honey-almond peach crisp

A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to make a trip down to Apple Annie’s Orchard in Willcox, AZ. I’ve been several times in the past to pick my own pumpkins in the fall, but I had always missed out on picking peaches from their orchard in the summertime. I was super excited to go!

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a salad in san diego

It’s hard to believe that one week ago, I was getting on a plane to San Diego.

OceanAny time I’ve ever been to SD, it’s so hard to leave. I always end up going in the summertime, which of course makes it that much more difficult to leave the cool sea breezes in exchange for the never-ending drudgery of 100+ degree temps back in Phoenix.

While the weather was a nice bonus, the main goal of my trip was to visit with my dad. It had been over 2 years since I’d seen him last, and it was so great to catch up. He’s halfway through his chemo treatments and doing relatively well, all things considered! He’s had a few minor setbacks but so far it hasn’t been anything he can’t handle.

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tomato + ricotta tart

I’ve never had much luck with growing flowers or plants. Anything that requires regular watering or tending to, just isn’t for me. I think if plants could meow like cats do, then I might be reminded to water them on a regular basis. Instead, I notice them shriveled up and wilted after a week without water and I feel really guilty about it. I had moderate success this spring with a hanging basket of strawberries, but I’m convinced that was a fluke!

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sparkling fruit sodas!

IMG_1375I’m sure what I’m about to say will shun me from a large part of society, but I’m not much of a coffee drinker. I can probably count the cups of coffee I’ve had in the past 6 years on one hand. Tea is okay, but I find it a bit bland. I know that water is the best and healthiest thing to drink to quench one’s thirst, but sometimes nothing beats a tall glass of fizzy soda (or pop/coke/soda pop; choose your nomenclature!).

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panzanella salad with crispy parmesan

The salad so nice, I made it twice! Twice in the same week, that is. It’s amazingly simple, and perfect for summertime when you don’t want to turn on the oven very often, and when a big bowl full of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and good crusty bread soaked in vinaigrette is all you’d want to eat.

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hot dog, we have a wiener! (sorry): short leash hot dogs has a new restaurant!

I apologize for that corny title, I really do. It’s all I could think of when I thought hot dogs. You understand, don’t you?

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photo courtesy of yelp.com

I have been a fan of Short Leash Hot Dogs ever since I tried their glorious hot dogs over a year and a half ago. All of their staff members, and especially owners Brad and Kat Moore, have always been amazingly friendly and truly genuine in their appreciation of their loyal customers. When word got out a few months back that they were finally going to be opening an honest-to-God restaurant in downtown Phoenix, I was damn excited! Well, last night was finally their big day — on National Hot Dog Day, no less!

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summertime fried egg sandwich

What do you think of when you think of summertime?

When we were kids, summers to me and my sisters meant going to California to visit our dad, stepmom and stepsister. They lived in the southern California desert at the time, so summer days there could reach temperatures of 110 and above, easy. Not the nicest weather, but we had fun anyway. Sometimes during the day, we’d get lucky and our stepmom would take us to the waterpark in town while our dad was working. We didn’t venture outside much during the day though. Most of the time, we’d run outside at sundown to play hide and seek in the dark, rollerblade in circles on their concrete driveway, and occasionally we’d all go to the movies.

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Happy 237th Birthday, America!

It’s the 4th of July, and what better way to celebrate than with food? Holidays + food = ‘Merica! If you need a salad to offset all the grilled meat you’re sure to ingest, this quick and tasty Brussels Sprout Salad with Radish + Feta should fit the bill nicely. It’s chock-full of fresh brussels sprouts, spicy radishes, crunchy pistachios, salty and creamy feta, and … Continue reading Happy 237th Birthday, America!

firecracker macarons!

Happy birthday, America! I made you some macarons. I hope you like them!

IMG_1121Is there any dessert more trying to a baker’s patience than the elusive French macaron? I’ve made them about 8 times in the past 3 years to varying degrees of success. This recipe comes from the always lovely Tartelette, a recipe that I’ve used a few times and decided to come back to for this 4th of July treat. I’ve tried other recipes, and while some of them have worked beautifully, others have been a sad disappointment. I find myself glued to the glass door of my oven while these little beauties are baking, holding my breath until I see the first signs of feet forming (“pieds“, if you want to be fancy, the little ruffly/bubbly edges at the bottom). The first time I made these and got feet to form, I literally jumped up and down in my kitchen, ┬áno joke.

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cherry vanilla popsicles

So. It’s been hot here lately.

Like, really hot. 108 degrees, hot. If there’s one thing you can count on in Phoenix in mid June, it’s relentless heat. Sadly, the calendar still thinks it’s springtime, but you wouldn’t know that if you stepped outside here on a random day at 3 PM!

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