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Marble Falls and Austin, Texas — Unexpected Things to Do on Vacation

Sharing is Caring: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email YummlyMarble Falls and Austin, Texas — Unexpected things to do on vacation. Visit some of the most popular and also some unusual places. Work is great, but sometimes we all need a break — or two. ūüôā ¬†My family and I have had a BUSY summer: selling our […]

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LALA¬ģ Yogurt Smoothies — Yogurting on the Go!

Sharing is Caring: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email YummlyDisclosure:¬†¬†This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with LALA¬ģ Yogurt Smoothies and WeAllGrow Latina. Thank you, friends, for supporting the brands that I work with and love.¬† What do you eat¬†when you are snacking on the go? One of my favorite things is drinkable yogurts. ¬†LALA¬ģ¬†Yogurt Smoothies are […]

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DIY Turkey Fruit Bowls: Happy Turks-giving! (VIDEO)

Sharing is Caring: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Yummly Learn how to make (VIDEO) easy and super cute Turkey¬†Fruit Bowls…¬†a fun activity for kids and a great decoration for the Thanksgiving table! Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with DOLE and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. Thank you, friends, for supporting the brands that I work […]

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12 Quick Weeknight Meals to Make Dinner Easier

Sharing is Caring: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email YummlyDoesn’t it seem sometimes that fixing dinner can be as time-consuming as putting together a puzzle? ¬†And along with it often comes that vexing question of “what to make?” ¬†To make our busy lives easier, I prepared this list of 12 quick weeknight meals that can be prepared […]

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Rio Olympic Games 2016 — What You Need to Know

Sharing is Caring: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email YummlyThe Rio Olympic Games 2016¬†in Brazil — Are you planning to attend? Well, there are several¬†sites, including the official website, which give details about both the Olympic and Paralympic games, tickets, Rio city attractions, etc, etc…¬† But FBTY is going to tell you lots of things that they […]

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The Paradisiacal Key Largo and Onion Crusted Yellowtail

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Honest Cooking Magazine. Thank you for your support! 

The Florida Keys is home to five districts, each with their own personality and attractions that make visitors feel like they are a world away.

Growing up around fish, Chef Bobby Stoky quickly learned how to do it all, from catching to cleaning and even cooking them. In the summers he would dive for lobster and in the winter his family would set up nets to catch shrimp that they would then sell from a stand to locals and visitors of Key Largo. In 1982, his parents became the owners of Se√Īor Frijoles Mexican Restaurant and so started Bobby‚Äôs path to becoming a chef.

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Bobby‚Äôs family moved to Key Largo in the seventies because they loved to fish and his father became a charter boat captain. A resident of the district for over 35 years, he is sure to be an expert in all that must be done in the area. And today, he is our guide to all things that must be seen and devoured in Key Largo.

Chef Bobby gives us the lowdown on what he would do on a day off in Key Largo. The northernmost district of The Florida Keys, Key Largo, is home to tropical views and beautiful botanicals. The site of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo is a true outdoor adventurer‚Äôs paradise.

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Because of where it is located, any visitor to Key Largo must spend a considerable amount of time in the clear waters. Bobby suggests paddle boarding in the picturesque Everglades National Park or diving off the coast. Head out on a charter boat and go fishing with the pros. Then you can say you caught your own dinner!

Key Largo‚Äôs beautiful scenery has made it the ideal location to shoot a multitude of movies, and it hosts Humphrey Bogart‚Äôs Film Festival every year. For movie buffs and avid fishers, Key Largo is also a perfect destination for food travelers looking for the lowdown on fresh seafood and Key Lime Pie.

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The Stoky family went on to open other restaurants and today Chef Bobby runs the kitchens of eight different legendary restaurants in Miami and The Florida Keys. One of his most popular locations, Sundowners, sits right on the Florida Bay in Key Largo and offers guests a beautiful view of the sunset with a tropical cocktail in hand and a plate of fresh Florida Keys seafood.

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Chef Bobby even wrote a book that is a great reference for the cuisine of The Florida Keys called, Recipes and Tall Tales from Legendary Restaurants of the Florida Keys. Head to Key Largo to stay in a magical¬≠feeling an underwater hotel, or to scuba past schools of fish and submerged statues. Bobby recommends travelers looking for adventure stay in Jules Underseas Lodge. Submerged underwater, it is a truly stunning stay. Instead, if you are hoping to spend your time in the water rather than simply under it, consider Amy Slate‚Äôs Amoray Dive Resort. And finally, for couples who need a romantic getaway, book a stay at Key Largo‚Äôs Kona Kai. Beachfront bungalows offer the perfect amount of privacy in close proximity to the beach.

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So what kinds of fruits and flavors can one find when they travel to Key Largo? Bobby could give us quite of list of food to be sure to try, but these are some of his favorites. The Keys are famous for their fresh yellowtail snapper and stone crabs. In his own restaurants, Chef Bobby especially loves to cook yellowtail snapper, right off the fishing boat, encrusted in onion and served with mango salsa. And on a hot day, he opts for something lighter like a grilled mahi mahi. Native to the area, the Florida Keys spiny lobster looks similar to the common lobster we are more familiar with, but the spiny lobster‚Äôs antennas are larger and thick. From November to June, have a bite of Key West‚Äôs Pink Shrimp. The bright crustaceans have a uniquely sweet taste that is easy to fall in love with. Fresh fish must be made with fresh flavors, and Bobby admits that visitors will find plenty of tropical fruits in dishes, like the Key lime, mangos, pineapples, starfruit, or dragon fruit.

‚ÄúI often comment that farm to table is not a new phenomenon in the Keys ‚Äďit has been part of our fishing history..fresh fish from the ocean to your table every night…that‚Äôs what the Florida Keys are famous for.‚ÄĚ Also known as the Conch Republic, the restaurant menus of Keys Largo are loaded with dishes containing conch. Over the years, the locals have even come to be called Conchs. Although fishing restrictions off the coasts for conch are quite strict today to prevent over fishing, the seafood is still a well loved tradition, even if that means bringing conch in from the Bahamas to keep the dishes alive. From conch chowder to conch fritters, conch salad, conch encrusted yellowtail snapper, and even conch eggs benedict, you can find just about anything with conch in Key Largo. Chef Bobby‚Äôs favorite way to eat conch is called cracked conch. Originating in the Caribbean, when done correctly, cracked conch is battered, fried and tastes sweet and tender.

Bobby likes to serve the fried seafood with a tangy cocktail sauce or wasabi aioli. Head to Sundowners, Market 88, or Buzzards Roost in North Key Largo to try a rendition of Chef Bobby‚Äôs favorite cracked conch.

Before diving into a plate of Key Largo seafood, how about diving down below to see where the fish comes from? As a diver, Chef Bobby has grown up with the stunning reefs of the Florida Keys. His favorite spot to dive or snorkel is in north Key Largo off of Horseshoe Reef. There is so much marine life to be seen on the reefs of Key Largo, so when you come to the area, be sure to dive in and get a closer look. For an above the water experience, take a nature tour by way of kayaks through one of the mangrove channels that line the islands. From a boat you can see colorful fish, impressive manatee, and an array of birds. Keep your eyes open, sometimes you will even see bottlenose dolphins or turtles.

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If you are heading out for a dive or a kayak adventure, start your day with a Key Largo breakfast. Chef Bobby likes to go to the Key Largo Conch House for a Key West shrimp, conch, crab or lobster benedict. Another favorite among the locals is The Hideout Restaurant. This hole¬≠in¬≠the¬≠wall eatery serves a fish and grits breakfast, a dish that was once the traditional morning meal of the Conchs.

Don‚Äôt forget dessert! In all of the Keys, the local restaurants are fanatical about serving the best Key Lime pie and so visitors will find many different versions of the traditional sweet. At Chef Bobby‚Äôs Sundowners restaurant, they serve the pie piled high with meringue, the traditional topping. From frozen key lime pie to chiffon¬≠style or a custard pie that is the original, there are so many different variations. Bobby‚Äôs favorite pie, besides the one he makes in his restaurants, can be found at Key Largo Fisheries Bayside Caf√©. Not too sweet, nice and tart, and served plain without meringue, this pie is a classic and can even be shipped around the country.

A great feature of Key Largo for any culinary traveler is its lack of chain restaurants. Chef Bobby proudly admits that most of the restaurants found in the district are owned and operated by locals who are committed to serving great food. Besides one of his own restaurants, Bobby loves to take visitors to Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Caf√© for lunch. Sit at a table on the deck overlooking one of Key Largo‚Äôs remaining commercial fishing fleets while dining on fresh Florida Keys Lobster, yellowtail snapper, Key West pink shrimp, and fresh stone crabs. Chef Bobby‚Äôs favorite is the lobster croissant BLT!

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One of Chef Bobby‚Äôs all¬≠time favorite recipes is this yellowtail snapper. The onion crust is in this dish is also great on shrimp, scallops, lobster, or chicken, but Key Largo yellowtail is amazing.

 Onion Crusted Yellowtail

 

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Onion Crusted Yellowtail
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Course Main
Cuisine American
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Course Main
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
key-largo
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Instructions
  1. In a large, deep saute pan or fryer, preheat enough vegetable oil to cover onions. Heat oil to approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl place 1 cup flour and blackening spice. Toss sliced onions in flour mixture and lightly shake off any excess flour. Place dusted onion rings into hot oil, and fry for 4­5 minutes, stirring onions occasionally, until onions are dark brown. Remove onions from the oil, and place on paper towels to remove any excess oil. Allow onion rings to cool to room temperature.
  2. Then using a kitchen knife or a food processor, chop onion rings until they are about the size of the panko bread crumbs. Place chopped onion rings and panko bread crumbs into a medium bowl, and mix well. Dredge lobster tails through remaining flour, then through the beaten eggs, and then press yellowtail filets into the onion ring and panko bread crumb mixture.
  3. Place a large saute pan on the stove and add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. Place battered filets into the saute pan and saute over medium high heat for 3­4 minutes per side, or until onion crust is lightly browned, and fish is white throughout. Top with Key lime butter and mango salsa....and enjoy!
  4. For the Key Lime Butter (prepare in advance): Melt butter over medium heat, add dry white wine, and key lime juice. Remove from heat and let rest at room temperature.
  5. For the Mango Salsa (prepare in advance): In a bowl, add diced mango, green peppers, diced tomatoes, red onions, Key lime juice, and salt and pepper, and mix well.

 



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6 Pillars for a Healthy Heart: Are You Taking Good Care of Yours?

Sharing is Caring: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Yummly “Am I taking good care of my heart?” is the million-dollar question that has occupied my thoughts many times… As an individual with a family history of heart disease and diabetes, these 6 pillars for a healthy heart have been one thing to not only keep in mind but to monitor […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I am Thankful for You!

Sharing is Caring: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email YummlyBrazil? Stories? Food? Recipes? No, not today!!! Today was chosen to say THANKS… TO YOU. ¬†I may not have¬†met many of you in person, but you are a dear part of my life. ¬†You choose to lend me your eyes and ears¬†when you could be anywhere else. You […]

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Hibiscus Tea & A Guide To Medicinal Teas

Along with the arrival of Autumn come colds, congestion, seasonal allergies, and sleepiness, among other unpleasant effects. Drinking teas is one way to relieve symptoms while enjoying a comforting, warm beverage.  With this in mind, I decided to share with you an easy and delicious recipe for a cranberry-like hibiscus tea. And I have included an useful guide to medicinal teas as well.

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Coffee may be Brazil’s preferred beverage… but herbal teas also are well-known¬†and highly appreciated for their¬†health¬†properties.

hibiscus-tea, guide-medicinal-teas

Brazilian tea culture has its origins in¬†the infused beverages, or ch√°s made by the indigenous cultures of the Amazon region.¬†Most varieties of tea came from China and neighboring countries… But tea culture¬†has evolved since the Portuguese colonial period to include imported ones¬†from Japan, Sri Lanka, India, ¬†and elsewhere.

hibiscus-tea, guide-medicinal-teas

Among the many medicinal teas consumed in Brazil (as well as other countries, including the United States) are these:

 

  • HIBISCUS¬†(hibisco):¬†¬†an herbal infusion made from the dried crimson flower of the roselle or hibiscus¬†flower. It can be consumed either¬†hot and cold. Hibiscus tea is used for treating colds,¬†upper respiratory tract pain, swelling (inflammation), fluid retention, stomach¬†irritation, and disorders of circulation. Because it has¬†gentle laxative and diuretic properties, it is associated with¬†weight loss. Dried hibiscus flowers, often labeled flor de Jamaica, have long been available in health food stores and Latin markets in the United States, especially in California and other areas influenced by Mexican customs. ¬†In local American supermarkets, hibiscus¬†tea is available as “Red Zinger”, popularized by the brand Celestial Seasonings. A great recipe for hibiscus tea¬†can be found at¬†the bottom of this post.

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  • YERBA MATE¬†(erva-mate or chimarr√£o): ¬†it is a South American beverage made by steeping the ground leaves and stems of the yerba mate plant in hot water… very popular in Southern Brazil and Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia (chaco) where is consumed in a calabash gourd. It is rich in antioxidants, enhances physical endurance and the ability to focus, aids digestion, helps with weight control, and supports cardiovascular health.
  • LEMON VERBENA¬†(L√ļcia-Lima): Although it is native to Argentina and Chile, it¬†is grown around the world. Lemon verbena is known for strengthening the nervous system, aiding with digestive disorders, and minimizing fevers and colon spasms. It has anti-spasmodic, de-stressing and expectorant properties.
  • LEMONGRASS¬†(erva-cidreira): This may¬†help prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeast. Lemongrass also contains substances that are thought to relieve pain, reduce fever, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and have antioxidant properties.
  • CHAMOMILE¬†(camomila):¬†Chamomile is an herb that has¬†been used for centuries. In many¬†parts of the world, it is¬†used to calm¬†upset stomach or to help with sleep¬†or insomnia.
  • BLACK TEA¬†(ch√° preto): This¬†is a calorie-free beverage that contains caffeine and can help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.
  • MINT¬†(hortel√£): This¬†is used to¬†relieve allergies, as a decongestant, to aid with¬†indigestion, and to help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It can be consumed hot or cold. In Brazil, it is often mixed with pineapple. For¬†a recipe for¬†Homemade Pineapple Mint Iced Tea, click HERE.
  • FENNEL¬†(erva-doce): This¬†is used for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas and¬†bloating as well as loss of appetite and colic in infants. It is also used for upper respiratory tract infections, cough, bronchitis, and¬†backache.
  • STAR ANISE¬†(anis):¬†Originating in southern China, star anise has a licorice-like flavor. It is used for easing¬†respiratory tract infections, lung inflammation, cough, bronchitis,¬† and flu (influenza).¬†Star anise is also used for increasing sexual drive (libido).
  • BOLDUS, BOLDOA, or BOLDEA¬†(Boldo): It is an evergreen shrub, small tree native to central Chile and Peru, also consumed in other South American countries such as Brazil. Boldo leaves have been used by South American natives against diseases of the liver and for the treatment of gallstones. It has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-fever effects.
  • HORSETAIL¬†(cavalinha): Horsetail is astringent, antihemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic.

As everything else, herbal teas must be consumed in moderation, in accordance with their indication, and should never be used as a replacement for prescribed medicines. This includes our hibiscus tea.

hibiscus-tea, guide-medicinal-teas

Enjoy the season!

hibiscus-tea, guide-medicinal-teas

 

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Hibiscus Tea & Guide To Medicinal Teas
hibiscus-tea, guide-medicinal-teas
Votes: 0
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Course Drinks
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Drinks
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
hibiscus-tea, guide-medicinal-teas
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
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Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil (about 5-8 mins), turn off heat, and add the hibiscus flowers and cinnamon sticks. Cover and steep for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Strain tea into desired container and stir in sugar or honey to taste. Serve warm with lime wedges on the side. This tea can be served chilled instead. For this, add ice and orange or lime rounds.
  3. NOTE: Do not steep tea for a longer time because it can become bitter. If its flavor needs to be strengthen, add more herbs but do not steep tea longer. Inactive prep time: 15-20 minutes. Yield: About 6 cups.

 

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Our Vacation in the Texas Hill Country… Take a Peek!

Sharing is Caring: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email YummlyVacation… well mine was short this year, but¬†awesome! ¬†We went to the gorgeous Texas Hill Country — and enjoyed every second of it! ¬†ūüôā We stayed for four days at WorldMark’s¬†Stablewood Springs Resort in Hunt, Texas… …A gorgeous, serene haven¬†on the crest of¬†a hill, surrounded by nature, trails, […]

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