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  • Sea Bass "al mojo"

    One of my favorite dishes to order while visiting family in Puerto Rico is "Chillo al mojo" or Red Snapper in a tomato sauce with onions and olives.  If you are wondering what "al mojo" means, it is simply a shortened version of "mojado" which means wet.  There are many versions of this sauce, but the tomato based one is the most common.

    This is one dish I've been eating ever since I was a little girl.  If you order this dish in the island, expect to get the whole fish.  I mean head and tail.  :)  To be honest, I love this dish because of the olives.  To me, the olives makes this dish.  Like most sauces, the longer you cook it the better it will taste.  Plan on about 20-30 minutes for the sauce to simmer.  You'll be glad you did.

    Puerto Rican Mojo Sauce

    "Al Mojo" Sauce

    Ingredients:

    1 can chopped tomatoes

    1 medium white onion, sliced

    2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

    lots of olives :)

    1 tbsp capers

    1 can chopped tomatoes

    1 tbsp vinegar (I prefer apple cider)

    2 bay leaves

    salt and pepper to taste

    Olive oil

    water (use to thin out sauce if too thick)

    Recipe adapted from Puerto Rican Cookery by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli.

    Add olive oil to a warm saute pan on medium heat.  Saute onions till clear, then add garlic, olives, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, capers, vinegar and bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce gets too thick, or you'd like more liquid, add a little bit of water.  Then saute on low heat for about 20 minutes.  Serve sauce on top of grilled fish or chicken.

    Puertorican al mojo sauce

  • Strawberry Cookies at Yelptucky Derby

    Do you Yelp?  Yelp is an online community where customers can leave reviews of their experiences at almost any business.  Whether you are looking for a new place to eat in your town, or you are visiting a new town, Yelp has tons of helpful reviews to stir you in the right direction.  We were invited by Yelp Tampa Bay to their Yelptucky Derby event on Friday April 26th at the Winthrop Barn Theatre in Riverview.  Amy and Chef Gary, owners of Wimauma in Tampa, hosted the event.

     

    winthrop barn theatre, strawberry cookies Winthrop Barn Theatre photo courtesy of yelp.com

    This was our second visit to the Winthrop Barn.  In early April, Amy invited us to Chef Gary’s French Country Dinner at the Winthrop Barn.  The dinner consisted of four courses: fresh green salad with a poached egg, Pork sausage with wilted spinach, grits and feta cheese, a second main course of red wine braised duck leg with lentil Brussels sprouts, apples and L’Orange sauce and a pickled peach clafoutis with basil Chantilly.

    Winthrop Barn, strawberry cookies French Country Dinner


    Every dish was perfectly executed.  Just amazing.  The braised duck leg with L’Orange sauce and the basil Chantilly were my favorite.  I will never forget either dish.  I almost licked the sauce off the plate with my finger.  That Basil Chantilly, so delicately sweetened, is what I would imagine a cloud would taste like.  They are hosting another theme dinner at the Winthrop Barn this Wednesday, May 1st at 6:30pm.  Here’s a link for more information.  If you are available, you should really check them out.

    Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 7.39.47 PM

    Along with Chef Gary’s offerings, other local restaurants were sampling their food: Pelagia Trattatoria, Hula Bay, Eats, Fred’s Market and the corner store.

    Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 7.40.10 PM

    Hula Bay had some amazing ceviche and my favorite sushi roll made with cucumber instead of rice.  Fred’s Market was sampling their grits with salmon and field green salad.  I didn’t get a chance to try the dish, but everyone was raving about it.

    photo_1 Parkesdale Strawberry Cookies

    And you know what other people were raving about???? Our Strawberry Cookies!!!! Most people at the event had never heard of our famous cookies.  I almost felt like the cookie fairy.  These people would take one bite and immediately smile.  They couldn’t believe how fresh they tasted.  By the end of the night, people were coming back to our booth to get some cookies to go.  Mission accomplished!

    photo

    If you are still on the fence about our strawberry cookies, you better hurry.  We only have the cookies seasonally and we’ll probably have them for another week or so.

    Have you used yelp before? 

    Have you had our cookies?

  • Looking for a u pick blueberry farm?

    Looking for a u pick blueberry farm? It's that time of year were blueberries in Florida are at is ripest.  This is the time most farms begin their u-pick period.  Blueberries have been on the media lately as they've become a member of the "super foods" group.  According to the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, blueberries are full of cancer fighting anti-oxidants and anti-aging/memory enhancement nutrients.

    Here's a list of local blueberry farms who are now open for U-picks.  Remember to dress comfortably when visiting these farms, wear a cap/hat and bring sunscreen.  Also, bring cash and please call ahead to make sure they are open.  But most of all, have fun!

    Big Bear Farms

    u pick blueberry farms

    Big Bear Farms is located at 7606 Kinard Rd, Plant City, FL.  Big Bear Farms will be open April 26 from 1pm to 6 pm and April 27 from 9 am to 6 pm.  In addition to blueberries, they sell elderberries and un-gassed tomatoes.  Please remember to bring cash and call before heading out there.  Big Bear Farms can be reached at (813) 986-1152 or via email at bigbearfarms@verizon.net.

     

     Keel and Curley Winery

    u pick blueberry farms photo courtesy of www.keelandcurley.com

    Keel and Curley Winery is located at 5210 W. Thonotosassa Road in Plant City, FL.  Their Winery is open year around, but their fields are only open for U-pick during their Annual Blueberry Festival.  This year they are celebrating their 6th Annual Tampa Bay Blueberry Festival on April 27 and 28, 2013.  Entrance to the Festival is free, but they charge a $5 parking fee.  For more information, please contact them directly at (813) 752-9100.

    Update: Keel and Curley will be open for U-pick Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th from 8 am to 2 pm.  They'll provide buckets for you to use.  Blueberries will be $4/lb.

    Kirkland Farms

    u pick blueberry farms Bucket of blueberries courtesy of www.kirklandfarms.net

    Kirkland Farms is located at 2632 Old Medulla Rd in Lakeland FL.  You can check out their Facebook page for u-pick information.   We had some of their blueberries last week and they were amazing.  If you sign up for their email newsletter, they will send you an email Saturday night with u-pick times for Sunday.

     

    Blue Youth Berries Farm

    u pick blueberry farms photo courtesy of www.orangespoken.com

    I found this farm through my friend Steph at Orangespoken.  She's a Parkesdale frequent shopper and a friend.  Her enthusiasm for u-pick farms borders on fanatic. :)  Blue Youth Berries Farm is located at 8201 Cosme Rd in Odessa FL.  For more information, follow this link to their website.

    Are you ready to go blueberry picking?

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