When I first moved to the Phoenix area I started doing searches for Phoenix-based bloggers to connect with (okay, stalk) on social media. One of the first bloggers I found was Renee of Thai Caliente. Hey, it didn't hurt that she has an amazing food blog that has a focus on Thai food, I was immediately hooked. Little known fact, Mr. Misadventures is not my first husband and I was briefly married to someone from Thailand. The marriage ended amicably and when I look back I often wonder if I married him for my ex-mother-in-law's cooking! I absolutely love Thai food which I discovered in college, the local Thai restaurant at the bottom of the hill from where I lived practically became family with as much time as I spent there. Now that I follow a low-carb lifestyle I am a bit more cautious about how much I have, but I still eat and make Thai at home. What I appreciate about Renee is that she also makes healthier versions of Thai.
I actually got to meet Renee in person this past weekend and can tell you that she is super sweet and smart. I'm so pleased to kick off the 2019 edition of A to Z, my series interviewing bloggers in Arizona, with this lovely lady!
Let’s meet Renee!
 Favorite thing about the Phoenix.
I live in the East Valley in Mesa Arizona. I love the surrounding landscape of dessert and the Superstition Mountains. I'm also just 15 minutes away from Gilbert, Chandler, and Queen Creek. October-April is absolutely beautiful here, and there's always so much to explore and do. The summer can be pretty brutal, but luckily we have a pool and my kids and I enjoy daily swimming.
 Least favorite thing about where you live in AZ.
I live in East Mesa, and it hasn't quite caught onto the ‘local' movement that's expanding in other areas of the valley. We still have chain restaurants, fast food, and large departments stores. I'd love to see more local shops, restaurants, and parks. There's are a ton of new housing developments around here and I'm hoping that spurs more local businesses to come to this side of town.
 Favorite place to visit anywhere in the state.
Last year my husband and I visited Jerome, AZ It was so unique and beautiful. The town literally sits on the side of a mountain. We loved it so much that we went back a few months later and enjoyed the local wineries in that area. Jerome is only about 2 hours away from Phoenix and I highly recommend even just a day trip there to explore. It's also fairly close to Sedona and Prescott, so you could even do a Northern Arizona tour while you're up there.
 Favorite coffee spot.
If I'm in Phoenix, then I love Lux Central. It's a unique coffee shop that reminds me of my college days in Austin, TX. Otherwise, Black Rock is my go-to for when I'm running errands around town and need a pick me up.
 Favorite spot for drinks.
This is hard to pick one! Almost every week, I like to try a new place for Happy Hour, but if I had to pick one, then I'd go with drinks at The Ostrich in downtown Chandler. It's an ‘underground' bar, and they have an extensive cocktail menu.
 Favorite local hangout.
Currently, I enjoy hanging out in Downtown Gilbert. Whether it's during the day or at night, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from and Saturday mornings they have the Gilbert Farmers Market.
 Favorite breakfast spot.
I love breakfast at Wildflower, everything is fresh, made to order, and a tempting display of pastries is always available. I love that they are family owned too.
 Favorite lunch spot.
Liberty Market in Downtown Gilbert. When the weather is nice, it's perfect to sit on the patio and enjoy their fresh salads.
 Favorite dinner spot.
This is another hard one to pick just one, but I'll go with Crujiente Tacos in Phoenix. The chef is from my hometown of San Antonio, and he's always adding new, creative tacos to his menu.
 One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
We like taking friends and family to DT Phoenix. We usually do the Science center, a comedy show, or just walk around. One of my favorite family places to go eat in Phoenix is Cibo pizza. It's so much better than Pizzeria Bianco, and you won't have to wait 2 hours for a table.
 How do you like to beat the heat?
I have 2 younger kids and we try to take advantage of all the Indoor activities during the Summer. We'll do the movies, trampoline parks, Children's museum, and of course lots of swimming. We also go down to Rocky Point a couple times over the Summer and enjoy the beach in Mexico. It's only a 3-hour drive and we rent a condo and like to cook dinner there since we're usually wiped out from playing in the ocean all day. There's also no shortage of late night taco stands to satisfy your cravings.
 Lucky question #13, tell me about your blog!
My blog is Thai Caliente, and I focus on healthier Thai and Mexican Recipes. My mom is Thai and I learned how to cook Thai food from her. My husband is from Guadalajara Mexico, and since we've been married, I've been learning Mexican recipes from my Mother in law. I believe in a balanced lifestyle, and therefore try to make my recipes healthier. I don't follow a particular diet, and instead, just try to be mindful of my eating habits. The goal of my blog is to show my readers that cooking doesn't have to be complicated and cooking different types of cuisine can be easy and healthy.
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