AlcoHOLidays | Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival | Moonrise Reunion

Welcome, friends, to another installment of our AlcoHOLidays series, where we take a moment to raise our glass in celebration for a local or not so local holiday. This coming weekend (September 3o, in the States, September 29, in China) is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, or the Moon Cake Festival. Like many harvest festivals, it’s ruled by the moon phases, so the dates can shift each year but it’s usually some time in September (the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, to be specific). During this festival it’s traditional to spend time with friends and
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Tucson Culinary Festival 2012: Wine! Reserve Tasting, Grand Tasting

This year the Tucson Culinary Festival is divided into two different weekends in October 6 and 26. I’m not sure why but maybe because they want to spread out the good times. Or maybe because they want to shake things up a bit. First on the agenda is the wine. You know who you are — you worship all things grape and a good bottle of wine (or a case) is always within reach. Then the wine tasting event is for you and your friends and there are options. The Reserve Tasting gives guests a rare opportunity to taste boutique
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International Sake Day – Oct. 1 – RA Sushi, Tucson

Here’s an opportunity for hot sake lovers or people who are curious about sake. As for me, I like my sake chilled. from the press release Tucson, Ariz. (September 19, 2012) –  On October 1, 2012, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant is recognizing “Nihonshu no Hi” or International “Sake Day”, an informal holiday created to celebrate the popular Japanese spirit. Nothing pairs better with sushi than sake, and in honor of this special day RA is encouraging guests to explore this lesser known spirit! Enjoy hot sake for $1 all day at RA Sushi at La Encantada. International Sake Day’s origins are centered
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Nibble on This: Nora Ephron on Carbs

I’ve had this one in my tickle file for a couple months, now, ever since NPR re-ran an interview with Nora Ephron after her death in June from pneumonia, a complication of her leukemia. Screenwriter, Producer and Director, she’s had a hand in many of the movies that shaped my teens and twenties and, of course, served all three roles with the lovely Julie and Julia. From that 2006 interview on Fresh Air, this particular portion snagged me enough that I sat at my desk and did the old-fashioned play-pause-type-rewind routine just to get it all down: This is just
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Tucson Wine: CataVinos 5th Anniversary Party – Sept. 22

Congratulations to Yvonne Foucher, the owner of CataVinos Wine Shoppe in Midtown. Today she celebrates her 5th anniversary as a locally-owned wine store and wine tasting venue. It can’t be easy in this economy to compete with multiple big box chains selling wine. What makes the CataVinos experience unique is that Yvonne and her tasters sample every bottle of wine in the store so they know and appreciate the nuances of each sauvignon blanc and red varietal. Most bottles of wines cost $15 or less but some cost more especially, Arizona wines. What many people don’t know about Yvonne is
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AlcHOLidays | National Bluebird of Happiness Day | Pursuit of Happiness

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you say? Notice that it’s only the pursuit of happiness we’re guaranteed, not the finding or attainment. In the 1940 film The Blue Bird (starring Shirley Temple, speaking of drinks), the bird in question is given as a selfless gift, and then escapes. The moral being that the bluebird of happiness is always to be pursued, not captured. And from the 1934 song, be like I, hold your head up high, ’til you see a ray of light and cheer and so remember this, life is no abyss somewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness
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Tucson Restaurant Review: North Fattoria Italiana

Tucson Restaurant Review: North Fattoria Italiana The new version of NoRTH Restaurant at La Encantada is open for business. According to Chef Chris,  NoRTH has been open for 10 years. I was thinking 8 years. But apparently, it was time for a facelift. The Fattoria which means “farm” in Italian has a whole new look including young servers wearing plaid flannel shirts. Somehow it feels bigger and that’s because, according to our waiter, 30 percent of the seats have been removed so you no longer feel like sardines. Unfortunately, the noise level remains but a younger demographic than myself thrives
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ICC | Besan Ki Masala Roti

It’s mid-month and you might recall that that’s when I get to try out another authentic Indian dish and see how much I can avoid mucking it up with my American ways. In other words: it’s time for another Indian Cooking Challenge! This month’s recipe was very easy to incorporate into our weekly dinners, as it’s an Indian bread (roti), and we love our breads. This particular roti is “stuffed” with a masala (mixtures of spices) and cooked on a griddled. As an unleavened bread, it’s somewhere between a cracker and a biscuit, but very tasty nonetheless. It paired nicely with
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Tucson: Food Events, Restaurants News – September – part 2

September 19 – North Fattoria Italiana Opens NoRTH Restaurant (at La Encantada) has had a makeover and will transform into North Fattoria Italiana. It’s still a Fox Concepts restaurant owned by Tucson’s golden boy Sam Fox. Fattoria means farm in Italian. I’m not sure about that word if people don’t know what it means. Think rustic, made from scratch, fresh. Stay tuned for a review. September 20-23 – Tucson Greek Festival Opa! This is the biggest ever with an extra day featuring a Greek World Market, mouth-watering array of traditional Greek dishes like Souvlaki, Saganaki Flambé, Spanakopita, Baklava, and more,
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Arizona Restaurant Week – Sept 15-23

Arizona Restaurant Week – Sept 15-23 It’s that time of year again when we have emerged from our summer smother and are starting to look forward to the (Jewish) New Year, Autumnal Equinox (Sept 22) and Harvest Moon (Sept 29). Arizona restaurants awaken and ruffle their proverbial feathers visioning a profitable season ahead. Some restaurants have banded together under the Arizona Restaurant Week banner. During this special week, participating restaurants will offer $20, $30, or $40 pre-fixe specials in Phoenix, Tucson, and other parts of Arizona. This place caught my eye — Betty’s Nosh in Glendale, AZ – it has
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