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Monthly Archives: October 2012

  • Meet me at The Corner Store

    Moving from South Florida to Plant City was a bit of an adjustment. We were used to a fast paced life. Driving on I-95 everyday, or riding the tri-rail to avoid I-95 altogether. Aside from our friends and the beach, the one thing I missed the most was Whole Foods Market. Now, I know what you are thinking. How can I miss Whole Foods when I'm at the market everyday with fresh produce? You see, Whole Foods to me was not about their produce, but it was about their salad bar, deli case and prepared meals. To me Whole Foods was a gate to expanding my culinary tastes with new cheeses, olives, and ethnic products I couldn't find at Publix. So about five years ago, I ventured downtown and I found the corner store.


    Photo courtesy of www.MealsandMiles.com

    I remember walking in there or should I say "waddling" in there with our youngest daughter in my belly. The corner store became a special treat for me. I would go there once a week for lunch and look through their shelves. Bring some cheese and olives home. I found the best Coconut Milk at the corner store. Needless to say, it wasn't long before Cynthia and I became friends.

    This past Thursday night was very special. Two friends came together to showcase their businesses and also our beautiful city, Plant City. A select group of Yelpers, I believe most were from the Tampa area, made the "trek" to Plant City for this special "Berry Good Yelp Event". I would say about 80% of the guests had never been to the corner store or Parkesdale Farm Market. But oh boy, they were in for a treat!

    We set up veggie trays with fresh vegetables from the market and our new Smoky Bacon Vidalia Onion dressing for dipping. Our famous Strawberry Salsa and Salsa Grande made an apperance along with our crispy Veggie Chips. We just received a shipment of goodies, so we brought out our new Crushed Olives spread. Be careful, it's got jalapenos in it and it is delicious!

    Of course we brought some of our delicious Parkesdale Strawberry Butter, Blue Blazes, Lemon Marmalade and Hoppin' Frog jams.

    The evening started with Cynthia's amazingly good butternut squash soup. How she makes it so creamy without it being too heavy is beyond me! Then came the salads, the hummus, the cheese plate, the paninis and the wraps. Yes, it was so much food. And all good food. I know I'm partial, but you can read these reviews from the Yelpers. Fresh fruit provided by Parkesdale was beautifully presented in a skewer by the crew at the corner store.

    But it wouldn't be a Parkesdale event without our Famous Strawberry Cookies or our Strawberry Milkshakes! Yes, our amazing employees in the shortcake area figured out how to transport our milkshakes for this event. I'm so thankful for our team! Not only were the guest served our Strawberry Milkshake, but they also got to try our new Pumpkin Pie Milkshake! I think these Yelpers were in shock. I don't think they've ever had so much good food made with fresh, local ingredients and a lot of heart. If you are ever near Plant City, may I suggest you stop at the corner store for lunch, then come down and see us for dessert. You will not be dissapointed!


    Did you know we were making Pumpkin Milkshakes?

    Do you ever visit Plant City's Downtown area?

    Have you ever tried Cynthia's great food at the corner store?


    P.s. I was too busy having fun and did not take any of these pictures.  Some were taken from Meals and Miles' blog.  The rest were taken from the corner store's Facebook page.

  • Parkesdale Farm Market Joins Tampa Races

    As some of you may know, so far this year I’ve participated in a triathlon, a 10k and a 15k.  My fitness goals for this year included completing a triathlon and possibly running my first ½ Marathon.  After running the 15k, I felt very confident I could do a ½ Marathon.

    Originally, there were two events I was looking at for my first ½ Marathon: Blue Moon and Women’s St. Pete.  After reading Heidi’s post about the Xterra trail runs series, I remembered how much I enjoyed riding my mountain bike at Oleta State Park and Quiet Waters Park in South Florida.  While searching online, I found the Tampa Races website. As luck would have it, the  Xterra Wildhorse Race is scheduled for the same day as the Blue Moon 1/2 Marathon.  Aside from my love of mountain biking in trails, what makes this Event even better, is that it is literally in my backyard.  I’ve driven by Sydney Dover Park so many times and have yet to venture there.


    I contacted the race organizers about a sponsorship and even though it was so late they were willing to include us as a Sponsor.  We of course bribed them with our goodies, so how can you blame them!  Did I tell you we were bringing our Famous Strawberry Bread?  That may or may not have been the deciding factor. :)  The race organizers are very proud of their post race festivities which include a pancake breakfast, DJ, and giveaways.  To sweeten the deal, we promised to bring our Parkesdale Strawberry Syrup made with local Plant City strawberries!

    At this time, I have not decided which distance to run.  It will either be a 10M or the ½ Marathon.  I'm really leaning towards the 1/2 marathon.  Registration closes on November 1st, but there will be Race Day Registration available at the race on November 4th.  For more information on this event, please check out the organizer’s website.


    Have you ever participated in a trail run?

    What's your favorite distance to run?

    Have you tried our Strawberry Bread or Strawberry Syrup?

  • Apricot Glazed Chicken

    When it comes to meal planning, I’m pretty bad at it.  And by bad, I mean I’m not consistent.  I’ve tried to get into the habit of planning the dinner menu, only to realize I didn’t bring my shopping list to the grocery store.  As such, I find myself picking up a few packages of ground beef, chicken breast and pork chops at the grocery store and figuring out what to do with them once I get home.  Sure, I have a couple of go-to recipes, but after a while it starts to get pretty boring.


    Yesterday was no different.  I had pulled some chicken breasts from the freezer to thaw out during the day.  About fifteen minutes before it was time to leave the market I decided to google Martha Stewart chicken recipes.  I was lucky enough to stumble across this Apricot Glazed Chicken recipe from whole living.  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, then you know one of my main criteria for recipes is the length of the ingredient list.  This one had 5 ingredients not counting the chicken: apricot jam, dry mustard, sherry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and cayenne pepper.  Check and check!

    For the Apricot Jam, I used our Parkesdale Farms Juice Sweetened Apricot Preserves.  These preserves are sweetened with white grape juice concentrate so the do not have added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

    The recipe was very straightforward.  Mix the five ingredients to form a glaze, season your chicken with salt and pepper, cover the chicken with half of the glaze and bake for 10 minutes at 400.  Flip the chicken after 10 minutes and baste again with the remaining glaze for another 10 minutes.  I used boneless chicken breasts, so 20 minutes was plenty of time.  There was a lot of sauce to pour over the chicken and the chicken was very juicy.

    The glaze turned out to be sweet and tangy which is a winning combination in my book.  If you’d like it to be sweeter, add less sherry vinegar.  All in all, this was a great quick, easy and tasty recipe.  I think this one will definitively make it into rotation.


    What’s your go-to chicken recipe?


    Do you ever cook meals with marmalades, jams or preserves?

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