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Monday, February 28, 2011

Lunch Line documentary and chipotle chicken

Chipotle chicken will take care of that craving
you have for hot wings.

Slow Food Phoenix, Whole Foods and Radio
sponsored the screening of Lunch Line tonight. I'm posting a link to the trailer for Lunch Line, a documentary about the national school lunch program.

I was able to see a screening of it tonight... and wow, there was a lot I didn't know. Apparently schools have about $1 to spend on school lunches and the food they get is subsidized by the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture).

Did you know that Catsup used to be considered a vegetable, according to the USDA lunch standards?

Thankfully this is no longer the case.

I highly recommend you go and see this film.

In the meantime I'm going to recommend a new chicken recipe for you. It is simple: procure 2 chicken thighs (or 4 if you want to feed 2 people), cover with chipotle en adobo (this comes in a can, you can get it in the ethnic section of the supermarket) and bake uncovered at 405 degrees for 1 hour. Baste your chicken at least twice during the cooking process.

I'm making this tonight because I was hungry for something spicy and I wasn't willing to spring $7.99 for a dozen hot wings. I'll be making some carrot sticks as well. This would (will) go well with a Fat Tire, which I earned today. I worked my tail off.

Happy slow cooking.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do nothing else today - make horchata cupckes

Oh my goodness gravy. These only need a
drizzle of frosting since they are sweet and moist
to begin with.

The finished cupcake. You must make these.

The batter smells yummy (cinnamony)
and almost good enough to eat raw.

This recipe comes from and I am so pleased with the finished product. The cakes are light, cinnamony, moist and highly addictive. Thanks Michelle for turning me onto Jenn's blog!

You can see I'm eating one of these morsels before they are even frosted.

21 cupcakes = 2 happy family members plus me. My Mom and brother are going to dig on these.

Make some for yourself and your family. A great use for leftover horchata from Julioberto's.

3/4 c butter
1 1/2 cup sugar (I reduced this from Jenn's version of 1 3/4)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups regular flour (I reduced this from Jenn's version of 2 1/4 cups cake flour)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup horchata

I cheated and melted the butter a bit in the micro, since I keep it frozen to stay fresh. Then you add the sugar and blend, then the eggs (one at a time) and finally the vanilla. Then you can alternate your dry ingredients and horchata until all is blended.

These bake in cupcake liners at 350 degrees for 19 minutes (that's what mine needed vs. Jenn's recipe that said 14-16 minutes).

Maybe I need to check my oven temp...?

I'm just going to wing the frosting with a bit of butter, horchata and confectioners sugar. Who would complain at that?

It occurs to me that these would be nice for a brunch with some fruit, and mimosas. Maybe a tortilla española on the side. Mmmmm.

Happy baking.

Arcadia Tavern and life in Arcadia 'Lite'

The Arcadian Pizza from Arcadia Tavern is a tasty pie.

I'm a resident in the neighborhood of 36th St./Indian School, aka Arcadia 'Lite,' according to what some street signs in the hood say.

That's pretty funny, really. It might actually come in handy if I need to sell, like...soon?

I'm struggling with our local politics lately and find that I'm admiring my friends who have recently left the state (and the country) as a result of same. It's hard to be a demmie when we have nutballs with the initials R.P. running our state. I'm just saying...

I digress. Sorry.

The purpose of this post originally was to tout a local bar/restaurant called Arcadia Tavern. I was there with a good buddy last night who ironically will be leaving the state soon. We had some tasty brews (Kiltlifter and IPA pale) and shared an Arcadian pizza.

This pizza is so yummy. You must go get one. The toppings include: sausage, pepperoni and meatballs. (Oh my!) Now you understand why you must go get one.

They also have Wii set up so if you bring your nieces/nephews/kiddos, they have something to do while you get your eat and drink on.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fry Bread House

My Mom was putting a "bacon care package"
together for me to take home.

I'm smiling at the thought of eating bacon.

The frybread taco at Fry Bread House. Yummy!

I did some work today from home and later realized I needed a feed. What's a hungry kitchen wench to do? I called my brother and we went over to the Fry Bread House lunch today.

It was packed.

What recession?

We both had a "taco" with spicy red chili on frybread (folded over) with chunky beans, lettuce, and cheese. My bro really enjoyed it and declared we will be back.

I can't argue with my family, so...I guess it will have to be so.

Twist my arm. Get down there now.

Right now!

Afterwards we went over to my Mom's and she made me a care package with bacon, a bagel and potato salad. Moms are good like that. She's also sporting a cute new haircut from Irene at Magañas Hair Salon on 32nd St./McDowell. Irene also took care of my cejas (brows) and bigote (moustache) which I am very thankful for. I'm looking less like a changa (monkey) these days. This is a good thing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Appreciating the kindness of strangers (or family/friends/prospective clients)

The remnants of my dinner last night at Vitamin T.
¡Tortas, Tacos y Tequila!

"Quien quiera que seas, siempre confié en la bondad de los desconocidos."

"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

I'm borrowing this phrase from the movie A Streetcar Named Desire

A part of it was also performed by Marisa Paredes (as Huma Rojo) in the movie "Todo Sobre Mi Madre" by Pedro Almodóvar, which is one of my favorite directors.

¡Viva Pedro!

I digress.

Today I'm posting about appreciating the kindness of family, friends and prospective clients (thank you Minerva for the Invaders tickets. Check out her company's website, Mueblería del Sol

Thanks go out to my auntie for taking us to Pollo Loco this past week for lunch. Oh yeah, she took us to Manuel's too My uncle passed this week (RIP uncle Warren) so we've been spending a bit more time together.

Thanks go out to my mom for treating my bro and I to Defalco's for lunch while we were in Tempe getting her car serviced.
Jack at LeSueur worked on Mom's car. They are building a new shop (air conditioned) and I teased him that he's probably getting his own office with a secretary who will bring him coffee.

Thanks Willie for treating us to Vitamin T last night.
We both had tortas de pollo milanesa and Dos Equis amber on tap before the Invaders show. Word has it that the Vitamin T folks (aka owner/chef Aaron May) are building a little German restaurant next door at City Scape that will have brats, beer and pretzels. I can't wait to check that out. And I need to get over to their other restaurant too, Iruña. I've got a coupon for a pitcher of sangria with any purchase. Any takers?

Thank you Jason for treating us to Tokyo Express while we watched Big Love on HBO last weekend. And thanks for sharing the cherry pie. Yum!

Thanks go out to Michelle and Huck for hosting an awesome superbowl party recently. And Michelle brews her own beer. Can't wait to try the latest version. She will also give a class if we can get a group of interested folks together. My thinking is that the class will fill up quickly, so let me know if you're interested.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bunna Coffee

Bunna Coffee has a great selection of whole bean coffees.

My booty from Bunna Coffee.
Whole bean medium Guatemalan coffee. Yesss!

As you can see by the menus, there is a very good
selection of coffee and other yummies.
They bake their own goodies too.

My cafe au lait, almost gone.

I'm at Bunna Coffee today for a client meeting and it's a very cool place. Very indie. I wish it was closer to home, though! But it's's good to be here in Tempe.

Bunna Coffee has wraps/panninis and many different kind of coffee drinks. I'm having a large cafe au lait, which came to $2.89 (half warm milk/half Ethiopian drip) and I think the price was right. You can also get beans to go, which the kitchen wench appreciates.


There is outside seating as well as ample indoor space. And free Wifi. What else could we ask for? A satellite location in Phoenix, perhaps?

It is good to dream...

Get yourself to Bunna Coffee and check out the chill vibe. Lots of students here doing homework. Making me nostalgic.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Horchata cupcakes

Food City sells single servings of horchata.
How cool is that?

I'm making Horchata cupcakes tomorrow!

That is, if I don't drink all of the horchata.

Food City also had some delicious looking strawberries for sale, on an unrelated note.

Will post pictures of the finished product.

Thanks Michelle for sharing this food blog:

Blood Orange Salad - From

I can't wait to make this. I have a grapefruit
that says, "use me in this salad!"

Sometimes I see ANOTHER'S rECIPE that lookS so good! hERE IS ONE I plan to make very soon.
Happy Valentine's Day! Love, The Kitchen Wench

Blood Orange Salad with olives

  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 clementines or mandarins
  • About 1/4 small red onion
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons best quality olive oil
  • 8 to 10 green olives, pitted and torn into quarters
  • Piment d'espelette (or other ground chile, like cayenne), to taste
  • Flaky sea salt, like Maldon
  1. Cut the peel and pith from the oranges and clementines, making sure to remove all of the outer membrane without losing too much of the flesh. Cut the oranges and clementines into 1/8-inch slices. Slice the red onion thinly enough that you can see through the slices; use a mandoline if needed. You will need about 8 slices.
  2. Arrange the citrus in overlapping slices on each of four plates. Disperse the sliced onion on top. Sprinkle with the vinegar, 1 teaspoon per plate. Drizzle the olive oil over each plate, about 1/2 tablespoon per plate. Divide the olives among the plates. Sprinkle with piment d'espelette, a generous pinch per plate. Season each salad with salt. Admire all the colors, then serve!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Roasted red pepper & tomato chutney from Chow Bella food blog (Phoenix New Times)

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Chutney
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Jason Peterson from Switch Restaurant & Wine Bar

4 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced small
1 medium can diced tomatoes
in juice
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 whole cloves
1/2 stick whole Cinnamon
Pinch of red chili flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

Start by roasted red peppers in a hot oven or on BBQ grill until skin is charred. Place peppers in a paper bag until cool enough to handle
(can be done 1 day ahead). Peel remove seeds and chop peppers to small dice size. Next is the easy part, as we say in the business, "All the kids in the pool!" Put everything except the dry spices in an 8-quart sauce pot and bring to a boil. Place dry spices in a saute pan and toast over medium heat until you can smell them begin to bloom (aroma will be strong be careful not to inhale too deeply). Turn down heat and simmer for about 45 minutes sauce will thicken slightly.

Julioberto's and Bunna Coffee

A great place for getting your Mexican eats.

I was just telling my brother last night (over dinner from Julioberto's) that I want to get an Ethiopian whole bean coffee. I remember they used to have a great Ethiopian brew at Sub Stop in Tempe (yes I am dating myself) along with zucchini bagels and draft beer. Ahhh, back in the days when the kitchen wench was younger, and had a fake ID :)

Next week I have a business meeting at Bunna Coffee in Tempe. And they have Ethiopian. For joy!

Mike and I had a great dinner last night from Julioberto's: a pollo asado burrito for him, with a pint of rice. And I had three (count 'em) flautas. They remind me of my Mom's which she does not make so much anymore because they require quite a bit of work.


I don't hang out in Tempe as much as I used to. I was talking to one of my client's client's recently and he told me that he had just moved from Tempe to Sun City (how does that happen, really) and he knew that he was going to miss Tempe a lot.

Then yesterday I was talking to nice lady (a transplant from I don't remember where) at a BNI meeting and she said she lived in Tempe and likes the college atmosphere. She added she hadn't been to any of my favorite haunts: Pita Jungle, Kohi Noor and Cornish Pasty. I sent her with advice to visit all three, very soon.

Tempe has a quality of life that I think is very nice: pedestrian friendly streets (especially Mill Ave.), beautiful parks, Tempe Town Lake, the university (of course) and great restaurants. Maybe if business picks up and the economy gets better and the real estate outlook improves, I could see moving there. Yes, and I know this makes me a very idealistic (vs. realistic) kitchen wench.

It's good to have plan A, plan B, plan C, etc.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

There's a new Oasis in town!

What Oasis looks like from the outside.

And they have a new flavor - "a la Mexico City" - Tequila!

Oasis has all kinds of fruits to put in your slushie. Mango is my fave.

A chamoyada for me (invitó la casa) and I also
tried their tequila flavor. Sublime!

My friends at Oasis Raspados opened a new location recently. Yessss!

Or should I say, "¡Si, señor!"

I was chatting with one of the proprietors today, Alfonso. He is such a lovely guy. And I'm not just saying this because he treated me to a chamoyada with mango, serpentinas candy and asian peanuts.

Their new location is at 19th Ave. and Osborn (near Phoenix College). I think this location is going to be very busy, muy pronto (very soon).

Go get yourself a chamoyada or raspado today. Make that now. Right now!

And join their Facebook page (Like it) to learn of special offerings.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

La Muchacha takes a vacation

It's time to do the dishes. Where is la muchacha?

The kitchen wench's latest read, and a new recipe.

When all of the dishes are dirty, thankfully one can still microwave.

La muchacha aka The Kitchen Wench in this case, has taken a vacation. Look at my sink!

Sometimes I just love being in the kitchen and keeping it, well, spic and span. Not lately, though.

I haven't been doing any "heavy cooking" in the past few days, just microwaving, thanks to the generosity of good friends (Jason) and relatives (my aunt). Jason's gram made perogies with onions and halibut last night and gave me a "bento" to take home. Today my aunt took me to NYPD Pizza since she had some coupons and a hankering for spaghetti and meatballs and pizza. Their food is so yummy.

But, I'm going to clean the kitchen tonight (or tomorrow!) because I need to try a new recipe: Whiskey-soaked dark chocolate bundt cake.

Yup. A good reason for cleaning. Booze and chocolate. :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chúc mừng năm mới!

Superbowl and "cheesehead" sugar cookies,
courtesy of Huck. Delicious!

Phyllo dough filled rolls with spicy meat
and banana dessert served at the Vietnamese New Year Celebration.

Some elder members of the Vietnamese community
give gifts to the children for the New Year.

Chúc mừng năm mới means Happy New Year in Vietnamese. (Thank you Wikipedia)

Today I celebrated the year of the cat with my friends Carol, Nga, John, Sheila, Chris and many kind members of the Vietnamese community in Phoenix. We were well fed: little egg rolls, some tasty noodles with beef and vegetables, a pickled veggie salad, phyllo dough stuffed with spicy meat and coconut and banana deserts. I soon slipped into a Vietnamese food coma and felt the need to nap.

But...a nap was not in the kitchen wench's future today, because...thanks to Huck and Michelle I was invited to a fun superbowl party at their home. We had amazing eats: bratwurst on rolls from Karsh's bakery, football and "cheesehead" sugar cookies, cornbread (thank you Charles), veggies (thank you Tamika) and other yummy side dishes that I will be working off tomorrow on an overdue run.

Happy Year of the Cat!

Go Packers!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Making fish & chips at home

Fixins for a tasty Fish & Chips dinner @ home.

While I might have preferred to take my brother to the George & Dragon (love that place) last night, my wallet said, "we're eating at home tonight, honey."

So, what is a frugal kitchen wench to do?

My aunt had turned me onto these halibut filets at Costco and bought me a box the last time I had accompanied her on a monthly trip. They bake at 425 degrees for 22 minutes and in that same time you can make oven fries, I discovered. Just soak your wedges in ice cold water for 10 minutes and pat them dry before putting them on your baking sheet covered with olive oil. You can add fresh rosemary to them if you like.

I also picked up some malt vinegar yesterday at Fresh & Easy, along with frozen peas. I think this meal isn't complete without malt vinegar and peas.

My bro enjoyed the meal and we finished with macadamia caramel chocolate covered clusters (think turtles) also courtesy of Costco. The chocolate needed coffee, so we had that too; a latte for me and a capuccino for my bro, courtesy of the kitchen wench. He appreciates home-brewed espresso, as I do, and we frequently discuss what coffee we are buying and where it comes from (we are coffee snobs, in the spirit of full disclosure). Last night's coffee was Pájaro from Trader Joe's. He said he likes it because it is very smooth, and I have to agree.

Next time we do this meal I'm going to Cost Plus since they have been advertising foreign condiments, think curry catsup. I think that would go well with the oven fries.