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If you love to cook – or just have to- Fort Lauderdale is a wonderful place to shop for fresh produce, seafood, meats, Caribbean, Latin and other international foods!

Other than your well stocked supermarkets, there are a variety of fabulous alternate places to shop for seafood, locally grown & organic produce, grass-fed meats, and wonderful baked goods!

Around Fort Lauderdale and nearby Hollywood, there are at least three or four Farmer’s Markets. There you can find seasonal foods from Florida and the Caribbean.

If you are planning to BBQ, think past the usual burgers and dogs, and consider a marinated Argentine skirt steak, fresh seafood, hand-made sausages and grilled veggies. The best cocktail for an afternoon with good friends is a Caipirinha – and you can scroll down to get that delicious recipe!



Caipirinha The National Cocktail of Brazil

There is not much I can say, but that I enjoy this cocktail most at an afternoon meal, in the backyard, with good friends that have no where else they need to be for the rest of the day. Excellent grilled meats, fish and chicken, accompanied Bazillian style black beans and rice, round out this perfect gathering. I dedicate this to my friend Nicolau.

What You Need

Recipe for a single cocktail

The Caipirinha should be made individually for each guest. You will need a bottle of Cachaca – a liquor made in Brazil from fresh sugarcane juice that is fermented and distilled.

Take a Key Lime and cut it in sixths. Place at least 4 or 5 wedges in an Old Fashion, or Lowball glass. Add to it, 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Superfine Sugar ( adjust for personal satisfaction). Muddle these two ingredients until they are well blended, and the juice from the lime is released. Pack the glass with crushed ice. Add about 2 ounces of Cachaca, or until it reached the top of the glass. Stir well, or shake with top if preferred.

Walk around, slowly drinking your Caipirnha, enjoying the company of your good friends.





It’s Mango Season!!  Have a great recipe to share?


Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Salad

Serves: 4 to 6 as a first course

Courtesy Organic Marin: Recipes from land to table

Serves: 4 to 6 as a first course  *DO NOT Forget a nice crispy baguette!

3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves

Combine the vinegar and the 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and pepper.
On each of 4 salad plates, create a tower of the mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, starting with a tomato slice, followed by a mozzarella slice and 2 basil leaves. Repeat, finishing with basil leaves. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette over each tower and another tablespoon around each tower. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on each salad and serve at room temperature.



The most efficient way to open a coconut?  You decide!


It’s Time For BEACH BBQs and Picnics!

Fried chicken

Fried Chicken and Cole Slaw 

As always, ingredient portions should be to your liking!  

Cut up a Fryer and soak  in Low Fat Buttermilk for 12-24 hours. Drain in colander over bowl. Season with Paprika, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne and Garlic Powder.   Dredge in Flour. Let sit 1 minute, then pan fry on both sides in cast iron skillet using Shortening. 12 mins each side.   

Cole Slaw– Slice Red and White Cabbage very thin. Season with Salt and set aside to wilt 2 hrs. Cook some Bacon. Retain fat. Dressing– Take Mayo, Bacon Fat,  Pickle Juice (dill or sweet) and mix. Spin cabbage in spinner until dry-then mix dressing and cabbage in bowl.   Have a great picnic – at the beach perhaps?!


Dill Pickles

Nothing Beats Crisp and Fresh Homemade Dill Pickles- And  So EASY!!

  1. 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  6. 3/4 teaspoon dill seeds
  7. 2 cups hot water
  8. 2 pounds kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  9. 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
  10. 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  1. In a large, heatproof measuring cup, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and dill seeds with the hot water and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let the brine cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers with the dill and garlic. Pour the brine over the cucumbers and turn to coat. Place a small plate over the cucumbers to keep them submerged, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the pickles overnight, stirring once or twice. Serve cold.
MAKE AHEAD The dill pickles can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.



…… by way of the Bahamas – origin not precisely known (but I have a theory).  Very simple and tasty!  There are really no set amounts for the ingredients- suit to preference.  


Shrimp with head and shells on. In a wok- mix butter and Worcestershire sauce to taste- add copious amounts of fresh ground black pepper and a few thinly cut lemons. Once sauce is perfect- add shrimp to cook. Serve with some crusty bread,  perhaps a  light salad,  a little rice – or just a few nice cold beers

Thanks SSIA!



Key Lime Pie 3_thumb[2]

REAL Key Lime Pie Recipe

CRUST   16 graham crackers, crushed    3 Tbsp   granulated sugar     1/4 lb unsalted butter

PIE FILLING  4 large egg yolks   14 oz  sweetened condensed milk  1/2 c fresh key lime juice (approximately 12 key limes)  2 tsp  lime peel, grated, green portion only

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press into a 9 inch pie plate, and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack and cool completely.
2. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, sugar, if using, and the lime juice. Pour into cooled, prepared crust. 
3. Return the pie to the oven, and bake until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged, about 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely.

1/2 c heavy whipping cream2 tsp  granulated sugar 1/4 tsp  Madagascar pure vanilla extract


spices          ribs

Vermont Bar B Que Ribs!

Believe it or not, native Vermonters grill ribs too! This very simple recipe came directly from Carole at Mehuron’s market in Waitsfield.  Place your rack of ribs in a roasting pan on the stove top- you will need two burners. Fill pan with water to just cover the ribs. Add a container 1.5-2 oz. of Pickling Spices and let it simmer for around a half hour. Remove from pan and place ribs on Medium/Low heat on grill. About 20 minutes or so before finished cooking- brush on some Bar B Que sauce. This recipe calls for just enough sauce to keep the ribs moist and tasty – you don’t want to drown out the flavor of the pickling spices! That’s it!    Serve with a simple salad, corn on the cob, baguettes and a lot of great chilled wine!

If you want to make your own spice mixture – here is your basic combo- Whole Allspice, Mustard Seed, Coriander, Bay Leaves, Ginger, Chilies, Cloves, Black Peppercorns, Mace and Cardamom.



Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Tradition!


The Classic Margarita

2 ounces tequila made from 100 percent agave- reposado or blanco

1 ounce Cointreau

1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Salt for garnish

Combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Moisten rim of Margarita or other cocktail glass with lime juice or water.  Dip rim into salt. Shake and strain drink into glass and serve!



fiu beer

BEER ACADEMY – Edutour: The Art of Beer Making in Ireland

FIU’s Beer Academy is pleased to invite you on a thrilling adventure exploring the art of beer making in Ireland. The trip will run from August 17- August 24, 2013, and will be led by Florida International University Professor, Dr. Barry Gump and Beverage Industry Expert, Kitti Stuart.

Designed for both aficionados and industry professionals, this program explores the history and ambiance of the country and key cities of Ireland, such as Dublin, Kilkenny and Killarney, and delves into the stories and techniques behind its breweries and beers.

With daily briefings, professional insight, and personal interaction with our experts, you will increase your knowledge of how to brew and evaluate beers, gain a better appreciation for various styles of beers, and explore how breweries promote brand awareness in the brewing industry.

Contact Bon Beery Voyages for more information. View program details, itinerary, pricing and registration details at

Beer Academy Website



Taco Biz

Have you had the good fortune of bumping into the food truck called NACHO BIZNESS?  I did this week- and had a great Jamaican Jerk Chicken taco called the Marley!  Spicy, crunchy, tangy, a bit sweet and totally the biz! Check this link for their schedule around Broward County – they cater too!  WEBSITE



Here’s a tasty little warm weather cocktail! 

Pisco Sour Drink


1 cup pisco (a south American brandy) or white rum

1 cup guava nectar

2 teaspoons superfine sugar

1/4 cup lime juice

Add Some:

  • Angostura bitters
  • Lime wedges
  • Mint leaves

In a glass pitcher combine the pisco or rum, guava nectar, sugar, and lime juice. Add a few shakes of Angostura bitters; stir well to dissolve sugar. Divide mixture among 4 glasses. add ice; top with a lime wedge and fresh mint. Makes 4 servings.




Here’s a GREAT idea for Florida living!  Found it on Pinterest – with no author to give credit!  Simply remove a picnic table plank and replace it with a section of plastic rain gutter!   


Marg cheese Cake

Margarita Cheesecake 

From a Great Food Blog called The Chic Brulee

For Crust

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
12 graham crackers (3-by-5 inch)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

For Filling
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sour cream, divided
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons Triple Sec
3 tablespoons gold tequila
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest, divided
4 large eggs
Very thin lime slices (garnish)



Here’s a fun website for scoping out the best Fort Lauderdale food finds!   As a matter of fact – its called Fort Lauderdale Eats!
Besides assisitng you in locating great food around the area, you can also find events, deals and of course- fabulous cocktails!   Check it out!

This fine site is brought to you by Stacey Bookmiller. You can follow her Twitter  @FtLaudyEats.



Florida Crab & Oyster Seafood Gumbo

Brought to you by The Fresh From Florida Agricultural Blog


Oysters and Blue Crab are in season in Florida right now so try this delicious gumbo served over rice or with warm, crusty bread.

Ingredients • 12 ounces Florida oysters, drained • 8 ounces Florida blue crab claw meat • 1/2 cup chopped Florida onion • 1/2 cup chopped Florida celery • 1 garlic clove, minced • 1 tablespoon butter • 1 teaspoon anise seeds • 1 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon sugar • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen okra • 2 (20-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

Preparation Remove remaining shell or cartilage from oysters and crab and set aside. Cook onion, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Add anise, salt, sugar, peppers, okra and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add oysters and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Add crab and heat thoroughly. Serve over rice.

Yield 8-10 servings



Classic Negroni

1 oz gin 1 oz Campari 1 oz sweet vermouth twist of orange peel

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth into the glass. Stir. Twist orange peel over the cocktail, run it around the rim, and drop it in. Cin Cin !



Here’s a great Florida Seafood Festival Link from the Florida Department of Agriculture!!


Stone Crab1  baguette4  keylime3

Stone Crab Fest!!

Have the fishmonger gently crack the thick crab shells before you leave the store. As an appetizer, and depending on size, allow for at least 3 or 4 per person. As a main course, serve 5 or 6 per person. Serve with a simple green salad, a baguette and a slice of Key Lime Pie. Accompany with a crisp Chablis, Riesling, or Champagne.

Joe’s Stone Crab Sauce

1 Tablespoon Coleman’s Dry Mustard, or more to taste

1 Cup mayonnaise

2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Teaspoon A-1 Sauce

2 Tablespoons light cream


Plenty of Lemons to squeeze on to the stone crabs!

Combine mayo with the Colman’s mustard and mix well. Add the A-1, cream and Worcestershire then beat well until creamy. Add salt to taste. For spicier sauce, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of mustard, mixing well. Chill before serving.



A very refreshing Shangri-La


Click here for a great cocktail blog called – Post Prohibition

This is a wonderful and fun site, celebrating the craft of the cocktail. It is full of history, great images, instruction, and other very useful information! If you entertain at all, you will find guidance in stocking your cabinet, creating cocktails for every occasion and excellent how-to videos!



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