Poll: Taylor’s Super Cool Wine e-book

Got you excited with that title, huh? A titillatingly interesting wine e-book that you can have always and forever… by your side like a loyal French bulldog puppy. Except that it won’t pee when it gets excited (but you might). This time-consuming endeavor won’t happen without your feedback (and ever-dying promise to purchase when complete) , so let me know your completely anonymous thoughts. I won’t stalk you on Facebook… until it’s published, of course.

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Food EDU: Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk

In a disturbing 20 minute TED talk about the future of food in America, Chef Jamie Oliver attempts to shock us into becoming more curious about the food we eat. Also watch Robyn O’Brien’s TED talk about our food supply. “Obesity costs the U.S. 10 billion dollars a year.” (Jamie Oliver) “Your child will live a life ten years younger than you because of the landscape of food that we’ve built around them.” (Jamie Oliver)

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Video: How the shape of food provides insight into how they keep us healthy

It’s kinda complicated how to introduce what this interesting (yet, admittedly over dramatic) video is about. They provide examples of the shape and make up of food indicate the organ they help. According to the video, the Chinese have been following this wisdom for thousands of years. Perhaps another way we can learn from the wise people in the east?

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Video: How safe is our food supply? Robyn O'Brien at TedX

A disturbing talk presented at the innovative TedX program by Robyn O’Brien, an advocate for food safety. Robyn is a former food industry analyst, Fulbright grant recipient, author and mother of four, who brings unique insight into the impact the global food system is having on our health. Once you watch the video, visit Robyn’s

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Top ten travel tips for the Cook Islands and Rarotonga

Part two of the Cook Islands trip. But what else is there to do besides eat and drink, you ask? Well, let talk about transportation. Most people zip about on little scooters that accommodate only one or two people. Right hand-drive cars are available as well if you are more than two or really can’t live without climate control. Either way, you’ll have to get a Cook Islands drivers license. Scooters will also require a short training course if you don’t have a motorcycle certification of some sort. Or if you’re daring, there are a few places that will rent bicycles. On the islands, they are called “push bikes” – some are squeaky, old mountain bikes with terrible brakes (like we had), others have battery-assisted power for when you get tired. Your choice. But, and I emphasize the “but” here, when the sun goes down, the island gets dark, and push bikes don’t have lights. We made it home alive after a leisurely dinner stuck us five or six miles from our hotel after sunset. It’s the only adventure on the island I don’t recommend.

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Top foodie travel tips for the Cook Islands and Rarotonga

Ika Mata speciality of the island

Every now and then internet travel sites splash some really intriguing vacation packages up on my screen. And every now and then, like a big game fish, we bite. So when Living Social tossed out a trip for two to Rarotonga, Cook Islands… Sorry, where, you just asked? The Cook Islands are a Polynesian island chain in the South Pacific, kind of like an English-speaking Tahiti, with clear lagoons and beautiful reefs surrounding the island. And Rarotonga, the largest of the islands, is home of the Maitai, a freighter that went down on the reef on Christmas Day, 1916, carrying Model-T cars from San Francisco. So if you like tropical vacations on tiny islands populated by the Maori (who swear they’ve given up cannibalism) then put this rock on your must-see list. But I’ll share some of my insights with you first so you really can have the tropical paradise you’ll be dreaming about.

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Tampa Bay’s best restaurants with fast-casual food suit our speedy lifestyle

It’s shorts and flip flops time for quick eats so we have more hours to play. My hubby and I discussed, debated, dissented, and compiled our fave, fast-casual restaurants. These places, where you line up to order, are much more appealing than fast-food options (and cheaper than sit-down cousins). Experts say this hybrid category is on the grow and judging by the parking lots, most patrons agree.

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Tampa defends its Cuban sandwich title: The best in the Bay

Miami has its attributes but can it claim rights to the holy grail of tropical sandwiches? Ybor City was turning out these banquets on Cuban bread before the turn of the previous century. Early bricklayers flattened their “mixto’’ sandwiches between hot bricks thus toasting bread, melting cheese, and melding flavors. But Miami Herald reporter Fabiola Santiago says Tampa has no culinary chops and started a cat fight about Miami boasting the original. “There’s no doubt that our Cuban sandwich, served all over South Florida, is more authentic and tastier. Even in its Americanized or gourmet incarnations, a cubano in Miami is superior– my Tampa and Miami friends agree,’’ whined Fabiola. Harrumph!

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New California trend: Pot wine -- two great tastes that taste great together?

Everywhere I go in northern California — and I do mean everywhere — I’m hearing about the marijuana-laced red wine that seems to be all the rage. I met a guy at a foodie party in San Francisco last weekend (where, incidentally, they were smoking pot across the patio) who has tried it. He said, somewhat dreamily, “It gives you just a nice, slight buzz.”

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Pillsbury Bake-Off prize winner is wholly pumpkin ravioli: Recipe and pictures

On Monday, the Doughboy came to Mickey Mouse’s turf in Orlando at the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, the premier American cooking competition. Five men and 95 women, aged 25 to 77, all amateur cooks came from cities like Brookline, MA, Beaver Dam, KY, Koloa, HI, and a few miles away in Windermere, FL to debut their original recipes. The prize seekers baked, braised and whisked their dreams and talent in 100 mini-kitchens set up in the Peabody Orlando Hotel ballroom. Each vied for the sweetest bragging rights of all, a $1 million grand prize and $10,000 in GE appliances.

Read more: Pillsbury Bake-Off prize winner is wholly pumpkin ravioli: Recipe and pictures