Archive | 11:34 pm

Rutabaga Mania

25 Jul

The underappreciated and misunderstood Rutabaga

Love rutabagas … although it is hard to find the canned variety in FL. Undaunted, I found some fresh ones at Publix (our local grocer). I bought three of the waxy looking bulbs and proudly brought them home. Eileen was pleased to see them, but the kids gave me a blank stare and asked in unison, “What’s a rutabaga?” I explained that it was sort of a cross between a potato and a carrot — maybe a little like a sweet potato … but not so sweet. This only confused them more.

The end result after adding salt, pepper, butter, & lots of elbow grease 

For dinner tonight (along with our guacamole turkey burgers) I whipped up a mess of mashed rutabaga. Pretty simple, really. I diced 3 rutabagas and boiled them until tender. I then drained out the hot water and mashed them into a goopy mush. I added a generous amount of salt and pepper, a good bit of butter, and a dash or two of nutmeg. The result was a rousing success — even the kids cleaned their plates. I have some left, so I will freeze it until the hankering hits again. Mighty fine eatin’ … and now the whole joint smells like Grandma’s house. Good memories!

Learn more about rutabagas at http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch4.html

Cupcakes A Go-Go

25 Jul

Cupcakes A Go-Go — a new find on Sarasota’s Bee Ridge Road

Stopped by Cupcakes A Go-Go today. They opened in February of this year and word about them is starting to get out. The ladies who run the place are committed to doing it right and keeping it simple. They don’t offer a gazillion different flavors — just chocolate and vanilla combinations plus one flavor du jour (pardon my French). Today’s featured frosting flavor was Maple Walnut … offered on a vanilla or chocolate cupcake. I couldn’t resist giving it a try. And let me tell you, it was amazing. The vanilla cake was incredibly moist and obviously made from scratch. That’s right, folks … no box mixes here.

Our new friends at Cupcakes A Go-Go also do a fine job of decorating cupcakes (big and small) for special events like weddings, birthdays, company parties, etc. The above picture is a great example of their creativity. Tell me you wouldn’t score some points with a loved one if they were presented with this beautiful bouquet of cupcakes in a flower box.

The above image is my Maple Walnut cupcake from earlier this afternoon. The frosting was whipped to a lite and fluffy consistency and I am happy to report that the flavor was nice and subtle. Yup, not the over the top, sickenly sweet frosting that you can almost always count on when buying cupcakes at your local grocer.

Please drop in on Cupcakes A Go-Go when in the Sarasota area. The service is friendly and highly personalized and the products, well, speak for themselves. Whether you’re craving a single cupcake or planning to feed the entire neighborhood, this is really an excellent choice. They were quick to point out that they are not the cheapest bakery in town, but you can really taste the difference. These cupcakes are made with a great amount of TLC — and that is a rarity in these days of mass production. For more on this tucked away little gem, go to www.gocupcakes.com

Gone Fishin’

25 Jul

The kids are starting to get excited about fishing. That is very cool because there are so many incredible fishing spots in our area. Their first adventure was on the pier under the bridge to Lido Key and St. Armands Circle. Austin hauled in a couple nice ones — see the picture above.

Travis looked good and got a few bites, but didn’t bring any fish over the rail. He did have one on the hook but it wriggled loose before he could land it. Oh well, both boys are asking to go again — that is a good sign. We might try our luck tomorrow if the weather is nice.

I never had much luck in the past, but my Grandpa was a master angler. Maybe the kids will inherit his knack for fishing — and his patience as well! It is not a pastime for those with a short attention span. As for me, fishing is good fun, but I really enjoy cooking and eating them. I guess I will be cleaning them as well, although that is not my favorite chore in the world.

Get started on your family fishing adventures at www.takemefishing.org