State Forty Eight

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I have seen these shirts around the Valley. A few guys created this apparel line to represent their passion for Arizona. State Forty Eight represents a lifestyle, a sense of community and is an expression of pride. I love the logo and picked up a shirt while I was visiting Chandler Public Library. They are pretty stylish and comfortable and make me proud of the state I grew up in. The have shirts, stickers, wallets and hats.

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Zoodles With Lemon Parsley Pesto, Tomatoes, And Shrimp

* – from Natural Grocers

INGREDIENTS

1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped Natural Grocers Brand Bulk Walnuts
1 bunch organic Italian parsley
2 teaspoons organic lemon zest from one medium organic lemon)
2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons Natural Grocers Brand Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 (16-ounce) package frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 medium organic zucchini, spiralized
1⁄2 pint organic grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

DIRECTIONS

For the pesto

  1. Toast the walnuts over medium-low heat in a large sauté pan for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and wipe the pan clean.
  2. Remove parsley leaves from the stems and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Discard stems. Pulse until the parsley is well chopped. Add the toasted walnuts, lemon zest, and salt and process until the mixture is uniform, scraping down the sides as necessary. With the machine running, slowly add the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Set pesto aside.

For the shrimp and zoodles

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and remove tails if desired.
  2. Heat the large sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, flipping shrimp about halfway through cooking time, until the shrimp are pink and curled, 4-6 minutes total.
  3. Add the zoodles and cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Add the pesto and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and give the mixture one more stir to fully coat the veggies and shrimp with the pesto. Serve immediately.

Note: If your pan is not large enough to hold all of the shrimp and zoodles at the same time, remove the cooked shrimp from the pan before adding the zoodles. Cook the zoodles for two minutes, stirring frequently. Combine the cooked zoodles, reserved shrimp, pesto, and tomatoes in a large serving bowl and stir to evenly coat the veggies and shrimp with the pesto.

Mowry & Cotton

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Tonight was fancy night at Mowry & Cotton. I met up with my long time foodie friends Andrea and Merichelle in a sort of reunion night. Mowry & Cotton opened up at The Phoenician in 2007. I was able to attend a fun Yelp event here last year. It is named after two businessmen (George Mowry and James Cotton) who came to Phoenix in 1872 and opened the first fine liquor establishment in downtown Phoenix. They were trying to create more of a community feel instead of the typical saloons that were around. Chef Tandy Peterson has created a nice rustic menu of comfort food that pays homage to meals that were cooked over a fire back then. The concept here is a shared dinner menu that you mix and match with the people at your table. They have several choices of meat and fish to choose from like salmon, sea bass, steak and ribeye. They also have a variety of popular flatbreads (thin pizzas). Other choices are salads, vegetables and appetizers. They have several cocktails to choose from like their signature Washington & 1st drink (named after Mowry & Cotton’s distillery location in downtown Phoenix). They are also open for breakfast and serve brunch on the weekends. The staff wears button down shirts, suspenders and leather boots to reflect the times. For decor, there are old distillery bottle all around the restaurant that plays off the lighting that comes in to create an ambiance feel of the Old West.

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The Phoenician

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Mowry & Cotton

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Mowry & Cotton has been running a special Summer Culinary Countdown menu that includes a Bottle and Board for $25. It comes with a choice of a bottle of wine and a flatbread. We tried the Roasted Squash Flatbread and the A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris bottle of wine. For dinner, I ordered the Grilled Pheasant. It was tender and smokey and comes with lots of fixings like almonds, onions, broccolini and cherries. Others at my tabled ordered the Chicken Pot Pie, the Corn and Chorizo Dip (with Chicharrones!) and Grilled Potatoes. We enjoyed trying one another’s food over good conversation. This is a great new addition to The Phoenician. The rest of the evening was spent in The Phoenician Cactus Garden and enjoying the beautiful views of Phoenix from the lounge area.

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A to Z Pinot Gris

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Roasted Squash Flatbread

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Corn & Chorizo Dip

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Chicken Pot Pie

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Grilled Pheasant

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Mowry & Cotton Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sazerac PHX

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Sazerac PHX is a really cool cocktail/cigar bar. Growing up as a Phoenix native, I always enjoy seeing owners come in and resurrect some of these old buildings. This one was designed with a 30’s speakeasy vibe to it with a cool dim-lighted interior and an outdoor patio area. Inside is a beautiful long red oak bar and an old school black piano for live music. Outside is spacious and has a vacancy sign that came from Sheriff Joe’s old tent city days. They serve craft cocktails and craft beer and have friendly helpful bartenders. My first visit here was a Mezcal tasting they were hosting after a showing of a Mezcal documentary over at FilmBar. Some popular drinks include Trade Secrets, Side Bar, Milli Vanilli and their house Sazerac. I ordered the Smokin’ Berries to keep with the Mezcal theme and enjoyed the smoky liquor with the blackberries. This is a great place if you really want a relaxing evening with a nice cocktail and some live music.

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Smokin’ Berries

 

Pasta with Sausage, Kale and White Beans

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America’s Test Kitchen 

INGREDIENTS 

Servings: 4
Start to finish: 1 hour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) orecchiette
12 ounces kale, stemmed and chopped
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
Salt and pepper

 

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DIRECTIONS

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and cook, breaking meat into 1/2-inch pieces, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in onion and beans and cook until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in broth and water, increase heat to high, and bring to boil. Stir in pasta and half of kale. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer vigorously for 4 minutes. Place remaining kale in pot without stirring, cover, and cook until kale is just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir to incorporate kale and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender, 3 to 6 minutes.

Off heat, stir in Pecorino and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve, passing extra Pecorino separately.

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Topo

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The newest edition to downtown Gilbert is nicely squeezed in between Bergie’s Coffee and Joe’s Real BBQ. Topo is a small walk-up food stall with a huge gopher on the roof (Topo means gopher or mole in Spanish). Leave it to owner Joe Johnston to add a little something fun, unique but weird to the growing downtown Gilbert area. This place draws you in like many of the weird roadside attractions do if you were driving on the Route 66 in northern AZ. What I like most is its very simple menu – burrito, beverage and ice cream. What else do you need in life? You can order a regular burrito (chicken or pork) or have it loco style with elote corn, fritos chips, tomatillo cream and hot sauce. They offer a small bowl of elote for a side. For dessert, they have vanilla or prickly pear ice cream cones that you can dip in chocolate, lime or prickly pear. That’s it – very quick and simple. I came on opening day and it took about 15 min waiting in line to order my food (I’m sure that will decrease over time). Food came out in a few minutes. Joe Johnston greeted people in line and offered us gopher stickers. The kitchen space is small and systems-based. I noticed they weigh every burrito that is made before they serve them. There are a few tables off to the side, but most people use the larger picnic tables next to Joe’s BBQ. This place is unique and fun and opens late. They should get quite a good crowd that just want a quick bite to eat.

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Joe Johnston greets guests on opening day

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Topo Loco

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Elote

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Lime Dipped Pickly Pear Ice Cream

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Prickly Pear Dipped Vanilla Ice Cream

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Topo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato