I don’t know what it was or is.  I don’t feel like writing or even reading the blogs I really enjoy.  Just easily distracted and …meh.  I don’t know if it is the heat of impending summer or the business that preceded vacation coupled with the hit the ground running post.  I started two posts and had drama.  One deleted on accident somehow.  One never came together.  Then I just gave up.  I’ve variously heard – ‘just give it 12 minutes.’  ‘Go home and write a blog.  So, here I sit, gin and tonic with an extra squeeze of lime in hand and four or five topics I could write on.  I guess I’ll pick up where I left off.IMG_3376

I met Robert Irvine.  You know, of Food Network fame.  Restaurant Impossible?  He was the host of a fundraising event for Florida Hospital called the Gourmet Soiree and we were graciously given a pair of tickets to attend. The event kicked off with a silent auction – we bid on some cooking classes but were outbid.  They also had a live auction where the apparently wealthy bid on thousands of dollars of vacations and BMW’s.  It was fun though.  The event centered around the idea of living to a healthy 100 which is an initiative of Florida Hospital and each table was honored to have their own chef.  Our table had ‘chef’ Mark of a local(ish) butcher shop called the Meat House.  If you are looking for quality and rarer cuts and proteins, you should check it out.  Each table worked with their chef to prepare a healthy dinner, sort of in a Iron Chef Quick Fire kind of way.  We had to rush to the Whole Foods supply tables and pick up the other ingredients for our dishes.  We had something like 47 minutes to prep and cook dinner for 8.  Mark made us chimichurri marinated steak, lemon chicken and we all attempted zucchini cakes that ended up as zucchini …hash browns.  Only two pans and two burners at each station complicated the cooking and the room was FILLED with smoke.  Everything was tasty though and we were treated at the end to a Robert Irvine recipe of panna cotta with an interesting mango and avocado salsa on top and some funny black bean (I think) chocolate thingies on the side.  Each table snacked on hummus, tapenade and flatbreads and veggies while they made their own shallot vinaigrette for salad.  It was a fun night and we were glad to have gone.

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