Nibbles & Bites: Blueberry Dumplings

It’s (technically) Fall now, and that means various group pot-lucks or company get-togethers will be starting, soon. Maybe it’s school fundraisers or church socials, but at some point you’re going to be asked or expected to bring something yummy to share somewhere. Even if it’s not expected, this is a quickly put-together dish that will delight your office, your civic group or just your family one nip-in-the-air morning. Blueberry Dumplings serves 16 (or less–depends on how hungry they are!) 1 c boiling water 1 c brown sugar 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, divided 2 cans crescent roll dough (the
Read More

Sips & Shots: Sangria

A fruited wine beverage, Sangria has as many variations as it has makers. The downside, generally speaking, is that to make good Sangria you need time. Namely, time for the fruit to mix and meld with the other ingredients. But what if you want Sangria now, and you’ve got all the parts but you’d rather drink it tonight as opposed to tomorrow? Are you doomed to a passable but not spectacular bottled version? Is there a happy medium between 8-hours and a screw-top bottle? I think so. In fact, my theory is that you can “fake” the steeping period by
Read More

Tucson food festivals

Maybe because the nights are getting cooler but Tucson and So. Ariz. is a buzz with food Festivals. Here’s what is happening this weekend and for the next few weeks: Greek Festival – Sept 24 Opa! As I sit here writing this, I have a real craving for dolmades (i.e. stuffed grape leaves). Read more. SalsaFEST – Sept 25 and 26 Hop on the Salsa Trail and enjoy the salsa festivities in Safford, Ariz. Read more. Tucson Culinary Festival – October 1-4 Support the Tucson Originals efforts for four days of fabulous food and wine events starting with the margarita
Read More

Nibbles & Bites: Essence of India, Tallahassee, FL

This is actually one of our favorite local restaurants except for one thing: it’s almost never busy. Now, I know, you might think that’s a good thing but think about it: if a restaurant isn’t busy when you go at 7pm on a Friday night, it might not be there the next Friday night you want to stop by. Plus, being the only couple in a restaurant is like being the only person in a movie theatre: awkward. The waitstaff just stands there (a fair distance away, of course, it’s not like they’re hovering) until you need them again. But
Read More

Spinach recall in 12 states + Canada

In a nutshell: Tubby brand and Queen Victoria spinach recalled in multiple states. From Ippolito International press release distributed by FDA FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — September 18, 2009 – Ippolito International, LP of Salinas, California is voluntarily recalling 1,715 cartons of bunched spinach, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella
Read More

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Traditionally, my garden club has a carry-in for our first meeting of our new year which starts in September.   This year was no exception and we had an exceptional selection of salads and desserts.  This is not always the case.  One year we had at least three broccoli salads. One item in particular was a hit – the Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball, brought by Karen Baker – one of our newer members (it’s always good to get new blood into any organization :’).  This is served on chocolate chip graham crackers.  It makes for a very elegant presentation.  Here’s her
Read More

AZ: Kids eat free at Chipotle-next 4 Sundays

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it will roll out its new Kids Menu in Arizona following a successful test of the menu in Denver, the restaurant company’s hometown.  As part of the launch, all Arizona Chipotle locations, including those located in Tucson, will host free days on the following Sundays:  Sept. 20 and 27, and Oct. 4 and 11.  On these free days, Chipotle will give kids a free Kids Meal (typically $3.95) when parents purchase a burrito, full-size salad, burrito bowl (a burrito without the tortilla) or order of tacos.  All of the items on our Kids Menu feature naturally-raised
Read More

Sips & Shots: Why is the Rum Always Gone?

Because there are so many yummy ways to drink it! When flipping through the index of an extensive beverage reference it became quite apparent that I have many fond memories associated with rum, in one form or another: When I was just a child, about 4 or 5 I’d say, my Aunt Marie was a big fan of Pina Coladas. My grandmother’s living room was fitted with a well-stocked wet bar and, before she added the rum, my Aunt would pour off some of the sweet, pineapple-coconut smoothie into a mini parfait-style glass so I could be a part of
Read More

Movie: The Informant & High Fructose Corn Syrup

At last the movie, The Informant with Matt Damon can be viewed for public consumption opening in theatres on September 18. I read the book; it was immensely repetitive but still an exciting page turner. Mary Johnson who recommended the book actually went to school with Mark Whitaker, the real informant in the story. Mark Whitaker worked at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) where he was a whistleblower on price fixing…but like all good stories it’s not that simple. ADM is a corporation that makes billions of dollars from high fructose corn syrup, one of the prime ingredients that makes people
Read More

Tucson restaurant news-St. Pat, yappy hour, restaurant week

Tucson restaurant news Half Way to St. Patrick’s Day – 9/17 I guess you could say that Pastiche Modern Eatery really likes St. Patrick’s Day because on September 17, exactly six months to St. Pat’s Day, Pastiche will transform into Paddy`s Irish Pub for one day only. On Sept 18, the restaurant returns to its regularly scheduled menu. Erin Go Braugh! Yappy Hour and Book Signing – 9/18 You can have your happy hour and dogs will have their yappy hour at Loews Ventana Resort where Fido can sample a special canine cocktail and treats. Yappy hour starts at 5:30
Read More