Giveaway!

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A FULL SET OF 

KNIVES FROM SHARP GOURMET

sharp giveaway

TELL ME MORE ABOUT SHARP GOURMET + THIS GIVEAWAY!

1. Sharp Gourmet is a knife subscription service. For a small cost, Sharp replaces their customers’ knives with hand sharpened ones every few months.

Because the knives are hand sharpened, customers of Sharp notice a distinct bevel and difference when compared to other retail knives … Since I began using Sharp Gourmet knives… I’ve definitely become better friends with my raw squash + sweet potatoes. Dinner prep is that much easier; Hallelujah!

2. Sharp is giving away 5 FREE initial knife sets and 5 FREE follow up sets!

Meaning not one, but FIVE WINNERS!

3. What can you look forward to winning? Specifically Sharp is giving away five of these knife sets <– click the link to check it out!

Click this link —> Sharp Gourmet <— To learn more about Sharp Gourmet & what they have to offer!

HOW DO I ENTER?

Below you will see the contest entry form.
For every social media account (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) that you follow OR email list that you subscribe to… your name will be entered into the contest one time.
Social media accounts and email lists are linked to Sharp Gourmet as well as my blogger friends and I who are hosting this giveaway. For example – if you follow Food and Fond Memories (1) Instagram, (2) Facebook, (3) Twitter, and (4) Pinterest accounts AND (5) subscribe to our email list … your name will be entered into the contest 5 times.
You can also enter the giveaway by tweeting about the giveaway!

Giveaway will run for 2 weeks and ends February 14th at 11:59 PM.

Hey.. GOOD LUCK! I hope you win! Seriously, I wish I were allowed to win.

Sharp Gourmet

PARTICIPATING BLOGS:

https://foodandfondmemories.com

http://www.kitchenofeatin.com

http://www.arousingappetites.com

http://www.seasonalcravings.com/

http://www.jaroflemons.com/

http://www.lexibites.com/

http://twosisterskitchens.com/

http://www.jeanniestriedandtruerecipes.com/

http://leelalicious.com/

http://domesticdee.com/

http://sweetteasweetie.com/

http://theginghamapron.com/

Dating and Weight Loss

Have I piqued your interest? Weight loss and dating are not my typical subjects to write about. I know this is a complete digression from what I usually write about but the people at Entity8.com have asked me to tell you about the unique things that they have to offer. Now, as you know, I am a married woman. But I do have a few friends who are single and I have recommended to them that they try out the services available through Entity8.com. 

One of the most interesting of their offerings is WeightlessDate.com which is perfect for one of my girlfriends who has undergone bariatric surgery. She is now slim and sexy and single and looking for love. At WeightlessDate.com she can enter her profile and search for a mate with similar attributes. What sets this site apart from the usual dating site is the fact that it is only for those who are undergoing or have undergone significant weight loss! This is a common ground that will give the users an instant connection and understanding of what it is like to go through the process. I think this is awesome and exciting that there is finally a place for people who have made such a drastic change in their lives and lifestyles to meet each other. Take a chance on love and sign up for as little as $47.99 for one year. That is just $4 a month. What do you have to lose?

adc02a9d7375f9acc7c9025422ac6539The second of the fabulous resources that Entity8.com has to offer is an app called MealComp – Why Dine Alone? This is the coolest app I have ever heard of. It connects you with people of similar likes so that you can have good conversation along with a great dining experience. Let’s say that you really want to try a restaurant in your city but have no one to go with. This gives you the ability to have a companion and not dine alone. The app is also great for traveling so that you can meet new people and find new restaurants in the area.

bc5d17f4c3396443040ec20b82456a16The third of their offerings is another app for singles. The RaterDater app is one I would certainly have if I was single! With this fabulous app you can store and rate all of your prospective mates based on your very own standards. How cool is that? When you find someone you have given a high rating you know they are a keeper and worth dating again.

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Both of the apps made for iPhone and Androids so go to either iTunes or Google Play to download them.

 

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post but all of the opinions are 100% my own.

Cantina La Veinte – An Amazing Meal!

Guacamole with Tortilla Chips Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Guacamole with Tortilla Chips
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Don Julio Tequila Margarita Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Don Julio Tequila Margarita
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

IMG_6479

My husband Steve and I have been very fortunate to have had many delicious meals in our travels around the United States. But only a handful of them could be considered truly great dining experiences; so memorable that we could never, ever forget them. Going way back to 1973 with dinner at The Four Seasons in Manhattan, a magical evening in the 90’s at Hubert Keller’s Fleur de Lis in San Francisco which included Chef Keller sitting with us to chat, a molecular gastronomy delight at Stella! in New Orleans in 2008 and an extravagant multi-course luncheon and wine paring prepared by multiple celebrity chefs at Swank Farms in Loxahatchee in 2013. However the meal we had in Brickell at Cantina La Veinte rounds out the handful!

Soaring Walls of Art at La Veinte Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Soaring Walls of Art at La Veinte
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

More Art at La Veinte Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

More Art at La Veinte
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

To me, a great dining experience involves many things. Great food is obviously most important, but so is service and ambiance. La Veinte is one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been in. The ceiling soars to great heights and is filled to the top with magnificent objects of art from the chef’s native Mexico. The floors are reminiscent of the ones of the early 1900’s. In fact the small white and black tiles reminded me of the floors in my grandparents’ home that they built in the 1920’s. Huge windows look out onto the waterway of this 280 seat restaurant and if you go downstairs to the lower level it is actually open air with that same amazing view. I understand that on weekends there is a mariachi band downstairs which we missed because we went on a Tuesday evening.

The Spectacular View from La Veinte Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

The Spectacular View from La Veinte
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

So now let’s get to the other two aspects of a great dining experience. Before I describe our unbelievably delicious meal I want to let you know that the service was impeccable. Each dish was described to us in detail by our knowledgeable waitstaff. And if you left your seat they immediately refolded your napkin. The staff was warm and friendly and totally added to the enjoyment of the evening.

Chef Santiago Gómez and Staff in the Open Kitchen Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Chef Santiago Gómez and Staff in the Open Kitchen
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Chef Santiago Gómez is young (32) but very accomplished. He and his wife Fernanda hosted a group of us for a Media Dinner that was a culinary Mexican journey designed to take us on a tasty trip to taste Chef Gómez’s own interpretation of classic Mexican cuisine. Along with the meal we tasted a flight of tequilas presented to us by the charming and vivacious Don Julio representative Vanessa Leon. This was truly fine dining at its best!

Flight of Don Julio Tequila Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Flight of Don Julio Tequila
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Vanessa Leon, Don Julio Representative Left and Fernanda Gómez Right Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Vanessa Leon, Don Julio Representative Left and Fernanda Gómez Right
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Soft Shell Crab Taco Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Soft Shell Crab Taco
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Sweet Corn + Smoked Mayo + Queso Fresco + Jalapeno Sauce Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Sweet Corn + Smoked Mayo + Queso Fresco + Jalapeno Sauce
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Upon being seated we were served Don Julio margaritas and Guacamole with tortilla chips which made us all feel at ease and started the conversation flowing. Next we were presented with a Soft Shell Crab Taco which represented Campeche. This soft flour tortilla with jalapeno sauce contained the crispiest fried soft shell crab I have ever tasted. Following that we were taken to Mexico City with Sweet Corn with Smoked Mayo, Queso Fresco and Epazote which was sweet and slightly smoky and had a sauce so delicious that no one could resist drinking it.

Buñelo + Duck Confit + Mole Negro Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Buñelo + Duck Confit + Mole Negro
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Pauncho De Cochinita + Masa + Black Beans + Pickled Red Onion Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Pauncho De Cochinita + Masa + Black Beans + Pickled Red Onion
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Arroz a la Tumbada + Shrimp Broth + Seared Scallop + Truffle Oil Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Arroz a la Tumbada + Shrimp Broth + Seared Scallop + Truffle Oil
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

To continue our journey through Mexico we made a stop at Oaxaca for Buñelo and Duck Confit with Mole Negro. Chef talked to us lovingly about the mole with its 16 ingredients including chiles that they burn to a char giving this long cooked sauce (over 10 hours) its signature smoky, slightly bitter and deep chocolate flavor. With this course we sipped the Reposata tequila which complimented the smokiness of the dish beautifully with its cinnamon and clove nuances from being aged in Bourbon barrels. From Oaxaca we travelled to Mérida, Yucatán with the Panucho De Cochinita, shredded mojo pork, with masa, black beans and pickled red onion. From there we headed to Veracruz for Arroz a la Tumbada. This masterpiece was a seafood broth risotto topped with the most perfectly cooked sea scallop and was anointed with truffle oil. The scallop had a crisp sear top and bottom and was sweet and creamy in between. It was at that point that Steve turned to me and said that he thought each dish was his favorite until the next one came!

Grilled Filet + Chicatana Butter + Turnip Purée + Quelite Salad Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Grilled Filet + Chicatana Butter + Turnip Purée + Quelite Salad
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Braised Short Rib + Three Chiles + Agave Demi + Potato-Guajillo Purée Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Braised Short Rib + Three Chiles + Agave Demi + Potato-Guajillo Purée
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Branzino + Tallo Sauce + Plantain Purée Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Branzino + Tallo Sauce + Plantain Purée
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Our next course took us to back to Oaxaca for Grilled Filet with Chicatana (ants!) Butter, Turnip Purée and Quelite Salad. This dish was very flavorful and textually pleasing as well. I have to admit I have said I would never eat bugs but I guess that is why they say “you should never say never”. I did eat them and lived to tell about it. Guadalajara, Jalisco brought us Braised Short Rib with Three Chile and Agave Demi-glace over Potato Guajuillo Purée. The short rib was so tender it melted in your mouth and the sweetness of the agave tempered the chiles just enough to leave just a little after burn. But wait, there is still more, counting the guacamole there were ten courses in all! We went on to Acapulco for Branzino with Talla Sauce on a bed of Plantain Purée. This was the last of our savory courses but the momentum did not let up. The branzino was topped with a spicy chile sauce but the sweet plantains eased the burn of the chiles.

Last, but most definitely not least, our dessert plate took us on a  journey to Nayarit with a Mango Sphere with Lime and Cilantro to refresh our palates, then to Celaya for delightfully crisp Churros with Cajeta and lastly on to Chiapas for Chocolate Ganache and Crispy Quinoa with Hibiscus Foam. Dessert was paired with the Don Julio 1942 and was the perfect sip with this lovely trio of desserts.

Dessert Sampler Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Dessert Sampler
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

It is obvious that I loved this meal. It was so good that Steve and I look forward to driving back to Miami in the very near future for more of Chef Santiago Gómez’s delicious food. This is not your typical Mexican restaurant. This is very high end gourmet fare at its very best.

Cantina La Veinte

495 Brickell Avenue                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Miami, FL 33131                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

786-702-3238