Travel Time x Cuba x Getting There

Hey Everyone! i want to start focusing more on travel and eats and of course continue to share recipes and things happening in the D.

February 2017 – presidents weekend – my favorite travel partner and I went off to cuba !! yes we went just the two of us on our own with no issues upon entering or exiting. Here’s how we did it …
Pre – Travel Tips :

  • FLIGHT:  Jet Blue offers flights to Havana  as well as Delta , if you feel like you want to fly through Canada or Mexico you can but you really don’t have to.
    • What did we do ? on a Friday morning we hopped on a JetBlue flight from Detroit to FLL to Havana. We made it to Havana mid afternoon.  FLL to Havana is only 45 minutes !  
  • VISA:  technically you cannot travel from USA to Cuba for Tourism, however there are 12 offerings of a visa that are permissible.  When you get to the check in counter you pay $50 per person via credit card for a Visa – this is what is used when entering and exiting Cuba – your passport does not get stamped 😦
    • What did we do?  With paying the $50 fee we were given a piece of paper to fill out selecting the “Educational ” visa , there were two options one that was saying you were with a university and one that you were going there to learn about Cuba & its culture ! we saved museum tickets just in case, but no one asked us again about why we were going after checking that box.
  • MONEY : exchange your money to Euros/ Canadian prior to entering Cuba. Cuba is a CASH COUNTRY, it’s not like we know and breath here in america with cc only places. you cannot use your american credit card or american debit card in the country. if you exchange from USD in CUBA then you will be charged with an additional tax of 10% + …. so not worth it !
    • What did we do? since we live in Detroit (Canada is close!!)  and Jason was going to be traveling to Montreal the following weekend we went with candian dollars & the exchange rate was better
    • Exchanging @ the Airport in Havana – there are two stations to cambio dollores – there are also places in town to do so but we were told the rate was best at the airport. the line is going to be long but moves kinda quick – we waited probably 25-30 minutes.
    • AIRBNB vs HOTEL:  friends of ours had showed up to Cuba with no place to stay and just simply asked their cab driver to take them to one of the casa particulares they knew of with availability … a casa particular is a private home kinda like a bread and breakfast it is likely a room within someones home.  Hotels are owned by the government! if you are going there “to support the cuban people” then dont’ stay at a hotel. The hotels in Havana aren’t that that nice apparently anyways, or at least compared to american standards.
      • What did we do ? searched and searched for the most modern place to stay, we found a 2 bedroom apartment that is in the Edificio Fosca ! it is a centrally located pre-revolution bldg that has a door man and elevator. It is one of the tallest bldgs in Havana, easily identified by people/cabs/etc ,and very close to the Malecon!
    • Baggage:   we were under the impression that the Havana airport was unorganized and a hot mess, so false.
      • What did we do? We both did carry out bags, but when getting to FLL they made us gate check the bags.  We waited a bit longer than we are used to on Delta Sky Priority but it was really NBD.  We both brought causal small backpacks to carry during the days for camera, selfie stick, snacks etc.

    What to wear ? It is a very causal place and it was hot as balls !! we went in february and it was high 80s and humid, everyday is sun shiney !!  We each brought like 2/3 pairs of shoes  – sneakers for hiking and adventures, sandals for beach and walking tour, and then going out shoes.  If you are going to a club, you cannot wear flip flops – given.

    Crime ?  much to my surprise there is no petty crime there, pick pocketing is not a thing, i’m not saying don’t be cautious and aware of your surroundings, but it is a whole different situation than being in Barcelona !

    Tour Guides/ Drivers – highly recommend setting this up in advance.

    Follow the next post on what to do while you are there  !

    Our 4 day trip was memorable and we can’t wait to go back ! 

    XX,

    Linz

    February 2017 x Detroit Dirty Show @ Russell Industrial Center 

    Buy your tickets in advance for the Detroit Dirty show !! The cost to go in the x rated show is $30 The show is always around Valentine’s Day and is down right dirty as the naughtiest public art works show Detroit sees. Be warned your eyes can’t unsee the art. 

    Wow!! Bring your most open mind and eye balls the Russell Industrial Exhibition  Centers  Dirty Show … erotic art fills the walls, go go dancers are in cages , live erotic performances happening in different corners of the warehouse, and a girl flying from the ceiling by back piercings. You honestly don’t know where to look first! 

    Two  separate artists made notion that our president is a dickhead !

    You can’t even in your wildest dreams begin to imagine the crowd this draws and people who get into kink costume. I saw females dragging other females around on Leashes. My eyes brought before me an unseen prior  of intersection between sexuality, art and community culture.

    Definitely a Detroit Bucket List Add  if ready to enter with unjudgemental eyes to the art world of painted and performance eroticism.

    Wild Views in the D! 

    Vibe on,

    Lshawtay

    Travel Time x Nashville x Rolf and Daughters

    Rolf and Daughters  (aka RAD) is the creme de la creme you’ve absolutely got to get a reservation here if you are going to be going to Nashville !   We made our reservation for 2 people about 2 weeks in advance and luckily were able to snag a Friday Night reservation. My parents on the other hand who called 3 and half weeks in advance were not able to snag a ressi for their trip less than 1 month from mine.

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    Exterior Mural

    We immediately fell in love with the cool mural on the exterior of the building, there was outdoor seating and a small waiting area right outside the front door.

    Rolf and Daughters was recommended by my cousin whose a student at Vanderbilt and Thrillist.com. Address: 700 Taylor St, Nashville, TN 37208.  We took Uber from Omni Hotel which was more downtown. RAD is located in the hip and historic neighborhood called Germantown.  Google identifies RAD as an industrial-chic restaurant with clever New American dishes, communal tables & inventive cocktails.

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    Interior Shot 

    We did not sit at the communal table however we did get quite friendly with the table next to us and our waitress. Everyone is extremely friendly !!
    Earlier for lunch we went to the infamous Prince’s Chicken and my tummy wasn’t in the hottest shape. The waitress totally understood where i was coming from and her and the bar tender stirred up a life altering bitters and soda drink to cure my hot chicken pains.
    The bread was fresh AF and made in house, along with their decadent seaweed butter. The smoothness of the butter was delightful on the hot fresh bread. 
    I’m not the biggest Italian fan and rarely ever eat Pasta, but heard this was the spot to do it!  We each ordered a pasta dish and both were UNREAL.  Apparently their menu is seasonal and always rotating, i can’t guarantee that either the Cacio e Pepe or the Mafalde will be available when you visit but if so …. DO IT.
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    Cacio e Pepe

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    Mafalde – Mushroom Alfredo

    Can’t believe we went for it ; but we absolutely could not resist dessert. This cute little popsicle that had gold bits on it !!

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    Get your booty to Nashville and dive into their good eats !!

    xx LShawtay

    Do it For Detroit x Fash Bash

    Popping bottles and looking like models, the annual Fash Bash 2016 kicked off on Thursday August 11th around 7pm. Entering into the Detroit Institute of Arts you are greeted by mummified models holding signs such as ” designer threads ahead “.  Of course there was a stop and repeat photo stand support the collaboration of Neiman Marcus x Founders Junior Council x Lincoln . It was a total hot box outside, nonetheless there was an outside bar sporting valentine vokda,gin and whiskey. The special craft cocktail I went with was a Vinyard spritz ,which included rose, Elder flower, valentine vodka , a hint of lemon squirt and splash of soda water. Totally delightful and refreshing. The brand new Lincoln MKZ 2017 was outside by the bar too! 

    Moving back inside you kindergarten line up for your fashion show ticket. Moving into another gorgeous ball room area where mingling and mixing and more drinks followed.  If you were lucky you had the passed hdourves! These tuna tartar shooters were out of this world !! Hats off to Forte Ballenger group for that yummy syringe treat. Moving along the back wall had an enormous light up sign ” Fash Bash ” which later was filled and boarded with an assorted popcorn! The dill popcorn was UNREAL. True in flavor which I love. 

    Ding a ling, the bar tenders stop serving and its time to head to the great hall for the Fashion Show put together by Ken Downing , legend of Neiman Marcus. Walking into the great hall there is a side line of paparazzi!! You feel like a total star, and hey we looked like celebs not gonna lie. 

    I’m rocking a Versace ( Versace Versace!) White dress with Grandma Spoils white Chanel bag and Jason is rocking an Etro shirt. His pocket square compliments the shirt just adorably,  hard to see in the pic but when we get the professional photos I’ll share. 

    Me and Miss Autio at one of the bars in Kresge Hall.

    Arriving at the seats you’re greeted with a small snack box of crackers, chartruerrie ,cheese and nuts … not the best in consideration to allergies but cute. 

    The show begins and the energy is high!! We had awesome seats right at the start of the runway.


    I loved all the guys rocking Gucci belts!! Ken even told Jason he needs one… looks like Hanukkah will come early this year 😉

    One guy was a stand out in black boxer briefs and mess long sleeve top with a design in the center.  Mhmm!! He looked real good. 

    The after glow part of the evening had kicked off while the fashion show was going on. It was a blast to walk right into a banging after party!! 

    Dancing, drinking and more fun followed into the after party. Other food was being passed around such as cheese burgers, tofu egg rolls, tacos and shrimp. 

    I loved the funnels on the mini moets!! 

    Me Anne and Jason at the Fashion Show 
    The founders junior council donated a $1 million dollar gift. The Egyptian room at the museum will be re named in their honor. Go FJC!! Proud of Jason and the council for an unreal evening in the D

    Chef Lshawtay x Summer Rolls ( Vegan )

    Chef Lshawtay is back in the house and bringing you a dank Vegan summer recipe ! Now I say summer not only because it is basically “summer” – but also because they are consider to be Summer Rollslight and refreshing and easy to make. You are going to be blown away at the ease of this delightful snack/meal. There is a wide variety of what you can do with these Summer Rolls, but this is how I did it.

    Ingredients/ Tools:

    • Mandoline / Spiralizer to get your veggies looking fabulous
    • Sharp Knife to cut stuff
    • Big Bowl
    • Coconut Oil Spray ( or Olive Oil whichever you fancy or conveniently already have)
    • Parchment Paper
    • Banh Trang Spring Rolls Skin – see photo below – you can buy at Kroger !!
    • Asparagus
    • Watermelon Radish
    • Cucumber
    • Jicama
    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • (red) Cabbage
    • Red Leaf Lettuce
    • Vermicelli Noodles
    • Jalapeño
    • Cilantro
    • Bean Sprouts ( missing from photo )
    • Pickled Ginger ( missing from photo )
    • Kimchi ( missing from photo)
    • Egg ( missing from photo )
    • Green Pepper ( suggested item )
    • ….. whatever you fancy to put in your roll !!

     

    Veggie Prep :  feel good about the way you prep the items ! It is important to keep in mind the 1) visual appeal and 2) functionality of their form.

    As you can see from the photo I chose to spiralize : watermelon radish, cucumber and beet. The lettuce was lightly chopped as was the cilantro. The jalapeño was diced. The carrots were cut thinly, this is important because you do not want any sharp veggies ( it’ll break the skin of the wrap). At first, I tried to spiralize the carrots, but they were too thin and didn’t come out well ! If you have wide carrots, you may be able to spiralize. The jicama was done 2 ways : diced and thinly sliced. Used here was thin asparagus from Trader Joes.

    Vermicelli Noodles – follow the directions on your box/bag. But typically, boil a pot of water, place in noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Then rinse for 3 minutes.

    Banh Trang Spring Roll Skin –  YOU ARE GOING TO BE SURPRISED – they are super hard and look like discs. You are going to be confused – what the heck ? am I missing what they are? are they peal able between the layers ? did I really buy the right thing? Don’t fret – if you bought what I bought in the picture, you are good to go !!  You will fill your Big Bowl ( or pot) with water. Place the discs ( I do 3 at a time ) and submerge in water. They will loosen up – I promise !

    The first photo shows the Spring Roll Skin melting into its true form and ready to roll. You’ll feel it when it is ready to be rolled ! I ring them out a bit, because they have been sitting in water !

    Lay out the parchment paper on your counter, and spray the coconut oil on the paper, this will help the skins not stick down.  Lay out your skins and get ready to fill up your roll ! I like to lay down pretty veggies first then a layer of noodles, then a layer of lettuce, this is for purely aesthetic purposes!!

    It is up to you on how you lay out the veggies and which ones you want to go together. I’ve been working to find the perfect balance of crunch. Honestly, it will probably turn out good either way !!  Cooking is all an experiment anyways, just feel good about what you are doing !

    The far right photo will show you the inside of a roll and how the veggies are layered out. Under are the two dips we’ve experimented with : a peanutty sauce and a hoisin sauce. Of course there is Sriracha there too ( not pictured ) !!

    Rolling Tips : I’ll be posting a YouTube video soon !  but off hand here on the blog … place your veggies and noodles in the lower portion of the skin, tuck the veggies into the roll to secure them in, tuck in the two sides as well (think chipotle employee) , and roll on up !  Practice makes perfect with these Summer Rolls.

    Highly recommend eating right away !! They are more likely to break if you keep in Fridge over night.

    T B H – to be honest – you can put whatever you want in them. I did this version, because it is vegan and gluten free. A majority of the veggies are my most favorites. Mix & match what your heart desires and your belly will be happy !!

    If you have any questions, comment on the blog!

    Enjoy your tasty delight Summer Roll – you are totally going to be obsessed and going to want to make them everyday !!

    Bon Appetite!

    Chef Lshawtay

    PS. it’s okay if you have like 4-6 for a meal !

    #BBOTD #NP #TUNESDAY : DJ Khaled & Drake

    I can’t stop playing on repeat this hot new track, it gives me a jolt and jig in the AM… you want to get out of bed bumping and grinding this is your beat !! Check it …!

    Listen to DJ Khaled (feat. Drake)- For Free [OFFICIAL AUDIO] by Top Tracks #np on #SoundCloud

    Vibe on,
    Lshawtay

    THE HOME GOODS

    Have you been wondering where I’ve been for the last 6 months ? Wow where do I even begin ? I’ve been traveling a ton : Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, Costa Rica, New York, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Las Vegas,  Los Angeles and more! And of course spending loads of time in my local city Detroit.

    I’ve been attending Art Gallery openings and new exhibits, engaging and hanging with Artists, seeing live cooking events, restaurant friends and family openings (lots of new good eats to post about), the fisher theater, film festivals, sporting events, an acupuncturist, a chiropractor and a cyro spa to name a few. Even learned how to drive a stick shift !!

    I’ve been trying out new recipes which I’ll share soon on the blog and via YouTube. I’ve decorated my new home wonderfully & learned more about flower arrangements. I’m currently working with a local Detroit company to have custom frames made out of recycled wood from the D.

    After being in Ann Arbor for nearly 8 years I made the move to 48009 .. Birmingham, Michigan !
    I live next door to my best friend Erika in a cute townhome where I have a front and backyard !  I’m going to start planting more of my own flowers / plants and extend my knowledge beyond succulents. Did I mention I  attended a Zen Center and mediated with Monks?!

    Life has continued to spark and shine … just not translated on my blog. Now that it has been 6 months I feel more settled in my new home and new life I’ll make more time to get logged on the blog!!

    Peace and Love,
    Lshawtay

    Note the planters in the front of the house … my mom and I put that together ourselves!

    #BBOTD #NP #Tunesday New Era || VOL.2 ||10.TwentyFifteen

    It’s Tunesday October Twenty Six Twenty Fifteen !  27 Minutes in your ears will be dripping with eargasms. The BUMPiNG BEAT oF THE DAY #BBOTD is BigThanks To : Deeper Beat  for new Era. 

    Check a Listen …

    as quoted from Soundcloud Profile 

    “The mixtape is the VOL. 2 by MBP Official to anticipate the forthcoming EP New Era. It’s a mixture of emotional deep vibes to chill your minds in the summer, introducing some promos of well known producers and the new vibe of MBP. Enjoy and feel free to share

    Tracklist New Era Vol.2
    1. CleavageCan’t Get Enough (Original Mix)
    2. PingpongThe Garden (Bassmelodie Remix)
    3. DastishSensor Love (Nicolas Hannig Remix)
    4. Otto KnowsNext To Me (Pingpong Remix)
    5. Super FluChee Pso Ng (Original Mix)
    6. Brame & HamoParish Rumors (Original Mix)
    7. Vanilla AceMDF (Yves Murasca Remix)
    8. KlangKuenstler feat. Linda MurielThinkin Bout You (Original Mix)
    9. Josh ButlerBe True (Original Mix)
    10. PittoYou (Noir Remix) (Edit)
    11. Samuel Dan & German BriganteSweet Home (Original MIx)
    12. Moonwalk Just You (Original Mix)
    13. Groove ArmadaParis (Andhim Remix)

    Follow MBP Official: @mbp-official
    New Era Vol.1: Mbp-official – Mbp-official-new-era
    FB: www.facebook.com/mbp.musik

    Feel the vibes piping up around 23:54 +

    Vibe On,

    Lshawtay

    Food Photography x What it is like to be an Instagram Star

    People sure are eating with their eyes these days! It is like you’ve got your whole meal planned out thanks to Instagram or Yelp prior to even calling for your Uber.  Not saying I am not guilty of this first hand, because I do my fair share of Yelp scouting prior to dining in.

    I do have to say that I give back to the Foodie Community by Yelp Reviews and Foodstagrammin’ ! & if the spot is truly giving me a coregasm i’ll post a Google and Facebook review too.

    My fair share of taking pics of food began with Yelp – where i’ve earned the honor badge of being Elite for a number of years now. Check out my dank delights by clicking here  – gotta give good graces to my @Miami_FoodPorn pal & contributor for kicking me early on about joining in on the Yelp community.  This was WAYYYY before it became @Tr3ndey

    Yelp is just the gateway to what detonated the internet  into a world of food images on Instagram. The foodstagrams can take a number of forms and specialties – relating to veganism, raw diets, burgers only, city specific, or just a simple this food is fucking great and u NEED it NOW.

    People feel compelled to share their good eeeeats and let everyone know they are doing it ! But some really just do it better than others – and what makes one Insta star versus another?? The PHOTO – duh!

    Here are a few things to consider while taking a stellar shot –

    Lighting : To use flash ? or to not? Is your natural lighting on fleek? or does a friend need to use their flash light app?

    Angle of shot : this is VERY important – make sure you get the money shot

    Placement : do you get up close and personal? do you take an overhead shot? do you get the drinks in? are the drinks the focus?

    Fingers : are they manicured! why are you even showing the fingers? hands? DO NOT include your face, or your friends.

    Props : are you putting your favorite sunnys in cuz it plays into the vibe of the image? are your kicks in the shot because its a photo of coffee? what are you really trying to showcase here – the lifestyle or the food?

    Exhibit 1 - above view, drinks in view, props on set

    Exhibit 1 – above view, drinks in view, props on set

    Exhibit 2 - larger zoomed out above view ( famed of @ChicksonChairs) , Yes props and yes drinks,

    Exhibit 2 – larger zoomed out above view ( famed of @ChicksonChairs) , Yes Props and Yes Drinks

    Exhibit 3 - a bit closer view point, more exclusive look into the food itself, minor props

    Exhibit 3 – a bit closer view point, more exclusive look into the food itself, minor props, poor plating set up

    Exhibit 4 - zoomed in, solo food shot of specific item

    Exhibit 4 – zoomed in, solo food shot of specific item

    Exhibit 5 - you get the whole view of the star of the photo

    Exhibit 5 – you get the whole view of the star of the photo

    THE MONEY SHOT !!!

    THE MONEY SHOT !!!

    Now you have an inside look on what it’s like to Live Like Lindsey and be a FoodStaGrammer. This collab went down in Wynnwood @ZakTheBaker one of my must haves and go-to ‘s while in Miami!  If you are down there you gotta check it out !

    Keep on Eatin’,

    Lshawtay