Just Like Momma’s Cooking

So a few weeks ago, Ryan was surfing the interwebs and while on Instagram, he came across a picture of what most Instagrammers would call #foodporn. And so IT began…

We saw this picture and immediately were salivating. Upon liking the pic, the team at Family Table Catering replied to the post. They asked if they could send some food out for us to try and we thought, “Ummmmm DUH!”. Within 2 days, the food was delivered fresh to us in Hyde Park and ready to eat!

Once I brought the HUGE bag home, Ryan and I surveyed the package to come up with an action plan. Our package of food included:

1. (2) Strawberry & Spinach Salads w. Spring Minestrone Soup

2. (1) Roasted Veggie & Quinoa Bowl

3. (1) Grilled Lemon & Herb Chicken Breast

4. (1) Spanish Rub Pork Tenderloin

5. (1) Lemon Curd Pudding Dessert

With so much amazing looking and fresh made food, we knew we were in for a treat! We decided I would tackle the salads (since Ryan isn’t a goat cheese fan) and he would get the chicken (since it looked and smelled AMAZING). Then, I snagged the pork tenderloin for dinner and soup as a midweek snack while we agreed to share the quinoa bowl and dessert.

As easy as it was to get the food prepped and delivered to us, it was EVEN EASIER to prepare the meals when we were ready to eat them at home/work. They were labeled with heating directions as well as a coding system to let us know if the meals were gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free, vegan, etc. This makes it really easy for those who have dietary restrictions to be sure they know what they are consuming.

We went through the week, without the hassle of grocery shopping or prepping for meals because, low and behold, Family Table Catering had it covered for us! It made the weeknights stress free and allowed us more time to focus on other things, like NHIE. Not to mention, there were minimal dishes that needed cleaning because they come in plastic containers that can be recycled.

If you look through the pictures we snagged, you will notice, there is one main item missing….the Dessert! Let’s just say it was clearly a fan favorite and therefore I had no shot at snagging a pic! As far as the other food, it was fresh, well cooked and kept well while waiting to be devoured in the fridge. The chicken and pork were juicy and not dried out, the veggies were flavorful and the soup may have been my favorite of all! If I could have timed myself, there is a chance I may have broken a record for the quickest to devour a soup in one sitting.

We would hands down recommend this company for anyone looking to practice come portion control as they eat, anyone looking to eat a healthier option, and anyone who is short on time after a long day of work that may want an alternative to fast food or the crappy frozen meals available at the grocery store. YUCK!

My main question was trying to figure out what made this company different than the others in the area. WELL, I am glad I inquired! The main difference in Family Table Catering Service is a more high end approach to prepared meals, similar to having a private chef to stock your fridge. These meals are sourced only after the order is placed (which is different from most other companies in the area). They are prepped from local farmers markets not made in bulk batches. We love this idea because it promotes our #everythinglocal approach to being in Tampa Bay. Additionally, Family Table is a TRUE family business that tries to uphold the highest standards for clients with constant menu testing and recipe development.

We had a great experience, so you should definitely follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up to date on the amazing dishes they provide throughout Tampa Bay!  And if you get the chance to test it out yourself, be sure to leave a review on their Yelp Page as well! We promise, you will NOT be disappointed! AND for a limited time, our friends at Family Table Catering Services are offering our friends a discount of 15% off of your first order using the promo code ” NHIE15″ in all caps at checkout so you can have the luxury of enjoying some meals as freshly made and carefully planned out as the ones you miss from home!

Eat your heart out! Don’t say I didn’t tell you so!

-Nicholas

 

Crafting The Minds of Youthpreneurs in Tampa Bay

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth allows students to learn and practice the foundational skills of entrepreneurship while collaborating to reach a common goal, taking a business from idea to reality. It sheds a spotlight on the creativity we have right here in our community from an often overlooked source: KIDS. The youth here in Tampa Bay are filled with great ideas and if we can take a page from their book and learn a bit from them along the way, we will have done our job by creating and encouraging the kids’ appetites for entrepreneurship.

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

The Startup Weekend Tampa Youth program is one of the first in the area to embrace this idea of collaboration and engages students in meaningful conversation around the topic of entrepreneurship. It reinforces collaboration, communication and problem solving during the weekend long event. We held our first event in September of 2014, and after the amazing experiences that our team and attendees shared; we knew it had to happen again in the community. One of the coolest experiences from our first event was how well students who barely knew each other formed teams around ideas they felt passionate about to create really unique pitches by the end of the weekend. Yes this happens at every Startup Weekend on Friday night – but seeing kids doing it felt extra special. They got over any fears they had and focused on the ideas and new teammates around them.

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

As an elementary school teacher who was introduced to Startup Weekend back in 2010, I have watched participants conjure up the courage to stand up in front of a room full of peers to pitch an idea they believed in. When we heard there was an editions event that focused on bringing this concept to kids, I KNEW I had to be involved on a bigger scale. By teaming with my fellow co-organizers, made up of a mix of educators and entrepreneurs, we found the perfect balance to engaging our younger audience while teaching about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Watching the kids take on roles that we normally see adults struggle with throughout the ups and downs of a Startup Weekend event and make great things happen along the way had to be the coolest part of all.

Some students in our area have access to entrepreneurship and resources, but we have made it our goal to find a way to incorporate a variety of learners and tap into their creative juices. By bringing entrepreneurship to the forefront of their academic experience, we are able to plant the seed in those who are yearning to evolve and foster their creative passions, regardless of demographic, background, or interest. Starting with students who are younger and sharing our knowledge from our experiences will allow them to be less limited in their thought barriers and provide them the big vision ideas they need to grow and mature into young adults. Exposing them to these ideas when they are young will exponentially impact our community as they begin to create and build these novel ideas.

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

This is the main reason we chose to tap into this unique demographic here in Tampa Bay. With Tampa emerging as a forefront for tech and entrepreneurship, we want our youth to be part of this evolution by helping guide them in becoming leaders of their generations. It was exhilarating to see budding “youthpreneurs” as we coined them, come to the table with legitimate problems that they had a solution for.

One of our former participants designed an app to help them keep track of how long the bus would take to arrive at their location. This is a problem for kids in our area because Florida gets ridiculously hot during the summers and the weather can be unpredictable during the winters. This app would allow kids to know exactly when to head to their bus stop, thus eliminating the awful and uncomfortable wait time they currently have to endure.

10481574_664690446960744_7728598852133472277_n Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

The group seen above was working on creating a robotic arm that would help lift heavier objects, thus eliminating the need for assistance with carrying things like groceries and other heavy loads. Working with the Youth Edition can be so rewarding when you see it in action. It’s moments like this that motivate us to organize these events.

When we began the process of organizing these events, our goal was never to make all attendees become entrepreneurs by the end of the weekend. We hoped to see kids become comfortable with other kids who had similar interests and collaborate as they worked through their different problems. We knew we had done something right when students AND parents left wanting more. Right after the final pitches, a Dad from the audience came up and congratulated our team on a job well done. Additionally, he offered to serve as a local sponsor for our next event, which we had not even discussed yet. Seeing support from the parents in the community gave us extra motivation to keep holding this type of event. It gave extra validation that it is a valuable program to families and the community.

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

Tristan Crawford, a thirteen year old and one of our winners at our first Startup Weekend Youth event said it best: “If you have a business idea and need help with understanding how to start a business, then I know the Startup Weekend Youth course will teach you how to bring your product or business idea to market, and provide you with the support you need after the course. I encourage you to go to the Startup Weekend Youth event when it comes to your town.  It is a great learning experience.  You will not be disappointed!”

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

Our team is excited and ready to hold our next Startup Weekend Youth in Tampa from May 15th-17th at Trinity School for Children. We can’t wait to see the kids that are impacted and the ideas they create over the weekend!

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

They say “it takes a village to raise a child,” and we are proud to be a part of this village by teaching kids what is truly possible in this world.

– Nicholas

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth Organizer

Taste of South Tampa 2015

It’s a new year and that means another delicious ride through some of South Tampa’s best local restaurants. This Sunday, April 12th, the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 10th annual Taste Of South Tampa. And this year, it’s even better than before! The event will take place at George M. Steinbrenner Field and the foodie coma start promptly at 1pm. Check out last year’s fun here!

Taste of South Tampa 2015 Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay

Last year, we had a great time tasting around town in Hyde Park, but it seems the event has grown so much that they needed a change of scenery. We will be there and I will be sporting my birthday best (as I celebrate getting one more year older).

We are currently running a contest on Instagram that you should check out to put yourself in the running for a pair of free tickets to the event. But hurry because the contest ends this Friday, April 10th at Midnight!

Here’s the list of the participating restaurants, bars, wine and spirits participating this year:

Anthony’s Coal Fired PizzaTaste of South Tampa 2014 Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay
Beef O’Brady’s
Bud Light
Budweiser
Cabot Creamery
Carmel Kitchen & Wine Bar
Cater ME Fit
Catrina’s South Tampa
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
Crispers
Eats American Grill
Fox Jazz Club
Goose Island
Grafitti Junktion
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
Hugos Spanish Restaurant
Inside the Box CaféTaste of South Tampa 2014 Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay
Kahwa Coffee
Little Greek Westshore
Louis Pappas
MacDintons
Papa’s Pilar Rum
Perk’s Donut Bar
Pincher’s
Players Sports Bar
Press Box Sports Emporium
PRP Wine International
Rollin’ Oats
Sam’s Club
Shells Seafood
Sonny’s BBQ
The Blind Goat Food & Drink Co. Taste of South Tampa 2014 Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay
The Florida CANE Distillery
Twisted Sun Rum
Yard of Ale Soho
VIP – Brio
VIP – Caketastic
VIP – Chouinards Cuisine
VIP – DoubleTree Cookies
VIP – Kona Grill
VIP – Schakolad Chocolate Factory
VIP – Seasons 52
VIP – Stella Artois

Some other awesome things going on at the event include: live entertainment, a Family Fun Zone with bounce house, games and face painter, a canned food drive to benefit Metropolitan Ministries, giveaways from event sponsors, AND THE BEST ONE OF ALL…..Each attendee will receive a FREE ticket to the Tampa Yankees game!! 

All in all, we had fun last year and look forward to the fun we are going to have this year. So if you have a free Sunday Funday to plan, grab some tickets to the Taste of South Tampa OR better yet, head to our instagram and try and win yourselves a pair FOR FREE! Either way, come with an empty stomach and get ready to EAT! #Yum #southtampataste

-Nicholas

Give And Grub

Give and Grub Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay

Last week, we were invited to Amalie Arena to check out an awesome, new food truck known as The Give And Grub Food Truck. Sponsored by The Laser Spine Institute and in partnership with The Tampa Bay Lightning, Metropolitan Ministries, and Feeding America Tampa Bay, Give and Grub provides gourmet meals to many paying customers around town. The best part is, they have a broader mission: to help feed the hungry by providing 150,000 free meals to people in need living in Tampa Bay.

Give and Grub Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay

For every meal sold from the food truck, a meal is donated to a person less fortunate. In addition, the truck is has  program to feed children at elementary school throughout neighboring counties on Fridays.

Give and Grub Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay

We went over to Amalie and met up with the cool staff of Give and Grub. They pointed out that their menu to us (all of which were named after hockey terms) and explained we should choose a few to try. We had a pretty easy time choosing since we TRY to eat “healthy” and didn’t want to fill up too quick. We chose the Hat Trick Chicken Sliders, Hedman’s Steak Tacos, and the Slap Shot Chicken Salad.

While waiting for our food to be prepared, we snapped a few shots in the Give and Grub photobooth. By the time our photo session was done, our food was ready to be enjoyed!

Give and Grub Never Have I Ever Tampa Bay

Our food was ready and we were HUNGRY! We took a few pictures and then tried to find a seat to enjoy the elaborate amount of food we were given. I really enjoyed the chicken sliders (partially because they were served with some awesome sweet potato fries) and Ryan got down on the Steak Tacos. Although messy, they pack a flavorful punch. We help on to the chicken salad for later on because BEWARE: The portions from the food truck are HUGE! They definitely do NOT disappoint when it comes to flavor and feeling full. With all of the other great options on the menu, we are looking forward to catching the truck again at Amalie Arena on Thursday and Saturday Home Games.

So what now? Well, there are THREE easy ways for you to get involved in the Give and Grub movement.

1. Buy a meal: For every meal purchased, Give and Grub will donate a meal to a less fortunate person.

2. Get Social: By sharing the official #giveandgrub hashtag on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a meal will be donated as well. Yes, you read that correctly, you can tweet or post while including #giveandgrub in your message and as simple as that, a meal will be donated on your behalf. It literally could not be any simpler.

3. Email: Visit this link  so you can email your friends and tell them all about it.

So, when you are looking for something to do, while enjoying delicious food and donating to a good cause, check out the Give and Grub Food Truck to pay it forward!

-Nicholas

Davis Islands Coffee Bar

A wise man once said, “Life’s Too Short To Drink Cheap Coffee.” And this, my friends, is our belief at NHIE Tampa Bay. That’s why when we heard there was a new coffee shop opened on Davis Islands, we had to find some time to check it out! So during one of our weekend trips around the Bay, we stopped in for some iced coffee. Let’s just say, we were pleasantly surprised.

DI Coffee Bar is an eclectic spot newly located on Davis Islands. Offering a mix from breakfast with coffee and mimosas to dinner with beer and wine, this is an awesome new addition to DI. If you think it looks cool from the pictures, you NEED to check it out in person.

  Di Coffee Bar on Urbanspoon

P.S. You can buy the home decor items too!

-Nicholas

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