A new travel book by Power Lister Lola A. Åkerström
Due North is a collection of travel observations, reflections, and snapshots spanning two decades across colors, cultures, and continents.
Having lived on three different continents — Africa, North America, and now Europe — for extended periods of time, Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström is drawn to the complexities and nuances of culture and how they manifest themselves within relationships.
She holds a master’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Lola worked as a consultant and programmer for over a decade before following her dreams of becoming a travel writer and photographer, exploring various cultures through food, tradition, and lifestyle.
Today, she’s an award-winning writer, speaker, and photographer represented by National Geographic Creative. She regularly contributes to high profile publications such as AFAR, the BBC, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure and National Geographic Traveller, to name a few – https://www.akinmade.com
She has received photography and writing awards, including recognition from the Society of American Travel Writers and North American Travel Journalists Association. In addition, Lola is the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm, an online magazine dedicated to exploring Sweden’s capital city in depth (https://www.slowtravelstockholm.com).
Etzia in Melodifestivalen 2017: Want to help other women
On Saturday it’s time for debutant Etzia to take the stage in Malmö Arena with the song “Up”. The song is an energetic and full motion and Etzia want with it spread joy and warmth in February cold. But her participation also means a lot to her in her efforts to help other women get around in the music industry.
Etzia has a cheerful number with lots of dancing. But her contribution also stands for something much bigger and more important. Etzia has for several years been working to help other girls in the music industry through the organization Femtastic. The organization is a music network that works to highlight the girls in hip hop and urban music culture and to try to even out the difference between men and women.
– The goal is to promote the live scene to make it 50-50 between men and women and giving women the confidence to take on more in all artistic disciplines, says Etzia.
Etzia explains how the music industry and particularly in just hip hop and urban music is male dominated and it can be difficult for women to take place. Even in Melodifestivalen Etzia mean that there have not been many women who have come forward as a songwriter but more and more people take for themselves.
– It’s only a matter of time. It is time now, says Etzia about the change.
This year’s innovation talent goes to Gisele Mwepu that with a huge drive and a desire to improve people’s lives has created Okapi Finance. Okapi has helped to reduce financial exclusion in poor countries by giving people the ability to conduct fast and secure financial transactions and gain legitimacy with banks and financial institutions. It contributes to a safe, inclusive and sustainable financial system in poor countries.
What an honor to be Swedish innovation talent of 2017! Thanks to all of you my employees, partners, board members, friends and family! You are the unseen heroes.
VINNOVA is the Swedish innovation agency. Our mission is to promote sustainable growth in Sweden by funding needs-driven research and developing effective innovation. Vinnova is a government agency under the Ministry of Industry and national contact authority for the EU’s framework program for research and development. General Director is Charlotte Brogren.
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
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".
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 black pepper
parsley or fresh herbs for plating
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 Small red chili (diced)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water (boiling)
oil (for frying)
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.
Vegetarian substitute for chicken: eggplant & chickpeas.
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)
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.
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!
Add in a nob of tomato paste and your herbs and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper (I like to salt in stages.)
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.
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.
Transfer to the oven, and after 30 min or so it will soften up…
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:
I chose Claire Requa to be a Black Women in Europe Blog 10th Anniversary Shero because she makes beautiful things. I first blogged about Claire in March 2011 and she made our Power List in 2013. She makes beautiful things to adorn the body or celebrate the home. She’s won multiple awards for her creations and she’s sharing that award winning talent with us by dedicating two pieces of jewelry to our anniversary. You can grab the earrings and necklace on Etsy and admire them up close and personal.
Thank you for adorning us with your talent Claire.
Claire Requa, American-Jamaican designer, did shows in 1975 at Devon House craft fairs, moved to Los Angeles in 1980 where she had a small fashion line of tie-dyed clothing. She has lived in Copenhagen since 1988.
In the 1990’s Claire Requa owned her own design shop /studio where she show-cased her own, as well as other international products and designs. Multi-faceted, her range of talents over the past three decades include clothing, textile and jewellery design, furniture “redesign”, interior innovations and renovations, graphic design and most recently, lamp design and product development.
From 2000-2007 working as a graphic designer by occupation for a product marketing company, Claire Requa was commissioned to design a lamp for an interiors publication in 2004. A prototype was made and put into production. This gave her inspiration to do more lighting.
In 2005, Claire Requa launched her own lighting creation Claire de Lune® Chandelier– a flat pack chandelier in polypropylene, PP, (and recently in acrylic), and branded her line of lighting products Claire de Lune®. She has also conceptualized and designed the carrying bag in PP as the packaging of the lamp, instead of using bulky cardboard that products typically are packaged in – making the product easy to carry from the retail outlet and very reusable. Exquisitely rounding out the concept, both the bag and the lamp are eco-friendly, and the consumer is encouraged to dispose of it in like fashion.
Claire Requa is an emerging talent and a true Designer Without Borders, taking inspiration from her current country of residence, her heritage and colorful cultural background and mixing it with her whimsical humour and creativity as well as function, to give the designs that are extremely unique and innovative expression. Claire’s creations have been featured in Danish interior magazines – Madog Bolig, Bo Bedre, Bolig Magasinet, foreign magazines such as Swiss Ideales Heim and UK’s MIX interiors, German Atrium, as well as included in blogs on Trendcurve.com and Homedecorhq.com and Design Sponge, to name a few.
She has exhibited at the following trade shows: Formland, Denmark; Tendence, Germany; Ambiente, Germany; Pulse, England; Maison et Objet, France; ICFF, NY, USA; IMM, Cologne, Germany, New Delhi, India. Most recently, has won design awards from Italy.
A Woman’s Painful Journey From Childhood Abuse N’ Trauma to Healing and Self-Love by Lucie B Linder
BIG BOTTOM BLUES is a gripping and emotional story about a woman’s traumatic childhood riddled with sexual and physical abuse and its devastating effects in her adult life. Lucie B takes us through the pain of body dysmorphia, isolation, addiction to food, binge eating disorder, shame, guilt and self-loathing that tormented her long after the abuse stopped. She tells her story from the heart, allowing readers to emotionally connect to her world of pain and tribulation. This is a raw and unnerving story that hits the nerve of every woman who has been sexually abused, particularly by the hands of a family member. This emotionally vulnerable book helps survivor step through their “Ring of Fire” to stand strong with renewal and the conviction to forge forward. Big Bottom Blues is more than just a book about healing from childhood rape: it is a story that inspires and empowers women to flip the script on their trauma and turn the shit into success!