Crab Cake Recipe – Direct from Cocoa Beach Florida

Cocoa Beach Pier_Crab Cakes copyAmazing and so happy to share with you. I got this delicious recipe sent to me from the Westgate Resorts’ Cocoa Beach Pier. They are wrapping up Crabtober Fest, now through Oct. 31 at the pier’s Boardwalk Bar and Pelican’s Bar & Grill. If you get a chance and you are here in Florida – get out there and see the pier – eat, drink and get a bite of these delicious crab cakes. 🙂

Fresh crab takes center stage in a number of mouthwatering dishes, including crab cakes with a spicy remoulade, crab-stuffed potato skins with sriracha-infused sour cream dipping sauce, snow crab legs, crab pasta with garlic, tomatoes and a sherry cream sauce and crab twisters with a creamy mozzarella sauce, fresh bacon bits, diced tomatoes and green onions.

Visitors can also enjoy live entertainment every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, daily specials Monday through Friday, and happy hour from 4 – 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Chef Greg’s Crab Cakes

Makes 14 crab cakes

Ingredients:
4 cans lump crab
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup creole mustard or any spicy mustard
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
¼ cup chopped green onion
2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Preparation:
Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients, combining thoroughly. Gently fold crab into mixture (do not drain) by hand, adding more crumbs if the mixture is too loose. Form 4 oz cakes, using additional bread crumbs to dust them.

Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Cover the bottom of a frying pan with canola oil and place over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cakes and cook until golden brown on each side, roughly 5 – 7 minutes. Transfer cakes to baking sheet and finish in the oven at 350⁰ F for 7 minutes.

Get the 411 – on the Cocoa Beach Pier, by visiting  http://www.cocoabeachpier.com or http://www.facebook.com/cbpier.

Thanks and Enjoy!!

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LEGOLAND Florida Celebrates Opening of DUPLO Valley

LEGOLAND Florida Celebrates Opening of DUPLO Valley

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New expansion gives toddlers ages 2-5 an entirely new way to play at LEGOLAND Florida

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (May 22)— LEGOLAND® Florida today celebrated the opening of its newest expansion, DUPLO ® Valley. DUPLO Valley brings the LEGO ® DUPLO line of preschool building toys to life with new farm-themed attractions, an air-conditioned indoor play area and a water play area all geared to toddlers ages 2 to 5.

“We couldn’t be more excited to officially open DUPLO Valley,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. “Our newest expansion gives toddlers (and parents) a completely new way to play, adding to our already fantastic lineup of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions here at LEGOLAND Florida.”

Opening on May 23, park guests will find that DUPLO Valley is the ideal place to play and relax with their toddlers. New attractions coming to the expansion include DUPLO Train, DUPLO Tractor and DUPLO Splash & Play. Another key element will be the reopening of the DUPLO Barn, which features significant enhancements to allow kids to play indoors in the comfort of air conditioning.

Guests can also purchase the new ‘Preschool Pass’, including weekday (Monday-Friday) admission to LEGOLAND Florida and standard parking for both one child under five and one adult for a full year at $90, plus tax. Assigned to the child, the pass allows an adult parent or guardian to attend the park with the toddler. The pass is transferrable to multiple adults in the family, allowing, for example, a mother to visit one day, and a grandparent the next, making it ideal for families to bring their little ones to LEGOLAND Florida during the week.

For more information on DUPLO Valley and everything LEGOLAND Florida, please visit Florida.Legoland.com.

LEGOLAND ® Florida:

LEGOLAND® Florida is a 150-acre interactive theme park with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, a Water Park and The LEGO® World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network all geared to families with children ages 2 to 12. Recently announced, The LEGOLAND Hotel will open in 2015 featuring 152 highly themed rooms and suites, LEGO décor, interactive play areas, a pool and a restaurant. There are currently five other LEGOLAND Parks in the world – LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark, LEGOLAND Deutschland near Günzburg, Germany and LEGOLAND Windsor outside of London and just opened LEGOLAND Malaysia —the sixth LEGOLAND Park and first in Asia. The LEGOLAND theme parks are a part of Merlin Entertainments Group, the second largest attractions operator in the world. For the most current information, log on to http://www.LEGOLAND.com.

About Merlin Entertainments:

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 100 attractions, 10 hotels/3 holiday villages in 22 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 60 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 20,000 + employees.

Among Merlin’s attractions are – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park Resort, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK, Siam Ocean World and Busan Aquarium. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit http://www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.

 

THANKS AND HAVE A GREAT DAY =)

My Summer Bucket List

With the official start of Summer here, it truly is one of my most anticipated times of the year. Now that school is almost over and the Beach season is here, it’s time to start thinking about how we will spend the most precious of days. One of the things high on my list this year is spending more time at the beaches.  I love the beaches here in Florida for many reasons, the sand is so beautiful and white,  the water is warm and the shells are plentiful. Yes we are avid shell collectors, and on both coasts of Florida, there are plenty of shells. Next on my list is some POOL TIME. This is another thing we always say we will get to but, not nearly enough. I guess the running around and the sheer laziness of summer sometimes gets in the way of that. Also high on the list is sleeping in, ignoring that alarm or not setting it at all is also an option.

I also have theme parks on my list too but, as you may know it can get quite hot in the summer walking around and waiting on lines so I also have some water parks in mind too.  But, one special new attractions is the Harry Potter, Diagon Alley opening this summer at Universal. I also heard about the a new ride at Wet and Wild – The Aqua Drag Racer that sounds amazing and we are big fans of the water rides. And we cannot forget the new ride at Magic Kingdom that sounds amazing, everyone who had ridden it says it’s their new fave, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I plan on riding this one over and over.

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I think because of the hectic school life season, my little to no time schedule may finally give way to that summer time slow down and more me time. Enjoy!

Here are some of the places on my 2014 SUMMER BUCKET LIST and in particular order.

  1. St. Pete Beach – Florida
  2. Captiva Island, Florida
  3. St Augustine, Florida
  4. Walt Disney World
  5. Universal Orlando
  6. Cocoa Beach, Florida
  7. Wet and Wild, Orlando
  8. Typhoon Lagoon
  9. Space Coast, Florida
  10. Reading
  11. Movies
  12. Ice cream
  13. Walking
  14. Making Beer
  15. Volunteer

 

Thanks and Have a great Summer =)

A Weekend Getaway at St. Pete Beach – For Mother’s Day

Why not take mom to one of the most beautiful places in Florida at St. Pete Beach. At the top of the list for all moms is pampering and this place will treat her right. Not only is it on a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico but, it also a historic landmark.

The Loews Don CeSar Hotel (appropriately nicknamed Florida’s “Pink Palace” for its flamingo hue) is the perfect blend of roaring 20’s romance and modern-day elegance.  This is a place, I would love to stay in for my special weekend with it’s Junior Grand Suites, and private balconies that face the Gulf.

And to treat mom to a great meal take her to  Maritana Grille and Lobby Bar.  Specialties include cocktails, fresh seafood and organic veggies and try to get a table near the giant saltwater tank, where the beautiful but deadly lion fish swim. For dessert, try the ice cream (it’s homemade), but the more adventurous can try the Key Lime Bavarian Reveal, a unique dessert with a delicate white chocolate dome that melts away when the waiter pours hot raspberry sauce over it to reveal the treat inside.

What makes the The Don so special is it faces one of the best beaches. Great views, white sand and daybeds all make it special. There’s also one of two Gulf-front pool, where the Pool Concierge team makes the rounds all day with offering from Evian-water mists to frozen fruit kabobs. Oh Yeah to all that, I love the Evian Mist, I remember that from the U.S. Open. There are also kayak and jet-ski rentals onsite, if you wanted to take in the hotel from a different vantage point.

And lastly, renew yourself with the hotel’s 11,000 sf Spa Oceana’s  a three-hour Honeymooners package is a favorite of the Don’s.  The itinerary will spoil you with its hydrating bath, full-body exfoliation, massages and facials. End your spa experience with lunch on the private rooftop garden overlooking the sparkling Gulf.

I had seen this place so many times on the news, it gets featured a lot and seems so beautiful. A definite must visit.

 

Thanks and Happy Mother’s Day !

 

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Showcases Exciting Drone Technology

 
What do you think? I guess it’s the future 
New Video Features State-of-the-Art Technology Highlighting Area

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (December 2, 2013) – Maybe you saw the news about Amazon’s plans to ship products via drones at some point in the future. Well, Amazon’s not the only organization tapping into state-of-the-art drone technology.
 
Drone VideoIn a new video, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater showcases a local photographer who captures images of the area like never before utilizing the unmanned radio-controlled devices.
 
The two systems are similar, however. Local resident Kevin Starkey is utilizing a quadcopter, a radio controlled device with four rotors, which is equipped with an onboard camera that links to flight goggles.

The result is incredible footage of parks, beaches, attractions and hotels throughout St. Pete/Clearwater from perspectives never seen before—like the photo above of the Renaissance Vinoy in downtown St. Pete. The flying device and technology goes places manned-vehicles can’t—like under tree limbs at Philippe Park or alongside buildings, and the resulting images are like none you’ve ever seen before.

See for yourself.

 

Downloadable Resources
St. Pete/Clearwater Drone Video

 

New Airline coming to Tampa – Copa

VSPC Partners with Tampa for New Panama Service
Copa Airlines To Fly Four Times A Week Starting This December
St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (July 17, 2013) – In a joint press conference this morning, officials from Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, Tampa International Airport and Visit Tampa Bay joined Copa Airlines executives to announce the Panama-based airline’s new nonstop service to Panama’s Tocumen International (PTY) beginning Dec. 17, 2013.

With connections to all major cities in Brazil and Colombia—as well as Latin American capitals including San Jose, Caracas, Buenos Aires, Lima and Quito, among others—the new service will effectively connect Tampa Bay to the entire Latin American market for the first time in the area’s history.

“Opening up Central and South America via brand-new Copa service is a real game-changer for us,” said D.T. Minich, executive director of Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater. “The growth potential for this market is huge, and we’re prepared to nurture this market like we have done with our European offices over the years.”

Minich used today’s press conference to announce the formation of a new Latin American sales department within Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, the first new sales department to be added in nearly two decades.

“This is the time for us to expand our presence across Latin America, and we are prepared to do what it takes to make this a success,” added Minich. “This is an extraordinary opportunity.”
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Other local officials agree.
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“This is a huge win for the Tampa Bay region, opening an easy connection for business and leisure travelers to all of Latin America,” said Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport. “Our success in recruiting Copa is the result of tremendous cooperation with our community partners, who helped us make a compelling business case for this market to one of the world’s most successful airlines.”

Santiago Corrada, CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, said that his organization’s efforts to attract conference planners and organizers from around the world will also benefit from the new service. “Together as a team, we will sell our destination in Latin America,” Corrada said.

Copa offers flights to more international destinations than any other airline from any other hub in the Latin American region. In-transit passengers making connections do not have immigration/customs waits and baggage is checked to the final destination.

Copa, which transported more than 10 million passengers in 2012, operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the industry, and its on-time performance above 90 percent is among the best worldwide. A member of the Star Alliance, Copa was just named “Best Airline in the Central America and Caribbean region” at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

The Tampa Bay area will be Copa’s ninth U.S. destination and its 66th destination overall.
Thanks for all the info VSPC and it was so cool seeing them at the airport !!

VSPC is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.
For more information: http://www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com