Who’s hungry? Easy recipes for difficult times :)

Um… me! I have spent the last week going between cooking, making music, crafting, cleaning, doing laundry and topped it all off with a little pacing back and forth. I went for a jog on the beautiful sunny days and did a live exercise class with about 35 other people too. I was surprised that this was something that actually lifted my spirits! There are several online classes and options available so think about trying it!

This week I’m gonna try a yoga class that one of my favorite studios is starting to do. I’m not gonna lie, there are ups and downs but overall I really am trying to stay positive. I have had to turn off the news and just tune in once or twice to see the daily news. But considering that the news now is a little bleak, I think it’s better to watch less. When I did this, I felt better overall. Try it!

Also trying to stay on track with my health and fitness during this period. Here are a few yummy things I’ve cooked and maybe can give you some idea for this week!
I’m gonna start with the fun stuff! I know this is not super low in fat but it is lower in fat and sodium that eating processed foods that are loaded with salt, sugar, and fat.
I am more into eating whole foods and in addition, give you something to do.

Weekend APÉRO! (Appetizer)

For the weekend I tried to do something a little more festive. So I made a little “apero” before dinner.
I used things from my pantry. I had roasted peppers and artichokes so I came up with this.

Warm Artichoke, Red Pepper and Feta dip.

In a baking dish, add drained quartered artichokes, roasted red peppers, sprinkle with feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. A little fresh thyme (or dried oregano) place in the oven at 400 degrees F (205C)for about 15/20 minutes. You can squeeze a little lemon on it if you like. Be creative! Use what you may have in your pantry!

Serve with crostini or crackers. We enjoyed it with a little white wine.

Sunday Brunch!

Zucchini, Tomato and Potato Frittata

I had a dozen eggs that were almost past the expiration date so… I decided to make a frittata.
I had a few roasted potatoes leftover from dinner the night before so I added them in but you could easily make this without!

PREHEAT oven to 350F (180C)

Sauté in oven proof pan
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 chopped onion
Then add:
Thinly sliced 2 zucchini
Sauté about 5 minutes then set aside

Crack 12 eggs in a bowl
Add 3/4 cup milk
Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup or more if you like)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk together.

ON low heat, Heat a little butter in the pan and add cooked potato to reheat. Then add egg mixture.
Scrape bottom and sides while eggs cook very slowly… after about 3 minutes add the zucchini and top with chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with more parmesan and if you like, top with ricotta cheese OR cream cheese. You can skip this too. It just adds a little creaminess.

Finish cooking in the oven for about 15 minutes. It will be nice and fluffy when you remove.
Let cool and serve with a green salad.

Brunch Cocktails

We had a brunch cocktail I like to call The Aperol Special! Here’s the recipe for that!
2 parts Aperol
1 Part Grapefruit juice
1/2 Part Vodka
Top with Prosecco

Weeknight Ideas

I make this with spaghetti squash to lighten it up a bit but of course, would be delicious over linguine or penne and then some yummy crusty bread to get all the sauce left in the bottom of your dish! Up to you! 🙂

Spaghetti Squash with Puttanesca Sauce (Rachael Ray’s recipe)

• 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 tin flat anchovy fillets, drained
• 1 /2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 20 oil-cured black olives, cracked away from the pit and coarsely chopped
• 3 tablespoons capers
• 1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
• A few grinds black pepper
• 1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano, for passing, optional

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205C)
Cut squash in half (longways) remove seeds and then Brush with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and gently scrape inside to shred the squash. I added the sauce to the top then topped with parmesan and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes to brown the cheese a bit.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, garlic, anchovies, and crushed pepper. Sauté mixture until anchovies melt into oil and completely dissolve and garlic is tender about 3 minutes: your kitchen never smelled so good! Add olives, capers, tomatoes, black pepper, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

Don’t be scared of the anchovies! They add so much flavor! And they disappear so you will never know they are there!

BUDDA BOWLS and SALADS

I roasted up lots of veggies like Red Peppers, fennel, onion, carrot, and zucchini then served over quinoa with some fresh mozzarella.
It was seriously flavorful! Try it!

Quinoa, Avocado, fresh fennel, roasted peppers is what I had in my fridge 🙂 I drizzle a little olive oil and lemon juice.

Mexican flavor ideas
Quinoa, corn, black beans, avocado, salsa, lettuce, plain yogurt or sprinkle with cheese

What are you guys cooking, eating and drinking? And what are you doing to pass the time at home? Send me your ideas!
I’d love to hear from you! Wishing you a healthy week! Remember nothing is permanent. We are all in this together.

Sending loads of virtual hugs to you all!
xoxo,
Robin

Chicken Grease !

Hi friends!

I hope you all are staying healthy and finding ways to get through these uncertain times. If you don’t know already, I love to cook somewhat healthy at home so I thought it was a great time to share some of the meals I prepare. Usually, I create a lot of my own recipes using what I have in my fridge and pantry but I also have a few go to’s by cooks and chefs that I follow.
This is what I made on Sunday. After all the restaurants and bars closed here in France, it seemed like a comforting meal to help us get ready to hunker down and wrap our brains around the situation.
As of today we are in a total confinement and only able to leave the house for essential trips (grocery, pharmacy and doctors). OH, and it is acceptable to excessive outside too. 🙂 I guess there is no excuse for skipping my weekly run in the woods. Maybe it’s the time to train for a 10K?

Spotify Playlist to get you in the mood for some CHICKEN GREASE! :
Listen Here !

We enjoyed this meal with a beautiful bottle of red wine from the south west of France. Beret Noir (Saint Mont) As you can see from the empty bottle we quite enjoyed it 🙂

Ina Garten’s Roast Chicken
I use this recipe (that’s so easy and delicious)
(If you don’t like fennel you can add potatoes, carrots or any root veggie) But seriously, give it a try… the fennel is so yummy along with the chicken and carrots and the juice that is created while roasting!

• INGREDIENTS
• 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
• 1 lemon, halved
• 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
• 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
• 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
• 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
• 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
• Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (220 degrees C)

1. 2 Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

1. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

This is an easy delicious meal you can prepare with little preparation!
I used all the bones from the carcass to then make chicken stock.
Just throw the carcass in a stock pot along with 2 carrots, one onion, 2 stalks of celery and a little salt. I usually add salt at the end because I had already salted the chicken when I roasted it and there is alway a little skin left that has been salted.

Fill pot with water and bring to boil then reduce and simmer covered for about 2 hours and then remove lid and cook down a little more to reduce and bring out more flavor.

I fill ziplock bags and freeze for later.

It’s so worth have home made chicken stock in your freezer in case you do get sick it’s so comforting!

A few ideas of what to make wth the stock:

Classic chicken Noodle soup (add carrots, celery and some small pasta or rice)
Lemon chicken soup with rice and coconut milk
Thai curry veggies or noodles (add some curry paste and cook down a bit) Add noodles and /or veggies
Make risotto with chicken stock! SO much flavor
Cook rice or polenta with stock too
Escarole and white bean soup
Butternut squash soup
Healthy Alfredo Sauce (from Spark Recipes)
• 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 cups skim milk
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. black pepper
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Toss with fettuccine and peas! Comfort and kind to you waistline 🙂

Bon appetit!

Cancellations

Hello, sorry to announce that the rest of the first leg of my tour is cancelled due to performing restrictions in France and widely in Europe. So Montbrison tonight, and the New Morning shows of Monday March 16th and Tuesday March 17th are cancelled as well. We will be trying to reschedule for the concerts and will keep you updated as the situation progresses. A big thanks to my musicians and team who made it possible to do as much as we could in this difficult time. And a huge thanks to my fans who have been so supportive! I love you guys!
Take care and we will hopefully be back on the road soon! Big hugs!

New Website :)

Welcome to my newly designed website! It’s always great to redecorate!

Yes, it’s ALWAYS great to REDECORATE and I do it often at my house! I’ll even let you in on a little secret… shhh…don’t tell anyone, BUT…
I have a pillow problem. Anyone who really knows me will tell you that I have an infatuation for pillows and pillowcases. I have several different ones that I keep in a place that I like to call “my staging” area! HAHA! I also have my seasonal decor there too… along with a massive amount of other decorative items that I sprinkle into my deco throughout the year depending on what I’m feeling. 🙂
And don’t know if you guys have a store like Homegoods… But I also call Homegoods my happy place. (equally happy place- Target… especially if there is a Starbucks in it!)

Ok, enough with the secrets, let’s get serious and seriously celebrate! And what better way to celebrate that with Chocolate Cupcakes?! Ok, my trainer is cursing me out at this moment… but sometime’s you just gotta go for it! I wish I could send you each one… or a dozen!

The release of Alterations kicked off beautifully thanks to all you along with the great support from radio and press. I’m so happy to have some amazing reviews the first week and of course, hearing from all of you on what your favorite moments on the album are!

I’m getting pumped for the European tour starting MARCH 5 and really looking forward to sharing this new music and show with you! Hopefully, we will be in a city near you!

Meet the band! Joining me on tour for the first leg of the tour will be:
Mike King (piano)
Rashaan Carter (bass)
Adam Jackson (drums)
Nir Felder (guitar)

These guys are super talented musicians who I’ve worked with for a few years now. This will be Nir’s first time out on tour with me, but he played on the new album so I’m really excited to have him for the live shows!

Make sure to sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already done that. This way you can be sure to know about upcoming events and be first to know when I’ll be coming to your city for a live show!

Help me spread the word!
Please don’t be shy, if you like something you hear or see, please share it with your friends and family! Every little bit helps!

Thanks for stopping by and your support!
Keep Calm and Alter On!

Kiss kiss,
Robin

Halloween Night !

HALLOWEEN! ‘CAUSE y’all know I’m a freak fro Halloween! Had an amazing time in Paris at a super cool Halloween party! Lots of good people, dancing, eating, drinking! It was so spooktacular I had to share a few pictures with you! For the record, Beetlejuice was one of my favorite movies as a kid and my manager Jean-Noël was up for a challenge on that 🙂
And I’m always all in when it comes to a challenge with the makeup 🙂 That’s me, Lydia … from the wedding scene towards the end of the movie 🙂

Oh yea, and then there was Halloween part 2 (an unexpected party) So I threw a little 70’s look together and danced the night away. Check out the picture page of the web site 🙂

Officially on to Thanksgiving and Christmas now!

Summer 2019 is upon us (hopefully!)

Happy Almost Summer!

Memorial Day weekend always marks the official start to the summer season and I’m going to be doing some BBQ of my own! 🙂
It’s great to be home and spend some time with family and friends and I’m looking forward to getting my grill fired up! I’m thinking of doing a cedar plank Salmon and some nice healthy side dishes… Sound yummy? Come over and hang 😉

Seriously though, This summer is gonna be a little bit more relaxed on the touring side of life as I’ll be headed to NY in a week to record my next album. I’m looking forward to working again with pianist and producer, Shedrick Mitchell. I’m gonna be recording some of my favorite cover songs and looking forward to hearing how they evolve into my own.

I do have a handful of shows to tell you about.

Sat, JUL 6th – Parc Chantemerle Corbeil-Essonnes, France (free event)
Sun, JUL 7th – Salle Jéliote Oloron-sainte-marie, France
Tue, AUG 6th – Musicales de Cormeilles – Cormeilles, France

If you are in the area come out and see us! Have a glass of wine and let the music fill your soul!

Enjoy your summer and see you soon!

Xoxo,
Robin

My March Tour is upon us…

Hey everybody!

Is spring really on the way? Here in Upstate NY it’s STILL snowing and really cold so I’m super happy to be headed over to Europe where there are some signs that spring is on the way!

MARCH SHOWS !!

I’ll be hitting a few spots in France first… Chevilly-larue on March 15 and then heading back to le Jam in Monpellier on the 16th! I really dig this club and have some great memories of the last time I played there! Looking forward to being back!
Then I’m gonna bring some light and love to London @ Ronnie Scotts on March 18 and 19!
We will finish out our run on March 23 in Aurillac, France!

NEW ALBUM
Yes! I”m working on a new album and I am already going to be in the studio with the band in the next few weeks! I don’t wanna spill the beans yet about what I’m working on but I’m excited to be recording with my trio. These guys are super talented and I’ve really enjoyed making music with them over the past year! I think it’s going to be a very fun process and really creative! I’ll keep you posted!

I want to also thank Jazz Aspen and all the great people I met while out there performing. It was really a special weekend and a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with some of my previous band mates. ( along with my current trio) I had fun mixing up all the different styles in one show.

I don’t have a ton of shows coming up this season as I’m working hard on my next album but I do hope to see you somewhere along the way! If you are a fan of what I do, please check out my Spotify Page and subscribe! This helps me out a lot so if you haven’t done that… Please do and keep hitting us up on Facebook and Intagram!

Thanks again friends and until next time! Let the good times roll!
Xoxo,
Robin

Back 2 School and Back to work!

Summer is winding down and I’m finding it hard to get back to my routine but thanks to this past weekend, I’m finally back in work mode! I had 2 great concerts in Montpellier and Paris at Jazz a La Villette and I’d like to take a moment to thank all my fans who came out! We had transportation problems and we had a hard time getting to Paris but in the end all went well and we loved it.

Summer was filled with family time and a few small trips with friends. I spent time in the south of France and when back in the US, I headed to Charleston, SC to experience the food scene which is booming! I pretty much ate and drank my face off, so now it’s time to get back in that gym and melt away the rose! It’s all worth it… and I like the challenge of getting back into a more serious fitness routine! I need little challenges to keep me motivated!

Looking ahead to the fall, I’ve got lots of shows planned and a few special appearances as well. I’ll be performing with Jazz Loves Disney September 22 in Aix en Provence along with several great artists including China Moses, Hugh Coltman and Myles Sanko. And again at Disneyland Paris with Selah Sue and Ben L’oncle Soul! So if you’re a Disney fan you can’t miss this special occasion!

In October I’ll be in Spain and France for shows and even Denmark! Been a while since we’ve been there! And Early November FINALLY I’m heading back to Boston, NY and Cape May, NJ for a few concerts! It’s been a while since I’ve been to Boston and I’m really excited to play again at the Regatta Bar in Cambridge.

You can see all the dates and details on the website!

As always, thanks for your continued support and look forward to hopefully see you at a show sometime soon!

Xoxo,
Robin

News from the Road

With summer in full swing I’m happy to be back out on the road!

Although it was a whirlwind 3 days, we had a great time in Spain and France! And we did get to eat some amazing paella right on the beach before the gig! 🙂 yummy!

I’ve got a few days off until I will be doing a super group of musicians for the La Londe Jazz Festival. I’m really looking forward to singing some classic soul songs and I’m happy to be invited back to this great festival! This is a special project of the festival and it should prove to be a great reunion of several artists who have performed at the festival over the past 10 years!

August 4th I’ll be in Leuven, Belgium for one last concert before I go back home to spend time with family and friends in the US! And looking ahead to the end of the summer I’ll be back in Montpellier on August 31 and in PARIS Sept. 1 for Jazz a La Villette with Reggie Washington on Bass! It’s been a while since I’ve played with Reggie, so I’m really looking forward to getting him into the mix again!

I can’t end this news without saying a big thank you to my hometown community in Rochester! I felt so much love and support while there for the Rochester Jazz Festival! We had 2 packed shows and the audience was full energy and love! Thanks to all who have showed continued support throughout my career.

I do hope you are getting some time to relax and enjoy some downtime this summer!

Touring, Traveling and Cooking !

SUMMER!

Finally, the sun returns to us like that friend we haven’t seen in a while…The longer days, the beach, bike rides, barbecues, and the nostalgia of childhood fun. Summer always seems to make me feel like a kid again!

And that’s exactly how I feel returning to perform in my hometown at the Rochester International Jazz Festival! It’s always special for me to have so many friends and family in the audience. I’ll be at the Harrow East Venue on June 29 for 2 shows, 5:30 and 7:15 pm!
I want to thank everyone who came out to see our shows for this past tour. Paris was hot, as always and Germany proved to be pretty cool! 😉 Looking forward to being back in the EU this summer for a few festivals! I’m really excited about the live show and where it’s headed!

July 20 I’m heading to Granada Spain for some tapas and a show then heading back to France for some Rose in Poet Laval (21/7) and Montlucon (22/7)
On July 28 I’ll be at the La Londe Jazz Festival with some super cool musicians playing a special soul/jazz/funk show. I’ve been really looking forward to this collaboration and the music should be really fun! Some Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Gladys Night and more!!! Come get your groove on with us if you happen to be nearby!

Hope to see you this summer! At a show or a BBQ!
Love
Robin

  1. No Ordinary Love Robin McKelle 1:49