Rama M. is Launching Sikasso de Suisse™

Sikasso de Suisse™

Editor’s note: I received this message from a sister who first contacted me three years ago. I am happy to share her project with you in hopes that you will find it worthy of your support.

I’m now living in Switzerland! Thank God. I first came here 7 yrs ago as an intern in Geneva, and I think am back for good now.

I’m writing to share with you a passion project of mine, and I hope you can help. I’m really excited, but also a little nervous, to share that I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to launch a Swiss-made beauty brand for pigmented skin tones. I was unsure about crowd-funding, but as I have donated to some cool projects in the past on Kickstarter, I thought, “Why not?”

For the past 10 months I have been secretly developing this project in partnership with a phyto research centre in Switzerland. And now, I hope you can join me on my journey to launching Sikasso de Suisse™!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rama/swiss-made-skincare-for-pigmented-skin-tones

Please have a look at the campaign and contribute whatever you can give; and kindly share the link with friends & family, as they might be thrilled about a Swiss-made beauty brand for pigmented skin tones, and would love to receive an awesome reward! I think the women in the Black Women in Europe network might be delighted about this. I’m eager to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance for your help, Adrianne.

Best,

Rama M.


 

The Democratic Convention Week That Was….

…Amazing!

I was elected a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the Democrats Abroad Global Convention in Berlin in May and was honored and lucky to be a part of the Democrats Abroad delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Whew!

I invite you to be a part of this with me by following my DNC Member page on Facebook where you can see pictures and videos from the convention as well as information I receive from the DNC.

DA DMC with Donna Brazile in Philly 1024x768 The Democratic Convention Week That Was....

Democrats Abroad DNC Members with Interim Chair Donna Brazile.

If you’re an American living outside of the United States this Presidential election is one you cannot afford to miss. There are other crucial elections happening in your home state in November too. Register to vote and/or request your absentee ballot today (to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines) from http://www.VoteFromAbroad.org.


 

Read a Field Update then Join our Kiva Team

Join the Black Women in Europe Kiva Team today!

d2b19fc09a464210c1d82a12b8b0e950 Read a Field Update then Join our Kiva Team

 

Thank you for supporting an entrepreneur in Senegal.

Dear Kiva Lender, Hello from Senegal!

 

Thank you so much for making a loan to a borrower in Senegal. As a Kiva Fellow who has spent the past four months meeting with borrowers and helping to advance Kiva‘s mission here in Senegal, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the recipients of your loans, who are some of the most hard-working, welcoming people I’ve ever met.

 

Through my visits, I’ve heard about many difficulties that borrowers in this country face, and I’ve also heard many success stories.

 

I met with Anna, the representative for a group of borrowers who raise livestock in a small village. She said that her Kiva loan offers her and her fellow borrowers a longer loan term than most other loans she could get, which makes a huge difference when your business takes some time to mature – literally!

 

I met with Mbeye, a fisherman who usually starts his day at 5 or 6 in the morning, and finishes as late as 8 or 9 in the evening. He’s using his Kiva loan to build a second fishing boat in his spare time, and he will use it to expand his fishing business.

 

Many borrowers I met with, including Aissatou, Bineta and Maimouna work in “petit commerce,” for which there’s not a great English equivalent, but retail comes close. They sell various goods in their neighborhood markets, but they frequently change what they’re selling to adapt to changes in demand. So, someone might sell carbon for cook stoves one week and then vegetables the next, but also sell breakfasts outside her home on weekday mornings. Many of these women work at the local market all morning, return home around midday to make lunch for their families, and go right back to the market afterward. I can’t possibly imagine cooking a meal for a family of 8 on my lunch break, so I was in awe.

 

I met with a group of women, including Awa and Fatou (featured above), who live in a seaside village and make their livelihood from smoking and drying fish. As a lover of smoked fish, I asked to see their work and they took me on a tour of the town’s fish smoking operations. From the area where they buy fresh fish to the grills where they cook it to racks where they leave it to dry for several days in the sun to the smokers, it was so interesting to learn about all the different steps in the process. Afterward, they invited me to join them for a lunch that included fish they had smoked – it was delicious!

 

I hope this update gives you a taste of the stories and successes of the borrowers you’ve lent to. It was a pleasure to meet all of them, and I thank you, on their behalf, for the loans that have helped to make their successes possible.

 

If you wish to keep contributing to the growth of Senegalese borrowers, join the Black Women in Europe Kiva Team today!

 

Best, Anneka Nelson Kiva Fellow Class 29

Andrea Adams

Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Andrea Adams, Traveler: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

header BWIE 1 Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:

I chose Andrea Adams to be a Black Women in Europe Blog 10th Anniversary Shero because she makes traveling look good. She exemplifies one of the best reasons there is to travel: to immerse ones self in the local culture and let the locals get to know you in the process.  I first blogged about Andrea in April 2011 and she made our Power List that same year.  With her Travelista TV Show she and her colleague are defacto African American Ambassadors with (figuratively) more passport stamps than many people will even dream about collecting. To help us celebrate Andrea shares her Top 5 European Destinations as a gift to those of us who live here as well as those planning to visit.

Thank you Andrea and Bon Voyage.

Andrea Adams 768x1024 Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Andrea Adams

Andrea Adams is the Cultural Enthusiast and co-founder of Travelista TV, an online travel channel. With her travel partner, she executive produces travel segments in exotic locales and hosts entertainment/red carpet interviews for AOL, BET.com and TVOne online. She is the creator of The Velvet Circle, a lifestyle media and event company focused on art, style, and hotspots in Italy.


Meet all of our Anniversary Sheroes.

6d13da59 8f1d 4131 a0b4 3118c34fdbf7 Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

DJ Candice McKenzie

Lyota Swainson by Odou John Andrews 150x150 Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Holistic hair care specialist Lyota Swainson

EK image homepage 150x150 Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Financial guru Ellen Kountz

Lola Akerstrom Headshot 2015 300px 150x150 Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Photographer Lola Akerstrom

Lesley Ann Brown 150x150 Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Poet Lesley-Anne Brown


 

Sharon Dodua Otoo wins 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann prize

Dodua Otoo wins 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann prize

I first blogged about Sharon in 2007 and it is thrilling that 9 years later I can share her wonderful news.

SSB Sharon Dodua Otoo wins 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann prize

The winner: Sharon Dodua Otoo. Photo: dba

Sharon Dodua Otoo, born in London, received the 25,000 Euro Ingeborg Bachmann prize for the text “Mr Gröttrup sits down”. She lives and works in Berlin.  The prize is donated by the city of Klagenfurt.

Sharon is a prolific writer and editor and you can just a sampling of her work here:

_________________________________________________________

Kendra in the kitchen

Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Kendra Valentine, Recipe whisperer: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

header BWIE 1 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:

I picked Kendra Valentine to be a Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary Shero because of her sheer and complete love of food. Beyond her love of food she’s obsessed with creating unique flavor combinations and inventive spice delivery techniques. All the while enhancing the experience of fellowship with friends and family and nourishing the body and mind. I first blogged about Kendra in July 2011. I’ve certainly enjoyed several meals with Kendra some that were homemade and others that we were served. Each were mindfully enjoyed and that’s what Kendra’s anniversary gift brings to us: her mindful creation of a recipe meant to be shared with those we love.

Bon appetite Kendra! Your recipe has me licking my lips in anticipation. Yum.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Cannelleni Beans & Kale on Spicy Polenta Cake

Serves 3-4
Meal type Main Dish
Region European
By author Kendra Valentine
Black Women in Europe 10th Anniversary Recipe Created y Kendra Valentine "I wanted to develop a dish that expressed the underlying culinary roots shared by black women throughout the African diaspora. While at the same time highlighting common cooking techniques shared with Europe, as well as by using ingredients more readily available in Europe. Thus, collards have become kale, red beans are traded for cannellini, and coarse cornmeal for refined polenta: to create a dish that is equal parts comfort and celebration to honor the 10th Anniversary of BWIE".

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 6 chicken thighs (bone-in and skin-on)
  • 1 can cannelleni beans
  • 2 cups chopped kale (packed)
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (diced)
  • 1 leaf bay
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 can cherry tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups red wine (or just chicken broth)
  • 1 splash red wine vinegar
  • 0.5 teaspoon thyme
  • 0.5 teaspoon oregano
  • sprinkle salt
  • sprinkle black pepper

Chicken (Optional)

  • parsley or fresh herbs for plating

Polenta Cakes

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Small red chili (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water (boiling)
  • oil (for frying)

Note

I wanted to develop a dish that expressed the underlying culinary roots shared by black women throughout the African diaspora. While at the same time highlighting common cooking techniques shared with Europe, as well as by using ingredients more readily available in Europe. Thus, collards have become kale, red beans are traded for cannellini, and coarse cornmeal for refined polenta: to create a dish that is equal parts comfort and celebration to honor the 10th Anniversary of BWIE.

--Kendra Valentine

Vegetarian substitute for chicken: eggplant & chickpeas.

Directions

Chicken
Step 1
First, go ahead and brown the chicken thighs in a little oil… you’re not cooking them through just browning the outside… then set aside. Turn on the oven to heat up (200 C or 350 F)
Step 2
Into the same roasting pot or Dutch oven (be sure you have oil left) we are going to start the braise with softening the onion and garlic. Also, add your bay leaves and go ahead and cook that down on medium heat until the onion is soft.
Step 3
Next, add in a splash of vinegar… it will sizzle and release all the nice brown bits stuck to the pan… that helps get more delicious into the chicken!
Step 4
Add in a nob of tomato paste and your herbs and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper (I like to salt in stages.)
Step 5
Next, add in the chicken broth and red wine… it helps to break down the meat and gives great flavor. You could just use water or chicken broth as well. Also add in the canned cherry tomatoes and another sprinkle of salt.
Step 6
Finally, add the chicken back to the pot, skin side up, and let that heat up to a nice simmer, then turn the heat down to medium low simmer and cover. All but the very tops of the chicken thighs should be covered in liquid.
Step 7
Transfer to the oven, and after 30 min or so it will soften up…
Step 8
Next, add in the chopped kale and beans. Try to get in beneath the chicken thighs, so it can cook in the liquid. Add a splash of water if needed. Salt to taste. Return to oven.
Step 9
After 15 min., to finish off the thighs, open the pot and let the dish broil under high top heat for a few minutes until golden.
Polenta Cake
Step 10
For the spicy polenta cakes:
(Tip: Get your mix done while the chicken is braising. When you are browning the thighs at the last step, start frying your cakes.)
Step 11
Heat enough oil in a skillet or heavy bottom skillet on high heat. Oil should come up 1/3 up the side of the pan.
Step 12
In a bowl, mix together polenta, salt, and diced chilies. Stir in enough boiling hot water so that the mixture comes together into a smooth batter. Creamy yet firm enough to form into a small patty.
Step 13
Once the oil in the skillet is hot, spoon mixture into hands to form patty then gently place in the hot oil. Fry on each side until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Step 14
To plate:
Place a polenta cake on the plate and then top with the braised kale & cannelleni and juices (that polenta cake will sop it up!). Place a chicken thigh directly on top, and finish with a sprinkle of olive oil and chopped parsley or other fresh herb you have on hand. Enjoy with a bold red wine!
Kendra in the kitchen e1452152769281 1024x1024 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Kendra in the kitchen

Kendra Valentine is an American expat living in Berlin and Stockholm. A Boston College Alumni, she currently works freelance with business strategy for start-ups, content development and copywriting. Combining her love of food, and background in film she created the food blog/YouTube channel: Americulinariska.com, which was a finalist in the SAVEUR Blog Awards for “Best Use of Video” 2015. She has also kept busy with illustrating digital children’s books on important topics such as tacos. Her next steps are looking for even more food related assignments as a writer, producer or talent.

About the blog:

Americulinariska: Promoting cooking it for yourself and pushing big flavors is the back bone… fried chicken and tacos complicitly involved. The blog videos are fun, straightforward, and based on exploring the diversity of American food heritage within an international context. The food focuses on cooking good eats no matter where you call home: using creativity and whole food.


Meet all of our Anniversary Sheroes.

6d13da59 8f1d 4131 a0b4 3118c34fdbf7 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

DJ Candice McKenzie

Lyota Swainson by Odou John Andrews 150x150 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Holistic hair care specialist Lyota Swainson

EK image homepage 150x150 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Financial guru Ellen Kountz

Lola Akerstrom Headshot 2015 300px 150x150 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Photographer Lola Akerstrom

Lesley Ann Brown 150x150 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Poet Lesley-Anne Brown