Kitchen Road Trip: Arizona

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This week’s Kitchen Road Trip brings us to Arizona. Ah, the Southwest. It’s home to one of my favorite things: Mexican-American food. It is also home to one of my least favorite things: heat. (Yes, I know it’s a “dry heat,” but really I have no concept of what that is, but I sure could take a little right now!) I drove through Arizona on a road trip, and we stopped at the Grand Canyon, but I haven’t spent any time exploring anything else. However, I am so inspired by all the bright colors and patterns I came across while researching this list. I also stumbled across a number of shops and restaurants to which I want to go, and I’m in luck because I owe my aunt a visit to see her in Phoenix! Plus, I’m dying to go back to the Grand Canyon, and I’d love to check out Sedona, too (pictured above). Hope this list warms  you up a little bit… //susannah

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Kitchen Road Trip: Alaska

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This week’s Kitchen Road Trip takes us to the Last Frontier — Alaska. When I was in college, I went on two Spring Break service-learning trips with a team of other students from my university. We spent the week exploring glaciers, hiking in the forest, going crabbing, watching for wildlife and learning about life in Alaska, but the best part was tutoring kids in a small Native American fishing village. These trips opened my eyes to a lot of issues in education and the environment, and I’ll never forget how beautiful it is there. Ever since I left, I’ve been wishing I could go back, so I was really excited to work on this week’s post. With these posts, I try to find as many items as I can that are local to the state I’m covering, but in Alaska’s case this proved more difficult (perhaps because of its location, weather or smaller population) so I opted for a few more items inspired by the state this time. Alaska is very near and dear to my heart, so I hope you enjoy these finds as much as I do! (I’m so obsessed with those plates, by the way…) // susannah

See the list after the jump…

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Kitchen Road Trip: Washington, D.C.

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Traveling has always inspired me. As a kid, I was very fortunate that my parents could afford to take my siblings and me on vacations from time to time. Some were by plane and some were by train, but my favorites were the road trips. There’s nothing quite like arguing with your brother and sister in the back of the family minivan about which “The Lion King” song to play next, am I right? (The answer is “Hakuna Matata,” every time. And on cassette tape, no less!)

To me, the kitchen is the best place to bring back those kinds of memories, and to create new ones too. A little comfort food can go a long way if you’re feeling nostalgic for someplace special or craving an expedition to somewhere new. Until you can travel again, I also recommend surrounding yourself with things that remind you of that time or place. So, each Monday, I’m going to pick a state and list a handful of food- and kitchen-related items that are from or reminiscent of that state. As often as I can, I will highlight local products and designers. One state a week for the rest of the year should take us right up to 2015. Starting next week, I’m going to tackle the states alphabetically, as that allows for a bit more diversity than going by history or regions. Feel free to send me any recommendations for design or food-related products from any state in the Union! 

First up is Washington, D.C., for two reasons. One, that’s where I am right now! Two, it seemed like a good place to begin this series, what with it being the nation’s capital and all. Whether you’re suffering from D.C. wanderlust, homesickness or political worry, these goods should tide you over until at least the next election. Many thanks to my friends Mollie and Greg for their recommendations! // susannah 

See the list after the jump…

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