Greetings from Sedona!

Jeff and I are taking a little weekend trip to Sedona, AZ before I head to Scottsdale Monday for a few days of business meetings. We had to get up a few hours before the crack of dawn to get to the airport in time for our 7:30 a.m. flight, which meant breakfasting in the airport. I don’t usually go for instant oatmeal (I’m a steel cut oats sort of girl), but Starbucks oatmeal with the works (although very light on the brown sugar), along with a banana from home and, duh, drip coffee, was far, far healthier than a pastry or (heaven forbid) the neighboring Burger King.

By the time we landed in Phoenix and picked up our rental car, we were hungry again. Guess where we stopped to grab lunch? That’s right, Whole Foods! (You know me so well.) I made sure I knew the location of the most convenient Whole Foods along our Phoenix-to-Sedona route. I assembled a fantastic salad of mixed greens, roasted chicken, quinoa, roasted beet, shredded carrots, hummus, sprinklings of sunflower seeds and blue cheese, plus a touch of oil and vinegar. Grabbed some oranges and bottled water for the road, and we were good to go.

We only made it a few blocks before we found an even better deal on fresh citrus: an estate sale! The fruit from the backyard orange and grapefruit trees was free for the picking! And I got two gorgeous silk scarves for 10 cents each! Oh, happy day!

One reason we went healthy and relatively light with our Whole Foods lunch was so we could indulge a bit at dinner. I’d read some great reviews of Elote Cafe, and we were not, I repeat NOT disappointed! Elote doesn’t take reservations, and when we arrived at 6:30 we were told there was an hour wait, minimum. Woe is me, because I was already so hungry! Totally worth the wait, though. Jeff had the smoked chicken enchiladas, and I had the green chili pork (which I think was braised for something like 10 hours). So good! So flavorful! So succulent! We started by sharing a tamale made with cuitlacoche (a truffle-like corn fungus), and by dipping into the amazing chips and salsa. Translation: We spoiled our appetite a bit. But now we have great leftovers too eat while we watch the Superbowl tomorrow in our hotel room (we’ll put them over some salad greens and add some diced avocado). I don’t personally care about the game, but the Black Eyed Peas are performing at halftime! Gotta do some biochem, too.

I almost brought Jeff over to the cookbook dark side, after I overheard a group of guys leaving the restaurant, talking about how each of them had the Elote Cafe Cookbook and had made several recipes from it and how great they turned out. “See,” I said to Jeff, “It has the dude seal of approval.” Nothing doing, though. Sigh. Maybe next time.