Category Archives: FOOD!

The Summer Menu at Winghouse is an Overall WIN!

Tonight I had the exciting opportunity to try some of the yummy dishes at Ker’s Winghouse on Hillsborough Ave. with the Tampa Bay Bloggers. Although my meal was comped and I was given a gift card as compensation, this did not influence my review. All opinions below are my own.

Ker’s Winghouse unveiled its new summer menu and I gotta tell you guys, it’s damn tasty! Lots of pulled pork awesomeness and it’s an overall huge win in my book. Here’s what I tried tonight and what I thought of each item:

These yummy Pretzel Bites come with two dipping sauces – honey mustard and Wisconsin Cheese Sauce. I’m a bigger fan of the cheese for sure! Off to a good start? I’d say so. Give me more of the food!!!

Next up was The Pork Nachos. These nachos feature crunchy tortilla chips topped with slow roasted bbq pork, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, shredded cabbage, cilantro lime sauce and Wisconsin Cheese sauce. And yes. They’re every bit as delicious as they sound!!! I really liked these a lot and would highly recommend them.

Then, it was time for the Taco Salad which features lettuce topped with chili, cheese, diced tomato, fried jalapenos, tortilla chips, and a cilantro lime cream sauce. I personally would have done a different dressing for this salad, but it’s still pretty good nonetheless. The fried jalapenos were an interesting touch too. I’ve never seen that done before, but it worked and took away a bit of the spice.

After that we were given some Chicken Pasta Salad to nosh on. This dish features white meat chicken, rotini, cucumbers and Parmesan cheese. This could use a splash of Italian dressing imho, but I thought the chicken on top of it was good. I couldn’t help but laugh as my husband declared, “I’ll never get used to cold pasta noodles. It’s just not right.” That lapse in judgement aside, with a little dressing on top I think this dish could be a great side. Not sure I’d recommend it as a meal though.

I can’t believe I forgot to Instagram these, but we also got to try the summer tacos. You get your choice of shrimp, chicken or pulled pork. Below the photo shows all three, but I of course went for the pulled pork. I was very happy with my choice. So tasty!

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Don’t hate me y’all, but this was my favorite bite tonight! The pulled pork sandwich was our final dish and it comes with coleslaw and fried onion strings on top and it is simply heaven in your mouth!!!! I know, what a shocker- I loved this and it was pulled pork. But, seriously, it’s soooo good I didn’t even need the pickle and chips that it comes with. And, it’s huge. You can even ask for extra bbq sauce if you’re so inclined. A MUST if you’re a pulled pork fan.

So, we weren’t technically going to get this to try, but after chatting with the manager, about desserts, he brought my table a slice of the new guava cheesecake. This is one of the few things that Winghouse doesn’t make on site. They order them in from a local bakery. Holy guava Batman!! So yummy! It was really quite tasty and I guess we were a little too obnoxious about how much we liked it because before we could say #datcheesecakedoe everyone was getting a slice to try.

I had an absolute blast trying these dishes and can’t wait to visit again to catch a game or just to stuff my face with good eats. The staff was so friendly and I even got to bring my hubby. Super fun!

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And, p.s. LOVED sitting with Billie Jo of Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight. She and her hubby were a hoot and a half to dine with 😀

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2016 #FWCon Recap

Buckle up folks, because this might just be the longest post I’ve ever written on my personal blog, like EVER! LOL! But, it’s not my fault, that’s just how much was packed into my one weekend at the Food Wine Conference. Enjoy the read…

Although the ambassadorship did score me the awesome deal of a discounted ticket, this did not affect this recap of the conference. All opinions below are my own!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Food Wine Conference put on by Sunday Supper Movement hosted by the fearless leader known as Family Foodie aka Isabel Laessig. Not only did I simply attend, I got to attend as a brand ambassador for FeedBlitz which is a kick ASH ad-free email service perfect for Bloggers looking to grow their brand.

Score a FREE 30 day trial of FeedBlitz here:http://bit.ly/AGFeedblitz
Score a FREE 30 day trial of FeedBlitz here :http://bit.ly/AGFeedblitz

 

food wine conference 2016The weekend began innocently enough with my arrival at the stunning Rosen Shingle Creek hotel. If you have never stayed there, I highly recommend it for Disney and Universal Studio visits. It’s gorgeous. Ya know, if you can afford it! Luckily, we had a group rate 🙂

After checking in, my roommate and I quickly set up shop. We created an instacooler in one of our sinks and I had brought along a minibar in a bag filled with snacks to avoid any ill-advised overpriced purchases. Here’s the cooler and below is what was in my minibar bag:

2016_FWCon_1011 2016_FWCon_1015Once our room was all set up, it was conference time! First up, registration and mingling with CK Mondavi wines. Here’s me with the biggest wine glass I’ve ever seen in my life:

2016_FWCon_1021Once we’d wined a little it was off to the Florida Milk Spa! I rather enjoyed this! They allowed us to make Greek Yogurt masks, gave us a bottle of lavender scented milk bath and there was even a milk bar. I didn’t drink the milk, but everyone said it was really yummy!

2016_FWCon_1025At the conclusion of the spa time, I headed back to my room to drop of my swag bag. Although I had it in a cart instead of carrying it on my shoulder this year, my roommate wanted to drop them at the room before heading out to other festivities, so I complied. We hurried to the room and then hurried back to the end of the Strawberry Reception hosted by Florida Strawberry Grower’s Association. Luckily, even though the reception was all but over, they still had some of those delicious milkshakes which I thoroughly enjoyed.

2016_FWCon_1038Once I sucked it down, it was off to the Taste of Rosen Shingle Creek to try some miscellaneous food items. As a blogger I’m embarrassed to report I didn’t get any decent images at this event. For my next conference I’m bringing a better camera and/or an external flash! This was the end of “day 1”, but there was still much fun to be had!

Onto day two…

Day two was filled with classes and information. I did get a cool pic with Food Network Star Donatella Arpai


and I met some awesome people! I even got a yummy “around the world” lunch by the folks at Idaho Potatoes complete with my own personal Spuddy Buddy, but, the highlight of my day was….

Mac and cheese bar with @cabotcheese at @foodwinecon!!!! #thisisiwhyiblog #baconbliss #bloggerlife #FWCon

A photo posted by Ashley Grant (@famousashleygrant) on


Oh my goodness! A mac and cheese bar. Why was THIS my highlight of the day? Because mac and cheese PLUS bacon equals heaven. If you can’t understand that, you can’t sit with us! (us being me and my many personalities! hahaha)

Moving on…the end of the day brought the wine to the food wine conference and CK Mondavi did not disappoint! Overall the dinner was a fabulously fun experience and I loved the folks I got to sit with.

The after party was a VIP experience poolside, but I confess I didn’t partake in it very much. So, I’ll wrap with day two by saying this – It was a day of fun, food, wine and truths, and I am grateful for the experiences I had and the lessons that came from them!

Day 3, The Final Day

Day 3 was spent mostly at the Rosen  College of Hospitality. There was a fun brunch by the golf course prior to that, but it was a little too sunny for my taste. I was melting! The bacon and waffles were delicious though!

Onto the College of Hospitality – The morning started with a cheese lesson from Cabot cheese. Man oh man! The pairings they created with the cheeses were out of this world! I was so amazed by all the things I never thought to do with cheese, and can’t wait to play with my food now that they have schooled me. They even gave us a copy of their cookbook and I’m looking forward to exploring it.

Anywho- during the tasting my bloggy friend Tracy and I had a crazy urge for a soda take over so we slipped out to the vending machines. Both her and I won steaks during our expedition! Yep, the awesome people from Certified Angus Beef had been hiding these little cows all throughout the conference and if you found one that said “you win steaks” you won! I found a cow, and then Tracy found a cow in one innocent trip to get our carbonation fix! Amazing! Oh, and I scored an extra soda when two popped out of the machine instead of one. I was on a roll!!!

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After the cheese it was time to go to class. I enjoyed the Podcast class with Carole Sanek and Josh Elledge, but felt the class was too short. Can’t wait to learn more from them now that the conference is over.  Once class was over, this happened:

Before the craziness ensued! #teamcakeordie #FWCon #hashed #gonnawin @wishfarms

A photo posted by Ashley Grant (@famousashleygrant) on


I have never pretended to be a chef or even a decent cook, but when you’re asked to be in a #hashed competition not once, but twice, you accept! My team was called Cake or Die and although we didn’t win, it was the most intense competition I think I’ve EVER been in! It was nuts, it was crazy, but above all – IT WAS FUN!!!!!!!!!!

The competition was perhaps the most fun I had all weekend and I sincerely hope that Isabel and the team behind the conference make the #hashed competition a staple of every conference going forward.

The rest of the day consisted of another class, lunch and then an amazing presentation by Denise Vivaldo and Kita Roberts on food styling and photography. Finally, the weekend was over and it was time to go home. I argued with myself all weekend as to whether I not I would attend in 2017, but after digesting everything that happened this year, I sincerely hope that I will be a part of next year’s Food Wine Conference event in some way! I have even inquired about potentially being on the planning committee, so we’ll see what happens next.

All in all, the conference was a rewarding experience. Although there are some things I would have done differently, I’m exceptionally grateful for the lessons I learned and the relationships I made and/or renewed. I’ll post some additional things on the conference later, but for now, I think that wraps up my wild and eventful weekend at the 2016 Food Wine Conference!

Now, I want to hear from you. Did you go to Food Wine Con? If so, leave me a comment with your favorite part of the conference! And, if you were there, follow me on my social channels of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn, and I PROMISE to follow you back 🙂

Small Biz Saturday Trumps Black Friday at Hyde Park Village!

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I received an invitation from the Tampa Bay Bloggers and Hyde Park Village to skip Black Friday this year in favor of shopping small on Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November, 28, 2015. (Although they did offer me free mimosas and breakfast from Piquant, lunch at BarTaco and a gift card incentive for my promotional efforts, all the opinions in this post are my own.) Needless to say, the idea of getting up at the ASH crack of dawn to try and save money on, well, anything, doesn’t really appeal to me anymore- so, I jumped at the chance to come to skip the crowds and early morning doorbusters in favor of something local. Here’s a recap of how my shopping adventure went:

small biz SaturdayThe day began innocently enough with yummy mimosas and bite-sized treats you see above at Piquant. For the record, their pumpkin French toast was amazing as it sounds like it would be. The mimosas were not just orange juice and champagne either. Oh no, Piquant is classier than that ya’ll! They had three options. Now, I’m going to screw it up but I’m pretty sure they were raspberry, mango and passion fruit. Whatever they were, they tasted great! Next, it was off to the stores. I had the pleasure of spending my day with the awesomeness that is Caitlyn Connolly of Live Sweat Sleep and Raffi Darrow of Runningbetty.com. These chicks, pictured below, are so kick ASH and I’m thrilled I got to hang with them for a day.

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We went to soooooooooooo many stores, but my favorite stops were Don Me Now, Paper Source  and lululemon. Don Me Now had the coolest notecards of ever:

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lululemon made me want to up my 2016 fitness goals:

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Paper Source had the cutest all the things:

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We also listened to some sweet local musack while I sipped on my first ever Buddy Brew coffee. Let me tell ya’ll, I’m not big on coffee, but that there Buddy Brew sure was slurp worthy- soooo yummy.

small biz Saturday 5

Finally, after more perusing of shops, Caitlyn and I finished the day at Bar Taco where I stuffed my face with a margarita and three itty bitty tacos and guacamole with the biggest tortilla chips I’ve ever seen. (Sorry you missed this deliciousness Raffi!!!) I had the baja fish, the pork belly and the sesame ribeye tacos. Of the three, my fave was the pork belly. nomnomnom!!! So good!!

small biz Saturday 6Overall, the day was a smashing success. We shopped, we chatted, we listened to great music, we had a blast! Best part? No crazy crowds and we were able to stay very chill the entire day. Screw shopping stress!!! At the end of the day I only had a couple of purchases to my name, but definitely had lots of ideas for gifts that I want to give. It truly is better to shop local. I had so much fun and I think the day definitely proved that Small Biz Saturday > Black Friday!!! Oh, and a few days later – Hyde Park Village gave me the cutest ornament EVER to hang on my tree:
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It’s a camera! They know me so well. I’m a writer too and it just so happens they also gave me some nice pens and a 2016 calendar!!! Huge thanks to the village for one of the best shopping experiences I’ve ever had and thanks to Tampa Bay Bloggers for the invite as well. When the opportunity for Small Biz Saturday comes up once more next year, I’ll definitely choose it again over that pesky outdated Black Friday!

 

 

Dining at Little Greek – Gourmet Fast Food

Little Greek

Thanks to being a part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers and the awesomeness of the management at the all new Little Greek on Gulf to Bay Blvd. in Clearwater I had the pleasure of stuffing my face with dinner on Wednesday, October 14, 2015! Although they did provide me with loads of free foods to sample and compensated me with a $25 gift card this did not impact my review. All opinions are my own. For my full disclosure policy, please click HERE. Now, onto the review!

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First, we were presented with the yummy array of appetizers pictured above including spinach pie, falafel and pita bread with hummus and tzatziki sauce. My absolute favorite app was the spinach pie. I swear I think I could have eaten an entire plate of that deliciousness without even breaking a sweat. It was soooooo good!

Next up, we were offered a small sampling of the homemade chicken-lemon rice soup. A few people at our table loved it and one even ordered it as her meal, but personally since I’m not a fan of lemon I didn’t enjoy it. This is nothing against the restaurant, I just don’t care for lemon in any foods for some reason. Which is weird since I love it in mixed drinks and tea, but I digress. While folks were continuing to sip on the soup I slipped another bite of that yummy spinach pie.

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Then, it was time for the main course. Each of us were given the chance to order a full meal from the list of dinners, salads, light meals or Pitas & Wraps. I went with the Steak Skewers dinner pictured above which features three char-grilled skewers over rice with a HUGE Greek Salad and pita bread. This meal was so big that I ate the salad while I was there and a few bites of the rice and steak and then had a full meal of steak and rice with pita on the side for lunch the next day. It all tasted so good and I have to say their Greek dressing is by far the best Greek dressing I’ve ever had.

Have a drink you want me to try or a product/event/service/place you want me to review?

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly!!

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My husband who got to come with me had the ginormous platter you see pictured above. This is the gyro pita with fresh-cut fries. He told me the tzatziki sauce on it was by far the best he’d had on a gyro and that the meat was super moist and tender. After all the appetizers we had he only got a few bites in before he forfeited leaving him with a dang tasty lunch for the next day too. Oh, and by the way- we learned the best way to reheat fries is to throw them in the oven instead of the microwave. Read how you can do it here. By using the oven instead of the microwave they tasted just as delicious the next day as they did when freshly cooked.

We were given some desserts to try too, but not only was I too full to try any of them, I did a complete blogger fail and forgot to snap a picture of them. I’m sure though, considering how awesome all the foods we did consume were, that the desserts were wonderful. I would definitely recommend the Little Greek for lunch or for dinner. They have locations all over the Tampa Bay area too so you have no excuse to not try them out! In fact, I just recently learned that there is a Little Greek just 15 minutes from my door so next time I’m craving a Gyro or some spinach pie, I know where I’ll be going!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product/event/service/place you want me to review?

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly!!

Making the Honey Almond Salmon from the Family Foodie Blog

#FWCon ‏@foodandwineconf
 
Holy cow people! 10 weeks from today is the 2015 Food and Wine Conference!!!!!!!!!! Next week we’ll be in the single digits, then it will be less than a handful of days and then it will be here and if you didn’t get your tickets you won’t get to hang out with all the cool kids that are going!!! What are you waiting for? Buy your tickets now! You can still get $50 off your admission with code FWC15grana!!!! Get your tickets to the conference at foodandwineconference.com.

Seriously, this is going to be THEE event of the summer and if you are a blogger, a foodie, wineo or just a frikkin fan of cool people that like to get together and chat about any of the above you seriously need to get on down to this event guys and gals.

In honor of this week being 10 weeks til the conference I made the Honey Almond Salmon from the Family Foodie Blog! Get the recipe HERE! This stuff was amazingly yummy!!! We paired it with a Ramen Noodle dish that proved we didn’t know how gourmet Ramen could taste. Check out how to make Ramen Cacio e Pepe HERE!


By the way, for those following this blog I totally missed week 11’s post about the conference, I’m sorry. I’ll do some kind of two-fer post before the conference to make up for it. I promise. In the meantime, go get your tickets for the conference now!

Today marks exactly 10 weeks until the 2015 Food and Wine Conference!!!! 

Get $50 off your admission with code FWC15grana foodandwineconference.com.

 


Alrighty. I’m off for another fun-filled weekend. I’m leaving to go camping tonight and tomorrow and there are definitely some exciting things planned for the camping trip. Then, Sunday I’m going to spend the evening doing summer ready crafts with my mom for Mother’s Day. I’ll post about those awesome camping activities and Sunday crafts later. Are you doing anything fun this weekend? Leave a comment and
tell me about it 🙂 See you cool cats later!





Do you have a recipe you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 




Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉








This post contains links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.



Making the Good Morning Smoothies from the Family Foodie Blog

#FWCon

I’m super excited about this week’s recipe because of how dang tasty it was! This week I’m featuring the Good Morning Smoothies from the Family Foodie Blog. Strawberries for fiber, yogurt for protein, sugar for sweetness- what more could you ask for to have a quick and yummy breakfast on the go! Head HERE for the recipe!

Alrighty, now that I’ve told you about my uber yummy recipe I’ve got to point out something big!!! There are just 12 weeks until the 2015 Food and Wine Conference! People that’s just a dozen weeks. Like, eggs dozen, like doughnuts dozen!!! Like what are you waiting on your tickets for dozen?!? This conference is totally, probably, I’m pretty sure going to sell out and you’re gonna feel really lame if you don’t get a doughnut, er I mean ticket!!! AND I’m still offering you lovely, sexy readers of this blog and my facebook peeps $50 off your admission with code FWC15grana!!!! Get your tickets to the conference at foodandwineconference.com.! Do it now! I’ll wait…

waiting…
waiting…
did you get them yet? If yes- awesome and I hope you used the discount code to save some green! Can’t wait to see you at the conference. If no….Ugh! Why not?!? Seriously peeps, go get your tickets right meow or you’ll totally be missing out on all kinds of yummy foods, wines, and who knows- maybe even doughnuts!!!

Today marks exactly 12 weeks until the 2015 Food and Wine Conference!!!! 


Get $50 off your admission with code FWC15grana foodandwineconference.com.

Welp, I’m off to get ready for my weekend. I’m planning on some serious quality time with my hubby, lunch out at Urban Cantina, hopefully some fun times at the pool and if I get my way a trip to a park for a sunset picnic. Are you doing anything fun this weekend? Leave a comment and tell me about it 🙂 See you cool cats later! Now, I really want a doughnut…

Do you have a recipe you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉








This post contains links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

 

Inspired Dinner Via the Chicken Fajita Bowls on the Family Foodie Blog

#FWCon
Today marks 13 weeks until the 2015 food and wine conference and my post to celebrate it was inspired by the Chicken Fajita Bowls on the Family Foodie Blog. As usual I took a lot of shortcuts with this dish because I’m a lazy cook. I used yellow rice and just threw in some shredded cooked chicken that was cooked in taco seasonings and added to it peppers, salsa, cheese and sour cream. It was a great quick meal that was ready in thirty minutes. Perfect for my busy week! Check out the original recipe HERE!

#‎Foodies‬ will LOVE the 2015 Food & Wine Conference! Use code FWC15grana for $50 off admission at foodandwineconference.com.

Do you have a recipe you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉








This post contains links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

My First Beignet…and My Second and Third?

 

I’ve been wanting to try a beignet ever since first hearing about them on the Girls Next Door (don’t judge me!). The girls were in New Orleans for Mardi Gras- Kendra and Bridget were sick and Holly bought them coffee and beignets in attempt to bring them both back to life. I hadn’t heard of beignets before that episode actually- I know. I need to get out more. Well, today I got my chance to try beignets because one of the gals I work with has a dad who apparently loves cooking and has a killer recipe for these powdered sugar covered fluffy concoctions. Above is a photo she took after her dad made a batch and this morning she brought some into the office.

The best way I can describe a beignet now that I’ve finally eaten one is an airy pastry coated in crack powdered sugar. Just don’t call it a doughnut!!!

These little bastards are good and I confess one wasn’t enough so I had a second. The second one was just as good as the first. I would definitely be willing to stuff my face with them again if given the chance. Apparently they are best when made fresh though. I went back for a third about a half an hour later and it wasn’t as good.

Too impatient to wait on a trip to New Orleans or for someone to bring you some to try? Here’s a recipe to make your own at home.

This post contains links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Warning: This Post is Really Cheesy – Grilled Cheese Month

grilled cheese

Did you know that April is Grilled Cheese Month? Well, according to Woman’s Day, April is “Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month (via Wikipedia). In honor of that I decided to hunt for some grilled cheese recipes.

First I will share how I do grilled cheese 🙂 My absolute favorite way to eat a grilled cheese is with Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup.
I take two ordinary slices of white bread and dollop butter (5 dollops
so it looks like a flower) onto it and broil it in the oven until the
butter melts and the bread is toast then I flip it over and add the
cheese until it melts and then add two more slices of white bread to the
dollop with some more butter onto the top and broil it until the butter
melts and the bread is toasted creating a gooey inside and only semi
crusted outside. I generally dip the sandwiches into the Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup. Nom nom nom!!!

While sitting writing this post someone who works with my husband
inquired as to what I was doing. Excited by the grilled cheese idea he
immediately informed me of his favorite grilled cheese recipe… He gets
two slices Rye bread and adds a little butter to both slices. To that
he adds Muenster Cheese and throws it on a griddle grilling both sides
until the insides are gooey and the outsides are crusty. Thanks Josh for
the recipe!

On Pinterest I
found a recipe for a grilled cheese that became my dinner one night.
Mozzarella and pepperoni on white bread grilled to perfection and then
served with a marinara sauce for dipping. It’s like a mini calzone. So
good!!!

Other recipes include:

Grilled Ham and Cheese

Parmesan Crusted Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Deluxe

Check out dozens of grown-up grilled cheese recipes via the Grilled Cheese Academy

What’s your favorite grilled cheese sandwich recipe?

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly ?

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.