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Friday Stuff n’ Things: Florida, Part I

My Chief Culinary Consultant and I have been in Florida for a week now. We’ve witnessed some awesome Florida storms and felt a lot of Florida sun. We’ve played cards, eaten on the beach, gone for walks, shopped, and have been enjoying a great deal of relaxation. Ironically, we have yet to actually spend a day at the beach, toes in sand and wading in water. I’m sure we’ll be getting around to that very shortly! :) In the meantime, I have a lot of fun little tidbits for you this week. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

1. Since we’ve been in Florida, we have made a routine of taking a 3-mile walk every morning (except for when we play tennis). The walk is awesome. I start the day feeling great and not too guilty about the ice cream cone I will inevitably eat before the day is over. However, the humidity is atrocious. Now I know why people down here are up and working out by 7am; if you want until 9am you’ll be convinced that you’re going to die. Also, I’ve sneezed about 30 times a day since we got here. I’m apparently allergic to sun and warmth.

2. Speaking of working out, we usually walk on marked trails so we know how far we’re going. However, we’ve done unmarked trails before and used the SportyPal app on our smartphones to gauge how far we went.

It’s a great app that will tell you how far you’ve gone, your pace, how many calories you burned, etc. If you like to blaze your own trails, it’s a must-download!

3. I took a picture of the moon with my 70-300mm lens a couple of nights ago. I love that you can actually see craters!

4. Gaby is having a mega cookbook giveaway while she is off on her honeymoon. There are so many fabulous cookbooks coming out this fall; be sure to check them out! My Amazon wish list just got longer!

5. We made our first-ever trip to a Total Wine store and felt like kids in a candy store. There are endless types of wine, beer and liquors. A few of the vodka varieties just begging to be thrown into a recipe:

I was thrilled to see a little taste of Pittsburgh on display down in Florida as well!

The coolest thing was that you could make your own six-pack of beers from a massive aisle of single bottles. Beer from every country you could imagine, tons of different varieties, and some awesome labels. I found a Kenyan beer called Tuskers with an elephant on the label! We’ve sampled a French beer and a Turkish beer so far. If you live near one of these stores, I envy you!

6. I can’t believe that it’s already the beginning of football season! I love playing fantasy football almost as much as I love watching the Steelers play. On top of playing in my Chief Culinary Consultant’s league for my 4th consecutive year, I’m also playing with an awesome bunch of food bloggers for the 2nd year in a row. We put together our all-girl group last year and had a blast. I’m excited to play with Tracy, Marie, Jen, Elle, Dara, Tracey and Maria again!

7. A few scenes from the first week of Florida (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of these!)…

8. Currently reading: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

Awesome read! Next up, I’m going to tackle some fiction. Give me your recommendations!

9. Since arriving in Florida we’ve consumed 2 orders of conch fritters. I foresee a lot more conch fritters in our future. Definitely one of our favorite things about being in Florida!

10. I might be on a little bit of a vacation, but I just can’t stay out of the kitchen. On top of a new chocolate chip cookie recipe and maybe something with the fresh figs we found at Costco, we’re mixing up a triple batch of homemade limoncello.

My grandma gave me her neighbor’s recipe months ago and we figured now would be as good a time as any to combine some lemon peel and grain alcohol and let it macerate. I’ll be sure to share the recipe and the process once we’re done!

11. TGIF! Stretch out and enjoy the weekend! And… GO STEELERS!


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41 Responses to “Friday Stuff n’ Things: Florida, Part I”

  1. Diane on September 7, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Michelle…in what part of Florida are you? I’m jealous on so many levels, mostly because we didn’t get to go this year! :(

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 5th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Diane, I was near West Palm Beach.

      Reply

  2. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on September 7, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Love your picture of the moon! Sooo so cool. I love Florida – I lived there for 4 months while my hubby was there for business. Oh, the humidity was a killer!

    Reply

  3. Michele on September 7, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Oh, that photo of the moon is fabulous! Love it!!

    And those vodka flavors?!?! Those look like they would be mighty dangerous to have in the house….yum-alicious!! : D

    Reply

  4. Andrea S on September 7, 2012 at 5:54 am

    I’ve been following your site for a while now and loooooove all the recipes. But I think I like the trip reports more! Wish I could vacation for more thana week at a time. Now I have to find this “Total Wine” place and great moon picture!

    Reply

  5. icakepops on September 7, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Oh your blog is making me miss South Florida right now! Lovin’ the Total Wine store . . . but lovin’ the Great Dane pic even more!

    Reply

  6. Vera on September 7, 2012 at 6:38 am

    love that you got figs @ costco — we cant find any up here anywhere! :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 5th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      I know, it was awesome! We got two cases while we were down there. I can never find them up here, either! Such a bummer!

      Reply

  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on September 7, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Love your post today! Have a great weekend!!

    Reply

  8. michelle @ The Village Cook on September 7, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Welcome to my home state! Hmmm, I wonder where you’re at?! I’m in West Palm Beach area… I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself, yes the humidity is high, and our storms are fierce but we do have some good vodka shops and fritters! ;) Have a fantastic time.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 5th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Hi Michelle, I was near West Palm Beach, a little south! Always love visiting down there!

      Reply

  9. Jeri Barry on September 7, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Thanks so much for the Sporty Pal app recommendation! I will give that a try. Make sure to let us know how the Limoncello turns out. Enjoy your trip!

    Reply

  10. Shaina on September 7, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I live pretty close to the Total Wine in Boca, and I LOVE it! I call it the Adult Toys-R-Us :)

    Glad you’re enjoying your time down here in South Florida!

    Reply

  11. JennCutt on September 7, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Longtime lurker, infrequent poster. I’m in St. Petersburg, Florida, and glad you’re enjoying your visit. You’re right, the humidity here is atrocious! Love the storm picture, and the great dane picture is priceless.

    Reply

  12. farrah on September 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

    You had me at limencello….always wanted to make my own, looking foward for the recipe!

    Reply

  13. Tina {My Life as a Mrs} on September 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Total Wine is THE.BEST!!!! Glad you got to experience it! :)

    Reply

  14. Stephanie on September 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

    That’s a beautiful shot of the moon. Glad you’re having a great time!

    Reply

  15. Joe W. on September 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Great pics of the Florida weather, and moon.

    Reply

  16. Holiday Baker Man on September 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Love the doggie nap!

    Reply

  17. Liz on September 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Just finished my own vacation and read the whole time! You must get Gone Girl and either of Gillian Flynn’s other two. I also LOVED Andy Cohen’s ‘Most Talkative’… If you’re a Housewives/TV/pop culture addict like me that is!

    Reply

  18. Laura on September 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I’m very jealous of your vacation! Sun and sand sounds amazing. Enjoyed reading your blog….except…..GO BRONCOS!!

    Reply

  19. Laura Dembowski on September 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I love that pic of the moon. My mom always looks for the moon. Glad you’re enjoying your trip, but yeah, humidity is definitely the worst.

    Reply

  20. Georgina on September 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I also loved Gone Girl but also recommend Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. And since you’re a dog lover I also HIGHLY recommend A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. It’s one of my all time favorites :)

    Reply

  21. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on September 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    That book seems really interesting. But, I also bought the China Study a while back and never really got into it. I never seem to have time to read until bedtime, and when I read at bedtime, non-fiction puts me to sleep!

    Last time we visited my BF’s family, their family-friends offered us DELICIOUS homemade limoncello after dinner…the BF was driving that night, so he kept emptying his glass into mine…Needless to say, I was fighting hard to look and sound more sober than I was feeling!

    Reply

  22. Meagan on September 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I’m not much of a drinker and i LOVE total wine. That place is insane with how much they have :)
    P.S. I’m in Fla too! Tampa area

    Reply

  23. Jessica on September 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    you have to read gone girl!! then we can go out to eat and chat about it. :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 5th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      I love this idea! :)

      Reply

  24. leslie pankey on September 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I am originally from Harrisburg, PA, but moved to Titusville FL in 7th grade. While in Orlando, you should check out Playalinda Beach. It’s one of the few natural beaches left in FL. I think it’s $7 per car admission, but worth it. You will get pretty close to the Space Center while driving there and hopefully see lots of wildlife, maybe some gators too!

    They are also serving Hershey’s Icecream in downtown Titusville, US 1, at Cafe Chocolat’. One of the winners of Cupcake Wars is just south of Titusville, in Port St. John (I believe).

    Oh, and in Orlando, Bahama Breeze has yummy mojito’s!!! Enjoy your stay there!!!

    Reply

  25. Rene on September 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Read “Rules of Civility” and “The Night Circus”. “Rules of Civility” needs to be read with Scotch and “The Night Circus” will need mull wine….just suggestions..have a great vacay.

    Reply

  26. Maria on September 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Glad you are having fun! I love starting my day with exercise too!

    Reply

  27. Denise on September 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    That is a great picture of the moon. I would like to suggest 2 books. The first is Possum Living by Dolly Freed–it was out of print for awhile but is available again. It’s a fun read (maybe you will find a way to add homemade moonshine to some of your fabulous recipes). The second book is This Organic Life-Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader by Joan Dye Gussow. I also enjoy reading about your travels–thank you!

    Reply

  28. Karen on September 8, 2012 at 7:04 am

    The alcohol superstore sounds amazing! Have you tried House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA? Not very big but you are able to build a six pack from a great variety of beers. Also, it’s supporting a local business! The people and the selection are great!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 5th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Karen, I have not been there, but have heard about it and drove past it! I’ll have to check it out!

      Reply

  29. Rodzilla on September 8, 2012 at 7:37 am

    lol everclear, really? Careful, that’s going to hit a lot harder than most recipes.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 5th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Haha yes, the traditional Italian drink uses grain alcohol, not vodka.

      Reply

  30. Tracy on September 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I’m so excited for football, too! I just love our league; I always have so much fun. Also, that cookie dough vodka looks awesome. My personal fav right now is the cake vodka Three Olives makes, yum!

    Reply

  31. Cindi on September 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

    We are also in south Florida, port st lucie, Stuart area. Just a few minutes from the total wine store! :))
    Just made a fresh fig tart with a cornmeal crust, it was very yummy!
    Love the moon and your site! Thanks!

    Reply

  32. Kim on September 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Gone Girl was great, as was The History of Love. Currently reading Garlic and Sapphires too, which goes well with your love of food! :-) Cheers!

    Reply

  33. Maria on September 22, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Gone Girl was good, but Defending Jacob was better. I tried to get through the book your reading last winter….I know more about corn than I ever wanted and just didn’t finish it (which is unusual for me,) The Language of Flowers was very good or anything by Lisa See, she’s a great author.

    Reply

  34. enid luchetti on January 18, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I AM A FLORIDA RESIDENT, THE PANHANDLE AREA IS FAR ORE BEAUTIFUL BEACHES AND EVERYTHING HERE45 YEARS, BABY POWDER WHITE IN DESTIN SEASIDE AREA AND FAR LESS CROWDED THAN WEST PALM… CEDAR KEY ON WEST COAST IS ANOTHER MUST TO SEE FOR FABULOUS FOOD AND SCENRY AND OYSTERS GALORE VERY VERY PICTURESQUE TOTALLY UNLIKE SO FLORIDA

    Reply

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