For those (probably older) folks who still use snail mail…

Celebrity Chefs stamps

Celebrity Chefs stamps

you can now get the first celebrity chef stamps!

The backside of Celebrity Chefs

The backside of Celebrity Chefs

Nice photos/portraits of the five chefs (James Beard, Joyce Chen, Julia Child, Edna Lewis and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi) adorn the stamps with the back of the sheet sporting bios of each of them. It’s a nice variety of cuisines represented, and with the tradition that to be depicted on a US stamp a “real” person has to be deceased (even though this is no longer a hard-and-fast rule), this is certainly a good list of some of the first celeb chefs, but I think that Justin Wilson also belongs here…

Despite that little nit-pick on my part, I did scurry down to the local Post Office to get my hands on a sheet of these on the first day they were on sale!

So, keep an eye on your mail, you never know when Julia or Edna may show up in your box!

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share”!

Five Years…

September 7, 2014

No, I’m not referring to the opening song on my favorite album…

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but how long ago the first tentative post showed up on Eating (and Drinking) Around the World…

I had decided to stick my virtual toe into the water of the already overcrowded blogosphere, and on this day five years ago I announced it to the World, or at least the tiny numbers of people contained in the world who stumbled across it. And actually when I began I didn’t really think I’d still be at it five years later…

Certainly the blog has changed a bit over the years from my original idea, and will no doubt continue to do so, and you may even see it spin off into something (or somethings?) Completely Different… time (and my time) will tell…

I’ll admit I don’t have the largest number page views out there, but I do have some Dedicated Readers that have been with me from pretty much Day One… and I want to thank those people, and also the ones that just pop in from time to time, and even those that have just happened on a random post via a search engine or link… that even a relatively small number of people out there in the Real World read this humbles me, and as long as you do, I’ll do my best to keep going on…

Thanks also to those other bloggers, podcasters, etc. that have given your time, advice and encouragement to me (you know how you are), and as well to my friends and family who have done the same… of course it should go without saying (but I will anyway), thanks for all the love and encouragement (and blog material) from my dear wife, “Miss” Bonnie.

I’m going to repost a couple of the first “real” blog posts the next week or so (which not shockingly, are about LaCava del Tequila…) on their five-year anniversaries, I hope you’ll enjoy taking a (tequila-laced) trip down memory lane with me.

Happy Blogiversary to me!

 

While wandering through Mouse Gears in Epcot the other day, Miss Bonnie & I came across an interesting set of shirts…

Full "O" Hops, are we?

Full “O” Hops, are we?

these were all baseball-style long sleeve shirts and each featured a beloved Disney animated character.

Cheers!

Cheers! Everybody knows this guys name for sure!

They look to be cute shirts highlighting the personality types of each of the animated entertainers…

Carbonated Quacker

Under pressure? A Carbonated Quacker?

but upon closer inspection they sure look to be representations of…

Stout

Of course Grumpy would be a Stout… can’t imagine him as a Lite…

nothing other than beer labels! And clever ones at that!

Pin

Grumpy “Xtra Stout” Pin from several year ago

This isn’t the first time for something like this from Disney merchandise – a few years ago Grumpy appeared on a pin that was pretty obviously a beer label. Of this collection of shirts, his looks to be the most obvious adult-beverage-logo-looking… I always figured Grumpy to be a pretty heavy drinker anyway…

To cap it off...

To cap it off…

There is also a cap with all the labels on it, and compared to the $36.95 price tag for the shirts, the $19.95 hat is almost a bargain.

Think it’s time for a cold one…

 

First came the pleasant news that due to criminal gangs in a certain section of Mexico, the avocados in your guac probably have been tainted with the blood of the people of the state of Michoacán. In an article in the Wall Street Journal, author José de Córdoba quotes Raul Benitez, a security expert at UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico In Mexico City: “They are ‘blood avocados’ “, Benitez says. “They are the Mexican equivalent of the conflict diamonds that are sold from war-torn parts of Africa.”

Extortion by the “Mexican Mafia” is taking a percentage of the profits from the locals, as well as driving up prices in the US, where 80% of the avocados consumed originate from Mexico. For the gory details you can listen to an interview on the radio show Good Food.

On top of this now comes news that may effect your margarita consumption…

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limes prices are now soaring… partly due to severe rains and citrus disease, but also, yes you guessed it Dear Dedicated Readers, criminal activity.

You can read the sad story in a New York Times article by David Karp, or listen to him in another interview on Good Food.

All of this is bad news for the end consumer, but even worse news for the farmers and other workers in Mexico who are being strong-armed by the criminal cartels.

I don’t know what we can really do on our end to help the situation… trying to boycott the products would take even more money out of the pockets of the innocents involved… so for now I’ll simply try to keep the good, hard-working people of Mexico in my thoughts every time I raise a glass…

 

 

 

As usual, Miss Bonnie and I were in the World for Marathon Weekend in January. We had originally planned on not actually doing any of the races this year after finishing the Goofy Challenge (a half-marathon on Saturday and a full on Sunday, for a total of 39.3 miles) in 2013, and with what occurred after that race (and one of these days I’ll get around to fully recounting that story…) anything this year would just be anti-climatic…

Bib from new 10k race

Bib from new 10k race

Well, leave it to the good folks at runDisney to announce a new race (the Walt Disney World 10K) and also a new challenge (the official Dopey Challenge: four races over four days totaling 48.6 miles!). We weren’t exactly excited about the training time and expense that the Dopey would require, especially with all we’d have going on right before that in our lives (and if you’re not sure what that was, you can check out the post “It was like a Dream….“), but with a 10k being basically a “walk in the park” after Goofy, and it being a new medal we didn’t have, we signed up for the 10k as soon as it opened for registration (and good thing as it sold out in a nanosecond).

As always, we had a wonderful long weekend seeing many friends, eating some good food (that post to come later), and yes, earning a new medal…

New Minnie medal in the middle

New Minnie medal in the middle

Other than the usual fun and frivolity around the parks, there were some very odd odds and ends around the races… so let’s take a look shall we?

Sign

One side of the Bus Route Sign after the 10k

If you’re staying on Disney property, they provide bus transportation to and from all of the races. After the end of each days race there is a line of buses going to each of the resorts, and large signs directing you to where the bus for your particular resort is (or will be) parked awaiting your tired and sweaty self. On this day the signed provided a bit of, well, odd information…

A closer look at the sign above... notice anything?

A closer look at the sign above… notice anything?

An even closer look for you...

An even closer look for you…

apparently you can’t go to the Art of Animation resort, you have to go to either Art or Animation… didn’t know they were separate…

And around the corner...

And around the corner…

The other side of the same sign also provided a bit of amusement…

And here's your close-up...

And here’s your close-up…

apparently there are no longer any “Springs” at Coronado Springs… all you have now are “Spings”… I think I’d ask for a discount if I was staying there…

And it wasn’t just the signs… let’s take a closer look at the runners bib for the 10k…

Let's look at that bib again...

Let’s look at that bib again…

This race was extra-special - it was the Inaguaral one!

This race was extra-special – it was apparently the Inaugurual one!

As this was the first time the 10k was held, it was the Inaugural running of this race, or that’s what you would have thought – the bib declared it the “Inaugurual” 10k!

So now I’m thinking there might be a job opening at runDisney for a proof-reader… brushing up my resume…

Okay, I just really don’t know what to say about all that… I’ll leave it up to you… comments???

So, let’s wrap-up on a fun note – along the race courses there are usually lots of bands, well-wishers, and of course, characters… and sometimes you’ll see some characters you rarely (if ever) see around the parks.

Just don't look up my name in the Urban Dictionary...

Just don’t look up my name in the Urban Dictionary…

Bonnie and I went out to cheer the racers Saturday and Sunday (the 10k was on Friday), and towards the end of the marathon course just outside of Mousegears in Epcot we came across Launchpad McQuack from Ducktails!

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He even took time to pose with another non-human!

So there you have it dear Dedicated Readers, some more Odds and Ends… and a few very odd ones it was!

Back to the kitchen, see you soon!

It was like a Dream….

December 27, 2013

A while back (in the last Margarita of the Month post) I mentioned to you that Miss Bonnie and I would be taking an excursion on the Disney Dream…

And yes, we took an (all-too-brief-but-incredibly-fun) three-day cruise along with 41 of our nearest-and-dearest (including her Parental Units, the Offspring, and The Harem, among others).

So I thought I’d share with you a (mostly) photo essay of the dishes served at the sit-down dining venues on that beautiful ship… so let’s eat, shall we?

Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes

Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes

Animator’s Palette was the first stop on our dining rotation.

Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes

Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes

The “appetiser-of-choice” that evening was actually one of the best things we had all cruise. Described on the menu as  “Pasta Purses filled with Truffle-scented Cheese and coated with a delicate Champagne Sauce”, one of our party claimed it was the best thing she had ever eaten in her life!

Smoked Salmon Tartare

Smoked Salmon Tartare

Tomato Tarte with Glazed Goats Cheese and Radish Salad

Tomato Tarte with Glazed Goat Cheese and Radish Salad

Sliced Serrano Ham
with Tomato Bread and Spanish Olives

Sliced Serrano Ham
 with Tomato Bread and Spanish Olives

The “Big Money” entree here was the Asian-inspired beef tenderloin…

Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin

Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin

it was served on wasabi mashed potatoes with bok choy, carrots and a tamarind-barbecue reduction.

Seared Red Snapper with Scallops, Crushed New Potatoes and Salsa Verde

Seared Red Snapper with Scallops, Crushed New Potatoes and Salsa Verde

Of course there were other entrees, and if you (like Miss Bonnie’s Youngest Offspring) wanted just a big-honking plate of meat with fries, all you had to do was ask!

Herb Crusted Veal Chop, Grilled Sirloin, Steak Fries and Veggies (which I'm pretty sure went untouched)

Herb Crusted Veal Chop, Grilled Sirloin, Steak Fries and Veggies (which I’m pretty sure went untouched)

I did take a bite of the veal chop, and wish I’d ordered that! It was incredible!

And let’s not forget sweets…

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Hummm... wonder why this dessert showed up on our table?

Hummm… wonder why this dessert showed up on our table?

And on the subject of sweets, even though they don’t appear on any menu, you can always order a Mickey Bar…

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or twelve…

Cheers!

Cheers!

Our day two dinner venue was Enchanted Garden…

Chickpea-garlic puree (served alongside the bread service)

Chickpea-garlic puree (served alongside the bread service)

North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli with Roasted Garlic and Sweet Basil in a light Tomato Broth

North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli with Roasted Garlic and Sweet Basil in a light Tomato Broth

Apps were great here…

Thyme and Garlic Brioche Filled with Chanterelle, Hedgehog and Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Leek Stew in a light Buttermilk Cream

Thyme and Garlic Brioche filled with Chanterelle, Hedgehog and Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Leek Stew in a light Buttermilk Cream

Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower with Crispy Noodles and Wasabi Dressing

Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower with Crispy Noodles and Wasabi Dressing

and Dedicated Readers know I’m a Big Fan of raw-chopped-tuna-with-other-stuff-mixed-in, and the Tuna and Avocado Tower appetizer was a hit with me…

Romaine Wedge Salad

Romaine Wedge Salad

The main course offerings weren’t slouches either…

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Caramelized Sea Scallops

Caramelized Sea Scallops

Prime Rib

Prime Rib

but the Big Winner Dish was the sea bass…

Pan-seared Sea Bass With Saffron and Fennel Risotto with a Sweet Chili Glaze

Pan-seared Sea Bass with Saffron and Fennel Risotto with a Sweet Chili Glaze

it was perhaps Bonnie’s favorite dish of the entire cruise.

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And yes, there were sweets to end the night here too…

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Even though this was Pirate Night on the ship, as it was only a three day cruise the standard menu was being served as opposed to the special Pirate Night fare offered on four-night (and longer) voyages.

Royal Palace was the location for our final meal on an all-too-short cruise. Our large party took up the central table smack dab in the middle of the beautiful restaurant – the night before the head waiter had promised us the “best seats in the house” and he delivered!

Escargots Gratinés

Escargots Gratinés

A big-ol plate of garlicky snails is one of the popular starters here.

Escargots Gratinés Herb-marinated Snails with Finely Chopped Mushrooms, topped with Garlic Butter and Breadstick

Escargots Gratinés – Herb-marinated Snails with Finely Chopped Mushrooms, topped with Garlic Butter and Breadstick

Pomegranate Glazed Duck Breast

Pomegranate Glazed Duck Breast

Iced Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp

Iced Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp

Entrees included duck…

Duck Three Ways

Duck Three Ways

and lamb…

Double Cut Rack of Lamb with a Dijon Crust

Double Cut Rack of Lamb with a Dijon Crust

Several of our party were excited about the prospects of the lobster mac & cheese…

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

however this proved to be the only really disappointing dish of the cruise, bland and lacking much flavor.

Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter Mousse

A delicious Peanut Butter Mousse was a sweet ending to our culinary adventures on the Dream.

Oh yeah… when I mentioned this trip in a prior post, I noted this was to be a Celebratory Cruise – and the reason for the celebration was that Miss Bonnie became Mrs FishyRocketBoy!

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Yes, just before the cruise Bonnie and I were married (in Mickey Ears of course, and officiated by a clown).

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So there will be many more years of cooking, dining and Disney in our future, and even though she’s now a “Mrs”, I’m sure Bonnie will still be known around these parts as “Miss Bonnie”…

So there you have it Dear Dedicated Readers, some more good eats, and a little bit of news… okay, some pretty big news… and thanks to Papa Harry for the wedding pics!

As always, it’s back to the kitchen, see you soon!

99 Food Trucks at the fair…

September 4, 2013

99 trucks at the fair…

eat at one, share with someone, 98 trucks to go at the fair…

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Last Saturday at the Tampa State Fairgrounds 99 food trucks gathered to set a Guinness World Record (the prior record was 62 set in Miami).

Early crowds waiting to be allowed entry

Early crowds waiting to be allowed entry

Despite temps in the 90s, a reported 32,000 hungry diners descended on the fairgrounds to partake of the varied offerings from the plethora of portable provisions on hand.

Eager diners streaming in

Eager diners streaming in

Miss Bonnie and I were among the rapacious throng, and despite some early snags with parking, the delay of the opening and the aforementioned heat, we have a great time.

The roster

The roster

One thing about most successful food trucks, in addition to having great food (and everything we had that day was at least really good, and a few things were really great), is that they have a clever name and decor that draws attention, and many of the attending trucks at this event fell into that category…

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and so I thought I’d share a few pics of some of the cool and fun trucks we saw that day (and some food too). This is far from an exhaustive overview, and I’m sure we even missed seeing some great ones, but I think it will give you a bit of the flavor of the event…

The Red Zepplin truck was serving up Lobster Rolls and other crustacean-filled goodies

The Red Zeppelin truck was serving up Lobster Rolls and other crustacean-filled goodies

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Is that a pita in your pocket?

Is that a pita in your pocket?

You could even dine in, well atop, the Tropiccool sorbet truck

You could even dine in, well atop, the Tropicool sorbet truck

Some trucks seemed to have consistently long lines…

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one of which was the Hot Mess truck.

Miss Hott Mess I presume?

Miss Hott Mess I presume?

And one of their big draws was the “Tot Bar” part of the menu.

Hott Mess Tot Bar and Sides Menu

Hott Mess Tot Bar and Sides Menu

Bonnie went for the Hott Mess Tots…

Hott Mess Tots

Hott Mess Tots

while I scarfed down a huge serving of some really great fried jalapenos.

And yes, I ate the whole thing... and paid the price the next day...

And yes, I ate the whole thing… and paid the price the next day…

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Thai One On! Menu

Thai One On! Menu

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There was also a consistently long line at Island Delights…

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where they were coring out fresh pineapples and filling them with fruit juices and booze (if you so desired the latter)….

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and lots of thirsty patrons did so desire, waiting in line for up to an hour for their libations!

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PAO! Philippine Truck

PAO! Philippine Truck

PAO! Menu

PAO! Menu

The folks at the Loafin’ Around cafe from Sebring, Florida were touting the “best Gator you’ve ever had”…

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and I couldn’t argue with that, it was perfectly cooked and spiced – I’ve eaten more than my share of gator tail in my day, and this just might have been the best gator I’ve ever had!

Perhaps the best tail I've ever had...

Perhaps the best tail I’ve ever had…

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Maggie on the Move Truck

Maggie on the Move Truck

Maggie on the Move  Menu... yes, you read that last item correctly...

Maggie on the Move Menu… yes, you read that last item correctly…

Our favorite item for the day: Bacon Baklava, yes Bacon Baklava... need I say more?

Our favorite item for the day: Bacon Baklava, yes Bacon Baklava… need I say more?

As we left for the day, Bonnie said she hoped they would hold something on this scale again, but preferably at a cooler time of year… well Bonnie, your wish is their command…

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The organizers have announced:

The World’s Largest Food Truck Rally EVER! Part II

Yep, they’re shooting for 200 trucks the next time, and as of  9:00 AM on Tuesday they say there are already 88 trucks already signed up for the event scheduled for March 22, 2014…  mark your calenders now!

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