Category Archives: Food

Mother’s Day Brunch Guide {day 2} | Denver Blog Finds

brunch

I love me some brunch so every year on Mother’s Day I pick someplace new for my mom & I to try out. This year it’s Amerigo in RHINO which has been on my top 5 must eat there list for a while. Here are some other spots that you may not have considered but should be contenders for Sunday morning:

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Mom’s Day Gift Guide {Day One} | Denver Blog Finds

Image

This week is all about Mom and every day I will help you find ways to make yours feel extra super special. Today’s gifts all can be purchased locally here in Denver!

1. Tom’s Crocheted Classics in Navy – Unity Boutique

2. MZ Wallace: Bianca in Cayenne – Kismet 

3. Gym Punch Card – The Dailey Method 

4. Gift Card – Decade

5. Jane Crow Jewelry – SecondLove Thiftique 

6. Mani/Pedi – UberChic 

7. Jasmine Salt Caramels – Helliemae’s

8. Class – Fancy Tiger Crafts

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A Little Neighborhood Nom Nom!

littlebrazilApplewood is a little gem of a neighborhood just West of Denver in Wheat Ridge/Lakewood. It’s chock full of mid century modern homes and 1950 & 60’s brick ranches. I love the old school feel of the streets full of old trees and manicured lawns.While we lack an actual town center we do have Gold’s an actual independent grocery store, an awesome pet store, barber, groomer, and most recently an ah-mazing Brazilian restaurant and store! I cannot say enough good things about Little Brazil. Fresh juices, Pasteis, Brazilian Flan, the list of scrumptious choices just goes on and on. What I love most is Rachael and the owner who are  two really cool ladies and have created a place you cannot wait to come back to over and over because of how much fun they are…..oh yeah and, of course, because the yummy food is perfect for a picnic in the park! They are in the process of getting their liquor license so it won’t be long before you can indulge in some Brazilian cocktails to accompany your Feijoada!  Little Brazil 10081 W 26th Ave Wheat Ridge Put this spot on your radar immediately! And Sofia gave it a thumbs up endorsement. 

Tagged , , , ,

I am BACK!!!

CLFhomebutton_why

 

After being strongly “urged” to pick this blog back up immediately by my lovely friend Hilary I realized just how much I have missed it. I began this blog to sing the praises of our local talent, eateries, shops, and people putting wonderful energy into the universe. We moved from the Highlands a little more than a year ago to Applewood. We wanted a big yard, more space, 60’s ranch style, and a place to grow as a family. However, after living in the Highlands for over 8 years it will forever hold a very special place in my heart and since Wheat Ridge/Lakewood isn’t exactly know for its culinary choices we head there all the time. It’s become very apparent to me that my quaint little neighborhood is struggling to keep its small business uniqueness in the midst of a hard economy.  Independent store fronts are being pushed out by a rise in rent and a decline in consumer traffic. Moving right in are chains who can afford the cost of doing business at the expense of the neighborhood itself. I wanted this blog to be the voice of all the small business owners who are out there breathing life into all the neighborhoods in Denver. So, now I am calling on you the consumer to be conscious of where your dollars are going. “Showrooming” a store to see a product in person and then shopping it online for a better price is absolutely killing all these little shops you love. We are all out to save a buck – me as much as the next – but consider for a moment what it means to invest in your local economy and in your own backyard. If you don’t want a Starbucks replacing your favorite coffee-house then go there instead of the convenience of the drive-thru, if you are shopping for a new stroller for your baby shop local instead of big box or online, and most of all be an advocate for these businesses by talking them up and encouraging others to do the same. So my first post back is a call to action – lets all help our local businesses to thrive by having their backs no matter how much you may think you are saving elsewhere. Because honestly how much is that savings  really worth when you see shop after shop shutting their doors?  Lets be known as the city with the best restaurants, the best micro brews, and most small businesses per capita  than any other. Please share the love by posting about your favorite store, restaurant, business, coffee-house, etc.. on my Facebook page! Spread the love people!!!

Tagged , ,

Get Your Eat + Drink On

Vails infamous Eat + Drink has recently blessed us all with scrumptious cheese & charcuterie plates and amazing wine selections right on Platte Street. The space is full on eye candy with it’s selection of olives, cheeses, breads, and meats begging to be enjoyed in Riverfront Park or right there in the midst of all the loveliness they have so tastefully created. The best part is definitely the wonderful people they have working there. Seriously, they are all beyond awesome making the place warm and inviting. It’s a great place to impress a first date or to gather with friends. I met some friends there last night and four of us enjoyed a wonderful bottle of Muse and a cheese plate for $25. Now let’s hope they bring Dish! down from the mountains as well.

Tagged , , , , ,

Truly Enjoy the Journey

 

Josh Spear who is best known for his cutting edge branding and trendspotting as well as  the digital strategy firm, Undercurrent, has embarked on yet another incredible venture called Valet. For seasoned world travelers, or those looking for new and exciting destinations Valet is a fantastic way to help plan your latest adventure. What exactly is Valet you ask? “Valet is a collection of hand-picked benefits and guidance for the discerning 21st-century traveler.” Who is Valet for? “Valet is a a travel company built for creative professionals, tastemakers and frequent travelers who appreciate curation, design, and great value over bargain-basement price shopping and recommendations amassed from dozens of anonymous reviews.” For a yearly membership fee discerning travelers have access to amazing destinations and itineraries that most of us would never knew existed. Josh, my friend, you have done it again. Cannot wait to see what you have up your sleeve next!

 

Tagged , ,

The Universal

I was lucky enough to earn a hall pass from my husband to enjoy a very leisurally brunch with a friend at The Universal in Northwest Denver on Saturday morning. This was my first time to this relatively new eatery – a location that has seen more than it’s fair share of changes, so I was a bit sceptical that something pretty amazing could actually take over from the past couple of mediocre failures. Um….let the swooning begin. As soon as I walked in the door and was greeted with the warm sophistication of the grey and white decor I breathed a sigh of happiness. First, two current design moments I am loving – a flag as an art statement and white subway tile with dark grout. I am in love with all hues of grey and paired with the beetle kill wood accent wall I thought for a second this could be a hipster corner cafe set in Brooklyn instead of 38th & Federal.  I have to hand it to them – their menu was inspired loaded with fresh local ingredients and wonderful flavors. The Bloody Mary’s looked fabulous although I didn’t partake (this time).  I ordered the grits with eggs over easy and sausage and enjoyed every scrumptious bite.  I can’t wait to take Sofia for lunch one day next week.  I think this one is a definite keeper. Bon appetit!

Tagged , , , ,

Muy Bueno!

I absolutely love to cook which is something I inherited by my mother and both my grandmothers. I talk to her often about putting our family recipes into a book to pass down to my daughter or to give to friends. The women behind Muy Bueno Cookbook have done just that. Their recipes are inspired and sentimental and absolutely DELICIOUS! I have been following them for awhile and have tested out their recipes in my own kitchen with crowd pleasing results. I am beside myself with excitement that their book is now available! The cookbook is also just as beautiful as it is scrumptious thanks to Colorado photographer extraordinaire, Jeanine Thurston, of Fototails Photography.  As a collector of cookbooks I cannot wait to add this one to the mix.

On Friday, October 19th Yvette & Jeanine will be at The Tattered Cover on Colfax from 7:30 to 9:30 for yummy treats, a Q & A, and to sign copies of their book.
I am so lucky to know both of these lovely women and I couldn’t be happier for their success.  I emailed Yvette a list of questions to share with my readers, so now you all can see just how fabulous she is for yourselves.

1. Where did the idea for a cookbook come from?

One summer mom was visiting me and we cooked a lot together. Those days in the kitchen with her and my daughter brought lots of memories, stories, and laughter that I didn’t want to end. I started posting photos of our dishes on facebook and many of my friends said I should write a cookbook. At first I laughed it off and then Jeanine (our photographer) said that I really should and offered to be our photographer. To make a long story short my mother and sister joined Jeanine and I and our blogging journey began and eventually led us to be published.

2. Who contributed?

Our cookbook spans three generations of Mexican cooking. The first generation we refer to repeatedly in our blog and cookbook is that of our grandma, Jesusita who was the matriarch of our familia. She was from Chihuahua, Mexico and her recipes are traditional old-world northern Mexican dishes. Evangelina (Vangie), our mother grew up in Texas, so her recipes have more of a south of the border flavor — a little bit of Texas with a lot of Mexico. Veronica and I refer to our innovative recipes as Latin fusion. Our dishes are made fresh and light using lots of Latin ingredients with a modern twist perfect for entertaining.

3. How long did it take to complete?

We started our blog in 2010 and some of the recipes on our blog are also in our printed cookbook. But we saved most of the special recipes for our cookbook. I would say this effort took us about two years, but the cookbook itself was about one year. I also designed the cookbook and book jacket, so the last few months was hectic but very exciting to see our cookbook come to life.

4. How many times did you have to test each recipe before it was ready for print?

We tested, tested, and re-tested!!! Our tamales, flour tortillas, and lengue (tongue) recipes were some of the most challenging to write. We tested those many times just to make sure we had every ingredient amount correct and that all the steps in our directions were easy to follow. We also had to re-test many recipes just to figure out how many servings the dish made. Oh, and we even re-tested recipes, just to re-photograph them. Lots of details we were not prepared for but overcame.

5. What sets you apart from other Latino cookbooks out there?

There are hundreds of Latin cookbooks out there. I think what sets us apart is that we are not culinary trained professionals. We are real people making real food. Our food and techniques are approachable and easy to understand. But most of all our recipes are simple traditional Mexican dishes we grew up eating.

6. Where do you hope to see yourself in the next 3-5 years?

Um, hello…Food Network please call us!!! LOL! I would LOVE for the three of us to have a cooking show. So many people love Mexican food and a cooking show with a mother and two daughters would be a hit. Don’t you think? I’d also love to eventually have a Muy Bueno product line of salsas and sauces as well as a cookware and serveware line. Yea, I dream BIG!

7. When did you first learn to cook?

We are home cooks taught by our grandma, mother, and self-taught.

8. How do you balance being a mom, and an author?

It’s a very difficult balance. I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle it all. I work lots of late nights after our children are in bed so that I do not rob them of my time while they are home. But soon I will be traveling for our book tour so to be honest I am a tad nervous about being away. Luckily for me my hubby is so super supportive.

9. How did your collaboration with Jeanine Thurston come about?

Jeanine has been photographing our children for years and even traveled to our wedding in Mexico to be our photographer. She is the one who gave me the push to write a cookbook. If it wasn’t for her our cookbook might not have come to fruition. It is her amazing photography that has caught the eye of so. We are truly blessed to have her be a part of our team and now consider her familia. Love her!

10. Do you see a second cookbook in your future?

Oh gosh! As much as I don’t want to think about all the work I’d love to write another cookbook. It was so hard to weed down our top 100 recipes and have so many more to offer. We’ve also thought about a cocktail book too. We are praying for the best with this cookbook, and can only hope great things are in store for us.

Thank you to Yvette & her family and to Jeanine for sharing such a wonderful book with the world!

Tagged , , , , ,

This French Toast Will Rock Your World


 

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day and nothing says this could possibly be the best day of your life than French Toast. I came across this recipe from Brunch by Louise Pickford at Williams-Sonoma years ago and I have yet to find anything that can even come close to being this amazingly delicious. So, you can thank me later.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 vaanilla bean

2/3 cup canned coconut milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

4 tablespoons butter

8 slices of panettone or challah bread

TO SERVE:

confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

blueberries

fresh whipped cream

Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Put the coconut milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla seeds, and cardamom. If using, in a bowl and beat well. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish.

Heat half the butter in a large skillet. Dip 2 slices of the bread into egg mixture and saute until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining slices and serve dusted with confectioners’ sugar and topped with  the blueberries and cream.

A Local Food Revolution

Image

I have a few thousand passions, really I am totally not lying it’s a pretty serious problem, however since I use my powers for good and not evil I am not (against the pleas of my husband) seeking professional help. One of those passions is healthy school lunches for our kids. Although my own daughter is only in preschool a couple mornings a week, I have taken an active role in helping to start a school lunch program at the Charter school she attends. Currently there is no program so we are really starting from scratch. While researching options I came across a pretty amazing company in Denver that is working to change the not only what our kids eat, but how school lunches are served. Revolution Foods prepares and delivers healthy school lunches, offers classes to students aimed at helping them make healthy food choices, as well implements healthy vending options. Here’s what they say about their mission: “At Revolution Foods, we say Real Food for All. It means freshly prepared meals served with real ingredients and none of the bad stuff. We’re committed to nourishing students with healthy and affordable breakfast, lunch, snacks and supper that provide students the brainpower they need to excel through their day. Because they deserve better than junk.”

They are truly a company with a conscience determined to change the way our kids eat. Makes me super proud that they are based right here in Denver.

Tagged
%d bloggers like this: