Taste of Orlando Helps Ensure No Kid Hungry

Social Graphics4Forty-four of the area’s most accomplished chefs will showcase tasting portions of signature dishes, accompanied by fine wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails August 8, 2015 at the Orlando World Center Marriott, to ensure that no child grows up hungry in our city and across America.

Proceeds from this event support children’s nutrition programs provided by local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, regional beneficiary Florida Impact, and national beneficiary Share Our Strength. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Tickets can be purchased HERE. As an adult who was a hungry child in Orlando, I hope you’ll come out to support this event that helps so many.

 

Advertisements

Orlando Home Show and Hamilton’s Kitchen

OHS_150Fall cleaning just doesn’t have the same ring as “spring cleaning”, but I swear that’s the mood I get in when I go to the Orlando Home Show. Aisles and aisles of how-to products and services along with the great demonstrations and specialty exhibits get the ideas flowing! Not to mention all the cooking and food demos/ideas/suggestions/products (and tastings, Oh My!).

Go to the Orange County Convention Center Oct 24–26 for the Orlando Home Show, your one-stop spot for shopping all things home and garden.

I had the privilege of hearing about the show ahead of time at a preview event held at Hamilton’s Kitchen in The Alfond Inn at Rollins College. In addition to being given some insight into the show’s great offerings and home and garden celebs, as part of a “Meet Eat & Tweet” we were able to get a special preview of Chef Marc Kusche’s Cooking Stage appearance. Edible Orlando helped sponsor the event to get local food bloggers excited about both the Home Show, and the restaurant. (May I just say… mission accomplished!) Chef Marc and his staff make everything from sauces and dressings on up to the main course options from scratch. Every day. The quality locally-sourced ingredients and farm freshness can be tasted.

HamiltonsOur meal included exceptional fall flavors like a creamy pumpkin soup with almond foam and jalapeno cheddar biscuits that have just enough heat to keep them interesting, but not so much you’re grabbing for your water. Next on the menu was a grilled flatbread with prosciutto and mozzarella with a squash hash and a beet and picked carrot salad with ricotta and micro greens.

Insider tip: You must try beets with pickled carrots salad. The combination of flavors
was unexpectedly amazing, and the tender, salty crunch of the carrot in the same
bite as the dense, earthy beet was more than my mouth could stand. I’m
not a big “salad person,” but this is one I now crave.

Speaking of craving, my absolute favorite dish of the night was Lobster Risotto with garlic Shrimp. The richness of the lobster that infuses every bite of the risotto, combined with a little bit of heat and bouncy tender-/crisp-ness of the shrimp. Oh!

Chef Marc Kusche, executive chef, created these, and many other dishes for us to taste and guests at Hamilton’s Kitchen to enjoy. One can only imagine what his Cooking Stage appearance will bring. I, for one, hope to get some inspiration for meals I can re-create at home. Or (and more likely) I’ll just get hungry and go visit Chef Kusche and his amazing team at Hamilton’s Kitchen.

While at the Orlando Home Show I’m sure to get some home remodeling/decorating/beautification tips and inspiration, too. Or (and more likely) I’ll grab some brochures and business cards to have someone help me in these endeavors. What?! You know that’s one of the reasons you go, too!

—  -:¦:- -:¦:–:¦:-

Visit Hamilton’s Kitchen at The Alfond Inn, 300 E. New England Ave, Winter Park. For reservations, call 407-998-8089.

Buy Orlando Home Show tickets by clicking on this link. Use the code BLOG for $4 off.

Other Edible Orlando chefs on the cooking stage include: Hari Pulapaka of Cress, Camilo Velasco of Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen, Mark Jeffers of Highball and Harvest, and don’t miss Todd Wilbur, the author of 10 cookbooks including Top Secret Recipes.

O-Town MacDown is Cheesy Family FUN

macdown logo smO-Town MacDown, the “cheesiest” food festival in town, will be held Saturday, August 23 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Benefiting Give Kids The World Village, “Where Happiness Inspires Hope”, O-Town MacDown presented by SeaWorld will pit professional chefs, restaurant chefs, and home cooks in a competition to see who has the best mac-n-cheese in Central Florida.

Not only will guests enjoy all the macaroni and cheese they could possibly want, but there will be a kids zone, crafts (macaroni arts and crafts, of course), live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and a live cooking competition.

The Orlando Science Center got a jump start on all the cheesy fun when they invited science campers to make “extreme macaroni-and-cheese.” What’s the recipe? Take a group of fun-loving kids and add blocks of delicious cheese. Center a large vat of noodles in a field, then introduce the Science Center’s catapults! Kids took turns launching the cheese up into the air with the goal of landing *splat* into the noodles. Their high-flying fun helped spread the word about O-Town MacDown!

 

O-Town MacDown is a family-fun event that will also include cooking demonstrations, live entertainment including appearances by the SeaWorld “Groove Chefs.” Magician/Comedian Tony Brent from the WonderWorks Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show will be performing, as well as local acoustic guitarist Islay Rodriguez.

Fans of cooking demos will love watching Retro Rad Chef Emily Ellyn, Jillycakes owner and Cupcake Wars winner Chef Jillian Hopke, Chef Maira Isabel cookbook author and Executive Chef at Disney World Golf Courses, and fourth-generation world-class chef Jody McLeod.

Kids will have fun at three bounce houses, face-painting station, the Mad Scientist Show with Professor Al Chemy, plus character meet and greets and performances by Elevate LIVE!, The Bumbles and The Honey Bees Too®, The Literacy Alliance: Scrambled Fairy Tales, The Orlando Improv All-Stars, and The Magic and Mayhem Comedy Magic Show

Advance purchase tickets are just $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available at http://www.otownmacdown.org/.

It’s gonna be Gouda!

 

Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen… Not Just Coffee, But Dining

latte art BarniesWhen I first heard “Coffee Kitchen,” my first thought was “oh, my mom would like this.” She and my step-dad are coffee NUTS. They must drink a pot a day. I, on the other hand, like coffee as a special occasion (or black and mixed with local honey for a cough, but that’s another topic). I wasn’t sure what would be “on tap” at the Eat, Meet, and Tweet-up, but as a food lover and “adventure eater” I looked forward to sampling all they had in store and expected mainly… coffee. Boy were my expectations limited!

Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen is a new concept. It’s not “just” a coffee shop, nor is it like most restaurants. The Winter Park location has alley-way seating (perfect for Florida’s lovely summer evenings) and is a great place to unwind while enjoying Farm-to-Table creations. Don’t expect coffee and a pastry or ready-made sandwich, either. Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen is a place to leisurely dine. Breakfast and Sunday brunch offerings include quiche that’s been described as “best ever” by a loyal customer, and specialty organic egg dishes like the Israeli Shakshuka, featuring one of my favorites: feta cheese.BarneysCoffeeKitchencollage

For lunch, enjoy one of their “shared plates.” I’m partial to the Avocado Mash (because, let’s be honest, avocados are just plain awesome). The Caprese Tartine is has wonderful heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella with a balsamic glaze. Also quite lovely is the Fig & Brie Tartine with Duck Prosciutto.

For dinner, served Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Barnie’s offers mouthwatering seasonal choices like Scallops with Spring Alliums paired with perfect wine selections (in this case, Au Bon Climat – Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc).

I’m a soup person, so it’s no surprise that the Carrot Soup with Ginger and Coriander is a stand-out in my book. Chef Camilo Velasco generously shared his recipe which is perfect for Spring! (Easter dinner, anyone?)

Carrot Soup with Ginger and Coriander
Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs of carrots, sliced
1/4 oz ginger
1/2 tsp coriander
1 small onion, diced
1 QT vegetable broth
4 oz butter
Heavy cream
Directions:
Sauté the carrots and onions in butter until onions are translucent. Add the vegetable stock. Incorporate ginger and coriander to taste and simmer until the carrots are tender. Blend in a blender and then strain. Add additional seasoning if desired.

To finish: add heavy cream while hot until desired consistency is reached.

Florida’s “original coffee company” offers over 40 hand-selected coffees, many of which are single origin, Fair Trade, Organic or Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Check out their two Florida locations:

Park Avenue – Winter Park
118 South Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789
Tel: (407) 629-0042

City Arts Factory
29 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

Tel: (407) 722-8363

Hello Fresh New Meal-Time Options!

I’m a foodie. I love cooking, and love trying new recipes. When I’m at a restaurant, I call it “adventure eating.” And now, I find I can “adventure eat” right at home. Easily!

shrimp chorizoHelloFresh is a subscription-based food delivery service that takes all the guess-work out of whipping up a new and interesting meal. It’s trying something new, without having to do all the work of research, shopping, measuring, and the like. Simply go to their website, pick out the type of box you want (Classic or Vegetarian) and a 3-meal ready-to-prepare kit will be delivered to your door full of excitement, and (best part) there’s NO need to figure out how to buy “a quarter bag of kale.” If your recipe calls for “a little,” then that’s what you get. (Is it just me, or do you loath buying a huge bag, box, portion of an ingredient when ya just need a handful, a quarter-cup, or EEK a dash?!) food box

I ordered the Classic box (although I’d LOVE to try the vegetarian box in the near as friend and fellow blogger Meg said it was yum). (Here’s her blog entry that details how, while it might not seem “frugal,” it can be.)

We decided to make the Shrimp & Chorizo Stew with Kale first. (My 6-year-old and I voted two to one against my non-shrimp-loving hubs. Sorry Babe.) My “tot chef” and I started by pulling out all the ingredients. He set to work on peeling the potato while I chopped the onions. Together we made short work of the creation which (to my husband’s delight) turned out delicious (and is a recipe we’ll be recreating again real soon)!

Next on our list that week was Chicken Polpetti, followed later in the week with Spicy Thai Beef with Coconut Rice. While usually a Thai fan, and while it looked gorgeous, it wasn’t my favorite (and the photo in the recipe card does NOT do it justice). My husband gave it a high 8, but I found the rice a bit too sweet from the coconut milk. Good news: We all tried something new, cooked together, enjoyed our time, and discussed “where Thai food comes from” (and as a homeschool family, this is good stuff!).

A beautiful bite of Spicy Thai Beef with Coconut Rice

A beautiful bite of Spicy Thai Beef with Coconut Rice

We enjoyed the process and the product. This is “right up our alley” because creating and eating food together is something we’ve done since our family was just the two of us, and has only increased since baby made three. We find it to be a creative outlet, AND it has helped us raise a kid who is not super picky. (He has his moments, but he’s generally open to trying new things.) While some families may find it impossible to believe a first-grader would enjoy dishes with kale and cilantro (among other more exotic ingredients), our son helped prepare the meals which makes it: A) a matter of pride to say it was good, LOL and B) transparent as far as “what’s in it.”

Adventure Eating is just a few clicks away from your table, if you’re willing to give HelloFresh a try. And, to make it a better deal, use code B5FFZT for $20 off your first order.*

Hello Fresh Code imageDisclosure: I received a free Classic 2-serving sized box for the purpose of this review. It won’t, however,  be the only box I get!  All opinions are my own. OK, that’s not exactly true. My 6-year-old had his say and has influenced me to say he had fun helping. And eating. (Except the spicy stuff. He vetoed that.) *When you get $20 off your next order, I get $20 off mine. Win/win!) Need more views & opinions before trying it out? Mosaic Reviews has lots to choose from. I say, give it a try if you like making great meals from tried-and-true recipes, but don’t have tons of time to create. Or shop.