jump to navigation

A Taste Of Mixon November 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Humor, Nature.
Tags: , , , , ,
14 comments

A few days ago, we went to Mixon Fruit Farms and Groveside Market for “A Taste of Mixon.”  Guests traveled from station to station sampling Pizza, Fudge, Honey, Oranges, Orange Juice, Cheese, Key Lime Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Peach Chardonnay (and other wine varietals).

2014-11-15 12-08-32_0014

After eating our fill, and turning in our passports, we went outside for a wander through the Citrus Groves.

2014-11-15 12-08-04_0013

The lush landscaping looked great under blue blue skies.

2014-11-15 13-20-32_0015

Benches invited wanderers to meander awhile.

2014-11-15 13-20-42_0016

But the fish whispered . . . “Feed Me!”

2014-11-15 13-21-34_0017

We complied.

2014-11-15 13-22-07_0019

A mural (commissioned by koi) encourages visitors to feed the fish.

2014-11-15 13-39-19_0033

How could anyone resist those friendly fins?

2014-11-15 13-39-39_0035

Back on track, we continued our trek.

2014-11-15 13-30-37_0029

And stumbled across a turquoise maze.

2014-11-15 13-30-42_0030

Which invited us in.

2014-11-15 13-31-03_0031

And in and in and in . . . the way mazes do.

2014-11-15 13-31-13_0032

We got out.

2014-10-23 13-15-30_0004a

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Symphony On The Sand November 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Humor, Music & Dance.
Tags: , , , ,
29 comments

Last weekend, we went down to Coquina Beach for Symphony on the Sand.

2014-11-08 18-02-45_0005

Despite gray overcast skies and steady drizzle, the audience enjoyed the show.

2014-11-08 18-03-14_0007

Those who had ordered the $100 a plate dinner had to eat it with one hand while holding an umbrella over their head with the other.

2014-11-08 18-03-37_0008

Since we hadn’t ordered dinner, we didn’t feel too crabby about the weather’s lack of cooperation.

2014-11-08 18-02-53_0006

Especially since sunny skies tend to be rather prevalent here.

2014-11-08 18-03-47_0009

Aah . . . that’s better!

Fun Pub Signs November 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , , ,
38 comments

IMGP1105bKathy sent me some FUN Pub Signs.  My favorites:

* Today’s Special:  Buy 1 Pint for the price of 2 and get your 2nd Pint FREE.

* FREE Beer.  Topless Bartenders.  False Advertising.

* Alcohol and Calculus don’t mix.  Don’t drink and derive.

* Jokes about German Sausage are the Wurst.

* FREE Air Guitar with every Pint!

* The Perfect Martini:  Pour Gin, Vermouth, and Olives into the Trash where they belong.  Drink Whisky!

* Helping UGLY people have sex since 1864.

* Come in and meet your future Ex-Wife.

scan0002b

* I distrust camels and anyone else who can go a week without a drink.

scan0002c

* Alcohol!  Because no great story started with someone eating a salad.

scan0002d

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

“Shiver Me Timbers!” November 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Special Events.
Tags: , , , ,
30 comments

The fun on Halloween did not begin and end at the Halloween Bake Sale.

2014-11-01 16-05-33_0035

After getting a kid fix at the costume contest, we went to 101 Bridge Street to enjoy a cold draft beer.

2014-10-31 16-40-52_0014

I ordered a Fat Tire to go with a Greek Pizza.

2014-10-31 16-51-39_0017

BFF ordered a Ultra Light to go with a Four Cheese Pie.

2014-10-31 16-41-13_0016

We didn’t waste any time digging in.

2014-10-31 16-51-47_0018

On Saturday, before heading to the parade, we went to Coquina Beach to hook up with the Pirates.

2014-11-01 14-38-48_0020

Standing next to me, this one looked rather dapper.

2014-11-01 14-38-59_0021

But next to BFF, he looked like a dwarf pirate ~ not the least intimidating.

2014-11-01 14-39-14_0022

Due to a cold front, the weather was too brisk for sun bathing.  That might be why we heard bones rattling as this guy sputtered, “Shiver Me Timbers!”

2014-11-01 14-46-11_0023

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Halloween Parade & Fall Festival November 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Humor, Special Events.
Tags: , , , , ,
42 comments

Tired of waiting for Trick or Treaters to ring our bell, we went out looking for them.

2014-10-31 15-31-40_0009

And found them in droves.

2014-10-31 15-41-03_0012

At the Trail of Treats sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

2014-10-31 15-31-08_0008

This mom seemed a bit protective of her dragon.

2014-10-31 15-30-08_0007

In addition to a Costume Contest, the kids had a chance to march in a Halloween Parade.

2014-11-01 15-33-26_0024

It looked like so much fun that most of the parents joined in.  Costumes optional.

2014-11-01 15-51-42_0026

At the end of the Parade route, we popped in to the Harvest Festival at Anna Maria Elementary School.

2014-11-01 17-15-07_0039

2014-11-01 17-15-24_0040

In the lobby, we found a Bake Sale.

2014-11-01 16-05-33_0035

With table after table of baked goodies.

2014-11-01 16-03-59_0027

Amazed by the quantity and quality, we bought a package of Baklava . . . to assist the school’s fund-raising efforts.

2014-11-01 16-05-48_0036

In addition to baklava, there were cakes, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, popcorn balls, witch’s fingers, cake pops, etc.

2014-11-01 16-05-06_0033

We have never seen so much sugar in one place at one time before.

2014-11-01 16-04-08_0028

The tables ran down both sides of the hallway.

2014-11-01 16-04-13_0029

Guarded by witches, scarecrows, ghosts, spiders, pirates, and hobgoblins.

2014-11-01 16-05-20_0034

The baked goods kept going and going and going.

2014-11-01 16-06-27_0037

Now we know why we haven’t had a single Trick or Treater ring our doorbell in the five years we’ve lived here . . .

2014-11-01 16-04-35_0031

They were all in a self-induced sugar coma at the school!

Aah . . . that’s sweet!

Curried Quinoi with Potatoes & Spinach November 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
38 comments

I often cook by experimenting with ingredients to come up with something “different.”  One step leads to the next to the next.

On Halloween, I went into the kitchen to mix up some Tabbouli and a batch of Black Bean Salsa ~ two favorite sides.

One . . .

2014-10-31 14-44-27_0003

Two . . .

2014-10-31 14-45-12_0005I noticed two onions that needed cooking so I chopped them and tossed them into a saute pan with a bit of oil.

I added a couple of cubed potatoes to the pot.

Since that looked like the beginnings of Tattie Soup, I added a vegetarian bouillon cube and 2 cups of liquid (1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of tomato infused liquid drained from the can of Ro*Tel used for the Black Bean Salsa).

At that point, I remembered I had 1/2 cup of Tikki Masala in the fridge.  So I stirred that in, sure we’d enjoy a hearty bowl of Curried Potato Soup while watching Halloween Specials.

2014-11-01 14-46-11_0023

Then I decided to defrost and add a 10-ounce package of frozen spinach to the mix.

After the soup morphed into Curried Potato and Spinach Soup, I opened the pantry and saw some organic quinoi that longed to jump into the jacuzzi.  I checked the instructions ~ ready in 15 minutes, the same cooking time as the potatoes.  Perfect!

I measured out 1/2 a cup, rinsed it, and stirred it in.  After the mixture came to a boil, I turned it down and let it simmer until the potatoes were tender, the quinoi was cooked, and most of the liquid was absorbed.

I took a quick taste.

2014-10-31 14-44-00_0002

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

Do you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen?  Or would you rather follow a recipe?  (Or order take out?)

A “Thumbs Up” Birthday Lunch October 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Special Events.
Tags: , , , , ,
36 comments

On BFF’s Birthday, we went to University Town Center for lunch at Seasons 52.

2014-10-23 13-15-05_0001

We ordered Warm Olives with Rosemary & Garlic, Flatbread Pizza, and the Hummus Duo.

2014-10-23 13-18-59_0010

The Margherita pizza was crisp, chewy, and cheesy with lots of fresh basil and tomatoes.

2014-10-23 13-15-15_0002

When the food arrived, I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

2014-10-23 13-15-50_0006

We ended lunch with a trio of Mini Indulgences, the signature dessert at Season’s 52.

Make mine Mocha Macchiato!

2014-10-23 13-48-39_0011

BFF ordered two Birthday Desserts ~> Carrot Cake and Chocolate S’Mores.  Yes.  I tasted them both . . . for quality control purposes only!

2014-10-23 13-48-46_0012

Before we walked around the new mall to burn off the excess calories, BFF gave the meal a Thumbs Up!

2014-10-23 13-15-30_0004a

Aah . . . that’s better!

Top Tips for Tuesday October 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor.
Tags: , , , , ,
39 comments

Tuesday’s Top Tips for weight control:

170px-Italienischer_Maler_des_17._Jahrhunderts_001

1.  Eat things you love at every meal, in moderation, rounding them out with filling, high fiber, nutritious fruits and veggies.

2.  Write down what you eat.  I lost 10 pounds in 12 weeks this Spring by jotting down what I was going to eat BEFORE eating it.  I didn’t tally up fat grams or calories, I just recorded basic quantities and food types.  It kept me focused on my desire to lose weight.

3.  Drink lots of water instead of drinking calories or diet sodas.

4.  Move more ~ walk, bike, swim, or dance in the living room.  But try to do 20-30 minutes of something every day.

* * *

Speaking of veggies, whenever I have LOTS of greens. I saute them with oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper to wilt them down and reduce the volume. Then I freeze in 2 cup portions for soups, stews, and sides.  Delicious stirred into mashed potatoes, rice, or other grains.

I do the same thing when I have lots of peppers and onions.

IMGP4095

* * *

Bonus Tip (for Road Trips):  Bring a bucket of cat litter for “emergencies.”

Perfect when traveling in a blizzard with no bathrooms in sight.  Easier than aiming at an empty coffee cup (or trying to stop the flow when the cup threatens to overflow).

For more tips on “going with the flow” ~> When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go (My Years Of Sweat).

And, now, you’ll have to excuse me. I am laughing too hard to “contain myself.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Case of the Stolen Stollen October 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Word Play.
Tags: , , , ,
34 comments

Mystery Ride5bMy maternal grandfather loved puns, crosswords, and word play . . . like Toyota = Toy Auto.

He also loved Stollen Bread and received a loaf from my mother every Christmas for as long as he lived.

When I read Nancy Curteman’s post on Global Mysteries about The Isle of Guernsey, it struck me that the ingredients for a Guernsey Gache sounded like those for Stollen Bread.

I wondered whether the similarities stemmed from German occupation of Guernsey during World War II.

Could it be The Case of the Stolen Stollen?

There’s a mystery for Miss Marple!

Aah . . . that’s better!

ACK! I said the C-word and it’s not even half-past Halloween.

Puts fingers in ears and hums “LA~LA~LA~LA~LA” to drown out premature mention of the advent. :mrgreen:

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies October 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
40 comments

This recipe comes to you courtesy of Nancy (“Keep moving!”) Tex:

They say it’s your birthday
Happy Birthday to Ya!

Happy Birthday NT!

* * *

As I read NT’s post, When Chickpeas and Chocolate Chips Collide, I knew I had to give these healthy high fiber cookies a try . . . with a few modifications because I am (a) a lazy cook who (b) loves rum:

* The recipe called for natural peanut butter.  I hate measuring peanut butter. With a passion.  It’s so S~T~I~C~K~Y!  I substituted 3/4 c. roasted salted peanuts (ground up peanuts => natural peanut butter).

* The recipe called for vanilla extract.  I’m not a baker and don’t keep vanilla extract in the pantry.   I do keep rum around.  Rum => Yum!

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 1 1/2 c. chickpeas (15 oz. can, drained and rinsed) with 3/4 c. roasted salted peanuts.  Pulse in your processor until almost smooth.

Add 2 tsp. vanilla extract (or rum), 1/4 c. honey (or agave or maple syrup), and 1 tsp baking powder.  Process until mixture forms a dough ball.

Toss the dough ball into a bowl.

2014-10-13 16-37-17_0015

Add 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

2014-10-13 16-37-30_0016

Fold the chips into the dough.

2014-10-13 16-38-47_0017

Form into 1 1/2″ balls and place on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

2014-10-13 16-46-09_0019

Tip:  Use an ice cream scoop to scoop up the dough.

2014-10-13 16-40-50_0018

Press the tops down with a fork.

2014-10-13 16-47-16_0020

Bake for 10 minutes.  Try one to see if it’s done.

2014-10-13 16-59-21_0021

Press the tops down (again) and bake for 2 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack.

2014-10-13 17-05-31_0022

These are not quite as good as Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies BUT they are MUCH better for you.

They omit the empty calories (butter, white flour, and white sugar) and add in good-for-you protein and fiber from both peanuts and garbanzo beans.

Enjoy them.  Guilt free.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you’re allergic to peanuts, you might try these with almonds and Amaretto or hazelnuts and Frangelica.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,098 other followers