Category: Foodie For Thought

Dine Like a Dignitary

They may live in the most famous house in the country, dine with royalty from afar, and jet across the world in Air Force One, but when it comes to food preferences, U.S. presidents are just like the rest of us. Each one has a favorite comfort food or snack for which he is known.

Instant Pot Inspiration

Goodbye slow cooker, hello Instant Pot. If you’ve resolved to do more cooking in 2018, you might want to invest in this multifunctional cooking device that takes the place of several kitchen appliances, clearing up counter space and slashing meal-preparation time.

‘Tis the Season For Treats

I know the holiday season has arrived at our house when my favorite grocery store starts carrying Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips. These little minty morsels elevate everyday chocolate chip cookies to a special seasonal treat. (Find the cookie recipe on the back of the bag.)

A Thanksgiving Day Game Plan

If the thought of cooking a turkey and all of the trimmings for family and friends makes you break out in a cold sweat, don’t panic. With a little pre-planning, smart use of your kitchen, and a little help from your friends, this Thanksgiving could turn out to be one of the most enjoyable yet!

Dinner is Ready!

With work, school and extracurricular activities, you may feel as if getting dinner on the table is a Herculean feat. While it takes some effort, eating together as a family offers plenty of rewards.

Brain-Power Breakfasts

On top of fitting in a trip to the gym, sending that last-minute email, rounding up homework, packing lunches and finding shoes that match, eating a healthy breakfast can be a challenge for everyone. However, eating smartly in the morning helps adults and kids concentrate better and resist the urge to reach for energy drinks and sugary treats later in the day.

An Easy Summertime Treat!

These days, ice pops are experiencing renewed popularity with peak-season produce, savory spices, coffee, fresh herbs and even vegetables. They are easy to make, fun for kids, inexpensive and versatile enough to accommodate any diet. So, why not make some this summer? The only tools you need are a mold, a few ingredients and your imagination.

A Taste of the Tropics

From Florida’s northern coast to the Keys, this state is prime real estate for tropical fruit, many of which even grow in Greater Orlando. High in fiber and dense in vitamins and minerals, these delicious beauties are a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, cool off and spark up your diet for summer.

Happy Earth Day!

Feed Your Soul With Planet-Friendly Dishes

by Kirsten Harrington

Earth Day is April 22, so why not take time to celebrate Mother Nature by trying some fun, new recipes? From green smoothies to tempting yet healthy desserts, there are plenty of ways to please your taste buds and the planet.

Sensational Strawberries

Florida’s Season Is in Full Swing

by Kirsten Harrington


According to Haley Veilleux, retail manager of Scotts Country Market at Long & Scott Farms, the best strawberries are those that are red all the way to the tip (photo provided by Long & Scott Farms.)

There are so many benefits to living in the Sunshine State. Florida strawberries are just one of them.

Destination Dining: Winter Garden

Sample, Sip & Savor Your Way Through This West Orange Gem!

by Kirsten Harrington

With a weekly farmers market; lively festivals; numerous restaurants; and artisan shops selling gourmet goods like craft beer, chocolate and olive oil, Winter Garden is a food-lover’s paradise. The following is just a small peek at what the area has to offer:

Upcoming Events

• This weekend is a great time to head to Winter Garden for the sixth annual Blues & BBQ (Feb. 18, from 4–10 p.m., at the Downtown Pavilion, 104 Lakeview Ave.). Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the sounds and flavors of the South, with all profits benefiting the American Cancer Society.

Game Day Treats That Will Leave Them Cheering for More

For a Super Super Bowl Sunday!

by Kirsten Harrington

The best Super Bowl parties offer plenty of game-day food.

Food, friends and football — there’s nothing quite as American as gathering for the big game. With Super Bowl right around the corner, we’ve put together a game plan of satisfying side dishes and tempting treats that will have your friends and family cheering!

MetroWest resident Nicole Gower and her family have been hosting Super Bowl parties for years. It’s a great excuse to hang out with friends, play some flag football, and watch the game. Nicole suggests providing a hearty dish, which could be as simple as ordering pizza, and then asking guests to bring a side dish.

Fantastic Flavors From Around the Globe

Food Traditions that Ring in the New Year!

by Kirsten Harrington

Many Americans believe eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck.

From lucky lentils to tempting tamales, people from around the world welcome the new year with a mixture of tradition and superstition. Danes ring in the special day with boiled cod and lemon caper sauce, and some Mexican families gather for traditional tamales. In Greece, the savory-sweet vasilopita takes center stage, and the person who finds the coin or trinket hidden in the cake receives good luck.

As Easy as Pie!

by Kirsten Harrington

Apple pie with cinnamon on retro wooden background texturePies are the centerpieces of most holiday gatherings. 

From all-American apple to pleasing pumpkin, pies are the centerpieces of many holiday gatherings. Have you always wanted to make your own from scratch but had no idea where to begin? We’ll give you all the tips and tricks you need to wow your guests, so relax, grab a rolling pin, and get started.

“It’s definitely worth the effort,” said Joel Ramjohn, an accomplished home chef from Clermont who has been baking pies for years. “A home is not a home unless the aroma of a freshly baked pie fills the air from time to time.”

Chill Out

“Don’t be afraid — start with a simple apple pie,” Ramjohn said.

A Full, Delightful Feast

Round out your holiday meal with mouthwatering courses

While the turkey typically receives all the attention at holiday gatherings, rounding out your meal with the perfect snacks, sides and desserts is the key to a successful feast.

Start your guests off with NYC-Style Pita Chips with Herbed Ricotta and Arugula to keep big appetites at bay then serve Slow Cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows alongside the main course as the ideal complement to any meat. Finally, top off an evening of delicious food with Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie to send everybody home happy.

Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Is the Perfect Addition to Any Meal

by Kirsten Harrington

Pumpkin Pumpkin is a healthy and flavorful addition to almost any dish.

Making an appearance in everything from doughnuts to dog treats, lattes and peanut butter, pumpkin is arguably America’s favorite fall flavor. We aren’t the only ones who love this glorious globe — pumpkin appears in savory dishes across the world from Italian ravioli to Thai curries to Moroccan tagines. It’s incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into just about any dish.

Axum Market Café Makes Its Mark at the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA

For Global Poverty & a Healthy Southwest!

by Kirsten Harrington

Whoever thought that eating a Southwest Breakfast Pizza or sipping a hazelnut latte in Orlando would help orphans in Ethiopia? Or that savoring a spoonful of banana ice cream could calm an aching hip? Both goals — addressing global poverty and fighting chronic disease through healthy eating — are at the heart of the new Axum Market Café in the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA.

Gorgeous Frozen Granitas!

Traditional Italian-Style Icy Treat Is a Breeze to Make

by Kirsten Harrington

Looking for a cool, icy dessert you can make at home, but don’t have an ice cream maker or Popsicle molds? Why not make luscious frozen granitas?

Not to be confused with that slushy drink from your favorite coffee bar, an authentic granita is a fluffy, fruity shaved-ice dish originating from the island of Sicily in the Mediterranean. Similar to sorbet but with more texture, this sophisticated Italian version of a snow cone is easy to make at home, with no fancy equipment or hot ovens involved. So put your freezer to work, and in a few short hours you will …

Egg-citing News for Winter Garden – Backyard Chickens

Residents Flock Together to Gain Approval for Backyard Chickens

by Kirsten Harrington

First it was victory gardens, then composting and now backyard chickens. The latest do-it-yourself urban trend is sweeping the country, and Winter Garden is not going to be left behind. Joining the cities of Orlando and Maitland, Winter Garden recently approved a pilot program allowing a limited number of permits for residents to raise backyard chickens, following certain guidelines …

Summerport Village Farmer’s Market

A New, Delicious Destination for the Whole Family

by Kirsten Harrington

On a recent breezy Sunday afternoon in Summerport, families practiced yoga on the lawn, selected books from the Little Free Library, and waited in line to visit with Rommy the therapy horse. This is not your average farmers market, and that’s exactly what Summerport Village market manager Shanny Rios intended.

“Because Summerport Village is a community, I wanted to feature vendors that come from …

Quality Time in the Kitchen: Recipes for Kids

Cooking With Kids Yields Tasty Dishes & Memorable Moments 

by Kirsten Harrington

Some of my fondest memories of time spent with my children are in the kitchen. When they were little, measuring ingredients for cookie dough turned into a lesson about fractions; as they grew we talked about food safety and nutrition. They also learned the importance of taking time to prepare and eat real, wholesome food. These days, …

First Celtic Festival in Winter Garden

-by Kirsten Harrington-

If you haven’t yet visited the Plant Street Market in Winter Garden, this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Festival is a great reason to stop by. The event is being co-hosted by the market and Crooked Can Brewing Co. to celebrate the microbrewery’s first anniversary.

“We are releasing our new Irish Red Ale for …