Last night we attended the Saga Humane Society cook-off.  These cook-offs feature a different food "theme" each month and through food and raffle ticket sales serve to raise much-needed funds for this worthy organization.  This month's theme was appetizers, and the cook-off was once again held at Mojito's Bar and Grill, right on the beach in San Pedro.  We had previously attended a pasta cook-off in this same venue, and it proved to be a great setting with plenty of seating, a fine breeze, and a good bar.  The bar was offering $5 BZD ($2.50 US) "Meow-itos" (mojitos) all night in honor of the occasion, a fantastic deal that we took advantage of, of course!

We had the pleasure of meeting and sitting with Jana and CJ, who were visiting San Pedro from Texas.  Our friend Bill was volunteering this evening and did a great job.  There was a great turnout from the community, locals, tourists, and expats alike, and we recognized quite a few of the faces.  
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Jana, CJ, Emily, and Barry
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Bill working the volunteer table
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Hi Bill!
There were twelve appetizer entries to sample, which may have been a record.  The other cook-offs we have been to featured six to eight food choices, so our palates were a bit overwhelmed with all the choices last night.   
The entries were delicious, though it is always a little disconcerting to me to bite into something without knowing in advance whether to expect seafood, chicken, pork, or something completely different.  I am a person who likes just about everything (except olives!), but I enjoy reading a menu with description of the dish first to prepare my tastebuds for what I am about to eat.  These cook-offs are a bit of an adventure since many dishes are a mystery when judged by appearance only.  There was only one item I didn't care for all that much (must have been the olives!) that I passed over to Barry, and he passed his Scotch egg to me -- he is not an egg lover.  I had never had a Scotch egg before and liked it quite a bit.  I googled the recipe this morning and was surprised to discover that the outer coating contained sausage.  I had no idea.  But hey, it was fried.  Anything fried tastes good, if not good for you!
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My plate
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Barry's plate -- Scotch egg already banished!
It was nearly impossible to choose a favorite as I'd forgotten so many by the time I got to the end, but ultimately I cast my vote for the Fish Cake with Chipotle Sauce (upper left of right side of plate above).  Barry chose the Garnache, which is the large corn tortilla with toppings on the right side of the plate.  He really liked its spicy flavors and also its large size!  The Garnache was a close second for me, and I also liked the Honey-Garlic wings and the Scotch egg.  

The sign below helped us remember what we'd eaten and how to vote.  However, it was put up after we'd eaten so it didn't help much in knowing what we were eating as we chowed down.  I truly don't remember eating a ham and cheese roll up!
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Bill carefully guarding against any voting irregularities
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Attendees trying to figure out their vote
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Bill with the vote bin
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"Shhhhhhh...the votes are supposed to be made by secret ballot"
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There was an excellent turnout -- good for Saga
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Bill chatting with Jana and CJ
When the winners were announced, there was a tie for second place between two restaurants, Mojito's for the Garnaches (Barry and CJ's choice) and Crave, for the Fish Cakes (my choice!)  First place went The Hotel for the Potato Skins.
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Mojito's restaurant gracefully accepted the 3rd place prize, even though they tied for 2nd
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Crave restaurant accepting the 2nd place prize
There were five prizes up for grabs in the raffle tonight, mostly lunches at local restaurants.  No one from our table won, though at the next table over, one lady won two, and another won one!  Must have been a serious case of stuffing the raffle box, but in this case, we certainly don't mind as each raffle ticket benefits Saga in their worthy quest to care for the dogs and cats of San Pedro.  Thanks for all you do, Saga!
Amy Wilson
3/15/2012 02:43:40 am

Barry and Emily,

I'm a sailing friend of Sabrina Nichols, here in good ole KC! She forwarded your blog, I absolutely love it! But am totally jealous, in a good way.

We're investigating coming to Belize the end of May for a sailing excursion, combined with touring some of the Mayan ruins. I've been looking hard at Placencia and chartering through Sunsail, as well as San Ignacio (Black Rock lodge). Too many years ago, I spent a week on Ambergris Caye diving and fell in love with it! I was wondering if your could give me some quick pointers on travel, places to stay, etc., or even a friend willing to charter their catamaran to us in lieu of going through Sunsail. Better yet, so I don't bug you, if you know of a local travel agent that could give us direction, that would be terrific!

appreciate the help!

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BeBelize Emily
3/15/2012 03:45:30 am

Hi Amy, thanks for the comments. I have sent you an email!

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Loretta Schmitzer
3/15/2012 09:09:11 pm

Emily, I read your early blog about a shipper bringing 20 boxes for you from houston to Belize. Do you have any info on this? We have shipped stuff down by boat from baltimore but it is awful to do.

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BeBelize Emily
3/16/2012 02:43:05 am

Hi Loretta! Shipping things to Belize is somewhat of an ordeal involving several steps normally. I have sent you an email with the contact information on the shipper we used.

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Terese
3/16/2012 11:16:48 am

Emily, I am jealous, it looks like so much fun! Rick and I were just talking about SAGA this evening at dinner, and I told him about this monthly event. He and I both have bad attitudes about being back in the rain, we home to be back in San Pedro very soon!

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