Mabry's Market

Please welcome my very first blog advertiser, Mabry's Market.

I can't say enough about this delightful store in Wimauma, and it's owner Susan Bishop. Every time I go there, there's something new to try.

Susan can accommodate my every need, whether it's fresh, locally grown produce, a hard-to-find herb, specialty cheese, artisan bread or when I want to pig out on one of her grilled cheese sandwiches with onion jam.

The market is filled with gourmet coffees, hormone- and antibiotic-free milk, fresh pasta and every spice you can imagine. You need to see for yourself how many wonderful products she carries.

Recently, Susan added some fabulous made-to-order sandwiches, homemade soups and garden-fresh salads.

Whatever you do, don't forget to take home one of her chocolate pots for dessert.

Mabry's Market is at 5129-E S.R. 674, in Wimauma. Give Susan a call at (813) 957-3148.


I had a blast at Festa Italiana 2011

If there's one festival when historic Ybor City wears its rich Italian heritage proudly and loudly, it's got to be Festa Italiana!

Filled with lots of cannoli and Peroni, this celebration of Italian-American heritage and culture featured live music and a cornucopia of tasty food.


Here's one way to get a five-course meal

So you want to be a chef - or at least cook a little bit more like one? Me too, so I took a Charleston Low Country cooking class recently at the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon.

Go here for the story; that and a she-crab soup recipe are there today.


Stafford's U-Pick Blueberries

Yesterday I went to pick blueberries. Lots and lots of blueberries...

Stafford's U-Pick Blueberries
3111 John Moore Road
Brandon, FL 33511
email: staffordblueberries@gmail.com
Open: Mon. Wed. Fri. and Sat. from 9 am - 5 pm and Sunday from 2 pm - 5 pm
(813) 340-4382


Ikea, eat your heart out.

As you might already know, we moved recently.

I went looking for an economical bookcase solution for my hundreds of cookbooks waiting to be unpacked from the garage. I wanted to fit them under the countertop of the bar area.

Searching and searching, nothing seemed to fit the bill.

Then I remembered the old board and concrete block system I used during my college days.

As I did back then, I assembled these custom-made bookshelves for my library of cookbooks without any tools or Allen wrenches. Voila! A cut-rate bookcase, DIY, with easily available materials!

Can a masonry-block bookcase ever be attractive? I think so.

Supply costs:

(8) 4 x 8 x 16 masonry blocks ($1.48 ea.) = $11.84
(6) 9.8" x 47.8" shelving ($7.76 ea.) = $46.56
1 qt. can Behr pure white paint = $10.46
1 paint brush = $4.97

Total: $73.83 (tax not included)

The cost of having my cookbooks within arms reach? Priceless!


Sweet on corn and rosemary

Do you ever tire of plain corn on the cob?

I do. So instead of boiling corn in hot salted water like my mom did, I toss in a sprig of rosemary, which adds a very fragrant and pronounced flavor to the corn.

Such a simple idea. And so good.


Chef Dave presents a Charleston Low Country Dinner

I'll be writing more about the Charleston Low Country Class presented by Chef Dave next week. But, in the meantime, here are a few photos to drool over...

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula

South Carolina She-Crab Soup

Spicy Shrimp with Cream and Grits

Tangerine Glazed Pork Belly

Brown Sugar Bread Pudding

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium
Brandon Crossroads
2080 Badlands Drive
Brandon, FL 33511
(813) 653-2418


Unique gift for a lucky relative?

I purchased new stemware this weekend at Pigs in the Park in Ruskin. How do you like 'em?