Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family and friends.  I would also like to thank all of my blog readers and followers, I am truly grateful and I hope you are enjoying reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it….Have a blessed day with your loved ones!

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Ms. Cheezious

Ms. Cheezious is one of the many food trucks that have taken over the Miami Food Truck scene in the last few years. It offers an amazing variety of delicious, mouth-watering grilled cheese concoctions that leave you coming back for seconds.

The Ms. Cheezious truck

The Ms. Cheezious truck

I kept hearing about these incredible grilled cheese sandwiches, so I decided to check them out for myself. I went with the intention of trying their delicious infamous “Croqueta Monsieur”.  According to Ms. Cheezious owner Brian Mullins, his wife had an epiphany one night and thought, ‘Let’s take the croque-monsieur and add croquetas to it.'” And boy, an epiphany it was!

Croqueta Monsieur

Croqueta Monsieur

The sandwich includes three croquetas, shaved tavern ham, Gruyère, and a béchamel sauce that has more than a couple of handfuls of Gouda. It’s probably similar in taste to a Croqueta Preparada sandwich, but I wouldn’t know, as they sold out of this delicacy within 20 minutes of opening up the truck at lunchtime. By the time I arrived, close to 2PM, they were also out of pesto and pulled pork. You can also create your sandwich, choosing bread from their daily selection and then of course, the cheese, from options like American, Cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere, Blue, Brie, Havarti or Provolone. I decided on the Italian (provolone, tomato, basil and cream cheese on white bread).  By far, one of the yummiest grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever tasted. The other favorites seem to be The Grilled Blue & Bacon (crisp bacon, creamy blue cheese and green onions on sour dough bread), The Crabby Cheese Melt (fresh made crab salad with sharp cheddar cheese on sourdough bread) and the Goat Cheese & Prosciutto (goat cheese, prosciutto, tomato and arugula on marble rye bread). All of them sound amazing! Next time I will definitely try one of their specialties.

The Italian

The Italian

 

Grilled Blue & Bacon

Grilled Blue & Bacon

 

Crabby Cheese Melt

Crabby Cheese Melt

 

Goat Cheese & Prosciutto

And fear not…they also offer dessert options, like the Sweet Meltdown, a combination of Ricotta cheese and orange marmalade blend on Texas toast served with chocolate dipping sauce! What more can you ask for in a grilled cheese sandwich?

Sweet Meltdown

Sweet Meltdown

Prices for the sandwiches range from $6-$8 and side items like tomato soup and various types of fries range from $3-$6.  So if you happen to be in South Florida and spot the big blue truck, make sure you stop by and try one of their delicious sandwiches. You can find their location schedule on their website at http://mscheezious.com.  And soon they will be opening up their brick-and-mortar restaurant to be located at 7418 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, with additional items on the menu.  I can’t wait!

Do you like food trucks? And if so, which are your favorite?

Magical Mijas

Mijas is renowned as one of the most beautiful pueblos blancos (white towns) in the Andalusian province. Situated between Marbella and Málaga and high up above Fuengirola, Mijas is a beautiful picturesque typical Spanish village. When you wander through the narrow streets of Mijas you can understand what attracts people here. Despite its huge popularity with tourists, Mijas Pueblo has somehow managed to retain much of its traditional Andalusian way of life, along with all of its charm.

What a view!

What a view!

From the moment you arrive at the main plaza, Plaza de la Virgen de la Peña, across from the tourism office, you will immediately notice the donkey taxi station. Also available are donkey pulled carts and horse carriages. Needless to say, our daughter wanted to ride one of the donkeys. But you see, it’s not truly a ride, but rather a tour through some of the town’s streets, except you’re taking the tour on a donkey ride. And the worst part was, that my husband and I had no interest in riding these donkeys, so we had to put our trust in two American, sweet ladies that were going along with our daughter. Now for those of you that know me, being the most overprotective mother on Earth, this was a tough pill for me to swallow….but, hubby decided that it would be alright. And it was, our daughter had a delightful tour of Mijas riding a donkey, being guided by a total stranger, who assured me this was safe (I’ve noticed that I allow myself and my family to experience things on vacation that I would never try here at home in a million years!)

Donkey Taxi Ride

Donkey Taxi Ride

One of my favorite sites in Mijas was the Santuario de la Virgen de la Peña, (sanctuary of the Virgin of the Rock) built in 1586, a cross between a cave and a chapel carved out of the mountainside, dedicated to the patron saint of Mijas. Legend has it that the image was buried there for five centuries and unearthed by a builder whose children, who were shepherds, were brought to the spot by a dove. Nearby the chapel, lies the Mirador El Compás, viewpoint and terrace, offering phenomenal panoramic views across the Costa that form the backdrop to the shrine.

Santuario dela Virgen de la Peña

Santuario de la Virgen de la Peña

Inside of the shrine

Inside of the shrine

Mirador El Compás, viewpoint and terrace

Mirador El Compás, viewpoint and terrace.

La Plaza de la Constitución, situated in the heart of the village, is lined with artisanal shops, full of ceramics and souvenirs, as well as some cafes and bars. One of the shops we visited was Mayan Monkey Mijas (Plaza de la Constitución 421, but they recently opened another location at 15 Plaza Virgén de la Peña), the smallest chocolate factory in the world. This shop sells handmade chocolate and delicious ice cream produced in their very own factory in Mijas. We sampled a few pieces and they were mouth-watering. If you have time, they also give tours of the factory and allow you to create your own chocolate flavors. A great activity for both kids and adults. Definitely a place to checkout if you’re in the area.

La Plaza de la Constitución

La Plaza de la Constitución

Mayan Monkey Mijas Chocolate Factory on Plaza de la Constitución

Another great spot in town is Plaza de la Libertad, where you can find San Sebastián Church, a beautiful 17th century church, located on the street of the same name, Calle San Sebastián. This street has become one of the most photographed streets on the Costa del Sol, as visitors find both the church and the typical street so pretty.

San Sebastian Church on Plaza de la Libertad

San Sebastián Church on Plaza de la Libertad

Inside of San Sebastián Church

Mijas offers many shops selling beautiful and authentic Spanish souvenirs, but my favorite shop was Lo Artesano de Mijas (Plaza Libertad, 3). This tiny store had the most beautiful ceramic pottery and plates, and of course I had to add a few pieces to my collection back home.

Lo Artesano de Mijas on Plaza de la Libertad

Here are a few more photos of magical Mijas for your enjoyment.

 

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Another quaint plaza

 

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Carromato de Max, the miniatures museum , we didn’t stop in but this made for a great photo!

 

Typical Spanish souvenirs.

Typical Spanish souvenirs.

 

Calle San Sebastián

 

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Enjoying the donkey tour.

 

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Typical shop selling souvenirs.

 

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Ayuntamiento de Mijas (Town Hall)

 

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Another typical storefront.

Have you visited Mijas, and if you have, what was your favorite spot in this tiny, magical white washed town?

Sesame Street Day!

075b4bd30206a5172e75cd67c83714aeWell who knew there was a day dedicated to Sesame Street? I just recently found out and I have to say, it’s a great thing. Sesame Street Day was first established in 2009 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its original broadcast. While the special day was initiated in New York, it is now recognized by thousands of individuals from around the world. In fact, the number of followers continues to grow each year. Sesame Street debuted on November 10, 1969 and went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world. I remember watching Sesame Street when I was 5 years old and of course it feels like yesterday that my teen daughter was watching Elmo and Zoe dancing on the screen.  She loved that show so much, it was the theme for her second birthday party.

Here are some fun facts about the show that you may not know:

  • Big Bird’s height is 8’2.”
  • The Count’s birthday is October 9, 1,830,653 B.C.
  • In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit “Rubber Duckie.”
  • Ernie wears horizontal stripes on his sweater to make him appear more relaxed; while Bert wears vertical stripes on his sweater to make him appear more uptight.
  • Oscar the Grouch was originally orange, Grover was originally brown.
  • Big Bird’s teddy bear is named Radar, a nod to the character on MASH who always slept with a teddy bear.
  • James Earl Jones was the first ever guest star, he recited the alphabet.
  • All of the Sesame Street Muppets have four fingers, except Cookie Monster, who has five.
  • The episode with Mr. Hooper’s funeral aired on Thanksgiving Day in 1983. That date was chosen because families were more likely to be together at that time, in case kids had questions or needed emotional support.
  • In a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster revealed that back before he ate his first cookie, his name used to be “Sid”.
  • Most people know Rosita as the only Hispanic Muppet on Sesame Street, but few know what she actually is, a fruit bat.
  • The main focus of Sesame Street is a 3 apartment brownstone building (Bert and Ernie live in the basement). The show itself is filmed in Astoria, Queens, but the actual location of Sesame Street has been under debate for years (intended to be a neighborhood in Manhattan).
  • And perhaps one fact that I found very interesting was that Snuffleupagus, spent fourteen years as Big Bird’s “imaginary” friend. Whenever adults would appear, Snuffy would vanish by way of coincidence, and the grownups would disbelieve Big Bird that he ever existed. Because nobody believed Big Bird about Snuffleupagus, and parents tended not to believe their children about imaginary friends, producers were afraid that this disbelief would lead to children being afraid to speak out about sexual abuse.

I’m sure we all know someone who has learned their colors and/or letters by watching this show. So, who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Mine and my daughter’s is still Zoe (and Elmo too!)

Her two favorites!

Her two favorites!

Britto Mania

Homeless Meters

“Homeless” Meters

I’m sure by now most everyone recognizes the work of famous pop artist Romero Britto. His art literally pops up almost all around the world, in places like New York City, Singapore, Berlin, London, Brazil, Sweden, and of course in Miami, his home since 1989.  Pretty much you are bound to run into a Britto sculpture in most major airports, parks, shopping centers, you name it. But his artwork is very widespread here in South Florida.

I’ve always been drawn to his art, as it’s very colorful and happy. Our daughter fell in love with his huge heart sculpture when she was a toddler. She first saw it in the window of his gallery on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, when she was 2 years old. Every time we passed by the gallery, she started jumping up and down and insisted we go inside so she could see the heart up close.  Of course not every one cares for this type of art, and he is sometimes criticized for his work, but I’ve always found it very interesting. I also think it’s great that artists and celebrities utilize their popularity to help worthy causes, as he has many times. The “Homeless” Meters placed throughout Miami, collect change from random passerbys and then distribute it to local organizations helping in the fight to end homelessness, essentially, they are collection boxes.

Miami is full of Britto sculptures throughout the city. Here are a few of my favorites:

My daughter a few years ago visiting her favorite heart sculpture on Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.

 

Midtown Shopping Center, Miami

 

Grapeland Water Park, Miami

 

Various sculptures at the Kendall Village Shopping Center, Miami

 

A condo building near I-95 in Miami.

A condo building near I-95 in Miami (another one of my daughter’s favorites)

 

At the Miami Children's Museum

At the Miami Children’s Museum

 

Shopping center on 5th Street and Alton Road, Miami Beach

Shopping center on 5th Street and Alton Road, Miami Beach

 

Dadeland Station Shopping Center, Miami

Dadeland Station Shopping Center, Miami

Do you like this type of art?  Do you own any Britto pieces?

For many Britto items, check out their website at http://www.shopbritto.com

If you’re in the Miami area, you can visit the gallery at:

Britto Central
818 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach