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Desert Mountain

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December 2019

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Founder | Medical Director

Dr. Fabio Almeida is a highly skilled, multi-Board certified Medical Doctor providing comprehensive, technology-enabled conventional, lifestyle, and natural healthcare. Together with his multi-disciplinary wellness team at The Center for Integrative Healing and Wellness, Dr. Fabio offers personalized care, retreats and programs that help individuals achieve their wellness goals. Services & Programs Concierge Membership Care Destination Wellness Programs Integrative Nutrition Integrative Oncology IV Therapy Medical Weight Loss Athletic Performance Optimization Men’s Health Women’s Health Anti-Aging & Aesthetics

Dr. Fabio specializes in integrative medicine and oncology, nutritional medicine, anti-aging medicine and functional-molecular imaging.

A personalized wellness clinic where you are our priority. Shouldn’t your healthcare be as unique and amazing as you? Call to schedule a consultation. Visits in-person, via telemedicine and Skype.



THE CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE HEALING & WELLNESS Civana Resort Spa - Sanctuary | 37220 Mule Train Road, Carefree, AZ 85377 | i m a g e s a r i z o n a . c o m De c e m b e r 2 019


30223 N Cowboy Court Scottsdale 85262 5 Bedroom | 3.5 Bath | 6,168 Sqft | Granite Mountain Ranch Offered at $1,549,000 Contact Jeanne Johnson at (480) 508-8353

24422 N 73rd Street Scottsdale AZ 85255 4 Bedroom | 4.5 Bath | 3,759 Sqft | Bocara Offered at $1,449,000 Contact Andrew at (480) 531-8859

10040 E Happy Valley Road 300 Scottsdale AZ 85255 3 Bedroom | 3.5 Bath | 4,266 Sqft | Desert Highlands Offered at $995,000 Contact Jeanne Johnson at (480) 508-8353

23006 N 86th Street Scottsdale AZ 85255 4 Bedroom | 3 Bath + (2) 1/2 Bath | 3,919 Sqft | La Vida Offered at $989,700 Contact Andrew at (480) 531-8859

9626 E Peak View Road Scottsdale AZ 86262 4 Bedroom | 2.5 Bath | 3,558 Sqft | Fairways at Troon North MLS 5986119 | Offered at $899,900 Contact Jeffrey Serpa at (480) 771-3194

29306 N 70th Way Scottsdale AZ 85266 4 Bedroom | 2.5 Bath | 3,236 Sqft | Scottsdale Vista Estates Offered at $779,000 Contact Andrew at (480) 531-8859

28441 N 57th Street Cave Creek AZ 85331 4 Bedroom | 3 Bath | 3,867 Sqft | Vista Norte MLS 5974479 | Offered at $750,000 Contact Andrew at (480) 531-8859

36802 N Stardust Lane Carefree AZ 85377 3 Bedroom | 3 Bath | 3,541 Sqft | Velvet Shadow MLS 5944100 | Offered at $674,900 Contact Andrew at (480) 531-8859


Senior Partner REALTOR®


Director of Marketing Director of Client Care


Chief Technology Officer REALTOR®

(480) 400-1984 | December 2019

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Located in:Â Terravita Marketplace 34522 N Scottsdale Rd Suite 100B Scottsdale, AZ 85266

Phone:Â (480) 595-2920

Hours: M-F 9am-5pm Sat 10am-4pm search Carefree Coverings

Call: (480) 595-2920

New Carefree Coverings showroom now offering affordable High Quality Solid Wood Cabinets In stock and ready to deliver in as little as 14 business days.


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December 2019

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Now Available at Total Wine and Safeway (Summit) Ask for Carefree Bourbon at these fine restaurants: American Legion • Buffalo Chip • Bourbon Cellar • Capital Grille • Cartwright’s Corrado’s Cucina Italiana • Desert Mountain Clubhouse • Harold’s Corral • High and Rye Hyatt Regency • Indigo Crow • Janey’s Cave Creek • Civana • Lush Burger • Mastro’s Mountain View Irish Pub • Outlaws • Pizzicata • The Horny Toad • The Patio Grill Venues Café • Z’s House of Thai Carefree Tasting Room | 100 Easy Street Suite 2 Cave Creek Tasting Room Coming Soon! 480-466-7424 | 6

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Hours: Friday and Saturday 2 - 7 p.m.

December 2019

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Amy Lay >> “Wild Horses” 48 by 36 in.

N E W A RT I S T S J O I N I N G O U R G A L L E RY MEET THE ARTISTS OPEN HOUSE Thursday, Dec. 12, 2–5 pm

B r yc e Pet ti t

Tr e v o r S w a n s o n “Palo Verde Sentinels”

Jill Duzan


36889 N. Tom Darlington Dr. Suite B1, Carefree | 480-595-0171 | Hours: Mon. thru Sat. 9am - 5pm Allied ASID December 2019

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Photography Courtesy of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West


COMMUNITY EVENTS Writer Joseph J. Airdo


SEASON OF ILLUMINATION Writer Joseph J. Airdo Photography by Michael Wilson








BAKED EGGNOG CINNAMON ROLL FRENCH TOAST Writer and Photographer Kyndra Kelly

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December 2019

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PUBLISHER Shelly Spence

MANAGING EDITOR Amanda Christmann


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Joseph Airdo Amanda Christmann Sue Kern-Fleischer Kyndra Kelly Shoshana Leon Shannon Severson Fadi Sitto

PHOTOGRAPHERS Bryan Black Kyndra Kelly Loralei Lazurek Carl Schultz

ADVERTISING SALES Cooper Langston 480-544-8721

Images Arizona P.O. Box 1416 Carefree, AZ. 85377 623-341-8221 Submission of news for community section should be in to by the 5th of the month prior to publication. Images Arizona is published by ImagesAZ Inc. Copyright © 2019 by ImagesAZ, Inc. All rights reserved.


Every year at about this time, I find myself caught in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Whether it’s meeting deadlines early due to holiday printing schedules or scrambling to find the perfect gifts for those I love, it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday demands that inevitably come along this time of year. This evening, I locked up the gallery and headed toward my car with my grocery list and other things to do swirling inside my head. With my own thoughts far away, I was brought back into the moment by the unmistakable sound of Christmas carols as they joyously emanated from a passing car. Hearing these sounds I’ve enjoyed since I was a child was nurturing, and it gave me pause to step out of my busy-ness and into something much more meaningful. As I drove to the store, my thoughts wandered back to holidays gone by. I thought of Christmas mornings in front of the tree, my now-adult children full of excitement as they opened Santa’s gifts in their pajamas, and me struggling to keep my eyes open after spending hours the night before wrapping presents as they slept. I also remembered sharing gifts and appreciation with a once-tiny Images Arizona family of writers and photographers who, like our current contributors, worked hard to put stories together while balancing busy lives, simply because they loved and believed in what we were doing. These moments are among those that have given me the deepest joy, and remembering them is a gift in itself.

Reproduction, in whole or part, without permission is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for the return of unsolicited material.

Local First A R I Z O NA

There is so much that each of us has to be grateful for this holiday season. I am deeply thankful for my family, my friends, and my community, and for the 20 years of opportunities I’ve had to share it all with you through Images Arizona magazine. Happy holidays! Shelly Spence Publisher, Images Arizona magazine 623-341-8221


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December 2019

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| Dec. 4–5 | 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Grace Renee Gallery | 480-575-8080 |

i m a g e s a r i z o n a . c o m De c e m b e r 2 019


| Dec. 4–5 | 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Grace Renee Gallery | Historic Spanish Village | 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd. # 7 | Carefree, AZ 15 December 2019 imagesar iz ona .c om

Cloud World, 1925, oil on canvas; Courtesy of Adrienne Ruger Conzelman

Writer Shannon Severson

i mCourtesy a g e s a r i zof o nWestern a . c o m Spirit: De c eScottsdale’s m b e r 2 019 Photography Museum of the West 16


Even if you’ve never heard the name of artist Maynard Dixon (1875-1946), you’ve seen his work. Dixon’s original drawings heavily influenced architect Irving Morrow’s ultimate design of the Golden Gate Bridge. He even chose its distinctive color. In fact, Dixon recommended Morrow for the job. This impactful tidbit is just one in the fascinating story of an artist whose life and work spanned the years that most shaped America and the world in the 20th century, and whose paths crossed with some of the most influential figures in the history of the American West. Much of it is on display at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West’s Maynard Dixon’s American West, the world’s most comprehensive retrospective showcasing Dixon’s life and artistic career. The exhibition is the first of its kind in Phoenix, with 250 works, including some of his most historically significant paintings: Cloud World, Earth Knower, Shapes of Fear and Kit Carson with Mountain Men. “We’re honored to have received so many major Maynard Dixon works that are being seen together for the first time,” says Dr. Tricia Loscher, assistant director of collections, exhibitions and research at SMoW. “For Arizona and on an international level, for us, this is a watershed moment in the five-year history of the museum—not just the number, but the caliber of these paintings and drawings.


Round Up


Desert Sun Academy

“It’s the largest retrospective to date of Maynard Dixon and the first major retrospectives showing ever in Arizona. We have so many iconic pieces.” Part of what makes this remarkable exhibition so impactful is the deep well of information that defines Dixon’s place in both Western and American history. That context is courtesy of the museum's partnership with Dr. Mark Sublette, who was Loscher's co-curator for the exhibition.


Desert Willow Elementary School

Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 5:00-6:30pm Visit our five A+ elementary schools – each with its own signature Curriculum. Cave Creek Unified School District is inspiring excellence in young minds.



Lone Mountain Elementary School 480.575.2000 December 2019


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Black Weasel, 1917, oil on canvas; Tia Collection, Santa Fe, NM. Photo: James Hart Photography.

Kit Carson with Mountain Men, 1935, oil on canvas; Courtesy the Peterson Family Collection. Photo by Loren Anderson Photography.

Two Eagles, 1932, oil on canvas; Tia Collection, Santa Fe, NM. Photo: James Hart Photography.

Watchers from the Housetops, c. 1931, oil on canvas; Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum Purchase with Funds Provided by Western Art Associates.

Edith Hamlin, Maynard Dixon, Painter of the Desert, 1940, oil on canvas; Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of the artist.

Wild Horses of Nevada, c. 1927, oil on canvas; Karges Family Trust.


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Sublette is the owner of Tucson’s famed Medicine Man Gallery and Maynard Dixon Museum, and he is a dedicated scholar of Dixon. His 525-page masterpiece book, “Maynard Dixon’s American West: Along the Distant Mesa,” serves as a foundational companion piece to this astounding display.

“When I first moved to Tucson, someone came to sell me a Dixon painting,” says Sublette. “It was instantaneous. It was love at first sight.

At Last

“Over the last 25 years, I’ve assembled my museum collection in Tucson. I’ve bought and sold Dixons, too—many major, important paintings. It was time to bring some of those back home for this exhibit, and people were willing to loan them. We have studies that accompany larger, significant paintings that have never been shown together before.”

Maynard Dixon, 1935

At last

I shall give myself to the desert again; That I, in its golden dust, may be blown from a desert peak, broadcast over the sun-lands. If you should desire some news of me, go ask the little horned-toad whose home is the dust,

or seek it among the sage-brush,

or question the mountain juniper –– and by their silence,

they will truly inform you.

At the entrance to the exhibit, a life-size photo of Dixon and his third wife, artist Edith Hamlin, is the background for his actual easel. Along the wall is a detailed timeline of his life, punctuated by photographs and early works. Visitors are invited into the world of a man with a love of the unspoiled landscapes of the West running through his veins and artistic talent that would take nearly every form during times of massive social and economic upheaval in the world. “The great thing about Dixon was that he was so good about documenting places, events and time,” says Sublette. “As a biographer, it makes him easier to write about.” At the very beginning of the exhibition is a small sketch of an elderly woman that started it all. As a teen growing up in Fresno, California, often stuck indoors due to crippling asthma, Dixon sent his sketchbook to his idol, Frederic Remington—and Remington wrote back. In one corner of the page, a notation reads, “This is a good study,” in Remington’s own hand. It was 1891, and encouragement from Remington caused Dixon’s mother, Constance, to move him closer to San Francisco so he could receive formal training at California School of Design. As it happened, Dixon was more boots, dust and great outdoors than cosmopolitan formality and enclosed classrooms. He didn’t stay in art school, preferring to study on his own, but he was always determined to make his living as an artist. “There’s nothing else he could do or would do,” says Sublette. “He was a humble man, but the proudest thing he said about himself was that he made his entire life as an artist. It’s a hard thing to do.” His first paying job was in illustration for a San Francisco newspaper, but being cooped up in the city didn’t suit his spirit.

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Navajo Riders, 1915, oil on canvas; Gift of the Roath Collection at the Denver Art Museum. Photograph courtesy of the Denver Art Museum.

Beginning in 1900, Dixon began a series of extended, months-long visits throughout the West and Mexico. Arizona and New Mexico were the first destinations in what would become a pattern of visiting and living among the people and environments he would go on to depict in a detailed manner true to life. “Dixon was such a good ethnographer,” says Sublette. “When he painted Native Americans, he used the right clothing and their names. He meant his paintings to be the real essence of the people at that time, in that place, which was unusual for the era. He lived with the Hopi for five months. He would immerse himself in the culture to see what it meant to be a part of it.” Sublette has collected letters and studied newspaper clippings of the many interviews Dixon gave over the years, studying the external influences that shaped his life and art. As the century turned, the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, both world wars, the influenza pandemic of 1919 and the Great Depression all greatly impacted Dixon. He wrote poetry, illustrated novels, created murals in public and private buildings, and documented the construction of Boulder (now Hoover) Dam; he worked, explored, struggled, triumphed and chronicled the times in art and letters.

EXPERIENCE Maynard Dixon’s American West Through Aug. 2 | See website for hours | Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West | 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale $15 Adults | $13 Seniors (65+) and Active Military | $8 Students (Full-time w/ID) and Children (6-17 years) Members and Children 4 and Under, Free | Free on Thursdays (Through April) for Scottsdale residents with proof of residence i m a g e s a r i z| n a . c o m De c e m b e r 2 019 20480-686-9539

Dixon was influenced by his relationships with prominent artists, authors and merchants of his time and by his three talented wives. His second wife, documentary photographer and photojournalist Dorothea Lange, was the most well-known. Her striking photographs placed a powerful spotlight on the suffering wrought by the Great Depression. Dixon’s Forgotten Man series was his venture into social commentary on the events of the time.

the art of organization

“I’ve said that Dixon was like the Forrest Gump of art,” says Sublette. “When you think about all the people he interacted with and knew who were historically important –– [journalist] George Lummis was a father figure to him, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Buffalo Bill, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Lorenzo Hubble, who owned a crucial trading post on the Navajo reservation. He’s one of the few great Western artists who was actually born in the West.” Dixon passed way in Tucson on November 13, 1946, just days after completing his final mural commission, a massive painting of the Grand Canyon for the Santa Fe Railroad’s Los Angeles ticket office. He had completed it while suffering terribly from his asthma, only able to work for a few hours each day. While tragic, his death was emblematic of his drive to create and to communicate the natural beauty of the region that was part of his soul. It lives on in this exhibition.

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Designer Jacqueline Earle has reinvented the role of the diamond in her feminine and flirty collection of floating diamond jewelry.

Her Willow Diamonds are strung rather than set, allowing each stone to capture light in a playful manner which creates versatile, wearable pieces that, like us, like to have fun.


Award-Winning Collection

Meet jewelry designer Jacqueline Earle

December 6 & 7

Friday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. with wine & appetizers 4–8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Grace Renee Gallery 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd. # 7 | Carefree, AZ 85377 Open Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Open Late Thur.–Sat.until 7 p.m. 480.575.8080


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Vivace Earrings and Butterfly Necklace 18-karat gold with diamonds Award-winning design December 2019

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Writer Joseph J. Airdo

Dec. 6 and 7

DANCING DIAMONDS Grace Renee Gallery will feature the nearly magical jewelry of Jacqueline Earle, with diamonds that are strung rather than set. The extremely intricate process allows each stone to capture light in a fun and playful manner. Free. Friday 10 a.m.–8 p.m. with wine and appetizers 4–8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday. Grace Renee Gallery, 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd., #7, Carefree. 480-575-8080;

Nov. 22–Dec. 29

embittered Miss Hannigan, Annie

8 at Chandler Center for the Arts,

escapes to the wondrous world of

250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. Dec.

New York City. $28. See website for

14–22 at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E.

Arizona Broadway Theatre presents

times. Desert Stages Theatre, 7014

Main St., Mesa.

“Elf: The Musical,” based on the 2003

E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-

film starring Will Ferrell as one of



Santa’s little helpers who embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father. See website for times and

A CHRISTMAS STORY Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir

7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. 623-



Take a magical journey through

All the elements from the beloved

life-size mice, swirling snowflakes,

1983 motion picture will be there—

dancing confections and the Sugar

including the family’s temperamental

Plum Fairy with Ballet Etudes’

exploding furnace; the Red Ryder BB

33rd annual production of “The

gun, the experiment with a wet tongue

Desert Stages Theatre presents

Nutcracker.” The show is a feast for

on a cold lamppost and the ever-

“Annie: The Musical.” Determined

the eyes and ears with colorful and

popular leg lamp. $28. See website for

to find the parents who abandoned

imaginative costumes paired with

times. Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E.

her years ago on the doorstep of

Tchaikovsky's original score. $25+.

Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-483-

an orphanage run by the cruel,

See website for times. Nov. 29–Dec.


pricing. Arizona Broadway Theatre,

Nov. 29–Dec. 22



Nov. 29–Dec. 22

Nov. 29–Dec. 22

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“A Christmas Story” comes to life courtesy of Desert Stages Theatre.

Dec. 2

9TH ANNUAL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT The Foothills Caring Corps presents its annual charity golf tournament, which is a major fundraiser for the volunteer-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting independence and enhancing the quality of life for older residents in the Northeast Valley. Participants will play a friendly scramble format tournament on a course that offers challenging holes, gorgeous desert views and dramatic mountain backdrops. Mirabel Golf Club, 37100 N. Mirabel Club Drive, Scottsdale. 480-488-1105.

Dec. 2

RAPTORS IN YOUR BACKYARD See hawks and owls up close while learning about the struggles they face and how you can help. Join Wild at Heart—a raptor conservation organization located in Cave Creek that rescues, rehabilitates and releases wild raptors—for this exciting seminar sponsored by the Desert Awareness Committee of the Foothills Community Foundation. Free. 6:30–8 p.m. Holland Community Center, 34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale.

Dec. 3

A JOURNEY TO THE MOON The Desert Foothills Library celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with this presentation from the Arizona Science Center. Free. 10–11 a.m. RSVP. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480488-2286;

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Dec. 4–14

MERRY MASTERPIECES Joi Prater of Joi Prater Interiors is hosting a series of holiday wreath-making classes. Each 2-hour class will include beverages and refreshments as well as all materials needed to create a merry masterpiece— including a wreath, French ribbons, ornaments, pinecones and other embellishments. Attendees will learn how to make bows and will have the option to spray paint items to personalize their wreaths. $65. 8 p.m. Dec. 4–6; 6 p.m. Dec. 11; 10 a.m. Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15. Joi Prater Interiors, 748 Easy St., Carefree. 602-930-8679;

Dec. 5


The Carefree Desert Gardens will

Creek Road, Carefree. 480-488-

also be illuminated with thousands


of twinkling lights for the first time during the holiday season. The ceremony will include a performance

experimental shorts highlighting

from Cave Creek Unified School

social, cultural and personal

District student choirs, a visit

topics. Artworks were produced by

from Santa Claus and a screening


documentary video art students as

of the movie “Elf.” Free. 5 p.m.

Last season’s sold out, legendary

part of the intermedia program of

Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, 101

holiday event by Harlem Renaissance

the Herberger Institute for Design

Easy St., Carefree. 480-488-3686;

poet Langston Hughes returns to

and the Arts’ School of Art at

the Black Theatre Troupe stage for

Arizona State University. Free. 7 p.m. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale. 480-874-4662;

Dec. 6


Dec. 6–22

Experience a showcase of

a special engagement. A joyous

Dec. 6


company of singers, actors, dancers and musicians brings “Black Nativity” to life and delivers its powerful message of joy, hope, victory and liberation. $41. See


Watoto Children’s Choir from

website for times. Helen K. Mason

Uganda will perform as part of

Performing Arts Center, 1333 E.

Christ the Lord Lutheran Church’s

Washington St., Phoenix. 602-258-

The town of Carefree will officially

Living Music Performance Series.


kick off this year’s holiday season

Free Will Offering. 7 p.m. Christ the

with the lighting of a 25-foot tree.

Lord Lutheran Church, 9205 E. Cave

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Dec. 6–22

FOUNTAIN HILLS THEATER’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL Fountain Hills Theater presents the return of its holiday tradition—the musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” based on Charles Dickens’ classic tale of curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Adults $35; Youth Under 18 $15. See website for times. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480-837-9661;

Dec. 6–22

THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER Fountain Hills Community Theater Youth Theater presents “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” a musical about five endearing elves who create the most fantastic shoes anyone has ever seen. $18. See website for times. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480-837-9661;

Dec. 7

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA Enjoy a morning meal with St. Nicholas as well as a performance of “Sing! Sleigh Bells Ring!,” a holiday celebration in song featuring talented area youth. The event will be held in conjunction with Rural Metro Fire’s holiday toy drive and proceeds will benefit Foothills Food Bank. Attendees may bring a new toy, canned good or a suggested donation of $5 per person for admission. 9–11 a.m. Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, 101 Easy St., Carefree. 480-488-3686;

December 2019

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Dec. 8–15

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS CONCERT Scottsdale’s premier adult choir the Upscale Singers presents its Christmas concert, which will be reminiscent of an in-home holiday party with singalongs around the piano. Adults $20+; Children Under 13 $15. 5 p.m. Dec. 8 and 15 at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 34605 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Scottsdale. Dec. 14 at ASU Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.

Dec. 7


Desert and Music Serving the Word

Dec. 7

non-perishable food donations to


benefit Foothills Food Bank. Free. 6

Celebrate 20 years of the Scottsdale

Take care of holiday shopping and

p.m. Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, 101

Museum of Contemporary Art with

enjoy a selection of treats and coffee

Easy St., Carefree. 480-488-3686;

its annual ARTrageous Gala. The

while benefiting the Desert Foothills

evening will include a look back at the

Ministries, attendees may bring

Library, which will be decked out

museum’s founding and an exploration

with holiday décor and live music.

of how its history will help shape our

Free. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

Dec. 7


Dec. 7


future. $500. 5–10 p.m. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale. 480-8744662;

Bringing bright smiles and warm spirits, more than 50 middle and high school-aged members of the

Dec. 7 and 8

Vicki McDermitt and Chirp,

Phoenix Girls Chorus will perform

featuring Jerry Donato, will take

a heartwarming holiday concert

the stage with an evening of jazzy

filled with beautiful and uplifting


holiday harmonies. The concert will

musical selections. $15+. 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy live entertainment, a variety

be preceded with a performance

The Church of the Epiphany, 2222 S.

of food and gift vendors and plenty

from the Cactus Shadows High

Price Road, Tempe.

of authentic German fare—including

School Jazz Band. Presented in


partnership with Spirit in the

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hot mulled wine and cider, sausage, sauerkraut, potato pancakes and marzipan—during Arizona Center for German Cultures’ 11th annual German Christmas market. Free. Saturday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Frontier Town, 6245 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek.

Dec. 7 and 8

GOOD TIDINGS WE BRING CONCERT Celebrate the festive season with the Sonoran Desert Chorale. From a hundreds-year-old Catalan carol to John Rutter’s stirring “Gloria” to Franz Biebl’s gentle “Ave Maria,” the repertoire includes songs familiar and new—with even a surprise or two. $18. Saturday 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Ave., Mesa. Sunday 3 p.m. at La Casa De Cristo Lutheran Church, 6300 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale. 480-305-4538;

Dec. 7–22

CENTER DANCE ENSEMBLE'S SNOW QUEEN Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s wintery fairy tale of the struggle between good and evil, Center Dance Ensemble brings Frances Smith Cohen’s masterpiece “Snow Queen” to life for its 29th season. $28. See website for times. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix.

Dec. 8

CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS CONCERT Celebrate the season with the Carolyn Eynon Singers as they perform a selection of new and popular holiday songs. Bring a canned food donation to benefit the Foothills Food Bank. Cookie reception to follow. Adults $20+; Youth Under 18 $10; Children Under 5 Free. 4 p.m. Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, 7415 E. Elbow Bend Road, Scottsdale. 480-529-2630;

Dec. 8

HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS Step back in time to Christmas Eve 1944, and experience a serviceman’s holiday celebration presented by Pinnacle Creative Arts. The swingin’ show will be a reminiscent flashback to the WWII era and the performances put on by Hollywood’s top talent for our men fighting overseas. $15. 2:30 p.m. Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, 101 Easy St., Carefree.

December 2019

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Dec. 11

DEL BAC WHISKEY DINNER Enjoy three courses by LON’s Executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco paired with whiskey cocktails featuring the Hermosa Inn’s exclusive Del Bac Dorado. $99. 6 p.m. LON’s at the Hermosa Inn, 5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley. 844-267-8738.

Dec. 8


Dec. 8–14


feature a wide variety of musical styles from classical to calypso while the narration will include

Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows’s

Music students from the after-school

poetry and scripture. Free. 8:30

monthly Sunday Supper Club

music program Rosie's House will

a.m. Dec. 8; 10 a.m. Dec. 15. Desert

features four courses paired with

perform a holiday showcase concert

Foothills Lutheran Church, 29305

selections from Champagne Henriot.

and series of recitals, featuring

N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-

$85. 6 p.m. 5445 E. Lincoln Drive,

soloists on strings, winds, piano and


Paradise Valley. 866-582-0607.

voice while highlighting impressive ensembles. Free. 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at Steele

Dec. 8


Memorial Hall, 300 E. Indian School

holiday season, how to handle parties and invitations and how to prepare for

Dec. 8–15

United Methodist Church, 1875 N.


Central Ave., Phoenix.

Orpheus Male Chorus presents

Road, Phoenix. Dec. 10–14 at Central

Learn how to deal with grief during the

its annual holiday concerts at

Dec. 8 and 15

various venues throughout the Valley, featuring traditional and

$5. 2:30–4:30 p.m. RSVP. Desert Hills


Presbyterian Church, 34605 N. Tom

The Desert Foothills Lutheran

everyone’s favorite Christmas carols.

Darlington Drive, Scottsdale. 480-488-

Church choirs present “What Child

$25. See website for times and


is This?,” an experience of music and

locations. 602-698-7890;

spoken word to tell the Christmas

surprising emotions during this seminar.


story. The Christmas cantata will

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contemporary holiday songs as well as an audience sing-along of

Dec. 9

MONDAY NIGHT CHEF'S TABLE This event in the monthly dinner series pairs four courses by Executive Chef Russell LaCasce with champagne. $109. 6:30 p.m. ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale. 480-376-2600.

Dec. 11

LIBRARY’S 9TH ANNUAL DUET WITH ARIZONA MUSICFEST Maestro Robert Moody and other guests will perform a concert that benefits both the Desert Foothills Library and Arizona Musicfest. Prosecco, coffee and dessert will be served prior to the performance. $30. 7 p.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443

Celebrate the Holidays! Friday, Dec. 6, 5 p.m.

Tree Lighting and Movie ~ Carefree Desert Gardens Enjoy a holiday concert and a screening of Elf. Admission is free!

Saturday, Dec. 7, 9-11 a.m.

Breakfast with Santa ~ Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Enjoy breakfast and holiday-themed entertainment with the jolly old elf! Fundraiser for Rural Metro Fire’s Annual Toy Drive

N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

Dec. 12

A VISIT FROM MRS. CLAUS Mrs. Claus visits the Desert Foothills Library for a special Christmas storytime and craft, complete with some holiday magic and a sing-along with puppets. Mrs. Claus will pose for photos with children following the event. Free. 10:30–11:30 a.m. RSVP. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

Saturday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m.

Concert with Vicki McDermitt and Chirp, Featuring Jerry Donato ~ Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Bring a canned good and enjoy a night of classic Christmas tunes, harmonies, and holly-jolly jazz favorites! Opening is the CCUSD High School Jazz Band. Presented in conjunction with Music Serving the Word

Dec. 12

WINEMAKER DINNER The December event in the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale’s monthly winemaker dinner series begins with a reception, followed by a four-course dinner paired with wines from Napa Valley’s ZD Wines. $95. 6:30 p.m. RSVP. 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Scottsdale. 480-444-1234 ext. 8650.

Sunday, Dec. 8, 2:30 p.m. $15 Hope for the Holidays — a WWII Christmas ~ Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Step back to Christmas Eve 1944.

Presented by Pinnacle Creative Arts

Dec. 13–17

A CHORALE CHRISTMAS Internationally renowned conductor and composer Dr. André J. Thomas leads the Phoenix Chorale’s festive holiday concerts at various venues throughout the Valley. $40+. See website for times and locations. 602-253-2224;

Dec. 22-29, 5:30 p.m.

Chanukah in Carefree ~ Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Each evening’s lighting is open to attendees of all denominations and faiths.

For complete information, visit

Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy Street, Carefree, AZ 85377 December 2019

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Dec. 13–24

BALLET ARIZONA’S NUTCRACKER Get ready for visions of sugar plums, mouse kings and sparkling Swarovski crystals with Ballet Arizona’s 34th year of “The Nutcracker” performances. Afternoon and evening shows are choreographed by renowned artistic director Ib Andersen and are accompanied by live music from The Phoenix Symphony. $25+. See website for times. Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. 602381-1096;

Dec. 14


origin to its harvest, processing and preparation. Tastings will teach

During this intimate cooking

of different flavors and nuances.


class, Chef Marcellino will teach

$15. 1–3 p.m. RSVP. Desert Foothills

Maestro José Hernández and his

participants how to cook Scialatielli

Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road,

platinum-selling Mariachi Sol de

alle Vongole—a pasta dish with

Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

México perform treasured holiday

guests how to experience chocolate

Manila clams and white wine that is traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Italy. After the class, guests

classics and favorites from the

Dec. 14

mariachi songbook. The holiday concert will feature a blend of classical,

RSVP. Marcellino Ristorante, 7114 E.


Stetson Dr., Scottsdale. 480-990-9500.

Boulder Creek High School’s choirs

for the Performing Arts, 7380 E.

will perform a concert of Christmas

Second St., Scottsdale. 480-499-8587;

classics as part of Christ the Lord

will be served lunch. $40. 1 p.m.

Dec. 14


Dec. 14


Lutheran Church’s Living Music

Spend an afternoon with Chef Wolff

9205 E. Cave Creek Road, Carefree.

for this master tasting class, during


Performance Series. $25. 4 p.m. Christ the Lord Lutheran Church,

pop, jazz, swing and Broadway tunes. $39. 8 p.m. Scottsdale Center

Dec. 14

which guests will learn how chocolate


is made—from the original growth

Arts at the Rocks presents a holiday

of the cacao bean in its country of

program modeled after the annual

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service that has taken place in King’s College, Cambridge, England, every year since Christmas Eve of 1918. The program will feature Advent and Christmas readings, choral selections and favorite carols performed by the Valley Chamber Chorale. Free. 4 p.m. Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 34605 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Scottsdale. 480-488-3384; music.arts@

Dec. 14 and 15

CHRISTMAS POPS CONCERT North Valley Symphony Orchestra spreads holiday cheer to the community with its Christmas Pops concert, which will include pieces from a number of holiday classics. An actor from Brevity Theatre will be on-hand for a presentation of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” featuring the full poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” $5. Saturday 7 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m. Shadow Mountain High School Performing Arts Center, 2902 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix. 623-9804628;

Dec. 14–22

CHRISTIAN DANCE COMPANY’S SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Tempe Dance Academy’s Christian Dance Company presents “The Spirit of Christmas,” an energetic variety show featuring a cast of more than 100 dancers, singers, a horse and carriage, special guest performers and a champion hoop dancer. See website for times and pricing. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. 480-782-2680;

December 2019

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Dec. 22–29

HANUKKAH MENORAH LIGHTING Congregants from Temple Chai as well as members of the Jewish Social Group of Cave Creek and Carefree will gather to light the menorah every evening during Hanukkah. Local groups and families of all denominations and faiths are invited to attend the services, which will begin with a special ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 22 that will include the Temple Chai Cantor and Choir. Free. 5:30 p.m. Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, 101 Easy St., Carefree. 480-488-3686;

Dec. 15

HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT The Salt River Brass decks the

many traditional classics of the season. $5+. 4 p.m. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. 480-9516077;

concert hall with a joyful and soulful blend of holiday favorites, including Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song,”

ASSISTED LIVING: THE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS This all-new sequel to the runaway

Dec. 15–Jan 23

hit “Assisted Living: The Musical,” about the nursing home and beyond,

Night,” a swinging “Jingle Bells”


and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”

Experience photographer Scott

Center for the Performing Arts, 7380

$16+. 3 p.m. Mesa Arts Center’s

McKay’s work at his juried F-Stops

E. Second St., Scottsdale. 480-499-

Ikeda Theater, 1 E. Main St., Mesa.

and Shutter Speeds exhibit. Although



Scott's photos have the illusion as

an inspired and powerful “O Holy

double or multiple exposures, all

Dec. 15


images are actually taken with only

takes a comedic look at Christmas. $35. See website for times. Scottsdale

Dec. 18

one exposure employing various


F-stops and shutter speeds to

The Omni Montelucia’s monthly

achieve a painting-like appearance.

Desert to Dish dinner offers four

Reception scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

courses prepared by Executive

Conducted by Ajay R. Patel, the

Jan. 11. Free. Holland Community

Chef Marcos Seville paired with

professional musicians of the

Center, 34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale.

champagne in the intimate Chef’s

Scottsdale Philharmonic perform a

Kitchen. $175. 6 p.m. 4949 E. Lincoln

special holiday program featuring


Dec. 17–22

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Drive, Scottsdale. 480-627-3039.

Dec. 19

A HAWAIIN HOLIDAY Share the aloha spirit during the holidays with Hawaii’s number No. 1 female music group Na Leo. The concert will include the group’s popular contemporary pop ballads as well as traditional Hawaiian and holiday classics. $35. 7:30 p.m. Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 480644-6500;

Dec. 21

VOCTAVE: THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON A cappella group Voctave, whose arrangements of Disney and Broadway hits have received millions of views on Facebook and YouTube, will perform a concert that sets the mood for a cheerful holiday season. $28. 7 p.m. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. 480-4998587;

Dec. 26

A MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS The biggest-selling Christmas music artist in history Mannheim Steamroller returns to the Valley with a concert that changes the sounds of the holidays. $36+. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 480-644-6500;

ASSISTANCE FOR ADDICTIONS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE 24/7 Sobriety Success is now offering education and support for addictions and substance abuse disorder via weekly sessions in the Desert Foothills area. Course participants will have access to an individual online curriculum. $60 with scholarships available. Tuesdays 7–8:30 p.m. Christ Anglican Church’s Dorothy Hall, 35500 N. Cave Creek Road, Carefree. 602-545-7330;

December 2019

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On a Human Scale by Matthew Matthew - Photo by Victor Ren


Writer Joseph J. Airdo Photography Courtesy of Wonderspaces

Mesplé’s background is a bit different than that of most artists. “I was blacksmithing by the time I was 11 years old,” Mesplé says. “I had my first welder by the time I was 13. At age 14, I began working in a foundry, making huge sculptures for artists. I have built theme park rides. I build machines for people. I also cast and sculpt.” Mesplé is the personification of a jack of all trades—and that is what he believes makes him an exceptional artist. “I have always felt like the more I know about different fields, the more I can fuse them all into something that is really unique and individual,” Mesplé says. “I like to blend art with technology but I do it differently than a lot of people do.” Whereas most artists of Mesplé’s ilk work with LEDs or projections, Mesplé prefers to play with physical material. He creates using molten metal, working completely from scratch, to bring his ideas to life. One of his ideas, Killing Time, is currently on display at Wonderspaces as part of its new exhibit Elsewhere—which is the perfect place for artwork of its ingenuity. Other installations in the exhibit include Akousmaflore, a small garden of living musical plants that respond to gentle contact, and Sewing Machine Orchestra, a sound and light installation composed of 12 synced sewing machines.


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Occupying the former Harkins movie theater inside of Scottsdale Fashion Square, Wonderspaces partners with artists from around the world to create unique art shows that change a couple of times each year. The result is a place where people can connect with art and with each other. Elsewhere is Wonderspaces’ sophomore exhibit at the 16,000-square-foot venue following the debut of Point of View earlier this year, which ended its run in August.



“The response has been fantastic,” says Jason Shin, president and co-founder of Wonderspaces. “More than 60,000 people came to the first show, and several hundred of those signed up for annual memberships just based on that first impression.” Shin notes that Elsewhere’s installations are designed to prompt us to question our reality, with each one rewriting the laws that govern the physical world and our interactions with it. Departing from what we know to be true, the artists offer glimpses into what else there can be—moments where their realities become ours. “What Elsewhere has in common with Point of View is that the artwork is both extraordinary and accessible,” Shin adds. “What is different about Elsewhere is that it is organized around the theme of how the rules that govern our world could be bent slightly—reimagined— and what that opens up.” Shin assures that those visitors who experienced Point of View will feel as though they are entering an entirely different exhibit with Elsewhere. “Not only did we bring in 12 new installations, we changed the presentation of the 13th piece and we rearranged the actual walls—the structure of the space—to create a new navigation and the sense of a new experience,” he explains. The installations are the stars of the show, however, as Elsewhere presents 13 room-scale pieces of artwork that range from virtual reality short films like Old Friend, an animated, psychedelic dance party, to interactive sculptural pieces like Levitate, a new media interpretation of gravity in which balls float up and dance through visitor engagement. Shin could not pick a personal favorite among the exhibit’s installations as each one offers something different to the beholder.

6130 East Cave Creek Road • Cave Creek, AZ December 2019

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Confessions by Candy Chang - Photo by Adam Elmakias

Killing Time by Mesplé - Photo by Ali Tso

“The piece that I connect with or want to spend time with will change drastically depending on how I am feeling on a given day,” Shin says. However, he acknowledges that Mesplé’s Killing Time is extraordinarily effective in creating an otherworldly experience—the ultimate goal of Elsewhere. “His piece demands your presence,” Shin explains. “When you have an experience with his piece, no matter what you have going on in your life, it takes you out of that and into the world that he has created.” A kinetic hourglass sculpture, Killing Time features an internal sensor that detects when a viewer approaches. A curated sequence is then triggered, releasing a deep black liquid—ferrofluid—producing breath-like motion from and into the mouth of a polished skull. “I originally read an article about 12 years ago on ferrofluid,” Mesplé says. “I thought that the way it moved and reacted made it a really interesting material.” The artist adds that in addition to showcasing the physics of the material and creating a sense of wonder and awe, Killing Time transmits a very important message to the viewer. “A lot of people are wasting time,” Mesplé explains. “I have always been under the thought process that I know exactly what I want to do. Sometimes when I am dealing with other people, I feel like I am wasting time. So the meaning behind it is to quit killing time.” Elsewhere’s installations also include Confessions, a participatory work that invites visitors to write and submit confessions on a wooden plaque in the privacy of a booth; The Corridor, a disorientating and hypnotic projection of four films simultaneously; and Hoshi, a depiction of infinite space using light, mirrors and sound.

EXPERIENCE Wonderspaces: Elsewhere i m a gMarch e s a r i z o2020 De c e m b eFashion r 2 019 Square | 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale | $24+ | | Scottsdale 38Through

Entry to Elsewhere is staggered every 15 minutes to ensure individual installations do not get too crowded, giving visitors an opportunity to peacefully and personally engage with each piece of artwork. The show is designed to take about 80 minutes to experience, but visitors have the freedom to enjoy the exhibit at their own pace. “I think what Wonderspaces is doing is really unique and interesting,” Mesplé says. “I have done art shows all over the place, and most typical art settings prevent a lot of the public from enjoying these types of artwork. The whole purpose of art since day one was to transmit a feeling and allow people to enjoy artwork and get something out of it.” Mesplé believes that Wonderspaces’ approach opens up a platform that allows people who would normally never go to an art show or interact with art to have that experience. Shin agrees, noting that 44% of visitors to Point of View had never been to an art show before. “We are super excited by the fact that the visitorship is reaching beyond the typical art crowd,” Shin says. “We want to do right by everyone—no matter what their relationship is with art—to make Wonderspaces an inviting place.” Of course, that means Shin and the entire Wonderspaces team is committed to learning how to make their exhibits even more accessible with each new installation. One of their latest charges is to bolster Wonderspaces’ educational programs and provide field trips to students. “It seems like there is a new lesson every day,” Shin says. “If I could point to one now, it is that doing right by the artists, delivering an exceptional experience to the visitors and being a bridge between the two depends on getting 1,000 little details right every single day.” Other installations that visitors can experience at Wonderspaces during its Elsewhere exhibit include Erupture, an inflatable sculpture that depicts a surreal landscape of microscopic life forms; Soil, a surface composed of modular planes that move in all directions; and On a Human Scale, a project that unites voices and faces of the world through technology.

December 2019

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i m a g e s a r i z o n a . c o m De c e m b e r 2 019

Writer Joseph J. Airdo Photography by Michael Wilson

Prescott is the Christmas city. The courthouse lights are a big part of the holidays for me. They are definitely fun to capture. Michael Wilson


As the Arizona air is finally becoming a bit chillier, we are surrounded by colorful lights that signify the holidays are officially upon us. Believe it or not, the use of lights during the Christmas season actually predates the celebration of the holiday itself. Scandinavian and Germanic cultures and other northern European societies used fire as part of their winter solstice traditions. As people prepared for shorter days and longer nights, Yule logs, bonfires and candles were significant rituals during midwinter festivals. These traditions were seen to symbolize the rebirth of the sun, turning night into day and the dawn of the New Year. These typically pagan rituals were later incorporated into established Christian traditions quite naturally because fires and candles were necessary during the winter for heat and light. Christianity redefined these practical lights by connecting them to other symbols, such as the Star of Bethlehem. Early Christmas trees were lit with candles to perpetuate these symbols. Needless to say, this was a common cause of fires at one point in history. The invention of electricity further solidified the use of lights at Christmas, with Edward H. Johnson—an executive at Thomas Edison’s company—having revolutionized the tradition when he strung lights on a tree that he displayed in his New York City home during the holiday season of 1882. Others emulated him, but early electrical lights were also relatively unsafe. By the beginning of the 20th century though, safer bulbs were made available at more affordable prices, and the tradition of decorating with lights during the holidays spread. Photographer Michael Wilson appreciates this time of year, when the many communities that make up Arizona are suddenly transformed into magical, festive wonderlands in celebration of the holiday season. The lights that adorn our trees, cacti, buildings and other structures imbue us with feelings of happiness and hope. Images Arizona hopes that Wilson’s gorgeous photographs of the many colorful lights that illuminate our state cause that happiness and hope to wash over you, while also inspiring you as enjoy the decorating traditions that you have with your family and friends. Whether you choose to light up your neighborhood like Clark Griswold or prefer to light a simple candle in your window, may all of your days this season be merry and bright. December 2019

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Exposure Time Exposuretime timeisisdefinitely Exposure definitely You important. important. do not You to doblow not want to blow want out the lights outyou thehave lights and and got to you have have got to haveto enough enough exposure see exposure to dark see details details in the areas of in image. the dark areas of the the image. Michael Wilson


i m a g e s a r i z o n a . c o m De c e m b e r 2 019

Zooming in and out Zooming lights sometimes Inon and Out creates some

interesting streak Zooming incan andtry out effects. You on lights sometimes walking toward a creates some interesting Christmas tree to streakaeffects. can create similarYou effect. try walking toward a Michael Wilson Christmas tree to create a similar effect.

You need to have enough ambient light available so that the image is Ambient Light not too dark. You want to be able to capture the entire scene so that

you can see the situation that the lights are in, instead of just the You need to have enough ambient light available so that the image is not too lights themselves. dark. You want to be able to capture the entire scene so that you can see the Michael Wilson situation that the lights are in, instead of just the lights themselves. December 2019

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i m a g e s a r i z o n a . c o m De c e m b e r 2 019

FINDING ORDER AMONG CHAOS Michael Wilson acknowledges that Mother Nature tends to be fairly messy. That is why the photographer is constantly on the lookout for subjects that have some sort of composition to them. “Trying to find something that actually makes sense when everything can be random is one of my favorite aspects of photography,” Wilson says. “The real fun part for me is trying to find some sort of order in the random chaos out there in the field.” Wilson believes that being a photographer has encouraged him to see the beautiful details in nature. “I really tend to notice the details and what might make a good image,” he says. “I am always looking around and searching for things that capture my eye—the ice in a pond, the flowers on a path, the leaves on the ground, the textures on a rock, how the weeds are backlit by the light. “Before being into photography, I used to just walk by these things without even thinking about them.” December 2019

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Having grown up in Prescott, Michael Wilson quickly learned to appreciate the area’s divine beauty. That is why, after graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in civil engineering, he moved back to the city and continues to make his life there. “I love to explore new locations throughout Arizona,” Wilson says. “There is a lot to see here, and I am a sucker for a beautiful landscape.” Although Wilson’s official full-time job is in soils engineering, he discovered a passion for photography about 10 years ago—affording him an avenue to share those beautiful landscapes with the world. “I think it was my geeky side that drew me to the technical aspects of photography, composition and post-processing,” Wilson explains. “However, it is the creative and artistic side of photography that has made it a real passion for me. When creating an image, my goal is to not only photograph the scene but to capture the way it made me feel.”


Wilson is mostly self-taught, using the internet to guide himself through all he needed to know about what makes a good image. By scouring pictures on social media by other photographers and studying what makes them interesting, he discovered his personal preferences as an artist. “There is definitely a lot to learn on the internet,” Wilson explains. “I am constantly looking at photos and getting ideas by seeing what other people are doing. I think, along the way, that has trained me to see like a camera sees.”


i m a g e s a r i z o n a . c o m De c e m b e r 2 019

December 2019

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Writer Shoshana Leon Photography Courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho, Mastro's Restaurants, Mountain Shadows and Omni Montelucia


The holidays are indeed the most wonderful time of the year with beautiful and bright decorations, nostalgic songs, decadent food, festive celebrations and most importantly, cherished time with family and friends. Cocktails are often part of holiday celebrations. Like the festive foods enjoyed during the season, holiday cocktails offer flavors that evoke feelings of warmth and celebration. “To make a unique holiday drink, combine unexpected flavors with traditional holiday flavors,” said Jim Gallen, food and beverage manager at Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows in Paradise Valley. “When in doubt, always add bubbles.” Like many Valley restaurants and resorts, Mountain Shadows has created a signature cocktail for the holiday season. Offered throughout December for $14, Rudolph's Sparkle includes spiced strawberry, red wine and sparkling wine.


i m a g e s a r i z o n a . c o m De c e m b e r 2 019 6738 E. Cave Creek Road 480-488-9542

“I was going through the process of researching cocktails that are unique for the holidays, and I wanted to do something that wasn’t overly sweet,” said Gallen. “I came across several cocktails that blended savory ingredients with sparkling wine, which inspired me to create the spiced strawberry syrup and red wine mixture that juxtaposed perfectly with sparkling wine.” Gallen suggests pairing Rudolph’s Sparkle with a few items on Hearth ’61’s seasonal menu.

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“The savory nature of the red wine pulls out the earthy flavors in the Sardinian stuffed pasta, and the bubbles clear the palate and allow the octopus flavor to shine through,” he said. “Also, the quinoa and lentil stew is a great pairing due to the fruity and spiced nature of the cocktail, which plays well off the richness of the dish.” Another sparkling cocktail perfect for holiday celebrations is Berried Bliss, which is available at FLINT by Baltaire, a new restaurant focused on wood-fired dishes at The Esplanade in Phoenix’s Biltmore neighborhood. Berried Bliss is $12 and features sparkling rosé, raspberry St. George, pomegranate and lemon. Although Phoenicians celebrate the holidays in a mild desert climate, many resorts and restaurants offer holiday cocktails with warm flavors to reflect the winter season. Hotel Valley Ho in Old Town Scottsdale offers Mezcal Mistletoe for $16 through January 2, featuring locally made mezcal, Carreño Tobala, Cointreau, Borghetti espresso liqueur, fresh-brewed espresso, steamed milk and Nitro Irish cream with chestnut. "I love the combination of the smoky mezcal with the liqueur, cream and coffee. It provides such a warm and cozy feeling that fits so appropriately with this time of year," said PJ Baron, beverage ambassador at Hotel Valley Ho's recently redesigned ZuZu restaurant. “I’m a big fan of Mezcal Carreño. It's an esteemed local brand, and I wanted to find a way to incorporate that into the cocktail and make it festive."

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Baron recommends a few pairings on ZuZu's menu.

December 2019

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“The oxtail pappardelle pairs magnificently with the Mezcal Mistletoe due to the rich and savory aspects of the oxtail and the foie gras, that blends perfectly with the robust smokiness of the mezcal," he said. “Another option is the organic Maktoom dates, which is a signature small plate on our menu. The sweetness of the walnuts and the pungency of the blue cheese fondue makes it the perfect complementary dish for the cocktail.” The Icicle at Marcellino Ristorante in Old Town Scottsdale, available through February for $15, brings a touch of winter to the Valley with white chocolate liqueur, vodka and sweet cream served in a coconutrimmed martini glass. Mastro’s Restaurants’ Holiday Cheer is made with Tito’s vodka, Kerrygold Irish cream, Kahlua and Licor 43 served in a martini glass and garnished with a cinnamon and sugar graham cracker rim. It is $22 and available throughout the month of December.


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Furnace Tune-Up In addition to warm flavors, classic holiday flavors like cranberry, apple and cinnamon add brightness to seasonal cocktails. “It’s important to tie in familiar nostalgic flavors while adding a signature spin to the cocktail,” said Baron. “The perfect holiday drink should have the right balance of classic flavors without being overly sweet.” One local holiday cocktail that offers a perfect combination of sweet and spicy is the Cinnamon Margarita at CRUjiente Tacos in Phoenix, which just celebrated its third anniversary. Made with reposado tequila, fresh cinnamon, house-made agave simple syrup, house-made cinnamon simple syrup and fresh-squeezed lime, it is a seasonal favorite available throughout December for $9.


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Taqueria Centro at the Omni Montelucia in Scottsdale offers an Apple Pear Whiskey Sour featuring Barmalade Apple Pear, an all-natural fruit mixer, with Maker’s Mark bourbon and lemon for $15. The restaurant also offers an Apple Spice Sour mocktail for $14. Presentation is key for a festive holiday cocktail. The Ornamentini at LON’s at The Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley is served in an ornament. The drink is made with Purity vodka, fresh lemon juice and the robust holiday flavors of cranberry, cinnamon and orange. It is available through the end of the year for $14. While it’s delicious and decadent to experience holiday libations from the Valley’s top mixologists, it is fun to experiment and create your own holiday cocktails at home. “Simplicity goes a long way,” said Baron. “It’s best to stick with the basics that you know will taste good and have the right type of balance. It’s also important to test out your cocktail before serving it to your guests, and it’s always helpful to get a second opinion.” Whether you create your own holiday cocktail or sample festive libations around the Valley, this is a special time of year meant to be celebrated with family and friends. Cheers!

December 2019

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The Keeler Family (clockwise from top left): Matt, Paul, Judy and Maren.

Writer Amanda Christmann Photographer Carl Schultz and Submitted by Keeler's Steakhouse


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The Keelers have a way of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. With a turn of a key and the light of a grill, they have a knack for turning sleepy retail spaces into the kind of go-to places where regulars meet after work and where simple occasions become something special. Paul Keeler has confidence and competence that comes through in all he does. He’s used that finesse to develop his popular Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops in Omaha, Neb. plus two Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse restaurants on Market Street at DC Ranch and the Terravita Market Place in North Scottsdale—and a third Liberty Station on the way in Madison, Wisconsin. It would seem he’s got the winning formula for creating casual yet quality dining that people love. The Keelers' magic is not slowing down. Their latest Arizona endeavor, Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse in Carefree’s Historic Spanish Village, has proven their versatility and fully validated the notion that upscale food can be served in unpretentious surroundings.

SERVING UP SOMETHING SPECIAL Perhaps its only fitting that Keeler and his son Matt, who is director of operations for family-owned Keeler Hospitality Group, have now made their mark in one of Carefree’s first buildings. They are making history of their own among Carefree’s growing list of great mom and pop eateries working hard to define a dining scene in a town known for its dark nights. Keeler and his wife Judy spent decades learning and growing in the hospitality business together. Matt and his brother Ryan grew up in the business, and both have turned their lessons into careers: Ryan in Washington D.C. and Matt here in the Valley of the Sun. Daughter Jessica even worked in the hospitality business before opting for a career in Physical Therapy. For two years, Paul and Matt Keeler scoped out potential locations to add to their growing list of familyowned restaurants. Their target was the North Valley upward from Dynamite Boulevard, where, though there are a handful of good restaurants, there was very little like what the Keelers wanted to offer.

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The Keelers’ Liberty Station restaurants had been warmly embraced by their respective communities. The father and son were on the lookout for a spot where they could launch a restaurant with the same inviting atmosphere, only with a nod to high-quality steakhouses they enjoy. They found that spot in Historic Spanish Village, where owners Bruce and Kim Raskin, who acquired the plaza in late 2016, completed extensive renovations in recent years. “The way that this whole thing came together is an answer to prayer,” Keeler said. “I feel really blessed.” The Raskins needed an anchor, and the Keelers needed a location where their brand could shine, so it was only a matter of time before they would find each other. “When we first agreed to come see it, we’d never been in the location before. It was so close to Liberty Station, but I said, ‘Let’s take a look at it,’” Keeler said. “I walked in with my son and we knew immediately that we could convert it into the atmosphere we were looking for.” The Keelers got to work, assisted by Mike Rose, project manager, and Davina Griffs, interior designer, completely remodeling the inviting island bar, adding beautiful custom lighting and fantastic local artwork, spiffing up the rooftop deck, activating a satellite kitchen in full view of diners, and doing what they do best: creating the kind of warmth and appeal that makes guests feel right at home. They also brought a few welcome surprises to the menu, shifting from the down-home comfort food of their other endeavors to aiming their spotlight on certified Angus prime steaks, huge double-cut pork chops, and market-fresh seafood. They worked at a fast and furious pace to get the restaurant ready for a New Year’s Eve opening. Their plans for a fun, outdoor party were thwarted when, on the afternoon of Dec. 31, Paul looked out the window to see snow falling. They successfully moved the events indoors instead, and business has been booming ever since.

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Management Team (left to right): Earl Starboard (Chef De Cuisine), Tana Kreeger (Assistant General Manager), Anthony Apolinar (Executive Chef), Mike Fischer (General Manager), Sunny Sherard (Restaurant Manager)

ONLY THE BEST Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse is an unpretentious younger brother to its high-priced counterparts across the Valley. Quality is always at the forefront of all they do, but so is value. Their prices are reasonable and entrees include two sides, for example—a value-add that other high-end steakhouses have stepped away from doing. With Certified Angus Prime beef as the star on the menu, educating guests about why it’s special has been half the fun. “Only 2% of the cattle being processed today can qualify as Certified Angus Prime beef,” Keeler said. “It’s very high-quality beef, and Keeler's offers it at a reasonable price point.” Among the favorites are prime top sirloin baseball-cut steaks—the perfect size for a healthy appetite— and juicy 10-ounce or 14-ounce slow-roasted prime rib. Their tender and delicious 18-ounce ribeyes and heavenly rack of lamb are popular treats among the many guests who make Keeler’s a regular stop. Add Brussels sprouts topped with white wine, bacon and garlic sauce or their popular truffle fries—or choose two of any of their 11 side options—and it’s a meal worth remembering. Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse has a tempting small plates menu that includes PEI mussels with sautéed


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onions, celery, Schriner chorizo and tomato sauce, garlic toast points; seafood bruschetta topped with butter-braised lobster and sprinkled with cherry tomatoes and red and green bell peppers, then drizzled with citrus aioli; and prime rib sliders made with shaved certified Angus prime rib, cheddar cheese, and a zesty horseradish cream. The well-rounded menu features delightfully unique takes on burgers and sandwiches, ocean-fresh seafood selections like sea bass and diver scallops, salads, and indulgent desserts. From the bar comes a fun list of imaginative cocktails, and a substantial wine list for more refined palettes. Their happy hour menu runs 3 to 6 p.m., seven days a week and includes $4 local drafts and $5 small bites, among other great deals. Their bar menu, available for bar and rooftop seating, features smaller versions of some of their most popular dishes. A Sunday Brunch, served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., has been added. There’s even live music on the rooftop every Thursday night, and monthly winemaker dinners to showcase some of the area’s favorite libations. Local organizations have discovered that Keeler’s is a great place for meetings and events. One of the dining rooms accommodates board meetings, special events and more. Rehearsal and anniversary dinners, birthday parties and other occasions are welcome at Keeler’s. The restaurant has even hosted a wedding in the courtyard with the help of Matt’s wife, Maren, who handles the booking and execution of special events. Not bad for a previously quiet corner of Carefree.

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“We learned from the success of Liberty Station that, if you build it and provide good quality, personable service in a comfortable atmosphere, you get repeat clientele,” Keeler said.

Membership Price:

“We have a great management team, led by Mike Fischer, general manager, and Anthony Apolinar, executive chef, who really embrace the culture of making regulars out of every person in that restaurant,” Keeler said.

$129.00 Normally

“Things like getting to know people by name, knowing where they like to sit, what they like to eat, and what kind of

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Mike Fischer (General Manager)

wine they prefer are very important, and people notice. We have people returning three and four times a week, due in large part to our outstanding team members.” On any given night, the restaurant is hopping, and one of the Keelers can often be found among the crowd. “In the restaurant, you’re more than likely going to see a Keeler or interact with a Keeler, which is important when you have your name on the restaurant,” Keeler said with a smile. This month, Keeler’s is decorated for the holidays, thanks to a few shopping trips and Judy’s creative talents and enthusiasm for this time of year. The family is hoping for a rooftop celebration because of the sweeping sunset views, but even if the weather doesn’t cooperate, there’s sure to be a good time at Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse. After all, it’s what they do—and what they’ve done all along. Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse 7212 East Ho Hum Rd., Carefree 602-374-4784


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My abstract compositions or are all born in moments of intuition and improvisation, through a dance of design. Specializing in home visits for all the Phoenix Valley and Sedona, I can help you find the perfect ‘Mckee Original Painting’ that works best in your home. We can also talk about creating a special commission piece just for you. Please visit my website to see more of my work and contact me to schedule an appointment. Your friend in Art - Michael

m i c h a e l m c k e e g a l l e r y. c o m Call for a home visit; 630-779-3793 December 2019

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Writer Joseph J. Airdo Photography Courtesy of Candytopia


Imagine walking into a rainbow-filled room filled with flying unicorn pigs and confetti explosions galore. Right around the corner is an equally whimsical wonderland— an underwater-themed space with fantastical candycovered sea creatures. And did I mention the sugary sweet scent that fills the air? Chances are, you are pinching yourself because the fanciful world around you simply does not exist outside of a dream. But the pinch hurts, revealing that everything you are seeing is very much real. Then, just when you think all of your childhood fantasies have come true, you see something so quixotic that even your imagination couldn’t conjure it up—a humongous pit filled with more than 250,000 foam marshmallows into which you can dive. These are just some of the things that can be found at Candytopia, an interactive art installation at Scottsdale Quarter that celebrates the vibrant colors and flavors of our favorite sugary delights across more than a dozen environments. The pop-up exhibit, which runs through Dec. 29, was curated by television personality Jackie Sorkin, who has made a name for herself—the Candy Queen, to be exact—by appearing in a number of candy-themed reality shows. She is also CEO of fun food and dessert catering company, Hollywood Candy Girls. “Candy just happens to be my favorite medium,” Sorkin says. “I also love confetti, glitter, rhinestones, wrappers and metallics. But candy is my most favorite medium because it is endlessly versatile.”

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The founder and co-creator of Candytopia originally launched the concept in Taiwan and China in 2013 and 2017, respectively. The extraordinary success of those candy pop-up exhibitions—Hollywood Candy Queen's Kingdom and The Candy Darling—encouraged Sorkin to bring a similar concept to the US. “I was creating candy pop-ups before ‘pop-ups’ were popping up here,” Sorkin says. “Candytopia was created for the US market with all the same beautiful candy art, sensory overload and fun that took Asia by storm. The spark was knowing how universally beloved and appealing candy is.” Sorkin adds that people tend to resonate with their favorite candy and sweets regardless of where around the world they reside. Therefore, it was only natural to use the love of that element that we all have in common to create art. “I have thousands of types of candy and colors to pick from,” Sorkin explains. “Hard candy, gummy, sours, jelly beans, licorice, rock candy... as an artist, the palette is never-ending. We manipulate candy and play with it to create shading, textures and lifelike features. We eat a ton of it while working, too.” Candytopia features about 60 pieces of incredible custom candy art and sculptures. Each set requires two to three months to build. The exhibit has been traveling from city to city and, in just 19 months, has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors. “To think US audiences would respond so incredibly to the Candytopia concept is truly a dream come true,”

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Sorkin says. “I think we have truly proven that the world just wants to smile, feel good, be silly, take some great pics for their fave social media outlets and have some fun. Guests of all ages are tapping into their inner child once again and having some good, clean fun.” In addition to the pieces that can be seen at Candytopia’s pop-up exhibits across the country, the Scottsdale location features new elements inspired by local culture and landmarks unique to Arizona— including a candy portrait of the Grand Canyon, candy cacti, candy cowboys and more. Sorkin loves all of the elements that make up Candytopia equally, but she has a certain sweet spot for the exhibit’s candy gallery. “The candy gallery is a modern-day art gallery that screams candy and really highlights the beautiful candy artistry that my team and I have perfected for over a decade,” Sorkin says. “It is a beautiful, magical space full of crystal chandeliers, our mirrored throne and all of our fantastic portraits and some of our most highly photographed pieces.” The Candy Queen adds that she and the entire Candytopia team is proud to be in the “happiness business,” and they take fun very seriously. “People want to be happy now more than ever—and we all deserve it,” Sorkin says. “We stand for spreading joy and sweetness in a place where everyone belongs.”

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Chef James Porter left a successful career in the Valley to take a risk on a new adventure. The former chef of Tapino Kitchen and Wine Bar and Pettie Maison in Scottsdale wanted to do something different while sharing his passion for cooking and his love of Arizona. TERRA Farm and Manor opened earlier this year, offering an exceptional opportunity for guests to enjoy gourmet meals, receive culinary instruction from prominent chefs and experts, and participate in a variety of activities in a tranquil and beautiful setting. Located north of Prescott, TERRA is focused on highlighting the best of Arizona. “I really wanted to support Arizona’s culinary and agriculture industries,” said Page native Chef Porter. “I want people who live in Arizona and people from outside the state to have a truly unique Arizona experience.” TERRA provides an all-inclusive experience in which guests are immersed in a relaxing environment. TERRA is built around Chef Porter’s culinary passion with three- and five-day themed experiences. The manor also hosts weddings, private events and corporate retreats. The cost for a three-day experience starts at $2,250 for a single person and $4,000 for a couple. The price includes all meals, cooking instruction, accommodations and activities.


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Writer Shoshana Leon Photography Courtesy of TERRA Farm and Manor

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TERRA Farm and Manor is built around Chef James Porter’s culinary passion.


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The elegant and rustic manor has eight guest rooms, each with a queen bed and bathroom, and one master suite. Guests enjoy the manor’s library, wine cellar, game room and outdoor patio areas with expansive views of the bucolic grounds, all while taking in an intimate environment that feels as if they are guests in a friend’s home. The experience at TERRA includes beautiful multi-course meals and wine pairings, and the opportunity to participate in activities from massage and yoga to hiking and archery, customized to each guest’s desires. Guests can further explore Arizona by taking trips to Sedona or kayaking the Verde River. The most exceptional experiences at TERRA are the intimate hands-on cooking classes with Chef Porter and guest chefs like Wrigley Mansion’s James Beard Award-winning chef, Christopher Gross. TERRA’s on-site cooking school features state-of-the-art tools and equipment. The courtyard offers guests the opportunity to get instruction and experience using a wood-burning oven, barbecue pits and an open fire cooking area. Earlier this year, Chef Gross and Chef Porter led a three-day experience at TERRA covering French food

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and wine, from soufflÊ to Burgundy. Another recent experience highlighted tequila tasting and pairing with an expert from Corrido Tequila. Guests also received instruction on creating dishes featuring tequila. Other 2019 courses at TERRA have included Cowboy Cooking with special guest Arizona winemaker Sam Pillsbury, where guests learned about barbecue techniques and wood-fired oven cooking. Certified Master Baker MJ Coe taught the Art of Bread course, and in November, renowned chef and author Francois de Melogue led a course highlighting a variety of truffles, using them in fresh pasta and salads. TERRA’s farm grows nearly 200 varieties of vegetables, grains and herbs, and is home to rare livestock, including French black copper Maran chickens, Iberico pigs and Wagyu cattle. Whatever is not available on-site is procured from the highest quality suppliers and sourced locally whenever possible. Managing a farm and manor is a lot different than running a restaurant, but Chef Porter has immersed himself in farm life from tending to the livestock to driving a tractor. "There are many multilayered aspects to this business, from the restaurant, to the hospitality to the

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livestock,” said Chef Porter. “It’s challenging, busy and fun. The key is surrounding yourself with talented people who love what they do.” Guests have given rave reviews in the time that TERRA has been opened. “We have been overwhelmed by the amazing feedback from our guests,” said Chef Porter. “Both Arizonans and people coming from out of state are wowed by this part of Arizona and are excited to share their experience with others.” After cooking at restaurants around the country, Chef Porter, his wife and their young daughter are very happy to be right where they are at this point in their lives. They enjoy their surroundings and the lifestyle, and the opportunity to create amazing experiences for their guests. “Opening TERRA has been phenomenal,” said Chef Porter. “It’s been a lot of hard work and learning, but it’s amazing to give our guests an experience that they can’t get anywhere else.”


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Writer Fadi Sitto Photography Courtesy of Justice League Arizona


Did you ever wonder where all those superheroes go when they’re not fighting villains? Justice League Arizona superheroes spend their downtime visiting kids at Phoenix Children's Hospital, parades, comic-cons and other fundraising events to make a positive difference in children’s lives. Robert Rowlands serves as president of Justice League Arizona—a title that sounds like something most children would dream of. He leads this all-volunteer organization to bring smiles to Arizona children through the magic of superheroes. “At the Arizonans for Children's Carnival, I met an amazing kid,” said Rowlands. She absolutely loved the Joker. She followed me around the entire event and told me things even I didn't know about the Joker. “There always seems to be that one kid, whose day you totally made just by being there and listening to them. It's hard to put into words.” The non-profit offers the kids they visit a break from their daily struggles, creating authentic moments of fantasy in which their personal heroes are there to see them. You can see as soon as one of the volunteer


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superheroes walk into the room, there's instant magic. At the end of the visit, it’s clear that the benefits are not only for the kids, but the nurses and also the volunteers who don the costumes. “What I find interesting is that our members come from all walks of life. It's the most diverse group of people I've ever met in my entire life. The one thing we have in common is we want to help people and we have wonderful costumes,” Rowlands said. When you talk to the nurses at Phoenix Children’s Hospital for example, they’ll tell you that having Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman show up is one of the things the kids look forward to most. For parents who endure the pain and heartache of watching their children fight illness, seeing smiles on their faces is a beautiful gift. If Justice League Arizona can bring one more happy moment into a child's life, the volunteers feel like they have accomplished something priceless. Founded in 2011, the non-profit is the brainchild of Dustin Dial, who saw the opportunity to bring like-minded people together to give back to the community. A child of the '80s, Dustin grew up in northwest Tucson absorbing the heroics of the Super Friends and Caped Crusaders through comic books and film. Today, due to his passion and hard work, Justice League Arizona has about 70 volunteer superheroes and members. “My favorite part of volunteering with the JLAZ is when I’m dressed as a child's favorite character. We visit with children with all types of backgrounds; some are ill, some have a history of abuse, some have been removed from their parents’ custody and we show up to celebrate

their reunification,” says Renee Behinfar, Justice League Arizona Volunteer. Renee, a loyal local hero since 2015, has happily and routinely dressed up as Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Batgirl for Justice League Arizona events. “When a young girl comes up to me in amazement and discloses that Wonder Woman is her favorite character, I do my best to strengthen her connection to the character and highlight that she is the true superhero,” she says. Renee is aware of the impact of her role and mission as a Justice League volunteer, and it shows in her deeply personal and intuitive connection with the children. Memorable moments are often created when she least expects them, and the real-life, real-time connection between a superhero and child is a genuine bond that can change everything. “A recent memorable moment was at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. We were in the Child Life Zone and, after interacting with a boy who had recently undergone a medical procedure. His mother quietly told us, as her eyes welled up with tears of gratitude, ‘This is the first time he's smiled in weeks,’” Renee fondly recalls. Sometimes, you don’t need to be able to leap a tall building in a single bound or have the strength of a thousand men. Sometimes a kind honest smile is worth much more. There's more than one way to save the day, and Justice League Arizona has humbly learned and mastered the art of superhuman kindness.

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Writer Shannon Severson


The work of painter and sculptor Ed Mell has made an indelible mark on the art world. He’s been celebrated both here in his home state of Arizona and around the globe. January 18, 2020, Mell will receive further recognition of his achievements when he receives the 2020 Desert Caballeros Western Museum Lifetime Achievement Award at the Wickenburg museum’s annual heART of the West Gala. “Ed Mell’s command of subjects both large and small with an angularity of style, and his ability to excel in multiple venues and media, makes him incomparable,” says Desert Caballeros Western Museum executive director, Dan Finley. “He is, without a doubt, one of our state’s foremost living artists.” Mell grew up in Phoenix and eventually spent time in New York City as a graphic designer for heavy-hitting agencies Young and Rubicam and Kenyon Eckhardt. After spending two summers teaching art on the Hopi Reservation in the early 1970s, he was compelled to leave big city life and return to his Arizona roots. Since 1973, Mell has painted and sculpted the essence of Arizona’s landscapes, flora, animals and people with bold lines and colors that communicate movement and energy. His work reflects the heart of the state in an almost timeless manner and occupies important public spaces.

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i m ap. g e72x52, s a r i z of. n a73 . c ½” o m x De e mOil ber 019 1990, Ed Mell Two Petunias, 53 c ½”, on 2Canvas, 78

Ed Mell paints and sculpts the essence of Arizona.

“Jack Knife,” a bronze sculpture depicting a cowboy on a bucking bronco, is at the center of Old Town Scottsdale’s Main Street Arts District. The silver patina of his “Rising Phoenix” sculpture shines in Cesar Chavez Plaza, in front of Phoenix’s old City Hall. These embodiments of Arizona’s culture are present in the artist himself. Mell has seen Phoenix and the state grow and change over the years. Mell’s work is a record of the timely and the timeless. His talent for capturing vast Arizona skies, towering rock formations and fierce desert weather comes from many adventures on foot and by helicopter to remote corners of the state. His oil paintings often occupy large canvases, but begin as a series of smaller studies. Mell’s earlier works are more angular and reflect his graphic design background.

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Entering Storm, Grand Canyon, 15x30, Oil on Linen, 2019, Ed Mell

Thunderhead, 20x30, Oil on Linen, 2006, Ed Mell

EXPERIENCE Ed Mell’s Southwest: Five Decades Dec. 21–March 8 | Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. | Sunday Noon–4 p.m. | Desert Caballeros Western Museum | 21 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg i m a g e s|a$10 rizon a . c o m (65+) De c e m ber 2 019 Seniors and AAA Members | Active military and guest free | Children 17 and under free | 928-684-2272 | 80$12 Adults

Southern Arizona Longhorn Study, Oil on Linen, 1992, Ed Mell

He’s also ventured into theatrical productions. His paintings were the guide and backdrop for Arizona Opera’s production of Craig Bohmler’s “Riders of the Purple Sage,” inspired by the work of another Arizona legend, author Zane Grey. With this recognition, Mell’s diverse body of work will be celebrated as a whole—and the artist is pleased with the results. “It has been a pleasure to work with the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, putting together my first true show covering the full width of my fine art career,” says Mell. “The director, Dan Finley, curator Mary Ann Inga and the full staff have made it a pleasure to assemble.” The exhibition will remain on view in the Smithsonian affiliate’s Fisher Gallery December 21, 2019 through March 8, 2020.

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Jacquie Earle has a knack for bringing fluidity and movement to all that she does—including her stunning diamond collection, Willow Diamonds.


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Writer Amanda Christmann // Photography Courtesy of Willow Diamonds


The art of dance is intrinsically alluring. The graceful movements often defy our notions of what the human body can and cannot do, and every act tells a story that can be exciting, provocative and magical. Jacquie Earle was born a dancer, and whether she’s been performing on stage or working at a jeweler’s bench, she has a knack for bringing fluidity and movement to all she does. Her piece de resistance is her stunning diamond collection, Willow Diamonds. Her designs stand out among a crowd of jewelry designers eager to make their mark. Her diamonds do more than shine; they float as if they are in concert, their fire and brilliance dancing in perpetual motion. In a method that honors the beauty of the stones while embracing modern technology, she uses a laser to pierce each diamond, then joins them using platinum wires and 18K gold. The result is exceptional. Strung rather than set, her pear, marquise, princess and round-shaped diamonds seem to float in mid-air, their brilliance catching light from all sides. It is as if, through their freedom, they take on a life of their own—which is exactly what Earle intends. “Free of traditional mounts, the diamonds move and glow and sparkle with more fire land and light,” she explained. “The diamond looks bigger, and the setting frees the light and fire. It comes alive—it becomes very flirty and very beautiful. “The look is characteristically feminine, yet flirty, modern and fluid. They are designed to be wearable and, most importantly, enjoyed for many generations.” Not just any diamond is suitable for Willow Diamonds. Earle is discriminate about which stones she chooses for her earrings, pendants, and other stunning jewelry, choosing only the most flawless, fiery gems. “The beauty of a diamond is the fire, the light and the color of the diamond. I want my diamonds to sparkle, and if you love diamonds, set them free.”

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“My jewelry is made by hand, so there’s a lot of touch and feel to my work. It’s largely dependent on the materials and quality you use.”


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RESIDENTIAL EVOLUTION OF AN ARTIST Earle’s imaginative designs seem to be an extension of her inner self. Her early aspirations were to dance, and she even taught ballet for a while before transitioning into textile designs. “I guess it helps explain my proclivity towards aesthetics that are fluid, graceful, and in harmony with today’s dynamic spontaneous lifestyle,” she said. While she was designing fabrics, a friend nudged her toward jewelry, and as she experimented with stones and chains, she found a form of expression that she connected with on a deeper level. “I loved how gratifying and limber jewelry-making is compared to making fabrics,” she said. “Jewelry endures and carries sentimental value. It continues to build provenance over time unlike, say, a swimming suit,” she said.




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“As a former ballet dancer, I am intrigued with the connection of the body and brain with mobility and healing. Therefore, for me, jewelry is dynamic. I look at jewelry from all perspectives because that is how it is viewed when worn. “Even while sitting still, the body breathes and light and air is in perpetual motion around you.” Within a few years, she left textiles for good and launched her own design company. “Initially, the brand was ‘Willow Bark’ after the willow bark tree, which is derived from the white willow tree and known as ‘nature’s aspirin,’” she explained. “I guess you could say I felt in need of a pain reliever to ease my exit from the textile industry.”


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“When I developed my first diamond collection over 12 years ago, it seemed natural to name it ‘Willow Diamonds,’ and now it is its own brand."

The designs would resonate, but the name underwent a slight change. “Few people could remember the ‘-Bark,’ and so the name was simply abbreviated to ‘Willow.’ To this day, customers remark on how befitting ‘Willow’ describes the fluid, feminine soft lines of my designs. It was one of those meant-to-be iconic moments in life. “When I developed my first diamond collection over 12 years ago, it seemed natural to name it ‘Willow Diamonds,’ and now it is its own brand. “My jewelry is made by hand, so there’s a lot of touch and feel to my work. It’s largely dependent on the materials and quality you use.” Earle has remained committed to designing and producing her jewelry in the U.S., not only because she gets to infuse her avant-garde imagination, but also so that she can exercise strict quality control on every piece sold with the hallmark Willow Diamonds logo. “Our quality both in materials and craftsmanship is simply uncompromising,” she said proudly. “We alloy our own gold responsibly. And diamond grading, testing and detection is a serious focus of our quality control.”


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“Choosing jewelry is so personal and so emotional. It’s really about relationships. For me, it’s about creating it and having that jewelry eventually finding the proper home."

BEAUTIFUL CONNECTIONS “Choosing jewelry is so personal and so emotional. It’s really about relationships,” Earle said. “For me, it’s about creating it and having that jewelry eventually finding the proper home. “It’s an emotional attachment that people have to jewelry. I do custom work in addition to my line, and I work with a lot of people to refurbish heirloom jewelry for their children or their grandkids. “Jewelry is the most poignant gift you can give because it’s a gift coming from you. I discourage people from trying to be mind-readers because I want the gift to be from them. I tell them to embrace the fact that they’re giving a very precious sentimental piece.” Earle recognizes that she has a distinct style that women of all ages identify with. Locally, they’ve captivated women looking for a more contemporary take on diamonds at Carefree’s Grace Renee Gallery. “It’s interesting how many designers are inspired by similar things, and yet our individual takeaway is often so different. “I think of jewelry as a personal statement, and it always surprises and amazes me how the same piece on different people or in different circumstances or dress can look so—different.

EXPERIENCE See Diamonds Dance! Dec. 6, 7 | Friday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Wine and appetizers 4–8 p.m. | Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. | Grace Renee Gallery i m aSpanish g e s a r i z oVillage n a . c o m | 7212 De c e mE. be r 2Hum 019 Rd., Carefree | 480-575-8080 | Ho 88Historic

“I envision the customer, and I imagine the piece being worn in daily life or for a special occasion. I work to bring the materials to life and highlight their natural characteristics—the fire and light of a diamond—in what is hopefully the perfect piece that portrays and satisfies the customer.” It isn’t the process so much as the feel that attracts women to Willow Diamonds. “You may not know how to cook, but you can taste and feel the special nuances of a wonderful well-prepared dish. Similarly, in jewelry the materials, quality and craftsmanship present themselves like an open book: the fire and color of a brilliant diamond, the luster of a pearl or the softness of 18K rose gold.” Though her diamonds are graceful and exquisite, they are also created to be enjoyed. “In today’s fast-moving world, people are busy. Fashion has become more practical and suited to a more active lifestyle,” said Earle. “Some customers describe my pieces as yoga jewelry — feminine, fluid, and wearable that lives with you. One customer prefers to describe my pieces as tennis jewelry as she wears our Streamer diamond earrings playing tennis every day and never takes them off.

B E T T E R C L U B S . B E T T E R R E S U LT S .

P X G 0 3 1 1 G E N 2 I R O N S.

B I L LY H O R S C H E L 5x PGA TOUR Winner 2014 FedEx Cup Champion

“I get a lot of photos of happy customers. That’s the fun of it—working and getting to know the customers. “I love creating jewelry that comes alive when you put it on.”

S C H E D U L E YO U R F I T T I N G N O W. Nobody makes golf clubs the way we do. Period.

P X G . C O M / 1.844.PLAY.PXG

N/E Corner Pinnacle Peak and Scottsdale 23587 N. Scottsdale Rd. | 480-502-0555 Monday–Saturday 9am – 6pm | Sunday 11am – 5pm

December 2019

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Writer Shoshana Leon Photography Courtesy of Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows


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Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows is a truly unique property. Opened in December 2016, the hotel is part of Hyatt’s boutique Andaz brand, which celebrates local communities by incorporating cultural aspects of the area into each hotel. To connect with the local area, Andaz Scottsdale reached out to the nearby Cattle Track Arts Compound to source local art several months before it opened. Over the years the relationship has grown into a strong partnership. “From the beginning, it was evident that it was very important to Andaz to connect with the area and local artists,” said Mark McDowell of Cattle Track. “They were adamant about using local resources. Over time, we have formed a cooperative and collaborative partnership. We work together on many projects and they really respect our input.” Cattle Track Arts Compound is a special place for artists to work, gather and collaborate. Home to several studios, Cattle Track was founded in the 1930s with a mission to recognize and celebrate Scottsdale’s cultural heritage by providing opportunities for artists to individually and collectively encourage and enhance their art forms. Cattle Track artists have been involved in many aspects of the development, design and evolution of Andaz Scottsdale, from providing furniture and art to creating on-site experiences, including opportunities for leisure and corporate guests to learn more about local artists and create art guided by Cattle Track artists. “The partnership with Cattle Track Arts Compound began at the resort opening when ownership was seeking out local art to embrace local artisans,” said Deanna Zuber-Galloway, director of sales, marketing and events at Andaz Scottsdale. “The majority of the art around the property has been sourced from Cattle Track, and a lot of the pieces were designed just for Andaz Scottsdale. “From the prints in the room to the mugs and plates in the restaurant, to the coffee tables in the suites, Cattle Track art is all around. The partnership has continued to evolve over the past three years, and we have even named 19 of our suites 'Cattle Track Suites' in honor of our relationship with them.” December 2019

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Andaz Scottsdale guests also have the unique opportunity to tour Cattle Track and meet the artists, explore their workspaces and see their creations, which range from paintings and pottery to fiber art and photography. Chance Phillips has a studio at Cattle Track where she creates fiber art using wool, paper and other materials. She created one of Andaz Scottsdale’s signature art installations at the check-in desk. She also created bracelets that are worn by all Andaz employees. Phillips enjoys the opportunity to provide demonstrations to Andaz guests. “I love working with other artists, and we love working with the people at Andaz,” she said. “We have developed a great connection and ongoing collaboration over the years because of their focus and commitment to local artists.” In October 2019, Andaz Scottsdale launched a monthly artist dinner series. Partnering with Cattle Track was a natural fit. “The resort, from one corner to the next, is about design and art. We wanted to create a dinner that highlights the artists who are involved in the property,” said Andaz Scottsdale’s executive chef Nate Larsen. These intimate dinners are a true collaboration between local artists and the hotel’s food and beverage staff. They feature seasonal table décor, hand-drawn menus, live music and custom plates designed for each course. Dinners take place in the beautiful herb garden at Weft & Warp, the hotel’s restaurant. Each dinner starts with a cocktail reception where guests have the opportunity to meet the artists and learn more about their work. “The food is only a part of the night,” said Chef Larsen. “The setting itself is unique. We cook, plate and mix drinks throughout the evening under the stars. Many dishes are finished tableside, allowing guests


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the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the team.” The chefs and artists have a shared passion. “There are multiple similarities between a chef and an artist including the way that we use colors and texture to tell a story,” said Chef Larsen. “The artist who creates plates for us does beautiful work that is rustic and subtle. Her style very much matches the way that we cook and present our food.” Potter Mary Van Dusen, who has a studio in Cattle Track Arts Compound, has designed plates, mugs, bowls, candle holders and other items for the hotel since it opened. Many of her pieces are available in Andaz Scottsdale’s gift shop, along with works from other Cattle Track artists. Van Dusen worked closely with Chef Larsen to design plates and bowls in shapes, sizes and colors that enhance each dish and elevate the experience for Andaz Scottsdale Artist Dinner Series guests. “Our relationship with Andaz Scottsdale has a wonderful sense of camaraderie and also provides a great business opportunity,” said Van Dusen. “Working together, we help guests connect with the area and have experiences that are unique to our community and culture.” Whether you are a guest visiting Andaz Scottsdale or a local resident who is passionate about art, Andaz Scottsdale’s Artist Dinner Series is a special opportunity to enjoy elevated cuisine and connect with local artisans in an intimate and inspiring setting. December 2019

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Writer Amanda Christmann Photography Courtesy of The Horny Toad


It’s the season of joy and for sharing good times with family and friends, and for more than 40 years, it’s been a favorite time of year at the Horny Toad. This downtown Cave Creek fixture has been serving up Southwest comfort food since 1976, and December’s events are always merry. Horny Toad is the oldest restaurant in Cave Creek, and even Santa is a regular. He’ll be dropping in with Mrs. Claus Dec. 14, 8 to 10 a.m., when they’ll be sharing Christmas cheer—and a good, down-home breakfast—with anyone who wants to join them. Of course, Santa is one of the most famous of Horny Toad patrons, so tickets to his popular visit will be sold by phone ahead of time. Next, they’ll be swapping out the red and green for purple and gold when the Minnesota Vikings take on the Green Bay Packers at 6:15 p.m., followed by a match against the Chicago Bears Dec. 29 at 11 a.m. With 14 television screens plus two big screen TVs, there’s not a bad seat in the house! Skol!


To wrap up the month, the Toad will be bidding farewell to 2019 and ringing in the New Year in style. Enjoy dinner for two, including 12-ounce prime rib or grilled salmon, your choice of potato, vegetable, a side salad, and a half order of Horny Toad’s worldfamous strawberry shortcake to share—plus a champagne toast at midnight—for just $55. You don’t want to miss December events at the Horny Toad! Plus, enjoy some of the best fried chicken the Southwest has to offer any day of the week, or find out why the Toad puts the rib in “ribbit.” The Horny Toad serves lunch and dinner seven days a week and breakfast on Sunday. Happy hour specials from their full bar are available Monday through Friday, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Got guests in town? Nothing makes family dinners more fun than Horny Toad takeout or event catering. It’s comfort food at its holiday best at the Horny Toad. Join the fun, and enjoy the food!

THE HORNY TOAD 6738 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek | 480-488-9542 | | Mon. – Thurs. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Fri. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. i m a.m. a g e s a– r i 10 z o np.m. a . c o m| Sun. De c e9ma.m. b e r –2 019 9 p.m. 94Sat. 11

Your Community Restaurant Since 1976 Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Full Bar | Events

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Frieken c Chi

Happy Hour & Daily Specials Monday – Thursday 11am – 9pm | Friday 11am – 10pm Saturday 9am – 10pm | Sunday 9am – 9pm

6738 E. Cave Creek Rd | 480-488-9542 |

December 2019

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Baked Eggnog Cinnamon Roll French Toast This fun twist on a classic holiday recipe is a favorite in my family! Prepare the night before or the morning of! This recipe makes enough for four 4-inch individual ramekins or an 8x8 baking dish. You may have a small amount of custard left over depending on how fresh your bread is. It will soak up more custard if the bread is a day or two old.

Ingredients: 1 loaf brioche bread (can be found at Whole Foods) 1 cup eggnog 3 eggs 1 stick softened butter 1/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 4 ounces softened cream cheese 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray or butter your baking dish(es). Slice brioche loaf into 1-inch slices. Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each slice and set aside. In a small bowl, stir softened butter, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread each flattened slice of bread with the mixture and roll each slice up cinnamon roll style. Cut each roll into three equal sections and nestle the rolls into your prepared dish. They should be fairly snug. Place the dish(es) on a baking sheet. In a glass measuring cup, add eggnog and eggs, whisking until combined. Pour mixture over the cinnamon rolls, carefully filling each close to the rim. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon sugar (2 tablespoons sugar combined with ½ teaspoon cinnamon). Bake for 30-35 minutes for ramekins, or 30-45 minutes for larger dish.

Writer and Photographer Kyndra Kelly


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While rolls are baking, combine softened cream cheese and powdered sugar and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Spread over warm cinnamon roll French toast and serve.

December 2019

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Peppermint Marshmallow Squares Once you start making your own marshmallows for hot cocoa, you will never go back to store-bought!

Ingredients: 3 cups granulated sugar 1-1/4 cups light corn syrup 3/4 cup water pinch of salt 4 packets of gelatin 3/4 cup cold water 1/2 teaspoon imitation vanilla extract 1/2 to 1 teaspoon peppermint, to taste Red food coloring Powdered sugar

Directions: Grease a 15x11 –or– 2 8-inch or 9-inch baking dishes and set aside. It’s okay to use a combination of pans; you want your marshmallows to be about 1-inch thick. In a medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 3/4 cup water. Stir and turn onto mediumhigh heat. Cook until sugar mixture reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 9 to 12 minutes. While you wait, pour 3/4 cup cold water in the bowl of a standard mixer and sprinkle all four gelatin packets on top. Stir and let sit. Attach whisk attachment. Once the sugar mixture reaches 238 degrees, the bubbles should be starting to pop more slowly. Remove from heat. Turn mixer to low and slowly pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture. Gradually increase speed to high and let whip for about 12 to 15 minutes until light and fluffy. Add both extracts. For red swirl, drop in about 1 to 2 drops of red food coloring and let mix on LOW for about 5 seconds. Remove bowl and pour into pan or pans evenly. Squeeze a little red food coloring onto a plate, and using a knife, swirl through the marshmallows. Let sit for at least 4 hours, or until firm.

Writer and Photographer Kyndra Kelly


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To cut: Sprinkle/sift powdered sugar onto a piece of parchment and turn your marshmallows out onto it. Oil your knife and cut into 1” squares. Serve alone or with hot cocoa on a cold night!

December 2019

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North Scottsdale-Carefree Office 34305 N. Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ 85266

P. 480-488-2400

$499,000 In the heart of Carefree. A short walk to activities in town. Sandy Comacchio 480-440-6706 Cynthia Rahrig 480-650-1401

$1,750,000 Expansive Soft Contemporary plan with finest finishes in Desert Mountain. Kathy Reed 480-262-1284

$2,195,000 Stunning Rustic Contemporary custom home surrounded by 5+ acres of Natural Area Open Space. Kathy Reed 480-262-1284



$1,350,000 Beautiful 2016 Rosewood Home-Model Perfect Resort-Style Backyard-Highly Upgraded Katie Atkison 602-769-1910

$5,000,000 To be built contemporary with stunning golf course, sunset, city light and mountain views.Joanie Barreiro 480-235-2776

Gated Carefree Custom - Great rm - 4 BR & Casita - Pool & Spa Debbie Omundson 480-375-1522

$2,795,000 Contemporary Southwest in The Mirabel Club. Designed by Terry Kilbane on two lots. Patrick Rice 970-846-5461

Live where others vacation!

New & Modern Gem in CC - Great rm - 3 BR’s - By Trails & Dining Debbie Omundson 480-375-1522


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The Boulders Community 480-488-7550 for complete market information.

Images Arizona December 2019  

Images Arizona December 2019