Zucchini Brownies #SundaySupper


I love this time of year. School is back in session, temperatures are slightly cooling and football is back. Baking is one of my favorite hobbies and nothing inspires me more than the arrival of a new season. I was excited to participate in this week’s edition of #SundaySupper, which features squash, because I love baking with pumpkin and zucchini. Last year I made brownies for the first time with zucchini and am excited to share this easy recipe which has become one of my favorites.… Read the rest

Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs #SundaySupper


As a busy mom that works full time, entertaining guests is something I enjoy but do not always have time to prepare elaborate dishes. Simplicity is key and nothing compares to the taste of fresh figs paired with cheese and wine. Since moving to Florida from Northern California, I do not get to enjoy fresh figs as often but when I see them at the local market during season, I always sure to pick up a basket.… Read the rest

Pacific Wilderness Cocktail


I have been on a cocktail kick lately and one of my favorite spirits is Distillery No. 209 Gin from San Francisco. Hands down, No. 209 is one of my preferred gins and is a secret weapon in gin based cocktails. The first time I tried No. 209 was back in May of 2012 during a trip home to California. One of my longtime friends made me a cocktail after a grueling 6 hour flight from Tampa to San Francisco.… Read the rest

Drunken Root Beer Float


The other day as I was browsing through the cookie isle, a bright yellow package caught my eye……..Root Beer Float Oreos! Of course I had to get some and while I was in the checkout line I thought of a great way to use them in a cocktail. Yes, a cocktail. Being that I am a bar manager, I immediately put my idea to the test and crazy as it may sound, it was a delicious success.… Read the rest

Naked Black Flower

naked turtle

I am sure you are wondering……where in the heck have I been? My last post was in May and I have missed writing more than anyone can imagine. As you may or may not know, I have been bartending at a small restaurant in South Tampa for the last four years. Back in February, the owner told me that he was opening a second location that was three times the size and that I would be part of the opening team as well as overseeing the bar.… Read the rest

Black Rose Cocktail


It is only May, but here in Florida the temperatures are rising and the weather calls for refreshing drinks that can be served poolside. With the abundance of fresh fruits at the market, I wanted to make something with luscious blackberries and stumbled upon a fantastic recipe from the Apothic Wine Blog. You are sure to fall in love with this cocktail and it is perfect to serve on a warm spring or summer evening.… Read the rest

Apothic Red Velvet Cake


Apothic Red is one of my preferred wines to pair with chocolate and when I saw a recipe for an Apothic Red Velvet Cake from Ross Sveback, I knew I had to bake it. A favorite restaurant customer of mine shares my love of Apothic Red and I wanted him to by my tasting guinea pig. While this cake is easy to make, it is time consuming and I did not allow myself enough time to bake it.… Read the rest

3rd Annual Burger Showdown with SweetWater Sampling!


Hey hey Tampa Bay! Friday is almost upon us and there is an incredible event taking place for burger lovers. The 3rd Annual Burger Showdown takes place on Friday, May 2nd at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park from 5-9pm. During this event you will get to taste the best burgers in Tampa Bay as a culinary judging panel will award top honors at Burger Showdown 2014 including Best Burger in the Bay, Bring the Heat, Best Use of Bacon and Where’s the Beef?!… Read the rest

Her Name Was Lola (Cocktail)

me pilar event

This past Monday night I competed in my first ever cocktail competition at CopperFish in South Tampa. Sponsored by Papa’s Pilar Rum and the United States Bartenders Guild of Tampa Bay, it was a tiki-themed event and all competitors needed to use Papa’s Pilar Rum as the main ingredient. I was nervous, as there were so many incredible bartenders competing, but I wanted to challenge myself and learn something new. Papa’s Pilar has been one of my favorite rums since I first tried it last summer.… Read the rest

Naked Grapefruit Mojito #TuesdayBoozeday


I am so lucky to live in Florida. Each day is like living in paradise, as we are blessed with gorgeous beaches, warm weather and an abundance of citrus fruits. Warm days often call for tropical drinks and nothing is more Floridian than a mojito. I recently discovered Naked Turtle Rum and let’s just say I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner. Made with the finest sugarcane molasses and distilled five times using the pristine waters of the Virgin Islands, it never touches the inside of an oak barrel, thus making it “naked” and truly delicious.… Read the rest