Tag Archives: food

Being Human is NOT cute.

Let’s get direct, right in the beginning of this post.

Being human is not cute.

What do I mean by that? Simply what it says. It’s a get out of jail free card. When someone does something wrong or says something horrible and ridiculous, the next line that follows is usually, “Hey, I’m only human.” If you’re the one making excuses for everyone else’s faults, the line is, “We’re all human.” “No one is perfect.” And here’s my favorite for the saints who blog…“We all fall short of the glory of God!”

True, true and true. But it’s an excuse. Being human doesn’t give you the right not to strive to become something more. It doesn’t give you the right to be a horrible individual without 1st looking at yourself to see where you can improve to be better.

There’s 2 categories of people I want to call out here for obvious reasons. Way Makers and Nay Sayers.

Way Makers are the type of people who strive for perfection. They make a way out of no way and don’t let their human weaknesses keep them from achieving a greater goal. No’s are challenges to them, and they eat it up for breakfast. It’s like they go out hunting for No’s just to turn it into a Yes! Nothing can stop this person if they have their heart and mind-set on a goal. Not a job, not a family member or friend, not a penny in the bank, nothing. They’re resourceful, frugal, DIY, dreamers, movers and shakers. If a door they want to enter is closed, they bust it down!

Those people get somewhere if not everywhere in life. Those people see an impossible opportunity and get excited at the thought of taking it on. Other people can’t understand how they work, how they manage, how they’re so talented, how…how…how. And because they’re so often misunderstood, they’re treated like a unicorn surrounded by greedy, nasty, vile gremlins trying to get what they have, but have done none of the work.

Hence why most of the Way Makers you know or have heard of move alone or in a very tight circle of trusted associates. If you’re not a part of the process, you’re part of the problem.

That’s when we get to our favorite and most robust group of people…

Nay Sayers. Beware of the Nay Sayer for they say no to things. No to your things, no to your ideas, no to your dreams, no to your goals, no to your life and no to your progress. These Nay Sayers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, colors, genders and relations.

Believe it or not, the biggest Nay Sayers will be those closest to you. Family and friends alike. They’re quick to judge you, to remind you of who you were, remind you of where you’re from. They’ll project their own fears and ideas onto you because that’s all they know how to do. If they knew how to be anything else, they’d be a Way Maker. Get me?

Either you do or you don’t. Either you is or you aint. You’re either a Way Maker or a Nay Sayer.

Nay Sayers will feel like they have your best interest at heart. They more oftentimes don’t even realize that the vile spewing from their mouths has discouraged you from even putting pen to pad to work out the idea 1st before they’ve already killed your dream.

Tip: Don’t share your ideas with anyone unless you’re working with them.

Nay Sayers also have a nasty habit of thinking they know everything, yet they know no things at all. How can they? They’ve never even tried. And if they did try to be a Way Maker, at some point they found it too difficult because failure hurt their pride and ego. Ohhhh boo hoo. (No tissues for you friend. Suck it up)

Failure is my BEST FRIEND! I absolutely LOVE failure. It helps me to grow. It shows me the faults and cracks I must fill for next time. Failure means I TRIED. And when you try, you learn things you never knew before. You may not need the information right now but somewhere down the line, it WILL come in useful. Trust me.

The Nay Sayer gave up. Failure was too much and what made them feel better about failing? Saying these lines…

“I’m only human,” “None of us are perfect,” “We all fall short of the glory of God”.

So that just gives you the right to stay content with not trying to be a Way Maker? Without striving for success? Perfection? Even those of us (not me) who don’t believe in Jesus say, “Only Jesus was perfect.”

And whether you believe the bible or not, I know you’ve heard that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light.

Jesus was a WAY MAKER. He walked in his truth and he lit the way for the rest of us so that we can be more like him. He lit the WAY so that we may be WAY MAKERS like him. Perfect like him. Even though our humanity keeps us from being so, we still have to try.

Our humanity isn’t a choice, but it’s nothing to settle for. Being human isn’t cute. Settling for the basics in life isn’t cute. Not contributing to society and your communities isn’t cute. Going to work and then going home to do nothing else isn’t cute. You may try to look cute, you may try to act cute, but when your humanity is all you have going for yourself, cute just doesn’t cut it.

Be a Way Maker.

Tips:

  • Brunch – You like going to brunch? Go. Then figure out how to host one.
  • Bars – You like going to bars? Go. Then figure out how to own one.
  • Beauty – You like hair and makeup?  Go. But learn how to do it yourself so that you can find a WAY to teach others.
  • Reading – You like to read? Read. Then figure out how to write a book.
  • Food – You like to eat? Eat. Then figure out how to make it. Once you do that, figure out how to share that skill with others or open your own catering business.

MAKE A WAY. If not, you’ll just be another human taking up space and enjoying the products of WAY MAKERS.

~ Toi Powell
Author

Patti Pie! Behold the Power of Patti LaBelle!

Patti Pie! Behold the Power of
Patti LaBelle!

tumblr_inline_nxxib9jtSK1ss6xt4_1280
(Courtesy of Patti LaBelle.)

Hey everyone, welcome back!

If you haven’t heard, there is currently a major viral, tweeting, sweet potato pie frenzy happening across the country at sold out Walmart’s over Ms. Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie!

Last Friday, an incredibly hilarious and entertaining video review of Ms. Patti’s pie, by a very talented personality by the name of James Wright swept social media by storm. He indulged in this unknown sweet potato pie that you can only find at Walmart for $3.48 and claimed that you were going to sing like Patti LaBelle after eating it– and honey did he sing! Hilarious, yet entertaining, James belted line’s from Ms. Patti’s classics –Onnn my owwwwwn….why did it end this waaaaay….(Watch the video below and prepare for a good laugh)

The video that started it all!

The video was shared on his Facebook page over 7 Million times since last Friday and it literally sent people across the country to every Walmart they could find, only to find out:

1. It’s only sold at Super Walmart’s
2. Many of them were SOLD OUT!

Walmart needs 2 Million pounds of sweet potato’s to restock the shelves with this delicious pie! Heaven help the bakery’s night shift!

This just in – Walmart needs 2 Million pounds of sweet potato’s to restock the shelves with this delicious pie! Heaven help the bakery’s night shift!

It was a sweet potato pie frenzy! Thousands of people (myself included) drove to Walmart, called Walmart– GPSed the closest Super Walmart! I live by at least 5 so I was positive that I could find some… boy was I wrong!

I jumped on the bandwagon and documented my whole experience searching at least 6 WALMART’S before finally finding some in Secaucus, NJ 40 min away from my house! I actually called and asked for them to put 4 pies to the side for me– the girl in the bakery said they were going fast, someone just left with 20 boxes. Her name was Joyce. Praise be to Joyce! She had those 4 boxes waiting for me. The last 4 in the store.

Yes, I did my own video review of the Sweet Potato Pie because I needed to share every last experience with you all! I documented my entire journey and it…is… hilarious!

And yes, I did my own video review of the Sweet Potato Pie because I needed to share every last experience with you all!

I documented my entire journey and it…is… hilarious!

Check them out here.

How exciting and ridiculous is this entire Patti Pie ordeal? Let’s just say in 2 days, my 1st video of me searching for the pie had over 12K views and my 3rd video reviewing the pie has over 10K…. the day I uploaded it!

Comments from my viewers noted that the pies are sold out in, Cincinnati, New Jersey, Maryland, Los Angeles, New York, Tennessee and many more! According to Yahoo Food, a representative from Walmart said, “For 72 hours, we were selling one per second.” (For a bit of context, Walmart might sell two pumpkin pies every second in the month of November. But still, $1 million in sweet potato pie sales is a lot of pie.)….

In my Opinion: No But’s!!!…You sold 1 pie every second in a weekend–not a month– keep it real. The only reason why you didn’t sell anymore is because you ran out!

(continue yahoo)…Walmart was caught off-guard by the frenzy, Ales said.

“Friday morning, the team was working with the [sweet potato pie] supplier to see how we can keep up with the demand,” Ales said. “The supplier… was having a hard time finding [enough] sweet potatoes. So we walked down the hall to the produce department [and said,] ‘We need about 2 million pounds of California sweet potatoes!’ So that’s what we’ve been working through.”

Ales added that Walmart is working hard to replenish stocks at sold-out locations. “We’re really sorry about that,” he said. “We’re looking at where stores are out and how we can quickly move pies to that area.”

(My “Power of Patti” videos explains how companies market Pumpkin pie around the holiday’s to a general demographic instead of tapping into the African American market who were born and raised on Sweet Potato Pie. The only boxed pie that sells Sweet Potato pie in most supermarkets is Mrs. Smiths… and that’s if you can find it.)

Take a look at the videos below and enjoy! Don’t forget to share!

My Patti Pie Journey!

FINDING Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie – Walmart Pt1
Mission Impossible: Watch how we search high and low on this hilarious journey for Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie!

REVIEW Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie -Walmart Pt 3
Mission COMPLETED: We finally got our hands on Ms. Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie!  have some concerns people! Watch to see if it was worth the trouble! HINT: YOU HAVE TO HEAT IT UP for a better experience!

Why is Everyone Going out to Get Patti Pies?

If you want to know why everyone is flocking to get these pies, I break it down for you in the video’s below where I talk about the power of demand vs. supply, the power of word of mouth marketing, the power of the black dollar and most importantly the Power of Patti. When the holiday’s come, companies market towards a general demographic who they assume LOVE pumpkin pie. But, in the African American community, you couldn’t be any more off base. We love SWEET POTATO PIE honey! Here’s why…

Patti Pie’s – The Power of Patti (Is it that serious?) Pt 1
Many of you have watched my #PattiPie videos (Thank you, You guys rock!) and left me a bunch of question’s. I felt a video could answer some of them with the most important question being answered…Why are all of these people running out to get a Patti Pie?

Watch Patti Pie’s – The Power of Patti (Is it that serious?) Pt 2

References:

MARKETINGCHARTS.COM – “14% of Americans Are Black. 3% of Major Media Ad Spending is Focused on Them.” (Quotes Nielsen)
http://www.marketingcharts.com/tradit…

FORBES.COM – Word of Mouth Marketing – (Also quotes Nielsen)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlyw…

NIELSEN: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/about-us…

SHOPRITE: List of Pies – http://www.shoprite.com/pd/category/G…

https://youtu.be/Q6pg_r2YXHs?list=PL1G1qx9lLJ0gzKTxh74IQrlRRbePo9ujZ

Crock Pot Chicken w/ Gravy! Recipe!

Back in the Kitchen for a day!

Last night I made the most delicious #Crockpot #chicken with #gravy! One of my favorite #passions is #cooking ! I haven’t had much time to #cook recently with the finishing of my new #book taking priority, but i can tell you it feels good when you have time to be in your own kitchen! #yummy #yumm #yummi #yummyinmytummy  #sundried #tomato #tomatoes #onion #carrot #onions #soup mix , #salt #pepper #italian #seasoning #olive #oil  #honey #paprika #cinnamon ! #bonappetit !

Take on Innovation – In your Kitchen!

Quick recipe:
  1. Grab a whole chicken from the market. Clean it thoroughly, remove the bag of gizzards inside, place in crock pot.
  2. Grab your favorite seasonings. Se above for my choice of flavors. Cinnamon was a secret season and it added just the right touch of spic, minus the sweet.
  3. Slather the entire chicken in Olive oil, front and back.
  4. Season each side of the bird generously.
  5. Throw in your favorite veggies. DO NOT ADD WATER See above for my favs! Yum.
  6. Set the Crockpot on high for 6-8 hours depending on the size of your chicken. Then forget it!
  7. Do your laundry, write your book, make body scrubs, go for a run or simply relax with a glass of wine. The hardest part is done.
  8. GRAVY: If you want gravy (and who doesn’t right?), about halfway through once your chicken starts to make a broth, remove  half of the piping hot fluid and place in a microwaveable container.
    Sprinkle some flour in the broth, constantly stirring until it begins to thicken. Don’t put too much flour. Just enough to get it thicker than the original broth.
    Place in the microwave to for 2 min and allow it to thicken some more. This is you thickening the gravy more with heat without putting it on the stove.
    Remove and place to the side. That’s it! If you want it a bit thicker, just repeat with a bit more flour, but not too much. You don’t want dumplings for this recipe.
  9. When you can smell the the delicousness coming in from your kitchen annnnnnnd you see the little thermometer popped up out of the chicken, you are DONE!
  10. Cut what you need, Place on your plate, add your sides, drizzle your gravy and enjoy!
12122825_10154233078233066_2586271324279828776_n
T.O.I House by Toi Stori

 

SIGN UP HERE for my books mailing list!

Read my 1st blog about my upcoming book!

Part 1: Inception & Discovery

Follow me (I promise to follow back!)

Website: TheToiHouse.com
Twitter: TheToiHouse
FB: Facebook.com/TheToiHouse
Youtube: Youtube.com/Toicollection
Pinterest: Toihouse
Etsy Store: Etsy.com/shop/toihouse

Start Your Day Peachy!

Sweet Peach Raspberry Medley
(OAS) Friendly Recipe

Let me start off by saying, I LOVE peaches, but I have just 1 problem. I’m ALLERGIC! I, along with about 70% of people with pollen allergies, suffer from Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) caused by cross-re-activity between proteins in fresh fruits and vegetables and pollens.

I noticed a few years ago that I had developed an allergy to fresh pitted fruits. I was so annoyed because I love fresh fruit and this came out of nowhere! Never again would I be able to eat Apples, Bing Cherries, Nectarines, Plums and my all time favorite –  Peaches, in its natural form.

I discovered this sweet way to prepare my peaches without suffering from the effects of my allergies which include an itchy tongue, throat and swollen throbbing gums. By cooking or processing the fruit, the proteins are broken down so OAS typically doesn’t occur.

(If you have food allergies, please consult with your doctor before trying this recipe. This preparation works for me but others may be different)

So for breakfast, I wanted to make a quick fruit medley with Peaches and Raspberries. I wanted to feel like I was eating fresh juicy  peaches with a bit of a snap, so I nuked it in the microwave for 1 minute. Anything longer than that and they become mushy like cobbler, which isn’t bad, but that’s not what I wanted today. If you want, after nuking, you can cool them off in the fridge and when you take them out, they taste just like fresh peaches.

Here are the ingredients you need for a Sweet Peach Raspberry Medley:

Sweet Peach Raspberry Medley
(OAS) Friendly Recipe

Prep Time: 5 min.  Active Time: 1 min. Total Time: 6 min. Serves: 1

1 Peach
1 container of Raspberries
1 Tablespoon of Honey
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Photography by: Toi Stori For ToiHouse.wordpress.com
Photography by: Toi Stori For ToiHouse.wordpress.com

 

1. Wash your peach thoroughly to loosen any dirt and possibly any pollen stuck to the skin; slice sections of the fruit, discarding the pit.

2. Place on a microwavable plate/container (cover it to steam – best)  and microwave for 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds (longer if the peach is a bit firm)

3. Toss a handful of raspberries on top; drizzle honey over fruit medley; sprinkle cinnamon

Eat and Enjoy~

What foods have you sacrificed for OAS? Find a way to enjoy your favorite foods again!

What’s In The POT?! – Recipe for Chunky Garden Pasta w/ Turkey Sausage

Let me start off by saying I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE to cook! It’s one of my most favorite things to do. I’ve been cooking since I was old of enough to know what being nosy meant. You know, when you just sit there staring and salivating over juicy, succulent goodness and the cook (momma, granma, auntie or some other woman in the family) says, “Why are you so nosy?” They think you’re trying to listen to their conversation, but really, you want to know… WHAT’S IN THE POT?!

Welcome to my life. I always wanted to know, what was in the pot. What are you seasoning it with? How long do you leave it on for and most importantly, what does it taste like?

Over the years, I’ve experimented with different flavors, textures and temperatures. I am proud to say that I left the “I want my food burnt to a crisp” club years ago and am able to enjoy a nice medium-rare to medium steak. My family (excluding my little sister – I turned her on to it) are still running in that club hard and strong…smh. But I digress. Can’t save the world.

Recently, I’ve been blessed to be busy and put into motion the things I love to do. Unfortunately, it just made me too tired to cook like I used to. I missed it. The food I was scarfing down, wasn’t nearly as nutritious, yummy or inexpensive. Last night, I’d had enough. I was going to make the most delicious vegetable chunky garden  pasta with fresh veggies I’d picked up from my local Farmer’s Market (the veggies there are sooooo much cheaper and even fresher than your favorite grocery store). I like my pasta with a protein so I bought some turkey Italian style sausage. I like sweet Italian pork sausage best but substituted so that I could share with a friend who is not pork friendly. Bless his heart.

My measurements are based off of years of experience pinching and sprinkling, handfuls and a half of this and half of that’s. I’ll try my best to give you the proportions I used but this made quite enough to eat for lunch and dinner for 2 days.

Anyway, for about $10,  I gathered these ingredients:

Chunky Garden Pasta w/ Turkey Sausage

Prep Time: 5 min.  Active Time: 20 min. Total Time: 25 min. Serves: 4

3 cloves of fresh garlic
3 plum tomatoes
1 white onion (chopped)
Half a bunch of asparagus (chopped)
1 sprig of basil (about 2 1/2 leaves)
1 whole portabella mushroom (chopped)
1 pack of Sweet Italian Sausage (Turkey or Pork) – sliced in half inch circles
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 box of thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
Scallions for garnish

Garlic salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper or chili pepper
Olive oil (OO)
1 tablespoon of sugar

Veggie Pasta w/Turkey Sausage Ingredients. Photography Credit: Toi Stori  For ToiHouse.wordpress.com
Veggie Pasta w/Turkey Sausage Ingredients.
Photography Credit: Toi Stori
Recipe by: Toi Stori
For ToiHouse.wordpress.com

1. Cook pasta in a large pot  of boiling water until al dente (this means not boiled to death). Drain pasta.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle enough OO until it coats the pan. Add in your sliced sausage; season with salt and pepper to taste; cook until both sides have browned about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat and place in a bowl to rest.

3. Drizzle a teaspoon more OO into the pan and add in your chopped asparagus; stir for 3 minutes until its coated with the fat and OO mixture until bright green; add a pinch of salt; remove from heat and place in a separate bowl. Asparagus should be crunchy.

4. Add in your onions, garlic and 1 teaspoon of OO; bring flame down to medium-low heat; cook until translucent scraping the bottom to join seasoning and onions; as the onions sweat, add in chopped portabella mushrooms; cook until tender; stir in chopped plum tomatoes; after 5-7 minutes; add sausage and sauce. Sprinkle in cayenne or chili powder, sugar and chopped basil; Simmer for 5 minutes; turn off the flame and add spinach, folding sauce over leaves.

5. Plate your pasta; add chunky garden sauce with sausage on top of pasta; toss asparagus over it along with chopped scallions for garnish.

Eat and Enjoy~

Mine turned out like this and it was amazing! A glass of Merlot would compliment this just fine. Try it and tell me how you enjoyed my recipe!

Veggie Pasta w/Turkey Sausage Ingredients. Photography Credit: Toi Stori  For ToiHouse.wordpress.com
Veggie Pasta w/Turkey Sausage Ingredients.
Photography Credit: Toi Stori
For ToiHouse.wordpress.com

Visit Me on Pinterest!

follow-me-on-pinterest__

So, I am secretly obsessed with Pinterest! I don’t even know where to begin! I’ll admit, I was a bit late to jump on the bandwagon because honestly, I hadn’t heard of it. When I did, I didn’t really understand it because, who just goes around clicking on everything they like? What’s the point?

After taking a moment out of my busy schedule to just sit down and look at it (after a suggestion from my aunt who wanted me to see something that she pinned so bad), I started to see some really interesting things! They had tutorials on makeup, natural hair (this is what she wanted me to see – we were trying new things lol), DIY, beauty products, awesome recipes and much more! I couldn’t believe the access I was given to just about anything I could think of at the tip of my fingers! I just described the internet, but this is much better! It’s not cluttered with things you aren’t looking for or too much content. As a visual person, I was in image HEAVEN!

A lot of these pins inspired me to try new things, share with friends, organize my interests into boards and it kept my creative bug itching!

Take a look through my Pinterest profile for some inspiration!