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Monday, March 28, 2011

Spanish Flan - via Germany

Flan, courtesy of Yecla, made at Christmastime.

My friend in Germany sends recipes to us from time to time and the kitchen wench is very grateful for this. I enjoy learning about others' cultures through food.

Yecla said this recipe comes courtesy of She notes that she makes her own caramel (as opposed to buying it) and she cooks the flan in "una olla express" on top of a double boiler. She prefers condensed milk, she says this way she can make it with less eggs and the batter is smooth.

From now on, I'm on the flan diet.

Did any of you see Real Women Have Curves? There's a scene when the mother and daughter are in a bodega, the mother has just been told she's not pregnant but instead she's going through menopause. She is getting ready to eat a piece of flan when America Ferrara's character says, "Mama, the doctor just told you that you're blood sugar is too high and now you're eating flan?" The mother says, "but I'm having a craving." The daughter says, "But mama, you're not pregnant!"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sour cream coffee cake with blueberries

The finished cake. It looks prettier dusted
with powdered sugar.

The kitchen wench tried a slice last night -
for good measure. It's a tasty cake.

This is one of my favorite cakes, since it is moist and not too sweet. It works for dessert, as well as breakfast or a snack. It travels great since it is not frosted - just a dusting of powdered sugar will do.

Sour cream coffee cake:

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Cream your butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, vanilla and beat until mixed. Add dry ingredients and mix. Place half of batter into greased 9" tube (bundt) pan and sprinkle with 3/4 cup blueberries. Place remainder of dough into pan. This bakes at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I found frozen wild blueberries at Food City yesterday for $3.19 a bag. Didn't seem like too bad of a deal. They are tiny, and perfect for this cake.

Last night a tasted a sample for good measure. It is a tasty cake. The blueberries make it sing. Make one today for your special event.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Michelada a la kitchen wench and penne pasta salad

Penne pasta salad with lots of veggies and
a michelada. The perfect light Saturday dinner.

These ingredients will make you a great michelada.
Make one for yourself today!
(or a pitcher to share)

The kitchen wench has been working her tail off lately so she (I) deserves a michelada tonight. I picked up some Kern's clam and tomato juice today at Food City (3 cans for $1!) and I mixed a half a can with one bottle of Fat Tire, some lemon squeezes and added a celery stick for good measure. First though, I rimmed the glass with lemon and dipped it in aleppo chile salt, courtesy of Didi Davis Food. It was in my Foodzie tasting box this month, and I immediately knew that meant I was to have a michelada, very soon.

Typically I would make micheladas with a milder beer like Tecate, but the kitchen wench had only Fat Tire (fancy beer). It still tastes great.

I'm enjoying my michelada with a pasta salad that I made for tomorrow's soiree at my Mom's. She's cooking a turkey and making rolls; my aunt is bringing wine and I am in charge of pasta salad and sour cream blueberry cake. It will be a great dinner, as always. My family are foodies, after's in the genes.

Lolo's lemon cake and Carlsbad Danish Bakery t-shirt

Lolo's gifted me a piece of lemon cake!

Got danish?

I was at Harkins Camelview theatre today to see Nora's Will. This is a great foreign film (Mexico) that you should go see if you don't mind subtitles and/or speak Spanish. It is very funny.

After the movie I sauntered over to Lolo's and had a Betty Boop plate again like last week (it's been a week already?) and the manager gave me a free (FREE!) slice of lemon cake to take home. He said he messed up when he was slicing it but I think it was more like I was ogling the last piece and he took pity on me. He mentioned that Lolo's makes cakes to order for your special event (they have a red velvet cake that looks delicious) and they only need 24 hours notice. This is good to know if you don't have time to bake.

My tokus is expanding since I am frequenting Lolo's these days. But, according to my neighbor, this is not a bad thing. ( You know who you are ~ cheeky!)

Soon I will be taking a trip to see my Dad in Carlsbad. I am so excited, it is way overdue. The kitchen wench is ready for a vacation in S. California. When my Dad was at Carlsbad Danish Bakery the other day, he picked me up a shirt. I'm pretty sure it says "Got Danish?" in Danish, but I can't be sure since my command of the language is non-existent. Regardless, I can't wait to put it on. Dad thinks red will be a good color on me.

We'll take a picture when I have the shirt on, and you guys can be the judge.

Hot chocolate on a stick - what's for breakfast

Hot chocolate on a stick makes for a
great breakfast (with a Wasa cracker).

I'm up early this morning (really?) and it's a weekend. Yup, no hot date for the kitchen wench last night. But that's not entirely true. Jason's Mom treated us to Pei-Wei and it was so yummy. We had sweet and sour chicken, white rice, vegetable fried rice (this is the best) and egg rolls. Their egg rolls are quite tasty. The right combination of salty, crispy and pork. Isn't it Emeril that says, "Pork fat rules!" I have to agree. Also, you must try their chili sauce. They must make it in house. It is fiery hot and just the right dipper for egg rolls vs. sweet and sour.

We watched Bill Maher on Jason's fancy large screen tv while we dined and it was very enjoyable, as it always is. One is lucky to have good friends, whom you can say anything to. It's a rare thing I think.

Anyways, I was spying my fruit bowl this morning, looking for a breakfast inspiration. It came in the form of hot chocolate on a stick from The Ticket Kitchen. It was in my Foodzie tasting box this month. This hot chocolate is great, and for me it is a cross between the Spanish Cola Cao and Abuelita's Mexican hot chocolate. If you have tried either of these, you will know what I mean. It is just delicious and perfect for breakfast. No funny aftertaste or fake chocolate taste here. It is not too sweet and I found that I was able to save half of the chocolate for breakfast #2.

Tomorrow, perhaps??

I'm having my hot chocolate this morning with Wasa crispbread (an odd combination I know) that was given to me yesterday by my brother Mike. He is a huge fan of this cracker type snack and buys them by the case at Amazon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Baked sweet potatoes

I'm a fan of the humble sweet potato. They are oh so good for you. I like to bake them in a 405 degree oven for 40 minutes. Just poke holes in them with a fork and drizzle them with a tiny amount of olive oil. When they come out, hit them with kosher salt.

The skin gets a bit browned; this is a very yummy way to eat sweet potatoes.

On both a sad (and happy) note, Jason informs me that Pei-Wei at 7th St./Glendale is open again - you will remember the shenanigans that took place recently with said "Sheriff Arpayaso." A lot of hard working nice folks lost their jobs, and their residence here in the U.S.

Grrrrr! The kitchen wench sympathizes with hard working kitchen people, hotel people, landscape people who come here from Mexico in search of work to feed their families.

Enough said.

Gelato Spot chocolate confuso shake

Lunch on the go means a chocolate confuso shake from
Gelato Spot for the kitchen wench.

I'm on the run today - so I'm having a liquid lunch. A yummy liquid lunch, that is.

At the Gelato Spot today I spied their "monthly menu" which had chocolate confuso. This gelato is confusing, but delicious. Imagine chocolate with hazelnuts and pistachios. Mmmm. These nuts are competing flavors in my mouth, but I like it.

Also I have the inside scoop that these guys are opening a pizzeria at their Downtown Scottsdale location. This summer is the expected opening. Stay tuned for details. I may be going to a ballgame with Lorenzo (their pizza chef) next week. I will try to get the inside scoop.

Sorry, couldn't resist that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Worthy causes - Radio Phoenix and Manos Sobre Manos Unidos

Occasionally the kitchen wench participates in worthy causes. Specifically, when an underdog is involved. Next week, Radio Phoenix is having a fundraiser at the Rhythm Room (3/31). This is an online radio station that is in the process of becoming a live FM radio station. It's application is pending approval with the FCC.

The event on 3/31 begins at 6:30 and there are some cool bands in the lineup.

Hope to see you there! Come out and support your new local independent radio station.

Also, there is a free citizenship workshop hosted by Manos Sobre Manos Unidos this Saturday 3/26 at 7252 S CENTRAL AVE PHOENIX AZ 85042 9:00 am-2:00 pm. This group has been teaching citizenship classes for over four years and is entirely volunteer-based. Many students of the classes have become U.S. citizens. If you enjoy teaching English/civics, come on down and help "la causa."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Foodzie tasting box

A bounty of yummies from

My March tasting box just arrived. I'm feeling like a 5 year old right now.

Laa-de-dah. : )

In my box are: aleppo chile pepper and sumac pepper salts, gogi berry & Himalayan sea salt dark chocolate bar, regular and dark chocolate cocomels (think caramels made with coconut milk), blue cheese fig savory shortbreads, kale chips (from The Health Foodie - in Tempe!) and hot chocolate on a stick.

Wow. And wow.

I think there is a bloody mary (or a michelada?) in my future very soon using the chile pepper salt.

I'm taking the cocomels and the shortbreads over to my brother today (in the spirit of sharing all things yummy) and I will make the hot chocolate tomorrow for breakfast.

You can get a tasting box from Foodzie every month for $19.99 and that includes shipping.

What a cool way to try yummy things. They also send you a coupon for free shipping for your first order, if you like any of the items in your tasting box, and need to order more.

Very convenient indeed!

Lollies from Tummy Earth

This is a lot of lollies.

Totally unexpected! A delivery from this morning as I was getting ready to go to the post office.

My cousin sent me a big (huge!) bag of organic lollies today from Yummy Earth. She said they are packed with vitamin C and she got hooked on them about a year ago.

I'm sucking on the mango version right now. It is delicious and tastes just like the fruit. Other flavors in my bag include grape, blueberry and sour apple tart.

Anyone feel like a lolly? I've got a bunch to share.

Thanks Dendil! (that's my cousin's nickname)

Get yours today at

Monday, March 21, 2011

Battle of the teas: chai, constant comment, green, orange blossom and plane jane

The kitchen wench's cornucopia of teas.

Jason gifted me a whole box (!) of Constant Comment tea tonight. I am like a big kid dancing around the room right now.

He introduced me to this tea when we were younger, I guess it's been 15 years or so. Wow, I feel old just now. At the time, we would drink it with milk and sugar. Then, for some reason I got away from drinking tea with milk. Now I'm back on the "milk kick" (but sans sugar - I seem to get enough from 2 X weekly doses of chamoyadas).

So I'm basking in the glow of a new box of tea!

I was thinking it would be cool to do a post about tea, since I drink at least a cup a day, and I enjoy different varieties. My favorites are Constant Comment (obviously), earl grey, and chai. In second place come jasmine and green tea, and then the plain black tea most of us grew up with (i.e. take the Nestea plunge).

I've gotten away from iced tea, although I drank a whole lot of it when I was a teenager. My theory is that my Mom wasn't so into the idea of us drinking too much Pepsi (although I think it was always in the fridge) and tea seemed healthier. Now the ice next to my teeth makes them sensitive so I mostly drink the plain stuff at room temp. Strange, I know. But I think in some countries it can be common to drink hot tea on a hot day (think New Zealand - a cuppa).

Did any of you see the movie The World's Fastest Indian? There's this scene when Anthony Hopkins character Burt Munro (from NZ) walks into a bar (I think it was in some desert town in California) and he orders "tea" - much to the chagrin of the waitress who says something to the effect like, "we've got beer, the hard stuff, soda and water." Somehow it sounded funnier when the bartender said it. Anyways, you've got to see this movie. The chemistry between Anthony Hopkins and the transvestite motel manager is very sappy.

I digress. As you can see, the kitchen wench enjoys the movies.

So you can see from the picture on this post, there is a variety of tea chez kitchen wench. In the picture you see the whole box (whoohoo!) that Jason gifted me tonight, alongside some tea bags which are chai, Constant Comment, green, orange blossom (not so great) and plane jane. Oh, and lemongrass tea, which is very nice if you have a cold or just need a warm up on a cold windy day (like today). The tin is a design of Orla Kiely, I am a big fan of this designer. She is super talented and makes cute prints for shirts, dresses, purses, luggage, etc. Just go to ebay and type in Orla Kiely and you will see examples of all of her stuff, it is quite fun and youthful. She uses natural fabrics like cotton, silk, wool and linen, which I admire.

I digressed again. So the tin is a special edition (I know that sounds snotty) Orla Kiely design for Bewley's tea in Ireland. Don't ask me how I decided that I needed this tin. I just knew it when I saw it. And every day when I go to make tea and open up my cupboard, it makes me smile. The colors and design are so cheerful. Enough said.

I've decided that I am a super taster which means I have tastebuds that need to be motivated by sweet, sour, spice, bitter and salty. That's why I like strong teas so much like the Constant Comment and chai. It also explains my love of chamoyadas, anisette, horchata, green olives with pimentos and sweet vermouth. There was an article about super tasters in the food section of, or maybe it was Just google it and you can learn more.

In the meantime, get yourself a cuppa.

Luke's, homemade pizza, ballgame @ Camelback Ranch

Thanks to my bro and Mum for saving me some. This is so good!

The view from a suite (la dee dah) at Camelback Ranch ballpark.

One of my chamber buds, Cesar, who was having
a great time at the game with his family.

My brother turned thirty (something) this week and proclaimed we should go to Luke's for lunch. Who was I to argue? We hadn't been in awhile and it is close to us both. Oh yeah...they also have great hot dogs and Italian beef sammies. Mike also had the onion rings which he enjoyed a lot. He opted for the sweet peppers on his sammie and said next time he would probably get the hot version. I was happy with my kosher hot dog with sport peppers and all of the fixins.

Yesterday I went to the ballgame courtesy of my friends at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Awesome seats! I'd never been to Camelback Ranch ballpark before, it is huge, well-organized and also sports lots of good eats. I saved what was in my wallet yesterday, however...because my Mum had made pizza the day before and I was promised a few slices, which I grabbed after the game. She makes a great pie, the crust is sort of focaccia like and she uses a homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella, olive oil, peppers, pepperoni, onions and olives. It is best reheated in a 350 degree oven (preheated) for 12 minutes. Folks, don't take the easy way out and microwave your pizza. Keep a crispy crust by using the oven. I had two pieces with a glass of Kalleske granache (thanks neighbor). It was delicious, as always.

The game was quite fun. One of my chamber buds met Tommy Lasorda and the guy was nice enough to take a picture with him and his family. That is what I call a neat baseball story. He was grinning like a 5 year old (you know who you are so I won't mention your name Cesar). Oops! For the love of the game.


Friday, March 18, 2011

On a hot day...find an Oasis (Oasis Raspados)!

Central Avenue looks better with a couple of
raspados on your dashboard.
Don't try this if you don't have a cup holder!!

I stopped today at Oasis Raspados to pick up a couple of drinks for friends (you know who you are) and I wanted to chat with the owner, but he wasn't in.

Gives me an excuse to go back...tomorrow?

The humble chamoyada is a food group, in the kitchen wench's opinion.

My favorite Oasis locations are:
19th Ave./Osborn
32nd St./McDowell

Also you can see the write up that the nice folks at Chow Bella gave them recently. Well deserved!

Lolo's chicken & waffles

The chicken at Lolo's is perfectly fried, juicy and crispy.
I'm tempted to have them dust my arm in the same coating,
fry it up and munch on it all day long.

Lolo's has great coffee.

I finally made it over to Lolo's today for breakfast. (They open for breakfast at 9:00 am.) I had been meaning to visit this place for over a year now. Today I was in Tempe (for car repair, thank you Jack) and on the way home through downtown Scottsdale it dawned on me that I needed a feed.

And there was Lolo's...

I couldn't resist. It's not every day the kitchen wench gets to have a "Betty Boop" plate for breakfast. Betty Boop is a fried chicken breast and a crispy golden waffle with syrup and butter. This is the best combination. Chicken and waffles. The waffles took care of my need for carbs and the chicken is going to give me the energy I need next feed.

These guys are really talented in the kitchen. So, the next time you need a feed, get over to Lolo's.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Elle mention - orangette blog and skillet pork chops

Tomorrow's lunch...or dinner.
These pork chops are delish.

Rosemary from a nearby forest. Not!
But it was free.
Orangette is one of the food blogs I read on a regular basis. I made her lemon ginger muffins awhile back and they were amazing. The aroma of ginger and lemon in my kitchen was incredible.

I digress...went into a ginger/lemon coma.

I like very much the layout of her blog, and her writing is excellent. She also has a book (you can learn more about it on her blog) and she had a mention in Elle magazine this month. That's pretty neat.

Tonight it is a bit of a hunting and gathering expedition. Gathering from the freezer - I'm making pork chops that my aunt gifted me (a whole package) from Costco. I sprinkle a bit of sugar (in the raw) on both sides, sear them and then cook them covered on low for about 5 mins on each side.
The gathering part comes from a little "garden" that lies between the complex where I live and an office building. I'm not sure whose rosemary this belongs to really, but I go and claim a handful once a week.

I mean, come on. It's free herbs.

For the sweet potatoes I slice them pretty thin and place them flat on a baking sheet at 405 degrees. Smother them in olive oil (and foraged rosemary if you can) and bake for 15 minutes. Then flip them over - yes I know this is time consuming - and cook them for another 10 minutes. Then hit them with kosher salt right when they come out of the oven. These don't always make it to my plate. They just go from the baking sheet to my mouth.

And those baked bits of rosemary are tasty too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Take a trip to Spain - eat at Iruña

Filet mignon at Iruña is an out of body experience.

Patatas bravas are their own food group. Order two.

Tortilla de patatas.

Jason approved of our dining experience.

Tonight I took a trip back to Spain with Jason. We dined at Iruña in Scottsdale.

¡Dios Mio!

You must go now, I mean ahora mismo, to Iruña.

We dined on patatas bravas (order two of these when you go), jamón serrano, tortilla de patatas, gazpacho, pan con tomate and finished with filet mignon.

I imbibed almost a whole pitcher of red wine sangria. In the spirit of full disclosure, Jason doesn't drink, and it was free (a coupon provided by the nice people at Aaron May's sister restaurant Overeasy).

We both had coffee (latte for Jason, capuccino for me) and shared an apple dessert that had caramel and a type of magdalena (muffin) with vanilla ice cream.

Spain on crack, basically.

The tapas menu, which we ate mostly from, is valid from 4:30-6:30 pm. Smaller plates, but you can try a lot more.

We talked to this nice couple who sat next to us on the patio. They had just been to Madrid (three weeks ago) so they knew what I was talking about when I asked for pacharán. That is the only thing missing at Iruña.

I guess it's time to make a new batch. Where do I get juniper berries? Someone recently told me I could hunt and gather them in Flagstaff for free. Free is good. The last time I ordered them from England (pricey) and then fermented them in anisette for 6 months. Quite a potent beverage, Pacharán casera (homemade pacharán).

I told Jason about the concept of the "aceituna de verguenza" i.e. the last olive on the plate being "the embarrassed one." In our case it was the last piece of filet mignon. He understood, and ate the last piece of steak. Quickly.

He's a good study!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Windsor opens April 1 - The Parlor

Turn in your used caseette tape - any artist will do -
and receive a $10 gift certificate towards dining at The Windsor.

I had a pizza at The Parlor on Camelback last night. This is not an ordinary pizza. It is artisan, with quality ingredients, baked right in front of your eyes, if you are fortunate to be sitting right in front of the pizza oven (we were). My pie had pepperoni, mozzarella and a light tomato sauce with torn basil. Willie's pizza had sage and crumbled sausage.

I now know where I want my wake to be.

At The Parlor.

The food is that good, and super fresh. I had a side salad with red leaf lettuce, a simple vinaigrette, grape tomatoes and cucumber. Then at the end we shared Zeppoli with a squash filling and it came with a creme fresh and some kind of chunky berry (lingonberry?) sauce.

The Parlor is well organized. The staff is friendly and well-informed about the menu. They have the coolest architecture (it used to be a hair salon) with high ceilings and concrete floors. It has a nice clean look.

I can't wait to go back.

And...mark your calendars. The LGO folks (Postino, Chelsea's Kitchen, etc.) are opening The Windsor restaurant at Central and Oregon on April 1. It will be a family-style restaurant with booths inside, a bar and a patio. They are still working on the menu, but we know it will be excellent, since they pretty much have this restaurant thing down.

You can see "the making of" The Windsor video here:

This news is very exciting for the neighborhood. And it is called The Windsor because it is located near Windsor Square, where ironically the kitchen wench spent part of her (my) formative years.

Right now you can also bring your used cassette tapes to Postino to receive a $10 gift certificate for dining at The Windsor. I got mine! The tapes are going to be used as artwork in the new restaurant. It will be interesting to see the finished product.

And...get yourself to The Parlor for an amazing pie. I asked about the ownership and it comes to us courtesy of the nice folks at Nello's pizzeria. No surprise! These are seasoned restaurant people. Get down there now. Right now!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ethan's 4th birthday party & tricolor pasta salad

Ethan's prima, scooping up candy from his piñata.

It took a few tries before the lucky string was pulled on the piñata.

Ethan's gifts!

Tricolor pasta salad.

Today I celebrated Ethan's 4th birthday party with his mom (thank you Monalisa for the invite) and her family. Monalisa is a very creative person and she had their home decked out in a Toy Story theme, complete with a Buzz Lightyear Spaceship piñata and a pin the tail on Buzz Lightyear game.

Monalisa's mom Rosie brought a delicious pasta salad to round out a yummy meal of hot dogs, chili, nachos, a 6 foot sub, cake and ice cream. Rosie was kind enough to share the recipe with us:

Tricolor pasta salad

1 lb tricolor pasta
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 16 oz can whole black olives
12 cherry tomatoes or 2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup Italian dressing
2 tbsp. parmesean cheese
1/2 cup broccoli florettes
black pepper to taste

Cook your pasta until it is al-dente. Then drain and add to a large bowl with diced onion, black olives and tomatoes. Add your dressing, cheese, broccoli and pepper and stir.

This a pretty easy pasta salad to make, economical and it is a crowd pleaser.

Ethan was happy because he pulled the lucky string on the piñata, and all of the candy fell, to the great delight of his primos.

¡Feliz cumple Ethan!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Times looking for a new food critic/blogger

Oh boy! Just found via Facebook that The Phoenix New Times is looking for a new food critic and blogger. Wow, how much fun would that be! I mean, I love to eat, bake and then write about it, so it could be a natural fit, for the kitchen wench...que no?

I'm a big fan of the mag, not just because of Chow Bella (their food blog) but because of it's no-nonsense approach to the news in our state.

So, if you are an aspiring food critic/blogger, send your details to them at:

Good luck, and I hope they choose me.

* * * * Tuck Shop * * * *

The Fish and Chips at Tuck Shop are big enough to share.

Order a rum and ginger ale, you won't be disappointed.

Los Hermanos de la cocina.
These guys make the magic happen.

Dates stuffed with chorizo from Schreiner's.
They are topped with cheese and melted before
coming to your table.

These guys have great food. Get down there now. Now!

I could leave it at that, honestly. But I won't since the kitchen wench is pithy like that.

Charles and I shared fish and chips that came with a kind of spicy chutney (the server told us what's in it and now I've forgotten) and a "secret sauce." The quality of the fish was very good and the breading is very crispy and minimal, like a tempura, and not oversalted. Delish!

Huck and Michelle shared a huge tender pork chop with a yummy gravy over some type of noodle casserole that was rich and homey tasting.

The most popular drink at the table was dark rum with ginger ale (homemade no less) which really has a kick. I had two. I might be paying for that a little bit today. Oh...but we did go back to Michelle and Huck's for wine. A red? The kitchen wench's memory is fuzzy this morning. And Michelle procured a dessert wine from Canada that went down easy. I remember some conversations we had about "good democrats" and Mickey Rourke's hands being like claws. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a huge (HUGE) fan of Mickey Rourke, especially since I saw The Wrestler. What a hunk!

I digress...

Ahhh, great friends + excellent food and drinks = an awesome mid week hanging out.

Can't wait to do it again!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

D'Lish Healthy On The Go

My sister Francesca suggested we have lunch at D'Lish today (next door to the Super Burrito in downtown Scottsdale). She is lucky that she lives in Scottsdale, where there are so many good dining experiences available!

We both had the kitchen sink salad, it was so yummy with quinoa, mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, celery, golden raisins (I love these), baby carrots with a balsamic vinaigrette. I added chicken for an extra $2.00. I also had a blended coffee (think frapuccino) with chocolate syrup that was just what the doctor ordered, and Fran had some type of day-glo yellow tea that looked really tasty.

These guys also do smoothies, shakes, sandwiches, wraps, rice bowls and burgers. And they sell coffee beans, if you have your own grinder like the kitchen wench does. I like that they have outside seating, since we have another month or so to be enjoying eating al fresco.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Like a good neighbor...

Zaca Mesa 2006 Syrah
Oh yeeeeeah!

No, this post is not about State Farm insurance (although I do use them for auto, home and business).

I'll be drinking a great bottle of wine, very soon, thanks to my neighbor Steve (who distributes such beverages).

According to this review, it should go down pretty easy.

Aunt Chilada's

The stools outside are hand painted with
cute designs. I couldn't resist.

The ladies restroom sign (the mens version says uncle chiladas).

Our guest speaker today was from Humana, and talked
about end of life issues and the benefits of having insurance.

Aunt Chilada's hosted our AZ Hispanic chamber buenos dias breakfast today. There were lots of yummy pastries and fresh brewed coffee. ¡Gracias, amigos!

I spied on their website just now that they have daily happy hour specials. A good reason to go! It also has a very pretty outside patio for bringing your friends or relatives from out of town.

Viaggio magazine and wanderlust

For $12 you can subscribe to this visually pleasing
mag, which will increase your feelings of wanderlust.

I've always had a bit of wanderlust. The desire to be somewhere else: Mexico, Europe, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, Florida, Oregon, California and lately... Texas.

I can't believe I'm actually putting that in writing. Texas. My Dad has always told me, if you want something to happen, put it out in the universe, i.e. tell someone. Well there. I've said it. Texas.

I've been told that Austin is the "San Francisco" of Texas and it might be a good fit for me. Now all I need is a benefactor to come up with moving money, and obtain clients there (and a business license).

Honestly, it will be awhile before I can make a move. Did I mention the real estate bubble?

As you know, I've been struggling lately with issues in this state (see previous Pei-Wei post). As a "native daughter" I've always felt akin to Arizona, except recently.


On a happier note, I just received my first copy of Viaggio magazine (thank you Mario Batali). I actually heard about the mag some months ago but I wasn't able to subscribe until recently. The magazine is for me and people like me: foodies who like to travel and, There are recipes and restaurant reviews. In the recent issue (spring 2011), there is a blurb about the MOMA museum's new counter space kitchen exhibit. I would sure like to see this. There is a picture of a kitchen from "modern America" circa 1950, complete with pop art food brands on the countertop (aka Kellogs, Dole). The exhibit goes through May 2, so there is still time to get down there for some good eats (NY, come on!) and check out the kitchen displays.

There's also an article about traveling through Torino (Italy) or rather, eating your way through their restaurants and pastry shops. I am gaining weight just thinking about that. But then, there would be a lot of walking involved, right? I mean, it is in Europe.

That's for me.

On a separate topic, have any of you been to FilmBar yet? It's an indie film house with...booze!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Immigration nonsense at Pei-Wei

I call total B.S. on this.

I'm so fed up with the hatred towards brown people in our state. Folks who come here from Mexico just want to make a living.

How come so many people don't get this?

And how many of us would take a job at Pei-Wei, anyways? Very few, I suspect.

The Phoenix New Times food blog Chow Bella did a nice piece on this, you can check it out at
I'm also borrowing the picture they posted in their blog (above).

Let's not mince words here: The Kitchen Wench is down with brown. Totally down. And let's get these nice kids who are fighting for the Dream Act the citizenship they need so they can work, and like, help our economy.

Some people haven't noticed we're in a recession and we could use the skills of these bright young people who are getting degreed or have already done so.

Thanks go out to people like Roberto Reveles of the AZ ACLU who fight for immigrants who are just in this country to work and raise their families. They are not here to rob others' identities. Unfortunately, we have a system that wants cheap labor (restaurants, hotels, farmers, landscaping businesses, etc) but we don't want to let the people who serve us stay here.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Arcadia Tavern - hangover burger

The hangover burger (minus the egg and cheese) is great
with sweet potato fries (today they were tater tots).

My auntie Char Char treated us to burgers today (and beers!) at Arcadia Tavern. A bud for her and a Dos Equis on tap for me.

She had a burger with bacon (without the blue cheese) and I had the hangover burger without the egg and cheese. It came well done with bacon and fried onions.

It was a meaty burger.

They have a special after 4:00, you can get a burger for half price. And there are other specials different days of the week.

So, get on down to Arcadia Tavern.

It's heating get to Gelato Spot!

It felt like it was 80 degrees yesterday. I put on a sleeveless dress with ruffles. It felt so good to have my arms bare.

I was invited to a Tricolor reception at Corona Ranch last night (Thanks Monalisa!) and I wanted to get something in my tummy before having a few Coronas (when in Rome). So...I stopped at Gelato Spot for a shake. One of their flavors this month is cherry chocolate gelato. I know, how good does that sound?

Usually I have a pocket coffee or strawberry shake. Don't usually depart from those flavors but yesterday I went for the flavor of the month. And I'm glad I did.

The chocolate gelato at Gelato Spot is amazing. Not too sweet and not too chocolaty. With the cherry added, there is just a hint of cherry and it is delicious. And it is a natural cherry taste, not that artificial chalky stuff.

What else would we expect from these guys?

You must go and try this flavor while it is still around.

Get down there now. Right now!!