Tag Archives: beverage

Ah, life.

14 Sep

To begin, I apologize for my extended absence! I blame loads of school work+work+severe allergies making me not feel so hot. Ack. BUT! I was inspired this morning by a glorious post over at Love Veggies & Yoga! I glanced at the post this morning before class, couldn’t stop thinking about it throughout class and immediately upon getting home, I whipped out the VitaMix and went to work. The can of pumpkin puree was calling my name and the weather outside made this perfect! It’s been overcast and chilly, which I love! Fall is here. Leaves will start turning soon, though here in Denver, they aren’t as plentiful as in Michigan. I will soon be seeking out a cider mill/apple orchard to quench my ravenous desire for fresh donuts! and hot cider! I LOVE FALL.

Back to the matter at hand. Love Veggies & Yoga‘s beautiful post on making your own pumpkin spice latte ran dear and near to my heart. All too often I give in to $tarbucks and indulge in their overly pricey and overly sweetened lattes. NOT TODAY! I pretty much followed her recipe verbatim, except I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice. So I threw in some ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and hoped for the best. Almond milk worked great with this! SO GOOD. Thick and spicy. I loved the froth that just appeared when I mixed the pumpkin milk with the coffee. As always, I highly recommend making your coffee from a french press! So much more flavor and with all the essential oils found in freshly ground coffee beans. Nom nom nom. Many thanks and praise to Love Veggies & Yoga! It literally made my morning.

I will make a valiant effort to contributing more to this blog! I feel so disconnected from the blogging world. I haven’t even been keeping up with my favorite food blogs! For shame. Oh, and is anyone else on Pinterest? It’s really addictive. Methinks it might help me actually get some wedding planning done…but who knows. So many neat ideas out there!

And now, some obligatory pictures of Izze:


Happy Wednesday! 🙂

Weekend Recap! Palisade & the Warrior Dash!

24 Aug

Whoa, it’s Tuesday (Wednesday? I started this yesterday…) already? The past few days have been quite the whirlwind and I still don’t feel caught up! I blame Fall semester starting and the high pollen count in the air! Can’t. stop. sneezing. Time for more coffee!

We stayed in Glenwood Springs this weekend, but didn’t go to any hot springs! It was just too hot. Didn’t feel right getting into a 106 degree pool of water when the air temperature was still 85. eeesh. On Saturday we moseyed an hour west to the beautiful town (city?) of Palisade, Colorado for the Peach Festival and some wine tasting. It’s a strange landscape in Palisade because you see all these large mesas and a desert-like terrain and then there’s all these lush orchards in vineyards. Makes for some great pictures!

The Peach Festival was…interesting. Not as peach-themed as I had hoped! It just seemed like a typical art fair thing with booths set up for Verizon and a couple other local retailers. Kind of strange seeing cell phones being sold next to peaches… Though, we did have a really great peach daquiri and I devoured a veggie gyro that had DOLMADES in it! Gah, I love dolmades. Can’t say I’m brave enough to attempt making them, but maybe someday. It was a super hot day and we were quickly baking in the sun, so after I had a chance to pet an alpaca, we bought a couple boxes of peaches and headed out to some vineyards!

We visited Carlson Vineyards and Canyon Wind Cellars, sipping quite a few varieties of wine while taking in the views. The pourers at Carlson Vineyards were super nice, chatty and informative on the wines and grapes they were cultivating and kept pouring the wine! I could have tried more, but 6 tastes was plenty. They had some really interesting ways to spice up their wines and use them in non-traditional ways. We tried a “peach cobbler” that was their peach wine warmed up and mixed with spices and some syrup. So delicious!

i didn’t like the port.

Canyon Wind Cellars…wow. The views here were breathtaking and I just couldn’t get over the idyllic way the tasting area was set up. There was a small terrace that led into the tasting room and outside of it was a large lawn surrounded by a small stone fence. The area was shaded by a massive tree with two tables to sit at, sip wine and soak in the surroundings. This is what I had pictured a vineyard to be like–quiet, relaxing, full of alcohol and personality. Loved their cabernet sauvignon! Gotta represent for the dry red wines 🙂

Sunday brought us cooler weather and the WARRIOR DASH at Copper Mountain! Being at Copper made me want to put my skis on. Who cares if there’s no snow? I was thankful that being at high elevation (9712 ft) the weather was much cooler, but then again, being at that elevation didn’t make this 5k any easier. It seemed like I couldn’t catch my breath the entire time! Totally worth it. So challenging and something I have never done before. Check out Warrior Dash’s website to see the obstacles we did. I jumped over fire! And crawled under barbed wire through mud! And conquered a wall! If you’re interested in doing a Warrior Dash, they hold them all over the US, in Canada and Australia! I would recommend anyone with an adventurous spirit to try it, even if it seems intimidating or “too hard”. You can do it! We didn’t even run for most of it because the obstacles were hard enough. I’ll definitely train hard for next year and think of a great costume.

So, currently, my life is playing out as such: 3 classes, 4 days a week at 8am, 25 hours/week of working at the library, blogging, forcing myself to go for a jog, cooking…though cooking has seriously been lacking lately. Need to go to the grocery store ASAP! I ran out of flour last week, we have no vanilla, and just a few veggies remain. I’m not even sure what I’ve been eating these last few days. Terrible! Expect a zucchini bread recipe coming up since I can’t stop buying them! Yum. So, most of my time and energy will have to be put toward my classes, so I won’t be able to blog as much. But I will still be here! 🙂 And today is the one month anniversary of my blog! I wonder how long I can keep it going…. 😉

Grilled Vegetable Salad & Fruit Smoothie

17 Aug

We have a problem. The significant other and I tend to buy way too many Groupons & Livingsocial deals…and then forget about them until right before they expire. We bought a voucher for $30 worth of organic, local vegetables delivered to our door like three months ago…and got out veggies this morning! The tub was packed full of leafy greens, potatoes, corn, broccoli, eggplant and carrots. Now to find a way to use all this!

Lunch was easy to throw together. I salted and let eggplants slices sweat for about 30 minutes. I sliced some zucchini squash and heirloom beefsteak tomatoes and let those marinate in garlic powder, salt+pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil while the eggplant was sweating. The grill was then fired up and everything thrown on for about 10 minutes. Grilled Vegetable Salad!  The great thing about marinating vegetables is that the leftover marinade doesn’t go to waste, unlike when you marinate meat stuffs. Leftover marinade = lazy man’s salad dressing. The salad was gorgeous and bright BUT unfortunately, the eggplant was SO BITTER! Such a bummer. I know salting/sweating helps with the bitterness, but wow, it was pretty much inedible. It made my mouth hurt so much! Oh well! I devoured the rest of the salad and ended up pitching the eggplant. Not sure what went wrong, maybe just a bad aubergine?

I also made a fruit smoothie to add a bit of sweetness + daily serving of fruits to the meal. LOVE smoothies, especially on hot summer days! We try to buy and use fresh fruit as much as possible, but sometimes it’s too expensive or not available! When fruit is on sale, we buy a lot of it and freeze it. Perfect for smoothie making because you don’t need to add any ice. This smoothie consisted of: pineapple slices, strawberries (with the greens still on top), blueberries, and orange juice. Simple, but so sweet and refreshing!

 

Super excited to be seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, Incubus, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre tonight! Just hoping the thunderstorms roll right on past us 🙂 Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Simple & Sweet – Half Iced Tea/Half Lemonade Deliciousness!

2 Aug

the owls want in on this tasty drink...

I always relate summertime to really craving amazing, refreshing beverages…like this half iced tea/half lemonade concoction made famous by pro-golfer Arnold Palmer! His canned version has some iffy ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, anyone?) and it’s more fun and fulfilling to make it on your own anyway! Just brew up some strong, unsweetened black tea and mix with some fresh lemonade, 1:1. Delish! For making lemonade, you would usually make a simple syrup with water and a ton of refined sugar…bit too unhealthy for me! Try making simple syrup with honey, agave nectar or perhaps maple syrup? I wonder how that would taste…maple lemonade…hmm…

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sweetener of choice (raw honey, agave nectar, etc)
  • ~about 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice (it took us about 9 lemons!)
  • ~about 4 cups of cold water (+/- depending on how tart you like it! I enjoy it very strong! taste it as you go…)

In a small saucepan, mix water and sweetener over medium heat, stirring constantly. Heat until bubbling and fully mixed. Set aside.

Squeeze yer lemons! Add lemon juice, simple syrup, and cold water to a pitcher and stir stir stir! You now have lemonade! Splendid.