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Saturday, April 30, 2011

McCafe shakes from McDonald's and zucchini muffins

I'm making these today. Having made similar versions in the
past, I am sure these will be good breakfast munching,
or just tasty snacks.

The "new" McCafe shake from you know who.
Is it really new or just pretty packaging?

This morning I was reading an Bill Maher interview in Rolling Stone magazine. Wow, he's such a genius. He makes me want to pay for cable, then on top of that, pay for HBO.

You can see his appearance on the David Letterman show here:

The kitchen wench has a new gig that starts on 5/9, so I may actually be able to afford HBO...soon! In the meantime, I'll be watching it on Jason's Samsung fancy dancy big screen tv. I have never seen a better picture on a tv. My 46" off brand tv is jealous.

There is an ad in the same issue of Rolling Stone magazine that boasts about the new McCafe shakes from McDonald's having a "new look and taste." Really? Is it a new shake recipe or is it repackaged in a smaller, cooler looking cup with some whipped cream on top? I'm thinking this is the case but I might not have the cojones to go and buy one myself to prove them wrong. I mean, I'd rather spend my soon to be hard earned $$ on a gelato shake from Gelato Spot or a chamoyada from Oasis Raspados. Just saying.

I guess reading Bill Maher got me going this morning. Feeling a little more snarky than usual.


Today I'll be making zucchini muffins for a potential mainsqueeze who mentioned he likes them a lot. In the meantime, the picture is borrowed from

  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the zucchini mixture and mix in. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in walnuts, raisins or cranberries if using.

2 Coat each muffin cup in your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick or a thin bamboo skewer to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 20 minutes.

Note, if you are including walnuts and dried fruit, you will likely have more batter than is needed for 12 muffins. I got about 14 muffins from this batch, and that included filling the muffin cups up as far as they could possibly go (above the surface of the muffin tin).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Krispy Kreme

I like the cow images at Krispy Kreme in downtown Phoenix -
for me it's the "cute" factor.

Breakfast today at Krispy Kreme.

This morning I was trying to remember where Lola Coffee was when I stumbled upon Krispy Kreme. It was fortuitous since my friend from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber was driving behind me and we were looking for a place to have a quick cup of coffee and chat.

As a rule I always choose an independent business, but in today's case I just could not remember which side of Central Avenue Lola's was on and I ended up doubling back, unable to find it. In the spirit of getting us off the road and to a place where we could actually talk to each other, we settled on Krispy Kreme.

And maybe I shouldn't say settled - we both enjoyed the .25 cent cup of coffee and a donut, and the grand total was less than three bucks, which is in the kitchen wench's budget.

So, when in downtown and you need a quick coffee, Krispy Kreme is not a bad place to be.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Urban Beans and Salon Embellish

Urban Beans has a very friendly patio that makes
you feel right at home.

Yummy pastries and tabbouleh/hummus plates await you
at Urban Beans. Coffee too!

It was nice to sit for awhile with a cool beverage
and enjoy my book.

Sometimes you are in between meetings (or errands) and you just need a place to crash for an hour and check your email (or catch up on reading) know what I mean. Today I found the perfect place to "hang my hat" - at Urban Beans just north of Osborn on 7th St. (west side).

They have yummy pastries, chocolate dipped strawberries and a hummus/tabbouleh plate. I also noticed their special today was a Caprese salad for $8. Sounds like a pretty good deal.

The inside is very urban feeling (hence the name of the place!) - the floors are concrete, which I really like. Outside there is a patio where you can hang (and there is wi-fi too) if you're not an a/c person (I'm not).

Urban Beans is hosting an event soon for the Greater Phoenix Chamber (on May 24 - 7:15 am) so if you are looking for new clients and want to check them out, this event might be your ticket.

Today I opted for an Arnold Palmer, they made me one with green/mint tea and lemonade. It was very refreshing. Urban Beans could become my go-to spot for a cup of java/pastry when I'm in the hood. It's dangerously close to my Mom's, and now that we have been "introduced," I have the perfect excuse to drop in, being nearby and all.

They are right around the corner from Salon Embellish, which I need to visit soon for some pampering (and get a hair cut, or two). Salon Embellish hosted our mixer tonight with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. I was very impressed with their facility; they do massage, hair, aesthetics (waxing/facials) and also sell jewelry. They have Aveda products which I like very much. And... they give a generous discount to AZHCC members (become a member now, the AZHCC can help you meet your bottom line)!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

See's - the mecca for Easter goodies, and Orange Table

The remains of the day - my yogurt parfait, that is...
and a very spicy bloody mary.

Get your Easter "on" at See's!

It is easy to get distracted by all of the offerings here at See's.

See's is the place to fill your Easter basket. There are chocolate bunnies, chocolate filled eggs, jelly beans, dark chocolate California Brittle in little bags and all other kinds of yummies you didn't know you needed (but you do).

I was in Tempe this morning to have my car looked at. Jack determined my compressor has seen better days (RIP) so we are looking for a solution to replace it so my little beetle will have cold air this summer. He understands the solution we want is a "mexicanada" - or a Mexican way of saying, we're going to fix this thing with bailing wire for cheap but it's going to be a good fix so what we do will hopefully last a long time.

Anyways, his shop is just down the way from See's in downtown Scottsdale, so I was able to do some Easter shopping. Got a Mayfair egg for my Mum, bro and not to forget my auntie (she's having us for dinner tomorrow so I needed a hostess gift). The Mayfair eggs have a cherry and pecan filling covered in dark chocolate - not a bad thing!

Afterwards I met my little sis and her bf Dominic for a light breakfast at Orange Table, also in Scottsdale. Great food here, I can't wait to try their hummus. Dominic enjoyed a grilled cheese sammy on olive bread. (I know!) I'm not a fan of cheese but on this bread I have to tell you it looked so good. And there were tomatoes on it, which looked very pretty peeking out. We all had iced tea which tasted like apricots and I dined on a yogurt parfait with bananas and granola with the best darn bloody mary I have ever tried. You have got to get one of their bloody marys at Orange Table. They make their own bloody mary mix. Yes! That means lots (Lots) of horseradish. I like! Fran munched on a very yummy looking sammie on toasted whole wheat that had all kinds of veggies poking out. The bread slices are very thick and I am wondering where they get their bread. Do they make it? Or, where does it come from - I must find out.

Happy Easter!

The Cider Mill Root Beer, Dark 'n' Spicy and Emergen-C

The Cider Mill root beer and Emergen-C (the pink stuff).

I was inspired to write today's post after reading another blog, The Bitten Word, which I have been following for about a year and a half now. They have some great recipes, among which recently include ideas for making a yummy brunch. But, the inspiring post was not mimosas or blueberry muffins, but rather a drink called Dark 'n' Spicy which you can find here
The drink includes black rum and ginger beer. And ice. How good does that sound?

Speaking of drinks, yesterday I was at AJ's Fine Foods and a nice man from The Cider Mill was there giving samples of their artisan root beer and cream soda. Both are great! I brought home a large bottle of root beer and I plan to serve it to my little brother next week on top of vanilla ice cream a la root beer float. I'm still working on the entree. Or, maybe we will make extra large ones and that will be the entree.

The Cider Mill also makes sandwiches and isn't far from one of my favorite places, Iruña. So, I'll need to go check it out, soon!

Recently my Dad was visiting and gifted me a box of Emergen-C, it's a powder (supplement) that you put in a glass of water. I'm not sure it's giving me more energy (yet) but it is helping me stay hydrated, I can tell you that. And it doesn't taste too bad :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cookies in Bloom has caramel apples

I was at Cookies in Bloom today quite unexpectedly. With the best of intentions, I went to Fresh & Easy to take advantage of their sale on canned veg and I also needed some earl grey tea. Well, Cookies and Bloom enticed me with a sign that said they had freshly made caramel apples. That was all I needed to know!

I picked up a "double chocolate" caramel apple for $7.50. It was among the many varieties they have right now including some apples with chocolate/nuts, with butterfinger/chocolate and just plain caramel. They are all wrapped pretty with a bow and would make a nice Easter basket stuffer.

Word has it that the Cookies in Bloom folks are moving closer to the kitchen wench. The new location is 3931 E. Indian School Road, but until then you can find them at 40th St./Camelback.

Between these guys and the new location of Bosa Donuts, I'm going to need to spend more time on the treadmill.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Italian butterhorns, plantain chips, cinnamon almond granola and ginger snapdragons

The great bounty from this month's Foodzie tasting box.

Italian butterhorns! I've got to make these.

My Foodzie tasting box arrived a few days ago and I haven't really given it proper attention.

Today I dove into the Italian butterhorns, these are a very light rolled cookie with cinnamon. It's one of the best cookies I have ever tasted, so I'm determined to make them one of these days. Here's a recipe I just found on the internet

Or, you might just want to order them from the Foodzie folks at, I'm thinking this would be convenient for gift giving, especially to my bro and sis-in-law who live in California.

Other items in my Foodzie box this month are ginger snapdragons - get them here, cinnamon almond granola from and finally plantain chips from these guys I haven't tried the snapdragons or the granola yet but if appearances mean anything, they will be delicious. I have munched a bit on the plantain chips (with a nut brown ale) and they are not too sweet, crispy and lightly salted. I would buy them or give them as a gift.

Foodzie is cool. You can look on their website and see where stuff is made near you so you don't have to order too far from home (if you don't want to). The tasting box is $19.99 each month and includes postage. It is a fun way to try stuff you might not buy for yourself, but you might start buying it after trying it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oakville Grocery - downtown Phx!

Photo borrowed from Phoenix Business Journal.

It is very very very exciting that Oakvile Grocery is opening in downtown Phoenix. Especially for me, because I'm a foodie. They will carry yummy cheeses and charcuterie (I hope I'm spelling that right), fine wines, made to order sandwiches, olives, cookies, crackers and just about anything else gourmet "ish" you can think of. I'm thinking fancy mustards too, which the kitchen wench appreciates.

Oakville Grocery is also cool because they are looking for local purveyors of food to fill their shelves. How neat is that. According to their website, info needs to be submitted to them by April 30. Here's the link if you have are talented foodie-wise and want to sell your wares there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Celebration time...come on!

The kitchen wench is celebrating a clean bill of health today (for her business that is). The State of AZ audits financial type businesses every so many years and this usually causes hyperventilation on behalf of management (me). Well I came through with flying colors. Phew!

So I'm celebrating today with a chamoyada with mango (what else would you expect?) from Oasis Raspados on 32nd St./McDowell. Also I was telling Jason about the successful audit and he said to celebrate we're going to Iruña (on his dime - or should that be...euro) next week. Patatas bravas, here we come.


I have a free dessert coming from Iruña too. Just join their e-club and you will start off with a free pitcher of Sangria.

Nothing wrong with that...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oatmeal cookies with cranberries

Make these and your kitchen will smell amazing.
Cranberries, oatmeal and brown sugar isn't a bad combination!

The dough comes together nicely in this recipe.

The kitchen wench is cooking with cranberries today. I needed something sweet to serve a visitor tomorrow. This recipe comes from the Ocean Spray cranberry bag, modified today slightly since Walgreens didn't have any chocolate chips. Apparently they are a seasonal item. (Whaa?)

Oatmeal cookies with cranberries

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups craisins
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Beat butter and brown sugar, add eggs and combine. Add dry ingredients (minus craisins and chocolate chips and combine). Once it all comes together you fold in your craisins and chocolate chips.

These bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. You will get about 3 dozen cookies.

After trying these I can tell you they are highly addictive, but not overly sweet...with a nice crumble. Make a batch today.

I plan to do a variation using walnuts. Will let you know how they turn out.

Happy baking!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chicken cacciatore with perciatelli a la Aunt Char

Tomorrow's lunch. Thank you Aunt Char!

My aunt called around 10:00 this morning and asked if I'd like to join her for lunch. She said she would be making chicken cacciatore with perciatelli. Would I? That is a totally loaded question.

Char makes the most delicious spaghetti sauce of anyone I've ever known. Her secret is salt pork, which some people do not like the idea of. For me, it makes total sense. Buy a small piece of it at the market and freeze it, then put it in your food processor until it resembles the size of peas. Put a couple of teaspoons of it in your red sauce the next time you make it, and you will understand.

It's an out of body experience.

We had some chicken drumettes from Sprouts, and she also served a romaine lettuce salad with a balsamic vinaigrette from Paul Newman. I like that he donates all of the proceeds from his salad dressings to charity. That is a cool thing.

Usually I eschew bottled dressings, but his balsamic vinaigrette is quite tasty. It sticks to the salad, which is not always the case with a standard vinaigrette.

I digress. The kitchen wench is sentimental when it comes to salad dressings, since I used to be a salad chef. In the spirit of full disclosure, this was a paid position...but, it was when I was around 10 years old. My Mom wanted me to feel empancipated in terms of receiving an allowance, so she gave me a job and "paid me for it." I was my family's salad chef.

My aunt and I also shared a bottle of Australian Syrah, but I can't tell you the name of it right now. It's one that you can find at most supermarkets and isn't over $7.00 a bottle.

We agreed that we need to eat in more often to save money. And that will allow us to have more wine with our meals. The kitchen wench is down with that!

French toast with apples and cranberries

What's for breakfast.

This is just a slight variation from a former post of french toast with apples. I cut up two apples (any kind will work), threw in a handful of dried cranberries and nuked it covered for 2 1/2 minutes. This is a great topper for french toast or pancakes. Or...waffles.

I might have to get a waffle iron soon. Rachael Ray has been making waffles lately in all forms. Sweet, savory (with bacon inside) and focaccia-style. OMG. Or, I could just take the lazy way out and go to Lolo's chicken & waffles or Overeasy. Ha.

I digress...On the cranberry bag there are many recipes - one I spotted is for white chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal and cranberries. A visitor is coming next week that I want to impress, and I've been told that serving something sweet and savory can soften a person. Anyways, I'm going to make these soon and post the picture/recipe so you can make them for yourself. Also I was just viewing Ocean Spray's website and they have recipes that use might want to check out, just click here.

This french toast recipe is the simplest (and perhaps laziest) one I know. I just cracked an egg in a bowl and sliced off 4 pieces from the demi baguette I was eating last night. Then I put two pinches of sugar in with the egg and dipped the bread in, without mixing it. Cook this in a medium high pan with butter - none of the fake stuff - and it will get nice and brown on both sides.

Lately I've been thinking about certain things in life - stresses and whatnot. I was talking to my Mom last night and she said, "You know Gwynne, in life we zig and zag, that's what we have to do to survive." I guess she's true. Moms always know stuff like this.

Happy breakfasting.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Candy Addict and Atlas Shrugged

The Candy Addict has these cool artisan truffles.
The kitchen wench couldn't resist taking home just a few.

They also have local products like Cerreta's candy,
specifically fudge. Yummy.

And, they have a big selection of foreign candies
like Curly Wurly, Malteasers and Crunchie. I'm in love.

Harkins Theatres gets the blame for my
hookey playing today. Valley Art is
the only Harkins location showing Atlas Shrugged.

A couple of months ago I emailed my Dad when I heard Atlas Shrugged had been turned into a movie. He has been reading Ayn Rand's work since he was a young man and admired her philosophy in life (objectivism=pursuit of one's happiness, respect for individual rights & capitalism). She led a pretty interesting life, apparently. She authored We The Living, which is her book that most resembles an autobiography. It's on my summer reading list. That means I'm going to be reading it soon, since it's going to be summer lickety split here in Phoenix (at least that is what the thermometer says).

Anyways, I was checking the Harkins website today (I do this once a week or so to see what's coming out, especially for foreign films) and lo and behold Atlas Shrugged was opening today. Whoohoo! I was able to make it to the first show and it was packed. By the time I got there it was almost 11:15 and just about every seat was full.

What recession?

It was a great flick, I highly recommend you go and see it. You can get details on the cast and story here:

Afterwards I spent some time on Mill Avenue (doing a bit of marketing for my day job). I stumbled on Candy Addict, which has the most amazing selection of commercial candy we all know and like (M&M's, Snickers, Kit Kat), and then they have a big section of foreign candies that you don't see unless you're abroad, which I think is kind of neat. Then they also carry fudge from Cerreta's (local stuff!) and some delicious looking artisan truffles.

If you have a sweet tooth, Candy Addict is the place for you. They also have a "cavity club" card that you get with your purchase. After 4 stamps ($5 purchase) you get 1/4 pound of candy free.
Danger! I fully understand why they call it Candy Addict.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Women's Financial Group - Wine Women & Worth

Annie Groth, author and motivational speaker shared
motivational tips to WFG last night. She has participated
in triathalons and is getting ready to bicycle from San Fran
to Los Angeles. Really!

If you look closely you will see the flower arrangements
on the tables included peeps. How cute is that?

The kitchen wench has been attending WFG meetings for the past year or so. I really like the format. Typically there is networking for the first half hour, then a motivational speaker comes on (and sometimes has a book for sale) and finally there is more time for networking (and eating).

One of my clients usually attends and introduces me around. Lately I have been inviting new people to the group and introducing them around as well. I figure, we all need to help each other out these days. Last night I was speaking to Stella from Uruguay and another nice realtor (who works for the competition) and they were talking about fees and how much it can cost to hang your 'shingle' at an office in that line of work. I had no idea. The kitchen wench likes to learn, and is humbled by this new information.

National Bank of AZ sponsors this group. They don't self-promote too much, so you don't feel like you have to be a customer at the bank to attend the meetings. I like that. They also really create a forum that is conducive to networking, there are lots of tables where you stand and munch on yummy eats (courtesy of WFG) like cut veggies, chocolate almonds, chicken salad croissant sandwiches and mini cupcakes. I know! And you get to choose from a selection of wines with your meal. The kitchen wench appreciates that. I mean, specifically for the medicinal qualities. Anti-oxidants and all (riiiiight!).

Our speaker last night was Annie Groth, she wrote "A Call to Action, What's Yours" and I took copious notes. Now I just need to parlay them into my actual life.

The decorations last night were so cute, they were done in an Easter theme, so there were peeps, jelly beans and blue M&M's. We were also given a small bag at meetings end to "fill up" and take home. I brought my sweet booty to my brother last night, whose eyes lit up and was pleased to get some Easter treats. Since WFG always gives a gift bag at the end of the meeting, I was able to give my Mom a pretty "see through" pink jewelery bag that was filled with gum (she's an ex smoker so she chews a lot), chapstick and a dark chocolate.

I'm keeping the card holder they gave away last night. Needed one. Thanks, WFG!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicken fried steak @ Hazelwood's bar

The special at Hazelwood's today was
chicken fried steak. Yummy!

My friend Lizzy who also volunteered recently at the Black & White Ball (AZ Hispanic Chamber) invited me to lunch today.

For joy!

In the spirit of not driving all over creation to find somewhere to eat, we chose to eat at Hazelwood's. It was smart, since it's right in front of where I live. About 500 feet. Very practical.

Especially practical if you enjoy trivia night and don't want to drive home after a few black and tans!

We both had the chicken fried steak (cube steak) with mashed potatoes. The whole mess was smothered in a cream gravy with buttered green beans on the side. All for $6.99. I think that's a steal. And I have half leftover for lunch tomorrow, which the frugal kitchen wench appreciates.

Hazelwoods also has pizza, amazing hot wings and tasty/crispy fried zucchini & mushrooms. It's a great spot to grab a bite and have a beer if you want to watch the game - they have lots of TVs inside and outside where there is an enclosed patio. Sometimes there is also live music!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bun Cumpleani Postino! (happy birthday, Postino!)

My Dad is a fan of Postino, so we try
to visit when he is in town.

Postino Celebrates it's 10 year anniversary this month. Happy Birthday, Postino!

They sent me a coupon for a free board of bruschetta (join their e-club to get one) and last night I was there with my Dad and my little sister. We had a combination of salami/pesto, fig/prosciutto and mozzarella/tomato. Then we dove into salads (a Barbara salad for me and I'm not sure what my little sister had but it looked yummy, with arugula I think) and my Dad had a glass of port and him and my sis had creme brulee. And I had an espresso.


The best way to celebrate a Postino!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Amarena shake at Gelato Spot

My Dad was visiting this weekend and approved
of our experience at Gelato Spot.

I found out today that Amarena is a type of cherry. At Gelato Spot you can get Amarena gelato. It is delicious and tastes like cherries, but is not too sweet.

If you're like the kitchen wench, you get it in shake form or you can enjoy other flavors like mango (my Dad had that today).

Rumor has it that their pizzeria in downtown Scottsdale is coming along nicely and that tile flooring was just installed. It won't be long now that we can go down there for a slice!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Los Dos Molinos on South Central Ave.

The facade of S. Central Los Dos Molinos.
(this picture borrowed from their website)

The kitchen wench had a proper date this week. Shocking, yes...I know.

It's someone I've known for a few years now so we're kind of friends already. That helped.

JP took me to Los Dos Molinos on S. Central Avenue. Sorry I don't have pictures. I was nervous enough already without whipping out my cell phone and taking pictures of the huge (and delicious) margaritas, my crispy chicken taco and side of yummy whole pintos. JP had the ribs which he said were great. The chips at Los Dos Molinos are fresh, huge and unsalted, which I like. The salsas are quite spicy (one red, one green).

I had forgotten that I visited their Springerville location back in October of 09 with my Dad when he was visiting from California. We hiked Mt. Balde and it was a very rainy day (and windy and snowy). On that visit I had a chicken tostada (you will notice a chicken trend with the kitchen wench) and Spanish rice.

I tried to do a property search of their S. Central location but since it isn't residential I couldn't find out when the building was purchased and how much it cost. JP told me that it was a house originally and they turned it into what it is now - a great restaurant.

Get yourself to Los Dos Molinos. Ahora. Ahora mismo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blueberry muffins and stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers a la kitchen wench.

Blueberry muffins required a trip to
Food City this morning (out of butter)!

I went to make a batch of blueberry muffins this morning and realized I was out of butter.


I went across the street to Circle K, but alas, they do not have butter. Whaa?

So a tripping it was to Food City, where they had bell peppers on sale 5/$1.00. This is a steal. I bought 3 and I should have bought all 5 (since I made extra stuffing). So I'll have to go back.
Since peppers were on sale, I decided to make stuffed peppers this morning along with the muffins. I mean, the oven is turned on anyways, right?

For the stuffing I put 1 1/2 bolillo rolls in a food processor and made them into breadcrumbs. Then I added 1 big handful of golden raisins (you can also use regular raisins, the black kind) and a half handful of whole black olives. I would have added a few more, but that's what I had. Then you toss the whole mess with a bit of salt, olive oil and red wine vinegar. After this is incorporated, you stuff your peppers and bake them in a pan with tall enough sides (a brownie pan would work well) since the peppers are tall and they need to be covered so they will steam. In the bottom of your pan, when you have the peppers in there already, add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup water. Bake at 375 for one hour until your peppers start to collapse.

My family has been making these for many years around Easter time. The smell of them baking in my kitchen brings back great family meal memories. They are a good substitute for a salad. When you cut them in half, they are very pretty (you sort of see a cross section of the stuffing). They have sweet and savory flavors. I like them at room temperature. You can eat them as a meal or as a snack. They go well with just about any meat - I would serve them with Italian sausage, baked chicken or steak. Or even fish would work.

The blueberry muffins turned out great, I used the recipe my Mom gave me from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook.
I added the zest of one lemon and put some zulka moreno sugar on top for added browning and yummy factors.

If you're going to turn on the oven anyways (and do it now since it's going to be hot hot hot in Phx soon), make two things at once.

Brought to you by the frugal and green kitchen wench.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

AZ Hispanic Chamber Black & White Ball

A neat ice sculpture at the afterparty at B&W Ball.

Lizzy, who has a manufacturing business, also
volunteered at the event.

Volunteering with Mona, a fellow member.

As a volunteer at the Black and White Ball last night, I was able to attend and dance at the afterparty, where Jaleo played Columbian music (and now my calves are killing me). Cigars, Bacardi and Doritos were served, not necessarily in that order.


133K was raised in scholarship money for Latino college students. ¡Arre! Now we just need to get the DREAM Act passed.

The AZ Grand is quite a grand resort - no pun intended. The kitchen wench was especially impressed at the Mexican saltillo brown tile throughout, something which I have always loved and wish for my own pad.

There isn't a picture of the meal, which I was told was very tasty. Volunteers were served sandwiches, cookies, chips and water, and that was very much appreciated. It is a good thing since we needed to keep our energy up. We did a lot of moving around last night (collecting money from generous folks which goes towards programs at the AZHCC).

Thanks go out to a fellow chamber member (you know who you are!) who took me out on the dance floor, and spun me around until I was dizzy. Or maybe I was dizzy from all of the Taco de ojo at the afterparty (present company included).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pork chops in tomato sauce

Pork chops in tomato sauce is a yummy dish.
You can enjoy with spaghetti or a demi baguette
(for sopping up sauce).

This is my favorite way to make pork chops. If you make two, you have leftovers for lunch or dinner (that's how the kitchen wench rolls).

You will need:
2 meaty pork chops (bone in)
a pinch of sugar
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
small can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Italian dry seasoning
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil

I like to brown the pork chops in a hot pan. First dust them with a pinch of sugar (this helps with browning) and then after they are brown on both sides I add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. In a separate pan I toast 3 cloves of diced garlic in olive oil until it is a bit browned (more flavor) and then it goes into the pan with your pork chops. Cook them covered on low for one hour.

This makes a great pork chop and also an amazing spaghetti sauce. Or you could eat a chop with extra sauce and sop it up with a demi baguette from La Brea bakery (At AJ's or Costco) - I am crazy about them and they also make amazing french toast.

Happy cooking.