Tag Archives: Holiday

Sur La Table Cooking Classes: The Art of Cooking

Have you ever taken a cooking class? Do you already know how to cook or at least do you believe that you know how to cook good? Well recently I took a cooking class for the first time and for me it was confirmation of a few things. First, cooking is fun and not scary and second, I really do not know that much about food or the technique of cooking, but that’s ok because knowledge is power.

Cooking for me has always been a monkey see monkey do kind of ritual. I would see my mother and grandmother in the kitchen slaving away all day, especially during holiday times and on Sundays, and then surprise something delicious would be born. I grew to be a hungry woman with child at a young age and so the kitchen was always a favorite place of mine.

Even though everyone always loved the food that I made I was never taught the correct terminology of certain utensils or how to use them. I’ve also recently realized that although I can “throw down” in the kitchen, I still do not have an extensive knowledge when it comes to even the different types of foods there are in the world to cook or the technique behind the art of cooking.


I recently registered for the Vegetarian Holiday Favorites class at Sur La Table located at Somerset Mall in Troy, MI. I signed up online the very same day. I had no idea what to expect from the class to be quite honest. Partially because I am not a vegetarian and I don’t have many meals without some sort of meat, I love meat. The motivation behind my curiosity was the fact that my boyfriend also known as the love of my life was teaching the class.  I signed up for the class mostly because I wanted to go and support him, I believe that support is priceless.

What I loved about attending this cooking class was the fact that we were a small intimate group (about 16 total), everyone was very social and friendly it seems like food just does that to you. The intimacy behind cooking with your bare hands and then sharing with others next to you to try a bite, cutting a piece of cheese, having an extra slice, and breaking it up in bits for your fellow chef partners to also try. The exchange from bare hand to mouth and the trust behind it is what I love about cooking and being intimate with perfect strangers. Also what I love is the act of eating the meal that you’ve prepared especially in a group setting.


For dinner we made Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Blue Cheese. Cauliflower and Melted Leek Gratin with Gruyere and Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragu. My favorite was the Roasted Squash Bread Pudding with Spinach. We used a bench scraper, a vegetable peeler, a box grater, an apple corker, a garlic roller, a colander, a whisk, metal and silicone spatulas, and a slotted spoon among other things. All the food we cooked and ate greatly exceeded all of my expectations.


Roasted Squash Bread Pudding

I truly enjoyed being a student in this class. I even learned new terminology for cooking like “blanching” which is basically taking a food like french fries or green beans, and pre-cooking them so that when you actually do need them for a meal it doesn’t take long to prepare. You can even store these items in the freezer for later use. The process of blanching involves submerging the food in boiling water for a brief time interval and then shocking it by placing it in ice cold water. Chef K taught us that most restaurants use this technique to save their ticket times (time frame of order to food delivery).


Our ticket times in class were of course superb especially with the help of all three kitchen assistance. Each time I tried to clean up my own mess someone was there to do it for me. Someone was also always there to refill my water glass. The fruit diffuser water pitcher was simply amazing and I couldn’t describe the feeling I had when the very nice gentleman in the store brewed me a fresh cup of caramel coffee from the Nespresso machine during our break.


In the cooking class at Sur La Table I made new friends immediately and I hated to leave them all so soon. What began as a simple idea turned into the highlight of my day. Although I went solo, I highly recommend taking a cooking class at Sur La Table with a friend, relative, mate, or anyone special. It’s a bonding experience that leads to more than just cooking. Creating any meal is an art, one that can be taught and appreciated if the instructor is passionate and the student is ready..

Chef K instructing Laura and Janine at Sur La Table
Janine and I taking a moment for a selfie
A cooking class inside of a store is dangerous! lol So many amazing gadgets.
Chef K instructing our class at Sur La Table
Kale Salad w/ apples, cranberries, and walnuts
Selfie with my classmates
Kiss the Chef !
Vegetarian Holiday Favorites

Follow Chef K on Instagram @ChefKiluanji 

Contact Chef K for private events and catering ChefKWatkins.KingsKitchen@gmail.com

Sign up for a cooking class at Sur La Table Somerset

Follow Sur La Table on Instagram @Sur_La_Table



Cake, Lunch, Paint!

Cake Like It’s Your Birthday


The Holiday Market in Royal Oak is a foodie’s paradise. Its like Wholefoods meets mini market. I stopped here to grab cupcakes for my sister in laws birthday.


Also, the hilarious card that I got for her. On the inside it says “Happy Birthday or not”. Lol. Me and my dry humor 🙂

Lunch at Thai Cafe


Lunch with my son Jaylen at Thai Cafe in Royal Oak was awesome as always. We loved the Thai Cafe Noodles all veggies. I am not a fan of baby corn.

Painting with a Twist


Later that night things got wicked! Painting with a Twist that is.


My small white circle and three globs of paint were used to create something extremely amazing.


Stay tuned for more details and an entire post feature about the amazing time I had with my sister in law(s) painting The Wicked Moon.

Fall in Love with YKBEADS

The most amazing things about YKBEADS jewelry is the fact that they are all uniquely beautiful, all handmade in the USA, all organic and 100% one of a kind. The point is to collect-them-all, only if you get to them first, and in my opinion, it’s way better than that beanie baby phase America went through. I also love to see how YKBEADS lovers put their own spin and style into it when rocking with the best.


My style is very Bohemian-isc so go figure that Little 5 Points is one of my favorite shoots to date. Here I am wearing stacks of YKBEADS bracelets on both arms, Aztec leggings, white Celine hoodie, neon brightening sweater (YKBEADS Clothes) and fringe moccasin boots by Minnetonka.


Little 5 Points, located near downtown Atlanta, is a very eclectic part of town to say the least. There are interesting shops, restaurants and people all around, I even use to work at a little spot called Front Page News. I loved running into the group of people on the street during this particular shoot. I loved telling them about my jewelry and I also loved giving the energy away to them. I’m all about the magic and n’sync-ness.


Mural wall


Model Indigo and I in front of the Rag-O-Rama.


My son Jaylen photo-bombed us… the dog did too.


Look up say cheese! #candids

Fall in love with the beads.

For one of a kind Holiday gifts – Shop online www.ykbeads.com

Photo credit: Sydney Foster Infinite Photography

Tools of The Mind – Manifest Destiny with YKBEADS

There are so many wonderful treats our Earth gives us to heal our bodies, minds and souls. We have water to quench our thirst, herbs, teas and spices, for drink and flavor in our food.

We can simply clasp our hands together in prayer for a one on one with God and we can apply our Ykbeads wearable energy jewelry just about anywhere else in between.


(Photo courtesy of iconosquare.com via @coachalexisbillings wearing #ykbeads #Turtletime )

YKBEADS jewelry are made from the best stuff on earth. Packed full, ykbeads gemstones and crystals are born as rocks, corals, lava, magnets and metals and then are formed to wearable bead-energies.
Because of this the stones are said to be made of real earth DNA, human hands, soul too. If you want the creative pot at best they also come made to order.

If it is your desire to become fertile either before, during or after pregnancy try YKBeads Goddess Body. Any piece blended with Rose quartz, Corals or moonstone is sure to be the master healer . Ask YK for an elixir to get your girl power mojo going.

In any event of lack, abundance is always available especially if Citrine has anything to do with it. Better known as the merchants stone, it’s yellow hue services your solar plexus energies in all the right ways. Just a drop goes a very long way.
Everyday is B.Y.O.E. Bring Your Own Energy. No two wearer’s experience is ever the same because sharing happens continuously.

Trade them with friends once you’ve met your purpose or goal with that one “piece”, (or keep them forever) . Give the gift of energy too, it’s always better to give than to receive.

1. Attract Love Rose Quartz  is the stone of universal love. It restores trust and harmony in relationships, encouraging unconditional love. Rose Quartz purifies and opens the heart at all levels to promote love, self-love, friendship, deep inner healing and feelings of peace.

Calming and reassuring, it helps to comfort in times of grief. Rose Quartz dispels negativity and protects against environmental pollution, replacing it with loving vibes. It encourages self-forgiveness and acceptance invoking self-trust and self-worth.

rose quartz
Rose Quartz YK Classic $45
Purchase Rose Quartz YK Classic
2. Focus Tigers Eye A stone of protection, Tiger Eye may also bring good luck to the wearer.  It has the power to focus the mind, promoting mental clarity, assisting us to resolve problems objectively and unclouded by emotions.  Particularly useful for healing psychosomatic illnesses, dispelling fear and anxiety.

Useful for recognizing one’s own needs in relation to the needs of others.  Balancing yin-yang and energizing the emotional body, Tiger Eye stabilizes mood swings, imbues us with willpower, purpose, courage and self-confidence, and releases tension.

warden of evil

Warden of Evil $55
Onyx, Tigers Eye, Red Evil Eye
Purchase Warden of Evil
3. Manifest Aquamarine.  Not only is aquamarine a beautiful stone with its mesmerizing blue-green hue, it’s a powerful crystal for manifesting on it’s own unique high frequency. It’s a particularly good choice for those overcoming obstacles in the workplace. It can assist those needing help with closure in any area of life.

Aquamarine offers courage, strength, clarity, creativity and closure. It brings confidence and the power to be heard.  It’s also a  great stone for anyone feeling overwhelmed by responsibility. Aquamarine also helps to clear the mind of chatter.

blue hues
Blue Hues $45
Aquamarine, Jade, Amazonite, Turquoise
Purchase Blue Hues
4.Transform Malachite absorbs negative energies and pollutants, picking them up from the atmosphere and from the body.  Guards against radiation and clears electromagnetic pollution.  Malachite clears and activates the chakras and attunes to spiritual guidance.  It opens the heart to unconditional love.

Encourages risk-taking and change, breaks unwanted ties and outworn patterns, and teaches how to take responsibility for one’s actions, thoughts and feelings.  Malachite releases inhibitions and develops empathy with others.  It alleviates mental disturbances and combats dyslexia.

Enables you to absorb and process information.  Releases negative experiences and old traumas.  Stimulates dreams.
Mother Earth Malachite $45
Purchase Mother Earth Malachite
5. Strength – Inner and Outer Onyx raises one’s resistance and persistence, enabling one to carry even unmanageable and tasks during to completion. On a mental level, it increases one’s power to keep focus, making it possible for one to take fighting new material and use well all that one has mastered. It quickly enhances the retention of memory and promotes attention to detail.

These traits make Onyx a instructive instrument for pupils, teachers, business owners, accountants, lawyers, software and computer technicians, and all those whose work calls for high levels of focus, dedication and discipline.
 Fantasy Bloom $45
African Wood, Citrine, Onyx
Purchase Fantasy Bloom

Have an idea for your next custom order?

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Cover photo beads Ykbeads lava basalt black, Crystal Quartz and Giraffe Agate. Worn by @Verogs77 For Fashion Tips and looks #Made easy Follow @Verogs77 on Twitter and Instagram. Also check out FashionMadeEasyByVGS.Blogspot.com.