Author: aspireoneself

Let’s Be Friends!

Hi Aspirers! This week is suppose to be a new vlog but looking back at the footage I didn’t like any of it. If I didn’t like it I knew wouldn’t. I didn’t want to put something out just because it’s Tuesday, but what I do want to post will be more of a call to action.

You don’t have to wait until Tuesday to see what’s new, because for the other days of the week you’re missing out. If you haven’t already followed me on these platforms to see what I’m up to on a daily basis, here you go.

Can’t wait for you all to follow me along!

Instagram

Youtube

Tiktok

Twitter

Pinterest

See you soon, Courtney Renee

Let’s Cook Fried Chicken Balls – Cooking with CoCo

Hi Aspirers! I hope you are enjoying my weekly content thus far. I’m trying my best to keep up with my schedule by uploading a new post every Tuesday you all. I wanted to share with you all a new recipe I tried. Not too long ago, one of my friends who happens to also be a chef ManifestKitchen participated in an IG live by showing us how to prepare one of her favorite home dishes. I couldn’t just watch the IG live, I wanted to participate. I went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients I needed to follow along but with a little twist.

She was planning on showing us how to make Sierra Leone Fish balls but some of the ingredients didn’t work for me. What did I decide to do? Change up the ingredients just a little. What’s great about cooking is that you can experiment with different flavors and try different alternatives to fit your needs. In the end, you’ll see the actual recipe if you would like to try the recipe instead of my alternatives.

Here are the ingredients I used:

Bread crumbs, oil, almond milk, coconut flour, salt, ground pepper, chili powder, parsley, garlic powder, sliced onions, ground chicken, two eggs, potatoes, and steamed cauliflower (not shown because I decided to add later.) As you’ve seen in my previous recipe posts I don’t measure. I measure base on what I believe will be a good amount.

The first thing you need to do is pour your bread crumbs onto a plate and mix in your seasonings. Next create an egg batter with both your eggs, a few splashes of milk and add the seasonings into your egg batter and mix. Lastly, pour your flour onto a plate and mix in your seasonings. If you don’t like some of these seasonings feel free to switch them out. I’m not a huge salt person so I didn’t use as much salt compared to the other seasonings I’ve added.

Let’s start cooking your ground chicken. As a meat alternative, you could use ground beef, turkey, or fish if you don’t want to use chicken. As your chicken is cooking add in your seasoning. While you are cooking your chicken peel, and dice your potatoes and start boiling them in a pot of water until tender. Unfortunately, I don’t have images for that step. Sorry!

Once your chicken is done cooking drain and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Finish boiling your potatoes and once the potatoes are cooked drain, and run the potatoes over cold water to speed up the cooling process.

After your chicken and potatoes have cooled down, some add it into a mixing bowl. Add in your potatoes, onions, cauliflower, seasoning, onions (sauté before or throw in raw). To decide how much cauliflower I used one potato to one cup of steamed cauliflower into my bowl.

After everything is added into the bowl, now it’s time to mash your mixture together. You want it to look like the picture on the right. Once it’s completely mashed together you’re ready to start rolling.

Now it’s time to turn your oil on low, so when you are finally ready to start frying it won’t take too long to heat up completely.

As your oil starts to slowly heat up, roll your mixture up into balls. Roll them smaller than how I did it. You’ll thank me later. As you roll the balls, also squeeze them to make sure they are firm and they will hold. If not, they will fall apart while frying. I know by experience because it happened to me. I started with 21 balls and ended up with only 10 left. Try not to make the same mistake as I did.

Now that you have rolled your chicken balls now it’s time to coat them. First, dip your ball in the flour, then egg, and lastly bread crumbs. Once you are ready to deep fry turn up your pot of oil to medium-high.

Check your oil to see if it’s hot. If so, you can start frying. Grab a pair of tongs and start slowing adding in a few balls at a time. Don’t overfill the pot. You’ll know when they are done once they are golden brown.

There you have it deep fry chicken balls. For a dipping sauce try chipotle ranch. I highly recommend it. Like I mentioned before, I wanted flavor in every layer. By using coconut flour instead of regular flour it helps make this much lighter.

I hope you enjoyed my healthy rendition of my friend’s recipe. Check out her original recipe down below. Let me or ManifestKitchen know how your food turns out.

Talk soon, Courtney Renee

10 Ways To Create Your Own Joy

Hi Aspirers, it’s been a rough year. To be honest, a lot of us have had rough YEARS! How do you find joy or happiness when there’s so much negativity going on? How are you justifying your happiness? Are you chasing it? How do you hold on to happiness once you’ve found it? What will happen if you lose it?

Other than love we are wanting to find happiness. The definition of being happy is feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. It’s like taking a bite of your favorite dessert. The flavor explodes in your mouth. That taste brings back the feeling when you first tried this dessert. It’s more than just that moment. It’ll stick with you.

For you to be happy, you need to define what is happiness means to you. Happiness is more than just that generic definition. Sometimes we can’t put our feelings into words. It’s just the state of being present at that moment in time.

Take some time and think about how you define your happiness. If you are having some trouble here are some ways.

  1. Recall memories that put a smile on your face.
  2. Look back at your achievements. You’ve come this far.
  3. Enjoy things as is not what it could be. If you focus on things that aren’t then you won’t see the value of it.
  4. Valuing yourself. How you look at yourself is a big factor in your feelings.
  5. Value your relationships with your family, friends, and colleagues. Most of the time we are spending time with others. We sometimes take these relationships for granted and miss out on what we get out of them.
  6. Surround yourself with positive people in your circle. When we are down reassurance is key to know it’ll be okay.
  7. Try new things. You never know if you like something until you try it.
  8. Do the things you love. You already know the feeling you get from that experience and it’s nothing wrong with doing it again.
  9. Take time to reflect. We are always on go that we sometimes forget what just happened which means we didn’t take time to enjoy that moment.
  10. Open yourself up for change. Things can’t stay the same. With the change, we find out new things about ourselves.

Clearly, there are more than ten ways to find your own joy, these are just the few that works for me. Maybe some of these can work for you as well. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned to appreciate is change. Coming into 2020 it was a BIG DEAL! It probably was a big deal for you too. One special moment that will be happening this year is my 30th birthday. I bought my plane ticket and I was expecting great things. Unfortunately, my trip won’t be happening but my birthday is still worth celebrating. Even though I can’t travel to my island getaway I can still find pleasures in doing something else such as a photo shoot.

Check out my new vlog. Come along with me while I do my everyday routine but also getting ready for my shoot. I didn’t want to vlog my shoot but I didn’t want to give anything away but I can tell you it’s awesome!

Anyway, enjoy!

Let’s talk soon! Courtney Renee

Egg + MLT (Mushroom, Lettuce, & Tomato) Sandwich – Cooking with CoCo

Hi Aspirers!

Before going into this post I wanted to take some time and mention I hope you all aren’t taking this content as a distraction from BLM and social inequalities. It’s okay to add in your daily routines and still stand up for the cause. If you haven’t donated and is looking to donate or get more information here are some options:

NAACP

Reclaim The Block

Color of Change

Aspirers I’ve recently started making sandwiches again. I’ve been trying to stay away from foods with high carbohydrates. One day while in Walmart I came across thinned slice organic bread and I fell in love because it was 14g compared to the 23g that I’m used to eating.

Anyway, I wanted a sandwich that was filling but also not to heavy so I decided to make a MLT. I’ve never had one or heard of it before. Let me tell you if I could only eat one sandwich for the rest of my life this would be it. I’m not exaggerating! This sandwich is that good. If you’re looking for a great vegan option a regular MLT without a fried egg on top will be just as delicious. It’s great for brunch or lunch.

Let’s get into how I made this sandwich.

First you need your fresh vegetables which are shiitake mushrooms, slices of tomatoes, and green leaf lettuce. Also need garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, your bread of choice, hickory flavor liquid smoke, egg, mayo, and horseradish sauce. Cheese is optional.

To make this sandwich completely vegan purchase vegan cheese, mayo, and horseradish sauce. For your egg there’s an egg substitute brand called Just Egg which you can make a scramble in place of a fried egg.

Next you want to start sautéing your mushroom in the oil of your choice and season with garlic powder, black pepper, and onion powder. You can add as much or as little season that you like. If you like flavor then you’ll want more than a dash. You will have to add additional oil to prevent the seasoning from burning in the pan.

Once the mushrooms are brown push them to the side of the pan to continue cooking on low heat and put a splash of liquid smoke on the mushrooms. As those cook place your bread in the pan to toast.

Once the bread is toasted on the non-toasted side add your mayo with a dash of black pepper and onion powder to your bread.

Now it’s time to fry your egg. I like my egg over medium but you can fry it sunny side up, over hard or whatever you like. If you don’t like eggs you can skip this step too. No need to add any additional seasoning to your egg because there’s still season in the pan from your mushrooms. Also toss your mushrooms to make sure they aren’t burning in the pan.

While your egg is cooking it’s time to add your other vegetables to your sandwich. Lay the lettuce and tomatoes onto both sides of your bread. Then add your horseradish just to one side. If you don’t like horseradish that’s fine you can leave it off and just add more mayo in place. The sauce in the middle will help keep your sandwich toppings in place better. Think of it as the glue for the sandwich.

It’s fine to add your mushrooms. Doesn’t that look delicious? If you want you can eat the sandwich as is and it’s really good but if not let’s add more toppings.

Add cheese on top of your mushrooms. Again you can stop right here and you’ll be happy but if you want a loaded sandwich let’s keep it going.

Let’s add the egg next! Doesn’t this look good!! We’re not done yet because you’re continuing to load this sandwich we’re going to add one more thing.

We’re going to sprinkle a little more cheese! Omg this sandwich is going to be so good!!

Now close that sandwich and cut in half. I cut mind into two triangles but you don’t have to do it like me.

Do you see this SANDWICH! Just look at it. Do you see the layers of flavors? I want to make myself another one because it’s so good. If you want to finish off this meal add a side item. I made a parfait since this is brunch for me but you can do whatever.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe give it a try. Let me know in the comments if you tried it and how did you like it. Don’t forget to like and share. To be the first to know about a new post follow my blog.

Talk soon, Courtney Renee

To Be Treated As A Person Shouldn’t Be A Request

Hi, Aspirers today I want to talk about something that will be uncomfortable but it’s necessary. I was brought up in a household of love but living in a society that still has hate in their hearts. Our ancestors fought for our freedom why would we stop? Why should we stop?

Just because someone looks different doesn’t mean they are any less. I love being around people that are different from me because we can educate each other. Hopefully one day our descendants will grow up in a society where they don’t have to protest and riot to be seen as equal. To be treated as a person shouldn’t be a request.

So much has been taken from us and is claimed as someone else’s. This society isn’t justice for all it’s clearly justice for y’all. Being treated fairly shouldn’t be difficult. Those people with hate in their hearts choose to be that way. As easily you can learn hatred you can easily find love. Those that choose to have a hatred heart will be bond to lack empathy, compassion, and love. Why put so much effort into a negative mindset?

There are multiple ways on how you can help out the black community. Our community tends to be used by corporations that benefit themselves by using us as they see fit by taking our culture to turn into dollars but lack consideration for us as people. If you have to reach out to these businesses/corporations to put out statements you clearly can see what they support but still consider reaching out to them to make it known that we see they aren’t taking action and change needs to happen.

Looking to support black businesses in NC check out Official Black Dollar and visit their website to look up black businesses. For a broader search check out Official Black Wall Street to check out a directory for black own businesses in general.

Donate to NC bail support funds TEXT NCSPAN to 22999. NAACP, American Civil Liberties Union, Fair Fight, Know Your Rights Camp, Color of Change, National Bail Out, GoFundMe George Floyd, Campaign Zero, Reclaim the Block, and Unicorn Riot. That’s just to name a few.

Educate yourself by having those uncomfortable conversations. It’s okay to ask questions. How can we fix and issue without having these conversations? We all don’t have the answer but support and understanding each other is important for this change to happen. Want to be able to bring dialogue and have conversations with younger generations here are some books you can read: The Skin I’m In, White Socks Only, One Crazy Summer, The Lions of Little Rock, and All American Boys.

Your vote does matter! Go out and vote for people in office that care about the same injustice as you do.

Lastly, I want to end this post with these powerful quotes.

“Have a vision. Be demanding.”
– Colin Powell

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
– Maya Angelou

“The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.”
– Eldridge Cleaver

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
– Barack Obama

Talk soon, Courtney Taylor

How is Social Distancing Impacting Bloggers?

This past Sunday Aspirers I had a chance to go on IG Live with two of my blogger friends to talk about how social distancing is impacting us. Who would have thought people creating content and is always behind a computer screen would feel isolated? To be honest we have been. A lot of plans have been changed which means certain content can’t be produced for you all. That’s a hard pill to swallow because we were really looking forward to these 2020 plans.

There have been some great things that came out of social distancing which are more virtual collaborations from people near and far. We’ve been taking full advantage of creating new content and keeping our mental health in check.

Just in case you missed our IG Live check out the video down below. Also follow my blogger friends on IG: Stylecommodity and Manifestkitchen they have a lot of great content for you to catch up on plus more coming soon. If you haven’t followed me yet follow me too!

View this post on Instagram

Social distancing

A post shared by Iféoluwa | Lifestyle Blogger (@stylecommodity) on

Let’s chat soon, Courtney Renee

Hair Problems: I’m Cutting Off My Hair!

Hi Aspirers!

It’s late, I can’t sleep, and a lot is on my mind. When I can’t sleep it’s usually my body telling me something. Once I figure out what that something is I then figure out what needs to be done. Guess what needs to be done? Well, if you read the title then you should already know. I’m going to cut my hair!

I got up grabbed all my hair products and I did just that. I could ramble on and on about this and you could continue reading but luckily I decided to record everything as it was happening.

Scroll down and press play to watch the video. You’ll get to see my transformation of why I decided to cut my hair and see how it all turns out. If you like what you see don’t forget to like and share.

Cooking with CoCo: Shopping Local + Video

Hi Aspirers,

I had the chance to check out a local produce market and I can’t believe I’m just hearing about this. It’s fabulous. You can get a $20 fill up bag AND a FREE produce. I was like a kid in the candy store. I love fresh fruits and vegetables. Here’s what I got.

My free item was the pineapple. I could of choose between that or cantaloupe. I got a lot of stuff for just $20. It’s just me eating this so I decided to chop, bag, and store in the freezer. When ever I need I just grab the amount I need and add it to my meals that I’m going to prepare. I chopped up all the vegetables besides the corn and the eggplant and for the fruit I chopped and placed in the refrigerator.

It looks like a lot but I do cook a lot. Speaking of cooking I’m actually using the eggplant I purchased for my next meal for Cooking with CoCo. I’m made eggplant sliders. I recipe I randomly created in my head. Check out the video and see how it all turned out!

If you haven’t already don’t forget to follow my blog so you’ll be the first to read my new posts!

Talk soon, Courtney Renee