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When Tara Met Blog

Celebrating 12 Years Blogging!

Last Build Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:11:58 +0000


SWFL Dining Review: BRIO Tuscan Grille

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 02:13:00 +0000

Whenever I have a friend visiting me, I love taking them over to the high-end Waterside Shops in Naples to ogle the Louis Vuitton purses in the store window and have lunch al fresco at BRIO Tuscan Grille. Their outdoor bar is very chic, Floridian and bonus, the food is yummy and the cocktails refreshing.BRIO Tuscan Grille at Waterside Shops in Naples, FloridaMy mother and I went for a girls brunch to try out their new lunch menu available now through Saturday, April 15. After many visits though, this was our first time dining inside BRIO's elegant dining room with dome-like chandeliers overhead. The service meanwhile was impeccable and compliments the high-quality food nicely.The new ‘A Variety of Flavors’ lunch menu offers unique tastes with a Tuscan twist, including mouthwatering seafood dishes, for a limited time. The menu also presents two exciting new appetizers, three entrées (including two mouthwatering seafood dishes), a divine dessert, and delightful wine options.Appetizers: • Calamari Fritto Misto: Peperoncini, aioli, Pomodoro; $10.75 (I liked the two dipping sauce options, especially the creamy garlic in addition to the standard marinara sauce.)Calamari Fritto Misto• Spicy Shrimp & Eggplant: Pan seared shrimp, Romano crusted eggplant, black pepper cream; $11.50Entrées:• Peroni Beer-Battered Fish & Chips: North Atlantic cod, fries, Brussels sprout slaw; $17.95• Lobster & Black Pepper Shrimp Ravioli: Spicy black pepper cream, spinach, grape tomatoes; $19.95 (has more of creole spice influence than Italian)Lobster & Black Pepper Shrimp Ravioli• Braised Beef Pappardelle: Rosemary pappardelle, crimini mushrooms, roasted carrots, red onions, tomato porcini sauce; $21.95Dessert:• Butterscotch Budino: Italian for “pudding,” Marcona almonds, caramel, vanilla whipped cream; $3.95TIP: I'd also recommend trying their Bruschetta Sampler appetizer, which is as almost as filling as a meal and great for sharing. My favorite was the procuitto with burrata cheese.BRIO Bruschetta SamplerMeanwhile, if you have the chance, see if you can say hello to Ahmed El the Executive Chef of BRIO in Naples he is super sweet and new to the area, but he has worked for Bravo Brio Restaurant Group for over 11 years in New Jersey, Tampa, and all over.Ahmed El the Executive ChefDisclaimer: I received a complimentary preview of the new lunch menu, but as stated have dined numerous times at Brio and have always enjoyed it. [...]

3 New Shades of Earl Grey Twinings Tea

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:08:00 +0000

Forget 50 Shades of Grey, Twinings now offers 3 new steaming hot flavors of Earl Grey tea that are sure to satisfy. Sorry, couldn’t help but play with the innuendos there ;)It’s no secret that I’m a tea fanatic, tea aficionado, tea obsessed, whatever you want to call it, which is why I was delighted to test out the three new flavors of Earl Grey tea from Twinings.Three New Twinings Earl Grey Tea Flavors Twinings Earl Grey teas are now available in Lavender, Extra Bold and Jasmine flavors.Jasmine Earl Grey is an exclusive blend in the market, mixing an intoxicating scent and a slightly sweet taste. Lavender Earl Grey has a floral and fresh aroma with a very soothing taste. This blend is perfect for when you want to unwind and relax. Extra Bold Earl Grey is an intensified bergamot blend enhanced with natural citrus flavors, which provides an uplifting and vibrant rich taste. I love Jasmine tea to begin with, so it’s not surprising that was my favorite of the three new varieties, but Lavender was nice and relaxing too and tasted like a spa in a tea cup. The extra bold, meanwhile, was a powerful way to start off my day though since it provided a strong wake-up call and extra pep. In fact, I feel like I was more productive the mornings that I sipped it. Best of all, the three new flavors come in 20 count boxes for only $2.99!Brewing Tip To savor the full flavor of these teas, bring water to boil, and pour over the tea as soon as it reaches boiling. Over-boiling will cause oxygen to be reduced, making the tea taste “flat.” Remove tea bag after 3 minutes to avoid over brewing. I also like to reuse the tea bag for a second cup at a lighter steeping.The Fascinating Backstory of Earl Grey Tea Twinings classic Earl Grey tea was first blended by Richard Twining in 1831, when Prime Minister Charles Grey asked him to replicate a tea he once received by a Chinese Mandarin. The Prime Minister gave his royal approval, which resulted in the creation of the first Earl Grey blend. To this day Twinings Earl Grey boxes are signed by descendants of Mr. Charles Grey. Right now each pack is signed by the current 7th Earl Grey and one of Twinings’ nine Master Blenders. How cool is that?What gives Earl Grey its unique spicy taste? It is flavored with bergamot, a Mediterranean citrus fruit. A post shared by Tara (@tarametblog) on Feb 27, 2017 at 7:04am PST frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//®ion=US&placement=B01CXSZRHM&asins=B01CXSZRHM&linkId=027d248c80644b6d738aef2114442cd0&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//®ion=US&placement=B010NMTJA6&asins=B010NMTJA6&linkId=45f9c711915c04c2b695272895b0ced4&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> As a LeapFrog Mom Ambassador I receive products, promotional items and educational material to use and share as I see fit. However, any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience. Links may be affiliate.[...]

Blogger Bash Recap 2016

Tue, 19 Jul 2016 17:38:00 +0000

For the last three years, I have been attending the annual Blogger Bash conference in Manhattan. This summer however, it was on a boat! Check out the highlights below from the celebrities that joined us to cool new products and blogging tools.Celebrities on BoardGinger Zee at Blogger BashGinger Zee the Good Morning American weather anchor came on board to introduce the child voice actors of the new Peanuts vignettes on Boomerang network. I really enjoyed hearing about her honest experience as a new mom. I was especially sad to hear that she was attacked online for pumping and not spending enough time with her baby while being on Dancing with the Stars. As a mom, I know how terrible mom guilt is and that's mostly the guilt I put on myself, so I can't imagine how difficult it would be to have outsiders being negative and making me feel worse. Terrible. I also teared up at the video she shared of how she informed her husband Ben that she was pregnant thorough an edited video to him, so sweet.Met the amazing Noah Galloway too, while the combat Army Veteran and Dancing with the Stars finalist was over at the Armitron Watches booth. I was a fan of his on DWTS where I was dazzled by his handsomeness and strength.DWTS Noah GallowayI then felt even shorter than I normally do while hanging out with NFL Lineman for the Baltimore Ravens John Urschel 🏈 who was over at the Texas Instruments booth to discuss their STEM Behind Sports program to get kids interested in math and excited for back-to-school. Besides being a cool sports star John is an MIT Mathematics PhD Student. Thus, showing kids that it can be cool to learn math.With NFL's John UrschelOh, and I was excited to send the following pic back home to my boys of me with Jet from the favorite show Super Wings on the Sprout Channel. Also got to preview Auldey Toys' new Super Wings-inspired toys, which I have now added to my boys' future birthday gift list!Super Wings! Products that Stood Out: While we met dozens of brands during the two day conference and received demos and samples of new products, some of which I'll go into more detail at a later point, but for now here are some that I found particularly interesting.So yeah, while on the boat, I ate a cricket! Yes, you read that right. A dead, dried insect. Why? Because apparently they are a high-protein, nutrient rich, environmentally friendly, alternative to meat. Surprisingly, covered in salt and spices, it tasted like a crunchy pumpkin seed. Aketta produces cricket flour and dried roasted crickets in a bag. My boys are in need of protein so I brought back some for them to try. Hopefully they find the idea disgustingly fun and will try it. Boys!Hello PeanutDid you know you should be introducing your infant to peanuts before six months of age? Scientific research shows EARLY introduction of peanuts to infants helps prevent peanut allergies from developing. Hello Peanut is a new way to gradually introduce peanuts to infants! Made of an all-natural USDA certified organic blend of peanut and sprouted oats, the introductory system includes seven packets that are mixed into stage one foods over the course of seven days. The amount of peanut in each packet gradually increases each day.Four Roses BourbonFour Roses Bourbon - As you may know, I'm a whiskey drinker and while I normally prefer single malt Scotch, I really enjoyed the Small Batch bottle of Four Roses, which was surprisingly smooth. I also thought the bottles were lovely with their wooden tops and etched roses on the glass bottles.Since we aren't coffee drinkers, we only keep a single serve Keurig machine in the house and K-Cups for when guests visit and need their java. My mother included. However, I always ask that they save the used cups instead of tossing them, so I can cut into them and add the grinds to my compost. It's dirty and time consuming, but not for much longer. Now there are certified 100% compostable pods from Chock Full o' Nuts, Kauai Coffee[...]