Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sushi, Paella, & More This Thanksgiving

This year, I am excited about eating seafood paella and sushi on Thanksgiving Day. I realize that does not sound like the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. But wait – I still get turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the standard pilgrim yummy-ness. That’s because I am eating at Orlando’s Rosen Shingle Creek’sThanksgiving Brunch, which runs from 11:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

This extensive buffet features a Seafood Station, a Dim Sum and Sushi Station, a Make Your Own Pasta Station, a Carving Station, an Omelet and Waffle Station, Amuses, a Dessert Station, and all the Thanksgiving favorites. Among the many gourmet dishes featured are: Foie Gras Profiterole with Port Wine Reduction and Candied Orange Zest, Veal & Root Vegetable Cassoulet, and Haricot Vert with Baked Apple and Cranberries. It will be fun to try foods that I get to have….well, never. I am a dessert girl, so I am excited to see the Crème Brulee Action Station, and try the Kahlua Flan and Cheesecake Shots in several flavors, including Peppermint Schnapps and Hazelnut & Turtle.

Rosen Shingle Creek’s Thanksgiving brunch is somewhat pricey, but friends have told me it is well worth it. Prices are $55.95 for adults and $24.95 for children ages 4 to 12, and kids 3 and younger eat free. Florida residents receive a 25 percent discount. For reservations, call 407-996-3663. This beautiful hotel – complete with a creek and nature trails – is located at 9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando, Fla., 32819.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where to Find a Real French Bakery in Orlando

I already knew I liked Patisserie Caffe, a little known French and German bakery and sandwich shop in Lake Mary, Fla., which is located off of I-4 and 46A, in the same shopping complex as FishBones and Applebee’s

Then, when I was in the other day (ordering the best Tomato Basil soup I have ever had and authentic French almond tarts), I noticed the owner’s heartfelt letter to her customers.

Elsa Jakubzick talks about how she was always taught that, a person expresses their love through their work. And how she puts love into each cookie, tart, and cake she bakes. She believes her customers can really taste the difference, and I believe that too. A former electrical engineer, Elsa decided two years ago to spend her days doing something she loves.

I recommend trying the almond tarts, but the extensive Caffe Patisserie menu also includes: lattes, cappuccinos, quiches, elephant ears, Normandy Apple Tart, apple strudel, and Grilled Ham Panini sandwiches.

I love the atmosphere here too: unique china tea cups sit on the shelves along with a vase of lavender flowers, reminding me of France. Visit the bakery at 1541 International Parkway, #1021, Lake Mary, Fla, 32746, or on the web:

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shrek Visiting Gaylord ICE! Event

Every year, I get excited about Gaylord Palms Resort’s ICE! event, where you get to don parkas and sip hot chocolate while walking through a winter wonderland of ice sculptures on the hotel’s property. This year, I am looking forward to it even more, since Gaylord switched things up and added DreamWorks’ “Shrek the Halls” to the event.

The DreamWorks’ experience includes the option to see “Puss in Boots 3D” with gourmet popcorn, ShrekFeast interactive character meals, and a DreamWorks’-themed scavenger hunt.

ICE! runs from November 16 through January 2, 2012. For information on ICE! and DreamWorks’ Shrek the Halls, visit: