Breezy Mornings & Plant Hunting!

Hello Y’all! I hope you’re doing well in your part of the world? Its the weekend and its fairly nice out in North Texas! I spent a lot of the early part of my day at a commercial garden trying to get some greenery for my home. Thanks to Storm Uri, my only surviving snake plant was frozen to death and, I was sooooo devastated that I wasn’t ready to find a replacement just yet. That is , until today. Now, for those of you who own pets, you’re probably rolling your eyes like ‘plants have no character and can be replaced’, but I’d like to consider myself one step above some of my friends who own ‘pet rocks’….I kid you not. Pet rocks with googly eyes stuck to them…..the epitome of self centeredness if you ask me. At least with plants, its a living thing…that’s muted, 100 percent of the time haha!

If you’ve been with me on this journey for a moment, you’ll remember a post I wrote called Green Thumb?…Or Not | Periwinkle Starr (myeamba.com) It was my attempt to start a garden that covered a lot of the hacks I faced trying to grow a few plants on my then balcony. Fast forward to this morning, I decided to go looking with the hopes of finding the plant best suited for me.

Do you ever notice how beautiful plants look at the greenhouses or gardens; they’re so lush and vibrant, you want to take every plant home with you. But after you purchase a couple and about two weeks later, you can’t even recognize them or they’re either half dead or all dead? Well, I discovered the secret today. They had speakers throughout the place reading history lessons to these plants in soft tones, there were misty showers every now and they going off and people tending to these plants EVERY whim…if I could say that. But when you take the plant home, you give it water or nutrients every couple of days (or when you remember) and expect it thrive. There’s no way.

My Post Uri Plant Requirements.

  • I wanted something sturdy-er.
  • I wanted a plant that did not require daily attention, music, or history lessons read in soft tones. It’s 2021 folks, no one has time for that.
  • A plant that did not need automatic misting every couple of minutes
  • I didn’t want a Cactus either…that’s a whole other extreme.

The options were endless. A couple of pictures I took when I was looking around and trying to figure out what I was looking at and what would be most suitable for me.

Now, these are pictures without descriptions…obviously and only for your viewing pleasure. πŸ™‚ I’m no green thumb (at least not yet), and I do not possess a vast know-how when it comes to plant nomenclature. But I was thankful for the tips I got from the attendants and the little cards they stick in the pots. Those were helpful in making my final decision. In the end, I settled on a Adenium Arabicum plant aka a Desert Rose. It fit everything I wanted and it wasn’t a Cactus.

Pretty, Sturdy and Resilient!

Mission Accomplished! My plant has since been potted and sitting nicely on my porch. Its planting season guys, If you haven’t gotten around to checking in on your plants or that garden you’ve always wanted to plant but haven’t gotten around to, now is the time! Heading in to make myself a huge cup of tea and catch up with friends. Feel free to Like, Comment and Follow this blog as we journey through life together. I hope you enjoy what’s left of your weekend, until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Coffee, Sweet Pastries & Great Conversations!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. We are already in the month of April and I checked up on my lifestyle tweaks for the year to make sure I was on the right track. I really need to stay on track and stick to the plan haha. But anyway, I had some free time on the weekend and decided to unearth my binder of recipes that I want to make (at some point) – It’s actually a folder of printed recipes with some cut outs from magazines. I decided to try my hands at Oatmeal Raisin cookies while I was at it. My thoughts went back to a year ago when we were all locked in and couldn’t even meet with friends for coffee or drinks. It was so isolating when all we had was zoom and phones to communicate with each other. I missed meeting up or cooking meals with friends and family, It’s kind of my way of spending quality time. It was so bad, the animal shelters were empty because those who lived alone went and got a pet…any pet just to help pass the time.

Meal prepping is like any other craft or hobby that takes my mind off everything else going on and I can zero in and focus 100 percent on a few things such as getting the taste right, the consistency on point and ensuring it’s edible in the end. Every family has it’s own relationship with food even from the earlier times. I remember growing up as a child and being around family during the festivities. I realized that the best adult conversations especially with the women of the family could be overheard when they were meal prepping. So the plan was to loiter around and pretend I was a fly on the counter just to get ALL of the gist…LOL!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!!

Finished Product:

I wasn’t pleased with the end result to be honest because, I mistakenly added twice the amount of baking soda than was needed…haha! The cookies turned out bitter (quite frankly) and there went my snacks. The good thing is I know what not to do next time. Meal prepping or baking can be a hassle for some but for those of us who sometimes find it therapeutic, I’d say ‘keep trying your hands at recipes until you perfect it’. I’ve posted the original recipe on here…no need to use mine.

If you’re on a diet, look up healthy-er recipes if you must and if you’ve never really tried your hands at making ‘anything’, why not start today. It’s never too late to start. Get together with friends and have a laugh while you’re at it. Be safe, upbeat and full of positivity!! Until I come your way again, keep on baking.

Periwinkle Starr

Tell Your Story!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the globe. It’s been a minute since my last post and life has somewhat returned to normal since Snowstorm Uri decided to take a hike. Its March!! Happy New month to you all. I hope your new year resolutions are still on? People say that most individuals fall off the wagon by the end of January but hopefully you’re still in it till the end.

Do you ever have those days where you’re up late and craving all things rich in calories, savory on the taste buds and filling for your belly? Well, this was one of those nights for me. I had been craving pizza all week but tonight was different. It was as if my stomach was saying ‘It’s either you do something about this or neither one of us is sleeping tonight’…jeez. So I do the right thing by looking up the calories in a pizza I would usually get in the past and the time of day I intended ingesting those calories…I changed my mind and decided to make my own; Free of the excess oils and hidden fats. A recipe that I could count all the ingredients on one hand…Ha Ha! Off to the kitchen I went to make my own pizza. Surprisingly, once I got started, the growling in my stomach settled down quite a bit. I started to wonder, best hurry up now before it resumes again. Photos and recipe are below!!!

My post today is about the power of communication. We all have a story. Life happens to E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, are phrases we are all too familiar with. I noticed that the most open phases of communication is when we’re kids and have no filter, and when we’re old-ER and no longer care what the world thinks. But there’s a gap between these two phases where we are either outwardly silenced or inwardly feel the need to conceal, withhold, or reveal as little as possible. Keeping up with appearances, not wanting to ruffle feathers, show weakness or simply ignoring things and hoping they’d die off or disappear are some of the coping mechanisms that we pick up along the way. This may appear fine and good in the moment but can I tell you that the burden on the human body is so heavy that emotional and mental weights have now been proven to cause illness, cancer, tremors, hernias, high blood pressure…you name it.

I stumbled upon a show where a neurosurgeon was talking about the connection between the body, the mind and the human spirit and it blew my mind. I later listened/read (can’t remember which), a story of an elderly woman who had a tremor. She had issues with walking and just doing everyday simple things. A neighbor invited her over to join their small group which she obliged since she lived alone and company would be good. On a particular day during the groups meeting, everyone was to share on something that happened to them that they never really opened up about. One by one, each person shared their story – nothing was too big or too insignificant, if it mattered to them, it was important.

It came time for the old lady to speak, she looked down, took a deep breath, and still shaking started talking. Her son had died many years ago. It was devastating. Everyone expected her to get over it and move on after the grieving period was over (technically). But she wasn’t ready. Attempts to talk about it were shut down. It was too painful for her husband to remember. And so, she buried it within her soul. As she spoke, pausing to wipe her eyes every now and again, one of the people in the group spoke ‘you’re not shaking’ he said. The old lady stopped and looked down at her hands. The tremors weren’t there. She could not believe it. She held out her hands and the shaking was almost non existent. The meeting at this point was over, everyone came round to give her hugs, there were more tears but it could only be a miracle that this happened.

When I listened to that story, I feel like the grief she was not allowed to express had to be suppressed. Since it was suppressed, the emotional stress of carrying this burden began to break down her physical body, manifesting itself as a tremor. Folks, I am not a medical doctor of any sort but I strongly believe that our mind, bodies and soul are intertwined and have the ability to affect the other especially when we’re out of sync, stressed, traumatized or holding unto blacked out memories that we have forgotten we even have. I feel that instead of waiting for the ‘I don’t give a rats behind years’, why don’t we give ourselves permission to be our authentic selves and speak our truth…NOW. I feel like old age should be enjoyed and not just spent in and out of medical facilities because of things we could have dealt with.

Disclaimer: Not all ailments are mentally or emotionally related but a lot of them are.

My Late Night (Two Crust) Pizza Recipe!

Crust Ingredients: 2 Cups of Flour, 1/2 Tsp of Salt, 2 tsp of Fast Acting Yeast, 1/2 Cup of Water, 1 tsp of Sugar.

Topping are whatever I had in my fridge at the time: Pepperoni, Black Olives, Pickled Banana Peppers and Green Bell Peppers, (No Cheese TYVM).

Sauce: A combination of Marinara Sauce & Ketchup.

Directions: Warm the water in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add sugar and then yeast. In a mixing bowl, add flour and salt and mix. Pour in the foamy, activated, yeast water. Mix and cover for one hour. Turn your Oven to 350oF. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the dough and a dusting of flour. Divide dough into two and refrigerate one half for later. Get your rolling pin and stretch the dough out. Get a pan and apply cooking spray. Transfer the dough and stretch some more using your fingers. Add the tomato sauce, toppings and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Its ready. Cravings satisfied. Time for bed!

Until I come your way again. Tell your story, it may be the one thing that can save your life, your health, your relationships…you never know until to speak your truth.

Periwinkle Starr

Snowflakes In My Hair, Stars In My Eyes!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s a winter wonderland in most of Texas. This reminds me so much of the Midwest. As a Ohioan transplant to the south, I actually feel like I brought the cold weather with me. Oh and by the way, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine Day celebration? The storm hit us hard in North Texas. Several lost power, others suffered burst pipes and flooding but Texans are resilient and are going to come through this in the end. So stay strong and be optimistic because this too shall pass.

On the up side, we had a winter wonderland of sorts. If you were blind folded and put on a plane and dropped off somewhere in Texas, I can guarantee, you would not realize where you are. But on a positive note, I’m going to share some of the fun things I did during the snow lockdown (I guess lockdowns are the norm these days) to bid time, but also to remain positive and ward off the blues are below.

Surviving The Texan Snow Storm!!

I baked healthy Oatmeal/Toffee-bit Muffins, I tried my hands at a couple of soup recipes I found online and drank a ton of tea…literally.

I organized a bit

Got caught up on some shows, watched a Diners, Drive in and Dives marathon and a few housewife reunions…haha! I know I surrendered a couple of braincells to the waste bin, but it was worth it. I gained nothing!

Got some shut eye…since we were all trapped at home. Naps were a good way to rest and pass the time.

Journaling came in handy because of the peace and quiet.

I swept the snow off my patio….and literally became one with the snow. Couldn’t feel my face, hands and toes afterwards.

The weather is warming up in the next couple of days. Remember to stay layered up and not expose yourself. COVID is still alive and well the last time I checked and we don’t want to guess if we’ve caught it or just experiencing flu symptoms. A lot of people had it rough during this time and my heart goes out to them. We ought to be thankful for life, love and family. I’m going to hold unto the memory of having snowflakes in my hair and stars in my eyes…in Texas!! Please like, comment and share. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Something To Smile About!

Hello Y’all ! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s February already and from what I’ve seen the last couple of days, 2021 is already picking up speed. Its been so beautiful and breezy this weekend and I’m starting to get my hopes up that the weather is going to change in my favor. But who knows what the weather will be in North Texas anyway.

I have decided to start the year off right by cleaning house. I honestly don’t know why I keep watching the show Hoarding, Buried Alive, but I do. It reminds me of when I was a kid and would watch horror movies from behind the couch, wrapped to my eyeballs in blankets. One of those movies titled ‘Crow Haven Farm’ scared the life out of me but I kept on watching…haha! Living in a wealthy and blessed country with retail options for everyone, not to mention the sales happening every other day; coupled with access to credit cards and numerous payment options, ANYONE can be a hoarder. And that’s the Gods honest truth. So if you would like to join the squad and ‘clean house’ this new year, grab a glass of wine or your favorite beverage, a notepad and a pen and a snack; climb into your favorite chair and lets get to work.

Taking Inventory: Going through my home room by room and taking note of what I have, don’t really use or need and what can be traded, given away or discarded. Or you can group things into categories like cosmetics, clothing, accessories (hair, footwear, perfume or even nail polish), cooking utensils (some of us have had items for years that really need to be swapped out with the exception of family heirlooms, keepsakes or antiques), books, furniture, or odd gift items (wink) etc.

Make A Decision: Decide what you would want to keep, what you would like to sell, what you would like to give away and what items you would like to trash. There’s nothing wrong with having stuff just as long as we don’t let the stuff have us. I had this feeling that I had written a similar post to this one and after taking a look back, I realized I had. I think I’ll call this a Part II or sequel of that post so If you haven’t already, check it out at Cash In The Attic?! | Periwinkle Starr (myeamba.com) πŸ™‚ But on the other hand, if you cannot decide, you can always get the help of friends, family or consultants to do it for you.

Reorganize: You don’t have to break the bank but you can spruce up your space by removing unnecessary clutter, make your space vibrant, uplifting and fun! Some times little tweaks to a space change the mood in the room, and even give you a bounce to your step whenever you’re in that space. I love, love window shopping and would give myself a couple minutes to reroute my plans whenever I see something interesting or different. Did someone say squirrel? LOL. But a major part or reorganizing is getting rid of the old and letting in the new.

It’s a new year folks. Covid or No Covid. We are and will always be resilient; and we will keep living our lives to the best of our abilities, being free of fear, being safe and having some sense of normalcy. I have heard of a lot of people who have lost friends and even family to this darned virus and it makes me so sad and more concerned for the future. But never the less, I choose to be hopeful. I choose to love on my family and loved ones and check on my friends. Until I come your way again, take some time to do something for you, something worth smiling about. I remain

Periwinkle Starr

For The Sweet Toothers Out Here: Let’s Make Chocolate!

Hello Y’all! Happy New Year and a Belated Merry Christmas to you! I hope you got to rest, celebrate and enjoy the holiday. We made it into 2021! What a year that was but its gone now and we are looking forward to bigger and better. My plea to 2021 is to be kind and gentle on us all. With the festivities being over, I’m about ready to be begin my health routine aka diet but I decided to have one last hoorah before I did. I was organizing my pantry and stumbled upon a chocolatier/chocolate making kit. This was a Secret Santa gift from work that I totally forgot about. It had been sitting there for years and I felt it was about time I at least tried my hands at making my own batch of homemade chocolate. The kit came with a little recipe book, a couple of tiny molds and a spiral stirrer. Since I recently watched reruns of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie, I felt it was a sign.

So I looked up the recipes to see what I wanted to try my hands at. I’m not exactly sure there is any such thing as a low calorie chocolate recipe that still taste good but I was up for the challenge. I found some of the recipes so delectable and high on calories that I decided against making any of them and to instead go on YouTube and find something lower in calories – for starters. I mean, a tiny piece of chocolate was the same amount of calories as a small salad bowl. C’mon man! (Joe’s fav phrase), we just had two holidays back to back, and I am trying to choose the lesser of two apparent evils here ha…ha!

A Simple Chocolate Recipe!

Ingredients: 1 Cup Icing or Confectionery Sugar. 1/2 Cup Milk Powder. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder. 2/3 Cup of Coconut Oil. Extra Additives: Some prefer brown sugar instead. Others may add nuts or vanilla extract for an extra pop. The choice is yours!

Utensils: A sauce pan, a sturdy glass bowl (preferred), a sieve, chocolate mold, a mixing spoon and measuring cups.

Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add water to a sauce pan and turn up the heat. Place the glass bowl over the sauce pan and add the coconut oil. Then slowly add the powdered mixture in small quantities while stirring as you go. Keep stirring till it’s well incorporated for a few minutes. Remove from sauce pan and using a table spoon scoop into molds and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Le chocolat et pret!!

My Take. The Results: Instead of the 2/3 Cup of coconut oil, I used a little over 1/3 Cup in mine. Many reviewers said theirs was runny and didn’t solidify at all and I guess that was the reason. I also cut back on the amount of sugar I used. Instead of one full cup, I used a little less than a cup (almost a cup). You might need to purchase more molds if you don’t have those already. I ended up improvising with small plastic containers because I ran out of molds πŸ™‚ All in all, it was an easy pea-sy recipe. So try it out!

(14) 4 ingredients Homemade Chocolate Recipe | How To Make Chocolate At Home | Yummy – YouTube

As you enjoy this sweet treat, be hopeful, optimistic and full of faith and positivity that 2021 will be a sweet year despite whatever the happenings are in the world around you. Many thanks to all followers of this blog and to those who stumble upon Periwinkle Starr, thank you for reading as well. Until I come your way again, please like, comment and follow. I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Good Vibes Only!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? I was up late one night with some time on my hands and decided to get this post going while my creative juices were still flowing…oh the joys of writing. As the name implies, ‘Good Vibes’ is a term that’s easily tossed around in everyday conversation so much so, that we can overlook what it really means or it’s implications. But there is a deeper meaning that the definition does not do enough justice to and I’m going to shed a little bit more light on it in this post.

When I fly, one of the things I memorize once I’m seated in a plane are the safety features, where the exits are located and what to do in case of an emergency. One of the instructions that irk me every time I hear it is when the flight attendant asks us to ‘put on the drop down oxygen mask first before helping your child’, heaven forbid something happens during the flight. This statement has never really sat well with me until it hit me. You have to be OK, alert, or afloat before you can help someone else – irrespective of who they are to you. I notice that no matter how much you may want, wish, love to help or assist or even visualize good things for loved ones; the decisions they take must happen between their own two ears, and the overall outcome is THEIR responsibility and not yours. This is often a hard pill to swallow especially when you have a ‘rescuer’ type personality, but in reality, it rings true. At the end of the day, we have the sole responsibility of creating healthy boundaries, enforcing them, keeping our peace and enjoying life while fulfilling our own purpose. Here are a few things that can and will help.

Learn to Be Kind to Yourself. Good vibes start within you. People tend to be harder on themselves than they would be on others. Stopping all forms of negative self talk or harsh chastisement is something that we may need to be intentional about and catch ourselves a couple of times before our brain can actually breaks the cycle (something I read some where about breaking bad habits and how many times you have to do it for your brain to grow new neurons – ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!). A famous saying is to love thy neighbor as thyself – the goal is to FIRST love yourself, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, forgive yourself, and then comes the ‘others’. But how often do we find ourselves doing things for others that we would not even think to do for ourselves – because somewhere, at some point in our lives, we have been trained to think that we do not matter which is so far from the truth.

Get a Backbone. Standing up for yourself verbally, mentally, relationally is very important because it sets the stage and informs those around you that you will not tolerate unacceptable behavior. The backlash will come depending on the health of your inner circle, and you will hear words like ‘stubborn, difficult, opinionated…and more. These are complaints of those who can no longer take advantage, can no longer control, use or abuse you. But keep at it because the world is learning who you are. I guarantee that you will have a little bit more peace after this.

Be Responsible. This is a tough one but being self sufficient or self reliant in life gives you the ability to set the bounds around your life. As the saying goes ‘He who pays the piper, controls the tune’. Self sufficiency is a broad spectrum that could mean a myriad of things ranging from being financially stable or having a roof over your head, to being in control of vital decisions that affect your life. If you aren’t there yet, work towards attaining this goal. It will pay off in the end. There are countless cases of violations that occur just because we are at the mercy of cruel or unhealthy people.

When People Talk, Listen. There is a famous saying ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’. As humans, we are always communicating who we are to the world around us, whether it’s being funny, sarcastic, gossiping, slander, non-verbal communication or mental projections. The key is to listen. People say what they really feel, not in grandiose conversations (although that tends to happen sometimes), but in every day chatter. Being an avid listener will save you a whole lot because you will be able to sift out those you can truly trust and those you should not cast your pearls to (literally).

We are Human Antennas. Have you ever met a person, maybe lived with them or worked in close proximity with them who outwardly were nice, did all the right things but in your heart, something just didn’t sit right with you about them? Well, that’s your gut or antenna picking up on something that transcends the physical realm and should not be ignored. Haven’t we all heard countless stories of ‘I had a gut feeling about ‘them’ but no outward proof to back it up’, or ‘They were so charming, I just ignored the feeling’.

Whether You Like It or Not, You Are in a War. You are in a fight for survival, a fight to be, a fight to not just thrive but flourish, a fight to be happy, sane and free. Our everyday life is fraught with things fighting for our attention, fighting to drain our energy if we would just let it, or fighting for our emotions or our time (fill in the blank). We need to fight to keep negative or undesirables at bay in the context of what we can control. The choice at the end of the day is yours.

Hold Your Lines. Do you ever notice that when an unhealthy individual comes in contact with a healthy person who they cannot access, cannot control, cannot manipulate or take advantage of, they become livid, they will hate your guts, they will try to take jabs (or chicken scratches in my opinion) at your armor, but they will not and cannot succeed because you see them, you know what they are about and as a principle, you do not budge or subscribe to those type of channels.

Be Kind to Others. The world has enough evil in it already. Be kind. Do unto those as would like done unto you but still use wisdom. Treating people the way they truly deserve does not make you any better than they are. Put out into the universe what you would like to receive from it.

Skip into the Sunset. Folks, life comes with it’s own challenges – it’s called being human. There are no real super hero’s but there are people who have mastered the ‘Art of Living‘ and I believe the earlier we master this art, the better we will be at doing life well. At the end of the day, if you incorporate these basic things into your routine, things may not automatically snap into instant perfection BUT you will be lighter, you will enjoy the simple things more, you will be a healthier and mentally stronger person all round and giddy enough to skip into the sunset because you have done the best you can. Thank you so much for reading. Please like, follow and comment. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Happy Turkey Day!

Hello Folks! I trust you are doing well in your part of the world. Here in North Texas, it’s Thanksgiving Day. I’m not so certain in these times we are in with giving ‘absolutes’ on any information especially now that we have a couple of states banning the Holiday or limiting the number of family members you can have over at your Grandma’s house, which I think is absurd but another story for another day.

I woke up this morning to the news that Diego Maradona has passed on and it was a shocker. Now, for some of the younger millennials or Generation Z folks who may not be familiar with this guy, He was like the Michael Jackson of soccer. He was phenomenal on the field. Once he got the ball, the opposing teams could literally see their courage leave the stadium, go back to their hotels, pack their bags and head to the airport because it was GAME OVER – that was how amazing he was. But like all great talents, it almost seems like their demons are more fierce (for lack of a better word). All in all, he made his mark in the world. He put Argentina on the map and he will be missed. May his soul find peace and his family comforted.

The weather was bright with a tolerable hue of sunshine. We had a soft breeze that wasn’t typical for this time of year but it was awesome and I had a great time. Thanksgiving this year was great but … different. We all know 2020 started off right until it got ‘jacked up’ by COVID and just when we were just about getting our lives back to normal, then we got on the political impeachment, then the second term election trail which, hard as many of us tried to stay out of it, could not because the craziness hit an all time high. At this point, I kinda want my money back, and I mean for the first 6 months of the year LOL…as if we, the mere mortals that we are can ask anything of the creator. But hey! On a lighter note, we have so much to be thankful for; because if you are reading this post, you are still here. And that is more than enough.

I don’t know about you but I see a trend over the past couple of years especially with the holidays and if you are seeing what I’m seeing, then you know what I’m talking about because you see it too. Less and less people are cooking meals these days and instead opting for meal pick-up services, curb side deliveries or even getting a chef to cook in their homes while they channel all the energy that it would have taken to cook the meals to actually relaxing, spending time with family, friends and loved ones. If you ask me, that makes a lot of sense and is justifiable on all counts BUT there is such a thing as a home cooked meal, a meal made with love, care and patience that trumps restaurant or ”assembly-line’ delivered food. But at the end of the day, everyone is not going to be a Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart and for some that is ok. Friends, today is the day to sit back, throw off all diets, all food trackers and treat yourself.

It’s been a very different year than what we have ever experienced but we are still here and it’s worth being thankful for. Hug your loved ones. Do something nice for your friends and or co-workers. I’m just a little intrigued as to whether there will be any social distancing for the Black Friday shoppers this year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Be safe, have fun and until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Results (Ahem)…Pie’s Are In!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? It feels like autumn already in North Texas and the time has come to change out Summer wear for Winter gear. It’s also officially baking season and I am so excited to dust off my baking pans and try my hands at baking something new. I had to get a solid pie dish as my old one had rusted all the way to Pennsylvania and back LOL…but with COVID still on the loose, I’m not about to add tetanus to the list of contagious ailments. Anyways, we are counting down to the elections. I am over it and just want to wake up to see that the nightmare is over already but, we still have a couple more hours to go. The world might be going to hell in a handbasket but still, we can be calm and relaxed, and bake some delicious piles instead of pulling out our hairs or biting our nails…haha!

Being a transplant from Ohio, I have to admit that when I first got here, there were a whole lot of things I found different. Texas is a meat and potato country of its own. Taco shops are literally on every corner here and the culture has a little bit of everything… in the right proportions. The Midwest on the other hand is what I love to call pie country. We have pies at every big event whether its a dinner, potluck or party – there has to be pie. When it comes to pies, there are two options (in my book) of it being a sweet or savory pie. Fruit pies tend to be on the sweet side while pies with meat or veggies tend to be savory. Today, yours truly will be making a savory double-crust meat pie and I’m going to do my best to make it as healthy as I possibly can. I learned that when baking pies, you can have whatever filling you want, what matters most is the crust. I’m linking a video on how to make the perfect crust down below so if you (like me) are a newbie to pie making, please check out this link. It’s awesome! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_3lBUMCRiA Disclaimer: As a renowned pie lover and taste tester, I will be trying this recipe and giving you my thoughts on what worked and what didn’t. So stay with me.

A Savory Meat Pie Dish!

Pie Filling Ingredients: Ground beef, white potatoes (optional), bell peppers, Jalapeno peppers, carrots, red onions and vegetable oil. Spices: Black pepper, Paprika, Turmeric, salt, powdered ginger, pepper flakes.

All you need to do is start by heating up a pan, wok or pot with cooking oil. Stir in the onions and black pepper and let it cook. Pour in the ground beef and stir until the meat changes from pink to brown. Then, add the rest of your spices and keep stirring. Add the carrots, and the other veggies and cook till soft.

Pie Crust Ingredients: 1 1/2 Cups of Flour, 8 Tbsp. of Butter, 1/4 Tsp. of Salt, 1 Tsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 Tbsp. of Iced Cold Water. Tools: Mixing bowl, rolling pin, measuring cups and spoons, saran wrap and pie baking pan.

Steps To Make The Crust: Add the flour, salt and butter in a bowl and mix. If you’re using a food processor, pulse until fat is cut uniformly into flour in small pieces. Then add water and apple cider vinegar. If dough is too dry, add a tad bit more.

Divide the dough into 1/3 portion for the top crust and 2/3 portion for the bottom crust. Place the doughs in a 2-3 gallon sized sealable freezer bag or saran wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Bring the dough out and gently pound and roll out both crusts. Spray the pan and gently transfer the bottom crust to the pie pan with a 1/4″ extending out over the edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and it’s ready for the filling. Roll out the top crust, place on parchment paper and cover with saran wrap before placing in the refrigerator. This will be placed on top after adding the filling. Using a basting brush, add egg or milk, or any top coating of choice to the top of the crust before baking.

Bake at 325 oF.

My Thoughts On the Results

The crust turned out a bit dry, so if or when I try to bake another pie someday, I plan on adding a little bit more water and roll out the dough thinner than I had done. I will also add more salt to the crust. I baked the pie a tad bit too long so next time, I would keep in mind to check it every 15 mins to make sure it doesn’t burn. The filling was excellent! I wouldn’t change a thing.

So folks, be safe, keep your eyes on the news and be aware of what’s going on in your environment. Sit back, relax and be calm. Everything will work out as it should. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Chasing The Last Rays of Sunshine on Lake Grapevine (Rockledge Park).

Hello Y’all! Happy New Month. Its October! Can you believe it? I was listening to the radio this week on my drive and this call-in talk show that I like to listen to was on. A couple of the listeners said they have decided to put up their Christmas decorations this month because they are done with 2020, and just want it to be over already. But can you blame them? In all honesty, this year has had its moments and I don’t begrudge people on their own methods of dealing with it. But it was hilarious.

Summer is over and here we are, chasing the last few rays of warmth and sunshine before the downhill slide into winter in North Texas. But it’s been a while since I went kayaking. I remember my first post on my experience when i first tried out the sport (https://myeamba.com/2017/09/10/kayaking-on-lake-grapevine/) which was awesome but I didn’t follow through with it. So the plan was to get back into it and a couple of us were looking forward to going back out on the water, getting some sun, fresh air and exercise – you know, those muscles you don’t remember that exist until you do something extremely strenuous on a weekend.

Some History On Lake Grapevine.

It is a man-made lake that was created when Denton Creek was dammed way back in the 1950’s. It’s located within north Texas region – northeast of Dallas and Fort Worth, The lake serves as a reservoir and also provides an open space for recreational activities. Rockledge Park provides access to the lake and mans the upkeep and maintenance of the lake.

We all arrived at the Park, the temperature was 52 oF and it sure was windy. The currents were higher than normal – meaning we were going to have to work harder than we normally would to get around the lake. Besides, there was only one (2-man sit-in) kayak out on the lake this morning and as athletic as those guys looked, we could tell that they were having a hard time going against the current or even getting away from the shoreline. Still, it was a beautiful morning and even though we finally decided against kayaking, the park provides about 20 miles of trails to either walk, bike or hike with picnic areas so hiking it ended up being plus we could get some steps in for the day. Here are a few photos of the lake front and its scenic and peaceful beauty.

Folks, winter is upon us and even though we have been quarantined for most of the year (thanks to COVID-19), it’s time to enjoy the remaining warm days we have left before we self-quarantine again for winter. So do your best to get out and enjoy what’s left of the outdoors, there are lots of options for outdoor activities. Remember to be safe, practice social distancing the best way you can and be healthy and positive. Until I come your way again. Bye for now!!!

Periwinkle Starr