Yesterday’s post about ten things I miss about home may have led some of you to believe I didn’t like Arizona. That is not the case at all. I am having a great time here and love so many things about the Valley of the Sun! So in honor of my new home I thought today’s post should be about 10 things I love about Arizona. Obviously J. is the number 1 thing but I thought I would keep this food related!

1. Mexican Food

Do I really need to say anything here!? The authentic, delicious, unlimited supply of great Mexican food is probably one of the best selling points about Phoenix. They should use it in their tourism advertising… Grand Canyon, meh… Tacos, burritos and tortas… oh yeah!

2. Sunshine

363 days of sunshine a year! Well that is what they say. Whether this is true or not, I’m not sure, but I do know that the winters here are spectacular. Blue sky, warm days and chilly nights makes it perfect for eating healthy and indulging all at the same time. Healthy lunches and then rich soups, curries and stews for dinner… not to mention a hot chocolate curled up on the couch before bed. The next morning we then get to wake up to another day of warm sunshine.

3. Hamburgers

The choices for burgers here seems endless. I know this isn’t specific to Arizona, it is more a general American thing but I feel as though J. and I could eat at a different burger place every night for a year and not double up. There are so many choices of size, flavor, toppings and style. Of course there are the traditional fast food places like Wendy’s, Burger King and McDonald’s. Then you add in Carl’s Junior (new to me anyway) and In & Out and you have more fast food places. I have then got to cover the gourmet places like Zin Burger, Smash Burger, The Grind and Delux Burger. This is just a few that I just thought of… so many more possibilities we have yet to try. I am not going to get into which is my favorite, I don’t want to start a burger war!

4. Cooking for two

The last few years have been a whirlwind of travel back and forth to the US, around Australia and Asia for me. This has been amazing fun but has meant J. and I had little time in the one place at the same time and meant a lot of eating on the run for me. As you all know I love to cook but hate to cook for one so the thing I am enjoying most is being able to cook for 2 of us. I like spending the time thinking of something both J. and I will enjoy, testing and pushing our food boundaries. Cooking for 2 is much easier since I am no good at making small portions of things. Plus there is nothing like spoiling J. with good food!

5. Discovering new places

I have picked up and moved cities, states and countries a few times in my “young” life so moving to Arizona wasn’t too terrifying. One of the reasons that I love to live in new places is so I get to explore and discover so many things that I would never have if I had stayed where I was. J. and I are having so much fun discovering new places together, specifically restaurants. Places like the Gilbert Farmers Market, Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara, Beaver Choice and George’s Famous Gyros are just a few of our latest discoveries. We have a list of 20 other places we need to try… what great adventures we have ahead.

6. Cheap beer & wine

Yesterday I said I missed Australian beer and wine, and I do but the beer and wine here is sooo cheap I can easily drown my sorrows about the wine I’m drinking being from Oregon rather than Margaret River. Though I must say I have found some delicious Californian and Oregon wines, plus they have Sol (Mexican Beer) here and that is my favorite… it tastes like sunshine! (No, I haven’t been drinking)

7. Cost of living

Everything is cheaper here from clothing and gas to food and wine! A trip to the grocery store costs me half what it would cost me back in Melbourne. This makes cooking lots of different food and baking delicious treats much more cost effective. Eating out is generally cheaper here too even with a tip on top. It also helps that J. and I like the little cheap hole in the wall places like Lee’s and Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara.

8. 5 million tv channels

Cable/Satellite tv isn’t the norm back in Australia like it is here so the majority of Australians have had 5 channels up until the last year or two when with the new HD channels we have around 12. TV here is a completely different thing! I actually haven’t counted the channels we have but it feels like thousands. Sports, movies, comedy, travel and of course cooking shows. So many inspirations from Anthony Bourdain to Paula Deen to Bitchin’ Kitchen… lots of shows to give me ideas for cooking and eating. We will often watch a food show just before a meal to make sure we are super hungry!

9. Making new friends

Of course I miss my friends from home but I am pretty good at making friends so I have been hard at work trying to find friends. I think I will join a book club or something to help this along… not that I am worried because I have hijacked a few of J’s friends and they are going to be coming over for dinner really soon. So I will get my first Arizona dinner party. Well not really a dinner party but I get to cook food for a bunch of boys, it’s a start!

10. Workout buddy

J. and I being in the same place means we have a workout buddy! This is a very good thing – have you seen what I have been cooking!? We have both found it to be great fun heading to the gym or the track together and when one of us doesn’t feel like going the other tends to kick them up the butt!

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  2. smhume17 says:

    Not sure where you live but if you like Mexican food and drinks…San Felipes in Tempe is one of my favorites!! Chambord margaritas are banging! If didnt live across the country now I could really go for some warm eather and a marg!

  3. Yvonne says:

    I had the same problem when I moved to Arizona about making friends. We gave a party and told the couple of people we did know to bring friends. Now my social schedule is completely filled. Hang in there.

  4. bebs1 says:

    Good for you that you are enjoying Arizona. I like the Indian flat bread, I tasted that during a tour to the reservations.

  5. This is lovely! I was going to ask yesterday about this, but I don’t need to now 🙂 Your list are all things I would enjoy about a new place too!

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