A Time For Firsts

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MGM Pool Party – AfroJack

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 The Bride!

This past weekend I experienced a few “firsts.” The first of the firsts was Vegas. One of my friends bachelorette party was in Las Vegas. I was so excited to experience the crazy party city! But what I decided to do, instead of what my smart sister decided to do, was fly standby. The night before I checked the listings and my fear was confirmed; none of the flights going or returning looked good. Awesome. I called my dad and discussed all my options. I was flying through Salt Lake City so maybe I could take the bus or maybe I could rent a car and drive. Both of those options would not get me to Vegas in time for the pool party we were scheduled for on Saturday so those were out. We finally decided we will just see what happens that morning and say a little prayer that the the standby gods show me a little sympathy.

I wake up at 3 am for my flight and feel good. I get ready and drive to the airport. I get through the airport and then what do I see? My flight is delayed for an hour and twenty minutes. Just enough time for me to miss my connection in Salt Lake City which was the only flight that day that looked good. Once again awesome.

I get to Salt Lake City 30 minutes after the flight I would have gotten on leaves. So I start the waiting process. The 11:01 am flight roles around. I am 15th on the list. Everyone but me and the standby person ahead of me get on. Next flight is 2:09 pm, getting me in at 2:39 pm. Which isn’t too bad, still plenty of pool time. I am 28th on the list and I get on. That is the name of the game, you don’t know what is going to happen till the plane door closes.

Vegas was amazing and crazy at the same time. I did make it to the pool party and it was so much fun. Unfortunately my sister who had bought her ticket who arrived at 9 am had already left the pool, not by choice, for “sleeping” (sleeping is code for something else if you catch my drift) but the bride was roaring to go and it was a blast.

Fast forward through dinner, clubbing, and 19 hours later you find me back at the Las Vegas airport trying for the 10:55 am flight. I somehow get lost in the airport because I couldn’t find the D Gates security entrance. If you are nice enough to the TSA though, they will escort you through the C Gate security and then through the locked door to get on the tram. Lets just say I was struggling. Keep fast forwarding through the day and you will see me sitting at multiple different D gates for the 10:55 am flight, the 1:57 pm flight, the 4:45 pm flight and then finally at the 6:36 pm flight that I shockingly got on. What wasn’t good about me getting on that last flight though was that it missed the last flight to Denver so I was stuck in Salt Lake City. Which is probably the most opposite city of Las Vegas.

Normal me would 100 percent just sleep on the airport floor, but apparently I have changed and I am still trying to deal with this change even as I write this post. I…bought…a hotel room. The second first. Does this mean I am old? That I am a mature adult? AHHHH. I don’t know what it means but I will say I felt great the next morning.

I finally got on the third flight out on Monday and made it to work in Denver only three hours late. So 30 hours in the airport for 19 hours in Vegas…totally worth it!

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Denver Eater: Interview with Frank Bonanno about Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria

Check out my recent interview with Frank Bonanno of Bonanno Concepts on Denver Eater.

Frank Bonanno

(Photo courtesy of Bonanno Concepts)

On April 29 Frank Bonanno’s 10th restaurant, Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria, celebrates its one-year anniversary. This was the restaurateur’s first foray outside of Denver proper and many wondered about the move. Chef-driven, made-from-scratch food is the norm for Bonanno’s restaurants, but it is not the standard at the Park Meadows Mall in the chain restaurant-heavy area where the pizzeria operates. The biggest complaints Bonanno has received from his guests have been about ranch dressing, or lack thereof.

The rest of the interview…

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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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