Recipes from the First Annual FNN Cookoff

Produced and reported by Ashley Lumpkin, Hassan Pye, Karim McKaskill, Brittany Wilkerson, Jamir Smith, Myneisha Vaughn, Lanika Richardson, Marissa Montfort and Delonte Perkins. Edited by Karim McKaskill.

The FNN production crew share their favorite recipes, including a Cookie Salad.

Watch a video of the recipes here. (You can also find the recipes in the Spring 09 issue of Rated-T Magazine.)

Hassan Pye’s Cookie Salad

Ingredients: 1 box of oatmeal raisin cookies 1 box of chocolate chip cookies 2 packs of sugar wafers

To prepare this dish, get a large bowl and add all of the cookies together in the bowl. Then shuffle them, thus creating a salad of cookies.

Ashley Lumpkin’s Baked Chicken Delight

Ingredients: 1 bag of party wings 1 bottle of parsley 1 jar of meat tenderizer 1 bottle of season all 1 aluminum pan 2 sticks of margin

To prepare this special baked chicken delight, first take a pan and grease it to make sure the chicken doesn’t stick. Then take your chicken out of the bag, wash it, season it and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then turn your oven on to 250 degrees, place your chicken in a pan, set it on the bottom shelf of the oven and let it cook for about 35 minutes. When the 35 minutes is up, take your chicken out of the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes. Finally after 10 minutes are up, take your bottle of parsley and sprinkle it over the chicken to add extra flavor and decoration. Then you’re done. You have just created your own baked chicken delight. Bon appetit!

Lanika Richardson’s Pasta Salad

Ingredients: 1 onion 1 cucumber 1 tomato 1 box of pasta 1 tin pan 1 bottle of salad supreme (dressing) 1 zesty italian seasoning

To prepare this dish, you first boil the pasta for 8-10 minutes. While the pasta is boiling, you cut up the vegetables and put them in the tin pan. Then put half of the salad supreme on the vegetables and stir them up. Once the pasta is finished, put the pasta in the tin pan. Next, mix the pasta and the vegetables together. Finally, add the zesty Italian seasoning and put it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Brittany Wilkerson’s Fried Chicken

Ingredients: Chicken Breading or bread crumbs

Heat the oil in a frying pan. While the oil is heating, season the chicken with whatever seasoning you like. Place the chicken in the chicken breading and make sure the pieces of chicken are coated on all sides. When it’s coated with the breading, put the chicken in the frying pan with the oil for it to cook. Cook on each side until golden brown. Take the chicken out and place on paper towels to soak up excess grease.

Myneisha Vaughn’s Cheesecake Cupcakes

Ingredients: 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese 1 cup white sugar 5 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract fresh strawberries 1 box sugar wafers Your favorite pie filling or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Line the cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Then mix in the vanilla. Spoon this mixture into cupcake pans to fill about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for about 5-10 minutes. Do not remove the cupcakes from the pan until they are completely cool. For a finishing touch, you can add a spoon full of your favorite pie filling on top.

Jamir Smith’s Gingerbread Cake

Ingredients: 3 boxes of gingerbread mix 3 eggs 1-¼ cup of water for each box used 1 aluminum 8”x10” pan 1 container of cool whip 1 can of crushed pineapples

To prepare this dish, you must first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then add the eggs, water and gingerbread mix to a large bowl. Stir the ingredients together until the batter becomes smooth. Pour the batter into the pan. Then you place the pan in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. When it’s done you can put whipped cream on top.

Karim McKaskill’s Broccoli and Cheese

Ingredients: Fresh chopped broccoli spears 5 slices of American cheese

First, put the broccoli in a pot of water to boil until it’s soft and tender. Drain the water out leaving the broccoli and then add in the cheese. Stir the broccoli with the cheese until the cheese is melted and then you’re done.

Brittany Wilkerson’s Deviled Eggs

Ingredients: 1 dozen eggs mayonnaise relish paprika

Boil the eggs for six minutes. Then take them out and peel them when they’re cool. Split each egg in half and take the yolk out. Put the yolk in a bowl and mix it all up with mayonnaise, relish and a little bit of the seasoning. Then place the mixture back into the cooked whites of the eggs, put paprika on top and serve cold.

Friendship News Network Reporters Reflect on MLK’s Legacy and American Politics

Forty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Friendship News Network reporters reflect on the reverend’s legacy and its impact on American politics as a presidential election nears.

"When King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech no one would have ever thought that we would be this close to having a black president. But now in 2008 we are on the brink of seeing that vision become a reality."

Watch Chantell Leak’s video commentary

"People have always talked about having a black president, but they never thought it could get this close."

Watch Flonora Merritt’s video commentary

"I believe Dr. King never put a color on anyone because we are all human beings. I believe his dream is still alive because today there is a black male candidate and a women running for president."

Watch Brittany McDonald’s video commentary

"Some people believe that the assassin, James Earl Ray killed the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King. I think that because of the assassination the dream was not only fulfilled, but made much stronger."

Read Chanielle Jackson’s commentary

"James Ray tried to kill King’s Dream, but it didn’t work. Now, forty years later, one of the front-runners for president is Barack Obama, a black man."

Read Jarrell Davis’s commentary

"I believe that the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. made his dream stronger because today kids of different races can go to the same school. Also, the followers of Martin Luther King Jr. have made his dream stronger and tried to get rid of racism to bring people together."

Watch Daniel Bullock’s video commentary

"Once you kill a leader, it might bring down others and make them lose hope but when Dr. King was assassinated, everyone still stood with Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream."

Read Imani Strong’s commentary

"I believe that when James Earl Ray assassinated Dr. King, King’s Dream became stronger because it made blacks think that it was time to take a stand and fight for what they wanted… which was exactly what they did. I think that Dr. King’s dream lives on in Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama."

Read Randyn Fullard’s commentary

"These candidates have chosen to make history and show that not just any black person or woman can be a good president, but anyone may have a chance to change the situations that we face economically, politically and socially."

Read Daniel Felix’s commentary

"The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King made the dream better because even though he was dead the dream moved on through the people."

Read Acree Strong’s commentary

"When King died, people started to believe even more in what King did."

Read Telvin Walker’s commentary

"To me Barack Obama would be a good president—not just because he is black but because he wants to make changes in the community."

Read Michael’s commentary

James Brown: The Most Influential Person of 2007

James Brown (James Brown Enterprises)James Brown

I believe the most influential person of 2007 is James Brown because he is the “Godfather of Soul’’ and is claimed to be one of the hardest working men in show business. Some believe that he is even better than “Mr.Dynamite” and “The Original Disco Man”.

Mr.Brown was not only a singer, but also a better-than-great entertainer. He was known for his amazingly great dance moves that keep people (especially crowds) coming to concerts screaming his name. During his life, crowds loved him and plenty of people attended his funeral. Many believed that even though he died, his accomplishments and love for music will always live on.

James was born on May 3,1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina during the Great Depression. He was raised in Augusta, Georgia, 40 miles away from the state he was born in. As a child he picked cotton, danced and shined shoes for spare change.

December 25, 2006 was a sad day for some because “the Godfather of Soul” died from a heart attack, but others were glad because they knew he was going to a much better place. I believe he made sure people remembered him, his name and great accomplishments. It will be passed from generations to generations. He wanted to be known all over the world and I believe his once-in-a-lifetime dream came true.

The Most Influential Person of 2007: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Productions, Inc.)Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is a successful black woman, one of the richest females in the world and also the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show. And she owns her own magazine. This is why I believe she is one of the most influential people of 2007.

About every little kid looks up to her because she is… • Very wealthy • Successful • Nice • Charitable • African American • Sets a great example • Beautiful and strong.

Oprah began her television career at the age of 19. She has the top rated TV talk show. It is an award winning show and it has been the top show for 20 consecutive years.

She is very charitable. Not only has she built a school in Africa, but on every show she gives away gift bags. She also gives food, money and necessary things to needy people and the homeless.

The Most Influential Person of 2007: My Mom

Painting of a mother holding her childThe most influential person in my life is my mom.  My mom’s name is Wanda Boyd.  She has been influential to me throughout my whole life.  She helped me with my homework when I didn’t understand it.  She brought me into this world from dead to alive where there was light.  She taught me right from wrong.  She put clothes on my body and bought food for me to eat.  She has always loved me.  She took me to school in the morning.  She helped me get better when I was sick.  She did my hair when it looked a mess.  She bought me toys when I was bored.  On Christmas she got me everything on my list.  On my birthday she bought me lots of stuff… like a birthday cake, ice cream and party balloons. She even taught me how to spell my name when I was 4 years old. My mom helped me read when I got stuck on a world I thought was difficult.  When I failed, she helped me bring up my grades. She got me an umbrella when on rainy days.  She woke me up every morning when it was time for school.  She bought me a winter coat on cold and freezing days.  These are the reasons why she is the most influential person in my life.   This is why I love my mom.

Thank you mom.

The Most Influential Person of 2007: Jordin Sparks, The American Idol

Jordin Sparks Jordin Sparks, the 2007 "American Idol winner"

Seventeen-year-old Jordin Sparks achieved the dream of a lifetime by becoming the newest American Idol. Jordin Sparks the girl-next-door from Glendale, Arizona didn’t seem like the type to win American Idol. She’s the daughter of former Dallas Cowboys left cornerback Phillip Sparks. She planned for about a year before she auditioned for American Idol at the age of sixteen.

I picked Jordin Sparks because she’s influential to teens. She achieved a dream and she’s also a great singer. But the main reason I picked her is because she set her mind on something and then achieved that goal. I also like her because she’s the type that never gives up. Jordin Sparks is an achiever and a believer. She’s a fighter and NOT a quitter. She is an American Idol to me.

My Day at the Spelling Bee

FNN reporter Nadean Talley interviews Michael Cooper, III at NBC4.FNN reporter Nadean Talley interviews Michael Cooper, III at NBC4.

On Wednesday, March 21, 2007, I went to The 25TH Annual Spelling Bee at NBC 4 which was sponsored by The Washington Informer, Friendship Public Charter School and NBC 4. I got to meet Ron Burke, Director of Advertising and Marketing for The Washington Informer; Pat Lawson Muse, news anchor for NBC4; Denise Rolark Barnes, publisher of The Washington Informer; Gloria Reaves, Pat Bonds, Patricia Clouden and Deborah Hensley who are all media specialists and judges in the Bee.

I got to interview four of the contestants: Michael Cooper III, Federico Marchese, Olivia Lasche and Stephanie Guzman. Michael Cooper is from Friendship Public Charter School, Southeast Academy. He was contestant number 9 and he lasted five rounds. In the fifth round, he misspelled the word F-I-L-I-B-U-S-T-E-R. He spelled it P-H-I-L-I-B-U-S-T-E-R. Even though he didn’t make first, second or third place, doesn’t mean he is still not a winner. I think he did a really good job. And he said that he will compete in the Bee again next year. So, Michael, I hope you do really well next year. Hey, maybe you might come in first place next time. Next comes “our” fourth place winner, Fedrico Machese. who won a prize of $100. He is in the sixth grade and attends Mann Elementary School in NW Washington. He attended the bee “bee” fore and did pretty well. When I interviewed him, I noticed that he spoke really well and that he knew what he was talking about. He seemed very confident and is bi-lingual in Spanish and English. After my interview with Fredrico, I interviewed the leading champs (for now) Stephanie and Olivia who came in first and second place, of course. Both of them were so confident and seemed so comfortable as if they had done it before. Oh yeah, they have been in the spelling bee before. That is interesting. Maybe they should be in it again next year. “Our” first-place winner, Stephanie, won 1,000 DOLLARS !!!!!! That’s alot!!!!!! And “Our” second-place winner, Olivia won 500 DOLLARS which is a lot too!!!!!. I wondered what they’re going to do with all that money. So, I asked them and you know what? They didn’t even know. That’s crazy, but okay. If I won all that cash, I wouldn’t know what to do with it myself. It’s too bad I didn’t get to talk to “Our” third place winner. But that’s okay.

WOW! All this talk about The Spelling Bee is making me think about being in it next year….Bye Bye. spellingbeeimage.jpg Congrats to Friendship student Michael Cooper III (pictured here) for a great job.

A Tragedy Close to Home: When a person believes the world is against him and kills

Virginia Tech Memorial On April 16th many lives were lost in a horrible massacre. How did this happen? On April 16th around 7am, a gunman was reported to be on the Campus of Virginia Tech. Everyone was alerted that there had been a shooting, but no one was told two people had been shot and killed. The police and the president of Virginia Tech decided not to close school. But that turned out to be a horrible idea. Two hours later the massacre began. A gunman chained the doors of Norris Hall and went on his shooting spree. In the end 32 people were shot and killed and the gunman shot himself. The gunman was identified as Cho Seung Hui, an English major from South Korea. His professors said he was very depressed and he was a “loner”. One of his professors was concerned about her student’s safety long before this massacre occurred. She said Cho’s writings in her English class were disturbing. Many people are asking how could this happen to such young and hopeful people in a matter of minutes. Could this have been prevented and who is to blame?

I think no one could have predicted a tragedy like this. This was a crime committed by a depressed young man who thought the world was against him. I think this is so sad and I pray for all the families and friends of the victims. I think it’s amazing how easy it is to get a gun in Virginia and maybe if it weren’t so easy to get a gun, all the victims of Cho’s rampage would still be alive. It’s sad that the place you think is safe ends up to be the place where you are killed. I don’t think anyone could have prevented this. Many lives were lost…and many dreams were lost. The lives that were taken could have been the lives of some of the future’s most important people in the world. I know it will be hard for all the people affected by this massacre to cope with all the deaths. I want to honor the lives of the 32 brave people who lost their lives. I will always remember them and admire them.

DreamGirls: The Movie of the Year — My Personal Review

Dreamgirls posterJavae D. ValentineWhen I saw DreamGirls I thought it was a good movie. It was funny, sad and interesting. I thought that first-time actress Jennifer Hudson was wonderful. She is such a good singer and a good actress. The music was so good. I thought the best song in the movie was “And I’m Telling You”. I also liked “Listen” by Beyonce’. And both versions of “One Night Only” were great. I thought all of Beyonce’s outfits were cute. I think all the outfits were creative and pretty. The colors were great and the jewelry went well with the costumes. I liked the outfits because they were creative, but not over the top. I liked the movie and the creative way the director and cast did things. The acting was amazing. And I believe Jennifer Hudson played her part the way it was supposed to be played. I think anybody who likes music, drama and comedy should buy the DreamGirls DVD coming in May.

The Importance of Black History

Javae D. Valentine My name is Javae Valentine and I am an African American. Ever since the first grade I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I have no doubt that I will be a lawyer, but I would not have that opportunity if it were not for the African Americans that came before me. Becoming a lawyer will be a hard road to travel, but it is possible because of those wonderful people in Black History. If they had not done what they did, this is what my life would have been like...

April 5th 2004. I am 10 years old. My world is not the place you would want to live in. White people still don’t give us strong African Americans the respect we deserve. I have dreams of being a successful lawyer but it’s never going to happen if no one stands up to the whites. I can’t do anything to save people from being beaten, terrorized and most of all…degraded. It hurts to know that people would treat people of a different race like animals. The Constitution says we are supposed to be free, but this is not free. This is wrong. We are people too. But we are treated badly because of the color of our skin. God made us dark but that’s not a reason to be treated badly. Right now no one can help us. I wish…someone needs to stand-up for us, but it won’t happen.

When I grow up I will have a nice job as a maid.

This is what my life would have been like if all the brave people had not fought for what they believed in. I believe Black History is important because it shows that anyone can overcome adversities. People like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and others made this world a better place to live in. Even though everyone in Black History was not famous, there are people who helped make other people’s dreams possible. But if those people had not existed, this is what my life would have been like...

I want to be a lawyer! I do not want to have to clean up behind people who could easily clean up their own house. I cannot live like this. I do not want my kids to be maids because no one thinks we are smart enough to have a job that does not involve cleaning somebody’s house. I do not want be treated as if I am nothing.

April 8th 2005. It is my 11th birthday. Yesterday the police hosed down some teens who were protesting. I want to be able to speak my mind and not be punished for it. My mom says I will soon have a better life, but what does she know. She has been telling me that for years now. She works on a plantation like some kind of animal. Policemen killed my dad last week but I’m not sad. He was protesting. He was being brave. Police are not supposed to kill people for no reason. I wish he could be here on my birthday. I told my friend what happened. She was upset too because she is like my sister but she was also excited about me turning 11. I am not that excited. It’s not like I’m doing something special. My family has no money and my dad is gone. My brother was arrested last weekend for looking at a white girl. He never came back. Now my mom is more interested in his safety than in my birthday. I’m not saying I do not care, but I want my mom to care about me too.

November 12th 2007. I’m 13 years old. My brother came back home last year. He told us what happened. It was really bad I am just happy he is back...

That is what my life would have been like if all of the people who believed we were being mistreated did not fight for us. But thanks to them, here is what my life is really like. I want to be a lawyer and I will be one. I am smart, devoted and I will not be told I cannot do something. I have been getting A’s and B’s so I can get a scholarship to NYU. I will be successful. It is great to know if I put my mind to doing something, I can do it. There is a world of opportunity out there. I am a plane that can fly everywhere and do anything. My mom is a court reporter and she is successful…all because she worked hard. In the past, many people talked about how African American people were not smart but we proved them wrong. African Americans are smart and determined and so am I.

I know you can tell the difference between what life would be like if people did not stand-up and be counted and life after we were really free. Black History means a lot. I think Black History is important and everyone needs to know about it because it has had a great impact on African American society.

Ever since I was in the first grade, I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I have no doubt that I will be a lawyer and because of the strong African Americans in my past, I have a chance to achieve my goal.

“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail