Tag Archives: Fountain Hills

Another Day at Sofrita

It’s official. It’s been official for over a year now – I am obsessed with Sofrita. This little gem of a restaurant in the middle of Fountain Hills has been my home for each show that we’ve done here. For fail-safe foods, coffee and drinks, I simply wander across the street from the booth and am greeted by the lovely owners and employees, who all know me by name.
This pic is from one of the first times I visited the place. Cozy, cozy!
After half a day sweating it out in the heat of the booth, I grabbed a cranberry chicken salad sammich. The hours slowly ticked by…
After closing the booth for the day, we traipsed back across the street to enjoy dinner in the sunset.
Saturdays at shows are my favorite days. The booth is all set up, we don’t have to worry about breakdown and we get a full day with no worries except where to get our next meal.
The restaurant was still getting their bearings after a day being stuffed to the brim with art show enthusiasts, hence the fancy plastic cup that contained my margarita.
After perusing the menu, I asked Angel for his recommendation and was greeted by this delicious pork pernil – slow roasted pork covered in a rich tomato sauce, seasoned with garlic and oregano with a side of spiced yellow rice.
For dessert I snuck a bite off of what our dinner guests ordered – a sponge cake topped with flan and wine-poached peaches, drizzled with a caramel sauce. Lucky for our guests I was so full that I didn’t attempt to make a grab for more. I’m thinking dinner tonight might just be a selection of all their desserts!

Today’s the last day of the show which means a long night of breaking down the tent, hopefully followed by, you guessed it, sangria at Sofrita!

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Back to Fountain Hills

After seven hours on the road, I’m back in Fountain Hills, Arizona again!
We got to set up during a warm sunset and then retired to Sofrita for dinner and to rehydrate.
I ordered a vegetable tamale and a chicken tamale which came with a healthy dose of sour cream and salsa. I’ve never been a fan of tamales until I tried these at Sofrita last time I was in town – so happy to see that they’re still on the menu!
And of course rehydration was necessary! The memory of their red berry sangria was dancing through my head the entire drive out. I knew I had to order one!
A close up of the fresh cranberries, apples, strawberries and other deliciousness.

Tomorrey promises beautiful weather and tons of food options – my favorite kind of day! Fry bread, sushi, barbecue, smoked turkey legs… Decisions, decisions…

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread Pudding

 

I’ve been having explosions of genius in the kitchen lately. Well, lots of explosions of which a few end up being genius. Either way, I’ll share with you.
The basis for my latest creation is this Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread. Head over to Taste Terminal for the recipe, make it, and then continue on by making:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread Pudding

Serves 2-4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Spicy and sweet bread pudding studded with cinnamon chips.

Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, almond milk, brown sugar and vanilla extract and whisk well.
Step 3
Stir the bread pieces into the liquid, coating evenly and let rest for five minutes to absorb.
Step 4
Pour the mixture into a medium-sized greased ramekin.
Step 5
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-60 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Lightly adapted from my Magical Bread Pudding.

Mine took the full 60 minutes. I think the moisture content with the homemade bread did something mystical and wonderful.
I was planning on creating a pumpkin spiced cream cheese icing for this, but got lazy and just used some stuff from a tube from the grocery store. I can only do so much, guys!
I wish I’d had some of this bread pudding pudding while I was shivering in my boots and armwarmers on Sunday in Fountain Hills!

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Creepy Encounters: 2

Before I get to the latest mental trauma (catch up with last year’s creepy encounters), here’s a recap on the ah-frikkin-mazing foods I’ve been consuming this weekend whilst in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
I’ve been enjoying one of these a day: Hearts of palm salad: full of avocado, hearts of palm (still have no idea what that is), romaine and tomato all tossed in a coconut lime vinaigrette.
Breakfast at the lovely Sofrita. When I find something I love, I tend to stick with it.
Bison meatloaf over cheddar-garlic mashed potatoes topped with a rich gravy from a festival food stand. This rocked my world! The pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, drizzled with icing that came alongside nearly made me pass out from sheer joy. I may have gone back today and gotten an entire bowl stacked with those cookies… Maybe…
Last night I enjoyed my favorite amber in the entire world: Odell 90 Shilling (or 3…) followed by a lengthy, tipsy trip to the gym. Tonight I had ONE Odell IPA to help me suffer through the writing of a tedious paper.
I was planning on pairing that IPA with a spicy burger, but the grilled salmon was calling out to me, so this mismatched combination took place. C’est la vie!
I also was hard at work creating a label for my vanilla porter, which is as of now simply called Bexter’s Vanilla Porter. I was contacted by a website – Labeley.com, where you can create your own labels for free. It took a few tries for all the graphics and text to come out correctly, but I think I found a suiting image for my beer! Now to attempt to print it when I get home…

NOW for the creepy encounter:

Becki entered her hotel room with a six pack of Odell Brewing IPA, also known as liquid gold, in hand. She kneeled down before the humming refrigerator and pulled the door open, preparing for the blast of icy air that was bound to escape. Nothing. The refrigerator hummed on, but the three beers from the previous evening sat inside, their labels wrinkled and peeling from lack of chill, warm condensation spilling like tears from their sides. With sadness in her heart, Becki phoned the front desk.

The maintenance man was speedy. Within minutes a knock was heard upon the door of the room. She opened it and was greeted by an awkward middle-aged man with large glasses and a bald spot, wearing a black shirt tucked into high waisted black jeans.
“What seems to be the problem?” He asked kindly.
Becki explained the situation and the maintenance man unplugged the refrigerator and took it to the door. As he prepared to leave, he stopped.
“I’ve been off the clock for an hour,” he began, “But I’m always open to spending time with lonely hotel guests.”
Becki’s danger radar began to send fight-or-flight signals through her brain. Her muscles tensed.
“I’ll bring you a new fridge,” he promised. “But you don’t happen to have a jealous boyfriend who’s going to beat me up if he sees me leave your room, do you?”
Becki stared dumbfounded. Quickly, she regained her common sense.
“My boyfriend will be back soon,” She began. “But I’m sure it’ll only take a minute to bring the fridge…”
“Good,” Maintenance man said. “I don’t want him to see a handsome man leave his girlfriend’s room, get jealous and jump me.”
He chuckled and left the room, dragging the refrigerator behind him.

Becki shivered with disgust from head to toe, then prepared herself for the return of the maintenance man and the new fridge. There was a knock at the door. She dialed 911 on her phone, her finger hovering above the “call” button as she opened the door, just in case. The maintenance man came in, quietly installed the working refrigerator, then turned to Becki.
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” He asked.
“No,” Becki replied, “Thank you very much. That’s all.”
The maintenance man pushed on. “Well I’ll be going down to room 105. That room is empty for the rest of the day. I’ll be going down there to rest since there’s no one in that room for the rest of the day. Room 105.”
Becki’s finger hovered ever close to the “call” button on her phone.
“If you need anything,” The maintenance man continued, “Anything at all, I’ll be down in room 105. You don’t even have to call. Just come down and knock.”
A thick silence hung in the air as he let Becki process that information. She smiled numbly and nodded, then avoided eye contact as he dragged the broken fridge from the room. As the door began to close, an echo sounded through the room.
“Room 105.”

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Kegging/Bottling Vanilla Porter

I had my first kegging session up in Santa Barbara yesterday! My completely awesome friend Grayson helped me rack off my beer into a three gallon keg (kindly provided by Enegren Brewing) and we bottled the other two gallons.
Grayson decided to be a manly man and do the difficult tasks of removing tubing from racking canes. Thanks, Gray!
This carboy smelled DELICIOUS! You can see the remains of the vanilla bean in the bottom there, and a good pumpkin homebrew that we had to sip whilst bottling. Seriously, it’s a requirement: Relax. Don’t worry. Have a homebrew.
Carboy, keg, capper: joy on a table.
Grayson’s cat attempted to eat my priming sugar.
Cats + priming sugar = hyper! In case you didn’t know…
My beautiful, BEAUTIFUL beer! We had to try some, of course. ROCKED my world! Now I just need to name it! Suggestions, anyone? It’ll be hard to top Dos Beckis
Afterwards we hit our old stomping grounds of IV (Isla Vista) and got some Indian slop at Naan Stop. New tradition: any time I’m up there for Cicerone studying/kegging/any reason at all, we’ll be visiting Naan Stop. Delicious memories!

Today I drove out to Fountain Hills, Arizona for the fine art and wine festival. After setting up the booth, feeling exhausted and ready to drop, we had our priorities straight. Bed, you ask? Um, no.
SANGRIA! Sofrita in Fountain Hills is my absolute FAVORITE place for anything edible in Fountain Hills. There was fruit in my sangria: therefore edible, therefore dinner. Win.

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