Orange You Glad to See Me?

Oh, hey!

I had a fashionista weekend celebrating my mom and sister’s birthdays on 1/24 & 1/25. My outfits were flirty and chic, pairing pieces and accessories together to make the fashion statement I was hoping for!

Angila Thee Stallion 😜

On Friday my sister Michelle and I made last minute plans to go to Chapman and Kirby, an upscale “gastropub” in downtown Houston offering American fare and live entertainment after 10PM. Unfortunately we arrived after 10PM and the kitchen was closed but were fortunate to grab a bite to eat at Rodeo Goat, a hamburger restaurant next door that was open until 12AM.

Fun and creative menu options!
Ranch House Burger
Loaded Fries, No Surprise

During dinner, our cousin Tiffany joined the “party” with just enough time to scarf down the other half of my sister’s Beyond Burger and make it to the Burlesque show happening at 11PM. We had a great time ordering drinks and taking pictures and was later joined by another friend, Denise, who brightens up any room with her bubbly personality!

Sisters πŸ‘‘πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸ‘‘

We ended our night around 12:30AM but not before snagging a huge, balloon backdrop which we ASSumed would be a great addition to the party decor for the following night. We tipped the bartender all the cash we had ($15) to take it off of her hands and carefully divided the backdrop that was held together with fishing wire, into 3 pieces to ensure it would fit into 3 vehicles.

Not the actual photo

Saturday night we would celebrate my mother’s “60ish” birthday with a surprise party. She had mentioned she wanted to go to a club called the Red Rooster known for its soulful music, electric crowd, dancing, and people watching. We were able to reserve the last available party section 2 weeks prior to the party and set out to make it happen. We downplayed the night’s events about a week before the party, stating we would be going to dinner. On the day of the party I decided we should tell her we were going to the Red Rooster but not disclose others were coming. She had changed her mind and preferred dinner instead of dancing at this point. My sister took her to dinner while myself and my husband Shelby went to the club to set up. This is where the balloon backdrop fiasco was a FAIL! The section had to wall so there was no place to put it. On top of that, by the time we arrived the club was packed as I drug in 50 or more balloons of various sizes, through the crowd! Shelby took the balloons back to the car and we set up the food which consisted of Wingstop, potato salad, fruit and vegetable trays, shrimp cocktail and cupcakes.

Mom arrived around 10PM and exactly at the same time as her party guests! She was surprised and elated as more guests arrived. Overall we had an amazing night living, laughing, and loving each other!

Her favorite guy Jarrett
Sisters πŸ‘‘πŸ‘‘
Love ❀❀❀
Orange is the New Black

Changes…

I pride myself on evolution. There’s nothing cute about being the same person year after year, month after month or even day after day. Each day I have the freedom to choose who I’d like to be, effortlessly decide to become that version of myself until eventually, I’m that person. It’s just that simple! And I have to mention that the journey to becoming a better you is nothing short of amazing…if you choose to see it from that perspective. There’ll be the usual trials and tribulations that are intended to help mold our character into the people we’ve asked to be but these challenges cause us to step out of our comfort zones and ultimately into our destiny.

I’ve always been selfishly true to myself; to thine own self be true. This year I’ll be 40 and have decided that I’m going to embrace the next chapter of my life Kim Kardashian/Beyonce style! Beyonce has 3 children and Kim has 4. Kim will be 40 3 days after I turn 40 and Beyonce will be 40 in 2021. I also have 3 children who will be 19, 17, and 10 this year…no excuses!

Stepping into 40 like πŸ‘‘πŸ–•πŸ€©πŸ˜œ

I’ve concluded there is no reason for me to enter the next phase of my life, conforming to society’s interpretation of a woman in her 40s..why MUST I be regular! I’m taking sexy to a new level, mastering and utilizing my many talents, and am determined to make an impact on the world! This era, I am committed to making smarter decisions, spending more time reflecting, being open minded, traveling, and continuing to follow my truth.

Every 3 years I get to meet the woman I imagined!

Because I have been able to recreate myself year after year, I get to decide what my 40s will entail…and that vision is grand! Always remember you have the power to choose who you would like to be. I encourage you to stretch beyond your comfort zone and imagine what life would be like as the better version of you…then GO FOR IT!

About Last Night…

You’re going to eat whatever comes out of this kitchen!

My name is Angila and I’m a Blaxican. I’m almost certain that I was a Mexican πŸ‘‘ in my past life because I absolutely adore all things Mexican! With their love of food, friends, and family, Hispanic culture is second to none. I have several latinas I call friend but my friends Jessica and Nancy are friends turned family ❀❀.

Nancy exposed me to the true definition of having a Mexican family when we met at work 16 years ago. Forming an almost immediate bond, she invited me to one of her children’s birthday parties where her friends and family welcomed me as their own. There was plenty of food, great music, and LOTS of beer as a children’s party gradually became an adult party! I went on to attend several parties in following years, deepening my connection to the culture.

My friend Jessica and I bonded over our love/borderline obsession with food. Jessica taught me the how to make all of the Mexican food favorites I’m known for such as shredded chicken for tacos, the BEST ground beef that’s perfect for tostadas and my all time favorite, posole rojo. I’m pretty sure there’s more but those happen to be high on my foodie list.

Last night’s dinner was supposed to be beef fajita tacos and tostadas but ended up being just being tacos. I was simply too tired to do more. Fortunately I took time to prepare a simple marinade for the skirt steak that morning before going to work, reducing the amount of time in the kitchen that evening.

Oil, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, salt, pepper, ground cumin

When I arrived home, I simply diced the steak into 1/4 inch pieces and seared in a cast iron skillet about 12 minutes, until lightly charred.

While the meat cooked to perfection, I chopped some white onion, cilantro and lime. One the meat was done, I cooked several white corn tortillas in a bit of vegetable oil as a final step before assembling the tacos. I picked up a new hot sauce from rotel that paired perfectly with the tacos!

Perfect!
Excited to try this!

I admit that Chinese food is not my forte and Mexican food has yet to let me down!

adiΓ³s mi familia!

Chinese (in the) New Year!

I woke up an hour early, at 5:22AM, and KNEW I was eating China Cottage for dinner. China Cottage is hands down the BEST Chinese restaurant in Houston…#letsargue πŸ˜‚. Their food is amazing, and they’re prompt, friendly, and professional. Having found them online 6 years ago while randomly searching for Chinese food near my job, it was love at 1st bite! After trying nearly every item on the menu, I finally found my favorite; General Tso’s chicken, extra spicy, no soup, and a pork eggroll instead of the complementary vegetable eggroll. In no time, I was walking around the office of 200+ people, calling in 20-40 separate orders DAILY…OUT OF CONTROL!🀣 Fortunately for us, the Director at the time, Carie, loved China Cottage as well and didn’t fuss too much as I was multitasking as a waiter lol!

The BEST Chinese restaurant in town!

These days, I’m far too busy to even place an order for myself, let alone a group so on my way home, I placed an order for cheese puffs, pork eggrolls, and General Tso’s SAUCE…that’s right, I said sauce! I already had 2 chicken breasts thawing in the fridge and figured alternatively, I could just DIY my favorite Chinese dish instead.

I arrived at China Cottage and am immediately greeted with hugs from the owner and her husband. Since I typically order online, it’s usually a celebration whenever I stop in, usually 2 or 3 times a year. We catch up and discuss how well business has been going since we began patronizing them years ago. We hug once more and then I leave with my small order with the hopes of recreating my Chinese favorite.

I arrive home 40 minutes later and as usual, set my bags on the island and begin preparing the meal for my greedy yet grateful family.

Keeping weeknight meals simple is crucial. Often arriving home at 7pm, I prefer dinner to be served in 30-45 minutes making this an ideal meal! I already had some frozen vegetable fried rice which I sauteed in a bit of oil, added scrambled egg, some green and white onion, and a few broccoli florets…done.

I chopped the chicken and dredged in flour seasoned with only salt and pepper not wanting to compromise the flavor of my General Tso’s sauce. I deep fried the chicken in 2 batches and drained on paper towels.

Preparing to toss in sauce!
Meh…

Overall, the food was good but definitely not China Cottage. Although I enjoyed my culinary experience, I’ll just leave the General Tso’s to the experts and stick to my personal expertise…MEXICAN!

Baby It’s Cold Outside!

And when I say cold, I mean Texas cold…40ish degrees πŸ˜‚! Believe it or not, for many people that’s really cold and I just happen to be one of those people lol. Winter has always been my least favorite season. Sure I love the holidays that take place during Winter, lighting the fireplace, hot cocoa and warm apple cider, but my love for the season literally ends on January 1st. The remaining weeks are spent hoping the next cold front doesn’t interrupt Houston’s average 70 degree temperatures!

Cold weather typically ignites the culinary artist within…at least that has been my experience. Chilis, stews, soups, and other cozy dishes are usually on 90% of our stoves and my sister’s recipe for a hearty 3 meat chili has warmed my soul for several winters now.

Michelle and I usually bump heads in the kitchen but this is one dish I had to give her credit for. Sure I may have perfected the dish Angila Style, but she had a good foundation for me to start. 😜

I’m confident this recipe will also become a winter staple in your households for many years to come! Enjoy!

  • 1 lb. Ground chuck
  • 1 lb. Lean stew meat
  • 3 smoked sausage links of choice
  • Frozen seasoning blend
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/2 C. Beef broth
  • 1 regular sized can Rotel
  • 1 can pinto or kidney beans
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Start by chopping up your stew meat into 1/2 inch pieces and brown in 1 TBSP vegetable oil. Cook in 2 batches to avoid crowding your pan. Cook for 7 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. Transfer stew meat to crock pot or pressure cooker while the other meats are being prepared.
  3. In the same skillet, add ground beef and chopped sausage links and cook 5 minutes. Add 1/2 C. frozen seasoning blend and saute 5 more minutes.

4. Transfer meat to the pot of stew meat. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. For an additional boost of flavor, you can add half a packet of HEB chili seasoning mix or your preferred brand.

5. Cook on low or the slow cook setting on your pressure cooker for 8 hours.

Top with your favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, green or red onion, fresh jalapeno, avocado, sour cream, fritos, and more. Serve with or without steamed rice and with your favorite cornbread recipe!

Going Down the Bayou!

I returned to work today following my 2 week hiatus but before heading out, I made sure to announce the dinner plans on the menu board in the kitchen.

The best 5 Below find to date!

As mentioned in my previous post, I absolutely LOVE food! The joy I get preparing meals for my family and even my fur babies is indescribable which is why I cook 90% of the time. Tonight’s dinner inspiration came from the 2 leftover chicken breasts I had from yesterday’s meal and because of my hectic schedule, I needed something quick and delicious and pasta fit the bill!

Cajun cuisine is my 2nd favorite food. with family roots in Opelousas, LA, I grew up eating my fair share of gumbo, red beans and rice, and other Cajun dishes.

We’ll get to my 1st love, Mexican food in another post, and TRUST me there’ll be plenty, but for now we’ll talk about the rich, savory pasta I made for dinner. I’ve honestly made this dish so many times but this time it was truly fantastic! I made 3 different variations consisting of shrimp, sausage and chicken. Te’a, a pescatarian, ate shrimp only pasta while Kobe had all 3 meats. My husband Shelby and I are both allergic to shellfish so ours was limited to chicken and sausage. Laila, an extremely picky eater ate some but really just picked out the chicken LOL!

The following recipe is simple, delicious, and can be ready in minutes without skimping on flavor. Enjoy!

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into pieces
  • 1/2 andouille sausage
  • 16 oz spaghetti
  • 2 C. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 C. shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 TBSP cream cheese (optional)
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/2 C. frozen seasoning blend (onion, bell pepper, celery, parsley) aka Holy Trinity
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried parsley

1. Cook pasta according to package

2. Melt butter in skillet. Meanwhile, season chicken liberally with all seasonings listed above.

3. Add seasoned chicken to skillet and saute until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add chopped sausage and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

4. To the same skillet, add frozen seasoning blend and minced garlic and continue sauteing until vegetables are tender. Add heavy cream and cream cheese (if using). Mix well and simmer 5 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.

Sauce should be creamy. Add a little pasta water if sauce is too thick.

5. Add sauce mixture to pasta and toss together until all of the pasta is thoroughly coated.

Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley. Serrve with garlic bread and salad.

C’est tout cher! (That’s all my loves)

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!