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Do You Have A Billion Dollar Nose? February 21, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
21 comments

Mickey-Ta-DaaaLike to travel?

Enjoy sampling cocktails?

Want to get paid to travel around the globe and sample cocktails?

Intrigued?

If traveling around the world trying out new cocktails is your idea of the perfect vacation, listen up: Spirit brand Absolut wants to pay someone to do this professionally.

One person will get the title of Sensory Expert—or the “Billion Dollar Nose” as the brand is calling it. You’ll need “a creative nose, a trend-sensitive tongue, and a love of vodka,” according to a statement.

To read more:  Get Paid To Travel the World and Drink Cocktails

Aah . . . that’s better!

Farm To Table Fables February 9, 2017

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

We went to a talk at the local library on Farm to Table Fables ~ about restaurants owners who claim to serve locally sourced food when they are really selling stuff from Sisco.

According to Laura Reiley, food critic and undercover investigator from the Tampa Bay Times, more than a few upscale restaurants claim to be serving food from their own farms . . . when, on investigation, their farms are nothing more than dried up dust bowls.

In like vein, restaurant owners who claim to be serving “Gulf Shrimp” may not mean local shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.  Instead, the shrimp might be bleached deveined shrimp shipped in from urine-soaked Gulfs in Asia.

Sellers at Farmer’s Markets who claim to have grown the produce they are selling may be lying . . . many are selling produce rejected by grocery stores.

Word to the wise:  Just because it says so doesn’t make it so.

While the blatant misrepresentations and unsupported claims made about our food are disturbing, Laura was a delight.  She’s an engaging speaker, presenting information in an accessible format accompanied by amusing anecdotes and funny little zingers.

For example, when asked about whether to be concerned about GMOs, she said, “I went to visit Monsanto . . . you know, the Death Star!”

She also discussed her “two Chardonnay sweet spot” ~> when things seem sweeter, funnier, and happier than normal.

Winner, Sandbar Monthly Photo Contest ~ Robert, Bradenton

Tip: to maintain the sweet spot, avoid reaching for that third glass, when melancholy sneaks into the mix!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurant in Every State (Food & Wine)

 

An Island Event January 31, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
34 comments

On Saturday, January 21, Harbour Isles invited us to enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting, culinary delights, live entertainment, a water ski show, an aerial artist performance, a showcase of prestigious automobiles, cigar rolling, chair massages, and much more . . .

I planned to go and roll a cigar, get a massage, and pretend I owned one of the prestigious automobiles.

Like this one!

So off we went.

After a glass of champagne poured by an upside-down aerial artist at one of the model homes, we headed to the clubhouse for wine, snacks, and dessert shooters.

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Wine in hand, we headed past the pool to a small beach area overlooking the inter coastal ~ populated with Adirondack chairs, hammocks, palm trees, etc.

Aah . . . the perfect spot to hang out while listening to the band and waiting for the water skiers to put on a show.

After an hour or so on the beach, we capped off An Island Event by heading upstairs to shoot some pool.

We even gave a few pointers to an octogenarian who hadn’t been around a pool cue in a decade or two.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

100 Blocks January 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
34 comments

Big-BenA few months back (about 7400 blocks ago), Tim (@ Wait But Why) did an interesting post on time allocation ~ 100 Blocks A Day.

Definitely worth a read if “better time management” is one of your resolutions for 2017.

While I appreciated his approach, two thoughts occurred to me as I considered his analysis:

(1) When deciding whether to cook dinner (3 blocks) or order in (0 blocks), the time used that day doesn’t take into consideration the hours given up to earn the money to buy food vs. paying someone else to do the cooking.

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We save time by hiring others to do stuff we don’t want to do for ourselves . . . but we’ve already spent time to earn the money needed to pay them.

Perhaps we need to factor in those hidden costs in deciding whether to cook or hire someone to cook for us.

(2) We might also want to take into consideration the blocks of time lost down the road by ordering in “junk food” instead of preparing healthy food.

If we get diabetes or heart disease, we may lose years of blocks off our grid.

I think we’ll cook for ourselves tonight!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

It Pays To Be A Restaurant Reviewer! January 4, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Food & Drink, Humor.
36 comments

mr-rossiLast month, we attended an Anniversary Celebration for Tommy Bahamas and received a coupon for $20 off dinner at the restaurant.

Two days before the coupon expired, we stopped for dinner at Tommy Bahamas on our way home from a class at the Apple Store.

BFF ordered Tommy’s World Famous Coconut Shrimp with mango salsa and slaw.  I ordered a Bungalow Salad.

Both arrived in short order with a loaf of fresh from the oven bread.  Which I ate, without worrying about the gluten.

For dessert, BFF ordered a slice of Pina Colada cake . . . and I had a few bites.

Yum!

Woodstock-&-Snoopy2The musician was good and played songs we know and enjoy ~ Buffett, Stray Cats ~ Stray Cats Strut, Chris Isaak ~ Wicked Game, The Doors ~ Light My Fire, Bowie ~ Rebel, Rebel, etc.

Best of all, with the $20 Off coupon, we saved almost 50%!

All in all, an excellent deal . . . but wait, there’s more to this tale.

When we arrived, at 6:45, the maître d’ told us it would be a 45 minute wait.

We decided to eat at the bar.  But after sitting there a few minutes, amid the aroma of stale beer, I decided I’d rather wait for a table.

I went back to the maître d’ to sign up.  He gave me a buzzer, showed me what it would do when our table was ready, and I started to walk back to the bar.

He then said, “Wait!  I’m going to make this happen.  Just go upstairs and tell them to seat you.”

Surprised, I gave him back the buzzer, grabbed BFF, went upstairs and we got a great table for two next to the grand staircase and overlooking the musician.

Perfect!

Mickey-OKBFF wanted to know how I managed it.

I have no idea.

I was carrying my iPad . . . Maybe the maître d’ thought I was a restaurant critic!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Gluten Free Brownies December 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
20 comments

Want a gooey good-for-you brownie . . . without the flour, eggs, etc.?

Try Julie’s recipe for Lentil Brownies.

Aah . . . that’s better!

On Patrol December 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor.
26 comments

The Longboat Key News shares actual police reports in its weekly paper.  One that caught my attention:

October 29

Illegal Donut Dumping

Officer Cooper made contact with the complainant in the 7100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive who stated sometime during the night unknown persons dumped several boxes of donuts in the parking lot.  Nothing further to report.

My guess?

220px--Lena_Horne_conserves_fuel_(gas).-,_ca._1941_-_ca._1945_-_NARA_-_535820Someone’s wife found and trashed Someone’s secret stash of donuts which Someone had vowed to give up in order to comply with his wife’s edict that he:

(1) lose weight;
(2) lower his blood sugar;
(3) lower his cholesterol; or
(4) honor his wheat free resolution.

I also expect that Officer Cooper took the evidence into “custody” for safe-keeping.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Expect Wrinkles! November 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Life Balance.
30 comments

While discussing the holidays with a fellow bridge player, she mentioned that she used to spend four hours (4!!!) ironing her tablecloth for Thanksgiving (and other Holiday meals).

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“Yowsa!  What took so long?”

“To keep it off the floor, I had to drape it over the backs of chairs.  As I ironed one section, another section got wrinkled.”

“Gotcha.  I gotta say that I do NOT have that type of attention to detail when setting the stage for the Thanksgiving feast.”

“You don’t?”

“Nope.  I just accept that there will be wrinkles.”

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Notice how smiles around the table make the wrinkles disappear?

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If you come to my house for a holiday meal, expect wrinkles . . . and smiles!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Here Comes The Bride November 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Home & Garden, People.
28 comments

I attended a bridal shower for my niece on Saturday.

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One of the games involved designing wedding gowns for a willing member of each team.

Team A got off to a terrific start using the only material provided . . .

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Rolls of cheap toilet paper . . .

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Racing against the clock, Team B took an entirely different approach to the challenge.

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Team C won the prize for chugging out of the station with the best train and bouquet.

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But the shower wasn’t all fun and games.

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The Bride-To-Be opened her shower gifts . . .

None of which had a thing to do with rain showers, summer showers, April showers, or taking a shower.

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After presents, she said, “Let them eat CAKE!”

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Chocolate cake.

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Accompanied by chocolate covered strawberries.

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And cups of chocolate mousse.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

Valerie Bertinelli’s LOL Martini October 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
24 comments

Valerie Bertinelli has a cooking show.

On a recent show, she blanched broccoli florets and matchstick carrots, dropped them into an ice bath to keep the colors vibrant, and tossed the veggies with a quick Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil) and chopped walnuts.

The dish looked awesome!  I must give it a try.

She also made a LOL Martini with limoncello, lemon vodka, orange juice, orange liqueur, and lime juice ~ I would enjoy that too!

Aah . . . that’s better!