The Christmas Season is here again – it seems the older we get the faster this happens and we oftentimes wonder what has happened to the past year, where did the time go, did we take advantage of that time, did we reach our goals or did we even managed to hit the halfway mark, just how comfortable are we with the accomplishments we have made over the past year or did we get anything done at all.



The good news is none of that matters because we do not have the ability to do an instant recall. Maybe that is a good thing as perhaps most of us would likely bypass that option if it were available. Here is what matters: Christmas gives us an opportunity to rekindle relationships, share with our loved ones, our neighbors and friends – and that is what matters most. In our home Christmas is always a grand celebration mostly because we choose to give thanks for a year past – and welcome the new year in grand style.


In fact to quote a songwriter from yesteryear whose name escapes my memory – I believe the exact line in the song is: Yesterday is dead and gone – but tomorrow is yet unborn And that should be our resolve. So gather your friends, relatives, co-workers, church sisters and brothers, walking buddies, and all the people who help to shape your life. Together you can lay the framework for a Happy and Joyful Holiday and a Prosperous, Healthy and Productive 2019. Most importantly: give thanks for the opportunity to celebrate again, I’m sure there are people we all knew and loved who are no longer able to.


A gathering is not complete without breaking bread and sharing with each other. It is my pleasure to share two of my very special recipes that are simple, fun and easy to prepare.

Introducing -
Spicy Red Fish Stew Serves 8

  • 3 Large red bell peppers, rinse and leave whole
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 Medium size shallots, chopped
  • 2 Ten ounce cans chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ Teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 4-5 Strands of Fresh cilantro, remove stems and chop finely
  • 2-3 Strands fresh thyme leaves only
  • 1 Teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 Pounds halibut, cod or sword filet, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  1. Use 2 teaspoons olive oil to rub the outside of the bell peppers. Put the peppers in an open pan under the broiler, and with a long handle metal tong or fork – rotate the peppers until all side are blackened. Remove the peppers from the broiler – put the peppers in a brown paper bag for 10 minutes. Peel, seed and chop the peppers and set them aside.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the shallots, saute for about 3-4 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  3. Stir in the charred peppers, tomatoes with juice, garlic and crush red pepper. Stir and simmer for 4 minutes.
  4. Fold in the thyme, cilantro and lemon peel – stir and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the fish and simmer until it's just opaque in the center for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Rasta Pasta
Serves 8-10

  • 1 Pound linguini pasta
  • ¼ Cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 Cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 eachRed, yellow, green bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed and chopped
  • 1 Medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Pound broccoli florets, remove stems and chopped into clusters
  • ½ Pound cut  green beans
  • ½ Cup cut corn
  • ½ Cup green peas
  • ½ Pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ Cup vegetable stock or pasta water
  • 1 Small bunch scallion chopped and divided
  • 2 Teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1½ Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ Cup crumble goat cheese
  • 1½ Teaspoon each, salt and pepper
  1. Put a large stock pot with water on the burner add 1 tablespoon each of oil and salt, bring this to a boil, add the pasta, follow the instructions on the package to finish cooking the pasta. The pasta should be aldente when it's done; strain it and reserve the water.
  2. Heat a medium sized frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers and onions and half of the scallion, toss for 3 minutes, add the garlic stir for 30 seconds remove the frying pan from the burner and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a small or medium stockpot with about 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil; add the broccoli florets and cook for 3-5 minutes, then strain and set the broccoli aside. Use that same pattern to prepare the green beans, the cut corn and green peas – drain and set aside.
  4. For best result let the vegetables stand long enough to cool down a bit. For this final mix I recommend using a large bowl and a wooden spoon to prevent the vegetables from falling apart – you may even consider using disposable gloves instead of the wooden spoon.
  5. Add the pasta, 2-3 teaspoons of vegetable stock, the prepared vegetables, the bell pepper, onion, garlic mixture and a few drops of olive oil to loosen things up.
  6. Add a sprinkle of salt, pepper and half of the goat cheese, stir to blend them well. You can cut the cherry tomatoes in half or leave them whole, but add and stir the salad. The salad should be loose in texture and very colorful at this point.
  7. Garnish with the remaining scallion, basil, goat cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Note: I strongly suggest using disposable gloves while adding the various ingredients to this salad – doing so will prevent breakage and contribute to a better presentation.

brown acorn2019 will be a new beginning for Flavacooks. We're getting ready to launch a podcast later on in January! It will be about food, flavor, and the life of chef extraordinaire Marlene Myrie. You'll be able to experience all of its savory zest by following along here on Flavacooks. Later on in the year, Marlene will publish another hot new eBook. It will be titled 40 Under 40, and it will feature recipes bursting with flavor, and able to be prepped and served in 40 minutes or left, which sounds perfect for busy people who are reading this article. Meanwhile, you can also get your Flava fix from us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Etsy. For even more Flava, check out Marlene's ebook on Amazon.



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