America · Ice Cream · Salads · Sweets · Travelling

What I eat in Arizona, Part 1

First of all, Southwest Airlines are hilarious- I’m only ever flying with them again! Airline and a stand-up comedy act? Sold.

Featured highlights:

‘If you’re scared of flying, put your head between your knees and tremble until we bring round the alcohol’

‘You are so lucky to have us as your flight crew’ (no lack of confidence there)

‘My guy in Houston writes these leaflets – I know none of you will read them but you should. If there’s an emergency – tough, you’re on your own! (Only joking, obviously look for a crew member!)

[Paraphrased but the gist is there]

They also give very friendly snacks…



During the first few days we have swum, relaxed and eaten a lot of good food, so here follow the highlights!

The first night we ate at Pita Jungle where I was again reminded of the scale of American portions – I ate the  second half of the meal for breakfast the next morning! I had a lentil fatoosh salad which there is no photographic evidence of – it tasted good though!

Dessert did make the camera though – below is an ice cream sandwich made of a chocolate chip cookie, a s’mores cookie with mint chocolate chip ice cream and hot Nutella (hence the salad before…)


(They also gave us free brownies (2) and 12 white chocolate macadamia nut cookies as we were there at closing time!)

The next day we went to one of my favourite lunch places – Flower Child. Basically a hippie place (even including a ‘yoga mat parking’ spot) it specialises in bowls, salads and other tasty things. I had a Vietnamese salad bowl with tofu which was delicious, but I was also very taken by the drinks – honey-lavender-limeade, elderflower-rose lemonade and strawberry-lemonade, all on tap!


Then we had a quick tour around some of the amazing houses in the local area before heading to Creamistry – my favourite ice-cream place! Based on some – very dodgy – liquid nitrogen freezing principles you can create your own ice-cream by choosing a base, flavourings and toppings. Below we have a creamy base, tiramisu flavour with hot fudge sauce on the top. (Again, salad for supper!)


I do also get hugely excited by watching them make the ice-cream in front of you! We are planning on going again later in the week and then I plan to go a little more experimental with flavours.

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Also, this is what a Malteaser looks like in the States…

Until next time then, happy eating!

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Salads

Lunchbox Success: Blueberry, Pecan and Feta Salad

As a school teacher, lunch is often a rushed affair to prepare – you want it to be relatively fresh by the time you eat it, but you don’t want to have to spend time preparing it in the morning. This is especially true if like me you are getting to work extremely early – You want as much time as possible to get prepared, not making a complex lunch. The go-to is often a sandwich, but I’m not a fan of basic sandwiches – either I buy a good one or I don’t eat it!

Salads would tend to be my preferred choice, but the choice can be a little constricted – the amount of times I’ve eaten a salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber and olives. Not bad, but slightly pedestrian after the hundredth time. I’m always looking out for more interesting salads, and eating this one at a school function, I knew I’d found what I was looking for.

Blueberry, Feta and Pecan Salad

Blueberries and pecans contrast with the saltiness of the feta cheese and the tang of a balsamic reduction. Mixed in with lettuce of your choice this forms a delicious and unusual choice of salad for a lovely lunchbox. I have also bulked this out with potato gnocchi for a more substantial meal.

Blueberry, Pecan and Feta Salad

The recipe is deliberately vague – no-one likes measuring out ingredients first thing! Aim for equal amounts of all the ingredients and you wont go far wrong in constructing it.

Blueberry, Pecan and Feta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful feta cheese
  • 1 handful pecan nuts
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • 1 handful lettuce (mixed leaves work best)
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 handful potato gnocchi

Instructions:

Boil the potato gnocchi according to the instructions, if required. Wash the lettuce and blueberries and place in a bowl with the pecan nuts and chunks of feta cheese. Mix with the potato gnocchi. Reduce the balsamic vinegar over a low heat  and drizzle over the salad before serving.