Señor Flaco – the gun-toting, Day of the Dead-inspired mascot for Chaco Flaco beverage mixers – has a soft spot for pretty women, high-stakes card games and exotic locales. And cocktails, obviously. So goes the fanciful storyline dreamed up by founder Chuck Moore (Chaco Flaco means “Skinny Chuck”) for his line of imaginative, low-calorie mixers.
Sharon Downing, a Cooking for Wellness instructor at the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center, didn’t intentionally start her home-based bakery as a gluten-free endeavor, or even as a commercial enterprise. It just turned out that way.
She began developing recipes as part of her personal quest to eliminate processed foods, including white flour, from her diet.
“Where have all the bees gone?” That message, posted years ago in a gallery window during a Downtown Phoenix First Friday street festival, stuck with Ian Horvath, then a high school student known for making chocolate truffles for his friends. He did some digging and discovered scientists were alarmed about a dramatic loss in hives. According to scientists, bee pollination accounts for a third of our food. Although the dramatic losses seen in 2006 have somewhat subsided, the plight of the honeybee is far from over and Horvath hasn’t forgotten.
The French sablé – pronounced SAW-bluh – is a simple but elegant, sandy-textured butter cookie.
Rachel Ellrich Miller, owner of Pistol Whipped Pastry, had something else in mind when she created her rustic sable – pronounced SAY-bull – pastry. “Go big or go home,” the Bouchon, True Food Kitchen and Parlor pastry chef alum says. “I love butter, so my sable is extra buttery and not as dry [as a traditional sablé].” Another difference is the sheer size. Jam or marmalade is sandwiched between two 3-inch slabs of cookie dough, made with local Hayden Flour Mills flour, and baked until golden brown. The cookies – practically tarts – weigh almost a quarter-pound each.
Native Arizonan Chris Sossaman was in her forties before she ever tasted a cup of coffee. Sossaman is, and always has been, a tea drinker. “I really started Tea Royalty for selfish reasons,” Sossaman says. “I love tea and I love dining out, and I’d say to the server, ‘Tell me about your tea,’ and it was comical. No one knew if the [iced] tea was made from concentrate or fresh brewed.” Don’t even get her started on boxes stuffed with who-knows-how-old bags of cut tea. It’s as scandalous as iced tea made in concentrate form.
That slight nip in the morning air means it’s time to swap cold cereal for something warm and satisfying, like a steaming bowl of heart-healthy oatmeal. Want to make it even healthier? Annette Downing of Matcha MarketPlace packages whole oats with a teaspoon of emerald green matcha, the ceremonial powdered green tea from Japan. Purported to have more antioxidants than other green teas, matcha is consumed whole, versus steeped and discarded. Downing packages the matcha-spiked oats in individual servings with other flavors and brown sugar, although there is a sugar-free option if you prefer to add your own sweetener.