Blog Category Archives

Happy Valentine’s Day

You may recall that in October (the 23rd to be exact), I went to The Mayo Clinic for my yearly physical.  While I had been watching my LDL cholesterol levels rise over the last 5 years, it wasn’t until my coronary calcium test revealed calcium build up in my arteries that I made a radical switch to a whole-food-plant-based (WFPB) diet as an alternative to …

Banza Chickpea Pasta

I was recently approached by a company called Banza to test their pasta product.  The timing was fortuitous, as it coincided with the start of what I call Operation Lower Cholesterol.  Other than free product, I have not been compensated for this post.  All opinions are of my own, and I happen to love this product!  Banza pasta is made from chickpeas, and contains twice …

Top Culinary Trends 2019

I get asked often regarding trends I see in the restaurant industry, so I felt this topic may be relevant for the start of a new year.  As a reference, I looked to the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” survey, an annual survey that asks chefs to identify food and beverage trends for the coming year. The following is a preview of the culinary themes …

Winter Wrap Up

I have been so busy this fall and winter, but still made time in between cheering kids on at swim meets both in Texas and in AZ to experience some interesting eats.  I have grouped them together to give you a snapshot of the last two months. As always, feel free to add a comment or message me with any questions, or ideas for places …

La Villa Bonita

I soaked the walnuts in milk and spent the next hour carefully peeling them, all the meanwhile thinking, “do people really go through this much trouble to make a sauce?”  It was the moment I came to appreciate the intensity and work spent on preparing traditional sauces.  But I was not at a fancy French cooking school: I was in Cuernavaca, Mexico, at a week-long cooking …

A New Perspective

I have to admit that I am surprised by very little these days.  But my recent physical at Mayo Clinic left me stunned.  My coronary calcium test showed a buildup of calcium in my left coronary artery, indicating that I am 98% more likely than women my age to experience a heart attack or stroke in the future.  While I have been presenting moderately high cholesterol levels for …

Farewell to Cowboy Ciao

The dining scene in the Valley has experienced a major loss.  By now, many of you have read the October 15 announcement that Cowboy Ciao would no longer open its doors to the public.  On their Facebook page, it was posted: Unfortunately, an end of an era has come upon us.  Tonight is the last night Cowboy Ciao will be open.  Thank you to all …

Outstanding In The Field

I have long admired the Instagram account of Outstanding In The Field (@out_inthefield) depicting photos of expansive tables arranged in fields, tables so long they stretch into the horizon, winding through fields and vineyards.  Intrigued, I signed up on their website to be alerted for events in Phoenix, purchasing two tickets for me and Hubby when I saw that they were coming to Mesa this …

About Town: Fair Fare

I am a sucker for fairs and festivals, whether it’s the Luling Watermelon Thump or the Navajo County Fair.  Think about the innovations that were developed for fairs: the Eiffel Tower, the Ferris wheel, and fried Twinkies.  Where would we be without them?  Speaking of, our very own Arizona Exposition and State Fair is in full swing at the Arizona State Fairgrounds where it will …

About Town: New Pastry Chef at ZuZu, Food & Wine Pairings at Hearth ’61, and RA Sushi turns 21

September “Show Stopper” Shake at Zuzu in the Hotel Valley Ho Since December, I have photographed 9 out of 10 monthly “Show Stopper” shakes at ZuZu in the wonderfully retro Hotel Valley Ho.  Not a bad record, but my hips are showing the telltale signs.  Therefore, this month, before heading out to photograph the September shake, I hiked Piestewa Peak in the cool hours of …