Archive for April, 2011

Moo-Shu Wraps

Posted on Apr. 30th 2011 No Comments »

I took this recipe idea from www.101cookbooks.com and modified it after a trip to the local Chinese Cultural Center where I found Moo-Shu shells.  I modified it a little based on what I had on hand.

  • a generous dollop of creme fraiche, sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbls of goat cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups of arugula, spinach or kale
  • 2 Tbls of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • small splash of olive oil
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 Moo Shu Shell

Whisk the goat cheese and yogurt together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Now, take the arugula, rinse the leaves, pat them dry with a paper towel, and saute them with the sun dried tomatoes and garlic over medium-high heat in a small splash of oil until lightly sauted. Remove from pan and set aside.

Beat the egg and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Beat the egg really well, so it’s uniform in color.

In your smallest skillet, over medium heat, add a tiny splash of oil. Let it heat, then add the egg to the pan let it set for just 10-15 seconds. Place the Moo-Shu shell on top of the egg, the top of the egg should still be a bit runny, so it should attach itself to the Moo Shu shell as it sets. When you feel like the egg has set enough not to run, flip everything. Spread the arugula and yogurt mix over the top. Cook until it  is heated and the shell is nicely browned.

Fold the Moo Shu Shell in half, and cut in halves.

Serves 1.

Posted by poppa-d | in Arugula, Egg, Recipe

What going “local” really means

Posted on Apr. 27th 2011 1 Comment »

You’ve heard it before on this blog, and I’m sure you will hear it again: go local!

But what does going “local” really mean?

One of the easiest ways to describe going local is in terms  of purchasing products or services… locally.  So instead of purchasing your food from the grocery store, consider buying it from a local farmers market or a produce delivery service.

Why. might you ask?  Well, according to Local Harvest, “most produce in the US is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before being sold.”  So basically, your food is traveling a long while before it gets to the supermarket shelves and into your shopping cart.  Why not purchase straight from the farmer? This helps the envioronment by cutting down on fuel costs, and helps you get the freshest produce available. And, you know exactly where it is coming from.

And what about services and other goods, besides food? Purchasing from local stores rather than chains puts more money back into your local enconomy. According to an article by The Daily Cougar, “for every dollar spent at non-local chain stores, only 15 cents of that goes back into the community, compared to the 45 cents that gets put back into the local economy when that same dollar is spent on local products or at local vendors.”  It makes sense to put more of your hard-earned money back into the economy that directly affects you.

So next time you’re buying food from a supermarket or a good or service from a large corporation or chain, think again about what that purchase means for you and your local economy!

What do you purchase locally? Has there been a difference in quality from what you are  used to? Let us know in the comments!

Posted by Abby Gilmore | in Green Living

Grilled Garlic Artichokes

Posted on Apr. 24th 2011 No Comments »

  • 4 large artichokes
  • 2 lemon, quartered
  • 1-1/2 cups olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge into the water. Trip the tops from the artichokes, then cut in half lengthwise, and place halves into the bowl of lemon water to prevent them from turning brown.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, preheat an outdoor grill at medium-high heat.

Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain. Squeeze the remaining lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.

Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with a dip and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately with the remaining dip.

Serves: 4

Posted by poppa-d | in Artichoke, Garlic, Lemon, Recipe

Royal Tea

Posted on Apr. 19th 2011 No Comments »

Rose Tea at the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree, Arizona

With the William and Kate’s wedding coming up in less than two weeks, it is time to get yourself ready for the festivities.  Take a leisurely drive up to the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree, Arizona and do spend a delightful hour or two drinking tea and nibbling on scones.  The English Rose Tea Room is a piece of England tucked into the shops on Easy Street in Carefree.  The tea room is elegant, quaint and brimming with all things tea from vintage teapots to the shabby chic furniture.  A lovely menu featuring English fare and all the trimmings for tea are offered.  I chose the The Duchess of Bedford’s Afternoon Tea ($24.95) which comes served on a three tiered platter of decadence.  The bottom tier has crustless tea sandwiches, my favorite being the Smoked Salmon & Creme Cheese with Lemon.  The second tier features just baked vanilla scones and the best tier is the top which features adorable mini eclairs, lavender shortbread cookies and petit fours just to name a few delights.  Your tea choice (the Rose tea is heavenly) is steeped loose leaf in your very own vintage style tea pot.  A silver tea strainer is placed over your teacup to catch the leaves when you pour.  The mismatched teapots and tea cups really give you the feeling you have gone back in time 100 yrs and you find yourself longing to wear a big, fancy hat.  The English Rose Tea Room has thought of everything, so if you really do want to wear a hat, feel free to borrow one out of their hat chest. 

If you are looking for a Royal Wedding Viewing Party look no further than the English Rose Tea Room.  On Friday,  April 29th look for the English Double Decker bus that will be parked out front.  Inside the Tea Room you can watch the recorded wedding and enjoy an English Tea complete with scones and wedding cake. Formal attire is required so ladies pull out that wedding dress or favorite gown and tiara and for the men a suit and tie is perfect.  This is a once in a lifetime celebration so make sure to have advance reservations. William and Kate wedding souvenirs are available for purchase. $50.00 per person not including tax or gratuity.  Please call 480-488-4812 for reservations.

Posted by Caroline | in Restaurant Review

5 Ways to Help Your Community Go Green

Posted on Apr. 12th 2011 No Comments »

Going green is something you can do on your own, but it helps the environment even more when an entire community goes green.  Here are five ways you can help your community go green:

Go local.
Purchasing food, goods and services locally keeps resources and money flowing within the community.  Also, you get to know the people who are living and working within your community as well.  And better yet, you know exactly where the goods and/or services are coming from.

By participating in your community’s recycling program, you are helping the environment greatly.  And don’t only recycle at home – practice the same attitude at work. If your work building does not have a recycling program, get in touch with building management and see if you can help implement a recycling plan.

Volunteer. There are many green and eco-friendly programs in communities through schools and local groups.  Get involved with your child’s school or volunteer when you can.  I’m sure every local group can use a helping hand.

Educate others. Take the time to educate others in your community about the environment and ways they can help!  Sometimes it takes a push from a neighbor or a friend to make the commitment to going green.

Get involved with local politics. By educating yourself about the happenings with local politicians, you can make a difference. Whether you are protesting against an unwanted development or helping to influence politicians to make eco-conscious decisions, you can help your community be a better and greener place!

What was do you help out in your community?

Posted by Abby Gilmore | in Green Living

Roasted Corn Pudding in Squash

Posted on Apr. 10th 2011 No Comments »

If aniseed and scallions aren’t your thing, you might try do a version swapping in coconut milk and a bit of curry paste - and perhaps a cilantro drizzle?

Also, depending on the size of your squash you might have quite a bit of filling leftover - I ended up with double the amount I needed. I poured my leftovers into a buttered ramekin and baked that alongside the squash for a nice, light corn-flecked pudding. Or alternately, you might use a second squash.

  • 1 small (2 lb.) acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or more if you like)
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • a tiny pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup grated white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees with a rack in the middle.

Rub the orange flesh of the squash with the butter/oil. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. You will want it to sit flat (and not tip), if you are having trouble just level out the bottom using a knife. If the squash is tilting on the pan, the filling will run out - bad news. Cover the squash with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash starts to get tender.

In a bowl combine the milk, eggs, corn, anise seed, half of the scallions, nutmeg, and salt. Fill each of the squash bowls 3/4 full (see head notes about using leftovers). Carefully transfer the squash back to the oven without spilling (tricky!). Continue baking uncovered for another 30 - 50 minutes, or until the squash is fully cooked through, and the pudding has set. The amount of time it takes can vary wildly depending on the squash and oven. At the last minute sprinkle with cheese and finish with a flash under the broiler to brown the cheese. Keep and eye on things, you can go from melted cheese to burnt and inedible in a flash. Serve hot sprinkled with the remaining scallions.

Serves 4 - 6.

Source: www.101cookbooks.com

Posted by poppa-d | in Acorn Squash, Corn, Ingredients, Recipe, Scallion

The Art of Frozen Yogurt

Posted on Apr. 5th 2011 No Comments »

                                                                                                                          Sometimes it may seem a new Frozen Yogurt shop is opening up around the corner all over town, but only one brand has developed a sweet, cult-like following.  Yogurtology has broken the mold and coupled an impeccable, serenely vibrant interior and delicious frozen yogurt with taste that really delivers. 

Yogurtology has such a dedicated following that, even when things get chilly in Arizona, there is no shortage of patronage inside the bright, airy shop.  Upon arrival, you are greeted with a cheery hello and a friendly Yougurtologist will guide you while you create your very own froyo masterpiece.  Need an opportunity to sample before committing?  No problem, as you are offered the opportunity to sample away until you find your favorite flavor or combo.  Yogurtology offers daily flavors that are fat free, non-dairy and even some no sugar added options.  The best part is, whatever you choose, they are all low calorie!  Calories range between 78-179 for a four ounce serving, if you can defy the temptations of the topping bar. 

The flavors that Yogurtology have developed are incredible.  If the flavor signage reads Oatmeal Cookie, expect to be delighted when it tastes just like an Oatmeal Cookie.  The same is true for their Red Velvet, Lemon Meringue, Coconut and it goes on and on.  The all time customer favorite is Golden Cupcake Batter.  One taste and you will leave space for it in your roomy cup every time you come in.  Yogurtology pairs compatible flavors together in one machine so you can use the middle lever to swirl together a unique creation.  Chocolate Frosty swirled with Coconut becomes a delicious Mounds bar.   Root Beer and Classic Vanilla creates a refreshing Root Beer Float. 

Toppings are a delight to behold, and to cover your frozen yogurt with!  Feel like complementing your chosen flavors?  Add crushed graham cracker to your I Love NY Cheesecake or Coconut flakes to your Mounds combo swirl.  The toppings vary from the classic nut choices to the exotic like baklava or cream puffs.  Craving a jumbo pink marshmallow or dark chocolate Kit-Kats?  Yes, Yogurtology has that too!  The fruit options are always fresh, never from a can or frozen.  Top your creation off with a drizzle of chocolate syrup or the marshmallow crème that is cleverly disguised in a squeeze bottle labeled “Mayonnaise”.

Hard packs of your favorite flavors are available to keep your freezer stocked and your taste buds pleased at all times.  Yogurtology has become a regular gathering place because people find they leave happier and with a bounce in their step. Their friendly staff takes the time to chat and get to know you which is a rare find these days.  Yogurtology even welcomes Fidos with their Dogurt, Yogurtology’s frozen treat for your pooch.  The vision of Yogurtology extends beyond frozen yogurt and it has succeeded in creating a sense of community and a place to share with friends and loved ones.

Visit Yogurtology’s website for locations, coupon details, nutritional information and hours.  Yogurtology is also coming to Fashion Square soon!

Newest locations to visit:

Kierland Village Center (Next to Safeway) 6501 E. Greenway Pkwy #150 Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Scottsdale Store (Next to Safeway) 10749 N. Scottsdale Rd #103 Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Posted by Caroline | in Restaurant Review


Posted on Apr. 2nd 2011 No Comments »

Gazpacho soup is perfect for the summer months. Refreshingly cold on hot summer days, this adaptation of the classic Spanish cold tomato soup deliciously combines the best of summer vegetables.   Make sure you only use the freshest, highest quality organic vegetables for this soup.

  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced cucumbers
  • 3/4 cup peeled and diced red and green bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced plum tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cup Vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbls fresh lemon juice
  • Chopped Chives or Scallion tops for garnish

Combine all the ingredients, except the chives or scallion tops into a blender and puree it. Poor the soup into a container, cover tightly, and refrigerate until cold.

Serve in chilled bowls and garnish with the chopped chives or scallion tops

Serves: 8


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