Friday, November 2, 2012
It's been a long time on the infamous cigar blog of Maduro Woman. You know, the former Chicago black urban model, that was infamous for doing her thing, and making it all happen? Well let me enlighten you. I used to host cigar events for cigar companies. The entire thing came to a screeching halt. I loved it, but the cigar laws changed. So my cigar events changed. Those days are probably long gone. Don't get me wrong. I would love to host another. But I would do it differently today.
Today, I am the woman who enjoy cigars, immensely. I try to have one a day. It keeps me strong and healthy! LOL. No really, it does. I'm the woman that keep abreast of policy and social issues. I do research, interviews, then I write about it. I love smoking cigars when I am in my office alone, researching or writing. But most recently, when taking a break from writing, I paint. I enjoy smoking cigars, when I am painting, and indulging in other arts and craft projects around the house. I am an all around creative spirit. A nice cigar pairs well when I am in the zone.
I have not posted here for months. But that's because I keep busy. I revived this blog months ago, in hopes of contributing my piece to the cigar world. I feel that I have something fresh and different, because I am able to transcend fantasies and turn them into realities. This is why I am an avid collector of art and antiques. This is where my ashtray and exquisite bar collection comes in. I wanted to share this with you, or those that are willing to listen and learn. No harm, no foul.
However, my day to day work consist of translating and extracting issues that many of us care about, then pushing them to the forefront for my readers at womenforaction.org. I do some freelance work as well. But it's nothing like writing about the truth, without a magazine or mainstream news outlet editing it. Most recently, I have been apart of a Blogger project for Race 2012, a documentary that recently aired on PBS. It's a Conversation About Race and Politics in America, a PBS Election Special, uses the current presidential election as a lens through which to explore America’s rapidly changing racial landscape. This project has enabled me to discuss real topics and issues that are unedited and revised, at my discretion. I love it.
So it will not be long before I'm back at it again, discussing my love of cigars with you. I decided to leave you with a sample of my artwork. After all, I seldom paint without a cigar in my hand. I seldom do much of anything creative, without the enthusiasm of cigars. It all goes hand in hand. We are all simply living it up, the best way we can.
I painted her recently. It is my version of Venus (Aphrodite) Goddess of Love by Botticelli.
A ledge going up the stairway, I painted recently.
A painted glass piece I plan to hang in a window. It looks like stained glass.
Oh and a lovely lamp I have had for some time. I painted the glass panes.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I have been swamped with work. I have little time to post here on Maduro Woman. Tonight I am smoking a Maduro cigar by a Don Lino. I am not doing a review on this. It's seldom that I smoke other brands aside from a Don Rigo brand. I am taking a short break from work, so this is the extent of my writing on this cigar.
I have been working really hard on Women For Action for that past few years and it has taken off on so many levels…
I have had the opportunity to work with so many people over the past few months. I have lend advise to a couple local campaigns and had the opportunity to do stories on some great women.
I have an article coming out in a popular Chicago magazine, in the matter of days. Once it has been published, I will disclose more details. Actually, it’s a different spin from what my readers are used to, but relevant to this particular magazine. I am pretty much freelancing. It’s hard work, extremely intense, but it’s fun. I have the opportunity to get my stuff published in more than one source now. So that’s a good thing. I plan to use this opportunity to just get better at what I do.
This past month has been severely emotional for me. I have been following the Trayvon Martin Tragedy. I have engaged in conversations with folks from all sides of the tragedy. I am still firm on my thoughts on the case. There is no need to dive into that discussion here. If you know me and you know my work, then you know how I feel about the whole thing.
Aside from my Women For Action work, I am still collecting. I have some cool new ashtrays. I plan to post them soon. Oh, I am down to my summer body. I’ve been working my buns off in the gym. Maybe I will add a new picture soon. My natural hair is growing crazy. So I am ready for a hot summer.
I look forward to this summer. I look forward to the sun, sangrias, fun, cigars and getting those interviews. Who knows what's next.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Even though I don't go a day without a cigar, I needed to smoke one and take a break from work. This week has been the busiest I have had, this year, so far. My work at WomenforAction.org is stepping up to a rapid speed. Now I am interviewing many of the local key folks in politics, here in Illinois. Illinois is taking on a lot of budget cuts. The cuts are so drastic that, many programs that have existed for decades, are being gutted. A lot of folks are falling on hard times. This election year is not only important to many of us, nationally. It’s a big deal on a local level as well. The only thing is that, I am not posting my interviews fast enough. But if you follow my work, I will post these over time.
My family invested in some professional journalism equipment for me. So I am able to not only do interviews, but other projects as well. Now I can understand why so many people get into tech stuff. When you have cool technology, it’s like a brand new toy. I am really excited about it, because I have been using it all week. I have lots of exciting stuff that I am doing for Women for Action. If you are interested in policy issues or concerned about up to date political topics, then I think you will find Women for Action something refreshing.
I can’t say my forum is unbiased, but it is nonpartisan. Many folks are just tired of division and partisanship. At this rate, it is hindering real progress in our country.
I still plan on keeping up with my projects here at Maduro Woman, but I will do these when I have free time. So we will see. A little spontaneity never hurts anyone. I have to say that MaduroWoman.com is refreshing. I get to retreat here and just write. For one, I don't have to be politically correct. At the end of the day, it’s about cigars.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I had a terrific time at Ultimate Cigars, a cigar lounge located in Villa Park, IL. Tony, the owner greeted me when I walked in. I was floored by their new set up. It had been a few years since I had been there. The lounge is outstanding. A few years ago, Ultimate Cigars catered primarily to hookah smokers. At the time, they sold cigarettes, cigars and served hookahs. There were probably more college kids that frequented the place, then cigar smokers at the time. I like hookahs, but I prefer cigars. So the college crowd wasn’t my forte. It wasn’t too much longer, after frequenting this particular cigar lounge a couple times, that I started to smoke more at home. Ultimate Cigars was great for my younger brother who was in college at the time. He would come home on breaks and bring a dozen or so of his friends out. It became a place for him and I had to move on.
Now it is primarily centered on cigar enjoyment. If you like hookah smoking, then it is still available, but Tony explained that the college kids come later in the evening. Cigar smokers frequent throughout the day, but if they come in the evening, they may opt for the members’ only area, which is an entirely separate room with lots of leather seating. But there is also a front area with leather seating that cigar smokers have access to and a flat screen TV that hovers over this area. There is a large humidor off to the side in the front, a with a wide selection of premium cigars. If you aren’t a member and you want more seating options, then you can join the patrons in the rear, for cigar and hookah smoking. When I was there on Monday, primarily everyone went to the rear of the cigar lounge.
The place was bustling and friendly. Every male patron greeted me when they walked in. This was actually something very new for me. Often times, I feel I am invading male territory when I frequent cigar lounges. They really made me feel welcomed here, and I enjoyed the experience.
My cigar selection for this experience was Cuesta-Rey, Vintage Centenario, a nice mild premium smoke that I will follow up with a review, in the next few days. Also, there is access to free premium coffee and wi-fi. I forgot to ask if Ultimate Cigars was BYOB friendly. It probably isn’t. Some of these suburban cigar lounges are not allowed to have alcohol in their establishment. Usually it’s against the village codes. But the place is truly worth a visit with or without alcohol.
Lastly, I met the mayor of Village Park, IL, Tom Cullerton there. This is a great guy doing a lot of good things for his city. Anyway, we sat down and conversed for a bit. We discussed my site Women for Action, his campaign for Illinois Senate and now I am doing a piece on his campaign and some of the other candidates in that district. So Cheers to “Discussing the Experience” in 2012, here at www.madurowoman.com .
Visit Ultimate Cigars online at http://www.ultimatecigarlounge.com/
Visit Ultimate Cigars online at http://www.ultimatecigarlounge.com/
|I wish I has a better photo of Tony & myself. It looks like I have to retake it on my next trip.|
|Cuesta-Rey, Vintage Centenario|
Saturday, February 11, 2012
The past two evenings, I created a pretty easy pasta dish. My pasta dishes are called Sweet Heart Pasta, perfect for the up and coming Valentines day. I used two pastas, one was a butternut squash pasta and the other was a lobster ravioli. It's a simple sweet delightful dish that pairs with a glass wine and a chocolate flavored cigar by Don Rigo or you can add a piece of chocolate for your sweet heart.
Usually seafood dishes pairs better with white wines but I chose a red for this occasion. Red wines could go with fish when there is a bolder spicier sauce and there are other exceptions. The objective is to match the wine's body to the fish. You could use what you prefer of course. Here is an article that explains when and what wines red wines is okay with fish. http://www.winemag.com/Wine-Enthusiast-Magazine/May-2010/Wine-101-Pairing-Red-Wine-with-Fish/
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
This was ridiculously good. I still have a lot left. I wanted to get back to eating strictly seafood especially after the superbowl. I had a small party and I cooked for the game. I am so thrilled that I got to show off some of my skills.
So tonight I wanted to make a Thai favorite, Thai Curry Shrimp. This recipe is pretty easy. In one pot, I started cooking my jasmine rice. In my wok, I starting warming my coconut milk. A fourteen ounce can of coconut milk is good. I brought it to a boil, then a simmer and started stirring in my red curry sauce. You could use a red curry paste or whatever you could find. At least four heaping tablespoons of it will work. You can add some curry powder for a richer curry taste. Stir frequently until you bring to a boil, then lower the fire to a simmer. Then I stirred in some frozen vegetables. I used a half of bag of peas and carrots (8 ounces) and another half of bag of Asian vegetables ( 8ounces). The Asian vegetables has snap peas and water chestnuts. I love peas in this dish because peas are sweet and it just comes out really delicious. I brought the sauce and vegetables to a boil then reduced the fire. Then I added my shrimp. You can add as much shrimp as you like. Sixteen ounces may do the trick. Stir, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes. Then cover and let it sit for a few minutes. This is usually served on top of jasmine rice. It really is a delicious dish. It's simple and quick.
I served it tonight with a nice chilled MGD Beer and a cigar for later. Cheers to you.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
What a lovely chill back song, great for a cigar or taking a bike ride along the lake or beach. During the summer, I pack my music, water, a bit of money, a cigar and I take long rides along the trails. The one trail I frequent, goes into some really beautiful woods. I love to blast music like this. I will stop at my turn around point, unpack my cigar,water and chill with a smoke. This song actually makes me reflect on these summer rides. The smell of the woods, the butterflies soaring low and landing on the leaves... the trees and flowers glistening after a light rain...
That's what it's all about, basking in life's many luxuries, even the simple things, and topping it of with a great cigar.