To Wawa or not to Wawa…….that is the question!

For the past 8 yrs I have been working in the Casino business surrounded by New Jersey/Pennsylvania people!

During the past 8 yrs all I have heard is that Wawa has the best coffee, Wawa has the best bread and Wawa has the best everything! lol

Of course having no idea at that time of what Wawa was, I kind of disregarded the comments until very recently when Wawa came up in conversation once again!

It so happens that Wawa is now down in Florida, with a few stores in the Orlando and Tampa area.

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The story that I got from a very humorous friend and coworker, Mr. Sandy Modiano was that way back when, Wawa was like the emergency convenience store for certain areas that didn’t have access to supermarkets nearby so to them Wawa was everything!

I did a little more research and found out that Wawa started in 1803 as an iron foundry and then in 1890 George Wood started the Wawa Dairy Farm that offered a service delivering door to door milk!

In 1960 consumers started buying milk in the supermarkets making home delivery obsolete, making Grahame Wood open the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 in Pennsylvania. The Wawa Food Market stores were also part of a then-new trend in retailing, the convenience store. Open both earlier and later than traditional supermarkets, they carried other foods and beverages besides milk, as well as other items from the Wawa dairy paired with a gas station, another Seven Eleven or Racetrack option.

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The chain’s name comes from the site of the company’s first milk plant and corporate headquarters in the Wawa, Pennsylvania area. The name of the town Wawa comes from the Ojibwe word for the Canada Goose (taken from “The Song of Hiawatha”). An image of a goose in flight serves as the Wawa corporate logo. It is said that the goose was chosen because the company employs the principles of teamwork, group consensus, and encouragement.

So with all of the above information in mind, I ended up going to Tampa for over a week and lo and behold if I happen to have 2 Wawa’s located close to the hotel where we are staying at and working at!

A co-worker and I embarked on our first experience of Wawa (we called it, losing our Wawa virginity)!

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I bought 3 different types of coffee, ordered an Italian Sub/hoagie/sandwich or whatever you want to call it on these fancy wonderful ordering machines and even tried one of the speciality made coffee’s.

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After a few tries we both determined that this must be one of those home memories that people will not let go of because it’s what they grew up with because we just didn’t get it.

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Please note that I do not mean to undermine or say that Wawa’s is not good, its just that the way that everyone spoke about it made me feel I would get the wow factor when I tasted the coffee or the sandwiches but unfortunately, there was no wow to be found! I have to confess I was a bit bummed out 😦

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Anyway, after sharing our comments with a few Jersey people we got some funny comments such as:

  • maybe its not the same as the coffee and bread should be make with Jersey water!
  • You didn’t order the right thing
  • you need to go to Jersey to get it
  • there is something wrong with you!

So there you have it, we tried it, we did it, we lost our Wawa Virginity!

Beef Jerky – Andy Style…

My family love love beef jerky, but its a sad fact that when you buy one of those packets not only are they a rip off as you get this big bag full of nothingness but they are also full of additives and bad stuff!

So here comes my homemade delicious version of Beef Jerky which of course I change around depending on the mood and the amount of hotness I am looking for.

For the first time ever, I used minced meat instead of sliced beef which was a lot easier and I got to use my handy dandy jerky gun!

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I made my marinade which this time consisted of:

  • 1 lb minced meat
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Mixed it all together and let it marinade in the fridge for about 4 hrs.

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Out came my jerky gun as well as my NESCO Dehydrator!

Put the marinade minced meat into the gun and piped the strips onto the dehydrator racks.

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Set the machine at 160 Deg F and let it cook away for 5hrs.

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And here you go, fabulous healthier jerky for the family to enjoy ❤

By the way, the dehydrator is also fabulous for fruit and herbs :-)!

Out with the Old and in with the New!

What do you get when you mix the below ingredients?

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  • Old bread
  • Lemon Rind
  • Grated Lemongrass
  • Lemon Meyer Olive Oil
  • Pepper

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You get the most amazing Lemon flavoured Crostini with a lovely refreshing taste and that wonderful balancing black pepper! The lemon smell coming out of the oven was amazing!

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Not such a bad treatment for some good old bread, right?

For those of you who read my blog about the amazing Sedona Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegars, this was a great use of my Meyer Lemon Olive Oil!

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PS: Sticking with the lemon theme, I think a glass of Limoncello is in order :-).

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The Chicken is back to haunt me – Well kind of……….

For those of you who know me, unless food is rotting, I do not, I repeat, do not throw any food away that can be rescued!

Last night we had for dinner these super tasty buffalo chicken ravioli that I made out of left over roasted chicken (check out yesterday’s blog). I purposely did not take the leftover ravioli to work so that my son could have them when he got home from school! Oh yes, a mum’s sacrifices for her children!

Of course, I got back from work to find the Ravioli untouched, so once again, before they go to waste I decided to give them a quick twist and make them into my dinner snack!

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I placed the ravioli in a 400 F deg oven for about 20 minutes after spraying them with olive oil to get them nice and crispy.

In the meantime I poured a well deserved glass of Plum Wine after a hard day at work!

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I quickly zapped the leftover blue cheese light sauce and poured it into a dipping ramekin and then placed the crispy ravioli around my ramekin after adding some chopped cilantro!

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Don’t you think this is the perfect dinner snack, paired with my yummy glass of plum wine?

Cheers and Happy Monday to you all!

End of Holiday Season – Leftovers in action

Yes, its kind of sad as the house looks so pretty when its dressed up in its Christmas attire, but unfortunately all good things come to an end.

Its the end of the Holiday Season, so busy morning bringing down all the Christmas Lights, decorations and of course the biggest pain of all, undressing the Christmas Tree!

Time flies, hunger pangs appear and I notice its way past lunchtime which means, out comes the leftover crab mixture from last night, a packet of Wonton wrappers and a jar of Artichoke hearts.

Need to make something we can have on the run so we don’t miss a beat and get lazy during this busy cleaning day :-).

So from the above ingredients you can probably figure out that we are having:

CRAB AND ARTICHOKE RANGOON

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Simple and easy, fill each wonton with a teaspoon of crab mix, top it off with a piece of artichoke hearts, moisten edges with water and scrunch them up into cute little packets.

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I baked them in a385 Deg F oven for 15 minutes and they came out just perfect!

This is of course a perfect appetizer for when you have guests and you can fill them with anything you want, sweet or savory, but today we just had them with a side salad.

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Old Bread getting a second chance…….

We all end up with old bread lying around, it either goes moldy and needs to be tossed out (especially here in South Florida), or it goes hard as a rock.

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This one in particular I for some reason put it in the fridge so no strange growths appeared on it, but it was for sure old old and not something you would want to eat.

In my world thismeans, time for some herb crostini!

Tossed the sliced bread in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and parmesan cheese, until every slice was evenly coated.

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Placed on a baking pan and baked in the oven at 250 Deg F for 30 minutes, turning the pan around every 10 minutes.

I happened to have some lovely Truffle Mousse Pate in the fridge, perfect combination for a quick bite for lunch with my honey!

Thanksgiving leftovers – Ham Time

Its time to tackle that leftover ham from Thanksgiving dinner! These leftovers are just never ending :-)!

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Anyway, I decided that the ham will be part of my potatoes croquettes (croquetas de papa) with of course an added “Andy” twist!

For this I used:

  • Potatoes
  • Cream Cheese
  • Jalapeños
  • Leftover thanksgiving ham chopped real small
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg and a little bit of milk

Made some mashed potato and to it I added some cream cheese and some chopped jalapeños and the chopped ham.

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Once it cooled down enough to handle, I rolled small amounts into perfectly shaped croquettes.

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After they are all nicely rolled, dip in some egg whisked with a little bit of milk, and coat with breadcrumbs.

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Now you have 2 choices, deep fry them (which I did today), for about 1 minute or until nice and golden, or bake in a 385 Deg F oven for about 20 minutes.

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Make a salad of choice and serve when nice and warm!

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