Garlic Sauce from Claudine’s Kitchen

garlicIt feels good to be back in Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ market.  I’m sure that any vendor would agree, you never know what to expect regardless of what previous year’s numbers tell you. Every week, through the season I’ll highlight something special from the market to help people understand just how special our market is to shop.

I can’t think of something more delicious and actually super healthy to talk about than Richard’s garlic sauce from Claudine’s Kitchen.  Claudine and Richard create the most delicious Lebanese foods which you can pick up in the market as well as AJ’s Fine Foods Stores. However, you can’t pick up Richards’s garlic sauce since it’s not sold in stores yet.  You have to know to ask for it. This sauce is so delicate in texture but packed full of flavor.  I’m not sure how they do it, but it’s whipped to the point that it looks like sour cream but it’s only garlic, lemon and oil. I love smoother this sauce over one of Richard’s chicken wraps which you can also get in the market if you’re lucky enough to get one before they sell out. I’ve also used this with lamb or as a dipping sauce for french fries. If you’re not afraid of some flavor, this one is worth stocking up on as well as their other amazing foods that are a staple in our house.

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Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market Opens This Weekend!!

DSC_0769 2I’m so excited to be back in the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market for the season which begins this Saturday from 8:00am – 1:00pm(although I look sorta pissed in the picture). Every year there are new and exciting products entering the market so I’m also looking forward to seeing what’s new and reconnecting with my old favorites.  Mc Clendon’s  Select Farm will also be back with fresh, organic produce.  If you can’t make it to the market, check us out on-line as well in any of the AJ’s Fine Food Stores around the valley and in Tucson.

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Just Pack It!

pack itWhether or not my husband is nice to me, I pack his lunches for work just about everyday.  This simple idea really is a life saver.  I also like to do this sort of thing on road trips as well.  Though healthy food options are becoming more available in some areas, it can be very expensive and not always that delicious. This is simple greens, red onion, roasted chickpeas and our spicy dressing on the side.  I also like to throw in raw nuts, fruit and simple grilled chicken to mix in with my salad. Only takes a few extra minutes but worth the time.

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Marinated Steak with our Spicy Dressing

DSC_07621We don’t eat a lot of meat in our house but when we do – I like to do it right.  Wether it’s hold or cold outside – this recipe is delicious and worth trying…..Oh – and I should mention simple.

Ingredients:
-Steak of your choice, for this recipe I used top sirloin. * Can substitute with chicken or pork.
- 1/2 cup of Little Rosie’s Filipino or Spicy Filipino Dressing
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon

Method:
Wrap steak in Saran Wrap and freeze for approximately 2 hours. *This makes the steak firm and easier to slice.
- Slice thinly across grain
- Combine steak with dressing, garlic and refrigerate overnight in a ziplock bag.
- Using a grill pan coated with cooking spray, grill steak and garlic turning over one time to char both sides. * I like to grill the garlic first for about 5 minutes before adding steak since it takes a little bit longer to cook.

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Ollie Vaughn’s Kitchen and Bakery

meOvs-LL-Outdoor-space15me 2We decided to wrap up the unofficial end to summer by staying in town and just going with the flow.  Though we’ve lived here for three years now, there’s always new things to discover.  Yesterday we stumbled across Ollie Vaughn’s Kitchen and Bakery located on McDowell and 16th Street.  Ricotta pancakes, croissants, cookies, breakfast sandwich with gruyere and bacon – we tried as much as we could we were so excited.  Beautiful setting, delicious food and will definitely be back.

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Tarbell’s Tavern

tavern
Last weekend my husband and I dropped by Tarbell’s Tavern which is an extension of the upscale and delicious restaurant  Tarbell’s at 32nd St and Camelback in Phoenix.  Since we don’t go out routinely this was a little date for us to grab a good glass of wine and some appetizers.  I’m very finicky about what I eat but was pleasantly surprised with the appetizers we had for our meal: heirloom tomato salad with herb dressing, crispy chickpeas with parmesan and fresh baked kale chips.  I’m not purist so I eat just about anything, however I love vegetables a lot so this really pleased me.  Cheers to new healthy and tasty offerings at restaurants near and far – we all deserve it.

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Sexy, Cool, Cucumber Salad

Cucumber-Salad-1024x680Mouth watering yet?…….I threw the ‘sexy’ in to get some attention for my recipes.  During the summers here in Arizona when lettuce is not quite so fresh, I like this as a side salad or snack.  You can make this a day in advance and keep  2-3 days in fridge as long as dressed well and covered.  Use our dressings OR your other favorite dressings.  I like to share recipes that compliment our products but can be adapted to others as well to keep variety in eating.

2 cucumbers sliced thinly, 1/4 cup green onions and 1/4 of Little Rosie’s Dressings – Spicy or Original taste equally delicious.  Mix-it-up and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

 

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Essence Bakery Phoenix

macaroonI suck at baking and my husband say it’s because I can’t follow directions…..So naturally I’m excited to discover delicious places that do baked goods right.   Last weekend we dropped by Essence Bakery on Indian School Rd.  It’s a very cute place with beautiful baked goods as well as a hearty breakfast and lunch menu.  We weren’t hungry but we did pick up a sticky bun and some macaroons.  I didn’t taste the sticky bun since my husband scarfed it down too quickly but I did enjoy my mini macaroons; chocolate mint, almond, raspberry and chocolate…… Hands down – the best place for macaroons in the valley.

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Summertime, Summertime…

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{In New York  on  a mini vacation admiring florals in my florals}

After finishing the farm market season and busy season for grocery stores in June, I made a conscious effort to extend out any leisurely activities a bit longer than I usually allow myself.  I’ve relished in the simple things on the weekends with my husband; morning juice & paper, hiking and hanging out by the pool with my favorite magazines.  I’ve also continued to play around in the kitchen trying to figure out new and useful recipes with and without our dressings.  I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things by joining our friends down in Tucson this Saturday at AJ’s Fine Foods from 11:00am – 2:00pm where there will also be a wine tasting taking place.  Also, starting on Monday I have new, fresh content that will continue on a weekly basis.  “Cheers” to a happy summer and thank your for all your support.

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Filipino Garlic Peanuts

maniMy mom has been in town for the past couple of weeks and one of my favorite requests is for her is to make Filipino garlic peanuts.  This recipe is so simple, I could do it myself but for some reason it’s always better when mom does it.  This is a unique and simple snack that’s great for the summer months.  Try this one out and know there are more new things to come as we work on a new content for our website.  Cheers!

1 cup canola oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed* I used double the amount of garlic
2 cups raw peanuts, shelled but skins intact
salt to taste

Pour canola oil in a deep wok or kawali enough to reach a depth of two inches. Fry garlic over high heat until fragrant and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer fried garlic to a plate using a skimmer and set aside. Reduce heat to low. Fry peanuts over low heat, turning frequently with a skimmer, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer fried peanuts to a meshed sieve fitted on top of a bowl and drain excess oil. Sprinkle with fried garlic and salt. Serve with cold beer.

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