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Monday, June 15, 2009

Food pictures from May

For our 10 year anniversary, we went to Paris in April. But on the actual night in May we went out to eat at our favorite local restaurant, The Old Blinking Light. We love this little local place, where the chef can be seen at the Highlands Ranch farmer's market buying produce (I've spotted him). This was the dessert they brought us out on the house, when they realized it was our anniversary. :) Chocolate soup! With made from scratch Banana Bread.
This was Rob's meal, Tres Rellenos. They ranged from spicy to mild. Two were roasted, one was fried. Definitely the Poblano was our favorite.

This was my meal. I wasn't that hungry so I just got a bowl of their soup of the day. I read an article in a local magazine about how the chef took a few months off, and learned how to raise his own cattle. So now the beef at the restaurant is from the chef's farm! So I had to try some. This was Green Chili and Mariposa Beef stew. The bread was drizzled with honey......yummmmm!


This is a pic of the TOTALLY cute apron that my friend Joia gave me as a gift :) I LOVE it! I feel so sassy and can't help shaking my hips to the music when I am cooking with this on.

This is just a pot of Italian Wedding Soup with Vegan Meatballs I had cooking up one night, and I took a pic. I used Whole Wheat noodles in it. We make this about 3-4 times a year. I love one pot meals!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Glenwood Springs















I was nervous to head out camping for the first time with all three kiddos, but it seemed like I could put it off no longer. Nobody is in diapers anymore – and the boys have been begging to go. Not that I’m against camping or anything, it’s just that I'm not sure I'm for it either. umhmm.

The one time I have been camping with kids was when my oldest son was less than a year old. I arrived back to CA from a Midwest visit with him, and my husband picked me up at the airport and brought me straight to a campsite for a night to spend with friends. After spending the night huddling in the corner of the tent in fear because the raccoons were wrestling each other up against the door of the tent, fighting over who was going to get the trail mix I left in my diaper bag outside (I thought of course they were trying to break in to eat my baby) I all but banished all talk of camping in our house.

I felt up for it this summer all of a sudden. Maybe because I can confidently say I raised 3 spunky kids who I think would have no problems taking on wildlife. I was right - they had a blast.

We have always wanted to get back to Glenwood Springs, after staying there for our anniversary without kids one year. We invited two other families to join us at a campsite right out of town, in Glenwood Canyon Resort. We camped in an area that had three spots together, and when they said “near the river” let me say, they meant ON the river. We were inches from the drop off that led right into the rushing water. No barrier. 9 children. Gulp. However, it turned out to be just fine! As you can see from the picture above the kids fished right off the bank next to our tents. We could see the train on the other side of river bank (Note: bring earplugs and sleeping pills, cause this baby runs all night). We EVEN saw a huge bear! It was across the river on train tracks and just walked along it for awhile before heading back into the trees. I was in the tent with our two little ones and I heard one of the boys camping with us just quietly said "There is something over there, like a big shaggy dog, or a buffalo walking along....." and then I hear an adult yell "It's a bear!" Thankfully we were totally safe on our side of the river.

We also saw deer and all kinds of interesting bugs and things. My husband picked up three bug boxes on our way out of town, and this turned out to be great entertainment for all of the kids while the adults hung out.

This trip wasn't all about the camping though - Glenwood Springs is a town worth exploring. Our first morning there we headed to Hanging Lake (see the last two pics above) for an intense (with kids) but beautiful hike. We did it in about 3 hours, going up and back. At the top is the BEAUTIFUL lake and waterfall you see Analise squatting next to. The water is clear, and you can see fish in it. You can walk behind the waterfall, which is just cool, and makes you feel like you are doing something that you read about in a story book when you were little .

The next day we went to the wonderful Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. This is what the town is all about people. There is a couple of different pools, one being 94 degrees, one 104 degrees, a kiddie pool, and a waterslide that lands in a different pool. The Ute Indians were the first to discover the pools that have 15 different minerals in them, and since then have been known to have theraputic properties. People travel here from around the world to sit in them, and we really did hear people speaking all kinds of different languages while we were there. It's a bit pricey ($70 for our family of 5) but the pass is for all day, and it truly is wonderful. It was open from 10am - 10pm the day we went, and our wonderful husbands let us three ladies come back at night and soak under the stars which was awesome!

Lastly, we found a coupon in the Glenwood Paper to ride the Gondola in town for free after 5pm, so we did that one night. The Gondola is a beautiful ride (see kids having a blast in the second picture above) up to the top of a mountain where Glenwood Adventure Park and Caves are. When we got to the top there was a western old-town feel to the park. You can pay to tour the caves which we skipped because it was getting late, and I'm not a cave person. You can dress up in Old Western clothes and get your pictures taken. You can buy tickets to go on rides, and we did the Alpine Slide (see first picture), and the rock climbing wall. You can also pan for gems (great kid activity). They had live music the night we were up there, and a small bar and food counter. Buy your kids some gem stones and rock candy in the gift shop, and everyone's happy :).

The drive was a little under 3 hours from the Denver area. We stopped in Breckenridge on the way there and back to break up the drive for the kids, and to have lunch. I would definitely head back there again with the kids for another visit. A very family friendly town, with some history, and enough to keep you entertained whether you want to be outdoors, and hike, fish, and raft, or go into town to enjoy some of the activities.
Some of my favorite kid quotes from the weekend:

“It’s like swimming in the sun.” Isaac about the water in the Hot Springs
“There is no END! There is nooo END!!” Analise earnestly trying to communicate to us that she did not think going through the tunnels on I70 was such a good idea after all.
“Thank you for keeping us safe, and not letting us die” Analise said to me very seriously when we were leaving the hot springs
“It looks like a shaggy dog, or a buffalo” Ryan about the bear across the river from us. :)





Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Grilled Potato Salad with Watercress, Green Onions, and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette


We were going to BBQ at home this weekend, and I was looking for something other than my standard side dishes. I came across this side dish on Epicurious.com and it was SO yummy. It really does taste as good as it sounds! What type of Blue Cheese you get will alter the flavor a bit, so engage the guy at the cheese counter and try some samples before selecting one that you like. I'm hoping to use the leftover blue cheese we have to make a dip for some Sweet Potato chips, or fries.



ingredients

1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
1 large shallot, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
12 medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled (about 2 3/4 pounds)
Additional olive oil
2 bunches watercress, stems trimmed
3 green onions, chopped

preperation

Combine vinegar, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in cheese. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 16 minutes. Drain; cool completely. Cut potatoes into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Brush rounds on both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Arrange watercress on platter. Grill potatoes until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Mound warm potatoes atop watercress; sprinkle with green onions. Spoon vinaigrette over potatoes.