jump to navigation

The Experiential Gift of . . . FOOD! December 11, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

With rare exceptions, BFF and I do not exchange gifts for Christmas, Birthdays, our Anniversary, or Valentine’s Day.

Instead, we try to do something together ~ experiential gifts, if you will.

If we’re lucky, those experiences include FOOD!

This year, we decided to buy Annual Passes to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

Like the Disney passes we bought two years ago, these park passes will give us plenty of exercise as we hoof it around the parks and City Walk.

Eating our way from one taco stand to the next.

While doing our best not to be eaten by aliens!

Earthlings . . . do not be afraid.  Everything tastes better with butter!  Even Skinny Minnies!  Come back!  Do not be afraid!  

Now I won’t keep you in the dark . . . you must work hard to stay hungry in the park!

Food is here and food is there . . .


Food is nearly everywhere!

You can eat it in a box.  You can eat it with a fox.  You can eat it here or there.  You can eat it anywhere.

It’s up high.  It’s down low.  Food is everywhere you go.

But the buyer must beware . . .

It is NOT the most nutritious fare!

And it’s as ubiquitous as the crowds, which almost never thin out.

But every once in a while . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Advertisements

Smile & Say C-O-O-K-I-E! December 3, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Vegetarian Recipes.
36 comments

I don’t do much baking . . . not even Christmas Cookies.

But if I did:

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

My Christmas Wish List November 29, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Joke, Magick & Mystery.
43 comments

Dear Santa:

I haven’t written to you in a number of years, but I think of you often and fondly.

I hope that you and Mrs. Claus are doing well and staying warm.  If you want a warm weather Winter Break after the 25th of December, let me know.  We have a spare bedroom and the red tide should be gone by then.

Anyway, I know you’re busy so let me get to the point of this missive.  When you make out your list (and check it twice) to find out who’s been naughty or nice, I’d be ever so appreciative if you would include the following gifts for me:

1. A bottle of magic pills that will let me sleep for 8 straight hours . . . every night . . . with no side effects (other than a perpetually cheery disposition).

2. A personal chef who has mastered the art of Gluten Free Vegetarian cuisine (including delicious GF bagels, pizza, and bread) and who eschews cooking with fungi.

3. A magical scale that will let me weigh whatever I want to weigh . . . every day.

That’s not too much to ask, is it? 😀

Ho ~ Ho ~ Ho!

Merry Christmas!

nancy

P.S. I know you can’t give me a personal chef.  But a few gift certificates to same would make great stocking stuffers!

Aah . . . that’s the ticket!

Related post: Sunday’s Question! (Nuggets of Gold)

Columbia Restaurant November 27, 2018

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

On our last visit to St. Armand’s Circle, we made a pit stop at the Columbia Restaurant ~ an iconic venue which dates back to 1905 in Ybor City:

Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant℠, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world.

We ate at a mini version of the Columbia, the Columbia Cafe, at the Tampa History Center.  The restaurant on St. Armands Circle is much bigger.

I ordered a Sparkling Sangria ~ it looked more refreshing than it tasted.  Next time, I’ll opt for Red Sangria.

As on our previous visit, we ordered Black Beans and Rice.  (You know those jokes about beans and “gas”?  Yup.)

All meals (and snacks) are accompanied by fresh baked Cuban Bread, which tested my resolve to be gluten free.  (Yup.  My resolve faltered.)

Since remaining gluten free was no longer an option, we ended our “snack” with a basket of hot Churros served with 3 dipping sauces ~ chocolate, caramel, and guava.

(The chocolate and caramel each got one vote.  The guava demanded a recount.)

Aah . . . that’s better!

Lotsa Lobster! November 7, 2018

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

As it does every October, BFF’s birthday rolled into view.

Since I’m NOT a shopper . . . I knew just what to do.

Instead of one lobster lunch, I’d get him two!

A few days before his birthday, we headed to the Anna Maria Oyster Bar for lobster al fresco at  the Bridge Street Pier.  The lobsters served at AMOB arrive “deconstructed” which makes them very “eater friendly.”

And the lobster bib is a great fashion statement . . . that doubles as a poncho if it rains!

But man cannot live by lobster alone.  And neither can the birthday boy.

On BFF’s birthday proper, we headed to Bonefish Grill for Hooked on Tuesdays where we both ordered the 3-course lobster tail dinner.  I started with the house salad which included hearts of palm.

BFF opted for a standard Caesar Salad.

Our lobster tails came with a choice of sides and individual ramekins of butter because . . . lobster + butter = perfect together!

BFF enjoyed potatoes au gratin and a loaf of hot from the oven bread.

Feeling fabulously full, we requested our desserts ~ a flourless brownie and a slice of coconut custard pie ~ to go.  But, as everyone knows, you cannot put ice cream with raspberry sauce in a “To Go” bag, so we ate it in situ.

A sweet ending to a fun (and filling) birthday lunch.

BONUS:  When our server found out that it was BFF’s birthday, she brought him a present ~> a box of 4 chocolate truffles!  Score!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Hallow E’en Tricks & Treats! November 3, 2018

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

No trick or treaters in our neighborhood . . . so we headed over to the Costume Contest at the Chamber of Commerce on the island to check out some fun and funky looking kids.

“Want a gum ball?”

“Does this hat make my skin look green?”

“What does a mom have to do to get a little sleep?”

“Yabba Dabba Do!”

And my fave . . . the little engine that could!

From there, we headed to Longboat Key for Happy Hour at the Chart House where I ordered a Monarch Margarita with . . . blood orange!

We enjoyed two appetizers (calories once again ignored) ~> a delicious hummus trio with gluten-free plantain chips for dipping.

And a yummy spinach artichoke dip.

“Does this dip make my teeth look green?”

From there we headed to a Spooky Halloween Party on Bridge Street (with spirits aplenty).  (This shot is a bit shaky because BFF was spooked  by the holiday happenings.  Bwa Ha Ha . . .)

The Bridge Tender Inn had decorations to die for . . .

“Care for a sweet, sweetie?”

“You light up my eyes.  You give me strength to suck your blood.”

“Sure it’s a good look now, but when it rains I get damp brain . . . and let me tell you damp brain is way worse than brain freeze.”

“Chain . . . chain of fools!”

“Don’t come knocking when baby is rocking!”

“Hi!  I’m Meg Ryan after a few too many face-lifts!”

“Don’t take Fright . . . we’re just Spirits in the Night.”

“Bye, bye, sweetie.  So glad you didn’t die!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Don’t Drink And . . . Diet October 13, 2018

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

Last week, we enjoyed Happy Hour at the Chart House.

The menu now includes the calorie count for each of the well-priced appetizers.  Wow!  No wonder two or three appetizers washed down with a couple of drinks has always left us too full for dinner.

One of the appetizers we’ve never ordered ~ fish tacos ~ has more than 1,100 calories.  Yowsa!

Doing our best to ignore the calorie counts, we forged ahead and foraged on Spinach Artichoke Dip and assorted Cheese and Crackers.

Life is short:  Don’t Drink And . . . Diet!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Tampa Bay History Center October 9, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
21 comments

For Smithsonian Museum Day, we paid a visit to Tampa Bay History Center, located on the Riverwalk in Tampa:

We enjoyed some Cuban Fare at the Columbia Restaurant:

Black Beans & Rice, Cuban Bread, Churros (with 3 dipping sauces):

After lunch, we checked out the exhibits, which focused on Cigars:

Seminole Dolls (I had one of these as a kid and gave it to one of my nieces ~ I learned it’s worth hundreds of dollars):

Audubon Artwork:

Maritime History:

Local Wildlife ~ then:

And now:

Aah . . . that’s better!

Don’t Drink And . . . Die October 6, 2018

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

A few weeks back, while visiting family in Orlando, we had a late (vegetarian) lunch at Lone Star Steakhouse.

On the way out, I snapped a shot of this critter in the bar:

His message (which would be perfect for a Wordless Wednesday):

Don’t Drink And . . . Die!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Art Ovation Hotel October 3, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Poetry.
32 comments

We attended an art reception at the Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota.

First, we got a signature lemon lavender cocktail:

Then we got some nibbles:

While we imbibed, we listened to music:

And perused the art:

Before checking out Dragonfly Cafe:

Where middle schoolers (wearing lavender and raspberry berets) were using ancient typewriters to craft impromptu poems for passers-by:

But the biggest delight

Of our visit to Dragonfly Cafe that night?

Not a single smart phone in sight.

Aah . . . that’s better!