HOTLINE: Tuesday, Oct. 21

Posted: Updated:

Anthem Outlets Christmas tree arriving
For the fifth consecutive year, the popular North Phoenix outlet shopping center will display the 12-ton tree in its busy center court area during the holiday season.

Traveling nearly 750 miles on a 75-foot stretch flatbed trailer, the 27-foot-wide tree will be unloaded on the east side of the center where Santa will meet the tree to certify that it is the tallest in the nation, officially kicking off the holiday season in the Valley. Then the waiting crew of 14 will secure the tree to a large strap from which a construction crane will hoist it off the flatbed, rotate it and lower it into a specially designed tree well in center court.

Outlets at Anthem
4250 West Anthem Way, Phoenix
I-17 at the Anthem Way exit
Call (623) 465-9500 or

Free Omelet Day
In effort to raise awareness and money to feed struggling families in Arizona, First Watch is hosting Free Omelet Day on Tuesday, October 21 from 6:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. All omelets on the menu will be free of charge and diners are asked to give a donation to St. Vincent de Paul.

Then on Thursday, Oct. 23, First Watch will deliver the donations and bring the restaurant experience to SVdP's family dining room. First Watch staff will take over SVdP's central kitchen to prepare and serve signature First Watch omelets to more than 300 children and parents who otherwise would not be able to afford a restaurant experience.

Any Valley First Watch restaurant:

Black Canyon Freeway
9645 N Black Canyon Hwy
Phoenix, AZ 85021

61 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013

16455 N. Scottsdale Road, #107
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Restaurant of the Year
Just in time for Holiday Dining....The November issue of Phoenix Magazine, their Best New Restuarant 2014 edition, hits news-stands this week, and winning the number 1 spot is Little Miss BBQ! And, making it a bit more exclusive, the magazine only features the top 10 dining spots, plus five honorable mentions. All of them, according to Editor-in-Chief Craig Outhier are outstanding!

Whiskers & Wine
This is one of the Valley's few no-kill, cage-free shelters...where puppies and kittens are free to roam about! And they can use your help... this non-profit is holding their annual "Whiskers & Wine" event on Thursday Oct. 23rd, where all proceeds go to the shelter and caring for the animals, which they rescue from Maricopa County public intake facilities.

The Foothills Animal Rescue moved into this office building in 2010, it was the old Coldwell Banker Brothers Real Estate Office. To be deemed a cage-free facility, they converted the offices and conference rooms into pet suites. The animals are separated into rooms according to species and temperament. The rescue also has an outdoor off-leash area and individual rooms for meet and greets with potential adopters and one-on-one play time.

Foothills Animal Rescue is joining forces with local Carefree businesses for the 3rd Annual Whiskers & Wine event on October 23. Whiskers & Wine showcases cuisines of local restaurants and wine selections from local wine dealers to raise needed funds for the non-profit animal shelter. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit Foothills Animal Rescue.

Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion
101 Easy Street
Carefree, AZ  85377

Tickets ($25 each) can be purchased at Foothills Animal Rescue (23030 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale 85255) and at their on-site Foothills Resale Boutique.  They are also available through their website at

Pumpkin Decorating
The city of Peoria is hosting its traditional Halloween event at a new site this year. The community is invited to have a spooky good time at the annual Peoria Halloween Monster Bash on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Centennial Plaza, behind City Hall, 8401 W. Monroe Street. Admission is free.

Family fun is always at its best at this annual event, which includes a colorful parade of costumes, fun contests in various age groups and categories ranging from infant to 12 years and awarding for scary and creative, safe trick or treating opportunities, inflatable activities, carnival games, make and take crafts, interactive games and rock wall. Food and live entertainment will also be part of the festivities.

New this year, the Peoria Main Library will be offering Halloween fun in conjunction with a special Halloween story time, and Creepy Crawlers from Deb's Dragons will be on display.

Taphouse Brunch
It's a beer focused restaurant with "warm your tummy" comfort foods.... we're learning how to make some kid and family favorites with Chef Karvis of the new Taphouse We're carmalizing french toast and making grilled cheese, for breakfast!

TapHouse Kitchen
Located at Hilton Village
6137 N. Scottsdale Rd, #108
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
480 656-0012

Crème brulee French toast

Serves 4

8 pieces of challah bread

Mixed berries for garnish

Powdered sugar for dusting

Maple syrup

8 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. butter

For the French toast batter

1 cup half and half

3 large eggs

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 vanilla bean (scraped)

Mix together thoroughly

For the crème brulee

1 quart heavy cream

1 cup sugar

6 egg yolks

1 vanilla bean scraped

Bring cream, sugar and vanilla bean to a simmer and then pour over the egg yolks slowly to temper them, you do not want to scramble or cook the yolks.

Return the egg cream mixture to the stove and on medium heat continuing mixing until sauce begins to thicken, about ten minutes. Set his aside until ready for service.

Dip the challah bread in the batter and then in a pan with some butter added to it cook the French toast on medium heat about 4 minutes on each side. Golden and brown is what you're looking for. Spread the crème brulee on the toast and then add the sugar on top of that and begin to brulee with a torch or place in the oven on broil until sugar is caramelized,

Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar and berries.

Grilled cheese w/ mushroom, avocado, bacon, egg and fontina cheese

Serves 4

8 pieces of sourdough bread

4 ea. large eggs

2 ea. Avocado, diced

8 strips of apple wood smoked bacon…cooked

2 cups cooked crimini mushrooms

5 cups shredded fontina cheese

6 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 ea. Small shallot…fine diced

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. mixed herbs, chives, chervil and tarragon chopped

To begin cook the mushrooms in a pan with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then add the shallots and garlic and herbs. Cook for about the minutes. Place some butter in a pan or a flat top and then place the sourdough down on top of the butter. In another pan cooked the eggs with some butter to your liking whether it is over easy or over hard. Add the cheese to the top of each piece of bread. Once cheese has melted add the bacon strips, diced avocado, mushrooms, and then the egg. Put sandwich together and cut in half. Enjoy

Gators and Ghouls fun at Phoenix Herpetological Society
October 21 is Reptile Awareness Day, which would make a good hook to preview the October 25 Gators and Ghouls event at Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS). PHS can demonstrate pumpkin tosses to some of the crocs, which will be one of the fun things going on that day. They can also have some folks dressed in costumes as part of the shot.