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Hurricane Irma in Solivita

Update from Central Florida. For days leading up to Irma we listened and watched the forecasts, and we prepared. Solivita, our friends, the Bella Verde Team, and our clients packed up outdoor potted plants, locked down windows, closed blinds and shutters, moved outdoor furniture, grills, umbrellas, tables, and Bella Verde For Sale Signs into indoor storage. We filled our bathtubs with water and filled our gas tanks too. We stocked up on flashlights, batteries, drinking water and “truth be told” some of us purchased a few extra bottles of wine, just in case. By Friday evening we were ready to meet Irma.

Saturday Irma rolled in as predicted with high winds with lots of rain. Our beautiful blue skies turned gray and the rain pelted our homes and our office. The forecast was for Irma to be over Solivita and Central Florida by 2 am. Around midnight the wind seemed to speed up and we decided it was time to try to sleep. It was a long night, but for Solivita it was a good night. The utilities in Solivita are underground, therefore we had no fear of a tree falling and landing on a power line, or having a live power line land in a puddle. Our homes are all block construction. Solivita lakes and conservation areas are pristine and well maintained. We have no fear of flood or un-maintained infrastructure. We were concerned about the storm, but we felt safe in our community and in our homes. By morning, Irma had blown past Solivita. We lifted our blinds and upon inspection we could see the damage was minimal.
Solivita did not experience an electric or water service interruption. The Solivita Promise of a Well- Engineered Infrastructure Is True. Communities around us are experiencing Irma Issues; Solivita is NOT. Solivita did have some Florida Oak Trees tip over, and some of our neighbor’s roofs have lost a few shingles, but other than that we are Solivita Strong. Today, the Staff of Solivita is already out assessing damages, replanting trees, our scheduled garbage pick-up is on schedule for today, and on my way to the office I passed a few crews out raking our lawns and cleaning up storm debris. Our restaurants are open today, and tomorrow all of our facilities, pools, tennis courts, etc., are scheduled to reopen.
Glad we live in Solivita; A beautiful, Maintenance Free, Community. Bella Verde Realty and Solivita is up and running today. Our team is already out inspecting our vacant listings for damage and re-installing For Sale Signs. We are ready to show properties and are grateful for the Wonderful Community we live in.
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Farm to Table Dining

We recently enjoyed dinner in The Kitchen at the J. W. Marriott Grande Lakes on Central Florida Parkway, only 20 minutes from Solivita.  We parked our car at the door, left our keys with the valet, and were warmly greeted by the Staff of the J.W.  We met friends and began our evening with inspired cocktails and locally brewed craft beer.  Cold and Delicious.
It may sound like we were eating in a kitchen, but The Kitchen is the name of one of the J.W.’s Restaurants.  Great spot serving food grown on their farm plus food sourced locally from organic growers.  What fun, and only a short drive from Solivita.  We enjoyed a laid back, peaceful, evening.  The Kitchen is furnished with Comfy Chairs, Small Intimate Tables, and Large Farmhouse Tables.  Trendy, but comfortable.  The wait staff is knowledgeable and when asked; were happy to share preparation, garden, apiary, and brewery info with us.  What a Treat, to have this great spot only a few miles from Solivita.  We enjoyed an assortment of meat and cheese (our choices from the chef’s picks).  Our selection was playfully served on a beautiful platter.  Our meat and cheese choices were brilliant, the tray included crisp, lightly pickled vegetables, cheddar chive biscuits, honey and honeycomb, fresh ricotta, rhubarb chutney; and crackers, all grown and produced on the property.    A fun, enjoyable way to share a meal.  Small plates, with a menu including interesting flatbreads, local grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and delicious seafood.   After dinner, it was a quick drive back to Solivita.  A perfect ending to the perfect day.

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Easy Entertaining In Solivita

Since living in Solivita we seem to have company all the time.  Friends and Family visiting the parks stop in for an evening, some stay for a few days, some just stop by for lunch or dinner.  Lee and I have found a few recipes that can be assembled quickly and make a delicious company meal.  I would like to share one with you that I made last week when Lee’s family stopped in.
Tortellini with Prosciutto or Pancetta and Peas
This recipe is not only delicious, but most of the time, the ingredients are in my freezer and refrigerator.  To make this into a complete meal I serve this with a salad and a dish of fruit for dessert and dinner is done.  Our neighbor Marilyn calls this one “Easy Peasy”.   
1 Lb Tortellini (cheese, spinach, or even mushroom)
1/4 – 1 /2 cup water, reserved from cooking pasta  
3 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves minced
½ onion diced and sauted.
¼ lb prosciutto sliced thinly or pancetta cubed
1 1/4 cup cream or half and half
1 pinch nutmeg
At least ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed by running under cool water and drained.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook tortellini according to package
Melt butter in skillet and add prosciutto or pancetta and cook for a few minutes.
Add Garlic to skillet and cook for one more minute.
Add cream and bring to a simmer.
Add nutmeg and simmer until cream is thickened and reduced by about ½
Turn off heat.  Stir in Parmesan, peas and sautéed onions.
Stir in reserved cooking liquid to thin sauce, add tortellini and toss to coat.
Taste for salt and pepper