Poetic Weekends!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing great where ever you are in the world. We are in Fall but it sure feels like a long hot Summer. But no worries, in a couple of weeks, we will be layering on again and then comes Winter. Its been one heck of a busy time but I’ve also had time to reflect on a few things. I haven’t had time to write in a while but I woke up feeling poetic today so here goes. Feel free to share your thoughts, comment, like and follow. Enjoy!

Its Beautiful Because I Said So!

Life is beautiful. Its one big maze. From the first time we open our eyes, until the last time the light fades out into nothing. Just like a caterpillar has to wiggle around in it’s cocoon until it breaks free and feels its very first rays of sunshine, so is the struggle of life.

The struggle to be. To drown out all the voices and dare to dream for yourself. The strength to be resilient in difficult times and to be level headed in good times. The courage to be you. The boldness to stand up for what you believe in and to not be afraid to be who you are. The grace to brace yourself against the currents and storms of life. Because they will come.

Knowing who you are and why you’re here is the key to life’s purpose. No one can define that but you. In the stillness and quieting down of your soul, clarity comes. The superficial become unimpressive and the intentions of the world around you become clearer.

Life has its peaches but also it’s darts. Learning to lighten the burden is the key to traveling light and finishing well. There’s so much to learn, so much growing to do…We will take it one step at a time.

Until I come your merry way again, be safe, upbeat and hydrated.

Periwinkle Starr

Down By The Bay!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Its the fourth of July here in the States and its a somewhat a quiet one this year. The last couple of days have been so beautiful with lower temperatures in the mornings which has been heavenly outside especially on walks without the humidity and sweltering heat. I’m not sure how long this is going to last but it’s Texas…who knows? I was in the Bay Area recently and it’s been one of the places I had never been to so I was looking forward to it. I had heard a lot but did not know what to expect.

One of the things I do when I go to new places. I love to mentally start out fresh on a clean slate and let the city write it’s own story and frame my experience. For a Texas transplant, I have pretty much gotten used to big spaces, big cars, wider roads, big EVERYTHING. So, getting into the city and seeing cookie cutter terraced homes with multiple stories literally perched on the edges of cliffs or on top of each other; or sidewalks with slopes that would leave an accessibility specialist dumbfounded was odd for me. Oh….did I mention that it felt like Winter in Summer? It was cold and windy. We were 10 minutes from the coast so according to friends, that’s the cold part of the city.

My Experience & Thoughts.

It’s the most expensive city in America! I kid you not. I saw houses that weren’t anything to write home about just by looking on the exterior but I quickly learned they were worth millions of dollars. Rent is through the roof and a lot of people live outside the area and come in for work because the cost of living is so high.

It’s cold. If you packed your bathing suit and planned on re-enacting those ‘Bay Watch scenes of running on the beach in the sun….in slow motion, I have to stop you right there. You may not make it back if you do LOL. Its not only cold but also windy. People were dressed for Winter in Summer. And I mean winter jackets, boots, scarves and hats.

The service was awesome! There’s a level of etiquette that I don’t get in Dallas at a regular restaurant. The waiters were more personable, very attentive and didn’t treat patrons like your typical assembly line fast food place. The service we got would only be received at high end restaurants in the DFW Metroplex.

There’s so much to see. Any person looking to do touristy things in San Fran needs about a full week to get it all in. It sounds long but it will be worth it in the end. From Wharf 39, the Pier, Alcatraz, bus tours, boat rides, restaurants, historic gardens, museums, the golden gate bridge, the Hippie area and so much more. It would be worth your time, I promise.

Earthquakes are the norm around there. The ground is constantly moving so the logical part of me is wondering why everyone and their neighbor has their houses perched on the edge of hill looking out to the ocean. I’m concerned that the ground has to literally cough and those structures may come tumbling down.

Never Get a rental Car in San Fran. The cost of parking is so high it’s not even funny. Taking a taxi, Uber or Lyft is the way to go. The city has a land scarcity issue which doesn’t help when finding parking. Driving around looking for a spot to park your rental is not a problem you want to have in an area you’re not familiar with. Uber it was for us!

The homeless situation is real. I was having breakfast at a diner with a full-on window view of the city, traffic and people going about their day. There was a building across the street from the diner with a recess along the exterior wall. Not too long after sitting down for breakfast, I see a homeless guy walk up to that corner and pee right there and keeps walking. I see a janitorial staff come out with a cleaning buggy and hoses down the area and go back inside the building. I kid you not, in less than seven minutes, another homeless goes right to that corner and pees and keeps walking. I see the janitorial guy AGAIN come out and do the same thing. I’m thinking to myself ‘what in the h**l is wrong with these people’? It’s not uncommon to see extreme wealth and homelessness on the same block.

Drug Addiction is a serious problem. I saw people shooting up on the sidewalk facing ongoing traffic in broad daylight. I mean…out in the open with the needle in their veins – where you could see blood and whatever drug they were injecting…And people just walked on by like it was the norm. That scared me a little. There were people lying on the sidewalk nodding off, some looked dead…and I kid you not, people just walked on. A friend of ours told us to be mindful how we held our phones out in public, that it could be snatched.

All in all, San Francisco is beautiful and different in it’s own way and I look forward to exploring other parts of California in the future. Please follow, like and comment. Until I come your way again, stay cool and hydrated this Summer!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Back To Living Life?!

Hello Y’all! It’s been a moment since my last post. I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. I feel like every day that goes by brings me a step closer to living life as it was before the pandemic hit. Texas has been great in getting people back out and into some semblance of life as we knew it before the corona virus and I am so grateful for that. My heart goes out to my friends and Starr readers in Asia, most especially those in India who are having it really rough with a new ‘variant’ of the virus. I am sending you good wishes and prayers and I hope this passes and we can all get back to living as we once did.

A lot has changed in the past 12 months. I’m still working my way back to how it was pre-pandemic. Simple things like going to the gym or swimming. I know a lot of folks who haven’t gone back to the gym and prefer to workout outdoors, in small groups or virtually. How we stay active doesn’t really matter just as long as we keep fit and stay healthy is our defense against getting sick. I recently started walking again after almost a year and it was so freeing to be back on the trail, enjoying the scenery, the sounds, the smell of nature all around and see some of the regulars I’ve come to know over the years. It felt so invigorating and inspired me to write this post about not giving up…no matter what. Sharing is caring and we can all learn from each other so here goes…

The Spiel!

Life Happens…To Everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, handsome, pretty, unattractive, skinny…..you get the gist; we all have to go through life. A lot of times I don’t understand why especially when I’m in the middle of something, but sometimes, I get a clearer picture at the end of the tunnel or when I’m out on the other side. There’s no escape, we all have to go through things and I’m not trying to be a Debbie-downer but just want you to have a realistic outlook on life in general. We have to be braced, ready and open enough to find the silver lining…in everything.

Be Consistent. Whether its working hard on yourself to be a better version of you; or committing to eating healthy, exercising, or taking ownership of the kinds of people you surround yourself with, or just being mindful of the vibes or energy you put out into the world or absorb from your immediate environment. Be consistent.

Never Loose Sight of the Prize. Whether it’s your dreams, goals or vision for whatever you want to attain in life, never loose sight of it. I had the radio on the other day and heard this phrase that struck a cord with me. It said, ‘Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary situation’, or something along those lines. No condition is permanent and although some situations may be rough right now, it won’t always be that way. Keeping your eyes on your goal takes your focus off your current situation and gives you something to hope for, something to strive towards, and something worth living for.

Always Err On the Right Side. Always do the right thing whether anyone’s watching you or not because, what goes around boomerangs back around. It’s very easy to get caught up in instant gain but the after taste isn’t always pleasant. The best way to live a successful life is to be able to lay down on your bed at night with a clear conscience and have a peaceful nights rest. As easy as this may sound, it is not very common.

Kindness and Patience Go A Long Way. We live in a fast paced world. We want things now…and waiting is almost physically painful. But all in all, we need to remember to be patient and kind to the people we meet in our daily life. So when you’re waiting in line, waiting on the phone or just plain waiting. Curb the urge to start tapping your feet, tapping your fingers, pacing or getting worked up…periodt. Take a deep breath, relax and look for a way to focus your energy, count to 50, do something instead.

Coming out of the pandemic and into life as we have always known it has given us (myself included) time to think, process and reflect on our way forward. So until I come your way again feel free to share your reflections as we ease into life once more. Please like, comment and follow for more from…

Periwinkle Starr

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. 🙂 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

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

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

Light At The End Of This Tunnel!





Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well where ever you are in your part of the world. Its almost Fall but still officially Summer here in North Texas, with temperatures in the 100’s. Now with all that’s going on, there seems to be more pressing things to focus on than the weather these days. The ripple effect of the epidemic has reached proportions that were not envisioned at the onset. But with everything that has gone on, instead of focusing on the negative things happening, the key to keeping your head up is to be positive.

There have been massive foreclosures and movement of people out of their homes and apartments in the metroplex. Massive job layoffs due to the slowed economy have put families in need of basic necessities. With the loss of work has come the loss of healthcare which is very vital for which the absence of will negate a person to the tax penalty the following year. Seeing tow trucks repo nice and exotic cars in the city has become the norm these days. The toll on parents due to having their little kids cooped up in the house for so many months has not been easy either. I feel like all parents deserve an award for surviving 2020.

But the truth is that life is not all roses folks. It has it’s ups and it’s downs and the only way we are going to make it through to the other side is to be flexible enough to roll with the punches. We have no control over ANYTHING that life throws our way, but we have control over our reaction to what life throws our way.

Lessons Learned From COVID-19

Save. Save. Save. Always keep in mind that there will always be lean times and we need to plan ahead for unforeseen circumstances.

Getting rid of the ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians Joneses Manual or Mentality’ we have subconsciously been handed all our lives. Have the courage to live within your means and not give a rats behind what people think. It’s better to have a lot and live a decent yet simple life, than to have nothing and look like a million bucks.

Keeping up with your health and fitness regimen. This includes exercise, cleaning up your diet and having a positive mindset. When the lockdown first began, a group of friends and I decided to start doing Zumba for an hour, five days a week. The results are AMAZING because while folks were complaining of gaining weight and becoming joined at the hip to the refrigerator, we got our bodies in shape and lost weight. It’s so sad that although some refer to the virus as a glorified flu to some, it’s been a killer for others due to health issues, some within their control and others that weren’t. The goal is just to do your best with your health…periodt.

Stay in touch and in close contact with family and friends. Meeting up for walks, outdoor games and activities while social distancing or choosing patio dining at restaurants will keep you in touch but also safe from being exposed to the virus.

Take your mind off of the news. Now this does not imply burying ones head in the sand by any means but try not to feed your mind with the negativity that comes on daily. I just need the highlights please.

Stay positive and upbeat no matter what. A friend of mine recommended writhing a thankful list, either the first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. That kind of narrows down your focus from the worldwide happenings to your neck of the woods or personal life. I believe this is an awesome thing to do especially with the fact that statistics show that drinking is up, with suicide rates and drug overdoses climbing since the pandemic began.

Believing in a higher power other than yourself helps. For most, it’s God, but for others its something else. I feel like that takes some of the pressure off without negating the fact that we have an active part to play in our outcomes in life. Balance is the key my friends.

Take care of yourself. As simple as this sounds, a lot of people aren’t doing this and It makes a whole lot of difference. Cut, brush or braid your hair, wear make up, shave, get your nails done, every now and then, wear your heels just so you don’t forget how to walk in them …Ha Ha! This may look trivial but it shows that you matter to yourself despite all the craziness going on.

If anyone told me at the beginning of this year that we would be in the situation we are in right now, I would have told them to shut the front door but its here and we have already survived the first half of it. No matter what is going on personally or in the world around you, remember that if you stay flexible, upbeat and focused, there’s light at the end of this tunnel. Until I come your way again, stay cool!

Periwinkle Starr

Quarantine? Lets Re-Learn The Art Of Baking Bread!

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Hello Y ‘all! Its my hope that you are doing well in your part of the world, practicing social distancing and staying home? We are going on our third week of the Covid-19 induced lockdown and it’s become my new normal in a weird kind of way. Limiting my time outdoors as much as possible is the best way to reduce the chances of exposure to the virus. My heart goes out to those who have lost family members and loved ones and to those fighting the disease right this moment.  Through this trying time, I am doing my best to stay healthy, remain productive and still find some semblance of a lifestyle while remaining positive and its been tough.

When the outbreak hit the shores of the United States, it was no longer a problem within ‘those’ countries. S**t got real, if you will excuse my French. The store shelves were wiped clean in a matter of 24 hours. I was one of the late shoppers and by the time I got to the grocery store, there was literally nothing worth buying. There was no bread. No milk. No meat. NO NOTHING! So, I have decided to go back to the basics and brush up on a few skills, which includes re-learning the art of baking good ole homemade bread using very few items laying around in your pantry.

Lets Do This!!

Ingredients: 3 Cups of bread flour, 2 tbsp. or 1/8 cup or 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil, 2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast,  ¹⁄ 3 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.

First, heat a cup of water for one minute and pour into a small bowl. Add the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes until the yeast becomes activated or foamy. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add vegetable oil and ¹/3 cup of sugar into the same bowl and mix. If you don’t like a sweet bread, you can cut back on the sugar. Add 2 cups of flour a little bit at a time (about ¹/3 at a time) and keep mixing with a spatula or spoon. Pour out the flour unto a nice dry surface that’s been dusted with flour. Knead lightly for 8 minutes. Using the same large bowl, add a tables spoon of oil to coat the bowl, and place the dough in it.  Cover with a damp cloth, and leave to rise for 2 hours until it doubles in size. P.S.: Notice, I’m using the third cup of flour to knead the dough. Setting a timer helps.

Take the dough out, roll and stretch it some more into the shape of a loaf. Take your 9″ x 5″ bread pan and place the dough in the pan.  Cover with a slightly damp napkin for about another 1.5 hours. Afterwards, remove the napkin. Depending on the size of the dough or pan, you should notice its risen about an inch or more above the pan, and now its ready to bake.  Heat your oven to about 325-350° Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. If you have an oven that doesn’t  heed to basic direction, you might want to start at a lower temperature…just saying.  When the top is golden brown, remove from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool. Scroll down to see the finished product. Its ready!!!!

 

Helpful Tips During The Quarantine!!

♥Finish uncompleted projects around the house. Sort through your closet. Organize your shoes. Write a list of all the kitchen utensils you need…I’m already making a list to get me some solid mixing bowls 🙂

♥Reignite your artsy side. My goal is to finish the blanket I have been croqueting for longer than I’m going to admit on here…he he!!

♥Write a thankful list E-V-E-R-Y D-A-Y. Life is so precious. People are dying, all alone and at a speed that is unprecedented because the virus is ravaging the body so fast, people are literally disappearing like mist. No preparation. No goodbyes. NO NOTHING! 

♥Keep up your fitness regimen. A lot of people including yours truly are exercising via zoom and other apps which help boost morale and keep your body active despite being confined.

♥Take your vitamins DAILY, whether you feel like it or not. This includes Vitamin C and D especially now that you’re not out and about or in the sun as much.

♥Rest. The news is constantly updating us on how many people have died or how many newly infected cases there are, or the problems medical officials are having on the frontlines. This is well and good to keep us informed but the rise in fear or anxiety can lead to unrest or worry for the future. Don’t let it get to you. Turn off the TV and go to bed on time. Rest easy, tomorrow will come and we will deal with it when we get there.

 

Until I come your way again, stay healthy, upbeat and remember if the rest of the populace decides to panic-buy the bread aisle at your grocery store, you can always bake your own!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥