1. Pizza - I could eat pizza (even cold) every day for the rest of my life, I’m pretty sure. There’s just something magical about putting simple ingredients together to make something so delicious. Favorite toppings? Well, I’m a sucker for cheese, cheese, and more cheese, but my favorite pizza by far is the Chicken & Applewood Smoked Bacon @ Picazzo’s back home. Chicken, bacon, alfredo/ranch sauce, sliced tomato, garlic, and sautéed onions. I’m drooling.
2. Good Mexican Food - I had to clarify this one. Taco Bell is not good Mexican food; I’m pretty sure half of their ingredients aren’t real either. Also, I am sad to say, that my new hometown doesn’t know how to make Mexican food either. I’ve been to one restaurant that had good tacos, but not much else on their menu that looked appealing. I guess I’m just spoiled having lived in Arizona, particularly Flagstaff, which is home to the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. Let me introduce you to Salsa Brava on old Route 66 in Flagstaff, AZ.
There’s a reason the word “salsa” is in the name: they have a made-from-scratch-daily salsa bar that is to die for. No joke. I’ve been craving their chips and salsa ever since I moved back to Phoenix in Dec. 2012. Then, after you’ve had more chips and salsa than you thought was humanly possible, they bring you your food. My all-time favorite is the Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas. Served with a cilantro cream sauce and a big dollop of sour cream on top. Melt in your mouth deliciousness! Ok, I need to stop now or I’ll be on the next flight out of town…
3. PB&B Sandwich - That’s a Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich in case you couldn’t interpret my abbreviations. I ate this for breakfast every day while in college (definitely not joking). Even now, I love having one for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If I could figure out how to make this carb-loader into a snack, I probably would.
4. Mom’s Roast Beef w/ Carrots and Potatoes in the Crockpot - You can’t get much more specific than that. By far my favorite dish my mom makes (which she is very thankful for because it is so easy). I think the only reason I haven’t made it for myself is that it can feed an army, which means I’d be eating roast beef until next year.
5. Peach Cobbler w/ Blue Bell Ice Cream - There is no denying it, I am a true Southern girl at heart. And there is no ice cream better than Blue Bell. Now if they could just make it cheaper… $7.99/gallon is not a happy price for this poor grad student’s budget.
6. Chicken & Dumplings - No, I don’t know how to make them myself; I’m not that good of a cook. But, I can make the easy-peasy version that uses canned biscuits in the crock pot. Or, I can just drive over to the nearest Cracker Barrel and pay someone to make them for me. Unless someone else wants to volunteer to make me dinner every night of the week :-).
7. Cookies - My mom’s chocolate no-bake cookies are the bomb! *Hint, hint (someone really wants a care package from home)* But really, I love all cookies. No cookie discrimination from this girl! Except for the low fat, no sugar, no fun, diabetic ones. Those are just nasty crap. My kind of cookie is a pizzookie from Oregano's. It doesn't get much better than a deep-dish baked chocolate chip cookie with giant dollops of vanilla ice cream on top!
8. Pasta - In any size, shape, or quantity. It’s the perfect complement to so many delicious dishes, and makes for a superb dish all by itself, too. Just steer clear of the ones with mushrooms - ick!
9. Feta Cheese - This little nugget of cheesy goodness is perfect for salads, pizza, and dips, or as a topping for pretty much anything non-dessert. Excuse me while I go sprinkle it on every dish I can find…
10. BBQ - I lived in Texas for 10 years; I know good BBQ when I see it (or smell it)! Once you’ve had good BBQ, you’ll never forget it! Bring on the brisket, ribs, and sausage, and you’d better be eating with your hands off a piece of parchment paper. No forks or knives allowed. Spoons are ok so long as you’re only using them to devour your peach cobbler with Blue Bell.
*And yes, I did take both of those pictures which means I'm one of those weird people that takes pictures of their food. Particularly when they are trying to make other family members or friends jealous :-).