Leah LeMoine, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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Photo by Leah LeMoine   THE SCENE To stay connected during the pandemic – and to nurture our shared love of cooking – my friend Kristy suggested a weekly FaceTime cooking date. Her proposal: We’d take turns selecting recipes to cook along with the other, virtually. A cooking club for two? I said yes without hesitation. We started Quarantine Culinarians in July 2020 and have miraculously kept it up since, with a few skipped weeks and a brief hiatus this past summer. (I promise this will lead to a happy hour write-up – just stay with...

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All the news that’s fit to nosh.  PSL Alert: You don’t have to hit Starbucks for your autumnal coffee fix. This year, respected local coffee shops like Press Coffee and Peixoto Coffee are getting in the spirit with seasonal offerings. Press’s first pumpkin spice latte will be served at all nine of its locations, including the outpost opening this Friday, October 8, in Downtown Phoenix. Peixoto’s buttered pumpkin latte comes heaped with marshmallow fluff from locally owned marshmallow café Toasted Mallow. You can...

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Tijuana Donkey (left) and Mango Mezgarita (right) | Photo by Leah LeMoine   THE SCENE Last year, during the height of the pandemic and before the vaccine was available, I became something of an expert on takeout happy hours. I re-crisped pizza and nachos in my oven after they’d wilted in transit. I poured cocktails from their secure plastic carrying containers into my own glassware to make them feel fancy again. I re-plated, photographed, blogged and Instagrammed.  One of the highlights...

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The Sicilian Baker Halloween cannoli | Photo courtesy The Maggiore Group   All the news that’s fit to nosh.  Autumnal Abundance: It’s fall, y’all! And with this past weekend’s cooler temps, that’s starting to feel real and not just like a cruel calendar joke. Embrace the transition with seasonal specials from The Sicilian Baker including pumpkin pie cannoli with pumpkin-infused sweet ricotta filling (order as a special: large shell dipped in chocolate and decorated with edible pumpkins; available October 15-November...

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All the news that’s fit to nosh.  La Chimichanga Más Grande del Mundo: Valley institution Macayo’s Mexican Food is gunning for world domination. This Saturday, September 25, at 10 a.m., Macayo’s team members at the Ahwatukee location will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the longest chimichanga on the planet. “We’re extremely proud to be the original developer of the world’s first chimichanga* – and to have it become our signature dish. In fact, since it was first created,...

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If our photo essay on the journey of Arizona wine from grape to glass (pg. 146) piques your interest in homegrown grapes, add Jenelle Bonifield’s AZ Uncorked: The Arizona Wine Guide (Arizona Wine Media, $111) to your reading list. Much more than a coffee table book, this weighty tome boasts thoughtful essays on the history of Arizona winemaking and dozens of Arizona wineries, as well as information on wine festivals and events. Most stunning, though,...

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The Swedes are coming! Polestar, a performance electric vehicle company from the Scandinavian nation that brought us ABBA and Fredrik Backman, makes its Southwest debut this summer. The newcomer joins Courtesy Automotive Group (Courtesy Chevrolet) at Scottsdale Fashion Square. “Anyone seeking to own an electric vehicle with a unique, stylish design for the 21st century will want to own a Polestar,” says Courtesy CEO Scott Gruwell. “It’s a dynamic electric technology with an amazing international...

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Photo by Maggie Fearnow   Stories have a way of taking on lives of their own. Writer Dawson Fearnow has learned this time and again as a journalist specializing in historical crime writing. “That’s why I only write about dead criminals,” Fearnow says. “Especially after two DEA agents showed up at my front door holding a copy of a story I wrote about a local designer drug kingpin.”  PHOENIX has been fortunate to have Fearnow write a number of true-crime pieces for our history column, centered...

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The Wigwam is getting some friendly competition from Sterling Grove, the West Valley’s first new golf course in more than a decade. “Sterling Grove is poised to take its place among the best courses in Greater Phoenix, with challenging play in a spectacular setting,” says Dan Rhea, senior project manager for Toll Brothers at Sterling Grove, a 780-acre master-planned luxury community. The semi-private club opened in Surprise this spring with picturesque vistas including the White...

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Photo courtesy Morning Squeeze   All the news that’s fit to nosh.   Grand Openings: A slew of food-and-bev establishments have recently opened. Some are opening this week! To wit: Morning Squeeze: The local breakfast and lunch joint is opening its third location this Friday, September 17. The Downtown Phoenix outpost is located at the corner of First and Washington streets. The eatery will include an indoor-outdoor bar, wraparound patio and a takeaway-friendly grab-and-go area. Open from 7...

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You have a remote control for your garage door. Why not for your dog door? That’s the notion behind Pawport, an app-controlled barrier that slides onto existing pet door frames. Users can configure the smart portal to open and close based on a schedule, set a “curfew,” track canine activity and even send security updates. The product was on Kickstarter at press time. getpawport.com

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Soup’s on! Order extra bread, chips or pita to dunk in these scratch-made slurries that smack of autumn in the Valley. Pozole Rojo Regulars at Arcadia’s CRUjiente Tacos impatiently await the autumnal return of chef Rich Hinojosa’s legendary pozole ($9). It’s rich with pork, red chile and hominy. crutacos.com Matzo Ball Soup Feeling a cold coming on? Fill your prescription for Jewish penicillin ($3/cup, $5/bowl) at Miracle Mile Deli in CenPho. miraclemiledeli.com Broccoli, Spinach &...

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  Photo courtesy Buck &Rider   THE SCENE “I don’t eat seafood in landlocked states.” That sentence – along with its cousin, “Seafood in the desert? Pass.” – is up there on the list of trite refrains I regularly field from friends and relatives about dining in the Valley. When I hear someone say it, I have to fight a visceral urge to shake them and bellow, “Do you think we’re still in the 1950s?!” In a time before overnight shipping and advanced packing and cooling techniques, sure, you would have...

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  Photo courtesy Hotel Valley Ho    All the news that’s fit to nosh. Cerveza vs. Vino: Beer or wine? “Why not both?” to quote my hedonistic partner. ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho continues The Versus Series next week with a Beer vs. Wine dinner. Homegrown Four Peaks Brewing Company will be pitted against California’s The Prisoner Wine Company in head-to-head pairings with four courses. This dinner’s lineup includes a duck and citrus salad, Wagyu beef cheek with purple yam purée and a decadent chocolate mousse bar with whipped ganache pudding, each paired with one...

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All the news that’s fit to nosh.   Cookies for a Cause: Love chocolate chip cookies? Love giving back? Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen has the dessert for you. The local gluten-free restaurant chain has partnered with Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) on a tasty fundraising effort. For every GF chocolate chip cookie sold at Picazzo’s five Valley locations (plus one in Sedona), Picazzo’s will donate $1 to support SARRC programs benefiting Arizonans with autism. “At Picazzo’s, we have many regular guests who have family members with autism, so we have been looking...

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