Wednesday, April 25, 2012

D Bar in Denver

During my trip to Denver with my roommate our last stop was at D Bar. A quick eatery for small savory bites and dessert. We split our first course, which was baked mac & cheese made with 4 cheeses with a cheese nip & panko crumbs crust and simple salad. It was plated beautifully in a petite blue crock and I'm so upset I didn't get a picture of it. I will have to go back! For dessert we had a banana split!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Liquid Nitrogen

Sometimes at work I get to use liquid nitrogen. And ever since our ice machine broke I get to use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream all the time! Here I was at the Wine Expo serving gazpacho sorbet!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Buttered Whole Wheat Pasta with a Poached Egg

I can't remember if I mentioned...but recently I read Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. A collection of essays about what people cook for themselves when they're alone. In one of the chapters the author wrote that she would indulge in a poached egg over buttered pasta. I knew right then that I wanted it for dinner...I've had it quite a few times since. Don't judge it until you try it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chai Scones

When Nicole and Lauren were visiting they surprised me with all this yummy spices on day! I was so excited. Savory is a spice store in downtown Colorado Springs that is similar to a Penzy Spices. With my new spices I recently made some Chai Scones. I used my scone recipe and added 1/4 teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. And then mixed heavy cream and vanilla bean sugar together to create a thick paste and then painted this over the tops of the scones before they went into the oven. I wish I could remember where I got the idea to do this from...but these were just a delicious combination of spices!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Red Rock Amphitheatre

Red Rock Amphitheatre is a park, theater and a huge amphitheatre for concerts built into a huge rock mass. From the top of the Amphitheatre you can see the city of Denver off in the distance. I was really surprised to see so many people exercising at the theatre. There were tons of people running up and down the stairs and there were even people doing yoga on the stage. Right now they have a fitness challenge taking place. The HealthONE Red Rocks Fitness Challenge will be May 1 – July 28, 2012, when 350 participants will set personal wellness goals, achieved with the help of a team of professional trainers, a medical doctor and nutritionist. In partnership with Denver Parks and Recreation, the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre’s legendary stage and steps will turn into an outdoor gym, complete with circuit training stations, hiking, yoga and more, one morning each weekend for 90 days. I wish I lived closer so I could do this!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tattered Cover Bookstore

Right before I left for Colorado, my grandmother was visiting and told me about this legendary bookstore in Denver. She knows her bookstores so I made sure to visit Tattered Cover in downtown Denver a few weeks ago. This is by far the coolest bookstore that I've ever been too. You could spend all day here; walking through the store, getting lost on the various levels, falling into the most comfortable chair you've sat down in. This store was amazing! If I lived in Denver I think I would be frequenting quite often!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Das Meyer

Das Meyer is a pastry shop in Denver, Colorado. My roommate and I decided on getting two pastries to split. We got a blackberry and cheese danish and pecan brioche roll! They had lots of cakes and cookies to choose from but we wanted breakfast so we went for pastries. After we finished our delicious sweet treats we walked around the bakery and check out all of the cakes they had set up on display. Most of their cakes were buttercream but they did have some done in fondant. I wish that I had taken a picture of the four tier St. Patricks Day cake that they had. It had beautiful scroll work on it!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jives Open Mic Night

My schedule at The Broadmoor varies weekly...but lately I've been having Wednesday nights off. Which is very exciting because my favorite coffee shop Jives in Old Colorado City hosts an awesome Open Mic Night on Wednesdays. Usually my roommates come with me and we sip on iced chai and listen to awesome music...and sometimes play chess. I am going to really miss open mic night when I leave.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Quinoa Patties

~dedicated to our special vegan, CC!

Doesn't that look scrumptious! Yes, it is 100% pure vegan! This burger recipe cooked up beautifully! Thank you Martha Rose Shulman for writing about the challenges of preparing a good vegan burger. Many might recognize Martha Rose Shulman from her popular column in the NYTimes. She has many acclaimed cookbooks, her latest, The Very Best Recipes for Health, focuses on getting home cooks excited about preparing delicious & healthy meals. Thank you MRS for introducing Lukas Volger, THE veggie burger guru! LV is an accomplished connoisseur of vegetarian cooking. Be sure to check out his site and cookbooks! And thank you Mrs. Prozac for bringing my attention to these!

There is plenty of time to experiment with these veggie recipes before summer madness begins. These patties were paired with our staple Oven Fries, so easy, so delicious! An iron skillet is ideal for browning these patties on the stove before baking in the oven for an additional 10-15 min..

As MRS's Quinoa & Greens Burger recipe reveals, these patties are filled with good for you foods. I substituted swiss chard for beet greens and did not use the optional egg for binding. I used red & gold quinoa as these were what I had on hand. I always rate a good recipe based on the ease in which I can substitute ingredients. These were truly delicious...moist, held together, and tasty. To top it off, P< has been wanting to try the miso mayonnaise recipe published in the NYTimes Magazine Sunday, 11 March 2012. So we topped these yummy burgers with a healthy dollop of miso mayonnaise!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Even when I'm not in Buffalo anymore...I am constantly being reminded of my roots. These buffalo are in Denver on 17th street...but I have seen buffalo statues everywhere here! Oh east coast I miss you! I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jimmy Johns

Jimmy Johns is a sub shop that we do not have in New York. Update: We do have JJ's in NY. There is one every 100 miles or so. We also have Subway. Or if you're really lucky we have Dibellas in Rochester. Dibellas is my favorite on the east coast but Jimmy Johns is everywhere west of Ohio so this is my new sub shop since I can't have Dibellas. The servers at Jimmy Johns wear cycling hats and jerseys and are ready to take a delivery at the drop of an order. They have many sandwich choices...once I finally decided I ordered the Beach Club. Fresh baked turkey breast, provolone cheese, avocado spread, sliced cucumber, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and mayo! 8 inches of heaven!
I forgot to ask them not to put those tomatoes on there so I pulled them out myself. Whoops now you know my secret.... Even though it may seem like it, I don't eat everything.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Springtime Cupcakes!

I started following a new blog called Skinny Taste. She inspired me to make these cupcakes above for Easter. It is her recipe with own variations. This recipe is really simple and fast because it takes 1 box of yellow cake mix and mixes it with 20oz of crushed pineapple. No eggs and no oil. Pop it into the oven and bake. I made them to bring to Easter Dinner and everyone seemed to enjoy them. I used toasted coconut and vanilla frosting to make my nests and topped them with whopper eggs. It was a wonderful springtime dessert and a great twist on a virgin pina colada!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Incline

There is a hike in Colorado Springs called The Incline. I was told that it was just a lot of stairs to the top and then you go back down. I didn't do much research besides that because technically you're not supposed to climb it because it is unsafe. However it is not a marked trail and I had no idea how to get to it. So last Saturday before work, I hiked it with a few of my friends who had done it before. I'm glad they were with me because I needed the company and encouragement to get up this! Above is the view from where we started. But that crest up there is not the summit. There is more after that before you reach the top.
At this point we were only about half way. We started at 6,570 feet and needed to get to 8,595 feet. The entire 2,000 feet that we climbed were stairs; which are really old railway ties...and a little questionable in a few spots. After an hour we did reach the top. I was the second one up out of the four of us. I guess I'm starting to get used to this elevation. Kind of. I had to stop quite a few times to catch my breath.
Once we were all reunited at the top, it was one o'clock and we needed to be in to work by three. So we took the side trail and ran to the bottom in thirty minutes. After walking up stairs for an hour running four miles downhill seemed like a breeze.
The run downhill was a series of switchbacks across the side of the mountain. I found this article from the NY Times that highlights more about The Incline. Even though this hike was one of the hardest workouts I've done I can't wait to do it again! Portman will be here in June. I hope he's up for the challenge!

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is what it says. It is a zoo on the side of the mountain. It was a hilly walk and a windy day and I made sure to put on lots of sunscreen. The last time I spent all day in the sun I was burnt badly. So I learned my lesson and lacquered up in some SPF 70. The coolest exhibit at the zoo was the giraffes! I have never been so close to a giraffe. There were about 10 of them in this area and they would come right up and eat the biscuits out of your hand. It was a really cool experience. I could have spent all day at the giraffe exhibit.
After seeing all the exhibits you are at the top of the zoo. Below you can see the hotel and surrounding golf courses at The Broadmoor Resort....that's where I work! We walked to the top but there is also a ski lift (see black line) that takes people to the top as well.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I really wanted Mexican food the other day and decided to try Sonterra Innovative Southwest Grill, a restaurant downtown that serves American Southwest cuisine...and is consequently across the street from Buttercups! Yum. When you walk into Sonterras the first thing that greets you is this giant glass container on either end of the bar that is filled with slices of pineapples soaking in vodka. They take their drinks very seriously so I decided to order a Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita. My first sip was spicy but then I mixed it up a little bit and it sweetened up. I have learned that the levels of spiciness in Colorado and in New York are very different. And at several restaurants now I have found myself saying "this is so spicy!" When usually spice doesn't bother me.
After our drinks and the two baskets of chips that we demolished...we dug into our food! First there was a chicken tortilla soup. It came with crumbled chip strips on top that melted perfectly into the warm broth. For lunch I had the last dish below. Chicken Adobada with mesquite grilled chicken Breast, smoked bacon, creamy chipotle sauce, southwest rice, avocado, black beans, cotija and crema fresca. It was delicious. The dish in the middle is Chicken Mole. It came with mesquite grilled chicken breast, ancho mole, southwest rice and black beans. It was a magnificent meal with good food and great company!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Coconut Sticky Rice

On my day off I decided that I wanted to make Coconut Sticky Rice. The first time I had Sweet Rice was at The King and I in Rochester New York. I have tried recreating this recipe before with Portman but we were never able to get it quite right. I have figured out why. We were using the wrong rice this whole time. To make this recipe it is very important that you have Thai Sweet Rice. Thai Sweet Rice is a glutinous rice that becomes especially sticky when it is cooked. I went to the Asia Pacific Market and got special Sweet Rice and coconut milk and made this up in no time! Enjoy!
Coconut Sticky Rice

1 cup Thai Sweet Rice
1 mango, cut into bite-size pieces
4-5 Tbsp.  brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can coconut milk

1. In a large pot soak the rice in 1 cup water for 20-30 minutes.
2. Add 3/4 cup (more) water, plus 1/4 can coconut milk, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar. Stir this into the rice.
3. Bring to a gentle boil, then partially cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low.
4. Simmer in this way for 20 minutes, or until the coconut-water has been absorbed by the rice. Turn the heat off, but leave the pot on the burner with the lid on tight. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.

To finish: 
To make the sauce, warm (do not boil) the rest of the can of coconut milk over medium-low heat (5 minutes). Stir in 3 Tbsp. sugar. Serve by piling rice in a bowl and pouring the sauce over top. Place sliced mango on top of each serving. It should look like an English pudding with custard sauce, with the mounds of rice swimming in sauce.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Downtown Colorado Springs is filled with amazing restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops. But it has one very special frozen yogurt place! And it is the best frozen yogurt place I've ever been! The people who work there are great and the yogurt is amazing...and a little healthier than ice cream! Buttercups is new to the downtown area and was recently opened by a college graduate. The interior is relaxed and modern, attracting a variety of customers from families to college students. I went here with my coworkers and we've been back several times...almost enough to fill our punch cards!
The best part about Buttercups is that you can sample all of the flavors and the flavor combinations. They have cookies and cream cheesecake, fruit cocktail, birthday cake, blood orange, tart, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, mango, pina colada and several others. After sampling you get to fill your cup up with yogurt and toppings. I love Buttercups because I don't have to decide to only get one or two flavors. I usually get a little bit of everything in my cup and then top it off with gummy bears and any peanut butter and chocolate options that they have.
These are just a few combinations that we put together! They're all winners! I am a frequent customer at Buttercups! Especially after a long shift at work we all head down there and pray that they'll still be open! And if they are we fill up our cups and enjoy!

Public Art

I saw this on a tree in Old Colorado City last week when I was shopping with Nicole and Lauren. What a beautiful public art project strung together with yarn and pipe cleaners. Simple yet beautiful. And it's keeping the tree warm!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pikes Peak

Another exciting landmark in Colorado Springs is Pikes Peak! Some people hike up to it, some people take a train up to it. We drove. It was the scariest drive in my life. Pikes Peak sits west of the city and is the most visited mountain in North America and the second most visited mountain in the world behind Japan's Mount Fuji. Pikes Peak is at an altitude of 14,110 feet above sea level and is the 31st highest peak out of 54 Colorado peaks. The view from the top was worth the drive!
Pikes Peak reminded me of the commercials you see on tv. This is where they must film the Subaru and Nissan commercials. The places they advertise but you never see. Well now my Prius has been there!
We saw this sign on the way down. It was while we were descending Devils Playground. Which is a series or switchbacks. I felt much better driving down than I did driving up! I was a little disappointed when we got to the top because they weren't making their specially formulated high altitude donuts! I think its a sign that I don't need anymore donuts! :)