The Explorer: Nourishment

Nourishment

  • Ciders are perfect for a hot summer afternoon

    As the craft beer movement has taken a well-established hold within the grocery and liquor stores, craft cider has been making its move onto the shelves. One of the companies doing just that is Tieton Cider Works.Tieton Cider Works is aptly named from where its apples are grown, juiced, and bottled in Tieton, Wash. and its beverages are now available in Tucson. While some people choose other drink options to simply try something new, others who are sensitive to gluten can indulge in Tieton’s cider as their varieties are gluten-free and a nice alternative to the gluten-free beer variety.Combining numerous varieties of apples, the company is able to achieve a wide arrange of notes comparable to wine and beer.  They use apples like the Kingston Black and Wickson Crab for a bitter and sharp taste that is high in acid and tannin. Dabinett and Yarlington Mill apples are low in acid but high in tannin. The company also blends in dessert apples and sweet apples into its ciders for body and depth, rather than simply bottling a really sweet hard cider like that, which has been found on shelves for quite some time now.Tieton Cider Works has 10 varieties, some of which are offered year-round, while others are seasonal. Six of its varieties were sent to the Explorer to sample, as we regularly sample and critique drinks during the paper’s monthly Sippin’ Social happy hour review.The ciders sampled were Apricot, Blossom Nectar, Cherry Blend, Wild Washington Apple, Tieton Blend, and its Yakima Valley Dry Hopped ciders.The Apricot cider comes in at 6.9 percent and was absolutely outstanding. It was crisp and light, with a tart dry finish, along with beautiful and subtle apricot notes. It did not taste like there was any alcohol in it, which made this drink disappear quickly after a long and hot day of work.

  • Primavera Cooks! at feast restaurant

    Summer dinner series includes a wine-paired gourmet meal, with help from apprentice chefs and sommeliers to raise funds supporting services for Tucson's homeless and working poor at Feast restaurant.June 18, 2014Event Location: 3719 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716 Venue: Feast Time: Please see website or call for details. Admission: $125 per person ($50 is tax deductible) All reservations are made with Primavera directly and not with the host restaurants. Payment must be made in advance of the dinner through Primavera. 

  • Tips to Make Great Summer Barbecues on a Budget

    It’s time for fun outdoor afternoons spent with family and friends.If you’re looking for frugal fun this summer, the experts at Dollar General are offering some great tips for gathering around the grill on a budget:• Get organized: With a little preparation, you can better enjoy your evening of entertaining and avoid running around getting everything together.  A few days before your event, determine what items you already have so you don’t buy duplicates and make a task list of all that needs to be done before your party.  You may find you can accomplish some items well in advance of your barbeque. Plus, the best part of getting organized is that it doesn’t cost you anything!• Use Charcoal: Charcoal grills are less expensive, more interactive and tend to burn hotter for a nice, deep-brown sear that also gives your food a natural smoky flavor.Use the grill to also flavor fruits and vegetables like peaches and sweet potatoes.  You can remove the pit from fresh summer peaches and grill for a tasty and healthy dessert or lay sweet potatoes directly on the coals for a great roasted vegetable side dish. • Decorate: Use a festive and seasonal color palette to give your party an extra fun factor.  Accent your outdoor table with a colorful tablecloth, small solar-powered lights that can last throughout summer and small planters with flowers and herbs that can grow all season long.

  • Market on the Move at PCC’s Desert Vista Campus, June 7

    June 7 is the final Market on the Move event at Pima Community College’s Desert Vista Campus until the fall semester. What: Market On the Move When: 7-10 a.m., June 7, 2014 Where: North parking lot, PCC Desert Vista Campus, 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz Cost: $10 Info: 206-5001 This event will start at 7 a.m., one hour earlier than usual.During that time, people can show up in Desert Vista’s North Parking Lot, donate $10 and receive as much as 60 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Those buying the produce are encouraged to use what they need and share with friends and neighbors.A portion of the donations collected Saturday will go to PTK, which recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students.MOMs will resume at the campus after the fall semester starts.

  • Eegee's coupon cards benefit ICS

    Every year during the entire month of June, Eegee's provides customers the opportunity to support a local nonprofit organization. For a $7 donation to the nonprofit, you get a coupon card valued at up to $48 worth of discounts redeemable at any area Eegee's restaurant.For 2014-2015, Eegee's selected two organizations whose services are vital to helping those in need in Southern Arizona. Interfaith Community Services is honored to be the prime beneficiary this year. If you purchase your coupon card directly from ICS, it keeps 100 percent of the proceeds. (ICS receives 75 percent of proceeds from coupon cards sold in Eegee's restaurants.)Get your coupon card from ICSIt's a tasty and easy way to make a difference. To order these cards that will be available June 2, call 297-6049 ext. 228 or email mfitzgerald@icstucson.org. ICS will make sure you get your cards.You can consign or reserve cards for your faith community, service club, business group or other gathering.The coupon cards make a great gift for kids, grandkids, Father's Day or to remember someone special. Each donation will support ICS programs to assist adults and children experiencing financial hardship, as well as elderly and disabled neighbors in need. As more people in our community turn to ICS, this program will help ensure we can be here to help.

  • Sippin' Social: Fini’s lands great food and company

    In what is becoming an increasingly popular event, staff from Tucson Local Media and members of the general public met up for Sippin’ Social, this month held at Fini’s Landing, 5689 N. Swan Road.Fini’s Landing features a happy hour boasting $1 off domestic beers, microbrews, well drinks, and house wines, as well as $.50 wings, $5 salsa trio with chips, $2 tacos and tostadas, $8 dockside ceviche, $6 miniature quesadillas and $2 taco shooters.Offering an extensive and attractive seafood-centric menu, Fini’s, located near Sunrise and Swan roads, offers patrons an equally attractive view of the Catalina Mountains, contributing to the relaxing atmosphere that might just feel like a miniature vacation.To start the evening out, Randy Metcalf ordered a locally made pint of Dragoon Brewery’s Saison Blue (4.75). It’s a Belgian farmhouse ale, with the addition of blue corn and blue agave. The beer came across as light and refreshing, but after taking a few swigs, the aroma profile and complex flavor seemed a bit much for him. But, not to worry, the pint was empty before ordering a second beer.Chris Flora ordered the Fini’s House Brew Beached Ale ($4.25), an amber made specially for Fini’s by the locally-based Barrio Brewing Company, well-known for other brews like the Tucson Blonde and Barrio Blanco.The beer was perfectly chilled, and offered a vague caramelly flavor with a nice blend of malt and hop balance. The amber was not as heavy as some, leaving room for an appetizer. We decided to test out the mini quesadillas ($6), which came with a pineapple mango with habaneros, guacamole, and salsa. We had a choice of BBQ chicken, chorizo, or what we went with, ropa vieja.

  • Tips to Eat Right and Enjoy It

    If eating right is a challenge, it may be because you are trying things you simply don’t like. The key is finding options that satisfy your taste buds, say experts.“Taste is a major influential factor driving what you eat and feed your family, so it’s important to strike a balance between foods you like and those that provide the nutrients you need,” says Glenna McCollum, registered dietitian nutritionist and president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Taste and nutrition are not mutually exclusive.”Every so often, it’s a good idea to take the time to evaluate your diet and make positive changes you can sustain long-term. McClollum encourages Americans to return to the basics of healthful eating by combining taste and nutrition to create meals that follow the recommendations of the “2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”With that in mind, McClollum is providing some expert tips on how to enjoy the taste of eating right:• Love sandwiches? Swap out white bread for whole grain to up your fiber intake. Instead of mayo, use avocado as a rich addition to your sandwich. It’s more flavorful, and it’s also full of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, as well as other nutrients. To stay fuller longer, include fiber-rich veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers.• Balance. While there’s always room to indulge, be sure that the majority of your calories are sourced from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, fat-free or low-fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds. You’ll be filling up on all the nutrients your body needs without all the extra calories. And don’t forget to limit added sugars, salt and saturated fats.

  • Tips to Make Great Summer Barbecues on a Budget

    It’s time for fun outdoor afternoons spent with family and friends.If you’re looking for frugal fun this summer, the experts at Dollar General are offering some great tips for gathering around the grill on a budget:• Get organized: With a little preparation, you can better enjoy your evening of entertaining and avoid running around getting everything together.  A few days before your event, determine what items you already have so you don’t buy duplicates and make a task list of all that needs to be done before your party.  You may find you can accomplish some items well in advance of your barbeque. Plus, the best part of getting organized is that it doesn’t cost you anything!• Use Charcoal: Charcoal grills are less expensive, more interactive and tend to burn hotter for a nice, deep-brown sear that also gives your food a natural smoky flavor.Use the grill to also flavor fruits and vegetables like peaches and sweet potatoes.  You can remove the pit from fresh summer peaches and grill for a tasty and healthy dessert or lay sweet potatoes directly on the coals for a great roasted vegetable side dish. • Decorate: Use a festive and seasonal color palette to give your party an extra fun factor.  Accent your outdoor table with a colorful tablecloth, small solar-powered lights that can last throughout summer and small planters with flowers and herbs that can grow all season long.

  • Summertime is time for PCC’s Culinary Bootcamp

    Whether you are a novice in the kitchen or want to teach a cooking class, you can take your skills to the next level with one or more of PCC’s summer culinary arts credit courses.Summer is the only time you can take PCC’s eight-week Culinary Bootcamp. Or mix and match from any of the three baking classes being offered. Most of the classes meet once a week on a different day, so you can fill your week with culinary training.Culinary Bootcamp (CUL100), running between May 27 and July 22, is offered for beginners (8 a.m. to 5:10 p.m., Wednesdays) and those interested in teaching culinary arts (8 a.m. to 5:10 p.m., Fridays).Each class is an intensive introduction to the fundamentals of cooking and covers kitchen operation, culinary techniques, including basics of charcuterie (cured, smoked or preserved meats, such as ham), as well as ingredients storage and safety precautions. Each class also offers a variety of demonstrations, including roasting, pan frying, braising, poaching, baking and sauce preparation.“You’ll learn everything from peelers to potatoes, chicken to charcuterie,” said Barry Infuso, lead faculty for PCC’s Culinary Arts Program.To register for Culinary Bootcamp, contact Emily Ratley, eratley@pima.edu or 520-206-5302.

  • Put Some Pep in Your Hot Dogs this Grill Season

    Hot dogs are a perennial favorite for Americans, especially in summer. More than seven billion hot dogs are eaten in the three months between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.While traditional preparations and fixings are always a hit, consider packing a little more punch with your dogs this summer. From exotic meat preparations to buns to tasty toppings, there is room for creativity.“When I think of hot dogs, I see endless possibilities. Toppings are what take a dog from ho-hum to haute,” says Russell Van Kraayenburg, hot dog aficionado and author of the new guide to America’s favorite food obsession, “Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments.”Inspired globally, Kraayenburg seeks to reinvent the wheel where this classic is concerned. In time for Memorial Day, he offers a recipe for the “Michigan Dog” aka “The Michiganer,” a spicy, tomato-heavy take on the chili dog that’s popular all over the northeast and even in Quebec.Ingredients• 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

  • New Dickey's Barbecue Pit to open in northwest Tucson

    On Thursday, May 22 at 11 a.m., the newest Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Arizona will open with a three-day grand opening celebration. The first 50 dine-in customers will receive a gift card for up to $50 to Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.“Tucson and Oro Valley are in dire need of good restaurants that have a high quality of food for an affordable price,” said local franchise owner David Wirth. “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will be the new local favorite for lunch, dinner and catering.”Friday, radio station K-Hit 107.5 will be on-site from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and this location will be serving $2 pulled pork barbecue sandwiches.  Also, one lucky winner will be chosen for a $500 gift card and three winners will receive free barbecue for an entire year. Saturday, the new Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Tucson will be offering all day merchandise giveaways.Wirth graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  He has an extensive background in food service starting when he worked a hot dog cart with his dad as a kid.  The new Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Tucson is located 7850 N. Oracle and the telephone number is 219-5RIB (5742).Dickey’s Barbecue was founded by Travis Dickey with the goal of authentic slow smoked barbecue. More than 72 years later, the Dallas-based family-run barbecue franchise still offers a quality selection of signature meats, home style sides, tangy barbecue sauce and free kids meals every Sunday. All meats are slow smoked onsite in each restaurant. The fast-casual family-friendly concept has expanded to over 400 locations in 40 states and holds the title of the world’s largest barbecue franchise. This year Technomic named Dickey’s “Fastest-growing restaurant in the country” and they were also named “Best Franchise Deal” by QSR Magazine. For more information, visit Dickey’s or for barbecue franchise opportunities call (866) 340-6188.

  • Help Dad Perfect His Grill Skills this Season

    The seasoned griller commands an arsenal of experience and recipes, all having been painstakingly passed through the generations and perfected over time and temperature. The origin of these tasty traditions usually can be found in family, and the one often deserving the credit is dear old Dad.Southern grilling guru Fred Thompson, author of the new book “Williams-Sonoma Grill Master” a collection of back-to-basics tips and recipes, recalls the influence of his father as early as nine years old. “Every Saturday night my father grilled rib-eye steaks. I wanted to keep up with daddy so I hung out at the grill,” he says. “I was fascinated with what my father could do.”This Father’s Day and BBQ season, try honoring the Old Man with delicious tradition.  So light that fire!  Take a page out of Thompson’s book and learn the secrets to grilling the perfect steak:• Buy good meat: Grass-fed and grass-finished beef tastes better and has a bolder flavor that holds up particularly well against the lick of the grill’s flames.• Simple seasoning: Sprinkle steak liberally on both sides with salt and pepper when you take it out of the refrigerator. Brush steaks on both sides with a little olive oil (not extra virgin). This facilitates the heat transfer, so you can get an evenly browned crust and a delicious steak house flavor.

MOS: Monsoon Season

We asked the community about the Monsoon Season.

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