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Food Trucks and Cupcake Wars

Warning-if you aren't into food; this week may not be for you.

A few weeks ago I was hanging out with our son and daughter, Adam and Sam (I don't like the added "in-law" when it comes to my kids) and we somehow turned on the TV and were watching the Cooking Channel.  It's owned by the Food Network and seems to either show older shows from the later or have shows that are slightly upgraded in ideas.

Anyway, we were watching a show devoted to the Food Truck craze called "Eat St." and one of the trucks was right here in the Phoenix area.  It's called The Short Leash.  All hot dogs, but done in a different way.  

At least that's the way they presented it.  It was interesting enough that Sam and I decided we wanted to try it.  Knowing our husbands love hot dogs we figured this was an easy field trip.  Adam seemed to be listening intently to the show and knew his dad would go along with us on this ride.

We "liked" the FaceBook page and we printed out the July calendar.  Tuesday worked for all of us as both men had the day off.  Adam and Sam had a host of doctors' appointments that day and the opening of the truck was after the first one and before the second.  Perfect.

It was going to be in the lot by Urban Cookie.  I kept saying "I've heard of Urban Cookie, just don't know where."

We arrived.  We ordered.   All the dogs were wrapped in homemade naan.  Turned out to be our favorite part of the lunch-that naan was delish!  Anyway, we all tried the fried pickles.

Yummo.  The jar said "medium dill"-but these were sweet and ended with a nice wallop of just enough heat.  They were coated in panko and fried until nice and crisp.

As for the hot dogs, we had several choices:  veggie (you know I took that version), chicken, bratwurst, spicy and traditional beef.

Adam and Sam chose the chicken and Steve decided on the traditional.   Now for the unique part, we had some good options, here's how we enjoyed our first food truck experience:

Adam had the strangest:  • Bear

 Peanut Butter, Cracker Jacks, smoked Gouda, Bacon and BBQ Sauce

Sam tried:  • Lady

 Chipotle Cream Cheese, sautéed Onions, fried Pickles

Steve went with:  • Moki

 Roasted Green Chilies, sautéed Onions, fresh Tomatoes, Pinto Beans, Cheddar Cheese and Mayo

And last, I decided on:  • Aiko

 Mango Chutney, diced Jalapenos, Red Onions, fresh Cilantro and Mayo

It was incredibly hot and the wait for our meal took about 20 minutes.  We all agreed that it looked better on TV. It's not that it was bad, but we all had suggestions about how it could've been better with some very small adjustments.  We thought the texture would have improved everything if the various hot dogs would have been split open and grilled until crisp.  Everyone but me had a frank that at least went from top to bottom of the naan-mine was half the size of the flatbread which meant I was eating only the condiments until I got to the middle.  While Sam's was so hot she had to wait to pick it up-mine was cold due to the mango chutney coming out of the fridge.  Adam said his would've been better if the cracker jacks had been recognizable.

Now for the Urban Cookie!  Folks if you're ever in the Phoenix area-hunt this little place up!  I knew I had heard of them-2 years ago they were the winners of The Cupcake Wars show.  They also do some incredible cookies and scones.  Adam and Sam were so hot that they bought themselves the ice cream sandwich which was huge and made with almond macaroons and homemade vanilla ice cream.  

Since we treated for lunch, they splurged and bought a dozen cupcakes for the family dinner that night.  The cupcake of the week was S‘mores.  They had their winning Olive Oil and Orange cupcake there to try.  The choices were unique and the best part?  I had a vegan/non-dairy one to try!  Banana spice.  It was so nice to be part of dessert for once!  And I didn't have to make it.

I also picked up a few ideas for some new cookies.  I really like the idea of dried pineapple and coconut chips in an oatmeal base.

Family and food go hand in hand and while we had a day of trying new things-it was also fun to sit down to a healthy (read that "make amends") dinner of grilled salmon, True Foods kale salad and some artisan whole grain bread with honey and seeds.

Hope you all had the same great times with your family!

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