Guest Chef – Genuine Fresche

Açaí Bowl Artist (n:) a person who prepares or sells fresh açaí bowls, juices, shakes, smoothies, etc.

We recently finished up our fifth filming in our Guest Chef series with Boyd Harrington. It has been so much fun, and a huge learning experience for us. Stay tuned to see where we will be filming next. We love connecting with local businesses and showing what it’s like to be behind the scenes to bring customers the products they order. So much time and effort go into making the perfect product! In out latest filming we visited Genuine Fresche where we learned how to make the perfect açaí bowl. Making the bowls quickly and perfectly takes a lot of practice, and we got it down to an art by the time we were finished filming. We had a great time connecting with customers while we were there!

The owners, Brad and Marcy, discovered that you could heal the body through food. Their youngest child had several health issues when he was young, and by changing their diet and lifestyles they were able to heal many health issues through food alone. This led to a lifelong commitment of healthy eating and living. They quickly realized that it was hard to go out to eat and find the right foods on any menu, so they decided to open their own shop, and Genuine Fresche was born! On the menu are some seriously delicious items, including açaí bowls, smoothies, shakes, and juices.

Our Visit to Hassayampa Inn

Built in 1927, Hassayampa Inn is a beauty and is full of history. It is part of the National Register of Historic Places and a member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America, and selected for its historic character, architectural quality, and outstanding preservation efforts. The hotel was named after the Hassayampa River to the north of town. Hassayampa is an Apache word for “the river that loses itself” to “the upside down river.”

Actual construction of the four-story, 78 room hotel, was completed in only 10 months for around $200,000, plus $75,000 for furnishings. Even though this hotel is nearly 100 years old, walking into the hotel today feels as if you’re stepping right back into the 1920’s. Like the elevator at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, the original elevator can only be operated by hotel staff. It’s a rare opportunity to step into the past, although it’s probably quicker to take the stairs! The hand painted, wood beamed ceiling in the lobby is also unforgettable as is the hotel’s Talavera tile fireplace, Castilian walnut furniture, embossed copper panels, chandeliers and etched glass.

When Hassayampa Inn opened for business in 1927 they were visited by a long list of celebrities, including Will Rogers, Clark Gable, and General Blackjack. In modern times, the guest list has included Joan Rivers, The Beach Boys, George W. Bush, and Tom Selleck to name a few.

Fun Fact: Hundreds of Prescott citizens bought shares into the project at $1 each and the result was the construction of a stunning red brick building, completed in 1927, that would serve as the cornerstone of downtown. Back then, it was known as the Hassayampa Hotel.

E & K’s Favorites: The original antique elevator, and the serene courtyard in front of the hotel.

Website: https://www.hassayampainn.com

Address: 122 E Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301

Guest Chef – Crème & Chocolats

Confectioner (n:) a person who makes or sells candies and, sometimes, ice cream, cakes, etc.

We just wrapped up our fourth filming in our Guest Chef series with Boyd Harrington. It has been so much fun, and a huge learning experience for us. Being a consumer, most don’t realize the work that goes on behind the scenes and how much training and preparation is involved in bringing the product to the customer. We just finished filming at Crème & Chocolats where we learned how to make the perfect chocolate dipped ice cream cone, and also crêpes. We found that swirling the perfect cone was actually harder than making the perfect crêpe. Don’t be fooled though, both take a lot of practice to perfect! We had a great time filming here!

Aurélie and Jean came to Arizona with the dream to share their favorite treats. They are inspired by their French background to know good chocolate, rich desserts, and exquisite pastries. Crème & Chocolats gives you more than a variety of tasty treats, they give you a cozy ambiance to indulge in them. They use a 10% butterfat recipe which is higher than a soft serve (2-5%) which what makes their soft serve creamier and smoother, and you can choose from 9 varieties of flavor-infused Belgian chocolate to dip your cone into. Aside from running their bistro, they are also the parents of 3 young little boys and married for more than 10 years.

Guest Chef – d’lite Healthy On The Go

Barista (n:) a person who makes and serves coffee (such as espresso) to the public.

We filmed our third Guest Chef series at d’lite Healthy On The Go with our videographer Boyd Harrington. Filming here was a different experience since they serve all types of drinks from coffee, to lemonade, to teas. They also serve sandwiches, wraps and salads. They have a diverse menu, which made working here a brand new learning experience for us. We could see how on point all the employees were and how much they had to hustle to get orders out quickly. We were able to make our personal favorite, the Breakfast Buzz! This is one of our all time favorite shakes ever, and it was so fun to be behind the counter making these and serving them to customers.

d’Lite Healthy On The Go has several locations around the valley. Founded by a husband and wife team in search of healthy options to fit their busy schedule, and health needs, they came up with this amazing concept of healthy and convenient food. They wanted to make sure they accommodated customers with all different types of health needs ranging from calorical, vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, and allergies. Their foods are made using high-quality, nutritious products.

Cooking and Eating Plantains

Plantains suspiciously look like bananas, and often get confused for bananas. Even though plantains are a member of the banana family, they are distinctly different. They are actually a fruit, but treated like a vegetable. Plantains are native to India and the Caribbean, but they are also widely used in Latin cuisine. Growing up in a Latin family, we quite often ate plátanos. They are so versatile and so delicious.

Typically bananas are eaten raw, and plantains are steamed, boiled, grilled, fried or baked. They are super simple to cook since I usually fry them in a pan with some oil. I always say there are two types of plantains; ones that are green, and ones that turn yellow/black, or super ripe. The riper they get, the sweeter they are. I personally prefer to fry my plantains when they are green, as they are crispier. When they become over ripe and sweet, they are soft.

There are two methods to pan frying these fruits.

Maduros – Pan fry plantains of about 1/2″ thickness for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown in a pan on medium heat. This style is often used in desserts.

Tostones – Take the maduros you already made and smash them down thinner (this can be done by using the bottom of a glass to press them down – remember maduros are soft even once they’ve been fried). Now fry again for another 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are crispy. They will be a deep golden color.

Drain the plantains (maduros or tostones) on a paper towel to remove the excess grease. The only seasoning you will need is to sprinkle them with a little salt while they are still hot.

This is the plantain I’ll be using. As you can see, I let it sit in my fruit basket for a while, and now it’s on it’s way to becoming ripe and sweet. These are fairly easy to peel once ripe since the skin is softer. When they are still green, the skin is tough and you may need the help of a knife to slice down the side to make peeling easier.

I chopped these a little thinner than usual since I won’t be double frying them. They are chopped into approximately 1/4″ thick size coins.

Once the oil in your pan has been heated to about medium heat, you can carefully place them right in.

This is more or less how they will look once they’ve been fried for a few minutes on each side. They are still very soft, and sweet to the taste. Don’t forget to season them with salt!

Like I mentioned earlier, plantains are so versatile, whether you cook them tostones or maduros style. They can be used in sweet or savory dishes. I wrapped these in a flour tortilla with some homemade avocado salsa.

Disfruta tu comida!

Erika 🙂

Guest Chef – Nitro Live

Nitrologist (n:) a person who works at the front counter guiding customers through the ice cream making process while ensuring that every customer receives excellent product and service.

We’re having a blast working on our guest Chef Series with our videographer, Boyd Harrington. In case you haven’t been following along on our Instagram page, we’ve created a unique concept of working behind the scenes inside local businesses. We love connecting on a personal level with local companies we love to support. We spent our time filming Episode 2 at Nitro Live learning how to make ice cream desserts out of liquid nitrogen! We picked up the concept quickly and had so much fun working behind their counter.

Nitro Live is family owned and operated by Felicia and Rich, who were on the brink of retirement, but decided to put that on hold to create a company that applies the science of liquid nitrogen to creating delicious ice cream tailored to customers’ needs and imaginations. They also have the ability to accommodate a wide range of dietary restrictions, including lactose free, no sugar added, low fat, and vegan treats. They also have a passion for making a difference in the community, including conducting demonstrations at local schools.

Guest Chef – SodaRush

Soda Jerk (n:) a person who serves and sells soft drinks and ice cream at a soda fountain.

If you’ve been following along on our Instagram page, then you’ve seen that we have teamed up with Boyd Harrington to create a unique concept of working behind the scenes in local shops. Our goal for the Guest Chef series is to connect better with the companies we love to support and get a feel for what they do for all of us consumers. We had a ton of fun at SodaRush learning how to make different drinks, fresh lemonade and interacting with the customers. Keep an eye out for more to come. 🙂

SodaRush is a family owned and operated Soda Shop.​ Originally from Kansas, Jim and Amber moved to the valley of the sun with their 4 children to open their own soda and cookie shop. They now have two locations in Mesa, and in Gilbert. SodaRush not only only serves their Signature Sips and Gourmet Cookies, they also serve Ice Cream Cones, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade and Coconut Limeade, and also Cotton Candy, Giant Soft Pretzels, and Fruit Puree Parfaits.

Crisp Premium Pizza in Old Town Scottsdale

Crisp Premium Pizza in Old Town Scottsdale

{{ you can’t make everyone happy, you aren’t pizza }}

 Their motto is – The best crust you will ever have with the most premium ingredients! 

One thing that sets Crisp Premium Pizza apart from the rest is they are the only pizzeria in town serving grandma style pizza pies. A grandma style pie is a square, thick pizza, with a crisp crust that it oiled on the bottom and baked in a (square!) pan. They offer two types of pies:

-A traditional pie which is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh basil, and EVOO.

-A white pie that uses ricotta rather than tomato and adds fresh garlic, fresh basil, and EVOO. 

These pizzas can be topped with a variety of premium meats and vegetables. They import their flour from Italy which makes the most amazing crispy bottom and fluffy on top crust! 

Adrian is the owner of Crisp, and you will also often see his wife Bana in the shop. They recently moved here from Brooklyn and are both very sweet and welcoming. 

We had the pleasure of helping Bana and Adrian host a media night for bloggers and other influencers on May, 2nd, 2018. It was a huge success! We sampled several pizzas, and had a great night taking photos and chatting and mingling with other blogger friends. They ordered the cutest cake which was in the shape of their signature grandma style pizza pie! 

All in all the night was a huge success. It feels good to see a community of bloggers come together to share their love of supporting local businesses through their social media pages and also word of mouth. 

E&K Favorites: Traditional Square (so good!)

Website: www.crisp-pizza.com

Address: 7111 E. 5th Ave, Scottsdale

Wei Better Orange Chicken

Pei Wei (n:) Asian culinary tradition by wok-searing premium ingredients in portions that satisfy.

Just when you think Orange Chicken can’t get any better, IT DOES! This classic Asian dish is a family favorite across America and Pei Wei is turning it up a notch.

Pei Wei has defined what it means to serve fresh Asian Cuisine. Their fresh, never frozen chicken that is hand cut in-house by professional Chefs, sautéed in a 650˚ wok with fresh orange slices defines the epitome of what Wei Better Orange Chicken is all about.

{{ “Move over, Panda. Wei Better Orange Chicken is here!” }}

On Thursday March 29th we were able to attend an exclusive family-style dinner hosted by Pei Wei’s Director of Culinary Innovation, Chef J., to sample their newest delectable dish and other menu favorites.

🍊 Orange Chicken Dish: Chef J. and his team prepared Wei Better Orange Chicken in many different variations which included: The Original Orange Chicken, Orange Shrimp, Orange Flank Steak, Orange Tofu and Orange Vegetarian. Any of these dishes can be served with white rice, brown rice, vegetables, lettuce cups, quinoa, noodles and mixed greens.

E&K Favorites: The Original Wei Better Orange Chicken

Website: https://www.peiwei.com

Address: All Locations

Pop ‘N Tea – Food as Art – She Forks Event

Pop ‘N Tea – Food as Art- She Forks Event       

💎 Growing up in Arizona, popsicles were their own food group! Now that we are grown up, we were more than ecstatic when we heard of Pop ‘N Tea Bar in Phoenix.

Their adult version of the popsicle involves gelato frozen into diamond shaped popsicle bars, then dipped into chocolate and choice of toppings.

On February 20th, 2018 we attended another amazing She Forks Phoenix event, Food As Art, at the Pop ‘N Tea located in Phoenix. We were graced with the company of other great bloggers and influencers.

Matt, Benson and Eric, the owners of Pop ‘N Tea, treated us with amazing boba drink samples, and the ever so glorious, gelato diamond gelato bar. These three friends are passionate about only serving up quality products from quality ingredients.

A couple fun facts about Pop ‘N Tea Bar:  The building they are in used to be a flower shop. As a tribute to the history of that building they designed their logo to look like a flower bouquet. Pretty cool, huh!

E&K Favorites: Erika’s favorite is the Sea Salt Caramel Gelato Bar dipped in dark chocolate and topped with crushed peanuts. Kaylyn’s favorite is the Vanilla Gelato Bar dipped in milk chocolate and topped with pistachios.

Website: https://www.popntea.com

Address: 550 W McDowell Road Phoenix, AZ 85003