Category: Recipes

My Shea Butter Blend


In another post someone asked for my recipe for my shea butter blend, so I thought I’d share it here. In the winter time especially, I use this from head to toe, but I have crazy dry skin. In the summer I only use it on my hair. I start with raw natural shea butter. It looks like the picture, and I got mine at Walmart of all places. A pound costs about $5. Last time I was there I bought about $25 worth. Anyway, here’s the recipe:

1 cup of shea butter

1/4 cup of coconut oil (I buy it raw and unrefined at the grocery store)

1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil (same that I cook with from the grocery store)

1/8 Jamaican Black Castor oil

Rosemary Essential oil couple drops (don’t use if you’re pregnant or have high blood pressure)

Sage Essential oil couple drops

Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together over low heat. (I don’t use the microwave because I read somewhere that it can overheat the coconut oil and release free radicals. I have no idea if it’s true or not, but it doesn’t take long to heat it the old fashioned way.) When the oils are melted remove from heat and stir in the other ingredients. Pour into a lidded container and place in the refrigerator to solidify.

If you don’t like, or don’t have essential oils, don’t worry about it. I like the rosemary for growth and the sage for itchy scalp, and they’re a lot easier to find these days, but if you don’t have it, no worries. I sometimes add other essential oils for scent. I particularly like citrusy scents, and grapefruit is my current fave, but again, you don’t have to go out your way to get it. 

That’s it. It’s awesome for my hair, but keep in mind if your hair has a finer texture (Mine is Grade A straight from the Motherland nappy) you probably only need to use a little bit, and it might be too heavy for you. My hair (and really dry menopausal skin) loves it! Let me know how it works for you.

Cowboy Beans

My mama was a very frugal cook. Can’t imagine why, six kids on a domestic’s salary. I still don’t know how she did it. One of our favorite dishes growing up was something we called Cowboy Beans. Being the frugal cook she was, my mama essentially mixed leftover spaghetti meat sauce with leftover great northern beans and man were they delicious! I make it now for my family and they love it so much. My mama’s spaghetti sauce was amazing.

1 pound of cooked ground beef with fat drained off

1 onion diced

4 or 5 cloves of garlic diced

1 large can of tomatoes

1 small can of tomato paste

2-3 tsps of worcestershire sauce


Cayenne pepper flakes

salt and pepper

1 pound of cooked great northern beans.

After browning the hamburger, brown the onions and garlic in the same pot. Add the can of tomatoes and tomato paste. Add worcestershire, oregano, cayenne salt and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add great northern beans, simmer for 30-45 minutes.

If you prefer, you can use a store bought spaghetti sauce with the cooked ground beef added, and, of course, canned great northern beans. Just rinse the beans well before adding them to the sauce.

This is the pound cake my mama used to make. Only she added one teaspoon of mace (the outer shell of a nutmeg), you could just use nutmeg. It adds a certain mmmmm to the cake.

IMG_2635 photo copy photo

Thanksgiving Menu

I’m pulling together my menu for the holiday. Normally I would have done this last week, but I’ve actually been writing, so I’m a bit behind. That’s okay though since it’s just the three of us. I’m thinking about just getting a breast, or maybe two breasts. Of course, Whit won’t like that because he’s very fond of leftovers. Last time I scored a really small turkey he was unhappy because there wasn’t enough leftovers for sandwiches. Of course, there is also the issue of gravy. With a breast there would definitely be none. So, I guess that nips the notion of a breast in the bud right there. We will definitely be brining that bird, it does amazing things for it.

Turkey (fresh, hope I can score a free-range at this late date)

Cornbread Dressing (I’ll post my recipe after I make it. It’s a cathartic experience and I literally have to channel my mama to pull this one off successfully.)

Giblet Gravy

Rice (There are potato folk, and rice folk. We’re definitely rice folk, especially with giblet gravy.)

Green Beans Almondine

Crescent Rolls (The one day a year I bake bread. Not my strong suit, my sister inherited the breadmaking gene, but they love it.)

Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

Chocolate Pecan Pie

What’s cooking at your house?


Picture of Super Stuffed Baked Apples a la Mode Recipe


Super Stuffed Baked Apples a la Mode Recipe : Rachael Ray : Food Network.

I’m posting this recipe for a friend who has to eat ice cream, though she doesn’t really like it. This is one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted. It’s like a caramel apple only better. It’s rich, I’ve never managed to eat a whole one, usually I just eat half an apple with a small dollop of ice cream. It goes without saying that I leave off the whipped cream and only use about half the amount of butter.

My Peeps!


I baked Lemon Coconut cupcakes today and they’re unbelievably yummy. I think I’ve started an Easter tradition. I told my loving husband that it’s not a good idea to feed cupcakes to a four-year-old before bedtime, but he wasn’t hearing it. Oh well, it’s his night to put him down. Of course, I’ve got an Easter basket to put together tonight, so he’d better hurry up.

One Cookie to Rule Them All

I’ve posted before about the yummified goodness that is Semi-Ho’s gingerbread cookies. We simply can’t stop eating them. So I got to thinking, What if I combined gingerbread and the oatmeal raisin cookies that we were previously addicted to? You guessed it, one cookie to rule them all. 

I only modified the original oatmeal raisin cookie a little bit. Instead of the half a cup of white sugar, I used a half cup molasses. Instead of cinnamon, I put in three tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice. I thought the raisins might make it too sweet, that’s a trademark of gingerbread; it’s not too sweet. But it was okay. These cookies so totally rock. You’ve got to try them. 

Yes Lisa, I’m sending you some. I’m still laughing about the fake gingerbread you got for Christmas. That’s just not right.

Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing Recipe : Sandra Lee : Food Network.

Can’t believe I’m about to make a recipe from Semi-Ho. We’ve been reading ‘The Gingerbread Man,’ and of course, he wants to make one. My scratch recipe is a bit labor-intensive, so I’m going to give these a shot. 


Pasta Puttanesca

This was Luke’s first ‘table food.’ To this day it is hand’s down his favorite meal. I know that pediatricians recommend starting babies on bland food, but I’ve been around babies all my life, and it never occurred to me to ask how to feed him. I doubt I would’ve gone with such a recommendation, seems like a way to guarantee that your baby will be a picky eater. People are amazed that Luke pretty much eats what we eat, but I can’t imagine that it would be otherwise. We simply sat him at the table with us when he was about five months old. When he started reaching for the food, we gave it to him. If it was meat, I’d chew it in my mouth first. (Yeah, I know some folks think that’s gross, but again, that’s the way I’d always seen it done, so that’s what I did.) Interestingly enough, there is some speculation that there are fewer food allergies in low income and minority communities because babies are fed from the table.

Luke was a breastfed baby, so he was accustomed to the type of food I ate anyway, and I love spicy garlicky food. I made all his baby food, not because I’m so crunchy but because I didn’t see the point in buying separate food for him when I cooked all the time anyway. When he moved up to chunky food, I’d make him a chicken stew that actually had carrots, onions and garlic in it. He loved it. I never bought ‘baby cereal’ for him. I’m cook Quaker Old-Fashioned oats in milk and mash up a banana in it for sweetness. He still prefers his oatmeal this way. 

When he was in school his classmate’s parents were always pointing him out as an example to their kids because he at so well. We’re really blessed that he’s such a healthy, hearty eater. 

Pasta Puttanesca

about 20 oil-cured black olives, pitted and diced (You can use regular black olives if you can’t find oil-cured, but they’re so much better.)

4 boned anchovy fillets (I usually just put the whole tin in, but I love anchovies)

2 cloves of garlic (I usually do about 6, but I LOVE garlic)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon capers

Three or four ripe plum tomatoes, finely sliced (sometimes I use canned)

Salt and pepper to taste

A pound of spaghetti


Chop the garlic and sauté it in the oil with the anchovies, stirring the mixture about to break up the anchovies. When the garlic’s lightly browned, add the olives, capers, and tomatoes. Check seasoning. Simmer the sauce for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Stir the sauce into the pasta and serve.


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