Thrifty and Frugal Living

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Top Local Chef #TopLocalChef #Tampa #Gulfport

I am a huge Top Chef fan. I have always wondered what it would be like to have a local Top Chef competition. Well, guess what? We do!! Top Local Chef is this weekend (Sunday, April 24 from 5-7pm) in Gulfport, FL (a cozy little town on the water near St. Petersburg). The casino is on the water and the view will be beautiful. Come join me. Here are the details:

2016 Competing Chefs

General admission (VIP is sold out)

  • Sample from FOUR of the competing chefs
  • Voting token to help select People's Choice 
  • Does not include reserved seating
Buy Tickets:

I will see you there! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

#Clearwater Beach Uncorked : A Food and Wine Adventure


There has been an increase in food, beer and wine festivals in the Tampa area in the last few years. Some festivals outshine others. There is one festival that I have been drooling over and I am extremely excited to finally be attending: Clearwater Beach Uncorked. This two day festival features food, BEER, wine, cooking demonstrations and so much more. Even better, it is located on the gorgeous and world famous Clearwater Beach. 

Did I mention that beer, wine and food samples are all INCLUDED in your admission? Come hungry and thirsty. Clearwater Beach Uncorked also had a blogger contest to select some bloggers of the year. Guess what?

I WON! I will be attending as the Clearwater Beach Uncorked Beer Blogger of the Year! I am so excited to have this honor. Speaking of beer, there will be some great breweries in attendance. Included are 3 Daughters, Brew Bus Brewing, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Islamorada Beer Company, and Keybilly Island Ale. 
The festival will also feature live cooking demonstrations and some talented chefs. The incredible Emily Ellyn is one of them! You have probably seen her on The Food Network. Yours truly will also be involved in a beer demonstration. I can't wait. 

Tickets are $47 for Saturday or $37 for Sunday with a special code on this Clearwater Beach Uncorked Facebook post


Parking can be tricky at the beach. Luckily, Clearwater Beach Uncorked put together a helpful parking map to assist us all. 

*Disclaimer: I am receiving free tickets and a hotel stay as a Clearwater Beach Uncorked Blogger of the Year. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Schwartz Bioresearch $50 Gift Card Giveaway!

Enter to win a $50 Gift Card to Schwartz Bioresearch! Schwartz Bioresearch sells high quality supplements on Amazon.

I also have a special promo code to share with you! Use code 20DISCTM for 20% off on any of the above supplements! To enter the giveaway, use the below widget. Schwartz Bioresearch will be selecting a winner after the giveaway ends on 1/21/16. Good Luck!!

$50 Gift Card Giveaways - December - Week 4  

Thursday, December 24, 2015

New Years Eve Wine Dinner #ChefGaryMoran

Are you still looking for dinner plans on New Years Eve? Look no farther! I have the details on a special one time only wine dinner with one of my favorite Tampa Chefs. Chef Gary Moran has relocated to the Mermaid Tavern and the result has been short of amazing. 

This 5 course wine dinner starts at 7pm at the Mermaid Tavern. 

Pompano tartare with charred scallion, avocado puree and passionfruit-ponzo
Mar de FradesAlbarino

Cauliflower-oyster risotto with celery-truffle cream and curry emulsion
H & M Hofer Gruner Veltliner

Grilled wild goat kefta sausage with quinoa-tabbouleh, eggplant-pomegranate chutney and hummus
Juan Gil Monastrell

Red Wine-Cocoa braised beef cheeks with frilled king oyster mushrooms, balsamic cherries and watercress-potato puree
Mount Veeder Cabernet

White chocolate and wasabi semifreddo with ponzo-caramel and brown butter almonds
Doesn't that sound amazing? I can not wait! I will be sharing pictures live on Instagram and Twitter, so make sure that you follow me! Or, you could join me at the dinner! Buy tickets through the Mermaid Tavern website. This dinner will probably sell out, so buy your tickets soon. I will see you there.  

*Disclaimer: I am receiving free tickets in exchange for helping to promote this event. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Local and Fresh with Locale and Farmtable Kitchen

Have you heard of #TampaBayTuesday yet? Every week, the Tampa Bay Bloggers host a twitter chat that often showcases local businesses. Last Tuesday, we (the Tampa Bay Bloggers) were lucky enough to have #TampaBayTuesday sponsored by Locale Market and Farmtable Kitchen. After the twitter party, several TBB members met up at Locale Market and Farmtable Kitchen for a tour and happy hour. 

If you don't know what Locale is, then you are missing out. I have been in Locale countless times in the year that they have been open and I ALWAYS find something new and exciting each time I visit. What is Locale? It would best be described as a Chef's dream market that is indoors and open daily. As a matter of fact, it is the dream market of two amazing chefs: Michael Mina and Don Pintabona. 

Handmade Pasta. A Plethora of exotic cheeses. A wall of spices. Freshly made smoothies. Fish that is fresh from local coastal waters. Countless prepared chef meals. Dry aged beef. Alligator, Duck, and Lamb Sausage. A Tomahawk Ribeye that is larger than your head. Local handmade candles. Hundreds of wines. Hundreds of Beers including all of the local varieties. Ice cream made with Nitrous. Incredible sourdough made from yeast that is as old as Locale and still growing. Organic, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. Tampa made artisinal chocolate. Salads made with live butter lettuce that is trimmed from the plant sitting in front of you. 11 Kitchens producing incredible eats. These are a few of the many things you can find at Locale.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. At Locale, you could take a thousand pictures and still miss something amazing. I strongly suggest that you check it out for yourself. In the meantime, my pictures will hopefully sate your appetite for this amazing market. 

Dry-Aged Beef

Some of the selections from the Butcher at Locale

Dry-Aged Tomahawk Ribeye
Bottles upon bottles of wine
Beer here!
Fresh shrimp and clams
Some of the fresh fish selection

Nitrous made ice cream
Baked goods
Fresh made burgers
Decadent cakes - they do wedding cakes too!
Packaged local made treats and Locale pies
Locale even has a nice gift area to take something non-edible home for loved ones.

Are you hungry yet? Me too. We aren't even close to being done yet. Most of those pictures were just from the first floor of Locale. Yes, Locale has two floors. The upstairs has been rearranged several times and is now home to the Locale restaurant: Farmtable Kitchen. Farmtable invited us to sample their Happy Hour menu. 

Crispy Pork Cracklins with Locale spice blend, garden herbs, fresno pepper aioli
Locale chicken wings - grana padano, crushed red pepper, lemon creme fraiche
Smokey fish dip
Steamed two docks clams with Locale Italian sausage, pomodoro and garden herbs
Burrata - heirloom tomato, grilled Locale garlic sourdough
Margherita pizza - heirloom cherry tomato, fresh basil, Locale mozzarella
Funghi pizza - foraged mushrooms, taleggio, roasted garlic oil

I was only able to try a small bite of most of the items, but the Locale chicken wings and the funghi pizza were definitely my favorite. They both were packed full of flavor. I heard that the pomodoro sauce in the clam dish was delicious with the bread, but I was unable to try it. I will definitely add that to my list for when I return to Farmtable Kitchen's happy hour. Here are all the details you need for happy hour. 

Add Locale and Farmtable Kitchen to your list of adventures for the next time you are in downtown St. Petersburg. I am thrilled that Locale is in my favorite city. Happy One Year Anniversary Locale. I hope that there will be many, many more. I will see you soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to Create the Perfect Gift for the Man in Your Life #JordWatch


Do you have a hard time buying gifts for the Men in your life? My friends are always telling me how hard it is to buy gifts for their Husbands, Brothers or Fathers. I do not have this problem. My Husband in particular is SO easy for me to buy for. As a matter of fact, I have the next several Christmas, Birthday and Valentine's Day gifts covered. Guys are easy to buy for. Here is the simple formula that I recommend to my friends to create the perfect guy gift.

1. Buy one large item that you know they want, need or will love.

Does your Brother need a tool set? Does your Dad want tickets to a sports game? Would your Husband love an innovative unique watch?

My Husband fell into the later category for his Birthday this year. I have seen these amazing Jord Watches around the internet and I knew that he would love to have one. When they contacted me to do a review, it was fate. The Ebony and Rosewood Dover watch immediately caught my attention when I looked at the Jord watches. The contrast of the ebony with the beautiful rosewood really makes this unique watch stand out.

Jord watches:

*are made with aged hardwoods
*are precision crafted with CNC machining, laser engraving, and hand finishing
*have quality movement in a diverse selection: automatic, mechanical, tourbillon, and quartz movements. 
*are shock resistant, accurate and built for durability 
*feature premium sapphire crystal glass to provide high clarity and scratch resistance 

This Ebony and Rosewood Dover watch has a self-winding automatic movement. This means that it does not have a watch battery! It also has a time reserve of 36 hours. If you wear it every day, or at least every other day, it will keep accurate time. The watch face is completely see through with the sapphire glass on each side. It is really neat to watch it work. It also comes in a high quality wooden box that makes it ready to gift.

2. Add in a movie, video game, or book that he wants.

My Husband absolutely loved the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I have probably seen it about a dozen times already including twice in theaters. This was a natural choice. I typically buy him a video game if there is one that he wants. Books are also a great option. If the Man in question isn't a book reader, then consider magazines, comic books or even a picture and fact book on one of his favorite topics (trains, boats, cars, tools, horses, model airplanes, etc.).

3. Add in a consumable treat. 

This can be beer, liquor, wine, a specialty soda or drink, candy bars, nuts, cheese, a large steak, or even chocolate covered bacon. Think of things that he loves to consume, but doesn't necessarily want to spend the money on. My Husband is easy. In spite of the fact that he drinks Jim Beam regularly, he still really loves it as a gift. I have also purchased Chimay Reserve, his favorite (and expensive) Belgian Beer for him. I bought him a heart shaped ribeye steak for Valentine's Day. 

So, there you have it. My EASY three step process to a perfect gift for the Man in your life. You could even use this process for the females in your life too! If you are having a hard time coming up with a gift for the first step you could search online for gift ideas. You could also take a shopping trip to your local hardware store and make mental notes (or sneaky cell phone notes) of what he picks up and wants. Or, you could order him a gorgeous Jord Watch. They will even size it for you!

My Husband LOVED his gift! He has been wearing his Jord Watch every single day. I keep catching him peeking at know, like us Ladies peak constantly at our new jewelry. He said that he loves how light it is on his wrist. It is comfortable and it definitely has a cool factor. All of his friends have now seen it and want one too. I think any Man (or Woman! They have female watches too!) would love a Jord Watch. My gift was a huge success. Please feel free to share your gift ideas!

Wooden Watch Review

*This post is sponsored by Jord Watches. I received a free watch in exchange for this post. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are completely my own.