Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tailgate Chili Bar #ShareYourSpirit

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourSpirit #CollectiveBias

This is my favorite time of year. We are huge football fans, both college and NFL. My husband and I are a split college household and spend Sunday's secretly wishing each other fails in our competing fantasy football league. Competitive spirit always makes for a good time.

We live in Tampa and happen to have an NFL stadium less than 10 minutes from our house. We are also very close to both of our favorite colleges and frequently head over for some tailgate action. With all my years of tailgate experience, the one thing I have learned is finding flexible ingredients. This is why Chili is my go-to tailgate super food.
Chili can be used in many tailgate entrees and appetizers. Chili chips, chili fries, chili dogs, chili burgers, chili salad (yes, it's a thing). You can add chili to pretty much anything and make a delicious meal. You can make a vegetarian chili or steak chili. One of my all time favorites, especially for football season is Coke Chili. I use original Coca-Cola in place of 12oz of water and it brings out such a wonderful unique flavor. I have recently been told my Coke Chili is "on point, legit".

A great tip for all the tailgaters out there: Sam's Club now has a brand new easy order online and pickup feature. This saves so much time when it comes to prepping for the big game. You select what you want online, and it is ready for you to pick up at a specified time. Sam's now has Coca-Cola's brand new 28 packs which are perfect for any football gathering. I loved using the online order to get this product!

Coke Chili Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium diced sweet onion
1/2 cup Celery
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 lb Ground Beef (I use a Kobe beef blend)
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 cans tomato paste
2 cans Diced Tomatoes, green chili
2 cups water
1 can Red Beans, drained
1 can Chili Beans
1 can Coca-cola

Directions
Saute first four ingredients in a large pot until soft. Add beef and cook through. Drain the fat and return to heat. Add garlic, tomatoes, water, coke, spices, and beans. Cover and simmer about 1 hour.

Tailgate Chili Bar Necessities:
Prepare everything the night before and place in individual plastic containers for easy serving.  You can make your Chili the night before and reheat in a pot on your grill on tailgate day. 
Chili
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
Jalapeno's
Diced Onions
Corn Chips
French Fries (if you have a fryer at your tailgate)

Layout everything in individual bowls or plastic containers as mentioned above. It's much easier if you do the prep ahead of time and use what you store it in as a serving dish.

On game day, layout all your toppings and chili layers so your guests can build their own dream chili. Here are some of my favorites:

Chili Cheese Fries
Chili Dogs
Chili Corn Chips
Chili!
The Coke 24 Packs can be found at your local Sam's Club and don't forget to use their easy order online and pickup feature, which will save you time to prep for the big game!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Howl-O-Scream 2015 Unearthed review and why you need to go

We are HUGE fans of Howl-O-Scream. Don't believe me? Who else would get engagement photo's taken in a haunted house....
 Yes, those are zombies in the background......
On Friday night, I had a chance to check out Busch Garden's Howl-O-Scream Unearthed through my partnership with Tampa Bay Bloggers. I was very happy to see that my favorite haunted house, AKA the spot of our engagement photos Death Water Bayou had returned.
The house is full of turns and twists, voodoo and magic. They did a great job of recreating New Orleans and Louisiana. While this house is in it's third year, it is still my favorite.

Oh wait, you aren't here to see my 2 year old engagement photos at Busch Gardens - moving onto Howl-O-Scream 2015, Unearthed!
The new evil found at this years Howl-O-Scream is taking a new direction. In 2015, Busch Gardens joined forced with award-winning horor filmmaker Robin Cowie, who produced the Blair Witch Project. There were far more spooks and scares throughout the park. Expect the unexpected.
My husband and I attended Howl o Scream with our friends Ashley and Ryan. It's always better to go in a group to these events, far more fun! It happened to pour on us and I was unable to get any photos other than the few you see here. I strongly suggest attending Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream, we had  a fantastic time!

Houses:

Unearthed, Scarlett's Revenge

Don’t miss the all-new house from the producer of The Blair Witch Project, Unearthed™ Scarlett’s Revenge. During maintenance at the park, an excavation crew uncovered a centuries old house buried deep beneath the ground. Upon opening its door, a sinister force is unearthed—Scarlett—a furious demon who wields a deadly deck of magical cards summoning creatures of Howl-O-Scream past. Journey below to experience the splintered labyrinth of horrors and the revengeful wrath of this demon scorned.

Zombie Containment Unite 15
An undead invasion leads to a containment failure in Z.C.U.15, leaving zombies in search of flesh. Armed with only a Z.E.D. (Zombie Eradication Device), you’re the next target, and it’s up to you to hold off an undead mob in this interactive zombie hunting experience.

Dead Fall, Thirst for Blood
Humans and plants entwine with an insatiable thirst for blood, and the object of their hunger is YOU. Their sinister shadows lurk behind every corner of this overgrown Victorian garden and greenhouse, and the inhabitants wait to consume unsuspecting guests. Your arrival means…it’s feeding time!

Death Water Bayou
In the depths of the Bayou, the Voodoo Queen and her sadistic creatures transform wanderers into evil minions with dark magic. Descend into the swamps if you dare as you try to escape the evils that lurk in the shadows. Get out before you fall victim to her spell.

The Basement
From Momma’s secret ingredient to Granny’s bone-ground flour, Momma’s Meats’ award-winning recipe has always been a family affair that’s only created in The BASEMENT. Escape the depths of The BASEMENT before becoming the secret ingredient! She always said it took blood, sweat and tears!

Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh
I HATE clowns. NOT my favorite
You’ve tried to avoid black cats and sidewalk cracks, but all those years of bad luck have finally caught up with you! New demented fears make it impossible to survive the terrorizing surprises and startling scares that wait inside Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh.

Zombie Mortuary
Lead by their queen, the zombies that infest this small town funeral home feed on the fresh flesh and brains of mortuary mourners to satisfy their insatiable hunger. Avoid the undead or you may find yourself six feet under.

2015 New Evil Upgrade Packages:


In 2015, Busch Gardens added a ton of new packages for those looking to elevate their fright experience. We had Front of line fear passes for this event and had access to 6 haunted houses. This did not include the Zombie Containment Unit 15 experience. In my opinion, the VIP Package Super Package for $89 a person is well worth the cost. It includes your ticket, discounts for the event, front of line access to houses, complimentary beer, soda and water and a tour with a Howl-O-Scream Insider.

VIP Tour Packages
Conquer every terrifying corner of Howl-O-Scream 2015 with all-inclusive VIP Packages which include event admission, a tour guide and a choice of three levels of special treatment. All tours include commemorative photos, merchandise discounts and complimentary beverages. Packages start at $89, and Busch Gardens Pass Member discounts are available.
The Super experience is a three-hour group tour of haunted houses that includes front-of-the-line access.
The Mega experience is a five-hour experience that adds preferred parking and front-of-the-line access to Busch Gardens’ world-class thrill rides.
The Ultimate experience includes preferred parking and front-of-the-line access to thrill rides and haunted houses, including the Zombie Containment Unit 15: Moving Targets. The tour also includes a personal guide for a private group adventure through Howl-O-Scream.
Front Line Fear
For those who prefer self-guided scares but still want front-of-the-line perks, the Front Line Fear pass grants no-wait access to six haunted houses for $49. The Front Line Fear Extreme pass increases the terror and also gives guests front-of-the-line access to thrill rides for $59. Both passes include merchandise discounts.

Food and Beverage

Fright Feast
There’s nothing scarier than being terrified on an empty stomach! Fright Feast is the most deranged dinner show in town, featuring an exclusive performance of Fiends. Fright Feast guests are also the first to brave the dark with 30 minutes of early access to haunted houses and front-of-line privileges until 8:30 p.m. Fright Feast is $26 per person, with group rates and discounts for Busch Gardens Pass Members. NEW this year, the Dragon Fire Grill™ revamps the Fright Feast menu with a buffet of monstrous main courses and devilish desserts.

Where to find the Spirits, drinks not ghosts:
Full Service Liquor Bars are located at: Be sure to try this year’s signature potions “Scarlett,” “Excavation” and “Unearthed.” You can find full liquor bars at the following locations:
Nairobi Walkway
Crown Colony Pub
Pantopia Pub
Stanleyville
Gwazi Walkway
Carnibar in Pantopia
Garden Gate Café Bar (open select nights)
Club Unearthed

DARKHEARTS CARNIBAR
Located amidst DarkHeart’s Games of Skill in Pantopia, enjoy a full-service liquor bar on your way to Zombie Mortuary or Fiends.

THE BAR @ CLUB UNEARTHED™
Drive yourself mad partying at Howl-O-Scream’s dance club at the Marrakesh Theater.

New Barber Foods Chicken Cordon Bleu with easy creamy risotto #SimplySpecialMeals

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySpecialMeals #CollectiveBias

Do you remember your favorite meal as a kid? I had a few but the one thing that will always come to mind is Barber Chicken Cordon Bleu. I literally grew up on Barber and it was the #1 thing I would ask my Mom to make for dinner.
It's been a while since I have had chicken cordon bleu. During At my last trip to Publix, I noticed a large variety of Barber in the frozen section. I was excited to see Barber had a new recipe that is made with all natural chicken breasts. I threw a box in my cart and was excited for reminiscing my childhood over my next meal.
Upon first bite, I found myself imagining sitting at my childhood dining table eating one of my favorite meals with improved taste.
Cutting open Barber Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my favorite times, cheese oozing out of the chicken breast with a perfect piece of ham. I love the new improved flavor - a perfect crispy crust in 30 minutes, you cannot beat it. Barber Stuffed Chicken Breasts must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees as measured with a meat thermometer. When I decided to make this for lunch, I knew instantly what I would pair with it. Easy risotto. Risotto is literally my favorite carb - and my least favorite thing to make. A few months back, I came across a fool proof recipe that will have risotto in less than 15 minutes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Easy Risotto Recipe
Cook Barber Foods Breaded Stuffed Chicken Breasts - Cordon Blue as the box indicates

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir and add rice, microwave for 2 minutes.

Add 2 cups broth and wine, covering with plastic wrap. Microwave at for 9 minutes. Do not uncover - swirl the bowl while covered and return to the microwave for another 8 minutes. Stir in the cheese and the remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth, stir until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Barber has a whole new look to go along with their new recipe. Be sure to keep your eyes out for the box design.

You can save $1 right now on Barber products, click here for the coupon!
Follow Barber on Social Media:
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Sunday, September 27, 2015

One year strong - our first year wedding anniversary

Flashback Sunday anyone? I cannot believe today is September 27th. I feel like it was only a short while back I was posting my weekly wedding Wednesdays. It doesn't at all feel as if today has been one year since our dream wedding in New Orleans, Second Line Parade through the French Quarter and all.
I have heard countless times that the first year of a wedding is the hardest on a couple. I guess everyone has their ups and downs but overall, we had a pretty amazing 1st year together and can't wait to see what the future has in store for us.  I'm incredibly blessed to have married my best friend. Here are a few of my favorite photos of our wedding journey:





Today, my husband of a year and I are heading to Port Canaveral to board the Carnival Sunshine to celebrate. I apologize in advance for the amount of boat drinks and sunshine photos you will see on my instagram account :)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Deezyl's Journey with Purina Pro Plan #BrightMind

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BrightMind #CollectiveBias

A few weeks ago a post was written about about how my mini-dachshund Deezyl made the switch over to Purina ProPlan Bright Mind. After thirty days, I am here to report how this old boy is living a more energetic life! According to experts, around age 7, the glucose metabolism in a dog's brain begins to change. This can affect memory, learning, awareness and decision making. Purina Pro Plan discovered a way to promote alertness and mental sharpness in senior dogs.
At the ripe age of nearly 13, Deezyl loves to chase airplanes, delivery drivers, climb trees and do laps around the golf course. He has more energy than most 6 year old dogs I know. I still call him puppy although he is technically older than me (don't let him know that).
Deezyl will allow me to dress him in ALMOST anything. Halloween costumes are not one of those. He has a spider and a Dracula costume, which I think looks quite nice on him. I get death glares and he wont walk anywhere. It's amazing to me that he understands what embarrassment is. I mean, if my Mom ever dressed me in this spider get-up, I would do the same thing.
Deezyl loves to help grill. The above photo was of him helping us "man the grill" or as I call it, begging for someone to drop a steak. He has been my grillmaster since he was a puppy. Can you see his tail wagging?
Switching to Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind brought a peppier step in Deezyl's daily activities. I purchased it at PetSmart where they have a huge line of Purina ProPlan for dogs of all ages. Now if you Spend $10 on any Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog or Cat Food* at PetSmart between 8/31 and 10/4, you can save $10 on your next Purina Pro Plan Dry Food purchase, 14-lb. or more, on or before 11/1. *Subject to availability. Transaction total is after discounts and before taxes.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Baked eggs with spinach and tomatoes #EBeggsfit

It is hard to believe we are creeping up on October's door, where has 2015 gone? Summer is officially over and while I am always sad to see it go, I cannot wait for some cooler temps in FL. Fall to me is the kick-off of my busy season and that is typically a hard time for me to stay focused on fitness and eating healthy. This is why simple, healthy meals are my best friend.
While I am marathon training, there are two items I try to sneak into my daily diet - spinach and eggs. Spinach is full of nitrates and is believed to help runners with speed and endurance. One egg fills 10% of your daily protein needs and the protein in eggs contain crucial amino acids to help promote recovery. Both are simple to add into various dishes but I love when they are together in one.

I combined fire roasted garlic diced tomatoes, fresh blanched spinach and an egg in an oven proof small dish and baked for 15 minutes. The result was exactly what I wanted.
Baked eggs with spinach and tomatoes:
Eggland's Best large eggs
1 cup fresh spinach, blanched and water squeezed out of it
1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted garlic)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, spray non-stick oil in two small oven proof dished. Place the spinach and tomatoes in the dish. Season however you like (think outside the box, Indian, Spanish, etc) and place a raw egg on top.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg white is no longer translucent.

Serve with crusty bread, Naan or pita bread.
Eggland's Best Facts:
Compared to ordinary eggs, each Eggland’s Best large egg contains:
25% less saturated fat
10 times more vitamin E
3 times more vitamin B12
4 times more vitamin D
Double the Omega 3s
Good source of vitamins B2 and B5
38% more lutein

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland's Best.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sneak Peek at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Barrel Aged Cocktail Dinner

Seminole Hard Rock Tampa is hosting a Barrel Aged cocktail dinner at Council Oak on Thursday September 24th. This is going to be a one of a kind evening filled with...you guessed it - Barrel Aged Cocktails! The night will begin with a themed cocktail reception, followed by an innovative Barrel Aged Cocktails-curated four-course meal at 7 p.m.

I have been to a few Council Oak themed dinners before and they are phenomenal events. Here are two links to previous dinners I've experienced at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa: Grand Marnier Dinner at Council Oak and Jack Daniels Dinner at Council Oak. After reading the menu, I am not sure what I am more excited for. This is going to be a one of a kind meal.
The featured barrel cocktails are: Old Fashioned Rootbeer, Negroni – Nolets Silver, Crown Rye – Manhattan and S’mores Martini – Ketel One Vodka.

Each guest who attends will receive their very own commemorative 2-liter Barrel Aged Cocktail (Barrel and Cocktail)!!

Hors Dourves:
Prosecco Compressed Watermelon
Goat Cheese, Pickled Red Oinion and 50 Years Aged Balsamic
Royal Ossetra Caviar
Quail Egg, Citrus Creme Fraiche and Sea Salt Tuile
Fig Confit
Duck Prosciutto, Seal Salt Pistachio Crusted Fontina

Dinner:

1st Course
Hudson Valley Foie Gras Au Torchon
Pickled Carrot, Watermelon Radish, Salsify, Sea Salt Pistachios, Kumquat Marmalade and Blackberry Ketchup
Old Fashioned Root Beer

2nd Course
Sea Bass
Lobster Ravioli, Eggplant Caponata, Smoked Tomato Brodo
Negroni - Nolet's Silver

3rd Course
Jackman Farm's Wagyu Filet
Parsnips Puree, Tomato Jam, Shaved Black Truffle and Warm Port-Tarragon Vinaigrette
Manhattan - Crown Royal Rye

4th Course
Sweet Obsession
Chocolate Mousse, Coconut Micro Sponge Cake, Morello Cherry Foam
Smores Martini - Ketel One Vodka

The entertainment will be provided by Samantha Leigh.
Tickets (at $245 per person) are available for sale by calling Council Oak Steaks & Seafood (813-627-6630).

Columbia Crest’s Fall and Limited Release Wines

Happy First day of Fall!!! While it still feels like summer here in FL, I am looking forward to the Fall season, especially cooler temps. Since we don't have the changing of the leaves here, one of my favorite parts about Fall time is the release wines for the season, especially limited releases! Columbia Crest recently released their second vintage Limited Release “Gold” Red Wine Blend. The Columbia Crest 2013 Limited Release Gold Red Wine (10,000 cases produced) combines artisan wine making with the best vineyards in the Columbia Valley to deliver a world-class wine of outstanding quality and value.  Each year Columbia Crest winemakers put aside a few barrels of wine that represent the “Gold” standard of the Columbia Valley.

Columbia Crest 2013 Limited Release Gold Red Wine (10,000 cases produced)
Tasting Notes: “Dark and rich with a silky palate and flavors of fresh raspberries and salted dark chocolate, this Cabernet Franc-based red wine is a great option to pair with grilled meats and vegetables.” Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

New Columbia Crest Grand Estate Releases:

Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Tasting Notes: “This bold style Cabernet Sauvignon displays great complexity and structure. There are aromas of dark berry fruits and plum on the nose with chocolate and vanilla on the palate. This wine pairs well with beef tenderloin or hearty pasta.” Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

Columbia Crest 2014 Grand Estates Pinot Gris Columbia Valley
Tasting Notes: “This light and lively Pinot Gris opens with vibrant lime-citrus and pineapple aromas. Following are vivid peach, pear and tropical fruit flavors joined by subtle nutty and spicy nuances, all balanced by crisp acidity.” Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Chardonnay Columbia Valley
Tasting Notes: “The Grand Estates Chardonnay opens with intense aromas of apples and melons, joined by signature characters of crème brulee, caramelized sugar and butterscotch. Ripe orchard fruit flavors are joined by creamy, buttery notes and balanced by lively acidity, creating a rich yet fresh wine.” Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay Columbia Valley
Tasting Notes: “Fermented only in stainless steel, the Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay is a light-bodied wine that reveals a pure expression of the varietal. The wine opens with aromas of lemon seed, green mangoes and orange blossoms. On the palate, layers of citrus fruit flavors combine with lively acidity, creating a refreshing style of Chardonnay." Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Merlot Columbia Valley
Tasting Notes: “This Merlot has a rich aromatic profile with notes of chocolate and dark cherries. The complex fruit flavors are followed by a smooth, velvety finish. Pair this wine with blue cheese, duck, beef, veal and dark chocolate.” Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Red Blend Columbia Valley
Tasting Notes: “This complex red blend marries together a variety of characteristics and layers that complement each other, including lively flavors of red and black fruit punctuated with layers of spice and caramel on the finish.” Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Syrah Columbia Valley
“Elegant smoky tones lead to notes of currant, dried herbs and hints of pepper. The supple texture is complemented by flavors of cedar and dark fruits.” Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

The Columbia Crest Grand Estates lineup ia available nationally for a suggested retail price of $12 per bottle.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Taste of Bull & Bear Sneak Peek - Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando

It comes to no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I love food and wine. I was honored to take part of a sneak peek of Food & Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. This multi-weekend celebration is the perfect complement to the Epcot® Food & Wine Festival, for the serious epicurean. Food & Wine Weekends are taking place on weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek this Friday, September 25 through November 15, 2015
I experienced a sneak peek of the Taste of Bull & Bear along with an intimate group of fellow travel, wine and food bloggers. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to attend events like this before, but this particular night stood out above the rest.

The Taste of Bull & Bear is an impressive five-course menu with mind blowing food and perfect wine pairings. The food, wine, cocktails and entertainment were top notch. I am still showing off photos to anyone who cares to listen to my humble bragging nearly a week later.

Course 1: Beginning 
POTATO CAPPUCCINO 
Oregon Truffle Jus, Mushroom Salt Wine: Jaffurs Viognier, Santa Maria Valley, CA 
You guys.....I cannot even put into words what this espresso cup full of perfection tasted like. Imagine a rich, velvety potato soup with truffle. I went cross-eyed and asked if it were legal to marry soup - because I would do so on the spot. I am still dreaming about my soup fling on the side and I don't think my husband would be jealous of me bringing it home. The soup love of my life was served with Jaffrus Viognier from Santa Maria Valley. It was a nice crisp white wine that worked well with the truffle.

Cocktails
New World Gin and Tonic & French Garden
Bull and Bear has a jaw dropping hand crafted cocktail menu and they took mixology to a whole new level. The two drinks we sampled were the New World Gin and Tonic - St. Augustine Gin, Tonic Ice and Edible Flowers. They freeze their tonic and use this instead of ice cubes, so the drink will not get diluted. It was one of the prettiest cocktails I have seen and quite refreshing. The other cocktail was the French Garden - Ketel One Vodka, Absentroux, Falernum homemade Grenadine, Dash of Orange Water.

Course 2: Salad
MAINE LOBSTER SALAD 
Herb Emulsion, McGregor Farm Petites, Aioli Wine: Elk Cove Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, OR
It is very rare that I will consume all of a salad dish at a five-course dinner. This was an exception. The Maine Lobster Salad was in my eyes the perfect salad. Micro greens and Lobster - you cannot go wrong. The lobster was perfectly prepared and was served with a glass of Elk Cove Pinot Gris from Wilmette Valley. I have really been into Pinot Gris this summer and this particular bottle is one of the best I have tried to date.

Entertainment
During our meal, we experienced live a live artist, Edson Campos create a chalk masterpiece in front of our eyes. It was incredible as you watched his progress. Edson recently had a showcase on Disney Boardwalk and is known throughout Orlando.

Course 3: Catch

CHILEAN SEA BASS
Spinach, Mushroom Duxelle and Tomato Encrusted Chilean Sea Bass, Sorrel Sauce Wine: Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay, Russian River, CA
I typically shy away from Chilean Sea Bass - it is purely a texture thing for me. However at events such as these, I am sure to try everything placed in front of me and boy am I glad I did so with this dish. This particular Chilean Sea Bass was so buttery that I did not have a single issue with the texture. It was perfectly cooked and very innovative. The green lines on top are spinach, under that is tomato  and a mushroom duxelle. I couldn't stop eating this dish, which is a first ever for me when it comes to Chilean Sea Bass. Plus one of my favorite wines were served along with it, Somona-Cutrer Chardonnay from Russian River. I instantly took a photo of both to send to my best friend, bragging that I was consuming two of her favorite things.

Course 4: Pasture
8 oz. FILET OF BEEF Beef Tallow Candle Potato au Gratin Sautéed Seasonal Mushrooms Wine: 1000 Stories Red Zinfandel, Mendocino County, CA 
My husband and I have been to Bull and Bear once before and had a steak. He still talks about it being the best steak in Orlando, 7 months later. My expectations for this filet were high and I can gladly say, they were exceeded. The steak was perfectly cooked and had incredible flavor. The most innovative part of this dish was the beef tallow candle wax, poured on the plate to dip your beef into. Moving onto the wine, which was my favorite of the night - 1000 Stories Red Zinfandel from Mendocino County. This small batched wine is from bourbon barrels. I fell in love and made a point to buy a bottle for our upcoming cruise. You can only find this at World Market and I ended up buying not one, but four bottles this weekend.

Art Completion
Edson Campos's Tuscan scene brought me right back to Italy. I think I literally have that exact photograph on my memory card!

Course 5 - Dessert
THE BIG REVEAL Lemon and Berries Pavlova, Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream, Meringue Wine: Alvear Solera, Pedro Ximenez, Spain 
I don't have a photo of this amazing dessert as I got it on video. The video doesn't show off the true magic of the dessert so I am leaving it out of the post (however, you can see it on my Instagram by clicking here). It was a chocolate dome surrounding lemon and berries Pavlova, Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream and Meringue. Delicious!!! This was served with a glass of Alvear Solera, Pedro Ximenez, Spain. The perfect nightcap to the perfect night.

The Taste of Bull & Bear - Friday and Saturday nights through November 15 at Bull & Bear, Waldorf Astoria. $110 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 407-597-5413 for reservations or click here to reserve on Open Table. View Menu

Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek were designed to experience the artistry of fine culinary preparation for an evening or weekend. Click here to check out all other amazing Food and Wine Experiences at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek. Did someone say Chocolate and Champagne Tasting? Macaron Bar? Sushi Pairing? Yes, yes and yes!