Sun Harvest Citrus ~ A Must On Your Florida To Do List

Hello Lovelies,

Sun Harvest Citrus in Fort Myers, Florida is a magical place that our family loves to visit as often as possible.  Besides having the best oranges and grapefruits in town, they also have a spectacular gift shop, bakery, post office, various juices, ice cream, free juice samples and so much more.

Fair warning ~ Don’t be in a hurry when you visit because there is plenty to keep everyone entertained.

Let me show you around.

Milkshake

First and foremost, Sun Harvest Citrus makes the most phenomenal milkshakes – period! Our family favorite is their orange milkshake that taste like a creamcicle.

If milkshakes are not your thing, they also have soft serve ice cream in several different flavors as well as a vast assortment of decadent pastries.

Let me just say, YUM!

Fresh-Juice

Second, Sun Harvest Citrus hands down makes the best orange juice.  But here’s where things get even better – they don’t only make plain orange juice (which is spectacular unto itself). Oh no…they step it up a notch by combining Strawberries with Oranges and Cranberries with Oranges taking OJ to the next level.  You must taste to believe, my friends.  These two juice variations are ah~mazing.

Here’s some more good news, you can purchase their juice on site.  If you’re not sure which one you prefer, no problem, they have that covered.  There is an entire tasting station devoted to sharing their juice with you at no charge.  Taste away and leave with your favorite juice in a half or full gallon.  Bring your coolers, because you’re not going to leave with just one, trust me.

Behind-glass

Fun Fact – Their juice is made on site.

There is a glass partition that separates the juice plant from the store. You can watch the employees packaging the juice which is pretty cool for both kids and adults.

It’s kind of like an aquarium, but instead of fish there are people and instead of water there is juice. So basically it’s nothing like an aquarium…it’s just a glass partition.

Still it’s fun to watch!

Flamingo-Statues

They also have this fabulous gift shop where you can purchase all kinds of things you don’t necessarily need, but surely will want.

And then you can mail them to friends and family at the US Post Office that is housed inside the building.  These people really know how to make things easy.

Fruit-Shipping-Center

Last but surely not least ~ You can even send fruit to people you love.

Everyone knows nothing says “I love you” like a basket of fruit. Well…maybe jewelry – but for the sake of this post let’s just stick with fruit.

Their fruit boxes come in a wide variety of arrangements, making it easy to pick the perfect gift for pretty much anyone, especially for those “impossible to buy for” people.

Gift-shop

So there you have it.  If you are visiting Southwest Florida this should absolutely be on your list of things to do.  Let Sun Harvest Citrus provide a break from the heat and entertain you for a while ~ you’ll be glad you stopped by.

AAA---Until-Next-Time-Seperator

Until next time…Be blessed, stay blessed and remember if you don’t laugh at yourself someone will do it for you!

Love, L.

For additional Information or directions you can click on this link (Sun Harvest Citrus) or contact them directly at 800-743-1480.

Advertisements

Happiness Is Only a Mindset Away…

Blue Heron - LaurelsLovelyLiving.com

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language,

and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. 

The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things,

and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. 

~Elise Boulding

Stop and Smell The Roses Photo

Hello Lovelies,

I hope this Sunday finds you and yours happy and healthy.

Here’s my thought for the day – Enjoy simplicity.

I find simplicity especially necessary in a world that has inundated us with “things”.

Overstimulation from media, family, friends, work, social life and home life can become maddening.

Some time ago, we as a family decided to take a step back and try to “quiet” some of the noise.

Low and behold it has worked.  Immediately our close little family became even closer and the noise seemed to quiet itself.

My prayer for you and your family this beautiful Sunday is that you find just the right balance of simplicity to fit your life.

Until next time…Whatever’s good for your soul…do that!

Be blessed, stay blessed and remember if you don’t laugh at yourself someone will do it for you!

Love, L.

Matzo Ball Soup – Part II….The Soup

BML_0317

Well friends – we find ourselves at the end of our matzo ball soup journey.

It’s time to make the soup and reap the rewards of our labor.

So without further ado…Let’s make us some soup!!

BML_0632

This is what you’ll need:  4 cups of water, 2 quarts of homemade or store bought low sodium chicken broth, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 large onion, 4 stalks of celery, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1 tbsp fresh dill.  Extra wide egg noodle are optional, as well as not pictured here – oops.

BML_0634

Chop the onions, carrots and celery.  I’ll leave the size up to your personal preference.  You’re welcome.BML_0643

Feed your dog a carrot – check out the carrot flying through the air.  Do you see it?

Do you also see the already chewed carrots on Oso’s teeth?  Clearly this was not our first take…BML_0650

Heat a stock pot to medium and add the extra virgin olive oil.

If  you use the same pot that you made the matzo balls in empty the water first – haha, I make myself laugh!!BML_0654

Once the pot is warm add the onions.

BML_0658

Then the carrots…

BML_0661

Then the celery.

Sauté them together for 5-10 minutes.  The longer you sauté them the softer they become.

Beep, Beep, Beep…Personal Preference Alert:  I like my veggies to have some substance to them so I tend to slightly undercook them – I lean more toward the 5 minute mark.

BML_0680

Once you are satisfied with your veggies it is time to add the water.BML_0705

And the broth.  This is where your homemade broth really kicks it.  This is also where you think kind thoughts of me and chant my name!!

BML_0708

Next add the salt.

BML_0714

The pepper.

BML_0308

Garlic powder.

BML_0314

And the onion powder.

Of course, this could be the garlic powder and the above photo the onion powder, I guess we’ll never know…BML_0321

Last but not least the fresh dill. Ah.. the dill.

Some things just go together like dill and chicken soup.  How could you even think about not using dill?

That would be like eating corn without butter, watching Fred without Barney or eating cookies without milk – is that even legal?  Oh, I can’t bear the thought, someone please make it stop!!  Move along, move along…

BML_0352

There you have it.

Turn the heat to high and wait for the soup to boil.

BML_0334

Since I forgot them in the starting ingredients I am giving the egg noodle their own close up.

So handsome…
BML_0368

Once the water is at a rolling boil you are at a crossroad.

Beep, Beep, Beep…Another Personal Preference Alert:  

You can do one of two things here.  Add the egg noodle or skip them completely, thankfully this is not rocket science.

If you choose to add them read below, if not move along, “these are not the noodles you seek”. (Star Wars Reference for those of you who live under a rock).

  1. Add the egg noodles to your soup.  Now, I am not discriminating against other noodles, you can choose any type of noodle you like, except for maybe lasagna noodles that would be strange.
  2. The photo above is the 16 oz bag.  Do not use the entire bag or you will have no broth left!!
  3. I like to add no more than a 1/4 of the bag or 4 oz.  Again, personal preference as to how “noodly” you like your soup, the more noodles the less broth, they are like soup sucking sponges.
  4. Cook the egg noodles for 7 minutes.  Yes, technically they’ll be undercooked.   Be patient young grasshopper there’s still more to come.

BML_0383

When your timer for the egg noodles goes off, drop the heat to a simmer, wait a minute until the boiling subsides slightly then add the matzo balls.

If you skipped cooking the egg noodles start reading here!!

Drop the heat to a simmer, wait a minute until the boiling subsides slightly then add the matzo balls.

Keep your stove on a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

This will give all the flavors enough time to become really good friends.BML_0308 2Look at that!!

Grab a nice big bowl and dig in!!

And most importantly – Don’t forget to call me so I can join you, I’ll even bring dessert!!

BML_0441

Oops…I almost forgot.  Remember the chicken from the other day?  This would be a great time to add it to your soup.  Or just thinking out loud here, you could grab one of those pre-cooked birds from the store and shred some meat off to add to your soup.

Make sure that you don’t pick one of the seasoned birds or it might taste peculiar, or it might taste good.  Let me know if you try it, thanks!!

So there you have it – Matzo Ball Soup!!!

Until next time…I’m off to feed my dog more carrots.

Be Blessed, Stay Blessed and remember to laugh at yourself or someone will do it for you!!

Love, L

Matzo Ball Soup

Ingredients:

The Soup

  •   4 cups water
  •   2 quarts homemade chicken stock or low sodium store bought stock
  •   1 tsp kosher salt
  •   1/2 tsp pepper
  •   1/2 tsp garlic powder
  •   1/2 tsp onion powder
  •   1/2 large onion
  •   4 stalks celery
  •   1/2 cup carrots
  •   1 tbsp fresh dill
  •   Extra Wide Egg Noodle (optional)

Directions:

The Soup

  1. Heat a stock pot over medium heat, drizzle in 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add the veggies and sauté for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the liquids: water and the chicken stock.
  4. Add the seasoning; salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
  5. Add the fresh dill.
  6. Turn the stove to high.  Bring the water to a boil.
  7. Optional Step – The extra wide egg noodles.  (If you don’t add them go to step 9)  Once the water is boiling, add no more than 4 oz of egg noodles to the pot.
  8. Boil for 7 minutes (Yes, technically they will be undercooked but just trust me).
  9. Lower the heat to simmer then add the matzo balls.
  10. Cook for 20 minutes.
  11. Grab a bowl and enjoy or put them in containers to store in the refrigerator.

Matzo Ball Soup – Part 1…The Balls

Matzo Balls Plated

There a few things in life that just make you feel good no matter what…

Pizza, ice cream, not having to leave the house on a rainy day and of course, a big bowl of matzo ball soup.

People running into things also makes me feel better (as long as they’re not hurt) but that’s a whole ‘nother story…what’s wrong with me??

Back to the task at hand – SOUP.  As long as I can stay focused you are about to have the best Matzo Ball Soup EVER!!

Matzo Ball Ingredients

The starting line up for today is as follows:  3 packets of “Matzo Ball Mix”, not to be confused with “matzo meal” (there are two packets per box – To risk stating the obvious – you will need two boxes equalling 4 packets, which gives you one to save for later), 4 eggs (I always use extra-large eggs in my recipes), 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/8 cup chicken stock fat (if you don’t have this ingredient substitute with canola oil), 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp pepper .

You can see in the photo above the worlds most amazing whisk.  Papi got this for me as a gift and it’s by far the best whisk I’ve ever owned.  I take it with me everywhere, not really, that would be weird.

Coolest Egg Crack

To start, crack 4 eggs into a bowl, any bowl, it doesn’t have to be this bowl.

Oil Pour

Pour 1/4 cup canola oil into the same bowl.

Pepper

Here comes the pepper.

Salt

Then comes the salt…then comes the bride, not really it just sounded right so I went with it.

Just add the salt.

Schmutz

Then the chicken stock fat known as “schmaltz” in Yiddish.  Now you can sound really smart when talking to your friends about chicken fat.  You’re welcome!

Plastic Wrapping

Whisk it all together so it looks like this.

Cover with plastic wrap and let the mixture get its cold on.

Chill for at least 25 minutes.  If you can leave it longer that’s preferable.  The colder the better!!

Kitchen Helper Oso

As you look down at the dog sleeping on my foot, you will notice the crumbs on his back.

I fling food around when I cook, I also dance and say “OPA” a lot.  Am I sharing too much?

Scooping

When your matzo ball mixture has chilled it is time to make the balls.

I use a teaspoon scoop so they are all uniform.  As evidenced by the photo, this is the rough draft for your matzo balls.

Just scoop them out and plop them down – You’ll make them tight and pretty in the next step.

Rolling

See, what did I tell you.

Take the matzo balls one by one, give them a good squoosh in your hand.  Roll them until they are round.

I could actually eat these raw just like cookie dough.  How gross is that?

Flying Matzo Ball

Once your water is at a rolling boil it’s time to add your matzo balls.

Drop them in one by one. Swim my little one, swim for your life…

You have to admit this is really an awesome photo if I do say so myself!

Swimming Matzo Balls

Once all the matzo balls are safely swimming, it’s time to turn the heat down to simmer and place the lid onto your pot.

Set your timer for 20 minutes.

Fishing out Matzo Balls

When your time goes off, fish one of your matzo balls from the pot and conduct a taste test.

If you are satisfied, scoop out the rest.

I prefer to use a slotted spoon for this step specifically because I do not want to harm these little guys.

I set them on a plate until I am ready to slide them into my soup.

Dropping Matzo Balls

Onto the plate they go…

Matzo Balls Plated

And there you have it.

My sons kept coming in the kitchen trying to steal them.  I had to chase them away with a spoon so I could take this photo.  You’re welcome!

At this point, I have to use all my will not to gobble them down.

If you stopped right here you would have yourself a great meal.  However, I suggest you serve it with my soup recipe coming up next 🙂

Until next time…Keep being awesome!!

Be blessed, stay blessed and remember if you don’t laugh at yourself someone will do it for you!!!

Love, L.

Matzo Balls

Ingredients:

Step 1:  The Matzo Balls

  •   4 extra large eggs
  •   1/4 cup canola oil
  •   1/8 cup chicken stock fat
  •   1/4 tsp kosher salt
  •   1/2 tsp pepper
  •   1 1/2 cups Matzo Ball Mix (I use Manichevitz) – not to be confused with plain matzo meal.

Directions:

The Matzo Balls

  1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) to a boil in a stock pot.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cover with Saran Wrap.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 25 minutes.
  5. Once cold, roll into 1” balls.  I use a 1 teaspoon scoop for uniformity.
  6. Once the water is boiling add the matzo balls, there is no need to add oil or salt to the water.
  7. Drop the temperature to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  8. Use a slotted spoon to remove the balls.
  9. Either eat them as they are or continue on to the next step to make the soup.