Oasis Raspados, Otro Cafe, someone to bake your pies/cakes and home cooking

2 Apr

So …it’s warming up. And that means I’m spending more time at Oasis Raspados. 32nd Street/McDowell. Recently I was there with my friend Rob who was visiting from South Carolina and he wasn’t really getting his mind/mouth wrapped around the whole spicy/salty/sweet/fruity thing that the chamoyada is (I think that’s bad grammar).

I digress.

That’s okay. Oasis has ice cream and other more mild flavored treats like fresas congeladas con crema (frozen strawberries with creme) for folks who aren’t into the spicy frozen treats.

But I’m a purist. I’m sticking with chamoyadas with mango, thank you very much.Image

 

A few weeks back Rob and I were at Jennifers on 36th Street and Indian School when we met one of their servers, Karlene. She happens to be a pastry chef (yes!) and she will make you a pie or cake. And possibly deliver it for you. Here’s the peach pie she made for my Mom for her birthday.

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Her mad pastry skills saved me a bunch of time. Here is her email address if you want her to bake for your next event. karlenelynn@gmail.com

Jack made soup for us a couple of nights ago. He had this broth that had been previously frozen when he made “chicken in a pot” (last post I think). He added lemongrass, onion, carrots, tomatoes, bamboo shoots, rice noodles, garlic and all the other stuff he calls “magic fairy dust.” It’s a healing soup. If you have a bad day and you eat this, you will feel better.

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My brother Mike actually called it medicinal. He’s a smartie.

They bought us lunch at work this week. It was our end of month meal, and they either feed us breakfast or lunch. This time it was hot dogs. I love me a good hot dog.

In actuality, I had two.Image

One with chili (not pictured) and this one with sauerkraut and relish. It was so delish.

We always appreciate the free lunch. :)

Jack made lumpia last night. They are filipino style egg rolls. I’m pretty sure these had chicken in them but I’m not sure what else. He serves them with a sweet & sour type sauce that I don’t have a picture of.

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These are made with love, you can tell.

I’m a bit of a shoe whore (how do I segue to this?) as most of you know. Recently I was at Scottsdale Fashion Mall and spotted these platforms. I am pretty crazy about them (see picture below).

Unfortunately I suspect they cost the size of my rent payment, so I am glad to be surrounded by other like minded shoe whores who give me shoes they no longer wear, or pick up at goodwill (you know who you are …Linda)

A local boutique, Frances on Camelback had beautiful shoes, the last time I checked. It might be time to pop back over there one of these days…they carry shoes from Remix in Los Angeles and they are fabulous. Platforms, which I like. They give me height.ImageIn the meantime, a girl can dream….

This morning when I woke up I noticed my windows were tinted. Jack took my car over to a local tinting shop while I was at work yesterday. Image What a nice surprise! He’s a keeper.

I’m convalescing today, not sure if it was the fish balls we had last night (they disagreed with me) or if it’s a flu bug. Either way, the cookie fairy felt I needed a pretty iced cookie to cheer me up. These are from AJ’s Fine Foods and they bake them at Barb’s Bakery (24th St.). They are amazing. They make them for all seasons. I suggest you pick up a box and take them into your co-workers for Easter. You will be instantly popular.Image

The sandwich fairy brought me this beautiful braut (from The Pork Shop) sandwich today on ciabatta bread with sauteed tomatoes, peppers and onions. Convalescing isn’t so bad, it seems…

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Bianca and I went over to Otro Cafe (7th St/Bethany) last weekend for lunch. A carne asada torta, paella and inca salad were on our menu, along with a calimocho for me (half red wine and half coke) and a bloody mary for her.

It was her first time. And she loved it. Image

And who would not? Now I need to go back and try their open faced blt. I’ve seen it on facebook and it is speaking to me.

 

 

The best news in my neighborhood and recent eatings

28 Mar

So glad to find out today that Food City, my local neighborhood market will be open through June or July of this year, and is not closing at the end of this month, which I was previously told.

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We get a little spoiled with our favorite (and hopefully local) supermarket right down the street. Sometimes we forget to shop local. Well, that’s why it’s important. When you see one of your favorites close, think of that and be mindful where you shop.

Enough lecture.

Rob returned to his home in South Carolina recently from his visit to Phoenix, and he’s been planting. Yesterday sent me a picture of some new members of the garden.

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He’s always doing something, whether it’s landscaping the family home, making a beautiful bedspread or painting the front porch for a family member. He’s thoughtful that way. A good one to have around.

Need a little giftie for that niece or nephew? Poor little rich girl on 36th Street and Indian School has dolls and handmade monsters.

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They are so cute and they are already named. I’ve bought 4 already. Keeping this one.

Got a haircut today with my mum at Magañas (our favorite place) on 32nd St. and McDowell. The ladies there are so nice. See Sonia or Lupe. And usually someone there speaks enough English if you don’t speak Spanish. It’s very reasonable and Mom always leaves happy.

And my brows are less Frida Khalo.  Mom looks fabulous…

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Today after haircuts we went to A.T. Oasis at 46th St. and Thomas. It’s a new Ethiopian coffee shop and they make sandwiches and also sell bagged coffee, coffee drinks and baked sweets. I spotted what looked like some lemon pound cake that I will have to try next time. Today we picked up some bags of beans for my boss and his assistant manager, since they have been so good to me.

 

 

We have to look out for our people. I always try to do so locally.Image

Last night Jack made chicken in a pot. He uses a whole chicken, lemongrass, onions, a whole head of garlic, ginger and a dash of this and a dash of that (his words). Then he uses the broth to make jasmine rice and then we drink the leftover broth. Image

Really a very homey and tasty meal. He makes a couple of dipping sauces (not pictured) with hot green brined thai peppers/fish sauce and another with soy sauce and sugar. He’s an amazing cook. I’m convinced some day Mario Batali will try to whisk him away from me to be his sous chef. I would have to fly to NYC or Vegas to spend weekends with him. Hmmmm I don’t mind travel…

I digress. Travel gives me wanderlust. Or thoughts of travel. Or thoughts of food.

Before I met up with Mom today for haircuts, I met Dad for lunch (I needed sustenance to make it through the afternoon you know) at The Parlor. 19th St. and Camelback. They have a pizza with sausage, sage and raddichio. It is a great combination, and they use local sausage.

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They were voted best pizza in 2011, I think it was, and when you try their pizza you will know why. What a crust.

Our potluck at work this week was a huge success. Lookie lookie at all the goodies.

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Bianca made green chile and Ruben did the deviled eggs, I made the pasta salad (it was fabulous) and Joanna made mac and cheese, Lea did her famous bbq meatballs (in the crockpot – genius) and there were other yummy things that everyone contributed. The piece de resistance was my kahlua fudge cupcakes.

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I made the frosting with an Abuelita Mexican chocolate tablet, marshmallows, butter and confectioners sugar. They went quick!

Last weekend we went to Prescott for a night and on the way home we stopped at Pappadeaux for lunch. I-17 and Peoria. Image

This place has amazing seafood. I had crawfish bisque and a salad.

They make a dressing that has dijon mustard in it, I think it is their signature dressing, you must try it. Can’t wait to go back. Their menu is huge. Jack had some kind of gumbo with lots of seafood in it, and he was on cloud 9. There are little porticos/patios outside that are very private if you want some intimacy with your sweetie.

When Rob visited recently from South Carolina, we had breakfast at Essence one morning and were mesmerized by all of their goodies.

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Gilles (I might not be spelling his name right) offered us each a free large macaroon (not pictured) and I gave mine to Rob, since we had already eaten (homemade granola for him with chocolate croissant and a chocolate croissant for me.) How can one go wrong with chocolate after all? He ate them both and said they were just heaven. Get yours at 38th St. and Indian School. If you are lucky you might meet the chef/baker, Eugenia. When I see her I say, “Yes, chef!”

 

 

Banking, shopping and eating local….and eating at home

24 Feb

I’m in love with the nice folks at Desert Schools. They have helped me these past three years get my financial house in order (albeit my small financial house). I was reminded of them today when I was using my new phone rest Jack gave me. Various lending institutions visit his workplace, being a dealership, and he gets free stuff :) Mostly pens, magnets and occasionally something like this phone stand. Image

I’m pretty sure if you go open an account with these guys they will give you one. It is very useful for reading recipes (you need to read the whole recipe – more on that later) or watching jib jab animated cards you get from friends…

So speaking of reading the whole recipe, I made a fanny farmer blueberry recipe this weekend.

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The muffins look beautiful yet I failed to read the bottom part of the recipe where it says “do not use both the regular flour and the pastry flour” yet the ingredient list had them both listed.

http://www.food.com/recipe/fannie-farmer-blueberry-muffins-430475

Meh. Anyways, we ate some of them, Jack took a few to work and I plan to do the same. Thankfully it won’t ruin my kitchen reputation as the last 3 batches of jello I took to work didn’t set properly. So expectations might be low. Image

Jack made a delicious pork roast yesterday (see my leftovers today above) and I helped with the details of chopping garlic and onion for the broccoli and roasted potatoes. He rubbed the roast with herbes de provence and mushroom flavored salt, olive oil, kosher salt and some other kind of fairy dust I’m not sure of.  He let it marinate for several hours and then browned it on all sides then popped in the oven to bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. He then pulled the roast out to rest and cooked the juices with a little red wine so there was a jus. Just tender and delicious. You should make this roast. It was about two pounds so there are leftovers for me and Linda today and some for Jack’s lunch.

On Saturday I needed a feed so I headed over to our neighborhood Chinese place Little Shanghai. My aunt Char introduced me to them about 10 years ago, we would go together for dinner and she would treat me, which when I was younger and broker, it was very much appreciated. She likes their roast duck and shrimp in lobster sauce. My favorites are chicken lo mein and grandma’s salad, made with a mirin vinaigrette, cabbage and pork. This salad is so good, and you can enjoy it the next day. It just gets better with time. My lunch of choice on Saturday was chicken lo mein and samosas (new on their menu). And I have leftovers too for lunch tomorrow.

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Speaking of meals, I had a great lunch with Linda at BBQ Co (near 40th St./Broadway) last week. A BLT for me and a crispy chicken salad for her. Get the Jr. salad when you go as they are enormous. My favorite is their cobb salad with saulsalito (spelling?) chicken. Very juicy bird. With bacon bits and their homemade honey mustard dressing. And you should also go because they have Fairytale Brownies for dessert and on their menu they have a sandwich called the big thang (smoked brisket sandwich).

You know you want to order that. At least just so you can say big thang.

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Being a huge fan of foreign films (how do I Segway to that?) I was at Harkins Camelview 5 last week to see Gloria (a Chilean film) and I just loved it. The main actress, Paulina Garcia, is a force of nature. If you like foreigns, you should go and see this.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_(2013_film)

 After my movie I stopped at AJ’s Fine Foods to get some Spanish chorizo and La Brea Bread (does that sound snobby?) and I found these beautiful ranunculus, I could simply not resist buying them. A little pricy but a girl needs something pretty once in awhile.

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Local eats for the new year

24 Jan

I’ve been concentrating for awhile now on eating food that isn’t processed. (Hail Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman!)  To further this effort, I’m mostly eating local (except for the occasional pizza from the chain place down the street when I am broke – avoiding the $10 pizza seems impossible at times). When I say local, that means local restaurants and food Jack makes, and food I  make (rarely) that brings me pleasure that might just be fruit in a pretty bowl and a cup of constant comment tea. This is the bowl that Rob sent me for Christmas, along with a pretty apron and a fabulous sweater dress he claims is a swimsuit cover up.

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Speaking of local, one of my favorite local places is Otro Cafe on 7th St. and Bethany. I recently friended them on facebook and I love their updates. They make the best looking open faced blt I have ever seen with thick cut bacon. Our server today (yes I was there just today) confirmed it is delicious. I have to try it soon. Today I was there with Dad having their dish called “Española” which is serrano jam that comes with delicious bread and is drizzled in some type of balsamic dressing and olives.Image

You have to get this. And also we had their shrimp ceviche that is super fresh and just out of this world. The sangria wasn’t bad either. ;)

Recently Jack made lamb ribs (I think the package said Lamb Riblets) two ways. He put them on the grill – marinated beforehand – and served them with grilled broccoli.Yes, I am very spoiled. The ribs were succulent and perfectly cooked. I never had broccoli on the grill before and I highly recommend you make it, or if you are lucky…have someone make it for you.

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The same night he also made Puerto Rican arroz con pollo. This is a spectacular picture of him, I think.Image

I’m not sure what makes it Puerto Rican style but it has spam or those little sausages in the can (I forget what they are called) and usually green olives but this time he had some leftover kalamata olives from my trip to Frys on a recent Sunday when we needed football food (salami sandwiches and marinated vegetables…and beer). Often times he will also add pigeon peas (gandules) but he didn’t put in any this time. Mind you, he works all day and then chefs up a two course meal. Amazing!

Last weekend Jack made the lamb ribs a different way, in the crock pot.

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He browned them and then put them in the crock pot with a jar of Ragu (we cheat sometimes) and let it simmer away on low for 3 hours, then added some orange bell peppers and onion. A beautiful thing emerged. We made some middle eastern rice with raisins and almonds – one of our favorites that comes in a box and I can’t remember the name but you can get it at Mekong Plaza shopping store or your local indian food shop. (Indian with a dot, not native american) haha.

I’m going to change the subject here. People keep telling me that I’m nice. I’m not sure about that, but I just feel like it’s important to give credit when credit is due. And I’m surrounded by a lot of people who help me and know more than me. Thankful for that! You know who you are.

Sooooooo, continuing with food now, Jack and I went to a little pizza place down the street this week, Little Chicago Pizza, for a Chicago style pizza. I thought this meant a thick crust, but this was what arrived.

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And it was delicious. Go and get one of their pizzas. And wings. The bbq wings were great. And they have Blue Moon beer, and wine. 1645 N. Hayden Rd. http://www.littlechicagopizzashop.com

My brother, sis in law and their kiddos visited last weekend and we met them for lunch on Saturday at Goldman’s Deli. Took home some of their hamentachen, and they were just about the best I ever had.

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And their sweet and sour cabbage soup went down surprisingly well for me, despite being quite sweet and sour. I like those things that hit my palate in several directions. That sounds snobby, but there you are. Chamoy does that for me too.

Last year I started doing a little work with the nice folks at On The Money, and the founder Ruth Urban took us to a sumptuous breakfast (her words, not mine) at at Dick’s Hideaway on 16th St. to celebrate our hard work in December (sorry I think that is a major run on sentence). I had the pancakes, which was not the most delicious looking thing on the menu, but I wasn’t sure what to order, since it was breakfast I wanted breakfast and I don’t eat eggs. They have a lot of egg dishes but they look amazing because they are covered in green chile and other things. I can’t wait to go back and try their happy hour. They have skewered things on the happy hour menu. I love shish kebab.

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Here is a picture of us all that day.  I think we look fabulous.

http://richardsonsnm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Dicks-Hideaway-Menu-2.18.13.pdf   

And they are affiliated with the folks across the street and I can’t remember the name of them. Oh, yeah. Richardson’s Cuisine. Check Please gave them a good review, so I guess I gotta get over there soon.

In the spirit of continuing to fill my hollow leg I started doing yoga at Madison Improvement Club on Sundays. Kicks my butt! 11:00 am is the beginner class. So if you come, you might see me doing some pose in a very silly way, probably being corrected by a nice and very patient yoga instructor.

Bobby’s Restaurant and Jazz Lounge, AJ’s Fine Foods, Thanksgiving, Segals, Green Mix, Morning Squeeze, soup night and Turkey Trot

4 Dec

Wendy took me to Bobby’s Restaurant and Jazz Lounge last month (happy birthday to me) and let me tell you, their happy hour is great. http://www.mancusosrestaurant.com/BobbysBarMenu.pdf

Let me mention that I was under-dressed, and Wendy looked fabulous.

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Veal Meatballs and shrimp cocktail (for me) and I think Wendy had the oysters on the half shell. Then my sister Fran showed up and the party really got started. They have live piano music.

I remember a couple of glasses of good cabrenet and I think we shared some bruschetta that was delicious. Figs, mascarpone and tomato toppings. MMMM.

Eating experiences abound for the kitchen wench. One of mine and Linda’s favorite places for lunch is Green Mix. I still need to get Jack over there for lunch. http://www.greenmixeats.com/

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Pictured is their mango shrimp salad and Linda had one of their flatbreads, which I also like.

Since winter began, Jack has been making more “homemadey” dinners, like last weekend. He made beef noodle soup. He boils a roast with onions and “magic fairy dust,” then adds cilantro, lime, meatballs, rice noodles, toasted garlic and other goodies, and this is what it looks like.

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Typically he makes a lot of rice noodles so there are leftovers, so he makes beef chow fun the next day.

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Yup, my lunch.

The Turkey Trot was new for Fran, Dad and I this year, and it turns out that one of his classmates from high school puts it on. It is year 34. So we have some catching up to do. For a group of three to come out early (7:45 am) on Thanksgiving morning, and run (walk some too) 5.5 miles, you know we really wanted to do this.

And if the picture could speak, it would say we had a really good time. Beautiful weather and a great turnout – about 400 people. Image

Here is a link to Mr. Whitneybell’s website that has the Turkey Trot link on it in case you want to run with us next year. http://whitneybellperry.com/ It is free. You can bring your dog or ride your bike (or skates). The shirts are $15.00.

And after the race I headed home where Jack had lovingly prepared our kosher bird. It cooked for about 4 hours and came out looking pretty tasty.Image

A very juicy turkey. Jack’s third bird for our family. His birds keep improving each year.

On Thanksgiving Day we were at my Mom’s, with my brother Ken and his wife Tosha and their kiddos. I can’t believe how they have grown. And Tosha and I had a sister-sister moment (we had a few). She is a beautiful and talented lady. She won a singing contest that allowed her to go on a trip to Israel and sing there.  I told her that when her first record takes off then maybe Ken can retire early. ;)

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We played some ping pong at Mom’s. My brother Mike and Jack are serious contenders. I am an aspiring contender.

The day after Thanksgiving, Ken, Tosha and the kiddos and I went to Segals for lunch. I forgot how great that place is.

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They have a huge menu (like 4 pages) and a new bar and outside patio. I tried kosher beer for the first time. The good thing is, it works. We enjoyed teriyaki chicken wings – I think they were baked so they were not greasy, and matzo ball soup. The kiddos had kosher dogs and Ken enjoyed spaghetti and Tosha tried one of their veggie stir fries that looked delicious and was abundant.

http://segalsonestop.com/

We also picked up some jelly donuts from their deli – I can’t remember the name of them but Ken’s kiddos seemed to know them well. And they were teaching me Hebrew during the meal. A conversion is still possible!

Jack had a birthday yesterday, so I baked him a cherry pie (and bought him a bottle of his favorite hooch). It isn’t exactly something Martha Stewart would approve of, but it was delicious.  I wasn’t able to find tart canned cherries so I bought the sweet ones in syrup instead.

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I used this recipe from joyofbaking.com

CherryFilling:

4 cups (960 ml) pitted, sweet or tart fresh cherries(can use 4 cups (960 ml) sweet or tart canned or bottled cherries, drained with 1/3 cup (80 ml) cherry juice reserved)

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar, or as needed

2 1/2 tablespoons (30 grams) quick cooking tapioca (I used flour)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I didn’t have this)

1/2 teaspoon Kirsch or 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract(optional) (I didn’t have this)

2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces (I forgot this)

Read more:http://www.joyofbaking.com/CherryPie.html#ixzz2mTlk1w8D

It baked at 425 degrees for 15 mins then 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Put a cookie sheet underneath yours in case it bubbles over (mine didn’t).

I suspect he finished the leftovers today.

So AJ’s Fine Foods is in the Christmas spirit already. http://www.ajsfinefoods.com/Image

Santa bait is not a bad idea if you have been a little bit bad this year :)

They also have gingerbread houses, already ready to go, if you don’t want to bother making it yourself (not that mine would turn out this pretty).

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I was there on Sunday and look at all of the goodies. I love this place (my wallet doesn’t). I was there to pick up some Spanish chorizo and left with some chocolate bars and olive oil flatbread that wasn’t on my list.

On Sunday we had brunch with Fran at Morning Squeeze. She just got her real estate license so I am hoping to win the lotto soon so she can help me get into a fancy mansion. I am glad to be surrounded by smart people.

lol.

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It reminds me of a European cafe since it has the yellow awnings and outside seating. It is becoming one of my favorite places for breakfast (Essence also included in this category, of course). http://www.yelp.com/biz/morning-squeeze-scottsdale

I saved the best for last. Jack’s birthday was yesterday and Shirley took us for an early birthday dinner at Mekong Palace on Sunday, where we stuffed ourselves with roast duck/pork combo, beef chow fun and kung po chicken. She also bought Jack a cute lucky bamboo planter with elephants. http://www.yelp.com/biz/mekong-palace-mesa

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Happy Birthday my mainsqueeze!

Lunch and Christmas window shopping at Biltmore Fashion Park Union shops

17 Nov

Yesterday Dad and I went to see “Twelve Years a Slave” at the AMC Theatre at The Esplanade. This theatre has plushy seats, you can have booze while you watch a movie and eats too. Granted, the plushy comes at a cost – the morning show we went to was $10.50 but to be able to put your feet up in a leather chair and watch a movie this way I would say is a once in awhile indulgence that is totally worth it.

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We decided against lunch at the theatre and waited until we could get across the street to Biltmore Fashion Park. A “kalamata” sandwich with salami was just what we needed, along with a Italian red-blended wine and local olive oil from the nice folks at Queen Creek Olive Mill. We finished with a frangelico and a pistachio cannoli for Dad and another glass of wine and an affogato for me. I never had tried one before and now I can see having this all the time.Image

The espresso and gelato combination is a happy experience.

After dessert you can then then walk a few steps to their retail shop for wine, soaps, olive oil, olives and bread. This is a great place to buy gifts for the foodie in your life. http://www.queencreekolivemill.com/

One of my favorite shops at Union is White House Flowers. They just opened a new and bigger store with a Christmas theme right across from the Union Shops, right next to the AZ Humane Society Store. They have all kinds of gifts and decorating ideas. One of my favorite gifts there is “Root” candles, since they are made from beeswax. And if Mitchell has extra large fresh roses around that day, you might find yourself going home with a free one. And if you had a glass of wine or two at lunch, you might be compelled to put it behind your ear, or in your mouth (he didn’t so I didn’t but in the past he has and I have). http://www.whitehouseflowers.com/

The other store I really like at Union is For The People, it is full of whimsy and things you probably don’t need, but that are very cute. https://www.facebook.com/forthepeopleunion Yesterday I found something that I don’t need but my nieces and nephew will probably like, it is a placemat that you color and then you can wipe it off and color it again. I’m pretty sure if I was their age I would have wanted this.Image

If you are a foodie it is almost impossible to go to Biltmore Fashon Park without stopping at Williams Sonoma. It is kitchen porn. Dad is pretty sure he needs a new espresso maker (Santa are you listening?).

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Speaking of food, Jack has been away this week with his family since his Dad passed and when they get together, they really cook. Check this out. Puerto Rican red rice and pork butt.

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And yesterday they did a “Thanksgiving” since all the family was there.

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Jack said one of their family friends made pansit, it is a filipino noodle dish that is comfort food. I’m really glad that he has been able to spend this time with his family.

So, continuing, at the AZ Biltmore right now, they have a display of whimsical dresses designed by local folks. Here are a couple of my favorites.

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Lastly, if you can’t splurge for a movie at the place with the plushy seats, you can see a free movie at Biltmore Fashion Park on Friday nights now through December 13 at 7:30 pm. When Harry Met Sally is next weekend. Here is the schedule. http://www.shopbiltmore.com/Events/Details/183449?startDate=11%2F22%2F2013

I know I said lastly, but I just looked at the Biltmore events page again and Julia Baker Chocolates has a $10 happy hour special. http://www.shopbiltmore.com/Events/Details/178012?startDate=6%2F24%2F2013 How come nobody told me about this? For $10 you get a glass of wine/coffee and dessert. I am pretty sure I can feel a happy hour coming on next Friday before the movie.

Pizza giveaway

16 Nov

Its almost Thanksgiving which means it is a time for eating of mass quantities of turkey with family. Kosher turkey. The bird will come from Trader Joe’s and Jack will prepare it with no dairy as per kosher rules. The last two times he did the bird he stuffed it with oranges and herbs. The oranges probably came from the neighbor’s tree. I usually steal (*ahem* I mean appropriate) rosemary from the shrubs from the common area where I live. I figured since they raised my HOA fees by $75 dollars per month this year, I have full rights to the rosemary. And the grill. And the pool. There should be a bartender for what I pay but I haven’t brought that up to the property management company.

Yet.

Allow me to add here that I’m going to be swimming a lot more next year. This year each swim cost me about $25. I mean, my place is nice, but it’s not the AZ Biltmore, so either I have a lot of pool parties to justify my HOA costs, or I just swim every night. Then you guys won’t be able to see me sideways.

Continuing…

I don’t keep kosher but my brother and his wife and kiddos are Jewish and they will be coming to stay at my place over the holidays. So its time to do some cleaning. Of the fridge and freezer that is.

The contraband:

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These are a few of my favorite things:

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I like pork, sausage, pepperoni and chorizo (AJ’s Fine Foods has Palacios chorizo from Spain). The pig and I get along very well. One of my favorite restaurants is actually called  Pig and Pickle.  Their happy hour is amazing. $5 appetizers and all kinds of craft beers. Shredded pork tostadas and vietnamese sandwiches. Craft beers. You understand. Their first anniversary party is Nov 30. And they aren’t paying me to say any of that. But, I would buy stock in the place. Or pay them to let me be their sous chef.  http://pigandpickle.com/

Recently I procured some pate* from Safeway that will make it over to Jack’s place before my brother and his family arrive. I just think its the right thing to do.

Here’s the list of what has to go: 4 pizzas (first come first served), pate, chorizo, sardines (I wasn’t sure on these but just to be safe they are coming with me). So when my family arrives there will be condiments like catsup and salad dressing but no sign of pig.  And 3 chocolate turkeys from See’s – see top shelf.

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They are so cute. I hope they last until Thanksgiving for my nieces and nephews**.

The nice lady behind the counter assured me they have the circle K symbol on them so we are safe.

Happy Thanksgiving!

*Fresh & Easy on 40th St. & Camelback now has pate. I shook their tree and now they have it. Power to the people!

**I only have one nephew (Chrissy) who is so cute. Maybe I used the plural because a second one is on the way?? An auntie can only hope. :)

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