Today is the first day of Kwanzaa and like most holidays food plays a huge part in the celebration.
The first principle of Kwanzaa is Umoja which means unity. Cooking together with friends and family is a great way to get started.
Here are some recipes to help get you started in celebrating Kwanzaa this year.
Benne cakes are a food from West Africa. Benne means sesame seeds. The sesame seeds are eaten for good luck. This treat is still eaten in some parts of the American South.
You will need: oil to grease a cookie sheet
1 cup finely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Mix together the brown sugar and butter, and beat until they are creamy. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sesame seeds. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are browned. Enjoy!
North African Lamb Kebobs
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless leg or shoulder of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes with some of the fat attached
6 warm pita breads, for serving
Yogurt Dipping Sauce, recipe follows
In a large bowl, combine the onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, mint, salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and olive oil. Add the lamb to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
Soak 8 to 10 bamboo skewers in warm water for about 1 hour before assembling the kabobs.
Preheat the grill to high, and lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. Thread the lamb onto the soaked skewers and place on the grill, turning to evenly cook, about 12 to 14 minutes.
Drizzle the pitas with sauce, then wrap the pita around the meat on the skewer, fold over and twist the skewer off the meat. Serve.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"