Monday, March 31, 2014

Quinoa, My New Love

It isn't that I am not adventurous when it comes to eating. I feel like I do try things out of my comfort zone, sometimes I don't bring it into my kitchen to actually cook though. I don't know why but it took me forever and ever to not be scared in quinoa. Because really, what is not to love about quinoa? It is very yummy and very good for you. I am just always afraid that I am gonna screw it up. The thing about quinoa is, you can make it a million ways and each way is better than the next!

I was contacted by the people at Alter Eco to try out their quinoa and stop the scaredy cat madness.

Alter Eco quinoa is 100% fair trade, organic and non-GMO. The products are also Carbon Neutral certified, which means they have been measured and compensated for the carbon emissions of every step in the supply chain. With 4 varieties of quinoa – Royal Pearl, Royal Black, Royal Rainbow, and Royal Red – there is a texture and flavor to complement any dish!  In addition to the health benefits of quinoa as an excellent source of protein, iron, magnesium, and fiber, Alter Eco has an unwavering commitment to the environment. They are dedicated to the small farmers and their families who grow their products by making sure all of their growers receive fair wages with good working conditions.
For a bright side dish, create the Rainbow Quinoa Summer Salad – a festive and healthy side that blends vegetables and basil with nutty quinoa. The full recipe is included below - I’d love to have Alter Eco be considered for any upcoming editorial opportunities.  Further information can be found at Feel free to reach out to me for more recipes, high-res images, or anything else!

I went and bought farm fresh salmon and had some leftover zucchini and made one of the best meals we have had in a long time. Even the doubting husband (What is Quinoa, again?) really liked it. Win Win

Salmon with Zucchini Garlic Parmesan Quinoa

1 lb Salmon
Trader Joe's Crushed Garlic
Chicken Broth
Crushed Red Pepper
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper

Alter Eco Rainbow Quinoa
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper

To cook the salmon:

In a frying pan, lay the salmon on one side and season generously with garlic powder and salt and pepper and any other choice of seasoning. Flip it over and repeat then layer a thin spread of crushed garlic. Cover with chicken broth till submerged and add a dash of crushed red pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10-12 minutes. The salmon will be done when it is flaky and light pink.

To cook the quinoa

Cook the quinoa according to the directions. While that is cooking, grate your zucchini and drain some of the excess water with a paper plate. Using a small frying pan, some garlic and salt and a little olive oil, fry the zucchini until it is brown, this will take about five minutes. When the quinoa is done, mix it with the zucchini and add parmesan, salt and pepper and some olive oil to your liking 

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Friday, March 28, 2014

First Taste Carrabba's Menu

Last month, I had the grand opportunity to once again participate in the First Taste Menu at Carrabba's. These folks at Carrabba's really spoil me. I took my friend Tammy and once again there was nothing that wasn't absolutely divine!

Carrabba’s Italian Grill is launching a new menu featuring new flavors and new favorites! Enjoy a range of options like our Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, wood-grilled medallions topped with our port wine fig sauce. Or Shrimp and Scallop Linguine alla Vodka, sautéed shrimp and scallops tossed in linguine in our housemade vodka tomato cream sauce.

Enjoy a taste of Italian tradition with our housemade Limoncello. It is crafted in-restaurant with sun-ripened lemons zested by hand. Try it chilled or in one of our new specialty cocktails, the Limoncello Gimlet or a Raspberry Limoncello Drop.

ABOUT CARRABBA’S ITALIAN VALUES™ With Carrabba’s Italian Values, enjoy hand-prepared meals perfectly priced for any occasion. Freshly made from scratch with the finest ingredients, now more affordable than ever. Enjoy over 15 great new menu additions of authentic, housemade dishes for $15 or less. Explore our new menu and find your new favorite!

ABOUT FIRST TASTES First Tastes is an exclusive preview event that occurs nationally on the same day at the launch of a new seasonal menu. Amici Club members and a guest enjoy a complimentary tasting, hosted by the Proprietor of each Carrabba’s Italian Grill location.

ABOUT OUR AMICIS Carrabba’s Amicis – Italian for friends – are a group of customers who are brand loyalists and have asked to receive invitations to complimentary events, exclusive offers, flavorful rewards and inside information about Carrabba’s. Nationally, there are over 1,000,000 Amici Club members. To join the Amici Club visit

My Experience!

ARANCINI A rustic Italian favorite. Crispy bites of risotto, Italian fennel sausage, red bell peppers and romano cheese, hand-breaded and served with our housemade marinara sauce for dipping. Once again, this was amazing!! These are a great starter!

POLLO LA SCALA Sautéed chicken finished with white wine, mascarpone and our roasted red bell pepper sauce. I think this was really yummy! 

MAHI WULFE Lightly breaded, wood-grilled and topped with artichokes, sundried tomatoes and our housemade basil lemon butter sauce. Can I tell you a secret? I would bathe in their lemon butter so I knew this would be a fave! 

RIGATONI MARTINO Wood-grilled chicken, sautéed mushrooms and sundried tomatoes tossed with rigatoni in our housemade tomato cream sauce Rigatoni is one of my favorite pastas, so this was a no brainer..its a great alternative to pasta! 

PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED PORK TENDERLOIN Medallions wood-grilled and topped with our port wine fig sauce. We swore that this was something other than was so delicious.

CONCHIGLIE (con-kee-lyeh) AI FORMAGGI Shell-shaped pasta tossed in our housemade Alfredo sauce with mozzarella, fontina, romano, parmesan and goat cheese. I am sad writing about this because it is not in front of me. Hands down the best thing I have had in quite some time.

MINI CANNOLI Crisp mini pastry shell stuffed with sweet ricotta and chocolate chip filling, topped with pistachios and powdered sugar. A great finish. Don't tell my Aunt Dora but hers was only a close second. 

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Taste of Ormond

This weekend, we had the pleasure of sponsoring a table with our friends at Kistemaker Business Law Group at the 2014 Taste of Ormond event. For the first time since 2009, Taste of Ormond returns to the calendar as a benefit for Ormond Mainstreet. Local restaurants including Frappes North, Fusion 43, The Grind Gastropub, Lulu's Oceanside Grill, Theia's Pastries, Mia Dona, Cakery Creation, Einstein Bros and a host of others  offered small plates with tasty samples of their cuisine, and S.R. Perrott provided a wine bar and a craft beer tasting.

The event took place from 4 pm - 7 pm under a large tent at The Casements, 25 Riverside Drive.

Taste of Ormond is fundraiser for Ormond Beach MainStreet, the local non-profit that works to grow and enliven Ormond's core district along Granada Boulevard. The money raised will go to help new local businesses with marketing grants, fund new initiatives for downtown beautification and bring new events, art and entertainment into the district.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thanking The Home Seller

I have been knee deep in packing as we look to close on our new home this week. Everything has taken a backseat especially this favorite outlet of mine! It sucks but there is just no time to do anything lately. 

They say house buying is stressful...I wouldn't necessarily agree with that but I will say underwriters are the devil and this mortgage industry is in a very interesting state. But all is going well, and the appropriate amount of wine and whiskey will get us through. 

We are buying from an older couple who are moving back to Virginia. I wanted to write a thank you letter to our seller and assure them that they are making the right decision by selling us our home. I have read that people use this tactic as a way to beat out other buyers, but this is just me being a sap. I have been a little melancholy packing up this house we have only lived for six years so it was important for me to tell them thank you. I wrote a quick history on us, and ended it with this:

As we pack, memories are all around us in this house and I am sure that you have had the same experience. It was important to me that you both knew our story, our excitement to make your house our home and our assurance that you are selling to two people who will spend many years building our family in it.

What do you think?
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tomoka Marathon #Giveaway

How exciting that we have such a big event right in our backyard. At the Chamber this meeting, the Hotel and Motel Association said they were overwhelmed with traffic for those who are coming in for this race. Want to be one of them? See below!

The Tomoka Marathon, a Boston Marathon Qualifier, will be a new and unique multi-distance running event for the area. This event will take place in Ormond Beach, FL beginning and finishing at the historic Casements. Its one-of-a-kind route will take runners through natural and historic Florida on a beautiful course including the Tomoka State Park and returning along the Intracoastal Waterway.

This route, affectionately known as “The Tomoka Loop”, has appeal for locals and travellers alike to enjoy some of the most diverse natural “Old Florida” scenery remaining. The views include unobstructed vistas of two rivers, inland creeks and marshes, barrier island dunes and beach, as well as historic sites. “The Tomoka Loop” is designated as one of Florida’s Scenic Highways and runners will quickly see why it earned this distinction as they experience this beautiful route from the start to the finish line.

This event will be hosted by The Casements, the historic former winter home of John D. Rockefeller. It will be held in conjunction with the The Casement’s Centennial Celebration.

For more information, see them on the web, and Facebook

How would you like to have an entry for this amazing race! Enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Little Blog Dress Wins An American Advertising Award

I am having a really fun Sunday. Even though at 4p, I am now starting to feel normal, last night was an awesome night! I am a member of the Daytona Beach Advertising Federation and last night was our annual award ceremony called the American Advertising Awards (formerly the Addy's). This is the first time that I entered for my company. Last year, I thought about it but this year I thought, well why not. There are a bunch of categories but there is one specific to social media....I picked the Campaign portion and presented a Powerpoint on a campaign I did for Blue Sky Swimwear. As you can imagine, it was a tad challenging to correctly portray a social media campaign for a physical entry but I thought a PP was the best way.

Last night was the Awards Gala, and this holds special meaning for my husband and I (prob more for me, because I am a sap) but it was our first official date. Nine years ago. I'm laughing because really, where does the time go? Scary. 

Addys 2005 and 2014

PS, it was a 20's themed event! So the awards started and the ceremony began, it was a lot of fun! But LOOK! I won a Silver Addy, and now it goes to district. I am really stoked. Maybe because this is me, all me, 100% solo effort. Maybe, because to be recognized in your field at any level is quite a good feeling. Sorry for the Shameless Self Indulgent Sunday Post, but I am really happy and wanted to share! 

I think I am gonna order this award to remember this coup-what do you think? 

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