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US Cooking Tour Stop 7: ARIZONA

I am in love with Arizona. Something about it just calls to me - the terrain, the views, the red rocks... it's just so different from anywhere else and I love everything about it. My husband and I took a trip to Pheonix several years ago and ever since we knew we had to bring the boys. If ever there is a little boy state, it's Arizona. It's the land of adventure! A couple summers later we took our big road trip to the Grand Canyon and it was seriously one of the best vacations ever. I would love to back-blog every stop of that trip because in my opinion it is the best family vacation for people with littles. 

One memory that sicks out as a favorite from our time there wasn't any of our planned stops. Isn't that always how it works? Sponteniety always creates the very best memories. When Darin and I were in Pheonix we saw sky high cactus everywhere. I didn't realize that the terrain is so diverse in the state and the northeastern part doesn't have the super tall cactus like the more southern parts. 

Ezra, who was fascinated with the new sights before him, was so excited for every new plant he found that he'd never before seen. Blue Agaves are his favorite to this day, and it's all because of that trip. He was dead-set on seeing the big beautiful cactus his Daddy and I had told him about, but unfortunately we had only seen small ones around the Grand Canyon area. We spent the last portion of our trip in Sedona and on a whim one afternoon we decided we were going to head south and make some dreams come true to find Ezra a big, tall cactus. 

We ended up racing the sunset as we chased the cactus and found them just in the nick of time. Oh, how the boys screamed! We stopped, ran to every one we saw (while keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes), and stood in awe as we quickly snapped photos and breathed in the moment. What a rush! We did it. We made it. And our littlest boy was beaming. 

These are the moments that make life what it is. 

Arizona's challenge was by far the craziest sounding one so far. I was nervous as a cat about trying this new recipe, but I have to tell you, it blew our socks off. It was so delicious! 

Arizona is famous for The Sonoran Dog.

The Sonoran Dog is a hotdog wrapped in bacon, and topped with a strong concoction of ingredients - pinto beans, pico de gallo, pickled jalepeno, mayo, and crushed potato chips. You guys. As wild as it sounds, it is a flavor explosion! My skeptical husband ate two, and recently requested we make them again. Definitely a new favorite way to eat hotdogs in our house. 


For the Pico De Gallo:

1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
lime juice
jalapeno, seeded & diced

For the Hot Dogs:

4 hot dogs
4 slices bacon
4 hoagie buns
1/4 C canned pinto beans
1/2 C avacado, thinly sliced
1/4 C pickled jalapeƱo slices
1/2 C crushed potato chips

Make the pico de gallo: combine tomato, red onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. 

Cook and assemble the hotdogs: Wrap each hot dog in 1 bacon slice and cook until bacon is crisp, 12-14 minutes. Slice open buns, leaving ends intact. Toast in 350 oven until warmed through and lightly crispy.

Nestle hot dogs into buns. Spoon 1 Tbsp beans onto one side of the dog, then arrange avocado slices and 1 jalapeƱos on the other side. Spoon pico over hot dogs, then drizzle with mayo and top with potato chips. 

Dessert was churros, and they were super fun to make. Who doesn't love a churro? Arizona was such a fun stop on this tour - one of our favorites!


1 C water
6 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 C flour
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Cinnamon sugar

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add water, butter and sugar. Bring to a boil, then add vanilla. Turn off heat and add flour and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until thickened, 30 seconds. Let mixture cook for 10 minutes. 

To cooled mixture, using a hand mixer, beat in eggs one at a time until combined. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip.

In a large pot over medium heat, add enough oil to come halfway up the sides and heat to 375. Holding the piping bag a few inches above the oil, carefully pipe churros into 6 inch long ropes. Use kitchen scissors to cut off dough from piping bag.

Fry until golden, 4-5 minutes, turning as necessary. Fry 3-4 at a time. Remove and immediately roll churros in cinnamon sugar.
I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


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