Nature is God’s Artwork

Nature is God’s artwork. Sometimes when I’m having a stressful day, I take a walk outside, breathe in the fresh air, and take photos of the beautiful nature that I’m so blessed to be surrounded by.

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, I was exposed to all kinds of plants and wildlife, from alligators to pelicans, Crepe myrtles to the hanging Spanish moss trees.

On the west coast, the nature is quite different, but absolutely lovely. Did you know that you can find art anywhere? Those exposed branches on the side of the road, the dying flower, and dried leaves are all beautiful, it just takes a bit
of mindfulness to appreciate their beauty.
It’s just like us, sometimes when we don’t feel at our best, we can’t see what’s beautiful about ourselves. But God sees us perfectly and complete. We are never washed up or too dull for Him. We are all part of a larger masterpiece, a divine art that spans for all eternity.


Huffington Post: Denial, More Than Anything, Is Hindering Progress For Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse

If money is one hell of a drug, then denial is one of the biggest drug dealers in the world. And no group understands that truth better than survivors of child sexual abuse. While survivors, advocates and some lawmakers have fought hard to bring justice, there’s been little progress made; if anything, we’ve been forced to take giant steps backwards. And by forced, I’m referring to the tremendous power of, more than anything, denial.

Read my latest blog post on The Huffington Post.

Momma Sez

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, I was heavily influenced by the Gullah culture. My momma spoke Geechee, as we called it, which is a dying mixture related to Bahamiam Dialect, Barbadian Dialect, Belezian Dialect, Jamaican Patois, Trinidadian Creole, and the Krio language of Sierra Leone found in West Africa.

When my momma was angry or excited, she would often switch from English to Gullah, or the “Sea Island Creole” language. It can be very difficult to understand, and I am passionate about preserving the culture. I hate to see the culture disappear because of tourism and other reasons. I hope through my poetry and future books I can help to educate and preserve this special language.

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Charleston Tidbits by my Dad

Dad wanted to share some intimate moments from his travels around his home turf of Charleston, South Carolina. A country boy at his core, my dad loves nature and simple pleasures such as boating, fishing, and crabbing. How much I do miss home…it’s without words!  My beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, you will always have my heart.

Turquoise Skies

At noon, I sit and eat lunch with Julie, the Peacock

A spitting image of my mom Sandy as a child, in a brochure at Magnolia Gardens.
A spitting image of my mom Sandy as a child, in a brochure at Magnolia Gardens.
water friends :)
water friends 🙂
floating home
floating home
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

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Floating Southern Dream

Crispy Hazelnut Tomatoes

So my brother Anthony is probably going to be so embarrassed when he reads this, but I just have to share this story with you all!

When Anthony was around three years old he was outside crawling and playing near the vegetable gardens that our mom had planted. Mom had taken the clothes down from outside and had gone upstairs for what seemed to be only a few minutes. Anthony and I were outside by ourselves and somehow during that short time of mom’s absence, Anthony picked over sixty green tomatoes from mom’s vegetable garden! Our mom came back from inside the house and was livid needless to say, however she made the best of the situation and our family ate fried green tomatoes in every shape and form possible for about two weeks straight.

(Note: A little oil goes a long way)

 Crispy Hazelnut Tomatoes

You will need:

2 Heirloom Tomatoes

1 egg

1 cup Hazelnut Meal

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (add more if you like)

3 tablespoons coconut oil ( a little goes a LONG WAY!)

To make: 

Heat an iron pan with the coconut oil, but be careful not to burn.  Slice the tomatoes thick.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Take each piece of tomato and dip it into the egg first, then dip into the hazelnut meal with the pepper mixed together before dropping it into the pan delicately. Cook only once on each side until golden brown.

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You’re done, but not before you sit down and enjoy each bite slowly and mindfully! 

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

 

 

 

Lovely Sherry Crab Meat

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, I used to eat crab, lobster, fish, and shark right off the boat, and sometimes, right off our dock in our backyard. My dad still has a tiny handmade fishing boat that he and his brother take out often, and my mom used to catch fish and taught me how to prepare and of course, cook ’em! One of my favorite dishes is alligator, and every time I go home I try get some of it downtown. In one of the houses we lived in we had many alligators in the reservoir. It was totally normal to see the alligators in the water during the daytime from our yard, and at nighttime we would see their red eyes glowing in the darkness and hear their low, slow, growls.

I guess you could say that seafood is an enormous part of my culinary makeup, and I am so proud of my Charlestonian heritage! I love using my tried-and-true Gullah cookbooks from the lowcountry, but I modify them to fit a healthy lifestyle. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Here is a simple yet delicious crab meat recipe that I took from one of my Charleston receipts and modified it slightly.

I call it: Lovely Sherry Crab Meat

*Note: I accompanied it with vegetables to keep it fresh!

You will need:

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1 pound of white crab meat

4 tablespoons of yogurt (Note: I used  goat’s milk yogurt, but any will work here, and if you want this dish to be ultra rich and creamy, I imagine a thick greek yogurt or greek goats milk yogurt will work best!)

4 tablespoons of hazelnut flour (Note: This flour is significantly lower in carbs and sugar, suitable for a healthy lifestyle)

1/2 pint coconut almond milk

4 tablespoons sherry

3/4 cup sharp grated cheddar cheese

Pepper to taste (Note: I used A LOT of pepper as dishes from my beautiful hometown are somewhat spicy. So, alter as you see fit, but I think that the more pepper in this dish, the more authentic it is!)

Nonfat cooking spray or butter/olive oil

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To make:

In a pan over medium heat bring together the yogurt, hazelnut flour, and coconut almond milk. Next add in the pepper and sherry, mixing well. Remove the pan from the fire and add the crab meat. Pour the spread into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray/butter/olive oil. Sprinkle with the cheese and cook in a hot oven just until the it melts on top, but do not overcook it.

*Note: You can subsitute 1 1/2 pounds of lobster or shrimp for the crab meat.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Ice Cream

This recipe is a bit time consuming but SO worth it!

(Note: Please make the Almond butter cups ahead of time and refrigerate them until they harden. Then break them apart organically into crumbles to add into the ice cream just before the ice cream is done mixing in the machine.)

 Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Ice Cream

 

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Almond Butter Cups

You will need: 

7 oz. 100% dark chocolate (70% or above is ok, depending on your preference)

1/2 cup natural almond butter

2 TBS. Torani sugar-free vanilla syrup

1 TBS. Stevia/monk fruit

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

To make: 

First, separate the dark chocolate into smaller pieces and then melt on a double boiler, stirring continuously until perfectly smooth. Line the muffin pan with paper cups and pour a teaspoon of the chocolate into each cup. Blend the almond butter and remaining ingredients, then roll into teaspoon-sized balls before pressing into each chocolate filling.

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Cover every cup with the remaining dark chocolate and refrigerate them until completely hard. After they have hardened, break them into chunks and use them for later in the recipe.

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Next, for the ice cream!

 Dark Chocolate Ice Cream 

You will need: 

13.5 oz Coconut Almond Milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup equivalent Stevia

Chocolate Sauce (Recipe is below)

Half the batch of the Almond Butter cups, hardened and crumbled

To make: 

Add the coconut almond milk to a saucepan over medium heat, and stir for about seven minutes. During that time add the vanilla extract and sweetener, stirring to combine well.  Cover in a container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until the mixture is cool.

While the mixture is cooling down, make the chocolate sauce:

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Dark Chocolate Sauce

You will need: 

3 TBS. coconut almond milk

1 TBS. cacao powder

1/2 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate (100%)

2 TBS. Stevia/monk fruit extract

1 TBS. melted coconut oil

1/4 tsp. vanilla

To make: 

Combine all of the ingredients while waiting for the ice cream to set.

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Once the coconut milk mixture is ready, add it to your ice cream maker and make it according to your machine’s directions. My ice cream maker takes around 30 minutes to produce one batch, however different styles call for different times. Just before the ice cream is done churning, add the almond butter cups and drizzle in the chocolate sauce.

You can serve this immediatley or freeze it for another couple of hours, whatever you prefer!

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God Bless,

Nikki DuBose