Witches Hats And Broomsticks

Halloween falls on a school night this year, so we wanted to find some simple treats we could do in between homework and still have a lot of fun making!  We hopped on Pinterest, our favorite go to spot for ideas, and it didn’t take long for us to find the perfect easy to make goodies! 

Witches hats and Broomsticks! PERFECT!

These are so cute and yet really, really simple to make! 

Witches Broomsticks

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Snyder’s pretzel sticks

Simply unwrap the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, turn them upside down and press a pretzel stick into its center !

Witches Hats

  • Keebler Fudge Stripes
  • Hershey Kisses
  • Orange icing

We made our orange icing out of butter, powdered sugar and food coloring (3 parts yellow, 1 part red).  Turn your Keebler cookies upside down and pipe orange icing around the empty middle.  We used a ziplock sandwich bag and cut the corner to make a small hole to pipe our icing as we don’t have the real deal.  Finally place your Hershey kiss on top and voila… witches hats!  You can decorate your plate with fake spiders and cob webs  and it makes the perfect classroom or Halloween party treat!   



Datz Is The Place To Be!

Before the fall is over and we start heading into the winter/christmas season I have to tell you about a little secret!  If you are ever in the Tampa Bay area and looking for a cool, family friendly place to have a meal you have got to check out Datz!

I first learned about Datz a year ago from my brother and his wife Denise who blogs over at RunDMT.  We had met up with them for the annual Gasparilla Arts Festival and spent a gorgeous day together checking out the local art and letting our kids play and take part in all the festivities.  As the day was winding down we decided it was time to find a place to eat and ended up at Datz.  We instantly loved the place! They had a great atmosphere, fantastic food, great prices and they were family friendly!

*Photo courtesy of Datz

My husband ended up loving their Roger’s Rockin’ Reuben sandwich and we all left fans of their famous Datchos!

Mmmm… Datz potato chips, chili, cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, and scallions topped with a little blue cheese drizzle… Mmmm!

Where was I?

Oh yes… Datz!

We decided to visit Datz again after we did our first walk/run for epilepsy in support of my 10-year-old daughter who has battled epilepsy since she was a month of age!  There was only one place we wanted to go where we knew we’d get good food and great service… Datz!

Again our experience was fantastic and our waiter Josh shared with us his sister’s personal battle with seizures.  Datz was definitely awareness friendly and Josh even posed for a picture with us and our Talk About It sign!

So of course a few weeks ago when I heard our next Tampa Bay Blogger meetup would be at Datz I was definitely going and boy was I in for a treat!

Datz put together a special fall menu for our group and they definitely didn’t disappoint!

Chef Jason came out and introduced himself to the group and then took us through our menu course by delicious course!

First up was a Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque topped with a ginger cream.

 This isn’t something I would typically order, but I honestly couldn’t put down my spoon and now that I’ve had it I’d definitely order it again.

The next dish was one of my favorites of the night…

 The Figgy Piggy Salad!

A baby spinach salad topped with dried mission figs, blue cheese, bacon (everything’s better with bacon), red onions, pumpkin seeds, and a side of warm bacon vinaigrette.

It was so delicious and the flavors just seemed to melt in my mouth!  This is something I would absolutely order again and again!

If that wasn’t enough we were also served a Roasted Beet Salad!

It was a beautiful salad topped with beets, pickled onions, goat cheese and a balsamic glaze!

All of our dishes tasted amazing, were fantastically presented and the portion sizes were fabulous!

In Chef Jason’s words “Datz does everything big!”

We all took to Twitter and Facebook as our taste buds danced around all the different flavors put before us.

This was not lost on Datz, they are definitely on top of their social media!

Shortly after we began tweeting Roger, one of the owners,  was at our table thanking us and making sure we were being taken care of, which we absolutely were!

Oh and if you think our menu stopped there you would be mistaken!

 Our main course was up next…

Harvest Ravioli!

*Photo courtesy of Datz

A squash ravioli generously covered in a sage brown butter cream sauce and topped with shaved parmesan.

Chef Jason recommended topping it with scallops, but I thought it was amazing just the way it was!

We were feeling overly satisfied and full, but as you know there’s always room for dessert!

I mean seriously the food was amazing so the dessert menu must be to die for!

Umm… well… You be the judge!

Does this Peanut Butter Explosion cake look like it tastes good?

Well I can assure it does!

Everything was fantastic and I think we all left there a pants size larger and extremely happy with our experience!

I can’t wait to see what they put on their Christmas menu!

(Top left to right Running Betty, Gone Bananas, Fit Kids Playground, Digital Running and Run DMT)

 Datz is located at 2616 South MacDill Avenue  Tampa, Florida 33629.

If you decide to head there, which I highly recommend you do, tell them the Tampa Bay Bloggers sent ya!

Datz Tampa on Urbanspoon

Blueberry Banana Bread

I was in the mood for a something a little sweet the other day! I had a few over-ripened bananas that kept staring up at me from my fruit bowl every time I walked into the kitchen! I swore I was going to use them in a smoothie, but alas they were even a little to ripe for that! I grabbed The Joy Of Cooking, my go to cookbook, and looked up their easy Banana Bread recipe to see if I had all the ingredients I needed?

  • 1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •    2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Yep! I had everything except the nuts!  Hmmm… what to do? What to do?  For some reason blueberries kept popping into my head, but I didn’t have any blueberries? I looked through my cabinets and came across Ocean Spray Blueberry Craisins! Will they go? Ach what the heck let’s try ’em!  I set my oven for 350 degrees and whipped together the ingredients!  I poured it all into a small loaf pan and popped it into the oven for 50 mins.  The result… A yummy, scrummy blueberry banana bread that goes perfectly with a cup of tea!

For more delicious recipes check out Food Fight Friday over at Run DMT.

Parmesan Crusted Haddock

I’ve been trying to incorporate fish into our diet at least once a week, but I’m a bit picky about what I like!  The fishes I tend to go for are Cod, Haddock and just recently I began eating Salmon again! I wasn’t able to stomach salmon for a long time because I’d eaten so much of it while I was pregnant, but I digress!  So, last night I decided to try a simple recipe with Haddock I’d actually found for chicken and it ended up turning out really well!

Haddock is a pretty mild fish, it’ has a flaky, firm texture to it that I like!  My mum also taught me a trick with fish!  Apparently if you soak your fish in milk for about a half hour it gets rid of most of the fishy flavor. Thanks mum!

Right back to the recipe!

For the sides I made a simple mashed potatoes with milk, butter and a 1/4 cup of parmesan!  For the vegetable medley:

  • 1 large zucchini sliced and quartered
  • 2 large squash sliced and quartered
  • 5 or 6 mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the zucchini, mushrooms and squash till firm, but tender in olive oil and then add in your tomatoes! I don’t like my tomatoes to over power my veggies so I usually only use about half of the tomato.  Finally add, garlic, salt and pepper to taste!

Parmesan Crusted Fish

  • 4 pieces of Haddock
  • 3/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • Panko crumbs
  • Milk

Soak your haddock in milk for a half hour, remove and place on baking sheet!  Mix mayonnaise and parmesan together and then coat the top of the fish with the mixture.  Sprinkle enough Panko crumbs to cover the top of fish and the mixture.  Place in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes or until fish center is white and flakes easily with a fork!  This feeds about 4-5 people and the end result is sooooo yummy!