Monday, August 17, 2015

Orlando's Magical Dining Month 2015

Since moving to the Central Florida area, I have discovered that there is no shortage of fast food chain restaurants (*gag*) here to cater to the transient nature of our locale.

Finding decent restaurants have been difficult.
Farm to table? Laughable.
Actually (sadly), many have never heard of such a thing.
Which is a good segway to Farmer's Markets.
Naively, I thought if you could grow year round, the farmer's markets and availability would be plentiful and many. On the contrary, there were more in the Northeast (no question). Which is a real shame.

Now, this doesn't mean we haven't found excellent spots for both food and locally grown items.
But many are far from where we are currently living. Which makes sense since we live somewhat outside of Orlando and what seems to me to be the middle of nowhere (25 minutes to my nearest Target is downright near ridiculous! That's almost a whole half hour!)

Eventually, we hope to live closer to farmer's markets and locally sourced eats ... but in the meantime, we travel far and farther to seek them out one by one!

I also try to subscribe to local news and digital mags (Is that called an eMag? I don't know. I'm feeling very old right now.)

Alas, I digress. My real point is that I came across something called Magical Dining Month.

I learned that this is very similar to what the Boston, MA area called Restaurant Week[s] which are usually held various times throughout the year (usually one week each season).  Essentially, it would be a prix fixe menu and heavily discounted price (usually around $33 for dinner and about $10 less for lunch) so that people could have a chance to try out their favorite or once out of budget's reach restaurants. Doesn't mean all the participating restaurants are a steal or that they offer a good deal.

I'm surprised and somewhat pleased that Orlando hosts something similar. And I'm on a mission to try as many as possible. May not be as many as I'd like but does that ever happen?

This full invitation to splurge has a preview week on August 24 and officially begins the week after.
For people wanting more info on it, menus and more are posted at

As we go to try them, I will be posting pics, reviews and final thoughts on each one!
Stay tuned!!

Suggestions are WELCOME!

Vene, Vidi, Edi!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Another Chapter ... Same Book.

Recently, I was reminded of this blog in an indirect way. I googled it. Then giggled. The site was not saved in my Favorites folder. Yeah. Fuh-nay.
Rereading old posts (back from 2009!) brought back so many memories - good and bad - and how cathartic it was for me to have this blog during those years.
These days, I have left the blogging to the ones more dedicated to the art.
But, I still love the idea of keeping this one alive.
My twins are now three. Almost four, if you must know! 
I blinked a few times and each have crossed joyous, scary, memorable and touching milestones each time.
Here is a recent pic of my cuties! Summer 2015.
 {Let's quickly catch up!}
We live in Central Florida now. A big move from the Northeast from all that we've ever known. Florida is home to a few things I probably should have known prior to coming down...
  1. Bugs. Lots of them. And they are B.I.G. And they are many. And they are not my friends.
  2. Lightening. Did you know that Florida is the lightening capital of the world? Ok, just the U.S. Apparently, Africa is the lightening capital of the world. At least that's what Google told me. 
  3. Rain. The summer months here (June, July and August) are considered the rainy ones in Florida. Not sure why I didn't think of that. Rain leads to flooding. And bugs and slimy critters trying to share our inside space. Trust me. I know. We just had our own Battle of the Bulge here [of the red ant variety].  Did I mention bugs are not my friends?
Not everything in Florida is bad.
     For one, from September to May, the weather is supremely more glorious.
        And we can technically go swimming year round in the heated pool.
           Disney is but just a short drive away.
              Not to mention the plethora of other theme parks.
                 And there is no ice to chip off my windshield and snow to shovel 
                 during the winters up north that seem to be stretching longer and longer each year.
So to backtrack (or to come full circle for the glass half full folks), I created this blog as a sort of ... therapy ... and to keep personal questions at bay. They were too painful to talk about then. Sometimes still now. But not nearly as much. Actually, these days, I feel warmth when I think or speak of Nari and Matthew (the first).
Time wrote so many unwritten pages from our earlier life chapters to the one we're living now.
I'm resurrecting this blog to write about this chapter and ones to come.
Full of life, follies, futures, frills and food. Okay. You got me! Mostly about food.
     I love to buy it, find it, cook it, taste it, look at it and dream about it!
My husband (who puts up with all of my crazy) has been after me to start a food blog.
I think I'm grossly underqualified to do so but don't mind doing it for my own sake and for fun.
So here we go again!
Hamilton Rain - When It Rains It Pours!
(Oh! Just realized that the original title made a poor pun. You know 'cuz we're in Florida now?  [blank stares and crickets, huh?Oh, never mind!)
You're still reading the same book with the same characters but an entirely new chapter ... with lots of food references, kitchen gadgets, menus, recipes, reviews and who knows what else! AND hopefully the two or three people that read this will post their food ideas too with pictures and their thoughts on gadgets they've used. Stay tuned, folks!
Vene, Vidi, Edi!
My bounty from a successful local farmer's market run (seems few and far between around here!).