Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sweet Cherry Oatmeal

Nothing makes morning more delightful than oatmeal bowls.
Last week, had been another wonderful round of goodness.
Projects are budding over the horizon, letting an early spring dawn in the radiant light of new blossom.
I received a sweet sum for the African Diaspora Diastema project and look forward to continue paving the way for positive esteem both in personal perception and in the art. I wished the self-doubt could lessen daily. It moves up and down in a constant elevator motion.
In the meantime, I have sketched up plans for the 115th Annual Student Exhibit (ASE, a yearly huge school exhibition of graduating students and selected 3rd/4th year BFA/Certificates), drafted up an upcoming installation called Augusta Savage's Birthday Party, and spring cleaning the studio for my last participation in Open Studio Night on February 19th. There are also other highly anticipated events-- volunteering for the Athena Film Festival, Fabiola Jean-Louis and Arcmanoro Niles' art gallery shows, a meeting about creating black gallery spaces in Philadelphia, and seeing Danai Guiria's Eclipsed on Broadway starring Lupita N'yongo. Very, very excited!
Another thrilling the morning is oatmeal, a nice, warm bowl of oatmeal.
Winter is crawling its way out through invisible cracks, leaving behind straying enchanted chill. It remains cold at home for a little while longer and such an atmosphere calls for oatmeal satisfaction. Splendid Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves (my favorite flavor) provides enough sweet satisfaction with cherry bits adding fruity texture to this porridge-y consistency breakfast delight.
Eating oatmeal is like holding the hand of a treasured friend. The spoonfuls of cherries sprinkle sugar on top.

Sweet Cherry Oatmeal Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup almond milk (or any dairy free alternative)
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup Bonne Maman's Cherry Preserves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Bring almond milk to a boil.

Stir in oats, cherry preserves, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
Serve with cinnamon sticks.
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Highlights of Schomburg Center's Hosted "Basquiat and Contemporary Queer Art" Conversation

Dr. David Clinton Wills, Kimberly Drew, Juliana Huxtable, Andre Singleton, and Dr. Jordana Saggese led an enlightening discussion on contributions Jean-Michel Basquiat brought into the art world and how he continues to relate to the now.
On Monday evening, I visited the Schomburg Center for the second time in my life to see the "Basquiat and Contemporary Queer Talk." Curated by Basquiat Still Fly @ 55 founders Ja'nell Ajane and Ayanna Legros and held in the Langston Hughes Auditorium, the remarkable panelists were Black Contemporary Art's Kimberly Drew, artist/deejay/poet Juliana Huxtable (star of the New Museum Triennial), author Dr. Jordana Saggese, Very Black's Andre Singleton, and Dr. David Clinton Wills.
Its purpose was to discuss Basquiat in this imperial present, placing his amazing, powerful, distinctive work into black body intersections, black body perception. Stimulating dialogue spoke on Basquiat's progressive influence on queer thinkers and art/sociology theorists, bridging narrative between complex minds and visual language.
"There was potential for conflating, room for vibrance, dynamism, queerness, resolution, blackness, and death-- celebration, ritual."
The panel analyzed Basquiat in different angles. Semantics and racial identity politics addressed his heritage as Haitian and Puerto Rican, his multi-disciplinary interests, his fluency in English, Spanish, and French, his use of African words and ancestry, historical negativity. Each sharp shooting response activated my resurgent love for the tragic painter, an intelligent man whose methodical practice and heavy hitting dialect came and exited my life at varied intervals.
This conversation made me utterly realize that he can never be a fleeing force ever again.
Basquiat is here to stay. His body may no longer spray paint sophisticated prose on random buildings or cross out grouped linguistics on torn cardboard scraps with thickly applied Oil Bar sticks, his work remains active and alive. Generation after generation continues to find something resonating about Basquiat-- whether it be his paintings, his drawings, his writings, his fashion statements, his intelligence, his attractiveness.
Of Basquiat, their instructor had said, "he broke boxes, broke chains, and broke constrains." She also said that one of the best aspects of teaching was to inspire and support students and that it was wonderful to include Basquiat in the contemporary scope. She introduced her students with beaming pride. Ayanna Legros (left) and Ja'nell Ajani (right) founders and curators of Basquiat Still Fly @ 55 giving thanks to all those that made this special event possible.
After opening up with Dr. Clinton Wills reading Langston Hughes' famous poem, "Genius Child" and a sincerely respectful moment of silence, the panelists discuss what led them to pay close attention to Basquiat and the frank messages his work provoked.
"I discovered him through Julian Schnabel's film. I thought the story fascinating. Basquiat redefined painting, invented a newer perception, threatened to eclipse his contribution to art, establish awareness of his place, wasn't ignorant and still very significant today."- Singleton
"I was aesthetically drawn to this cool, weird art kid, his unapologetic fashion shaped my college art history."- Huxtable 
"Basquiat had an access to an idea, championed a certain kind of cannon, eventually realizing few black artists operating on prolific, avante garde mannerism. He set model for questions, sense of experimentation from art, music, dynamic, [incorporating] difficult language, text and imagery, colonialism with strong disgust and frustration, [displaying] sensibility and rare visibility."- Saggese
"First day I encountered Basquiat, [seeing] violence on modern art. I contested with him, but he was there first, a genius. I had denied him. He had a sense of "black love," productivity of human body, history interpretation, crafted beautiful dynamism, oppress expression, context of being unafraid of your own power, your own creativity and tenderness."- Drew
" [There] was constant negotiation in him establishing his own pantheon. He gives figures currency by putting them on coins, taking things from text books, art museums, multi lingual. Like Romare Beardon and Bob Thompson, inserting self in broader context."- Saggese
One of the panelists said, "he made a space for us to sit." They couldn't have any more correct. A few more highlights, I captured here.
They articulately spoke of Basquiat's legacy softened by the impact of post modern core-- commericalism. He negotiated race and blackness in the art expression, the effortless importance of recognition. He had been so successful, a savvy businessman very aware of his power, his position.

"He was the first DIY [artist] on MTV and GQ, taking up responsibility as a scholar before art history could catch up, to go vital without agency, tripped of name ownership, mediate proximity, a name that once was a life."

After the engaging conversation ended, mesmerizing to the brink of my stimulated brain, I left the Langston Hughes Auditorium and took a moment to stand in awe at his interment. Underneath maroon circle with turquoise outline and schematic lightning bolt cracks, lies a cosmogram medallion, his remains. I shut out the gathering crowd, feeling his eloquent poetry invade and sink right into my pores-- right on his 113th birthday.  I couldn't believe fated luck.
It was a needed experience. The sustenance granted a sated soulful fullness.
"Tenderness and authentic are not weak emotions."- Saggese
Visionary voices of Langston and Jean-Michel, two vulnerable, brilliant humans, shared the cerebral cortex of my mental stage. whispering to continue onward as both artist and writer.
And I simply cannot refuse.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

For a Long Lost Sister Born Aquarian

Taken in a bathroom after my sister's first runway show.
I have two siblings borne in Black History Month-- a younger brother and a little sister.
My sister's birthday is today. My brother's birthday was yesterday. I spoke to him. As for my sister, I haven't seen or heard from her in six years. No one in the family has.
Six years is a long time to have lost one's original best friend. We had shared hopes and dreams, desires of living out of a difficult circumstance that promised the worst endings for two black girls. We weren't always close knit. We didn't always stick together like glue. Sometimes we fought and challenged and stole from each other.
In good times, we enjoyed our multi-colored Barbie arrangement and spoke way past bedtime with Ma walking past our shared bedroom shouting, "hush!" and "go to bed!" We bonded over Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was ours. She was Trini the yellow ranger and I was Kimberly the pink one with a skirt. She hated soap operas, but we could talk about "Passions" for hours. 
I remember my sister as a fighter, a courageous, vibrant soul who spoke her mind and challenged anyone contesting against her values. She could tell wonderful stories, rap hardcore verses, sing metaphoric poetry, and draw a great set of hands. Today, my mom has her beautiful collage portrait of Halle Berry hanging in the kitchen.

My sister was in a special program and one of the rewards offered her congratulatory monies. She wanted to include me. So she used her congratulatory monies on a trip to Columbus, Ohio. We hopped on a Greyhound bus and she chastised me for rudely reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince the entire ride. We attended a concert featuring Bow Wow, Omarion, B2K, Marques Houston, and more. I didn't necessarily like the musicians, but I did love spending time with her. We stayed overnight at a modest motel. It was an amazing gift shared and experienced. So much splendid fun.
I was awed by her beauty and tall height. Everyone adored her. It was only natural that she would begin modeling years after graduating from high school. She moved to Chicago to build a portfolio and shared most on Facebook or the short lived myspace. Often, she would send amazing care packages and come home for Christmas. I still love the glow-in-the-dark celestial bedroom curtains she had gifted. And they still glow. Like her.

My favorite glamour girl.
Still, even when we were miles apart, she sent emails and amazing care packages. She would talk about harmful environmentalism, send movie codes, talk about her travels, encounters at random hostels, and the fear of having Marfan's syndrome.

One of many shots taken in our tenure. She was teaching me how to bike in a mild rain sprinkle and caught this whimsical rainbow.
We last spent time together in Denver, Colorado, summer of 2010, sharing our hair in the same style-- long length box braids. I had been house and cat sitting for a friend studying in Paris and invited my San Francisco California living sister for a week. We played cards and board games, frequented night clubs, borrowed each other's clothes, rubbed cat bellies, gushed over Janelle Monae and Tegan and Sarah, and bedazzled the local park at night like carefree vampire girls. At the time, she was a year into veganism. She tried to ease me away from my daily consumption of cheese, eggs, and ice cream. I foolishly paid her no mind. Now, I often wished to not have been so stubborn back then.
I heard my sister. I just didn't listen.
Unfortunately, a roll ignited and we ended on uneasy terms. On the morning, after a goodbye hug, she left my friend's house. I felt sadness and regret, especially upon discovering a sweet card she left behind, striking a poignant inner cord. No matter how hurt or angry, a sister's love is a love that is so special that such animosities float away.
We called and texted. Slowly, she drifted towards an unreachable place, deleting all of her social media accounts and email address, disconnecting phone.
I miss her. I miss her a lot.
It's been so hard and brutal without her presence. I yearn to talk to her about hair. About veganism. She doesn't even know that I became a vegan.
Yet there's so much I don't know about her either. Like where she is.
It's a frightening thing not to know. The not knowing eats away at sanity.  
Every once in a while, I read one for her emails and fall into solace. She was a Jane of all Trades.
I must reflect on an eerie excerpt from my sister's piece called, "Alice's Sister," from March 13, 2009 (my paternal grandmother's birthday), a supernatural mystery story about an only child borne into privileged superficiality, longing for a sibling. She had wanted to know my thoughts. I thought she was onto something very suspenseful.

"I can show you how I did it, I can teach you how." I heard the smile in her hollow voice.
She knew the last thing I wanted to know was how she did it. I didn't want anything to do with her or the secrets she bought with her.
I couldn't speak. All I could do was shake my head no.
The sound of her approaching footsteps stopped a few feet from me. I stopped shaking for a moment. A gust of air blew past me.
I suddenly felt her skeleton hand on my shoulder.
I nearly jumped out of my skin.
"What are you!" the words came out of me with repulsion.
"I'm your sister Alice."
I shook my head too afraid to verbally challenge her.
"Yes I am." she said with a chuckle.
Tears began to roll madly. Why did this thing choose me to come after?! To torture me for wanting a sister?
"LOOK AT ME!"
As I shook my head no, my vision began to blur with darkness and my neck began to pop.
I knew she was entering me, forcing me to look her direction through mind control.
I tried to fight her. It was like falling in and out of a sleep that became too easy to resist.
"I can't," I cried weakly, hating myself for not having the strength to fight against her.
But of course she had her way. I was turning in my chair fully in her direction. I felt my eyes still tightly closed beginning to pull apart.
I blacked out for a second..... 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Full Fledged Nappy Loving Zora Girl Embracing Blackness

Power to the marginalized lady. Nappy Dictionary t-shirt, $25, globalcouture,net
Happy February!
It's the first day of our month, a rather short embittered month that fortunately receives a "leap-ing" bonus day-- an Augusta Savage birthday to be exact. Yet we people of African descent celebrate our culture beyond the scope of Aquarius and Pisces zodiac signs. Ancestral blood doesn't take a quiet slumber on the other 300+ days of the year. One cannot begin to squeeze in what African Diaspora has accomplished in twenty-nine days anyway.
This reflection leads me to searching inside of my mindset.
There was once a time I wasn't proud of the skin I was born in.
I love myself more than I ever had. Originally, I was ashamed of my awkwardness, my short, nappy hair, and the gap between my teeth. When I went vegan, I gradually gained more weight in the last two years, reaching personal high. From television to magazine displays to films, I didn't feel beauty within. I felt grossly unattractive in spite of my artistic talents and burgeoning writing culpability. Plus I spent so much time lazily watching daytime soap operas, obsessing over Downton Abbey, and reading Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Sylvia Plath, and white historical romance. I studied every European painter/draftsman master under the sun with Ingres being a huge favorite.

"Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it."- Zora Neale Hurston, $25 100% cotton t-shirt, globalcouture.net
At fifteen-years-old, Wallace Thurman's "Blacker the Berry" changed my world. The plight of Emma Lou Morgan is a plight many of us know well. It's deeply ingrained, ironed and pressed in young impressionable heads, that darker skinned women are not beautiful or only beautiful if features are European, bodies thinner, attitudes less sassy.
I'm older and scratching the wisdom surface. I am smart, humorous, a firecracker. I respect what Hair Wash Day means. I treasure every moment picking out my fro. It;s kinky, wildly nappy. I like my purple spectacles, my full lips, and new septum piercing. I can appreciate my body, but it will take a while longer to value stretch marks.I want to be braver, more confident. Less afraid. Be a brazen conqueror.
Yes, I love reading Plath, Virginia Woolf, those contemporary writers who love historical romance fiction, the popular we-always-have-to-read-him-male writers. I enjoy Downton Abbey with tea.
However, it's applauding Issa Rae's Awkward Black Girl web series, rooting for Viola Davis as snappy Annalise Keating on How to Get Away With Murder, having weekend marathons of Girlfriends, and reading Zora that empowers and engages the once closeted doubt in myself. Serena and Venus Williams state incredible words on beauty standards. Janelle Monae often candidly speaks out on injustice. Both Nina Simone and James Baldwin campaign for civil rights through beautiful lyricism. To these, is a real inclusiveness, a real drive to showcase the special gift of being black, of being included, of saying "you're not alone."

Laughing inside and out at the joys of being who I am supposed to be-- painting paintings of Nina Simone handing out Afro picks among other narratives that bring joy to the cluttered, chaotic studio.
Countless individuals have paved the way. My ancestral kings and queens that led me towards a remarkable journey. Literary influences such as Langston Hughes (happy birthday!), Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, Phyllis Wheatley, Gwendolyn Brooks, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie, Toni Morrison, and visual geniuses Augusta Savage, Jean Michel-Basquiat, Lois Mailou Jones, Faith Ringgold, and endless influences have laid down golden bricks for my glittery amethyst slippered feet to walk on. I'm indebted to them for helping me to see my worth and the worth I can bring out in other people. I hope someday that I will inspire people to follow their passionate pursuits. The exchanging of energies is a powerful thing.
Happy Black History Month.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Weekly Wrap & Rectangular Cheese Pizza

Homemade pizza is always a sincere pick-me-up.
It has been a sweet week!


Monday-- AfroVeganChick was featured on Black Vegans Rock-- an amazing, much needed site kindly exposing vegans of African descent who promote healthy lifestyles, discuss animal oppression, campaign for intersectionality, support black business, etc. These are the vegans not always seen and highlighted on mainstream vegan media that is not always inclusive.
Tuesday-- the Fine Arts Venture Fund finalists were announced. Thirty-nine students applied. Eighteen were selected. I'm happy yet terrified of being a candidate for my "African Diaspora Diastema" project. It will be a series of four self-portrait paintings paired with Angela Davis, James Baldwin, Alex Wek, and Uzo Abuda who have gaps in their teeth-- both large and small and that does no. I aim to beautify this one "imperfection" that has always seemingly marred my very existence. I just don't want to hate the thing anymore and focus on becoming a better painter, a better artist. The next step is presenting the project in person to the committee. I pray not to be a complete speaking klutz.
Wednesday-- had a very wonderful first time Skype meeting with Aph Ko, an intellectual, brilliant, funny, inter-sectional, creative vegan girl and co-founder of BVG.
Thursday-- attended a meeting that may ignite some necessary steam. I enjoyed the feeling of being a small wicker of something that could have beneficial flame.

The lonely girl has no blues. Thanks Morgan for the Smiley Face.
Friday-- Last night, I went to PAFA's Awkward Prom themed Winter Bash solo, stag, sans Plus One-- as usual. I didn't go to my high school prom. So an occurrence that was not originally on my bucket list got officially crossed off. Plus the dolmades were delicious. Win win!

Moreover, yesterday morning, I got out of bed and prepped up pizza. Yup. At nine o' clock a.m., I started a pizza-- with robust energy and glee. Other Fridays, expect me to be up around my natural rising time--eleven-thirty to noon.
Now when it comes to making pizza (one of my favorite foods to make), the dough is the most important. If the dough is flavorful, moist, and chewy with just a slight crunchy bite-- perfection, a saving grace. Well, to me. I love a good dough and value taking the time to make my own. The process is extremely soothing, meditative even. I treasure kneading, just massaging and smoothing around the olive oil and Italian seasonings. Sometimes I add garlic, but opted not to. Garlic does bring that special fragrant oomph.
For toppings, I used a $1.99 jar of 365 Brand Organic Pizza Sauce (which isn't as salty as most) and Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds (conveniently on sale at Whole Foods Market for $3.99). It's a plain pizza with a lot of savory taste and cheesy goodness. Plus it's a rectangle!

Rectangular Cheese Pizza

Dough

1 cup warm water
2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

10" x 15" inch baking sheet

1/4 cup pizza sauce (store bought or homemade)
2 cup Daiya Mozzarella Style Cheese Shreds
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings

First mix water, sugar and active yeast together. Set aside for 10 minutes.
To the foamy mixture, stir in salt and gradually add flour one cup at a time.
Massage olive oil, nutritional yeast, and Italian seasoning onto the dough.
Knead for 15-20 minutes, giving dough utmost affection.
Place well loved dough in an oiled bowl and cover. Leave alone for an hour.
Punch risen dough down. 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Press dough into baking pan.
Edge to edge.
Pizza pie rectangle is ready.
Ingredient party.
Smother on tomato sauce. Top with Daiya, nutritional yeast, and Italian Seasoning.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Cut into smaller rectangles and enjoy.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Of Context And Without: The Very Important Language of Toyin Ojih Odutola

Expect a lot of daring twists and turns in Of Context and Without.
Toyin Ojih Odutola’s multifaceted drawings at Jack Shainman Gallery grace the white walls with compelling black and white compositions redefining a viewer's contained knowledge of racial identification in figurative portraiture. Using a wide scale variety, with pieces either grouped together or standing alone, cultural makeup is not told in its usual visual language. Odutola's strength lies in creating an alternate reality, a sophisticated kind of noir that evokes and stimulates our perceptions, asking questions, retaining answers.

The Future is Romantic, 2015, charcoal on board, 32 x 80 inches (board).
On black paper, black faces are either outlined in white charcoal or sculpted out completely in white charcoal. Their negroid features-- broad noses, protruding foreheads, full lips, hair styles, and clothing-- signifies categorized identity. The use of line and pattern entail an intriguing range of shapes, breaking away from traditional contour drawing.

In a larger scale marker and pencil drawing, housing graphic implication, white afrocentric hair differs from background space as opulent pearls grace the monochromatic voluminous body looking up in the air. Is it an absent space? Is this ghostly light that surrounds her? She is certainly not trapped. She is poised, tentative. Her ready gaze speaks of an acknowledged presence, of knowing the unseen. Patterned semi circles shape her lithe provocative body. She appears to be all eccentric nakedness immersed in tender longing.
In another marker drawing, frustrating agony aggrieves a female figure whose face and upper body take ample control of the picture plane. The shapes again are heavily present in this smaller work. Odutola has such a remarkable gift at rendering hands, making hands at time become a protagonist's primary instruments of sharing emotional strife.
Part of The Treatment series, pen, gel pen, and pencil on paper, 12" x 9," 25 pieces altogether.
"Of course the figures are black, but not all are of African descent."
Odutola's small white framed pieces form a grid. In each separate work, white human faces are seemingly choked with coiled black hair, almost liked curly ribbon strands embedded on their features, forming a unique yet compelling three dimensional complexity.
However, the physical hair character of each figure contains large, flat shapes of opaque white.
Again, these beautifully detailed portraits defiantly offer up a brazen challenge, an irrefutable hook. Care and thoughtfulness are in the delicate rendering, in the precise quality of line weight and shading-- the sclera is especially a highlight among the ribbon faces. Yet these nightmarish faces, these gritty, forlorn stares off in the distance or towards the viewer brings psychological intensity that is both threatening and surreal. 

Close up of a particularly sinister expressive face.
On the far side of the gallery wall features four incredible white framed works of seemingly blank white paper. On closer inspection, inscribed textural quality drawings could be seen and valued for their haunting discovery. These four "ghost" pieces were only visible to human eyes. Perhaps an intelligent state-of-the-art camera could capture the intricate uniqueness discovered in the light of Odutola’s white on white compositions.

They may look empty, but inside these four white frames contain the most academically rendered portraits.
Double portrait.
Odutola's comprehensive breadth of daring techniques challenges the social, political, and at time environmental assessment of racial identification. Fascinating strategies take a risk with space and audience, testing their inhabited visual cues and boldly turning them around.
Isn't that a part of an artist's duty to the community-- changing the way we understand the world?
Toyin Ojih Odutola's Of Context and Without is up at Jack Shainman until January 30, 2016.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Polenta With Lentils

Special things can happen when you look inside the pantry and take out refrigerator contents.
Snow Day has left me at home two days in a row.
I wasn't smart about going to the grocery store prior to Philadelphia's first big snow of winter season. Most creations were pantry fare.
I spent Saturday enriching my mind. Just thinking, reading, writing, painting, and eating:

Knowledge from random places: Zora Neale Hurston's autobiography "Dust Tracks on a Road" purchased from Schomburg Center's bookshop, an autographed Mary Gaitskill's "Bad Behavior: Short Stories" book bought after her reading at Free Library of Philadelphia and artist books on Paul Klee (from a thrift shop in Dayton) and Marc Chagall (PAFA's library bookshop).
Black Rice with Walnut Cream. The recipe is walnuts pureed with almond milk, nooch, salt, and pepper.
Also baked homemade pretzels. Yum.
Watercolor study of a future oil painting for an upcoming series, " African Diaspora Diastema."
Whenever I looked in the pantry to start a meal, I saw little. Yet potentially a lot could be crafted and consumed. A sack full of whole wheat flour can make endless stacks of pancakes (or pretzels). I had no maple syrup. Yet I had a full container of medjool dates-- that of which a few of them will soak in water with cocoa powder and vanilla for a nice, rich chocolate sauce.
Snow Day does not stop kitchen creativity.
Lentils and polenta were a bonafide match this morning. Just Mayo's Chipotle element offers a creamy invisible sauce that truly tied the two star ingredients together. Smoked flavor is delivered in each addictive bite. Crunchy walnuts add nutty flare and extra protein.
It's always a huge plus to be full, but not stuffed after a grand meal such as this one. A real keeper, snowed in, or not. 

Polenta With Lentils Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup TruRoots Accents Sprouted Lentil Trio
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 polenta log
1 tablespoon Chipotle Mayo
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Frontier Bac' N' Bits
handful of walnuts (optional)

Prepare lentils according to package direction. Drain and set aside.
In a skillet, set in medium high heat, pour in olive oil, garlic, and onion. 
Add polenta, Just Mayo, and other ingredients except Bac' N' Bits and walnuts.

Cook for 7-10 minutes. Add Bac' N' Bits and walnuts.
Serve. Like a pyramid.
Eat and be merry.