The days are getting shorter and school started this week so I am lining up my recipes for the Fall. Chicken is a staple in our house and this was an easy breezy “4 ingredient-less than 40 minute” recipe.
In 1998, a young woman who was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago relocated herself, a son and a daughter from Brooklyn, New York to Claymont, Delaware. Still grieving from the untimely death of her fiance’ and left alone to raise the small children she decided to become a small business owner.
A transplant from New York unable to find the cultural exchanges that she had grown accustomed decided to open Mejah Books, Inc .
Emlyn DeGannes, or “Ms. M” as she prefers to be called left the Interior Design Industry in NY to become a small vendor in the Tri-State Mall. There are days when Mejah Books, Inc. is filled with the sounds of Latin, Caribbean or Reggae music, but on this particular Saturday it was the soothing sounds of Meditation Music.
The staff is pleasant and engaging, you are invited to purchase a cup of coffee, tea or water while you shop. However, if not there to make a purchase feel free to take a seat to read, relax, meditate, or even take a nap. The aroma, a mixture of oils and incense envelops you into warm comfort.
I walked around checking out the many book titles, magazines, artwork, handcrafted jewelry, body scrubs and lotions. It reminded me of the small boutiques in Soho, as men women and children wandered in and out exchanging pleasantries, enjoying a family day outing. It didn’t feel as though I had entered this Zen-like area from the cool corridors of a Mall.
There are books of interest for everyone including children who are welcomed to come in, sit and relax with or without their parents, a perfect place for the back to school crowd.
Ms. M is also an author and one of her recent works “Voices…Letters to Ms. Em Reflections of Life While Doing Life” is now part of the Education curriculum at the University of Delaware where she is also a guest speaker.
Now that her son, Jordan and daughter Jewel are grown, she continues to work even outside of the bookstore. She mentors young ladies through Voices of Beautiful Flowers; is a Cyber School Instructor with achievementcharter.com and she also receives correspondence from inmates from all over the world. Ms. M takes time to write each of them back or she may send a book of encouragement. In the back room she has a credenza that contains hundreds of letters and cards from these men and women.
To say, Ms. M is a busy lady would be an understatement, “every day brings more life to discover, you just have to open your heart to find it.”
If you happen to be in Claymont, stop in at the TriState Mall and visit Ms. M at Mejah Books, Inc. The shop is open everyday, Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and on Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 pm. I look forward to returning and featuring her in another one of her many community projects.
What happens when it’s Friday night and you don’t feel like cooking, ordering pizza or going out and a bowl of cereal just won’t cut it? In our house when that happens we head straight to the garage and to the freezer. There is where I try to keep microwavable meals and snacks specifically for those occasions and last Friday night it was Lean Pockets Pretzel Bread Sandwiches.
I am not a big proponent of frozen meals & snacks because of the excessive sodium some of them contain but these Lean Pockets brand sandwiches are only 250 calories with 650 mg of sodium which isn’t a lot compared to others that contain well over 1000 mg of sodium.
The Lean Pockets Sandwiches were filled with Spinach and 3 Cheeses, Fontina, Romano and reduced Fat Mozzarella. I zapped one in the microwave for 2 minutes 30 seconds in the crisping sleeve then cut it in half. It didn’t seem like it had a lot of filling and could have had more spinach, but to my surprise it was quite good and hit the spot. The soft pretzel bread encased a flavorful mix of spinach and cheeses that paired well with my glass of Friday night wine!
Speaking of wine, I want to reintroduce my “play cousin” Cook E doe Face. She is a down to earth YouTube Vlogger who will have you in stitches as you watch her create some delicious dishes and “knock you on your butt cocktails”.
Cook E de Face is from Philly and I fell in love with her atty-tud (Philly slang) from the very first video I watched. In today’s world it is so easy to get caught up in the negativity but you know me, I like to keep it light. Cook E doe Face has me laughing out loud and reminds me of my own New York cousins. If it were left up to me she would definitely have a show on the Food or OWN Network!
You know that during the week I don’t get home until after 6:00 p.m. so I’m always on the look out for ingredients to make dinner an easy-breezy meal. I shop on Sunday’s for fresh meats and veggies and using coupons I’ll purchase pantry items such as Kraft Fresh Take Cheese & Breadcrumb Mix. We don’t eat a lot of red meat and chicken and turkey can easily become boring so it helps to have something like this at the ready that is quick, easy and good.
Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ Cheese & Breadcrumb Mix
Separate packet to mix cheese and seasoned breadcrumbs
Rinse chicken in cold water
Spray pan with cooking spray
Coat chicken with mixture, sprinkle extra on top
Bake in preheated oven at 375~ for 15-20 mins or until done