Chill out in July for National Ice Cream Month with Blue Bell’s new Rockslide Brownie Ice Cream

Rockslide Brownie
29 years ago President Ronald Regan declared July as National Ice Cream Month and just in time to flip the calendar Blue Bell Ice Cream introduces Rockslide Brownie Ice Cream. This dark chocolate ice cream comes mixed with mini marshmallows, pieces of chocolate fudge along with chopped almonds, pecans and walnuts and a caramel swirl. This massively flavored ice cream will be perfect for the hot month of July and beyond.

Just in time for National Ice Cream Month and increased demand for their Rockslide Brownie and their other flavors, Blue Bell opened a new sales & distribution facility in west Phoenix on this month with a ribbon cutting & grand opening ceremony on July 11th. The 130,000 square foot facility is Blue Bell’s 2nd Phoenix area facility and will service northern and western Arizona for it’s retail customers along with restaurants that include Houston’s, Ruby Tuesdays and Outback Steakhouse. The freezer is kept at minus 20 degrees making for employees to wear parkas and hats at work. What I would not give to hang out there during the hot summer months.

The public is welcome to the ribbon cutting ceremony which will be attended by local dignitaries. The ribbon cutting will take place at 10:30 a.m. and the facility is at 5175 W. Watkins Rd. in Phoenix. After the ribbon cutting refreshments, ice cream and light appetizers will be served.

2010 Charles Cimicky “Trumps” Shiraz


As Australian wines begin to trend upwards from the previous few years, Charles Cimicky Wines continue to produce well balanced and very palatable red wines. Following in his father’s footsteps, Charles Cimicky took over the families Karlsburg winery in the early 1990’s and re-named it under his name. The winery is located on the floor of the Barossa Valley in Lyndoch. Charles, a very quiet and shy individual is nicknamed the “Invisible Man” by his wife spends much of his time tending to his dry irrigated vines or in the winery away from most visitors where he crafts his meticulous wines. His winery is one of the few Australian wineries that have their own bottling and packaging lines so tight control can be kept over the entire process.

The 2010 Trumps Shiraz is 100% Shiraz from vines that average over 60 years old the wine is the both fermented and aged in new barrels that are mostly American oak for 17 months. Soft tannins along with mocha and blackberry fruit this well balance wine shows no sign of 14.5% alcohol. Pairing well with grilled meats such as pork and lamb along with BBQ. Suggested retail is $23.

2011 Patricia Green Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir

patricia green
Patricia Green has definitely paid her dues in the Oregon wine-making world learning to make wine way back in 1987 when she entered the business at Hillcrest Vineyard. Then consulting for such wineries as Ashland & Giradet, working crush at Adelsheim and becoming winemaker at La Garza in 1992. In 1993, with a reputation as one of the top winemakers in Oregon she became the winemaker at Torii Mor. It is there that she met Jim Anderson and in 2000 Patty & Jim bought a 52 acre estate in the Ribbon Ridge district of Yamhill County, and Patricia Green Cellars was born. 13 years later the two are making 12 different Pinot Noirs in the 2011 vintage and limited amounts of Sauvignon Blanc and Dry Muscat Ottonel emphasizing the unique terroir found throughout the Willamette Valley in each. Using estate grown as well as purchased grapes Patty and Jim pay very close attention to detail throughout the whole wine making process including grape and barrel selection. All vineyards sourced are all dry farmed.

The 2011 Reserve has become a regular staple in Patty’s stable of wines having been previously released in occasional vintages. The 3,200 case production wines offers great value for the money running $25-$30 a bottle. It offers consistency from vintage to vintage and uses both estate grown and purchased fruit. Soft and mellow, this wine offers the drinker a wonderful expression of the multiple terroirs found throughout the area. White pepper is abundant along with good fruit, mild tannins and well balanced oak. Hints of grapefruit are present on the nose. This wine is perfect for summer time drinking and would compliment an array of salads, salmon and roasted meats and vegetable dishes. Although it’s considered an “entry level” wine for the winery, it’s definitely far more experienced than that.

My 1st Korean BBQ experience at Koryo Korean BBQ in Glendale

In all my years of eating I’ve never had Korean BBQ until recently. Being a fan of BBQ I ventured outside of my comfort zone and met up with some friends for my 1st Korean BBQ experience. Under new ownership, Koryo offers a wide variety of food. Mostly meats and vegetables there are some fish selections on the menu so fear not vegetarians.

Japchae is a clear noodle dish that is sautéed with vegetables and beef and topped with sesame seeds. Eaten with chop sticks this light dish seemed to disappear pretty quickly, not before I was able to get a couple of plate full before our main course of BBQ’d meats.

Table side grilling of meats include pork belly and marinated Rib-eye and short ribs which were all very good and flavorful. A couple of traditional Korean dishes were served as well.
Short ribs, rib eye and pork belly on the grill
Short ribs, ribeye and pork belly on the grill
All meals are served with an array of side dishes including cabbage and cucumber Kimchi using various seasonings.
side dishes
side dishes
Bibimbap is Korean for “mixed rice” and came served in hot bowl with rice on the bottom cooking and topped with beef, peppers , mushrooms, bean sprouts and other veggies along with a fried egg laid on the top. Mix it up and add some spicy sauce and watch the egg yolk cook and you’ve a satisfying and filling bowl of food. Spicy and good flavors of the mixed ingredients I would put this up with any kind of bowl from any other cuisine.

Many other items on the menu include sushi, tempura and goyza.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to taste Korean and would recommend Koryo to the 1st timer or an experience Korean BBQ enthusiast as this restaurant is clean and very accommodating in addition to the good food served.

Koryo is at 10040 N. 43rd Ave. Suite 1K Glendale AZ 85302 (623)234-8530 and has hours of 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Mon. – Fri. 12 noon – 10 p.m. on Sat. & 12 noon – 9 p.m. on Sun.

It’s OK to drink pink…..2012 Triennes Rose

Triennes rose
As the dog days of summer have made an early arrival wine drinkers look for wines to keep them cool, that are lighter in body and that still have character and complexity. Rose wines fit that bill and in the southern France region of Provence, rose is king. An exciting Provencal projects comes from two of Burgundies leading producers, Jaques Seysses founder of Dom. Dujac and Aubert de Villaine co-owner of Dom. de la Romanee-Conti purchased a 46 hectare estate along with friend Michel Macaux in 1989.

The hot days and cool nights along with the vineyards southern exposure and clay & limestone soil reminded the 3 of the terroir of Burgundy & St. Emilion and they felt it would be perfect for grapes for their rose and other wines. With a master plan that included building a new wine making facility, grafting pre-existing Cinsault vines to other red & white grape vines and pruning vines by as much as 50% increase quality and complexity.

The result is more than 10 red, white and rose wines. The 2012 rose come from free run juice and is pale and pink comes mostly from Cinsault with smaller proportions of Syrah, Grenache and Merlot. With only a few hours of skin contact and stainless steel fermentation this wine is fresh, smooth and elegant. The grapes are harvested at night when the grapes are at their coolest. Dry, crisp and light strawberries and flowers are present on the nose and palate with a hint of vanilla this wine would go great with salads, cheese or it would be perfect by itself on a lazy summer afternoon. It’s a perfect example of rose from Provence and the perfect way to keep cool without losing the character of Cinsault and other grapes they use.

Cool dad off with a $2.00 sundae from Culver’s on Father’s Day. Psst! It’s this Sunday

Culvers sundae

Father’s Day is this Sun. June 16th smack dab in the middle of hot temperatures here in Phoenix and Culver’s wants fathers to cool off on their special day with a $2.00 ice cream sundae. Pops can choose from 2 scoops of Culver’s frozen custard and can top it with 2 toppings of from a list of fruits, nuts, candies and traditional sundae toppings.

After he’s finished up they honey-do list and given the kids their allowance take him down to one of the 14 Phoenix area Culver’s locations and tell him “thanks” with a $2.00 sundae.

2011 Volver Tempranillo

This dry farmed, single vineyard Tempranillo comes to us from eastern part of the La Mancha region of Spain. A joint venture between Spanish wine importer Jorge Ordonez and enologist Rafael Canizares, Volver is all estate grown on some of the 228 acres of vineyards with vines average age of 40 years. The vines are grown in sandy soils and clay with rocks and stones found throughout making it a challenge to grow grapes. Volver exemplifies how the Tempranillo grape grows in the region. Surrounded by other vineyards that are trellised, the dry farming stresses the vines making for very concentrated grapes.

Aged for 14 months in French oak barrels, the 1,500 cases produced offer good tannins, fruit and acidity. With fruits and herbs on the nose you’ll find cola, cheery and vanilla on the palate. This wine would pair well with meats and is drinkable now but can also benefit from some short-term aging. Approx. $25 retail.

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