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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Uploading High Resolution Images in Blogger

I am a food blogger from Naples, FL and am very long on the visuals with my posts. Recently I noticed that the resolution of photos uploaded to blogger was terrible. As I was having camera issues at the time, I thought that was the cause. Au Contraire! I think Google recently changed their compression algorithm and not for the best. Here is a fix.

This is a photo uploaded to blogger.

If you go to the HTML tab and go to the section with your photo, here is what you will find.

 <a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="328" src="" width="640" /></a></div>

Right before the image name will be an sxxx (see bold face type).

I have found that if I change that to s1600, this is the result.

I have an HD monitor, 1920x1080. I have found that increasing the "s" value above 1600 did not enhance the image quality but I do not not know if this is the case with higher resolution monitors.

Here is another example.  Another Google upload.

href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">

 The s1600 fix.

href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">

Happy blogging!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Art After Hours and Dinner At O'mei China Bistro

Artis-Naples  (Art is Naples) is a center for performance and visual art in Naples, FL. They are also a center of education in the arts. Artis-Naples is home to the Naples Philharmonic and the exhibition space of the center, The Baker Museum. The Baker Museum is celebrating it's 15th year in Naples.

Once a month they generously give back to the community and allow free admission for Art After Hours. This happens the last Wednesday of each month from 6-9 P.M.

As you go through the front entrance they have a very nice outdoor space to mingle

or just relax

As you walk into the museum,

there is exhibition space on the first floor, and a lovely Chihuly installation to look at

if you use the stairwell to access additional exhibitions on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

These events are generally well attended and engaging.

There were a number of exhibits that evening. Images by the street photographer Weegee and textiles, photos and drawings by Jan Yoors among other exhibits.

There was also performance art that night. Emmy and Peabody awardee Kat Epple performed a number of Woodwind selections in the center's Conservatory

which the audience really seemed to enjoy

and at least one patron seemed taken by the performance.

Should you get hungry or thirsty while you are there, there is a concession in the outer courtyard

serving snacks and beverages

in addition to an indoor bar.

My dining companion (DC) and I decided to skip eating here and went out for dinner to O'mei China Bistro. They have been at their Naples location since December.

They have outdoor seating if you would like and also an ample amount of tables and booths indoors

DC and i decided to try a few things off the Menu.

DC and I started with chicken lettuce wraps.

Stir-fried ground chicken, zucchini and mushrooms were served with iceberg lettuce and Hoisin sauce. I usually do not eat iceberg lettuce so it was really refreshing. This restaurant's version of hoisin sauce came with a heavy dose of sugar. This seemed to give it a hoisin/Tamirind flavor to it, and was just like candy.

DC ordered the crispy duck salad

Mixed Salad Greens were served with a sesame/soy dressing and topped with crispy duck. A very generous salad portion which was not bad.

I tried their Mu Shu pork.

I usually make this myself, but decided to try someone else's version of it. This dish was also good, especially with the restaurant's hoisin sauce.

A side of Bok Choy in garlic sauce was ordered and was also very good.

Of course, how could you not finish up a Chinese dinner with one of these? Nothing like a positive spin to end your meal!

I thought the evening at Art After Hours was exceptional and the food at O'mei China Bistro good.

At this point I would like to thank the powers that be at Artis-Naples for allowing me to photograph the evening's event.

Another fun evening of art and food, and another post on Forks.

5833 Pelican Bay Blvd.
Naples, FL 34108

O'mei China Bistro
Naples Centre Village
6434 Naples Blvd Suite 406
Naples, FL 34109

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lunch at Pho Cali Vietnamese Noodle House

is a restaurant in Sarasota, FL serving Vietnamese Cuisine. My dining companion (DC) and I decided to eat lunch there.

Seeing what was served to other diners, they had some very great looking lunch specials that were a good value and very generously portioned.That day, DC and I split a couple of things off the Menu. I love Pho, pronounced "Fuh", that delicious Vietnamese rice noodle soup. Pho actually refers to the rice noodles in the dish. Today's flavor of pho was Pho Dac Biet, or pho with beef/beef parts in it. For a really good discussion of pho and how to make it, go Here.

The Pho Dac Biet served here had rare steak, Brisket, Flank, Tendon and Tripe in it.

Bean Sprouts, lime, basil and jalapeno peppers were served as condiments, and the combination was delicious.

DC and I then split Tom Nuong (grilled shrimp on a skewer), Thit Nuong (grilled pork) and Nem Nuong (grilled pork patties).

These were topped with ground peanuts and chopped green onion, and served with Julienned cucumbers, mint, Rice Vermicelli, lettuce and a sweet and sour fish sauce-based DipBahn Trang (rice paper wrappers) were served with this to make your own wraps to hold the whole thing together. All this was very good.

DC has a bit of a sweet tooth and ordered a Durian shake.

I hate durian as I think I am one of those who are genetically wired to find the smell and taste very noxious. It smells and tastes like garbage to me. Others find it pleasant. Oh well, plenty of other beverages on the planet.

The food at Pho Cali is very good and highly recommended. I would definitely go back when in the area.

It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

Pho Cali
1578 Main St.
Sarasota, FL 34236

Pho Cali on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Blue Sushi

is an sushi/Asian-themed restaurant in the Gulf Coast Town Center mall in Fort Myers, FL. They used to be part of the Blu Sushi empire which I Blogged about a couple of years ago, but split off about a year ago. They are rebranding themselves with a new logo (blue "blu" and orange "e" and will be remodeling this location). I asked them about Trademark Infringement, trademark confusion being an integral part of this.  Apparently all is worked out so onward and upward!

They have a really cool bar/lounge area

which leads into their sushi bar

and dining area.

Dining companion (DC) and I shared a few items from their dinner menu.

I had signed up for their e-mail blast and received a 30% off coupon that night.

The first thing ordered was the seaweed salad.

This was really good and followed by the seafood salad.

Tuna, salmon, wahoo, smelt roe, cucumber and seaweed salad was served with an in house Poki Sauce. Very Tasty.

We finished up with a sushi and sashimi combo.

This was a tremendous amount of food, with tuna, salmon, wahoo and escolar sushi, and tuna, wahoo, escolar and wahoo sashimi. There was also a simple tuna roll on the side.

The food here is not bad and at 30% off, came to $35.00 for all of this. I urge readers to get on this restaurant's e-mail blast to get some, undoubtedly really great future values.

Look for their new website and remodel in the near future!

Would I come back, yes most definitely!  It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

Blue Sushi
10045 Gulf Center Dr. Unit E105
Fort Myers, FL 33913

April Meeting of the ACF Naples Chefs Chapter

The American Culinary Federation  (ACF) is a group of chefs and food industry professionals. ACF has almost 18,000 members and 200 chapters in the U.S. Their mission is education, certification (more on that in a later post), scholarship and inclusion in international competition.

The kick off meeting for the Naples ACF Chefs chapter 2015 season was at the Windstar Clubhouse.

Windstar was one of Naples, FL first, if not the first gated communites and has been around for over 25 years.

After entering a very nicely appointed lobby area,

the dining area of the club was on the second floor.

The format of these ACF meetings is always a social hour, followed by chapter business/educational presentation and a sit down dinner.

Attendees mingled in the bar area

and were treated to samples of Voorn Croquettes

and given information about products by Oakes Farms

and Skuna Bay Salmon, all of these vendors donating their wares for the evening's meeting.

Skuna Bay Salmon is distributed by North Star Seafood on the east coast of Florida. Their Product List is extremely impressive and they are also another generous donor to local ACF functions.

After a discussion of chapter business by the chapter president

and an awards ceremony,


started on the meal for the evening. Here was the menu.

The first course

was a delicious take on Gazpacho. I loved the Yin and Yang thang.

After that, the second dish

was served with scallop, Tuna "Tar Tar" and Bang Bang Shrimp. This and other dishes were beautiful plated atop vegetables or flowers.

What followed

was Cedar-Planked Skuna Bay salmon, microgreens with a lemon-Truffle vinaigrette and perfectly cooked Short Ribs on a bed of cinnamon-flavored sweet potato.


was totally over the top with coconut Sorbet in a Praline Basket, with Pina Colada Creme Brulee and berries and creme.

Hats off to Executive Chef Joe DiPrima for a delicious and over the top meal!

That's that for the April Naples ACF Chefs meeting and another post on Forks.