There are many words commonly used to describe me. But at the end of the day, isn’t what we think about ourselves important as well? With that being said, I am a natural-haired foodie living in Atlanta, GA. I am 27 years old, and just starting my career since graduating from Emory University in May of 2009. Since then, I started working full-time in higher education. This past year has flown by, and I’ve unfortunately been on auto-pilot: getting up, going to work, staying focused, going to the gym, coming home, cooking, and then working some more. I am starting this blog because I need to find my voice and find ways to pursue several things I’m passionate about: writing, hair, and food. Blogging about these topics will let me address all these things simultaneously.
What does it mean to be natural?
Since doing the big chop in 2005, I have been asked this question repeatedly. I think the definition of being natural depends on the person. For some, it can mean a total lifestyle change while for others it can just mean a way to grow healthy and beautiful hair in its natural state. I fall into the latter of these categories. It’s been said, that for women, hair is our crowning glory. I don’t know whether or not I fully subscribe to this view. However, now, more than ever, I feel better and exude a certain confidence that I didn’t have before.Here’s a picture of me in October of 2009, loving the skin in which I find myself.
Why am I a foodie?
My love affair with food only truly started once I began cooking for myself in graduate school. When I was able to control what I ate and the places my ingredients came from, I started caring more about food and eating. As much as I enjoy cooking and eating, I enjoy more seeing people eat my food and love it. I am a foodie because I could cook and eat for a living, not get paid for it, and still look forward to waking up every morning. Here’s my two-layered hummingbird cake that everyone loved. Here is the recipe:
- FOR THE CAKE
- Nonstick vegetable spray
- All-purpose flour, for pans
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
- 1 (8-ounce) crushed pineapple, with juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- FOR THE FROSTING
- 1 pound (1 box) confectioners’ sugar, (for the frosting)
- 1 (8-ounces) cream cheese, room temperature (for the frosting)
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened (for the frosting)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, (for the frosting)
- 1 tablespoon milk, or more if needed (for the frosting)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, (for the frosting)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray and flour three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.
- Prepare the cake; in a large bowl, stir to combine self-rising flour, sugar, oil, pecans, bananas, pineapple, vanilla, cinnamon, and eggs.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, 26 to 28 minutes.
- Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.
- Prepare the frosting; in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk on medium speed until frosting is smooth. If needed, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to achieve the proper spreading consistency.
- Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Spread the top of the first layer with 1/4 of the frosting. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another 1/4 of the frosting. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining frosting. Sprinkle the top with pecans. Remove parchment paper strips; refrigerate until ready to serve.