At the beginning of June, Kim, Barb and I took a field trip to the new AZ International Marketplace on the corner of Dobson and Broadway Roads in Mesa.
I meant to blog about it back then, but then … I didn’t. When I was making room in my freezer to freeze the rosé wine for the Frozé cocktail, I came across a package of flap steak (also known as Bavette steak) that I bought at the Marketplace. No better time than the present to cook up the beef and blog about the store.
When I go shopping to check a new place, mainly when it’s far out of my neighborhood, I call it a Field Trip. This was an especially good one! There were plenty of the things you would expect to find. Such as shelves upon shelves of dried mushrooms.
Aisles upon aisles of noodles, rice sticks, rice paper and the like.
And of course, many interesting finds – “Hello Kitty” seaweed anyone? (Oh, and we’ll be talking about that popcorn later, believe you me!!!)
There were sweets of every variety, plus corn starch in lovely old-fashion boxes and even cooler looking boxes of psyllium husk. Love the packaging on that, even though I had no clue what it was used for. Turns out it’s a laxative. Well then, there you go!
The produce department was the most fun!
So many exotic and tropical items to temp you.
Kim and I were extra excited about the jackfruit. Some of them are triple the size of your head! No joke! What to do with all that jackfruit? I have no idea. Before I go back, I’m going to figure it out and buy one. For sure.
Not to worry, I still filled up my cart. Here is what I brought home on this first trip.
A wide range of coconut waters and milks. Some are roasted, others have pulp, all were delish.
A can of sweetened condensed milk with a pretty label, fish sauce in a smaller bottle than you’ll usually find and three interesting drinks; Korean ginseng drink with root, royal milk tea and macadamia nut iced coffee. Thus far, I’ve only tried the milk tea. It was good and how cute is that blue can?!?
Cool triangular-shaped rice paper, Chinese honey in a sweet little glass, chrysanthemum drink, super cheap thin white candles, candied ginger and three pretty little boxes of ginger candies. I haven’t tried the chrysanthemum drink yet, I haven’t been brave enough. The candies are good though. 😉
Two flavors of sardines (for my dad) a lovely can of Café du Monte coffee, a large tin of Madras curry powder, Korean BBQ sauce, green and red curry paste and sweet chilli sauce. One can never have too much sweet chilli sauce!
An inexpensive jar of tahini, garlic hoisin sauce, extra-thick noodles and panko.
Next up: A cheap hat for yard work and the pool, a cool “ice stick” ice tray (which I used along with the candied ginger for THESE Peach Mules) and the very best thing that I bought – SRIRACHA POPCORN! It is amazing! I can’t wait to go back and buy a case of it! Seriously addicting! A case may not be enough! I may go out there this week since now I can’t stop thinking about the popcorn!!! Anyone want to take a field trip with me?
Finally, the last tray displaying my purchases; frozen dumplings and pork buns. These were nothing special, I’ve found similar items at Trader Joe’s and they were about the same. And the flap steak.
Here is a great recipe for flap steak. I did not create it, it comes from one of my all-time favorite chefs and cooking teachers, John Ash.
Chef John Ash’s Grilled Flap Steak
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pinch ground cayenne pepper
- Pinch salt
- 2 pounds flap steak, trimmed of fat
August 24, 2016 9 Comments
At last, the final post from the 4th of July Pot-Luck Pool Party. It only took two weeks to get all the recipes posted, that’s not so bad.
If you want to see the menu in its entirety, you can always go to the link over on the left column of this page, click on the “Menu and Party Ideas” page and you’ll find not only this party but many others.
The good new is that the recipes for all the desserts we served at the party are already posted on this site. There is one more fun idea though, so don’t go running off.
It’s fun to go back and read that post since Zak & Zoey were only 4 months old at that gathering.
So sweet! As is Tram’s pie.
Next, I baked my super easy All-American Berry-Cherry Flag Pie. It is going to be at every 4th party from here on out. Maybe next time I can convince someone else to make it though.
Lastly, we have the Mason Jar Ice Cream Bar. Above you see the cute sprinkles and toppings displayed.
July 19, 2016 No Comments
This is the second of the two main-courses from the 4th of July Pot-Luck Pool Party.
Have you heard of Frogmore Stew? How about Lowcountry Boil? The Boil, I knew about, the Stew I didn’t. Or at least I thought I didn’t. Turns out they are the same thing.
Here is the history of this dish, according to Coastal Living Magazine, “Once called Frogmore Stew, this one-pot wonder was created by a National Guardsman when he needed to cook a meal for 100 soldiers. Richard Gay, who learned the recipe from his family, had everyone remembering his stew. The dish was named Frogmore, where Richard was from, by the guards who teased him about home. The Unites States Postal Service eliminated the name Frogmore, which changed this popular dish to Lowcountry Boil.”
You can use whatever type of cooked sausage you would like. I prefer Aidells Pineapple & Bacon Smoked Chicken Sausage, which I find at Costco. I also get the shrimp at Costco. It is already deveined and ready to drop in the pot.
July 18, 2016 1 Comment
The first of my two main-course dishes for the 4th of July Pot-Luck Pool Party is a pulled pork recipe that came from Williams-Sonoma. I altered the recipe to fit my needs.
Need #1 – I did not want to buy a jar of the Williams-Sonoma pulled pork starter. It cost too much and after going online and looking at the list of ingredients, I had all of it on hand anyhow, so I made my own.
Need #2 – I buy my pork shoulder at Costco and a 2.5 pound piece (which is what the Williams-Sonoma recipe called for) would be a joke at Costco. Mine weighed in at a whopping 15 pounds. This meant I needed to quadruple the original recipe, which was more than fine because the original served only 4 to 6 and I had more than 24 mouths to feed. I realize that 15 pounds is 6x as much, but the remaining ingredients only needed to be 4x more.
The big trick to the thing was cooking it in a slow cooker in two batches. It wasn’t difficult and took less time and effort than I expected it would. I thought about calling a neighbor to borrow a second slow cooker, but I was too lazy. That is a good option though.
Another issue was that it never even crossed my mind to take a photo of even one sandwich. I have photos of the pork in the chafing dish and of the slaw on the platter. But no individual sandwiches pics or of the cute setup I had for the little sandwich baskets and paper liners that I worked super hard to get all fixed up. Darn it! As you can see, I had to improvise with those “close-up” images. Sad, but it’s all I got.
July 15, 2016 1 Comment
I had an abundance of watermelon to use up at the 4th of July Pot-Luck Pool Party. The week prior, I had purchased four small seedless watermelons to make these tasty treats. Kim, Peggy, Anne and I were planning to get together at Kim’s new house for a little housewarming happy hour. At the last minute, plans changed. Without the party on the horizon, I don’t know what I would have done with them all!
I used them up in a non-alcoholic watermelon-strawberry-lemon slushy and in this refreshing watermelon salad.
July 14, 2016 1 Comment
I know that yesterday I mentioned that I’d highlight the 4th of July main courses and dessert next, but that was before I remembered that in addition to all the wonderful salads and sides my friends brought, I also made a few sides and salads myself. So let’s get to those first.
July 12, 2016 No Comments
Connor’s friend, Rachael, brought these super easy and super tasty little appetizer picks. Luckily I was able to snap a photo before they were all snapped up!
No one had signed up for chips and dip, so I asked Connor to provide those.
You have to have chips and dip!
I threw together a red, white and blue flag snack tray using, red grapes, banana slices, strawberries, yogurt covered pretzels, blueberries and raspberries.
Lastly, I purchased a mock gingerbread house at Trader Joe’s, which was really a sugar cookie White House and I pretended like it was Christmas in July. I loved putting it together since our long family tradition of Marissa and Connor each assembling their own Christmas gingerbread houses has fallen by the wayside. Mostly because they hate it! Oh well, a mom can reminisce.
These were a few of the little extras at the 4th of July Party Pot-Luck Pool Party. The main course and dessert details will follow in the coming days.
July 11, 2016 No Comments
George and Julie brought not only a tasty broccoli salad but their four beautiful children as well. Actually the party more than doubled in size from when I originally lamented about it being so small, in this post. That made me happy. My motto when it comes to parties is always “the more the merrier!” When kids and teens are added to the mix, nothing could be truer!
Case in point – I asked Dave to please set up the ping-pong table and the lawn games; cornhole, ladder ball toss and croquet.
He balked, saying that no one was going to play any of those things because it was too hot. I argued that people would hop in and out of the pool and I wanted there to be a variety of activities for them to choose from.
Um, do you want to take a wild guess at who was right? Those kids walked straight in the front door, through the house and into the yard. All games and activities were played, not only the ones above but also the pool volleyball and basketball and the putting green. Take that 109 degrees!
Back to the broccoli salad. Julie said the recipe comes from a department store restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. The store was called Lazarus & Co. and although it is no longer there, the salad lives on. Thanks for sharing, Julie!
July 9, 2016 1 Comment
My cousin, Ty, and his beautiful wife, Michelle, brought a pasta salad to the potluck. She named it, not me. She cracks me up.
It’s not only ridiculously easy but also ridiculously delicious!
Above are the “Three T’s” – Ty, Tram and the Twins. Below is Michelle with Zoey … doing … I’m not sure what but they sure are cute!
July 8, 2016 1 Comment
Here are a few select images of decorations from our 4th of July Pot-Luck Pool Party.
I say “a few select” because I had more than six dozen to choose from.
Believe it or not, I’m exercising a lot of constraint here.
July 7, 2016 1 Comment