When I heard that my Blogger Union family had a special Parmigiano Reggiano event at the Biltmore Culinary Academy, I knew I had to be there. The charming hotel, which is also a national historic landmark is one of my favorite properties in my city. Known for it’s old world charm, the Biltmore showcases Spanish style with Moorish and Italian accents.
In 2009, The Biltmore opened the Culinary Academy. It is the only hotel with a recreational cooking school operating in North America, the institute has a dedicated learning area and fully equipped professional kitchen offering a variety of classes, team building events, workshops, for both adults and children.
The star of the evening was one of my personal faves: Parmigiano Reggiano
Let’s go over some cool facts.
Parmesan cheese is named after the region where it is produced (Parma, Italy).
Like me, Parmesan cheese gets more flavor with age. Whoop, whoop!
If it’s not from the Parma or Reggio area, it is NOT parmesan cheese. Don’t fall for the frauds.
It makes a healthy snack. Parmigiano Reggiano digests easy, the presence of ready to use proteins and lipids, lactose free, rich in calcium, with possible prebiotic and probiotic effect. Compared to other cheese, it’s lower in fat and sodium and higher in vitamins and minerals.
We were greeted with champagne and this lovely spread.
Our gracious chef.
This pic made me laugh. It reminds me of when I was in school back in the day..always socializing.
All of us girls were put into groups of 3-4. My group was with the lovely Lily and Eveline. Our station created Parmiagiano Reggiano & Cilantro Crusted Salmon with Boniato Puree and Grilled Key Lime. Spoiler alert, our dish was amazing and I have the recipe for you all!
Yields: 8 portions
8 ea. 4 oz salmon fillets
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated parmigiana reggiano cheese (save some to sprinkle on top)
1/2 cup- chopped cilantro
1 ea key lime (zest and juice)
3 ea cut in 1/2 grilled
Heat oven to 400F
Mix the mayonnaise, parmigiana reggiano cheese, key lime (zest and juice) and chopped cilantro together until well incorporated.
Place the salmon skin side down on a parchment paper lined 1/2 sheet tray (spray with nonstick) then evenly coat the top of each salmon with the mixture, sprinkle with some additional parmigiano reggiano cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly firm, they will carry over in temperature.
Serve with boniato puree and grilled key limes.
2 large boniato peeled, sliced and diced
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to boil. Cook until fork tender.
Drain the potatoes and add the butter, heavy cream and whip or smash. Use a mixer to whip. Mix until the potatoes are light and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste.
I had such a great time with girls and culinary staff.
The salmon was a hit. I can’t get over how perfect it was..I’ve also made the sauce at home. It’s going to be a staple over here.
We got to enjoy the other dishes:
Fried Porchetta & Parmigiano Reggiano Ravioli with Chimichurri Aioli
Parmigiano Reggiano Tarlets filled with Shrimp Scampi
Sage Parmigiano Reggiano Bread Pudding Muffins
Parmigiano Reggiano & Chorizo Hasselback Potatoes
Coconut Parmigiano Reggiano Rice Pudding with grilled Pineapple
Over the last two years, I’ve had the privilege to travel across the globe and have the best experiences that nature has to offer. My generation was taught to recycle, we were also taught about conservation but I feel like wandering to these far off places made me realize how precious our planet is.
My recent trip to Hawai’i was magical. I swear, every turn we took, I was left in awe. The air was so clean, lush foliage for days and little visitors saying hello.
This trip was so special because I was with my brother. We seriously felt like kids again because we roamed around the island and had the time of our lives. I’m saving the deets for other posts but we basically explored the jungle and jumped into waterfalls like big kids.
I’m always looking for ways to make my life and your lives easier. My brother actually told me how he orders he paper products from Amazon almost a year ago, but I totally forgot about it. Not only is this convenient but Kimberly-Clark partnered with WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) announced a unique three-year agreement with Amazon.com designed to raise awareness of the importance of choosing products that use fiber from responsibly managed forests. FSC is considered a “gold standard” in forest certification and assures that these products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, and social benefits. They want everyone to be part of this Heart Your Planet initiative.
These are items that I constantly have to buy. There’s a useful feature Amazon Subscribe & Save where you get free shipping, convenient regular delivery on the schedule you set, and you can cancel at any time. Plus, if you subscribe to 5 or more products you can receive an additional 15% off. Coupons will be available on the Amazon product page. How great is that?
I was excited about my first order.
So was Duke. He’s a fan of Amazon deliveries because a lot of his goodies come from there.
I got my Viva Strong & Soft paper towels.
Scott Tube Free toilet paper. I’ve never seen that before, why am I so excited? Hahaha.
Are you all about making your life easier, protecting the forest for generations to come and while saving money? Click here to Subscribe and Save (save up to $2.50 off + Up to 15% off!).
Thank you Elan USA for making this collaboration possible.
I’m so excited to share one of my favorite collaborations to date. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be in Hawai’i shooting fall looks for Elan USA. The photographer I worked with is someone I’ve kept a close eye on for almost a year. It turns out, one of my nearest and dearest knows him.
A little story time because every event turns into an adventure with me. We decided to meet early in the morning at Diamond Head Lighthouse. My driver was basically all “HERE YA GO, COUSIN. HAVE A NICE DAY. BYE.” and left me. Vincent wasn’t anywhere in sight and we both didn’t have cell reception.
I asked the surfers where “the end of the road” would be because Vincent said something about meeting at the end of the road. One guy said to head towards the lighthouse, that I could go up on the sidewalk but it would take awhile. Homeboy suggested I stayed below, along the coast to make my move. “You’re in great shape, sis. It’s high tide, but you can totally handle it.” K, BRAH.
Guys, I don’t have pics of me in almost waist high water, with waves crashing on me in clothing. That was such a wild experience and I can’t believe I went through with it. At one point I thought, ” A wave is going to swallow me, this is it.”
I had to walk on lava rock at certain points. These were smooth, some were sharp. LOL. what is life.
Made it to THE END OF THE ROAD pero like, after I found Vincent, we went back to where the waves almost killed me and shot these gorgeous photos.
Elan USA is one of my favorite resort/swimwear line. It was such a pleasure being face to face with Elan himself a few months ago at The Surf Expo. I’m a proud Miami girl, so whenever I can rep home, I do it.
This Elan cover up is perfect for the beach, lounging by the pool or a low-key casual day.
We spent the last hour shooting in the ocean. I’m amazed that he caught me smiling because the waves tossed the both of us around the whole time. This was such a cool experience, my heart is happy.
One of my passions in life is travel. These priceless moments in far off places are the reason I do what I do. As much as I love jet setting, I’ve learned that I needed to be patient, which is something I lack. Attempting to find affordable airport parking, going through long TSA lines and waiting around for hours isn’t fun but a process most of us travelers have to go through.
I was recently invited to fly with Air Unlimited by one of my favorite PR agencies in Orlando. This private charter is Central Florida’s island connection, along with Miami Dolphins and University Miami tailgate flight. Yes, TAILGATE FLIGHTS is a thing around here.
Why Air Unlimited?
No security waits, no waiting in line, no baggage fees, your dog or cat can fly with you in the main cabin, complete VIP treatment. Free parking, in fact, you leave your car keys with Air Unlimited and they will happily park your car in a secure location. When the aircraft touches down from your trip, you’ll be greeted with your car on the runway.
Beechcraft King Air 200 is the most popular business turboprop in the world.
Other aircraft in the fleet: Cessna 421 & Citation Mustang
The Beechcraft King Air seats up to nine. The interior is furnished with finely crafted seats that are able to laterally track, swivel and recline.
This flight was so comfortable. We were all surprised that our ears didn’t pop.
Air Unlimited specializes in flights to the Bahamas but will fly to The Keys upon request. You can even make arrangements to fly domestic, to Mexico, Canada and other countries.
I’m a sports girl, so let’s get to the good stuff. Take your tailgate to the sky. For people like me who have a home in central florida but sports teams are in Miami, this tailgate flight is ideal. This one of a kind experience allows you to decorate the plane in your team colors, bring your own food and alcohol. Once you touch down in Miami, a shuttle will take you to The Hardrock Stadium. And of course, the shuttle will take you back to the airport after the game. Driving back and forth to games kills me. I sound dramatic, but it’s the truth.
After my luxurious flight with Air Unlimited, it’s going to be hard to fly on commercial flights. Thank you so much for this wonderful experience. Click here to look at their schedule and book your next flight.
4130 Centerline Ln, Sanford, FL 32773
My time in Hawai’i was simply amazing. I can’t wait to share my trip with you all but I have to laugh at my luck. This bucket list moment came with challenges. Hawai’i is known for it’s gorgeous weather year long, but it rained so much during my stay. My shoots had to be moved around quite a bit and I even got sick. There’s something called “vog” on the island which is form of air pollution aka volcanic fog/smog, that stuff hit me hard.
While I enjoyed my cozy bed at the Laylow Waikiki, I chilled in my pineapple shirt from Thread Tank. They sent me this tee before I booked this spur of the moment trip. Perfect, right? The quality is fantastic and I love how soft my shirt is.
Click here to order one!
Thank you, Balmoral Resort Florida for making this collaboration possible. As always, all opinions are my own!
I just spent the weekend with Duke and one of my best friends at the luxurious Balmoral Resort At Waters Edge in Haines City, FL. Before any vacation, most of us atomically seek hotel prices. Prior to a few years ago, I was all about that hotel life until I started staying at my brothers’ condo on Marco Island. Hotels are cool and all but staying in a villa, townhouse, penthouse or home is a better option if you’re vacationing with a group of people and/or family.
When you’re traveling, the number one thing you should seek is comfort. I just spent this last month traveling over 10,000 miles and found myself in not so homey situations (even though they were beautiful properties!). At this point in my life, I’m kind of spoiled. What you should look for in a resort:
Entertainment for all
Access to delicious food
Being close to attractions
You get all of this at the Balmoral Resort Florida. Did I mention that this property is pet friendly? This is perfect for all of us who want our 4 legged family members to be part of our vacations, plus you save money since you don’t have to put them in boarding.
We stayed in a spacious 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom home. Such a beauty!
Every single room had it’s own personality.
I’m all about details. Each bathroom had fluffy bath towels, cosmetic towels and toiletries.
There was also a washer and dryer!
Modern and simple decor.
Comfy pool towels.
Breakfast items, which came handy for us.
The kitchen is my favorite room in any house. I loved how it was roomy, fully equipped with modern appliances. We were running in and out of this home, so being able to make our meals was a huge plus. If you’re a family on a budget, this is useful and makes more sense instead of eating out for every meal.
As much as I loved our stay in this gorgeous property, the weather put a damper on our experience. It was storming when we arrived, the next day was pretty bad as well.
When I woke up on our last day, I was able to take shots of the backyard. Duke really enjoyed his holiday. He loved to explore the home and outside area. Through out the community are doggy waste bags and garbage cans. This makes life with a pup easier, but most of all, the community was extremely clean and looked immaculate. Within the gates are tranquil parks, beautiful man made lakes, gardens and walkways.
All of our neighbors were swimming at 7:30 am. It was so nice to see other families enjoying their pools. Soon after breakfast, the rain clouds paid us another visit. I never made it out to the community pool or water park for pictures.
I was able to see the club house and pool at night because I picked up dinner for all of us at their restaurant. The restaurant was a plus, especially for people who don’t want to cook on vacation. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinners. The club area is impressive, it includes:
Family swimming pool/low splash entry pool
Water park with slides/tipping buckets
There’s something for everyone at the Balmoral Resort Florida. Everyone and anyone can be entertained, with a side of R&R. This resort is conveniently located within 30 minutes from Disney, Universal, Lego Land, Outlets and Universal Studios.
This resort is a hidden gem in Central Florida. Everyone planning a visit to the Orlando area needs to check it out.
Thank you, Kiehl’s for making this collaboration possible. As always, all opinions are my own! #KiehlsGetsPersonal
There’s been two holy grail beauty products in my skincare routine for over four years now. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Midnight Recovery Eye Cream. I was gifted the cleanser years ago and almost didn’t use it because it has avocado oil, along with apricot kernel oil. Since my skin is very oily, oil-free products have been my go to. When I ran out of the cleanser I was using, I decided to give the Ultra Facial Cleanser a go. It was extremely gentle yet removed all of my makeup and didn’t strip my skin. After using it for a week, I kept waiting for break outs to happen but they never came. My skin tone was amazing and I’ve been hooked since.
The Midnight Recovery Eye Cream has amazing reviews, so I had to check it out. A little goes a long way and this super moisturizing eye creams is by far my favorite. Can you tell how much I love their products? When I was asked to check out their newest service in Miami Beach, I was so excited to jump on board.
165 years ago in New York’s East Village, Kiehl’s started as an old world apothecary. It eventually became a pharmacy. This brand has evolved so much over the years..from creating some of the finest dermatologist approved skin care, to sponsoring Everest Expeditions, creating the #1 skincare for men, established a recycle and be rewarded program and many philanthropic initiatives.
Their newest in store only service is a complete game changer. If you care about your skin, you need to go to your nearest Kiehl’s ASAP.
I got to sit down with their skin expert, Alyssa.
We first went over my diagnoses. She applied this patch to my skin to see what my skin type is. I’m normal to oily.
This little contraption is amazing. It tells you how dehydrated your skin is and unfortunately, I was incredibly dehydrated. My number was 29..most are mid 30s and we all need to aim for 50. While I wasn’t happy with my results, it’s nice to know that I need to consume more water and moisturize. Also, these levels change daily. I had a long week with tons of coffee, which dehydrates you.
We went over my skin issues. Each Target Complex is formulated to address each customer’s specific skin concern. I personally want to achieve brightness, wrinkle reducing, texture refining and to neutralize redness.
Alyssa created my personalized serum right there in front of me.
The bottle and box are also personalized. Love!
I’ve been using it for almost a week now and I’m happy to report that it hasn’t caused any break outs and my skin is so soft! I’m sure it will take some time to see results, but I’m loving this serum.
Special thanks to Austin, Alyssa and Will for this fantastic service. I’ll see you all soon. Stop by and visit my friends at Kiehl’s Miami Beach:
540 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Recently opened in the vibrant neighborhood of College Park, Jade Sushi & New Asian is excited to share the Japanese culture with a modern twist with The City Beautiful. I’ve been a fan of their Instagram since they opened up but I haven’t been in town to enjoy their dishes. When I was in Philadelphia, I was excited to see the invite in my inbox. Since we are transitioning into the fall season, they felt it was the time to add new items to their menu and wanted me to try them out.
Before I get into the meal itself, I’d love to give you all some background on their concept. They’re currently working with an independent/local fisherman to apply the farm to table approach with seafood. Farm to table is a trend that I will always embrace, but I was happy to hear that they wanted to respected the authentic Japanese culture with the clean, fresh taste of fish.
Chef/ owner Lewis is Taiwanese educated in Japan & studied a master’s here in the US, he worked and moved around Asia for years, getting a taste of Japan, Korea and China during his lifetime, which gave him the tools to develop recipes and bring something different and innovative to the table.
Chef/ Partner Parker begins culinary career over 20 years ago in Japanese cuisine locally in Orlando as well as in other states. Originally of Korean descent but rained in sushi and traditional Japanese cuisine by a master Japanese chef. Operating Executive Chef at another Japanese restaurants for 10 years.
I loved the decor of Jade. Since the weather was nice, we decided to dine outside on their beautiful patio. It was nice to people watch and enjoy the breeze.
The tomato salad was light and delicious. I would definitely recommend starting your meal with this appetizer.
I’ve never had strawberry sake in my life and it’s a new favorite. This fruity sake is extremely refreshing, most ladies would enjoy this!
Hot Cheetos Sushi Roll
They had me at hot Cheetos. It does have a nice kick to it but pairs well with the fresh tuna and avocado. I’m going back for this roll.
Love, love, love! I’m a sashimi lover, but drizzling Yuzu citrus (from Japan) is a game changer.
If you’re into katsu, this is great. Katsu is tasty but not my all time fave. It’s breaded meat that’s fried..definitely kid and picky eater friendly!
Tan Tan Noodle
Chef Lewis created this brothless ramen bowl. It has a nice kick to it. You can easily share this hearty bowl of goodness with another person.
I had such a wonderful time at Jade Sushi & New Asian. Go visit them and check out their new menu.
2425 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804
MSG for 21+
Things are beginning to slow down a bit, days become shorter, football and lots of entertaining. Some of you don’t know this but I built my home in the country. The sunsets are unreal, we call it the magic hour when we shoot photos but it truly is a magical time. It’s when I usually have my get togethers. The golden light creates a natural, beautiful ambiance. Warm tones make me feel so cozy!
Absolut Elyx is perfect for Autumn get togethers because copper makes everything better. Not only is the bottle beautiful but they even have their own copper stemware. It’s adorable and I think everyone needs a set. This Single Estate Luxury Vodka was crafted with natural ingredients and using copper during the distillation process. Working with copper is fantastic because it’s known to clean out impurities. The Absolut Elyx distillation happens in two stages: the first distillation produces the raw spirit; the second, called rectification, gives it it’s fine spirit.
To this day, Absolut uses real people and not computers. Everything is done entirely by hand, using technique and traditional skills only a few know. Another cool fact that I learned is that they practice sustainable farming, which produces NON-GMO Wheat. Their establishment is carbon neutral where they buy electricity from sustainable sources – mix of hydro and wind generated green electricity. Each Absolute bottle is made out of 40% recycled glass.
How do I plan on incorporating this luxury vodka into my get togethers? Raspberry Mules. They’re so delicious and very easy to make.
3 Parts Absolut Elyx
1 Part Fresh Homemade Raspberry Cordial
1 Part Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
Top Ginger Beer
Vessel: Copper Mule Cup
Garnish: Fresh Raspberries
Method: Combine all ingredients in a copper mule cup over crushed ice, top with ginger beer and garnish
Preparation level: Simple
This cocktail is a crowd pleaser but everyone couldn’t get enough of the copper stemware. They also arrived with these adorable pineapple pins, which is a sign of hospitality. Back in the day, pineapples were not easy to come by. The rarity of this fruit made them very special. When a hostess displayed a pineapple, guests felt incredibly honored. This is why you’ll sometimes see pineapple fountains, lighting fixtures, welcome mats, etc. when you first enter a property.
If you want to make your visitors feel loved, always have Absolut Elyx on hand. Click here to find what nearest location carries it. Elyx is a single estate, copper crafted, vodka that is the luxury expression of Absolut