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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, January 28, 2008

More Vacation Foods in Florida

We left Key West just after 10 am on Thursday (January 17, 2008) stopping at a cute pub called Don's Place where we waited for the Mac store to open. Island life is just a bit slower paced :) From there we travelled to my husband's aunt and uncle's on No Name Key. Now this is just a really pretty place to visit! They are totally solar powered and they gather their own water. So I had to share a little on this stop. Our final destination for the night was the condo in Hallandale, Florida. Upon arrival and getting settled, we did a little grocery shopping then settled in on the balcony to watch the ocean.

Coconut Palm

As many of you know I love to garden. It influences my cooking style so when we stopped at my husband's aunt and uncle's place I was in seventh heaven! Their gardens were amazing. They are totally solar so that in itself really impressed me and you can be sure I will be asking more questions on that but the gardens were like a magnet. They had a few coconut palms all loaded and along with some lovely looking tomatoes and herbs were star fruit, papaya and figs as well as other tropical plants. They take the boat out fishing catching fish I can only buy and offered to take us out fishing knowing we would have kitchen facilities but we had to meet the owner of the condo so could only stay a short time. After a lovely and relaxing visit we left with star fruit, figs and my much coveted coconut. His aunt offered more coconuts but my husband was firm that only one would be allowed. With visions of moving to an island like this where we could grow produce year round we headed up US 1. We saw three Key deer and even though we were travelling slow they were a blur when photographed.

My Coconut!

My coconut weighs in at 5.75 lb but that's with the husk. My husband took one look and hinted several times as to how to rid ourselves of the coconut but I was determined to bring it home. His concern was the weight since apparently someone (rolling eyes, shrugging shoulders, looking very innocent) packs too much. My concern was getting it through Canadian Customs which ended up be no problem. Now I have this gorgeous coconut that needs to be husked then I am going to find something special to make. As soon as I figure out how to break the baby open you will hear about it. I brought a tin of cream of coconut in the Key West and already had a tin of coconut milk at home, I think a Pina Colada type of desert might just be around the corner.


Friday afternoon we stopped at Giorgio's Bakery & Bristro at 800 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, Florida. This was a short drive up from our condo on the intercostal. There is indoor seating but we opted to sit at a table outdoors right on the water. It was a beautiful, bright sunny and warm day. We watched the boats come in and out as we basked in the sun.

We ordered bruschetta with roasted garlic, homemade mozzarella, vine ripe tomatoes, garden fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil as an appetizer. The bruschetta was a half loaf of their fresh made bread topped with cheese, tomatoes, garlic and very lovely tasting fresh basil drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That touch of balsamic really made the flavours burst! This is definitely a must try at home!

Not pictured was my husbands Phily Cheese Steak (apparently he has developed quite the liking for these) and my smoked salmon wrap with herb cheese and cucumber. Both were exellent! On the way out I bought dinner rolls and coissants from the bakery. I took pictures of the bakery as well. So many wonderful looking foods and the smell was incredible.

Condo Kitchen

This is a photo of the condo kitchen. It was a small "L-shape" with seating for two but it was clean and bright. I really liked the ceiling that doesn't show in this photo. The appliances were all medium range GE but more than adequate. I'm not sure of the problem but the fridge freezer seemed to be icing where it shouldn't. The sink had a garburator but we didn't use that. The oven while being self cleaning was very small, about a third the size of my home oven. The stovetop was smooth glasstop that gave me a few times trying it out. Whether I will by a glasstop module for my stove is still up in the air. There were things I liked about the glasstop and things I didn't. What was rather neat was the microwave as it had a browning element in it so you could microwave the food then brown the top. The Salton coffee maker had an option to make espresso something we might consider for home.

DiGiorno Pizza

One of the neat things about travelling is you can try foods you normally wouldn't at home. Even if you are cooking them in a kitchenette or condo you still will be making easy to prepare foods and likely relying more on convenience foods. And there is nothing wrong with that as after all you are on vacation. However, do try to keep it relatively healthy.

After much discussion we decided on a DiGiorno pizza for a snack Friday (Jan 18) night. We had bought a few groceries and this was one of our convenience splurges. The condo amenities simply did not lend themselves for cooking from scratch much so this was a close second. I have to admit it wasn't bad especially since it had spinach as one of the toppings. I will be adding chopped spinach to my list of toppings for homemade pizza.

3 food lovers commented:

jayedee said...

i soooooo wish i'd have focused on the fact you'd be so close to me! i'd have loved to driven down to wine and dine ya'll a bit!

Garden Gnome said...

Jayedee, that would have been so much fun! I will definitely let you know when we are in the area again.

Take care!

utenzi said...

Bruchetta and pizza. That's a killer combination. I love both so much!