As the weather continues to cool down and the holidays allow you more time off, there is no better time to enjoy the outdoors than now. Here in our very own North Phoenix backyard we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by a variety of different trails. Whether you decide to get in your cardio with a hike or simply take some trendy outdoor Instagrams, we have a few suggestions on how to get better acquainted with Mother Nature.
Desert Vista Trailhead
Desert Vista Trailhead is one of the many options for hiking and outdoor activities in Arizona. One of the great things about this hiking hot spot is that there are trail options, which range from one mile to about six miles. This is the perfect place to peacefully enjoy the outdoors or burn off a bunch of calories. You choose.
Apache Wash Trailhead
Apache Wash Trailhead is yet another option that ranges in distance and difficulty. In addition to there being many different hiking trails, these trails can also be accomplished by bike, so for all you cyclists out there, this is an ideal option to expand your adventures.
Phoenix Mountain Preserve 40th Street Trailhead
Looking for a lighter hike with amazing views at the top? Then the trails at Phoenix Mountain Preserve 40th Street Trailhead is the spot for you. These trails are all around two to three miles and all lead to a spectacular view.
Echo Canyon Trail
One of the more popular trails in Arizona located on Camelback Mountain, this trial will have you challenging yourself during the hike but leave you feeling accomplished afterwards. Not to mention, the views at the end make the effort all the worthwhile.
Fall is here and the holiday season is quickly approaching. With many parties to come, we want to ensure that yours stands out from the rest. Savor these sipping suggestions, and mix up the usual drink options to give your guests a night they’ll never forget.
Do you love Butterfingers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? What about puppy chow? Well, if you answered yes to both, then you are going to be obsessed with this easy and delicious Halloween recipe that is filled to the brim with your favorite candies. This puppy chow makes it hard to stop snacking.
10 full-sized Butterfingers
1/4 cup peanut butter
10 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
8 cups Chex cereal
2/3 cup powdered sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup candy corn
1/4 cup Reese’s Pieces
1. Shave chocolate off of Butterfingers into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Place “naked” Butterfingers into a food processor and process into fine crumbs.
2. Along with the Butterfinger chocolate, melt together peanut butter and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups either in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Stir until combined and smooth (or after each interval in the microwave).
3. Toss in Chex cereal until evenly coated in melted chocolate.
4. Roll open 3 large plastic zipper bags. In one bag, add 1/3 cup powdered sugar. In the second bag, add 1/3 cup powdered sugar and cocoa powder. In the third bag, add the Butterfinger crumbs. Divide the Chex into the 3 bags, seal bags, and shake each bag until completely coated.
5. Toss Chex mix with candy corn and Reese’s Pieces and serve.
Not all of us were blessed with the trait of being a morning person. For those of us that have a harder time waking up in the morning, there are some solutions that might make this otherwise dreadful task become more natural to those of us prone to hitting the snooze button.
Drink Water Before Bed
A chilled glass of water before bed can help to relax your body and prepare you for sleep. Part of the challenge with waking up early is staying up late, and by relaxing the body before bed it can help to make the process of slumbering more seamless.
Ditch the Phone at Night
It’s no secret that browsing your mobile feeds right before bed has become an almost unbreakable habit. However, this can make it hard to fall asleep due to the light from the phone stimulating the brain. We are also more likely to take part in hours of social media stalking, so for the sake of your night’s sleep, forego the phone.
Put the Alarm Across the Room
Physically getting out of bed to turn your alarm off can actually help to wake you up in the morning. It forces you to get up and get your body moving. Because if we’re being real, there’s nothing worse than listening to your alarm go off for more than just a couple of seconds.
Sleep in Darkness
Our bodies produce a natural hormone called Melatonin, which is what helps us to sleep at night. This hormone is best produced when the body is in complete darkness; hence the reason it is easier to sleep at night than in the day.
Plan an Exciting Breakfast
Something about food always gets people excited and happy. Plan a delicious meal for when you wake up to give you something to look forward to first thing in the morning. This will not only encourage you to get your day started, but it will also make sure that it starts off in a nutritious way.
Put the Important Events First
When you have eventful or important plans scheduled first thing in the morning, it can help to get you up and going right away. The excitement or jitters you might get from looking forward to certain events will easily trump your body’s decision to be tired.
With busy work schedules and limited time to grocery shop for ingredients, weeknight meal prep can sometimes fall by the wayside. But not anymore! Now, there are tons of options for meal-delivery services that will help you plan wholesome meals in advance, bring the ingredients to your front door, and coach you in the kitchen. Regardless of your family’s size, diet restrictions, or culinary chops, there’s a meal-delivery kit out there just for you. Now no more excuses!
If you and your roommate or significant other are pinched for meal planning time during the week but still love to team up in the kitchen, Blue Apron is the option for you. Portioned for three healthy and delicious meals a week, these handy kits arrive at your doorstep with all of the ingredients and instructions you’ll need to get cooking. Plus, for rookie cooks, Blue Apron also has a series of how-to videos on their blog that cover basic skills.
One of the most educational and sustainable options on the market, Purple Carrot is currently the only meal-delivery service that caters exclusively to vegan diets. Each inventive, easy-to-prep meal serves two people with leftovers, so you’ll be an expert in vegan cuisine in no time. Chickpea, coconut, and cashew curry, anyone?
For the slightly more experienced gourmand, Chef’D offers an extensive online portal of recipes from accomplished chefs to choose from. Simply pick your recipe and family size, select a delivery date, and voila! All of the ingredients for your meal, plus a comprehensive recipe, will be sent to your door. An added bonus: Chef’s also provides expert beer- or wine-pairing suggestions. Date-night dinner just got a whole lot easier.
This Atlanta-based company is churning out finger-lickin’ good Southern-inspired meals for delivery nationwide. In true Southern style, each dish includes a main, side, and veggie, and recipes include savory options like balsamic-glazed chicken with bacon, lettuce, and fingerling potatoes. Hearty, tasty, and great for the whole family.
Bring local farmers market produce straight to your dinner table with this foraging-inspired grocery service. In addition to delivering seasonal, fresh ingredients, Quinciple also provides expert recipes and tips, all of which change weekly. All of the items from each box are meant to be woven into your typical grocery routine, and most users are able to use the ingredients from one box for 4-5 meals for two. If you’re into heirloom veggies, deliciously ripe fruits, and pasture-raised meats, you want Quinciple at your side for your next family meal.
Though some users indicated that these recipes require a tad more multitasking and prep work than other kits, the trade-off is in the high quality of these ingredients. Known for their commitment to environmental responsibility, Plated uses only antibiotic and hormone-free meats as well as 100 percent sustainable seafood and local produce.
If you have youngsters who are picky eaters, say hello to HelloFresh. The meal offerings here are super simple, from ingredients to prep, and you’ll find tons of tasty homestyle options, like meatloaf and mozzarella-crusted chicken. No more missing out on quality family time.
Currently the only USDA-certified organic meal kit on the market, this service offers tons of options for various diet preferences and restrictions, from Paleo to gluten-free to vegetarian. Although these recipes tend to be a bit more complex and technique-driven, we love that every single ingredient included in the kit is organic.
$8 per monthly subscription (6- and 12-month subscriptions available)
If you’re looking for healthy weekly family-meal inspiration but short on time, look to Platejoy to streamline the planning process, from the recipe to the shopping list. For just $8 a month, this genius service will compile recipes for all your weekly meals based on family size and dietary preferences, and then give you an easily navigable grocery list. In some cities, you can even have the ingredients delivered to your door by the company’s partner grocers or Instacart, a same-day food delivery app.
Fall is officially here, and while our North Phoenix neighborhood might not cool off or change color as drastically as some other areas, we’re still keen on celebrating the season with all things cable knit and pumpkin spice. Autumn at 56North is all about curling up in your mid-century modern digs and satisfying your senses with the season’s essentials. These smell-good, taste-good recipes are a sure way to ring in the holiday season.
Phoenix is a sort of utopia during the autumn months. People are slowly emerging from their air-conditioned homes into the outside world, where booze, food, festivals, and concerts are plentiful this time of year. While other cities are preparing for cold, harsh winters (we’re looking at you, East Coast), Phoenicians are embracing the tepid, nearly perfect weather. Take part in the liveliness and merriment happening across the Valley at these fall events.
Arizona Restaurant Week is here again, and with more than 100 participating restaurants across the state, we’re almost certain you won’t go hungry. Some of the notable establishments include Nobuo, Tanzy, Top of the Rock, and Vincent on Camelback. All of the participating restos will be offering three-course prix fixe dishes for just $33 or $44.
Get ready to mosh, sort of. With their new album release, California, you can expect Blink to play some of their newer music and of course their old stuff, too. A Day to Remember and All Time Low will also be joining the pop-punk trio on Sept. 24th. Now all you have to do is find that studded belt, armband, and band tee from high school.
There will be an inexhaustible lineup of mouthwatering Greek eats at this year’s Greek Fest — from chicken souvlaki and calamari to flaming cheese or saganaki and baklava (and, of course, there’s always room for seconds). The 56th annual three-day celebration costs only three bucks for entry, and all proceeds benefit local charities.
Indulge in German-style fare like sauerkraut, brats, and (obviously) beer at the biggest Oktoberfest celebration in the Valley. There’s live music to enjoy, beer gardens to explore, carnival rides to conquer, and contests to win in addition to all the beer you’ll drink. Oh, and Lil Jon will be taking the stage to close out the Friday festivities.
One of the best things about the Fair is all of the crazy food: funnel cakes, turkey legs, chocolate-covered bacon, etc. In addition to eating without abandon, you can take in grandstand events like rodeos and monster trucks, see pig races, and even see big-name acts in concert. Some of the musicians that are expected at this year’s state fair include The Flaming Lips, B.o.B, Iggy Azalea, and the country duo Big & Rich. We even heard there will be a circus-style show featuring live bears.
The World Series will already have crowned a champion, but baseball isn’t over here. Arizona has six fall league teams, including the Salt River Rafters and the Glendale Desert Dogs, that play around the greater Phoenix area. Watch these teams battle it out for a spot in the championship game on November 19th.
There will be a taco 101 course at the seventh annual event, as well as margarita wars hashed out by local bars, and a guacamole challenge between the area’s top chefs. The event boasts multiple eating contests (hot chili peppers, anyone?), live music performances, a tequila expo, lucha libre wrestling, and even a chihuahua beauty pageant. Plus lots and lots of tacos — obviously.
Join guest chef Cullen Campbell of Crudo and local farmers at a long table (set up amongst a backdrop of peach trees) in this agriculture-driven community, Agritopia. After a tour of the area, guests will enjoy a delicious alfresco meal sourced from fine, local ingredients that celebrate the farmers and artisans who procure them.
Notable chefs and culinary stars such as Mario Batali, Nobuo Fukuda, and Chris Bianco among others (like Justin Beckett, Mark Tarbell, Charleen Badman… we could go on) will all attend this event. Experience the farmers market, grand tasting experience, or seminars.
Touted as “The World’s Most Interesting Polo Event,” this year’s sixth annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships will be one for the books. While there will be notable polo teams and their horses taking the field (including No. 1-ranked polo player Nic Roldan), your focus will likely be on all the booze at the fieldside day clubs, exotic cars, and good-looking people around you.
Every hour is happy hour when you live at 56North, but we’re sure you won’t mind being clued into some of the other happy hours going on around your North Phoenix neighborhood either. The wine glass is always half full when you have your pick of happening hot spots just right outside your front door, and we’re here to point you in the right direction of deals on drinks and bargains on bites!
Taco Tuesday is no longer limited to just one day of the week. At Sandbar you will not only revel in ambiance, but also celebrate the joys of $3 domestic beers, $4 margaritas and well drinks and $5 house wines and craft beers. Did we mention their $6 happy hour food menu Monday through Friday from 3pm to 7pm?
Find your ultimate happiness at Yard House, the home of up to 250 imported, craft and specialty ales and lagers on tap. Take advantage of half-priced appetizers and pizzas, as well as their $6 house martini from Monday through Friday between 3pm to 6pm.
Sushi lovers, rejoice! Your next door neighbor, High Street’s Kona Grill, serves up half-priced sushi, as well as $7.75 sake bombers and margaritas under $5, just to name a few. Make your bellies happy and your wallets happier Monday through Friday from 3pm to 7pm and all day Sunday.
It’s one of the great mysteries in life: what do our pets get up to when we’re away? If you have an active, intelligent dog, chances are he’s not just lying around all day. You might even find yourself coming home to piles of shredded paper, chewed shoes, and other signs of mayhem. If you’re facing the challenge of a bored or lonely dog, we’ve got great tips for helping. These simple solutions will keep your dog happy when you can’t be home.
A tired dog is a well-behaved dog
It’s all about prevention. If your dog is showing signs of pent-up energy while you’re away, morning exercise will help. In fact, one of the best things you can do is give your dog a walk before you go. A game of fetch will also help settle her. It’s not just about the physical exertion; it’s also about giving her some extra stimulation so she doesn’t get bored as easily.
Mental workouts count, too! Engaging in a quick, focused training session in the mornings helps calm dogs down. Try working on simple commands and then slowly ramping it up to more advanced tricks.
The power of distractions
Many dogs enjoy the sounds of the TV or of your favorite music. If you’re dealing with excessive daytime barking, leaving music on can help mask the outside noises that set off your dog’s alarm system. There’s even a TV channel just for dogs: the aptly named DogTV plays dog-friendly content all day long.
Additionally, leaving the blinds open onto a yard or interesting view can provide your dog with visual stimulation. However, this can backfire if you live on a busy street and have a territorial pup — he’ll likely bark at people passing by.
Break up the day
When possible, popping by your house at some point during the workday gives your dog a break from solitude. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, your dog will appreciate the company, attention, and quick game or activity.
If your schedule makes it difficult to do this, consider booking a trusted pet care provider. You can opt for a full doggy daycare experience, or simply have someone swing by for a drop-in visit. Rover.com offers the nation’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers — and they’re only a tap away on your phone.
Puzzle toys are ideal for smart dogs that need plenty of mental stimulation. One of the most popular options is the Kong, which can be stuffed with cheese, peanut butter, or other treats to keep your dog busy. Freezing the Kong increases the difficulty level for advanced pups. You can find a list of more puzzle toy recommendations here; they range from simple to complex for the canine Einsteins of the world.
If you’re feeling crafty, DIY puzzle toys are a fun project. Try simply putting kibble into a clean, empty milk jug with a hole on the bottom. Or freeze small dog toys in a bucket of water overnight for a homemade “ice lick” that has the added benefit of keeping your pooch hydrated. Just be sure to put down a tarp or blanket, or otherwise give it to your dog on a surface you don’t mind getting wet.
Crates and other secure spaces
For anxious dogs, high-energy dogs, or puppies, crate training can be especially helpful. Once they learn to love their crate, many dogs will relax there during the day, rather than knock over the trash can or pee on your shoes. Crates provide dogs with a special “den” where they feel secure. Put chew toys and treats in there, and you’re golden. Not sure how to get started with crate training? Check out these simple tips.
For bigger dogs or dogs who’ve moved beyond the crate, you can still create a space just for them. This should be a secure area of your home, whether it’s the living room, a bedroom, or a section of the kitchen. All it takes are baby gates to construct a “dog zone” of your very own, complete with your dog’s bed, food, and water bowls. And again, treats and toys are helpful!
It’s hard to leave when your dog is crying or whining. If your dog is upset every time you shut the door, there’s a solution! You can teach him it’ll be OK. It takes some time, but a training routine to help with separation anxiety is effective. Change happens gradually when you’re patient and consistent about it.
Here’s how it works. Begin by asking your dog to “stay” in one room while you’re home together. (It’s nice if this room has plenty of treats and toys just for your pup.) Slowly extend the distance and time of your separation until you can leave him alone for 15-plus minutes without incident.
Eventually, your dog will learn to trust that everything will be OK — even when you’re not around.
When hosting a cookout, the main thing you have to worry about is making sure that everyone eats both well and enough, which can be a tricky feat when you’re dealing with varied diets. But kebabs, those skewers of grilled meat and vegetables, might just be the perfect solution. They are crazy easy to put together, have a bunch of different ingredients and textures, and cook up quickly. Plus, they look a whole lot fancier than they actually are. So the next time you’re tasked with cooking for a crowd, consider these kebab recipes.
It’s best to marinate the chicken overnight, but if you’re strapped for time, 30 minutes is totally acceptable. Shortcuts won’t matter once you pair that poultry with artichoke hearts and a creamy yogurt goat cheese dressing. Serve ’em up with warm grilled pita and a simple salad for an easy summer dinner. Get the recipe here.
What makes these beef skewers special is the easy balsamic vinegar, mustard, oil, and herb marinade. Add red onion to your skewers before they hit the grill — the heat will sweeten them up! Recipe here.
These chicken kebabs start with spicy-and-sweet jerk flavors — brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, Scotch bonnet — and are then complemented with fresh sweet peaches. Learn the recipe here.
If semi-homemade is your style, here’s a little secret: this chili-lime spice rub is totally store-bought — Trader Joe’s has an excellent version, but so do the standards like Mrs. Dash and McCormick. Find the recipe here.
The simple salmon-and-squash skewers can stand on their own, but paired with a sweet-and-salty ginger scallion relish and lemongrass rice, they really sing. Use two sticks per skewer so that the fish and vegetables stay in place. Recipe here.
Forget everything you know about ordinary BBQ chicken, because this meat is marinated in a blend of BBQ sauce, sugar, and spices, and then coated with a pulsed bacon paste that’ll make everything extra crispy and salty. Here’s the recipe.