Category Archives: Vacay Eats

Happy Anniversary (to me)

Apparently today is my three-year blog anniversary. I know this because it popped up in my trusty Google calendar.

What I also know is that I suck at being a blogger lately!  I’ve been busy…with life…things like:

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Buying new OPI colors: Fly (Nicki Minage collection) and Thanks A Windmillion

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Trying to squeeze my big feet into awesome 80s inspired shoes.

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Coveting new Le Creuset colors Indigo & Marsailles.

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Baking almost everything in the March Bon Appetit issue.

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Trying Sonic's new sweet potato tots - yum!

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Playing Scrabble...not really.

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Making mac n' cheese awesomeness.

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Celebrating turning 35 at POSH in Scottsdale, AZ.

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Rocking Thanksgiving w/ my first homeade rolls!

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Celebrating my fantastic city at the Calatrava Bridge opening.

See, I’ve been up to stuff…just haven’t been good at telling you all. Me sorries.

PHX – The Cocktails

It’s always a lotta’ cocktails and happy hours when I spend time in PHX.  Maybe you saw me post these to Facebook as we consumed, but if not, here’s a rundown:

David's homemade limoncello with prosecco and raspberries - the drink that greeted me at the door!

Watermelon martini and berry mojito at Stingray Sushi at the Biltmore.

Fresh grapefruit and vodka cocktail at The Vig.

Pomegranate cocktail at Beckett's Table.

Pink Bikini Martini at Hula's Modern Tiki Lounge.

Hmm, seeing them all together makes me realize I must have been going thru a pink theme!  lol

PHX – Postino Wine Cafe

Of course I always visit my FAVE PHX stomping ground, Postino’s, in the Arcadia area.  I cannot leave PHX without getting my mouth around their famous bruschetta…I literally crave it from the moment I book a flight and plan my trip.  Never mind their $5/glass happy hour wine list, which is great in and of itself, I MUST have their bruschetta!  This visit we also enjoyed the cheese board, which included a triple cream brie from France, it was amazingly smooth and creamy.  We have also indulged in the pub board in the past, which is another great option if you’re craving fresh baked pretzel bread, chorizo, mustard, Spanish corn nuts, and gherkins.

Normally we order 8 different kinds of bruschetta, 2 boards, but on this visit we only made it thru one board after we’d enjoyed the cheese board.

(top-btm) warm artichoke, tomato jam and goat cheese, BLT with burrata cheese, and smoked salmon with pesto.

I was surprised with some gifts from the boys, beautiful metal appetizer/dip bowls from Mark and David, and a book on container gardening from Ben and David.  And we had the most amazing strawberry cake from Tammie Coe Cakes – but I’m not giving them a link shout-out because Mark and David are mad at them, even though they make some great cakes!  lol  The boys always get me one for my Feb. b-day trip to PHX, and I have to say the strawberry is now my fave.  Happy 34th to me!

Their fondant technique is to drape it over the cake before smoothing, and this is fondant you CAN eat, it's actually really soft and creamy.

And when we were leaving, the rain had subsided and a beautiful rainbow came out over the LGO area – how fitting for me and the boys!  lol

PHX – Hula’s Modern Tiki Lounge

Me and the boys met up with Ben and David to do a little mid-century modern shopping at a few places in PHX – I just can’t escape it, I just have to pop into shops everywhere I go, you never know what they’ll have!  lol  I’ll have a separate post on that later.

We’d worked up an appetite, so Mark and David led us to Hula’s Modern Tiki Lounge for happy hour.  And what a great happy hour!  We gorged ourselves on pork tacos, fish cakes, coconut shrimp rolls, some of the best sweet potato and regular french fries I’ve had, AND lest we not forget cocktails!  Most of us ordered several rounds of their Pink Bikini Martini, Blood Orange Martini, and Avi was a fan of the Dr. Funk, which had rum, vodka, and banana liqueur with pineapple and orange juices.  It was a zinger!

All in all, pretty great happy hour prices, although their happy hour menu could be improved upon with a larger selection of apps.

PHX – Beckett’s Table

The boys had been singing the praises of Beckett’s Table for months, so it was certainly first on the list when I arrived.  And it did not disappoint!  Our waitress, Tracy, was amazing – and from the UK – loved her.  Justin Beckett even came out to our table to check on us…I’m still kicking myself for not taking a pic with him to add to my chef pic collection!

We started with the roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta, and the grilled cheese with roasted tomato soup.  Divine.  I’d already polished off 2 of the cheesy dinner rolls with sweet cream butter, but I didn’t care, I dove right in.  The pomegranate cocktails were going down like water, so everything was game.

Mark and David swore by the short ribs, which they had.  I knew I could score a bite of theirs, so I went for Tracy’s recommendation of the pork osso buco confit with butternut spaetzle and roasted veggies in a pepper reduction.  It was amazing.  I mean, when do you ever get to order spaetzle at a restaurant?  And one as hearty as a butternut squash variety?  The pepper reduction was both a tad spicy and slightly sweet.

Avi also went for the short ribs, but Ben had the chicken n dumplings with herbed saffron cream.  They weren’t a doughy dumpling, more like a polenta dumpling.  We all shared their salad special of the night of mixed mesclun and micro greens, topped with skewers of heads-on jumbo shrimp basted in an adobo sauce.  Avi’s sister Sherry and her daughter, Sheridan, were with us.  They are vegetarian, so we shared the grilled cheese, an order of brussel sprouts sans pancetta, and Sherry ordered the shrimp salad (shared the adobo shrimp with us), and the mac n cheese for Sheridan.  And I have to say that when I return, I will be ordering that mac n cheese as well – it was awesome!

Everything we had was extremely tasty, perfectly seasoned, and executed beautifully.  We rounded out the dinner with poached pear & blueberry cobbler with gingersnap streusel and homemade honey-vanilla ice cream, and the fig & pecan pie with cream cheese and citrus zest ice cream.  To die…to die!

If you’re ever in Phoenix, Beckett’s Table is certainly worth a visit!  So gather a group of friends and “come together”.

I’m in PHX!

So you know I’m excited, because I’m hanging with my boys Mark and David right now, and as an added bonus, Ben and David are here as well.  They’re combining a family trip during my time out here, so we’ll be hanging out and having some fun.

M&D have got some new restaurants to take me to, so you know I’ll be blogging about them soon.  And of course, we’ll be hitting up my all-time PHX fave on Saturday, Postino’s!  And I’m sure I’ll be making my annual trip to Trader Joe’s to stock-up and bring back – litterally, I bring an extra bag to check – so if you want something, text me!

I’ll have more to come, but in the meantime, I’m missing my baby:

Frankie, Queen of her Domain!

Paris: Macarons

Everyday, EVERY DAY I had some sort of combination like this:

This large macaron happened to be raspberry. In Paris it seemed I could put away croissants like Tic-Tacs!

Some sort of pastry, whether a croissant or something else flaky, sometimes with chocolate chips or jam.  And almost every day, a macaron.  NOT macaROONs like here in America, the sticky-sweet coconut concoctions, sometimes dipped in chocolate.  No, no.  These are French macarons.  They are 2 flavored meringue sides with a flavored filling in the middle…think Whoopie Pie, only very light and flaky, w/ a creamy, almost gel-like filling.  They are to die for.

And if you’re not foolin’ around, you get your macarons from La Durée in Paris.  And you give up some pretty Euros for them as well!  But they’re all worth it.  I had to limit myself to the 8 count box, but LOOK at how hard that was to do!

Rows and rows of multiple flavors of baby macarons...and the line was out the door.

OMG, it was sight and smell overload, not to mention all of the other lovely pastries and sweets they make.  I had to hightail it outta’ there w/ my 8 baby macarons before I would have had to take out a loan!

I enjoyed them in my hotel room later that evening after having gone to the Eiffel Tower…I thought it a fitting end to a Perfectly Paris day.  :)

Mine...ALL mine! (Okay, I did share w/ the hotel concierge...)

England: Street Signage

While staying in Sandwich, Kent with my family in September, I noticed some very interesting signage around the area.

For instance, a street sign I shot that would be a great print for my kitchen…

...it's just so fitting, will look nice in a contemporary 12"x12" black frame.

And the other, well, for my love of the 80s…

...where's KITT when you need her?

Paris: Nutella Crepe

OH-EM-GEE…I don’t even think I need to say much here other than it’s obvious I couldn’t pass up this food truck in Paris!

Just after the crepe is done cooking, they add the chocolate and begin the process of folding it over multiple times...

 

...and then they hand you this lovely cone of goodness. OMG, I can't explain!

Paris: food stuffs

Just down and around the corner from my hotel in Paris was an O&CO. store – their own store!  :)   If you’re not familiar with their products, they specialize in olive oils and speciality foods from the Mediterranean.  I’m familiar with several of their oils thru working at Sur La Table, so I’m a fan.

Artichoke & Apricot w/ Honey and Tomato & Lemon with Almonds - YUM!

Which meant when I walked past the store, I certainly had to go in!  I hauled these lil’ gems home with me – which I haven’t seen in the states.  Even better, the jars are in French and English.  They’re too cute, and will soon grace some bruschetta in the near future!

I also stopped by the cutest patisserie that had the most fabulous pasta salads, salami, and cured prosciutto, all of which I couldn’t bring back.  But I grabbed this tiny jar of Pistachio Creme – and at 8.5 euros, it better be good!  lol

I just love the color, such an intense green.