Saturday, July 4, 2015

Healthy Eating before #FWCon Grilled Pineapple

REALLY trying to keep to a low cal fresh fruit and veg diet until I over indulge at the Food and Wine Festival #FWCon in Orlando just a couple of weeks away! Such an #amazing  #conference I can't wait...I'm like a little kid at Christmas time...and I have no intention of holding back one tiny bit....I'm going to see everything, do everything and taste everything!
I keep going back to look at the schedule of's totally awe inspiring! Before you run off to make Pineapple Islands take a quick look around the web site for the conference!

As hard as I try this  is one treat I can't resist...and I bet you can't either!  BUT you DON'T need to ....YEAH
Pineapple Islands Floating in Strawberry Coulis
1 pineapple
16 ounces strawberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 whole strawberries

Wash, hull and chop the strawberries.
Place berries and balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over medium heat and cook until softened stirring often.  This should take about 15 minutes.
Put a strainer over a bowl and pour in the strawberries.
Smash through the strainer with the back of a soup ladle.
Chill strawberry coulis in fridge for 30 minutes minimum.
While strawberry coulis is chilling, clean the pineapple by cutting of all the peel then slice into one inch circles. 
Using a sharp knife core each slice so you have a basic doughnut shape.
Heat BBQ grill or grill pan to high.
Rub lightly with a paper towel dipped in the olive oil.
Grill pineapple until browned; 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn slices over and grill another 4 to 5 minutes.
Spoon strawberry coulis onto a plate and place a slice of pineapple in the center of the coulis.

Top with a whole strawberry and serve immediately.

If you want to go to Orlando ...just do it!!!! I promise you will not regret your decision one second AND I LOVE meeting and making new foodie friends.  With that thought in mind I have a discount code worth $50 off your ticket.....FWC15quark.  The link will take you right o how to register...Then let me know so we can meet up!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad while I'm away at #FWCon Food and Wine Conference

I get a huge smile on my face every time I think about the upcoming #FWCon Food and Wine Conference in Orlando!  It just happens to be THE most #amazing foodie experience any food blogger/#foodie could have! AND so many sponsors...I don't know how I am going to find time to get to talk with them all: St. Augustine Distillery, Wisconsin Cheese, Duda, Certified Angus Beef, Certified Idaho Potatoes, Dixie Crystals, Cabot, Sweet Georgia Peaches and so many more!
If you haven't purchased your tickets yet...I have something special just for you:  a $50 discount code so QUICK go get your tickets!  Code is FWC15quark; just hit the code and it will take you right to the registration page...BUT not before you check out the Mediterranean Pasta Salad!

Since I will be away for OMG three whole days (big sigh heard from hubby at the thought) I am making a couple of goodies to have in the fridge while I am away.  This Mediterranean Pasta Salad is one of the most versatile dishes you can have in your recipe box!  Seriously...the amounts can be eyeballed, if you don't have something substitute with something you DO have.  Don't like an ingredient...leave it out and for the dressing....grab one from your fridge if you are in a super hurry...the salad will still be fantastic!

Mediterranean Salad:
1 Package fresh Tortellini cheese filled and cooked according to directions
1 box cherry tomatoes halved
1 cup cucumber cubed
1 yellow pepper seeded and cubed
¼ cup red onion minced
¼ cup green olives
2 T. Italian Capers
¼ cup feta cheese crumbles
¼ cup basil thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Vinaigrette dressing:
4T Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 clove garlic put through the press
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T. Dijon/whole grain mustard

½ t. salt & ¼ t. fresh ground black pepper

Mix together the salad ingredient in a LARGE bowl.  Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss well, serve chilled.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Making Blue Crab Cakes while Thinking about the Food and Wine Conference #FWCon

I'm super excited that the Food and Wine Conference #FWCon is just a couple of weeks away!  I'm organizing which of the amazing speakers I'm going to be seeing, waiting anxiously to meet the sponsors and trying to figure out how I can fit everything into the weekend's schedule!

#Summer here is Florida means lots of Blue Crabs that my husband catches from the dock and cleans so that I can make his favorite #awesome #delicious Crab Cakes!

I like my crab cakes to highlight the delicate crab flavor so I steer away from red and green peppers as ingredients.  I KNOW most #foodies like crab cakes have bold flavors in the ingredients but I feel you lose the crab as the most important flavor.

8 oz crab meat (blue crab is what I used)
4 oz Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese with chives
1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) ½ cup for crab cakes and ½ cup for coating
½ Cup + 2 TBSP grated Parmesan
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
½  t. salt
¼  t. pepper
1 T. horseradish sauce Optional)
1 T. lemon rind

1/3 cup egg whites
3/8 Teaspoon cream of tartar
4 Tbsp Olive Oil for frying crab cakes

  1. Combine crab meat with:
Cream Cheese
½ cup Panko
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Lemon rind

  1. Beat egg whites until foamy
  2. Add cream of tartar
  3. Beat until stiff peaks form
  4. Gently combine beaten egg whiles with crab mixture 1/3 at a time
  5. Combine ½ cup Panko with 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan and place on plate
  6. Form 6 crab cakes about ½ inch thick and coat with the Panko and Parmesan
  7. Heat Olive Oil in large frying pan
  8. Sauté crab cakes 3-4 minutes per side on medium until brown and cooked through.

These light and fluffy crab cakes will surprise you with a bit of a bite.  But not to worry, it won’t hurt and the horseradish just accentuates the crab!  They will become your favorite!