Tag Archives: Spring

The Home Furnishing & Design Show will debut March 28-29, 2015, at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

Healthy Housing Challenge kicks off in Phoenix

Rebuilding Together and a team of Wells Fargo volunteers will formally kick off the Healthy Housing Challenge  on April 25, 2015 by completing critical repairs to make a home in North Central Phoenix dramatically healthier and safer. Repairs will include: painting and landscaping the home’s exterior, new windows, siding and fascia and will be funded, in part, by a $15,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation along with a commitment of 60 team member volunteer hours.
Rebuilding Together is one of 32 local organizations across the country that is leading the Healthy Housing Challenge, which is a joint project of the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) and Rebuilding Together.  The Healthy Housing Challenge provides tools, training and additional funds to help Rebuilding Together affiliates make free critical repairs to correct health and safety hazards in the homes of low-income families, seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities.
Nationwide, an estimated 30 million homes pose potential health threats, which contribute to asthma and other respiratory diseases, carbon monoxide poisoning, lung cancer, falls, and burns, which add billions to national health care costs.  Many such hazards can be corrected through relatively simple, low-cost repairs, such as repairing roofs and gutters, removing old carpeting, clearing clogged clothes dryer vents, adding ventilation, installing grab bars and handrails, and sealing gaps and cracks to keep out pests.
Making Homes Healthier and Safer
“Wells Fargo is proud to support Rebuilding Together and help to kick off the National Housing Challenge,” said Pam Conboy, lead region president for Wells Fargo Arizona.  “Our team members are passionate about giving back and we know that these small measures, together, will make a huge difference to housing in Phoenix and to the well-being of those who live here.”
Since 2013, Wells Fargo has committed $959,000 to the Healthy Housing Challenge, helping to build the capacity of 40 Rebuilding Together affiliates in communities across the country.
Rebuilding Together affiliates in 11 other communities are making expanded health and safety repairs through Healthy Housing Challenge projects this spring: Austin, TX; Bergen County, NJ; Houston, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Montgomery County, MD; Portland, OR; Rohnert Park/Cotati, CA; Saratoga County, NY; Santa Rosa, CA; Silicon Valley, CA; and Tri-Cities, VA.
“We hope that by participating in the Healthy Housing Challenge, Rebuilding Together affiliates will have a ripple effect in their communities. The public deserves to know about dangers in the home and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves,” said Dennis Flynn, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun. “When we work together in applying the principles of healthy homes, simple repairs can make every home safer and healthier.” 

Fogo de Chão adds spring menu items

With the official first day of spring on March 20, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse just launched and is celebrating the season of renewal by introducing unique and inviting menu items. Fogo’s culinary innovation team created light and healthy salads and a refreshing cocktail inspired by the abundance of seasonal produce.

“We know our guests associate the Fogo de Chão name with variety, fresh ingredients, choice meat and an authentically Brazilian experience,” says Director of Marketing Andy Feldmann. “I’m confident that this season’s new additions will perfectly complement our menu and rival our house specialties in taste and popularity.”

Spring menu additions include:

vcsPRAsset_2525997_143314_77091a98-93c4-48b1-9c79-8b42524b790c_0Sugar Snap and Purple Cabbage Salad:

A perfect complement to the spring and summer seasons, the Sugar Snap and Purple Cabbage Salad is a refreshing start to an elegant meal at Fogo. This light and vibrant salad features a healthy combination of green peas, sugar snap peas, red cabbage, red grape tomatoes and red onion topped with a green onion vinaigrette.

vcsPRAsset_2525997_143315_cb5699ec-e889-42ba-af66-f1a38bebaf60_0Watermelon, Feta and Cucumber Salad:

 The Watermelon, Feta and Cucumber Salad balances the sweetness of seasonal watermelon with the crispness of cucumbers. Tossed with feta cheese, garnished with fresh mint and topped with a balsamic glaze, this salad is a distinctive and delicious addition to the Market Table.

vcsPRAsset_2525997_143313_7656aeb1-3419-4c4b-b97d-4716aed1f329_0Cucumber Smash:

Combining the smooth finish of Hendrick’s Gin with crisp cucumber, the Cucumber Smash is the perfect beverage to unwind with after a long day. This cool, refreshing cocktail is balanced by fresh mint, lemon juice and simple syrup.

Additionally, Fogo will continue to serve cured, center cut bone-in pork chops, which are butchered in-house, enlivened by a Brazilian spice rub and carved tableside by gaucho chefs. The fire-roasted meat emerged as a guest favorite after its debut on the fall/winter menu.

The full menu at this authentic Southern Brazilian steakhouse features an extensive variety of delectable, fire-roasted meats that are specially carved by gaucho chefs to each guest’s preference. Diners can enjoy selections such as the house specialty picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops, the center cut bone-in pork chop, and chicken wrapped in bacon, to name a few.

Fogo offers a colorful gourmet Market Table with an abundance of seasonal salads, the freshest vegetables, hot side dishes, a charcuterie area, smoked salmon and much more. Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family style. A tempting dessert menu, creative and classic cocktails, and an award-winning wine list complement the dining experience. Guests can also try the newly-introduced lighter seafood selection or enjoy the gourmet Market Table only option.


Spring Arizona Restaurant Week returns May 15-25

Spring Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW), held May 15-25 will be a prime opportunity to check out hot new restaurants or rediscover old favorites. During the Spring edition of ARW, more than 100 Phoenix restaurants will offer a selection of chef-curated, specialty menus priced at $33 or $44 per person, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted.

Since 2008, the Arizona Restaurant Association has been delighting diners by bringing together the greatest culinary masterminds for an 11-night celebration of edible excellence. Join the likes of James Beard Award Winner Chef Christopher Gross, legendary Chef Kevin Binkley, and visionary Chef Gio Osso as they continue to put Arizona on the map as a destination for food lovers. 

“Arizona’s food scene is thriving, thanks in no small part to the trailblazing chefs, mixologists and restaurateurs who make certain that it never gets stale,” said Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “It’s that excitement and energy that helps fuel the dramatic growth of our industry. We’re honored for the second consecutive year to see Arizona’s restaurant industry lead the rest of the country in restaurant sales and jobs growth.”

Arizona’s food scene has officially arrived – becoming one of the country’s most dynamic culinary scenes – with Arizona Restaurant Week at its helm. Food aficionados can feast on everything from Robata “open charcoal” cuisine at Roka Akor to scrumptious eats that hail from the Northern Italian Coast at Taggia inside FireSky Resort and Spa, as well as five-star bone-in Kona crusted dry aged sirloin at The Capital Grille. With so many restaurants featured throughout the week, deciding where to eat can be a tough choice. A full list of participating restaurants and menus will be featured on www.ArizonaRestaurantWeek.com with an easy-to-use interface for searching for a favorite local chef, type of cuisine or restaurant wish list.

The twice-annual Arizona Restaurant Week gives gastronomic change agents like longtime ARW participant Michael Rusconi Chef/Proprietor of Rusconi’s American Kitchen the opportunity to roll out the red carpet for diners. “ARW is a truly a chef-driven week that gives us a chance to put our best culinary foot forward as we showcase the talents of our teams,” said Rusconi.

Don’t miss a bite: check the website often as new restaurants and menus will be added as they become available. Until then, find out all the delectable details by following Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

coffee cake

The Dish: Mother’s Day Coffee Cake

Skip the crowded breakfast spots this Mother’s Day and show mom how much you love her by preparing one of her favorites! Share with us in the comments some of your mom’s favorite recipes. Who knows, maybe it’ll be featured on The Dish someday!

To start things off I’ll share one of my mom’s favorites.

My mom is a New Yorker through and through. She loves her back-east baked goods and always brings a suitcase full of bagels and bialys home with her each time she visits.

Another favorite that’s a bit more difficult to fit in her carry-on is coffee cake. The combination of soft, moist cake and crumbly topping go great with your morning coffee. It was ages before I found a recipe that did justice to a true New York style coffee cake. Trust me, make this recipe for mom and she’ll never want the stuff from Starbucks again!

As always, you can find this recipe and many more Mother’s Day inspriation at Scottsdale Living: The Dish on Pinterest!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Serves 12 or more

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely cut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 1 1/2-quart Bundt or tube pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Cream the butter in a separate bowl. Add 1 cup of sugar to the butter and gradually beat until the mixture is blended, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture one at a time, beating well in between additions. Beat in the dry ingredients and sour cream alternately, beginning and ending in flour. Add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate, pecans, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.

Sprinkle a third of the chocolate and nut mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Spoon in half of the cake batter. Sprinkle more of the chocolate and nut mixture over the batter, reserving some for the top. Pour the remaining batter into the pan. Smooth it out evenly and top with the remainder of the chocolate and nut mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. Remove from the pan to a rack.

Goes great with just a nice hot cup of coffee or sliced and served as part of a brunch buffet.

Share with us your Mother’s Day favorites and be sure to give her a big kiss this year!


The Dish: Peas and Prosciutto

One of the tastiest things to come out of the garden in spring are English peas. Now, sadly in Arizona peas are hard to come by fresh from the farm. Thankfully frozen peas are picked at the peak of ripeness and available year round even here in ever warm Arizona.

Prosciutto adds a wonderful saltiness to balance the sweetness of the peas.

Fresh peas can occasionally be found in Trader Joe’s or AJ’s and need to be cooked before using in this dish.

As always, you can find the link for this recipe and many more seasonal delights on my Pinterest page, Scottsdale Living: The Dish.

Peas and Prosciutto

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) bag frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces (1/8-inch-thick slices) prosciutto, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the peas and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the prosciutto and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and remove from the heat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve.

Courtesy of: Adventures in Cooking

The Dish: Strawberry Rhubarb Tarragon Tart Tatin

I have a small obsession with rhubarb. Whether it’s in a pie, tart or crumble I love it but that wasn’t always the case. For years I was leery of rhubarb for its similarities to celery, which I hate. I feared it would be stringy and flavorless; the bane of salads and soups alike. How wrong I was.

Rhubarb is intensely sour and when cooked breaks down in to the most luscious, soft texture. I love its tangy flavor that make you pucker. It livens up a dessert and cuts through cloying sweetness. Strawberries are the perfect companion to rhubarb for their mild sweetness without adding a ton of extra sugar.

Dessert isn’t the only place you can find rhubarb. I’ve seen recipes that use it as a substitute for lemons in savory dishes, even salsas and relishes. I’ve even seen it used in lemonade to add a pretty pink hue to the refreshing drink.

Give this herbaceous recipe a try instead of the usual strawberry rhubarb pie this spring. You won’t regret it.

If you’re not a fan or can’t find tarragon, try a bit of rosemary or mint instead. The herbs add an elegant aroma to this twist on the French classic.

As always, you can find the original to this recipe and more on my Scottsdale Living Pinterest page.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tarragon Tart Tatin


2 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sugar
1 cup butter, cold and hard
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
5-8 tablespoons water, cold

Strawberry Rhubarb & Tarragon Filling

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon water
12 large strawberries, halved with caps removed
1 and 1/3 generous cups rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces (frozen works as well)
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Begin by preparing the crust. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Grate the butter on the largest hole setting of your grater over the bowl, mixing to coat the butter shards in the flour mixture every 10 seconds or so. Add the cider vinegar and 5 tablespoons of water and mix the dough. If it stays in a clump when you squeeze it in your hand, it has enough water, if it falls apart, add more water until it stays together. Shape the dough into a ball and roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the filling, heat the sugar, butter, and water in a roughly 8-inch skillet over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and the mixture is bubbling. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top. Simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from the stovetop and stir in 1 teaspoon of the tarragon, then sprinkle with the cinnamon. Place the crust over the skillet, quickly tucking it down into the pan around the edges of the filling. Cut three 1-inch slits in the top to allow heat to escape before placing it in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes of until the top of the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to flip the pan over onto the serving plate. Once flipped, gently remove the pan to display the filling inside. Sprinkle with the remaining tarragon and allow the tart tartin to continue to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

raspberry vinaigrette_outlined

The Dish: Raspberry Vinaigrette

Jazz up your spring salads with this homemade raspberry vinaigrette recipe. It’s light and fresh, and super simple! Store bought dressings are full of hidden calories; making your own is much healthier and very easy.

If raspberries aren’t your thing try this recipe with strawberries or blackberries. Back in January I gave you my personal recipe for vinaigrette that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser too.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

serves 6

1 10 oz bag Frozen Organic Raspberries (about 2 cups), thawed
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
½ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Ground Pepper
4 Tbsp Water
2 tsp Chia Seeds (optional)
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and all ingredients are combined.
Store in a air tight container for 1 week.

asparagus (1)

The Dish: Asparagus Pizza

This time of year more than any other I like to utilize what’s in season. Spring fruits and vegetables are so delicious and only around for a short time in Arizona. It’s true, you can purchase them year round but they’ll never taste as good as when they’re perfectly in season.

Case in point: asparagus. When it’s right, it’s delicious. When it’s wrong, it’s really wrong. Asparagus hardly needs anything to make it good when it’s perfectly in season. A quick steam, a roast in the oven or a trip to the grill is all these tasty little spears need.

Try this recipe for asparagus pizza as an hors d’oeuvres at your next party or as a delicious lunch on the patio.

You are certainly welcome to make your own pizza dough but I like to keep this recipe quick and simple just like spring. Purchase a ball of dough from the grocery store or your favorite pizza parlor. Stop by and ask if you can buy some of their uncooked dough. Most places will be happy to oblige.

Asparagus Pizza

1/3 lb fingerling potatoes
1 ball pizza dough (homemade or purchased)
cornmeal for sprinkling
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 green onions, thinly sliced and divided
1 1/3 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
1/4 lb (4oz) goat cheese, crumbled
1 lb (8oz) asparagus, trimmed and each spear cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-3 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in small saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Cool. Cut potatoes into thin slices.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll and stretch pizza dough to 16×11-inch oval. Transfer to baking sheet. Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic in small bowl. Brush garlic oil over dough. Sprinkle 3/4 of green onions over, then mozzarella, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Top with potato slices and goat cheese. Toss asparagus and 1 tablespoon oil in medium bowl. Scatter asparagus over pizza. Sprinkle with Parmesan, then lightly with salt and generously with pepper.

Bake pizza until crust is browned and asparagus is tender, about 18 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Sprinkle with remaining green onions. Cut into pieces.

Photo courtesy of jaxlabrynth.com

Pea Puree_outlined

The Dish: Spring Pea Puree

One of my favorite things to make each spring is pea puree. It’s so fresh and light; perfect for a spring day. In truth, you can make it any time of year, but I like to make it in the spring and summer when you need a great no-cook recipe. Don’t let preconceptions about the name turn you away. This recipe resembles hummus more than baby food!

You can use a variety of herbs, but I prefer flat leaf parsley and basil. A sprig of mint or tarragon also adds wonderful fresh flavor. I highly recommend using parsley as the majority herb, though. It is light in flavor and won’t over power the rest of the ingredients. Too much basil and you’re treading in pesto territory. Too much tarragon and it’ll taste like licorice.

This would be a great use for the lemon and herb oil you made over the holidays. Replace a tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil with a flavored one for added depth.

Spring Pea Puree

1 bag defrosted frozen peas
1 handful flat leaf parsley (use curly if you can’t find flat)
2 sprigs of basil
1-2 sprigs mint or tarragon
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic (optional)
3-5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pour peas into a strainer and let sit until fully defrosted. Add peas, herbs, lemon juice and zest to a food processor. Pulse until chunky. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of processor. Replace the lid, remove cover from the top and slowly drizzle in olive oil while pulsing. Process until puree is smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Pulse again quickly to incorporate seasoning.

Scrape mixture in to a container and press plastic wrap on top. Puree tastes best when it has had a few hours to let the flavors meld together.

Serve on crusty toasted bread, spread on a sandwich, dip veggies in it or toss in warm pasta for a light and fresh sauce.

Pea Puree_outlined

SL - Digital Magazine

Scottsdale Living Magazine – SPRING 2013

Spring 2013

Health & Beauty
Time for a tune-up

Growing up in upstate New York, I can still remember those early April track meets where I was forced to wait until the last minute in the freezing cold to strip off my warm-up suit just so I could have the tortuous pleasure of sprinting 400 meters in the snow and slush.That, my friends, is why I have called Arizona home for longer than I called upstate New York home.Spring is why we stay in Arizona. The weather is perfect. The orange blossoms are blooming. We can hike. We can bike. We can run. We can enjoy the patios at our favorite restaurants. And we can break out our swimsuits months earlier than they can almost anywhere else in the nation.Oh, that. Yes, it’s swimsuit season.

But don’t despair. This issue of Scottsdale Living has all the information you’ll need to buff up your beach body so you’ll sizzle in your swimsuit. From smoothing out your skin to boosting your bustline to creating the perfect smile to top off your look, this issue will help you look your best so you’ll have a spring in your step.

Embrace the season.

Gossie Signature

Michael Gossie,
Editor in Chief

Home & Garden
Creating a home retreat

Kimberly Gunning Kimberly Gunning

Kimberly Gunning,
Assistant Editor

Part of my childhood was spent in upstate New York where my mom, a terrific gardener and a designer at heart, took pride in caring for the most beautifully landscaped yard on the block. Many of the memories I have from the first seven years of my life are from scenes set in that yard – parties and family activities, gardening and playing on the greatest Dream Rainbow Swing Set I thought to exist. Our yard was a staple part of my childhood, and that of many of my neighbors’ childhoods.Our outdoor spaces are unique to who we are and offer limitless possibilities for customization. In this issue, top design trends and products for the outdoor living space are explored with the guidance of local professional designers. There’s no better time of year in Arizona to relax next to a fire pit, take a dip in the pool or entertain a group of friends around an outdoor bar. Enjoy desert living this spring in your beautifully designed outdoor living space.Design away!


Take it with you! On your mobile, go to m.issuu.com to get started.


Springtime Finds: Decor, Items To Brighten Up Your Home

Spring is here, and moods are instantly lifted. So why not add a little life to your home as well? Celebrate spring with the right home decor. Here are five ideas that will bring spring to you, brightening your home while simultaneously lifting your mood:

Add pops of color in your decor

Nothing says spring more than bright colors, and adding it to your home is an easy way to transition from winter to spring. However, that doesn’t mean repainting your walls meadow green or lavender (unless you want to, of course); instead, simply add a pop of color. It’s an easy solution without sacrificing results and will give your home a fresh, spring look without transforming it into a giant Easter egg. Try adding some bright throw pillows to your living room couch or hang an elaborate picture frame. Here are some examples from HouseBeautiful.

Plants and flowers

SpringWho says spring has to be left outside once you close your front door?  Take a literal approach to spring decor by bringing the outside in. Adding flower arrangements throughout your home will allow you to savor every minute of spring that fades all too quickly. For an extra touch of luxury, add spring flowers to your bedroom and leave your windows open overnight (just a crack does the trick) for fresh air. You’ll think you woke up in your garden the next day. Plus, flowers are another fun way to add your pop of color. Check out proflowers.com for examples.

Prep your porch

Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can’t accent its natural beauty by getting into the spring spirit. Redecorate your porch, and put up a giant umbrella in a bright, uplifting color. Not only does it provide shade, which is needed in Arizona, but it also creates a fashionable focal point that can be seen inside the house as well. Then, add smaller, festive items like lawn ornaments and outdoor-friendly kitchen wear. Pier 1 has some great ideas.

Select some trinkets

Some of you may be cringing or rolling your eyes at this, and the idea does usually need to be supervised. Just a few seasonal trinkets can be cute, but because they are so cute, it can be easy to get carried away, and that can get tacky pretty fast. A lot of it depends on personal style as well. If you’re the type that loves an Easter chick on a bright welcome flag hanging on your front door, go for it; but for those of you who think that’s the only way, think again. Try an antique, standing rabbit statue that is festive but subtle, or Pier 1’s hummingbird ornaments that are beautiful and elegant. Want some more ideas? Head back to Pier 1’s website.

Spring in the kitchen

SpringBring spring to your kitchen by placing spring-inspired desserts on display. For example, take symbolic favorites like Peeps or chocolate bunnies and creatively arrange them in a covered glass container or cake stand. Also, try displaying some fancier desserts like spring-colored cupcakes, iced lemon pound cake, petite fours and strawberry shortcake. This will brighten up your kitchen as well as provide your family and friends with yummy treats. For recipe ideas, check out marthastewart.com.