Any time you stop by Chompie’s, you’ll find the bakery case loaded with freshly made cookies, cakes, breads and other jaw dropping pastries. But in December, the local deli chain offers up festive baked goods, including gingerbread and Hanukkah houses and a variety of holiday cookies. You can also special order chocolate peppermint rugelach (a traditional Jewish pastry), made with cream cheese dough scented with peppermint extract and topped with crushed candy canes, according to Chompie’s co-owner Neal Borenstein.
He stocks a variety of rugelach year round, including the popular chocolate and cinnamon walnut varieties. “We make some of the best rugelach in the country,” he says. But if you're itching to try your hand at making some at home, Borenstein has shared Chompie’s recipe below.*
Here’s a truly palatable promotion: Scores of restaurants across the Valley are offering complimentary bonus gift cards in varying amounts when you purchase gift cards this holiday season. Here’s a host of them, listed alphabetically.
Cupcake lovers have reason to rejoice: National Cupcake Day is coming up on December 15. If you’re a fan of Sprinkles (and really, who isn’t?), you have even more cause for celebration since the inventors of the cupcake ATM release special festive flavors over the holidays. Think: gingerbread, drinking chocolate and brown sugar praline.
Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson was in Scottsdale recently to promote her new cookbook, “The Sprinkles Baking Book,” and shared the brown sugar praline recipe with PHOENIX Magazine.
Nelson is a fan of this particular cupcake because it has warm notes of brown sugar and molasses and “a wonderful textural element of the crunchy pecans on top.” To achieve a soft cupcake, Nelson offers this tip: Make sure the milk, eggs and butter are at room temperature to ensure even blending. “You don’t want to over mix it because that will make a tough cupcake,” she says.
If you’re looking for a booze-infused pumpkin spice latte to spice up your holiday season, pick up some Arizona Distilling Co. Copper City Bourbon and Teaspressa tea to make the recipe below. Teaspressa founder Allison Devane answers a couple of questions about the benefits of tea and guides us through the tea making process.*
Once known for its lumberjack college kids, good skiing and decent drinkin' scene, Flagstaff is quickly making a name for itself as a foodie town (and we're not just talking about the phenomenal pizza). To explore the burgeoning culinary scene up north, we're running a series of Q&As with the personalities behind the chef hats behind the town's restaurant renaissance we're calling the "Flag Food Boom."
Today we're chatting with:
Chef Derek Christensen
34 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff
When Tinderbox Kitchen opened almost eight years ago on South San Francisco Street, the surrounding businesses included a strip club, a tattoo parlor and a dance club. At the time, Flagstaff didn’t have much in the way of fine dining restaurants, according to Tinderbox’s head chef Derek Christensen. The cuisine was centered on upscale comfort food – meat loaf, macaroni and cheese and Salisbury steak – but Christensen says the focus is now on a seasonally changing menu. He also oversees the kitchens of the adjacent Annex Cocktail Lounge and Tourist Home, a breakfast and lunch restaurant that also features to-go specialty items.
Each month, we of the PHOENIX Magazine creative team ask ourselves a different question about our favorite dining and drinking experiences in the Valley. Our picks are usually hidden in the back of the magazine among our Dining Guide restaurant listings. Not any more. Our picks are going digital! Feel free to follow us on social media (at least, those of us who tweet) and be sure to tag us (@PhoenixMagazine on Twitter and @PHXMagazine on Instagram) on pics of your favorite picks.
Are you a disaster in the kitchen? An occasional agoraphobic in cut-throat grocery stores? How about you give yourself (and your family) a break from dried-out stuffing and store-bought pie this holiday and spend this Thanksgiving eating food lovingly made by paid professionals. Whether you’re looking for a traditional turkey dinner or a modern twist on America's annual 7,000 calorie meal, Phoenix restaurants are prepared to deliver. With both pre-order and dine-in options, these restaurants give you an alternative choice to high stress levels and the very real possibility that you will have to wash every single dish in your kitchen.
My Wine Cellar in Ahwatukee has long been a popular spot for Valley wine enthusiasts. In early October, Shannon Rush, who served as the wine bar’s manager for the past three years, purchased the restaurant from owner Zoya Vora-Shah.
Rush has recently upgraded the restaurant’s interior and patio and the changes will be unveiled at the wine bar’s sixth annual wine festival on Sunday, Nov. 20, from noon-3 p.m., when guests can sample up to 20 wines from around the world for $20.
To go along with the restaurant’s new digs, Rush is expanding the menu to incorporate tapas-style shareable dishes, including the miso braised pork shoulder listed below. This dish is the creation of My Wine Cellar’s chef Tim Yulwel. “He has a lot of Korean and Japanese background in his cooking,” she says. The recipe pairs Asian flavors with tortillas for an interesting and tasty fusion.
Once known for its lumberjack college kids, good skiing and decent drinkin' scene, Flagstaff is quickly making a name for itself as a foodie town (and we're not just talking about the phenomenal pizza). To explore the burgeoning culinary scene up north, we're running a series of Q & A's with the personalities behind the chef hats behind the town's restaurant renaissance we're calling the "Flag Food Boom."
Today we're chatting with:
SoSoBa, The Non-Stop Noodle Shop
12 Historic Route 66, #104, Flagstaff
When I went to Italy on a class art trip at 16, I turned my nose up at our nightly four course dinners. I know, I know: poor little girl getting to travel abroad and try new cuisines. But I suppose my palate just wasn't refined enough then, what with all that hormonal brattiness clouding my tongue. Plus it all seemed so overwhelming: bread followed by salad followed by pasta followed by meat followed by dessert. Too much.
Older and wiser, I can now get behind the excess every now and again. At Fat OX, Scottsdale's latest upscale Italian eatery, I got to relive the jubilant surplus that is a multi-course Italian dinner. But this time, I liked it.
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