The Bunny Hop

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a day filled with sun, friends and of course a cadbury egg.

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I put a little oil in the dye this year. The eggs looked like Yoshi eggs!


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Take two on the cake. Turned out much better this year.

(Check out last years cake and you will see what I am talking about)

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Henry was the Easter bunny.

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New Activities

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When I moved out to Colorado I realized how active one person can be. The average person living in Denver either is incredibly active or knows someone who is. If they think of any sport you can possibly do in the winter time then at least one person they know is very passionate about that sport and does it every weekend; skiing, ice climbing etc. If they think of any sport you can possibly do in the summer then at least one person they know is very passionate about that sport and does it every weekend; hiking, mountain biking, climbing, etc. With all this “activeness” I realized there was a lot more “stuff” to do out there then I imagined. Take snowshoeing for example, the most I had heard about it was from Kirsten my sister’s American Girl doll she had when we were kids. In the books that came with her it describes them as real people and Kirsten and her family snowshoed. It was one of her accessories you could buy. I must say Kirsten and her family were on to something because I went snowshoeing for the first time with some friends in Rocky Mountain National Park last weekend and it was awesome.

The weather was perfect; it was warm the sun was out. We started at Beaver Lake then stopped at Nymph Lake and then finally Dream Lake before we turned around. Seriously so fun!

The night before  snowshoeing we stayed in the city and had dinner at a little Idian restaurant called Nepal. If you are looking for Estes Park dinner suggestions then my number one suggestion would be Nepal. It is owned by am adorable Nepalese family. The food was delicious. The restaurant is decorated in things all Mount Everest and the dad of the family, who we were lucky enough to have as our server, will tell you all about his experience climbing the mountain at age 60.

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Bear Lake

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Dream Lake

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We also enjoyed some great views of wild elk. Even one decided to cross the road in front of us.

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Spring Has Sprung

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It is really starting to feel like spring has arrived in Denver. I find there is an extra pep in my step in the morning when I walk out my door into the sunshine and warm air. When I think of a spring dessert any fruit involved dessert comes to mind. Hence the mini fruit tarts. One of my old roommates from college and Denver was in town this past week so I felt it was fitting to make these as welcome back to Denver treat. They were so so good! I have added them to my Easter menu so if you are looking for something delicious and adorable make these.

Tart shell recipe

Pastry cream recipe

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Side note: For dinner tonight we had asparagus risotto and grilled chicken. I added an egg yolk to mine and it was so tasty. The risotto was rich with flavor from the cheese, wine, and chicken stock and the asparagus added a light flavor. This could also be added to an Easter menu too…just sayin.

Asparagus risotto recipe

Risotto

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We Day California!

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On Tuesday I got to go to Oakland to celebrate We Day California!! Not sure what that is? Here is how the site describes it:

What is We Day?

We Day is an educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day is tied to the yearlong We Act program, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.

My company, EF Educational Tours, is partnering with Me to We and selling their tours in the US. So we got to go and see what We Day is all about. We got a sneak peak of the stage being set up the day before.

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We went out for dinner in the Berkeley area at Gather.  I had my first vieux carre cocktail, which I loved, and another first was beef tartare, which I also loved. The beef was so fresh and light with an egg yolk on the side that made it so creamy, smooth, and delicious. We also ordered a pizza that had spicy tomatoes  olives, capers, chili oil, parsley, and the kicker cashew puree. I was very skeptical to order this pizza because of my love affair with cheese and I didn’t think anything could act as a cheese replacement, but I can now say I was wrong. While I’m not saying I will stray very far from my cheese pizzas but the cashew puree really was delicious and the pizza was full of flavors.

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Below are some pictures of We Day and some of the speakers.

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EF employees giving away our free trip.

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Orlando Bloom!!!

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Founding brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger

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EF staff  :)

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Irish in Denver

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Happy St. Patty’s Day! I hope everyone wore green today, had some corned beef, and drank a Guinness. Denver celebrated St. Patty’s day this weekend so my friends and I set out on the town for some good ole Irish drinking on Saturday.

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On actual St. Patty’s Day though I celebrated with Irish food. Well American Irish food that is. Most of you probably don’t know but corned and cabbage actually originated in New York. The traditional Irish stew that adapted in the states originally had pork and potatoes in it. Pork was pretty expensive in the states so beef became the alternative and cabbage was also a cheaper option for the Irish families.

Into the crock pot it went. Most amazing kitchen equipment ever; put vegetables and meat in a pot and let it cook all day so you have an amazing meal waiting for you when you get home.

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Irish Soda Bread Recipe

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DStill and The Irish

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(The Golden Moon Distillery and Breckenridge Distillery table)

Last night marked the start of two things: DStill and St. Patty’s Day week countdown. DStill is a week long event for small batch distilleries. I figured tasting whisky, gin, absinthe, and vodka were something the Irish would appreciate.

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(The Green Russell bar)

Here are two recipes if you are thinking of making something Irish this week!

butter

Irish butter

potatoe

Potato and leek gratin

Three Birthdays For the Price of One

Like I have mentioned before in previous post February was filled with birthdays for me. This post starts with my sister’s birthday. A group of friends got together to surprise her …

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We had drinks and appetizers at Humboldt – Farm – Fish – Wine. I really like this place and I really enjoy their oysters too. They have fresh shucked oysters that are from their own East coast farm. If you enjoy oysters go try them out.

Next was my dad’s birthday. Now his actual birthday was in December but he messed up his schedule so it was postponed till February…

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I had some friends in town so before we headed to Copper Mountain for the birthday celebration we hit up some breweries. This is at Prost; one of my absolute favorites!

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I made my dad Julia Child’s classic chocolate almond cake. Once again this cake didn’t disappoint. Julia knew what she was doing.

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Last but not least it was my new roommate Eric’s birthday last Thursday. He has lived with me for a month now and does not want to move out; he might be a keeper. I made him German chocolate cake. Which is not actually from Germany but was created in the US in 1852 by a baker named Sam German. Eric knew this fact already; he is for sure a keeper…

ALSO I FINALLY HAVE MY KITCHEN AID MIXER BACK!!! NO MORE WHIPPING EGG WHITE BY HAND!!!!!

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The Birthdays Continue…

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This post is about my best friends 27th birthday! For Allegra’s birthday dinner I was in charge of the appetizer and dessert. Her sister was making a curry for dinner so I made a new app, firecracker shrimp, that I have never tried before. It was seriously easy and so good. This is the perfect appetizer if you are looking for something new. Full of flavor with a good kick at the end.

For dessert I made a berry cake that I made before for my sister’s bachelorette party; this time though it was a more appropriate shape if you catch my drift.

Firecracker Shrimp Recipe

Berry Cake Recipe (I did not put rose water in the frosting)

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(Allegra with her sister and nephews)

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Acorn: The Perfect Birthday Present

When I first decided I wanted to be a food writer it was because of my love of food. Whether it be McDonalds,  airplane food, or a five star restaurant I had a simple respect for all food. I hate to admit it but I am starting to become more picky. I find myself eating at restaurants being disappointed or thinking to myself I could have made this better. I really hate that because I feel like I have lost a part of my food innocence. Now I’m older more mature and experienced with my food trying’s and I just can’t have the same respect for all foods. It’s almost like being young and liking a boy for the first time. When you are young you’ll put up with anything, bad kisser who drools on you, someone who never calls; you get where I am going but now I have standards. Don’t worry I still love airplane food. With that said Acorn brought me back to my food youth. If you are looking for the best dinner in Denver you have to eat at Acorn. Last Thursday my sister took my brother-in-law to Acorn for his birthday dinner and I got to tag along. It was incredible.

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I was blown away. My taste buds were wowed it was that good. Let me paint you a little picture of how our meal went. It was like we ate all over the world. We ordered six small plates then one large plate. After a MOMO RiNo cocktail got me going we began with the  crispy egg and applewood smoke bacon salad. It was covered in shaved cheese which had a smoky flavor to it. Next came the ricotta gnudi. It was a more dense pillow like dumpling with the most light wild mushroom sauce. It was light then heavy then light again. Your mind was blown with every bite. Then we had the tomato braised meatballs, the lamb swarma, that had a tzatziki sauce that made me feel like I was back in Greece, and we finished out meat round with the oak smoked duck breast. Just when we thought we were full the Nantucket bay scallop crudo “new style” was put on our table. Raw scallops chopped up and topped with brown butter, chives, and radish. They were so sweet and succulent and so refreshing. As soon as you would swallow, you would immediately need another bite to get that flavor and gentle texture back in your mouth.

We ordered the tender belly pork porterhouse for our large plate and it was just as tasty as the rest. It was surrounded by Yukon gold potatoes, yellow foot mushrooms and tons of shishito peppers.

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(I apologize for any blurry pictures, it was too good to take the time to focus the camera)

Dinner ended with a butterscotch pudding as a suggestion by our waiter. Our waiter was just as amazing. Not pretentious but very real and of course knowledgeable and was able to give real suggestions.

I don’t have one bad thing to say. If you are hungry go to Acorn now.

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