What'd you eat for dinner last night? Spinach salad with sunflower seeds, cheese and olive oil.
Favorite food: Roasted red peppers. You take a red pepper, put it straight over the flame and cook it until it is covered black. Put the red pepper in a brown grocery bag until it is cool. This makes it easier to peel the black stuff off, and then you have a roasted red pepper. The a,mazing thing about a roasted red pepper is it is quite dull by itself, but add it to anything and it makes the other food a billion times better. Try it with yellow rice, ham, olive and cottage cheese.
Least favorite food: While traveling through Oaxaca, Mexico, I tried a grasshopper taco. That night, I woke up covered in hives, my throat swelled up, and I was covered in a cold sweat. As there are not really great hospitals in rural Oaxaca in the middle of the night, I sat on the toilet all night splashing cold water on my face. The next day, I drank like two gallons of water. So, my least favorite food are grasshoppers.
Favorite dessert: My mother's flan. She is Puerto Rican. Mexican flan just doesn't even come close. I don't even bother ordering flan in restaurants any more.
Favorite local restaurant and meal to order there: Not neccesarily my favorite restaurant, but my favorite meal to order from a restaurant, is the anti-pasta plate at Carly's. It has all my favorite foods--red pepper, artichoke heats, different olives, thin ham, that white cheese (I don't know the name of it), all on one plate! My favorite restaurant has to be Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe. I grew up in North Carolina, and this place is a little bit of the taste of what I miss from home.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Favorite local bar and cocktail to order there: The Bikini Lounge and a pitcher of beer. Oh, I realize that might seem lame, but the Bikini Lounge is one of the great institutions of downtown Phoenix. The rumor I have heard (and the one I continue spreading) is that it was the original tiki bar in Phoenix, and they have never redecorated because, why should they, its the Bikini. Great place to hang out with a wonderful eclectic group of people, grab a cheap pitcher of beer and share with others for good conversation.
Favorite thing to cook at home: I stole my own thunder with the roasted red pepper, so the next favorite thing would have to be hummus. It's easy to do, and then I feel like I am eating healthy for the next couple of days. When making hummus, I start with half a pack of sunflower seeds and grind them up into a paste. I am allergic to almonds, so I use the sunflower seeds as a replacement, but people always seem to like my hummus, so I figure it has become my secret ingredient, along with the black beans in the hummus.
Favorite memory involving food: Going to my grandmother's as a kid to get a Coke. Coke was not allowed in my house, but my grandmother always had a couple of cans. So whenever I was out riding my bike I would stop by her house even though it was a couple of miles away. I would sip on a Coke and talk with her.
Recipe or food tip to share: My neighbor now has a rooster. At first, this really annoyed me, but now I have convinced them to give me four eggs a week from the chickens in exchange for me dealing with the rooster. Fresh eggs taste a billion times better than store-bought ones, even the supposed free range ones.