Before we begin each day and when we end each day we always say “Thank you”. Despite the difficulties, tragedies and challenges of 2022 – there was so much to be Thankful for.
Alexa & Edreys had the opportunity to exhibit their individual and collaborative works for the first time on their anniversary, October 7, 2022. Celebrating 22 years of marriage with friends and family all around. Thank you to Buffalo Big Print, for opening your space to our founders and given them light to turn and move towards.
Buffalo Big Print has so many product and service offerings for your artistic and art needs. The artwork was added to coasters and ornaments and make the perfect gift. Thanks goes out to the team for adding that extra something special to the exhibit.
Of course creative procrastination was in order, however, Alexa & Edreys gave themselves grace and did what they could! It was a great show with new works and new collaborations!
Allowing grace and being kind to yourself, allows you to show up as your authentic self.
Middle Eastern cuisine or West Asian cuisine includes Arab, Armenian, Assyrian, Azerbaijani, Cypriot, Egyptian, Georgian, Iranian, Iraqi, Israeli, Kurdish, Lebanese, Palestinian and Turkish cuisines. Common ingredients include olives and olive oil, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint, rice and parsley, and popular dishes include kebabs, dolmas, falafel, baklava, yogurt, doner kebab, shawarma and mulukhiyah
People living in Middle Eastern and West Asian countries consume a “Middle East” cuisine, a unique diet comprised primarily of hummus, falafel, tahini, tabouleh, baklava, pita bread, baba ghannouj, foul mudammes and lokum.
The specialty of the cuisine of Middle East countries is the use the local herbs and spices. Nutmeg, caraway, cumin, turmeric, parsley, and mint add flavors to the dishes. Saffron, the most expensive in the world, is added in many dishes for its flavor and color.
Very few dishes are fried; grilling or baking are the preferred (and healthier!) methods of cooking. These techniques help minimize a dish’s calories while still adding flavor.
1 Pound of Mushrooms Sliced, Torn or Whole (Portobello, Shitake, Oyster, etc)
1 Onion (Red or White) Sliced thinly
Spice Mixture above (3-4 Tablespoons)
2 T Lemon Juice
1-2 T Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Chopped Cilantro and/or Mint (Optional)
OVEN ROAST 400 degrees – Place the portobello mushrooms and onions on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the spice mixture; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer and place the tomatoes cut-side up on the baking sheet. Roast until caramelized, about 15-20 minutes (Rotate halfway through).
SAUTE – Add a touch of oil to your heated pan. Place onions in a pan and caramelize, then set aside. In a bowl, drizzle Mushrooms with 1-2 tablespoons of oil, and the spice mixture; toss to coat. Heat your pan, add your seasoned mushrooms to your pan. Saute until caramelized. Deglaze pan with 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Add back in the onions.
Optional: Drain 1 can of Garbanzo beans and drizzle with Oil and a few spoonfuls of Seasoning Mixture. Roast in a 400 Degree oven for 30 min.
1 cucumber, grated and drain
1 cup unsweetened plain plant based yogurt
1 garlic clove, finely minced
½ tsp salt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients above in a bowl
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
½ cup water
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar or additional white vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
Pack the onions into a 1-pint mason jar or similar heat-safe vessel. Place the jar in the sink, to catch any splashes of hot vinegar later.
In a small saucepan, combine the water, both vinegars, sugar, salt, and pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat to dissolve sugar, then carefully pour the mixture into the jar over the onions.
Use a butter knife or spoon to press the onions down into the vinegar and pop any air bubbles in the jar. Let the pickled onions cool to room temperature (about 20 to 30 minutes), at which point they should be sufficiently pickled for serving.
Cover and refrigerate leftover pickled onions for later. Quick-pickled onions are best consumed within three days, but they keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Serve on top of Hummus with Roasted Chickpeas and Pickled Onions
Lebanese Inspired Zucchini Fritters
2 medium Zucchini, about 2 cups shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1 Vegan Eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of warm water to replace 1 egg)
2 garlic cloves
1 onion- halved
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if necessary
Lemon wedges, for serving
Make your vegan egg and set aside
Shred the zucchini in your food processor fitted with the shredding disk (or on a box grater). Transfer the zucchini to a fine mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Wring all of the excess liquid out of the zucchini with your hands, then set aside
In a medium bowl, whisk the vegan eggs, salt and ground black pepper.
Chop or Puree (Food Processor) Onion and Garlic.
Combine the shredded zucchini, vegan eggs, pureed onion and garlic mixture. Mix well until combined.
Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch over the mixture and stir until uniformly incorporated. (If the batter is too loose sprinkly additional flour)
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop 2-tablespoon sized portions into the pan, then use the back of a spoon to gently press the batter into 2-inch-wide fritters.
Pan-fry until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add a bit more oil to the pan if necessary, then repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately hot (or cold) with a dollop of plant based sour cream or yougurt, your favorite dipping sauce and lemon wedges.
OVEN BAKED Method
Preheat your oven to 400F (200C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Follow instructions above 1- 6
Place a Spoonful of the mixture on the pan and create a patty.
If the mixture is too liquid add more flour.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping them once midway through. They are ready when both sides are nicely browned and they are cooked through.
The Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is couscous. Moroccan cuisine can date back to the 7th century BC and is heavily influenced by interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations. Fruits and Vegetables reign supreme as staples in Moroccan Cuisine. Tagine, which is a type of dish that is used to make rich savory stews, is also the name attributed to many Moroccan Stews.
Spices are used generously in the moroccan Cuisine these include cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika, coriander, saffron, mace, cloves, fennel, anise, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, fenugreek, caraway, black pepper and sesame seeds. Twenty-seven spices are combined for the Moroccan spice mixture ras el hanout
Common herbs in Moroccan cuisine include mint, parsley, coriander, oregano, peppermint, marjoram, verbena, sage and bay laurel. You will also find olives, dried fruit and preserved lemon.
Ras El Hanout Spice Blend – Makes about 2-3 tablespoons
1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp salt ¾ tsp ground black pepper ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander seeds ½ tsp cayenne or Aleppo Pepper ½ tsp ground allspice ¼ tsp ground cloves
In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well. Spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 month.
Substitutes for Ras El Hanout
Make your own.
Combination of 2 parts cumin, 1 part ground Moroccan coriander seeds, 1 part ginger, and 1 part cayenne pepper.
Moroccan Inspired Cauliflower and Chickpea tagine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2- to 2½-pound head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into ½- to 1-inch florets
2 tablespoons ras el hanout (above) OR 1 tablespoon ground cumin, plus ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup dried apricots, sliced
2 cups Veggie stock
15½-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ preserved lemon or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 – 3 teaspoons Sweetener to taste
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh mint, to serve
Roasted (Toasted) Almonds, Chopped
In a large Dutch oven on medium-high, heat the oil until it shimmers.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the ras el hanout and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, cook for about 1 minute.
Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 1 minute.
Pour in 2 cups stock and scrape up the browned bits, then stir in the cauliflower and apricot.
Remove the pulp from your preserved lemon, chop it very finely and add to the pan. Cut your lemon skin into strips and add to the pan as well. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas, re-cover and cook until the cauliflower is fully tender, about another 5 minutes.
Taste and season with sweetener, salt and pepper.
Serve drizzled with additional oil, top with roasted almonds and sprinkled with mint.
You can serve this on top of Couscous, Millet or Fonio.
Moroccan Inspired Carrot and Lentil Salad
3 cups cooked French green lentils (1 1/4-1 1/2 cup dry lentils)
cooked according to package directions.
6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium shallot, diced finely
2 large cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins or sultana raisins
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup, agave or date syrup
1 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Rinse and sort lentils, then cook lentils according to package directions. Make sure to add a generous pinch of salt to the cooking liquid once it begins to boil.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients.
Wash and peel carrot, then slice on a bias into evenly-sized pieces. Toss carrot with 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette, then add to a sheet pan and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time.
Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and diced shallot. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add garlic and raisins and continue cooking for a few more minutes, until softened and fragrant. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked lentils, shallot + garlic + raisin mixture, roasted carrots, pistachios, cilantro, parsley and remaining vinaigrette.
Asian cuisine includes several major regional cuisines: Central Asian, East Asian, North Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and West Asian. A cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, usually associated with a specific culture. When speaking of Asian Cooking we could be describing…. Thai, Japanese, Chinese, India and many more.
Some of the common ingredients, spices and cooking techniques we will see when we talk about Asian Cooking will include but not limited to rice, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, lemon grass, basil, cilantro (coriander), chilies, dried onions, soy, and tofu. Stir frying, steaming, and deep frying are common cooking methods.
Chinese Inspired Lettuce Wraps
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
14 ounce block extra firm tofu – with water pressed out and crumbled
2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ cup onion diced, onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon minced ginger fresh minced, or ginger paste
12 oz mushrooms, shitake, button or portobello; chopped
¼ cup Tamari low sodium, soy sauce low sodium, braggs aminos or coconut aminos
3 Tablespoon Thai sweet red chili sauce or Vegan – Hoisin or Oyster Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar (Optional)
1 lime, juice and zest
1 teaspoon liquid sweetener (maple syrup or agave)
⅓ cup cashews chopped – raw or roasted/salted
¼ cup scallions chopped (optional)
¼ cup cilantro fresh, chopped (optional)
¼-½ cup carrots shredded
Sesame seeds for topping
1 head butter lettuce or romaine lettuce
Make the thai chili sauce. Add the soy sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, lime juice, and sweetner to a small bowl and mix to combine and set aside.
Heat up a pan to medium high heat and add the oil.
Cook the tofu. Use your hands to crumble the tofu into the pan, tossing it in the pan sauce while breaking it up with a wooden spoon, your hands or spatula. Season the tofu with a little granulated garlic, ground ginger, onion powder, salt and pepper and let it cook until it starts to turn golden brown, about 4-5 minutes, take out of the pan and set aside.
Add in the onions and let cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions start to brown and turn translucent. Then add in the garlic and ginger. Let it cook for 2 minutes.
Next add the mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes – then add the tofu back in.
Add the sauce to the tofu and mushrooms. Sprinkle the chopped cashews over the tofu and sauce in the pan. Toss that all together, reduce the heat to low and let that all cook for 2 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, then stir in the carrots, chopped scallions and cilantro (If using)
Assemble the lettuce wraps. To assemble the lettuce wraps, open one of the lettuce leaves and add a large spoonful of the tofu mixture into the wrap and top it with some of the pan sauce and sesame seeds. Continue until you have made all of the lettuce wraps.
Thai-Inspired Banana Spring Rolls
8 spring roll wrappers or wonton wrappers
4 medium bananas, cut in half
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream or honey and coconut flakes
Preparation (Rice Paper)In a small bowl blend the sugar and spices together. Set aside.Peel the bananas and slice off the ends. Cut each banana in half and set aside. Pour about 1 inch of oil into a large skillet or pan. Heat to 350°F.Place each spring roll wrapper in water individually for about 10 seconds, then place it onto a clean work surface. Only wet as many as you have a place to set down. I like to do one at a time.Sprinkle the spring roll wrapper with about a teaspoon of the sugar mixture. Place the banana onto the wrapper. Carefully fold in the sides, then roll-up. Repeat wetting the spring rolls, filling, and wrapping. Separate the completed ones with wet paper towels. Using tongs, place the spring rolls into the hot oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning halfway. Drain on paper toweling.Serve hot with a side of vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzled on top.
Preparation (Wonton Wrapper)Blend sugar mixture. In a small bowl blend the sugar and spices together. Set aside.Peel the bananas and slice off the ends. Cut each banana in half and set aside.In a shallow bowl, whisk together the sugar and spices.Lay out your wonton wrappers. Roll each banana in the sugar and spices until coated. Place a banana in each wonton wrapper and roll. Use water to seal the edges.Place on a greased air fryer tray. Spray with a thin layer of cooking oil to get a golden, crispy outside.Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (let it run for two minutes) and put the spring rolls in. Fry for 4 minutes, roll, and fry for another 4 minutes.Remove from the air fryer and drizzle with honey and coconut flakes.
Berbere is the most popular spice blend and it is found in almost every Ethiopian stew. It is a mixture of warm spices such as chili powder, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and garlic, as well as other herbs, spices, and aromatics. A berbere blend usually consists of a mixture of 20 or more herbs, spices, and aromatics.
Prepare in advance: Marinate Cubed Tofu 60 min – overnight
Marinade for TOFU
2T of Olive Oil
¼ cup of Lemon Juice
2T of Water
1T – 2T of Maple Syrup
¼ t of Salt
2t – 2T of Berbere
1T Smoked Paprika
2 t Dried Thyme
1T dried Garlic Powder
1T dried Onion Powder
14oz-16oz Extra Firm Tofu, Pressed and Cubed.
Combine ingredients above, Pour over cubed tofu in a container and seal.
a. PAN FRY
Remove Tofu from the marinate (Reserve the Marinade as a sauce for later)
Heat Oil in a skillet
Fry the cubes of tofu – fry until the tofu releases easily from the pan (If the tofu is brown and crisp it will be easier to turn). Fry each side.
Once the Tofu is browned then add the marinade back to coat.
b. BAKE (oil free)
Preheat oven to 375
Line a baking sheet with parchment
Remove the tofu from the Marinade and spread the tofu on the pan – Bake for 20 min.
Turn and then bake for an additional 20 min.
Optional: Toss the cooked tofu in a pan with some of the marinade to provide extra flavor.
LEFTOVERS: Refrigerate leftovers. Can store for 3-4 days. Can be eaten cold or at room temperature.
1-2 Bunches of Kale, Collard greens or Spinach
2t minced Ginger
1 ½ T minced Garlic
1 medium onion chopped or sliced
1.5t smoked paprika
1t ground cardamom
1 ½ t cumin
1-2 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped (Optional)
1 Chopped tomato, (Optional)
Salt to Taste
In a large skillet, warm oil
Add the onion and salt to the pan. Cook until the moisture is absorbed. About 5 minutes.
Add to the pan minced ginger, garlic, paprika, cumin, cardamom, and saute for about a minute. To let the spices bloom.
Stir in the collard greens and cook on medium heat until the collard greens become softened and most of the water evaporates. About 10 to 15 minutes. If the greens are not tender as you like, add more water and continue to cook until absorbed.
Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Roasted Green Beans and Carrots
½ lb Green Beans, Cleaned and trimmed
2-3 Carrots, Peeled and cut into sticks
2T Ground Granulated Garlic
3T Ground Ginger
¼ t Ground Cumin
¼ t Ground Cardamom
Preparation (Preheat oven to 375):
Cut your vegetables to the same size – Remove as much liquid or moisture as you can from the vegetables
Season your vegetables with ingredients above then roast vegetables (individually)
Use a baking sheet – Do not over crowd your pan – your vegetables need space
Roast in High Heat Oven for 20-30 minutes (Turning – rotating – pan after 15 minutes) until caramelized (more time if needed).
Wash and Clean Beets (Remove all stems)
Place tinfoil on a baking sheet (so you can make a pouch) and put your beets on top
Season beets with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
Close up tinfoil into a pouch with no open spaces
Bake at 425 for 1 hour.
Open your pouch to see if a paring knife can be easily inserted into a beet.
Jamaican curry is typically prepared with pre-made curry powder spice blends, which includes variations of turmeric, cumin, paprika, cardamom, garlic, and fenugreek. But they also use allspice which is what gives Jamaican curry its unique flavor and sets it apart from most other curries. Thyme is also used when making Jamaican Curry which makes an interesting distinction between other ‘Curries”.
The primary difference between Jamaican and Indian curry is that Jamaican curry is made with curry powder. Curry in India is not made with curry powders (that’s a UK invention) and is often sauce-based with either coconut milk or cream blended with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and toasted spices.
Jamaican (Inspired) Curried Chickpeas
2 cans Garbanzo Beans, Chickpeas
1 can Coconut milk
½ – 1T Jamaican curry powder
1 Potato Diced
1 Carrot Diced
1 medium Tomato chopped finely (Optional)
1 medium Onion Chopped
2 Garlic cloves Crushed
¼ inch” Freshly grated or chopped ginger
1t Garlic powder
1t Onion powder
1/2t Smoked Paprika
1 Bay Leaf
3 Sprig of fresh thyme or 2t of dried thyme
1-2 Scotch Bonnet Whole (Optional) *More Scotch Bonnet will make it hotter also cutting it will make it even hotter – alternatives Jalapeno, Habanero
½-1 Cup (118.29 ml) Water
Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a pot on medium heat, add the oil, allspice, peppers (If using), and curry powder. Toast for a minute until the curry powder turns a red-ish brown color.
Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and scallion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the potato and chickpeas making sure they are fully coated in with the curry. Cook for about 5 minutes. If you are using a pot that isn’t non-stick, stir continuously to prevent burn. You may have to add a bit of water.
Add tomato (if you are using), carrot, coconut milk, thyme and water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until the liquid reduces the potato and carrot soften.
Before turning off the heat, crush a few chickpeas and potatoes to thicken up the sauce.
Jamaican (Inspired) Steamed Cabbage
1 large Cabbage (about 6 cups shredded)
1 onion, julienned or sliced
3-4 sprigs thyme
2 scallions sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
1t Black Pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper, sliced thinly (no seeds)
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 veg stock cube, crushed or bouillon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large carrot, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 green bell pepper, julienned
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large skillet, warm oil
Add the onion and garlic, stir and then continue adding the thyme and Scotch Bonnet pepper. Cook on low for about 3 minutes.
Turn the heat up to med/low and add the carrot and bell peppers, followed by the stock cube (crushed). Stir well and cook for two minutes.
Add your cabbage to the pot and stir well. It will look like a lot, however it will wilt down. Place the lid on the pot and get it to steam.
After a few minutes (try to stir it a couple times while it steams)
Taste for salt and adjust to your own liking and you can turn off the stove if the texture is to your liking or cook longer.
Jamaican (Inspired) Coconut Rice
1 cup Long grain rice (Jasmine, Basmati or simply long grain)
1 ½ cups Fresh coconut milk
1 cup water
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
Wash/Rinse your rice until the water is clear (remove all the starch) and set aside
Into a pan with a fitted lid pour coconut milk, water and add the coconut oil; then bring to a boil on medium heat.
Add the rice and a pinch of salt to your pot, stirring well
Bring back to a boil; then cover, turn the heat to low and let the rice cook until all the liquid has evaporated about 12-15min.
Turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes then fluff and serve.
This Years artwork for the Jazz Festival was created by Alexa Joan Wajed. The Committee was looking for something that spoke to music and women, something whimsical but elegant and something that made you think of jazz.
[Excerpt from the Buffalo News]
This year’s Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival bears the imprimatur “Celebrating Women in Jazz,” and will feature a lineup of woman-led and woman-featuring ensembles, among them headliners the Baylor Project, Curtis Lundy with Brianna Thomas, Endea Owens & the Cookout and the Shamie Royston Quartet, as well as regional artists George Caldwell with Curtis Lovell, Darcel Blue, Carol McLaughlin with Joyce Carolyn, Zhanna Reed and Charles Reedy with Sandra Gilliam.
For Berry-Walker, this celebration of female artistry has been a long time coming.
“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and we’ve been sporadically presenting women artists. But this year, it needed to be more,”
The creative arts are where so many of us turn to process, reflect and begin to heal.
In the days following the tragic white supremacist attack on our Black community, we offered the artist and cofounder of @eatoffart the space to express herself. Her striking artwork accompanies a new piece, “Unanswered Question,” by @poet_jillian_hanesworth and a personal reflection by writer @tiffromthe6. Find them at the link in our bio.