last-minute christmas treats!

Christmas is just a few days away! Are you ready?

There are some people who finish their holiday shopping by August. They’re the super planners, the people who make copious to-do lists, whose vocabulary doesn’t include the word “procrastinate”.

Then there’s another sort of person. One of those people who waits til Christmas Eve to finish their shopping. Someone who ends up rushing around at the eleventh hour in search of the perfect gift, only to be met with empty shelves at the store. Yep, I’m talking to you! What if you could quickly create the perfect gift that your friends and loved ones would absolutely adore? Good news! I’m here to save the day.

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roasted pistachio ice cream

Several weeks back, Local First Arizona hosted their 4th annual Fall Fest in downtown Phoenix.  It was a wonderful day filled with local food vendors and craftspeople from around the valley. My friend Dusty joined me, and together we got to sample lots of great local food and check out plenty of other awesomeness (like some amazing handmade, vegan and organic soap from Strawberry Hedgehog!). One of the food samples that stood out to me was the pistachio gelato from Grateful Spoon. Up until then, the only pistachio ice cream of any type I’d ever had was the passable version from Ben & Jerry’s. Grateful Spoon’s gelato was thick and rich, with none of the overabundance of almond flavoring so often added to pistachio products. It was chock full of little bits of roasted pistachios, so their flavor was front and center. I knew after I tasted it that I wanted to make my own at home!

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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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