Tag Archives: weekend

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ And today is the one month anniversary of my blog! I wonder how long I can keep it going…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Garden Updates

7 Aug


The community garden we are a part of (located conveniently at the library I work at) has helped us learn the ins and outs of gardening by means of trial and error (and the occasional words of wisdom from the more experienced crowd). So far, we’ve had quite a few very sweet little strawberries to munch on over the summer, but they’ve all been taken over by the sprawling pumpkin vines that are acting like they own the place and make themselves comfortable wherever. The snow peas died off awhile ago, a result of a week of massive thunderstorms and flooding. I could have sworn I had planted heirloom tomato seeds, but the tomatoes that are growing look like romas! No complaints here, just a bit bizarre. Can’t wait to have fresh tomatoes to make salsa & sauces! The little jalapenos that are popping up will pair nicely with those tomatoes. I’m a bit scared of the habaneros, so those will be going to my sister! The bell peppers are so cute and doll-sized at the moment. I just hope that critters stay away! It’s funny how animals know exactly when things are ripe and at their best and chomp on them.

After watering the garden this morning, I was greeted with the wonderful smell of banana-walnut waffles! Yum. They tasted just like fresh banana bread, but in waffle form. Dense, but lovely! While taking pictures of the waffle-goodness, someone wanted to take a bite…Izze really likes banana peels, so no wonder she wanted to sniff these waffles! The original recipe for these came from the glorious Veganomicon. Truly a grand resource for all things vegan!

Now, to continue my lazy Sunday by reading the rest of the Julia Child biography, planning some recipes and finishing up that bottle of Pinot Noir…

Saturday Antiquing and Poking Around Denver

6 Aug

new Pyrex mixing bowl! Town & Country print.

Oof! What a tiring Saturday!

My mother used to take my sister and I garage sale-ing (for now, to be referred to as “garage sailing”) quite frequently during the summers, always on the look for interesting antiques or whatever caught our eye. I remember going to many estate sales, amazed by the mass amounts of things that people accumulate during their lives and now on display for the entire world to judge. I don’t recall these experiences being so exhausting and laden with crap! Since we’ve both noticed (and embraced) the fact that we are indeed turning into our lovely mother, the sibling and I meandered around the Washington Park area today because we were entranced by the advertisement of 75+ homes with yard sales this weekend!ย  Wash Park is quite an affluent area, guaranteeing our chances of having some great finds, right? NO. You take the good with the bad of course, but really people? Some of the so-called “yard sales” were two card tables with a random smattering of card games from the 80s, salt and peppers shakers and a candelabra…THESE ARE THINGS YOU DONATE. Goodwill or the Salvation Army can truly find good uses for these things. Just take the tax write-off and run away from your crap as fast as possible. Still, we enjoyed ourselves, drooling over the gorgeous arts & craft style bungalows with large, ornate front porches and heavy, rounded front doors. Which we cannot afford. It’s ok to dream!

My good find of the day was a large, vintage Pyrex bowl (Town & Country Pattern) and a wide mouth, 1/2 pint mason jar (to use for jar pies, of course) for $2.50. I drove a mean bargain, haggling the woman down from $3. It was rough, but I prevailed.

i dream of having a large, farm-style kitchen with an apron front sink and worn, wooden cabinets with big hinges ๐Ÿ™‚

After numerous disappointmentsย  and staring at way too many diet books from the 80s, we ended our garage sailing and stepped it up a notch: antique stores! Denver apparently has a plentiful bounty of unique, independent antique shops, all varying in prices and styles. The bulk of our antiquing took place on Antiques Row on South Broadway, where there are 7 blocks of antique shops! SEVEN BLOCKS. We barely made it through one block before calling it a day with aching feet! There was just so much to look at and it became dizzying at times. Amazing mission-style furniture, Fenton glassware, Americana knick-knacks, overpriced junk…what struck me most during this entire day was when we entered one shop, I was completely awestruck from the antique saloon back bars (example) that lined the entire front of this particular store. It was incredible. These pieces were priced around $35,000+, but they really were gargantuan pieces of wood art. Beautiful and ornate, they made me want to open up a bar. Oh, the things you find while antiquing!

so. much. furniture. typically for the low low price of $600+. out of the budget.

Sadly, we didn’t come across much of my current favorites: vintage Pyrex. The things we did come across were grossly overpriced, especially for the condition they were in. I seem to be having more luck at thrift stores than at antique stores! Though, my sister did nab a lovely Pyrex casserole dish (snowflake pattern) that is fashionable and functional! That’s what I mainly enjoy so much about these Pyrex dishes–not only will I stare at them, but I will cook in them…and then stare at them some more.

On top of all the antiquing fun, I was so thrilled to see that my picture/recipe for Vegan Macaroni & Cheese was accepted by foodgawker today! Hours have been spent scrolling through the glorious pictures on FG and dreaming of one day being featured! I’m still quite thrilled. eek. I also had two recipes on Findingvegan.com, one of my new favorite sites to see all the fancy, tasty dishes vegan bloggers are coming up with around the internet. Yes, I would say today was a good day ๐Ÿ™‚

Gardening, Food, Farmer’s Market, Zoo, More Food…

24 Jul
Tapir snoooozin' at the Denver Zoo

This is how I feel after a weekend of indulgent eating...

What a weekend! There was much running around and attempts to stay cool (mid-90s for the past week here in Denver! Though I shouldn’t complain–there are so many other places hitting over 100!) It seems as though many of my activities revolved around glorious FOOD!

Waiting for us Saturday morning at the community garden we’re a part of (at the library I work at) were tons of WEEDS due to last week’s downpours! We had a garden workday in order to combat this inevitable issue and made some progress…but of course, the work is never done. In our plot, we’re growing carrots, snow peas, jalapenos, habaneros, heirloom tomatoes and jack o’lantern pumpkins (which have COMPLETELY taken over). Had to trim the pumpkin vines back a bit since they were taking hold of one of our precious tomato plants. Can’t wait to see the pumpkins when they are ready to pick!

Denver is a great place to find interesting things to do on the weekends, like the Denver Food Truck Renegades Party! This was a great event that took place in an empty parking lot downtown (cement…so hot…) and was filled with 14 local, independent food trucks! We walked the .8 miles in the heat and it was so worth it! This was such a great people-watching opportunity (the anthropologist inside me was thrilled) and a great way to support these unique businesses!

http://www.bonbonbuggy.com/

Delicious treats from the Bon Bon Buggy!

http://www.steubens.com/

Steuben's is great restaurant in Denver and they also have a food truck!

Sunday involved a delightful (albeit sweaty) bike ride over to the Farmer’s Market in City Park! Also great for people watching, especially this week since there was a fun bluegrass/folksy band playing (pretty sure none of them had shoes on). We have so much food at home, but it’s just so tempting looking at the piles of fresh produce! We resisted and only got some whole wheat tortillas (delish!), some Argentinean lemonade (very sweet, almost had some hints of peach?) and a black blean & guac pupusa! So. good. Looks pretty simple to make, though I’m sure I’ll reject that statement once I try…

Such a happy sight--the mixing of food, people and sunlight!

Black bean and guacamole pupusa! yum!

Somehow this innocent trip to the Farmer’s Market turned into stopping at the Denver Zoo, buying a year membership and wandering around snapping photos of the pachyderms (best word ever), marsupials and birds! I love that we are within a 10 minute bike ride of the zoo! Though I don’t completely agree with the “zoo” concept (animals don’t belong in an urban setting), I do enjoy the educational aspect and understand that under certain circumstances, the zoo can promote mating for endangered species. Take the good with the bad, I suppose. The tapirs that they were “encouraging” to mate seemed pretty disinterested. Just wanted to sleep!

yummeh om nom nom nom

Om nom nom nom. Some of these may have disappeared before assembling the fajidillas!

Apologies for butchering the Spanish language with my made-up words.

The quesadilla/fajita hybrid! the fajidilla? quesajita?

With our goodies from the Farmer’s Market, we whipped up an easy meal of pseudo-quesadillas. Really, these were more like a mixture of fajitas and quesadillas. We grilled a bunch of vegetables (lightly tossed with canola oil and salt), layered them like a quesadilla with vegetarian refried beans and Follow Your Heart cheddar cheese. Grilled them a bit longer…whipped up some rice (which I forgot I wanted to make spanish rice! next time!)…and some guacamole! I absolutely love Haas avocados. Can’t get enough. Especially when they are 2 for $1 ๐Ÿ™‚ We really should have made only one fajidilla (quesadilla+fajita) because the thick zucchini squash really made them hearty! Quite tasty.

Another week gone. Another week closer to the Warrior Dash (eeek!) Going. to. pass. out. I can jog well at 5280ft here in Denver. The dash is at Copper Mountain which I think is like 7000-8000ft above sea level. Ack! Oh, Oxygen. I need you. It will be great fun, though I will be the one breathing loudly and stumbling about as the 60 year old marathoner passes me. Can’t wait!