corner away from the bustle of downstairs.

For decor, the cafe has a lovely mix of modern and rustic chic with a mix of taupe, brown, grey, black and white colour scheme. Quite an excellent combination to be honest, one I would not have thought of and it works well together.

They opened their doors officially on December 14 2017 and have made quite a splash ever since. Owners Lisa & Kirk Chin have quite the experience under their belt with other restaurants: Fromage Brasserie at MarketPlace, Fromage Bistro at 8 Hillcrest Ave. and the Oak Wine Bar (also on Hillcrest Ave.) They really know what they are doing and are doing it well!

One of the little things I first noticed about CAFE DOLCE is their symbol of the Pineapple. In talking with Lisa, I questioned what the significance of this was as I was intrigued. She explained that the pineapple symbolises “Hospitality and Welcoming.” I was quite impressed at this meaning as she reminded me that it is also on the Jamaica Coat of Arms representing the indigenous fruit. Further to this Lisa informed me that the cafe logo has the co-ordinates of Kingston (the north & west numbers on either side of the pineapple) This could not be a more perfect symbol for a Jamaican Cafe! I love when there are hidden meanings behind the little things that mean so much. Kudos to you Lisa, this is brilliant. A subtle way of always welcoming the Jamaican people.

Continue reading “CAFE DOLCE: The new “Hot Spot” in town!”

Featured

Hajarie: A Review of Jamaica’s Finest Tea Room/Bistro/Wine Bar

 

Hajarie (The Teapot JA) is a fairly recent bistro that has popped up in the Phoenix Ave Complex. Though not entirely new, the amazing little spot was formally known as simply: “The Teapot” and was located in Sovereign Shopping Centre. (The Movie theatre Entrance)

I remember my first few stops at their previous location. I had randomly walked in one day drawn by the display for teas (I’m a serious tea lover- having a cuppa as I write this.) and met both Owner: Jacqui Mighty and Cute Barista: Anna Hines. I quickly fell in love with the place and with them. Everything was so charming. Jacqui and Anna are such amazing people that I clicked with them immediately. I soon found myself going there to get my regular “FIX” as I became addicted to their AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS Chai Tea Latté. Soon we became fast friends and I was kept somewhat in the loop of soon to come expansion. I couldn’t wait!

When I found out that Jacqui had finally expanded, I was simply over the moon for her! I could not wait to visit the new place, and when I finally did… I was not disappointed AT ALL. I was very impressed and sooo happy for Jacqui’s new adventure. The place was absolutely perfect!

Continue reading “Hajarie: A Review of Jamaica’s Finest Tea Room/Bistro/Wine Bar”

The Big Move…#newbeginnings #newadventure

OK guys. Here it is… It’s a long read so just warning you…I’ve been dropping a lot of hints about my #newbeginnings and #newaventure recently and many of you have been asking and pushing me to “buss di secret” lol …. and there are a few I have been itching to tell. These past 2 & 1/2 weeks have been quite liberating as I have made a pretty huge life decision…. Most of you know that I have been working with my dad at Tent City Rentals for the past 4 yrs (close to) and planning for me to take over; but there are times in life when things just keep nudging you and knocking on your door that you are scared to acknowledge or open. That is what was happening to me for quiet sometime…. Sooo what’s my big secret/ new adventure?

Continue reading “The Big Move…#newbeginnings #newadventure”

What/who is a Spoonie?

 

Ok, so you may have clicked on this tab wondering “What on earth is a spoonie?” “Is this girl crazy?” Well … I am, – as my close friends would agree – to some extent lol Life would be boring otherwise! DUH!! We all gotta have a little crazy in us to get through this life.

Anyhow, on a serious note now, a “Spoonie” is a very special word. It may sound like some cutesy word but sadly it isn’t really a “cute” thing when you get to know what it is about. Sure it is a cute sounding word but really it is a way of referring to something that actually, is not so cute at all. A spoonie is someone who is sick… in my case with Fibromyalgia. It refers to anyone who suffers from any sort of disability or illness; whether it be fibro, down-syndrome, lupus or any physical alignment.

You see, the spoon theory was coined by this amazing lady Christine Miserandino. I will give you an overall gist of the spoon theory but it is best to read it from the original author so please check out her blog: But you don’t look sick

So I started typing out the spoon theory attempting to explain it step by step but realised it is much better understood by ready the original post about. However, I will try to summarise it as best as I can.

Christine and her friend were at a restaurant one day when her friend asked her what it was like to have lupus. She knew that this was the moment that she had to explain it otherwise it would be lost on her forever.  She quickly grabbed all of the spoons on the table and even on the other tables as well in the restaurant and handed her friend a bouquet of spoons. Whether it was a bouquet of spoons, forks, knives etc is irrelevant as it just so happened to be the choice for the explanation.

Continue reading “What/who is a Spoonie?”

Life is a crazy ride…

“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.”Eminem

In googling for top quotes about life I found this one. It’s not by anyone say, like Einstein or some other historic figure, but a very real and down to earth “average Joe” individual. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who said it,…. the point is that it’s a very real and powerful fact about life.

Sadly what sparked this entry is finding out this morning that a friend of mine who sadly I did not keep up with as much – now I wish I did, had a stroke and is not doing so well. She is just 3 yrs older than I am. It has scared the living daylights out of me. Really has hit home for me and I am a little sad/ embarrassed that it took this to hit home…………..

_________________________ ***_________________________

That was the start of this entry a year ago…….

I am ashamed to admit that it did not get finished and published….but I’m back to finish it and not for a good reason either…..July 10 – 13 2016 was another terrible one for the books…

Here in Jamaica a few of my good friends lost a very dear friend of theirs to suicide….. and following that the Orlando Shootings…..50 dead.. 53 injured. What the actual FUCK is going on in the world??!!

Continue reading “Life is a crazy ride…”

Sausage & Veggie Pasta with Feta & Olive Oil

Hi guys,

So I made an impromptu pasta for dinner last night and it turned out amazing! Like seriously it has moved to my Fav. Dish List (I should do a section for those). It tastes great and is quick and easy to do (which is a plus) so ppl on the go like busy moms, career men&women etc would love it. I think it is healthy too… somewhat I’m not 100% sure.

First I want to say that I suck at measurements so if you are expecting that sowee you might be disappointed. I don’t really use measurements (except for baking) as I love to experiment in the kitchen. Besides, being from the island of Jamaica we have one measurement: “bout suh.” So really my posts are for people like me who like to experiment and also have a little experience in the kitchen, enough to guesstimate the measurements on their own. But if not that’s ok, still give it a shot. The best way to learn is by doing… so read on…

Any how lets get started.

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time 15-20 mins

Continue reading “Sausage & Veggie Pasta with Feta & Olive Oil”

Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

Hi Guys,

So after yesterday’s post, I decided (after eating my awesome leftover spaghetti from last night’s dinner) that I would share this recipe for you as well. Writing about food seems to be a really good idea to keep me posting often! Again i am sorry i had to use a google image! Boy I need to just start making an file to draw from just in case!

Anyhow, this is another fairly quick and easy recipe to do. Really great for busy moms/ corporate women or anyone who isn’t really a cook but either wants to fake it or just start learning lol. I would say this dish takes roughly around the same time (or less even) as my Cream Of Mushroom Chicken recipe. (ooh fancy I added a link!!)

Let’s get to the recipe!

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Prep Time: 5-10 Mins         Cook Time: 15-20 Mins

Continue reading “Spaghetti & Meat Sauce”

Cream Of Mushroom Chicken

Hi Guys,

I have been itching to write as it has been LONG over due.

I have so much going on in my head I just can’t pick one and well…. I just decided to just jump right in and write about something quick. Who says a post has to be long right?

I just wanted to share with you a very quick and easy recipe that I made the other night for a small dinner with friends. They are new parents and are on a very strict schedule with their son so I knew I had to do something quick, easy and delicious! I love to entertain and I love to cook. I love even more to make my guest happy and loving the food so much they are asking for more! Which they did.

 

Campbell's Tasty 2-Step Chicken Bake Recipe

This recipe has 2 main ingredients:

  1. Cream of Mushroom Soup (2)
  2. Boneless Chicken (1 pack)

Super Easy!- Prep time (about 5-10 mins) Bake time (20-30 mins)

Here in Jamaica we can get packs of De-boned chicken thighs which is packed with 8 pieces so 2 per person serves 4 (typically)  You could also use breast tenderloins or just regular breast is fine too. The key for this recipe for being quick is NO BONES

I also add veggies and extra mushrooms because I LOVE mushrooms!! How can you not!!

Other Ingredients:

  1. Chopped onions
  2. Sweet Peppers
  3. (1) Tin of Mushrooms – (or if you want fresh mushrooms – but the key here is speed)

Seasonings that I use are very basic: (keep it simple!!)

  1. Salt – Be careful if it’s sea salt!
  2. Black Pepper – I love lots of black pepper but add to your taste
  3. Garlic (go heavy on this one)

Other optional seasonings to spice things up:

  1. Red pepper seeds
  2. Oregano
  3. Thyme

One thing I really want to point out here is that most NON Caribbean cultures tend to under season their dishes (no offense). So I want you guys to step it up and be brave! ADD MORE seasoning than you might be used to. I know I have not put any measurements for them because when we are cooking we DON’T measure really. Here in Jamaica we just use “bout suh” or “just a chups more.” LOL Don’t just do a DASH of this or a DASH of that. really get into it and season your meat. I want you to be able to see each ingredient! lol and for heavens sake DON’T USE MRS. DASH……. yuck! too bland!

Also remember that the soup will water down the seasonings. If that happens just add more after.

Anyways back to the recipe…..

Pre-heat your oven to 350 while seasoning the meat.

Container for cooking in: 1 MEDIUM-LARGE GLASS BAKING DISH. – You don’t want it too shallow as remember since you are using a soup you will have “gravy” and you want the chicken covered. (I know the image in this blog isn’t glass but I thought to write this after I baked so I didn’t have a picture, I had to source one from google – I will update this blog the next time I bake it)- sorry about that.

DON’T add butter,you don’t need to grease the pan. (I learned this the hard way – I was scooping it out after -yucky)!  The soup will keep everything nice and moist and it won’t stick.

After you have seasoned your meat WELL, place in the baking dish along with the veggies listed above. (you can add others if you want – green beans might be nice!) Then pour 1 and a 1/2 – 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup and place in the oven when ready. Just make sure the chicken is covered. For some 2 might be too much.

DO NOT FOLLOW ANY DIRECTIONS ON THE SOUP CAN – DON’T ADD MILK, WATER ETC. JUST THE SOUP ALONE.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes (different for each oven) until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

VOILA! THAT’S IT! Very easy, quick and filling. I think this dish would be great for busy moms/ corporate women and anyone who isn’t much into cooking but still wants to WOW their guest.

I serve this dish along with rice/quinoa and black beans and a side salad as well.

Hope you enjoyed this quick entry! Let me know how the recipe turns out for you, if you have any suggestions or questions in the comments below

Thanks!
Crazy A

Brunch Bake Review

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 8.11.12 AM

Ok Guys,

So I had wanted to post about this on Facebook as that’s is where it started but the verbiage got too long and I said let me do a short blog post instead. So here goes.

Ok so I tried this awesome recipe ( Brunch Bake ) that I found on a really awesome Facebook page that I am now obsessed with! ( https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/videos ) and it was awesome. I love to cook and I am always looking for new things to try, different ways to spice things up/ make things a little better, add more pizzaz etc. and this page has some really wicked stuff!

So on Sunday (October 11 2015)  I tried this recipe: (https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/videos) – I didn’t exactly stick to the recipe shown here but man it was a freaking HIT! It came out great!

Continue reading “Brunch Bake Review”