The Story of Seaside, Florida and a Food Lover

We just arrived home from a week spent on the Emerald Coast of Florida.  The weather was delightful, lazy days on the beach, friends and family, cocktails at sunset, early morning outings, just plain old R & R!  We had heard about the town of Seaside, I even had been there briefly years ago after the Truman Show had popularized it, but when we arrived we were super surprised about the culinary mind trip we were going to go on!  We spent hours eyeballing restaurants menus, small markets, locally made pickles and jams, tasted butters and yogurt creamed a short trip away; we were in heaven.  Like the way the town of Seaside was established, with the focus on community,  the  food scene certainly practices this as well.  Any foodie visitor to the Emerald Coast should block a few hours for this gastrofantastic town!  Needless to say we came home inspired!!

Small town of Seaside- The Farmer's Market

Fresh NW Florida Local Vegetables- Such a difference in flavor

Organic Tea Leaves- We were able to make our own blends, fun for tea's, marinades, sweets!!

Fresh Jams and Eggs- We took some back to the house and had an amazing breakfast!

Farmers Market Poster- I tried to steal this but thought that might not fly in Seaside!

Great Salads- We found our lunch on the beach #nomnom

Stalks of sweet corn- They were picked the afternoon before!

Fresh Breads- This bakery uses all organic, local ingredients. She baked the breads the day before, they were so good. I went to the local creamery stand and go some of the fresh butter as my bread baking interest was sparked again!

Local Honey- Made an hour down the road, he had Tupelo, Wild Flower and Bay Leaf. Great example of buying direct from the farmer as our purchase came with a quick lesson on the state of honey bees, as well as a taste test of the different types of honey! Awesome!

The Modica Market- A great store, we spent an hour looking at all the specialty local items.

The Modica Market Bakery- Then I spent an hour trying to decide which treat to have- 🙂

Modica Market- Chefs Paradise

Florida Made Cheese- I may not be in the know, but I don't think we have to many cheese artisans in Florida, needless to say I was thrilled to find this tasty cheese!! WOO HOO!!

Local Support- The Community of Seaside is dedicated and built around community. The restaurants, markets and chefs follow suit.

Lady Bird Hot Sauces- The Pink Grapefruit Sauce was awesome- soooo good! Double Win for the ASPCA involvement!

Microgreens! The shoppers in Seaside eat well!!

House Pickled Backyard Goods- I really need to learn to "can", there is so much opportunity! Look for canned goods coming soon 🙂

Ping Tung Heirloom Eggplants! These are awesome, the skin is so tender, the seeds are not bitter - Perfect for Baba Ganoush!

Pickle Stand- A ton of different pickles, amongst other many items 🙂

Seaside CSA Garden- This was awesome, very youth oriented, which instills in the kiddo's that important issues can be fun!

Key Lime Pie on a Stick- Can you ever go wrong with pie on a stick?

Food Trucks of Seaside

Barefoot BBQ Food Truck- Sir Wes could not resist, 2 thumbs up!

The Melt Down, Grilled Cheese Food Truck- I spent my time over here, I am a sucker for fancy schmancy grilled cheeses!

Wild Bills Beach Dogs Food Truck-"If you can think it, We will do it"

Dear Seaside,

We are fat and happy- Thanks for the good times, we will see you soon!!!

The Piggo’s

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Preserved Cherries- Small Effort, Huge WOW!

Preserving Cherries

Seems like I couldn’t get away from cherries last weekend we dined at a restaurant with a great fresh cherry cheesecake it had a chocolate almond crust Sir Wes kept saying, LORD this is good!  Then I read a blog over at A Cook Walks Into A Bar, who was making homemade Maraschino cherries!!  What???  Who knew??  Not sure why I never thought about fresh made…. just goes to show you, there is always something new to discover!

And then there were Acerola Cherries at the farmers market the next day- Awesome!  Because we were leaving for a family vacation this week, I was a bit limited on time, could not get to the liquor store for the traditional liquor needed for the maraschinos, next time!!  So I used what I had in the pantry- no need to get caught up in recipes, we just make it work!!

Acerola Cherries

  • 1 pound cherries, seeded (up to you if you want to or not, but I plan to serve them in drinks, and I don’t want to have to worry about seed spitting)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup cherry brandy
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander
  • 1 tablespoon whole black pepper
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Couple slices of orange peel
  • Couple slices of lemon peel
  • 2 stems of oregano (had some in the garden, thyme would be nice too, just to add that earthy flavor)

I put all the ingredients together in a leak proof container and turned end over end to mix everything up.  They will need about two weeks before we dive in to them, and will last 6 months.  Just be sure to stir them up every few days.  This is a GREAT treat for your cocktail parties coming thru the summer and into the fall- ummm, I can see tailgate parties with these fancy schmancy treats….Awesome!  Small effort, Huge WOW!

Preserving Cherries

Lemon Tarragon filled Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies

Summer Goodness!!!

These cookies are great, buttered goodness.  They are a bit on the crumbly side with the almond flour, but it adds such a great texture.  The tarragon is perfect with lemon, and the healthier cookie.

These cookies are complete summer

Almond Shortbread:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (With
Shortbread cookies, I think it is a time to splurge on butter)

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup almond flour (almond meal)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar  until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl,  whisk together the whole wheat flour, almond flour, cornstarch and salt.  Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and beat just until incorporated.

Scrape batter out onto a sheet of parchment and form a log.  Refrigerate for one hour, and then slice into ¼ inch slices and place on a cookie sheet.  I made a well in the center of each cookie, using the screw top bottle. Put the cookie sheet back in the refrigerator to cool back down for 10 -15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300, and slide the cookies into the preheated oven.  Bake them for about 35-45 minutes, until they are golden brown.  Once they come out of the oven I used the screw top again to reform the well.  Allow cookies to cool completely before filling, I would also recommend filling the cookies with the lemon filling the same day you will serve them which keeps the cookie from losing its great crumble texture.  I used some toasted almonds as garnish on some cookies and powdered sugar on others.

Creamed butter and sugar

Use what you have, you don't always need some fancy tool.

Evenly toasted, fresh out of the oven

Lemon Tarragon Filling:

Mis en place for the lemon filling

Juice & grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup sugar

1 eggs

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons tarragon, chopped fine

Combine all ingredients in a double boiler on stove. Simmer until thickened stirring constantly, about 15 minutes or 140 degrees.  Remove from heat and stir in the tarragon,
put in the refrigerator to chill.

Stir, stir, stir

It was so good, I was looking for things to spread it on!

Ready for the finishing touches!

Lake Lily Food Truck Cafe

We went down to the Lake Lily Food Truck Cafe last week and had a great time.  We met some friends and made some new ones too.  It was a good time had by all, and would recommend highly.  The prices were great, the food was fresh, creative and delicious.  I would recommend to get there early, as the lines can get long.  And definetly bring your appetite, the choices are vast!  Look below to see some of the highlights.
The bathroom was our first stop, and I just thought this sink was so peculiar. Are all sinks so welcoming?

What a great dinner spot!

Food Truck Alley

I love @BigWheelMCO tables

I think Sir Wes made a few request, they happily obliged.

The @winterparkfish- very tasty!

Cooked perfectly by the man in the @winterparkfish truck

Kobe Dog (@winterparkfish)

Lots of food, not really sure what we got...but I think it was more than we paid for...careful of that @koreanbbq_2011

Just an example of me posing for a picture- I clearly am not fond of letting Sir Wes hold the camera!

Lemonata with Meringue Frosting from @yumyumtruck_fl

Luther Burger from the @TREEHOUSETRUCK- Nothing says it like a picture in this case!

Food Coma, poor girl...but so worth it!