Food and Drinks in Santa Barbara

This past weekend I went to Santa Barbara for my friend Haley’s wedding. I met Haley studying abroad in Greece and her wedding was basically a reunion for a few of my Greece friends and myself. I was obviously so excited to go to the wedding, be in Santa Barbara, and see my friends, but I was also excited to try In-N-Out for my first time. It was the perfect welcome-to-California burger. I was a little surprised by the animal sauce though. It wasn’t as “saucy” as I imagined if that makes sense; maybe they just didn’t put enough on my burger? With that said though it was a very good burger.

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The wedding was amazing! The cocktail hour was overlooking the water and the bride was stunning. We even got a shout out from the father of the bride during his speech; “Michigan Girls” that is us. We felt so special we all shouted and put up our arms—unplanned. Its fair to say we all think the same crazy way.

Below are the rest of the pictures from the trip. Pictures of brunch and bottomless mimosas, the WEDDING!!!!, biking on the water, and some food. I kept just diving into each meal and forgetting to take a picture till basically the plate was empty.

Brunch at State and Fig

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Drinks and dinner at the Boathouse of Hendry’s Beach

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Scallops on the half shell

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How everyone felt at the end of the weekend.

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Sneak Preview – Chef

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Last night I was invited to a advance screening of the movie “Chef” with Denver Eater. I went in with biased thoughts on the film because I figured I would love any movie that had a plot based around food; I was correct the movie was fabulous. It was witty, creative, fun and heartwarming. Between comments like “amuse-douche” and the relationship between Jon Favreau and his son played by Emjay Anthony, the writer, Favreau, had me actually laughing out loud. When this movie hits your town I say immediately go see it. Oh and make sure you have a reservation at your favorite restaurant immediately following because trust me you will be hungry.

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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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La Biblioteca Opening Tomorrow!

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(Lockers to store your Tequila)

La Biblioteca is schedule to open tomorrow for business. The space was formerly Al Lado which is owned by Richard Sandoval. The restaurant is all about the tequila and offers 350 different kinds! I got a chance to check out the spot and taste some of the Asian-Latin based meals and I can say I will most definitely go back.

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(Pineapple and Serrano pepper infused tequila cocktail)

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Brewery Time: Prost Brewing

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Last Wednesday I had the privilege of getting a tour of Prost Brewing by brewer Ashleigh Carter. My sister was my guest and John Carlson of the Denver Beer Guild also joined us. Prost is one of my favorite breweries in Denver (still a lot to try) and it was super fun to learn about their brew house and what makes them different. First we went up the stairs and got a good look at the copper mash kettle and the lauter tun imported from Germany. They are beautiful. They are manually run vessels and all the buttons on the mechanical part are in old German. “We paid a good amount of money to have a company label the parts so it would be easy to put it together once it was here but when we laid it all out it was like does that green dot go with this green dot? It was very hard to figure out,” says brewer Ashleigh Carter. Once it was all put together and they started working with the machines she really started to figure it out. Now Ashleigh can probably step into any brewhaus in Germany and be able to work their machines.

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Ashleigh gave us a in depth tour of how the beer is made and John Carlson chimed in with any extra information that he had. For anyone who has not met John he is a beer wiz. Anything and everything there is to know about beer he knows. Seriously.

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My first beer I had was the Keller Pils that took gold in the Keller or Zwickelbier category at the Great American Beer Festival. Then my second beer was the Oktoberfest or Märzen and the group I was with also got the Oktoberfest and we finished the last bit of the seasonal beer.

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My sister Kara and I split two hot dogs; wild boar and a pheasant dog from Dogtown Concessions cart. Delicious! Nice game flavor but not overpowering so it still has the hot dog essence I love. I will definitely be going back for more.

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We finished our night sitting at the picnic style table with Bill Eye and Ashleigh Carter from Prost, John Carlson from the Colorado Brewers Guild, Kara and I, and then an unexpected guest Stephen Kirby from Hogshead brewery. Listening to Ashleigh describe the passion behind the German beers she makes made me ready to hop over to another country…England! Hogshead is next on our Denver brewery tour. Stand by…

From left to right: Bill Eye, Stephen Kirby, Ashleigh Carter, Kara Colt (sister) and John Carlson

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Fall is Here!

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Fall has swept over Denver with its cool breeze and left us cuddled up on the couch with a hot cup of cider. Ok this may be a bit dramatic and we still have a day with a high of 82 degrees this week, but still it is officially here—as of Sunday. I attended the Moonbeam Harvest event at the Clayton Early Learning Center on Thursday and it was a perfect way to welcome the fall. There were 15 restaurants there and each used a vegetable grown by the students garden as there main ingredient in their dishes. My absolute hands-down favorite was from Session Kitchen. Their vegetable was an eggplant and they made waffles; eggplant dipped in batter the put into the waffle iron, topped with a chive butter, then covered in a sweet chili syrup. It was insane. The hot waffle has a nice bite to it with the eggplant, then it is cooled by the butter, then brought right back up to hot with the sweet and spicy syrup. Its a roller coaster ride for your taste buds.

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Fall is here so let the scary movies—cough “Hocus Pocus” cough—the pumpkin cooking, cider drinking begin!

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