A Sandwich with Goodcents

sandwiches
If watching your waistline is one of your resolutions for 2017, Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs may just become your new favorite sandwich joint. The local eatery recently introduced Sensible Sandwiches, made with sprouted whole grain buns and piled with freshly sliced meats and veggies. There are six sandwich varieties available on this new healthy menu and each comes in at 500 calories or less.

On a recent visit to Goodcents I sampled four of the Sensible Sandwich options and they did not disappoint. The sandwiches are generously portioned and I was extremely impressed with the amount of meat and toppings they have, you will have to squish it down a bit to get a good bite. The Sensible Sandwich options include.

sensible-sandwichesSkinny Italian Club (469 calories): roasted turkey, salami, tomato, lettuce, and giardiniera.
Horseradish Beef (407 calories): roast beef, cheddar, lettuce, onion, and creamy horseradish.
Turkey Garden Club  (360 calories): roasted turkey, bell pepper, sour cream cucumber spread, tomato, lettuce, and onion.
Spicy Ham (425 calories): ham, capicola, pepper jack, tomato, pickled jalapeños, and spicy mustard.
Turkey Cranberry (379 calories): roasted turkey, cranberry relish, lettuce, onion, and olive oil mayo.
Chicago-style Beef (337 calories): roast beef, giardineria, tomato, lettuce, and olive oil mayo.


I enjoyed the Skinny Italian, Turkey Garden Club, Spicy Ham and Chicago-style Beef, all were delicious and satisfying but the Spicy Ham was my favorite of the bunch. It was loaded with ham and the combination of jalapeños and spicy mustard made for a bold and delicious taste. I plan to go back and order that one again and again! The Turkey Garden Club came in a close second with it’s heaping amount of crisp veggies; the delicious sour cream spread added a bit of decadence making it hard to believe that it’s only 360 calories! Where these sandwiches lack in calories they make up for in quality and taste.

sandwich

Parents will be pleased to learn that in addition to the Sensible Sandwiches, Goodcents has also introduced Rainbow Bread to the kids menu. The bread is brightly colored in hues of blue, green, purple and pink. These whimsy sandwiches are sure to be a hit with the kiddos and are available in turkey and cheese, ham and cheese of peanut butter and jelly. The meal is rounded out with a choice of side (chips, cookie, or apple slices) and a drink (milk, juice or kid’s soda) for only $3.49!

jax-lunch

After my Sensible Sandwich sampling I brought Miss Jax a Goodcents Rainbow Bread kid’s meal and she squealed with happiness, proclaiming it a “unicorn sandwich.” Unlike most kids, mine doesn’t like bread (how that is even possible I do not know), but she was so excited about this colorful bun she couldn’t wait to dig in. She inspected it closely, marveling at how pretty it was. After she was done she asked me if I could make rainbow bread at home.

My response: “Nope, Jax, I can’t; we will save that for Goodcents!” (and since I’ll be eating a Sensible Sandwich it will be completely acceptable to steal her cookie).

……………………………………………………….

Disclaimer: I was invited to enjoy Goodcents’ new menu items at no cost to help facilitate this post. All opinions stated here are entirely my own. 

2016 – Beauty and the Beast

family

Happy New Year, friends! First of all I want to thank you for being here. For reading my words and for following along. I know 2016 was a beast of a year for many, it wasn’t the easiest for me either, but the beauty balanced the beast.

I started 2016 with hope after the previous year had delivered punch after painful punch, especially during the last quarter.  My husband and I welcomed the new year with open arms. We bought our first home together in December 2015 and moved in at the end of January. Some of the stress of the tail end of ’16 was fading away as we charged forward in a new chapter in our lives. Then, a monumental event occurred a mere 6 weeks into the year, just two weeks after we moved to our new home. We were in a devastating car accident and our lives were nearly cut short. It was a painful event that defined our year. The aftermath of the accident took a toll on our lives in every way possible. An unforgettable horrifying moment that will forever stay with both of us. Thankfully our daughter was NOT with us that night, thankfully everyone survived, everyone is whole. And while Tim and I can never, ever forget the incident, we can move past it. In 2016 hope prevailed.

While the terror of that night brought devastation it also brought new mental awareness and a profound appreciation for life. It brought my husband and I closer, solidified our marriage and brought about a new brand of respect and appreciation…because we could have both so easily been lost that night but the gift of survival was bestowed upon us. So while I hate that the accident did happen, I do find hope and strength in the tender mercies that came with the chaos and pain.

jax-jimmy
Jax’s last visit with her Great Uncle Jimmy.

While we were recuperating from the events of that February night, my terminally ill uncle took a turn for the worse. My uncle lived with me and my mom throughout my later childhood. He was spending his final days in Prescott and I was too scared to drive to the grocery store let alone make the hour and a half trek up north to say goodbye and my husband was still nursing injuries that prevented him from driving at all. But this was important and Jimmy was asking for us so the Saturday before Easter, my husband and I piled our daughter, my sister, mom and grandma into my new car and made the short trip to see Uncle Jimmy. I was surprised to see him up, and walking around, lucid and engaging in conversation. I had been told he was incoherent and bedridden but the man we came to visit was relatively active and seemed happy. I had wanted to leave before nightfall, I was scared to drive home in the dark but we stayed for dinner. Uncle Jimmy had an appetite and a sense of humor. It was a nice dinner. We said goodbye hours after the sun set. I am thankful I overcame my fear of driving farther than I had been comfortable with since the accident, I am thankful we enjoyed dinner that night with my uncle and our family. I am thankful we did that for him, and for us. It was the last time he was coherent, he went to sleep that evening and never got out of bed again. He hung on another week, in and out of consciousness for a couple days and then slipped into that place between life and death. James Peter Moreno took his last breath exactly one week after our visit. I miss my uncle and have countless fond memories of him. He was a proud veteran with endless stories. He loved hot dogs and enjoyed cooking. He took pride in what he made and it was always delicious. He liked to do crafts with my mom. When Jax visited he enjoyed playing with her and giving her snacks. He wrapped Christmas presents with newspaper or plastic grocery bags. He always misspelled my name “Angle.” He was good man who fought personal demons and disease multiple times. He hovered on the brink of death on more than one occasion, even having been read his last rights before coming back and dumbfounding the doctors. He gave his final round a valiant go before peacefully slipping away. We miss him, Jax especially; she often speaks of him, usually our of nowhere. Sometimes she “writes” letters to him. Her wish for 2017 was for him to come back. I explained to her that he never really left and he lives in or hearts and minds. I told her she was lucky that her wish was already coming true. I am thankful for the appreciation I know my uncle felt for our visit. I am thankful Jax, Tim and I got to spend his last good day with him. I am thankful we got to say goodbye. I am thankful he no longer suffers. In 2016 gratitude and peace prevailed.

Throughout all of that I watched my daughter morph from a toddler to a little girl. She has grown more this past year than she has her entire life. Leaps and bounds of physical, mental, intellectual and emotional growth. Where she once threw tantrums, she now reasons and decides. Where she once chattered, she now articulates. She has displayed remarkable character, resilience and intelligence. She is breathtaking and her beauty radiates from within. She is shining bright and showing glimpses of the person she will become. I could not be happier to be her mama. On the marriage front – my husband and I have persevered through some of the toughest obstacles we have faced together and we did it with an unwavering bond. In addition, I’ve made more forever friends this year than I have made my entire life. Soulful and meaningful friendships with like-minded people. The kind of friends with whom conversation is effortless and flows easily. Friendships I can share with my husband and who we both value dearly. In 2016 abundance of the heart and soul prevailed.

Last year was tough, it took an emotional and physical toll and has left a permanent mark on my very being but more importantly lessons were learned, appreciation was found, friendships were forged and love remained. 2016, you weren’t such a beast after-all.

Welcome, 2017, please be kind and merciful to me and my loved ones. Let good outweigh grief. Allow success to outshine failures. Promote healing over hurt and love over hate. Deliver what fate has planned but please do so with tenderness and opportunity. May you be beautiful and blessed.

Cheers.
………………………….

We miss and love you Uncle Jimmy. Watch over us and know we think of you often.

Last Minute Tips for Christmas Dinner – Q&A with Chef Hittle

mark-hittle
Chef Mark Hittle. Photo courtesy of Bobby Q.

Can you even believe Christmas is in just 3 days?!?! I am not sure how that it is even possible but boy, do I have a great gift for you!

Tips and tricks for cooking the perfect holiday ham or juicy roast beef that will wow your friends and family! I recently had the chance to pick the brain of meat master, Mark Hittle, Executive Chef at Bobby Q Great Steaks and Real BBQ. Bobby Q has been serving up some of the Valley’s best steaks, smoked and grilled meats and ‘que and the man behind the deliciousness is sharing a little bit of expertise. Check it out.

Yay Baby!: What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when preparing a ham or Christmas roast?

Chef Hittle: I have learned that the biggest mistake people make when preparing their food is having too much food in the oven. Sometimes patience is required when cooking and while it may be faster to put a lot of food in the oven, it will take longer for everything to cook and can affect the quality and texture. To ensure you don’t make this mistake, cook in batches and put in the extra time… it will be worth it.

Yay Baby!: Do hams need a glaze or can you get buy without one?

Chef Hittle: I like using glaze with my ham. I always advise people to make their own and avoid those pre-made glazes. One of my favorite glazes I have made has a little bit of cinnamon whiskey mixed into it. I encourage everyone to get a little creative with their glazes this holiday season. Make sure you don’t burn your glaze, so apply it about 20-30 minutes before taking it out of the oven.

Yay Baby!: Should hams or roasts be prepped or marinated/brined before cooking like a turkey is?

Chef Hittle: I always brine turkeys before cooking them, but I don’t find that necessary for hams. However, I do like to pre-season roasts for a few hours to make sure that it catches all of the flavors I want it to have.

Yay Baby!: Will you share a few tips for cooking the perfect ham?

Chef Hittle: When cooking ham it is to make sure you understand how long your ham needs to bake ahead of time. The cooking time of a ham can vary based on its weight, cut, and whether it is cooked or uncooked. EXPERT TIP: Loosely cover your ham with foil to help ensure that it doesn’t dry out and will cook evenly.

Yay Baby!: How about some tips for cooking the perfect roast?

Chef Hittle: When cooking a roast, I have learned that it is great to utilize vegetables. Layer vegetables on the bottom of the roasting pan to keep the skin from becoming soggy, and to help impact the flavor of the roast throughout. Now, as far as seasoning goes, make sure that if you want to marinate your roast, you do it a couple of days in advance so the seasoning can penetrate past the surface of the meat. You can get creative with your seasoning and combine different flavors to create a unique and flavorful combination.

Yay Baby!: What side dishes and/or accompaniments are a must for ham/roast dinners?

Chef Hittle: A holiday dinner is not complete without its sides and my favorites are a good sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and fire roasted corn.

Yay Baby!: What will be served at your holiday gathering?

Chef Hittle: This holiday season I will be celebrating with tamales, pierogis, and of course, some cervezas!
………..
Well, there ya have it folks, some advice from a meat authority! May your holiday feast be delicious, appreciated and shared with those you love the most.

New Cocktails at Market Street Kitchen

Market Street Kitchen just rolled out a new winter cocktail menu featuring innovative and delicious libations perfect for this season of celebrations. Beverage Director, Garrit Guthrie mixed, shook, and poured his way to success with his latest creations.

Sherry Babysherry-babySherry Baby was one of my favorites of the night. Made with Rittenhouse Rye, madeira, grapefruit, lime and cinnamon syrup. It’s slightly sweet, pleasantly spiced with the warmth of cinnamon and crisp from the citrus. Sherry Baby is beautifully served over crushed ice in a metal cup that keeps it perfectly chilled. I loved how fragrant this cocktail was.

 

Road Runner road-runnerDon’t let the frou-frou look of this drink fool you, the Road Runner means business! I took a long drawn-out sip of this cocktail, expecting something super sweet and fruity. But with the addition of the mole bitters my tastebuds were instead met with savory notes and just a hint of sweet. It was an unexpected delight. The Road Runner is made with Caskwerks Gin, Bruto Americano, cold brew, pineapple, lemon and those savory (and tricky) mole bitters.

 

Pisco-Techapisco-techaA unique twist on the Pisco classic made with absinthe for that curious taste that will have you ordering two more of these babies and dancing on the tables! In addition to the absinthe this drink is made with Barsol Pisco, apricot, benedictine and lime. It’s a crisp cocktail brightened up with a hint of lime and fancied up with an edible flower garnish.

 

Chai Tai chai-taiAnother take on a classic cocktail, Guthrie had some fun re-inventing the tropical mai-tai. He mixes his up with Plantation OFTD Rum, Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Run, orgeat, chai, lemon and lime. The addition of the chai brings warm and spicy notes fitting for the colder weather and the fruit and citrus juices keep the drink true to it’s tropical beginnings. And just like the original, there plenty of booze in this cocktail!

 

How do a’like ‘deb Apples?! how-do-ya-like-dem-applesFound on the Spirit Forward section of the cocktail menu and described as an “Apple-tini for grown-ups.” This drink is sure to get the party rolling.  Made with Laird’s Apple Brandy, sweet vermouth, Green Chartreuse, benedictine and rhubarb bitters, the best word I can come up with to describe How do ya like ‘dem Apples?! is STRONG! And if a kick-ass, in-your-face-cocktail is your jam you will definitely LOVE those apples.

 

Tally Me Banana tally-me-bananaA cheeky name for an intense cocktail, also found on the Spirit Forward menu. Be forewarned: the namesake song will be stuck in your head for days after this drink. Made with Plantation OFTD Run, Giffard Banana, cinnamon and mole bitters. This crafty cocktail will dance on your tastebuds with savory, sweet and warm notes. DAY-OH!

 

Pomma Spice pomma-spiceI saved this drink for last because it was my absolute favorite of the night!  It’s made with pomegranate liquer, Canton Ginger, bourbon, lemon and ginger bitters. I am going to describe this drink the way I would describe myself – sweet, strong, whimsy and AWESOME! It was everything I love in a drink and that pomegranate studded ice cube made it a true show-stopper. I am going to petition MSK to rename this drink Yay Baby or Angel’s Delight or something equally befitting me, because I loved it so much I am calling it my signature cocktail.

 

Buffalo Octopus20161210_172328And speaking of petitioning Market Street Kitchen, you will want to do just that once you are done reading this post. Behold Buffalo Octopus. It’s amazing and the chef is contemplating adding it to the menu. It’s incredible – spicy chucky of the most tender octopus bathed in a glorious house-made buffalo glaze. Seriously one of the best things I have eaten in a long, long time.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend a sting of these cocktails free of charge to help facilitate this write-up, however all opinions stated in this post are entirely my own. 

Sustainability Event Comes to Tempe – Ticket Giveaway on IG

summit-invite-resizeMany of us are interested in lightening our carbon footprint and don’t know where to start. We can do so much more than blue recycle bins and the first Simple Solutions Summit at the Phoenix Marriot Tempe at the Buttes will help get us started. On Saturday, December 10 from 9am- 3pm, Green Living Magazine, Verde Xchange and dozens of other interactive vendors that will be on hand to teach you the best way to live a more sustainable life through the six pillars of sustainability: air, education, energy, food, water and waste.

There will be a panel of local experts discussing their simple solutions as well as 50 interactive booths, an Eco Tank for budding entrepreneurs, a fun and educational kids’ area and much more.

All are welcome to visit any of the local vendors that will be set up throughout the day offering their tips on living a sustainable life. Watch as models show off Hand-painted Dresses or visit with local company 2 Sistaz as they show children how to make doll houses out of recycling products! It’s a day of fun for the entire family!

Tickets are $10 for college students, $25 for a single ticket or a family pass is available for $40 with kids free. To buy tickets and for more information visit greenlivingaz.com/register.

Want free tickets to the event? Simply visit @yaybabyblog on Instagram for details on how to win a family pass (valued at $40).

%d bloggers like this: