CHEF HALES’ HOT CHICKEN REVIEW

I had a chance to visit Miami Beach over Labor Day weekend and stayed at the lovely Confidante Hotel. The onsite restaurant is called Bird & Bone and it’s claim to fame is having the best chicken in Miami.

I must admit I was a little skeptical as I am from the south and I have tasted some pretty good fried chicken in my life, but this chicken actually lived up to the hype.

For a $28 price tag on the menu it is listed as Chef Hales Hot Chicken: Florida Honey, House Mustard, Cucumber Pickle, w/ Zak the Baker Country Bread.  This meal only comes in one size, which turns out to be a half chicken.

I ordered this famous dish on a fairly busy restaurant night, but the chicken did not disappoint me at all. It was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside as if it had been fried to perfection. The mustard sauce bread and cucumbers add to the deliciousness of the dish and do not take away from the star, which is the chicken.

I will be honest I had been in South Beach all day enjoying my fair share of delicious beverages for the majority of the day and I knew that this was going to be my dinner. I took it to my room and sat down and indulged. You will want to eat the whole half of a chicken in one setting if you can. LOL.

You have to try it! I give Chef Hales’ hot chicken 2 thumbs up!!!

(I would like to note that the restaurant had no idea that I would be reviewing this meal)

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What’s in your snack pack?

One thing I have realized over the years is that when planning road trips I get the most enjoyment out of preparing a snack pack.

What is a snack pack? (You might ask) 

I define a snack pack as whatever snacks and drinks that you enjoy or will enjoy while riding in the car on a road trip, sitting on the beach, or in your hotel room when you arrive at your hotel.

Who inspired your snack pack? 

Many people ask where I got the idea for my snack packs and it came from My Aunt Sister. I heard a story about her going on one of her famous “casino bus trips” and one person that went on the trip spoke of this “cooler” that she carried with her.  He said she had the entire cooler full of sandwich meats, bread, sodas, snacks and whatever other food she wanted while she was traveling. He then mentioned that thanks to her cooler they managed to save money on food and with their excess money they were able to play some more games at the casino. After I heard this story, I asked my Aunt Sister about this special cooler that she had and she mentioned on every trip she went on, she took the cooler.

After hearing the story, I kept it in the back of my mind and once I started going on trips as an adult I started working on items that should go in my snack packs. Each one was different and catered to what I wanted for that particular trip.

The snack pack images featured below are from a recent beach trip.  (Items include: paper towels, napkins, plates, cups, a shaker, tequila, whiskey, margarita mix, hard cider, water, pineapple juice, ginger ale, cheese, mandarin oranges, triscuits, hummus, tortilla chips, turkey pepperoni, salsa, gummy bears, snickers bites, turkey sandwiches, and a few other things not pictured.)

What’s in your snack pack?

Let me know what you include in your travel snack packs.

 

 

***This post is dedicated to the memory of My Late Aunt Sister. After writing this post via pen, she passed away. I will always be grateful of the times we shared and the inspiration to my snack packs. RIP Aunt Sister  ***

My Easy Lobster

 

Often times people ask me how I make my steamed/boiled lobster. I always tell them that it is an easy process and everyone always looks at me a little blown away. I say it only takes 20 minutes or less depending on the size of the lobster and they always say,  “Tell me how?”.  So here goes.

Things needed: 

1 live lobster

1/4 teaspoon Old bay seasoning

1 tablespoon Butter

1/4-1/2 Lemon

1/8 teaspoon Chef Gone Mad Smoked Garlic & Herb Seasoning

Adobo Seasoning ( 2 shakes)

Water (2-3 inches deep in the pot)

Steamer or Large Pot

The most fun part of making lobster for me is going to the market and picking a live one out of the tank.  I always go for the fiesty one or the one that is fighting everyone.

I feel like the more fiesty the lobster, the better they will taste. (Just my theory) 

Once I pick the lobster they box it up and I take it in the car for a ride home.   Most times you will hear the lobster making some type of noise in the box (either moving around or “blowing bubbles”), there is nothing alarming about this.

Once I get it home I get out my big pot.

I put about 3 inches of water in it and put it on the stove to boil. I sprinkle about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning. 1/8 teaspoon of Chef Gone Mad Garlic & Herb Seasoning and about 2 shakes of the Adobo seasoning into the water. I cut the lemon in quarters and add to the water.

Once the water is boiling I add the live lobster head first and then cover.

I let the lobster boil on high heat for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the lobster. Once it turns bright red I know that it is done.

I before I take the lobster out of the pot I sprinkle just a bit more Old Bay Seasoning over the top of the lobster.

Take it out of the pot, plate and serve. 

There you have it my simple lobster!

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Seasonings: Butter (Not Shown), Old Bay Seasoning, Lemon, Chef Gone Mad Garlic & Herb Seasoning, Goya Adobo.
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Once you add the seasonings to the water in the pot and get it ready to boil. 
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Live Lobster
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Live Lobster
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All Done!
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My Easy Lobster. All Done!

I should record myself doing this one day, it would be fun.  The most dramatic part for me is taking the live lobster from the box to the pot.

 

A letter to you: To help you through the Holidays.

Holidays can bring about many feelings, sometimes they are good and sometimes they are not so good. Holidays can be a rough time for many, so I decided to write a letter  to those that may not feel festive during the holidays with some tips to help you get through.

Dear reader,

It’s completely ok to not to be in the holiday spirit during this season. The key to getting through it, is to do whatever helps you with this tough time. If you are unsure of where to start here are a couple of things that I have used in the past to help me get through this time of year:

  1. FEEL– Allow yourself to feel your emotions, whatever they may be.  If you need to let out a good cry, GO AHEAD and do it. This can help with release and can help you feel a little better.
  2. THINK OF FAVORITE THINGS– If you have a favorite beverage such as tea, hot chocolate, egg nog or even an alcoholic beverage enjoy some of that. (Just don’t indulge too much to where it makes you sick.) Or if you have a favorite candle, or music listen to that to lighten your mood.
  3. PHONE A FRIEND- If you just need to vent, phone a friend that will listen and allow you to do just that. Talk it out, whatever is on your mind, get it out and you will feel much better.
  4. DO NOTHING- Sometimes it is ok just to do nothing, relax enjoy your quiet time. During this time you can meditate or just be alone. It is ok to be alone if you feel like you may put a damper on someone else’s day. Get some rest and regroup, this is allowed anytime of year. (However, if you decide to go this route try not to make it a week-long, just try it for a day or two.)
  5. CELEBRATE- If you are down, sometimes celebrating can bring up your spirits. Try baking cookies or playing holiday music, this can help change your mood.

These are just 5 things that you can do to try to help out when you are down during the holidays. I know first hand what it feels like to be down and I utilize all of these things at different times during the holiday season to help me with my mood. Christmas was one of my Mommy’s (RIP) favorite holidays and it hasn’t felt the same since she was here. I realized that she embraced the holiday in remembrance of her mom, so I am always working on how to fix my mood.

I say do whatever works for you, but these things have helped me, so maybe they will help you too.

Much love,

Misstakenid

My first Cycling Experience: Cyclebar Cary

I have been working on trying to find new things that I can do to help me in my quest to be healthier. I heard about cyclebar from a few people that were devoted to this place and talked about how it made indoor cycling fun. So I said if all of these people swear by it why not give it a try?

So I asked one of my friends if she would try it with me and she said yes. We found a promotion online for the first ride and signed up for a “Wine Down Wednesday Class”.

Now I didn’t even notice it was “Wine Down” (meaning you drink wine after class, which is pretty cool) definitely worth a try. I actually thought it was “Wind down”, something to do with biking. I know I had a moment to laugh at that lol.

So we arrive at the Cycle Bar (Cary off of Hwy 55 in between Durham & Apex) with plenty of time to start class. When you walk in the place looks very clean and neat with apparel to the left and a check-in station. We were greeted by a nice young lady that pointed out where to check-in via tablet and pick out cycling shoes. (Yes, they let you borrow shoes to cycle in, if you don’t have your own) Next we were shown around to the locker area. Where it said Welcome on the locker with my name, very nice touch.  In the locker there was a brand new water bottle and a chapstick. Because I guess when you are cycling you may need both of these. In this same space there was also a snack station with water (room  temp or cold) and fruit, just in case you need it after your workout. This was a great touch.

Before going into the class the instructor met us and was very nice and talked about how  they choose playlists for the class and that cycling can be a fun experience, but it may hurt your “bum” a little on your first couple of classes. So as this was my first cycling class I was a little apprehensive about this, but it was all good. I was ready for the challenge.

So now it is time for class and we are preparing to go in. The room looks pretty cool , with fun lighting and a bunch of bikes. I reserved a bike toward the center so that I could see what was going on. The instructor came and helped me with applying a padded seat and getting “clipped in”(clipping the cycling shoes to the bike pedals) to prepare for the class. Each bike also came with some workout bars and a towel. So I put my new filled water bottle in place took out the towel and was ready to go.

The music and lighting surprised me a little. It was like being at a concert but on a bike. The instructor called out different things to do much like a rockstar which was pretty fun. I am just starting out on my workout adventure so cardio is a big thing. Knowing that the class would be 45 minutes of cardio was something I had to put in my mind, however the bike did let me know how far we had gone in regards to time. The music was great and anytime I can hear upbeat r&b or pop music while working out, especially if I know the song makes it better. Alot of the workout allowed me to push through some struggles I had and by hearing the instructors voice I wanted to keep going. I even enjoyed the part of class that included using the workout bars so that your arms got a workout along with your legs. Very cool.   I enjoyed the idea of being able to complete a class.

After the class they had wine and other snacks. As much as I love wine I actually didn’t partake, but it was ok. I returned the shoes and prepared to go home.

I grabbed a banana and drank some more water and drove home.

The only downfall which I was warned about was even with a cushion on my bike seat my “bum” was definitely hurting for the next day. However, I was also told if I kept at it, this wouldn’t be an issue.

If you like indoor cycling, this is definitely a place that you want to try.

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Locker (Nice touch)
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My new water bottle at the snack station
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class schedule
rock your ride cycle bar
motivational wall
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Me and Alexis
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cycling shoes
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Our instructor Tricia

Cooking with Misstakenid: My thoughts

While drinking a glass of wine sitting here watching the movie “Julie vs Julia”, it makes me think of the great joy I get from cooking and eating my own food. This movie highlights a young woman that decided to cook her way through a famous cookbook. Even though I have no desire to do such. I realize just how much I love food.

As I was cooking my dinner last night of Lamb shoulder chops, roasted potatoes, green beans, and spinach, I realized how much joy I get when listening to music and cooking. I also experience a greater feeling of joy when I see someone take the first bite of their meal and say how good it was. There is a feeling of bliss when I taste my own food and it tastes great to me.  I know that this may sound conceited but I really enjoy the taste of my cooking as anyone should.

(This post is just an outpour of my thoughts today, just so you know.)

There is also something nice about my new white plates. When I plate anything on them, whether it is an amazing meal or ramen noodles it just looks beautiful to me.  I don’t know why it just does.

These are just  a few of my thoughts today,

Is there anything that makes you happy about cooking or eating? Please comment.

 

Cooking with Misstakenid: My Simple Spaghetti

One of my favorite quick comfort meals is my simple spaghetti. So I decided to share it with you.

1/2 Sweet Onion

3/4 Bell Pepper (1/4 Red, 1/4 Green, 1/4 Yellow)

1 box Thin Spaghetti Noodles

1 lb Ground Turkey

1 Jar Spicy Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

Season to taste (Ground Pepper, Red Pepper flakes, Garlic Salt, Italian Seasoning)

1 tsp sugar

Olive Oil

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Ingredients

Step 1: Cut up the onions and peppers ( I do a rough cut, because I like chunky vegetables)

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Chopped Onion & Peppers

Step 2: Pour Olive Oil in a skillet and sautee the Veggies on Medium heat (Use some of the seasonings listed to season the veggies lightly)

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Sauteed Veggies

Step 3: Move the veggies to the side of  the skillet, and add the ground turkey. Season the meat to taste using the seasonings and add pasta sauce.  Lower the heat of the skillet to low.

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Add Ground Turkey and Sautee
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Add Pasta Sauce

Step 4: Boil water, add a pinch of garlic salt and splash of olive oil. Boil the noodles until desired tenderness, strain in a colander.

Step 5: Season noodles with italian seasoning lightly

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Spaghetti Noodles cooked

Now get your bowl or plate and pour yourself a delicious drink.

Put the noodles in the bowl, cover with your pasta sauce and serve. 🙂

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Finished Product

 

 

Adventures with The Old Man: The Old Man gets a Smart Phone

One of my rules about The Old Man living by himself is that he has to answer the phone when I call. If he doesn’t answer by the 4th call, then he knows I will call the police to go check on him.  I know that seems strange but The Old Man has requested to keep some of his freedom and live alone for a couple more years. Being that he is an amputee and very close to 70 it is real that he could fall or be hurt in there and so he has to keep the phone with him at all times.

So, yesterday we had an issue. I called literally all day and didn’t get an answer. So of course I was worried.  He mentioned the other day that his cell phone wasn’t picking up all phone calls and for some reason he could see the call and not answer.  So instead of calling the police I called one of his neighbors and asked if he could go check on The Old Man and tell him that I was on the way.

I jumped on the highway and rolled on down to his town.  Pulled up at his house walked in and he was chilling and “unbothered”.  Me: “I have called you probably 25 times today, where is your cell phone?” He hands it to me all nonchalant.  I looked at it and it said “searching”, I turned it off and back on and it was working again. I asked if he noticed that he hadn’t gotten any phone calls all day. He was like , “Well I wondered why you didn’t call me.” I laughed and said we need to get to the phone store so we can get you a new phone.

So he walks out to the car and we ride to the nearest phone store.  He has been talking about an iPhone for the longest time and I mentioned he may want to start with something else. So in the store he managed to pick a nice Samsung phone.

The representatives at the store were great and very attentive to his questions.  They even did a special tutorial just for him.  Before we left they gave him their cell phone numbers in case he has any questions and setup his phone just the way he wanted.  I couldn’t have been more proud of the T-mobile staff that assisted him in the store. It warmed my heart at how attentive to his needs they were.

Now he is super excited that he has a new phone even if he doesn’t quite know how to use it yet. I told him with practice he will be doing everything. Even taking “selfies”. He laughed and said now he has a new toy to play with and get used to.

It was definitely a blessing to be able to get to his home and know that nothing was wrong and to be able to help him get a new cell phone.  I am sure that this story will continue on. I will share any updates.

 

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Tmobile reps giving a lesson to the Old Man

 

 

Music Moments with Misstakenid

For many years music has been a major part of my life. It has always been something that moves me. The key part to this is I can listen to many different genres of music and due to my natural indecisive nature I don’t actually have a favorite. Each type of music that I listen to moves me in a different way.

Let me give you some background about me. I grew up with dance being a major contributor to my life. My parents told me that whenever music came on as a baby I would move to “my own rythym”, so this prompted them to place me in dance class. This was where I developed my rhythym. The fortunate thing was that I was gifted and could move to any type of rythym if I could hear it in the music.

So whether it was country or the blues I could always find a beat. 

Once I reached age 5 I was introduced to African traditional rhythyms and ways to find out signals in the music to help you with movement. This is something that I believe many people should learn because the drum is the foundation of most music and it allows you to actually feel what is being played, so you can’t help but to move. As I continued to grow in dance class, my hearing of the “beat” crossed over into my regular life and I developed a love for all types of music.

Growing up both of my parents had an extensive music collection.  My Mommy had her love of gospel music, so we listed to anything from spirituals to modern gospel music.  The Old Man (affectionate term for My Father) listened to all kinds of music, however he had a record collection that was almost unmatched. So even hearing  the crackle of the records was a part of the musical experience for me.  He really enjoyed music from the 70s.

I always enjoyed live music, so that I could see all of the instruments and how they worked together. As I grew older, I embraced cassette tapes and CDs of course, but from time to time I still enjoy seeing someone perform live.

As an adult on any given day I will listen to The Blues, Hip Hop, Soul, Classical, Oldies, Rock N Roll, or even Trap Music.  You name it, I have probably listened to it and enjoyed it.  I frequent different concerts and music related events throughout the year, so why not share with you?  In my adult life I have also had some experience in selecting artists for certain events in various cities.

Music moves me so much that I have decided to dedicate a segment of my blog to Music.

 So this section “Music Moments with Misstakenid” will showcase my love for music.

I will be reviewing concerts, interviewing music artists and highlighting music related events in this segment.  This will give me a chance to share my experiences with music related events.

If you would like to have your  artist interviewed; or your concert or musical event reviewed please use the contact form listed and I will get back to you regarding your request.

Cooking with Misstakenid: My first Turkey Pepperoni Pizza

Hello friends,

I decided that I wanted to make a pizza.  I am not able to eat pork or beef so I always feel some type way when I see a pepperoni pizza. I finally had enough and decided I was going to make my own, so that I could have one too.  I went to the grocery store, grabbed a few ingredients and made my pizza.  It was the first time so it wasn’t very pretty, but here is my recipe.

1/2 sweet onion

1 pack Hormel Turkey Pepperoni

1 pack sliced fresh mushrooms

1 container of Classico Pizza Sauce

2 packs of Mozzarella shredded cheese

1 Pillsbury pizza crust

1 tablespoon of Crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar

I did a rough cut on the veggies. Meaning I didn’t chop them into small pieces, I just ran the knife through them.

I placed the sauce in a pan and seasoned it a little with some crushed red pepper and a teaspoon or less of sugar. To make a sweet and spicy sauce.

I rolled and kneaded the pizza dough (like I was a pizza chef)

I heated a pizza stone in the oven on 425 degrees and sprinkled it with flour to prevent sticking.

I placed the pizza dough in the oven to heat up for 8 minutes.  Then I took it out and topped my pizza, probably too much.

I sauced the dough placed my toppings on and topped with cheese.  Then I topped the cheese with more turkey pepperoni and onions. At this point I realized that I have topped the pizza too much but it was no time to quit.  I placed my topped pizza on the pizza stone for another 8 minutes.

The cheese melted and I had a nice Turkey pepperoni pizza. Pictures are below, however the taste was way better than the pictures. It was delicious and cheesy, which I liked.  My next one will be better than the first.

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My first pizza.
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sliced up with a beverage