Eats & Treats: Oven-Fried Lazy Meal!

Oven-Fried Chicken

Y’all know a belle likes to show off in the kitchen. ShermikaBelle and I just love wings. I’ve even joked that we are going to turn into chickens one day. We love wings, but not just ANY wing. They have to be extra crispy because a belle doesn’t care for chicken with soft skin. Now that I think about it, that should be a crime punishable by paper cuts and lemon juice!

I always bake my hot wings because not only is it healthier, but it’s less work. I don’t have to babysit a fryer or worry about being splattered with cooking oil. Read on and I’ll tell/show you how I cook these divine wings!

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Let’s Jam: Beijing

I’ve always wanted to visit Beijing since I am fascinated with Asian culture. For now, I won’t bother with extremely long flights (yet), but will settle to listening to Beijing, an alternative rock band out of New Haven, CT. TamikaBelle and I met Beijing via Twitter, and if you know a belle, you know that we swear by the relationships we’ve cultivated via Twitter. Beijing was kind enough to let us into their world and befriend us (don’t you just love their album cover?!).

In case you’re musically curious, Beijing is comprised of 4 musicians: Bill Pruchnicki, Jack Hoopingarner, Eric Thornberg, and Thomas Smith. I got my sweet hands on their debut EP, “It’s Not So Simple,” which has 4 solid rock songs that will please your discerning ears.

The Band: Beijing

“Glitch” has a thudding bass guitar line combined with some gritty vocals. It reminds me of punk and a little bit of what I call dirty rock. Let’s just say a belle was bopping her head on this one.

By far, my favorite song is “New Beginning.” If you listen to the passion in this song, you’ll understand why. Overall, the production on the entire EP is very strong. If you appreciate rock as much as we do, then you have found yourself a new favorite band in Beijing!!

We look forward to seeing what else Beijing is going to do. Keep your eyes and ears on them ArtBLT’ers! If you’re a fan of good music and tire of listening to all that canned wanna be music on the radio, then purchase Beijing’s music NOW.

Go out and support independent music. You can buy Beijing’s EP on iTunes for the low price of $3.96. Tell ’em your favorite belle sent you. If you are really daring, follow them on facebook & twitter, too!

Birmingham Artwalk

Painting by Veronique Vanblaere

Hey ArtBLT’ers! It’s been much too long. I’ve been under the weather a bit, but I had a good Labor Day. TamikaBelle and I grilled some goodies, which was fun. I hope you all had a lovely holiday! The chill is in the air and fall is officially coming round soon! At any rate, let’s celebrate the fall and boogie on down to Birmingham Artwalk this weekend!

Birmingham Artwalk will have it’s 10th anniversary (she’s getting up there) downtown as folks flock to the city in search of great artists. There will be belly dancing (remember I did a little here), tarot card readings, live music, and more! So come one come all as we celebrate Birmingham’s diverse art scene. The event will highlight visual artists, photographers, jewelry makers, and more.

Artwalk starts Friday, September 9th from 5-10PM and Saturday, September 10th from noon-6PM. Get your walk on around Morris Avenue and 1st and 2nd Ave North between 22nd & 25th Streets.  See you there!

Egyptian Feast Fit for 3 Queens

A while back we ate at my friend’s (check out her funny blog) house and had an African meal so wonderful that we had to share it with you! You see, my friend’s husband was born/raised in Egypt all of his life and recently made his way to the states a few years ago. Though he adores American food, he always loves to cook authentic meals for friends whenever they come over.

We had Al Mesaka’ah (Arabic) which is simply a meat dish with fresh veggies, herbs, spices, and other seasonings. It was very delish, and the rice was perfectly cooked. I am still trying to master the art of cooking rice and when I think I have it, I end up with a sticky mess!

Our meal was served with fresh tomatoes, olives, lettuce, cucumbers, rice, & pita bread/sauce. For dessert he served us fresh apricots! Egyptians are all about fresh food/fruit. Not only was the meal very good, but it took a while for everything to marry together.

It really means a lot to know that someone took time out of their day to cook for us. Per his wife, he was in the kitchen cooking since 11am that morning and we didn’t come over until after 6pm! Do you have any exotic recipes to share? We’d love to hear!

Yasser (the chef) & Nicole