Camping Baked Goods


When I go camping I always want to bring a baked good. Actually whenever I’m going anywhere I want to bring a bake good so this isn’t that different. I decided to make something for breakfast and dessert when we went camping in Telluride in August (Telluride post to follow). I wanted to bake something that I hadn’t baked before and something kind of simple but fun—a pop tart was the winner. I made peach because that was in season and cinnamon brown sugar because that is one of my favorites. The recipe was an easy one and the end results were so cute—it was like adult pop tarts!



For dessert it was a no-brainer …s’mores. Instead of individual s’mores I decided to go bigger and make one large s’mores bar. Basically you put graham cracker batter at the bottom of a square pan then layer chocolate bars and marshmallow fluff and then seal it with the batter again and bake—bonfire camping heaven.

Soup’s On


Sunday I brought out my large-and-in-charge dutch oven to make one of my favorite soups— Italian wedding soup! This recipe is from the amazing Ina Garten and therefore obviously creates an incredible soup that is so flavorful and hearty. I would also suggest making it a few hours before serving so it has time to sit and the flavors to marry. This will be a frequent soup on my stove this winter!P1580595

Prost to Oktoberfest!


Oktoberfest is in full swing right now! It is currently day 14 of Oktoberfest in Munich and there are two days left. In Colorado there have been multiple celebrations from Denver’s Oktoberfest on Larimer that was the last two weekends in September, South Pearl Street’s Oktoberfest, to ones in the mountains like Breckenridge’s Oktoberfest; which is the one I attended! It was a day filled with drinking of Hefeweizen and Märzen that spilled over into the night. With two more days till the taps run dry in Munich make sure to join in on the celebration to get yourself a stein, brat, and pretzel to close out the celebration!






Here is my most recent post for the Equator.


The Coordinates
Almost smack-dab in the middle of Brazil is Goiânia, the 11th largest city in the country, located 15 hours northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Like many cities in Brazil, on Sunday afternoon you’ll find families gathered around one of the country’s most popular dishes, a pot of Feijoada ─ a traditional Portuguese black bean stew with smoked meats.

The rest of the post…

A Day Trip from San Jose


(Opera San Jose)

Even though I really only had one free day in Costa Rica I really wanted to go up to Monteverde. I wanted to do the canopy tour and go zip lining. Unfortunately with it being off season in September and it being about a five hour drive I wasn’t able to make it happen this trip. Excuse to go back? What I was able to fit in with the season and my time frame was a day tour just outside of San Jose. My pick up was at 5:55 am (rough I know) and we went to Doka Estate, Poás Volcano, and La Paz Waterfall and then I was dropped back off at my hotel by 5 pm. Long day but it was a great way to see a little more and not have to navigate myself.


When the fog cleared you could see in the crater.

We stopped on the side of the road to try queso palmita which is a salty soft farm cheese and strawberries.

At the waterfall there is a facility that has rescued Costa Rican wildlife and we got to check them out! Toucan Sam is pictured below.



After getting back to my hotel I walked down the pedestrian mall, which was right behind my hotel, to the Mercado Central. This market is great and has lots of shops; from food to touristy places you can find it all.


For dinner I met a coworker in Barrio Escalante and had dinner at El Patio then headed over to the Costa Rica Beer Factory for a drink. That area is really cool and I would highly suggest it if you ever visit. Another restaurant we went to the previous night was Cafe Mundo. The food didn’t blow me out of the water but it was an old colonial house which was pretty neat.

Pura Vida—as  you will hear all the time if you visit!

Yum in the Tum

The best thing I ate in Costa Rica was chifijo (pictured below) and from what I heard this is the most classic Costa Rican dish you could try. It is composed of chicharrón, which is crispy fried pork, regular pork, beans, rice and then topped with chimichurrri (which tasted exactly like pico de gallo to me). The ingredients are how you get the name; CHI from chicharrón and FIJO from frijol or beans. I am including this fact because everyone is  quick to tell you that detail because the name is actually patented by the creator Miguel Angel Araya Cordero and it was a dramatic process. He is also the owner of the restaurant chain called Cordero where you can find the original chifijo. The crunch and saltiness from the pork paired with the freshness of the pico, I mean chimichurri, was perfect! You’ll find this staple boca (bar food) at bars because it is meant to be paired with a nice cold Imperial.


Do You Want To Go To Costa Rica Next Week?


That is the question that I was asked on Friday the week before Labor Day. My obvious answer was “Yes, Yes I can!” Logistics were looked over that weekend and then I booked my flight on Monday and got on the plane on Wednesday. I spent two days in San Jose and spent two days up at the Buena Vista Lodge in Guanacaste. Here we had a post season meeting with the local guides, about 35. But it wasn’t all work but also some play. We had an evening to say “thank you” to our Costa Rica staff which was thermal spas, dinner, and salsa dancing! This event was amazing. The staff here are so close and are like family. They were great to talk to about Costa Rican life as forgiving when they tried to teach me how to dance salsa or merengue.



We rode a tractor down from the lodge to the spas. First we sat in the sauna, then covered ourselves in mud and let that dry, then washed it off and relaxed in the different temperatures of spa.



San Fran for Some Food…


On our way home after our weekend in Sonoma we made sure to book a late departure of 6 pm so we had time to hang in San Francisco. What we really ended up doing was eating our way around the city. We took a one minute pit stop to take a picture at the Golden Gate Bridge and then headed for soup dumplings.


We went to Yank Sing in the financial district and the dim sum was awesome! The vinegar and ginger served with the soup dumplings were the key to the perfect experience! We walked through the Ferry Building after to work off some of the food before heading to our next stop.


Though I love dumplings I was more excited to go to Swan Oyster Depot. We were lucky and didn’t have much of a wait, I would say about 25 minutes. This was probably because we went at  3 pm on a Tuesday. When we got sat at the long bar I was in heaven. The ambiance is the perfect casual yet elegant because you are eating amazing seafood. We had oysters, clam chowder, crab fat, Sicilian sashimi, and of course bread and butter. I think these were the best oysters I have ever had in my life. So fresh and exactly how they should taste; like the ocean. Another favorite was the Sicilian sashimi; zesty, oceany, salty with the capers, creamy from the oil, seriously heaven in your mouth. Everything about Swans was amazing. DO NOT MISS if you are in San Francisco but be prepared for a much longer line if you go on the weekends.



Drinking and Running from Napa to Sonoma


I ran the Napa to Sonoma half marathon on July 19th. Though this was my second half I technically consider it my first. This is because my first one I ran my senior spring semester of college and let’s just say my extra curricular activities cough drinking cough kept me from performing at my best. That and I only trained for three weeks. This time though I almost did it right. I tried to follow a three month training schedule but didn’t do as well with that either since my longest run I completed was nine miles. But that was enough! I ran this race without stopping and it was awesome! Well till the last three miles, those dragged, but the first 10 were great! Beautiful scenery and great company. I ran the Napa to Sonoma half marathon with my friend Shana, sister Kara, and brother-in-law John. If you are looking for your next (or first!) half marathon this should be it!

The obvious perk of choosing a destination such as wine country is the wine. After we crossed the finish line, caught our breath, and drank water, we were given wine glasses to start tasting. By 10 am, we had ran 13.1 miles and already tasted four different types of wine. My body was very confused.


After a few glasses of wine we realized a nap was necessary so headed back to our Airbnb. After that we picked up right where we left of; we headed to Gloria Ferrer where my sister got married for some sparking wine flights.



After our sparkling wine we headed into Napa for happy hour and had some amazing cockatils at Mercantile Social followed by dinner at Oenotri. Our bodies were very ready for rest when we got home that evening.

When we woke up the next morning I was so excited. No more running to worry about but an entire day focused around drinking wine! This was the day we had planned a wine tasting in the Russian River which is known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We had hired a van and had three vineyards to go to. Before that though we started the day in the Sonoma Square at the Sonoma Bakery and I had my first cronut experience. Flaky, buttery, creamy from the filling is all that comes to mind. Yes, it was good.

First stop was Thomas Georges Estates. My absolute favorite and I would say a must see! We had a tour and below are pictures of concrete eggs which are used to ferment the wine. The concrete gives the wine a different flavor than oak barrels.


The van we hired had cheese and crackers for us in between the wineries. I would say this plate was gone in about 42 seconds after this picture was taken.


The second stop was Gary Farrell Winery. Here we had a cheese pairing with each wine and a killer view. The terrace over looked the valley.



After the second stop we realized the cheese plate wasn’t enough and we needed more food; because we were hungry and we needed something to soak up the liquid. We stopped at the Oakville Grocery  in Healdsburg and I got the chicken gruyere sandwich. It had rotisserie chicken, balsamic onion, pancetta, gruyere, with a dijon aioli on a sour baguette. That sandwich was the best. I thought it was maybe just the wine talking but now that I am thinking about it again it wasn’t the wine, the sandwich was just that good.


The final stop was Stryker Sonoma Winery. Nice vineyard and great view of the vines. We headed back to our place and ended up getting Mexican take out for dinner. A great way to end a wine tour day.