Archive | 6:32 pm

Knocking Around in Arcadia, FL

30 Nov


We made a brief pit stop in Arcadia, FL on our way back from Singer Island. Arcadia is an old agricultural and cattle town located about 45 miles due east of Sarasota. We planned on eating lunch at Slim’s BBQ, but they were sadly closed through Dec. 2nd. Undaunted, we motored on over to A Taste of Italy in the town’s historic district.


A Taste of Italy turned out to be a pretty good 2nd choice, but don’t go if you’re in a big hurry. It took us quite a while to get a waitress to serve us. However, the food was quite good once it finally hit our table. We ordered a large pepperoni pizza cooked in their brick oven. Best of all, it only cost us about $20 to feed the entire family — and we were hungry!


The interior of Taste of Italy included the above mural scene of Venice 


The architecture in Arcadia is decidedly turn of the century (20th, that is) 


 Here’s another look at the interesting design features seen downtown 


If the pizza doesn’t fill your gut, try the Hot Fudge Shoppe right next door 


 Their specialities include homemade ice cream &, yup, hot fudge sundaes


Another dessert option is the Peanut Butter Pie at Wheeler’s


Wheeler’s Southern Cooking will soon celebrate 80 years of business in Arcadia

I guess we’ll be back for some BBQ, a scoop of ice cream, and a slab of pie — GULP! For now, I better get back to the gym to make up for all this good holiday eatin’. NOTE: Arcadia is also a mecca for antique shoppers. Seems like every other storefront downtown is an antique store or flea market of some kind. Come visit and spend the day rooting around if you dig old stuff like we do.

Christmas Time on Siesta Key

30 Nov


Christmas season is now in full swing on beautiful Siesta Key, FL. Last night marked the Key’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting celebration. Baseball great Tim McCarver flipped the switch last year, this year it was former basketball coach and present ESPN TV personality Dick Vitale (AKA “Dickie V”).


Vitale addressed the crowd and asked one & all to dig deep this holiday season for the Jimmy V Cancer Fund. Dickie V was a good friend of the late NC State hoops coach Jim Valvano and he continues to wage Valvano’s battle to find a cure for cancer. Vitale had some books he was selling and signing for $25 with all the proceeds going to the foundation. Great job, Dickie V … you are indeed AWESOME BABY!!!!


I kicked in our donation to the cause & paused for a snapshot with Dickie V.


It was then time to turn on the tree lights. It is a beautiful (and very tall) tree this year. It can be seen thru Christmas in front of Gabbiano’s Italian Restaurant in the heart of Siesta Village. Stop on by, do a little shopping, grab a bite to eat, and say hello to our good friends at the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. Debbie, Mike and Charlie will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have. They are truly wonderful folks!


Santa also arrived on Siesta Key last night. All the kids were thrilled to see him.  


Sure, Christmas shopping is now fully underway. But there was another kind of shopping going on last night — Barber Shopping! These brightly clothed gents busted out some familiar harmonies inside the Village Barber Shop. Our kids enjoyed this very much. We believe it was the first time they had ever seen barber shoppers in action — excepting for a recent episode of “Flapjack” on Cartoon Network. I have always been partial to “My Wild Irish Rose” … and no, I’m not so partial to the cheap wine of the same name!

Merry Christmas from Siesta Key, where the sand is as white as freshly fallen snow!

Ever Tried Syllabub, Bub?

30 Nov


SYLLABUB (English Sherry-Infused Mousse)
For a variation, fill the glasses halfway up with the syllabub, add a little raspberry purée or a few chopped white peaches or strawberries, and then top them off with the remaining syllabub, to create a fruity middle section to the dessert.

Put 1/3 cup superfine sugar, 1⁄4 cup oloroso sherry, 2 tbsp. cognac, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, and the zest of 1 lemon into a large bowl. Stir well, then cover and let sit out at room temperature overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Add 1 3⁄4 cups plus 2 tbsp. cold heavy cream (preferably unhomogenized) and a light pinch of freshly grated nutmeg to the sherry mixture and whip with a whisk until soft peaks form. Spoon into 4 glasses and garnish each with a bit of lemon zest and a sprig of rosemary.

Serves 4.

More Holiday Cheer from Phil Spector

30 Nov

Here is part 2 of a holiday tribute to svengali Phil Spector —

Hope this helps you get into the Christmas Spirit!