The Rum Runner cocktail evokes white sandy beaches, warm ocean breezes and sherbet colored sunsets. The drink was purportedly invented in the 1950s at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar in Islamorada,
Florida, to get rid of an excess supply of rum and other liqueurs. This tasty concoction is a like a mini visit to the tropics and a great summer time sipper.
You can camp, bike, birdwatch, canoe, fish or hike at Everglades National Park, near Homestead. Wildlife sightings could include manatees, gators and maybe even a Florida panther.
Rum Runner Cocktail
- 1 oz. orange juice
- 1 oz. pineapple juice
- 1 oz. banana liqueur
- 1 oz. blackberry liqueur
- 1 oz. light rum
- 1 oz. dark rum
- Splash of grenadine
- Orange slices (for garnish)
In a cocktail shaker, add juices, liqueurs, rum and grenadine. Shake well. Pour over ice. Garnish with orange slices.
Key Lime Pie is one of those dishes that reminds you of that fun beach vacation every time you taste it. The official state pie of the Sunshine State since 2006, the origins of this pie are murky.
Historians tend to agree that the recipe was created in order to push a new product called sweetened condensed milk which was brought to Florida in the 1850s by a ship salvager named William Curry. This canned milk was shelf stable, important for an area of the country that did not get refrigeration until the 1930s.
Folks like to quibble over the type of crust (regular or graham cracker?) and the type of topping (whipped cream or meringue?) but one thing everyone agrees to is that the filling must be light yellow and not green. We stuck with a pretty traditional recipe here, from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, and we have to say, it’s the best we’ve tried.
Grab your old milk jugs and duct tape for the Anything That Floats Race in Key Largo, August 15, 2015. Homemade vessels rule in this race that awards the fastest teams, the best decorated boats and the best looking crew.
Key Lime Pie
- 1 sleeve graham crackers (or 1¼ cup graham cracker crumbs)
- 5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- Zest from 2 limes, grated
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (use key limes if available, if not, use regular limes)
- Whipped cream (optional)
For crust: In the bowl of a food processor, add graham crackers, butter and sugar. Pulse until completely mixed. Press crust into a greased 9-inch pie pan, pressing firmly into the bottoms and sides of the pan with a bottom of a measuring cup. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Remove and let cool.
For filling: Add egg yolks and lime zest into a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on high speed, about 5 minutes. Mixture will expand and be frothy. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk, beat about 5 minutes longer. Add lime juice and mix by hand. Pour into the cooled pie crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until filling is set. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold with whipped cream.
If you’ve ever taken a drive into the Sunshine State, you know what awaits you at the Welcome Center: free samples of chilled fresh orange juice and grapefruit juice. While Florida is a powerhouse
producer of both fruits and veggies, it’s citrus that reigns supreme. Ironically, even though the popular orange had been in the New World since the early 1500s when Spanish explorers threw some seeds into the sandy, subtropical soil which they’d begun to settle, the fruit wasn’t given its public props until relatively recently. In 2005, a group of fourth-graders in Sarasota noticed there wasn’t an official state fruit, and they waged a successful legislative lobbying campaign giving the orange its formal designation (not that we needed a fancy title to make us love the juicy tang of pretty much all forms of citrus). This wonderful recipe combines the sweetness of the orange with the crisp tartness of the grapefruit. Drizzled in a sweet-sour vinaigrette, it’s perfect for a light lunch or dinner – and even better, it packs a serious Vitamin C punch.
Travel way down south to the Key West Food and Wine Festival, January 27-February 1, 2015.
Grapefruit and Orange Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy of Florida Department of Citrus, used with permission
- 1 bunch watercress, washed and trimmed
- 2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
- 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
For raspberry vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
- 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For salad: In a large salad bowl combine watercress, grapefruit sections, orange sections, avocado, onion, raspberries and pine nuts.
For the raspberry vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together grapefruit juice, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad; toss to coat. Serve immediately.