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Monthly Archives: November 2012

  • 100% Fresh Pressed Apple Cider from PA available now...

    For the past month, I've been pestering asking my husband for apple cider.  You see, eight years ago, we visited Connecticut in the fall for our friends' wedding.  While we were visiting, we ventured to a local apple orchard and had the best apple cider ever.  This was our first time at an apple orchard.  Needless to say, we came back home with a ton of apples!


    Now every October, when our friends celebrate their wedding anniversary I also remember our visit to the apple orchard and that wonderful apple cider.  Our new apple guy has been bringing us some amazingly fresh apples from Pennsylvania.  As luck would have it, he was able to get us some of this wonderfully fresh 100% pressed apple cider.


    100% fresh pressed Apple Cider from Country Acres, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.


    Have you ever cooked with apple cider? Me neither.  Until I found this recipe from Rachel Ray.  The recipe calls for making your own apple sauce.  I skipped that step.  Instead, I just used two small containers of already made apple sauce.  I warmed it up with minced ginger and sprinkled it with nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.  Rachel Ray's recipe calls for apple juice to deglaze the pan.  I chose our apple cider instead! And of course, I used our Troyer real butter.  Instead of salt and pepper, I used our Everglades Seasoning.


    I served the apple sauce on the side for dipping, and pour the pan sauce over the pork chop.   I've never been a real fan of the pork and apple sauce combination until now.  The pan sauce was delicious.  It was salty and sweet and very flavorful.  The mixture of real butter and fresh apple cider in the pan sauce made our dinner taste kinda like apple pie!  But in a good way.  A very savory apple pie.

    P.S. In case you are wondering, the salad is from ABC Pizza.  They make a great Greek salad. ;)


    Have you ever cooked dinner with apple juice or cider?


  • Friends Don't Let Friends Shop Chain Stores...

    Last Saturday, a group of Plant City Women Owned Businesses got together for our first ever "Friends don't let friends shop chain stores" event at the corner store.  Amanda Pope of Restore Soul Studios, came up with the idea for a group of "girlfriends" to get together and showcase their products and services.  Cynthia, owner of the corner store, very kindly opened up her store to hold the event.  With about 10 different businesses present, the corner store was packed!  Sister's and Company, Southern Posh, Ego Girl Outfitters, Momma Knows Bows,  Heather Dykstra's Tabata Fitness and Michelle Ferguson Photography were some of the exhibitors present.

    photo courtesy of Ego Girl Outfitters


    Cynthia allowed us to set up behind the bar, so we brought a lot of goodies for snacking.  We set up a sampling station with marinated mushrooms, marinated artichokes and our new crushed olive spread.  This crushed olive spread is made with green olives and jalapenos, so be ready for a spicy bite.  We also sampled our Amish made cheese curds.  If you ever wondered what they taste like, the best way to describe them is a salty mozzarella.  They are already cut in little pieces so they are great for snacking.


    We also brought our Strawberry Salsa and our Five Amigos Roasted Pepper Salsa for dipping with our Veggie Chips.  But we couldn't truly have a sampling station if we didn't sample some of our new jams.  We had Peach Jalapeno, Gooseberry Jelly, Tropical Jam and Christmas Jam.  The best seller by far was the Gooseberry Jelly.  I'm not sure how to describe it, but it reminds me of guava jelly.  The Tropical Jam was also well received; it's made with coconut, mango, kiwi, banana and pineapple.  It definitively packs a nice punch of flavors.  The Christmas Jam is made with strawberries and cranberries and it's a perfect mix of sweet and tart.

    While the event was great to raise awareness and showcase a lot of small businesses in Plant City, the highlight of the event was Madison's Mission.  This little girl who is raising money to help families in need is wiser beyond her years.  All the local businesses donated items or their services as raffle prizes to raise money for her to help a single family or two during the holidays.  Seeing our community rally together makes me glad I live in Plant City.  If you were unable to make it, but would like to help Madison fulfill her mission, please contact her by email at helpmadisonsmission@hotmail.com.




  • We now return to our regularly schedule programming...

    A lot has been going on this week.  I'll start at the Wildhorse Xterra 1/2 marathon on November 4th.  This summer I decided to run a 1/2 marathon before 2012 was over.  The decision to run a 1/2 marathon was something I've been debating over a couple of years.  As October was coming to an end, I felt ready.  The question then became will it be a road or a trail 1/2 marathon.  Thanks to other bloggers such as Heidi  and Steph who encouraged me to go for it, I signed up for my first ever 1/2 marathon.  It just happened to be an Xterra trail race.

    I also took the opportunity to bring our Parkesdale Market goodies for the runners.  We set up a table with our yummy, moist Strawberry Bread.  We offered our Amish Granola as a pre-race snack.  But the winner had to be our freshly squeezed 100% Florida orange juice as a post-race refreshment.  The runners went through all of our orange juice in minutes!  Note to self, bring more orange juice next time!

    This race was definitively a lot more intense that any other race I've done before, and it was totally worth it.  The race began at the Keith Waller Park on Sydney Dover in Sydney.  From there we ran through the woods to the Sydney Dover Park on 60.  That's where things got a bit tricky.  The trails became single track up and down steep hills where you basically had to walk.  I think the second time around it, I was more comfortable and picked up a bit of speed.  Unfortunately I forgot my garmin that morning so I was that runner who kept asking "how much farther?"


    As the saying goes, the race organizers definitively left the best for last.  In the last mile of the race, there was a hill with a rope for you to hang on while climbing.  Yes, we do have some hills here in Florida.  It was tough.  But I knew there were a lot of people counting on me to finish.  Getting to that finish line was gonna happen one way or another.  My mantra became "I may not be the fastest one here today, but I'm sure faster than those that didn't show up".

    As a person who runs on pavement 100% of the time, being in the woods was such a nice change of pace from all the sidewalk and pavement races I've done in the past.  So, if you are looking for a challenge, check them out!


    While my time for completing the 1/2 marathon was longer than I expected, I was pretty happy with being 4th in my "age group".  Meeting my family at the finish line was definitively an awesome experience.  They've all helped me accomplish my goal in one way or another and without them I could not have completed it.

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