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Sustainable Eating September 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Sustainable Living.

3D-CowThe best and fastest way to break out of a rut is to try something new.

Sometimes the something new we choose moo-ves us to greater simplicity and sustainability, saving us time and money.

With a few easy tweaks we can benefit ourselves AND the planet by changing our diet, our buying habits, and even how we vacation.

By way of example:

Donald-Duck-DrivingEating vegetarian meals is better for the planet.

In fact, what we eat has more impact on the environment than what we drive.

PLUS going “meatless” is better for our health, our wallets, and for the animals we would otherwise be consuming.


When we moved from “meat” to “meatless” (circa 1997), we started small by swapping out the meat in our favorite recipes.

  • Instead of chicken curry, we made broccoli curry.
  • Instead of beef tacos, we made veggie tacos.
  • Instead of lasagna with meat sauce, we made veggie lasagna with broccoli, spinach, and grated carrot.

We found that the food tasted better and we felt better.

AND we saved money by shopping for fresh produce instead of meat.
AND cooking was less messy (without worry about cross contamination).
AND less time consuming ~ I’ve cooked Thanksgiving Dinner in an hour.

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“Every time we sit down to eat, each of us can make the world a better place simply by leaving animals off our plates.” ~TryVeg.com

To request a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide, visit  TryVeg.com

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more menu ideas:  A Month of Meatless Meals

The Pizza Project September 19, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor.

BFF and I decided we needed a new project.  After extensive evaluation and consideration, we agreed on “The Pizza Project.”

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It will be just like The Manhattan Project except (1) it won’t be conducted in secret and (2) nothing will get blown up.

Except, perhaps, our waists.

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Each week we’ll pick a pie to “sample.”  Any pizza that doesn’t meet our exacting specifications will be CHOPPED.

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Winning pies will move forward to the next round (which makes sense given their shape).

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We’ll continue this project until we tire of eating pizza (yeah, like that day is ever going to arrive) or we take on a new challenge ~> The Chocolate Project!


Aah . . . that’s better!

What are you working on?

If you’re between projects, remember the adage . . . “love what you do & you’ll never have to work another day in your life.”

Spares & Splits @ Splitsville August 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink.

In June, we met BFF’s sister and her family at Splitsville in Downtown Disney.

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We worked up an appetite throwing Strikes, Spares, and Splits (not necessarily in that order).

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Famished, we refueled with pizza, salads, and fries in the adjoining dining room.

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After lunch, we wandered in and out of shops searching for Mr. Potato Head accessories and LEGO kits . . . stopping by to see NESSIE!

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The Loch Ness LEGO monster!

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I have it on good authority that Nessie is a *SNAP* to make.

Aah . . . that’s better!

MASHterFULL MASHterPIECES! August 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink.

Art Center Sarasota invited us to MASHterPIECES ~ an event co-sponsored by Goodwill.  Participating artists upcycled art purchased from Goodwill, putting their own spin on it.

Other galleries displayed original pieces in all manner of mediums.

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Having a glass of wine or other adult beverage in hand enhances the Art Viewing experience for us.

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As does nibbling on nibbles.

At MASHterPIECES, the caterer set up a MASHterFUL Mashed Potato Bar.

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With all the fixings!

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We soaked up some delightful art with a side of smashed tatties.

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With all the fixings!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

How do you like your potatoes?  In the jacket . . . or out?

Salads, Spoonbills, & Sunset Scenes August 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor.

For our 31st Anniversary, we went to Village Idiot Pizzeria.  A sign on the door said, “Closed.  On vacation for the month of June.”

They are NO idiots!

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We came up with Plan B . . . dinner at the Bridge Tender Inn on Bridge Street.

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Only the salads (and our waitress) turned out to be vegetarian friendly.

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While waiting for our salads to arrive, we watched the locals.

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As they spooned up muddy waters.

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For a soothing sushi dinner.

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While watching out for ankle biters!

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After dinner, we walked down the beach to check out the groin project.

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Looking it over . . . up and down . . . top to bottom.

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We walked back to Bridge Street and watched the sun set.

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Enjoying coastal colors and cheerful company.

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Before retrieving the car, we turned around for a final peek.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Kona Grill & Motorworks Brewery June 15, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Humor.

A few weeks back, we went out for Happy Hour, starting with rum tasting at the Drum Circle Distillery.

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A few happy hours later, we ended the outing at Kona Grill where we shared an appetizer portion of smoked gouda fondue with pretzel bites and apple slices for dipping.

One appetizer and neither of us needed dinner that night.

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To make sure I got my full intake of salt, I ordered a margarita.

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Two days later, we went to Motorworks Brewery ~ the largest beer garden in Florida.

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There, we enjoyed great music, gorgeous weather, good beer.

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We used the putting green, tossed bean bags at Corn Holes, and rolled Bocce Balls around.

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We were about to leave and a couple from Tampa offered to buy me another flight of beer.  How could I refuse?

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Gather Round The Good Stuff June 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, People.

To celebrate our niece’s birthday, we met up at the Melting Pot in Tampa.

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Where we shared Cheese Fondue, Hot Pots, and Chocolate Fondue.

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Amid laughter, teasing, kind-hearted kidding, and general frivolity.

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A week later, we headed south to Sarasota to hook up with relatives from Vermont who winter in North Fort Myers.

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The gathering of the clan included aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers, spouses, daughters, and sons.

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In due course, we headed round to Rise Pies to gather round the good stuff.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

May your week overflow with good times, good friends, and good food!

That’s Greek To Me April 29, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Music & Dance.

A few weeks ago, we attended a Greek Glendi Festival at Saint Barbara’s Church in Sarasota.

We toured the church to learn the history of its vibrant Byzantine icons:

Byzantine art combines the classical respect for material form with the capacity of the abstract style to suggest the transcendental.  In this way it is able to present a pictorial world in which the historical and the metahistorical, the temporal and the eternal intersect.

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We gazed up at the decorous dome which revealed Christ surrounded by evangelists, prophets, and angels.

For a Virtual Tour of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, click HERE.

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Returning to the massive festival tent, we enjoyed Greek Music, Greek Folk Dancing, and Greek Food.

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The distinctive sound of the bouzouki bounced around the tent as we ate.

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Spanakopita, Tyropita, Greek Salad, Loukoumathes, and Baklava Cheesecake!

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OPA! ~> a joyous reminder to stop and celebrate life where you are.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Moon Under Water April 27, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, People, Travel & Leisure.

In March, we drove to St. Pete for lunch at Moon Under Water, a quaint British Pub with sidewalk service.

To learn the intriguing story behind the name, click HERE.

I ordered the Feta Taboule Salad with black olives and red peppers, served in a tortilla shell with Hummus and Pita.

A bit too much green and not enough grain for my tastes.

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BFF opted for Fish & Chips with a side of Tikha Masala Curry which tickled our “Tikha” . . . and our tastebuds.

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After lunch, we went in search of a Small Craft Taps and Casks House ~ The Ale and The Witch.

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We chuckled at a posted proverb but didn’t have a chance to sample the Witch’s Brew ~> the taps aren’t tapped at quarter past two.

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Next time we won’t arrive before the Witching Hour.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Out With The OLD . . . In With The NOW December 31, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Mindfulness.

IMGP1800bMy “resolution/goal/plan/intent” for 2015 is simple . . . let go of the “OLD” to make room for the “NOW.”

More specifically:

* Remain awake and aware.
* Stay focused on THIS moment.
* Enjoy the journey.
* Be patient. Allow the path to unfold.
* Be Here Now.

Midnight tonight (New Year’s Eve) signals  the transition from OLD to NEW in venues all around the world.

It’s an arbitrary calendar event, much like Christmas, but one shrouded in tradition, folklore, and celebration.

Since moving to Florida, BFF and I no longer celebrate the arrival of the New Year by sitting on the couch to watch revelers in Times Square watch a big ball descend a long pole amid a cacophonous chorus of horns, whistles, bells, drums, fanflukers, and sardineous screams of  3!  … get off my foot … 2! … stop pushing! …  1! …  Happy New Year!!!

Weather permitting, we greet the New Year on the beach with fireworks screaming overhead at midnight.

A few years ago, we watched a show on New Year’s traditions around the world.  Our ears perked up and  stomachs growled with delight when the host mentioned that eating chocolate on New Year’s Eve will improve one’s “luck” in the New Year.

Chocolate?  Yes, please.


We have an ample supply of chocolate at the ready . . . which we plan to inhale before heading out to the fireworks.

And again on our return.

Just for good measure.

Aah . . . that’s better!

How do you “ring in” the New Year?  Alone or With Friends?   In or Out?  Awake and Aware?  Sound Asleep?  Sleepwalking?  Sober? Intoxicated?

Mickey-OKHowever you choose to celebrate . . . Be Happy!

Our mood at midnight (as well as the type of food we eat) tends to follow us into the New Year.

Enjoy a smorgasbord of gustatory pleasures and your heart’s delight tonight . . . for tomorrow we die-et!


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