Thursday, July 29, 2010

Creating A Signature Drink For Your Next Soiree

Signature drinks are a fabulous way for anyone to personalize their event! Best of all, creating one doesn't require the services of a mixologist. We've provided some cocktails by color to choose from. Pick one  that coordinates with your event, give it a new name and wallah... you have a signature drink for your guest's to enjoy! Our clients' have named their drinks after a honeymoon destination, their last name, an important date, a character in a movie, a board game, nickname, etc.

pink drink Pictures, Images and Photos
Photo Courtesy of

Pink Garter Cocktail -

California Martini -

 Grapevine Cocktail -

Blue Bird Cocktail -
Blue Train Cocktail -

Yellow Rattler Cocktail -
Banana Creamsicle -


Sour Apple Martini -
Honeydew Martini -

The above recipes and many more can be found at and/or Send us the name of your soiree's signature drink. We love hearing from our followers.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mangia! Mangia!

After a full day of Freshman Parent Orientation at the University of Central Florida, the C.P.A. chefy hubby and I were ready to enjoy a glass of wine and a palette pleasing dinner. There were tons of restaurants around our hotel, but we were in the mood for pasta. Game on!

My inner diva demon was on the verge of  a total meltdown. In plain English, I hadn't eaten all day, my sugar level had dropped and a hunger headache was setting in. Time was of the essence! We whipped out our iPhones and searched Yelp for an Italian restaurant worthy of our discerning taste. Moments later, my head was in full migraine mode. I NEEDED TO EAT! "I think I've found a place!" my chefy hubby announced, while loading the restaurant's address into our car's GPS. Within five minutes we pulled up to our destination.

Mangia Italian Bistro is nestled in a shopping center at the corner of University Blvd and Dean Road. The center is configured in such a way, it makes it difficult to see the restaurant's sign from the road. (Thank goodness for our GPS!) The bistro's decor is unpretentious and simple.You won't find linen napkins here. What you will find is Chef/Owner Maureen Simmons' gastronomical Italian creations that will send your taste buds into a tizzy. Mangia's menu includes a variety of homemade pastas and  flatbread pizzas,as well as, several chicken and steak options. Our server Brad, was friendly, attentive and extremely knowledgeable as to how items were prepared.

After taking our order, he brought out our salads and a basket of fresh baked breads. It took all my willpower to keep from eating the entire basket of bread. The dressing on the Caesar salad wasn't overpowering. It was simply divine! The chefy hubby had selected the special for his main entree, an eggplant rollatini. For those unfamiliar with eggplant rollatini, it's similar to manicotti. Manicotti is made with a tubular shaped pasta, stuffed with a variety of cheeses, vegetables, beef, chicken or seafood and baked in a tomato sauce. Eggplant rollatini is created using thin slices of lightly breaded eggplant in place of pasta. It's lower in fat than manicotti and in my opinion, just as delicious.

Dinner arrived shortly after our salad plates were cleared. My hubby's face filled with joy, as he savored his first bite. Quickly loading up his fork for another bite, he lunged the utensil towards my mouth and insisted I have a taste. Wow! The eggplant had an unexpected crunch to it. The creamy cheese and the sweet tomato sauce complimented the eggplant perfectly. The dish was masterfully created to ensure a blended experience for the palette.

As my main course, I had chosen the salmon Alfredo. I know Alfredo is full of artery clogging ingredients, but everyone has to go someday, right? When I do, I want to die happy! I also have horrible childhood memories of eating spaghetti with tomato sauce. I grew up in a generation that believed in the "Clean Plate Club." However, due to my inability to eat  anything other than bird sized portions...I never became a member. I remember being forced on numerous occasions by a friend's parent, to sit at their dinner table well after everyone else was excused in order to finish my spaghetti. The torture would continue until I consumed every ounce of spaghetti, or faked it by feeding it to the dog when no one was looking. Boy, that dog always loved when I came to visit! I still believe to this day that in the late 70's, I was the only kid on the planet never wanting to eat dinner out. So, as a result of my traumatic experiences with tomato sauce, I usually order white sauce on my pasta.

Now that you are aware of the background, let's return to the salmon Alfredo...

My meal included a hearty portion of salmon and steamed vegetables atop a mountain of penne. The salmon was grilled to perfection with a moist center. The sauce was surprisingly light with a subtle herbal flavor. I loved bite after bite!

As dinner began to wind down, Brad cheerfully reappeared and began rattling off Chef Simmons array of decadent desserts. My mouth began to water and panic began to set in. Panic, over which dessert to choose. My C.P.A. chefy hubby knew exactly which one he desired...Tiramisu. A battle brewed in my head between the creme brulee and key lime pie. Creme brulee was victorious. Dessert was absolutely orgasmic and solidified Mangia's as one of my favorite places to dine in Orlando!

Mangia's Italian Bistro is located at 10065 University Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32817. 

For more information, visit their website at

Thank you Maureen, Mark and Brad for an ambrosial dining experience!
Mangia! Italian Bistro on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Upscale "Adults Only" Ice Cream Soiree

Whether the temperature outside is a sizzling 100 degrees or a chilling 27, ice cream is always a staple in my freezer. I could eat ice cream anytime, day or night. In fact, there have been times I've treated my children to ice cream for dinner. Oh boy, did I did rock those nights!  I have my parent's to thank for my ice cream addiction. I can recall numerous visits to Carvel and Baskin Robbins for a chilly treat. In fact, one year my brother won a contest at a Carvel store's grand opening. First prize was a year's worth of ice cream for the winner and their family. Once a week, my Dad would pile us into the family car and drive off to Carvel for our weekly frozen fix . Those were fun times!

Here's a little bit of trivia for you...did you know in 1984, Ronald Reagan decreed July as  "National Ice Cream Month?" Since July is upon us, I thought I'd post a fun party idea to celebrate the occasion. Why not invite your friends over for an "Adults Only" Ice Cream Soiree? Yes, you read it right. No, I'm not suffering from brain freeze. Hire your babysitters, send the kids to grandma's...this is a night for embracing your ice cream passion!

What transforms a "Kids" ice cream bash into an alluring "Adult" get together?  Imagine this...a table chicly decorated with slender glass bottles, filled with Grand Marnier, warm Grade B maple syrup, Chambord, aged balsamic vinegar and Kahlua. A hand-made, scripted tag is attached to each bottle with satin ribbon,  acquainting  guests with each liquid libation. Elegant glass bowls and jars in various shapes and sizes, overflowing with crystallized ginger, toasted coconut, sinful chocolate sauce, espresso powder, crushed pistachios, almonds, sliced strawberries, bite-sized pineapple chunks, graham cracker crumbs, cubed pound cake and brownies. In the center of the table, luscious vanilla bean, heavenly chocolate and bold coffee flavored ice cream are showcased in small glass or silver ice buckets. Embellished miniature picture frames are used as signage for the flavorful ice cream and tantalizing toppings. Guests concoct their decadent creations in10 oz martini glasses.


Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Lots Of Ice Cream! 
Happy National Ice Cream Month