December 2017 | chicago foodie girl


Phoenix-Area Eats Round-Up

Happy Travel Tuesday! I hope everyone is having a fab week. I am officially on winter break, which means I finally have some time to catch up with all of the posts I meant to write over the last few months, starting with a final wrap of my foodie adventures in Arizona. Ever since my trip last month, I've received numerous questions specifically focused on where to eat in the Phoenix-area. Based on what I heard, many Chicagoans don't think of Phoenix as having much of a food scene; rather, it's more like a giant suburb filled with the same old boring chain restaurants. I will admit that initially, I didn't think of Arizona as having much of a foodie draw, but as I learned during my trip, there is a rich and vibrant food scene that stretches all across the state... and yes, that definitely includes the Phoenix-area!

While this is in no way a comprehensive list of all of the possibilities in the Phoenix-area, between restaurant stops and exclusive chef meetings/tastings at the AZ Food & Wine Experience (similar to Chicago Gourmet), I managed to amass a fairly decent list of eats. I do highly recommend partaking in a Fresh Foodie Trail tour if you're really interested in learning more about the local food scene, but if you're just looking for a few restaurants to visit during spring training (or while fleeing the dreary Midwestern winter weather), I've also got you covered!


Holiday Cookie Exchange: Chai Eggnog with RumChata Glaze

Happy Monday and happy National Cookie Day! Woo-hoo! I hope everyone is having a fab month; after an extraordinarily busy and stressful November, I am so ready to slow down and switch to hardcore holiday eating, baking, and shopping mode. We have a week and a half left in the semester (both for the classes I'm teaching and the classes I'm taking) - let me just say that I cannot wait to submit my final paper, finish with grading, and send my students on their merry way (or their not-so-merry way, depending on how many times they claimed a spot on my End of Semester Bingo Board 😆).

After fours years of some really awesome cookies (including the always popular Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies and Mexican Hot Chocolate Sugar Cookies), I decided to take a break from the annual food blogger cookie exchange last year. As with this year, I totally overcommitted during November and felt like I simply could not meet yet another deadline; of course, as soon as I saw the cookie posts start trickling in on Instagram, I felt super sad and wished I had participated. I didn't want to be left with major cookie fomo this year, so I made sure to get it together in time to join up and swap some goodies! For this year's exchange, I decided to explore a few of my favorite holiday flavors other than peppermint: chai and eggnog. The chai spices give these soft sugar cookies a kick and they're perfectly balanced by the creamy sweetness of the eggnog. As much as I loved my holiday cookies of the past, I think these are officially the best cookies I've ever made!
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