Archive for the ‘Local’ Category

If you’re looking for something amazing to do on an upcoming weekend, do this! You pay one price and you get this…

Did you see the hair on that guy? Seeing it in person is worth the ticket price alone.

You also get this…

Seriously, these are two great talents. These videos don’t even do justice to how amazing it sounds when you’re there in person and the auditorium is vibrating with resonance. East coast A Cappella meets West coast A Cappella for one day only. If you want tickets, you click the following link. I’ll be there so come say hello, hear the great music and then check out my Weekend Review post on 2/13/2012 when I write about how great it was!

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE:http://42fiveandmpact.eventbrite.com/

Put in the discount code 42FiveOFF for $5.00 off the price. Make sure to type it exactly as it appears. The code is case sensitive.

News flash: I’m in a relationship. If you know me, you know I’ve got a personal and fan page on Facebook. I’ve got a twitter account too. I share a great deal of my personal life publicly but this part I kept to myself until now. I’ve met someone great an want to introduce you to her. Her name is Jenn and, not long after we started dating, she started the Primal Blueprint lifestyle. She started making primal dinners with me and coming up with great recipe ideas.
I received an incredible surprise back on August 26th. For my birthday, Jenn took me to Cafe 118°. I hate to admit that when she told me she was taking me to a meatless, raw food, vegan restaurant the birthday excitement went slightly out of me. This was before the 30-day Primal Blueprint Challenge and in the back of my mind I was secretly hoping for a birthday dinner splurge of sushi or a churrascaria of non-stop meat. Instead we were going to Cafe 118°.
20110930-084143.jpg

Earlier in the afternoon we found the menu online and my excitement level jumped right back up. My curiosity was peaked. The menu at Cafe 118° offers juices, smoothies, ‘milk’ shakes, living entrees, raw desserts and raw ice cream. Each of those food types has several selections beneath. They also offer a selection of white and red wines by the glass or bottle along with a warning for those that have problems with nut allergies. Joe Diaz opened this restaurant because he saw the demand growing in the area for natural, veggie-based meals. Here’s some info from the Cafe 118° website and the back of the menu:

You & Us
Cafe 118° promotes balance and health; within our food, within our family, within our community. Utilizing many locally sourced organic ingredients, our goal is to provide modern raw cuisine that will benefit your everyday life and those you share it with.

What Is Living Cuisine
Living Cuisine are foods that are highly nutritious, free of animal by-products and processed/refined sugars. These foods are heated below 118° in order to preserve their rich vitamins, enzymes, coenzymes, minerals antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber – helping bioavailability and cell reconstruction.

The most beneficial characteristics of eating Living Cuisine are they are mostly alkaline forming and naturally fortified with amino acids. The enzymes (amino acids) help facilitate digestion, while the chlorophyll content in raw food help cleanse and balance your body’s pH levels.

At Cafe 118°, we harness raw organic ingredients to satisfy your wellness. Our entrees not only offer food in its simplest, most natural state, but explode with nutrients and flavor which will charge your body, strengthen your immune system and leave you feeling invigorated, engaged and energized.

20110930-084232.jpg

So this menu sat before us and, I must tell you, it all sounded good to me. We decided to order something from each menu section and share tastes.

Juiced
Jenn ordered a Cucumber Mint Cooler ($6). It had a little fizz to it and a great, fresh and bright combination of flavors. Very refreshing.
20110930-084320.jpg

‘Milk’ Shakes
These are dairy-free and infused with house made nut milks. I ordered the Divine Cherry ($8). It’s a blend of cherries, cacao, almond milk and banana and let me tell you that if I’m craving Cherry Garcia by Ben & Jerry’s again, I’m driving over to Cafe 118° to enjoy this instead. It was sweet, chocolatey and thick. It made me realize that, when made properly, healthy food can be just as enjoyable as the things I used to binge on before I made a conscious choice to get healthy.
20110930-084248.jpg

Living Entrees
We started off by sharing the Spiced Macadamia Hummus ($10)
The hummus was made from Macadamia nuts and was surprisingly good in texture and seasoning. It came with Sundried Tomato and herb flax crackers that were out of this world. So a little smear of the hummus on a cracker and I was hooked. This shared appetizer didn’t last long at all.
20110930-084306.jpg

For our meals, Jenn decided to get the ‘Lasagna’ ($18) and I ordered the Traditional Italian ($16). Being raised Italian, I tend to be a snob when it comes to restaurants trying to re-create the flavors of home. I threw that idea aside and decided to sample these entrees with a clean palate. Jenn’s ‘Lasagna’ was comprised of Sun dried tomato, herb pesto, macadamia ricotta and, where there would normally be pasta layers, there was sliced zucchini. The stack was topped with raw spinach and herb pesto and surrounded with a drizzle of oil. I found it pretty amazing that they managed to take the same macadamia nuts and combine them with a different level of moisture and seasoning and make something that tasted just like ricotta. The texture was identical. I was fooled. I’m also not a fan of crunchy veggies but by heating these to a temperature lower than 118° managed to take a good deal of the crunch away leaving only a slight bite which I didn’t mind one bit.
20110930-084342.jpg

The Traditional Italian is Zucchini noodles topped with Sundried tomato sauce, cashew parmesan and vegetable ‘meatballs’. The ‘meatballs’ are made from a mixture of sliced tomato, avocado and hemp seed and were very delicious. I won’t lie, they aren’t like the ones mama and grandma used to make but they were surprisingly tasty and the texture was very similar to a meatball. I enjoyed them. The zucchini noodles were soft enough to twirl around my fork and, again, had just enough bite that I wasn’t put off by the crunch. The portion size on this entree was large enough that I wound up having to take it home to finish the next day. I enjoyed it both times.
20110930-084401.jpg

Dessert
Since Jenn is an incredible baker, she made me primal cupcakes so we decided to pass on dessert at Cafe 118°. We were both pretty full anyway and didn’t need to be stuffing ourselves so we left and took a break to open presents and relax. The menu offers ‘Cheese’cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, Berry Parfait and ‘Smores’ along with four selections of raw ice cream. I have every reason to go back and sample the desserts. They sound amazing. I’m very excited about going again.

If you eat according to The Primal Blueprint or the Paleo Solution, Cafe 118° is worth a visit for a casual dinner or special occasion. The flavor combinations make for a very exciting time and you can walk away feeling pleasantly full and without bloated guilt. Check it out. I’ve included the details below.

What: Cafe 118°
Owner: Joe Diaz
Location: 153 East Morse Blvd.; Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (407) 389-2233
Hours:

  • Monday: 11:30-5p
  • Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30-9p
  • Friday & Saturday: 11:30-10p
  • Sunday: Closed


This weekend I took another trip over to the Winter Park Dairy off of Howell Branch Road in Seminole County. After enjoying several wedges of their cheeses, I felt it was time to share it with my readers.

It’s not difficult to find The Winter Park Dairy but you need to look for the small signs pointing toward the farm. You drive in through a small gate and down a dirt road past horses and cows. Just before you get to the lake, you curve to the right and the farm store is directly in front of you. I’ve been told that if you take away the palm trees that are on the property it feels like you’re in Vermont. The farm store is only open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. so you’ve got to make room in your schedule to make a trip over. I always try to get in just after 9 on Saturdays since I’m afraid of how popular this will get and how there’s a chance they will run out of what I want to buy. I know…I’m a little selfish.

The Winter Park Dairy is farmed by the Green family and is the first dairy to be built in the last decade and the only one producing 100% natural raw milk artisan cheese. It is also the smallest, least mechanized and most urban. No pasteurizers or milk pumps to heat, batter and destroy the integrity of the milk. Land development in Central Florida rapidly gobbled up the last farms and Florida dairies became massive industrial enterprises milking tens of thousands of confined cows every day. The milk is processed in mega-sized food plants that would make NASA envious and shipped hundreds of miles to a grocer’s shelf near you.

20110930-084553.jpg
That’s what makes The Winter Park Dairy Farm Store unique. The store is not large in size but it has several interesting items to buy. There are jams, honey, and baked goods. Since I don’t eat grains or sugar, I went directly for the honey. They have Orange-Blossom, Wildflower and Tupelo. I went for the Wildflower honey and have used it at home for sweetening my primal ice cream, teas and for using in the new primal bread recipe I’ve been making lately.

On the table next to the register you’ll find wedges of the various raw milk, aged artisan cheeses produced by the Winter Park Dairy. Each type of Cheese has a sample in front of it. During my visits to the farm store, they have had Blue Cheese, Black & Blue Cheese(with peppercorns throughout), Parmesan and Cheddar. The cheese is sliced into big wedges and sold for $6 per wedge. David Green will even encourage you to pick the biggest one since they’re all the same price.

To the right of the cash register, there’s a cooler with farm fresh eggs, Amish butter and goat cheese made from other producers. I purchased a roll of the Amish butter on my first visit over four weeks ago and I still have more than half of the roll left to use.

So far, I’ve tried the Cheddar, Blue Cheese and Black & Blue Cheese. I am a big fan of the Black & Blue. I’ve purchased it twice and have used it to stuff dates, top hamburgers, fill omelets and sliced for an occasional snack.

The texture of the cheese is very creamy. It melts extremely well under the broiler. The rind is edible and also has a great texture to it.

The website for Winter Park Dairy offers this brief history:

Farm History

The Green family has farmed the land surrounding spring fed Lake Florence for 4 generations. Citrus was king and the Green groves produced oranges, tangerines and grapefruit for over a century until the back to back freezes of 1983 and 1985 laid permanent waste to the fruit and trees. So that the farm could continue to produce fresh food for the community and a living for the family, David Green and Dawn Taylor-Green started Winter Park Farm in 2001 to breed and raise Angus cattle. That’s how they became acquainted with the Cow. The Cow is an extremely cool animal. As such, it seemed a dreadful shame that their only destiny was to be fattened and slaughtered by the age of three. The short meaningless life of a Beef Cow. Not our kind of farming.

Dairy Cows. Being a Dairy Cow is the way to go. You have human servants – “Farmers” – attending to your every need, every day. They feed you all natural grains, hay and pure water to your heart’s content. You, in turn, produce five gallons of fresh butterfat rich milk every day. Working together in harmony under the Florida sun to create the Sunshine State’s only raw milk artisanal cheese, all thrive. Grazing on green lakefront pasture year-round, a Dairy Cow’s life is an eternal Spa visit. And they get to live a good long time to enjoy it. Our kind of farming. Winter Park Dairy was born.

I highly advise a visit to the Winter Park Dairy. Every time I walk in, David greets me with a warm welcome and has been very informative about the products his family makes. Support this local family farm and enjoy the fact that your cheese is locally made from quality ingredients without preservatives.

Location: 4501 Howell Branch Road, Winter Park, FL 32792
Owners: David L. Green, MBA, MS and Dawn Taylor Green, RD, LD
Hours: Saturdays Only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Acreage: 8
Products: Raw Milk Aged Artisan Cheese
Website: http://winterparkdairy.com/

Fancy Fruit & Produce

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Local, Primal Cooking

20110928-173644.jpg

It’s nice to have a local produce market that has kale for $.99 a bunch and coconut milk for $.99 a can!

Fancy Fruit & Produce is located at:

1442 State Road 436 #1076
Casselberry‎ FL‎ 32707

They have a great selection of produce and $20 goes a really long way! Tomorrow I’m making Kale chips again!