Thursday, March 29, 2012

Garden of the Gods

When Nicole and Lauren were visiting I made sure to save some of the really cool Colorado thing to do with them. So when they were finally here I couldn't wait to go to Garden of the Gods! Garden of the Gods is a city park and one of the top ten most visited parks in the country. The rocks are results of The outstanding geologic features of the park are the ancient sandstone and limestone sediments deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically and faulted by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Pikes Peak massif. It is absolutely beautiful and I would recommend going for a tour at 10am or 2pm. We went for the 10am tour and our guide was amazing! He was singing to us and pulling rocks out of his pockets and recommending places to go for lunch! Overall we had an amazing time!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Air Force Academy

As you know I had visitors last week Nicole and Lauren. There we all are on the lower left! One afternoon they picked me up from work around 3pm and we headed up to the Air Force Academy. I was told to visit the academy by my former roommate and I wasn't really sure why. Once I was there I realized how cool the 1960s architecture of the chapel was. We walked up to the chapel from the nature path and stood in front of this towering structure in aw. Once inside it was truly amazing to see the light bounce off of the glass panels. I wonder what it sounds like inside the chapel when it rains! The pitter patter on the glass must be amazing! Then we headed out side for revelry and the flag lowering. What a great experience!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Haddock with Asparagus & Roasted Potatoes

Well, LB is really enjoying preparing and cooking food for the family! Tonight he built a meal around roasted potatoes. These he first par-boiled on the stove before roasting in the oven. Par-boiling helps the potatoes maintain a crisp exterior and fluffy interior. The fish he cooked in a covered skillet stovetop in a spicy red pepper sauce. His sous chef buttery stick, also known as LP, prepared the asparagus which was also par-boiled before briefly being sauteed in olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt.

Roasted Potatoes
2 lbs. golden potatoes, Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, par-boiled
6 Tblsp. olive oil
2 Tblsp. coriander seeds, crushed
Salt & fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven and jelly roll pan to 425. Boil water and a pinch of salt for par-boiling. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into large bite-sized pieces. Once water boils add prepared potatoes. Boil for 5-7 minutes, then drain (potatoes are still hard in the middle). While the potatoes are draining preheat a wide skillet on high heat. Toss drained potatoes in a large bowl with the olive oil, crushed coriander, salt, & pepper and place potatoes in a single layer in preheated skillet (depending on pan size this step may take more than one batch to complete). Potatoes need only about a minute before transferring to a preheated pan in oven. Only 20 minutes in the oven and you'll have crisp golden potatoes.
NOTE: If you have an iron skillet and are cooking for only a few, you can skip preheating the jelly roll pan and simply transfer skillet directly to oven to finish!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon is a park located right across from Old Colorado City and Manitou. Nicole, Lauren and I stopped at it on our way back from Donut Mill. After eating giant donuts a brisk walk is recommended. We weren't able to explore to far because I had to be at work by 10am but the park is a great place for walking, mountain biking and viewing Garden of the Gods from a far (second picture).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

La Baguette

La Baguette is the little pastry shop that I always stop at before I head over to Jives in Old Colorado City. Nicole, Lauren and I grabbed a quick lunch there while they were visiting. They both had the french onion soup which was highly recommended by a local customer and I had a croissant with turkey and swiss cheese. To finish it off we had a cinnamon croissant for dessert! Everything was amazing! If you find yourself in Colorado Springs, make sure you head over to La Baguette!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pasta Puttanesca

Welcome home LB! LB is eager to build his cooking skills, so he began by cooking his favorite Puttanesca Sauce for his family! Lovers of anchovies, kalamata olives, capers, and fresh herbs...we all agreed...he executed this dish to perfection!

Puttanesca Sauce
Serves 4
2-28 oz cans whole tomatoes
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp+ red pepper flakes
18 ct. kalamata olive, halved/quartered
3 Tblsp. capers, drained
1 can (2 oz) flat anchovies, chopped
2 Tblsp. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 c. fresh flat leaf parsley
salt & pepper to taste
shaved fresh parmesan to liking

Cook tomatoes down in thick bottomed pot for at least 30 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid sticking to bottom of pot. Then add dry spices and garlic. After an additional 20+ minutes of allowing the dried spices to begin working their magic in the sauce, add anchovies, capers, & olives. About 10 min. before serving add fresh herbs, salt, & pepper. Garnish with parmesan, & ENJOY!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Apple Zucchini Carrot Quick Bread

I love quick breads but I've never had a recipe that I've used twice. But I think I found one. I tweaked it a little and added extra vegetables and the result was a super moist delicious bread! Don't be afraid to add what you want to this...carrots, zucchini, apples, coconut, bananas, chocolate chips etc.

Apple Zucchini Carrot Quick Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup shredded apples
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrots

1. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
2. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Add these to the dry ingredients.
3. Butter a loaf pan and spread batter evenly.
4. Baking at 350F for 1 hour.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Green Mountain Falls

One of the servers at Charles Court where I work recommend that I go and check out Green Mountain Falls. Green Mountain Falls is about half way between Colorado Springs and the Donut Mill. The Donut Mill is my new point of reference. When headed west into the mountains the Donut Mill is about 20 miles from here. And Green Mountain Falls is about 10. Last Sunday I headed up there to have coffee and do my homework at Duckies. The town has a main strip with a few bars, a restaurant and a park at the far end. I loved the small town feel; the dirt roads lined with houses and littered with pick up trucks. When I arrived there was sign on the door (see above) so I walked around the main street area and into the park. I wasn't able to find any falls in Green Mountain Falls which was disappointing but they had this lake at the park that was pretty so I took a picture of it. After watching a woman feed the ducks and geese near the lake, I headed back to Duckies and waited a few minutes longer.

I was a little disappointed with Duckies because all of their pastries were from places I had already been except for the brownie that I bought and ate. The brownies were the only in house pastry option and I was planning on just getting a snack because I had already had three cups of coffee earlier that day. But I ended getting the brownie and another cup of coffee. It was ok. The most interesting part of my visit at Duckies was when this woman walked in and said she was from the FDA and needed to get into the Liquor store next door. She disappeared outside with the owner of Duckies who was mumbling that the owners truck was there but he hadn't seen him all day and I don't know what happened after that. Not long after I drove back to Colorado Springs. I don't know if I'll go back to Duckies.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chemex Glass Kettle

Kettles get a lot of use in our kitchen. Water is boiled for coffee, tea, and any number of cooking/baking preparations. And DD has gone through many a kettle b/c most must absolutely be emptied or else the interior rusts! Not much of a lover of the basic stainless steel versions, DD's discovery of the Chemex coffee carafe led right to discovering their glass kettle. Glass doesn't rust! This is truly exciting! What is more is that now when DD boils water for coffee, the water goes straight from kettle to carafe! Coffee is HOT and delicious!

Monday, March 19, 2012


We don't have Sonic on the east coast. Well not in New York anyways. Sonic is a fast food drive in where people deliver your food on roller skates and sometimes they run into your car. But that's ok. I couldn't imagine having to deliver food on roller skates. I'm not that coordinated and I do not think that I could pull it off. So here it was 8:30pm in Colorado Springs and I was begging my roommates to go out for ice cream with me and because I've never been to Sonic before this blizzard, that is where we ended up. It was a chilly evening so we stayed in the car and ate our blizzards and watched the servers run around on roller skates. I can't imagine what its like when its super busy there. People and cars everywhere and orders flying by on roller skates.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Smoked Applewood Cheddar Souffle

Just another Saturday morning...P<, how do you do it?! This morning DD played the part of sous chef while P< baked souffle and fried potato cakes. Truly, heaven is on earth!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Semi-Raw Dining

As DD often does, adapting a recipe to what is on hand or what might satisfy a craving is vital to the JOY of time spent cooking. Although Gram's sauteed mushrooms were an added element, the original recipe called for mushrooms and kalamata olives in the ravioli. I cheated tonight for a quick meal and used frozen. The raviolis are cooked, of course, but surprisingly tossed in a raw sauce of parsley, lemon juice, & pistachios. Both the main dish and the side salad of julienned zucchini, carrots, and red peppers tossed in a raw tomato sauce, are compliments of Sarma Melngailis' Living Raw Food cookbook.

Pure Food and Wine is Melngailis' Manhattan restaurant that is on DD's list of must try. The owner and chefs are clearly creative, but equally important, appear to emphasize the diner's experience. DD 's hunch is that eating healthfully and being in utter bliss appear to be the restaurant's aim.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

What can I say. A picture is worth a thousand words! Thanks CC for finding the recipe and Kathy Patalsky for posting this recipe! We paired this burger with Oven Baked French Fries and a favorite brew. Now we're talking beer, not coffee;-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chemex Coffee Brewing

So whatever happened to the Hario experiment. Well, P<, aka, PM, and DD went shopping, and returned home with a Chemex brew system. Who knew! A German chemist and inventor, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm created this gem over 70 years ago! And equally exciting was his original contract with Corning Glass in the early 40's to manage the mass production of his coffeemaker. It is not only beautiful in design, but also in function. Coffee prepared in this manner can be brewed to the desired strength with absolutely no bitterness! I appeal to your finer senses. I urge coffee lovers to consider a Chemex and ENJOY the process of making this exceptional brew!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

German Sweets & Agia's Chai

I'm convinced that everything good in Colorado Springs is located near Old Colorado City. Old Colorado City is my favorite place to go to cafes, eat pastries and window shop! Today I decided to visit Wimberger's Old World Bakery and Delicatessen. And of course it is right next to Old Colorado City. At first when I was driving down the road I wasn't sure I was in the right place. This bakery borders on residential property and is across the street from random warehouses. But there it was. This quaint little building with paintings on the side of baskets of baked goods and specialty items. I was surprised when I walked into Wimbergers because they had more than just baked goods. They had a whole store filled with German deli meats and cheeses, pastas, baked goods, candies. I wandered around the store and ending in the pastry section. They had one wall filled with baked goods. As I was standing there trying to decided between a croissant, turnover and various other German pastries women kept coming out of the back with laundry baskets filled with kaiser rolls and filling up the shelves as customers were shopping. It really was something to see. After the third laundry basket wandered by I needed to decide because I was in the way. I decided on this sunken apple cake above because I had overheard another customer raving about it. The cake tasted like it was angel food at the base with sauteed apples and raisins on top! It was very sweet and I can't wait to go back and get something else to try next time. I left with my sunken apple cake and headed over to Agia Sophia's for a GIANT iced chai latte and enjoyed my strudel upstairs in the bookstore section. Then I settled in and read my new book, Try This by Danyelle Freeman. I knew this was the right book to buy because in her first chapter she started talking about Tea & Sympathy. The restaurant and author of my beloved scone recipe!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Together Growing Orchids

When I first moved to Colorado I had 3 other roommates. Then one by one they all left and it was just myself and this orchid. It was one of my previous roommates and she was unable to take it with her. So I moved it out of her room and placed it in a south facing window. All I knew about orchids at this point was that DD always had one in her bathroom when I was growing up and eventually it would disappear. I am not one for houseplants and I never questioned where they all went because they died. Orchids are stubborn little plants! They need just the right amount of sun and water or they die. At first this particular plant had limp leaves and no flowers. And then within a week of me watering and moving it around the apartment it grew firm leaves and began to bud and flower. Now that I have brought this plant back to life I feel that I have to take care of it. It has been growing so rapidly this past month that it grew right out of its pot! Literally the roots were coming out of the pot. So I finally decided that this orchid needed a new pot and some decent soil. So DD sent me a book on orchids, which I read twice because now I'm afraid I might kill this little guy and today I have successful cleaned its root system, replaced its soil and put it in a new pot. One of my new roommates asked if I was going to name it...we decided to wait a week and make sure it lives the re-pot. Darn it...I'm starting to like this little guy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Brueggers Bagels

I was walking around downtown Colorado Springs the other day when I saw this! Brueggers Bagels! I was so confused! All my life I thought that Brueggers bagels was unique to Rochester, New York. Whenever I go back home I love to go to Brueggers because I've never seen it anywhere else. So when I saw it last week...I was more than confused. So I did a little research, Brueggers Bagels actually started in 1983, in Burlington, Vermont. However the first Bruegger's opened in Troy, New York. And today there are over 300 Bruegger's bakeries in 26 states. Maybe this was silly of me but did anyone else know that Brueggers was such a large chain?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

German Sand Cake Recipe

As promised the recipe in volume for German Sand Cake!

1 cup butter
3 eggs
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sugar

Add cream to eggs. Beat for awhile. Add sugar slowly. Beat until thick and frothy. Add flour and baking soda. Grease 9 X 13 pan. Spread batter evenly. Cook at 400F, 10 min. Melt butter on the stove, add sugar and almonds! Lots of almonds. The cake should be crusty on top. Remove from oven. Spread buttery almonds over top! Finish for 10 min in the oven!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cycle Cycle Bicycle

I have read that Colorado Springs is the 4th most active city and I am not surprised. There are so many outdoor things to do here and their are cyclists everywhere. Downtown there is this really cool decal on this building. Every time I see it, it reminds me of the cyclists that I see and ride with in Rochester. Just a little taste of home right here in Colorado Springs.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pikes Perk

When I originally found out that I was moving to Colorado to work at The Broadmoor I wished that I knew someone that lived out here. Someone who could give me the inside scoop. The inside secrets of where to go to eat, what places I should check out etc. Then I found out that one of my friends in class had a brother who went to school out here! So I began messaging her brother on facebook and we would exchange messages back and forth and I would ask crazy questions and he would graciously answer. I've never had a pen pal, but I imagine that this is what it would be like. He was so kind and answered all my questions and recommend places for me to go. The first place he recommend was Pikes Perk. When I put Pikes Perk in my GPS it brought me to a smoothie shop that sold their coffee. I was not excited about the smoothie shop but then I did a little more research and I figured out that the GPS had taken me to the wrong place. So last weekend I ended up here at the real Pikes Perk downtown. As always I ordered a Chai Latte. It was good but not as good as the Chai from Agia Sophia but it was delicious. I think that the Chai at Agia Sophia is #1 in my Chai Reviews here in Colorado Springs so far!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Easy Biscuits

Breakfast is my favorite meal...probably because I can usually get away with eating something sweet! This morning I made these super simple biscuits! Enjoy with jam, butter or by themselves!

Biscuit Recipe:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cups milk

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then cut in the butter and crumble with your fingertips until it resembles pea size pieces in the flour.
2. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk. Knead in the bowl then put on a flat surface. Flatten out into a circle and cut out biscuits with a circle cutter.
3. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mountain Burger

On our way to Breckenridge we were discussing what we wanted to do for dinner that evening...if we wanted to stay in Breckenridge and grab dinner in town or get something on the way back from skiing. Then the conversation shifted to what did we want to eat. Well after skiing all I ever want is a burger so I suggested that we get burgers. Then I was introduced to Mountain Burger. So after our amazing day skiing we headed to Mountain Burger. Yes, Mountain Burger is half gas station half diner. And 100% delicious! When we walked in the first thing I noticed were the huge buns and the huge bottles of ketchup and mustard! Then I was instructed not to order the Double Mountain Burger because we'd be there all day and then I'd be sick on the way home. So I ordered a Regular Mountain Burger! It was huge and I ate the whole thing! This was definitely a local secret and I'm so happy they let me in on it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hario Coffee Dripper

DD & PM share a fascination for a good cup of coffee~especially ENJOYING the various approaches to brewing! As AM noted in an earlier post, a manual drip can be quite intriguing.
The Hario Brand emphasizes how their system works:

The "Cone" adds depth to the coffee layer.
The big hole can change taste with speeds of water flow.
Spiral ribs for maximum coffee expansion.

You might notice the Hario Coffee Dripper looks much like the Melitta Pour Over Filter Drip. If you're a coffee aficionado, you'd be hard pressed not to check out these websites and compare brands! DD found the Hario site extremely engaging. I wanted everything! Check out the many coffee brewing techniques; truly amazing!

In the meantime, PM is experimenting with tools we already have at home-

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a non-vegan family favorite! If you've never picked up a Cook's Illustrated publication or listened to Christopher Kimball on America's Test Kitchen Radio (NPR) you don't know what you're missing! I LOVE all the chef's and bakers at the Test Kitchen. Whether reading the magazine, watching public television, or listening on the radio, these masters always reveal some morsel of cooking/baking knowledge that improves my skills and experience in the kitchen~and everyone benefits!

So for the Bolognese Sauce, once again,  Cook's Illustrated Classic Bolognese is the best! As for the meatballs, this is DD's Italian Grandmother's recipe. ENJOY!

Gram's Meatballs
1/3 pound each ground beef, pork, veal
1 slice day old bread, crumbled
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Mix above ingredients and shape into preferred meatball size. These can either be browned in iron skillet on stovetop or in 350 degree oven, turning as meat browns. They can then be added to the sauce to finish cooking; bolognese or marinara sauce are excellent choices.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I finally made it to Manitou Springs. Manitou Springs is similar to Old Colorado City but there are more tourists. My goal today was to check out the town and head to Marikas and sit down with a coffee and one of their famous oatmeal cream pies. Their oatmeal cream pies were about as large as the donuts at The Donut Mill in Woodland! I ate about a quarter of it and wrapped it up. It should last me for a few days! My white mocha was recommended by the barista and was delicious but very sweet, especially in combination with the record breaking oatmeal cream pie. Marikas is a cafe/gallery. When you enter it is set up very similar to Starbucks, the same cases and baskets with little treats in them. I ordered and headed up to one of the various velvet couches and made myself comfortable. After realizing that this oatmeal cream pie was going to last until the end of next week I pulled out my book, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. So there I was sitting alone, reading a book about dining alone and completely enjoying myself. As I sat there the barista sat at the bar singing along with the music streaming from her laptop. I was enjoying her music choices so I did not mind. As she was singing along I realized that I usually don't sing aloud in front of anyone until I've spent a serious amount of time with them. But she didn't care if anyone could hear. She also had green bangs so she must really have been outgoing. I don't have green bangs.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


While exploring in Old Colorado City I stumbled across this tea shop. Organica! It looks like they have just about everything! They weren't open but I'm excited to go back and check it out! I just wanted to share! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Flatbread Pizza

Flatbread pizza crust! Recipe below. I love the taste of homemade crust and the best part is that you can top it with anything. For this one I sauteed garlic and shallots in olive oil and added spinach, eggplant and zucchini. I put that on the pizza and then added mozzarella cheese. It was so good for dinner! And its going to be just as good for lunch, because I made myself a whole pizza! The last time I made this crust DD and I topped it with spinach and artichokes! Another good combination. I am not really a red sauce and cheese kind of girl so getting to choose something else is definitely the way to go!

Flatbread Dough-makes 4 crusts

2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoon granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
6 1/2 cups flour

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Add the flour and stir. Cover and let rest for 2 hours. Use or refrigerate and use within 12 days. Prebake at 375 for 12 minutes before adding toppings. Finish baking until done then eat! 

Flatbread Dough Recipe for 1 crust

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoon water
1 1/8 teaspoon yeast
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Add the flour and stir. Cover and let rest for 2 hours. Prebake at 375 for 12 minutes before adding toppings. Finish baking until done then eat! 


I used to be a biscuit girl...but now I'm a scone girl! They are way easier to make and require less ingredients! And DD has the best recipe ever! Recipe below. I couldn't wait to wake up this morning and make these delicious treats! I think I will make them tomorrow...for when my new roommate comes!


2 cups Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups heavy cream

Combine the dry and add whatever flavor or ingredient that you want. My favorite is dried cranberries. Add the heavy cream until combined. Remove from bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a circle about 1" tall with your hands. Cut into triangles and bake at 375F for 12 minutes! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yesterday at Jives

On my day off yesterday I decided that I wanted to check out the shops in Old Colorado City. Both sides of the main drag are littered with cute vintage clothing shops, art galleries and restaurants. After finding the public parking lot...public parking lots are the only way to go. They are merciless here with the meters. Every street side space has a meter and I never have enough change for as long as I want to park. So public parking is my best option. I parked and then began exploring. It was 60 degrees and sunny and everyone was out. I strolled down both sides of the street and checked out all the shops. Then I circled back and stopped in at The French Bakery and got an almond croissant. Their croissant dough is delicious! This one was glazed with almond pieces on the outside and filled with a meaty almond paste! You can kind of see it peaking out of the croissant above. Then I headed around the corner to Jives. My usual guy was there and I told him that I wanted a chai. They didn't have dirty chais like at Breckenridge, instead they had a spicy chai. And it was spicy! It was frothy and filled with notes of ginger. If you like ginger I would definitely recommend this drink! I would order it again! Then I got down to business and did my homework for CIA. This week I wrote about the purchasing, receiving and storing procedures of Charles Court, where I work. Today I'm off for another adventure in Manitou Springs!