Frozen Foods

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These are three snacks I love keeping stocked in  my freezer when it’s warmer outside.  Something sweet, something salty, and something sour.  And apparently all green.

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Green grapes easily turn into the perfect frozen treat when washed and put into snack baggies for easy transfer from freezer to pool bag.  You may not eat edamame frozen (or at least I don’t), but I always have a bag in my freezer.  I prefer the edamame in the shell at snack time, because after a  quick boil, a small sprinkle of sea salt, and a few minutes to cool down under cold water, they completely satisfy my craving for a salty, butter bite.  I’m a huge fan of all popsicles, but at home you’ll almost never find our freezer without a box of Lemon and/or Lime popsicles.  They make my sour taste buds very happy (my favorite are dryers outshine bars).

Happy Snacking!

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Walk to Breakfast

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I love being able to get around this town by foot, and living in an area that really allows us to do so.  Last Sunday we took advantage of the sunny, but brisk weather, and walked to the Mayor of Old Town with two good friends of ours, for a casual breakfast and cocktails.   This was my first time having breakfast at the Mayor, and after trying the Sweet and Savory breakfast sandwich, I must say I’m a huge fan.  It’s maybe one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve had.  It kinda reminded be of a more sophisticated Mcgriddle (those little suckers use to always get me on morning car trips on our way to the mountains for snowboarding) but this one had much better ingredients (of course) and didn’t leave me feeling greasy.   The guys had phenomenal B&G (biscuits and gravy) which I couldn’t help but steal bites from.  The delicious bloody marys, served with a shot of locally brewed porter, were just icing on the cake, or maybe I should say they just spiced up the morning.

The best mornings are those spent slowly, in good company, with good food.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend filled with both. (and getting your green ready!)

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Umami, a Local Eatery on Wheels

UmamiTruckI finally got to try one of our local food trucks! It was a delicious experience.  I had seen Umami parked in front of my favorite breweries many times before, I just never got an opportunity to give it a go until recently.  Even though I wasn’t very hungry I couldn’t resist trying the Thai Nachos with pork, and the Edamame tossed in soy ginger and sea salt.  This was kind of a food truck teaser, and reminder, that when the weather gets a bit warmer, to go hunt down a Fort Collin’s food truck.  I definitely will be back to Umami, wherever the Avion may be parked, to try their Bahn Mi Sandwich! Yum!

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415

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It is always fun to show friends or family from out of town around Fort Collins.  This past week my cousin met several of his friends here in Colorado, and we invited them to stay with us for a few days.  Like us they all appreciated amazing food and good drinks so entertaining them was easy in a town that offers a lot of both.   Restaurant 415 is a newer restaurant to Fort Collins, but its reputation for fresh, delicious, & creative dishes has made it one of my must share restaurants with visitors.  Plus it’s unique to Fort Collins, and the kitchen uses ingredients that are locally sourced.

The menu has so many options that make my mouth water, making decisions can almost be impossible.  I was delighted when the entire table agreed we had to try my recommendation of the Papa’s pizza as an appetizer, it never disappoints.   We all ordered a different sandwich off the menu, sharing bites, because choosing just one was very difficult.  I also just love a meal where food is shared as part of the experience of enjoying good company and excellent food.   However I was very happy with my order, the Provinçial, with added bacon of course. Yum. But each one was delicious in its own right…and affordable.  I may be back to visit, sans guests, sooner than later.

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In Our Kitchen

1. potstickers & edamame for dinner at a friend’s (she made quinua stir fry…delicious)
2. coucous (the dish so nice they named it twice) salad topped with sautéed chicken breast 
3. pre-roasted yellow tomatoes, garlic, onion & jalapeños with parsley & olive oil,
finished veggies were served over wild rice
4. veggie sautée
5. steak & bacon
6. finished steak & bacon + mashed sweet potatoes
7. pizza & wine…because somedays you just want to chill
8. roasted spaghetti squash + butter & bacon
9. spicy tomato & bell pepper shrimp over roasted garlic risotto + roasted cauliflower

I believe I have mentioned before the lack a light in our place (only a few dozen times).  Trying to take quality pictures with the Nikon in the kitchen often proves very frustrating.  The task of getting pictures of the food we cooked, became more consuming than the cooking itself (turns out having a tripod set up in the kitchen while your multitasking a meal can be stressful).  Needless to say it took some of the enjoyment out of cooking.  Because of this, I have been unable to share the amount of food I would like to, despite many efforts.   I really wanted to be able to share the wonderful foods, and recipes, we make and experiment with, however I don’t want to sacrifice the pleasure I get from cooking.  I have come up with a solution until we get a space with more natural light.  With the use of my iPad I will be documenting our weekly kitchen endeavors through a simple shots.  It will be fun for us to see our eating habits change with the seasons, or the contents of our fridge.  We are big on using what we have on hand, making a meal up as we go, so don’t be surprised if you see a few dishes that seem discombobulated.  I’ll still be doing more recipe specific blogs, but this will save me from feeling I have let too many wonderful meals go unacknowledged, and I can share even more food here.  Yay more food! Plus who doesn’t like food collages.

Still in Season

Feeling inspired by fruit today.  I want to incorporate fresh fruit into as many meals as possible for the next few weeks while everything is still in season!   Last night we had Apricot Mint Couscous that was killer.  I’m looking forward to my lunch leftovers already! We were too hungry, and the food was to good, so we didn’t slow down to take any photos.  But I promise it’s pretty amazing.  I added goat cheese and pine nuts to mine also.

This evening I’m going use the blueberries and cherries in our fridge to try out this new crumble crust.  (The pictures above were taken while making mini cobblers a few weeks ago).

How do you prefer your fruit? Savory or Sweet. Personally I can’t get enough of either.

Chocolate Covered Cheerios

{tiny treats}

Sometimes all you want is just a little something sweet, just enough to satisfy a late night sweet tooth or mid day sugar craving.  I got the idea to dip cheerios into chocolate while reading one my favorite, and one of the first blogs that hooked me, Cupcakes and Cashmere.  I admire the inspiration and beauty the blog’s author, Emily Schuman, can draw from her bright and detailed photography.  I saw this  post a while back but the notion of chocolate covered cereal stuck with me. I loved that the ones featured on Cupcakes and Cashmere looked like mini doughnuts, but I opted for a little less chocolate and a little less mess.  This also provided the perfect afternoon project do while spending the afternoon with my friend’s daughter Addy, who loves spending time with me in the kitchen almost as much as she loves being in our art room playing with glitter.  The marshmallows and sprinkles were an after thought because we had them, and color makes everything better.  The outcome was delicious and feed back from others has been enthusiastic, my same friend later found her younger son sneaking an unapproved late night snack of these little guys, but I guess what kid could resist this combination? I do believe they also brought out the easily evoked inner child of my boyfriend.  Enjoy!

 

A Little France in Fort Collins

{raisin and rum galette}

Most of my  St. Patty’s Day this year was spent working.  However, with this amazing streak of spring weather we have been experiencing, it is impossible not to find at least one excuse a day to get out and enjoy it.    Saturday morning was no exception.   My friend Alli and I walked downtown for breakfast at one of Fort Collin’s cutest and perhaps most deliciously indulgent breakfast spots, La Creperie.  We were able to get a spot in the window ideal for people watching, and because the St. Patty’s Day Parade was in full swing just down the block, there were lots of people and pups dressed in green to amuse us.  Our meal, which consisted of two decadent pastries, two raspberry nutella macaroons, and one very large and savory crêpe, was accompanied by live accordion music, making the whole experience more complete.  I also decided since I was already going all out to give in fully to the necessity of having a cappuccino with such a sweet meal (I’ve still been caffeine free since October, and this little cup gave me a kick!)  Meals like this, very slow, and focused on enjoying each sense, bring joy to me, and I always leave feeling spoiled.   From the visual beauty of the pastries in front of us to the freshly baked aromas that lingered around us, La Creperie is a little slice of European heaven, a perfect place to be reminded of the importance of slowing down and taking it all in.

{our apricot croissant}

{raspberry nutella macaroons}

{i can't even remember which crêpe we finally went with but it was delicious!}

{waiting to be taken home}