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Your Soul Food Monthly Newsletter

Volume #010

Welcome, Hope You’re Having a Wonderful Summer!


Welcome New Friends
What a Great Idea
What’s New on Soul Food
Special Announcement
Feature Article: How to Select Your Soul Food Picnic Menu
Coming In Next Issue: Labor Day Family Activities
Column: Spice Up Your Soul Food
Cassandra’s Cooking Tips
Grill Your Summer Meal
Soul Food Care Package
Soul Food Blog
Ask the Editor
Reader’s Poll
News You May Want to Use
Link to Your Gift: New Trends in Soul Food Cooking
Send a Friend a Gift



Hey Soul Food Lovers! Thank you for joining us. If you haven’t had a chance to read the back issues, please do so. We invite you to send comments, suggestions, and ideas on what they would like to see in this newsletter.

Please feel free to take our reader’s poll. This poll gives us insight into the kind of information you want to see in this newsletter. So please take some time from your busy schedule to let us know what you want us to cover. No need to include your name. Just click the link below.

Also, if you have recipes or cooking stories from the kitchen you want to share, please feel free to do so. Send them directly to me at

Again, welcome, sit back, relax, and enjoy this newsletter.

Reader's Poll



One subscriber suggested that we highlight a soul food and tell its origin: We thought it was a great idea so we feature Collard Greens:

Collard greens is one of the oldest members of the cabbage family. Collard greens are extremely nutritious -- rich in vitamins and minerals that help prevent and fight disease.

Collard Greens originated in the eastern Mediterranean, but it wasn't until the first Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in the early 1600s, that America got its first taste of the dark green leafy vegetable. Today, collard greens is a soul food staple and a favorite among many.

For a great collard green recipe visit Collard Greens Recipe

To learn the health benefits of eating collard greens and other soul food vegetables, please visit Health Benefits from Eating Collard Greens

We do listen to our subscribers, so please keep those ideas coming. If you want to submit an idea for this newsletter, just send an email to me with your ideas and suggestions. Don’t forget to send in special recipes and cooking stories from the kitchen you want to share. What’s your great idea? We want to hear from you. Send to




Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook - A Treasured Collection from Three Generations Of Southern Cooks, by Soul Food Advisor, Cassandra Harrell

A personal collection and a one of a kind cookbook will be available early fall, 2007. A treasured collection of 250 soul food and southern-style recipes. A must have for your cookbook collection.

Watch for more exciting information about this one of a kind cookbook collection. A special mailing will be sent to newsletter subscribers when the cookbook is released.

A few days ago, I received the cookbook proof. It really looks great. Now, I’m getting more and more excited about the cookbook. I will finally see my family’s recipes all together. I can’t wait!


New Article - Quick Labor Day Meal Without the Labor
Labor Day Article

New Summer Recipes in News Center
· Summer Taco Salad
· Soul Food Tuna Fish Wrap
· Spaghetti Salad
Visit the Center for these delicious and easy summer recipes
Summer Recipes


Soul Food Picnic Menus - Plan your summer picnic with these special menus.
Picnic Menus

Soul Food Blog - Keep up with the latest information on Soul Food
Soul Food Blog

All new updated Soul Food News Center with special announcement
News Center

New Cooking and Baking Tips
Cooking Tips

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Newsletter link to free subscription


FEATURE ARTICLE- How to Select Your Soul Food Picnic Menu

By Cassandra Harrell

When you select your picnic menu, it must be pleasing to your guests. Always keep your guests in mind when planning a picnic and what food they will enjoy the most.

A family picnic menu is not complete without barbecue. There’s just something about old-fashioned barbecue and family picnics that go hand in hand. And, to add more punch to your menu, add spicy chicken wings or fried chicken. Your guests will love it and they go great with barbecue--and offers a alternative selection for everyone.

When serving barbecue, it don’t have to be pork. There are several alternatives available such as:

Alternative #1: If you prefer not to use pork, make barbecue turkey legs or barbecue chicken. They are just as good and your guests will enjoy them.


Alternative #2: Add barbecue turkey or chicken to your menu with the barbecue pork. Some will prefer the pork to turkey and chicken and vice versa.

Use your menu to bring an array of colors and textures to the table. Once you select your meat dishes, add hot and cold side dishes, fresh fruit, and vegetables.

Popular family picnic menu items include the following:
Entrees: Fried chicken, barbecue beef or pork, roast beef, baked or fried fish, smoked turkey, spaghetti with ground beef, hamburgers, and hot dogs

Hot side dishes: Collard greens or turnip greens, black-eyed peas, crowder peas and okra, cooked cabbage, cooked cabbage, macaroni & cheese, and Tennessee baked beans.

Cold dishes: old-fashioned Cole slaw, pasta salad, southern potato salad, three bean salad, spaghetti salad, fresh garden salad, seven layer salad, fresh fruit, fresh raw vegetables with dip.

Dessert Table: Offer a variety of desserts including pies, cakes, dessert bars, cookies, and low fat desserts.

The above menu gives your buffet balance, a variety of colors, and an array of textures for guests appeal.

With any family picnic menu, I always suggest serving reduced fat dishes. Also consider low salt dishes for health conscious guests. They will certainly appreciate it.

Always remember when putting together a food menu is to put your guests first. Choose foods everyone will enjoy and your picnic will be success.

For a list of popular soul food picnic menus visit
Picnic Menus


Labor Day Family Activities



This month we focus on Spice Rub

Spice Rub is a mixture of ground spices that are made for the purpose of being rubbed on raw food before the food is cooked. The spice rub forms a coat on the food. It can be marinated in the spice rub for some time for the flavors to incorporate into the food or it can be cooked immediately after it is coated in the rub.

The spices are usually coarsely ground. In addition to spices, salt and sugar may be added to the rub, the salt for flavor and the sugar for carmelization. Spice rubs can also have ingredients like herbs, crushed garlic or oil added to make a paste. The spice rub can be left on or partially removed before cooking.

The most popular cooking method for food prepared using a spice rub is grilling. Baking and pan roasting are other dry-heat methods. Sauteing is another method, especially if the spice rub had flour or bread crumbs added.

In some cultures, spice rubs are highly personal and sometimes a very secret recipe. Many grill masters in the south guard their recipe secrets and they will usually have a secret ingredient that they will not reveal to any one. Many spice rubs can be purchased in grocery or gourmet stores while others make their own homemade spice rub.

Below are recipes for Spice Rub--

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 1/2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon hot chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper, ground
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Mix all ingredients together. Yield ½ cup. Store in airtight container for up to 10 days.

1/3 cup paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground or rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

In a bowl mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. Yield: ½ cup.

These spice rubs are great on ribs, chicken pork butt, and pork loin. You can also add more spices if you want. It’s basically up to you. Try these spice rubs for your next cookout.

For a list of specific soul food spices including how to use cooking spices, visit:
Cooking Spices Guide




· Before firing up the grill, spray racks with non-stick spray. This will help prevent greasy buildup on your grill and food and prevent heavy cleanup after grilling.

· When using a barbecue rub, don’t just sprinkle the rub on the meat and let it set, rub the mixture into the meat before barbecuing. Wet rubs should be done the same way and refrigerate the meat overnight for great success.

· When grilling, make sure you use tongs and not a fork. Each time you poke the meat, you loose flavor and juice. Using a tong will help prevent so much juice

from being lost and help keep the meat moist.

· Grills should be between 350 to 400 degrees before placing meat or

vegetables. If you start with a hot grill, it will prevent food from sticking and make cleanup easier.

· If using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water to prevent them from burning before your meat or vegetables are cooked.

· Clean your grill after each use to prevent succumb or grease buildup. An inexpensive way to do this is to use a steady brush in a small bucket of water. Brush over grill to remove any buildup. Wrap clean with a rag or heavy paper towel.

Watch for more exciting cooking tips next month! Also visit the Cooking and Baking Center for new tips.


by Cassandra Harrell

Summer is the perfect time to eat and cook healthier meals. At least once or twice a week over the summer, why not grill your summer meals. It don’t have to be a fancy feast just ordinary everyday fare. It can be grilled chicken, vegetables, or potatoes or any food you would normally fry or bake. Try these delicious and easy to grill recipes below:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Prepare grill for medium heat. Melt butter in a skillet. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add honey and lemon juice. Reserve half of mixture for basting. Brush the other half on chicken breasts. Lightly oil the grill grate, and place chicken on the grill. Continue basting the other side, turning with a tong.

Cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side, turning frequently. Chicken is done when the meat is firm, and juices run clear.

4 to 6 fresh smoked sausages
2/3 cup barbeque sauce

Prepare grill for high heat. Place sausages on the grill, and cook for about 10 minutes, turning once. Lightly coat each sausage with bbq sauce on each side. Turn with a tong. Serve on buns with condiments.

12 ears corn, husked and cleaned
12 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Prepare grill for medium heat. Place each ear of corn on a separate sheet of aluminum foil. Place 1 tablespoon of butter on each one, and sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper. Wrap ears tightly with foil.

Place ears of corn on the grill, turning occasionally and grill 45 minutes or until fork tender. Serve hot.

6 large potatoes, peeled
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare outdoor grill for high heat. Microwave potatoes on high 5 to 8 minutes or until tender but still firm. Cool slightly, and cube.

Place cubed potatoes on a large piece of foil. Top with green onions, butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Tightly seal together edges of foil. Grill 20 to 30 minutes or until tender.



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Please visit The Nibble and read August national food celebrations. I was going to pick one and focus on, but there’s so many until I couldn’t make up my mind. So, I decided to let you see for yourself. Here’s the link. Have fun!
August Food Celebrations

Healthy Recipes for Diabetics:
Diabetics Recipes
More Diabetic Recipes


Are you interested in low-fat-low-carb recipes? Check these out:
Low-fat-Low-Carb Recipes



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Cassandra Harrell is a Soul Food Advisor and recently owned a soul food restaurant and catering service. She taught cooking classes on preparing great soul food cuisine, and have served thousands during conventions and special events.

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor
Soul Food