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At the Y, we know the importance of keeping kids active. We also know that because 68 percent of American households play video games, our youth today are glued to their screens. From TVs, to computers to cell phones, today's kids are addicted to technology. That's why we are integrating kids fitness in a way that will keep kids coming back for more.
OCALA STAMPEDE CURRICULUM At the Y, we know the importance of helping our kids grow and develop. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Ocala Stampede—to provide programming that emphasizes skill learning at a level that fits your child’s interest and ability. Our new curriculum ensures that players will not only leave the Y soccer experience with joy, but with an eagerness to return for more development, more learning and more fun.
Exergames by Motion Fitness is a program that uses technology, combined with games and physical activity, to get kids engaged in activities that improve their health, along with their academics and social behavior.
SPRING GIRLS VOLLEYBALL Grades: 2nd through 10th Registration Ends: March 15 Cost: $65 Members; $110 Potential Members Practice Begins: Week of March 31 First Game: April 11 Last Game: May 30
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SPRING CHEERLEADING Grades: K through 10th Registration Ends: March 15 Practice Begins: Week of March 31 Practices: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. First Game: April 12 Last Game: May 31 Cost: $ 85 Members; $130 Potential Members The Frank DeLuca YMCA in partnership with
ON THE COVER
Who would have thought strawberries could help build a house? That’s exactly the intent behind the ﬁrst annual Habitat Strawberry Family Festival on Saturday, March 1. Having a good time for a good cause is what this inaugural event is all about.
BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
Perfect Proposals p34
We found four area couples whose proposals required a hefty amount of strategy and surprise. Read on to enjoy their heartwarming stories. BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
Life On The Half Shell p42 Ancient relics prove man has called Cedar Key home for over 12,000 years. Arrow heads and fishing spears abound, along with ornate quahog clam shell necklaces once used for trade and money. Today, it isn’t the clam’s shell that is sought for its value—it’s what’s inside that pays off. BY JIM GIBSON
Departments The Buzz p17
The Pulse p45
The Dish p55
The Scene p65
The real people, places and events that shape our community.
Ideas to keep you fit and healthy all year long.
Our best recipes, restaurant news and culinary quick bites.
Your guide to what’s happening in and around Ocala.
BY KEVIN CHRISTIAN, JOANN GUIDRY & CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
BY JOANN GUIDRY
BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND & KATIE MCPHERSON
BY BONNIE KRETCHIK & KATIE MCPHERSON
ONEONONE p18 CLASSACTS p20 HORSIN’AROUND p22
FEELINGWELL p46 BEINGWELL p50 EATINGWELL p52
QUICKBITES p57 DININGGUIDE p59
AQUICKQ&A p68 THESOCIALSCENE p76
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Pour Your Heart Out This Valentine’s Day FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 TH • 5-8PM
OFFICE PHONE 352.732.0073
Join us for an evening of wine & beer tasting, and tempt your taste buds with a vast assortment of speciality desserts and international cheeses. Great door prizes, music and dancing during this fun and romantic evening!
• European Specialty Desserts • International Cheeses • Fine Wines • Microbeers • International Beers
OCALA / MARION COUNTY
TAGLINE & ARROW
CHAMBER & ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP
OCALA / MARION COUNTY
CHAMBER & ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP
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MOVING FORWARD MOVING FORWARD MOVING FORWARD MOVING FORWARD
Ocala Style Magazine, February 2014. Published monthly by Ocala Publications Inc., 1007 E. Fort King Street, Ocala, FL 34471. (352) 732-0073. All contents copyright 2014 by Ocala Publications Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written TRADEmust GOTHICaccompany BOLD permission from the publisher. For back issues or advertising information, call (352) 732-0073. Return postage 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. OCALA / MARION COUNTY
CHAMBER & ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP
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Life Beyond The Bench p18
Class Acts p20
SEARCH THROUGH THE
F YOU FIND YOURSELF LOOKING FOR A WAY TO ENJOY THE COOL FEBRUARY WEATHER, A SCAVENGER HUNT MIGHT DO THE TRICK. THE CITY OF OCALA HAS LAUNCHED A SCAVENGER HUNT THROUGH THE OUTDOOR SCULPTURE COMPETITION EXHIBIT ON DISPLAY IN TUSCAWILLA PARK. THE STATUES AND SCAVENGING WILL BE AROUND UNTIL THE EXHIBIT’S END ON SEPTEMBER 21. The hunt begins at
Photo © Phillip Breske Photography
the Discovery Center at 701 NE Sanchez Avenue, so stop in, grab a brochure and get started. To promote art education, anyone who finishes the scavenger hunt can exchange their answers for free family admission to the Appleton Museum of Art, so get out and explore. Visit ocalaﬂ.org/outdoorsculpture for details and scavenger hunt clues.
“Lofted” by local Ocala Artist John Gamache
I TRULY LOVE THE LAW AND SERVING PEOPLE, SO AS LONG AS I CAN DO THAT IN ANY CAPACITY, I WILL.
BENCH TIME BY JOANN GUIDRY
“Yes, it’s true there were no women judges at the time I was elected,” says Edwards-Stephens, 63, who retired on October 31, 2013. “But I didn’t run because I wanted to be the first woman judge, I ran because I wanted to serve the community. That’s the philosophy I built my career on.” It’s a philosophy that EdwardsStephens came by naturally. Growing up in a rural community outside of Chicago, her parents served as foster parents. They primarily took in special needs children, and Edwards-Stephens estimates that “more than 50 foster children were part of our family while I was growing up. My parents showed me how important it was to give back in some way.” Edwards-Stephens graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s in special needs education. After moving to South Florida, she taught for seven years in Broward County public and private schools. On weekends, she would go out with her church on mission work into poor, rural areas, and this was when her interest in the law was sparked. “What I found out was that these residents were very fearful of the legal system,” says
OR RECENTLY RETIRED 5TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT JUDGE SANDRA EDWARDS-STEPHENS, HER POSITION WAS ALWAYS MORE ABOUT SERVING THE COMMUNITY THAN TRAILBLAZING. IN 1990, EDWARDS-STEPHENS WAS THE FIRST AFRICANAMERICAN AND FIRST FEMALE TO BE ELECTED AS A COUNTY JUDGE IN THE 5TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT. THAT WAS FOLLOWED BY HER APPOINTMENT AS A CIRCUIT JUDGE IN 2000 BY THENGOVERNOR JEB BUSH.
Edwards-Stephens. “And because they were, they were not being served. So I decided to do something about that.” What Edward-Stephens did was graduate with a law degree from Nova University Law Center in 1982. From there, she embarked on a fast-track legal career: private practice; associate university attorney for the University of Central Florida; senior eminent domain attorney for the Florida Department of Transportation. In the latter position, EdwardsStephens covered 10 counties, including Marion County, when she moved to Ocala in 1990. Less than a year later, she won election as a county judge. A decade later, she was appointed a circuit judge. In her 23-year career as a judge, Edwards-Stephens presided over a multitude of cases. “I always felt that it was very important to have as varied dockets as possible,” she says. “It keeps you sharp and broadens your perspective. I presided over every type of case, including felony, probation violation, Baker Act, juvenile delinquency, civil and mortgage foreclosures. My longest docket for six years was family cases, which are very difficult because the court system can’t resolve all those complicated issues.” For Edwards-Stephens, the most important thing for a judge to do “is to be present and focused on the case before you, not thinking to the next one on your docket. It’s your duty to serve the people in the case before you at that moment.” And Edwards-Stephens isn’t likely finished with being a judge. A year after her official retirement date, she can apply for Senior Judge work. Think substitute judge, who picks up cases on judges’ overloaded dockets. “I truly love the law and serving people,” says Edwards-Stephens. “So as long as I can do that in any capacity, I will.”
The beginning of a new year usually means one thing for most Americans… it’s time to file your taxes. And although everyone hopes for a large refund, if you’re one of the millions of taxpayers who file their own taxes, you might not receive the return you expect. That’s where Tax Pro’s Group of Ocala comes in. It’s their mission to help you see dollar signs this tax season.
L to R: Myriam Lillo, Jose Cruz, Fanny Cruz, Co-Founder and Natalie Cruz
Stick With The PROS
fter a busy—and costly—holiday season, the next big event on your calendar is likely filing your taxes and, hopefully, getting a nice-sized refund. If you’re like most Americans, you’ve been counting down the days until your much-anticipated, yearly refund finds its way into your bank account. And with all the tax commercials floating around on TV and the Internet this time of year, you might think filing your taxes is as easy as popping in some numbers on your computer and electronically submitting your paperwork. But what if it really isn’t that easy? What if, by filing your own taxes, you’re missing out on tax credits and deductions that could cost you big bucks? Perhaps it’s best to call in the professionals.
Tax Pro’s Group, located on NE 14th Street in Ocala, is celebrating its sixth year serving the Ocala community by offering everything from business solutions and tax preparation to resolving tax audit and IRS issues. “The one mistake most people make when doing their own taxes is missing out on credits,” says Fanny Cruz, co-founder/partner with Tax Pro’s Group. “Credits can get you a larger refund. There are credits and deductions out there that most people do not know about. We pride ourselves in knowing this information. We want our clients to get the best return year after year.” And in order to do that, Tax Pro’s Group has created a familyowned business that will get to know you and your tax needs on a personal level. “We’re a small, family-owned company that cares about this
preparation products on the market, you might be tempted to try your hand at filing your own taxes, but the experts at Tax Pro’s Group suggest trusting your money to the pros who know taxes best. “Anyone who is not educated in income taxation should seek professional help,” says Fanny. “There is a lot of information to take in and a lot of mistakes to be made. With all the tax law changes that take place each year, you should always seek professional help. Let us at Tax Pro’s Group be your tax professionals of choice.”
business, and we have put everything into it,” says Fanny. “Our clients are our business. They are our No. 1 priority, and you can rest assured that we are doing the best we can for you.” And with yearly tax law and deduction changes and developments such as the Affordable Care Act and IRS filing date delay, doing the best for their clients means knowing all the ins and outs of tax law. The professionals at Tax Pro’s Group have extensive training and are IRScertified. They attend the national IRS conference each year and hold memberships with the National Association of Tax Professionals, National Society of Tax Professionals and Latino Tax Professionals Association. Their Spanish-speaking staff is always available to better serve Ocala’s Hispanic community. So, with the April 15 deadline looming and the onslaught of tax
Tax Pro’s Group 1023 NE 14th Street, Ocala (352) 433-0094 facebook.com/taxprosgroup firstname.lastname@example.org
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS AND DISTRICT NEWS THAT SHAPE MARION COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Breanna Meola ilton Averian Ham
BY KEVIN CHRISTIAN
Jon Paul To nogan Averian Hamilton
BUS RIDERS RUN STRONG
BRUSHING UP AT BELLEVIEW
Seven students won Subway® gift cards and bragging rights for the best designs in the district when it comes to bus safety. Bus drivers presented framed versions of the top designs to the winners, including Fessenden’s AVERIAN HAMILTON, BREANNA MEOLA and JON PAUL TONOGAN; Anthony’s A’MARION MCKAY; Sparr’s AUTUMN MCCOY and HUNTER MCDERMITT; and Fort McCoy’s DARRELL HOWARD.
How do you entertain kindergarten students just before winter break? With a giant-sized toothbrush and set of teeth. Youngsters at Belleview Elementary School received hands-on demonstrations of proper brushing techniques from SHADIYA HASAN, a Vanguard graduate who’s now a dental student at Nova Southeastern University. Hasan also gave each student a kid-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, encouraging them to cut back on the lollipops and increase ﬂossing and brushing on a daily basis.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES SUPPORT NORMA HUNTE, an ESOL paraprofessional at College Park Elementary, is the
school district’s 2014 School Related Employee of the Year. Hunte, who was completely surprised with the honor, works primarily with students and parents who speak other languages. She also organizes testing for those students and always “has a smile on her face” according to her nomination. This year’s other four finalists include KATHY CLARKE (Lake Weir High secretary), CHRIS DOUGLASS (Osceola Middle secretary), MEREDITH DUKES (Hillcrest paraprofessional) and WILLIAM TENNEY (Lake Weir Middle home school liaison). Congratulations to these five outstanding employees!
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11223 N Williams St, Suite I Dunnellon, FL 34482
Mon-Fri 8am-7pm & Sat 8am-12pm closed Sun
Mon 8a-5p, Tues 8a-12p, Wed 8a-5p, Thurs 1p-5p, Fri 8a-12p, closed Sun & Sat
Tues 1p-5p, Thurs 8a-5p, Fri 8a-5p, closed Sun, Mon, Wed & Sat
THE RETURN OF
HITS BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
ITS OCALA WINTER CELEBRATION HAS RETURNED TO MARION COUNTY FOR ITS ANNUAL WINTER CIRCUIT, AND THAT’S WELCOME NEWS FOR MANY LOCAL RIDERS, INCLUDING OCALA’S OWN ASHTON ALEXANDER, 17.
“I’ll see how much I miss showing on the national level and then make Since the 10-week show series began in mid-January, Ashton has been a my career decision from there,” says Ashton, who familiar face at the showgrounds and will continue to be just that all the way until the event concludes on HITS? WELL, THAT’S NOTHING NEW wants to become either a professional rider or trainer. The daughter of a father who trains March 24. TO THIS OCALA NATIVE WHO STARTED Thoroughbred and a mother who Ashton doesn’t own a horse, but she logs more RIDING AT AGE 4 AND ENTERED HER competed in theracehorses rigorous sport of cross-country, time in the saddle than many people who do. She’s FIRST WALK-TROT CLASS THAT SAME Ashton comes by her love of horses naturally. She known as a “catch rider,” meaning she regularly YEAR. SHE’S BEEN SHOWING AT HITS competes in both equitation and hunter classes, competes on horses for a wide variety of owners. SINCE SHE WAS BARELY 6. riding junior hunters and large ponies. Riding with nationally regarded, Ocala-based Don She’s already placed among the top junior Stewart Stables, Ashton is routinely hired to ride riders in the country at the nation’s most important horses owned by the stable and by its clients, as well shows, such as the Devon Horse Show (the as horses owned by those who have no connection to country’s oldest and largest outdoor show), and the the stable. Washington International Horse Show. In 2013, It’s a challenging task, but one Ashton relishes— Ashton won the Grand Pony champion title at and one at which she excels. And HITS? Well, that’s Devon and at Washington; she showed three ponies nothing new to this Ocala native who started riding to USEF national championship titles in three at age 4 and entered her first walk-trot class that same different years. She also made it to the second round year. She’s been showing at HITS since she was barely 6. of the prestigious Maclay Championships, which So how does a high school student find time to is one of the most revered competitions for junior ride all day? Ashton, a junior, is homeschooled and equitation riders in the United States. (Ashton has been since sixth grade, making it easier to pursue hopes to win it before she turns 18!) her riding goals. She plans to attend a college with an Her trainers, Don Stewart and Bibby FarmerNCAA equestrian team and compete while earning Hill, credit Ashton’s success in the show ring to her her degree.
exceptional “feel” and compassion for her mounts, not to mention, the many hours she puts in perfecting her skills. On an average day, Ashton arrives at Don Stewart Stables by 9am and doesn’t leave until 5pm. She’ll ride as many as eight to 12 horses each day, schooling them on the flat and over fences. The horses’ official day off is Monday, but Ashton puts in more hours than many people do at a full-time job. Once HITS is here, the days are even longer. Don Stewart Stables is located less than a half hour from the showground on U.S. Highway 27, so most horses are vanned to the showgrounds on the days they’re competing and then back home to the stable. On occasion, a few horses will stay overnight at the show. “We’ll take 30-40 horses per week to show,” says Ashton. “Depending on how many horses we take, we’ll usually have at least six grooms (employees of Don Stewart Stables). They do all the care and preparation of the horses, including tacking up and bringing the horses down to the rings for the riders. These guys are practically our lifesavers, and we’re very lucky to have them.” On an average show day, Ashton arrives at HITS no later than 7:30am. Part of her duties is to see that the horses are prepared and the other riders are ready. Organization is crucial if the day is to proceed smoothly. The horses and all tack are immaculate, with every hair in place. Manes and tails are braided beforehand by a self-employed professional braider. These “equine beauticians” typically work late at night and through the wee hours of the morning, meticulously creating symmetrical braids along the horses’ neck and doing their tails in tidy French braids. Ashton notes that the farm veterinarian and farrier (blacksmith) are both frequently at the show, attending to any last-minute needs the horses might have. “Even though I’m there all day, it’s more fun than a job!” she says. “HITS is a great horse show; it’s very organized, and they’re always trying to make it better for both riders and spectators.”
WANT TO GO? >
WHAT’S ALL THE
This year, HITS is bringing a $1 million Grand Prix to Ocala, huge news for the show. Held on Monday, March 24, it will cap off the 10 weeks of competition and draw some of the sport’s most elite riders. “We started offering the first $1 million Grand Prix in Saugerties, (New York) and then added one in Thermal, California,” explains Lindsay Yandon of the PR and marketing department at HITS’ main office in Saugerties. “We’ve added a third with the Great American $1 million Grand Prix in Ocala, so we’re calling it the Triple Crown of show jumping. The 10th week and this Grand Prix are the biggest highlights of the Ocala event.” Admission is free except on Sundays when it is $5 for adults; kids 12 and under are free. There is no parking fee. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Souvenir, gift, jewelry and clothing vendors are on-site, and breakfast and lunch items are available for purchase at the on-site restaurant.
BUZZ ABOUT HITS? Short for “Horse Shows in the Sun,” HITS, Inc., is the largest horse show operator in America. Since holding its first Florida horse show circuit in 1982, the event has grown dramatically. No other hunter/jumper circuit on the East Coast features such a wide-ranging opportunity all the way from elementary school age beginners to Olympic-caliber competitors hailing from across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. The 2014 HITS Ocala Winter Celebration runs for 10 weeks, from January 15 through March 24 (ending on a Monday this year). Classes take place Wednesday through Sunday each week, starting at 8am and running until about 4pm. Grand Prix show jumping is on Thursdays and Sundays.
HITS Post Time Farm is located at 13710 U.S. Highway 27. From Ocala, drive north on U.S. Highway 27, about 12 miles from I-75. (352) 620-2275 / hitsshows.com/ocala
* 4 FRONT ROW SEATS TO THE PERFORMANCE OF “CARMINA BURANA” PLUS A MEET & GREET WITH MAESTRO MATTHEW WARDELL * LIMOUSINE RIDE TO & FROM CONCERT COMPLIMENTS OF PRONTO LIMOUSINE * DINNER FOR 4 AT IPANEMA BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE
7:30PM | WEST PORT HIGH SCHOOL
SCAN HERE TO HEAR MUSIC FROM CARMINA BURANA
O Fortuna! a n a r T
he Ocala Symphony Orchestra (OSO) brings one of the most popular and well-recognized choral works of the 21st Century, Carl Orff ’s Carmina Burana, to Ocala in a spectacular collaboration with Marion County Center for the Arts (MCCA) Choir February 14 – February 16 at West Port High School. The MCCA Choir will accompany the OSO’s full orchestra and community choir to perform this lauded cantata, the collaboration of which will provide these talented students with the opportunity to gain real-life experience in a professional music environment. Exposing Marion County youth to an expanded offering of music is one of the OSO’s core community outreach goals of the Youth Outreach program. The MCCA choral program at West Port High School, under the direction of Ms. Nancy Atkinson, studies many genres of music including classical, show tunes and jazz. WPHS began in 2001 and serves as the magnet school for visual and performing fine arts in order to prepare artistically gifted and talented students from the Marion County area for post-secondary arts education and/or employment in the arts. With student enrollment of over 470 students from all parts of Marion County, the magnet has already impacted the community by earning high awards in all areas of the visual and performing arts. The OSO’s charismatic music director, Maestro Matthew Wardell, states the cinematic flare of Carmina Burana is an ideal production to collaborate
It’s exciting. It’s loud. It’s moving.
m r a C ina Bu
You have spoken! The Ocala Symphony Orchestra has teamed up with West Port High School to bring their most requested piece to you. Don’t miss Ocala’s biggest musical expedition, Carmina Burana - Fate is knocking!
with WPHS. “Carmina Burana has been the most requested composition by our patrons. By collaborating with the MCCA choir, the intensity of this masterpiece can be brought wholeheartedly to Marion County. It’s exciting. It’s loud. It’s moving; and in fact, most audiences who aren’t familiar with classical music will recognize ‘O Fortuna’, the works opening and closing movement, as it is used in many movies and television commercials internationally,” stated Wardell. Carmina Burana, which translates as “Songs Of Beuern”, refers to a collection of 13th century songs and poems written in a combination of Latin, Middle High German, and Medieval French by a group of poet-musicians celebrating in satirical fashion the joys of nature, love, and libations. Orff, a German composer of the early 20th century, chose 24 songs from this collection and set them to music in what he termed a “scenic cantata”. Carmina Burana is divided into three sections – Springtime, In the Tavern, and The Court Of Love – preceded by and ending with an invocation to Fortune. The story of the composition reveals the desired freedoms from moral obligations of daily life, which significantly contrasts with the expectations of life in the Middle Ages.
The concerts will be held on Friday, February 14 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 15 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, February 15 at 3:00 p.m. in the state of the art facility at West Port High School located at 3722 SW 80th Avenue. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by visiting www. ocalasymphony.com or by calling 352-351-1606.
Businesses looking for the utmost in quality warehousing, storage and logistics services need look no further as the highly successful European-based storage company Shelter Storage recently celebrated its first year of American business right here in Ocala. Their company philosophy when it comes to your storage needs: reliable, affordable, accessible and secure service.
Reliable, Affordable, Accessible,
Storage is one of those businesses. “Ocala is practically a mid-point between major cities like Atlanta and Miami, making it an ideal location when it comes to logistics and distribution,” says Bradley Thompson, general manager of Shelter Storage. Based on the prime location with the proximity to the interstate as well as a number of seaports and businesses, the decision to base the American affiliate of the European-based Shelter Storage in Ocala made perfect sense. Shelter Storage is not a selfstorage company but rather an independent warehousing, storage and logistics company. Their main clientele are businesses that may
or those who already call Ocala/Marion County home, it’s no secret that our area is thriving. According to the Nielson Company, the county’s population grew 30.8 percent from 2000 to 2011 and is projected to grow close to another 10 percent over the next five. After facing a turbulent economy, the community has rebounded with a vengeance as more businesses are realizing the potential for growth that Ocala/ Marion County offers. Shelter
be too small to warrant a contract with a trucking company yet too large to rely solely on any one freight forwarder for their needs. The recently established Shelter Storage of Ocala is an affiliate of the already highly successful Shelter Storage B.V. of the Netherlands. To date, Shelter Storage B.V. provides over 1 million square feet of indoor storage and 1.4 million square feet of outdoor storage throughout its four facilities. They have been an industry leader in the warehousing, storage and logistics business for over 25 years and handle cargo for transport over inland waters. The company also serves as a forwarding agent, ship broker and charterer of goods throughout Europe. The expansion of Shelter Storage onto American soil came in January 2013 with the opening of the Ocala location. After taking note of the area’s potential for
business and economic growth, Ocala was deemed the ideal spot for the company’s first American location. Since then, Shelter Storage has experienced major success, as businesses are both witnessing and experiencing the key components of their up-front and honest business philosophy. “Businesses want reliability, affordability, accessibility and security with regards to their storage needs—it’s that simple,” says Bradley, quoting the company’s business philosophy. He notes that for a storage company to be successful, they have to guarantee protection. Shelter Storage offers “watertight security” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A variety of goods, from small electronics to full-scale machinery, are protected against fire, theft and damage 100 percent of the time. Although the company is experienced in providing this
Businesses want reliability, affordability, accessibility and security with regards to their storage needs— it’s that simple. —BRADLEY THOMPSON
high level of service to larger companies requiring expansive space, smaller companies need not feel excluded. “We provide the same level of service for small companies as we do for the large, well-known world brands,” he says. Similarly, as larger corporations may require long-term services, Shelter Storage will accommodate all situations, providing storage solutions from one day to as long as needed. That flexibility is another key component of Shelter Storage and part of what makes them different from other storage companies. Martin Dollenkamp, warehouse and shipping coordinator for Hitec Power Protection, notes the appeal of Shelter Storage’s flexibility. Hitec Power Protection supplies Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems and utilizes Shelter Storage for their storage
needs. During any given time, the company’s storage needs change depending on the equipment they need to use. Although other companies may charge regardless of how much space is used or isn’t, Shelter Storage will only charge for the amount of space actually being utilized, saving clients money as their storage needs fluctuate. “Being able to just pay for the space we use is our primary reason for not building a storage hall of our own,” says Dollenkamp. Shelter Storage is not limited to storage services, though, and has plans to expand over the coming years. After one year of business, Shelter Storage has compiled a complete business model and plans to expand services to rival that of their international affiliate. They have plans to proceed with the further development of commercial space for warehousing and storage purposes to
accommodate import and export businesses throughout the United States and Europe. They also intend to provide businesses with superior logistic support and play an integral role in the organization of transportation services for their products. Based on the success of their European affiliate, it’s no surprise that in the short time the Ocala branch has been open the business has already made a name for itself as one of the top warehousing, storage and logistics companies in the state of Florida. As economic conditions continue to boom in Marion County and businesses realize the difference Shelter Storage has to offer, there’s no doubt this company is destined to be an industry leader in America.
Shelter Storage 1417 SW 17th Street, Ocala (352) 840-9600 email@example.com shelterstorage.org
STRAW STRAWBE 28
RRIES B Y CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
Who would have thought strawberries could help build a That’ house? s exactly the intent behind the
first annual Habitat Strawberry Family Festival on Saturday, March 1. Having a good time for a good cause is what this inaugural event is all about. “We want this to be a signature event. The bottom line is we’re trying to generate funds to build one house for one family, which takes $40,000. The city is telling us we can expect about 10,000 people, so we absolutely think that’s do-able,” says Brad Nimmo, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Marion County. “The sale of anything and everything strawberry goes to Habitat, and that includes everything from smoothies to chocolate-covered to flats of strawberries,” adds Nimmo. The event, which is free to the public, takes place in the downtown Ocala square area and runs from 8am to 5pm. A myriad food offerings will be available for purchase, starting with the First Annual Pancake Breakfast at 7:30am put on by the Kiwanas Club of Ocala for a modest price per person. Volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Ocala will help provide Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and First United Methodist Church of Ocala is helping with Strawberry Shortcake. In addition to “all things strawberry,” attendees will find pulled pork and Cuban specialty foods and favorite festival foods, including nachos, hot dogs, kettle corn, fresh potato chips and much more,
thanks to vendors such as The Mojo Grill & Catering Co., Cupcakeables! Kona Ice, Poppin’ Kettle Corn Co., and Bonjoe Gourmet Chips. All food vendors are donating a portion of their proceeds back to Habitat for Humanity. True to its name, the event offers plenty of family-oriented fun. The recently renovated downtown square will be the site of two stages running simultaneously with performances ranging from music to dance and more by local and nationally recognized talent. “After the festival shuts down at 5pm, there will be a concert that evening at Citizens’ Circle,” adds Nimmo. “The city is working on having a big name playing, so people can do the strawberry festival during the day and enjoy the concert that night.” The festival also features a juried arts and crafts show with approximately 150 participants. Children will love the “Kidz Zone,” where activities offer the chance to win prizes and take part in games, arts and crafts. They can expect to find a toilet paper toss, bean bag toss, fish cup, treasure hunt game, ring toss, cake walk, minute-to-win-it games, chalkboard houses and the tallest rock climbing wall in Florida.
Helping Habitat The funds raised by the first annual Habitat Strawberry Family Festival will enable one fortunate Marion County family to own their own home. Since its founding in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International has built and renovated over 225,000 houses worldwide. A grassroots, Christian nonprofit organization, Habitat’s mission is to eliminate poverty and substandard housing and homelessness. There are more than 1,500 local affiliates in the United States and another 70-plus national organizations around the world. Together, they have helped build or repair more than 800,000 houses, serving over 4 million people. The organization is funded through tax-deductible donations of money Continued on p33
The many pounds of strawberries found at the festival come from Plant City, which is widely recognized as the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.” Plant City is also the location of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA), founded in 1982. Growers represented by the FSGA produce more than 10,000 acres of strawberries, primarily in the Plant City/Dover area of Hillsborough County. Across the country, if someone’s buying strawberries in the winter, this is where they come from. The county produces enough berries to fill 20 million flats each year, a staggering amount that would extend all the way from Plant City to Seattle and back again, if the flats were placed end to end. Perfectly ripe strawberries taste like a little bit of heaven in your mouth, but if that’s not reason enough to eat them, those luscious morsels are also exceptionally good for you.
Strawberries are considered an
food because they contain the chemical compound phenols, in particular the phenol anthocyanin, which is responsible for the deep red color.
The combination of antioxidant and
found in strawberries is known to ﬁght against the onset of many diﬀerent forms of cancer. Strawberry juice combined with honey will reduce inflammation or sunburn. Rub thoroughly into skin before rinsing oﬀ with warm water and lemon juice.
STRAWBERRY TRIVIA Botanists don’t classify the strawberry as a true berry because it doesn’t have seeds on the inside. The strawberry’s dry, yellow “seeds” are on the outside. On average, there are 200 tiny seeds on every strawberry.
Native Americans referred to strawberries as “heart-seed berries” and pounded them into their traditional cornmeal bread. Once the American colonists tasted this bread, they came up with their own version—strawberry shortcake.
The strawberry belongs to the genus Fragraria in the rose family, along with apples and plums. The name of the scientific classification was derived from the Old Latin word for “fragrant.” The modern Italian word for strawberry is fragola.
The English and French thought these beautiful heartshaped berries enhanced their gardens and used them in landscape designs. In 14th century France, Charles V ordered 1,200 strawberry plants to be grown in the Royal Gardens of the Louvre. Source: pickyourown.org
The phenols found in strawberries actually inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the same way that the drugs aspirin and ibuprofen do, fighting
One cup (about eight berries) contains only
against inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis,
One cup of strawberries contains of the RDA of vitamin C, an eﬀective antioxidant that can help lower blood pressure, ensure a healthy immune system and ward oﬀ the development of age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Strawberries also contain
POTASSIUM, VITAMIN K AND MAGNESIUM, which are vital for healthy bones.
but without the side eﬀects of those drugs. One cup contains
3 GRAMS OF FIBER
(over 13 percent of the RDA of dietary ﬁber), which helps regulate digestion, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating.
According to a study published by The Archives of Opthalmology, three or more servings of strawberries (and other fruits) per day can decrease the possibility of contracting age-related macular degeneration by over
One cup of strawberries contains of manganese, an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agent. By increasing the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the enzyme responsible for protecting mitochonrdria exposed to oxygen, manganese not only helps to ﬁght the battle against free radicals and oxidative stress but also lessens cellular inﬂammation—another cause of numerous cardiovascular diseases.
Manganese is also important for
, helping to build bone and maintain bone structure.
Sources: healthdiaries.com, flastrawberry.com, pickyourown.org
SERVIN’UP STRAWBERRIES Pick up some flats of fresh strawberries while you’re at the festival and create your own fabulous strawberry creations at home. Try these great recipes from “Strawberry Sue” of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.
STRAWBERRY AND GOAT CHEESE BRUSCHETTA Try this unusual, but tasty, twist on the popular appetizer! MAKES 8 SERVINGS 1
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
tbsp of balsamic vinegar
Freshly cracked pepper
oz fresh goat cheese
cup of sliced Florida strawberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice baguette into four pieces, and then slice each in half lengthwise. Place the baguette open-faced on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Dust with cracked ground pepper, and toast in the oven until golden brown. While baguette is toasting, toss strawberries, basil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. When bread is toasted golden brown, remove from oven and spread goat cheese across each slice. Top goat cheese with prepared strawberries, and serve.
FLORIDA STRAWBERRIES, GRILLED CHICKEN AND SPINACH SALAD WITH CITRUS DRESSING Healthy and satisfying, this salad makes a great lunch or dinner main course. MAKES 4 SERVINGS CITRUS DRESSING: 2⁄₃ cup olive oil
SALAD: 1 pint of fresh Florida strawberries
tbsp orange juice
(6 oz) package of bagged baby spinach
tbsp lemon juice
boneless chicken breasts
garlic clove, minced
1½ tsp grated orange peel 1
tsp Dijon mustard
tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper Combine all ingredients in a blender, and set aside.
Bring strawberries to room temperature. Wash, drain and remove caps. Slice strawberries, and toss with spinach in a large bowl. Grill chicken breasts until cooked through on both sides. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before adding to spinach and strawberries. Pulse citrus dressing in blender to ensure the dressing is well mixed. Toss chicken with strawberries and spinach while drizzling with citrus dressing.
RUSTIC STRAWBERRY TART
There is absolutely no easier and more delicious breakfast dish than this. Serve for overnight guests or as a delicious treat to a Sunday brunch. MAKES 4 SERVINGS 1
tsp ice water
½ (15 oz) package refrigerated pie dough
tsp granulated sugar
½ pint whipping cream
tbsp butter or enough non-stick cooking spray to grease skillet cups Florida strawberries, washed, caps removed, allowed to dry and sliced into quarters, lengthwise cup sugar
tbsp confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare bottom and sides of a 10-inch, cast-iron skillet with butter or non-stick cooking spray. If you’re fortunate enough to own a skillet that was passed down from your grandmother or other great family cook, that’s perfect. Arrange one of the uncooked crusts in the skillet, more or less, evenly. It’s not even necessary to roll out the dough. It will ﬁt nicely. Note: Most refrigerated pie dough brands have enough product in each package to give you a second opportunity to make a delicious pie or tart another day. Place cut strawberries in a medium bowl; add sugar and cornstarch and toss gently. Set aside for about 20 minutes. Pour strawberry mixture into center of skillet, and fold the edges of the dough toward the center, leaving a 2-inch border so the strawberries are visible in the center of the skillet. The dough will only partially cover the strawberry mixture. Brush edge of dough with 1 teaspoon water, and sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Bake at 375°F for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, and continue beating for about 20 seconds. Stir in vanilla. When tart has cooled slightly spoon into individual serving dishes. Pass the whipped cream. . Note: Chill cream bowl and beaters before whipping. Don’t over whip. Stop when peaks are soft. Add sugar and vanilla at the end of the whipping. Dollops of cream may be frozen on waxed paper.
SWEET STRAWBERRY & LIME MOJITO
Strawberries make a perfect addition to this refreshing cocktail. 2
large strawberries, hulled and sliced
½ lime, juiced 8
large mint leaves
tsp granulated or super ﬁne sugar
shot ounces of white rum
cup ice Club soda as needed
Add strawberries, fresh lime juice, mint and sugar to a cocktail shaker, and muddle until strawberries are broken down and mint leaves are torn apart. Add rum and ice, and shake vigorously. Pour cocktail with ice into a glass, and top oﬀ a splash of club soda. Garnish strawberry slices, lime slices and/or mint leaves, and enjoy! Recipes and photos courtesy of strawberrysue.com.
Continued from p30
FLORIDA STRAWBERRY MIDNIGHT SHORTCAKE
A chocolate lover’s version of the “typical” strawberry shortcake! MAKES 4 SERVINGS 1
lb Florida strawberries
jumbo chocolate cupcakes Whipped cream
Rinse the fresh strawberries, remove tops and slice the berries. Place the sliced berries in a bowl, and sprinkle with sugar. Slice jumbo chocolate cupcakes in half, and stack sweetened strawberries. Put a dollop of whipped cream on top of the strawberries, and ﬁnish oﬀ by placing the chocolate cupcake top on the shortcake. Garnish with more strawberries, serve and enjoy!
FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FOOL
Simple but elegant, this old-fashioned British dessert dates back to the 16th century and has stood the test of time. Some recommend using mascarpone or fromage frais (a soft, unaged, creamy fresh cheese made out of whole or skimmed milk and cream popular in France) instead of whipping cream. If you want a richer, more cheesecake-like dessert, you can go that route. But for the classic light and fluffy treat, stick with whipping cream. 1
¼ cup sugar 1
cup heavy cream
tsp vanilla extract
Rinse the fresh strawberries, remove tops and slice the berries into ¼-inch slices. Sprinkle with half of the sugar, and stir to chop into pieces, about 10-15 minutes. Place half the chopped strawberries and all the juice in a blender, and purée. Pour purée back in bowl with chopped strawberries. In a chilled bowl, whip the cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla until cream is stiﬀ and holds peaks. Use a spatula to fold strawberries into the cream, and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve, up to two hours. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries. You can also crush graham crackers to add a little sweet crunch.
and materials and manned by volunteer un teer labor. To be accepted for home ownership, a family must go through the application process, meet all sweat equity requirements and be able to repay the no-interest loan. There is no race or religious requirement. “The big deal about Habitat is that people get a ‘hand up,’ not a ‘handout,’” explains Nimmo. “Once approved, a family has to put in 350 hours of sweat equity for their home or someone else’s, plus they have to take classes on finances and home maintenance. The house is sold at no profit, and the family gets a zero-interest mortgage, which typically comes to less than $450 per month, including tax and insurance. Habitat is the mortgage holder. The principal part of the payment is ‘recycled’ back into the organization’s revolving fund and helps to build a home for another family.” Nimmo envisions that, in the future, the festival will provide revenue to build not just one home for a family but several. He notes that similar fundraising events in Florida for other Habitat communities are bringing in as much as $200,000. “We’ve wanted to come up with a premier event that would be our main fundraiser every year,” says Laurie Whitaker, board member of Habitat for Humanity of Marion County. “We have already booked the square for the same time next year, so this will become an annual tradition.”
WANT TOG ? MARCH
HABITAT STRAWBERRY FAMILY FESTIVAL March 1 Downtown Ocala habitatstrawberryfamilyfest.com habitatocala.org
PUroposalso P E R F E C T
BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
TO DAY ’S G RO O M S-TO - B E OFTEN LOOK FOR INVENTIVE AND UNEXPECTED WAYS TO “POP THE QUESTION.” INDEED, PROPOSALS HAVE COME A LONG WAY FROM THE DAYS WHEN STRICT PROTOCOL WAS FOLLOWED WHEN ASKING FOR A WOMAN’S HAND IN MARRIAGE.
There was a time when the man adhered to very specific customs when proposing and the woman also followed certain procedures when accepting or declining. Medieval British custom, for example, called for the man to place a hawthorn branch at the door of his beloved on May 1. If her answer was “yes,” she left the branch there. If she didn’t want to accept his proposal, she replaced the branch with a cauliflower. (Ouch. You’ll never look at that vegetable the same way again, will you?) In the 1800s, it was common for a gentleman to send a pair of new gloves to his lady love. If she wanted to accept the proposal, she wore those gloves to church the following Sunday. A man in Wales wanting to marry carved a spoon from wood and presented it to his intended bride as
a proposal gift. If the woman accepted, she wore the spoon on a ribbon around her neck. (Puts a totally different spin on the term “spooning,” doesn’t it?) According to fifth-century Irish tradition, a woman could propose to a man… but only on February 29, Leap Day. If the man didn’t accept, he was expected to give her some sort of “fine,” which was anything from a kiss or enough silk to make a dress to several pairs of gloves (supposedly to hide her ringless hand—so sad). We found four area couples whose proposals included neither cauliflowers nor wooden spoons, but a hefty amount of strategy and surprise. Read on to enjoy their heartwarming stories.
ntroduced by a mutual friend in 2008, Andrew and Carol Bragoli of Ocala were married January 15, 2011. Andrew, who works as a paramedic, got the inspiration for his clever and complicated proposal from something he’d seen his then-girlfriend do at work. A fourth-grade teacher at Blessed Trinity School, Carol liked to stage treasure hunts with her students during Student Appreciation Day. “She’s very interactive with them, and I’d seen how passionate she is when she does this with her kids,” says Andrew. “Knowing how much she enjoys watching her students do these hunts, I thought it might be time to send her on one.” Andrew started planning for the special day months in advance and enlisted the help of Carol’s family to pull off the big surprise. Carol had wondered for some time if he would propose on Christmas, New Year’s or perhaps her birthday. Andrew always replied that a wedding proposal was so special that it shouldn’t fall on any other “special” day. A few weeks before the day he planned to propose, Andrew asked Carol to request a half-day off work on Friday, March 19, 2010 and to go home where she’d find a surprise waiting. “The very next day was her birthday, so this was a little confusing as to why she needed the day before off,” says Andrew. “We both lead very busy lives, so
Photo © Marc Harmon Photography
Photo © Marc Harmon Photography
Andrew + Carol
finding time together is hard. I knew that many things could go wrong this day, so I needed a lot of faith. “March 19 started out like any other day for me. I got up at 5am and dressed, but that is when my normal day stopped and our new adventure began,” says Andrew. “Little did Carol know I was flying out to New York hours before. When we spoke, like we do every morning, I told her it was a busier day than normal and I had to go. I had recorded ambulance sirens days before with some radio noise in the background to convince her I was at work. However, by that time, I was already sitting outside the airport awaiting my flight.” “I really did believe he was at work because I heard sirens in the background,” Carol remembers. The day before, Andrew had given Carol’s mom, Era Rodrigues, who was completely in on the proposal surprise, a box that contained small boxes and envelopes, each numbered to be opened in a specific order. On the 19th, Era told Carol that Andrew had stopped by and left the box, which gave Carol instructions to drive to Orlando. Mom and daughter began the drive, and once on the Florida Turnpike, Carol opened the first box, which instructed her to go to the airport. After she arrived, she opened the next numbered box; it contained Jet Blue earphones, which clued her into which airline to check in with.
Photo © Maudie Lucas Photography
Then, she had to check in to have her destination revealed. “When I found out I was flying to New York City, I started to panic because I hadn’t packed anything,” says Carol. “I thought maybe Andrew was sending me to a spa for a vacation, but I couldn’t figure out why he was sending me to New York by myself. My mom said I should just trust him and go.” Unbeknownst to Carol, her mother had packed some clothes for her ahead of time, at Andrew’s request. So, with her mother’s encouragement, Carol boarded the plane and jetted off to New York. Upon landing at JFK International Airport she pulled out the next numbered envelope, which instructed her to go downstairs where she found a limo driver holding a sign with her name. “She got in the limo and was told to relax like a princess for the day and everything would be OK,” says Andrew. “The limo driver then took her to a French hotel in Times Square. From there, the next envelope instructed her to walk into the hotel—not knowing if she was staying there or not—and go to the front desk. There was an envelope at the front desk sending her to a very nice suite upstairs. The suite had a separate room, so as I peeked through the door, I got to watch her open the last envelope which read, ‘Your treasure awaits: Me.’” At that point, Andrew opened the door of the adjoining room and an overjoyed Carol jumped into his arms. “I asked her if she had opened the last box. While she frantically reread the last set of instructions, I had enough time to get down on one knee and open the ring box to propose to her. She said, ‘Yes!’” Having just celebrated their third wedding anniversary, Andrew and Carol are the proud parents of two daughters, Samantha, 2, and Tabatha, who was born this past October.
T H E “ F O U R C ’ S ” A P P LY WHEN SHOPPING FOR A DIAMOND RING: C U T : Refers to the angles of the stone’s facets, which determine brilliance and shape; a high-cut stone will have more sparkle than one of average cut. C O L O R : Which isn’t limited to colorless; you can find diamonds in a variety of colors, from pale yellow to rich brown. C L A R I T Y : Refers to the stone’s natural imperfections; don’t worry about the microscope, just look for a diamond with no imperfections visible to the naked eye. C A R A T : Size.
Ryan + Ashley FRANKEL
est friends introduced Ryan and Ashley when she was still living in Atlanta. Their first meeting took place at Opera Nightclub in midtown Atlanta on March 1, 2008, but it took some time for their relationship to develop, as they lived in different states. “A night of talking, laughing and dancing was directly followed by weeks of Facebooking, texting and phone calls,” recalls Ryan, who was already living in Gainesville when he met Ashley. “The trips to Atlanta became more frequent, and eventually, a two-year, long-distance relationship developed. After a lot of mileage on our cars, a handful of speeding tickets and countless minutes added to our cell phone bills, Ashley packed up a U-Haul, said her good-byes and, in 2009, headed south to Gainesville.” Before Ryan proposed, he’d put a lot of planning into making the occasion unforgettable. The couple had planned a trip to New York City to celebrate Thanksgiving 2012 with their families. Once that trip was confirmed, Ryan set about putting his plan into action. Because their first meeting was at the Opera Nightclub, he decided to propose with an opera theme. “I thought it would be fitting to propose in a way that incorporated something that had meaning to us,” says Ryan. “I called our good friend, Keith Watson, an event designer originally from New York City who now lives and works in Gainesville. My call to Keith, who is good friends with one of the actors who plays Phantom on Broadway, was originally just to see if he could help get backstage passes and tickets to Phantom of the Opera. As we began to discuss the plan, my idea for proposing to Ashley continued to grow, and ultimately, the final plan was to bring the opera to her.” On the night of November 23, Ryan, Ashley and their families attended the show. Afterward, Ryan suggested they meet Keith for a drink to thank him for the tickets. “Upon arriving at the Two E Lounge at The Pierre Hotel, no one but Keith, my sister and I knew what was about to happen. It was incredible to watch the plan unfold as a complete surprise to our families and, most importantly, Ashley,” Ryan relates.
Photos © Footstone Photography
Unbeknownst to his bride-to-be, he’d hired six Broadway singers, two of whom previously played the Phantom and Christine in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, along with a pianist, who was the conductor from the Broadway show Mama Mia. As the evening unfolded, these singers “just happened to” appear at the lounge, singing songs that were special to both Ashley and Ryan. About 15 minutes into their “spontaneous” performances, Ryan shocked Ashley by proposing to her in front of the entire room. “It was a complete surprise,” says a stunned, but thrilled, Ashley. “Our trip wasn’t out of the ordinary since Ryan’s sister lives in New York City, and we planned the trip somewhat last minute. I knew that Ryan would put some thought into the proposal; I just didn’t think that he would plan something so elaborate.” The couple married November 16, 2013 and honeymooned in Thailand before returning to their home in Gainesville. You can watch their proposal video on their wedding website at meetthefrankels.com.
DIAMONDS ARE A G I R L’ S B E S T F R I E N D Although some couples opt for a different precious stone, the traditional engagement ring is a diamond. The history of giving a ring to signify the intention to wed dates back to the Middle Ages. Pope Innocent III in 1215 announced that such a ring was to be used to declare a couple’s commitment during the time between betrothal and the actual wedding. However, a diamond engagement ring didn’t become common until the 20th century; before that, they were mainly reserved for members of royalty and the wealthy. In 1947, DeBeers, the quintessential diamond jewelers, came up with a monstrously successful marketing campaign that included the slogan, “A Diamond is Forever,” along with the much-heeded suggestion that a proper engagement ring should cost two to three months’ salary. Jewelers today say that’s more of a myth and that there’s no set rule about how much a ring should cost to show a man’s dedication and commitment. According to weddingstats.org, the average price of a diamond engagement ring in 2013 was $4,975. Although gold is the traditional metal, jewelers make engagement rings in a variety of metals, including platinum, titanium and palladium.
Photo © Russel Martin Photography
Louis + Angela WILD
Photo © Amy Sparrow, Family Life Photography
lassmates for years, Louis and Angela Wild first met at Belleview Middle School in 1994. Although they also attended Belleview High School together, they never dated at the time and didn’t stay in touch after graduation. In July 2010, they reconnected online through Facebook, started dating and, by December, Louis knew he wanted to propose. Angela had a young daughter from a previous marriage, and Louis had two daughters. The couple had already made a tradition of taking family photos together several times a year, so Louis decided to use that to his advantage. “It was about time to take our Christmas photos, so I put my brain to work to try to think of a great way to incorporate my proposal into that day,” explains Louis, who had chosen December 11 for the big moment. “About a month before, I started making many phone calls to different offices in Ocala to see who is in charge of the marquee signage downtown. After many transfers and dead-end calls, I finally found the right person. That wonderful woman and I planned to have my proposal written on the sign on that day.”
Once that task was accomplished, Louis contacted the photographer they used for family photos and let her in on his plan. On the morning of the 11th, Louis, Angela and their daughters met the photographer just south of the Ocala downtown square. They proceeded to take photos at several different places nearby, working their way back to the gazebo for the final photos and Louis’ surprise proposal. He’d already asked the photographer to set up the gazebo pose so that the sign’s special message, “Angela, will you marry me?” would be in the photo. “We were taking photos and the next thing I know, the photographer was asking me, ‘Hey, isn’t that your name there?’” Angela remembers. “I looked at the sign, and by the time I turned around, Louis was already on one knee, ring in hand, asking me to marry him!” As Louis had painstakingly planned, the photographer captured the magic moment forever, something Angela especially appreciated after the fact. “We had talked about marriage before, but she had no clue this was coming. It couldn’t have been more perfect,” Louis says. The Wilds, who live in Ocala, were married November 6, 2011. Their family now includes four daughters, Andrea, 14, Alana, 10, Ava, 7 and Aryanna, 1. Both Louis and Angela work as U.S. Postal Service mail carriers in the Lady Lake office.
Photos courtesy of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA)
Mike + Tammy HERCHEL
Photo © Katie Thomas
t’s not often that 40,000 people witness a proposal, but that’s precisely how Mike Herchel planned to pop the question to bride-to-be Tammy. As network administrator at the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), Mike’s job revolves around sports, so he decided to propose at the 2007 Florida State High School Championship football games. The two met while working at Barr Systems, Inc. in 2001, but it wasn’t love at first sight. (“He took a cookie from a box on my desk without asking, which I thought was rude,” recalls Tammy.) They eventually became friends playing on the company softball team in 2003 and started dating in 2006. In fall 2007, Tammy and Mike had plans to fly to New York for a mid-December weekend of shopping and skating. Tammy had booked the trip as a Christmas gift for them, and their flight left from Orlando. This gave Mike a timeline for his proposal, as the high school championships were held the same weekend as their trip. He ordered her ring and had it shipped to his office so Tammy wouldn’t find it. With the FHSAA executive director’s agreement, Mike created a fake email and sent it to her. It appeared to be from the executive director of the Florida High School Athletic Association announcing that Mike would be recognized with an award for exceptional service, and that family was invited to be on the field for photos after the presentation.
“He casually mentioned that since we’d be in Orlando then anyway for our flight, maybe we could pop over to the Citrus Bowl together for him to be recognized. I thought nothing of it,” says Tammy. By the time December 14, 2007 arrived, Mike was nervous and distracted. He suggested they head over to the football stadium early “to see how things were going,” which only served to annoy Tammy. After all, Gator football season had just ended; she’d had enough football for a while and wanted them to spend time with her sister’s family in Orlando. Grumpily, she dressed to accompany Mike to the Citrus Bowl for his award ceremony. Mike’s co-workers barely spoke to Tammy when they arrived, and she felt stung by their cool attitude. In truth, Mike had actually had a co-worker bring the ring to the event and had warned everyone not to say anything for fear they’d give something away. Once Mike and Tammy were standing on the field, the announcer (whom Mike had worked with to write a proposal script), spoke the words that shocked Tammy as her husband-to-be got down on one knee and opened a Tiffany’s box containing her ring. Spectators witnessed the entire occasion on the Jumbotron and cheered for the couple. “Later, in the elevator up from the field when it was just the two of us, he asked if my answer was still ‘yes,’ and of course it was,” says Tammy, who admits she’s a difficult person to surprise. “I’m a big snooper when it comes to gifts and stuff. He kept it a secret, which was pretty impressive.” Mike and Tammy were married August 31, 2008. They are the parents of 3-year-old daughter Millie. You can watch their proposal at youtube.com/watch?v=wSwqB8ObrTk.
W H AT HAPPENS IF THE ENGAGEMENT IS OFF?
Believe it or not, a broken engagement isn’t just between the two of you. Depending on the state where you live, there may be laws dictating what happens to the ring if the wedding is called off. In Florida, an engagement ring is considered a “conditional” gift presented in the consideration of marriage. If the wedding doesn’t take place, case law supports the ring being returned to whoever purchased it. If the man asks for the ring back and his former fiancée doesn’t comply, his next step is to file a suit in the county where she lives and take her to small claims court. This applies if the ring’s value is less than $5,000. For rings with a higher value, he’ll need to consult with an attorney to file a lawsuit. If the scenario isn’t friendly and ends up in court, what happens to the ring depends on who broke the engagement. If the man called it off, the court will typically award her the ring. If the woman ended it (or did something to initiate the breakup, such as infidelity), the court usually awards the ring to the man. When the broken engagement is a mutual decision, the man typically gets the ring back. Of course, it’s a sad state of affairs any way you look at it if you have to take legal action against the person you once intended to marry and love forever. Sources: the-wedding-information-site.com, ehow.com
Photo by Dawn McKinstry
ncient relics prove man has called Cedar Key home for over 12,000 years. Arrow heads and fishing spears abound, along with ornate quahog clam shell necklaces once used for trade and money. Today, it isn’t the clam’s shell that is sought for its value—it’s what’s inside that pays off. Traveling west on State Highway 24 is like turning the weathered pages of a Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings novel. As you near the coast, skipping along the edges of the Waccasassa Bay Preserve and the Cedar Key Scrub Reserve, Old Florida comes alive, seemingly frozen in time, looking much the same as it did in Rawlings’ day. Weathered barn-board houses with rockers sit idly on sagging front porches, and clean white churches sit neatly tucked back into stands of pine that stretch for mile upon mile. But the epilogue of your journey is the highlight of this story—Cedar Key. As you break out of the forest, the blue Gulf, framed by an even bluer sky, spreads out like eternity before you. Time seems to come to a standstill as you drive down a main street that looks pretty much the same as it did 50 years ago. It seems as if the town itself accepts any semblance of change begrudgingly, and then only on its own terms. This little seaside village of habit is more than comfortable with life just the way it is, because why mess with paradise? Almost as old as the town itself are the family names that call this small set of coastal keys home. Many of the town’s 700 or so inhabitants are fourth- and fifth-generation “survivors” that have weathered many a storm and
are proud to claim that saltwater courses through their veins.
Cedar Key life truly is the “salt life,” as most of the local jobs available over the years have revolved around the life-giving crisp, blue Gulf waters. Charter boats abound, and until the state banned the oyster beds in 1990 and gill-net fishing in 1994, Cedar Key was world famous for its varied menu of oysters and fresh-caught seafood that was living in the warm waters one minute and on your plate the next. But even though outward change may not come easy, adaptation does. The lives of those who depend on the sea require it, and these Cedar Key fishermen were born with the grit to weather more than just Gulf squalls and hurricanes. When they lost their livelihood of oyster farming and fishing, they didn’t give up and dry up like wrack on the white sand beaches. They did what their fathers and their fathers’ fathers before them had done; they set their jaws and adapted to the change around them. All they needed was to be pointed in the right direction, and their compass came in the form of a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) extension agent named Leslie Sturmer. Sturmer, who has a master’s degree in marine aquaculture, taught the former commercial
FARMING THE SEA
“There are approximately 130 certified clam farmers in the Cedar Key area,” says Sturmer, “and 18 wholesalers. Wholesalers farm their own clams but also buy them from independent local farmers. All clam farmers are subject to extensive governmental regulatory control and must meet strict guidelines to farm and
sell clams. The way the program is set up is that the state of Florida leases two-acre submerged plots in designated clamming areas to certified growers. The growers are then responsible for their own harvest, under close state supervision.” Wholesaler Chris Topping, chief operation officer and president of Clamtastic Seafood Inc., began his life as a clam farmer as soon as he turned 18 and was eligible to purchase his first lease. “Clamming is a great business,” says Topping. “But it is a business that is constantly changing, and it requires the ability to look to the future and make the necessary
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changes if you are going to succeed.” Topping’s ability to adapt is evident; his business is thriving, producing over 40 million clams annually. He not only farms clams but buys regularly from local independent farmers as needed to meet market demand. “I came here in 1992, but my wife, Diana’s, family has lived here for eight generations,” he says. “I was interested in marine biology and aquaculture, and when I graduated from high school, the clam business was just beginning to take off, and we got into it early. I was an independent farmer until the terrorist attack in 2001. After the attack, the clam business went to nothing, just like the rest of the economy. We saw then that the only way we would survive would be to wholesale our own clams; we couldn’t depend on wholesalers up north to move our clams, we had to do it ourselves—so we started Clamtastic. We now have 25 employees and farm approximately 30 acres of leased seabed.” Both Topping and Sturmer note that the clam-farming business is expanding to other coastal states such as the Carolinas and Virginia. This expansion has flooded the market with fresh clams and has driven prices down considerably in the last few years. Still adapting to this type of change, Topping says his company is looking
to the future by beginning to move toward increased production of frozen clams, which has more of a market demand than fresh clams now, and for the foreseeable future. Mike Smith, operations manager of Cedar Key Aquaculture Farms, another local wholesaler, echoes many of Toppings sentiments. His company employs 10 local workers and farms 24 acres of seabed. “I’ve lived here 30 years, and my wife, Lisa’s, family has been here for five generations,” Smith says. “Her family all made their living off the water their entire lives, and we’ve been clam farming for 18 years now. We sell both fresh and frozen clams, but the frozen market is definitely the best market right now. There are at least a dozen fresh clam wholesalers right here in Cedar Key and only about three that are in the business of marketing frozen clams in the entire state.” Frozen clams have a much longer shelf life than fresh clams and are used by major seafood restaurant chains and many fine chefs at high-end restaurants. Both Topping and Smith say the reason more wholesale distributors haven’t entered this area of clam marketing is the fact that foreign countries such as China and Vietnam are able to supply American demand at a very low price. This makes it hard for American clam wholesalers to garner enough profit to make their businesses viable. “Many American restaurant chains buy foreign product because it’s cheap,” Smith says. “Companies such as Darden, which owns Red Lobster, buy from overseas, and that hurts famers here at home. It makes it very hard for us to compete in the frozen market.”
Photo by Tyler Jones
fisherman and crabbers how to farm the Gulf. She introduced them to their future—the hardshelled clam. The one-time fishermen were eager to learn, and instead of basking in the glory of days gone by when Cedar Key was called the Seafood Capital of the World, in a mere five years, they simply turned Cedar Key into the Clam Capital of the United States. Soon, this little Gulf hamlet was producing more farm-grown clams than any other coastal town in the nation. At last count in 2007, Cedar Key farmers were marketing more than 132 million clams annually to both national and international clients.
Papertexture©R.Studio; ClamsAlone©JiangHongyan; Cardboard©ShipovOleg/shutterstock.com
final planting. Between 1,000 and 1,500 clams, which are each now almost the size of a penny, are scattered in a mesh bag and staked to the bottom of the farmer’s leased land in the Gulf. They will soon be covered with silt, and there they will grow for the next 18 months until they are ready for harvest. During harvest, workers enter the water and pull the mesh bags up through the silt and bring the clams into the distribution facility for processing. It has taken two years for the process to be fully completed. Clam farmers, whether independent or wholesale distributors, all use the same methods of farming, ones that are approved and closely monitored by the state. Once the clams are processed, if they are to be delivered fresh, they will be shipped out immediately. If they are to be frozen, they will be cleaned, processed and immediately frozen to maintain freshness.
Photos by Tyler Jones
Sturmer says the methods approved for clam farming require strict adherence to state laws. Leases are visited by state inspectors on a regular basis, and officials make sure farmers stay within the perimeter of their leases. The entire process of producing clams ready to be processed and shipped takes up to two years for each harvest. It all begins inside local hatcheries where they produce what are called “seed” clams. Seed is simply an industry name for newborn clams. The production of seed begins with a select brood stock of quality, mature clams that are kept in an enclosed tank filled with fresh, filtered seawater. The water is constantly pumped through the tank, and the temperature is maintained at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This process takes place year-round, because according to Sturmer, Florida has an ideal climate and natural environment for raising clams, so clam beds in the warm Gulf waters can be “planted” or stocked practically any time of the year. In order to induce the brood stock to spawn, their food levels of phytoplankton are increased along with the water temperature and the clams are placed on spawning tables. A single female clam can produce millions of eggs, and as these eggs are fertilized, the seed clams begin to grow, eating special phytoplankton designed to optimize their health and growth. In approximately six weeks, the newborn clams are transferred to special tanks where they become acclimated to unfiltered seawater and the natural phytoplankton from the Gulf waters. In approximately three more months, they are ready to be placed in seed bags and planted on leased acreage in the Gulf. Several thousand baby clams will be stored in each seed bag. After another three months of growth, they are ready for the
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? As more states along the Eastern seaboard make inroads into clam farming and the market for fresh clams remains saturated, it is making the life of the Cedar Key clam farmer increasingly difficult. The small, independent farmers have suffered the most and narrowly dodged a bullet as the Florida Department of Agriculture considered expanding the existing lease options earlier this year. If the expansion had been initiated as planned, it would have profited many of the large wholesale distributors but might have spelled doom for many independents. It would have opened the door for even more clams to be produced and driven market prices down even further. “That option has been taken off the table,” says Sturmer. “The
comes to farming oysters is Jon Gill, co-owner of Southern Cross Sea Farms. Southern Cross has 10 employees and is “vertically integrated,” which means they produce clams from hatchery through processing and shipping. Even though Southern Cross is a highly successful business, farming its own clams and also buying from as many as 10 local farmers on a regular basis, Gill believes the oyster market will be a profitable one—if they can get it going. “Southern Cross, in conjunction with Leslie Sturmer and the University of Florida, is in the process of trying to determine if we can develop a successful floating system for growing oysters in the Cedar Key area,” says Gill. “Once we get any problems worked out with state regulators, I would love to go into the oyster business. The oyster market is a much, much larger market than the clam market. Practically everybody in the world eats oysters and not everyone likes clams, so, yes, I think oysters are a great future market product for Southern Cross.”
BENEATH THE SURFACE Although the town of Cedar Key may look pretty much the same on the outside, just offshore, buried under silt that once cut the keels of Spanish Galleons questing for gold, lies a new treasure: the product of a townspeople who just refuse to give up. The clam farmers, crabbers, fishermen and future oyster farmers, like the generations who came before them, are ready for whatever the future might hold.
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issue proved to be too controversial, and the Department of Agriculture decided not to move forward in that manner. Farmers couldn’t understand why the state wanted to allow more clams into a market that had some of the lowest dockside or farm-gate prices in the history of the industry. Considering that and the fact we are still mired in this recession and the product we are selling is considered a luxury seafood item, it made it hard to justify such an action.” But Sturmer still keeps looking for ways to improve the lives of Cedar Key clam farmers, and she has been experimenting with the introduction of a new clam to the area. “We have conducted a lot of research on a native Florida clam called the Sunray Venus clam that we hope will help increase sales for area farmers,” she says. “We feel this clam will fill a niche in the industry that isn’t as saturated as the regular hard-shell clam market is at this time. The Sunray Venus clam is fast-growing and has a decidedly different taste, texture and look than the standard hardshell clam; it would be considered a more high-end product.” Topping took notice of the Sunray Venus clam at about the same time IFAS began its research and has begun to implement brood stock and hatchery techniques to produce seed for local and national clam farmers. Sturmer is also spearheading the reintroduction of oyster farming to the area. “We have started workshops with local clam farmers to introduce them to some of the new technology and techniques for oyster farming that are being successfully utilized in other areas today,” she says. “We think this could be a great opportunity to expand into a large market.” One local wholesaler who agrees with Sturmer when it
Photo by Tyler Jones
Food As Fuel Keep your body running efficiently before and after exercise p50
Candy pile © EggHeadPhoto; Red candy © Bennyartist / Shutterstock.com
High Intensity Health Perks p46
Long Header LivepXX Your Liver Header p48pXXUnderstanding Header pXX Organics Header p52 pXX
N THE GOOD OL’ UNITED STATES, MARS INC. IS MANUFACTURING M&MS WITH ARTIFICIAL DYES. MEANWHILE, IN EUROPE, THEIR M&MS ARE COLORED ONLY WITH NATURAL ALTERNATIVES. FOLLOWING STUDIES ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ARTIFICIAL DYE CONSUMPTION AND HYPERACTIVITY IN CHILDREN, OFFICIALS ACROSS THE POND REQUIRED WARNING LABELS BE PRINTED ON ALL FOODS CONTAINING SUCH DYES.
This prompted Mars to go all-natural, but without those regulations here at home, America’s M&Ms remained the same. A Change.org petition was created asking Mars to get rid of synthetics in our sweets. To add your signature to the great dye debate, visit Change.org/MMsDyes.
D E E SP
Man © YorkBerlin / Shutterstock.com
! P U
IT Y S N E T N I H HIG R CIS E EXE
The participants were divided into four exercise groups: higher intensity for more than 10 minutes, higher intensity for less than 10 minutes, lower intensity for more than 10 minutes and lower intensity for less than 10 minutes. Both higher-intensity groups showed a lower body mass index and decreased risk of being overweight or obese than the lower-intensity groups. The conclusion was that intensity levels of physical exercise may be more important than the duration of an activity when it comes to overall health.
HIIT VS SIT
Higher-intensity exercise naturally sparks an increase in the production of human growth hormone (HGH) in our bodies. HGH is important for maintaining lean muscle mass and bone density, as well as improving immune system function. As we get older, HGH levels typically decline, but research shows that exercise, particularly higher-intensity exercise, helps slow that drop oﬀ.
In high-intensity interval training (HIIT), you alternate intervals at 70-85 percent of your maximum effort with recovery periods. With sprint interval training (SIT), you alternate going all out at 100 percent of your maximum effort with recovery periods. The work-to-rest ratio is determined by your individual fitness level and goal. You should have a solid base of physical fitness, for instance having worked out for 90 days before trying HIIT or SIT. Always warm up for at least a half-mile to a mile before beginning HIIT/SIT intervals. If you’re training for fat loss or conditioning, your recovery interval should be double or triple your HIIT/SIT interval so you feel completely recovered. Start out with HIIT intervals of 30 seconds with a recovery interval of 60-90 seconds; do eight to 10 sets. Begin with SIT intervals of 10 seconds with a recovery interval of 20-50 seconds; do eight to 10 sets. HIIT and SIT workouts can be used with walking, running, swimming, biking/stationary biking, even stair-climbing. Start with one HIIT/SIT workout a week and limit it to two to three times a week.
HIIT STAIR REPEATS:
Sprint 100 meters; walk back to start; repeat; work up to 10 Sets
At about 70 percent effort, go for 60-90 seconds; recovery period two to five times that time; repeat for four to six sets.
Swim as fast as you can (100 percent) for 10-90 seconds; recovery period two to five times that; repeat for four to six sets.
Run up 20-25 stair/ stadium steps at 70-85 percent effort; walk back down slowly for recovery; repeat six times, and work up to 12 sets.
If you have any health conditions, always check with your health care provider before beginning any strenuous exercise program.
Sources: experiencelife.com, runnersworld.com, thedoctorwillseeyounow.com
ORE AND MORE RESEARCH IS POINTING TO THE FACT THAT HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISE YIELDS THE BEST RESULTS WHEN IT COMES TO FITNESS AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. A RECENT NATIONAL HEALTH AND NUTRITION EXAMINATION SURVEY (NHANES) STUDY INVOLVED 4,511 PEOPLE WHO WORE AN ACCELEROMETER TO MEASURE INTENSITY AND DURATION OF EXERCISE FOR ONE WEEK.
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., OIZEN, M.D.D. R L E A H C I M M HME T O Z , & ME
uick! What’s a deep maroon color, looks like a squashed football and works 24/7 keeping YOU detoxed? Answer: your liver. And that hardworking organ is facing surprising new threats from your dinner plate and medicine cabinet. First, some background. Your liver skims toxins from your bloodstream, metabolizes drugs, filters and repackages 99 percent of nutrients from your diet (mostly into blood sugar but also into triglycerides and cholesterol) and produces fat-digesting bile. Until about a decade ago, the biggest threats to your liver were hepatitis infections and alcohol abuse. Now, overdoing acetaminophen is the No. 1 cause of sudden liver failure in the United States. Unsafe herbal meds and supplements—such as the fat-burning pill that recently caused 24 cases of liver disease, two liver transplants and one death in Hawaii—also are responsible for even more hepatic disorders. But around the corner, there’s something even worse: The next wave of liver problems will be launched by our expanding epidemic of obesity. Overdoing calories (especially from red meat and sugary drinks) is the reason 33 percent of adults have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease—a fat buildup in liver cells that leads to swelling, scarring or even liver failure for up to half of those with the condition. Within five years, fatty liver due to obesity could be the new No. 1 reason for liver failure and the need for liver transplants in the United States and Canada.
THAT HARDWORKING ORGAN IS FACING SURPRISING NEW THREATS FROM YOUR DINNER PLATE AND MEDICINE CABINET.
You can’t feel the slow buildup of fat, though your doc can spot it early with an ultrasound or later via a routine blood test. (Be sure to ask for liver readings at your next physical.) But don’t wait for bad news. Here’s how to show your liver a little more love every day:
STOP SEEING (AND EATING) RED! A diet packed with red meat boosts bodywide inflammation and raises your risk for a fat-packed liver by 45 percent. Munching 4 ounces a day triples your risk, compared with folks who indulge only once in a while. PUT MORE FISH AND GREEN VEGGIES ON YOUR PLATE. Seafood, like salmon
and ocean trout, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which discourage fat buildup in the liver. So does purified omega-7 (for more info, see YOU: The Owner’s Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition). Veggies, such as asparagus, contain minerals and amino acids that help liver cells detox themselves. And broccoli and cabbage contain sulfur compounds that help your liver clear toxins from your body.
SAY “SO LONG” TO SUGARY DRINKS. They
raise fatty liver odds by 45 percent. The reason: Fructose in soft drinks (and other sweet treats) revs up the liver’s production of fats. In their place, wet your whistle with coffee and tea. Caffeine stimulates the breakdown of lipids stored in liver
Woman © michaeljung / Shutterstock.com
EXTEND THE WARRANTY ON YOUR LIVER cells. There’s evidence that four cups of coffee or tea a day could help prevent NAFLD. Dr. Oz’s favorite liver elixir: a quarter-cup of warm water flavored with the juice of one lemon wedge and two dashes of hot pepper sauce. Warm water aids digestion, lemon juice packs inflammation-soothing vitamin C and the capsaicin in hot pepper helps your liver do its job.
SAY “CHEERS,” BUT NOT TOO OFTEN. One crazy night of binge drinking—in two hours, downing four or more drinks if you’re a woman, five or more if you’re a man—can seriously harm your liver. And 30 percent of women and 40 percent of men do that at least once a year. You can slow down your alcohol intake with a glass of water before and after each drink, or try nonalcoholic beer. DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC PILLS. Avoid all herbs, supplements and packaged formulas with a cocktail of ingredients. Far too often, they contain drugs not listed on the label while missing what they claim to provide. Your safest bet: Buy only supplements certified by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. And that acetaminophen? Sure, it relieves pain, but stick with the dose on the label, and never combine with alcohol.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into The Dr. Oz Show or visit sharecare.com. (c) 2013 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Dr. Salvador D. Ramos II, DO and Dr. Reginald L. Griﬃn, MD of Central Florida Surgical Services
BARIATRIC SURGERY? Salvador D. Ramos II, D.O. Salvador D. Ramos II, D.O., is regarded as one of the finest osteopathic bariatric surgeons in the area and was most recently recruited by Ocala Health to expand their excellence in bariatric health care. Dr. Ramos is dedicated to treating and healing the patient as a whole, rather than focusing on one system or body part. A scholarship graduate with high honors from Roosevelt University Chicago and the University of Illinois, Dr. Ramos received his doctorate from Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, Illinois. Dr. Ramos has the passion and professionalism to successfully assist patients with the latest in weight loss and metabolic surgery, treatment and lifelong recovery. His professional experience spans over 20 years beginning with his service as a
combat medical specialist (1983-87) and medical NCO for the United States Army (1987-89) and becoming one of the chief residents of general surgery residency at the 350bed facility Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. He finished a year-long fellowship in laparoscopic bariatric surgery and minimally invasive surgery. His first practice was in the Columbus, Ohio, area at the Bariatric Specialists of Ohio, and he successfully performed hundreds of laparoscopic and open bariatric surgeries as well as general surgical cases. He was then invited to establish the bariatric surgery program at Pikeville Medical Center and became its first medical director. Because of his excellent surgical and clinical outcomes, he was then brought into Ocala Regional Medical Center (ORMC) to lead its center-of-excellence designated bariatric surgery program. Dr. Ramos is esteemed for his vast skills and impeccable bedside
manner. Having learned from top-ranking bariatric preceptors Emma J. Patterson, M.D., Dennis Hong, M.D., and Jay Jan, M.D., Dr. Ramos leads his Ocala, Florida, surgical practice and the ORMC bariatric program with honesty, competence, efficiency and expert care before, during and following bariatric surgical procedures. A member of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, the American Osteopathic Association and Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, Dr. Ramos stays up to date on the best practices and remedies for a variety of surgical issues, especially in the bariatric surgical field.
Academy. He considers it a blessing to be able to rejoin and serve the Ocala community. Dr. Griffin is board certified in general surgery and completed his fellowship in advanced minimally invasive general and bariatric surgery at the University of Florida Jacksonville. After completing medical school at Saba University School of Medicine, he completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville. Internationally, Dr. Griffin has performed a live telecast operation to educate surgeons in India on how to perform single-incision, laparoscopic gastric bypass. He is a member of multiple medical societies, including the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), and is committed to educating, improving and expanding the field of weight loss surgery in our community.
Reginald L. Griﬃn, M.D. Reginald L. Griffin, M.D., joined Central Florida Surgical Services in October 2013. He was born and raised in Ocala and graduated high school from Ocala Christian
Central Florida Surgical Services 3233 SW 33rd Rd., Suite 202, Ocala (352) 433-2833 bariatricsurgeryocala.com
FUELING YOU R
LTHOUGH EXERCISING REGULARLY IS IMPORTANT TO OUR WELL-BEING, IT’S JUST AS IMPORTANT TO PROVIDE THE RIGHT FUEL BEFORE AND AFTER EXERCISE. THINK OF YOUR BODY AS A HIGH-PERFORMANCE CAR—IT NEEDS QUALITY FUEL TO RUN EFFICIENTLY, AND WHEN THE TANK IS EMPTY, YOU HAVE TO REFILL IT! HERE’S A LOOK AT HOW TO BEST FILL YOUR GAS TANK AND KEEP YOUR BODY RUNNING SUPER EFFICIENTLY.
Proper hydration before and after a workout is also important to keep your body running smoothly. Aim for 16 ounces of water two to three hours before and 16 ounces immediately afterward. On extremely hot and humid days, you may need to drink more to stay hydrated. During outdoor exercise on a warm day, try drinking 4 ounces every 15-20 minutes.
PRE-EXERCISE: CARBS Although many people think that exercising on an empty stomach will burn more calories, that’s not the case. According to a study in the Journal Medicine, whether you of the International Society of Sports Medicine eat or don’t eat before exercise doesn’t affect the amount of calories burned. You actually burn the same amount. But if you don’t eat easily digestible carbohydrates for energy prior Good preto exercising, your body will draw protein from exercise carbs your muscles for energy. This is not an optimal include: energy source for your body and, if done regularly, » Oatmeal (½ cup) will cause muscle loss. And the loss of lean muscle with berries mass slows down your metabolism, negating most » Banana of the benefits of exercising. » Small sweet If you exercise in the morning, your potato body has used up the energy from your » Half-plain bagel dinner meal during the nighttime fasting cycle and your blood sugar levels are low. » Slice of wholegrain toast with It’s important to replenish your energy cinnamon stores before exercising with those aforementioned simple carbohydrates » Apple an hour to two hours before exercising. » Multi-grain You can actually apply this principle no crackers (10) with hummus matter what time of the day you exercise.
POST-EXERCISE: PROTEIN After exercising, your muscles need protein for recovery and growth, ideally 10-20 grams within 30 minutes to one hour. Your body also needs some carbs to replace your depleted glycogen levels. A two-to-one ratio of protein and carbs is a good refueling combination.
Good post-exercise protein/carb options include: » Whey protein shake (two scoops whey protein, almond milk and fresh/frozen fruit)
» Two hard-boiled eggs with multigrain crackers
» Quinoa (1 cup) with berries » Greek yogurt with fruit » Peanut butter and crackers » Chocolate milk and banana » String cheese and crackers
Oatmeal © Africa Studio; Woman © ostill; Water © Coprid; Powder © Deymos Photo; Banana © urﬁn / Shutterstock.com
Sources: mayoclinic.com, fitnesmagazine.com, webmd.com, shape.com
© Picsﬁve / Shutterstock.com
ORGANIC LABELING According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic is a labeling term that indicates the food or other agriculture product has been produced without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering. That “USDA ORGANIC” seal means the product is certified organic and has 95 percent or more organic content. The USDA’s National Organic Program oversees all organic crops, livestock and agricultural products; it regularly inspects and verifies that organic farmers, ranchers, processors, traders and distributors are complying with USDA organic regulations. Here’s a look at other key labeling language to help you eat healthier!
MADE WITH ORGANIC: Can’t include the USDA seal, but at least 70 percent of the product must be certified organic, and nonagricultural ingredients must come from the USDA-approved national list. ORGANIC INGREDIENTS: Contains below 70 percent certified organic ingredients, and product packaging can’t claim to be organic but can list specific certified organic ingredients on information panel. FREE-RANGE: This USDA-regulated label indicates that the flock was provided shelter in a building, room or area with unlimited access to the outdoors, food and fresh water during their production cycle. CAGE-FREE: Indicates that flock
was able to freely roam a building, room or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.
NATURAL: As required by USDA,
meat, poultry and egg products with this label must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients.
ORGANIC LIVESTOCK/ GRASS-FED ORGANIC: The USDA ORGANIC seal verifies that producers used 100 percent organic feed, including using grain to supplement pasture diet, did not use antibiotics or growth hormones, provided animals with access to outdoors, as well as met animal health and welfare standards.
GRASS-FED: This USDA label
requires that grass-fed animals receive a majority of their nutrients from grass throughout their life. The grass-fed label does not limit the use of antibiotics, hormones or pesticides.
NO ADDED HORMONES/RAISED WITHOUT HORMONES: USDA regulations have never allowed hormones or steroids in poultry, pork or goat meat.
HUMANE: Not regulated under a
single USDA definition, these multiple labeling programs claim that animals were treated humanely during the production cycle, but verification varies widely.
VERYONE WANTS TO EAT HEALTHIER, AND ORGANIC FOODS HAVE BECOME THE GO-TO WAY TO DO THAT. BUT WHAT EXACTLY DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOU SEE THAT “USDA ORGANIC” LABEL ON FOOD PRODUCTS?
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Try your hand at meal planning to eliminate the “what’s for dinner?” blues p56
Bonkers For Bacon p58
Savvy Salad Storage p60
Quick Bites p57
MEDITERRANEAN RX Source: foxnews.com
ACHAEL RAY MADE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL TRENDY AGAIN WITH THE ACRONYM EVOO. NOW RESEARCH STUDIES ARE FINDING THAT OLIVE OIL AND ITS FELLOW MEDITERRANEAN FOODS MAY BE JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED FOR COMBATING TYPE 2 DIABETES.
Scientists report that when 3,500 people with a high risk for heart disease and diabetes were placed on a Mediterranean diet, their chances of developing diabetes decreased about 30 percent. So what exactly does Mediterranean mean? It’s low in red meat, focusing instead on fish and other sources of unsaturated fat (like that EVOO). Legumes, nuts and fiber-rich grains are also key members of the family. The best part of this study is that participants weren’t asked to count calories. Going Mediterranean is less about math and more about choosing good meals in the first place.
MEAL PLANNING: A CRASH COURSE T
HREE MEALS A DAY, 21 MEALS A WEEK, AND EACH ONE IS TAKING MORE TIME TO PREPARE THAN IT SHOULD. THESE DAYS, MEAL PLANS ARE AROUND EVERY INTERNET CORNER, FROM BLOGS TO PINTEREST AND BEYOND, AND THEY’RE GETTING MORE POPULAR EVERY DAY.
Most importantly, meal planning saves time on weeknights. It eliminates standing at the fridge, scratching your head and finally just ordering Chinese again. Having a bi-weekly or monthly plan keeps you and your family eating healthier, as you won’t stoop to eating fast food out of convenience. It’s irresistibly easy to pop a frozen pizza in the oven on weeknights, but instead, plan healthy meals in advance that can later be prepared with the same amount of ease. Now comes the hard part: getting started. Fear not rookie planners and clueless foodies, because we have broken down the meal planning and preparation process into a step-by-step guide that’s easy to follow and totally customizable. But first things first, we have to go shopping.
MAKE THE GROCERY LIST.
We all know crossing the threshold of a supermarket without a plan leads to forgotten ingredients and overspending. Save money and return trips to the store by deciding on dishes in advance. This is the No. 1 rule to efficient meal planning. • The best way to choose is by selecting recipes with overlapping ingredients. Ground beef transitions easily from Monday night tacos to
Tuesday night chili, so a little thought on versatile ingredients can go a long way. • To save some moo-la, plan the coming weeks’ meals based on sales at the local supermarkets. • If you’ll be freezing dinners to heat up later, go for foods that reheat well, like soups and sauces. • Plan meals based on their expiration time. Perishable foods should be incorporated into week one foods and nonperishables into the second.
PREPARE PROPERLY. In order to plan and cook successfully, first you need the right materials. 1. Prep ingredients as soon as you get home from the store. With everything out on the counter, it’s easy to see what needs to be sliced and diced, plus there’s no dragging it in and out of the fridge. Having the ingredients ready will save time later, too. 2. Make a little extra while cooking. Frozen leftovers are lunches for later or ingredients for the next recipe. 3. Check your Tupperware supply and invest in more if necessary. Don’t finish prepping these yummy meals and find you have nowhere to store them.
GET STARTED ON SUNDAY. Using weekend time to prepare meals saves time on busy weeknights. Prepped ingredients like diced veggies can easily be thrown into any recipe, but you can do yourself an even bigger favor by cooking ahead of time as well. Tired, post-workday you will thank past you for the help.
REDEFINE THE FROZEN FOOD SECTION. Consider your freezer size and, if space allows, you can assemble a whole slew of slow cooker meals in gallon-size bags. For example, dice up carrots and potatoes to throw into a bag with a bay leaf and assorted herbs. On a hectic weekday morning, all it takes to make Crock-pot beef roast is popping in the meat and bagged veggies, and dinner will be waiting on you at six. To avoid freezer avalanches and annoying games of food Tetris, snag an office organizer or two and get creative. If soups are frozen flat, they file right into a magazine holder, no problem. Be sure to label bags and containers with their contents, as overlapping ingredients can look similar all assembled and in a row.
IF YOU NEED HELP IN THE KITCHEN, DOWNLOAD SOME HELPFUL APPS. Evernote is the most popular recipe and meal-planning app, and it’s totally free. It saves photos of physical recipes and links to online ones so they’re all readily available on the go and at home. Food on the Table is another free app option that matches your ingredient preferences to sales at your local grocery stores. The MealBoard app costs $2.99 and can do all of the above but also scales back ingredient measurements for you based on serving sizes.
TO BUY IN BULK OR NOT? Bulk shopping can certainly take up too much pantry space, but purchasing your family’s essentials in large amounts does save money over time. Dried beans, rice, soups and more are non-perishable and versatile, so having plenty around can’t hurt.
MAKE THE INTERNET YOUR PERSONAL MEAL PLAN CONSULTANT. Websites like Plantoeat.com were designed with meal planning in mind. Create your own recipe book, and drag individual dishes onto a calendar. You can save meal plans for future use as well. First-time users get 30 days free, and the going rate is $4.95 a month. Springpad is an online note keeper that can load and save recipes and their ingredients from a Web link. Then, you can drag and drop ingredients into shopping lists and even make different ones for each store.
Calendar©DenisBarbulat; Salads©Nitr; Chicken©Jacek Chabraszewski; Planning Icons©Introwiz1; Kid©Jeka; FrozenPeas©MichaelHansen; Basket©monticello/shutterstock.com
If your kids suffer from a chronic case of the pickies, it’s tempting to heat up another round of chicken nuggets and call it a day. Resist the urge and satisfy their cravings by getting them involved in planning their own dinners. Older kids can help with the preparation, too. Knowing what meals are happening when and getting to choose some of their own ingredients will get kids excited to try them later at dinner or in a school lunch. A general tip for parents of picky eaters is to serve meals and snacks around the same time every day. It promotes a regular appetite, and if timing is everything, meal planning could be your new best friend. Once you’re in the door from dance lessons or soccer practice, you won’t be standing at the stove for half an hour waiting,
Similarly, stock up when key items are on sale. If there’s room in the freezer for BOGO chicken breasts, buy the BOGO chicken breasts. Anything that regularly crops up in recipes is worth snagging while the price is right if you’ll use it time and time again.
Sources: thekitchn.com, satisfyingeats.com, supergluemom.com, mayoclinic.org
PREPARE FOR THE PICKY.
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL celebrates its one-year anniversary in Ocala in March. Located at the corner of College Road and 27th Avenue, the eatery serves lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11am-10pm. Known for its gourmet ©SlawomirFajer/shutterstock.com burritos, the burrito bowls are also best sellers. Patrons love the tacos (crispy and soft), salad, chips and guacamole made several times a day with perfectly ripe avocados. Chipotle makes a point of offering “food with integrity.” That means buying naturally raised beef and pork, as well as chickens raised without antibiotics. Dine in or take out. Catering available.
2645 SW College Rd., #103, Ocala (352) 237-3553 chipotle.com
ABIO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT & PIZZAERIA closed its doors on January 25 after 35 years of serving Ocala. “My landlord called me on December 31 to inform me that he was not renewing my lease,” says owner Al DiFeo, who had until © El Nariz/shutterstock.com January 31 to move out. “It’s been hectic and stressful, and we’ve had long waits from customers sorry to see us go. We’ve even had new people come in after reading about us closing. That’s not a good way Continued on page 58
Continued from page 57 BaconConfetti©CatherineMurray/shutterstock.com
MAKIN’ BACON I
Bacon itself is delicious, but makin’ it can be a total pain. Grease splatter makes for quite the mess and can hurt if the hot liquid contacts skin when it pops out of the pan. Here’s how to cut down on these porky problems: Invest in a splatter screen. It provides a protective layer to hold down the hot bacon grease and prevent the usual mess. The screen method is great until it’s time to flip. Chefs at America’s Test Kitchen recommend adding enough water to cover the bacon before frying. It renders the fat, so by the time the water is gone, bacon can’t burn the hand that flips it. Traditionalists may disapprove, but many people swear by bakin’ bacon instead of pan frying. Simply lay some strips out on a baking pan and, without preheating, set the oven to 400 degrees and pop in the pan.
2377 SW College Rd., Ocala (352) 629-4886 facebook.com/abiospizza
TOUR DE PORK Dedicated bacon lovers may never run out of new tastes to try with so many variations around the world. Here in the United States, we like our bacon on the fatty side, cured in salt and smoked. Canadian bacon is cut from pork loin, so it tends to be less fatty, have fewer calories and look more like ham. Italian pancetta is cured with fennel, garlic and peppercorns for a flavor all its own, and let’s not even get started with prosciutto. When it comes to Hungarian bacon, or “gypsy bacon,” the whole slab is roasted with paprika and then thinly sliced and served on rye bread. That German tradition might be one to partake in.
CHOCOLATE-COVERED BACON AT HOME That’s right, it’s not just for breakfast anymore. Indulge in the ultimate sweet ‘n’ salty treat without paying top dollar at a bakery or chocolate shop. You’ll need… 1 1-2 1-2
package (16 oz) bacon cups chocolate chips tbsp vegetable oil
Decorations (sprinkles, sea salt, slivered almonds) Makes about 15 pieces
Heat oven to 400°F. Lay bacon side by side in roasting pan without pieces touching. Place in oven. After 12 minutes, ﬂip pieces with fork or tongs. Continue baking in 3-5 minutes increments until crisp and browning. Place pieces on paper to remove excess oil. Allow to cool completely. Microwave 1-2 cups chocolate chips in tall, narrow, microwave-safe cup for one minute. Stir, and continue heating in 30-second increments until smooth. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to chocolate to thin, adding more if needed. Tilt cup sideways and dip bacon. Flip to cover both sides, scraping oﬀ excess. Place bacon strips on parchment paper to harden. Sprinkle with decorations as desired before chocolate is fully set.
Recipe and photos courtesy of Natalie DeAmicis, natsadventuresinbaking.blogspot.com, the kitchn.com, guyism.com
F THERE IS ONE FOOD ON THE PLANET EVERYONE LOVES, IT’S GOTTA BE BACON. IT’S DELICIOUS, IT’S VERSATILE AND THESE DAYS, IT’S EVEN SHOWING UP IN DESERT CASES NEXT TO THE FUDGE. THESE LITTLE SLICES HAVE SEEN A LOT OF HYPE RECENTLY, BUT ONE BITE OF A BLT AND IT’S OBVIOUS WHY.
to be on the front page of the paper. I’ve loved the social part of it, and what I’m going to miss the most is the customers.”
DEE DEE’S DINER serves up homecooked breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday. Open since May 2010, Dee Dee’s is owned by Teresa and Steve Katsoufis, who previously had a diner in Miami. Stop by for a hearty breakfast, including ©ValentynVolkov/shutterstock.com their popular country-fried steak made with New York strip or roast beef and homemade sausage gravy. Lunch best sellers include their stuffed cabbage Parmesan and spinach pie with Greek salad. The family-friendly establishment is located in the historic former Ocala train station, which is nearly a century old. Open from 8am-3pm. Closed Sunday.
533 NE 1st Ave., Ocala (352) 629-5131
PDQ (PEOPLE DEDICATED TO QUALITY) is coming to Ocala! The Florida-based, fast casual restaurant chain plans to build on the College Road site that was once the now-closed House of Japan. One of the investors is Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, the University of Florida quarterback who also played with the Denver Continued on page 60
Tony’s Sushi & Steakhouse 3405 SW College Road, Ocala / (352) 237-3151 / tonysushi.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p / Fri & Sat 11a-11p / Sun Noon-10p With abundant menu choices and over 100 off-menu rolls, you certainly won’t run out of options at Tony’s Sushi. If you can’t decide, the waitstaff is excellent at suggesting items you’re sure to enjoy. Every roll and sushi dish is made to order from the freshest ingredients. In the steakhouse area, highly trained chefs prepare a memorable meal as they cook on the tableside grills, preparing chicken, steak or seafood just the way you like it. Entrées include soup or salad and rice. Family-friendly, casual atmosphere, along with a full bar, including imported Japanese sake and beer selections. Like us
Book your party at Tony’s today. Gift cards available.
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Pavarotti’s Pizza & Restaurant 8075 SW HWY 200, Canopy Oak Center, Ocala / (352) 291-9424 Mon-Thu 11a-9p / Fri-Sat 11a-10p / Sun 11a-8p Pavarotti’s Pizza and Restaurant in Dunnellon is known for their famous, old-fashioned pizzas, hand-tossed and baked on a stone deck oven as well as their array of classic Italian entrées, fresh salads and subs and hearty pasta dinners. Their newest location in the Canopy Oak Center means Ocala residents can now enjoy Pavarotti’s famous fare. Veal or chicken is served Parmigiana, Marsala or Picatta style, and the seafood dishes are served fresh over linguini. Pizza lovers can’t get enough of the homemade pies, and don’t forget about the subs, stromboli and calzones!
Welcome, HITS! Be sure to check out the new bar area and expanded dining room. Pavarotti’s also caters.
PAVAROTTI’S Pizza & Restaurant
Blanca’s Café Ocala Palms Golf & Country Club / 5000 N US Hwy 27, Ocala / (352) 867-0001 Mon-Sat Lunch & Dinner 10:30a-9p / Sun 11a-4p Taking Reservations for Valentine’s Day Tucked in among the rolling greens of the Ocala Palms Golf & Country Club, Blanca’s Café is a gem of a find for diners looking for excellent food served in a warm, friendly environment. Italian dishes and delicious homemade desserts are the café’s specialty. 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 offers, 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 offers something to please every palate.
WELCOME, HITS! Each Friday, we are oﬀering 1 ½-pound Maine lobster. Reserve by Wednesday. Homemade pizza served daily. Lunches now feature Beef on Weck & Monte Cristo Sandwiches. Weekly entertainment, call for details. Call for Valentine’s Day Reservations.
Continued from page 58 Containers©TheCointainerStore; Lettuce©Nitr; Flag©jannoon028/shutterstock.com
SAVING YOUR SALAD S
ICK OF WILTED GREENS AND WASTED PRODUCE PREVENTING HEALTHY EATING AT HOME? A LITTLE FORETHOUGHT AND SOME SMART STORAGE CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE FRESHNESS OF YOUR VEGGIES.
Broncos and New York Jets. The first PDQ opened in Tampa in 2011; there are now 18 locations with more opening soon. The restaurant is known for its hand-breaded ©Liv Friis-Larsen/shutterstock.com chicken tenders and sandwiches, fresh-cut French fries, salads and tasty milkshakes. Look for the Ocala opening late spring/early summer.
(352) EAT-1PDQ eatpdq.com
Instead of buying limp, bagged lettuce or letting an entire head wilt after only a week, try some of these better storage strategies. They’ll preserve all the salad essentials, saving time and money in the process. Toss a big salad and store wisely to serve from it all week. Drape some paper towels over the salad bowl to absorb moisture, cover tightly with plastic wrap and it should stay as succulent as day one. Because fruits and veggies react with each other, like apples ripening other fruits faster, keeping them separate can extend their shelf life. Storing them whole instead of cut makes them last longer and apple or onion-shaped containers add charm. Store produce that rots in a low humidity drawer. Leafy greens and produce that wilts should be kept in a high-humidity drawer. To keep lettuce crisp, remove it from its bag or wrapper and place in cool water for about 30 minutes. Dry the leaves, wrap them in paper towels and place inside a plastic bag. Squeeze out the air, zip it up and return to fresh lettuce over and over again for up to two weeks.
TAKE IT TO GO The Container Store is chock full of perfectly portable salad storage to make healthy lunches that much easier. Check out all of their to-go products online and some of our favorites here. • The Klip-It Chill It-to-Go container is the definition of grab ‘n’ go. It has snap-in utensils and an ice block to keep produce chilled. The locking clips and silicone seal ensure maximum freshness for whatever is inside. $14.99.
dreaded soggy lettuce leaves. They’re safe for the dishwasher, microwave, fridge and freezer, too. $4.99 for multipack.
• The leak-proof Salad-to-Go bowl is the veggie lover’s ultimate companion. It was designed by a nutritionist and even comes with an insulated sleeve • Dole out the right amount of dressing in these colorful Dressing-to- to keep everything inside cool as a cucumber. $19.99. Go cups. They’ll seal in the dressing until lunchtime to prevent those
STAY FRESH Soggy salads and wilted vegetables are as undesirable as they come but are easily avoided with a few freshness tactics. Investing in a salad spinner can help lettuce and other produce go a longer way with a thorough drying cycle. Just make sure to buy a spinner that can be used anywhere, not just over the sink, or a watery mess awaits. Romaine tends to stay crisp and green longer than iceberg. If finishing a whole head of lettuce takes awhile, a romaine bundle could be the thriftier option. Keeping salads in canning jars is an adorable way to store and carry meals for the week. Layer the ingredients with dressing on the bottom, followed by the most dense and least absorbent items with leafy greens at the top to prevent them from becoming soggy. Shake ‘em up and empty into a bowl when mealtime comes around.
Sources: lifehacker.com, pinchmysalt.com, thriftyfun.com, thekitchn.com, thecontainerstore.com
SOPRANO’S ITALIAN COURTYARD PIZZA & PASTA opened January 2 and has received a tremendous response from customers. Owned by brothers Sal and Joseph Fabozzi, the eatery features authentic Italian dishes with over 200 items on the menu. Patrons are raving about the New York-style pizzas. “Everything is made fresh. We love to cook for people; that’s ©Elena Shashkina/shutterstock.com what makes us happy,” says Joseph Fabozzi, who makes the cannoli himself. Soprano’s is located just south of the Kangaroo station on the corner of Highway 40 and Airport Road. Order at the front window and eat at outside tables or take home. Delivery within a 12-mile radius. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
101 SW 60th Ave., Ocala (352) 861-1717
Ipanema Brazilian Steak House 2023 South Pine Avenue, Ocala / (352) 622-1741 / ipanemaocala.com Lunch Fri 11a-2:30p / Dinner Tue-Thu 5-9p, Fri & Sat 5-10p, Sun 4-9p Brunch Sun 12-3p / Happy Hour Tue-Fri 5-7p / Closed Monday A churrascaria (Portuguese for barbecue) is a dining experience where roaming gauchos slice and serve fire-roasted meats from skewers in a continual fashion. Ipanema Brazilian Steak House boasts 12 of the finest cuts of meat complemented by an opulent salad and vegetable bar, delectable desserts, and delicious wines, beers and cocktails. Brazilian native and executive chef Ortencia DeAlmeida invites you to embrace the flavors of her homeland and experience the magnetism of Ipanema for yourself. Become a fan of Ipanema on Facebook at facebook.com/ipanemasteakhouse. Great discounts online!
Make this Valentine’s Day special at Ipanema Brazilian Steak House. Dine with us in the most elegant and elaborate dining room in Ocala–perfect for a romantic dinner experience to remember. Taste Brazil! Happy Hour Tues-Fri 5-7p, Wed 2-for-1 Caipirinhas all night!
La Hacienda Restaurant & Supermarket 4185 W Hwy 40, Ocala / (352) 512-0746 Sun-Thu 8:30a-8:30p / Fri & Sat 8:30a-9:30p / Open 7 days a week! lahaciendaocala.com / Facebook: La Hacienda Restaurant & Supermarket Come experience authentic Mexican freshness at La Hacienda Restaurant & Supermarket! Having a supermarket with fresh produce, fresh meats, a bakery and an in-house corn and flour tortilla factory sure has its perks to ensure quality and freshness in our products. With daily dishes made to order and great-sized meal portions, satisfaction is practically guaranteed! Treat your “sweetheart” on Valentine’s Day, and mention this ad to receive your complimentary homemade dessert!
February Specials-Mondays: Chimichanga topped with cheese dip, $5.99; Taco Tuesdays: .99 cent Authentic Tacos (Served on homemade corn tortillas, double layered, meat of choice, topped with onion, cilantro and lime on the side!); Wednesdays: Fajitas, $5.99 (Steak or Chicken w/ rice, beans & tortillas); Quesadilla Thursday, plus more daily specials!
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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 4-7p New lunch specials include Taco Salad on Monday, $4.45; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $4.95; Quesadillas on Wednesday, $6.45; Chimichangas on Thursdays, $5.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $4.95. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $8.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $7.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $7.95; Tacos de Bistec Thursdays, $7.95. Plus $1.95 margaritas on Monday. On Sunday, kids 12 and under can enjoy 99¢ children’s meals (takeout not included). Wednesday is Special Margarita Day, 99¢ all day. Saturday is 2-for-1 margaritas all day. Live Mariachi Band every Thursday 6-9pm at our Hwy 200 Location.
Join us every day for happy hour from 4-7p 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.
Braised Onion 754 NE 25th Ave, Ocala / (352) 620-9255 Tue-Thu 11a-9p / Fri-Sat 11a-10p / Sun 11a-8p Open Valentine’s Day Feb. 14, for lunch and dinner. We would like to WELCOME HITS riders and participants!
Treat the special ladies in your life like a queen for a day— make your reservations for Valentine’s Day dinner. They will be treated like royalty in a romantic setting at Braised Onion! Chef Loring Felix will be serving our special holiday menu for dinner, so call to make your reservation; she will love you for it! Chef Felix was recently the winner of Culinary Combat Iron Chef 2012-13! Also the winner of Taste of Ocala 2013 and Best of the Best Chef 2013. Live Jazz Wednesday and Friday at 6:30p, and live entertainment Saturday at 6:30p.
Pasta Faire Italian Ristorante 10401 US Hwy 441, Belleview / (352) 347-3100 Mon-Sat 11a-10p / Sun 11a-9p “New”Zia Pasta Day. Thursdays-AUCE, four diﬀerent pastas and sauces, with salad $7.99. Monday all you can eat rotisserie chicken with two sides just $7.99.
Welcome to Pasta Faire! Owner Kathy Funk invites you and your family to enjoy the unique flavors of Italy. Come relax and enjoy the fabulous menu items, such as Veal Marsala or Picatta, Homemade Lasagna, Seafood Lovers Delight. Gourmet wood oven pizza’s and authentic NY Style pizzas. Happy Hour is every Monday through Saturday 11a-6p. Looking for an authentic Italian caterer? We offer full-service catering for any occasion and a catering facility in Belleview that can accommodate up to 150 guests. Home of 2-4-1 large pizzas everyday for take out. Gift certificates available!
Ker’s WingHouse Bar & Grill 2145 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala / (352) 671-7880 Sun 11a-Midnight / Fri-Sat 11a-1a winghouse.com Daily lunch specials are oﬀered Monday-Friday, 11am-4pm. Happy Hour 4p-8p & 10p-close.
If you’re looking for a fun, casual environment to enjoy the next big game or fight, look no further! Ker’s Winghouse Bar & Grill is it! A full liquor bar, 12 draft and bottled beers, 25 televisions, not to mention a 110-inch monster TV, and a menu that will leave you wanting more. Try their famous “Naked” Chicken Wings. These skinless drumettes are marinated, baked and tossed in your choice of award-winning sauces. Catch all PPV & UFC events throughout the year and you won’t miss a second of the action at the Winghouse. But let’s face it, Ker’s Winghouse Girls may just be the biggest draw. Make Ker’s Winghouse Bar & Grill your new favorite hangout.
Cody’s Original Roadhouse 2505 SW College Road, Ocala / (352) 237-8182 / codysamerican.com Doors Open at 11a. Serving Lunch and Dinner Daily. “Where Quality and Value Come Together!” Hand-cut, USDA Choice, certiﬁed Angus steaks, rotisserie chicken, BBQ baby back ribs, chops, fresh ﬁsh, half-pound burgers, salads and more! Kids eat free Mondays and Tuesdays. buy-1-get-1-free Fajita Wednesdays, $11.98; Steak-Out Thursday with steak specials starting at $9.98! Daily 2-4-1 happy hour, 11a-7p, includes draft beer, wine and all liquors (top shelf, too). Lunch from 11a-3p, and early bird from 3p-6p MondaySaturday. Sunday after-church specials starting at $8.99 with free dessert. Hand-cut steaks and “Just Plain Good Food” made from scratch...daily! Don’t miss our Valentine’s Weekend Specials; Filet & Lobster Tail, Twin Lobster Tails and MORE!
Take-Out Service Available. Locations also in Gainesville at 3100 SW Archer Road and The Villages at 1041 Lakeshore Drive at Lake Sumter Landing, and our new location in Tallahassee.
Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant 2463 SW 27th Avenue, Ocala / (352) 237-3900 / kotobukiocala.com Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30a-2p Dinner: Tue-Thu 4:30-9:30p / Fri & Sat 4:30-10:30p / Mon & Sun 4:30-9:30p For an authentic Japanese meal in an award-winning restaurant that has been serving Ocala since 1986, try Kotobuki. Enjoy 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.
Happy Hour daily 4:30-6:00p Check out our full sushi bar. Celebrating 26 years!
Crossroads Country Kitchen 7947 W Highway 40, Ocala / (352) 237-1250 Mon-Thu 6a-8p / Fri-Sat 6a-9p / Sun 7a-3p 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 a wide variety of homemade soups and chili 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 for $25.95. Make sure to leave room for one of the tasty home-baked desserts, too! In the mood for a fresh fish fry? Tuesdays and Fridays are all-you-care-to-eat catfish. Big screen televisions will allow you to enjoy your meal without missing one second of the big game or race.
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. Former owners of The Spiced Apple restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale
Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille 24 SE 1st Ave., Ocala / (352) 840-0900 / hookedonharrys.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p / Fri & Sat 11a-11p / Sun 11a-9p Happy Hour Specials Monday – 1/2-price bottles of wine. Tuesday (“Fat Tuesday”) All items half price. Wednesday – 1/2-price martinis. Plus a daily happy hour from 2-7pm with plenty of 2-for-1 deals.
Located in the heart of downtown Ocala, Harry’s offers traditional Louisiana favorites like Shrimp and Scallop Orleans, Crawfish Etouffée, Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole and Blackened Red Fish. Other favorites, like Harry’s Signature Crab Cakes and Bourbon Street Salmon, are complemented with grilled steaks, chicken, burgers, po’ boy sandwiches and salads. Our full bar features Harry’s specialty drinks, such as the Hurricane or Rajun Cajun Bloody Mary, as well as wines by the glass and a wide selection of imported, domestic and craft beer. Harry’s menu is sure to have something for everyone!
La Cuisine French Restaurant 48 SW 1st Ave., Ocala / (352) 433-2570 / lacuisineocala.com Tue-Fri Lunch 11:30a-2p / Dinner daily starting at 5:30p / Happy Hour Mon-Thu, 5:30-7p Live Piano Dinner Tues 6:30-9p / Thu 6-9p Winner of the Golden Spoon Award 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Looking for a romantic escape, a quiet spot for a business lunch or dinner, a cozy place for a friend or family reunion? Or simply craving hearty, quality food and dedicated service? Located at the heart of beautiful downtown Ocala, La Cuisine with its unique French bistro atmosphere, award-winning menu alongside world-class food, full liquor bar and extensive selection of wines, is worth a closer look! Our specialties include Escargots in Garlic Butter, Traditional French Onion Soup, Beef Bourguignon, Braised Pork Shank in Honey Sauce, Duck a l’ Orange, Blue Crab Stuffed Filet Mignon, Ratatouille and our genuinely authentic Creme Brulée, to mention just a few!
Tony’s Sports Bar & Grill 2711 SW 27th Ave., Ocala / (352) 390-8188 Mon-Thu 4p-2a / Fri-Sun 11-2a Ask about our 1/2 oﬀ Happy Hour specials.
Tony’s Sports Bar & Grill is the place for hungry sports fans to go. With 32 high-definition televisions lining the walls, including a 133-inch and a 70-inch 3-D screen, airing every televised game, you won’t miss a minute of the action. A great menu and an incredible selection of 40 beers on draft means Tony’s can cater to any appetite. Not into the big game? Not a problem. With a pool table, dart boards and video games, patrons are sure to find plenty of entertainment. Visit Tony’s Sports Bar & Grill and Tony’s Sushi within 48 hours and receive a free domestic beer when you show the receipt.
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We have your Major League Baseball spring training schedules inside!
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MOVE ‘EM OUT! C
ALLING ALL CRACKERS AND COWPOKES—SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 IS THE ANNUAL ROTARY DISCOVERY FEST CRACKER CATTLE DRIVE & COWBOY ROUNDUP. SPECTATORS CAN LINE UP IN TUSCAWILLA PARK TO WATCH RANCH HANDS MOVE A HERD OF CATTLE THROUGH DOWNTOWN OCALA. Other events will be held all day from 10am-
© Monica Armstrong / Shutterstock.com
5pm following the drive, including pony rides, roping, stick horse races and even a station to make a custom cattle brand. For some relaxing competition, toss some horseshoes or beanbags on the lawn. For a little more action, shoot sling shots or ride the barrel bull. After working up an appetite at the roundup, it’ll be time to visit a vendor for kettle corn, old-fashioned candy and some Southern sweet tea. This is one down-home good time that can’t be missed. Visit ocalaﬂ.org/cowboy for more information.
A COLORFULLY COOL EVENT For the third year now, Belleview High School will host one of the most colorful events around. The DIAMOND CLASSIC WINTER GUARD COMPETITION brings the top colorguard and drum corps teams together to duke it out for the best of the best title. Forty teams are slated to compete on the grounds of Belleview High School this year for what’s sure to be a fun and exciting day for participants and audience alike. Watch as the dedicated performers utilize colorful flags and a variety of dance skills to wow the crowd with their musical selections that can range from classical works to pop rock. The event is scheduled to kick off at 1:30, but come early as extra teams are likely to show up. Concessions will be available and the awards ceremony will take place after the last team has competed at 9:30pm. Tickets are $10 at the gate. (352) 671-6210.
CARNIVAL IS CALLING
It’s time once again for rides and slides and fun for all ages. The TRINITY CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL WINTER CARNIVAL is coming to town this month. VIP tickets are on sale now.
Ride unlimited rides all day long for only $20. New this year will be drawings for great prizes, including gift cards to some of the area’s best eateries, Publix, Walmart and more! So mark your calendars and bring the whole family for four days of food, fun, rides and prizes. trinitycatholichs.org or (352) 622-9025.
ROUND EM UP’ Outdoor enthusiasts round up your fishing gear, bows and arrows, camping supplies and more. The OCALA OUTDOOR ROUNDUP will take place on the football field of Trinity Catholic High School and will feature a sportsman’s expo to excite outdoorsmen of all ages. Demonstrations and displays of fly-casting, archery, ATVs and outdoor gear will keep visitors busy. A delicious dinner will be served by the Adena Springs Ranch and will be accompanied by dancing, auctions, raﬄes and more. Proceeds benefit Brother’s Keeper outreach services. Tickets are limited, so don’t wait to reserve your spot. (352) 502-2510.
CALLING ALL ARTISTS (THROUGH MARCH 9)
A juried and judged art show will take place on March 30 and is currently accepting submissions. The show, HEAVEN AND EARTH, presents works based on two of Earth’s elements, air and earth, and is the last in a series of shows presented throughout the past year. Submissions can focus on one or both elements, and prizes will be awarded. The deadline for submissions is March 9 with the show being presented on March 30 at Interstate Commerce Center in Ocala. lisa-russo-art.com or (352) 288-0207.
ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS 3105 SW 13th Street
Serenity Stanﬁeld, ARNP
w w w. m a r i o n p e d i a t r i c s o f o c a l a . c o m
Dr. Yves-Lande Pierre, FAAP
Q& A DENISE DEEN
IN T ER VIEW B Y KATIE MCPHERSON
HE 74TH ANNUAL SOUTHEASTERN YOUTH FAIR IS AN ANNUAL MUST-SEE STAPLE IN MARION COUNTY. WE TALKED WITH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DENISE DEEN FOR SOME PROFESSIONAL INSIGHT INTO THIS YEAR’S EVENT, WHICH HAS A FEW NEW TWISTS FOR ITS SPECTATORS.
How many FFA and 4H members will compete? All our numbers are up this year in our market shows. We have a total of about 1,100 kids entered. 704 are in 4H, 394 are in FFA and about 30 or 40 are in both.
What are the most enjoyable parts of the fair? I think they’re all exciting in their own way. The sales are always exciting because we really appreciate our buyers who support these kids and our fair. A lot of people don’t know about our home arts building, but it houses our garden show, kitchen show, art show and photography show.
What’s your favorite event? It would have to be the steer show because my daughter, who is my last child and a senior, will be doing her last show. The one that’s the most fun is the lamb show.
What is the fair’s Agventures program about? Agventures is sponsored by Farm Bureau, and second-graders from across the county come and we use the fair to teach the kids. We try to target kids who live in the city so they learn things about farm life and agriculture and get to see all the animals. They go to different stations to learn about things like beekeeping and orange juice processing. There’s also a tent with piglets and chicks for them to touch. We usually run through about 700 kids on these field trips.
Are there any new events this year?
What is the most rewarding part of your job as executive director?
Our rodeo, which is usually part of the high school rodeo, is now called the Southeastern Ranch Rodeo. It’s going to be all local teams and is a qualifier for the State Cattleman’s Ranch
I like being able to see the fair actually come together with the kids and their projects, seeing how they do and if they make money on their sales.
WANT TO GO? 68
Rodeo. We have a chef this year running our kitchen show, Chef Randall White, who has a cooking show on WUFT. We have a goat show and market this year, so on Sunday afternoon we’re going to be selling about 30 goats for the first time ever.
SOUTHEASTERN LIVESTOCK PAVILION / February 23-March 2 / seyfair.com
THELOCALSCENE UPCOMING EXHIBITS AT THE APPLETON (ONGOING) The Appleton will host the work of award-winning children’s book illustrator R. Gregory Christie through April 27. To open the exhibit, Christie will unveil a mural designed specifically for the Appleton on February 1 during the First Saturday Event. The Gathering of Legends exhibit will feature an Irish linen tablecloth with over 700 autographs embroidered on it over the past 84 years. The work will be on display through May 4. [In]justice: Art and Atrocity in the 20th Century will feature works by 20th century artists such as Baskin, Morris and Saar among others. The exhibit opens February 8 and will be on display through May 11. Canstruction Ocala is a creative design and build competition featuring life-sized sculptures created entirely out of canned goods. The sculptures will ultimately be dismantled and donated. The exhibit will be on display from February 22 through March 9. Very Special Arts is a collection of children’s art organized through the State Organization on Arts and Disabilities and will run February 25 through March 23. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. FREE TENNIS PLAY DAYS (THROUGH MAY) On the last Saturday of each month, the Ft. King Tennis Center will host free play for kids 10 and under from noon-1pm at Tuscawilla Park. The program is designed to give kids additional court time in a low-pressure environment. (352) 598-0353. KAYAKING (ONGOING) There will be several kayaking opportunities available throughout the month for all experience levels. For specific program details, visit marioncountyﬂ.org or (352) 671-8560. Continued on page 70
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THELOCALSCENE / Continued from page 68
CONCERTS TICKETMASTER | (800) 745-3000 | TICKETMASTER.COM
ALL DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. PLEASE CALL AHEAD TO CONFIRM VENUE LISTINGS.
Twin Oaks Amphitheatre at Silver Springs, Ocala
Wayne Densch Center, Orlando
Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
WALK OFF THE EARTH
House of Blues, Orlando
NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
Savannah Center, The Villages
A TIMELESS STAR One of the most prolific and musically diverse stars of all time will be making an appearance in The Villages this month. The legendary KENNY ROGERS has recorded top hits in the country, jazz, rock, folk and pop genres during his six-decade-long career. And the ageless star has no intention of stopping any time soon. His wildly popular tour features a stop at the Savannah Centre in The Villages this month. He’s set to take the stage at 7pm for one night only, so don’t miss your chance to see this legend of the music industry live on tour so close to home. kennyrogers.com or thevillages.net or (352) 435-9107. PANIC! AT THE DISCO
House of Blues, Orlando
CF Dassance Fine Arts Center, Ocala
THE WORLD HAS TALENT
Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
SURF CITY ALLSTARS
Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
Pensacola Saenger Theatre
PAT BENATAR & NEIL GIRALDO
Hard Rock Live, Orlando
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Hard Rock Live, Orlando
PENSACOLA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Pensacola Saenger Theatre
BEGINNINGS: THE ULTIMATE CHICAGO TRIBUTE BAND
Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
DISCOVERY CENTER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS (ONGOING) The Discovery Center’s children’s programs combine fun with learning. Several programs are available for children of all ages, including Toddlers Explore and Create Scientists. For specific program information, visit mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900. GALLERY AT EGGS OVER BASELINE (ONGOING) Eggs Over Baseline will host a gallery featuring the works of local artists. There will also be an all-day cruisein the fourth Friday of each month. (352) 351-3447. SPIRIT NIGHT AT BLACK BEAR SMOKEHOUSE (THROUGH MAY) Black Bear Smokehouse in Mt. Dora will host a spirit night to benefit the Eustis Middle School band. These nights fall on the second and fourth Mondays of the month through May. Ten percent of all proceeds during the hours of 5pm and 8pm will benefit the band’s fundraising efforts. There will be free ice cream, games and activities. (352) 383-2327. MOTORCYCLE GIVEAWAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW (THROUGH MAY) The annual Hog For Hope Bikes, Brews and BBQ will once again be raﬄing off a grand prize. This year’s model is a 2014 Harley-Davidson Street-Glide motorcycle. Tickets are on sale now for $100 each, and the winner will be announced during the May event. hogforhope.com or (352) 351-2479. FIRST SATURDAY ART PROGRAM (FEBRUARY 1) The Appleton Museum will host a children’s program from 1-3pm. The program features hands-on activities with instruction. The program is free for members and included
in admission for non-members. appleongmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. MURDER MYSTERY DINNER (FEBRUARY 1) The Seven Sisters Inn will host a murder mystery dinner featuring a four-course dinner. Actors and guests will be given a variety of clues to catch the killer. The event begins at 6pm, and dinner is served at 7:30pm. Tickets are $65 per person. sevensistersinn.org or (352) 433-0700. APPLETON AFTER HOURS (FEBRUARY 6) The Appleton Museum will host an after hours event featuring live music, tapas from local restaurants and presentations from the Ocala Art Group. Doors open at 5pm; music begins at 5:30. The event is free for members and $10 for non-members. appleongmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. TRIPS ‘N’ TOURS (FEBRUARY 6, 27) The Appleton’s Trips ‘N’ Tours program heads to Orlando to visit the Orlando Museum of Art and Cornell Museum at Rollins College. Price is $75 for members and $85 for non-members. On February 27, they will head to Tampa Bay for a day at the races. Price is $65 for members and $75 for non-members. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT (FEBRUARY 7) The Discovery Center will host a parents’ night out. Children can be dropped off at 6:30pm and will watch a film and take part in hands-on activities. Registration is $15 and limited to 25 participants. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900. SIDEWALK ASTRONOMY (FEBRUARY 7) Families are Continued on page 72
Where are Born 352-401-0044 Nancy Porter Graduate Gemologist / GIA
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Webber Center, Ocala
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Ocala Civic Theatre, Ocala
CF Dassance Fine Arts Center
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Phillips Center for Performing Arts, Gainesville
Art Center of Citrus County, Hernando
Phillips Center for Performing Arts, Gainesville
CFE Arena, Orlando
Tampa Bay Times Forum
Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Orlando
Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, Orlando
TAKE ME HOME: THE MUSIC OF JOHN DENVER
Citrus Learning and Conference Center, Lecanto
Times Union Center for Performing Arts, Jacksonville
DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Pensacola Saenger Theatre
Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Orlando
ON GOLDEN POND
Art Center of Citrus County, Hernando
Phillips Center for Performing Arts, Gainesville
Gainesville Community Playhouse, Gainesville
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THELOCALSCENE / Continued from page 70 invited for a fun and educational tour of the night sky with astronomer Ken Nash. The evening will feature hands-on activities, lectures and telescopes. The event is free and runs from 6-8pm. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900. FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK (FEBRUARY 7) Hit the streets of downtown Ocala from 6-9pm to see the various artists’ displays, indoor and outdoor vendors, restaurants and much more. (352) 401-3900. MYSTIC SINGLES MINGLE (FEBRUARY 7) The Seven Sisters Inn will host a singles event for individuals over age 40. There will be appetizers and drinks as well as entertainment with a medium present. Tickets are $20, and the evening runs 6-8:30pm. sevensistersinn.org or (352) 433-0700. SPRING POW WOW (FEBRUARY 7-9) Florida’s Lost Tribe Spring Pow Wow will take place at Cox Osceola Seminole Indian Reservation in Orange Springs. There will be auctions, raﬄes and more. Gates open at 9am. Free camping available. (352) 546-3363. CRAFT SHOW (FEBRUARY 8) The Spring Sweethearts Craft Show will take place at Cherrywood Estates from 9am-2pm. There will be a wide variety of crafts for purchase as well as lunch and raﬄes. (352) 237-1675. DANCE PARTY (FEBRUARY 12, 28) Dancin’ Around Studio will host a dance party at 7pm. Admission is free for students and $10 for guests. Refreshments will be served, but BYOB. danceocala.com or (352) 690-6637.
GOLDEN APPLE GALA (FEBRUARY 21) The Public Education Foundation of Marion County will host the 24th annual Golden Apple Gala in honor of the area’s top teachers. The gala will be held at the Circle Square Cultural Center, and doors open at 5:45pm. Tickets are $35. (352) 671-4167. BLUE JEAN BALL (FEBRUARY 21) The Discovery Center will host an inaugural Blue Jean Ball to benefit current renovations. The event will feature live entertainment, a silent auction, appetizers and beverages. Tickets are $35 for singles and $60 for couples. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900. CROP TO CURE (FEBRUARY 21) Bring your craft of choice to the Marion Extension Auditorium at 6pm for a fun way to meet new people and learn new crafts. Admission is $5 per person, and proceeds benefit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. (352) 732-5982. HORSES FOR HOSPICE TRAIL RIDE (FEBRUARY 22) Hospice of Marion County will host their 14th annual trail ride at the Florida Horse Park. The ride will be 2-3 hours long followed by a BBQ lunch, entertainment, prizes and more. The ride begins at 8am, and a minimum donation of $30 will be accepted. hospiceofmarion.com or (352) 854-5218. CRAFT FAIR (FEBRUARY 22-23) A juried craft festival will take place at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square in The Villages. The festival will feature over 175 different crafters from around the country. artfestival.com or (561) 592-8500.
Continued on page 72
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THELOCALSCENE ROLLER DERBY (FEBRUARY 23) The Ocala Cannibals will host a bout at Skate Mania. Admission is $8 in advance or $12 at the door. Doors open at 6pm; bout begins at 6:30pm. ocalacannibalderby.com. CHARITY PICNIC (FEBRUARY 28) The Marion County Therapeutic Riding Association will host a charity picnic at Highland Memorial Park. A $10 donation will be accepted for the lunch. The event runs 11:30am-1pm. (352) 671-6466. OCALA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (MARCH 1, 2) Heroes: Bond and Beyond will feature memorable music from the James Bond franchise as well as a performance by the winners of the Young Artists’ Competition. Performances will be held at 7pm on March 1 and 3:30pm on March 2 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Auditorium. ocalasymphony.com or (352) 351-1606. CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT (MARCH 3) The Kids Central Open Golf Tournament will take place at the Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club. Interested players can either register a foursome or raise funds for the opportunity to play for free. The tournament benefits the non-profit organization Kids Central. kidscentralinc.org or (352) 387-3474. BLESSED TRINITY RED AND WHITE DINNER AUCTION (MARCH 15) The annual Blessed Trinity Red and White Dinner Auction will take place at the Ocala National Golf Club beginning at 6:30pm. The elegant evening will feature a dinner and both a live and silent auction. (352) 622-5808.
ITH CENTRAL FLORIDA’S BEAUTIFUL WEATHER, MANY OF YOUR FAVORITE MLB TEAMS CALL OUR AREA HOME DURING SPRING TRAINING. WITH GAMES JUST A SHORT DRIVE AWAY, SPRING TRAINING IS THE PERFECT TIME TO TAKE IN A GAME.
HOUSTON ASTROS Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee (321) 697-3201 Mar. 2 Braves 1:05p Mar. 5 Tigers 1:05p Mar. 6 Mets 1:05p Mar. 8 Yankees 1:05p Mar. 9 Blue Jays 1:05p Mar. 12 Nationals 1:05p Mar. 14 Cardinals 1:05p Mar. 16 Nationals 1:05p Mar. 17 Braves 1:05p Mar. 20 Phillies 1:05p Mar. 21 Marlins 1:05p Mar. 22 Cardinals 1:05p Mar. 26 Mets 6:05p
ATLANTA BRAVES Champion Stadium, Orlando (407) 839-3900 Feb. 26 Tigers 1:05p Feb. 28 Astros 6:05p Mar. 2 Tigers 1:05p Mar. 3 Mets 1:05p Mar. 4 Nationals 1:05p Mar. 6 Nationals 6:05p Mar. 8 Marlins 1:05p Mar. 11 Phillies 1:05p Mar. 12 Nationals 1:05p Mar. 14 Rays 1:05p
Mar. 15 Mar. 19 Mar. 21 Mar. 22 Mar. 23 Mar. 24 Mar. 26
Cardinals Yankees Tigers Red Sox Mets Astros Marlins
1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 1:05p 6:05p 1:05p
DETROIT TIGERS Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland (866) 66-TIGER Feb. 25 Mocs 1:05p Feb. 27 Braves 1:05p Feb. 28 Yankees 1:05p Mar. 1 Astros 1:05p Mar. 3 Cardinals 1:05p Mar. 4 Pirates 1:05p Mar. 6 Phillies 1:05p Mar. 8 Mets 1:05p Mar. 11 Blue Jays 1:05p Mar. 13 Marlins 1:05p Mar. 14 Nationals 1:05p Mar. 15 Astros 1:05p Mar. 17 Nationals 1:05p Mar. 18 Blue Jays 1:05p Mar. 23 Marlins 1:05p Mar. 25 Braves 1:05p Mar. 27 Braves 1:05p Mar. 28 Rays 1:05p
WASHINGTON NATIONALS Space Coast Stadium, Viera (888) 632-6287 Mar. 1 Braves 1:05p Mar. 2 Marlins 1:05p Mar. 5 Mets 1:05p Mar. 7 Astros 1:05p Mar. 8 Braves 1:05p Mar. 9 Cardinals 1:05p Mar. 10 Astros 6:05p Mar. 11 Yankees 1:05p Mar. 13 Mets 1:05p Mar. 16 Tigers 1:05p Mar. 19 Astros 6:05p Mar. 20 Tigers 1:05p Mar. 22 Marlins 1:05p Mar. 25 Mets 1:05p
NEW YORK YANKEES Steinbrenner Field, Tampa (813) 879-2244 Feb. 25 Seminoles 1:05p Feb. 27 Pirates 1:05p Mar. 1 Phillies 1:05p Mar. 3 Nationals 1:05p Mar. 4 Orioles 7:05p Mar. 7 Tigers 7:05p Mar. 9 Rays 1:05p Mar. 12 Tigers 1:05p Mar. 13 Orioles 1:05p Mar. 14 Twins 1:05p
Mar. 16 Mar. 18 Mar. 21 Mar. 23 Mar. 25 Mar. 28 Mar. 29
Braves Red Sox Pirates Blue Jays Phillies Marlins Marlins
1:05p 1:05p 7:05p 1:05p 7:05p 7:05p 1:05p
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES Bright House Networks Field, Clearwater (727) 442-8496 Feb. 26 Blue Jays 1:05p Feb. 28 Tigers 1:05p Mar. 2 Pirates 1:05p Mar. 4 Blue Jays 6:35p Mar. 5 Braves 1:05p Mar. 6 Yankees 1:05p Mar. 8 Astros 1:05p Mar. 10 Braves 1:05p Mar. 13 Yankees 1:05p Mar. 16 Pirates 1:05p Mar. 17 Orioles 1:05p Mar. 20 Blue Jays 1:05p Mar. 21 Red Sox 1:05p Mar. 23 Twins 1:05p Mar. 26 Tigers 1:05p Mar. 27 Blue Jays 1:05p
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NCAA BASKETBALL UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Feb. 1 Feb. 4 Feb. 8 Feb. 19 Mar. 1 Mar. 8
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Take the ﬁrst step to a successful future with the wide variety of career programs available at Marion County’s Career and Technical school! Train for a rewarding career in Radiography, Culinary Arts, Fireﬁghting, Welding, Phlebotomy and more — including our two newest programs, Applied Cybersecurity and Practical Nursing (LPN). You will receive an excellent education that will prepare you to enter the workforce.
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Orlando Magic Feb. 5 Detroit Feb. 7 Oklahoma City Feb. 9 Indiana Feb. 12 Memphis Feb. 21 New York Mar. 2 Philadelphia Mar. 5 Houston Mar. 12 Denver Mar. 14 Washington Mar. 25 Portland Mar. 28 Charlotte Mar. 30 Toronto
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BASKETBALL FANS, LISTEN UP (Ongoing) Fans of the CF Patriot basketball team who can’t make the games will no longer have to miss out on the action. WOCA (96.3 FM and 1370AM) will broadcast eight regular-season games in anticipation of the Florida State Junior College Tournament, which will be played in Ocala for the first time in the tournament’s history. The CF Patriot men were last year’s tournament winners and are looking for a repeat. Show your support, and tune in for all the action. cf.edu or (352) 873-5800.
Marion County Public Schools, An Equal Opportunity School District
PROGR AM INFORMATION SESSIONS All information sessions at CTAE • 1014 SW 7th Rd., Ocala PROGRAM
DATE / TIME
Administrative Office Specialist Legal Administrative Specialist Medical Administrative Specialist
Feb. 4 • 6:00 pm Mar. 4 • 6:00 pm Mar. 7 • 10:00 am
Practical Nursing Massage Therapy Medical Assistant Medical Clinical Lab Technician Medical Coder/Biller Nursing Assistant Patient Care Assistant Phlebotomy
Feb. 24 • 6:00 pm Mar. 17 • 6:00 pm
Feb. 10 • 5:30 pm
Feb. 4 • 6:00 pm Mar. 4 • 6:00 pm
Commercial Foods & Culinary Arts
Mar. 10 • 6:00 pm
Mar. 3 • 6:00 pm
FALL TERM APPLICATION DEADLINE: APRIL 24 — CLASSES BEGIN JULY 2014 — APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED UNTIL CLASSES ARE FULL
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3rd Annual Beneﬁt for Hospice of Marion County
CUVEE WINE & BISTRO
For the third year, Cuvée Wine & Bistro held a holiday gala to benefit Hospice of Marion County. Dr. Lance and Marie Kim, owners of Cuvée, hosted the benefit on December 8 in honor of Hospice’s 30th anniversary. The benefit, which featured a range of delectable foods and wine, raised $12,000 for Hospice of Marion County’s children’s programs.
Michelle & Frank DeLuca Kate & JoAnn Ankoviak and Dr. Candy Quigley
PHOTOS BY RONALD W. WETHERINGTON
Craig & Carol Curry, Nancy Sue Curtis and Ron Johnson
Connie Storms and Karen Haven Ralph Cole, Jo Ann Semler and John Romero
Carol Bilt and Jim Riley Ann Allen and Cynthia Pyle
Grant & Taylor McMahon
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On October 25, customers and friends of Gateway Bank gathered for the Gateway Athletic Club’s Friday Tailgate featuring Monday Night Football announcer Jon Gruden. Ticket proceeds benefited Ocala’s Interfaith Emergency Services, and lunch and drinks were catered by The Mojo Grill and Catering Company.
Jon Gruden and Jankie Dhanpat
Jon Gruden, Randy, Jared & Dustin Kuentjes
PHOTOS BY SHEILA HARTLEY
Kevin Camp and Peter Polack Ron Zook, Tom Ingram, Dave Horrell, Jon Gruden, Brian Cretul, Adam Truesdale, Vicki Boren, Rusty Branson, Desiree Johnson and Jankie Dhanpat
Tom James, Buddy Martin and Tom Schmitz Dave Horrell and Jon Gruden Jon Gruden and Greg Graham
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Holland Drake, Scott Coldwell and Thad Boyd
Mark O’Connell, Karla Grimsley and Wes Wheeler
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Helping Hands Auction & Dinner
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Helping Hands held their annual charity Auction & Dinner at the Hilton Ocala on November 23 with proceeds totaling $75,000. The funds raised will be used to assist men, women and children in critical need. Special guests included Al Dunlap, Dory Funk, Jr., “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Ron Zook, U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho and Representative Dennis Baxley. PHOTOS BY RONALD W. WETHERINGTON
Kathy Dinkins and Char Strack
Chuck Stein and Lorri Silvera
Jo Ann & Ray Snead
Scott & Rachel Kaser, Jenn & Jon McGraw, Erin & Russell Lindsay
Brad Dinkins, Don Garlits and his daughter Donna, Pete Whirle Julie & Bob Crowley, Holly & Dave Dyer Bree & Glen Harris
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Donna Crippen and Linda Massingill Rock Gibboney, Drew Ditty and Steve Albright Continued on page 82
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Continued from page 80 PHOTOS BY HOLLY MILEY
Troy & Ann Glaus
Judy Dunlap, Ron Zook, Al Dunlap and US Congressman Ted Yoho
Lorri Silvera and Florida Representative Dennis Baxley
Roger Rowland and Lydia Nixon
Scott Kelley and Dr. Mary Barber
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