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shopping!

I had such a great day shopping with Blogiversary winners, Shirley, Laura and Maggie!

From left to right –

Shirley: Shirley is a longtime student of mine. She attends all my series classes at Les Gourmettes Cooking School and is the most lovely woman! I adore her in classes and I adored spending the day with her too!

Laura: I have known Laura for more than 20 years. We met as members of the Phoenix Junior League – way back when. Laura joined my committee when I chaired the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Beach Ball in 1997. The Beach Ball is celebrating its 25 anniversary with the 2018 event on March 3rd. Although Laura and I have not seen each other in years, hers is the first Christmas card I receive each and every year, on the day after Thanksgiving!

Maggie: I met Maggie for the first time on Monday morning at the Trader Joe’s at Tatum and Shea were we met up to begin our day of shopping. Maggie found the blog while looking for a “knockoff recipe” for True Food Kitchen’s Mediterranean Chopped Salad and has come back ever since. Although Maggie is substantially younger than the rest of us (she has three young kids, including a 3-year old!) she fit right in and was an absolute doll!

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October 20, 2017   3 Comments

field trip shopping day is here!

Today is the day I finally get to take Laura, Maggie and Shirley on the 8th Blogiversary Shopping Field Trip!

I’ve got their Trader Joe’s 50th Anniversary bags locked and loaded with $100 each.

These bags are the perfect example of why I love Trader Joe’s. The bags were sold to celebrate their golden anniversary and instead of charging more for the limited edition bags, they charged less! Regular TJ’s bags cost a mere $1. These special bags cost only fifty cents! TJ’s Is The Best!

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October 16, 2017   2 Comments

my favorite time of the year

October 5, 2017   1 Comment

margarita time

Tram & Steve invited me over for Taco Night, they are the sweetest! I asked Tram if I could contribute an exotic margarita for the night. She, of course, said yes.

I found a recipe on Epicurious.com. I made one cocktail as written and found it to be much too strong and not as special or exotic as I had hoped. It needed some lime juice and some sweetness to bring it up to the place I knew it could be.

This photo does not include the additions I made to the cocktail, lime juice and a berry simple syrup, but those ingredients are there in the final version of the cocktail that I brought to dinner.

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October 2, 2017   2 Comments

cooking class winner

It took some teamwork to pick the winner of the cooking class with Chef Danielle Leoni at Les Gourmettes Cooking School. Okay, not as much teamwork as frustration, but we made it happen.

There were eight entries: Amy G, Betsy S, Dorinne D, Elyse G, Ginger T, Laura M, Patti T and Sharon L.

I crumbled up each name with the intent of turning them into cat toys.

 

Bombay and Bailey were called into action. Whichever ball of paper was knocked off the table first, the person whose name was on the paper, would be the winner. Unfortunately, they were not as interested in playing with their new toys as I had hoped they would be. I ended up having to toss a couple of kitty snacks in the mix to even get them up on the table.

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September 27, 2017   3 Comments

are you a winner?!?

It was only a month ago that I held a contest for my 8th Blogiversary and here I am – at it again!

This time, it is Barbara Fenzl, owner of Les Gourmettes, who is graciously and generously donating the fabulous prize. I’ll get to the details about the prize and how easy it is for you to have a chance to win it in just a moment.

This is the current issue of Edible PHOENIX. The publisher and editor, Pamela Hamilton along with featured contributor, Sharon Salomon, Barb Fenzl and I are all members of Les Dames d’Escoffier International.

Every now and then, Sharon will ask me for quotes or thoughts about an upcoming article she is working on. This was the case for her most recipe article titled, “Step Away From the Recipe! Try Your Hand at Intuitive Cooking”

Thank you Sharon for featuring me in your excellent article!

This clever segue leads us to the contest and the prize. Barb is offering one FREE seat in an upcoming cooking class with Chef Danielle Leoni.  Coincidentally, Danielle became one of our newest Les Dames members this past Monday night. This prize will most certainly hone your cooking skills and aid you on your way to more intuitive cooking.

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September 20, 2017   11 Comments

Salsa de Peggy

While Anne, Peggy and I  were vacationing in Carlsbad last month, Peggy made her famous salsa. Lucky us! I took notes and happily share it with you.

Peggy insists that one thing is an absolute must for her salsa.

You must use only chiltepin chile peppers! They can be hard to find and are more expensive than that other little pepper easily found in grocery stores, the chile pequin. The pequin is nothing like the chiltepin, so don’t bother using it as a substitute.

The chiltepins are what make this an authentic Sonoran salsa. You can find them at Food City or on Amazon. To read more about the chiltepin and the salsa, check out this article from Edible Baja Arizona.

Peggy also prefers to use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppers and the garlic. Mine is packed away, so I opted for a cocktail muddler and measuring cup.

Alternately, you could start an empty food processor or blender, and while it is running, drop the garlic cloves and chiltepins through the feed tube into the empty machine and let it do the work for you.

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September 13, 2017   5 Comments

not as advertised

A couple of months ago I bought a 3-pound bag of refrigerated shredded beef at Costco. It had a long-away expiration date (March 2018!) and the photo of the beef on the front of the bag looked so good!

It sat in my refrigerator for a few weeks, then I took it on our trip to Carlsbad in the beginning of August, just in case we decided to make tacos or something. We never opened it, so it came back to Arizona. I finally opened it last week.

Not at all as pictured on the package. What a disappointment! Costco is known for its thorough vetting process before selecting and selling products. I’m not sure how this product slipped through. It didn’t taste all that bad, as I did end up using it for tacos one night, but then decided I’d rather use the rest in some sort of casserole. It tasted much better mixed in with other ingredients. The next time I make this dish, I’ll be using leftover beef from a roast.

Note: In a photo of the ingredients below, you may notice that the can of green chiles is missing. That is because I decided to add them as I was assembling the dish.

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September 11, 2017   No Comments

strawberry caprese

This time last month, Peggy, Anne and I were in Carlsbad, it was hot and muggy in Scottsdale, but cool and beautiful in California, strawberries were cheap and on sale in the markets and I made a strawberry caprese salad.

A month later, the three of us are back here sweating it out in the still hot and muggy Arizona, Carlsbad is still cool and beautiful and strawberries are still cheap and on sale in the markets this weekend.

It’s going to take another month or more for our weather to be as pleasant as California’s but the strawberries will not be around that long! So if you want to make this salad, the time is NOW!

This is the ad from Safeway this week.. it ends on Tuesday… just saying.

 

Strawberry Caprese Salad

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 package cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small firm ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Balsamic glaze

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September 8, 2017   1 Comment

cool and crisp

This refreshing salad is the perfect counterpoint and complement to the Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai – posted last week. It is best served cold from the refrigerator.

My family enjoys and can tolerate quite a bit of heat and spice in our food. I thinly slice the jalapeño pepper for this dish, but it can also be finely minced for those who like things toned down a bit. I give directions for both methods; you decide which suits your taste.

Prep the salad and the dressing hours ahead and then dress it just before you heat up the wok for the pad Thai and your meal will come together in a snap.

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September 6, 2017   No Comments