The Multi Cultural Multi Talented Drake

The Toronto, Canada born actor/rapper Aubrey Drake Graham’s heritage includes a Jewish mother and an African American musician father from Memphis.  He has been opening up more about his Jewish identity(See Video).  He first garnered attention on the extremely popular Canadian teen soap, Degrassi.

Then Drake set the world on fire with his talent as a rapper. In June 2009, Drake signed a recording contract with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment.In November 2009, Lil Wayne released a statement announcing that Drake’s first studio album, Thank Me Later, had been completed. The album was released on June 15, 2010, and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.  In 2012 he release a a video which display him going through some of the rituals of Jewish Culture. (Video Strong Language and Mature Content.)

Drake loves wine! In videos you will often see him sipping a glass of wine.  In his duet with Rihanna, they share a wine moment together.

(Click Here For Info About His Passion for Food and Wine)

Hispanics With Diabetes Urged to Get Yearly Foot Care

Latin Female Doctor Helping Patient at Home With Diabetes
Hispanics are the focus of a campaign to promote foot care among people with diabetes, says the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).Hispanics are 66 percent more likely than whites to be diagnosed with diabetes, which can result in foot ulcers and lower limb amputations. Leading causes of type 2 diabetes include poor diet, lack of exercise and genetics, risk factors that are especially high among Hispanics, according to the association. November coincides with Diabetes Awareness Month and encourages people with diabetes to get an annual foot exam, which can reduce the risk of amputation by 45 percent to 85 percent. (READ MORE)

North America: The Presidential Turkey Pardon

President Obama Pardons a Lucky Turkey Photo © Alex Wong/Getty Images

The presidential pardoning of one lucky turkey is a fairly modern practice.  Although Abraham Lincoln could get  unofficial credit according to some historians.  Supposedly, their family had a pet turkey that Lincoln’s son viewed as a pet and asked to be spared.

President John F. Kennedy spontaneously spared a turkey on Nov. 19, 1963, just days before his assassination, but did not grant a “pardon.” The bird was wearing a sign reading, “Good Eatin’ Mr. President.” Kennedy responded, “Let’s just keep him.”

In 1989, George H.W. Bush became the first president to pardon a turkey. Before then, turkeys were presented to the president and consumed by the president.

The concept of a turkey pardoning was first mentioned by president Regan as a joke, but H.W. Bush made it all possible with the following words: “This fine Tom turkey, has been granted a presidential pardon as of right now.”

Cookbook Review: French Classics Made Easy

For many the mere idea of French cooking does not include the word “easy” in the sentence but author RIchard Grausman is determined to illustrate that it can be in his new book, French Classics Made Easy.

Grausman is a reknown Chef and teacher, the first culinary exclusive U.S.representative of the Le Cordon Bleu  in Paris.  He is the founder and president of the non-profit Careers through Culinary Arts Program otherwise known as C-CAP.  The program he founded was the center  of attention in the hit documentary, Pressure Cooker. (READ MORE)

Lunchtime tough for immigrants’ kids

The kid with the stinky lunch


Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more and these next two weeks, we invite you to dig in and discover the rich, ever-evolving taste of America in 2011. Catch up on past coverage and stay tuned for the live blog from our Secret Supper in Chicago on Wednesday night starting at 6:00 CT.

When you’re all grown up and on your own and have lived a bit of life, it’s easier to find peace with your weirdness. All those little and large things that set you apart as a child – your goofy-looking nose, talent for playing bassoon or obsession with the insides of small electronic devices – are what make you the gorgeous, fascinating, resilient adult you are today.

Continue reading

The European Tale of Snow White Gets a Makeover

An international all-star cast of Charize Theron(The Queen), Chris Hemsworth(The Huntsman) and Kristen Stewart make up Snow White and the Huntman, the newsest spin to the classic tale.  “Snow White” is a fairy tale known from many countries in Europe, the best known version being the German one collected by the Brothers Grimm (German: Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves“). The German version features elements such as the magic mirror, the poisoned apple, the glass coffin, and the seven dwarves, who were first given individual names in the 1912 Broadway play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and then given different names in Disney’s 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Grimm story, which is commonly referred to as “Snow White,” should not be confused with the story of “Snow White and Rose Red,” another fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.

In this version Snow White will not remain a damsel in distress but will be a kick butt babe with a sword and shield.  (Click Here to See Trailer and read about co-star Charlize Theron)

In Season :Oysters in Winter


Chef Collaborative Blog -Just like a vegetable, oysters have historically been produced in certain seasons.  Oysters have typically been a winter delicacy, as colder waters encourage oysters to store glycogen, a carbohydrate compound that taste like sugar, in order to survive the dormant months when water temperature drops below 40 degrees.  As glycogen accumulates, oysters get plumper and sweeter.  However, when water temperatures rise, the oyster focuses its energy on enlarging its gonad in order to create reproductive material.  The oyster becomes less meaty and, thus, less tasty.  During summer or spawning the oyster becomes slimy and milky.  These oysters are edible but the taste and texture appeals to no one. READ MORE

Oysters Rockefeller Recipe

Watch How to Shuck An Oyster

eXo Greek Mediterranean Restaurant Review

eXo Restaurant

eXo Restaurant

 In the mood for some good, no some great Greek Mediterranean food? Then look no further than eXo Greek Mediterranean Restaurant nestled in a quaint Whitestone New York neighborhood.  eXo is a very young restaurant, they first opened their doors in August of 2010 and they have been busy ever since.  I first experienced a small sampling of what eXo had to offer at the Queens A Taste of the World back in May.  The restaurant boasts of traditional Greek recipes but with a flare. 

Continue reading

An Italian American Thanksgiving

The United States has a rich history of immigrants.  With each decade we can continue a culture of people born to immigrant parents.  This article takes a back to an Italian American story.  What I especially love about it is organic fusion various cultures bring to the table of their hyphenated American experience.- Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor

Excerpt from Memories of Italian American Thanksgiving

The women would prepare every conceivable dish that would depict the tradition of Thanksgiving. Many of them had never fixed a turkey or made gravy for the turkey. Some of the dishes, like mashed potatoes and stuffing, would have Italian seasonings added such as Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and homemade Italian sausage. You can see my Mom’s Italian Style Turkey Stuffing Recipe.

The meal would start with Antipasto (Italian appetizer), which is a salad mixture of Italian salami, cheeses, ham, artichokes, mushrooms served with a vinaigrette dressing. Because some of the older men in the family missed their Italian meals, the women would even fix a pasta dish with meat sauce and meatballs and then we would start on “the turkey meal”.

Read More

African American: Something Old, Something New- Holiday Dinner Ideas

Whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas, many African Americans look forward to certain foods on the table.  Like most cultures, the holiday favorites consist of very fattening foods.  However, a growing number of African American are finding ways to cut calories without sacrificing flavor.  Furthermore, there are other factors changing expectations for holiday cuisine.  Many Blacks have cross cultural homes.  Over the years, African Americans have begun to have deeper relationships  (marriage, roommates, or friends) with Caucasians, Latinos, Africans, Muslims and West Indians.  Thus the rich Southern
American traditions are slowly becoming  fused with other influences.  More and more people love the idea of Jerk Turkey.  The Caribbean jerk marinade seems logical to contribute great flavor to permeate the turkey.  A great deal of African Americans have moved away from pork, so out goes the ham hock and in goes the smoked turkey parts into the collard greens.  Honestly, either adds great flavor, especially smoked turkey butt.

Despite the recession, many African American income brackets changed since the 1960’s and the choices of food available opened up.  Instead of collards greens, roasted asparagus or swiss chard (tip-sautee in hot chili oil) are viable healthy options.   Personally, I love the idea of Swiss chard with the red & green coloring adding to the table spread.   Furthermore, a growing number of African Americans are vegetarian or vegan(see vegan nut roast recipe).  Moving on to cranberries, believe it or not cranberries do not come in the shape of a can mold. Try cooking the whole fresh cranberries or look for the whole berres in a can.  If you are partial to the can mold, no one is judging.  I am just partial to fresh ingredients.   As we strive to cut some of the calories during the holidays, it is becoming more common to see green salads(See Grilled Kale Salad Recipe) instead of iceberg lettuce salads finding their way to table.


Ham is still classic at Christmas. However it’s okay, to dress it with Caribbean flavors, like Jerk HAM or citrus flavors to change it up a bit.

Wine at the table and events is great and did you know there are a number of black owned wineries.  You may have to order them  or inquire of your local liquor store about carrying them in your area.

Whatever, we do don’t change the cornbread,  mac & cheese,  or red velvet cake.   Mainstream America loves a good pumpkin pie but bring me the sweet potato pie. We have to draw the line somewhere.

Written by Crystal Johnson-MCCN Editor