Saturday, November 30, 2013 7:45 am
Eight years ago, my daughter Jasmine asked if she could audition for the Ahwatukee Foothills “Nutcracker” performance. She was new to the world of ballet and dance, but I relented, and she was thrilled to get parts as a Baby Mouse and a Mini Bon Bon. And the next thing I knew, her Saturday soccer games now had conflicts with “The Nutcracker” practice — called “rehearsals,” I was quickly corrected. I kept hearing about how much fun Jasmine was having at these rehearsals, how many new friends she was making, and how she couldn’t wait for “Opening Night.” I didn’t pay too much attention. I just paid for the costumes, bought tickets for a performance, and occasionally picked her up after a rehearsal and raced her to her soccer game.
Monday, November 25, 2013 9:15 am
Have you ever walked through a season in your life you thought might break you? I’m not talking about the everyday stuff. We’re each going to wrestle with our share of broken air conditioners in July, cranky bosses, and family feuds. I’m talking about soul crushing, heart wrenching times when getting through the days takes a herculean effort. When you can’t lift yourself out of the pit despite all of your coping resources – faith, friends, family, chocolate ice cream. And wine, in the name of truth telling.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 2:45 pm
National Nacho Day is Nov. 6. Tip your sombrero to Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya — the man said to have first topped fried corn tortillas with melty cheese in 1943 — and dig into these innovative dishes.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 3:30 pm
Participating locations will be “celebrating Phoenix” with a community appreciation event and offering 31-cent scoops of ice cream. Some locations will have in-store activities for the entire family. Baskin-Robbins around the Valley will be collecting donations to benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation through Oct. 31.
Friday, August 23, 2013 1:59 am
The little mining town of Superior — about 50 miles from the East Valley on U.S. Highway 60 — hosts its annual Prickly Pear Festival this weekend, celebrating all the drinks, desserts and dishes you can make from the spiny cactus. If a jaunt into the mountains isn’t in the cards, here’s where you can taste the cactus closer to home (and, no, margaritas — the easiest prickly pear-flavored concoction to find in the Valley — didn’t make the list).
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 5:27 pm
Troyce Hudnell is the owner of Cozy Corner Cafe, 5901 E. McKellips Road, Mesa, (480) 830-6305 or CozyCornerCafeMesa.com.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 10:42 am
Leslie Patricelli didn’t keep junk food in the house when her three kids were toddlers, but the goofy, bald baby in her board book “Yummy Yucky” grins from ear to ear over chocolate sauce and cookies.
The prolific picture book writer also included pepperoni pizza as a positive, acknowledging in a recent interview that some of her empty calorie imagery for kids too young to seek out sugary and fatty foods on their own have earned her a kvetch or two from parents.
“If I were to do it again I would probably make a few different choices, but I don’t think I would leave everything out,” said Patricelli, in Hailey, Idaho. “All you have to do is watch a kid eat a piece of cake to know that they’re in heaven.”
Heaven, indeed, especially when it comes to an abundance of frothy pink cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and candy in books aimed squarely at babies, toddlers and preschoolers who may not be intimate with the meaning of moderation.
But some authors and publishers are focused on creating alternatives to c-is-for-cupcake picture books for parents struggling to promote broccoli. Even Cookie Monster sometimes eats smarter, chowing down on celery and demonstrating smaller portions of his namesake treats in “Ding Dong, Elmo’s Here!” and other books from the folks on “Sesame Street.”
“Food is everywhere kids turn,” said Betsy Loredo, executive editor for Sesame Workshop’s publishing group. “So it’s natural for us to want to think of ways we can integrate that and make choices that are healthier. We try to go for at least equity.”
“Sesame Street,” with an appearance by obesity fighter and first lady Michelle Obama, took on nutrition and exercise as an initiative back in 2004. The effort expanded to other divisions and special projects that included distribution of kits to six million families and child care centers offering ways to eat healthy on a budget and educate parents on the difference between “sometime food” and “anytime food.”
With the childhood obesity rate tripling in the past 30 years to 1 in 3 children in the United States overweight or obese, books with healthy eating pictures and messages may not be everything, but they’re something, advocates said.
Sesame Workshop, for instance, concluded in a 2010 study that when children are shown fruits and vegetables linked with favorite characters from the show they choose those foods at a much higher rate and eat more of them, according to Sesame researcher Jennifer Kotler.
Even broccoli, she laughed.
“Something happens between 3 and 5 where there’s a growing awareness of what healthy means. Where 3-year-olds like the foods they like, 5-year-olds know things they might choose might not always be the healthiest,” Kotler said.
David Goldbeck in Woodstock, N.Y., isn’t an absolutist, but he does care about what kids see in their books when it comes to food. He wants more of them to eat fruits and vegetables, so he co-wrote an alphabet book that puts broccoli and yams in equally healthy company.
The Michigan Fitness Foundation, which is home to that state’s Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports, uses Goldbeck’s “The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond” in take-home book bags that are part of a health literacy program in more than 400 public elementary schools, said Marci Kelly Scott, the organization’s vice president for health programs.
The book includes an alphabet format with illustrations (E is for eggplant!) but also history, fun facts and recipes for older kids. Scott ordered 500 of the books in 2008 and routinely reorders to keep up her supplies.
In this alphabet world, C is for carrots, D is for date, as in the “desert fruit found in Kuwait,” and O is for organic.
Friday, May 31, 2013 12:00 pm
The search for a family-pleasing staycation just got a little easier, thanks to one of Chandler’s lushest resorts.
Thursday, May 30, 2013 12:00 pm
Thanks to the Summer Splash Tour, there’s at least one hot day this summer you don’t have to think about how to entertain the kids.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 4:12 pm
Two old friends paid me a visit last week. The first slipped in without a word, freezing my mind for an instant, like the shock of ice cream gulped down too eagerly on a hot day. As we visited for a while, I noticed the familiar voice is edged with a steely insistence, somehow sharpened rather than blunted by a hunger for news of trouble, and the scent of brewing chaos. By God’s grace and through His perfect timing, there, just in nick of time, was another beloved friend knocking on the door of my heart, gently enfolding me in loving arms. This beloved voice speaks quietly, yet perfectly clearly, sharing a different story, at once both old and fresh. The voice carries words brimming with abundant life, like a lush oasis in an otherwise barren and hostile desert. Such is the power of moments of fear to paralyze our senses, and to leave us feeling isolated and lost. Such is the power of the unparalleled peace found through our faith in Christ Jesus, our Lord, in the comforting words of Scripture.
The Ahwatukee Auto Spa celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting. The auto spa located on the southeast corner of Chandler Boulevard and 46th Street offers car washes, hot food, ice cream, snow cones, a variety of coffees and a new wave coke machine.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:58 am
It’s no secret that Arizona offers some of the best and most luxurious AAA Four and Five Diamond resorts in the country. However, many travelers don’t realize that many of these properties also feature kid camps that aim to please even the pickiest pint-sized traveler. This provides mom and dad with a guilt-free way to indulge in some much-needed couple time, while allowing kids to make friends and create memories of their own.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:49 pm
The new Ahwatukee Auto Spa, at 4601 E. Chandler Blvd., is open for business and is hoping to become a one-stop shop for Ahwatukee Foothills residents for drinks, snacks, gas and a car wash.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:00 am
There are restaurants that slash prices on margaritas or invite a mariachi band for Cinco de Mayo - and then there are restaurants that go a little nuts.
Sunday, April 14, 2013 6:00 pm
You wouldn’t think $3.50 cupcakes would catch on in a recession, but Sprinkles Cupcakes did just that. Opened in 2008 at Scottsdale and Camelback roads, the sweet shop is celebrating its fifth anniversary by giving away something fans of its cupcakes can’t even get in Arizona: Sprinkles brand ice cream.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 9:49 am
If your goal is to lose weight, look and feel your best and live a healthy, vibrant life, be aware of the damaging additives and synthetic chemicals in the foods you buy and eat. Seventy-five percent of the average American diet is from processed and packaged foods, which equates to approximately 10 pounds of additives eaten annually.
Monday, April 8, 2013 6:00 pm
Food trucks have been popular for some time now in the Valley, but on April 13 a new class of diner will get to partake of the trend.
Thursday, April 4, 2013 2:48 pm
Recently, my family had distant relatives visit from Germany. Over the years there have been many visits between us visiting Germany and them visiting the USA. They are a wonderful family and we thoroughly enjoyed the time together. Upon waking up one morning, my 4-year-old had already asked to visit Germany.
Friday, March 29, 2013 6:49 am
In the company of business professionals, more than 400 students from Valley high schools, including in Ahwatukee Foothills, participated in an all-day event promoting networking, business ethics, skills and communication on Wednesday.
Thursday, February 14, 2013 5:45 pm
If you’re looking for a meatball sandwich or fettuccine alfredo, you won’t find it here.
Sunday, January 20, 2013 7:49 am
This tale begins, like most everything in my life, with the size of my rear end.
Monday, December 31, 2012 2:49 pm
This summer I had the misfortune to encounter the Internet culinary sensation known as cookie dough dip.