Happy Soup Day
Say “Happy Soup Day” at Pollo Tropical today and get a cup of Caribbean chicken soup or split pea soup for $1 all day. The restaurants are located at 3777 U.S. 41 E., East Naples, 239-417-2708; and 5065 Golden Gate Parkway, Golden Gate, 239-304-0629
Ciao Ristorante is featuring a three-course black truffle dinner paired with Italian wines at 6:30 p.m. today at 835 Fourth Ave. S., Naples. Reservations are required for the $125 dinner. Reservations: 239-263-3889
Get Out of Town Travel is having a Champagne presentation with Globus Travel and Avalon Waterways on a Rhine River cruise and Art Basel Switzerland at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at von Liebig Art Center, 585 Park St., Naples. Reservations: 239-596-4142
Wind and food tasting
Old World Market features wine and food tasting from 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays at 2800 Davis Blvd., East Naples. Information: 239-692-3020
Help Noodles Italian Cafe & Sushi Bar celebrate its 20th anniversary on Friday with a two for $20 special that includes a house salad and Italian Four Play. You must be seated by 5 p.m. to take advantage of this offer. The restaurant is at 1585 Pine Ridge Road, North Naples. Reservations: 239-592-0050
Seminole Casino Immokalee will be hosting food truck dining from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at 506 S. First St., Immokalee. The best trucks from Tampa to Miami will be there to offer a variety of favorites. Dishes range in price from $5 to $10 per item. DJ Tom my Tu nes w i l l be entertaining. Information: 239-658-1313 or www. seminoleimmokaleecasino. com
Chinese New Year
Charlie Chiang’s is ringing in the Year of the Dragon with a mini street festival from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 12200 U.S. 41 N., North Naples. Enjoy live master chef tableside demonstrations of rice rolls, handmade pot stickers, scallion pancakes, hand pulled noodles, Peking duck and more, complimentary samples of traditional Chinese New Year’s desserts, raff les, gifts, prizes, toys for the children, guest vendors of Asian collectibles and crafts and official Charlie Chiang red envelopes for a prosperous new year. Chinese New Year food treats start at $3. Reservations: 239-593-6688
Whole Foods Market is sponsoring a beer tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at 9101 Strada Place, North Naples. Taste 35 different beers and beverage specialist Joe Pais will answer your questions and offer recommendations. $5, proceeds benefit the Bonita Springs Chapter of Shoes That Fit. If you can’t make it this week it happens the third Friday of the month. Information: 239-552-5100
Simply Southern BBQ , a down-home Southern food take-out, is having a grand opening from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Empire Plaza, 600 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples. Mikkel and Jennifer Brinson invites you to sample their food and enjoy the live music of NRG from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Catering services are also available. Information: 239-403-3663
Rodes Restaurant is sponsoring a chili cook-off at 3 p.m. Saturday at 3756 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. The International Chili Society rules, which state the chili must be red and beans and pasta are forbidden, will be followed. Bring a crock-pot with at least one gallon of chili and $25 to enter. There will be a maximum of $500 in prize money. Information: 239-992-4040
Festival of beers
A festival of beers, with sampling of more than 60 beers for three hours, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Hammond Stadium, 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers. A free sampling glass will be given to the first 1,000 people. $25, in advance; $30, at the gate. This event is for people 21 and older, and strollers are not allowed. Tickets: 239-768-4210 or www.miraclebaseball.com
Learn how to make tapas for entertaining from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Whole Foods Market, 9101 Strada Place, Naples. $10, reservations required at www.acteva.com/go/LifestyleCenter or call 239-552-5100
Learn the latest tea trends and sample delights such as white jasmine sparkling tea, blueberry oolong sorbet and fresh fruits with tea syrup at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Burroughs Home,2505 First St., Fort Myers. $25, benefits the Uncommon Friends Foundation. Reservations: www.BurroughsHome.com or 239-337-9505
Maine lobster specials
The Wharf Tavern, 909 10th St. S., Naples, is featuring a 1¼ pound steamed Maine lobster for $15.99 that is served with French fries and cole slaw or a twin 1¼ pound lobster for $29.99 served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the restaurant and all day and night at the bar. Be an early seagull at the restaurant from 4:30 to 6 p.m. daily and get $5 off any dinner entree except lobster. When you become a member of the Resident Club Card you get 10 percent off dining through April 15 and 20 percent off after April 15. Go to www.RCCNaples.com to sign up. Reservations: 239-331-4053
The Courtyard Bar, 1300 Third St. S., Naples, now has free Wi-Fi. Visit the casual outdoor dining in front of Tony’s Off Third and next door to Ridgway Bar & Grill to relax (reservations are not required) with walk-up or sit-down service, a full bar and best of dessert menu. If you remember Truffles then you will love the Courtyard. Ridgway and Sukie Honeycutt have even brought back Truffles original tuna Caesar salad recipe from 20 years ago.
Fitzgerald’s Irish Restaurant and Pub discounts all the steak entrees 25 percent on Saturday evening. Visit at Ace Sunshine Plaza, 9070 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. Information: 239-947-2111
Norman Love has once again been rated one of the top boxed chocolates by Consumer Reports.”Visit at 3747 U.S. 41 N., Naples, 239-687-7215 and 11380 Lindbergh Blvd., Fort Myers, 239-561-7215 and try the eight new flavors. All the confections are handcrafted and look as good as they taste.
Hostess Brands, the corporation that manufacturers Twinkies and other snack foods, has filed for bankruptcy. The blond snack has been an icon since the 1950s and in existence since the 1930s. Hopefully, the company will find a way to keep the cream filled snack on the supermarket shelves to help sweeten the lives of another generation.
January is National Oatmeal Month and you can enjoy the cereal in other ways than just at breakfast. Try this Blueberry Banana Oat Bread next time you want something nutritious:
BLUEBERRY BANANA OAT BREAD
1 cup low fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana, approximately 2 medium bananas
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1½ packages (6 oz. each) blueberries
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.
2 Whisk buttermilk, eggs, bananas, sugar and oil in a large bowl until well blended.
3 Combine flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl.
4 Stir into wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.
5 Gently fold in the blueberries and pour batter into the loaf pan.
6 Bake one hour, or until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7 Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and remove from pan to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
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