Hey, Hiya, Hi!

I’m Shanika. Welcome to Orchids + Sweet Tea!

I’m the girl with a whisk in one hand and a cookie (or chicken wing depending on the day) in another—literally! I create all of the recipes that you see on Orchids + Sweet Tea™️, styles everything for the complete perfect shot, while my Husband shoots it with our camera + does all edits—-he’s the “techy” one in our family. I know—-we’re a dynamic duo!

To top things off, I’m a Jesus lover and Millennial Mama to a witty boy + pup who both always keeps me on my toes! Plus, I’m a Cookbook Author (Entitled: Orchids + Sweet Tea: Plant-Forward Recipes with Jamaican Flavor + Southern Charm) and have had the pleasure of being featured in Taste of Home Magazine, Food Network Magazine, The Every Girl, The Zoe Report, Huffington Post, SELF, Food52, PARADE, + more.

To dig a bit deeper——I’m a connoisseur of interior decorating (I started channeling my love for this at age 13, hence my passion for beautifully staged food photos—-it just oozes from my pores), and I’m absolutely obsessed with things that are simple, YET have a healthy dose of sparkle + bling. Yes, both can co-exist—just in case you were wondering. Haha. Definitely many layers to me, guys!

What’s the story?

While I don’t come from a long line of chefs or restaurant owners, one of the main ways that my family often came together growing up was through food, music, and laughter which inspired me to create a space that both uplifts and feeds those who choose to visit my little corner of the web.

As a teenager, I often experimented in the kitchen by making things that I wanted to eat as opposed to the traditional Jamaican foods that were often created in my home. After attempting (and often failing) and then successfully mastering simple things like pancakes, biscuits, chicken wings, etc., I realized that I truly enjoyed cooking in the kitchen and seeing what I could create.

However, after having my own family, I began experimenting even more with cooking and stumbled upon a real passion for food creation and thus Orchids + Sweet Tea was born in 2016. Shortly after the start of Orchids + Sweet Tea (and during my Postpartum Journey), I realized that my body could no longer successfully digest dairy + gluten at it’s best level. One of the evidences seemed to link to consistent monthly ovarian cysts, endometriosis symptoms (due to hormonal imbalances), lack of hair growth (and shedding), body aches, etc.—-that often were draining to suffer through for most of the month for a total of almost two years. Countless Doctor visits resulted in no solution (or at least one that didn’t require that I be committed to hormonal medication) until I finally decided to use my Faith in God and diet as a way of healing.

How exactly? A whole lot of prayer and a ton of research on self-care + home remedies that helped my body better regulate my hormones and move things along in my Postpartum healing journey. We’re talking things like aroma therapy for calming effects, essential oils for skin, hair, and body; the right foods to eat + to eliminate, incorporating exercise (no matter how small), and a host of other things.

Today—-while I am still able to consume both dairy + gluten in small portions (here + there), I’ve taken greater pride in discovering many other ingredients which has helped my condition in such evident ways and I’m most proud to be able to share some of those discoveries through my recipes! Yes, it’s still a journey, but a journey that I am learning to embrace, love + eat through; one plate at a time!

Healthy. Happy. hearty.

Because of my Southern roots + Jamaican background, you’ll find a lot of my old childhood favorites (a few which were made with a lot of love in the kitchen by my Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts + Uncles), along with many NEW FAVES that offer bold flavors and intricate combinations (often stumbled upon through trial, error, + a whole lot of grace!).

In addition, you’ll find a ton of different options (some Dairy-Free, sprinkles of Gluten-Free, an explosion of Vegan, and regular recipes; all using only organic, premium ingredients), which caters to my entire foodie community.

Overall, Orchids + Sweet Tea holds true to helping others discover their love journey through Foods and an overall Healthier Lifestyle while keeping the comfort of foods; with a little Brooklyn Flare + a touch of Jamaican Flavor + a whole lot of Southern Charm.

At last, I’ve recently written my first cookbook, Orchids & Sweet Tea: Plant-Forward Recipes with Jamaican Flavor & Southern Charm, which walks you through why I started my healthy lifestyle journey, my experience as a picky-eater growing up + how that has affected my food choices, delicious plant-forward & plant-based recipes, and more.

All Eaters welcome! Xx

Let’s be Friends on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, + Pinterest.

Get to know me

This or that?

Vanilla
Early Bird
Coffee
Cake
Cheesecake
Chocolate
Night Owl
Tea
Cookie
Pie

Organized
Sweet
DIY
Netflix
Breakfast
Messy
Savory
Buy
Hulu
Dinner

What About

lifestyle & wellness?

To touch a bit on Lifestyle + Wellness —-for me it’s all about Mind, Body, + Spiritual wholeness. I’ve learned that oftentimes you have to lose to win–in the literal sense! Whether that loss comes from eliminating certain things from your diet for optimal health or killing certain relationships to ensure that the positive aspects of yourself are secure and protected, changing household essentials to ensure that your environment is green and non-toxic, using quality organic skincare products or natural remedies to keep your body healthy, or even setting aside time to cultivate your spiritual being through self-care or spiritual practices; whatever it looks like for you, rest assured that your losses will only bring forth new + fruitful gains if you choose to let them.

Trending in lifestyle:

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20 Go-To Immune Boosting Home Remedies

 

Cheers to a Happy, Healthy, Hearty Life!

Partnerships

let’s work together!

When it comes to working together, I offer an array of options: recipe development, recipe videos, food styling, IG posts/stories, blog content, zoom/live events, + food photography.

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