Friday night pig pickin'

I just wanted to throw a short post up reminding everyone that Pigs in the Parking Lot is this Friday.

Come taste the mouthwatering food of Ribs on the Rail, Fatheads, The Mullet Shack and more.

Along with lots of barbecue, there will be beer and other beverages, a hands-on children's area and live music by the local blues band Ladyhawke.

Not a bad way to end a long week in my book!

WHAT: Pigs in the Parking Lot

WHEN: Friday, July 27,  4 - 10 p.m.

WHERE: Harbor Village Plaza, 137 Harbor Village Lane off U.S. 41 at Leisey Road in Apollo Beach

COST: Free admission and parking

INFO: Call (813) 645-1366


Colorfield Farms Mango Festival

I'm ready for one of my favorite events of summer: the Colorfield Farms Mango Festival! Learn all about the worlds most popular fruit July 27 - 29. Along with samplings, seminars and live music, there will be a mini food truck rally.

Read how to choose the perfect mango, festival details, and I've included a refreshing recipe for mango lime paletas in this weeks Table Scraps column.

I hope to see you there!


Try a patriotic dessert for the 4th

Several years ago, my talented friend Connie Lesko and I came up with these refreshing patriotic parfaits for a luncheon at her home. We served them in decorative, half-pint Mason jars, which lend themselves well to any summer picnic-like theme.

Sinfully delicious, it's such a festive dessert and I want to share the recipe again!

Happy Fourth of July!


Red layer
3/4 cup boiling water
1 package (3-ounce) sugar free strawberry-banana gelatin
Ice cubes
1/2- cup cold water
1 cup pureed strawberries
In a medium bowl, pour boiling water into dry gelatin, stir at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add enough ice cubes to cold water to measure 1 1/4 cups. Add to gelatin and stir until slightly thickened. Remove any remaining ice. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Gently stir in strawberries. Pour evenly into parfait or half-pint mason jars. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

White layer
8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces white Ghiradelli chocolate, coarsely chopped
Fresh mint, optional
Sliced strawberry, optional
In a bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, briefly beat together the mascarpone and heavy cream until smooth, about 10 seconds. Place the white chocolate in a glass container and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted, stirring until smooth.

Add the still-hot melted white chocolate to the cream. Beat with the mixer on medium speed until well blended and slightly thickened, about 45 seconds. Pipe or spoon the mixture evenly into parfait glasses on top of the chilled strawberry mixture.

To serve, top each parfait with blueberries, a dollop of the remaining cheese mixture and a sprig of mint and slice of strawberry.

Makes 10 servings.


Get your mullet fix

New location! Back for the 2012 mullet season, The Mullet Shack has moved to a new location at the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Big Bend Road.

For those of you who have never tried smoked mullet, all I can say is "Good heavens you don't know what you're missing!"

Stop by on Saturdays only, and say hi to Steve, Steve Jr. and Angie. And don't forget to try that mullet!