I want to start by wishing my beautiful mother a Happy Birthday! It’s your special day, so I hope you enjoy it, I love you and see you soon.
We are on a seafood freezy these last couple of Monday’s. When I went to visit my family last week, my chef of an uncle whipped up this Italian-American dish that originated in San Francisco, but of course, he put his own spin on it. If you are a seafood lover like my husband and I, you will LOVE this dish. Pair it with some Focaccia Bread. Trader Joes has a roasted tomato & parmesan focaccia bread that is mouth-watering.
So sit back, and let’s dive into this week’s topics. Of course we will start with the Cioppino recipe 😜
Cioppino aka Seafood Stew
It’s getting cool outside, so this is the season Julian loves to make us soup at home, his chili is my favorite (hmm...sounds like a future Monday Lunch for me). So this delicious seafood feast of a meal is right on schedule.
Here is what you need:
For the broth: Olive Oil (3 tsp), 1 fennel bulb (chopped), Sea Salt (2 tsp), Minced garlic (I love garlic so we used a good portion), a few good shakes of Red Pepper Flakes, diced tomatoes in a can (pick your favorite brand), fish stock (at least 5 cups), 2 cups of Chardonnay, and you can add chopped celery stalks, carrots and onions or shallots as well. You decide!
Put all of this in a big pot and let it boil and then turn it down to low-medium heat to let the flavors simmer for about 15-20 minutes. After that, it is time to add in the seafood!
Seafood options: lobster, crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops, langostino, chunks of halibut or salmon. My uncle used the first 5 in his dish.
Seafood cooks QUICK. You don’t want to overcook and make it rubbery. Cook each seafood separately and remove when 90% cooked. You will put all the items back in the same pot at the end for one last steam.
This is super easy, so don’t overthink it. I’m also not a measuring type of cook, so if you need strict directions, I suggest you search Cioppino on Pinterest and see what you can find.
My grandmother is almost 94 years old. And she still gives me words of wisdom every time we talk. I went back to Maryland to visit her last week and she went on a 10-minute rant while washing up for the day on how people don’t wash their legs. I about fell OUT. She said, and I quote, “people think cause you shower and the soap rolls down your legs and feet, it's clean. It’s not, you have to take that rag and wash your legs and toes.”
This is true. I remember seeing a Twitter debate once about people not washing their legs. I don’t know about you, but my washcloth hits EVERY part of my body, more than once, OK.
This is just one of the many conversations that tickle me when I spend time with her. I know I am so fortunate to have my grandmother still alive and well. A lot of people my age, specifically Black folk, were raised by their grandparents, and they hold them and their memories close to the chest. When I sit with my grandmother I feel immensely blessed. I spend that time not just for me, but for other people who wish they could.
We lost Julian’s grandmother earlier this year, and it was tough. So tough. Losing a loved one is always hard, but losing during the midst of a pandemic, we were unable to travel and celebrate her 94+ years of life. That was tough for him, and for us. FYI, she JUST told Julian how old she was in 2019. She is a woman from that time that didn't let NO personal business out, haha.
So the moments I get to spend, I do it for Julian just as much as I do it for myself. And it doesn’t hurt that my grandmother LOVES Julian. I wasn’t in the house but 5 minutes before she said “did you bring your husband with you” and before I left to fly back home she says “you bringing your husband next time right?” Haha..gotta love this woman.
We miss you MeeMaw. Your love, words of wisdom, and light still shines bright.
Sidenote - I took this photo right after Julian interviewed with UofSC via video while we were in Detroit visiting his grandmother in January. We got a call from UofSC that SAME day, around 7:45p, saying that he was one of their TOP candidates. And you don’t think Grandparents have special powers. ✨
Ok, I don’t think y’all ready for this one. But no seriously, I am TOO pumped. My efforts on @BlackWifeLife have already been paying off, but it’s getting ready to kick into overdrive. No lie.
My favorite card brand Minted slid in a Sis inbox and asked me if I was interested in being included in their 2020 #MintedHoliday campaign. They about to get ALL this melanin. When I did a quick search of previous year’s campaigns it was VERY lackluster. However, a good Sis and her King are here to save the day. So not only will I get custom holiday cards for Free this year (which saves me a TON, because I send out at least 100 holiday cards every year, that cost, OK), but I also have affiliate links to share, and I get a 20% commission!
Every so often I will drop links in Monday Lunch and they will also be available in my IG bio link! If you need wall art, holiday cards, save the dates, change of address, baby announcements, or just some bomb ass cards to send to your girls, shop Minted with ME.
Here are some links to get you started:
Enjoy 15% Off Your First Order at Minted (excluding art) with code MINTEDAFF15
Thanks for the support friends!!!
Music is LIFE. Music gets me through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I love everything about a good album. But what happened to soundtracks? What happened to music that MADE the movies. I can’t watch Love Jones without thinking about Hopeless by Dionne Farris or Love Shoulda Brought You Home by Toni Braxton when watching Boomerang. You know that song was originally for Anita Baker?!
Public enemy made an ENTIRE album for the movie He Got Game. I miss the days when the movie dropped and you were just as excited, if not more, for the soundtrack. For my real Hip-Hop heads, you gotta love the Above the Rim soundtrack, right?
But for me, these are some of my FAVORITE soundtracks.
How can you NOT like Devil’s Pie by D’Angelo or for my reggae heads, Top Shotter by DMX, Sean Paul & Mr. Vegas.
This WHOLE album. Front to back. No Skips! She is the QUEEN of the night, every night.
Did we know Beyonce was on this soundtrack?
Listen, both Nutty Professor soundtracks had HITSSSSSS. OK! But this was my jam in high school.
What is your favorite soundtrack??
I hope you enjoyed Monday Lunch, but one final but a very important reminder, VOTE! We are 15 days away from one of the most important elections in the modern-day history of our country. Don’t let them tell you it doesn’t matter.
I can’t wait to try this recipe