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Own Your Peach Lost Gems

Quick post here:

As some of you might know, I founded a nonprofit back in 2013 called Own Your Peach.  Our mission is to encourage and advocate for young girls and women to abstain from sex until marriage, giving biblical, moral, health, and personal support.  We accomplish this through our three pillars which are: Purity, Personal Development, and Philanphropy. You can find out more about our cause, vision, and values here.  Our first ‘major’ milestone was our first ever Purity Ring Ceremony.  In this ceremony, the young ladies who were participating in OYP at the time took a voluntary vow of purity.  This option was made available to girls and women, whether they had previously engaged in sex outside of marriage or not.  God loves us beyond the choices we make, and that is what OYP seeks to mirror!  Anywhoo, since late 2014-early 2015…I thought the pictures from the first Own Your Peach Ring Ceremony had been LOST FOREVER. To my surprise…they were ‘hiding’ in my google drive all along!!! God is sooooo good!! I’m excited to share them with you all!! This was an amazing experience that could not have taken place without support from our board members, volunteers, the girls and their parents, and most importantly, GOD! It solidified a commitment that many of the girls and young women had already made privately. Our goal from this point is to provide continued support and follow-ups to empower and advocate to maintain this vow! Lord willing, we’ll have another in 2018! Take a peek HERE!

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**This post is dedicated to the late Mrs. Tammy Henderson-Peden shown in the first pic on the slideshow, wearing the pink suit and pearls with her husband Terry and daughter Tameron. She was always extremely supportive of Own Your Peach and provided words of encouragement at every opportunity.  She was an inspiration to many then, and continues to be. There was a reason God allowed me to re-discover these pictures today.**

Farkarwa

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Not Your Mama’s Lasagna

Hello my good people!!

I am here to FINALLY share with you my lasagna recipe.  Warning: This is “NOT YO MAMA’S LASAGNA.”  You have been warned. 🙂

**This is not, I repeat this is not one of the healthy recipes I like to share. This is strictly for those looking for some comfort food!! If that is you…you are in good company. 🙂

Okay, so my recipe was created literally from the dome, based on the lasagnas I have tasted in the past.  But, I felt like it needed a little “MPH” in order to make it unique.  So, the general idea is very similar to your traditional lasagna, except with my own little twist!  My family has accepted the fact that they are ‘willing’ participants in my culinary experiments.  And this one did not disappoint! The special ingredient gives it just that extra push that I believe all lasagnas need.  Its the perfect little addition to this household favorite.  I won’t hold you in suspense too much longer, I know yall are dying to try it out for yourselves!  Which, I hope you do!  Comment below letting me know how it turns out for you!

Here it is:

Not Yo Mama’s Lasagna

What you will need:

9-12 lasagna pasta pieces (do NOT boil before laying in pan)

1lb ground beef

1lb jimmy dean breakfast sausage ***my SECRET/SPECIAL ingredient! 🙂

2 jars of Classico spaghetti sauce (any flavor you like. I usually get one garlic and one red pepper)

1 6 oz can of tomato paste

6-8oz bag Mozzarella cheese

6-8 oz bag Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Ricotta cheese

Parsley (about 5 leaves)

2 eggs

1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 lasagna baking pan

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In large pan, combine: onion, bell pepper, garlic, ground beef and sausage

Cook until almost brown

Drain

Season meat to taste (juuuust a little)

Add spaghetti sauce and tomato paste

Cover and bring to boil (keep on low-medium heat setting)

While meat and sauce are coming to a boil:

Combine egg, parsley, ricotta cheese

Whisk

Once meat reaches a boil, spray large baking pan with cooking spray

Cover bottom of pan with small layer of meat sauce

Add lasagna pieces (3 to a row)

Using a spoon, add egg mixture on top of the pasta

Sprinkle generous amount of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of this

Add meat sauce

Repeat steps until pan is full or meat sauce runs out

Top the pan off with more cheese!!!

Cover pan securely with foil. Make sure there are no open spaces!! (this is important to make sure the pasta cooks all the way through)

Bake for 40-45min depending on your oven

Set for 10min

Serve with your favorite salad and dig In!

lasagna

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Ginger Beef & Herbed Quinoa Recipe 

Ginger Beef & Herbed Quinoa Recipe 

Sistas, how y’all feel?  Fellas, y’all alright?

I know it’s been a while.  The last few weeks have been suuuuper crazy!  I really appreciate those of you who have taken the time out to read and follow so far!  I am currently working on revamping my blog (I know it’s still pretty new but I wanted to add a few things to make it even more special.  Lord willing, you will see what I mean in another week or so).

Anywhoo, I was actually going to hold off on posting until then, but I’ve been asked several times about what I have been cooking lately…and I HAD to share with everyone!!  Plus, I attended a women’s Bible study today that talked about being INTENTIONAL.  Holding off on posting because of some updates goes completely against that.

Well, I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did!  If/when you try it, contact me and let me know if you like it as much as I do.

As with many of my recipes, this takes approximately 30min to prepare!  The reason I try to do this is because I want to create dishes that are healthy, flavorful, and do not always require a lot of time in the kitchen.  (not all of my recipes are healthy or quick…it’s just what best fits my life for the most part for now).  Being in grad school, I don’t get to spend as much time cooking as I would like…but a girl’s gotta eat!  So, I come up with these dishes that match my lifestyle, without compromising flavor (which is important to many of us).  Ginger has become one of my FAVORITE things to cook with.  It has sooo much flavor and spice.  I just love it.

Let’s get to it!

What you will need to enjoy this dish:

Ginger beef:

1lb lean grass-fed beef

3 tablespoons ginger (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic

¼ cup onion

1 teaspoon olive oil

Herbed Quinoa:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water OR vegetable broth

1 tablespoon butter (optional)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 ½ tablespoon oregano

1 1/2 tablespoon parsley

1 pinch paprika

Mia’s ‘Go-To’ Salad:

2 large carrots (sliced)

1 cup spinach

1 cup kale

Juice from ½ lemon (optional)

3 radishes

3 strawberries

Instructions:

For 1 cup of quinoa, you will want to add 2 cups of water or vegetable broth.  Add butter, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, and paprika, and stir well.  Cover and cook for 10min.

While quinoa is cooking, on medium-high heat, sauté onion for about 3min.  Add beef and cook all the way through.  When beef is half-way done, add ginger. Drain excess fat.  Set aside.  (The great part about using lean beef is that there’s less fat and more meat to enjoy!)

For the salad, add all ingredients to a large bowl.  Sprinkle with lemon juice (optional).

Serve.

ginger beef

**For the salad…I should let you know…I LOVE experimenting with different textures and flavors in my salad.  Hence the radish and strawberries…in the same bowl. 😊 Not everyone ‘gets’ the whole strawberries in a salad thing…but I promise, if you give it a try, it adds a unique, DELICIOUS flavor to it.

Until next time,

Farkarwa

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#MeatlessMonday Mock *Chipotle* Burrito

‘Dooo you knowww what todayyyy is?’

No, it’s not my anniversary…it’s #MEATLESSMONDAY!

Can you feel the excitement? I hope so! Because I have a good one for you. Another simple, yummy, healthy, #Meatless idea for those of us who have had a hectic Monday and want to wind down to something light and fresh-tasting. As much as I looooove cooking (those who know me know that I do. I’m frequently bugging family and friends with pictures of my little creations), there are times where I do NOT feel like spending 45min-2hrs over a hot stove. (Yes, I can spend that much time in the kitchen. I cook with love, so I tend to get lost in it! Lol) AND it’s Summer in Texas? Aint nobody got time for that. Today anyway.

Okay, enough rambling. Let’s get to it.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Shout-out to all the mamas! You make the world go ‘round. Life comes from you. I thank GOD for you. You are loved and appreciated. In any decent Mother’s Day fashion, there was LOTS of good eating. MY mama wanted to have lunch at a place called “This is It” which is a historical soul-food restaurant in Houston, TX. My true Houstonians know about this place and its popularity over the last 50+ years. Anywhoo, we. Ate. Good. From oxtails, pepper steak, rice and gravy, collard greens, mac and cheese, turkey legs, yams, and cornbread. We at it all. And I had my fair share. That being said…I was looking forward to going meatless today. To recover. And my body sure needed it. So, I came up with this “mock Chipotle” burrito. Similar to last week’s veggie tacos, but a little different. And it still takes less than 30min from start to finish. Hope you enjoy! I sure did 🙂

Mock “Chipotle” Burrito

What You will need to ‘Dig In’:

1 cup Jasmin rice

¼ cup quinoa

1 can black beans *I typically stick to organic canned goods (and produce as much as possible)*

1 can sweet corn, drained

2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

2 large carrots, shredded

Pico de Gallo

2 radishes, chopped

2 organic tortillas

Parmesan cheese

Olive oil

Fresh fruit

burrito1.png

Instructions:

Add rice and quinoa medium-large pot

Add 2 1/4 cups of water and cook for approximately 20min, set aside

Cook black beans and corn as instructed on can, set aside

While rice, black beans, and corn are cooking, chop remaining vegetables

Once rice and quinoa are fully cooked, in medium pan, add 1 teaspoon olive oil

Turn to medium-high heat

Coat both sides of tortilla with olive oil, allow to cook for 1min on each side

Remove from heat

Add all ingredients to tortilla based on your preference

Serve with fresh fruit

Enjoy!

burrito2.pngFarkarwa

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Let’s talk about…sex?

Disclaimer: This is not what you might have been thinking.  This wont contain any juicy secrets or stories.  In fact, it contains the complete opposite.  I was lead to create this post because I can’t count how many times I have been asked, “what are you waiting for?” “does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?” “are you/why are you a prude?” OR how many times I’ve been called a “goodie goodie.” *insert eye roll* OR how many times someone has simply/genuinely inquired about it.

 Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate being a 27—going on 28-year-old virgin.  Yes, a VIRGIN!  Oh my goodness.  Did I just ‘say’ that?  I’ll allow you a few moments to gather your thoughts or ‘clutch your pearls’ as they say.

Are we good?  Good.  Let’s dig in.

Noooo I don’t run around screaming this information or forcing it onto the masses, but it is something that I am no longer uncomfortable discussing.  As a matter of fact, I invite and appreciate the conversation it elicits.  Now, had I known this would be part of God’s plan for me to reach my destination, I probably would have prepared my 10-year-old self when I naively made such a declaration to “wait to have sex until I’m married.”

Before we continue, allow me to set some ground work and provide this disclaimer: Sex is beautiful.  It was created by God.  It is not dirty or disgusting.  It is not something to be ashamed to speak about…in the proper context.  It was created to be enjoyed FREQUENTLY between husband and wife.

Now that we have that out of the way.  As a little girl, growing up in church, it was automatically a ‘thing’ that sex is intended for marriage.  Christians know this.  It was not a conversation piece.  You just didn’t question it.  My fellow church brats know this.  However, at a young age, I felt inclined to take a personal stance.  No one coached me into it.  Neither of my parents had the dreaded “talk” with me.  I felt not an ounce of pressure to conform to this ideology.  I just knew it was something I wanted to share and experience with my husband only.  At the tender age of 10, that was all it was.  The depth and breadth of it all came later.  About 13 years later to be exact.  You’ll see what I mean later in this post.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, my reasoning to ‘save myself for marriage’ extends further than biblical principles.  Although it happens to be the root of my choice, there was more to it for me because I didn’t consider it a burdensome commitment.  The word of God teaches us that we were created in the image of God: Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  And that our bodies are a holy temple: 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  And that we should conduct and express ourselves based on these truths.

In addition to my faith, my reasons for choosing to ‘wait’ are quite complex.  Over time, I would hear stories from friends about how they had given their body to someone, who only left them heartbroken and abandoned.  Who wants to experience that?  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!  The way my heart and mind are setup…I knew that wasn’t an option for me.  So, that added weight to my “no!”  I understand that sex in and of itself does not lead to heartbreak.  And the lack thereof does not prevent it altogether.  However, I am only speaking for myself.  And my experience has allowed me to avoid extensive ties with men whom I would have deemed it impossible to move on from had that level of intimacy been reached.

Until recent years, my decision to remain sexless also stemmed partly from fear.  Not fear of getting in trouble with my parents or anything like that.  Not even fear of the pain experienced during my first time.  But fear of consequences I was not interested in facing.  Whether it was unplanned pregnancy, diseases, etc.  Now, some might say “those things can happen when you get married too!  Look at the divorce rate!  Look how common infidelity is!”  I get it.  I REAAALLY do.  Fortunately, I am no longer fearful of the negative consequences.  Instead, I became hopeful and optimistic of the benefits that accompany saving myself for marriage (if that is in God’s plan for my life).  I look forward to sharing this precious gift with my husband.  OFTEN.  God will be pleased!  Amen!  Aaaaand I have an opportunity to hopefully be an example to those around me.

This leads me to my final reason for such a commitment: *drumroll*…PURITY!

Purity is defined as “freedom from contamination.”

1 Timothy 4:12 advises us to be an “example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”  More so, Philippians 4:8, which also happens to be one of my favorite scriptures, tells us to purify ourselves and think on things that are pure and godly.  We purify ourselves from the inside out.  That is what I strive for.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I understand that if I seek purity…not marriage…not pleasing those around me…that everything will awaken itself at the appropriate time.

A turning point for me, was during my final semester of undergrad.  It was when I realized my true purpose about this whole ‘waiting until marriage/purity’ thing.  I realized it was soooo much bigger than lil ‘ol me.  I began to realize that GOD already had a plan for my life that would be centered on this concept.  But I have just begun to scratch the surface.  Upon realizing this, I was lead to found a nonprofit organization (Own Your Peach Inc.) with hopes to encourage other young girls and women around the world to see the benefits in this decision.  My purpose is not to ‘convince’ people one way or another.  But hopefully inspire those around me to see that there is a different option.  The one that God praises.  It is no longer so much of a ‘save yourself until marriage’ issue, but an ‘honor God and myself with my body’ commitment.  You can learn more about Own Your Peach here 

This adventure has sent me on a journey greater than my ten-year-old, innocent, angelic, pure heart bargained for.  And I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Why would I?  We’re just getting started.

Farkarwa

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#MeatlessMonday

Hi there!

So, I have been doing a #MeatlessMonday challenge with some friends and family since March 27, 2017.  The idea is to eliminate meat from our diets every Monday for the rest of the year.  In this Facebook group, we share recipes and encourage one another to move towards healthier eating and lifestyle habits.  We are not food/health experts.  Everything we share is simply what works for us.  I stumbled the second week and gave into the pressure while I was at work.  So, I ‘made up for it’ the following day by going meatless.  But I’ve been sticking to it since!  If you stumble, just get back up!  Initially, I thought it was a bit extreme to commit to going meatless on Monday’s for the rest of the year.  But honestly, it’s been great.  It allows me to get more creative with my meals when I’m up to it.  And I’m incorporating so much more veggies and fruits into my diet.  I’ve even been getting my family to go along with it, and they’ve been allowing me to experiment with them on the recipes I muster up.  So far, all happy tummies!  That being said, you will see a new post every Monday in celebration of #MeatlessMonday.  If you are seeing this for the first time, no worries!  It’s not too late to join us.  To join, search on Facebook for “MeatlessMondays 2017!”

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Awaken!

I have awakened eager and prepared to share my purpose with you! This is a place where I will be sharing my unique spiritual journey, as well as my passion for spiritual and physical food.  My hope is to inspire and encourage at least one person along the way.  Will you journey with me? Make yourself comfortable!

Note: “Awaken” translates to “Farkarwa”  in the language “Hausa,” which is one of the most spoken languages in Nigeria.  You will find me using the term frequently.