is ea easy eas sy FOR THE HOLIDAYS
AT ADVANCED AESTHETICS! SERVICES
LASER SKIN REJUVENATION JUVEDERM RADIESSE BOTOX LASER HAIR REMOVAL VELASHAPE™ TREATMENT TREATMENT OF ACNE SCARS VI PEEL VEIN TREATMENT
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Drinks & refreshments will be served ASK ABOUT OUR MEDICALLY SUPERVISED WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM! All services and procedures performed on-site under a board-certified physician's supervision. All consultations are free and confidential.
DEDICATED TO THE ART AND SCIENCE OF RESTORING YOUR SKIN
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Located in Cala Hills, next to Chandra Smiles. Financing available with little or no interest. Most credit cards accepted.
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Wouldnâ€™t you love one of these for Christmas? Call today to make your holiday dreams come true!
Heron Trace at Bellechase
Country Club of Ocala
Country Club of Ocala
Historical 5th Street
Thank you to my clients, friends and
Town & Country Farm
family for your continued support this year!
Westbury Estate Paddock Park
Joan Pletcher LICENSED REAL ESTATE BROKER
352.347.1777 | Cell: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 www.joanpletcher.com | email@example.com
Gift giving is easier than ever when you come to Honda of Ocala. Whether you’re looking for a new Honda car or SUV for your husband or wife, or a quality pre-owned vehicle for your son or daughter, Honda of Ocala makes your buying experience easy! • Easy Selection – With nearly 15 acres of vehicles, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. • Easy Pricing – Get your best price, payment and trade value in ten minutes or less. • Easy Financing - Zero percent financing is available on all our new Hondas.
higher. Up to 5 qts 5W20, Hybrids and other models may be p supplies if applicable. Must Honda oil filter. Plus tax and sho per customer repair order. present coupon before service. One ires 1/1/12 Not valid with any other offer. Exp
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Give your loved ones the gift of a Honda this holiday season. Give yourself the gift of easy savings. Visit Honda of Ocala today!
0 S.W. 17th Street
1800 SW COLLEGE RD.
Monday - Saturday 9AM ~ 8PM Sunday .................Noon ~ 6PM
Monday - Friday ....7AM ~ 7PM Saturday................8AM ~ 5PM
*With approved credit, see dealer for complete details. Vehicle images for illustrative purposes only.
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a beautiful smile begins here
featuring cosmetic restorative zoom! whitening crowns bridges dentures sedation dentistry
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1. Arguing with my children and Troy about who loves who more! 2. Winning a tennis match! 3. Exploring the world while pedaling a bicycle! 4. 90-minute deep tissue massages! 5. My smile! :)
(352)861-1500 for your smile evaluation www.chandrasmiles.com
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Ocala 3097 SW College Rd. East Ocala 2444 E. Silver Springs Blvd. West Marion 11115 SW 93rd Court Rd. G’ville - E. Campus 1200 SW 5th Ave. W. Campus 1900 SW 34th St. Jonesville 107 NW 140th Terrace Hunter’s Walk 5115 NW 43rd St. Tower Square 5725 SW 75th St. Shands at UF Room H-1 Springhills Commons 9200 NW 39th Ave. Alachua 14759 NW 157th Ln. Summerfield 17950 US Hwy. 441 Lake City 183 SW Bascom Norris Dr.
Financial aid available to those who qualify! Fully Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education
5190 SE 125th Street, Belleview, FL 34420 â€˘ Phone: 352-245-4119 *The Physical Therapist Assistant Program of Taylor College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at, www.taylorcollege.edu/consumercontent.
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THE NEW LEADER NEW 2012 NISSANS
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2200 SW College Rd
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Pictures are for illustration purposes only.
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3055 SW College Rd Ocala, FL 34474 (across from mall, next to AAA travel)
352.690.2339 11250 SW 93rd Ct Rd Ocala, FL 34481 (SR200 & 484, next to Chili’s)
352.732.3100 2255-A Parr Dr The Villages, FL 32162 (466, near Bob Evans by Walgreens)
352.753.0672 17950 US 441 Summerfield, FL 34491 (across from Wal-mart)
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Wishing You a Beautiful Smile this Holiday Season
Call for a Complimentary Consultation 3321 SW 32nd Ave. (352) 622-8897 | OcalaDentistry.com
Melt Away the Holiday Stress Just because the holidays are wonderful, doesn’t mean you always feel wonderful during this hectic season. Come into Nature’s Way Organic Salon & Spa and melt your preoccupations away with a
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Belleview Veterinary Hospital Dr. Rick Erwin, Dr. Cara Erwin Oliver & Associates
Across from Belleview Middle School
352-347-3900 10725 SE 36th Avenue
Walk-ins Welcome or Call for an Appointment. Monday – Saturday
Your “Other Family” Doctor Our family-owned practice has been a staple of the Belleview community since 1975. Our goal is to offer an extremely high standard of care for your beloved pet through advanced diagnostics such as digital X-Ray, ultrasound and our on-site laboratory. 24-hour emergency care is always available.
After Hours Call: 352-266-0836
Whether you are in need of a veterinarian for your new family addition, routine care or are having a health or behavioral issue with your long-time companion, Dr. Cara Erwin-Oliver and associates are looking forward to meeting you and your cherished pet and having you become a part of our family.
Routine Care Advanced Care • Low-cost • Low-cost spay & neuter • Yearly • Yearly vaccinations • Dental • Dental procedures • Heartworm • Heartworm testing & & parasite control • Veterinarian • Veterinarian supervised boarding
• Advanced diagnostic techniques • Endoscopy • Orthopedic surgery • Soft tissue surgery • 24/7 emergency care • Hospitalization facility
Dr. Cara Erwin Oliver
Florida Pain Clinic
Treatment of Acute & Chronic Pain
Stephen T. Pyles, M.D. Board Certified Nationally Known Speaker and Innovator of Treatment of Chronic Pain Dr. Pylesâ€™ Florida Pain Clinic, founded in 1985, offers patients and their families a relaxed atmosphere in which to receive state-of-the-art treatment for their acute and chronic pain.
Hospital Staff Privileges Ocala Regional Medical Center West Marion Community Hospital Munroe Regional Medical Center Kindred Hospital Leesburg Medical Center The Villages Regional Hospital
Specializing in the diagnosis & treatments of patients for difficult chronic pain syndromes PERSISTENT PAIN FOLLOWING NECK OR BACK SURGERY PAIN IN UPPER/LOWER EXTREMITIES INCLUDING PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY CHRONIC ABDOMINAL PELVIC PAIN NECK | BACK | SACRAL PAIN CHRONIC FOOT AND ANKLE PAIN CHEST PAIN | SHINGLES | CHRONIC ANGINA
IV Sedation Available for Procedures
Florida Pain Clinic We have moved to 2300 S. Pine Ave., Suite B | Ocala, Florida 34471
Bring Quality, Comfort and Style into your home. 10651 SE Hwy 441, Belleview, FL 34420
Scan for more information
Features Food in the Blogosphere p42
Thanks to the technologic age, any recipe can be attained at your fingertips. Like the star chefs on Food Network, food bloggers have earned hordes of fans who devotedly follow their pages for cooking tips and gorgeous photos. BY AMANDA FURRER
The Great Toy Giveaway p46
In honor of the season of giving, we here at Ocala Style are doing just that—and in a big way. BY KARIN FABRY-CUSHENBERY
ON THE COVER
A Sweet Exchange
This year, join the craze and host a cookie exchange party. BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
Gotta Get Away! p62
Photo by John Jernigan. Cookies by The Sidewalk Cookie and Cake Company.
The kids are out of school for a few weeks, and it’s definitely time for a much-needed family vacation. BY BONNIE KRETCHIK
Happy Hour Hot Spots p66
Whether you’re interested in trivia on a Tuesday or live music on the weekends, these restaurants are among our area’s hottest, most happening hangouts and are known for their unique cocktails and tasty appetizers. BY OCALA STYLE STAFF
Stressed Out p84
Ask someone how they’re doing these days and chances are very good that their answer will include some form of the word stress. BY JOANN GUIDRY
December2011 Vol13 No12
Departments The Publisher p28
An inside look at this month’s issue.
The Buzz p31
The real people, places and events that shape our community BY KEVIN CHRISTIAN, KARIN FABRY-CUSHENBERY, JOANN GUIDRY & CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
Improving a community through the Devereux Kids. CLASSACTS p36
STEPing it up thanks to CF and students celebrate Fire Safety Month. GIVINGBACK p38
One Ocala family gets involved.
The Pulse p73
Ideas to keep you fit and healthy all year long BY AMANDA FURRER & JOANN GUIDRY
Stay safe: Don’t drink and drive.
When seasonal depression comes a calling. FEELINGWELL p78
Giving your feet a little treat.
The Dish p93
Our best recipes, restaurant news and culinary quick bites BY AMANDA FURRER, BONNIE KRETCHIK & CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
Muse moves in and El Azteca spices things up. DININGGUIDE p97
Our area’s finest dining establishments.
The Scene p105
Pucker up for literacy and chatting with Clara. BY AMANDA FURRER & BONNIE KRETCHIK
Ocala Style sits down with 15-year-old Lisa Ly, star of this year’s The Nutcracker. AFTERDARK p112
Family fun after the sun sets.
Call “The Real Estate Guy” Serving Central Florida in real estate, business & development for 10 years.
Call Nick for ALL your real estate needs / 352.857.2626
Medicine with a personal touch.
• Narcotic alternatives for managing long-term pain. • After hours house calls upon request.
5850 SE 5th St, Unit 102, Ocala | PepperTreePrimaryCare.com | 352-350-5012 Mon, Tue, Wed: 10am - 7pm • Thu, Fri: 8am - 3pm
CREATIVE DIRECTOR JASON FUGATE / email@example.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS JESSI MILLER / firstname.lastname@example.org JOHN TRIPODI / email@example.com
ASSOCIATE EDITOR MELISSA PETERSON / firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS BONNIE KRETCHIK / email@example.com AMANDA FURRER / firstname.lastname@example.org
One Package Policy
ACCOUNTING DOREEN ROCKWELL / email@example.com
Home & Auto
A INSURAN AA Av
DISTRIBUTION DAVE ADAMS / firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICE PHONE 352.732.0073
AAA members save up to an additional 7%** Nonmembers welcome AAA at The Villages (352) 753-2500 AAA.com/LadyLake
OFFICE/PRODUCTION MANAGER CYNTHIA BROWN / email@example.com
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES MICHELLE CHASE / firstname.lastname@example.org RUSSELL CREASEY / email@example.com SHARON MORGAN / firstname.lastname@example.org GREG MOSLEY / email@example.com CHRISTOPHER TILL / firstname.lastname@example.org MITZI WELCH / email@example.com
• A whole-person approach and lifestyle education.
AAA Leesburg (352) 787-8800 AAA.com/Leesburg
KATHY JOHNSON / firstname.lastname@example.org
SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES VICKI BAKER / email@example.com LORI TANI / firstname.lastname@example.org
• Personalized treatment programs with appropriate follow-up care.
AAA Gainesville (352) 373-7801 AAA.com/Gainesville
PHOTOGRAPHERS JOHN JERNIGAN / email@example.com BRANDON SCRAMBLING / firstname.lastname@example.org
• Extensive treatment of chronic medical problems.
AAA Ocala (352) 237-6251 AAA.com/Ocala
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS KEVIN CHRISTIAN / email@example.com MARY ANN DESANTIS / firstname.lastname@example.org JOANN GUIDRY / email@example.com DEBBIE INGRAM / firstname.lastname@example.org CYNTHIA MCFARLAND / email@example.com
Why choose Dr. McEachrane-Gross?
Dr. McEachrane-Gross Board Certified in Family and Preventive Medicine
MANAGING EDITOR KARIN FABRY-CUSHENBERY / firstname.lastname@example.org
Scan here to see available properties
EllisonRealty.com/NickRobinson Nick Robinson, Realtor 2226 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL
urc e: T he M 1 edia Audit 201
you consult with a professional real estate agent whenever you’re considering buying or selling a house, a business, or commercial property for income producing.
COUNT ON Y’ RI
1 MAGAZIN S#
Now more than ever, it’s important
AAA Lake Sumter Landing (352) 751-1888 AAA.com/LakeSumter
Ask about Life Insurance, Annuities and CDs.
Scan here for more details A U T O • H O M E • F L O O D • R V • M O T O R C Y C L E • B O A T • L I F E • H E A LT H
AAA Insurance package home and auto insurance policies are underwritten by Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida (ACICF). Applies to site-built homes only, and availability is subject to meeting underwriting criteria. *As of January 2011, ACICF customers saved an average of $802 annually. This average was developed using data that reported dollar differences between customers’ prior carriers and ACICF. **Discount applies to select auto coverages only and is based on number 11-IA-1231 of years as a AAA member.
Ocala Style Magazine, December 2011. Published monthly by Ocala Publications Inc., 1007 E. Fort King Street, Ocala, FL 34471. (352) 732-0073. All contents copyright 2011 by Ocala Publications Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. For back issues or advertising information, call (352) 732-0073. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and artwork if they are to be returned. Manuscripts are welcomed, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. “Promotional” and “Promotional Feature” denote a paid advertising feature. Publisher is not responsible for claims and content of advertisements.
You donâ€™t buy life insurance for yourself.
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The rates listed above are preferred plus, non-tobacco. This is a 10-year level premium term insurance with a level death benefit payable to age 90. Your rate is subject to underwriting. Premiums increase annually after the initial 10-year period.
Visit any CAMPUS USA Credit Union Service Center or call 352-237-9060 and press 8 to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation financial consultation! Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, toll-free (866) 512-6109. Non-deposit investment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by CAMPUS USA Credit Union. CBSI is under contract with CAMPUS USA Credit Union, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members. Policy number 2000-Term. FR101106-FDEE
Ocala 3097 SW College Rd. East Ocala 2444 E. Silver Springs Blvd. West Marion 11115 SW 93rd Court Rd. Summerfield 17950 US Hwy. 441
How To Use Microsoft Tags Throughout this issue, you will find Microsoft Tags, like the one you see below. Follow these easy directions to get started and join in the scanning fun!
The Spirit Of Giving
ne of our goals this year at Ocala Style was to give more, and in part, we’ve done that by giving away thousands of dollars worth of prizes to our readers throughout the year. This month, we have For 20 something very special planned for children. days, we will We’ve researched the be holding hottest and most sought daily toy after toys in order to giveaways on bring you, our loyal readers, Ocala Style’s our Facebook biggest giveaway yet. page. Beginning December 1 and continuing for 20 days, we will be holding daily toy giveaways on our Facebook page. Nearly $4,000 worth of brand new, in-the-box, super cool toys for children of all ages. We even used expert toy critics, like my grandson Jagger, who gave the items two thumbs up! If you want to read all about the toys and games we’ll be giving away, turn to page 46 for details. For your chance to win, just “Like” us on Facebook and watch for our daily contests.
But there’s more. We’ve set aside a special bundle of toys, worth hundreds more, for a charity of your choosing. That’s right, YOU decide which charity should receive these toys. Simply go to our Facebook page and vote for your favorite organization. In many ways, this year has been very busy and very rewarding for the Ocala Style family. Throughout the year, we have received so many positive comments on our new design and updated editorial content. Plus, business has steadily improved each month, and our goal of giving more has put smiles on the faces of lots of happy winners. Next month marks the beginning of a new year, and I encourage each and every one of you to give more as well. Every day there is a need and every day is the perfect time to give. Trust me. It will be worth it.
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FOLLOW US @ facebook.com/ocalastyle
y o T REAT G E TH
Y A W A GIVE 28
For your chance to win one of the year’s hottest toys, turn to page 46 for details.
(Formerly Lancome Belks and Rheinauer’s)
Owner/22 years Graduate Gemologist
Client Services Computer Design
(Formerly Bill Coleman Jewelers)
315 E SILVER SPRINGS BLVD. OCALA, FL WWW.LADYJEWELER.COM
MY DESIGNER’S ATTIC We’re Not Your Average Furniture Consignment Store. Come browse the over 7,000 square feet of high-end consigned and estate furniture at great prices. We even have show horses!
Cafe Coming Soon!
801 N. Magnolia Ave. – 8 blocks North of the Historic Square • Mon - Sat 10 to 5:30 30
Giving Back with Backpacks
The Neighborhood Project p32
The Perfect Season
How one local family helps others p38
hen Mark Astrom began documenting Ocala’s TRINITY CATHOLIC varsity football team last year, he had no idea what the season would bring. His brother, a teacher at the school, first got Mark interested in the photography project.
Creating a Citizens’ Circle p34
“He said, ‘They’re gonna be good this year,’” says Mark with a smile. The Celtics won their first game. And the next. And every game after that, capturing the 2010 state title. A documentary-style photographer, Mark shot thousands of photos of the Celtics’ season. Whittled down into a hundred or so favorites, he created Team Players: A Perfect Celtic Season. The coffee table book features a variety of photographs, from the locker room to the field and beyond. This is just one of those shots. “It’s the in between shots that often tell the story,” Mark says. “The first thing that
Ocala’s 1% p36
impassioned me to take photos was being able to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments, moments when the subject is trying to accomplish something.” Both Mark and the team managed to reach their goals. Whether you love football, art or photography, Team Players is a book that is both touching and inspiring. The book is available locally at The Shannon Roth Collection and online at Amazon.com.
Neighborhood Housed in a little building on NW Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, DEVEREUX KIDS is doing big things for the West Ocala community. Scott Hackmyer, a longtime educator who in his 33-year career logged 22 years as a principal at four different Ocala/Marion County schools, serves as the community facilitator for the outreach program. Hackmyer recently took time to answer some questions for Ocala Style about Devereux Kids and its vital role in the community. Interview by JoAnn Guidry
What is Devereux Kids and how did it begin in West Ocala? Devereux Kids is the primary prevention program of the Devereux Foundation, which was established in 1999 to involve parents and community residents to increase the safety and well being of Scott Hackmyer children, youth and families at the neighborhood level. Devereux Kids, which is partnered with Kids Central Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and/or use the Inc, opened the Neighborhood Project in a West ACCESS computer to apply for state benefits. Ocala house in June 2008. In October 2010, we We stay current on who offers assistance to area moved into a renovated building, which is leased residents with issues such as utility assistance, from the City of Ocala, at 215 NW Martin Luther rent and mortgage help, housing availability and King Jr. Avenue. The sign in front of the building employment opportunities. Through Feed The Need reads Ocala Family Resource Center, a reflection Garden, we’ve planted a community garden behind that the building belongs to residents of the the building. Many individuals, businesses and community to help strengthen our neighborhood. organizations drop off clothes, food and household supplies that we make available to anyone in need.
In what ways do you go about the Devereux Kids mission?
In addition to working directly with families, we also use the many resources that already exist in the West Ocala community. This includes the skills of the residents, the many churches that populate the community, soliciting the support of local businesses and partnering with the City of Ocala and many other agencies and groups to help residents become self-sufficient and self-sustaining.
What services do you provide to achieve these goals? Community residents come to the Ocala Family Resource Center to view our job board, use the computers with free Internet access, attend various classes such as Quit Smoking Now, attend
Want To Know More Or Help?
How can we help the Devereux Kids mission? The Ocala community can help by becoming involved. Although monetary donations are always needed and appreciated, you can also help by doing many simple things. Help your church start a community garden, offer to drive someone to a job interview or doctor’s appointment, help an elderly or incapacitated neighbor with a minor repair or with keeping up their yard. Something as simple as standing outside when the children walk by going to and from school helps keep a neighborhood safe. Mentors for young people and for young parents are always needed. If one person after another gets involved, we can realize all the potential that exists in West Ocala.
OCALA FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER/DEVEREUX KIDS 215 N.W. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. / Ocala / (352) 732-3300
I lost 75 lbs. and feel great thanks to the help and support of Dr. Holloway’s program which helps me to inspire others to achieve their goals. — Shannon Garmley Lifestyle Coach, Lifestyle Solutions
4150 N US Highway 441 Sales 888.636.9381 Service 800.278.9510
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ON THE SQUARE Don’t forget that there are plenty of free things to do during the holidays. For instance, the City of Ocala Recreation & Parks Department will once again present Santa on the Square from 6-8pm on Dec. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15 and 20. The event will also include music, snacks and hayrides.
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A New “Citizen’s Circle” CITY HALL and the surrounding grounds are being transformed to provide an inviting gathering place for community events and to create a more cohesive look with nearby downtown properties. The area between City The area between City Hall and Osceola Avenue Hall and Osceola Avenue is being named “Citizens
Circle” and will feature a covered stage, an elevated green terrace and a splash pad water feature, making the area conducive to entertainment and special events. In the meantime, Ocala’s City Hall will be painted in earth-tone colors to complement the Chamber of Commerce building off SE 3rd Street and the White Challis development that will be constructed off
Fort King Street on property immediately to the north. Some internal renovations already have been made. The Citizens Circle, which will be completed by next summer, will be tied in to a linear park that will be constructed in phases, providing more green space and eventually linking downtown to Tuscawilla Park and the North Magnolia corridor.
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An open invitation is being extended to the community’s most creative minds to compete in the “REINVENT TUSCAWILLA” contest. If you are an urban planner, architect, engineer or student in a design field or a professional in a related area, the city wants to hear from you. There has been much thought and discussion put into how our downtown and surrounding areas should look in 25 years, with many of the discussions often turning to “quality of life” issues, such as parks. One topic that has generated a good bit of interest is the challenge of tying Tuscawilla Park into the neighboring North Magnolia corridor as well as downtown and the soon-to-be-developed linear park. The city is seeking input from community professionals to gather ideas and recommendations to accomplish this. Officials would like entries to include proposals for the city auditorium and the American Legion Building, as well. If you are interested in participating in the contest, register by December 31. Visit reinvent.ocalafl.org for more information and to download an application. Entries must be submitted by Feb. 28.
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9/20/11 3:07 PM
Student achievements and district news that shape Marion County public schools.
By Kevin Christian
Donating Dictionaries Nearly 3,300 third graders in Marion County Public Schools, including these at East Marion and Fort McCoy schools, now have their very own dictionaries thanks to a nationwide project. The “DICTIONARY PROJECT” pairs ACA Construction Group with schools to provide the valuable research tool free of charge. Presenters discussed the importance of developing strong reading and writing skills for life. The Dictionary Project helps third graders complete the school year as good writers, active readers and creative thinkers by providing them with their own personal dictionaries.
Spotlight Teachers The PRISM PROJECT (Promoting Regional Improvement in Science and Math) showcases teachers making great strides in their careers. The Orlando-based organization recently honored four local teachers: SUZANNE BUTZER (Hammett Bowen), SALLY MECHLING (Lake Weir High), TERESA MULLINS (Wyomina Park) and CHERYL DOSEY (not pictured, Fort McCoy School). Science program specialist JACQUA BALLAS (far right) also recognized 12 local students on PRISM’s behalf for their achievements in math and science.
Bringing The Harvest Home When students and school district employees give to those in need, they give in a big way! For the recent “Bring the Harvest Home” community-wide food drive, schools donated nearly 10 nearly 10 tons of items to those in need. Donations arrived at the Interfaith warehouse in bags, boxes and bundles– everything from baby food and macaroni and cheese to toilet paper and toothbrushes. Schools communicated, collected and conveyed hope and generosity in the hearts of those who need it most.
STEPIt Up More local students now have the chance for higher education thanks to the College of Central Florida’s STEPS program, including this group from Dunnellon Elementary. The college signs up students in elementary school, and they earn college scholarships if they make positive choices through middle and high school. Here’s to staying on the right track!
Lake Weir High
Making Merit Pay Off Eight high school seniors enrolled in Marion County Public Schools are semifinalists in the 2012 competitive National Merit Scholarship Program, one of the nation’s most prestigious college programs. Vanguard High’s seven finalists include (l-r): ARTHUR EGITTO, MICHAEL FANG, PRESTON CULBERTSON, KRISTINA PHIFER, CHRISTOPHER RICE, KHARI OLLIVIERRE and SUSAN IMES. Lake Weir High’s semi-finalist is GRACE AVECILLA (pictured separately). With approximately
16,000 semifinalists nationwide, these students represent less than 1 percent of all U.S. high school seniors, indicating the high honor of being named a semifinalist. This year’s students learn in February if they advance as finalists.
Local first responders spent the last few weeks educating young students to “GET DOWN, GET OUT, GET ON THE PHONE” in an effort to save lives. Marion County firefighter-paramedics shared their “safe” plans and encouraged kids, including these at Sunrise Elementary, not to be frightened when they arrive on the scene. Both Marion County Fire Rescue and Ocala Fire Rescue provided activities emphasizing safety during Fire Prevention Month.
Munroe Regional Medical Center
Emergency Department Coming in 2012
Not a creature was stirring… Not even a mouse… termite, roach, ant or chinch bug. With over 30 years experience, Brick City Pest Control serves Ocala and Marion County, and we’ll protect your holidays, home and family from unwanted guests… guaranteed. Call (352) 732-4244 for your free inspection, and you'll hear Santa exclaim, “Now dash away, dash away, dash away bugs!”
25,000 children received treatment from Munroe’s Emergency Department in 2010
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The Giving Spirit By Cynthia McFarland
Al and Kim DeHart, residents of Ocala for 15 years, wanted to find a way to help their community as a family. They found the answer in the “FOOD 4 KIDS” program at Interfaith Emergency Services, a program that provides hungry area children with backpacks filled with nutritious food each weekend during the school year. Over 1,300 families from 30 different area schools are currently being helped through the program.
L to R: Al, Carson, MacKenzie and Kim DeHart
e’ve always tried to do volunteer work wherever we saw a need,” says Kim. “Because our children are home-schooled, it gives them a lot of flexibility. We’ve been doing this as a family for a couple years, and now the kids are doing it on their own even when Al and I are working. They pick up backpacks at the school assigned to us and take the empty packs to Interfaith. Then, they fill them up and return them to the school for kids to take home over the weekend.” MacKenzie DeHart, 16, is a senior, and now that she has her license, she and her brother Carson, 14, often drive on their own to volunteer. MacKenzie says the best part is coming home on Thursday knowing her efforts helped provide food for over 100 children for the weekend. “I never thought of Ocala as having homeless people, but I’ve become more aware of the need we have here,” she says. “I feel like I’m making a difference,” adds Carson. “I never knew there would be this many
people who needed food. When I see a backpack for nine kids, I think our family only has two kids and we have a lot more food. I feel very fortunate.” “We want our kids to understand the importance of giving back,” notes Kim. “We’re not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but when compared to third world countries, we’re really blessed.” The DeHarts have felt the strain of the economy in their own household, as Al was laid off for five months due to budget cuts and just started back to work in late October. Their own experience makes them even more determined to help those less fortunate. Kim, who works part time as an organizer/ decorator, emphasizes the fact that getting involved in the community isn’t time-consuming or difficult. “Sometimes people think if they don’t have a lot or can’t do a lot, it’s not worth it, but if people can’t volunteer their time, they can help by donating food, even if it’s just buy-one-get-one items you get at Publix. If everybody did just a little bit, it would go a long way.” Continued on page 40
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Find Your Niche There are dozens of ways to give back to the community and help others. Although the DeHarts volunteer with INTERFAITH EMERGENCY SERVICES (iesmarion.org), there are many charity organizations where you can donate and/or volunteer. To find your volunteer niche, take a few cues from the DeHart family. Getting kids involved can literally change their outlook on life, but it’s important that volunteering is something they want to do… not something they’re forced into. If you have children, call a family meeting and talk about what interests each individual to find out the best ways to get active with volunteering. Couples, individuals, groups and businesses are also essential pieces of the “charity puzzle.” pieces Find your “charity fit” by considering some of the following ideas. Then pick up the Find your “charity fit” by considering some of the following ideas. phone and let the charity or organization you’ve chosen know you’re ready to help. Even if you aren’t sure what you’d like to do, taking that first step makes all the difference.
A Different Donation
Help the hungry
Help the homeless
» Volunteer to sort, stock and pick up
» Donate coats, hats, socks, gloves and
and distribute goods at a food pantry » Adopt a needy family through a church program and buy supplies/ food items as indicated » Volunteer to serve at a soup kitchen
blankets to shelters who take these items to those sleeping out in the elements » Donate clothing, household items and furniture to thrift stores that support homeless shelters » Volunteer to pick up or sort items at a thrift store
While some make the effort to donate goods and money to area charities, local artist Daniel McCann recently gave a different type of donation to the DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ABUSE CENTER.
If you’re a pet lover » Volunteer to walk dogs, groom animals, clean cages, muck stalls, etc., at an animal shelter or rescue facility » Donate blankets and pet food
and shelve books or read to kids.
Care about kids? » Volunteer/donate to programs that help feed hungry children
» Pack a shoebox of small toys and toiletry items shipped to needy children overseas through Samaritan’s Purse (samaritanspurse.org) » Donate to hospice programs that provide counseling for grieving children who’ve lost a family member
Fill medical needs » Donate old eye glasses » Donate to programs that provide prescriptions for low-income or homeless people » Volunteer at a hospital to help sit with infants or those in need
» Volunteer at your local library to sort
Put your back into it » Volunteer your time on a Habitat for Humanity building project
» Volunteer for playground
construction and neighborhood cleanup with United Way
Help with utilities » Donate to programs offered through area utility companies to help families keep their electricity on when in danger of being cut off (“Neighbors Who Care” is one such program offered through Ocala Electric Utility)
There, he spent more than a month of his time transforming the children’s room into a colorful, creative oasis where kids can play and be themselves. Favorites like superheroes, Disney Cars characters and Smurfs now adorn the once bland walls. If you want to help the center, they are always in need of women’s and children’s undergarments in all sizes, cleaning supplies and paper products, and medicines of all type and for all ages, from infants to adults.
FOOD IN THE t’s the weekend and I’m scouring my cookbook cabinet and envelope of magazine recipe clippings, my sweet tooth indecisive, my sugarcrazed mind unsure what it craves, my belly ravenous.
Moments later, I am seated before the dessert of my dreams: a Boston cream pie with silky smooth pastry cream in between sheets of moist sponge cake, covered in a glistening chocolate glaze. If only I could snatch that decadent cake from my laptop’s screen with my claw-like hands! Thanks to the technologic age, any recipe can be attained at your fingertips. Like the star chefs on Food Network, food bloggers have earned hordes of fans who devotedly follow their pages for cooking tips and gorgeous photos. While web surfing their blogs on a daily basis—and admittedly salivating as I scroll through photos of marinated steaks and oozing chocolate lava cakes—I became acquainted with each blogger’s inner voice, their personal insights shared alongside recipes and pictures. I was able to correspond with some of my favorite bloggers and was amazed how their blog’s tone came through in their candid answers, their personalities as familiar as Julia Child on The French Cook. One thing I regrettably forgot to ask is if any of them would volunteer to be my stand-in baker, since the Boston cream pie has yet to physically materialize in my kitchen. Any takers, please?
Left: Joy Deangdeelert Cho
What Joy Eats
Right: Animal Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches
he year 2005 brought a whirlwind of change for graphic designer Joy Deangdeelert Cho. Almost seven years ago, Joy had left her job in New York, gotten engaged, moved to Philadelphia (she now resides in Los Angeles, California) and started her own design studio dubbed Oh Joy! It was a busy year, to say the least, but Joy rode through it and even launched ohjoy.blogs. com, a popular blog that features her work, recommendations and personal tastes. “It really encompasses everything I love,” she says of her website. “Food, fashion and design have always been some of my biggest loves, so it’s what naturally comes out of me when coming up with content to post.”
“Eats,” a separate section dedicated solely to food, literally gives updates on what Joy eats, restaurants she recommends and reviews on food finds. “Most blogs involve recipes or dining out reviews. While I have those, too, from time to time, the Eats part of my blog really is about what I’m eating. While I love to cook, I like eating more and want to share that perspective with my readers.” Entries tagged “lunch lady” contain brief interviews with fellow bloggers, photographers and people in the food industry. On “dining style” tags, readers will find Joy’s six food-related items of the moment, ranging from polka-dotted ceramic bowls to glass jars of sundae toppings. Other posts feature what Joy is currently snacking on, such as these darling animal cracker ice cream sandwiches that she snapped a photo of.
Photos by Joy Deangdeelert Cho, ohjoy.blogs.com
BY AMANDA FURRER
JOY’S BLOGGER DO’S & DON’TS DO:
Post things that you love, your own photos, experiences, what feels right to you.
Try and recreate what others are doing on their blogs. What works for them might not work for you, and it will feel more genuine in your own voice and style.
Photo by Christey Krause, fotocuisine.com
Joy credits her food appreciation to growing up in a restaurant family. “Since I was 5 years old I spent time at my parents’ Thai restaurant, watching them make food and seeing customers enjoy it.” A similar exchange is made on her blog. “Readers are so supportive and kind with fun announcements and milestones,” Joy says. “I have met some of my closest friends through my blog, which is the best outcome of all.”
Make These! RECIPE IS ON
Peter & Christey Krause
Floridian Photographing Foodies
sk Peter and Christey Krause, the Melbournebased couple behind fotocuisine.com, what each cooks that the other enjoys eating and you’ll get a string of answers from the two of them. Christey lists Peter’s béarnaise and matchstick fries and Korean lettuce wraps as her favorites, while Peter cites Christey’s shepherd’s pie, chili and Alfredo as his own. “She makes a fantastic Alfredo,” Peter says, “except she makes it from my recipe,
THE NEXT PAGE
Lamb and Tzatziki Sliders
and every time I see her make it, I want to jump in and do everything in a different way. She gets annoyed by that.” Recipe domination aside, the Krauses work harmoniously when it comes to shooting step-by-step cooking photos for their blog. Peter’s deft hands are captured squeezing lemons or grating cheese for a cream sauce. Christey plates the food, arranging it for its close up. She confesses her “models” are sometimes difficult to work with.
“Lighting, lighting, lighting” is a technical issue Christey usually deals with during photo shoots. “Food is glossy, and it’s hard to control that.” Foto Cuisine holds an honorary badge as “Best of the Web” by Saveur Magazine. Photos of the finished dishes make them look like meals from a five-star restaurant, but what truly makes the blog stand out is the tab for the novice cook labeled “Techniques.” “We try to show that techniques mean more than a
list of ingredients,” Peter says. “When I was learning to cook, I really wanted to know exactly what things looked like. Cooking amazing food isn’t actually all that hard, but it is difficult to find someone who can show you the basics right when you need to know.” Cooking and blogging are passions for Peter and Christey, but they come second to last on their list of priorities. Besides raising four kids, Peter is a software engineer, while Christey runs her studio photography business.
Lunches with Jillian
LAMB & TZATZIKI SLIDERS MAKES 5-6 PATTIES
Photos by Christey Krause, fotoduisine.com
1 pound ground lamb 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves stripped from stems) 1 tsp salt Cracked black pepper ¼ cup Greek yogurt ¼ cup sour cream 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 cucumber 1 clove garlic 2 tsp minced fresh dill Juice from 1/2 lemon Salt and pepper Sliced cucumber Mini-pitas (or mini hamburger buns) Crumbled feta cheese
DIPPING SAUCE 1. Remove seeds from peeled
cucumber with a spoon; grate into shreds. Mince garlic. 2. In a food processor or blender, add garlic, shredded cucumber, dill, yogurt, sour cream, olive oil and lemon juice. Blend just to mix, not enough to make smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. LAMB SLIDERS 1. Mix lamb with thyme leaves,
salt and pepper. Shape into small patties—one pound will make about five or six patties. 2. Grill outdoors or sear in a skillet. Lamb patties don’t have to be rare, but they’re better if they’re not completely well done.
his website started out as a photo share for family and friends. Soon, Canadian Jillian Dubien’s blog, meetthedubiens.blogspot.com, began to expand. Besides adorable portraits of her daughter Kirsten and son Camden, photos of at-home crafts began to crop up, as well as delectable dishes of chicken a l’orange and meatloaf cupcakes (an April Fool’s meal). Then, at the end of July 2010, Jill added a new section to her blog titled “Fun Food Friday.” Star-shaped cucumbers and fruit, a Ritz cracker caterpillar surrounded by celery and cherry tomato toadstool
mushrooms, Jill’s snacks coax picky eaters to eat their vegetables and challenge those who scold “Don’t play with your food!” “You may not believe this, but I’m not really the kitchen pro that my blog may lead you to believe,” Jill says. She certainly fooled me. “I never enjoyed cooking until I had kids and realized that I better learn or they would be eating cereal and toast for the rest of their lives.” Jill didn’t want her kids to grow up on fast food. Her fervor for cooking provides her children with healthy and delicious
JILL’S FUN FOOD FRIDAY TOOL KIT FIND THESE AROUND THE HOUSE:
» » » » » » »
Scissors Tweezers Veggie peeler Melon scoop Apple slicer Pizza roller Cookie cutters
MANY OF JILL’S SPECIALTY TOOLS ARE FOUND ON AMAZON.COM:
» Plastic cutters with handles by Kuhn Rikon » Sandwich punches by Evriholder
» Egg molds by Kotobuki » Silicon cups by Baking Supply STOCK UP ON:
» Sprinkles » Icing » Marshmallows
The Collegiate Baker
ere’s a disclaimer about Elissa Bernstein, blogger of 17andbaking.com: She wasn’t 17 when she started her blog, and as of next year, she’ll no longer be a teenager. And for the record, she happened to start baking when she was 15. “No one in my family is truly a baker. I picked up my first cake cookbook when I was 15, made a cake that looked just like the photo, and I was hooked ever since,” she says. The 19 year old has won the Weblog Award for “Best Weblog Written by a Teen” in 2010 and has been featured in AOL Food, The Seattle Times and boston.com. Besides earning accolades from national publications, Elissa also steps up to the dining plate as a member of The Daring Bakers. The Daring Bakers’ Challenge (DB) is a monthly event where a member picks a recipe and everyone in the group follows it. “Everyone gets to put their unique spin on the dessert,” she says. “The group encourages you to bake things you’d otherwise never tackle.” Past challenges include baked Alaska, French macarons and tiramisu.
Photo by Elissa Bernstein, 17andbaking.com
Photo by Michelle More, michellemore.com
Photos by Jillian Dubien, meetthedubiens.blogspot.com
meals. By sharing her exploits in the kitchen online, she’s “met” amazing women in the blogging community. “We all inspire each other,” Jill says. The Dubiens’ kitchen is always stocked with fruit leather and tools for Fun Food Fridays. Jill admits a slight addiction to collecting tools. “I’m always on the lookout for cute cookie cutters, sprinkles and sandwich punches,” she says. “I love using large cookie cutters to cut out sandwich shapes. Small cookie cutters are great for cutting shapes out of fruit and veggies, lunch meats and cheeses, fruit leather and more. You don’t need a lot of supplies to make cute lunches for your kids, and trust me, they’ll absolutely love it!” With all the crafts, cooking and cute cracker caterpillars, I had to ask what Jill’s ideal meal would be if she were to take a break and whom she’d desire to prepare it. “Oh, probably a delicious seafood meal including lobster, crab legs and scallops. I’d love to have either Curtis Stone or Jamie Oliver make my ideal meal for me. That way I could enjoy my delicious meal prepared by one of these amazing chefs and have something nice to look at in the kitchen while I was waiting! I guess my husband could join us, too. Just kidding, of course he could!”
A sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, Elissa is honing her skills in writing by studying creative non-fiction. “Truthfully, I simply love to write. I want to write articles about indigenous tribes in the Amazon, the metro system in London, the woman who tempers chocolate in a little French patisserie—anything and everything. I want to travel and be exposed to new cultures, writing all the way.” Of course, baking is another one of her true loves. Elissa relishes the process from start to finish. “I love everything about baking. The weight of flour in a measuring cup, the smell of ground ginger and cinnamon on the counter, the feel of sugar damp with lemon zest. “ If Elissa could eat only one thing for the rest of her life, what would it be? “The one thing I never tire of is eating ice cream.” Although Elissa’s Boston cream pie isn’t marked DB, the recipe is challenging and tedious in and of itself. The next best thing that requires only a few steps? Elissa’s pistachio gelato, tweaked from Bon Appetit.
PISTACHIO GELATO MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS 3/4 3/4 2 1/2 4
cup unsalted, shelled pistachios cup sugar cups whole milk tsp almond extract large egg yolks
1. In a food processor, grind the pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar into fine powder. Combine with milk and almond extract in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. 2. Whisk the yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl. Ladle a spoonful of hot milk mixture bit by bit into the yolks, stirring constantly, to heat the yolks without cooking them. 3. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and stir over mediumlow heat until the custard thickens slightly. The custard should leave a clear trail on the back of a spoon when you run a finger through it. 4. Remove from heat and strain into a medium bowl. Refrigerate until cold. 5. Churn through an ice cream maker.
y o T T A E R G E H T
Playskool Pound & Pop Carnival $19.99
What baby or What baby or toddler doesn’t like to pound on things? With the Pound & Pop Carnival on things? With by Hasbro, your little one is rewarded with by Hasbro, your eight different songs, lots of moving parts, eight different colorful lights and rolling balls. colorful lights Why we love it: The songs aren’t the least it: bit annoying! bit annoying!
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Playskool Weebles Playground $19.99
We all know We all know the saying… “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down!” This playground but they don’t set by Hasbro has Weebles spinning, swingset by Hasbro ing and sliding their way through colorful ing and sliding ramps and contraptions. ramps and contraptions. it: The nostalgic quality of the Why we love it: toy. We all played with Weebles as a child! toy. We all played
Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase $15.99
Another Another classic, Playskool’s Mr. Potato Head has gone from the traditional Head has eyes, nose, ears and feet combo to eyes, nose, much more elaborate “costume” much more choices and are only as limited as your choices child’s imagination. child’s imagination. it: The convenient suitWhy we love it: case keeps all of Potato’s parts together. case keeps *Toy prices vary from store to store. Listed prices from tru.com and amazon.com.
First Act Voice Rockrz Mic $24.99
Little Mommy My Very Real Baby $69.99
Remember Betsy Wetsy? Well, this Mattel doll puts Betsy to shame! She eats popsicles causing her tongue to turn green, gets an “owie” that lights up, recognizes lying down as sleeping and more. Why we love it: She’s ticklish!
If you have a future ur yo superstar in is household, this mic ts ec aff nd ou for them. S ll, ro m include dru cheering and voice ol. co lly affects. Tota n Why we love it: A s low al ck MP3 ja ong users to sing al it e h rit vo fa to their songs.
Hasbro Marvel Rescue Jet $19.99
If you have a little boy, chances are he loves superheroes, and Playskool’s Super Hero Squad line of characters and accessories is perfect for preschoolers (and up). This rescue jet comes with Iron Man and Wolverine and features “rockets” that really launch. Why we love it: You can easily add to the set to grow your little one’s collection.
The Trash Pack— ”Trashies” 12 pack collectible figures $9.99
These pint-sized collectibles from These Moose Toys feature gross names Moose and bright colors. The 12-pack and is a great way to get started and is often features some of the limitedoften edition Trashies, like King Rat, edition Trash Cat or Soggy Tomato. Why we love it: Kids love to collect and trade them, and they don’t take up much space.
Fijit Friends Tonka XT Trickster RC
This unique little creature by Mattel has a library of more than 150 phrases and jokes to pull from. The soft, squishy “skin” makes Fijit Friends capable of responding to touch. Why we love it: With the ability to respond to more than 30 spoken commands, it’s like having a dog without all the mess!
Chuck & Friends Fold ‘N Go Mini Vehicle 4-pack w/ Mega Mud Tag book $9.99
These cute little Tonka trucks are perfect for small hands and durable enough to withstand tossing, crashing and wiping out. Why we love it: It comes with a small storybook. Perfect for getting little imaginations going!
Crib Life Doll
One of the No. 1 virtual worlds for kids has come to life! Jazwares’ starter packs include two customizable 3-inch Poptropica characters and a costume change. Kids can create their own Poptropican world right at home. Why we love it: Each pack comes with a code to unlock special costumes for your online characters.
These cute dolls by Hasbro each come with their own unique personality and name. Our favorite? Hailey Hula. Why we love it: The dolls’ charms feature an online code where visifeature an online code where visitors can watch videos, play games tors can watch videos, play games and create their own “crib. and create their own “crib.”
This two-sided remote control car by Hasbro is perfect for indoor or outdoor play and can really get going. The little ones will love it! What we love about it: When the trick trigger is activated, watch out!
Cookie My Playful Pup Fur Real Friends $59.99
This practically real puppy by Hasbro wags her tail, barks, responds to touch, loves her chew toy and even whimpers when she’s not given enough attention. Why we love it: Her sounds make you want to love and squeeze her!
Count and Crunch Cookie Monster $34.99
Little ones will love to learn numbers from Playskool’s hungry pal Cookie Monster. Put one of the three cookies in his mouth and they slide right into his handy red backpack. Why we love it: Cookie Monster loves to be tickled on his foot—almost as much as he loves cookies!
Hearts for Hearts Girls $29.99
These dolls by Playmates represent countries from around the world and come with clothing and styles native to their homeland. Hearts for Hearts Girls feature brushable hair, accessories and a special girl-sized charm bracelet to share with their owner. Why we love it: When purchasing one of these unique dolls, a donation will be made to non-profit organizations that benefit communities represented by the dolls.
Crayola Color Explosion Glow Book
Melissa & Doug Felt Food Sandwich Set
Take creativity to a whole new level! Four drawing boards can be arranged and rearranged to make images appear to be moving. The clear drawing boards allow for freehand creations or easy tracing. Why we love it: Clean up is simple with the wipe of a damp cloth.
This felt food set includes 33 pieces, allowing your child to create a veritable smorgasbord of sandwich options Why we love it: This toy encourages your child to think and play creatively.
Trio Hot Wheels Super Stunt Builder Melissa & Doug Trunki $39.99
Smokey The Fire Truck $59.99
Mattel’s Matchbox Smokey the Fire Truck is an interactive toy like none other. The truck dances and sings, and the realistic mouth movements make Smokey seem like he is really interacting with your child. Why we love it: The built-in fire safety lessons make Smokey both fun and educational.
Crayola Model Magic Jewelry Boutique $19.99
What girl doesn’t like jewelry? doesn’t like jewelry? With Crayola’s jewelry boutique, jewelry boutique, girls not only create one-of-a-kind create one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets and more, they bracelets and more, they also make their own beads. their own beads. Why we love it: it: Keep the jewelry Keep the jewelry or give it as a gift! gift!
This ride-on suitcase makes an overnight stay to Grandma and Grandpa’s even more fun! Plus, there’s plenty of room inside for clothes. it: For a few dollars Why we love it: extra, you can get the Trunki fun extra, you can get the Trunki fun face stickers to personalize your face stickers to personalize your child’s trunk. child’s trunk.
Melissa & Doug Rainbo w Caterpillar $9.99
When one spin s, they all spin. This cute caterp illar will keep your toddler ent ertained and puzzled. The ge ars are removab le and the bright c olors are great for color recogn ition. Why we love it: The solid woo d construction m akes this toy on e that will last.
With over 90 pieces, create all kinds of jump ramps and stunt tracks—no two will ever be the same. Why we love it: Easy-click bricks make building tracks a “snap,” and pieces stay together for active play.
Kung Fu Po Wrestler $34.99
Fisher Price’s Kung Fisher Price’s Kung Fu Po Wrestler is a must for any child that loved is a must for any the Kung Panda movies. Po the Kung Fu Panda responds with plenty of funny responds with phrases when you move him. phrases when you it: Jack Black Why we love it: provided the voice for the toy. provided the voice
Dance and Play Puppy $32.99
Learn Through Music Touchpad $54.99
Fisher-Price’s Learn Through Music Touchpad helps your little one learn through music, rhyme and plenty of repetition. The included cartridge is a great starter, but others are available. Why we love it: If your toddler loves to play with your smartphone, this is their very own touch screen device.
The Penguins of Madigascar, Regurgitating Rico Launcher (6) $30.51
With regurgitating in the name, it’s no wonder this Fisher-Price toy toy launches balls from his mouth and through the air. Plenty of fun for children of all ages. Why we love it: The sound effects Rico makes will even have the adults chuckling.
Doodle Bear $19.99
Zig the Big Rig $29.99
This Fisher-Price rig will provide hours of play for your child. The rig holds six Wheelies vehicles (includes one with purchase) and provides for exciting racing action with a built in launch. Why we love it: Zig’s facial features move and show different expressions.
Your child can draw, stamp and trace their favorite pictures and shapes on this classic Fisher-Price toy. The bear comes with two markers, but additional stamping sets are available. Why we love it: Put it in the washing machine and it comes out like new.
Thomas & Friends Cranky and Flynn Save The Day
Tonka Roadway Rigs Road Crew
National Geographic Kids Wild Rides
Each of Tonka’s oversized Roadway rigs come with a tow hitch carrying a light-up sign. The collection includes a police truck, fire rescue, construction and lifeguard. Why we love it: These push trucks feature plenty of cool sound and light effects.
Choose from the Elephant Adventure ride set or the All-Adventure Vehicle. Both sets include lots of accessories, including wild animals to make playtime a real adventure. Why we love it: National Geographic learning cards are included with each set.
Tonka Strong Arm Cement Mixer
Perfect for the Thomas lover in your family. This Trackmaster set by Fisher-Price includes a 2-foot tall Cranky, cargo, cargo car, loading crate and even a new Thomas character—Flynn the fire engine! Why we love it: It’s remote controlled!
Through more than 25 songs, games and phrases, this Fisher-Price puppy teaches your baby all about the alphabet, manners, body parts, counting and plenty of other topics. Why we love it: The voice is cute, and the puppy has added surprises, like ears that move!
Loving Family Beach Vacation Mobile Home $32.99
This addition to the Loving Family collection is loaded with accessories, including a picnic table, lounge chairs and a sand castle. Why we love it: The dollhouse dolls get to leave home and take a vacation. What’s not to love?
This is one cool truck! Pull the lever back and “real” sparks fly in the cement mixing window. Squeeze the lever and the cement (or dirt) mixes and rotates. Why we love it: No batteries are required.
Little Tikes Cupcake Kitchen $39.99
Even the kids know cupcakes are all the rage these days! This pint-sized cupcake kitchen lets your preschooler “bake” her own cupcakes, complete with sprinkles. Why we love it: Built-in storage space allows for all the accessories to stay in one convenient location.
V.R ead er $49
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My Own Laundry $29.99
“Real life” toys are life” toys are always a hit, and this hit, and this My Own Laundry set by Step2 is no exception. The washer and dryer open for pretend play and sound effects include lights, washing sounds, a clicking iron and more. It even includes pint-sized hangers. Too cute. Other sets include My Own Grill, My Own Workshop and My Own Bakery. Why we love it: This tabletopsized playset is portable. Perfect for Grandma’s house.
Build & Store Block and Activity Table $99.99
This awesome table doubles as a building station for LEGOs and other blocks and an art table. With room for two children to sit and create, there’s also ample space for storage and supplies. Why we love it: Both regular LEGOs and Mega Blocks work on this table.
Rockboard Scooter Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Doll $34.99
Lalaloopsy has taken Lalaloopsy has taken the doll world by storm. One of the newest addiby storm. One of the tions, MGA Entertainment’s silly tions, MGA Entertainment’s hair doll, features bendable, twisthair doll, features bendable, able hair that can be styled in lots of able hair that can be ways—including straightened. ways—including straightened. it: Simply put, it’s just Why we love it: Simply different than most other dolls. different than most
Unlike other scooters, the Rockboard is two scooters in one. Sure it’s a low-profile kick scooter, but if you want to take it up a notch, it’s also a shredding scooter equipped with advanced rockboard propulsion technology and a steel power drive train. Now that’s a scooter. Why we love it: Adults enjoy this scooter as much as kids do.
Brilliant Creations Advanced Notebook $49.99
This VTech notebook offers over 120 power-packed activities that inspire imagination and creativity and automatically adjusts in difficulty so your child can learn at the perfect level and speed. Why we love it: The notebook is capable of tracking a child’s learning progress.
Moxie Girlz Horse Riding Club Doll & Horse
LEGO City — Space Centre
DOLL, $14.99; HORSE, $34.99
MGA Entertainment’s Moxie Girlz Riding Club dolls are perfect for your little horse lover. Decked out in stylish country and horse-riding attire, the dolls, along with their equestrian friends, will provide hours of fun. Why we love it: The name Moxie itself encourages a positive attitude and confidence.
The Space Centre, part of LEGO’s City line, includes nearly 500 pieces for hours of building fun. This realistic set includes a rocket, control center, satellite, countdown clock, launch platform, fuel tank and more. Why we love it: Whether you’re a collector or new to LEGOs, you can’t go wrong.
2-in-1 Discovery Table $39.99
VTech makes learning double the fun when this desk converts from a drawing table to an electronic learning center. Why we love it: With a variety of interactive buttons and switches, learning lasts for hours!
Forget the yo-yo! Fyrflyz, by I-Star Entertainment, is a new kind of fun on a string. Kids (and adults) can create unique, LED light shows to dazzle their friends. Why we love it: A perfect stocking stuffer for your pre-teen.
LEGO My First Duplo set $14.99
With LEGO Duplo sets, even the youngest builders can create masterpieces. Featuring larger blocks perfect for preschoolers, this set improves fine motor skills and inspires imagination. Why we love it: Along with the 30-piece set, the box includes an idea book and features seven Duplo inspirations.
Tap & Roll Musical Drum $11.99
Infantino’s Tap & Roll Musical Drum encourages babies to be on the move. As the drum is tapped or rolled, it plays different instrument sounds. The faster it rolls, the faster the music plays. Why we love it: Even the slightest tap will make the notes play. Plus, it has an on/off switch.
Bizu TV Style Studio
Candy Land $9.99
Bizu, by Spin Master, is the fashion accessory that a modern girl can’t go without, allowing girls to create magically transforming accessories and characters. With the Style Studio, you can sort, dispense and style all of your Bizu characters. Why we love it: It features four ultra-rare characters and over 15,000 combinations through mixing and matching.
Disney Cars 2 AppMATes $12.99
Disney AppMATes, by Spin Master, is a new toy line that comes to life digitally when used with an Apple iPad, transforming the tablet’s screen into a virtual playmat. Why we love it: The virtual playmat provides a seemingly endless world of exploration.
Uno Roboto $24.99
It’s Uno come to life! In this version of the classic Mattel game, players have the opportunity to add their own rules, making the game as complicated or as easy as they wish. Why we love it: The game can change in an instant when a new rule is given by the Uno robot.
A classic first game for your preschooler! As an added bonus, Hasbro’s Candyland game is perfect for teaching color recognition and matching skills. Why we love it: This game is a great way to begin a family game night.
Yahtzee Flash Angry Birds Knock on Wood Game $14.99
Based on the top-selling app, this game by Mattel includes three angry birds, four green pigs, a slingshot launcher, mission cards and structure pieces. If you’re a fan of the app, you’ll know what they’re for! Why we love it: Encourages those hooked on Angry Birds to put down their phone and play with their family.
It’s the Yahtzee you know and love with a high-tech twist. Wonderlink technology and the intelligent dice actually know what you rolled and what you hold. And, if that’s not enough, the game automatically re-rolls the remaining dice. Other Hasbro Flash games include Simon, Scrabble and Boggle. Why we love it: It takes a classic game and brings it into the 21st century.
Clue – Harry Potter Edition Air Hogs Hyperactive $49.99
Colors & Textures Puzzles $12.99
This unique Infantino puzzle for toddlers encourages matching colors and textures, helping little ones develop first words and learn sensory skills. Why we love it: Besides the unique textures, the pieces are sturdy and are able to withstand even the most destructive toddler.
Air Hogs Hyperactive, by Spin Master, allows you to defy gravity and reach insane speeds with a 2.4 Ghz controller for ultimate range and power. Why we love it: With its selfrighting functionality, the Air Hogs Hyperactive always returns to its upright position.
A student has disappeared at Hogwarts. Discover who did it, where the student was attacked and with what spell or item. It’s Hasbro’s classic Clue game with a touch of magic. Why we love it: Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or a Clue fan, Harry Potter fan or a Clue fan, the unique variations of this version will keep of this version will keep players entertained.
This Hasbro “get together” game is perfect for adult game night (although teens will love it, too). Use your creativity to describe the word on your card without using any of the common “taboo” words normally used when describing the object. Why we love it: Plain and simple, it’s fun.
Cranium Brain Breaks $14.99
Monopoly: Electronic Banking $26.99
With a swipe of a card, money changes hands in this totally updated version of Hasbro’s Monopoly. There’s even new playing pieces. Who wants to be the flat screen television? Why we love it: Gone is the colorful cash. Instead, this game features debit cards.
Try your hand at acting, sketching, sculpting and word puzzles, all in the name of Hasbro’s Cranium. With more than 200 playing cards to choose from, the fun never ends. Why we love it: You can enjoy all the fun of Cranium in a fraction of the time.
Trick Pong by Cardinal Industries $11.99
How will you get the balls into the cups? This Cardinal Industries game has players sinking, bouncing and shooting balls, all in effort to land them in the provided cups. Sound easy? Think again. Why we love it: This game requires skill, creativity and perhaps a little bit of luck.
This matching game by Hasbro This matching game by Hasbro challenges young minds to notice challenges young minds to notice and keep track of where their and keep track of where their favorite characters are located. favorite characters are located. Why we love it: No matter what it: No matter what your child is into, from Dora to your child is into, from Dora to Cars 2, there’s a Memory for that! Cars 2, there’s a Memory for that!
oard B D C Glee Game
Instead of “operating” on the Instead classic Operation character, players classic get to give Mater the tow truck an get overhaul. overhaul. it: The unexpected Why we love it: buzz sounds get you every time! buzz
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Disney Pixar Cars 2 Edition—Operation by Hasbro
Rollors is a fun new outdoor game that offers a creatively unique alternative to traditional lawn sports. Why we love it: Matt Butler, Rollors inventor, conceptualized the game while serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he sketched the game pieces and created the rules.
Asmodee’s Asmodee’s Jungle Speed encourages players to rely on their reflexes and players observation skills. Everyone shows their hand. If your card matches their another players’, grab for the totem. First player to grab it gets a discard. First player with no cards wins. Why we love it: It’s not as simple as it sounds, but it’s way more fun.
Where Is Sock Monkey? $16.99
In this Cardinal Industries game, one player hides the sock monkey and others use the included clue cards to locate the “missing” monkey. The first player to find the monkey before time runs out wins. Why we love it: What’s not to love about a sock monkey?
SpongeBob Squarepants Hangman Game $11.99
Who says you need paper and pencil to play hangman? In this game by Cardinal Industries, players have to figure out the word before SpongeBob Squarepants is put back together. Why we love it: This game could be used as a great teaching tool for the younger set.
Cars 2 Super 3D puzzle pack $19.99
These 48-piece puzzles by Cardinal Industries are perfect for the novice puzzler and feature the gang from the ever-popular Cars 2. Why we love it: Kids will love the 3-D effect of the lenticular pieces.
RedaKai Championship Tin $29.99
The RedaKai Championship Tin by Spin Master offers everything needed to play like a champion, complete with all cards and accessories essential to the game. Why we love it: The card screen and draw deck will keep cards hidden from opponents.
This game by Spin Master gives random a new meaning! Use your creativity and imagination to answer crazy questions and perform ridiculous stunts. Why we love it: There’s only one rule: Obey the card!
Kre-o Transformers Bumblebee Set $24.99
For half a century, the red and blue armies of Stratego have battled in homes across America. This Spin Master game features cannon game pieces that allow you to name and destroy your opponent’s pieces. Why we love it: The Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition honors the heritage of Stratego with the original nostalgic theme and an elegant folio package.
Everybody’s favorite Transformer comes to life in two ways with this cool Hasbro toy—as a robot and a vehicle. With more than 300 pieces, this set is sure to keep your kids busy. Why we love it: Three Kreons are included for added fun.
2 0 Day
Our office is being overrun by toys, and we need to give them away! Two grand prizes will be awarded on December 20: a Rockboard of Scooter and Step2’s Build & Store Block and Activity Table, valued at $199 and $100 respectively. To enter for the grand prize drawings, click on OS’s ’s Facebook profile picture and leave a comment under our current issue telling us which prize you want to win. It’s as simple as that! But that’s not all. We have a whole slew of other toys to give away every day, beginning on December 1 and continuing through December 20. For your chance to win, “Like” us on Facebook and join in the fun. And there’s yet one more way to get involved. We have set aside a special box of toys destined for one of our area’s children’s charities. To help choose which charity will receive the box holding hundred’s of dollars worth of toys, visit OS’s Facebook page and vote today.
Logo Board Game $24.99
Put your consumer knowledge to the test with Spin Master’s Logo Board Game, a fun and simple question game that anyone aged 12 and up can enjoy. Why we love it: With interesting categories and challenging questions, this game entertains the entire family.
ReCon 6.0 Programmable Rover $69.99
This award-winning rover by SmartLab can be programmed to deliver a treat to your pet, carry a soda, stand guard, dance or deliver messages to family members. How cool is that? Why we love it: No computer is required!
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Joint Commission accredited rehabilitation and skilled nursing
2800 SW 41st. St. LCCA.COM
Thank you to the residents, families and medical community of Ocala for helping to make our business successful and for entrusting your clients and loved ones to us. We wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
AN ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITY 2800 SW 41st St., Bldg. 200 • Ocala, FL 34474 • (352) 873-2036
www.thebridgeatocala.com Assisted Living Facility License #9612
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Cookie parties actually began in America in the late 1800s. They were known as “cookie exchanges” by the 1930s and “cookie swaps” by the 1950s.
cookie-exchange.com. In 1999, her own exchange was filmed by the Food Network. The episode aired several times a year over the next five years, and that exposure helped turn Robin’s website into a media monster and cemented her status as “The Cookie Exchange Queen.”
Photo by John Jernigan
“The 1950s were the highlight of the cookie exchange in this country. They lost popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but there’s definitely been a resurgence,” says author Robin Olson of Gaithersburg, Maryland, who has written the book on how to host a cookie exchange. In 2008, Robin was mentioned in a baking article in the New York Times. Not one but three offers to write a book followed that article. The Cookie Party Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Cookie Exchange was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2010. The book includes many beloved cookie recipes, both from Robin’s own parties and “cookie exchange fans” from around the world. Robin launched her website, robinsweb.com, in 1997, and the site consistently gets some 1.5 million visitors per year. In 2007, her main website had grown so large that she moved all the cookie exchange content over to
So, what makes for a successful exchange?
scenario, Chips Ahoy,” laughs Robin. “More cookie exchanges die than thrive. In the mid-‘90s, I noticed a big drop in quality, so I decided I was either going to quit having an exchange or write some rules,” explains Robin, who’s hosting her 22nd exchange party this month. “If you don’t have some guidelines, you’ll lose all your best bakers. Someone who brings handdecorated gingerbread cookies doesn’t want to go home with Rice Krispie treats.”
The other essential ingredient of a great exchange is the people.
“The people should be the stars of the show. You can take people from completely diverse backgrounds who seemingly have
nothing in common, but because they’ve had to do this one thing to get through the front door, they become instant friends,” says Robin. “After 22 years, I have people who greet each other like old friends even though the only time they see each other is at my party each year.” Don’t think you know enough people? Not to worry. Robin finds that many hosts are keen on the idea of launching an annual tradition and says some of the best exchanges happen when you’ve moved to a new neighborhood. It’s a great way to meet people and show hospitality at the same time. Ready to host your own exchange? Read on for the “rules,” helpful suggestions and tasty recipes!
Chocolate Caramel Treasures 1 2⁄3 1 2 1 1 1⁄3
stick unsalted butter, softened cup sugar large egg yolk tablespoons whole milk teaspoon vanilla cup all-purpose flour cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 large egg white, lightly beaten ½ cup finely chopped hazelnuts (or other nuts) CARAMEL FILLING: 10 (1x1/2-inch) plain caramels, unwrapped 2 tablespoons heavy cream CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
Photo by John Jernigan
Photo courtesy The Cookie Party Cookboook
ounces fine-quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) finely chopped
T H R OW I N G A C O O K I E PA RT Y
1. Beat together butter, sugar, Beat together butter, sugar, yolk, milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended. Sift in flour, cocoa and salt and beat on low speed until mixture forms a dough. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm—at least 30 minutes. 2. Heat oven to 350°F. 3. Roll scant tablespoons of dough into balls, then coat with egg white, letting excess drip off, and roll in nuts to coat. Arrange balls, as coated, 1 ½ inches apart on greased baking sheets, and press your thumb into center of balls to flatten, leaving a depression. Bake in batches in middle of oven until puffed slightly but centers are soft—10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately press centers of cookies again (we use
handle end of a wooden spoon). handle end of wooden spoon). Transfer to racks to cool. Make filling while cookies cool. 4. Heat caramels and cream in a
small saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and mixture is smooth. Spoon into centers of cookies and cool completely.
5. Make chocolate drizzle one hour
before serving. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Cool to warm, and pour into a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip one corner to form a small hole. Drizzle chocolate over the cookies, and let stand until set—about 30 minutes. Source: The Cookie Party Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Cookie Exchange
“ R U L E S” O F T H E C O O K I E EXCHANGE » All cookies should be homemade, and their main ingredient must be flour. » No plain chocolate chip cookies, cookie mixes, nobakes, meringues* or bars. » Bring 6 dozen total cookies. » Have a theme. » Arrange cookies in a basket or platter, and be creative! Bring a large container to carry away your cookies.
» Decide on a theme, and send out invitations early. Remind guests to bring a container to take home cookies and to bring printed copies of their cookie recipe.
» Display cookies on the arranged table(s), and be sure to take photos before the swap takes place.
» Plan a menu.
» Put out recipes by each cookie plate.
» Party theme attire is encouraged!
» Allow time for guests to mingle, socialize and eat.
» RSVP as soon as you can, and let the hostess know what type of cookies you are planning on baking—no duplicate recipes are allowed.
» Bake your own cookies, and store them in an airtight container before the party. » Decorate house and gather tableware, accessories, candles, etc. » Cook appetizers or food that can be frozen or stored without compromising quality. » Set up buffet table(s) for your guests to display their cookies. If possible, provide tiered serving trays or stands so cookies can be displayed at different heights for a prettier presentation.
» When it’s time to “swap”, call the party to order and gather around the cookie table(s). Take turns as each guest introduces themselves and tells a brief anecdote about their cookie recipe. » Swap! Everyone goes around the table, at the same time, in the same direction and takes three to five cookies from each plate until all cookies are gone.
» Email a copy of your recipe before the party or bring recipe to the party.
» If you don’t have time to bake or have burnt your cookies, but still want to attend, go to a real bakery and buy 6 dozen yummy cookies. *The meringue recipes within the story were so yummy and beautifully decorated that we just couldn’t resist! You be the judge on what type of cookies are appropriate to have at your party. Source: Robin Olson, cookie-exchange.com
This guy’s got friends! Check out page 61.
Standing Ovation Cookies 8 1 2
ounces soft cream cheese cup butter, softened cups flour Jam (my pick: seedless red raspberry OR apricot, but you can use any you like) Powdered sugar
1. Mix together the cream cheese, butter and flour. Divide into two sections; form dough into discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to roll.
two sheets of wax paper until dough is about ⅛-inch thick. Cut the large square of dough into squares that are approximately 1½ inches. Place about a teaspoon of jam in the center of each small square. Fold opposite corners of each square to the center and overlap, pressing ends slightly to stick.
2. Preheat oven to 375° F. 3. Dust a sheet of wax paper
5. Once cool, sprinkle liber-
ally with powdered sugar
Photos by John Jernigan
lightly with flour. Working with one disc at a time, roll out into a square between
Peppermint Meringues 3 egg whites ¾ cup superfine sugar Pinch of cream of tartar Pinch of salt Peppermint extract Red food coloring 1. Beat 3 egg whites until frothy.
2. Beat in ¾ cup superfine sugar and a pinch each of cream of tartar and salt until stiff peaks form.
Meringue Swirls 3
large egg whites, at room temperature Pinch of salt ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar ¾ cup superfine sugar 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or use 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract) Coarse sugar crystals and/or silver nonpareils, for sprinkling
4. Drop by tablespoon-
fuls, and bake about 1 hour at 300° F.
5. Turn off the oven, and keep meringues inside for 2 hours to dry.
3. Add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, Source: Food Network and swirl in 2 drops red Magazine food coloring.
4. Place carefully onto a
cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes or until firm and bottoms are lightly golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool.
1. Preheat oven to 250° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until frothy (use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer). Add the cream of tartar; increase the speed to medium high and add the superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the meringue (or add the extract) and continue beating until the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is thick,
glossy and forms stiff peaks, about 6 minutes. 2. Fit a piping bag with a large star tip. Fill the bag with the meringue, and pipe spirals on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar. 3. Bake 1 hour, then turn off the oven and let the meringues stand in the oven until dry, about 2 hours. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week. Source: Food Network Magazine
Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
M A K I N G I T C HA R I TA B L E For one hostess in Ocala, hosting a cookie exchange evolved into a charity event. MARION MONTANARI will host her 11th cookie swap this month, and the party has come a long way from its early beginnings. “I like to have it the first weekend of December to give a kick start to the season. It’s grown from about 15 to 20 women the first year, and now we have 60 to 65 coming,” says Marion, who serves a light buffet meal at her event. “There are a lot of husbands who ask me, ‘When are you having the cookie party?’ They know their wives are going to come home with a great variety of cookies. It’s like going to a big bakery.” Marion is active in a number of charitable causes, so it was only natural that she looked at her party as a way to help others. “At first, it was just a cookie exchange, but then I got the idea, why not give cookies to charity?” Marion’s guests each take home cookies, but because so many attend, there is an overabundance of cookies, so some are delivered to area shelters. “Last year, we took more than 170 dozen cookies that were divided between the Women’s Abuse Center, Brother’s Keeper and Senior Services,” says Marion. “We’re known as ‘the cookie people’ at these shelters. People give money to charity, and that’s great, but this is giving something homemade, and I think that brings some comfort and touches hearts. It’s the idea that you can help with your own hands.”
BASIC DOUGH: 3 cups all-purpose flour ¾ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon milk powdered sugar, for rolling out dough CHOCOLATE: 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract PEPPERMINT: 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon peppermint extract ½ cup crushed candy canes or ½ cup peppermint candy Red food coloring (optional) 1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 2. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. The dough will be very stiff and crumbly at this point.
Photo by John Jernigan
4. Roll out doughs separately to
approximately ¼-inch thickness. Place peppermint dough on top of chocolate and press together around the edges. Using waxed paper or a flexible cutting board underneath, roll dough into log. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 6. Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut into ¼-inch slices. Place cookies 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. 7. Store in an airtight container for up
to 1 week.
3. Divide the dough in half and add chocolate and vanilla to 1 half and incorporate with hands. Add egg yolk, peppermint extract and crushed candy to other half of dough and incorporate with hands. (If you like, you can add a drop or two of red food coloring to make the dough a peppermint pink.) Cover both with plastic and chill for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
Melting Snowman Cookie
with a small spatula. Let set for at with a small spatula. Let set for at least two hours. least two hours.
Basic sugar cookie dough Royal icing Frosting Gel paste food coloring (bright white, orange, electric green or any color for buttons) Sharp knife Decorating bag filled with coupler and 4 tip Small spatula or knife White rolled fondant Black and brown gourmet writer Light corn syrup 1. Roll out your dough and cut out 4-inch blob shape with a sharp knife. Bake on a parchment paper lined baking tray and let cool. 2. Color some frosting with bright
white gel paste and fill the bag with the 4 tip. Outline cookie with frosting and let set for 30 minutes. In a bowl, color some frosting white and add water, little by little, stirring until it’s syrupy. Pour the frosting onto the middle of the cookie and spread to the edges
3. Knead a few Knead a few teaspoons of fondant teaspoons of fondant and roll between and roll between your palms to your palms to form a sphere. form a sphere. If the fondant If the fondant gets too sticky, gets too sticky, let it sit for 10 to let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Set on a 15 minutes. Set on a piece of parchment or piece of parchment or wax paper to harden for wax paper to harden for about an hour. Do the same about an hour. Do the same with the carrot and buttons. with the carrot and buttons. Knead a small amount of Knead a small amount of fondant with the orange color fondant with the orange color and form a triangle with your and form a triangle with your fingers. Set on the wax paper so fingers. Set on the wax paper so the tip of the carrot points upward. the tip of the carrot points upward. Knead any color into fondant and Knead any color into fondant and roll small spheres for buttons. roll small spheres for buttons. 5. When the snowman head has When the snowman head has dried, make your face with a black dried, make your face with a black edible gourmet pen. edible gourmet pen. 6. To adhere the fondant pieces To adhere the fondant pieces together and to the cookie, dab together and to the cookie, dab your finger in light corn syrup your finger in light corn syrup and rub on the areas that will be and rub on the areas that will be adhered. Start with the head and adhered. Start with the head and press firmly but gently onto the blob. Next, attach the carrot to the face and then the buttons. Use a brown or black edible pen to draw the sticks.
SU G A R C O O K I E D E C O R AT I N G T I P S Photos by John Jernigan
To make cute and creative decorated cutouts like the ones you ones you see here (we baked and decorated decorated these at the Ocala Style office), start office), start with your favorite sugar cookie cookie recipe and follow these tips. tips.
Photos by Meaghan Mountfond, thedecoratedcookie.com
Courtesy of Meaghan Mountford, thedecoratedcookie.com
To achieve the best consistency, chill dough for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
Frequently dust everything with flour—the surface, rolling pin and cookie cutters—to ensure the dough won’t stick.
C O O K I E S : MADE-TO-ORDER Don’t want to bake your own cookies? We’ve got several options for people who are strapped for time or aren’t so confident in their baking abilities. Whether you buy from a local baker or order specialty cookies online, these treats will get you ready for the party and you won’t have to worry about making a kitchen blunder! Often mistaken as the coconut cookie macaroon, these sandwich cookies made of almond meal with a creamy ganache are a sweet sight on any dessert table. Darling to look at but temperamental to bake, have New York City’s MACARON CAFÉ mail you a box (complete with your own recipe book) to make your party très en vogue. Order a box at macaroncafe.com. Nothing says tradition like a plate of sugar cookies. These snowflakes will get you into the wintry spirit with their intricate detail. ROLLING PIN PRODUCTIONS, the baker of this snowy ensemble, can make other designs to suit any occasion. You can also have photo cookies or monogrammed cookies custom made for any celebration. Visit rollingpinproductions.com.
Photos by John Jernigan
Buttery and crumbly, shortbread cookies are the perfect companion to a cup of tea or mug of hot chocolate. Make them plain or decorate them like THE SIDEWALK COOKIE AND CAKE COMPANY. The company is up and coming and is in association with Ocala’s Woodlea Gardens Catering. To request an order, call (352) 690-9699 or visit sidewalkcookieandcake.com. Cute little gingerbread boys and girls are fun to decorate and personalize with teeny icing eyes and candy buttons. We had ours specially made at Ocala’s BETTY CAKES, which specializes in baking all types of cookies and cakes. Make your own or have your gingerbread family made-to-order by calling (352) 622-3727 or visiting bettycakesbettycakes.com.
For easy removal, line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use a thin spatula, dipped in flour, to transfer cookies to baking sheet.
Make sure cookies are completely cooled before decorating.
M U ST- HAV E DECORATING SU P P L I E S » » » » » » »
Sanding sugar Icing tubes Candy confetti Edible glitter Sprinkles Sugar pearls Food coloring
By Bonnie Kretchik
he kids are out of school for a few weeks, and it’s definitely time for a muchneeded family vacation. But who has time to plan a week or two away? There are plenty of fun family trips you can take over the weekend. Whether you’re in the mood to feel some frosty air, swim with the dolphins or see the theme parks from a different perspective, there’s always something to do within a few hours drive. Check out some of these great ideas for either a fun day trip or a weekend adventure.
Frigid In Florida?
Photo courtesy of Kennedy Space Center
Feel like shivering a little longer? Book a special package at the Gaylord Palms Resort and experience Kung Fu Panda Awesome SNOW. Crawl through underground snow tunnels, throw snowballs at some of your favorite Kung Fu Panda characters and make snowmen and snow forts in more than 130 tons of snow brought in for this special event. gaylordpalms.com or (407) 586-4-ICE.
Wise Up! Just because the kids aren’t in school doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stimulate their brains a little… just don’t tell them! The Kennedy Space Center is a mere two-hour drive but offers an outof-this-world experience. And with several attractions, there’s something for every budget. Feel like spending a few hours? A general admission pass will give you access to the self-paced bus tour, IMAX Space film, several exhibits and shows, and
Photo courtesy of Gaylord Palms
If you think you have to brave the winter winds of the North to see some ice this winter, think again. One of the most spectacular, not to mention coolest, attractions in the state returns to the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee this winter. For the 9th year, the “Florida Fridge” will host ICE!, an interactive winter adventure featuring larger-than-life sculptures carved from over 2 million pounds of ice. This year’s event features sculptures of the lovable characters from Shrek the Halls, including Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and all their friends. Enjoy a hot cup of cocoa, and make sure to visit all of the special family activities, including shows and special meals. Don’t be afraid that your Florida-wear won’t keep you warm enough. Gaylord Palms will provide you with a winter parka to keep you toasty warm throughout the 9-degree exhibit. But don’t wait—this icy adventure will only be around until January 2.
A Little More Brrr! While you’re there: Check out these rinks for a chance to trade in your inline skates for ice skates. RDV Ice Den Orlando: mvpsportsclubs.com (407) 916-2550 Ice Factory of Central Florida: icefactory.com or (407) 933-4259
More Family-friendly Learning Here are some of our other top museum picks for great family trips. Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville: flmnh.ufl.edu or (352) 846-2000 Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa: mosi.org or (813) 987-6000 Orlando Science Center, Orlando: osc.org or (407) 514-2000
Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens
entrance to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame with interactive space-flight simulators. Wanna explore a little further? Choose the Kennedy Space Center Up-Close guided tour, which offers an in-depth view of the space center’s inner workings. Or, sign up for the Cape Canaveral: Then and Now tour where guests visit the first launch sites from the 1960s and the Air Force Space and Missile Museum, plus learn about the active unmanned rocket program. Or, have lunch with an astronaut and enjoy a delicious meal and presentation with one of NASA’s own. And with their easy-to-use online itinerary planner, the Kennedy Space Center can help you plan a full day, or more, of fun and educational activities. kennedyspacecenter.com or (866) 737-5235.
Photo courtesy of Disney
It’s probably safe to say that being a Florida resident, you’ve visited the theme parks that our state is known for more times than you can count. But, have you ever tried some of the lesser-known attractions or events? Busch Gardens Tampa Bay invites you to spend the night at Jack Hanna’s Family Fun Sleepover. It’s an interactive experience for kids in grades 3 and up. Meet Jack Hanna in person to hear about some of his amazing animal adventures and see the animal ambassadors close up. You’ll also spend the night in Tiger Lodge overlooking the tiger habitat and wake up the next morning to a special interactive program with these majestic animals. The next sleepover is scheduled for January 13. seaworld.org or (877) BGT-CAMP. If the magic of Disney is a big hit in your family, why not try something a little special on your next visit? The fireworks displays at Epcot Center and Magic Kingdom are like none other. Disney offers a special fireworks boat tour that your family can charter, offering one of the best seats in the house. Your guide will take you on a peaceful ride through some of the Disney attractions and offer up some inside information and Disney trivia on the way to your destination—the center of the fireworks show. Or, for some of the younger family members, take the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage where you’ll sing songs, play games and meet and greet Captain Hook before the show. disneyworld.disney.go.com or (407) 939-7675.
Photo courtesy of Disney
Other Fun Ideas:
• Transform your little girl into a princess at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or your family into pirates at Disney’s Pirates League. • Take a Disney Behind-the-Scenes tour of some of your favorite attractions.
Photo courtesy of Atlantis, Kerzner International Resorts, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines
For Land Lubbers The Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa houses over 1,500 animals on 56 acres of habitat. Feed a giraffe, walk with a wallaby or ride a pony, llama or even a camel! Feeling adventurous? Check out some of the high flying rides included in your admission. lowryparkzoo.com or (813) 935-8552.
Wet and Wild The star of the hit family film and true story Dolphin Tale resides at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and you can bring the whole family to meet this amazing mammal. “Winter” has also been featured on the Today Show, CNN,
BBC and in hundreds of newspapers all over the country. While you’re there, take the sea life safari boat ride and check out the sea turtles, otters, sting rays, sharks and more. seewinter.com or (727) 441-1790.
A Total Animal Adventure If you’d like to spend a few days surrounded by wildlife, check out Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Home to over 1,700 animals, this 500-acre park is the largest animal-themed park in the world. Here, you’ll get up close
and personal with 250 species of animals and learn about nature and conservation as well. With seven distinct areas to explore and great live shows, your whole family can easily spend a weekend visiting the park. For a bit of a splurge, spend the night in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge located right in the heart of a 43-acre wildlife preserve, and be sure to sign up for the Backstage Safari Tour where you’ll see how all of Disney’s animals are cared for. Disneyworld.disney.go.com or (407) 939-7675.
Soak Up Some Sun
Travel Deals Abound In this economy, we can all afford to save a few dollars here or there. A whole slew of websites promising low rates on travel packages are available with the click of a button. Here is a list of some of our favorites. cruisecompete.com airfarewatchdog.com laterooms.com travelzoo.com Also be sure to sign up for Groupon getaways. The popular discount site Groupon recently teamed up with Expedia to offer deals on vacation packages.
While many of us complain about the scorching summer heat, we sure do miss it when it goes! So this winter, escape for a weekend cruise to the Bahamas. It might sound complicated, but it’s really not. Not only are cruises cheaper than most other vacation alternatives, but they have a variety of family-friendly activities on board for every age. For parents on a budget, Carnival Cruise Lines offers luxury cruises at affordable prices. It’s especially enticing for moms and dads looking for a little alone time. Camp Carnival is open to children ages 2 to 15 and is included in the price of the ticket.
Photo courtesy of Disney
e plenty of day trip escapes that include all creatu dly, there ar res grea d u c d n t and s cute a s mall. g n i all th f o h g u o et en n’t g a c u If yo
Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium
d! n u o b A ls a im n A
Enjoy some romantic time alone or catch a few Z’s on the boat deck while your kids are with experienced counselors creating arts and crafts, partaking in talent shows and making new friends. There are also special programs for teens and toddlers, so your kids are interacting with others their own age. carnival.com or (800) 764-7419.
A Visit To Paradise If you really want to splurge, schedule a visit to Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas when your cruise ship docks in Nassau. Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cay and visit The Dig, an 11,000-year-old lost continent. Be sure to check out the water slides and river rides at the water park, and take some time to enjoy some of the family activities like pottery making and rock climbing. As day turns to night, there’s a whole nightlife to experience and plenty of great cuisine to enjoy. atlantis.com or (888) 877-7525.
Photo shot on location at Cuvée Wine and Bistro by John Jernigan
Where do you go for great drinks and great times? Whether you’re interested in trivia on a Tuesday after work or live music to get you going on the weekends, these restaurants are among our area’s hottest, most happening hangouts and are known for their unique cocktails and tasty appetizers. Let the good times roll!
HAPPY HOUR HOT SPOTS
An Evening Built On
soothing waterfall at the entrance, a breathtaking tumbleweed chandelier in the lounge and cool blue lighting behind the bar; such is the scene at the award-winning restaurant Cuvée Wine and Bistro. Winner of the 2011 Diner’s Choice award at OpenTable.com and recipient of Wine Spectator’s 2011 Award of Excellence, Cuvée off ers a casual and sophisticated experience when the sun is going down and people thirst for a chic haven to spend at their leisure.
Guests of Cuvée are in the company of servers who are wine afi cionados. A wine card allows usage of the restaurant’s self-serving wine dispenser system, that features wines from all over the world, at moderate to high-end prices. Th e full bar includes a collection of single malt scotches, brandies and cognac. Happy hour, which is 5-7pm every day, off ers 2 for 1 on wells, domestic beers and house wines, as well as half-priced pitchers of house champagne sangria.
At the bar, you’re in the hands of skilled mixologists, who are always coming up with innovative cocktails, such as the signature Cuvée blue martini, an alluring smoky cocktail with dry ice, and the seasonal Cuvée egg nog, back by popular demand. Whole leaf teas and virgin cocktails are also available for nondrinkers. Besides Cuvée’s plates of exclusive cheeses to pair with your drink, the restaurant is also introducing a new tapas menu available in its lounge area. Guests can mingle on the outdoor patio, which is enclosed during inclement weather, or sit indoors and cozy up by the fi replace. Private rooms that can seat up to 23 guests, or 40 when combined, are available for large groups or parties. Th ere is also an off premise site for special occasions that require catering. Cuvée is a restaurant built on excellence. Its reputation for presenting state-of-the-art
wine and exquisite hand-craft ed cocktails in an elegant ambience will provide you with a memorable and delightful evening.
CUVÉE WINE AND BISTRO Mon-Sat for Dinner at 5p Closed on Sun Happy Hour, 5-7p 2237 SW 19th Avenue Road Suite 102, Ocala (352) 351-1816 cuveewineocala.com
HAPPY HOUR HOT SPOTS
ON HARRY’S! L
aissez les bon temps rouler! Or, in English… let the good times roll! And that is the perfect expression to describe Harry’s Seafood, Bar, and Grille. Th is New Orleans-style restaurant is one of the most popular eateries on the Square—and for good reason. With authentic dishes like jambalaya, shrimp creole, and red beans and rice, Harry’s defi nitely brings fl air to downtown dining. And while dinner at Harry’s is one of a kind, it’s also the place to gather with a group of friends at the end of a long day. From
2-7pm, Harry’s serves up great dishes—along with great deals. All domestic and imported draft s are half priced, as well as house wines and all liquors. Even better, this special also applies to all well, call, premium and super premium drinks. While you’re there, why not try a signature order of Harry’s fried green tomatoes or any of the new specials, including baconwrapped scallops served atop mini-grit cakes or the new seafood trio featuring baked stuff ed shrimp, blue crab-crusted red fi sh
and the ever-popular shrimp and scallop Orleans. And if fi ve hours of happy hour specials isn’t enough, Harry’s extends some of its great deals on certain nights. On Monday, full bottles of wine are half priced all day. For the martini drinkers among us, stop in on Wednesday for half-priced specialty martinis, including the Mississippi Mud-tini and the popular Pomegranate Martini. And, of course, every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday with happy hour extending throughout the day. Be sure to check out Harry’s gift cards, too, where a $100 card will get you a free $30! With all of these drink and food specials, we think you’ll agree: Harry’s is defi nitely one of the hottest happy hour spots in town!
HARRY’S SEAFOOD, BAR AND GRILLE Mon-Thu 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p Sun 11a-9p Happy Hour 2-7pm daily 24 SE 1st Avenue, Ocala (352) 840-0900 hookedonharrys.com
HAPPY HOUR HOT SPOTS
Paris by Night À OCALA
n enchanting ambience awaits night owls at La Cuisine. Happy hour, from 5:30-7pm Th ursday through Saturday nights, presents itself with buy one, get one and tasty libations to go with your drink. Fridays from 10-11:30pm are lounge nights, where guests can enjoy happy hour with a selection of appetizers and desserts in a cozy, trendy, yet relaxed atmosphere. Th e silver countered, candlelit bar isn’t just for intimate tête-à-têtes over a glass of pinot noir. Th e inception of a recently added
full bar now provides a whole new breadth of experience for guests who want a lively rendezvous in the evening. On Th ursdays or Fridays from 6-9pm (you may call (352) 433-2570 or check their website and Facebook page to get the exact schedule), live piano music by Robert Cubbage adds to the classy atmosphere as you chat with friends over a signature cocktail or enjoy a candlelit romantic dinner. Select an authentic French appetizer, such as escargot or the Assiette de Fomages, a plate of imported cheeses with grapes,
walnuts and crostini that is très délicieux when paired with a fi ne wine. Or, share a creamy crème brûlée as one of several options from La Cuisine’s lavish collection of desserts. Groups of up to 12 people can be accommodated in a private room, and the restaurant can also host larger special events for up to 80 guests. Party like a Parisian, and enjoy a night on the town at one of Ocala’s fi nest restaurants. LA CUISINE Lunch Tue-Fri, 11:30a-2p Dinner Tue-Sat, 5:30-10p Happy Hour Thu-Sat, 5:30-7p & Friday, 10-11:30p 48 SW 1st Ave, Ocala (352) 433-2570 lacuisineocala.com
HAPPY HOUR HOT SPOTS
“Primetime” HAPPY HOUR
ark’s Prime Steakhouse and Seafood located on the downtown Square is Ocala’s premier dining experience. Known for their wood-fi red prime steaks, market-fresh seafood and vast array of fi ne wines, Mark’s has the reputation for serving outstanding cuisine. Mark’s is the “primetime” place to be Monday through Saturday from 5-7pm for their “Five at Five” happy
hour specials. Premium drinks, appetizers, including escargot and blue cheese chips, wine and signature infusion martinis are featured at $5. Th e bar, elegant yet casual, with the classic voice of Frank Sinatra playing in the background, is a great place to meet friends at the end of the day. Th e outdoor seating off ers a beautiful view of the historic Square. With over 100 bottles of
wine to choose from, as well as a large selection of wines by the glass, it is no wonder Mark’s is Ocala’s fi nest eating establishment. MARK’S PRIME STEAKHOUSE AND SEAFOOD Mon 5-9p / Tue-Sat 5-10p Happy Hour Mon-Sat 5-7p 30 S Magnolia Ave., Ocala (352) 402-0097 / marksprimesteakhouse.com
HAPPY HOUR HOT SPOTS
A Touch TILTED
f you’re looking for a place to meet up with friends but want something a little diff erent than the typical bar scene, then it’s high time you checked out the Tilted Kilt. Th is new pub and eatery—which is a little bit Irish and a little bit Scottish with a dash of “tilted” fl air—has something for everyone. A traditional pub was actually a “public open house” that welcomed in passersby and off ered good food, good drinks and entertainment in a safe, clean environment. And that is exactly what the Tilted Kilt has replicated.
Happy hour, featuring plenty of drink and food specials, runs daily from 4-7pm—perfect for unwinding with friends aft er a rough day at work. Enjoy traditional pub favorites like fi sh and chips or the restaurant’s signature chicken wings while watching any of the 27 televisions that line the walls or playing a rousing round of Trivial Pursuit with friends. For larger parties, the outside deck is the way to go. Enjoy any of the “Tilted Teasers,” such as Irish nachos and potato skins, while listening to live music on
Wednesday through Friday nights. Need more than an appetizer? Try a burger, salad or any of the other numerous entrées, but whatever you order, don’t miss the homemade potato chips! And what’s happy hour without the drinks! Along with plenty of beer, wine and mixed drink options, there’s also a whole slew of “Brilliant Bevvies.” Our suggestions? Try the Tilted Tea or the Celtic Crush. So whether you’re looking to spend happy hour with your friends or a night out with coworkers, the Tilted Kilt has exactly what you’re looking for.
TILTED KILT Sun-Thu 11a-11p Fri-Sat 11a-midnight Happy Hour 4-7p 3155 East Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala (352) 351-5458 tiltedkilt.com
HAPPY HOUR HOT SPOTS
Just a Plain
GOOD TIME T
hat favorite restaurant with the vibrant orange truck parked in front off ers a fun-fi lled time in the evening. Happy hour at Cody’s Original Roadhouse starts early, from 11a7p, seven days a week. Guests can order wells, calls and premiums 2 for 1 specials. Bottles of wine, ice cold beer and 32-ounce Megamugs aren’t the only off erings at the friendly neighborhood bar. Several specialty drinks await your choosing, including the Blazing Blue Rita, which will take the
blues out of you, while a frozen Rum Runner is a delicious fruity concoction that will become your new favorite cocktail. Multiple daily specials are featured, and there’s a menu with specials served only at the bar. Pair that pitcher of beer or margarita with some plain good fi nger foods. Get your fi ngers messy with a plateful of Cody’s boneless chicken zingers, or, for only $1.98, bite into a quarter-pound bar burger topped with all the fi xins’, including Cody’s special sauce. You can get these lip-smacking foods for $4
or less. Don’t miss out on Cody’s famous chicken wings, which are served plain, garlic, BBQ, mild, medium, hot or ramey (i.e. really hot), and signature jumbo onion rings—breaded, golden brown, served as a colossal tower. And pop in Wednesdays for a free fajitas fi x: charbroiled, marinated steak or chicken fajitas over grilled onions on a sizzling skillet, buy one for $10.98 and get one free. At Cody’s, you can hang out in a casual atmosphere with the locals and regulars and take in the walls of paraphernalia and tubs of peanuts throughout the restaurant. Th e roadhouse is the perfect place to meet up with old friends and just have a plain good time. Make a pit stop at Cody’s for some snackin’ and crackin’, a round of drinks and mouthwatering morsels.
CODY’S ORIGINAL ROADHOUSE Doors Open 11a Happy Hour Daily 11a-7p 2505 SW College Road, Ocala (352) 237-8182 codysamerican.com
STHMA A & ALLERGY LORIDA CARE OF F
Food Allergies? Do you have hives, swelling, uncontrollable eczema or difficulty breathing after eating foods? In adults, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts are the most common food allergies. While for children milk, eggs, soy, wheat, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts are the most common.
Rebecca B. Long, ARNP
G. Edward Stewart II, MD
James Korray, ARNP
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This program is NOT a health insurance policy and the program does not make payments directly to the providers of health services. This program provides discounts at certain locations for health services. The program member is obligated to pay the provider for all the health care services that the member will receive, but the member will receive a pre-negotiated discount from the providers listed in the network, in accordance with the specific pre-negotiated discounted fee schedule. This program does not guarantee the quality of services or procedures offered by the providers. The Discount Medical Plan Organization that operates this program is American Dental Professional Services, LLC located at 9054 N. Deerbrook Trail, Milwaukee, WI 53223. Discounts may vary by provider. Discounts cannot be combined with other offers. Not valid with previous or ongoing work. Fee may be charged for a copy of x-rays. The patient and any other person responsible for payment has a right to refuse to pay, cancel payment, or be reimbursed for payment for any service, examination, or treatment that is preformed as a result of and within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement for the free discounted fee, or reduced fee service, examination or treatment. ADA#D0140, ADA#D0150, ADA#D0210,ADA#D0220, ADA#D02720, ADA#D0274, ADA#D0330. Offer Valid for New Patients Only. FL.LIC. # DN15428
Think Before You Drink
Even one glass can make a difference p74
Feeling Blue? p76
Treat Your Feet p78 Header VitaminpXX Overload Header p82pXXTheHeader Side Effects pXX of Header Stress pXX p84
Season of the
FLU D Header escription
ough inside your elbow. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. The flu is most rampant early October through late May. Before you resolve to traveling inside a plastic bubble, consider the easier way to protect yourself from viruses: the flu vaccine.
The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. The nasal-spray flu vaccine, or “Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine” (LAIV), is another alternative for those who are needle-shy. LAIV is approved for use in healthy people ages 2 to 49 but is not recommended for women who are pregnant. The CDC recommends vaccination for those who are at high risk of developing flu-related complications, such as pregnant women, children younger than 5, adults 50 and older, people with chronic medical conditions and people involved in service work. To find a vaccination site, visit flu.gov. Source: cdc.gov
DRINK: Responsibly P
“Driving while under the influence is a year-round problem,” says Sgt. Mike Sommer, supervisor of the Ocala Police Department’s Traffic Unit. “But we definitely see an increase during the holidays. Not only do you have your regular drinkers, but then you add in people who normally don’t drink much but do at holiday parties. Then we have a big problem when people drink and get behind the wheel.” Alcohol is a depressant, and Sommer says that “it affects people’s judgment, motor skills and vision, which are the top three factors in safely operating a motor vehicle.” In addition to their regular patrol shifts, Sommer points out that “OPD sets up additional DUI checkpoints from early December through New Year’s Day.” Sommer estimates that as much as “40 percent of drivers out on the road on New Year’s Day have some form of alcohol impairment.” If you are stopped by a police officer for suspicion of driving while impaired, you will first be given a field sobriety test. You will be asked to walk a straight line and turn, do a one-leg stand and undergo two vision tests to check horizontal gaze (side-to-side) and nystagmus (involuntary jerking of the eyes). “Sometimes people can pass the balance tests, especially if they’re regular drinkers and have a high tolerance for alcohol,” says Sommer. “But if someone is alcohol impaired, the eyes don’t lie.” If arrested because the officer found you to be impaired of normal faculties, you will be transported to a jail facility and given a breathalyzer test. In the state of Florida, the unlawful blood alcohol level is .02 for someone under 21 and .08 for an adult 21 and older. Now you will be booked, spend a minimum of eight hours in jail, have to make bail, be assigned a court date and pay a fine. You also might have to hire a lawyer, and your vehicle will be towed. “What people don’t realize is that getting even one DUI is very costly,” says Sommer. “On average, you can expect to spend between $6,000 to $8,000 by the time you add up all the costs. Plus that DUI will become a part of your driving record.” Thanks to a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation, OPD has been able to greatly increase its DUI Suppression Patrols with beneficial results. According to Sommer, between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011, there was a 43 percent reduction in alcohol-related auto accidents, a 66 percent reduction in alcohol-related auto accident fatalities and a 42 percent increase in DUI arrests from the same previous time frame in 2009-2010. “Without the grant money, we wouldn’t be able to put more officers out on DUI Suppression Patrols,” says Sommer. “And because we’ve been able to do that, lives have been saved.”
arties are prevalent this time of year and, more often than not, parties mean drinking alcohol, which makes December and January the most dangerous when it comes to drinking and driving.
SAFE DRINKING TIPS » Drink responsibly, and know your limits.
» Resist pressure to drink at every party.
» Arrange for a
designated driver or use free taxi and AAA services.
By The Numbers Costs Of Drinking & Driving
(For The City of Ocala, Oct. 1, 2010 to September 3, 2011)
54 1 226 Deaths
Source: Sgt. Mike Sommer/OPD Traffic Unit
This Is Your Body On One Drink The alcohol goes to your stomach, where about 20 percent is absorbed Min. almost immediately into the blood stream, especially on an empty stomach; food slows alcohol absorption. Via your bloodstream, the alcohol travels throughout your body, including your brain, which is why you get that quick “buzzed” feeling.
Having reached your liver, which can metabolize only one drink per hour, the Mins. alcohol sets off some notso-nice chemical reactions. The alcohol is converted into chemicals such as acetaldehyde, a known carcinogen, as well as acetate. If you’ve consumed more than one drink in an hour, your liver becomes overwhelmed, the alcohol then saturates your bloodstream and your brain gets another shot. This time, it negatively impacts nerve cells in your hippocampus (memory center), prefrontal cortex (mood control) and cerebellum (body movement). This is why people often forget what they did when they were drinking, becoming either the life of the party or depressed, and think they can drive safely. For people who are not regular drinkers, one drink can have this effect.
ALL ABOUT BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS
ABOUT ONE DRINK. DRINK. Moderate drinkers usually feel warmth and relaxation. First signs of judgment and motor impairment. Florida drivers under 21 will have their license suspended.
THREE TO FIVE DRINKS IN AN HOUR. Muscle coordination is impaired, and reaction time is slower. Hands, arms and legs may tingle, then feel numb; sensory numbness in face and lips. Loss of selfcontrol. Chance of auto accident greatly
increased. Considered legally intoxicated in Florida, and you will be arrested on a DUI. Source: intox.com
What Is Drink?
• One 12-ounce bottle of beer/wine cooler • One 5-ounce glass of wine • 1.5 ounces of 80proof distilled liquor *Each example of one drink contains 12-14 grams of alcohol Source: National Institute On Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism
If not overwhelmed, the liver will neutralize the alcohol by transforming it from acetate Mins. to carbon dioxide, which you then breathe out, and water, which is why drinking typically increases urination. But alcohol is also metabolized in our body like fat; the liver converts the metabolic by-products of alcohol into fatty acids, aka triglycerides—not so good for your waistline or your liver and heart health.
Sources: womenshealth.com; evolvingwellness.com
Blues For some people, this time of year isn’t so happy. But people are expected to be cheerful, and the bar is set high for parties and family gatherings, which can lead to feelings of sadness, fatigue, frustration and disappointment. Then, when all the festivities are over, some people suffer a psychological letdown. “The holidays can be very stressful for many people,” says Alina Stoothoff, a current consultant and former director of Ocala-based THE CENTERS ACUTE CARE SERVICES. “Many times, this is the time of year when people mark the One anniversary of having lost a loved one. This of the best can trigger sadness things people when people expect ” can do is you to be happy. Other people volunteer. for various reasons and circumstances —ALINA STOOTHOFF may find themselves alone. But they don’t have to be, says Stoothoff. “One of the best things people can do is volunteer,” she says. “Serve meals at a soup kitchen or
homeless shelter. Check around your neighborhood and see if an elderly person could use some help. Reaching out and getting outside yourself is a great way to feel less lonely.” During her 25-plus years with The Centers, Stoothoff notes that “we usually saw an increase in people seeking help post-holidays.” That’s when everyone goes home, the parties are over and the bills are due. Stoothoff points out that “holiday blues and post-holiday blues are typically short-term events that resolve themselves once you’re back to a normal routine.” If the blues linger, then it may be a case of clinical depression. According to the American Psychological Association, depression occurs when feelings of extreme sadness or
COPING TIPS Avoid exhausting yourself.
despair last for at least two weeks or longer and when they interfere with daily activities, such as working, eating and sleeping. People who are clinically depressed can feel helpless and hopeless about changing their situation and life in general. “If it’s more than holiday blues and possibly depression, then people should seek professional help as soon as possible,” says Stoothoff. “With professional help, clinical “With professional help, clinical depression can be treated very depression can be treated very effectively in a variety of ways. effectively in a variety of ways.”
If You Need Help
Avoid overextending your budget. Try to maintain some of your normal routine. Be physically active. Avoid drinking/eating too much. Pay attention to friends/ family members’ moods. Pay attention to your feelings. Enjoy the special time with friends and family. Source: American Psychological Association
THE CENTERS 24/7 CRISIS LINE (352) 629-9595 THE CENTERS EMERGENCY WALK-IN CLINIC (352) 291-5525
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Feet! Oh, My Aching
Fabulous Foot Care Check your feet often; look for blisters, cuts, ingrown toenails, etc. Remember to put your feet up if possible when sitting to aid circulation. If you are sitting or standing for a long time, move and stretch to keep your feet from swelling. If you cross your legs while sitting, reverse or uncross them often. Wear shoes when you are outside. Make sure your feet are dry before putting on shoes to avoid fungus growth. Source: nia.nih.gov/healthinformation/publications/footcare
Between working, cooking and shopping, people spend a lot of time on their feet. And our feet pay the price, leading to a common refrain of, “Oh, my feet are killing me.” “For shopping, I recommend people wear a good lace-up walking shoe with good arch support,” says Dr. Sheila Noroozi of Ocala-based FAMILY FOOT & ANKLE. “I always keep a pair of walking shoes in my car trunk. If I’m going to be walking or standing a lot, I can switch to them.” For those inevitable parties, which typically mean dressing up and wearing high heels, Noroozi recommends to “limit your time in high heels to no more than two hours.” Or better yet, she says, opt for “nice dress shoes with a low heel, arch support and a wide toe box.” Baking large meals leads to a lot time standing in the kitchen, often leading to aching feet. “Many women go barefoot or wear house slippers while cooking,” says Noroozi. “But that’s really not a good idea because you’re spending a lot of time standing without any support for your feet. Walking shoes are again a good choice, as are sandals, but just make sure they have good arch support.” Into the new year, Noroozi also reports seeing an increase in common foot ailments, such as heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, » Always have your feet Make measured when buying neuromas and ankle sprains, Sure shoes. which are usually all preventable » When walking in shoes, with good supportive shoes and a your heel should not slide little preventive care, she says. And up and down. if you are experiencing foot pain, » Stand up when trying on Noroozi urges seeing your health new shoes to make sure care provider or a podiatrist.
The Shoe Fits
COMMON FOOT/ANKLE PROBLEMS MORTON’S NEUROMA: Thickening of nerve tissue in the ball of the foot, caused by wearing shoes with tapered toe box and high-heeled shoes that force toes into toe box.
BUNIONS: Bump alongside big toe. Can be caused by inherited faulty foot mechanics and made worse by shoes with narrow toe boxes. HEEL PAIN/PLANTAR FASCIITIS: Foot structure is most common cause, but can also be caused by/made worse by wearing non-supportive shoes.
there is space between your toes and the end of the shoe.
ANKLE SPRAIN: Mostly caused by sports activities. HALLUX RIGIDUS: Stiffening of big toe joint caused by overuse/excess stress on big toe. Golfers can develop this as result of motion of foot during follow-up swing.
ACHILLES TENDON DISORDERS: Includes achilles tendonitis and tendonosis caused by sudden increase in repetitive motions, especially sports activities such as running, basketball or tennis; common to “weekend warriors.” Source: foothealthfacts.org
» Soles should give good
solid footing and not slip.
» Make sure the ball of your
» Choose a shoe that is
» The shoe’s uppers should
Source: National Institutes of Health
foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe. be made of a soft, flexible material.
shaped like your foot.
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F E A T U R E
Back pain? Don’t want surgery? See Dr. Zhou and Associates. Every patient with back pain wants to avoid surgery or use surgery as a last resort. How can you do it? The answer is right here in Ocala! Dr. Zhou of the Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center recently published an invited expert review article titled “Back Pain, How to Avoid Surgery” in the British Journal of Medical Practitioner. This article summarized the current scientific evidence regarding the subject and Dr. Zhou’s daily practice in an attempt to help thousands of patients relieve their back pain without surgery. Dr. Zhou was also recently interviewed on Care Generation, a public health education radio show. You can hear his interview and learn how to avoid surgery by visiting thecaringgeneration.com, clicking on the “As Heard On” tab and listening to the October 16, 2011 show. Dr. Zhou combines scientific research and clinical practice. His research on “How to Obtain a Clear Fluoroscopic Lateral View for Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection” was featured in Pain Medicine News last year. His most recent book chapter “Principle of Pain Management” in Neurology in Clinical Practice, 6th edition will be released worldwide in May 2012. This book provides guidance for neurologists. Many of Dr. Zhou’s patients feel very lucky to have such a top-notch scholar and practitioner in Ocala. Traditionally, people need three epidural steroid injections to feel sciatica relief. You may only need one or two from Dr. Zhou. With his accurate diagnostic skills, high moral ethics and high success rate, Dr. Zhou always tells his patients after treatment, “You do not have to come back if you do not have pain,” and many of his patients find there really is no need to return again because they are pain free. However, they refer their closest family and friends to his practice. This is why Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center has been growing at 20-30 percent annually over the last seven years. Because of this rapid growth, Dr. Zhou has recently added two new associates, Dr. Warycha and Dr. Vu, to his team.
YiLi Zhou, MD, PhD.
Harvard Trained Pain Specialist
BOARD CERTIFIED BY: American Board of Pain Medicine American Board of Interventional Pain Physician American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Former Director of Jackson Memorial Hospital Pain Clinic University of Miami Physician Recognition Award by American Medical Association 2003 Distinguished Physician Award by Florida Medical Association 2004, 2006
Dr. Warycha is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. His areas of expertise include nerve function study. He excels at using ultrasound-guided joint injections. “This technique is more accurate and allows me to treat the exact pain site instead of the general area,” he says. Dr. Vu is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and pain specialist. Together with other team members, Dr. Vu offers a comprehensive approach to treating pain using minimally invasive non-surgical treatment. The Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center has had an outstanding record in treating and eliminating pain. Dr. Zhou and his staff offer an honest and compassionate approach to pain management and have become one of the most popular groups of practitioners in the area. Just listen to what some of his patients have to say. “Dr. Zhou has offered various treatment to me, giving me a quality of life unattainable with other medications.” “Dr. Zhou is extremely knowledgeable, while remaining friendly, courteous and, very importantly, on time for appointments. He displays a “we can help you” caring attitude, not often seen in this fast-paced world.” Consult with this outstanding team today, and learn how you can begin leading a pain-free life without surgery!
Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center Formerly Comprehensive Pain Management of North Florida
Locations in Ocala, Gainesville, & Lake City 1910 SW 18th Court, Ocala L to R: Angela Luo, PA-C, MS; Matthew Barnes, PA-C; Bohdan Warycha, MD; Yili Zhou, MD, Ph.D.; Hoang T. Vu, DO; Asha Vishnagara, PA-C, MMS, MS
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hole body vibration (WBV) was originally developed in the 1960s to rehabilitate Russian cosmonauts who suff ered from muscle atrophy and bone density loss due to prolonged periods of time spent in zero gravity environments. Later, Russian Olympic athletes used WBV in order to enhance their performance levels. Th is technology did not go unnoticed by the West, and it eventually made its way to the U.S. However, WBV machines were cost prohibitive for most Americans, especially for those who would benefi t the most. In the
U.S. today, professional athletes, celebrities and sports teams regularly use WBV as part of their fi tness routines. Recognizing the health and wellness benefi ts and the need to provide consumers with a cost eff ective option, Goga Studios invested the resources to ensure that WBV and related wellness products would be available for the general population. As one of the pioneers of WBV, Goga Studios is dominating the market and is in the process of opening studios across the U.S. Goga Studios is “Home of the No-Work Workout in as little as 10
minutes”—a bold statement that is supported by a FDA Class #1 Medical Device Listing that states the following health benefi ts can be achieved. • Muscle strengthening • Accelerated weight loss • Firming and toning • Improved circulation • Improved bone density • Prevention of age-related muscle loss • Massage and relaxation benefi ts • Overall feeling of well-being • Reduced eff ects of stress • Increased blood fl ow • Improved fl exibility • Muscle endurance • Greater overall agility When you visit Goga Studios, you simply stand on a WBV platform for 10 minutes at a time and oscillate your way to better health and fi tness. Whole Body Vibration is only part of a Goga Studios experience. Th e studio also provides
members with infrared sauna access, alkaline water stations and a complete line of Himalayan salt products. Th is complete package allows members to: • Achieve health and fi tness goals • Detoxify with the use of the infrared saunas and Himalayan salt products • Achieve better alkaline levels from the water system. Disease and illnesses tend to thrive very well in acidic hosts, and an alkaline body will combat this process. Goga Studios is committed to natural and healthy living, so get on and get active today.
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your arm. If the blood pressure in the lower part of your leg is lower than the pressure in your arm, you may have PAD. Other tests such as an ultrasound, a CT (computed tomography) scan and an angiogram can also be used to diagnosis PAD.
Physician at Heart & Vascular Institute of Central Florida discovers high percentage of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and amputation in diabetic patients.
How is PAD treated?
Dr. Prem Singh, M.D.
PAD & Diabetes: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
eripheral arterial disease (PAD) refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain. It is a form of atherosclerosis, in which fatty substances build up inside the arterial walls and can, over time, create an obstruction that restricts proper blood fl ow. Th is may aff ect the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys’ arteries. PAD aff ects approximately 12 million people in the U.S. People with diabetes are at greater risk for severe PAD. Th ose with diabetes and PAD are at higher risk of heart attack, stroke and are fi ve times more likely to have an amputation. Th e doctors at Marion Heart Associates took some time to answer questions about PAD.
How do I know whether I’m at high risk for PAD? Just having diabetes increases the risk for PAD, but the risk is even greater if the person is or has any of the following conditions, as well as diabetes: a smoker, high blood pressure, over age 50, abnormal blood cholesterol levels, overweight, history of heart disease, family history of heart disease, heart attacks or strokes
What is the link between diabetes and PAD?
What are the symptoms of PAD?
People with diabetes are at a higher risk for having PAD. Some studies have found that one out of three people with diabetes over age 50 has PAD. Th ose with both diseases are much more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who just have PAD.1
Many people with diabetes and PAD do not have any symptoms. Some people may experience mild leg pain or trouble walking and believe that it’s just a sign of getting older. Others may have the following symptoms: • Leg pain, particularly when walking or exercising • Numbness, tingling or coldness in the lower legs or feet Sores or infections on feet or legs that heal slowly
Why it is important to diagnose and treat PAD in diabetic patients? Many people with diabetes do not have feeling in their feet due to nerve disease. Th ey may have severe PAD but cannot feel any symptoms. As a result, it takes a long time for a diagnosis.
How is PAD diagnosed? Th e ankle brachial index (ABI) is one test used to diagnose PAD. Th is test compares the blood pressure in your ankle to the blood pressure in
People with PAD are at a very high risk for heart attack and stroke, so it is very important to manage cardiovascular risk factors. Here are some steps you can take: • Quit smoking. • Aim for an A1C (blood glucose test) below 7 percent. • Lower your blood pressure to less than 130/80 mmHg. • Get your LDL cholesterol below 100 mg/dl. • Take aspirin or other antiplatelet medicines, which have been shown to reduce heart attacks and strokes in people with PAD. • Studies have found that exercise, such as walking, can be used both to treat PAD and to prevent it. • Angioplasty or stenting or surgery can be done to keep the artery open.
Our Approach: Clinicians at the Heart & Vascular Institute and Marion Heart Associates have expertise and a multidisciplinary approach in medical and endovascular interventions to diagnose, treat and prevent complications of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in diabetic patients. Our clinicians also follow patients throughout their lives to ensure ongoing support and further treatment, if needed.
Marion Heart Associates, P.A. 1805 SE Lake Weir Avenue, Ocala (352) 867-9600 marionheartassociates.com
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BY JOANN GUIDRY
“HOW ARE YOU?”
Ask someone that question these days and chances are very good that their answer will include some form of the word stress. Ask any doctor the main reason, outside of a specific disease, why patients seek help, and stress-related health problems will likely top the list. In fact, stress has become so ubiquitous in our fast-paced, technology-driven, financially challenged society, that there is even an American Institute of Stress.
HOW DID WE GET THIS WAY? Actually, it’s about a rather amazing built-in biological alarm system. One that allowed our ancestors to survive life-threatening attacks from predators. Basically it’s the fight-or-flight response. Today, we don’t have to deal with being eaten by predators in our everyday existence, but the alarm system is still there and kicks in, for example, when we just avoid having a car collision. It can also be a lifesaver for those in dangerous professions, such as soldiers, policemen and fire fighters. But for most of us, our modern-day perception of threat is mostly psychological rather than physical. “When we talk about stress today, it’s really what’s going on in our everyday lives,”
says Dr. Lisa Merlo, a clinical psychologist with the University of Florida Psychiatry Department. “It can be about your family, your job, getting things done on a daily basis. Then we have the big events like getting married or divorced, having a baby or the death of a loved one. These are all psychological stressors that can lead to a physical stress response.” And this takes us back to our alarm system and what happens when we feel threatened. It all starts in our brain with a chemical signal from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland. With a jolt of adrenaline, the latter stimulates the adrenal glands, which sit atop each of our kidneys. Now the Danger! Danger! alarm releases a surge of hormones from the adrenals, including more adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline speeds up your heart rate, raises your blood pressure and increases your energy levels. All the better to fight or flee! Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, elevates
...AT RISK OF ISSUES LIKE
WEAKNESS AS MUCH AS COURAGE TO KNOW WHEN YOU NEED HELP. IT’S REALLY NOT A SIGN OF
your feel-good, calming neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Worst of all, excessive cortisol actually damages and even kills brain cells. “Experiencing a long-term stress response can negatively impact us,” says Merlo. “This heightened state of feeling threatened can cause many psychological and physical problems. You are at risk of issues like cardiovascular disease, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, compromised immunity and obesity.”
SLEEP DISORDERS, AN
MISED IMMUNITY AND OBESITY.”
the level of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream and helps your brain use it efficiently. But cortisol does a lot more. It also suppresses your digestive, immune and reproductive systems— all considered non-essential functions in a fight-or-flight situation, like running for your life from that previously mentioned predator. Best-case scenario is that you escape the threat. No longer feeling threatened, your body begins to reset itself, and you relax. Now here’s the glitch—our alarm system evolved for only short-term acute use. It’s supposed to work like this: respond, react, recover. But somehow things have gone awry. In response to what we perceive as everyday rather than occasional threats, the system has become too sensitive. Much like a bad home security system, it’s always getting tripped or, even worse, never shutting off. And the constant flood of those stress hormones wreaks havoc on the brain and our bodies. Cortisol, in particular, is a nasty bully. Chronic levels of cortisol rob your brain of glucose, its primary source of fuel, and deplete
With our stress hormonal system running amok, we can be negatively affected literally from head to toe. In fact, the American Institute of Stress lists “50 Common Signs & Symptoms Of Stress.” That’s right—50! Here’s a sampling: frequent headaches; grinding teeth; hair loss; muscle spasms; dizziness; excessive weight gain/weight loss; frequent colds and/or rashes and itching. “STRESS AND HOW PEOPLE REACT is very subjective,” says Merlo. “The key is to address what’s causing the stress and deal with it before it becomes overwhelming. When you have a long-term stress response, your brain, your body and your life are out of balance. You have to take baby steps and start with small changes to bring some balance back to your life.” Merlo recommends “making both psychological and physical lifestyle changes.” A good start, she says, is by taking inventory of your life and your expectations. “Prioritize and decide what are the most important things in your life,” says Merlo.
“Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibilities to others. It’s not healthy to be a martyr.” And Merlo says to make time to relax, “even starting with just five or 10 minutes.” Go to a park, take a short walk, call a friend, read, or listen to music. The key is to allow your mind and body some downtime. “I take a class that incorporates yoga, tai chi and pilates,” says Merlo. “But just as stress is subjective, so is whatever you find relaxing. The important thing is to find what that is.” A good diet, says Merlo, also plays a role in stress management. Research shows that prolonged stress depletes our nutrients and disrupts our blood sugar levels. This is why when stressed, people reach for sugary treats, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. But these nutrient-lacking products only add fuel to the toxic chemical fire of stress. To stop the downward spiral, eat a diet consisting mainly of nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, good fats like avocado and olive oil, and lean proteins. Another vital component for stress management is physical exercise, which is a modern-day answer to the fight-or-flight response. “Exercise gives your body a way to physically respond to stress, and that’s how we evolved to respond,” says Merlo. “Exercise burns up those stress hormones and allows your body and brain to return to a more balanced state. Unfortunately, there are times when we are overwhelmed, and Merlo says that’s when people should seek professional help. “There’s still a lot of stigma associated with getting psychological help,” says Merlo. “But it’s really not a sign of weakness as much as courage to know when you need help. A good place to start is with your primary care physician. Have an honest discussion and decide together on how best to proceed. It’s a step that could help you live a less stressful and a more fulfilling life.”
The following simple breathing exercise, done in any position but preferably sitting straight up, is a great way to relax and de-stress: 1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridged tissue just behind your upper front teeth; keep it there during the entire breathing exercise. 2. First, exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, pulling your belly button toward your spine. 3. Next, close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4; hold your breath for a count of 7. 4. Then, exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of 8, pulling your belly button toward your spine. 5. Repeat the cycle three more times.
O Y O D OW
E L D HAN
Source: Natural Health, Natural Medicine, by Dr. Andrew Weil
Heart: Linked to cardiovascular disease and hypertension Lungs: Adversely affects asthma and other respiratory illnesses Digestive tract: Causes/aggravates gastritis, ulcerative colitis, irritable colon, ulcers, heartburn
Immune system: Makes you more susceptible to infections, colds, autoimmune diseases
Reproductive: Causes menstrual disorders, vaginal infections; impotence, premature ejaculation
Muscles: Exacerbates neck and shoulder pain, musculoskeletal pain, nervous tics, muscular twitches Skin: Can lead to outbreaks of psoriasis, eczema, hives, dermatitis Hair: Linked to excessive hair loss and some forms of baldness Source: American Institute of Stress/stress.org
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THIS IS YOUR
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L I H L C WITH L-THEANINE L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea, and research shows that it helps produce the calming brain neurotransmitter GABA. Suzy Cohen, Ocala-based pharmacist and health writer, describes L-theanine as “meditation in your teacup” because it creates relaxing alpha brain waves the same way meditation does. For an effective stress-relieving dose of L-theanine, Cohen recommends drinking four cups of green tea, spread out throughout the day. Or you can take it in supplement form, 100 mg to 200 mg, every four to six hours as needed when stressed. L-theanine is best taken on an empty stomach, and you should wait at least 30 minutes before eating any high-carbohydrate foods, which interfere with absorption.
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Here’s a look at four main neurotransmitters, their importance to your health and how to restore and maintain that crucial balance in your brain.
Dopamine: Energizes, helps motivate and keeps us focused. Low levels lead to fatigue, apathy, an inability to focus and cravings for sweets, coffee, chocolate and sodas. High-protein foods like lean meats, poultry, seafood and dairy products are good to boost dopamine production. Acetylcholine: A stimulating chemical, acetylcholine is involved in how the brain processes information, memory retention and recall, problem solving and helping to resist brain fatigue. Low levels typically increase cravings for fatty foods like ice cream, as well as fried foods. To increase acetylcholine levels, eat foods that contain good fats like avocados, nuts, olive oil, egg yolks and lecithin, and take Omega-3 fatty acids or choline supplements. Serotonin: This feel-good, relaxing chemical
gives us a general feeling of well-being. Low levels can lead to low self-esteem, depression and sleep disturbances. Cravings usually include starchy and salty foods like pasta, chips and bread. Foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan can help increase serotonin levels; try turkey, pork, chicken and unsweetened or raw cocoa powder. Supplements to look into include 5-HTP or SAM-e.
GABA: This chemical is key to helping us relax, de-stress and sleep well. Low levels increase anxiety, sleep disturbances and headaches. People with low GABA levels are true emotional eaters, tending to eat a lot of food quickly. Amino acid supplements like L-glutamine, L-theanine, L-leucine and taurine aid GABA biosynthesis in the brain. GABA itself is also available in supplement form. Foods containing some of these amino acids include brown rice, broccoli, shellfish and bananas.
S YE TO YOGA
The good news is that you don’t have to twist yourself into a pretzel or do a head stand to enjoy the stressbusting benefits of yoga. Through a series of poses and deep controlled breathing, yoga can help you relax, which is key to stress management. In yoga, controlling your breathing is the answer to quieting your mind, and the poses help release tension from your body. Combined, both yoga breathing and poses help you take your focus away from your stress and induce a calmer, relaxed state of mind and body. Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin has shown that the deep, controlled breathing during specific yoga movements actually reduces the levels of stress hormones in the bloodstream. “Essentially yoga works by connecting your mind and body through breathing and poses,” says Mary Pat Giffin, a certified yoga instructor at The Ranch Fitness Center & Spa. “And what this does is release stress and tension from the inside out.” There are many types of yoga, but Hatha yoga is considered a good one for beginners and stress reduction. Giffin describes her 55-minute Hatha yoga class as “slow, easy and gentle poses integrated with deep relaxation breathing techniques.” Most health clubs and spas offer yoga classes; there are also a wide variety of yoga DVDs to choose from for at-home use.
Research proves that massage is a powerful stress reducer. Essentially, it breaks the pattern of the musculosketetal tension created by chronic stress. And, according to research at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine Touch Research Institute, massage appears to actually lower the body’s level of cortisol. Dana Papa, the licensed massage therapist at Ocala’s Escape Salon & Spa, knows firsthand the benefits of massage therapy. When she suffered from whiplash after a serious car accident, Dana turned to massage therapy for neck and back pain. The relief she received inspired her to become a massage therapist. “The No. 1 reason most people come to me is because of stress-related problems,” says Dana. “It’s usually headaches or neck, shoulder and back pain.” It’s important, Dana says, to visit a licensed massage therapist and someone you feel comfortable with. “You should expect a good massage therapist to spend time talking to you about what your problem is,” she adds. “And they should tailor what they do to your specific needs.” At Escape Salon & Spa, Dana uses several types of massage. For stress-related issues, she finds that the types that work best are “basic relaxation, deep tissue and hot stone.” During the latter, smooth, warm stones are placed on the body with the heat releasing the tension in the muscles. Clients relax in a private setting with dim lighting, soothing scents and lotions, which can be personalized to a client’s wishes, and usually Zen-inducing music. During the hour-long massage session, Dana can focus on a specific area or the whole-body, again depending on the client’s needs.
Sources: brainlogevitydiet.com; onfitnessmag.com
SPA DE-STRESS Spending a few hours at a spa is a great way to de-stress. “The unique setting and amenities of a spa gives you many opportunities to relax,” says Jeff McQuillen, spa and salon manager of
Ocala-based The Ranch Fitness Center & Spa. “It’s a special environment that takes you away from your everyday routine.” When looking at a spa, McQuillen suggests “a relaxing environment in a full-service facility with an experienced, licensed staff.” The basic amenities should include body wraps, massages, facials, manicures and pedicures.
Other de-stressing options could include steam/ sauna rooms, a therapy pool and yoga, pilates and tai chi classes. “If you’re going to invest your time and money in a spa experience,” says McQuillen, “then go for the overall best experience you can find. It’ll be well worth it.”
Editor’s Note: The information included in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always discuss your health concerns and any supplements you wish to take with your personal physician.
A SERVICE OF THE INSTITUTE OF CARDIOVASCULAR EXCELLENCE AND THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL EXCELLENCE
WE TAKE YOUR HEALTH TO HEART
A SERVICE OF THE INSTITUTE OF CARDIOVASCULAR EXCELLENCE AND THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL EXCELLENCE
Bob & Nancy WARREN LADY LAKE
PatriciaSIMPSON MID-FLORIDA LAKES, LEESBURG
“Peripheral artery disease has been a part of my life since I was just a young woman. My father died from complications of the disease when he was just 42 years old. At 68, I have already outlived him because of medical advances in treating this disorder. “When I first met Dr. Qamar, I had a lot of pain in both legs, especially my right leg. My femoral artery had ruptured and I had undergone surgery to bypass the artery years before. After Dr. Qamar ran tests, he inserted a stent in my stomach and repaired a problem I was having with the bypass in my right leg.
“A couple of weeks ago I returned to have my left leg catheterized and as I was waiting, I mentioned that I was still having some pain in my lower right leg. Dr. Qamar immediately said we would deal with that first. He put a stent in my lower right leg and I am now virtually pain-free in that leg. My foot is warmer now than it has been in many years. “I am so impressed with Dr. Qamar and the ICE staff. I had a doctor in Boston that I always said was God’s Gift to me and I now think that this should be Dr. Qamar’s title instead.”
JosephBAILEY Jr. MID-FLORIDA LAKES, LEESBURG
“My cardiologist in New York had given me a stress test, which I failed, and put me on Lasix to reduce swelling in my ankles. Following the test, I headed down to Florida for the winter. I am a snowbird who stays in Florida for six months each year and I knew that when I got down here I had to find a doctor quickly. “I had heard horror stories about doctors in Florida and was very skeptical concerning finding a good one. I did some Internet research and came across the Institute or Cardiovascular Excellence. I made an appointment and while I was in the waiting room I started “interviewing” the others who were waiting. They had nothing but praise for Dr. Qamar and so I decided to stay. I am so glad I did as I believe if it were not for the skills of Dr. Qamar and his staff that I would have had a heart attack. He found 14 blockages in the arteries in both my legs and a 90 percent blockage in my heart arteries. “Dr. Qamar opened up the arteries in my legs and put several stents in place. Following my procedures I am now feeling much better and if I had stayed with the “Dr.” in New York, I believe I would be in bad shape by now. If you need a cardiologist for your heart problems… need I say more?”
“In February 2009, good friends of ours referred us to Dr. Qamar. Following several tests it was determined that my husband Bob needed a stent placed in an artery to his heart. In his following visits to Dr. Qamar and Dr. Gharai, they decided Bob needed open-heart surgery. His aortic valve was replaced in March 2011 and a few days later they implanted a pacemaker. “I also underwent several tests and found I needed a procedure performed on my leg. Following an ablation, I am doing very well. Both Bob and I are up and about, taking daily walks. We are very pleased with the results of our care. “The doctors at ICE are wonderful and take time to talk with us. We have great confidence in them and are very thankful for the consideration and kindness of the staff. They are always helpful and smiling.”
“I had a heart bypass in 1993 following a heart attack. Dr. Qamar performed a heart heart and leg catheterization and concluded that I needed a pacemaker and the proper medications for my heart and stents to alleviate the Peripheral Artery Disease he found in my legs. I can honestly say I am absolutely satisfied with the exceptional care I have received from Dr. Qamar and his staff. I have had several doctors through the years and this is the best heart care I have ever received.”
“You never realize how much you walk, until you can’t walk,” says Stan Mkhitarov, a 69 year-old retired general surgeon, who relocated to The Villages after practicing medicine overseas for over 40 years. “It started slowly, as a pressure in my right leg when I was walking. But it grew into debilitating pain that hindered my ability to get around and take part in activities I once enjoyed. My search for a highly knowledgeable and skillful cardiovascular physician led me to Dr. Asad Qamar, founder of the Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence (ICE). He diagnosed me with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) in the spring of 2011. “Since April 2011, I have undergone several angioplasty and catheterization procedures on both legs, all successfully performed by Dr. Qamar. Words can never express how much I appreciate the care I received from the talented and caring Dr. Qamar, as well as the very skilled and compassionate Martin Potrawski, ARNP, whose expertise and attentiveness during the office visits helped to expedite my recovery. I have so much respect and trust in Dr. Qamar and his entire team, who were so approachable and treated me and my family with respect and understanding. “Having worked in the medical field for four decades, my wife (who is also a retired M.D.) and I have always had access to quality healthcare. However, I say with a great deal of confidence that Dr. Qamar and his staff at ICE are one of the finest groups of healthcare professionals I have ever met.”
“I fell three years ago and severely sprained my right ankle. As I walked I compensated for the pain in my ankle and my left leg began to hurt behind my knee. I returned to my orthopedic
doctor and an MRI showed that everything was structurally okay. “Recently the pain became so bad that it began to affect my ability to work so I thought I should consult a specialist. It just so happens I work for a doctor who I feel is one of the best cardiovascular physicians around — I am in the medical records department at the Institute for Cardiovascular Excellence. “Dr. Qamar saw me immediately and performed an arterial duplex ultrasound. I had blockages in both legs. Dr. Qamar performed angioplasties on both legs and all I can say is that I have been given my life back. I love the outdoors and hadn’t been able to do all the things I love — playing ball with and walking my puppy, biking and hiking — since I fell. Now I am virtually pain-free and am back to living my life to the fullest.
THE VILLAGES 1950 Laurel Manor Dr. Bldg. 240 The Villages, FL 32162 352.509.9295 / Fax: 352.509.9296
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THE VILLAGES 8489 S.E. 165th Mulberry Lane The Villages, FL 32162 352.359.7900 / Fax: 352.259.7966
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Go-Go Gadget Kitchen
Some must-haves for your for your kitchen cabinets p94
Food For The Soul p96
Swanky Chic p96
Kick Back Caribbean Style p98
Let Them Eat Cake p98
Tea Cozy & Coffee Cool
hy not take a moment for yourself and cozy up on a recliner with a cup of warm coffee or aromatic tea. The perk? Your hot mug is not sipped in vain. People who sip coffee in moderation are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia, as well as have fewer cases of cancers and strokes. Tea has also been reported to be effective in reducing the risk of stroke and contains antioxidants, which may interfere with the growth of cancerous cells.
The Kaldi is just one of the nifty kitchen gadgets Ocala Style is featuring this month. Turn to page 94 for gadgets galore.
With the sleek Kaldi from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) com company, you can treat yourself—and make healthy choices—by dispensing your warm drink with one touch. The metallic machine, available in a variety of vibrant colors (we’re in love with the red), ensures consistency in taste and aroma with automatic
proportioning. The twin pressure system provides high or low pressure, so you can enjoy an after dinner espresso or nice cup of Joe with your morning paper. Upon purchase of a Kaldi, you also get a free gift box of 12 CBTL capsules to brew and seep. Visit cbtl.com to order your own Kaldi at a price of $179.95.
Gadgets Galore! Tis the season… for cooking! The cold winter months are sure to work up an appetite, and with the sun setting earlier, more hours are spent in the kitchen cooking up culinary creations. But, if you’re no Gordon Ramsey or Paula Dean, fear not! There are plenty of gizmos and thingamabobs out there to aid in transforming your dishes into a work of art. Here are just a few of our top choices, all of which can be found at Stella’s Modern Pantry and Tom Atsides Restaurant Supply in Ocala, along with many more unique gadgets and gizmos.
Chef’n Mini Magnetic Pepper Balls
Orka Heat Resistant Oven Mitt
Why store pepper in the pantry when these fun magnetic pepper balls can go right on your refrigerator door? Opt for a traditional shaker appearance or something fun like these mini veggie shakers. $9.95 each
These silicone oven mitts with a removable cotton lining can resist heat three times better than regular mitts. They have extra grips, are dishwasher safe and come in a variety of fun colors. $14.99 each
Twist n Sparkle
Who doesn’t like something a little bubbly? Make fun, fizzy drinks and floats like a pro with this carbonation maker. $49.95
Nextrend Garlic Twist
This handy little twist is the winner of six industry awards. It works great with garlic, nuts, ginger, olives and any number of ingredients. It grinds as fine or as
course as you choose with just a twist of the wrist. $17.99 each
Chef’n Emulsifier and Salad Dressing Mixer
with salt or sauces. Store and grind your own herbs to liven up any recipe. $23.95
Stay away from store bought dressings that can be high in fat, sodium and sugar. Instead, make your own healthy dressings and marinades with this emulsifier and mixer. $14.95 6
Freshmill Herb Grinder
Fresh herbs are a healthy alternative to seasoning dishes
Cuisinepro Ergonomic Foam Pump 7
What goes in liquid comes out foam with this unique dish soap foam pump. $12.95 8
Outset Olive Stuffer
Stuffed olives are the perfect accompaniment to dishes and tapas. Stuff with cheese and herbs for a great appetizer or use this
14 15 9
handy tool to stuff cherries or strawberries for a tantalizing dessert. $11.99 9
Architec Recipe Rock
Why have a whole book of recipes you don’t use? Print your favorites from the Internet and simply place into the recipe rock. This handy holder can display over eight printed pages at a time. $9.99
cool colors! The unique shape assures fluffy potatoes every time. $15.95
Mrs. Anderson Baking 4 piece Silicone Measuring Cups
Joseph Joseph Rotary Peeler
Add some color to your kitchen with these durable silicone measuring cups. $14.99 per 4 piece set
Slice and dice with your choice of a standard, serrated or julienned blade all in this one easy-to-use professional peeler. $11.95
Chef’n Sleekstor Pinch & Pour Measuring Cups
When is a potato masher a “cool tool?” When it comes in lots of
These colorful cups can be pinched to pour without spilling a drop. $14.95 for set
Chef’n Silicone Potato Masher
La Cafetiere Milk Frother 14
Chef’n EZ Squeeze
Open cans with ease—and just a little squeeze—with this onehanded can opener. $16.95
LibertyWare Apple Peeler and Slicer 16
Make apple tarts and pies like a pro with this peeler, corer and slicer. $21.95
Craving a cappuccino? Got milkshakes on your mind? Make your own at home, and add the flavors that tickle your taste buds to make custom creations. $8.95
Like what you see? Find these gadgets locally at the following locations. Stella’s Modern Pantry 20 Southwest Broadway Street, Ocala (352) 622-3663 / stellasmodernpantry.com
Tom Atsides Restaurant Supply 3102 West Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala (352) 622-5532 / tomatsides.com
Food That’s Good for the Soul
f you crave some comfort food or want your fill of fried chicken and homemade potato salad, there’s a place off Northeast Jacksonville Road called Mama J’s Soul Food Restaurant, that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant logo is of Mama J herself, a beaming woman stirring up a pot of stew. “She really does exist,” promises Brian Jones, son of Mama J. “Only we’d like to keep her first name a secret,” he adds teasingly. At age 7, Mama learned how to cook from her mother Bernice, who learned from her mother and so on. A petite woman, her copper hair neatly covered in a fishnet cap, Mama can usually be spotted behind the counter or in the kitchen, where she prepares food from scratch. Mama does most of the cooking, while Brian performs several tasks with the rest of the staff: serving hot and cold dishes, bagging meals for takeout and drive-thru customers, welcoming guests and asking them to come again as they make their way out with cartons of leftovers. Diners can watch a Saturday game on one of the two TVs while eating breakfast, which is served all day, every day. A children’s menu is also available, and homemade ice cream is served on Sundays. Large groups can order Mama’s tailgater special to go: 40 wings, four large fries, six fish fillets and a gallon of sweet tea or house-made lemonade. Citing smothered pork chops, yellow rice, collard greens and candied yams as his favorite meal—“I could eat it every day”—Brian explains soul food as food simply prepared with love, whether it’s a plate of chicken and dumplings or savory shepherd’s pie. After a comfort meal of mac-n-cheese and fried chicken or even an early meal of fish-n-grits, guests can’t leave without a slice of pound cake or mini sweet potato pie. But one treat that everyone should try is the strawberry or blueberry delight. With a cookie crust of walnuts and pecans, a Cool Whip middle and berry preserves on top with a tuft of whipped cream, the dessert is a sweet end to a meal at Mama J’s, a dining experience that’s truly an utter delight.
Mama J’s Soul Food Restaurant 2901 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala (352) 351-8036 Open Mon-Thu 6a-7p Fri & Sat 6a-9p / Sun 11a-7p
Kick n’ Back Café opened July 11 in what was formerly the Raven’s Nest out in Lynne. Barely a 10-minute drive from the eastern edge of Ocala, the establishment, owned by Ken and Sandi Kloza, boasts a decidedly Caribbean feel, complete with Jimmy Buffett tunes. “It’s all good” is the restaurant’s slogan, and judging by all the positive feedback on urbanspoon.com, patrons definitely agree. The cuisine features Caribbean, Cuban and American dishes with a wide variety of offerings. You’ll find everything from gator tail and Cuban-style sandwiches to seafood, hearty breakfasts and lots more, including daily specials. The cafe opens for breakfast at 6:30am and starts serving lunch at 11am. Dinner is served until about 9pm. They are closed on Mondays. 14400 E. Highway 40, Silver Springs / (352) 289-4069
Hurray! The lovely two-story building on Fort King Street that once housed the Veranda Gallery is no longer sad and empty. Tres Chic at The Swanky Victorian and Muse opened for business in mid-October. The motherdaughter team of Colleen Harper and Danielle Sherman owned Tres Chic on the Downtown Square for nine years. Now, they’ve moved into larger digs, and along with all their fabulous boutique items, the shop features Muse, the café owned and operated by Cindy Dinges, known in Ocala for her Decadence Catering. From the Asiago-Onion Tart to the Chicken, Pear & Gorgonzola Salad to the Veggie Shepherd’s Pie, Grilled Green Tea Salmon, and much more, the menu offers innovative, healthy, contemporary fare. “It’s not your Mama’s tea room,” laughs Danielle. “The dessert cart is there to tempt you before you walk into the café. That way, you make sure to save room!” The café is open for lunch Monday-Saturday from 11am-3pm. 416 SE Fort King St., Ocala / (352) 867-1199 Continued on page 98
Tony’s Sushi & Steakhouse 3405 SW College Road, Ocala / (352) 237-3151 Mon-Thu 11a-10p / Fri & Sat 11a-11p / Sun 3p-10p Tony’s Sushi brings scrumptious sushi favorites from New York and Miami to Ocala, served in a fun, family environment. All sushi dishes are made to order —choose from a variety of specialty rolls or create your own! Whether you prefer chicken, steak or seafood, talented chefs will prepare it with dazzling showmanship on the hot grill right at your table. All entrées come with soup or salad and rice. In addition to the full Japanese kitchen, there is a full liquor bar and a beer selection, including imported Japanese beer and sake.
For the truly adventurous, try Tony’s famous Sake Bomb! We also provide catering and host private parties.
Little Joey’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant Baylee Plaza: 16840 US Hwy 441, Summerfield / (352) 347-1800 Big Lots Shopping Center: 103rd Street Plaza, 8602 SW SR200, Ocala / (352) 873-0223 6998 N. Lecanto Hwy / (352) 465-0082 Mon-Thu 11a-8:30p / Fri & Sat 11a-9:30p / Closed Sun
Aft er 20 years in business, Little Joey’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant has not lost its touch. Th e family-style dine-in or takeout Italian restaurant serves fabulous dishes that are prepared to order. Catering for various events can also be arranged. With quality as a top priority, chefs prepare authentic Italian dishes, from Chicken Marsala to Eggplant Rollitine, a vegetarian delight, and another favorite, the Linguine Pescatore, a seafood lover’s dreams. And, don’t let us not forget about the hand-tossed Pizza, Stromboli, and Calzone with your choice of toppings. With quality as a top priority, chefs put the utmost care into the preparation of each dish to provide the best dining experience.
Don’t forget to join us on Tuesday every week for a large Pizza for only $6.95!!!
Little Joey’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant
Ipanema Brazilian Steak House 2023 South Pine Avenue, Ocala / (352) 622-1741 / www.ipanemaocala.com Lunch Tue-Fri 11a-2p / Dinner Tues-Thu 5p-9p, Fri & Sat 5p-10p, Sun 4p-9p Happy Hour Tue-Fri 5p-7p / Closed Monday A Churrascaria (Portuguese for barbecue) is a dining experience where roaming Gauchos slice and serve fi re-roasted meats from skewers in a continual fashion. Ipanema Brazilian Steak House boasts 11 of the fi nest cuts of meat complemented by an opulent salad and vegetable bar, delectable desserts, and delicious wines, beers and cocktails. Brazilian native and executive chef Alonso Esgaib invites you to embrace the fl avors of his homeland and experience the magnetism of Ipanema for yourself. Enjoy the weather and come dine on our new covered patio area! Become a fan of Ipanema on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ipanemaocala. Great discounts online!
We now offer an extensive appetizer menu and full dinner service outdoors. Happy Hour: 2 for 1 premium drinks and house wines Tue-Fri, 5p-7p.
Continued from page 96
Many patrons say El Azteca Mexican Restaurant has the best fajitas in town. Now, in addition to authentic Mexican food, the the establishment features live entertainment. entertainment. Enjoy a Mariachi band on Thursday evenings from 6-9pm. Check out the karaoke action—and join in if you’re brave enough—on Thursdays and Fridays Fridays from 8pm to midnight. El Azteca has daily food and drink specials, as well as TVs and a full bar. 4011 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala (352) 854-5500
Be Calm and Carefree at Kick N’ Back
n a winding drive through the Ocala National Forest, you’ll find Kick N’ Back Café and Grille, a Caribbean-themed restaurant parked on highway 40. The café has a laid-back atmosphere, where guests are welcome to enjoy a drink after work with a platter of Kick N’ Wings blended with BBQ or buffalo sauce. Conch fritters served with cocktail sauce, a Key West tradition, are also a Kick Starter favorite. Kick N’ Back opened this past July, and customers have raved ever since. The restaurant’s slogan, “It’s all good,” instills the easygoing mindset owners Kenney and Sandi Kloza wish upon their diners. At sunrise, a breakfast of fluffy Porthole Cakes or a Seafarer’s Omelet off the griddle will start your day off right. Hungry bubbas can order a Bubba’s Breakfast of two eggs, home fries or grits, a half order of biscuits and gravy, and bacon or sausage. Lunch and dinner features a variety of chicken sandwiches, burgers, salads and wraps. The Cuban Mix—Havana pork, ham and Swiss cheese with pickles and
mustard on a pressed hoagie roll—comes highly recommended. Salty sailors can have their share of fish filet feasting on the Fisherman’s Platter: an entree with select white fish, shrimp and scallops. Kenney, who hails from Key West, has a food business history spanning a decade, but Kick N’ Back’s building, he says, has a longer and more colorful history. “It used to be a place locals would drive by but have never been into,” Kenney says, referring to the building’s more rowdy restaurant tenants in the past. But word of mouth and delicious food have drivers stepping on their brakes since Kick N’ Back’s opening. Besides snacking on shrimp poppers or chowing down on the Mojo Chicken and Pork, guests can enjoy playing volleyball, tossing horseshoes or building sandcastles in the outdoor recreation area. And, of course, there’s always that special place on the screened-in back patio, where guests can feel a cool breeze, relax under the fans overhead and taste a slice of Kenney’s Key Lime Pie.
Kick N’ Back Café and Grille 14400 East Highway 40, Silver Springs (352) 289-4069 Tue-Sat 6:30a-9p / Sun 6:30a-7p / Closed Mon
Betty Cakes, a quaint little eatery located inside Your Heart’s Desire boutique, has built a solid fan following with its delicious chicken salad plate. It’s no surprise this is their best-selling lunch item. The plate features a generous serving of chicken salad (nuts give it a nice crunch), a croissant (in case you want to make it into a sandwich), fresh fruit and potato chips. The menu also includes salad and sandwich options and the soup of the day. There’s always an array of desserts, too. Betty Cakes serves lunch from 10am to 3pm MondayFriday and from 10am to 2pm on Saturday. 1915 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 352-622-3727 / bettycakesbettycakes.com
The Sidewalk Cookie and Cake Company offers sweet creations through their website and out of their shop on College Road. You can also find them at Shannon Roth Collection downtown, as well as at the Ocala Farm Market on the Square on Saturday mornings. Owned by Martha Jane Davis, the company grew out of her full-service catering business Woodlea Gardens. “Everything is homemade,” says sales rep Frank Harris. “Probably our biggest sellers are the traditional vanilla sour cream pound cake and the vanilla shortbread cookies. These are Mary Jane’s recipes that she’s been making for years. We ship all over ship the country; we have a lot of customers who send customers who send them to friends and family. They’re also also popular as client gifts.” The pound cake cake also comes in chocolate, bourbon pecan pecan and almond amaretto (Frank’s favorite!), and favorite!), and the shortbread cookies come in pecan and and almond, as well. Other items include herb-toasted herb-toasted pecans in a decorative tin, cheese wafers and wafers and balsamic vinaigrette (both dark and light) made light) made from Mary Jane’s special recipe. 2201 SW College Road, Unit 3, Ocala (352) 690-9699 / sidewalkcookieandcake.com
Bamboo Bistro 700 North Hwy 441 (In Front of Target), Lady Lake / (352) 750-9998 Mon-Thu 11a-9:30p / Fri-Sat 11a-10p / Sun Noon-9p Open Christmas Day Celebrating 1 year in business! Experience the unique and unforgettable taste of Bamboo Bistro in Th e Villages! Off ering Asian dishes from China, Japan, Vietnam and Th ailand along with a full sushi bar, Chef Liang Wu incorporates the best variety of authentic Asian ingredients while using an array of cooking techniques. Our specialties include Peking Duck, Pepper Seared Filet Mignon, Seafood Delight, along with other seafood choices. Many wok entrées and noodle dishes are available as well. A variety of Asian beers and the extensive wine list will complement any meal.
Four course dinner for two, $30. Chef Wu and co-owner Jian Daniels have created a wonderful new Asian Fusion dining experience in town that manages to be both elegant and casual.
El Toreo 3790 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala / (352) 694-1401 / 7 Days 11a-10p SR 200, Ocala / (352) 291-2121 / 7 Days 11a-11p Happy Hour Daily 4p-7p New lunch specials include Taco Salad on Monday, $3.95; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $3.95; Quesadillas on Wednesday, $5.45; Chimichangas on Th ursdays, $4.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $3.95. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $7.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $6.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $6.95; Tacos de Bistec Th ursdays, $6.95; and Enchilada Fridays, $6.95. Don’t miss “Margarita Mondays” with $1.95 margaritas. On Tuesdays, kids 12 and under - 99¢ from the children’s menu (takeout not included). Wednesday is 99¢ margaritas and $1.95 for domestic and imported beers. Saturday is 2-for-1 margaritas all day.
Join us every day for happy hour from 4-7pm and get 2-for-1 wells or drafts. Whether it’s delicious food, great drinks or a festive atmosphere, there are more reasons than ever to visit either El Toreo location today.
THE BEST MEXICAN FOOD
Fiore’s Café 119 South Pine Avenue, Ocala / (352) 789-6980 Sun-Thu 4p-9p / Fri & Sat 4p-10p Happy Hour: 4p-6p Sun-Thu Enjoy beautiful Tuscan architecture, decadent dishes and an extensive wine list at Fiore’s Café. Daily specials, tempting tapas and delightful desserts along with excellent service make Fiore’s one of Ocala’s premier dining spots. Now VIP members can earn points for cash rewards, discounts and free items. Ask how to get started earning points right away. VIP members receive 20% off on Mondays in December, double points on Tuesday, complimentary house wine and sangrias or $5 off appetizers on Wednesday, and complimentary dessert on their birthday. Th ere are new promotions every month!
Allow Fiore’s Café to host your private party (max 60 people) or cater your holiday event. Happy hour: 4p-6p Sun-Thu, 2-for-1s and a new tapas menu.
Scan for a direct link to their Facebook page.
Cuvée Wine & Bistro 2237 SW 19th Ave Rd, Ste. 102, Ocala / (352) 351-1816 / cuveewineocala.com Mon-Thu 5p-10p / Fri & Sat 5p-2a / Happy Hour 5p-7p Call for Reservations. Private Parties and Off-Premise Catering Available.
Cuvée Wine & Bistro is an elegant and approachable environment where you can embrace the age-old relationship between food and wine. In an inspiring and intimate atmosphere, Cuvée brings together the taste of upscale cuisine with the freshest ingredients, combined with a wide array of wines from around the world. We guarantee your senses will be delighted and your palate overwhelmed. Feed your mind, your spirit and your curiosity at Cuvée.
Ocala Ale House 305 SE 17th Street, Ocala / (352) 620-8989 / millersalehouse.com Daily 11a-2a Purchase your gift cards now. Bulk deals available. Join us for our annual party on February 5th! $50 for Open Buffet and Bar
Great food in a great atmosphere. We have it all, and with football season now in full swing, you can bet that Ocala Ale House is the place to be. Bring your appetite and start with their world-famous Zingers. Th ese boneless chicken wings can be accompanied by one of nine diff erent, tasty sauces and are the perfect start to any meal. With a menu that’s far too expansive to list, take note of their daily food and drink specials, both for lunch and dinner! Th ursday night is ladies’ night from 9pm-2am, and Wednesday night features an unforgettable night of trivia between 9pm-12am. Not enough? How about $1 draft s and $1 drink specials all day, every day! Check out millersalehouse.com for all the details.
My Mochi Frozen Yogurt 2611 SW 19th Ave. Road (By Regal Cinemas), Ocala / (352) 671-1556 Open 7 Days a Week, Noon-Midnight Caution: Mochi frozen yogurt is addictive and may cause extreme cravings!
Mochi frozen yogurt is causing a craze here in Ocala! Did you know yogurt is one of the healthiest foods in the world? Not only healthy and delicious, Mochi frozen yogurt is also 100% natural, nonfat, low calorie, cholesterol free and contains eight times more live and active cultures than normal yogurt. Indulge in Taro, Coconilla, Lychee and more! Top off your swirly creation with cereals, nuts, candies and fresh fruit cut daily! Scan here with your smartphone for a direct link to our Facebook page.
Mesa de Notte 2436 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala / (352) 732-4737 / mesadenotte.com Mon–Fri 11a-10p / Sat & Sun 3p-10p / Happy hour daily 3-7p Chef Jose Moreno says “Benvenuti a Mesa de Notte” (Welcome to Table of the Night) an Italiano vero, fi ne dining experience you won’t forget. Traditional Italian cuisine, as well as unique specialty dishes, are all served with gourmet pasta made in-house at Mesa de Notte. Mesa de Notte uses only the freshest ingredients, including fresh seafood and vegetables, hand-cut steaks, veal, duck and more. Complete your meal with one of 13 delicious sauces, all rooted in Italy, such as livernese, puttanesca, frances, pomodoro, bolognaise, pesto, vodka, piccata, oil and garlic. Enjoy a glass of “vino” from over 80 international fi ne wines, many served by the glass, or maybe a nice bottle of cold beer. Come enjoy! Or let us cater your holiday party!
Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Mesa de Notte with our Black Tie Gala Dinner. Six courses with complimentary wine with each course. Reservations only. Seating 8pm to Midnight.
Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant 2463 SW 27th Avenue, Ocala / (352) 237-3900 / kotobukiocala.com Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30a-2p Dinner: Tue-Thu 4:30p-9:30p / Fri & Sat 4:30p-10:30p / Mon & Sun 4:30p-9:30p For an authentic Japanese meal in an award-winning restaurant that has been serving Ocala since 1986, try Kotobuki. Try traditional Japanese favorites like Tempura, Teriyaki, and broiled seafood and vegetables. For a memorable experience, gather around the Hot Grill and watch as your chef prepares steak, chicken and seafood favorites right before your eyes.
Check out our full sushi bar.
Woodlea Gardens 2201 SW College Rd #3, Ocala (off SR 200 in Sheﬃeld Plaza) / (352) 690-9699 woodleagardens.com / Mon-Fri 9a-5:30p / Sat 9a-1p / Closed Sun Special occasions call for the best of the best when it comes to catering. For 16 years, Woodlea Gardens has provided fabulous food for catered events and gourmet carry-home meals. For any type of event—large and small, casual to formal—Woodlea does it all. With Woodlea as your chef, your guests can enjoy fi ne feasting in your own home. Traditional Holiday dinners can be pre-ordered and picked up the day before the holiday. Be the belle of your offi ce when you order from Woodlea’s lunch menu of cold and hot plates and superb sandwiches. Entertaining—its heart is hospitality, its soul is food! Woodlea #9 Envelope
The Ivy House Restaurant 106 NW Main Street, Williston / (352) 528-5410 / ivyhousefl.com Sun-Wed 11a-2p / Thur-Sat 11a-8p For more information on catering, please contact Waica Huggins or Evelyn Nussel at firstname.lastname@example.org. No reservations are required, but a courtesy call for parties of more than 10 is appreciated. Full-service catering, gift shop-boutique.
Tucked comfortably in the heart of Williston, this familyowned establishment is a pleasure to visit. Th e restaurant has been named by Florida Trend as one of the “Top 500 Best Places to Eat in the State” for several years now. Lunch is served seven days a week and features a Southern-style daily special, and supper is served Th ursday, Friday and Saturday evenings only. Specials include Southern Fried Lobster, delicious steaks and their famous Baked Krispy Chicken, along with a complete full menu.
Crossroads Country Kitchen 7947 W Highway 40, Ocala / (352) 237-1250 Mon-Thu 6a-8p / Fri-Sat 6a-9p / Sun 7a-3p Located at the Crossroads of NW 80th Ave. and Hwy 40 West. No matter what you have a taste for, Crossroads Country Kitchen is sure to become a new favorite.
Located west on Highway 40 in Ocala, the Crossroads Country Kitchen is a must for anyone craving down-home, country cooking. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, menu items range from homestyle chicken & dumplings to prime rib, fresh salads, seafood, prime steaks and burgers. If you’re in the mood for a real treat, try the Prime Rib Dinner For Two. Make sure to leave room for one of the tasty home-baked desserts, too! In the mood for a fresh fi sh fry? Tuesdays and Fridays are all-you-care-to-eat catfi sh. Big screen televisions will allow you to enjoy your meal without missing one second of the big game or race.
Tilted Kilt 3155 E. Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala / (352) 351-5458 / tiltedkilt.com Mon-Thu 11a-Midnight / Fri-Sat 11a-12a / Sun 11a-11p Other favorites include such entrees as the Sausage Artichoke Fettuccini, Danny Boy’s Shepherd’s Pie and lasagna.
Have you heard the buzz around town about Ocala’s newest restaurant and sports bar? Everything at Tilted Kilt, from the delicious pub-style food to the friendly costumed staff , is exciting and fun! Th e menu features an array of satisfying options, whether you just want to snack or feel like having a full meal. Nachos, cheeseburger sliders, quesadillas and salads join over half a dozen hearty burgers, such as the Black & Bleu, Th e French Connection (lots of melted Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms and onions) and the BBQ Bacon. Other favorites include Maggie Mae’s Fish & Chips, Kilt Burner Wings, Chicken Tenders, the Ultimate Club Wrap and the Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap.
Tommy’s Country BBQ 2065 Northwest Pine Avenue, Ocala / (352) 732-7759 / (352) 732-7491 fax email@example.com Mon-Tues 6a-4p / Wed-Sat 6a-8p / Closed Sundays With the dream of cooking the home-cooked foods he loved as a child, especially BBQ favorites, Tommy started his restaurant business 12 years ago. As a professional in the food industry his entire adult life, Tommy was no stranger to the kitchen. Tommy’s Country BBQ features a comfortable, homey atmosphere that encourages friends and family to come together to eat. Prices range from $3.99-$6 for breakfast and $6-$9 for lunch. Wednesdays through Saturdays, dinner meals range from $6-$20.
Tommy’s specializes in the best prime rib in Ocala. Give them a try and you’re certain to feel the difference.
Chili’s Grill & Bar Several convenient locations throughout our area / chilis.com Sun-Thu 11a-11p / Fri & Sat 11a-Midnight (lounge open till 2a, at I-75 location only) Happy Hour All Day Everyday From freshly prepared salads to mouth-watering burgers, Chili’s kicks up the fl avor with food that’s anything but ordinary. Smokey, sweet and savory ribs are now slow-smoked over pecan wood and are impossible to resist. Enjoy the fl avor without the guilt thanks to dishes under 750 calories. Party Platters create the perfect event at Chili’s.
Happy Hour is all day every day with 2-for-1 drinks. New lunch break. Forget the old—go for the bold. $6 lunch combos!
Scan here with your smartphone for a direct link to chilis.com
Blanca’s Café Ocala Palms Golf & Country Club / 5000 N US Hwy 27, Ocala / (352) 867-0001 Sun Breakfast Buffet 8a-Noon, Dinner 1p-7p / Mon-Sat Lunch & Dinner 10:30a-9p Open for Christmas Day Dinner. Serving from Noon-7p. Call for Reservations! Tucked in among the rolling greens of the Ocala Palms Golf & Country Club, Blanca’s Café is a gem of a fi nd for diners looking for excellent food served in a warm, friendly environment. Italian dishes and delicious homemade desserts are the café’s specialty, with a popular breakfast buff et off ered every Sunday. Patrons enjoy a full service bar and live entertainment weekly as well as spacious seating for up to 150. Try one of the weekly dinner specials Blanca’s off ers, or schedule catering for your next event through the café. Whether you’re a newcomer in town or a local looking for somewhere new to dine, Blanca’s Café off ers something to please every palate.
Weekly entertainment, call for details. Homemade pizza served daily. Lunches now feature Beef on Weck & Monte Cristo Sandwiches. Each Friday in Dec., 1½ lb. Maine Lobster. Reservation required by Wednesday.
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Equine Smootches p106
A Wheel Good Time
ee Ocala from a slightly different perspective now through the New Year. The Downtown Square will once again be home to a 50-foot vintage Ferris wheel thanks to the DOWNTOWN BUSINESS ALLIANCE and the CITY OF OCALA RECREATION & PARKS DEPARTMENT. This lit-up ride is a star in its own right, as it was
A Q&A with this this year’s Clara p107
Top Notch Tenor p108
Lanes and Lasers p112
The Social Scene p114
recently featured in the Transformers 3 film. Now, it will take Ocala residents high above the city to offer a view of the decorated Downtown only seen once a year. Last year, over 16,000 people took a turn despite the cold weather, while many came by just to sneak a peak at the Square’s latest attraction. The Ferris wheel is located on the lot adjacent to the downtown Square and is open Monday through Thursday 5-8pm, Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am12am and Sunday 5-8pm. Ride tickets are $3 per person, and some height requirements apply.
The third The third annual KISS THE HORSE FOR LITERACY finale will take place at the Hennessey Arabian finale will Farms from 11am-3pm. The campaign for literacy Farms from benefits the Marion County Literacy Council. benefits the Area business and community leaders have been Area business “nominated” to the campaign for the honor of “nominated” “Kissing the Horse. ” The candidate who raises the “Kissing the most money will pucker up to Tulle El-Jammal, most money an equine champion. Horse shows will continue an equine hourly until the Kiss Off at 2:45pm. Catering hourly will be provided by Mojo Grill, and a will be children’s activity area will be set up for children’s the youngsters. Tickets are $14 for adults the youngsters. and $8 for students. and $8 marionliteracy.org or
Under the Full Moon This holiday-themed show in High Springs will feature good music, good food and lots of fun. With plenty of campsites available, a load of vendors and campfires under the stars, this is the perfect musical weekend for the whole family. Gates open Thursday, December 8 at 12pm. Tickets are $20 for the weekend and $10 for Sunday only. Children under 13 are free. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Suwannee Valley League and the High Springs Lions Club. Visit farmtofamilymusic.com or call (386) 462-1701.
(352) 690-7323. Dec
Symphony Under the Lights
The downtown Square will be filled with the music of the OCALA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA during the annual Symphony Under the Lights concert. Prior to the orchestra’s performance, the Summer Springs Sweet Adeline Chorus will perform a four-part barbershop harmony concert and family sing-along beginning at 6:15. Both concerts are free. The Ocala Symphony Orchestra performance begins at 7pm. ocalasymphony.com or (352) 351-1606.
THELOCALSCENE APPLETON EXHIBITS (ONGOING) The Appleton Museum will feature several exhibits during December: A Dicken’s Christmas: The Urban Family Collection will feature miniature Dickens era villages, holiday decorations and ornaments. Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen will feature an assortment of the actress’s costumes and memorabilia. Scenes From the South: American Art From the Collection of James Fuller will open on Dec. 3 and features landscapes of the Southern United States. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. BE A SANTA TO A SENIOR (THROUGH DEC. 9) Home Instead Senior Care is teaming up with non-profit agencies and
area retailers to collect, wrap and distribute gifts to lonely and needy seniors in Marion County. There will also be a gift-wrapping event on Dec. 9 at 5pm at Grace Presbyterian Church in Ocala. beasantatoasenior.com or (352) 622-6447. 16TH ANNUAL LEESBURG CHRISTMAS HOUSE (THROUGH DEC. 10) The Leesburg Christmas House will be open through December 10. leesburgpartnership.com or (352) 365-0053. FINE ART CRAFTS BY CONTEMPORARY CRAFTSWOMEN (THROUGH JAN. 15) The Florida Museum of Women Artists will be transformed into an interactive installation of purchasable fine art
crafts created by women artisans. floridamuseumforwomenartists.com (386) 873-2976. CIRCLE SQUARE COMMONS FARMERS MARKET (THROUGH MAY) Circle Square Commons will host a farmers market on Thursdays from 4-7pm. At 5pm, On Top of The World chefs will prepare the recipe of the week during a cooking demonstration. APPLETON AFTER HOURS (DEC. 1) The Appleton Museum will host their monthly After Hours social from 5-8pm. Admission is free for members and $8 for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. TRIPS ‘N’ TOURS (DEC. 1, 6) The Appleton Museum of Art’s Trips ‘N’ Tours series will visit the Bok
Exciting Excursions This month, the DISCOVERY CENTER will host two excursions for teens that are both fun and educational. On December 28, teens will have an opportunity to try rock climbing and visit the Lubee Bat Conservancy, and on December 29, a group will travel to the Brevard Zoo to test out the Zoorageous Zipline. Registration deadlines are December 20 and December 14. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900.
Tower Gardens and Christmas at Pinewood, Lake Wales. Tickets are $70 for members and $80 for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4456. SANTA ON THE SQUARE (DEC. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20) Be on the downtown Square from 6-8pm for this favorite holiday program, featuring a visit from Santa, music, snacks and a hayride. (352) 401-3916. BONKERZ COMEDY CLUB (DEC. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17) The Ocala Bonkerz Comedy Club will feature a number of performers this month, including Forrest Shaw, Ricky Reyes and Kojo Prince. bonkerzcomedy.com or (352) 425-8480. LEESBURG POWWOW (DEC. 2-4) The Intertribal Cultural Arts
THELOCALSCENE Society presents this outdoor Native American dance festival. (352) 568-5092. 4TH ANNUAL KRINGLE CHRISTMAS FAIR (DEC. 3) The St. Theresa Church in Belleview will host this event featuring an arts and crafts fair, a unique basket raffle and Santa himself from 8am-2pm. Santa will be on-site between 9am-1pm. (352) 245-2458. HOLIDAY PARADE (DEC. 3) The first annual Marion Oaks Holiday Parade will take place on Marion Oaks Boulevard at 3pm, featuring an abundance of floats, cultural food, children’s activities and caroling. (352) 347-9111. 11TH ANNUAL TOYS FOR KIDS CRUISE-IN (DEC. 3) The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing will host this car show to benefit the Interfaith charity. There will be $1,500 worth of giveaways, vendors, food and entertainment. Fee is a new, unwrapped toy or a $15 donation. Gates open at 9am. garlits.com or (352) 347-3696. KINGDOM OF THE SUN BAND PERFORMANCE (DEC. 3-4) The Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band will perform a holiday performance at the Marion Technical Institute. The performance starts at 2pm on Dec. 3 and 3pm on Dec. 4. (352) 875-8167 or (352) 624-9291. JAMMING IN THE PARK (DEC. 4) The Marion Oaks Community Center will host a jam session featuring all genres of music from 4-7pm. salsaandjazz.com. A HOLIDAY EVENING AT CUVEE (DEC. 4) A holiday evening featuring fine wine and elegant cuisine will be held at Cuvée Bistro to benefit Hospice of Marion County’s children’s programs. The event is $75 per person and runs from 6-9pm. Black tie optional. (352) 854-5281. KATHARINE HEPBURN EXHIBIT LECTURE (DEC. 4) Florida State University Associate Professor of Costume Technology Martha Cooper will provide a program on the design and construction of Hepburn’s costumes. The lecture begins at 2pm. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. “LORDS AND DUKES” (DEC. 4, 10, 11) The Marion Civic Chorale will hold three concerts in December. The December 4 concert will be at the Sheppard of the Hills Episcopal Church
A Young Girl & Her Nutcracker Prince Dancing snowflakes, dastardly mice and a handsome prince; these are the enchanting characters in the fantastical realm of a beloved tale. The Marion Ballet Theatre will present The Nutcracker at the Ocala Civic Theatre throughout December. It will be the 31st season of the late Jeanne Benson-Smith’s originally choreographed show to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score. Fifteen-year-old Lisa Ly will play the young girl Clara, who is swept away into a winter wonderland after being given a mysterious gift.
At what age did you start taking ballet and why? I believe I was 5, and my mom wanted to get my sister and me into ballet, so she enrolled us at Jeanne Benson’s and we’ve been dancing ever since.
Do you see ballet in your future? I hope so. The ballet world is pretty tough. I’m definitely planning to go to college and double major in physical therapy and dance. We’ll see where it goes from there; see where I get in and where I fit in.
What are your ballet dream roles? One of my favorite ballets is Giselle, and my dream role would be Giselle, the title
character. I’d also like to be the Sugar Plum Fairy; I’ve always wanted to be the Sugar Plum ever since the first time I saw The Nutcracker. Aurora in Sleeping Beauty is another one of my dream roles.
Do you have any rituals before a performance? On Saturday, we have two shows and usually the seniors get together and we have a “bachelorette” party; we just turn off the lights and dance to get pumped up before the show.
What are your favorite things to do in Ocala at this time of year? I try to hang out with my friends with my friends as much as possible during the during the break, though after The Nutcracker The Nutcracker is over, I’m literally sleeping every sleeping every single day. But I try to hang with to hang with my family and friends as much as friends as much as possible.
Want To Go? The Nutcracker will be performed at the OCALA CIVIC THEATRE December 9th-11th and 15th-18th. For tickets and show times, call (352) 236-2274 or visit ocalacivictheatre.com.
Continued on page 108
Ticketmaster / (800) 745-3000 / ticketmaster.com All dates are subject to change without notice, so please call ahead to confirm venue listings.
David A. Straz Jr. Center for Perf. Arts, Tampa
Jannus Live, St. Petersburg
St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa
UCF Arena, Orlando
Jacksonville Veterans Mem. Arena
Lakeland Center Youkey Theatre
St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa
Amway Center, Orlando
Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
Hard Rock Live, Orlando
Performing Arts Who
A Christmas Story
Gainesville Community Playhouse
This Wonderful Life
A Christmas Carol
My Fair Lady
Lakeland Center Youkey Theatre
Holiday Music Festival
Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
It’s a Wonderful Life
Charles R. Dassance Fine Arts Center, Ocala
Bob Carr Performing Arts Center
Ocala Civic Theatre, Ocala
Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
Ocala Symphony Orchestra: Twas the Night Before Christmas
Ocala Breeders Sales Auditorium
Danscompany Presents Cinderella
Phillips Center for Perf. Arts, Gainesville
Orlando Ballet: The Nutcracker
Bob Carr Performing Arts Center
Holidaze in Hicksville
Phillips Center for Perf. Arts, Gainesville
Dance Alive National Ballet: The Nutcracker
Phillips Center for Perf. Arts, Gainesville
Shrek The Musical
Progress Energy Center’s Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg
Dance Alive National Ballet: Chocolate and Champagne
Phillips Center for Perf. Arts, Gainesville
Dance Alive National Ballet: Sugar Plum Tea
Phillips Center for Perf. Arts, Gainesville
Curtis Peterson Auditorium, Lecanto
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Progress Energy Center’s Mahaffey Theater, St. Pete
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Lakeland Center Youkey Theatre
A Tenor In Tampa
World renowned singing sensation ANDREA BOCELLI will be in Tampa at the St. Pete Times Forum as part of his U.S. tour. This is the third consecutive year that the famous tenor, who holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for occupying first, second and third place on the American classical music charts, has performed in America, and the first time in over a decade that he will be in the Tampa area. Joining him on stage will be world-renowned soprano Ana Maria Martinez and Tony Award-winner Heather Headley. Ticketmaster.com or sptimesforum.com or (813) 301-2500.
in Lecanto at 4pm. The December 10 concert will be held at the St. George Anglican Cathedral at 2pm, and the December 11 concert will be held at the Zion United Methodist Church at 3pm. Admission is free. marioncivicchorale.tripod.com or (352) 342-1796. CAROLS FROM AROUND THE WORLD (DEC. 4, 11, 18) The Central Florida Master Choir will perform a concert featuring carols from around the world at the First United Methodist Church on December 4, the Countryside Presbyterian Church on December 11 and the Dunnellon Presbyterian Church on December 18. Performances begin at 3pm. Admission is free. cfmasterchoir.com or (352) 537-0207 or (352) 622-3244 ext. 350. COUPON CLASSES (DEC. 6, 13) Creative Cents Couponing will host introductory coupon classes at Grace Episcopal Church from 6-8pm. Classes are $20 or $15 in advance. creativecentscouponing.com or (352) 216-8122. BALLROOM DANCE PARTY (DEC. 7, 21) Dancin’ Around Studio will host two social dance parties. The events are free for currently enrolled students and $12 for guests. danceocala.com or (352) 690-6637. GALLERY RECEPTION (DEC. 8) Gallery East in Belleview will host
a reception from 5-7pm. Featured artists will be David D’Alessandris and Lisa Woodward. The guest artist will be Jackie Schindehette. (352) 245-2781. GUN SHOW AND CRAFT FAIR (DEC. 9-11) The Market of Marion will host a gun show featuring a concealed weapon class from 9am-3pm on Dec. 9 and 11 and 9am-4pm on Dec. 10. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12. A craft show will run simultaneously with free admission. Proceeds benefit the Fraternal Order of Police Scholarship Fund. (352) 236-3069. ANNUAL PANCAKE DAY (DEC. 10) The Kiwanis Club of Ocala will sponsor this event in conjunction with the Reindeer Run and Christmas Parade. The event will be held at the Eighth Street Elementary School Cafeteria from 7am-1pm. ocalakiwanis.com or (352) 425-9725. OCALA CHRISTMAS PARADE (DEC. 10) Join the 60,000 spectators along Silver Springs Boulevard beginning at 5:30pm for the annual Christmas Parade. This year’s theme is A Florida Christmas for Everyone. ocalamarionchristmasparade.com or (352) 897- 0198 DATE WITH KATE TOUR AND LUNCH (DEC. 10, 17) The Appleton Museum will host special Date with Kate tours of the Continued on page 110
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WE’RE NOT JUST PLAYING GAMES 2601 SW 19th Ave Rd, Ocala - 352-369-4263 2202 E Silver Springs BLVD, Ocala - 352-369-4264
Dec. 4 Dec. 17
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS DATE
Dec. 5 Dec. 11 Jan. 1
San Diegoa Tampa Bay Indianapolis
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Holiday Office Party Have your Holiday Party with us!
FREE Comedy Show Friday or Saturday Night
FREE table snack assortments Chips & Salsa, Popcorn & Trail-mix Complimentary Champagne! Please call 352-425-8008 to arrange your party. W Bonkerz Comedy Club ALL NO
WH I LE ITY@The Ocala Entertainment Complex ocala.bonkerzcomedy.com BIL A AV I LASTS! 1227 SW 17th Ave., Ocala A L
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Oakland Philadelphia New York
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ATLANTA FALCONS DATE
Dec. 15 Jan. 1
Jacksonville Tampa Bay
COLLEGE BASKETBALL UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA DATE
Dec. 7 Dec. 19 Dec. 22
Arizona Miss. Valley State Florida State
7:00p 7:00p 7:00p
Katharine Hepburn exhibit, including a tour of the exhibit, lunch in the café featuring some of Katharine Hepburn’s own recipes and a viewing of a classic Hepburn film. The tours will begin at 11:30am, and the package costs $25 per person. Advanced reservations required. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. BOOK SIGNING (DEC. 11) Lucy Beebe Tobias, author of Florida Gardens Gone Wild, will sign copies of her book at the Marion County Library at 2pm. Admission is free. library.marioncountyfl.org or (352) 671-8551. KATHARINE HEPBURN FILM SERIES (DEC. 11, 18) The Appleton Museum will host two film viewings as a part of the Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen exhibit. State of the Union will show on Dec. 11 and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner on Dec. 18. The films begin at 2pm. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.
Dec. 31 Jan. 3 Jan. 10 Jan. 21
Yale UAB Georgia LSU
2:00p 7:00p 7:00p 6:00p
UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA DATE
Dec. 3 Dec. 10 Dec. 13 Dec. 17 Dec. 29 Dec. 30
Hartford Bethune-Cookman N. Carolina A&T Old Dominion Stetson James Madison /Rhode Island Tulane Houston Memphis Southern Miss Palm Beach Atlantic
Jan. 4 Jan. 11 Jan. 18 Jan. 28 Jan. 30
5:00p 5:00p 7:00p 5:00p 7:00p 7:00p 9:00p 7:00p 7:00p 8:00p 7:00p 7:00p
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY DATE
Dec. 5 Dec. 11 Dec. 18 Dec. 30 Jan. 4 Jan. 14 Jan. 17
Charleston Southern 7:00p UNC Greensboro TBA Loyola Marymount 3:00p Princeton 7:00p Auburn 7:00p North Carolina 2:00p Maryland 9:00p
MANURE MANAGEMENT SUMMIT (DEC. 13) This free program will be held at the Ocala Breeder Sales Facility from 10am-2:45pm. Pre-registration required. manuremanagementsummit.eventbrite.com or (352) 671-8400. OCALA BALLET THEATRE PERFORMANCE (DEC. 17) The Ocala Ballet Theatre will perform The Nutcracker at the Marion Technical Institute auditorium at 7pm. (352) 694-0601.
To have an event considered for Ocala Style Magazine’s The Scene Send a short description (and a color photo, if possible) 60 days in advance to: email: firstname.lastname@example.org fax: (352) 732-0226 mail: Ocala Style Magazine The Scene, 1007 E. Fort King St., Ocala, FL 34471
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Be Extreme Riding Through A Winter Wonderland
Through JAN. 1, 6-9p
We probably won’t have snow in Ocala, but we do have horses and carriages! What better way to see the beautiful downtown Square all lit up than bundled up in the back of a horse-drawn carriage? OCALA CARRIAGE AND TOURS will be on the Square seven nights a week from 6-9pm through Jan. 1. If you’re busy checking out the restaurants and shops, you can opt for a quick ride through the Square, or, if you’d like to see more, there’s also a longer tour that includes the surrounding historic district. Make sure you remember to bring a lump of sugar for your equine guides Mike and Ike or Duke and Doc! Reserve your spot early, these popular rides fill up fast! ocalacarriage.com or (352) 867-8717.
FRI & SAT, 9p-1a
Think glow-in-the-dark pins and balls, laser lights, loud music and great food and drinks all night long—the perfect family outing while kids are out of school during December! Check the website to find your closest location. amf.com.
If you think bowling is a fine way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon, think again! All three AMF BOWLING CENTERS in Ocala take bowling to the next level with Extreme Bowling on Friday and Saturday nights.
Eyes All Aglow
DEC. 16-24,26-31 Dusk-8:30p
If you haven’t been to SILVER SPRINGS during the month of December, then you don’t know what you’re missing. They put up a few lights… a few hundred thousand lights, that is! Feast your eyes on over 1 million twinkling lights and neon displays throughout the park from dusk to 8:30pm. And if that isn’t reason enough to make time in your busy December schedule to visit, there’s also storytelling, strolling carolers, a lighted boat parade and great shopping in all of the Silver Springs specialty stores. Don’t miss out on this yearly event! silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121. ONGOING
Hip to be
Square There are a variety of family-friendly activities happening evenings on the downtown Square throughout December, including movies, live performances by local performers, a food drive, concerts and much more. For a complete listing, contact the City of Ocala at ocalafl.org or (352) 629-8444.
Now that it’s darker earlier and family and friends are in town visiting, it’s a great time to check out the OCALA DRIVE-IN! See first-run movies and double features seven nights a week, with the first film replaying on Friday and Saturday nights. Adult tickets are only $6, and children ages 6-12 can see a show for $3. Admission is free for kids under 6. First movie begins at 6:45. Check out their Facebook page for the most up-to-date movie listings. ocaladrivein.info or (352) 629-1325.
Illustration by John Tripodi
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Gause & Son Diamond Dash DOWNTOWN SQUARE
Over 500 people took part in the Gause & Son Diamond Dash on the Downtown Square on November 12. Teams of two answered riddles and completed in challenges directly from their cell phones in an effort to win a $15,000 diamond ring. Contestants were then treated to an after-party sponsored by Harry’s.
Angela Marcum and Annette Browning
PHOTOS BY BRANDON SCRAMBLING
Continued on Page 116
Sook Chai and Dan Opitz
Cristina Coulton and Jay Ballenger Norma Stavropoulos, Jerry Gause, Bob Luther, Gail Cole, Teddie Gause, Amada Keel, Michele Szgmanski and Robert Martin
Katie & Diane Kasmer Wendy Lewandowski and Ana McNarly
View more Social Scene photos and purchase prints of your favorites at ocalastyle.com
Paul Hally, Jerry Gause and Matthew Overfelt
ALL AMERICAN AIR & ELECTRIC ‘Tis the Time Before Christmas Do you have heat and air? All American has plenty— They’re ready to share! Overstocked shelves, Too many to view. Our end-of-year clearance Means great deals for you! The elves are on standby, The reindeer ready to go. Call us for service, Don’t worry ‘bout snow!
s y a d i l o H y p p Ha d n A , l l To A o Call! T r e b m Reme 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week Marion 352-629-1211 • Lake 352-750-9080 • Citrus 352-795-9686 St. Lucie 772-461-6616 • Sumter 352-330-2242 • Indian River 772-567-1135 dec’11 ocalastyle.com All Major Credit Cards Accepted • Financing Available • #ECO002438 • #CACO57965
Continued from Page 116
Tony & Janet Martin Dicarlo
Jessica & Roxanne Acosta
Bryan Masters and Angela Amburgy
Gause & Son’s Diamond Dash representatives and participants
Chloe Liotta and Michael Paula Stephanie Land and Chris Risher
Ken & Jan Raym
Courtney & Joshua Deese
Your Home Home for the Holidays …and all year ‘round!
11175 SW 93rd Crt Rd. Ocala, FL 34481 (352) 291-0040
3337 E Silver Srings Blvd. Ocala, FL 34471 (352) 433-2635
16670 S Hwy 441 Ste.#102 Our stores are open: Summerfield, FL 34491 Mon-Sat 8am-8pm (352) 245-0090 Sunday 9am-7pm
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Chambrel Pinecastle can be your home for the holidays. As a resident you can enjoy the season with your family and friends while we tend to all the details, like festive dining, catered parties, guest accommodations and transportation to holiday events. And our tradition of luxury, hospitality and service is as timeless as the season itself. Stop by soon. You’ll feel right at home for the holidays … and all year ‘round!
Call Geoff or Mary at (352) 368-7710 to schedule your personal visit and enjoy a cup of hot apple cider!
Your story continues here...
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Fine Arts For Ocala MCPHERSON GOVERNMENTAL COMPLEX
The 2011 Ocala Arts Festival, sponsored by Fine Arts for Ocala, brought together artists from all over the country to the McPherson Governmental Complex on October 22 and 23. Along with a wide selection of fine art, performances and plenty of delicious food vendors, the festival also offered young artists a chance to express themselves with a variety of children’s activities. PHOTOS BY BRANDON SCRAMBLING
Jessica Hirsch and Krystal Ortega
Carllyn Petsche, Hailey & Lauren Brokaw Abby Culp, Sarah Minnick and Christine Kogoy Cindy, Kennedy & Cassidy Bowlin
Kim Edwards and Tawnie Courtney
Debbie Treise holding dog Caci and Mike Weigold holding dog Murphy
View more Social Scene photos and purchase prints of your favorites at ocalastyle.com
Rich and Torri Maitha Vanessa Reyes and Eddie Myers
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