Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

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Other Web Reading on Food, Florida and Bicycles

September 16th, 2008 · 1 Comment

These are other sites I have bookmarked in my browser; check them out!


First up is Ben Starling’s “Living2Eat” blog. Ben and I have decided we were separated at birth (he’s a native Floridian — it’s possible!) and definitely related — at least food-wise. He’s got a ton of recipes, an easy, folksy way of writing, a lot of genteel friends who cook, and is diehard in making sure his readers are kept up to date with his latest offerings: He puts out an email blast to let you know when a new recipe or blog entry has arrived on the site. I bake him cupcakes, and he gives honest appraisals — another good thing. You’ll see us trading comments on our blogs – like brother and sis. This is a nice, G-rated blog.

The Stew

Next up is one funny guy — Jeff Houck — who used to live in Alaska, so if you have questions about this suddenly popular state, he’s your man. Jeff used to work with me at The Palm Beach Post.  He picked up his family, and moved to Tampa to work at the Tribune, first as a food and features editor, and now, as a web

Jeff Houck

Jeff Houck

guy. He has an off-track, edgy but hilarious look at food, restaurants and the whole business of eating — sometimes venturing into R-rated territory. His blog, The Stew, is one I have bookmarked. (I like him because deep-down, he’s a really sweet guy who knows how to send a hand-written thank-you note! How rare is THAT these days? And, he can take a joke as well as dish ’em.) And I want him to always to watch my back: he’s 6′ 20” or so…outstanding in a crowd.

Maureen Clancy

Then there’s my friend Maureen Clancy — another former food editor (gee, we’re developing a theme here…). Her blog is her name: MaureenClancy.com  She’s formerly with the San Diego Union, but also is a fellow Zagat guide writer, a restaurant critic, radio host and magazine writer. She’s done it all. Some of her work is Southern-Cal centric, but there are choice bits on the blog for thoughtful reading — we like her take on Water. She’s a green minded shopper, too. Go, Mo!

Spivak on Wine

Mark Spivak is the host of a terrific wine discussion show, Uncorked! on WXEL-FM, the Palm Beach area NPR affliate. It airs on Tuesdays, 7-8 p.m. Mark’s an old friend, and was the wine columnist for The Palm Beach Post.  I very much like his approach to wine commentary and critique; it’s for us everyday wine drinkers, rather than the so-called “wine snobs” who want to hear about malolactoic fermentation, or terroir or the hint of vitis Labrusca.  I want to know if I should spend $15 or $25 on that bottle of Chardonnay that’s at the front of the wine shop. Is there anything at the supermarket worth buying? Mark has tasted it all! Is my wine guy leading me to some real finds within my budget, or just stuff he’s getting a commission on? And I’m having two kinds of proteins for a meal — a fish and a beef — is there one wine that covers both? He can answer that. Mark’s well traveled, and reports on his ventures outside the U.S. as well as spots around here to dine with wine. Check him out.

Scott Joseph’s Flog

 My fellow food writer in Orlando, Scott Joseph is a great resource when you want to know about Orlando restaurants and food events. Like me, he’s displaced from his newspaper gig; he was formerly at the Orlando Sentinel where he wrote the popular Chowhound column. He’s got a wealth of info on the local eateries on his “flog — food blog,”  and can steer you to all kinds of hidden spots in and around the Magic City — take a look at the long list of communities he covers on the left side of his blog page. He’s also a fellow bicyclist, which leads me to….

Palm Beach Bike Tours

Another friend, and former Post telecom manager (and my levelest-head opinion source) is Ken Steinhoff. He’s my former cycling partner — he still rides all the time, but I haven’t gotten back into yet. It’s coming, once the weather cools enough so that I don’t ralph on Donald Trump’s lawn. Ken is the author at the blog, Palm Beach Bike Tours.  He really hasn’t led any tours just yet — only for friends — but he has done plenty of blogging about very diverse topics, mostly bicycle related. He’s always looking for cyclists to join him, so email him if you’re coming down and would like to see the island of Palm Beach on two wheels, or take in the dike at Lake Okeechobee during a full moon — my favorite ride. He accommodates all levels of riders — but you must wear a helmet and agree to wear a “blinkie” so drivers can see you. He will teach you that CYCLISTS ARE VEHICLES as defined by Florida law — and we have road rights, too. But they must also follow the vehicle road laws. The food hook here? Ask me about the Little Debbie incident. . .hehehe.

Happy-Mouth blog

A swell blog with a lot of really good, easy unique recipes is at Happy-Mouth.blogspot.com The site is the creation of Katie Brandon, daughter of one of the Divas of Dish, Pam Brandon. (Read the Divas column in The Palm Beach Post. Katie’s in Birmingham, Ala., writes about all kinds of foods, and has a level, down-to-earth approach to cooking. Good photos, too — this blog always inspires me when I can’t think of what I want to make for supper.


Taylor Morgan

Taylor Morgan

I get an email blast almost every day from Taylor Morgan, from SouthFloridaDines.com. Through that site, I’m able to keep up with new restaurants in the area, and those that have closed, too. Taylor, my former radio show host (fun days, talking tables on the air!) runs the Web site and business where you can get half-off dining and activity certificates (don’t ever call them coupons!!!) for area restaurants. I know several well-to-do diners who discretely use her certficates, but anyone in this nutty economy can use a discount, I presume. The list of restaurants on her site is lengthy and represents a number of cuisines and other activities like movie passes  — something for everyone (a painless way to entertain company, too). Bostonians: She’s one of you, so when those crazy Red Sox win, she goes nuts and offers really great discounts.

Southern Foodways Alliance

A subject near and dear to my heart is all things about the South (see my About Jan page to get it). There are a host of others, thank heaven, who love to talk about it, too, and specifically the rich heritage of Southern food. This Web site is from the Southern Foodways Alliance, which is an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, headquartered at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. From New Orleans’ gumbo to Appalachicola oysters, and boiled peanuts and tamales — grits, greens, barbecue and everything in between — it’s discussed and dissected here. The oral history project is fascinating, and I can recommend NOLA Eats — a radio link on their Web site. This is one tasty and informative site.

Debbie Moose

Debbie is my peer in Raleigh, N.C. — the displaced food editor. She’s Southern, works to help fight domestic abuse (she’s got a great hubby — no worries!) and is a swell cook and person all around. She’s got a great blog on all kinds of food stuff. We have a ball when we get together, which is always too rarely; once I move to North Carolina in my other life, I hope that changes. Deb’s claim to fame among food editors is her clever book, Deviled Eggs – 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy — check it out here — it’s a must-have if you love deviled eggs. Read her blog, Moose Munchies,  here.

 Check back, and I’ll keep telling you about more sites to read.

Tags: Food People · On Site

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ben // Sep 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks for your kind words… my mother will be so impressed! Ben

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