Summer is here and you’re just now getting over enduring the seemingly neverending work from home/digital learning marathon. Food might be survival status only, because you’re tired of cooking and your mind is so over figuring out what’s for dinner.
Sound like you?
Well then, what I’m about to tell you is right on time then! I’m excited to announce will make your tummy and your heart happy. Starting tomorrow...the Talented Chef’s Cooking Network is here! It’s a brand new channel on Roku with monthly themes to stop your food boredom! You can check me out along with other culinary creators, chefs, and cooks where we’ll share some of our tastiest options to keep you inspired.
The fun starts tomorrow, so head here to get more behind the scenes looks at the chefs and get more details about how to tune into the channel. Click here for more info and to get notified when new episodes hit.
Some of the themes for the network include:
Plus you’ll get a free gift as an insider when you sign up here.
Now that the school year is almost over, *praise Jesus*, many of you are looking forward to a break from digital or in person learning. Though classes only lasted for 10 out of the 12 months, this school year seemed to be longer than the others. Am I right??
Well now that that’s over, there’s another hurdle to jump over: what to feed your kids during the summer?
My little guy eats like he’s twice his size, so I’m right there with you thinking about how we’re gonna make it through the next few months. But if the last year during the pandemic and social unrest has shown me anything, it’s that even in the face of adversity still, we rise. So this too shall pass, and I’m here to help you figure it all out with what I do best: quick, tasty meals, that use simple ingredients. To help you start summer off with a bag, I wanted to share a quick recipe that you and/or your kids can make that’s easy to customize, add variety, and make personal: pizza!
If you trust your kid with the (toaster) oven or air fryer, this could be a lunch idea to add to the rotation or even an easy dinner. You can use whatever you have on hand...including those random vegetables in the back of the fridge. Oh and pizza is a great dish to pair with that bagged salad that moves from the fridge to the trash each week. Let’s throw that on the plate too and eat it this time!
And because you’re exhausted, I made a quick video that shows you some of the favorite things I put on my personal pizza as well as how you can get your kids involved *cough* have them do it themselves, so you can rest. *cough*
The video is a guest feature that I did with Maryland Teacher Tutors, so there’s some after school references thrown in there, which your little one can use even during the summer.
What are your favorite pizza toppings that you’ll be adding? Catch the video here to see mine. Be sure to subscribe to my channel and leave a comment while you’re there as well.
It’s amazing to think about the tremendous success that my books have had over the past 7 months. The modest side of me feels bashful for even saying that phrase, but honestly, I’m pretty proud of myself!
As a first time author, I’ve sold almost 700 copies of my books in several countries across the world. Also, I’ve helped authors to launch their books as well. To help others reach the same level of success, I teach a class, as well as do trainings in author groups.
Recently, I was the featured guest on Book Launch Preselling Secrets Training with Keith Sylvester, owner of the Facebook group Book Promotion and Book Marketing Tools For Authors. Keith’s group has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to marketing tactics to help authors launch their book successfully. Keith was kind enough to share the replay of the training for those who are looking to do just that.
In the interview, I talk about book presale strategies to helped both of my books reach the success
Keith offers monthly training to help new and experienced authors use trusted strategies to help authors reach the right audience. If you’re interested in writing a book or already have one, be sure to check out the replay here. Then join Keith’s group here.
Cinco de Mayo isn’t as important in Mexican/Mexican-American culture as many folks believe it is. It’s not Mexican Independence Day, but still involves a victory none the less. Others use it as a reason to order/eat Mexican food. Tied with Asian cuisine, Mexican food is something I could eat almost every day without reason. It’s just that good. So this Cinco de Mayo, I used it as a time to make one of my favorite dishes: fajitas. During a recent live crossover event with Lauren Harris of Lo Eats World, we shared how to get what your stomach and sanity need: Sizzling Fajitas + Tasty Margaritas. During the live, I shared how to get pipping hot fajitas shrimp fajitas while Lauren made a vegan version for those who want to eat more plant based meals. Plus, she shared how to have the full eating out while at home experience with Mango Margaritas. And don’t worry saints, a non-alcoholic alternative was featured as well.
Like everything I make, the fajitas and margaritas were quick, easy and delicious. We also gave tips of how to customize both the dish and the drink to make it your own. At one point, there was a bit of a debate of which one we prefer: salt or sugar on the rim. Fortunately Lauren didn’t make us choose and made hers with both. Lastly, I made some impromptu pico de gallo which literally translates to peck of the rooster but is anything but that. Instead it’s a chunky salsa more or less with tomatoes, onions, cilantro,
Oh there was also a battle about cilantro as well. We’ll forgive my cohost Lauren for being a cilantro hater. Genetics are to blame after all and not her taste buds since whether or not you like this herb is based on your genes. For some it literally tastes like soap. For others, we’re able to enjoy the deliciousness that’s used in Thai and Mexican dishes to add a bold punch of flavor.
For all the delicious debates, catch the replay of Sizzling Fajitas + Tasty Margaritas on Instagram or Facebook!
Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned mama, your birth story is definitely one that’s unique to you. A lot of times our stories get lost in the cuteness and newness of our babies. Everyone loves to see pics and videos of William myself included. But sometimes it’s good to take some time to reflect upon who they got here to really acknowledge the mom journey whether it’s through birth, adoption, or otherwise.
Being a mom in general is hard regardless of how your child got to you. Doing it in a pandemic with some baby blues and postpartum anxiety sprinkled in is even harder. Thankfully, a year later, I’ve been able to channel that experience into
So today I want to share one way to commemorate the journey to motherhood with my recent feature on the Birth Stories in Color Podcast. Birth Stories in Color is a podcast for Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latino, and Multiracial individuals to share their birthing experiences - a space that specifically celebrates, mourns with and supports them and their transformation through birth. The hosts are giving the safe space that mamas need to share all of the feels.
In the interview, I talk about
So whether you’re a mom, or know someone who is, be sure to take a listen on your favorite podcast app (like Apple Podcasts) or click the link here to find it.
Mother’s Day is coming up soon. Take some time to honor you and the journey of how you became a mom (regardless of how your kids became yours). If you’re not a mom, consider asking yours about how you came to be. If your kids aren’t earthside, know that your journey is still worth acknowledging as well. I’ll be celebrating moms in the month of May, and there’s a place for everyone. (Yes, even the internet aunties).
Click here to listen to my my story or find it on your favorite podcast app like Apple Podcasts.
Some people ask me how I “do it all”. And at that I laugh internally and think about
And then I remember, that if nothing else is done, dinner will be, because I have a plan and you can too. If you need help with yours then click here to pick a time to chat and get a little help.
Then I also remind them that I try to be intentional about the spaces I show up in and spend my time. Two of those spaces are ones that I’m very excited to share with you. They include other boss ladies like myself who don’t “have it all together” either, but sure do try.
Tomorrow, I’ll be one of the moms on a panel small business owners for the Boss Chat where we’ll discuss The Importance of Building a Community Around Your Brand. Many of you are members of the amazing Food Fam with Chef Ashley Shep, so I’ll be talking about how we’ve built such a tight knit community of almost 600 strong!
If you’re a mom in business, then this is definitely one you should check out. You can register here.
On Saturday, I’ll also be featured on another panel, but this time, it’s exclusively for members of The South Atlantic Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. My beloved sorority is hosting their inaugural Author Showcase where I’ll share creative marketing tips with the future authors in attendance to help them reach success with their books. New Mom Thoughts will be the featured publication for this chat.
Remember, having it all together isn’t really the goal. Being intentional about our time, and having a plan for things that suck up our time is. If you need more of your time back, then hop on a call with me to reclaim your time.
When we’re living our day to day lives and just trying to meet those deadlines, finish that to-do list, feed these kids, it’s easy to look up and not even realize how much time has passed.
That’s especially the case this past year...or 18 months in my case.
18 months ago, I had a baby.
18 months ago, I also got my first piece of mid to major press by being featured in VoyageATL. The interview was done before I had the pint sized boss of course, so when it came out, I was elbow deep in newborn bliss, boo hooing, and bottles.
Now I’m 18 months later, so much has changed for you and me, and VoyageATL asked me to come back and be featured again in a new series they called Shout Out ATL. It’s an opportunity to check in with local entrepreneurs, follow up and see how far you’ve come, and give a literal shout out to those who have helped you get to where you are. Check out the quick read here. In the interview, I’ll discuss the
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day that we forget or can’t see why we’re doing what we’re doing. The pandemic, increasing social unrest, digital learning, and working from home all have us more exhausted than we realize. I’ve had to take more breaks than I intended to, but it’s important to take care of ourselves on a daily basis. A lot of that starts with food.
Non negotiables I use to practice self care around food
In the coming months, I’ll be sharing more strategies to help put your food life on autopilot, because you have so many other things to deal with. Until then, check out the Shout Out ATL feature. And take some time to think about how well you’ve done in the face of the dumpster fire/cluster/(insert your favorite word here) that we’ve been through. I bet you’ll find more wins than losses if you really dig deep.
Click here to check out the interview.
The top of the year is a great time to set intentions and refocus on our health as well as who we are in Christ. That's the reason why I thought it was the perfect time to release The Daniel Fast 21 Day Food and Faith Journal. Now like everything unknown in life, it did come with some moments where I wasn't sure if it was going to be published in time, BUT God knew.
Not only has the anointing laid upon the book publishing process, but it's also extended to the shipping. During the time of writing this, the mail in all forms is experiencing extreme delays. I mean like...weeks and months behind schedule. Thankfully that hasn't been the case with the Daniel Fast journals which are arriving on average 2-3 days after ordering. Either way, if you're someone who is waiting on your book to arrive or having gotten your copy yet, I wanted to share with you the Daniel Fast Extras book bonus website!
As an extra thank you to those who purchased, I created a resource center for you to have everything you need to be able to focus on getting spiritually fed as well as physically fed. On the bonus site, you'll find:
Fall is finally here and that means that it’s soup season! For me it’s soup season all year round, but for some folks they like to wait until the temps drop just a bit before enjoying some of their favorite comfort foods. I say if you can drink hot coffee everyday, then you can eat soup everyday, but that’s just me. And honestly, when’s the last time you had a cup of hot coffee.
Back to the soup!
There’s lots of reasons to love soups and chilis. I love them as a quick and easy lunch that I don’t have to think about. Working from home gives a false sense that you have all this extra time to do stuff. The only thing extra I have time to do is to toss some food in the Crockpot/Instant Pot and then it’s on to the next thing. Am I right?
So to help you out, I’ve included one of my favorite soup recipes that you’ll be sure to love. It doesn’t have a ton of ingredients in it, and it’s easy to make. Plus it’s healthy for you with tons of fiber and other nutrients that you need to feel your best. It’s my Salsa Verde Soup. Normally I say that you can make whatever changes to the recipe that you like, but in this case, there’s one thing you MUST keep the same: only use ROASTED salsa verde. The regular stuff just isn’t the same! Everything else is optional and you can make changes to your liking.
Salsa Verde Soup by Chef Ashley Shep
1 jar ROASTED salsa verde
3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
4 cups Chicken Broth
1 Yellow Onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 TB Cumin
3 cans Cannellini Beans, or Navy Beans-drained
1 TSP Chipotle Chili Powder (or regular chili powder)
2 TSP Ancho Chili Powder (or regular chili powder)
1 Poblano Pepper, roasted
1 TSP salt
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
1. (Optional) Using a gas stove, place the Poblano pepper on top of the aisle on LOW heat. Watch it closely, and turn as necessary. The skin will blacken. Rotate until all sides are a little charred . Set aside and let cool.
2. Using a slow cooker or pressure cooker, combine chicken, broth, beans, seasonings, salsa, bell peppers, onions, and garlic in slow cooker. Gently peel the charred skin off the poblano pepper, chop, and add to pot. Leave the seeds in for an extra kick.
3. Add cilantro and shred the chicken during the last 30 minutes.
4. Enjoy with avocado, more cilantro, tortilla chips.
Make It Vegan: Swap the broth for the veggie kind and add an extra can of beans in place of the chicken
Want some crunch: Add bell pepper and onions in the last 30 minutes instead of the beginning.
What’s your favorite soup to enjoy in the fall? Let us know below!
Thanks to those of you who have purchased a preorder book bundle for the New Mom Thoughts Book! Thanks to the genius of one of my sorority sisters, the book will be available in two cover versions that I like to call Colorful Coral and then Purple and Gold. During this process of writing the book, I wanted to give you more of a behind the scenes looks at the books and how everything gets from idea to print. So check out this unboxing video and learn more about that and the inspiration behind New Mom Thoughts.
If you aren't familiar with the book, here's a bit of a background: I wrote this journal to help new moms explore their thoughts and feelings during their baby's first year. I wish I had something like this during my first few weeks and months with my newborn. This is a safe space to store all the thoughts that cross your mind when worry, lack of sleep, and unmet expectations are all swirling in your head. Whether you feel like you're doing this whole mom thing wrong or you're the perfect example of motherhood, this journal is for you. Processing those thoughts or at least getting them out of your head helps you enjoy the mommy experience and celebrate this new adventure. This journal helps capture all of your new mom feelings during this messy, crazy, and exciting time. Some days are perfectly blissful, while others are filled with constant chaos. Either way, embrace your new normal.
As a self taught culinary creator, Chef Ashley decided to take her love of food to the masses by launching her brand that focuses on ways to be "healthyish", simplifying meal time, and dispelling the rumor that delicious food has to have tons of salt and fat. She believes that meal prep isn't just for the super health conscious and that it can help us all to take back the hours stolen by our kitchens. She began her meal prep journey as a way to save time and energy, but ended up finding a calling.