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Graz Kitchen Fresh

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Travel | 0 comments

Graz sandwich

I love a good grilled cheese sandwich.

The first time I went to Graz Kitchen Fresh for a breakfast meetup and saw they had a whole menu of them, I was like “oh, I’m coming back!”

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And I’ve definitely been back. So I felt like a post devoted to the goodness of Graz was long overdue.

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Open for breakfast and lunch, Graz is a juice bar and sandwich shop focused on fresh ingredients.

It’s located just south of Downtown Chandler and Gangplank, where I sometimes work. I can easily pick up lunch on the way in or pastries for our Monthly Momentum meetup.

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I’m kinda hooked on their green goddess sandwich. It is goat cheese, mozzarella, pesto, arugula, and avocado on this whole grain bread toasted on a sandwich press. I mean, seriously.

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They serve Peixoto coffee and occasionally do a breakfast sandwich pop-up there. They also provided the food and coffee for Craft Camp. If you order ahead, they make crazy good cinnamon rolls.

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Free Outdoor Movies

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Travel | 12 comments

I love the feel of free community events where anyone can be in the audience, like outdoor concerts or Ballet Under the Stars.

Free outdoor events

Outdoor movies are particularly interesting because they turn the whole movie viewing experience on its head. In the theater, it’s all about blocking out the surrounding environment – controlling light and sound so that nothing distracts from what’s on screen. Outdoors, the environment becomes part of the experience.

Monsoon

As a teenager, I saw the movie Twister at a drive-in while a monsoon storm was moving in, the wind gusting hard and the sky turning a surreal shade of orange. I’m pretty sure I thought it was a better movie than it actually was because of the natural drama around me. On the other hand, sometimes the sound isn’t good or something blocks your view or the people from the Portlandia sketch show up.

Do you ever go to free or outdoor movie events?

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Some places for free movies (inside or outside) here in Arizona…

May 2016:

Summer:

Library

Ongoing:


Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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The Living Room in Chandler

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Travel | 0 comments

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I finally made it in to The Living Room, a cozy wine bar in Chandler, one summer day when my friend Katie was in town. A monsoon storm had just blown through, cooling the temperature down from unbearable to pleasant, and they opened up the patio for us.

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The bruschetta was awesome. One kind had ripe cherry tomatoes. The other had prosciutto that reminded me of Spain.

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My sangria was ok. Turns out I’m very picky about sangria. After that, I ordered the same red as Katie, and that was really good. That’s probably what I should’ve done in the first place. Katie has great taste and is kind of a Living Room expert from her Chandler days.

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The servers came around just often enough, not so much they kept us from catching up, but enough to get our orders and bring us more bread, so we could finish off our delicous artichoke dip.

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Craft Camp is coming!

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Craft | 0 comments

The awesomeness of our monthly CraftHack meetups could not be contained. One of the organizers, Anne Watson Barber, has planned an entire day for the same kind of learning, crafting, and connecting that happens there. And you’re definitely invited!

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Craft Camp is happening Saturday, August 8 at TechShop Chandler. The morning will be filled with talks and workshops to help artists, makers, and crafters learn how to turn their craft into a passion project or business.

I will be part of a blogging panel at 11:15, along with Kitty Carlisle of the Grammatical Activist and Kelli Donley of AfricanKelli. We’ll be sharing strategies and tools to help you get the word out about your craft blog and build your community.

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There will also be panels on photographing your creations, crafting for charity, and how to sell via ecommerce and retail.

The afternoon will be a time to craft and meet other crafters.

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Registration is $20. Proceeds go to Refugee Focus, an organization that helps refugees in Arizona. Several of our CraftHack-ers volunteer with them, teaching refugee women sewing and other job skills.

I think it’s going to be a really great day! Please tell your artsy-crafty friends and register via the CraftHack Facebook page.

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– More info –

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Summer of the Waffle

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

I don’t remember how we got on the subject, but somehow I ended up speculating on what would be the next food trend to follow fancified cupcakes and ostentatious donuts.

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“Maybe waffles. Do you think waffles could be gourmet? Like will there be food trucks selling artisan waffles?”

Yes and yes, as it turns out.

There are now waffle trucks. And, here in Phoenix, there’s a waffle trailer that serves traditional Belgian liege waffles with the recipe, technique, and even sugar imported from Belgium.

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The trailer is the latest venture of Chocolade van Brugge, the chocolate shop I was introduced to during the Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale. So there are all kinds of tempting topping options, including, of course, really good chocolate.

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They’ve declared this The Summer of the Waffle and threw a party to kick it off, parking the trailer in Scottsdale’s Eldorado Park on a lovely May evening. Peixoto Coffee Roasters was there with big jars of iced coffee and cascara (coffee cherry tea) and their pour-over coffee setup. Hoot and Holler had organized the event and set the tables with beautiful flower arrangements.

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We tried a mini waffle topped with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream. Yep, that’s as awesome as it sounds. Our other mini waffle came with delicious dark chocolate, caramel, and more sea salt than I personally would’ve prefered – but I’m sure they’d lighten that up on request. I’d definitely order it again. 

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Peixoto did a decaf pour over for me, since it was late in the day. Ridiculously good. Did not taste like decaf. Phillip got an iced coffee, which he enjoyed (even though it kept him up). I like their iced coffee too. It’s my pre-CraftHack beverage of choice.

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We got to meet and chat with the owners of both shops. Both are passionate about their craft and their ingredients. Both have come from other continents, bringing along their heritage and sharing a part of it with the Phoenix community. 

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Besides the waffle truck that’s a trailer, you can find Chocolade van Brugge waffles at their main location in Old Town Scottsdale, and they frequently do pop up shops in Downtown Chandler at Peixoto.

Thank you to Peixoto, Chocolade Van Brugge, and Hoot and Holler for allowing us to be your guests at this event!

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