Departing for Hong Kong

I am heading to Hong Kong today to visit my friend Phil who moved there a few months ago. I cannot wait for him to show me around! And eat dumplings of course!!! He had a few things he wanted me to bring to him so in my suit case you can find boxed mashed potatoes, gap clothes, homemade cookies from his mom in Washington, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and razors. I hope they don’t have to search my bag…

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Guac on Guac on Guac

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Since my company has three offices in Boston, Lucerne, and Denver they created “kickoff” to bring us all together once a year. At this conference we have workshops, talk about future goals, past successes etc, and get to know each other. Mexico was lots of talking, drinking, eating, dancing, and no sleeping—literally. On the last night my groups flight was at 7:00 am so our bus transfer picked us up at 3:30 which meant an all-nighter. My main focus these past two days has been sleep. I’m just not as young as I once was…

Below are photos of Tulum! Here we all split into groups and were each assigned a Mayan sign. My group was water. You can see us attempting to act water out below.

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Follow me on Twitter @Pilots_Daughter

Who Needs Electricity to Cook a Turkey

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but ever since I got a nine to five job (I’m still in denial about this) taking a vaca during Thanksgiving seems to happen each year. Which makes sense though because you can get five days off for the price of two. This year I am headed to Hong Kong and Vietnam and I am so excited. With that said I was pretty bummed to miss Thanksgiving and I really wanted to host this year so I decided to have Thanksgiving at my place Halloween weekend. I was pretty pumped and really wanted to make everything. The only thing I allowed people to help me with was the stuffing, apps, and wine. This was also my first time making a turkey. The turkey involved the first lesson I learned; turkeys come frozen. Now that I think about how early you start seeing the turkeys in  store I realize that was a pretty blonde moment but it just didn’t occur to me. Lucky enough thouhg when I was talking about cooking and that I was planning on buying the turkey the day before my friends informed me that that isn’t enough time. It was Thursday so I bought the turkey that night and it had time to defrost. Phew first dilemma avoided.

Saturday rolled around and I was in the zone. I bought all the groceries and made the pumpkin pie and pumpkin whoopie pies. I was ready. I went to bed excited for the morning.

On Sunday I got up and cleaned and got the table and living room ready. Now it was time for prep. I made the sweet potatoes in the morning and was just planning on reheating them when I pulled out the Turkey. I had the green beans cleaned and good to go.I had the apple dumplings ready to throw in the oven when we were eating, I had the brussel sprouts cleaned and I got all other prep/meals ready/cooked/ready to be cooked—I had my shit together is what I am trying to say. It was finally time to put the turkey in. I took a photo of my beautiful first turkey popped it in the oven and was ready to relax.

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It had been about 45 minutes and I had turned the oven down and done the first basting when I was sitting on the couch enjoying an episode of Gilmore Girls when all of a sudden it sounded like a bomb when off and all of the electricity went out. My first thought was my oven had exploded. I walked into the kitchen and confirmed this thought was a dramatic thought since the oven and kitchen were still intact. I heard people talking outside my apartment so I slipped on my rain boots and ran out to find out what was going on. A transformer had blown and the entire apartment building was out of electricity. BUT WHAT ABOUT MY TURKEY?!?! I first called my dad and he said the electricity will probably be out for a while and it might be best to move the turkey. Then I called my sister and told her to make room I was on my way. I was still in my pj’s so I looked insane; picture me running down the street with a raw turkey, pj’s, and rain boots. It was a low point moment.

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I got the turkey in their oven and thankfully the electricity came back on an hour later so it was back to the car. Thanksgiving was only an hour late and everything was fabulous.

Check out my recipes below. I highly suggest the gravy but all the recipes were fabulous!

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Turkey and Gravy Recipe

Potato Recipe - for the potatoes, I didn’t peel then and I didn’t use a ricer. I instead just put the boiled potatoes in my kitchen add and whipped them in there.

Sweet Potato Recipe- I followed this recipe but used the extra link too. I added sprigs of rosemary in between the potatoes but not all of them.

       Extra for sweet potatoes

Green beans Recipe

Brussel Sprouts

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Pie - I didn’t use grated hazelnut in the paste because I didn’t have it, instead I just used nutmeg.

Apple Dumplings

Denver Eater: Interview with Sean Huggard from Humboldt

SEAN HAGGARD

(Photo credit: Adam Larkey)

Taking over a space that once was a three decade old iconic establishment can be a task tough to tackle but Humboldt: Farm, Fish, Wine seems to have filled those shoes. Opening in the spot that was once Strings on 17th Street, the restaurant that is part of Concept Restaurantsis celebrating its one-year anniversary this month and it seems ready for many more to come.

The kitchen is run by chef DJ Nagle who, like operations manager Sean Huggard, is a seafood lover. Though the restaurant does not label itself a seafood restaurant, it does serve an expansive seafood selection, including oysters grown exclusively for Humboldt. Besides the seafood, the restaurant focuses on serving a menu that makes it a neighborhood eatery with items like the burger that just won Westword‘s best burger award. Eater talked to manager Sean Huggard about construction, pressures of opening in the former Strings spot, and more.

The rest of the interview…

Follow me on Twitter @Pilots_Daughter

Coolest Hot Springs Ever

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About a month ago now, I had my first experience with back packing. I never imagined that carrying one night’s worth of stuff would be hard but I was wrong. Luckily on the way back I had lost some weight in wine, cheese, sausage, pumpkin bars, etc. Clearly I might not be an official backpacker considering I “had” to bring all of those items but even now looking back I would have carried them again.  Tthe pumpkin bars though, that is kind of a funny story, let me explain. I thought, how perfect would a pumpkin bar be while camping? Amazing! So the night before I left I was running behind and started baking at 10 pm when I was getting up at 3 am to leave. I was rushing through the recipe and then popped then in the oven to bake. I took them out 30 minutes later and they look amazing. I let them cool and packed them up. I decided, though I don’t normally, I should try one now. Thank goodness I did. I took my first bite and immediately felt a burn on the back my throat and thought, well I bought new cloves maybe that is it? But the burn intensified and in about 30 seconds my entire mouth was on fire. What the heck?! Then I looked at my spice jars…I had accidently grabbed the cayenne pepper jar instead of the cinnamon jar. Worst baking fail ever. I was in such denial I actually still planned on packing them. I realized that when you are camping water is scarce because you have to filter it so the idea of feeding people cayenne pepper bars I decided was cruel. I sadly left them in my fridge thinking I really hope my roommate doesn’t try them.

For this hike I had the hook up; it might be my commitment issues or maybe just that I am cheap but I didn’t want to buy anything for the hike because I thought maybe this will be a one time think. My friend Alyssa had my back: clothes, sleeping bag, sleeping pillow, sleeping pad, back pack, head lamp…like I said the hook up. She even made me a survival kit that had bandaids, paper you can write on even if its wet, coffee, and of course vodka.

I guess I should finally tell you which hike it was, the conundrum hike to the hot springs, which was 8.5 miles each way. I knew it would be tough but man the last mile was rough. When we got to the camp site it was like seeing heaven.  We set up our tents and then headed to the hot springs; the entire reason for doing this hike. This is when the sausage, cheese, and wine came into play. There was a rock that we used as a table and we called it “appetizer island.” Everyone in the springs gave us some interesting looks but once we offered them a taste they understood why appetizer island must become a “thing” at the springs from now on. I could not imagine sitting in the one of the worlds highest natural hot springs without munster cheese washed down with malbec…could you?

I ended up with bruised hips from the backpack and blisters on my feet but it was all worth it for the view of the sky at night so far from city lights. I have never seen anything like it.


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Follow me on Twitter @Pilots_Daughter

Denver Eater: Interview with Shannon Jones from Linger

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Photo credit: Adam Larkey

Sannon Jones, the general manager of Linger, wants every diner to have expectations before dining —high expectations. She aims to give diners what they deserve. Jones found her way into the Edible Beats family, the group that owns Linger, when she applied to be a server atRoot Down. From her impressive resume,  owner Justin Cucci knew her skills would better benefit his management team. Jones brought her corporate hospitality skills to Linger to handle the large staff in 2011. You can find her on the floor many nights out of the week, on the rooftop patio in the summer, or sharing her positive attitude with her staff. Eater talked to Shannon about her past, reviews that Linger has received, and her team.

The rest of the interview

Follow me on Twitter @Pilots_Daughter