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Category — Linda

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   5 Comments

And the winners are….

The 8th Blogiversary Contest has come to an end and The Lucky Three have had their names drawn out of a pot by a random Trader Joe’s employee.

Thanks to all 30 of you who entered.

Once again the prize is that each winner will receive $100 in cash to spend on a Shopping Field Trip. We’ll spend the day shopping and learning the in and outs and best buys at:

Trader Joe’s

Queen Creek Olive Mill

The Pork Shop

and

AZ International Marketplace

After I typed up all your names on a sheet of paper. I cut them into strips…

Then placed them in a pot, a saucepan actually, and drove myself and the pot to the Trader Joe’s on Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, east of Scottsdale Rd.

I put the pot in a shopping cart and walked around looking for an employee that wasn’t too busy. I decided on the nice woman who was cooking up samples in the back of the store.

I let her know I’d be filming her and then posting the video on my blog, she kindly agreed and drew out the winning names.

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August 24, 2017   5 Comments

Blogiversary #8

Yup, it’s that time of year! Another year older. It’s time to celebrate!

Before we get to the details of this year’s giveaway, let’s run down a few stats:

1904 posts (posting an average of 4.5 times a week)

5216 comments (granted, nearly 1/5 of those are me commenting back to you)

254,629 spam comments …. that I have scanned through before deleting (legitimate comments sometimes get tossed in the spam folder) to prevent your delicate eyes from seeing. Let me tell you, there is more graphic porn spam than anyone should have to see!  If only the spammers used their time to do something good for the world … you get where I’m going with that.

Also, I’m sorry to say that I have sad news to share.

My high school friend, loyal blog follower and frequent commenter, Nancy Bull, passed away suddenly on her birthday on May 31st.

Nancy was the grand prize winner in the 7th Blogiversary Contest last year. The prize was to come to my kitchen and cook your favorite recipe with me and then have that recipe posted here on the blog. Nancy and I had the best time making her family’s Chili Rellenos recipe together. When I snapped this beautiful photo of Nancy, I had no idea it would be the last time I’d see her radiant smile. Nancy used the photo as her Facebook profile photo. It is there on her page to this day. It is a reminder of how lucky and blessed I was to share that special time with her. Prayers and blessings to Nancy’s family. She is deeply missed.

I know Nancy would want me to turn this back around and get to the fun and happy stuff. She entered every contest I have ever had and she would want you to enter this one, because it’s a goodie!

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August 16, 2017   26 Comments

7 year old’s story

When I was in Chicago last month, I met up with two of my nieces, Megan and Amy, for dinner. Amy brought her son, my grand-nephew, Greyson. Grey, is seven years old and had just finished 1st grade.

(You may remember Greyson from THIS POST in October 2014)

The three of them were already seated when Lori and I arrived and Grey was sitting at the end of the table. I sat next to him and noticed that he had a paper and pen in hand and was working on something.

Lori was sweet enough to take a photo of the four of us. (Amy, Greyson, me and Megan.)

Anyhow, I asked Greyson what he was doing and he said, “I’m writing a story.”

As we all chatted and caught up, Grey continued to put pen to paper and write his story. A while later he announced that he was done and asked if I would like to read it.

“Yes!”

He handed me the paper and I proceeded to read it out loud.

“Once upon a time there was a man.

One day the man went to a castle, he went in the castle something punched him. Aaaaa!

It was an invisible guy. The invisible guy cut the man’s hand off. The man found a hook, he put the hook on his hand. He ran out of the castle.  

The invisible guy grabbed a bow and arrow and shot the man. AW! AW! AW! AW!

The man never went to the castle.”

By: Greyson Hopkins
Monday, June 26, 2017
7 years and 1 month old
Summer between 1st and 2nd grade

 

I have to say, I was impressed! He just turned seven a month before. Amy told us that he loved to write, so she had enrolled him in a summer creative writing class. What a fantastic and proactive mom she is!

I asked Greyson if I could keep it and he said that he wrote it for me. My heart melted. I asked if he would sign it for me. He said yes and asked if he could make all the letters in his name into pictures. I told him I’d love that, but asked if could he please sign his name on the front and sign it again on the back in pictures? He did and then he even wrote his name backwards for me too.

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July 28, 2017   4 Comments

my temporary home

I may as well begin the tour of the lovely house I am renting with a photo of the lovely wood floors in the master bedroom.

More honestly with of photo of my roommates, Bailey and Bombay, just because they’re so darn cute. As you look at the photos of the house, these two will be showing up in the background of a few. Feel free to play a kitty version of “Where’s Waldo” and see how many times you spot one or the other.

Here is the front view of the house. Some of the fabulous features are the huge pine tree in the front yard that provides great shade from the early and mid-morning sun. And take note of the high pitch above the garage. See those three beams poking out? This was the model home and sales office when the homes in the subdivision were built in the mid-80’s.  The garage served as the sales office and is finished with beautiful high-pitched wood-paneled ceilings and massive amounts of lighting.  More on that later.

The east and west sides of the garage have French doors with concrete paths leading up to them. These office doors are now bolted permanently closed from the inside.

Next up is the backyard. Another large mature tree provides wonderful shade.

The renters before me had a big dog who basically destroyed the sprinkler system, and the grass. I’m doing my best to bring it back to life.

This is the back west side of the house. I brought the lighter deck box from the other house. A week after I moved in, I picked up the two dark boxes from Costco and took the better part of an afternoon assembling and filling them with smaller garden items. I’ve given up on trying to revive the grass over here.

The back east side yard is crushed granite, so all my large patio furniture is being stored over here. I spent a Saturday morning covering the stacks of furniture with tarps to protect it from the sun and monsoons. The majority of it had been under covered patios in “Linda Land.”

Even though I’m living in less than half the square footage of the Equestrian Manor (from here out referred to as EQM) house, it’s not the inside space I miss… it’s the outside living space and that amazing backyard we created. My wish is to duplicate that on a smaller scale when I start the house-hunting for my next home.

Here is the cute little patio I’m living with for now.

It’s tight – but cozy.

And it has a really nice built-in grill. Loving that! OK, let’s go back to the front door and go inside.

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July 19, 2017   8 Comments

childhood food nightmares

In my recent post about canned vegetables, I encouraged you to share your own childhood food nightmare stories. After Lori shared her story about hiding Brussels sprouts in her bedroom dresser and Amy shared about having to sit at Girl Scout camp with an ever-growing brick of Shredded Wheat in front of her, while her friends went on a hike, I knew I had to share my ultimate childhood food nightmare with you.

This is the house I grew up in. All my childhood food nightmares happened in this house. The majority of those nightmares occurred in the mornings of the late fall and winter months. Summer, spring and early fall weren’t much better.

Breakfast, which is now one of my favorite and most reliable meals, was the dreaded meal for my younger self. The source of the dread was cereal. I really do not like cereal. I never have and I never will!

On a typical day, our cupboards held only three types of cold cereal; Cheerios, Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes. For readers who are far younger than I, let me educate you: this was before Frosted Corn Flakes, before Cocoa Krispies and before Honey-Nut Cheerios. Brands such as Trix, Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs were available, just not in our house.

Looking back, and I have to look back because I haven’t had a bowl of cereal since I moved out of my parents’ home! Anyhow, looking back, I think what I hated about cereal was that it got soggy quickly and the milk was never cold enough. The warming milk and disintegrating cereal, especially the Corn Flakes, was beyond disgusting to me. I literally couldn’t stomach it.

My first choice was always Cheerios, I’d put as little in my bowl as allowed, add the milk and try to shove it down as fast as possible before the milk warmed and the Cheerios had a chance to even think of sinking to the bottom of the bowl. My goal was to get to them while they were floating.

Second choice, when the Cheerios were gone, was Rice Krispies. The same deal here, try to shovel them in before they could snap, crackle and pop more than a couple of times.

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March 6, 2017   10 Comments

careening out of control

You know that feeling when you are, or you think you are about to, fall down a flight of stairs?

That “heart-pounding, can’t catch your breath, your world is spinning completely out of your control” feeling.

Yeah, that pretty sums up how I’ve felt for the last two weeks. I’d say since my birthday, things have felt like they are constantly getting away from me and I’ll never catch up.

fall-festival-truck

For instance, my birthday was Thursday the 27th, on Sunday the 30th, we had our neighborhood Fall Festival. I was in charge of it. I was in charge of it two years ago too but it didn’t feel like as big a job as it was this time. Granted, my committee was larger and more available in 2014, but this year it felt like a two-woman-show when it should have been a ten-woman-production. I worked for weeks leading up to it and for 16 straight hours on the day of.

nail-drama

As if being bone-tired wasn’t bad enough, I tore, chipped and cracked three fingernails of my 2-day-old, absolutely perfect, best-ever manicure! The photo shows the left hand before and after with the index fingernail ripped clean off. On the right hand, if you look close, you can see the tear in the middle finger and by the end of the day, the ring finger was broken off too.

zz

The next morning, Halloween, I was up with the sun to get everything “Festival-related” cleaned up and put away and get ready for our traditional Halloween pizza-grilling festivities. Trick-or-treating with Zak and Zoey was so much fun!

calendar

My continuing birthday-celebration-mode complicated things further, as I had lunch and dinner dates still lined up the week after. Not that I’m complaining! I am not! I’m touched and love being loved by my friends and family, but this year, the timing took its toll. Yes, that is a screenshot of my calendar for the week. It may be too small to read, but you get the idea.

class

The next day was the first night of my 3-week cooking classes at Les Gourmettes. Shopping, prepping and teaching occupied all hours from dusk to dawn on Tuesday.

vote

Add to that, on Thursday morning, Connor and I went to take part in early-voting and waited for 2 hours! I don’t have time to sit for 2 hours! But we did and we voted.

The one thing that had weighed especially heavy on me was a charity dinner I was cooking for guests at the Frank Lloyd Wright Price House on Saturday night. It was five courses; a signature cocktail, 3 appetizers, soup, salad, main course with two sides and dessert for a total of 10 recipes, most of which had three components to each dish. For instance, the dessert was a bread pudding with sautéed apples and crème anglaise and the soup had an avocado cream garnish and cheese puffs. Thankfully, my friend and colleague, Kim Howard spent a good part of the morning in the kitchen with me. Thank you, Kim!

flw-door

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November 7, 2016   7 Comments

TV hacks, tips, etc.

My dear friend, Tram Mai, morning anchor on 12News, and I have filmed several little segments for her morning show recently. The first one aired yesterday.

12news

Tram sent me a LINK. This one is all about how to easily peel soft fruits.

Future clips include proper table setting, how to grill pizza, a homemade all-purpose cleaning solution, packing hacks, and more.

Thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes yesterday! I want to tell you that I kept my word and didn’t complain about the heat for the rest of the day yesterday … but today is a new day and the photo below says it all!

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October 28, 2016   3 Comments

Free Cooking Classes!!!

It’s contest time!

win-class

To be entered to win a free cooking class, all you need to do is leave a comment on ANY post on this entire site. You can leave a comment on a recipe you’ve made. Or one you want to try. Or on a party theme you’ve enjoyed. Or on this very post. You can say whatever you want.  “This is great!” or “I want to win.” or “Come on pick me, I never win anything!”

Here is the low-down:

You are entering to win one of four (1 of 4) spots in an evening class that I teach at Les Gourmettes Cooking School.

It would probably be best if you actually lived in the Phoenix area, since that’s where the classes are held … because airfare and lodging are not included. 🙂

Classes are demonstration, they begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. At the end of the cooking demo, we move to the dining room to enjoy the meal prepared in class. The classes are held at:

Les Gourmettes Cooking School
6610 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85012

mixers

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October 21, 2016   15 Comments

Les Dames d’ Escoffier International

I’ve been out of the practice of blogging over the weekend for quite some time now.

Today is an exception because I want to invite you to something wonderful!

invite

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October 15, 2016   1 Comment