Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Movin' and Groovin'

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Happy Dishing!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tastemakers at Mizner Park

Last night I attended a preview evening of the “Tastemakers” event which returns to Mizner Park with two nights of progressive pairings from 11 eclectic restaurants on Tuesday, September 24 & Wednesday, September 25.

The tastes span the globe and the four corners of Mizner Park, from Mexican to Italian, Sushi to Formaggio, there is something for everyone!

I arrived a bit late and unfortunately missed the first stop at  JAZZIZ Nightlife – where the other tasters were lucky enough to sample, Butter Poached Main Lobster served on Kobocha squash 
risotto with Newton’s Cure (barrel-aged gin, honeycrisp shrub, local honey and sparkling wine). I was seriously bummed to miss the lobster risotto, but heard it was delectable! 

I met up with the group at The Cheese Course, which is tucked in near Z Gallerie and iPic. I've had the pleasure of enjoying the deliciousness at The Cheese Course before, so I was very pleased to see it on the agenda. It was great! 

 Italian Artisanal cheese course

Tasting: Italian Artisanal cheese course
Pairing: Award-Winning Italian wines
Promotion: Free glass of house wine with purchase of a cheese course, bistro sandwich or salad

I think this is what part of heaven must look like, divine! 

From The Cheese Course, we moved on to Tanzy which is inside the iPic building. It was such a cool atmosphere, I really liked the lounge area and decor. The food was just as captivating. 

It doesn't get better than freshly shaved prosciutto! It was perfectly thin, smooth and lean. I wish I could have this stuff everyday, but it's good I can't. Tanzy served the prosciutto on a crostini with Cabernet marinated pears and a goat cheese herb spread. Yowza! I could have stayed there and nibbled on these all night. It won't be offered on the Tastemakers menu, but if you ever dine there, order it! 

Pineapple Mint Illegalito Mojito Italiano - housemade passionfruit purée, fresh mint and 
basil, housemade coriander syrup, hand-crafted Boca Loca
 Wow, was this good! It was refreshing and smooth and not too sweet. I'd love to have one beachside on holiday, ahhhh.

Tasting: Housemade meatball and garlic crostini’s- a tender combination of pork, beef, and veal
slow roasted in our signature passata di pomodoro sauce, topped with whipped ricotta
Pairing: Pineapple Mint Illegalito Mojito Italiano - housemade passionfruit purée, fresh mint and
basil, housemade coriander syrup, hand-crafted Boca Loca
Promotion: Complimentary dessert with purchase of an entrée

Tasting: Housemade meatball and garlic crostini’s- a tender combination of pork, beef, and veal 
slow roasted in our signature passata di pomodoro sauce, topped with whipped ricotta

Spicy Lover - Partida Reposado Tequila, cucumber, lime juice, Tabasco Green Sauce, 
cilantro, organic agave nectar
Tasting: Báhn Mí Vietnamese Baguette - slow-cooked pulled pork, buttery spicy aioli, cilantro,
pickled carrots, daikon and jalapeño
Pairing: Spicy Lover - Partida Reposado Tequila, cucumber, lime juice, Tabasco Green Sauce,
cilantro, organic agave nectar
Promotion: 15% off entire check with purchase of entrée

Once I took the cilantro off the Báhn Mí, I dug right in. (If you know me, you know my issues with cilantro.) It was perfectly seasoned and had incredible texture with the crunch from the pickled carrots, and a little kick with the jalapeno. 

Tasting: Traditional Irish Favorites - Shepherd’s Pie, Guinness mac and cheese served with Irish
soda bread and butter
Pairing: Special Black Velvet - delicious combination of Guinness and cider
Promotion: 20% off entire check with purchase of entrée, not to be combined with any other
discounts or offers

 I didn't try the Shepards pie, but everyone said it was delicious. The soda bread was a nice compliment to the Black Velvet. I wish I could have some now!
Black Velvet - delicious combination of Guinness and cider

 We then moved on to Max's Grille, a Mizner Park landmark. I've been going there for as long as I can remember for everything from brunch to happy hour and was looking forward to trying something new there. The Blood Orange and Jalapeno Maragarita wasn't like any drink I've tried before. A little sweet and a little savory. Worth a try!

Tasting: Shrimp Ceviche - baby marinated shrimp with lime juice, chillies, onions, tomatoes, and 
avocado topped with crisp plantain chips
Pairing: Sanguigno Jalapeño Margarita - Tanteo Tequila, Bacardi Limon, Gran Marnier, fresh 
limes and blood oranges
Promotion: 10% off entire check, cannot be combined with any other promotions

Ahi Tuna Tacos - Jalapeño, radish, apple, whipped avocado

Next door to Max's is Racks, which was my last stop on the tour. The tuna tacos were wonderful! Light and crispy with a bit of crunch.  I had to restrain myself and have just one.

Tasting: Ahi Tuna Tacos - Jalapeño, radish, apple, whipped avocado
Pairing: Retail Therapy - Rain Honey Mango Melon Vodka, Triple Sec, splash of lime juice, 
Tang Rim
Promotion: Complimentary bottle of wine with purchase of 2 entrees, 4pm - 6pm, Monday - 

Rain Honey Mango Melon Vodka, Triple Sec, splash of lime juice, 
Tang Rim

The drink at Racks was tasty, and I got a kick out the Tang rim. I would definitely go back there to try some more bevvies and bites.

The selections I didn't taste are listed below. Although I didn't get to enjoy them, they sure look fantastic! I hope you'll get to try them and enjoy all the Tastemakers event has to offer!

Truluck’s – Fresh Pacific Stone Crab with Poema Cava wine with crisp, clean and
elegant citrus notes and lovely dry minerality.
Uncle Julio’s – Shrimp and Mango Guacamole made with diced mango, jalapeno
and red bell peppers and topped with chili dusted jumbo shrimp. Served with a
Spiced Mango Passion Margarita (1800 Reposado Tequila, mango passion puree,
lime juice with fresh cilantro, jalapeno silver & chili lime spice rum).
Karma-- Chicken Pot Stickers - pan-fried, garlic chili dipping sauce, spicy mustard
Pairing: Sasyr - Super Tuscan, Tuscany, Italy
Promotion: Complimentary dessert with purchase of entrée
Villagio – Beef Carpaccio (thin slices of cured filet mignon topped with mixed
greens and parmesan cheese drizzled with lemon vinaigrette) paired with Birra
Dolce Vita, a very smooth golden pale Italian brew.

Tickets, available at Mizner Park, and are $30 per person and include one
tasting and select beverage at each participating restaurant on either evening with
presentation of the VIP Ticket Book. In addition, each restaurant will provide an
exclusive offering valid from August 1 – October 31, 2013.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sriracha and Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

I know this combination might sound a little strange, but give it a shot. It was a delectable accident, and I'm really not sure how I even thought to put these ingredients together, but I am glad I did.
I had the sweet potato already baked and thought it might keep the turkey burger super moist, and I was right! The Sriracha gives it a little zing with out too much heat. All the flavors are very complimentary even though you wouldn't normally think to combine them. 

1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey
3/4 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
3/4 Cup Baked Sweet Potato
1 Egg
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
Lawry's Season Salt

Makes 5 large burgers.

Remove skin from sweet potato and mash into a smooth consistency. It works best to cook the sweet potato in advance so that it can cool and will be easy to handle. 

In a large bowl, combine turkey, and sweet potato, and add seasonings (about 1-2 teaspoons of each). Then sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and add egg and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well making sure the sweet potato and breadcrumbs are evenly distributed, and add Sriracha. I use about two tablespoons, but you can adjust based on how spicy you'd like it. 

Grill for about 5 minutes per side. Add cheese slices if you are so inclined.

I decided to make sauteed green beans and a colorful salad to go with the burgers. Instead of eating it on a bun, I wrapped the burger in romaine lettuce. (Yay, low carb!) It was delish!

If you try this, please leave me a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear what you think!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Big Devilish Chicken Dish

This month's Fennel Friday blend is Big Devil and boy does it pack a punch of flavor! I thought about what to put together with the blend, which includes: fennel pollen (of course), garlic, habanero, mustard seed, four pepper blend, cayenne, ginger, curry, paprika and cilantro, among others-- and I didn't want to combine it with anything that has too strong of a flavor. I hope you'll enjoy the combination I came up with. 

1 lb Chicken Breast (boneless, trimmed)
1/3 Cup Big Devil Hot Fennel Spice Blend
1 lb Baby Spinach
10 oz. Package Mushrooms
1 1/4 Cup Chick Peas
2 Medium Zucchini Chopped
Greek Yogurt
2 Cups Cooked Rice
Olive Oil

Serves 4

Big Devil is indeed a HOT Fennel Spice Blend, fennel with a kick! 

To start, cook 2 cups (dry) of your rice of choice. I used an organic long-grain white rice, for the more mild flavor, but you could always use brown rice. While the rice is cooking, which should take anywhere from 20-40 minutes depending on the kind you choose, start cooking the other ingredients. 

After the chicken breast has been trimmed and cut into strips, toss it in the Big Devil mixed with a bit of sea salt. You want a light coating of the mixture. It isn't too spicy in small quantities but if you dredge it and it is completely coated, it may be too spicy for you. 

I decided to grill these on a cast iron grill pan, but you of course could use a regular grill. Before grilling spray a light coat of olive oil so the seasoning won't stick. 

 Chop the mushrooms and zucchini into 1/2 inch pieces. Drain and rinse the chick peas.

Saute the mushrooms in a bit of butter until golden, then remove from heat and set aside. I like to cook mushrooms in butter because it lends a better flavor. You don't need to use much or you can use olive oil instead. 

 Do the same with the zucchini and toss in the chick peas when the zucchini is done, leave in just long enough to heat through. Set aside. 

Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the pan and add the spinach.This should only take a couple of minutes-- but if the veggie mix gets cold while you are cooking the spinach, you can toss it back into the pan to warm it when the spinach is done.  

Plate the spinach, then top with 1/2 Cup of the rice. Arrange the vegetable mixture around the rice and spinach. Add the chicken and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt. You could also use softened goat cheese or cream cheese. It cuts the heat of the Big Devil and lends a bit of cool to the kick. 

Dig in to the devil!

Thanks to Pollen Ranch for the Fennel Pollen! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Salad of Grilled Chicken over Baby Spinach with Crispy Leeks and Pancetta

I know it is common knowledge, but I have to state the obvious--Florida summers can be brutally hot (like, frying pan to the face, hot). This is one of the reasons I look for ways to create fresh, light meals--dinners I can put together with out a lot of fuss or extra heat waves. One of the easiest ways to do that is to make a salad, and I am a big fan of salads (and staying cool). I don't like to be hot when I eat and I certainly don't want to eat hot food when I am hot so, I play around with different salads all summer. This one was fast, simple and super flavorful. 


8 oz.  Package Baby Spinach and Arugula Mix
1 lb Organic Chicken Breast (trimmed and grilled)
1 Large Avocado
1 Large Heirloom Tomato (or 3/4 cup Baby Heirloom Tomatoes)
1/2 Cup Organic Goat Cheese
2 Hard Boiled Eggs
1/2 Cup Crispy Leeks (bunch of 3 leeks before cooking)
1/2 Cup Crispy Pancetta (about 6-7oz. package)
Olive Oil

Serves 3 or 4. 
(Leave out the goat cheese to make it Paleo.)

Take the goat cheese out to let it soften. Then begin with the pancetta, it should be very thinly sliced. Cut the pancetta into 1/4" pieces. I stack it up and cut through it together so that the pieces are even.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook until the pancetta is crispy and browned, remove from pan and set aside. Pancetta doesn't usually produce much grease, but if there is- drain and return the pan to the heat.

For the leeks, slice thin rings up until where the white portion ends. Remove the hard center portion and discard it. Heat the olive oil in the pan you cooked the pancetta in, and saute until crispy and brown. Set aside.

Season and grill the chicken, chop avocado and tomatoes to desired size. 

Layer the Baby Spinach and Arugula mixture on the bottom, add the chicken, tomatoes and avocado. Crumble the goat cheese and finish with the crispy leeks and pancetta. There is so much flavor in this salad, you really don't need a dressing. I chose a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a quick twist of freshly ground sea salt, which simply compliments the essence of each component.

What is your favorite summer salad?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest post on Graphitas: MozCon Glazed Salmon with Organic Rainier Cherry Compote

MozCon and Seattle Inspired Guest Post on Graphitas

I was recently on a serendipitous trip to Seattle for MozCon, the megawatt SEO and Inbound Marketing Conference, and as a newbie to SEO I was eager to learn more and get inspired. Wow, was I ever! I work for a Tech Services company and was fortunate to be sponsored by them for this experience. Looking to learn as much as possible about the ever-evolving, complex, online marketing industry, I knew MozCon was the place to be, and it surpassed expectations.

While at MozCon I met some really dynamic, interesting and engaging people who know so much about SEO. I was thrilled just to be in their company and learn from them, in addition to what I took away from the conference. I left with a greater knowledge of the industry and some awesome new buddies.  I was solo on the trip so meeting up with such a fun group of people made the trip even more worthwhile. Included in this group of knowledgeable and entertaining new comrades was Justin Taylor from Graphitas

After talking with Justin about annaDishes over a few "networking beers", we thought it would be fun for me to create a recipe for Graphitas for their Gra"fit"as project. I wanted something healthy, well-rounded and of course- delicious! I was eager to use ingredients local to Seattle as they are plentiful, sustainable and most of all, delectable. The end result was a Mustard, Honey and Ginger Glazed Salmon with a Rainer Cherry Compote, which has been dubbed MozCon Glazed Salmon.

For the recipe and to read more, head over here to Graphitas.

If you'd like to see more about my trip, check out the photos below! 

Everything about MozCon was incredible. From the content of the presentations, to the attention to detail and the Mozzers genuine concern that everyone come away from the conference with a greater understanding and positive experience-- it was all amazing. I can't recommend it enough. If you want to see some of the information we collected check out #MozCon on Twitter


Some pics from my time in Seattle and my stroll through Pike's Place Market


The weather in Seattle was absolutely gorgeous the week I was there. I was so thankful to have warm, humidity free days and a couple of cool, crisp evenings. I had a wonderful stay at the Grand Hyatt, they have a fabulous staff, and clean, comfortable rooms. Definitely check it  out if you are ever in town. 
We also made our way to The International Beer Fest, which was a blast, one of the best I have been to! And, Moz put on a great party at the EMP museum, both musts if available when you are in town. 

This was my first time in Seattle, and it didn’t disappoint! I look forward to going back next year, meeting up with my new friends and learning more about the Moz culture and creativity.

**This post is not sponsored, all opinions are my own**