I’m excited that we have finally reached the food portion of my self-care series. To know me is to know that I love food. All types of food. It makes me happy. I believe that a good meal can make it all better. And for that moment, while you enjoy your meal, none of the other shit in life matters.
Tasting new food and having new experiences with food is just one of the reasons that I love to travel so much. I love exploring new cuisine and depending on the spot, you may even receive some good education about the culture.
Food is something that we have been taught to bond over. In African American culture, sharing your meal with someone or “breaking bread” with someone is a gesture of connection and friendship. Folks are really particular of who they invite to their dinner table lol. If someone invites you over for dinner, it’s their way of saying “I fuck with you, please come into my home”. Additionally, it’s bad manners to decline the invitation. I don’t make the rules lol.
My favorite cuisine is Soul Food. Why? Because it’s what I grew up on. It’s the food of our people. There is literally BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS rooted in this food from our ancestors. Soul Food is the cuisine of African American people. Originating from enslaved West Africans that were brought to the deep south.
Growing up my mother cooked dinner for our family regularly. Being a working mother, she often made meals that could be prepared in a short amount of time after work. It wasn’t until the weekends that we would get those slow cooked meals that took all day to cook. I think that by my mother only making these meals on the weekends, I was able to appreciate them more.
Some of my personal favorites are yams, greens, mac & cheese, roast and dressing.
What more can I say, it’s my favorite cuisine. If cooked right, you can taste the LOVE that’s added.
Here are a few places that I enjoy eating at, as well as some homecooked meals.
Wendy’s House of Soul-
You only need one word to describe Wendy’s House of Soul = HOME. Wendy has been cooking around Minneapolis since I was a kid. The first actual location that I had her food at was Chicken and Waffles in Downtown Minneapolis back in like 2006. The location was where the Breakfast Bar is today. It was owned by the late Top Tone and Wendy was the cook. I’d go there with my friends all the time and we’d be in there forever. Ordering refills of Kool-Aid like we were throwing back shots LMAO. Wendy makes the best Kool-aid. And not just any flavor of Kool-aid, Red.
Well now the only thing that has changed over the years with Wendy’s cooking is the location that you can get it. She has been running her own show for quite some time now. She recently relocated to a new restaurant location that is all hers. The Kool-aid is still red and still the best. But the main attraction here are the Soul Rolls. Listen, the Soul Rolls are amazing!!! Available in 16 different combinations, my favorite is the Nanny roll. It includes fried chicken, mac & cheese and greens. It’s like putting each item on your fork and taking one big bite. FIRE!! If you like all that she has but one of the 16 options do not speak to you, you can build your own baby. Ain’t no reason not to be eatin’ a Soul Roll. She also has some good ass fried chicken, Soulwiches, Waffles, Salads and more.
(on the left is the Taco roll and on the right is the Nanny roll)
Now I stole this picture from their Instagram, since I ate mine before I could take a picture, LOL but I’m sure she will not mind. I did try to get some more to take a picture but I was having a really bad day and never made it there. Chile, the people towed Peggy (my car) as I was on my way to get my food, that I had called to order. I was so upset that I just hopped in an Uber and completely forgot about my order. I remembered the next day while I was on the plane heading to LA. Once I got back in town I first went to Wendy’s to pay for my food order that I forgot. The nice young lady there told me that it was ok and that I didn’t have to pay for it since it was days ago, but I let her know that Wendy is my people and I can’t do that, I needed to pay on principle. The young lady agreed with me and took my payment.
Let this be a lesson on principles. You don’t leave your people hanging!!!!
Be sure to pay Wendy’s House of Soul a visit. You won’t be disappointed.
Angelea’s Soul Food Kitchen-
I first ate at this location on the day of their grand opening with two of my close friends. That day was the first time that I tried BBQ Turkey Tips, EVER. OMG they were so delicious and had the perfect amount of sauce. I usually order the BBQ turkey tips, greens and yams when I go, but this time around I thought it would be the perfect time to try something a little new.
I ordered Jerk Chicken, Mac & Cheese, and Greens. It came with a cornbread muffin. Since I got there just as they were about to shut down, at the end of the night, my order was done in about 10 mins. The food was nice and hot when I received it and nicely placed into the container.
Now for the actual food….. OMG, it was so FIRE!! The Jerk chicken was different in flavor from other jerks that I have tried, but I loved it. It had so much flavor! And, the peppers were a great touch. I’m a peppers gal, so I enjoy them with nearly everything. The mac & cheese had a good amount of cheese and the greens were nicely seasoned. With that being said, this is a location that I frequent. If I didn’t have these waist beads on, I would’ve eaten all of this food, LBS.
There is a sad but amazing story behind this location, which also tells you the hustle and determination of the owner Angel Rogers. Being a family run location, you can tell that all of the staff want to be there. They’re friendly, polite, and warm in interaction, which is the other reason I keep going back.
So the next time you’re in Brooklyn Center, run over to Angelea’s.
Green Beans & Potatoes, Fried Chicken and Corn Bread-
What do you do when your plans for dinner fall through? You make a simple meal that does not take much to prepare…. So, I ordered a Caribbean cookbook online a few weeks ago, to cook a meal from for this blog. Unfortunately, for reasons not communicated, I have not received the cookbook yet.
So, with not much time to ponder a new menu for the night, I chose to stick with what I know.
Green beans and potatoes, is a dish that I picked up from my good friend Keke years ago. This meal and many others used to bring all my friends together at one point….. It’s funny because in those days, none of us really had any money. But we would all gather in that one-bedroom apartment, for this one pot of food, and have the time of our lives lol. Just simple times.
Homemade African Greens-
I got this recipe from my mother, who got it from my aunt, who got it from…….
This recipe is for real cooks ONLY! I say that because, there are NOT exact measurements for most of the ingredients. You will have to use your best judgement when seasoning and a good eyeball LOL. This dish can go from FIRE to SALTY real quick. I recommend tasting the Maggie’s Bottle Seasoning on your finger first, if you have never used it. That way you can get a taste for the flavor and the amount of salt that is in this liquid. Use your best judgement when adding this later. Start with a couple drops, add more later if you need more.
Side bar: Maggie’s Bottle seasoning is FIRE in noodles too. Especially for the Soy Sauce ones. Those are the “Oriental” noodles from back in the day. Before the whole world started kissing ass. I also put it on Sushi. FIRE!!!
- 1 bag Basmati rice
- 1 Smoked Turkey Leg or 2 Smoked Turkey Wings. Use Tails, if that’s your thing.
- 2 bags of frozen collard greens
- ½ red pepper
- ½ yellow pepper
- ½ orange pepper
- 4 Habanero peppers. Use less if spice isn’t your thing.
- Knorr tomato bouillon powder
- Knorr chicken bouillon powder
- Knorr beef bouillon powder
- Maggie bottle seasoning
- ¼ Maggie chicken bouillon cube
Note: I recommend finding a video on YouTube if you have never chopped up Habanero peppers. They’re strong, so it stays on your hands and can burn the skin and eyes. Use gloves. Wash your hands immediately before touching something else. And put your hands in some milk when you’re done.
Do not touch your eyes.
1. Boil the turkey leg until it falls apart. You can stab it with a knife and add UNSEASONED Meat Tenderizer to the water to speed up the process. Add more water as it evaporates. Collect in a bowl and remove the bones.
2. Heat about 1 Teaspoon of oil in a skillet and fry the turkey meat on High for about 1 minute. Set aside.
3. In the same skillet add more oil. Enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the greens on medium heat. Continuously stir so that all of the greens are covered in oil. Add a little of Maggie’s Bottle seasoning, just a few drops. 5-6 MAX, you don’t want it to be salty. Stir.
4. Continue to let cook and continuously stir.
5. Sprinkle in all 3 of other bouillon powder seasonings. NOT TOO MUCH. JUST A LITTLE OF EACH. Stir well and watch your fire.
6. Add ¼ Maggie Chicken Bouillon cube, stir well. Taste. Add only a few more sprinkles of seasoning, to your liking if needed.
7. Add smoked turkey and stir.
8. Boil the rice according to the directions on the package.
Enjoy over rice. Yes, it’s supposed to be a little greasy. FIRE!!!
If you make this dish, let me know how you like it in the comments.
Mama Nem Cakes-
Peach Cobbler Pound Cake
I came across one of these cakes in someone’s Instagram story. I immediately dm’d her and asked her where could I get this delicious looking cake. She told me to head on over to FB and message Ms. Parker at Mama Nem Cakes. Now, usually I don’t like to message people to make purchases but I had to have this cake and since she referred to the woman as Ms. Parker, I knew this was an honest woman. Only respectable women prefer to be addressed this way. LBS
So, I went ahead and messaged Ms. Parker. She replied pretty fast and my order was placed fairly quickly and smooth. She wanted me to pick the cake up, but I offered to pay extra for delivery. She dropped my cake off at the agreed upon date and time. The cake was delivered in a cake box and was perfect to look at. It was just beautiful.
The pound cake was moist, with the perfect texture. The peach cobbler filling was nice and sweet with perfectly cooked peaches. Then there’s this icing that is poured all over the whole cake. It was delightful. Nothing less than amazing. To know me is to know that sweets are the key to my heart lol. Needless to say, I was very pleased with this purchase. This is definitely an upcoming business that I will continue to support.
Ms. Parker offers a number of different cakes from 7-Up Pound Cake to Banana Pudding Cake, they have something for everyone. Be sure to contact them for your next family event or just because its Tuesday.
Nisha & Niyah’s Creations-
I have been seeing this business doing their thing for a while now through social media. A couple of months ago one of my friends purchased me a Strawberry Cheesecake box. This box contained ice cream cones filled with cheese cake and I believe white chocolate coved strawberries. The cheesecake in the cones was soooo good. I liked it a lot because of the texture of the cheesecake. It was kind’ve light and creamy. Not all thick, bring me some milk, like most cheesecakes lol.
When I decided to do this blog, I knew that I was going to try their Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I had seen a picture of one on their IG and was in AWWW of how perfect it looked. So, I went ahead and went to their website from Instagram. I loved their site because it was very easy to navigate. The entire process was smooth and I left the site knowing all that I needed to. When I ordered the cake, I was able to select a drop-off date & time, but they do offer pickup also. My cake was dropped off to me at the designated time per the website.
The cake came in this cute box with a ribbon tied around it and the cake looked just as perfect as the picture. It was moist and delicious, and it had the perfect amount of pineapples so that you get one with each slice. I was really happy that I tried this cake out and I will definitely be back. They have recently opened a pick-up location in downtown Minneapolis. You still have to place your orders online at least 1-2 days in advanced but, you will not be disappointed.
Remix Popcorn & Delights-
Remix Popcorn & Delights popped up on my Facebook feed a few months back when one of my Facebook friends shared it. Just from the pictures you can tell that the place is nice and very well decorated. For their décor, they have Cassette Tapes lining the doorway and Records lined up on the wall, there are also what appear to be chalk boards on the walls for their menu items. The pictures don’t really do this place justice. They bring color into the space with all of the popcorn and candy that they have on display.
There is a wide variety of popcorn flavors from Cheddar to Blueberry. And candy selections from Pineapple Rings to Frooties. This family run spot is warm and friendly; and a great place to bring children.
I was able to help myself to the candy, while the owner got the popcorn. I chose to get 2 bags of popcorn, Pretty in Pink (watermelon) and banana. 2 lollipops, 2 small bags of candy and 2 bags of Pop Rocks. Everything was a good value, especially for the flavored popcorn.
The popcorn is pretty good, you’ll love it if you’re a popcorn fan. The candy flavor on the popcorn has a nice hard shell on it, which gives you a good crunch. It’s sweet without being too sweet. I grabbed these items for my nieces and I hope to take them and my nephew out there soon.
I made a joke that this looks like the Apollo Stump. And the owner said I am not the first to say that as we laughed together. Of course, my silly ass rubbed it for good luck lol.
Make sure you rub the stump when you go in.
I postponed the release of this blog to include this meal in it. Originally, it was not planned for my supervisor’s mother to cook for us. I was especially excited for this meal because my supervisor’s mother is Guyanese. They cook what I like to call, soul food with a twist. It was so bomb y’all. The flavors of most of the food here are different from how I am used to these dishes being prepared but, IT WORKS. So many different flavors and spices, this food was amazing and beautifully prepared. Here’s everything that we had.
Honey Baked Ham Turkey (just a turkey from the honey baked ham place, nothing significant.)
Honey Baked Ham
Mac & Cheese
Sweet Potato Pie
As I’m proof reading this I realize that this has turned into a Soul Food blog lmao, which was not the plan. But I guess it was just meant to be considering some places had to be left out. I’m really making a conscious effort not to write bad reviews of Black/Brown Owned businesses. I’ll just say, some places are hit or miss .
Anywho, I have a included a cocktail and some fruit to give us balance lol. There are also some LA locations listed, but idk who owns those, I just like them. Check them out the next time you’re in LA.
These hispanic items can be found at Walmart.
The Pier House at Venice Beach
There are nice folk all over LA selling fruit on the side of the road. Just pull up.
I Met Her At a Bar
I hope you all enjoyed this blog as much as I did. Be sure to answer the question in the comments before you leave me. I’ll talk to y’all later. Xoxo
What’s your favorite cuisine?
Let me know in the comments.
Wendy’s House of Soul
1825 Glenwood Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Angelea’s Soul Food Kitchen
7800 Zane Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55443
Mama Nem Cakes
Facebook: Mama Nem Cakes
Remix Popcorn & Delights
2042 Marshall Ave
St Paul, MN 55104
Nisha & Niyah’s Creations
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