Are You Ready for a Scavenger Hunt?

scavengerhunt“Tee Time Tuesday” and “National Scavenger Hunt” day have found each other. So, in the proper fashion I have devised a Boca Grove Golf Course Scavenger Hunt! The clues are not in hole order and some are harder than others, so get your clubs and cart ready and hit the course to play along.

 

  1. Find the hole that has “Pressman’s Bridge”.
  2. Find the hole that if you drive too far left, over hit the corner or miss the green to the right when going for it from the tee will put you in H2O.
  3. Find the par 3 that lines Boca Grove Boulevard.
  4. Find the hole with four bunkers down the left and none on the right.
  5. Find the hole that has homes around it that are on Frontenac, Valencia, Hamlin and Oakley.
  6. Find the hole that has 2 greenside bunkers on the left.
  7. Find the hole with the “Boca Grove” bridge with water on the right of the hole and front of the green.
  8. Find the hole that has two approaches to the green that are divided by bunkers.
  9. Find the par 3 that doesn’t have any water on it.
  10. Find the hole that has water at the tee, down the left side and crossing the front left of the green.
  11. Find the hole that has 40 palm trees down the entire left side.
  12. Find the hole that has a round fairway bunker at its corner for long shots and a round bunker that protects the center of the green.
  13. Find the hole with the curvy wooden bridge and water down the entire left side.
  14. Find the hole whose curve is protected by a waste bunker and palm trees making a cut shot a little harder.
  15. Find the par 4 that has a narrow fairway before the green with water on its left and right.
  16. Find the hole with plants that you must cross from the tee and water you must cross at the green.
  17. Find the hole that is a dog-leg right and runs the side of the driving range.
  18. Find the hole with two fairway bunkers on the right side, and water and a bunker on the front-left side of the green.

 

Hole 1_10Your round is down and I hope you had fun. Did you find all the holes? Do you know the Boca Grove course better than anyone? Send your answers to hdupree@bocagrove.org and check to see if you aced the test!

 

*Looking for clues…maybe the online course tour can help…http://bocagrove.org/Golf/Course-Tour.aspx.

Bar-B-Que and Salad Month Have Met the Ultimate Recipe!

IMG_3549The month of May for many is the official start of summer. In the calendar world of holidays it is also “National Bar-B-Que Month” and “National Salad Month” to mark these dual events. Boca Grove (www.bocagrove.org) has assembled a group of recipes from our very own Executive Chef Dominick Laudia that will make your taste buds water. Get ready for Grilled Skirt Steak with Corn Avocado Tomato Relish over Potato Planks and Panzanella Salad with a Tomato Vinaigrette.

 

For the Skirt Steak:

3 lbs.                                     Skirt Steak

2 oz.                                      Honey

4 oz.                                      Dijon Mustard

4 oz.                                      Soy Sauce

2 tbls.                                    Ginger

4 tbls.                                    Garlic

2 oz.                                       Oil

 

Method:

Mix together the honey, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and oil.

Marinate the steak for 2 hours in the mixture.

Place on a hot grill for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

 

For the Relish:

2 each                                   Corn on the Cob, Grilled and Removed from the Cob

1 each                                   Avocado, Diced

1 each                                   Tomato, Seeds Removed, Diced

1 each                                   Lemon, Juiced and Zested

1 each                                   Lime, Juiced and Zested

IMG_35524 tbls.                                    Olive Oil

As needed                            Salt

As needed                            Black Pepper

1 tbls.                                     Minced Chive

 

Method:

Combine all ingredients and chill.


For the Potato Planks:

3 each                                   Potato, Sliced in Length, Skin On

2 oz.                                      Oil

As needed                          Salt and Pepper

3 tbls.                                    Olive Oil

3 tbls.                                    Chive, Minced

 

Method:IMG_3554

Brush planks with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place on a hot grill until soft.

Drizzle with olive oil and chive.

 

 

For the Panzanella Salad:

1 lb.                                       Pancetta or Bacon, Cut into ¼ inch Pieces

3 tbls.                                    Olive Oil

12 oz.                                    Sourdough Bread, Cut into ½ inch Cubes

3 tbls.                                    Parmesan Cheese

1/2 tsp.                                Ground Black Pepper

1 lb.                                       Red Bliss Potato, Cut in Half and Blanched

As needed                          Tomato Vinaigrette

12 each                                Artichoke Hearts

6 cups                                   Arugula and Mixed Greens

2 pints                                  Red and/or Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, Each Cut in Half

 

Method:

In a non-stick skillet, cook pancetta or bacon over medium heat until lightly browned.

With slotted spoon, remove pancetta to a large salad bowl, save drippings in skillet.

Add olive oil and bread cubes to the drippings and cook until bread is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Toss toasted bread cubes in the bowl with the pancetta.

Add grated parmesan cheese and pepper to the bowl and set aside.

Prepare Tomato Vinaigrette.

Add greens, cherry tomatoes, potatoes and artichoke hearts to the bowl.

Toss everything with the Tomato Vinaigrette.

 

For the Tomato Vinaigrette:

2 small                                  Tomato

2 small                                  Shallot

4 tbls.                                    Olive Oil

2 tbls.                                    Red Wine Vinegar

2 tbls.                                    Champagne Vinegar

2 tsp.                                     Sugar

2 tsp.                                     Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped

4 tsp.                                     Dijon Mustard

½ tsp.                                    Salt

½ tsp.                                    Ground Black Pepper

 

Method:

Peel tomato.

Coarsely cut up tomato and shallot.

In a blender at medium speed blend the tomato, shallot and remaining ingredients just until smooth.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

 

To Assemble:IMG_3551.JPG

Place potato planks on plate.

Put the panzanella salad in the center of the plate in a mountain.

Place sliced pieces of the steak on top of the salad.

Top the steak with the relish.

Drizzle extra dressing around the plate.

 

Have your favorite five people join you at the table and dig in to their very own marvelous and scrumptious plate of salad and grilling perfection. Let summer outside dinning begin!

 

 

Be A Tree Hugger.

We here at Boca Grove love our trees and today is a great day to be a tree lover in that it is “National Love a Tree Day”. Do you get it? We love trees! Just drive down our tree-lined streets (http://bocagrove.org/Real_Estate/Subdivisions.aspx) and you will totally understand our admiration. IMG_7395Trees are very independent beings, they don’t need a lot of tender loving care like their friends the flowers, but they still need regular maintenance and pruning. So here is how to keep your tree healthy and ready for any weather that may come at it, a list of why it is important to protect our trees, as well as a list of ways to celebrate your favorite tree(s).

 

Tree Health is a Must!

Boca Grove is no stranger to heat, drought and hurricanes from which trees can suffer. Here is how you can help!

  • Fertilize and Water! Keep your trees healthy and growing strong with fertilizers and a good watering from time to time. Also have a regular health regimen to keep away white fly and any other disease that may come along to threaten its life.
  • hatrack treePrune to keep it and you safe in storms! During hurricanes trees can cause damage, but a well pruned tree will stand the test of time and be strong against the raging winds. Make sure when you prune you hire the right company to do so because you do not want them to “top” or “hatrack” your tree. “Hatracking” is when a tree is cut or chopped so badly that the only thing left is branches, no leaves. This causes your tree to grow back incorrectly making your tree weak to the heavy winds. When your tree is pruned correctly, preferably by an arborist, it will have a well-spaced framework of healthy branches that will create an open canopy allowing winds to flow freely through the tree. This will keep your tree upright and branches from flying.

 

Why We Should Protect Our Trees!

Trees do a lot for us. Here are 10 reasons why tree protection should be a top priority:

  • Trees Produce oxygen.
  • They control noise pollution.
  • They slow storm water runoff.
  • Trees are carbon sinks.
  • Trees clean the air we breathe.
  • They add shade and keep us cool.
  • They act as windbreaks.
  • Trees fight soil erosion.
  • They help increase property values.

 

Celebrate Your Tree!

Here are the five best ways to celebrate trees today, May 16th, and every day.

  • Love-a-Tree-DayShow your inner “tree hugger”. This one is easy – just get out there and hug your tree. Wrap your arms around it and show it some love. If a neighbor looks at you funny, take the time to tell them why you are hugging your tree and maybe they will join in on the love fest!
  • Give your tree a drink! A long, cold one and we don’t mean beer, we mean good old-fashioned water from the hose. Trees, unlike flowers and shrubs, don’t always cry out for water. Today is the perfect day to give that strong, silent type a good watering. This may take some time, but a good tree watering is soaking it to the root system, and overall will make a difference to your trees long-term health.
  • Decorate your tree! Not like you do at Christmas time with lights, but with a bird feeder. Adding a bird feeder will give your tree, no matter its age, a little bling to show off to the other trees, plus it will help out it’s limb-loving, feathered friends.
  • Give your tree a friend! Everyone wants a friend. So if your tree is all alone in the yard, today could be a good day to plant another one (or two). Figure out what will work best in your yard and with your current tree and get to planting. This is also a perfect day to plant a tree if you don’t already have one.
  • Make your tree part of a wildlife sanctuary! You read me right, you can make your home garden into a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the NWF (National Wildlife Federation) and what tree wouldn’t love that? All you need to do is add a water feature (like a birdbath), a bird feeder, some flowers and shrubs and have one or more trees and you are set. Certify through the NWF and when you do they will plant a tree in your name!

You now have this day covered. Get out there and show some tree love.

Feel the Beat, Move Your Feet!

chicken-dance-imageIn honor of “National Dance Like a Chicken Day” and “Sweating Saturday” we here at Boca Grove would like to touch on the reasons why dancing is good for your health. So with a little help from www.dance-teachers.org, turn up the music, put on your dancing shoes and let’s boogie!

 

Why should you dance to get healthy?

We all hear that children should be actively moving for 60 minutes a day and adults 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. Dance classes can make that happen very easily. Plus, let us not forget that when you exercise you are reducing stress levels, improving relaxation, strengthening bones and muscles and helping control body weight; so why not have fun while you are doing all of that? Dance is also a great outlet of exercise for those who don’t feel like they are the “sporty” type and it lets you feed your creativity.

 

9 Reasons You Should Dance!

  • Dance keeps the body and brain active which is vital for any age.
  • Dance offers ways to improve our strength and flexibility which in turn helps keep muscles and joints healthy.
  • Choosing a new form of exercise can help you meet new people and make some new friends that have a similar interest – DANCE!
  • Dance helps you improve your posture and balance.
  • Dance, like any form of exercise, will help reduce stress.
  • Dance can teach you about other cultures depending on the type of style of dance you choose.
  • Dance can help increase your self-esteem and confidence when learning new techniques that can help with everyday outlooks.
  • Dance allows you to express your personality in a safe and creative environment.
  • Fun! Dance is a fun way to keep you healthy and moving.

 
Is your interest piqued? You have decided to give dance a try to get healthy? Check out the Boca Grove Fitness Classes at http://bocagrove.org/Fitness/Classes.aspx and join the Zumba class offered, or find another class that will get you moving. Every class has music, it just depends on how you move.dance-like-nobodys-watching-mall

 

 

Remember – “Dance Like No One is Watching!”

 

National Apple Pie Day Makeover!

apple crispNothing is more American than apple pie and baseball, right? Well Boca Grove’s Executive Chef Dominick Laudia has us covered on the apple pie part but with a makeover that will give you the same taste without the crust. Chef Dominick’s Old Fashion Apple Crisp with Ice Cream and Bailey’s Chocolate Truffles.

 

For the Apples:

2 each                                   Apples

½ tsp.                                    Grated Zest of Orange

½ tsp.                                    Grated Zest of Lemon

½ tsp.                                    Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

½ tsp.                                    Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 tbls.                                    Granulated Sugar

¼ tsp.                                    Ground Cinnamon

¼ tsp.                                    Ground Nutmeg

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.

Butter a baking dish.

Peel, core and cut the apples into wedges.

Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar and spices.

Pour into the dish.

 

For the Topping:

1.5 oz.                                   Flour

1/8 cup                                 Granulated Sugar

1/8 cup                                 Light Brown Sugar, Packed

Pinch                                     Kosher Salt

1 cup                                     Oatmeal

1.5 oz                                    Cold Unsalted Butter, Diced

 

apple crisp_1Method:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal and cold butter in a bowl until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.

Scatter evenly over the apples.

 

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly.

 

To Assemble:

Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

 

For the Truffles:

¼ cup                                    Heavy Cream

7 oz.                                      Chocolate, Chopped

2 tbls.                                    Bailey’s Liqueur

½ tsp.                                    Pure Vanilla Extract

6 oz.                                      Dark Chocolate, Chopped

 

trufflesMethod:

Place the cream in a heat-proof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Cook until heated through.

Using a wire whisk, slowly stir the chocolate into the warm cream until completely melted.

Whisk in the Bailey’s and vanilla.

Cover and chill for 1 hour or until pliable, but firm enough to scoop.

 

With 1 ¼-inch ice cream scoop, make dollops of the chocolate mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, until firm enough to roll into rough spheres.

 

Melt the dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.

Using a fork, roll the truffles in melted chocolate, remove and chill until ready to serve.

 

Grab a plate of this divine yumminess and turn on your TV to watch your favorite baseball team (the baseball part is now covered) and dig in!

“I Want to Ride My Bicycle.”

National-Bike-MonthIn the immortal words of the band Queen (not her Highness) and in honor of May being “National Bike Month” “I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…” keeps popping into my head and for good reason – riding a bicycle has major health benefits. From an article on the Better Health Channel website there are a lot of reasons to be strapping on your helmet and going for a spin around the neighborhood while listening to Queen. You too can get the song stuck in your head on this “Sweating Saturday” and every day at beautiful Boca Grove.

  1. Bike riding for health and fitness.
    • Bike riding is:
      • Low impact – in the form of exercise it causes less strain and injuries than most others.
      • A good muscle workout – while you pedal you are using all of the major muscles.
      • Easy – cycling does not require high levels of physical skill like other sports do. Plus, once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget, hence the saying “It’s like riding a bike…”.
      • Good for strength and stamina – when you cycle it increases your stamina, strength and your aerobic fitness.
      • As intense as you want it to be – you can go slow and low intensity to faster and at a higher intensity as you get more comfortable.
      • benefits-of-cycling4A fun way to get fit – you get to ride where you want, when you want. Uphill, downhill, by the beach, near the lake – you decide making it fun for you.
      • Time-efficient – it can be used as a mode of transportation replacing the sedentary time you use sitting on a bus, train or automobile.
  2. The health benefits of regular bike riding.

    • Health benefits of regular bike riding include:
      • Increased cardiovascular fitness
      • Increased muscle strength and flexibility
      • Improved joint mobility
      • Decreased stress levels
      • Improved posture
      • Improved coordination
      • Stronger bones
      • Decreased body fat levels
      • Management or prevention of disease
      • Reduced depression and anxiety
  3. Obesity and weight control. A good way to control and reduce your weight is by riding a bicycle to raise your metabolic rate, build muscle and burn body fat. As with all exercises a healthy eating plan is necessary if overall weight loss is the goal. A great benefit to bike riding is that you choose the time and intensity based on what suits you. Research suggests that you should be burning about 2,000 calories a week just through exercise. If you ride your bike steadily you could be burning 300 calories an hour.health-benefits-of-biking
  4. Bike riding and cardiovascular disease. Stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack are all included in the realm of cardiovascular disease. If you regularly ride your bicycle you will stimulate and improve your heart, lungs and circulation helping reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Bicycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers your resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels – a win-win.
  5. Bicycling reduces cancer, diabetes, bone injuries and is good for arthritis. Research has found that if you ride a bicycle the chance of bowel cancer and the risk of breast cancer are reduced. Research done in Finland found that people who regularly ride their bike for 30 minutes a day have a 40 percent less chance of developing diabetes. When you bike ride you improve your balance, coordination and strength which in turn can help prevent falls and fractures. If you suffer from arthritis bike riding is an ideal exercise because it is low-impact putting little stress on your joints.

 
Dust off your bicycle and get out there and RIDE!BikeMonth_headerx

A Sweet Side to the Kentucky Derby!

IMG_3481The Kentucky Derby is all about horses, hats and Mint Julep’s, and now dessert! Boca Grove Executive Chef Dominick Laudia is giving you a dessert to eat alongside your Mint Julep that will have your taste buds galloping. Here is your Kentucky Derby Dessert of Candied Maple Bacon, Kentucky Bourbon Pecans, Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce for two.


For the Candied Maple Bacon:

6 each                                   Bacon, Thick Cut Strips

1 cup                                     Brown Sugar

 

IMG_3486Method:

Coat bacon with the brown sugar.

Twist around a skewer and coat with additional brown sugar.

Place on a silpat or parchment paper and bake at 350-degree oven until golden brown and crisp.

 

For the Kentucky Bourbon Pecans:

1 cup                                     Pecans

1 cup                                     Brown Sugar

2 oz.                                      Kentucky Bourbon

½ tsp.                                    Cinnamon

As needed                          Salt and Pepper

 

Method:

In a sauce pan heat the brown sugar and bourbon.

Remove from the heat, add pecans and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Place on a sheet pan with silpat or parchment paper in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or until the pecans begin to dry.

Remove from the oven and use a spoon to separate pecans.

Allow to cool.IMG_3479

 

For the Caramel Sauce:

1 cup                                     Brown Sugar

½ cup                                    Heavy Cream

4 tbls.                                    Butter

Pinch of salt

1 tbls.                                    Vanilla Extract

 

Method:

Mix the brown sugar, heavy cream, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Cook while whisking for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker.

Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further.

Turn off the heat, cool slightly.

 

To Assemble:

Drizzle the caramel sauce on the plate.

Sprinkle the pecans over the plate.

Place 2 pieces of the candied bacon on the plate.IMG_3487

Right before serving add a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or your favorite ice cream) onto the plate and place the last piece of bacon.

 

Having your own Kentucky Derby Party? Get your dessert ready before hand by adjusting the recipe for the number of people attending and make it all ahead of time just add the ice cream when you are ready to serve. Root on your favorite horse while eating your new favorite dessert!