William Grant & Sons: Solerno Celebration Punch

William Grant & Sons: Solerno Celebration Punch
William Grant & Sons, a family-owned distillery with a diverse portfolio of award-winning super premium spirits, offers the following cocktail recipe to try at home. This punch is perfect for those upcoming Christmas parties! Drink merrily but responsibly. Solerno Celebration Punch (serves 20-25 pp) 1 bottle Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur1 bottle Lillet1 bottle dry, sparkling white wine16 parts freshly brewed, strong, chai spiced black tea8 parts Fever Tree Ginger Beer8 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice16 dashes Angostora BittersGarnish: cinnamon sticks and orange wedges Over a large block of ice in a punch bowl, pour all the ingredients and stir to…


Cookie Baking and Gifting Fun! #SpreadCheer Giveaway too!

Cookie Baking and Gifting Fun!  #SpreadCheer Giveaway too!

So often during the holidays we get so caught up in shopping sales, getting work done and a slew of other things in life, that we forget that it is frequently the little things that really make an impact on people. They are so often the memories that get cherished.  I made some of those […]


Downtown Tampa Publix Coming Soon

 Artist Rendering Courtesy of Mercury Advisors via Tampa Bay Business Journal.  Downtown Tampa is booming. More residential projects are in the works for not only Channelside, but all around the Downtown Tampa area. While the Downtown Tampa area is fast becoming the ‘Live, Work, Play’ area, an important aspect has been missing. A grocery store

The post Downtown Tampa Publix Coming Soon appeared first on Tampa Bay Florida Food Blog Foodie Reviews.


Kale with Leeks

There’s a saying among produce professionals that “kale is the little black dress of the vegetable world.” It seems that everywhere you turn, there’s kale-recipe-this or kale-recipe-that, but the bottom line… Continue

The post Kale with Leeks appeared first on Good Food Life.


Five Gourmet Food Gift Ideas for 2015

  Need a unique idea or two for holiday giving?  Gourmet food is something everyone can enjoy, even those who… read more

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Donatello, Tampa, FL

Some things never go out of style – like starched linens; fresh roses on every table; top notch live entertainment; impeccable service from a swarthy, tuxedo-clad staff; and exquisite, classic Italian cuisine. I don’t throw this compliment around lightly, but my recent dining experience at Donatello was the finest I’ve had in Hillsborough County in years …and I’ve eaten just about everywhere (food being my #1 hobby). It was, quite simply, opulence on steroids.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll get to first base by taking the object of your desire to Donatello, but you’ll certainly have no one but yourself to blame if you don’t. Romance orchestrates itself and all you have to do is shower and show up. This a destination for leveraging your expense account or taking your beloved out for a milestone anniversary, a marriage proposal, or to repent for an almost unforgivable act. My first thought upon being seated was, “I want to stay here all night”. And then, they let me. No one is trying to quickly turn tables here.

While the menu is comprised mostly of Northern Italian dishes, there are nods aplenty to various regions throughout the country. Warm, crusty bread and brightly fresh bruschetta are presented upfront. Appetizers sampled by my party were plump scallops gratinate presented on the shell; house pate (a rustic chicken liver version) and fresh mussels in a zesty marinara sauce (nicely divided into two servings at our request) that no one could resist going all “fare la scarpetta” on. Yep, we sopped it all up with our bread…good manners notwithstanding. It was too delish to waste a drop. 

You definitely want to start with the traditional Caesar salad – cold, crisp and redolent of garlic, anchovies, lemon and Parmesan cheese, just as God intended. I don’t have enough superlatives in my vocabulary to do justice to this leafy masterpiece. You want it. Make sure your date orders it too, though. Did I mention “garlic”? 
The extensive main course offerings include a plethora of beef, seafood and chicken entrees, but the house-made pasta dishes all sound so swoon-worthy that it almost feels wrong not take that direction. Protip to my fellow (sometimes) Atkins dieters, just take the day off because it’s impossible to navigate safely here.

Two of us tried Linguini Al Granchio (pasta in white wine sauce tossed with caramelized garlic slivers and luxe chunks of lump crabmeat) which was ridiculous in its indulgence factor with a nice snap of heat on the end. It ties for the best pasta dish I’ve ever eaten with the unforgettable bowl of fiocchetti with pears. ricotta and Parmesan cream I had the fortune to tuck into at Trattoria 4 Leoni in Florence (Italy, not Alabama) a few years ago. 

Similarly, the classic Bolognese, a hearty and homey dish comprised of tomatoes simmered with a “soffritto” of onions, celery and carrots along with beef and pork, was a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal with the sauce clinging nicely to its bed of creamy, al dente pasta.
My carnivorous cave man’s veal scaloppini with imported Italian ham, mushrooms and truffle in white wine sauce was a fork-tender and umami-riche wonder, flanked with sautéed veggies and a crispy potato croquette. I offered to split my entrée in the interest of mutual reciprocity, but he’s never been much of a team player. 

No one had any room for sweet finishes, but we ordered a couple of them anyway (in the interest of journalistic documentation). The Napoleon, layers of creamy custard sandwiched between sheets of airy puff pastry, was a cross-cultural taste sensation. If ordered, prepare to lose consciousness as you slide your spoon through the textural contrast of this European classic. This is a creation that can go south quickly if left to sit, but Donatello’s version had zero sogginess factor.

And, then…just when I thought the bar had been set…lemon gelato appeared, the likes of which I’ve never experienced before. The ultimate palate-cleanser, this extraordinary dessert rolled the richness of ice cream and the intense citrusy flavor of sorbet into one remarkable frozen concoction. 
At the end of the evening, long-stemmed red roses are dispensed to the female patrons in a thoughtful finishing touch. As much as I hesitate to show favoritism, Donatello rules when it comes to upscale dining in Hillsborough County.


Donatello Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I’m constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it’s because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.


Risengrød – Sweet Rice Porridge with Cinnamon-sugar

Every year for Christmas in Ayoe’s family Risengrød is served the night before Christmas (Dec. 23rd in Denmark) with cinnamon-sugar and a lump of butter that just melts in the hot porridge. Uumm! The porridge has been a tradition in Danish Christmas for many years since the beginning of the … Continue Reading →

Petron Gasul: Sakto, Sulit, and Safe!

        My wife and I love to eat. Obviously. But we are not cooks. Not me, definitely not my wife. But it doesn’t take a cooking expert to know that you need the proper tools to whip up a good meal for the family. And these tools can’t be just any tool. It has to be tried and tested to ensure its safety and effectivity… For peace of mind…

        The only thing I know is that … »

12 Days to an Organized Christmas

The holidays tend to be time suckers, you love them dearly, but they truly take up tons of time. We wanted to share some tips with you, so you can save your sanity this Christmas season. There’s no point in stressing over something that can be made incredibly simple. These 12 days to an Organized […] … »

5 Common Food Truck Startup Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

I’ve worked with a lot of new food truck vendors over the years, and I’ve seen many of them find success while others have found failure. Among those who have struggled the most, I have seen common issues but if a vendor is willing to work through those startup mistakes they can find success. 5 […]

The post 5 Common Food Truck Startup Mistakes & How To Avoid Them appeared first on Mobile Cuisine | Food Truck, Pop Up & Street Food Coverage.


Part 4 of 5 series on hands-on cooking classes in Baltimore: For the Love of Food

The only Baltimore county hands-on cooking class, For the Love of Food, is situated in the heart of Pikesville, across from the Pikes Theatre on Reisterstown Road.  Initially For the Love of Food was started by Chef Diane Bukatman, in her Reisterstown home offering up a vast array of classes for the novice, children, team building, ‘Think like a Chef’ series and was eventually sold to Chef Thomas Casey when she moved out-of-state. Chef Casey is a Johnson and Wales graduate, a working chef for 18 years from the Four Seasons to Executive Chef of The Grill at Harryman House.  His passion for food turned him to education and he became a culinary instructor at Columbia’s Lincoln Technical Institute.
Due to circumstances and time frame, I ended up auditing his Date Night – Just the Two of Us: Pasta Class not participating.  This particular evening, it was couples and what an array; two of the couples were married and enjoying time away from the kids, a first date, long distance dating couple, and two other couples at various stages of their relationships.  Some cooked together before, some just getting to know each other, but the teamwork to complete the multiple recipes would draw the couples closer together.  Gift certificates were used that evening, which were a birthday gift and an anniversary gift – just saying, great holiday gift idea.   
Read the complete story and watch the slideshow at Examiner.com 
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Milwaukee, WI Edition: AJ Bombers

AJ Bombers is known for having one of the best burgers in Milwaukee. Specifically, their “Milwaukee Burger” was declared the Winner of Travel Channel’s Food Wars. That alone was reason enough for me to want to check it out.We were seated quickly at the… … »

Food Truck POS System Protects Businesses From Fraud

SPRINGFIELD, MA – In an effort to better serve food truck owners and customers alike, Tursus Software has created Food on a Truck (FOAT), an app that brings easy-to-use tools and business protection in the wake of new credit card regulations to an owner’s fingertips. To battle fraudulent credit card charges, EMV (or Europay, Mastercard, […]

The post Food Truck POS System Protects Businesses From Fraud appeared first on Mobile Cuisine | Food Truck, Pop Up & Street Food Coverage.


Phoenix Food Truck Goes Up In Flames

PHOENIX, AZ – Phoenix fire crews were able to prevent a food truck fire from burning down a nearby building on Monday morning. Captain Aaron Ernsberger said a Ralphie’s Snack Bar food truck caught fire around 6 a.m. near 7th Street and Buckeye Road and threatened the building it was parked in front of. Firefighters used […]

The post Phoenix Food Truck Goes Up In Flames appeared first on Mobile Cuisine | Food Truck, Pop Up & Street Food Coverage.


caramel coffee tassies

I think I have found a new obsession.  A new quest.  A new goal.  A new challenge to strive for everyday.  And when you think about it…. it makes perfect sense.  It fits my interests and combines perfectly with my skills and … … »