Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fun in Wichita for both Basketball Fans and Non-Fans

Are you headed to Wichita for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament? Be sure to give yourself enough time to explore all the city has to offer. The folks at #VisitWichita sent me a few suggestions. Ways for fans to participate in NCAA-related activities will start on Wednesday, March 14, and run through Saturday, March 17.

Thursday: Sessions 1 and 2 will be played at INTRUST Bank Arena. Fan Fest will begin two hours prior to tip-off and will take place to the north of the arena on St. Francis in between William and Douglas Avenue, which will be closed to traffic from 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13, through 5 p.m. Friday, March 16.

Plus, Fan Fest and more than a dozen parties and fan events will be hosted directly around the arena and in surrounding districts such as Old Town and the Historic Delano District during the week of the tournament, providing a variety of ways for locals and visitors to enjoy the tournament.

Designed to be a fun, festive environment, the event will include food trucks, a live DJ, a “Big Shot” basketball game and more.

Friday: Tournament games will not be played in Wichita on Friday, March 16, but fan events and area attractions will be open and welcoming fans.

“Friday is an opportunity for visitors to tour the city – and Wichita has something for everyone,” said Santo. “While basketball fans will find a variety of sports bars and fan events, from downtown and beyond, to catch the games playing in other cities, those wanting to visit any of Wichita’s more than 33 museums and other attractions like the Sedgwick County Zoo, the iconic Keeper of the Plains, urban art tours or Tanganyika Wildlife Park, will enjoy a whole day to explore.”

My favorites spots in Wichita:

Wheat State Distilling: They make vodka out of wheat and corn. They also make other tasty spirits and serve a wonderful charcuterie plate for an appetizer.

Public at the Brickyard: They make amazing pizza, plus a lot of other dishes, using local ingredients.

The Farris Wheel: A fun shop where you’ll find just about any candy imaginable!

The Anchor: Great food and drinks with a fun, relaxed pub atmosphere.

The Kitchen: While this place serves really good food, the cakes are amazing!

Scotch and Sirloin: Did someone say steak?

Jimmie’s Diner: Old-school diner atmosphere with terrific chicken fried steak and cinnamon rolls.

Saturday: St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, will consist of Session 3 games and plenty of parties to mark the holiday, such as Wichita’s 12th annual Historic Delano District’s parade and Brick + Mortar’s Irish Fest 2018.

A full list of fan festivities can be found here: A variety of other resources can be found at

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Mango Raspberry Bellini

I love Sunday mornings. No matter the season, this is the one morning of the week I can feel relaxed and enjoy a time that is usually rushed and busy the other six days in the week. Even if I’m going to church, I still have time to enjoy the entire newspaper, plus a magazine or two.

This is also the morning I enjoy special beverages. I’ll dress up the coffee with cinnamon, a special creamer, or chocolate for a mocha. Or I’ll make a drink, like this Mango Raspberry Bellini with a recipe given to me by the National Mango Board.

Tropical drinks are a reminder warmth is on the way. Since I’m allergic to pineapple, mango is my favorite island fruit. However, it took me a while to get the hang of cutting it! I remember my first time when I thought the pit would easily come out like a peach pit. Wrong! This pit does not come out, so you have to cut around it.

The National Mango Board has this terrific video to show you how to cut a mango.

The board also had a lot of mango recipes on their website, including this one. I like it’s minty, tropical taste. I also tested out non-alcoholic versions of the drink using club soda and ginger ale. They were tasty, too.
I’ve enjoyed this drink in one form or another every day since I first tried it. I keep thinking I’ll get tired of it, but so far that hasn’t happened. Guess I’ll have to buy more mangos!

Author: Linda Ditch
Mango Raspberry Bellini

Mango Raspberry Bellini

Recipe courtesy of the National Mango Board


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 mint tea bag
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, diced
  • Raspberries
  • 1 cup sparkling wine, or a different bubbly beverage (see note)


  1. First, make the mint simple syrup: combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar melts. Remove from the heat, add the teabag, and steep for 5 minutes. Chill the syrup. (It can be stored in the refrigerator for one month.)
  2. In a food processor, puree diced mango until smooth.
  3. To assemble, place a few raspberries into a champagne flute or other glass. Add 2 tablespoons of the mint simple syrup, 2 tablespoons (or to taste) of the mango puree, and the sparkling wine (or ginger ale.) Stir to mix together.
  4. Note: To make this drink kid-friendly (or for non-imbibing adults) skip the sparkling wine and use club soda instead. Another option is to skip the sparkling wine and the mint simple syrup and use ginger ale or lemon-lime soda instead.