Monday, June 23, 2014

My New Favorite Chocolate Coconut Oil

I started using coconut oil in my cooking and smoothies, soon after my niece told me about its health benefits. Good coconut oil will give you an energy boost, strengthen your immune system, improve concentraton, and make your hair and skin look fabulous, among a number of other benefits. But the trick is getting high concentrations of the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) in the coconut oil.

Since I don't understand all that stuff, I decided to let the experts do it for me. I recently tried Quoquos'  Coconut Oil with Sunflower Lecithin. It has the right concentration of coconut oil with sunflower lecithin, which contributes to memory support and fat digestion. Yeah, these are all things that most of us want more of. More importantly, though, I want coconut oil to taste good. Some have a weird texture that make them hard to swallow. This one is smooth - and delicious. I actually like taking it by the spoonful, but I also love using it when cooking my eggs in the morning. 

Another great benefit of this product is that they sell a Coconut Oil with Coco Choco Boost, which contains organic cocoa. Oh wow - this is so good in my smoothies! I would suggest trying about a spoonful of the Coco Choco Boost with 1 banana, crushed ice, and peanut butter. No sweetener is needed, since the coconut oil has a sweet flavor. 

Order either the plain or Coco Choco flavor at, and let me know how you like it!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Great Food, Fun at Cafe Tu Tu Tango

Photo: Cafe Tu Tu Tango
When I go out to eat, atmosphere is really important to me. That's partially why I chose Cafe Tu Tu Tango on International Dr. in Orlando for Father's Day lunch. It is so much fun to be able to dine amidst a plethora of local art, including one beautiful painting that was being completed by the artist that day. The art - especially in a family of artists and photographers - makes a great conversation piece!

However, I don't think the restaurant had enough staff on for Father's Day. Even though it was only half full for lunch, the service and food was SO slow. The staff was friendly, though, and the food was great. 

Argentinian Chimmichurri Steak
Cafe Tu Tu Tango is a tapas-style restaurant, so it is great to order a couple plates per person, and then share those with the table. The Dynamite Shrimp was probably everyone's favorite: the crispy shrimp was cooked just right, and the flavor was great. My family also suggests ordering any of the wood-fired pizzas. The Asian Steak Skewers were cooked to perfection and had a great flavor. And, the Argentinian-Style Orange Chimmichurri Steak with Lemon Manchego Grits provided us with delicious flavors that were different than we have had before. 

Photo: Cafe Tu Tu Tango
I ordered the Lemongrass-Hazelnut Crusted Whitefish with Noodles. The flavor of the fried fish, noodles and chimmichurri-style sauce all worked together perfectly. However, the fish was too greasy. I also had the Shrimp and Grits, which is truly a winner. The shrimp is swimming in a perfect crispy bacon and carmelized onion broth and the grits are creamy and delicious.

The verdict: go there for the atmosphere and food; avoid busy times and holidays!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Something Different at Tea and Tea

I'm not sure who developed the Tea and Tea concept in Winter Park, Fla., but I'm glad they did! It is certainly a different, relaxing and enjoyable experience. Tea and Tea makes original blended teas with juice, fresh fruit, and cream, to order for each customer.

I loved the atmosphere when I walked into Tea and Tea. It is clean and quiet, and I feel like it would be a comfortable place to work alone or socialize with friends. It is small, however, so seating may be limited. 

The selection of hot, iced, and wellness teas is unlimited. You can ask staff to make you your own blend, so you can definitely have something different each time you visit. On the very hot day I visited, I chose to try one of Tea and Tea's Signature Refreshing Blends. I ordered iced Red Sky, a caffeine-free strawberry and kiwi herbal tea, with peach, mango, pineapple juice and fresh lemon. The flavors were not overpowering and everything blended together nicely. It really was a refreshing drink!

On my next visit, I want to try one of Tea and Tea's Signature Cream Blends, such as Brazilian Chocolate or Pecan Pie. Yum! An added bonus: Iced Bakery supplies Tea and Tea's desserts. Everything that the local bakery makes is delicious, but you will want to try the Magic Bars (with bacon!) and the Nutella Cookies.

Where: Winter Park Village, 480 N. Orlando Ave., Ste. 126