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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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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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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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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Happy Belated Birthday

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My mom turned 60 on November 29th of last year. My sister and I brought her out to Denver to stay with us for a weekend to celebrate this grand birthday. With December being busy and the New Year sneaking up on me my mom’s birthday post somehow got pushed aside. But alas it gets the glory it deserves. I of course had to make a dessert and this time I picked cream puffs. It is a recipe I’ve made before, which I try to avoid and get creative,  but I knew it was a favorite of my moms. If you want to impress a crowd with a recipe that took you no time and barely any ingredients make these. Seriously look at how fancy these look.

Cream Puff Recipe

For the filling I just whipped up some cream and then melted dark chocolate chips for the drizzle.

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This was what we had for our in-home birthday celebration but for our go out meal we went to Old Major. We had the winter squash soup, the squid, the ham and biscuits, smoked pork shank carbonara, the nose to tail plate, the cheesy anson mills grits, and the pork fat fries. I can barely breath just thinking about all this food. Everything was devine. The squash soup had so much flavor your taste buds screamed for more. The biscuits were light and fluffy in the ham and in biscuits and the cream eggy flavor was so rich in the carbonara. The nose to tail plate was like a treasure hunt and almost an experiment as we sat there urging each one of us to try the different kinds of meats.

We almost didn’t order the side of grits and boy oh boy I am glad we did. With out a doubt these were the best grits I have ever tasted. I am a midwest girl so that might not say much but I did live in South Carolina and tried all kinds of grits down there and the grits from Old Major are the big league. You took a bite and tasted the butter and felt the bits of grit texture and your month waits for the familiar heavy feeling that grits haveto come but wait it never does. These grits were like eating a pillow, or a cloud. Just amazing. Oh and I almost forgot about the pretzel bread and butter; so good.

The grits weren’t the only thing on the menu that was shockingly good but also the orange spice sorbet. We were so full we didn’t want to get anything heavy so my mom just ordered the sorbet to get just get “something.” It was incredible. Sweet, tart citrus flavor with an amazing sorbet crystallized texture.

Seriously just go. Run there now.

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Winter Squash Soup

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Smoked Pork Shank Carbonara

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Squid

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Nose to Tail Plate

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Grits and Pork Fat Fries

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The Three Days of Christmas

Christmas for me was all about eating. I know that is pretty standard for everyone when it comes to the holidays, but this year I think I really took it up a notch. Let me explain it to you in a more simple way, in a song (a much shortened song).

On the first day of Christmas, or Christmas eve, I made for dinner: gruyere and chive puffs for appetizers, lemon and herb cornish hen, green beans with crisp shallots, wild mushroom and gruyere gratin, and roasted carrots. (You’ll have to let your imagination help you hear the melody to 12 Days of Christmas with that).

(Uncle Eddie made an appearance)

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On the second night of Christmas, or Christmas Day, I made for dinner: a 5.71 lb bone in prime rib roast for two, a Madeira wine sauce, cheesy potatoes, and brussel sprouts.

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I’m not normally the person who buys the meat in the house so when I got up to the meat counter I panicked and bought enough for a small army. Surprisingly though, there was not much leftovers; it was that good.

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On the third day of Christmas, or the Friday after, I made for dinner: traditional polish cheese pierogies and kielbasa.

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Henry wanted to help!

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And a partridge in a pear tree!

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Post for Procrastinators

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(Getting ready to put the rotisserie chicken on the grill)

The week of Thanksgiving is here and you are freaking out because you don’t know what to do with you sweet potatoes or you are sick of the traditional green bean casserole. Don’t fret I’ve got your back. I have the perfect different sweet potato recipe and a perfect simple green bean recipe that has as much flavor as the casserole.  Also if you are looking for a killer traditional apple pie recipe I’ve got that here for you too!

Family Thanksgiving happened on Saturday for me this year and my sister and brother-in-law had the newest addition to their family in attendance…Henry!! A giant schnauzer puppy! I’m in love. I don’t know what was better, food or hanging with Henry. Oh and the family time was good too.

Classic Apple Pie Recipe

One of the best apple pies I have ever had. It has lemon zest, as well as lemon, in it and it taste so fresh and crisp and delicious.

These green beans were amazing! They were the perfect green crunch you need with all the heavy potatos and gravy at Thanksgiving. They also had the same french onion flavor as a green bean casserole from the crispy shallots.
My dad thought this was the best sweet potato casserole he has ever had. Trust him it was that good. And its different because its savory.
(John killing it at the grill. As usual)

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(Henry!!!!!!!!)

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(This was my dad’s first lattice apple pie, if you can’t tell by his expression he was amazed)

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Gluten Free Thanksgiving

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I have yet to post a recipe that is gluten free. I apologize. I have friends who don’t eat gluten or have celiacs so I have no excuse. Ok, not to dwell, this is a pear soft shelled creme tart. I used almond meal/flour and I didn’t notice a big difference. It looked a little more mealy in the batter but in general it cooked the same. The creme filling has cardamon and nutmeg so it has a real fall/Thanksgiving flavor to it. If you are looking for a gluten free Thanksgiving dessert this is for you.

Pear Soft Shelled Creme Tart (I used regular pears)

My typical baking set up.

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Below is the Almond Flour

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Let the Cooking Begin!

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I love the week/weekend of Thanksgiving. You get your shopping done, prepare you lists and menu and make sure everything is good to go! That is what this week is for me. I will be in Paris for work this Thanksgiving so I will be having my Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. And though I am sad I won’t get to watch the parade, I am ne se plaint pas (not complaining). I’ve been taking French lessons so I am so excited to go back and try my French out! With this being my prep week I will post some recipes for you to possibly use if you are still deciding on your final menu! Here is one for apple dumplings. This is perfect if you are hosting an intimate four person dinner and this way each person gets their own dessert!

Apple Dumplings

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