Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy National Pancake Day!

I started my day at 8am this morning at IHOP celebrating National Pancake Day. And then I went home and got back in bed! If you haven't had your pancakes yet get to IHOP before 10pm!

Our day at Breckenridge

Last week my roommate and I went to Breckenridge. Breckenridge is pretty large ski town about 2 hours away from Colorado Springs. It is the true ski village. When we first arrived we drove through tons of shops and restaurants. I was so excited for lunch! Then we twisted up the mountain passing by skiers and snowboarders. Just a little ways up hidden in between the downhill slopes is the nordic center. We entered this building warmed up by the fire bought out passes and headed out!
We couldn't of picked a better day. Actually everyday is pretty beautiful here! It can be 32 degrees one day and 70 the next! It is pretty neat! The trails at Breckenridge we beautifully groomed and quite expansive. As we slowly got lost and ended up on black diamonds we survived and made it around and back to the nordic center. Where we started actually connects to another center. However it was about 12 miles to the next center so we stayed on our side. For our last looped we skied around this area that was filled with bridges and beautiful homes. I was ready to stay in Breckenridge forever!
But we were hungry and needed to eat. So my roommate and I went to her favorite coffee shop and talked with her "Dirty Chai Guy." He works at Freshies and makes the best dirty chai in Breckenridge and is a local and runs the coffee shop for his friend who also has other food businesses in Breckenridge. Our dirty chai guy recommended for us to go to Eric's for burgers.

It turned out to be a great recommendation and a really cool atmosphere. Our burgers were great. And the onion rings were out of this world! Then we returned to Freshies and got dirty chais! Then we stumbled down to this cookie sandwich shop, called Mary's and got a chocolate chip cookie filled with vanilla cream. I can't remember what it was called...it was something Moo.

After being fully filled with burgers, dirty chais and stuffed cookies we left Breckenridge and headed back to Colorado Springs. I can't wait to go back!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Colorado Coffee Merchants

Today I headed north. I was continuing my adventure to the various coffee houses around town. I settled on Colorado Coffee Merchants. Again I was surrounded by sweet aromas of coffee and interesting conversations. When I walked in I was greeted by the barista and a man doing demonstrations. He was demonstrating how to use a Hario. I had never heard of a Hario until today! The Hario that was being demonstrated was the Hario Dripper. Which is an alternative drip system for brewing coffee. The coffee was ground a little finer than it would be ground for an espresso. After he ground the coffee he poured boiling water into the filter. He had one Hario dripper set up with a one time use filter and one was set up with a reusable metal filter. He said he has been working with a local metal smith that was fabricating a special filter for the dripper. After the boiling water ran through the dripper to rinse the filter he added the ground coffee then he proceeded to pour a small amount of boiling water over the coffee until it was absorbed. The coffee continued to steep as he added more water and it was filtered into the cup he had below the dripper. This coffee shop also offers tours 11am-1pm during the week which after seeing the dripper demo I am extremely interested in attending.

After having my two dripper samples I ordered a chai latte. It was delicious! Just as good as the one from Agia Sophia. After I had my drink I went to find a table to sit with my latte and book. All the tables were filled except one. One 6 person table. About 5 minutes after sitting down a young man came up and asked if he could take a few chairs to go sit in the corner with. I told him he should join me because I had a whole 6 person table to myself. Then his friend came along and they chatted about family and religion for hours. 5 minutes after that an older gentleman was also looking for a place to sit. I got his attention and asked if he wanted to join us. So here we were, myself and three gentlemen. And we sat there peacefully in the full cafe enjoying our drinks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Agia Sophia

Agia Sophia. The google search results for peaceful atmosphere, coffeehouse, Colorado Springs. I am so glad that this is the coffeehouse that I chose to go to yesterday because I ended up being there for 3 hours! I was really tempted to go back to Jives from last week! I love Jives too! The atmosphere is fun and the music is great. Agia Sophia is a little different. When you walk inside there is a small coffee shop that also serves some pastries and lunch. And there were people everywhere, drinking coffee, tea and eating sandwiches. I ordered a Chai Latte...yum! I can't wait to have another.
Then I proceeded to head upstairs to the bookstore section which also has wireless and lots of study tables and big comfy leather chairs to do my homework for school. I sat a table near a window that looked up into the mountains across the street. After finishing up my homework I curled up in one of the chairs and read my book and half listened to the first date that was happening at the table next to me. Their conversation was actually really entertaining and the girl was going on and on about her TMJ and it was kind of distracting but interesting. Overall I can't wait to go back to Agia Sophia!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Colorado City

This week I went to Colorado City which is only about 8 miles from where I live in Colorado Springs. My goal was to check out this coffee place below, Jives which was rated the best coffee shop in CO Springs in 2011 and to do my homework for school. On my way to Jives I saw this French Bakery across the way! Of course I had to go inside! The menu features lots of items for lunch or you can go up to the counter and buy bread or a pastry or multiple pastries!
So after getting side tracked I took my chocolate croissant and walked over to Jives and bought a White Tiger (coffee drink made with white hot chocolate). Then I sat at a corner table savoring my treats and working on my externship manual for school. 

Backstrap Venison/i can't believe we ate the whole thing

There's nothing more yummy than a reduction sauce atop a perfectly cooked, a little rare, piece of red meat! In this case, venison provided the main focus of the meal. A slight adaptation to the reduction sauce referred to in the Filet Mignon post, included adding orange rind as the sauce cooks down.

If you're going to go to the effort of hunting the meat for dinner, you best not serve anything to compete with its splendor~thank you PR for your skill and passion for looking high and low for sustenance! Excellent sides included classic fresh organic greens sauteed in garlic and red pepper flakes, and quinoa prepared in veggie broth.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Donut Mill

Last week we went skiing at Ski Copper...and we passed this donut shop. It was 9am and donuts sounded so good! But we had a three hour drive ahead of us so we couldn't stop. So when I went skiing this week I insisted that we stopped because I had been thinking about it all week! We got there around 10:30am and this is what was left. 
The donuts were huge! My roommate was with me and she talked me into getting two! Well, the donuts are at least the size of your head if not bigger and I still have two halves left that I can't seem to finish. I think next time I will get one donut and call it a day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Denver Before 12

The second day I was here in Denver, I headed up to Denver Airport to drop my mom off. After I dropped here off I headed to Denver to check out Larimer Square. I had read that Larimer Square was a shopping and dining district with specialty boutiques and unique restaurants. However during my research of where I wanted to go---I did not check the hours of the stores. It was a Sunday so I just assumed that everything opened around 10, 10:30am. However when I got there the streets were quiet and I only two restaurants were open. Unfortunately I had just had coffee at the airport and I had already eaten breakfast. But I did check out this place above, The Market. The market is a pastry shop/grocery store/coffee shop/deli. I did go inside and look around and was impressed with the variety of things that they had. So if you find yourself in Denver on a Sunday. Remember that nothing opens until noon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pate a Choux Swans

I wanted to share these swans from school before I forget. We made these in Individual Production Pastry. Before this class we were strictly making Pate a Choux filled with Pastry Cream and topped with Chocolate fondant. Now we make Pate a Choux swans with chocolate heads! I applaud the creativity of my classmates!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

German Baker

All of my roommates are bakers...except for one who is a hostess at one of the restaurants at The Broadmoor. Ironically she is the one that does the baking at home. Every other day she makes fresh bread and sometimes she makes cakes! There is one cake that she makes that is to die for! It is a cross between a coffee cake and a tea cake. Last night I carefully studied her as she made the cake! I refer to this cake as "the cake" because I think it is absolutely delicious! The cake is actually called German Sand Cake. It is made with whipped cream, butter and lots of sliced almonds. The process of making this cake is interesting. You actually whip the cream with the eggs and the sugar, add the flour. Then this goes in the oven and is baked halfway. And then you put a mixture of butter, almonds and sugar on top and finish baking it. I will share the recipe once I am finished converting it from grams to cups.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Best Burger in Denver

After our epic day of skiing we decided that we needed the best dinner ever! After searching for the best burger in Denver, CO we settled on the number one spot Highland Tap and Burger. We ate around 7 and this place was hopping! And the food was amazing! Maybe the best burger ever!
This was the burger page of the menu. I liked the menu because it wasn't overwhelming. There was one page for the burgers and one page for appetizers and other sandwiches. However the wine and beer menu, the big black one in the first photo, was about the size of a brick and six pages long.
There were 4 of us eating and 3 of us ordered the above Tap Burger. It was HTB's signature beef patty with Eli’s root beer pulled pork, “Mama’s Pilsner” onion ring, American cheese, cheddar cheese & the signature Tap Sauce which was sweet. My other roommate ordered seasoned Rosen Colorado ground lamb, Haystack Mtn. goat cheese, Tomato Mint Relish and a baby argula salad. She said it was delicious!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Colorado Adventures

My first adventure in Colorado was attending orientation at The Broadmoor. However we are not allowed to take pictures of the inside of The Broadmoor---only the outside property....which I have not done yet so I am going to share with you my second Colorado adventure. Ski Cooper. Yesterday we drove 3 hours to ski on the best snow that I have ever skied!
 This is what the drive looked like! Blue skies and white topped mountains!
This is what it looked like once we got there. The trees were all frosted pines and the parking lot was covered in snow. The coolest part about Ski Cooper was that they do not make any snow! All the snow was fresh powder. The runs were also long and untouched! Half the trail was groomed, and the other half was powder! Beautiful! They also have a nordic ski center---which I'm sure is great! I would be interested to go back and try those trails.
This is what one of the runs looked like! Very few people and fresh snow! At 11,000 feet what more could you want!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Denver Airport

Traveling across the middle America has been an exciting journey, and it's time for DD's return home as AM begins the next phase in her culinary training! The final leg of this cross country journey was a surprising 90 minute drive from Colorado Springs to Denver to fly DD back east. Surprising b/c Colorado Springs had virtually no snow and b/c of how much snow had been cleared and melted as we drove closer to what was the "eye of the storm" less than 36 hours prior! The roads were absolutely clear, thanks to the highway crew; amazing really! It seemed like the storm was just a dream on this clear, bright, blue Colorado morning!

DIA is a HUGE airport! DD was a little overwhelmed by its grandness! The airport is nothing shy of a community in-and-of itself! But thanks to AM's hybrid, we were able to park just feet away from my check in point which meant she could join me inside and see DD off! It's a good thing too b/c security wouldn't allow DD to take AL's sterling silver butter knife on the plane;-)

Phantom Canyon Brewery

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co is a restaurant, brewing company, and so much more! Throughout their 18 years in business, they have received high acclaim for their beers. DD/The Red Queen thoroughly enjoyed the Queen's Blonde Ale which was mild and sweet with tones of malt and hops. Although the restaurant had an extensive menu, DD and AM decided to stick with traditional pub food! DD enjoyed an amazing fish & chips with a side of slaw, amazing! AM enjoyed mac 'n cheese with caramelized apples and pears, brie, and walnuts; exquisite, and surprisingly not rich at all! The historic building and the warm & welcoming staff (hostess, bartender, servers) provided a wonderful atmosphere and experience. The restaurant is located in the historic Cheyenne Building that was renovated in 1909.  The bar itself is testimony to the building's age and is in pristine condition! A must for anyone visiting or living in the area!


After hundreds of miles of what seemed a vacuum in time on Rt. 96 

AM wonders, 

"Is there any wildlife in Kansas?"

Yes! DD thinks it was a possum, but, it was dark and all she could see were its tiny eyes glowing as it prepared to scurry across the  highway! 

...and possum wasn't the only thing scurrying across the road.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I'm sorry I left out a whole day of traveling before we got to Colorado Springs. Well, we drove through Kansas...all day. It looked like this. I don't want to drive through Kansas again anytime soon. Maybe in 5 months...

Kansas City Eats

For various reasons....a small blizzard in Denver has delayed our posts from our journey. I will try my best to catch up! We left off in Kansas City, MO. We had a luxurious stay in Kansas City, MO and topped it off by having dinner at The Westside Local. I found this restaurant off of a Things To Do in Kansas City site. Boy were they right! This restaurant was quite the find. If you find yourself in Kansas City I would recommend making a reservation. Not only was the food phenomenal, so was the service!
I apologize for the dark photo but this is what you could see from the outside. Just a quaint welcoming facade that was filled with warmth and good food. The tables were varied, ours was set up with one side being a bench with pillows and the other side were chairs. We enjoyed our meal so much that we forgot to take a photo until the end. We started with a mixed cheese plate with dried cherry compote, baguette, seasonal fruit, and onion thyme jam. Then we had an arugula salad with bacon, maytag, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and buttermilk dressing. For our entree we had mussels with spanish chorizo, cilantro, tomato, jalapeƱos, lime, red onion on grilled baguette.
We were stuffed by the end of it, but I really wanted to hear what they had for dessert. After listening to the wonderful options I decided we would have to endure and have dessert. We ordered the pomegranate panna cota with a ginger creme anglaise and candied orange rind.
The following morning, we were still stuffed. However before deciding that we could safely leave town and avoid the thunderstorms, tornadoes and snow storm, we stopped at a small bakery right around the corner from our hotel. MeMa's is an Old Fashioned Bakery known for their English Walnut Povitica and cinnamon rolls. We shared this scrumptious cinnamon bun! I think the picture describes how it tasted! Big, gooey and amazing!

We were in transit when we ate it, but I think my dashboard made a nice make shift photo booth. After devouring this cinnamon bun, we continued out adventure and landed in Colorado Springs safe from all weather disasters that took place that day!