Pumpkin Pumpkin Everywhere!

I am one of those true believers in pumpkin this time of year.  I literally think adding pumpkin to any recipe makes it better.  I’ve entered pumpkin adding season and made my first pumpkin dessert last weekend.  Pumpkin bread pudding topped with vanilla creme anglaise—an incredible recipe for autumn.  Each bite is moist and soft, packed with a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin flavor.  The flavors then hit the cool vanilla creme and there is a small choir singing “alleluia” on your taste buds.  Seriously simple, all you do is mix the ingredients to make the custard, then pour it over day old bread chunks.  How much easier can it get?

Stay tuned for more pumpkin recipes but in the meantime take a look a some old ones like my pumpkin whoopi pie recipe and pumpkin spice cake with pumpkin cream cheese frosting. 


Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe

Vanilla Creme Anglaise Recipe

*I substituted 2 tsp vanilla for the vanilla bean in the recipe.

Warming the cream and vanilla for the creme anglaise.

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Falling for Fall

Colorado has been great for many reasons, but one of my favorites has been hiking.  A couple of weekends ago my roommate and a couple of friends and I went to Aspen for the weekend.  We were staying with my friends Aunt and Uncle who wanted to wine and dine us all weekend—I won’t argue with that.  It was amazing.  Relaxing, wine drinking and cheese eating weekend.  It was also the perfect time of year because the aspen trees were changing colors so it made for an icredible hike in the little town of Redfern. It was so picturesque the whole time that it was almost impossible to put the camera down.  We hiked and then enjoyed a lovely cheese, sausage and pear picnic.  I think that was the exact moment that I fell in love with Colorado.
We also got to enjoy the Aspen Farmer’s Market as well.  Rows of beautiful booths filled with produce, pastries and more.  They have peppers in a hatch rotary roasting contraption that was interesting.  With the mountains in the background its hard to imagine a better farmers market.
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Hypothetical: The Official Denver Hot Dog

Check out my first blog post on 5280.com.  It is about one of the things I am very passionate about…hot dogs. When I moved to Denver, I immediately thought, hmm why doesn’t Denver have a Denver dog? So I took on the challenge and found what would be the hypothetical amazing Denver hot dog.  Now I’ll just have to work on making it official.

Munich- Best Pretzels and Beer

Our trip came to end in Munich.  Even though it  meant the trip was over, we were so excited to get there because everyone we had to talked to about Munich said it was one of their favorite places. We of course took a train because in Europe that is an easy and cheap way to get from country to country.

We had an interesting adventure with the trains this time around.  We were sleeping on the train because that was our designated sleeping time, or so it seemed it was the only time we were able to get some shut eye.  The train came to a stop and we didn’t move because we knew we had about another hour before we were supposed to arrive.  Then some older couples started pounding on our windows and screaming something in German at us. In a panic we grabbed our things and got off the train.  We then realized where we were, which was the middle of no-where-farm-town Germany, and that the train would not go any further.  There was an accident on the track and they were sending buses to take us to Munich.  We let the first bus go without pushing and shoving to get on, but quickly realized that there was probably only one more bus coming and way more people than space on the bus so we pushed and shoved and I had the door close on me. I screamed and frantically made my way on. No way was I going to be left behind. This was a public transportation bus so we had to stand/sit on the steps the rest of the way. But it made for a good story and in the end we got to Munich only and hour late.

After settling into our hotels we immediately went out and headed toward the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Marienplatz and then stopped in for a beer at the famous Hofbräuhaus house. We walked around a bit more and then went to the absolute best thing we did in Munich, Mike’s Bike Tour.  It was beyond fun.  The guide was hilarious, personable, and we learned a lot of history and saw some amazing sites.  My favorite building was the Bayerische Staatskanzlei which is the state agency of the German Free State of Bavaria, and the appendant builidng, aka where Merkel gets stuff done.  The center part of the building is the former Bavarian Army Museum, and was demolished in WW II.  There are bullet holes in the pillars of the part of the building that was able to be salvaged.  The building was rebuilt with glass to represent transparency.

We stopped for a snack aka amazing pretzel and beers.  In the beer garden in Englischer Garten, which is bigger than Central Park.  They served a cheese dip with the pretzel’s that our guide could only describe as an “angel taking a dump in your mouth, that’s how good it is.”  Sorry if that was too graphic.  We went home and changed to go out for the evening.  We went to the hostel across from us to have some drinks then went to another hostel called Euro Hostel just because it was next door and to our surprise it was amazing.  The décor first off was awesome and sophisticated and a ton of people from all over.  Then we hit the town and went to a few clubs.

 The next morning we woke and headed to the first concentration camp, Dachau, in Germany.  It was a very intense experience.  To lighten the mode we headed back to Englischer Garten and went in the man made river, Eisbach.  They even created a wave, so you can see the surfers of Munich.  It is flowing and about five feet deep and so cold, but so fun!  We thought, key word thought this was our last night, so we went to another famous beer house Augustiner Keller for dinner.  We did a little beer pub hopping and ended the night back at Euro Hostel.

We got up the next morning with the idea that we were getting home.  To our surprise, my friend Caitlin and I were shocked when I only got a seat.  We panicked and gave up my seat since we didn’t want to split up.  Really smart, not.  Since we are flying standby you should always split up because tomorrow there could also only be one seat, so take a seat when you get it is the moral of the story.  We went back in to Munich and went to Olympic park.  A few of our friends were still there for one more night so luckily we got to stay on their floor for the night.  We got out the next day thank god, but it was pretty stressful, lots of running thorugh the airport and holding up the planes.

We made it to Charleston 24 hours later, tired, ready for bed, but once again planning our next trip…flying standby.

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