Weekend Things: Family Time in Estes Park

This weekend was just so so good.  When it comes to vacationing, I find I always have my sights set on far off locations and forget about the places, like Estes Park, that are only a few hours drive away, in our very own state.  And I always forget just how refreshing and re-energizing that fresh mountain air and time spent with loved ones can be!

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We stopped in Lyons to grab a beer at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew and look, I thought I didn’t like Oskar Blues beers, but then I had the Nooice Saison and loved it so much.  So I guess I don’t know who I am or what I like 🙂  They have an old school video game arcade that Joey and Adam were pretty into but my childhood mainly consisted of Mario Party on Nintendo 64 so I guess the nostalgia was kind of lost on me.

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Once in Estes (we saw three elk on our way!), we checked into our BEAUTIFUL condo, maybe locked ourselves out within three minutes of being there — four adults should be smarter than this, right? — made a very important beer run then had dinner at Tavern 1929, because when the lodge you’re staying at has its own restaurant and 18 microbrews, you obviously make a reservation.  We all dubbed Joey’s elk chops the best dish of the night and considered ordering dessert but then decided to retire to our condo for some hot tub/puzzle/sad sad Rockies game time.

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Saturday morning waffles for all!  Remember how I mentioned Joey made a bunch of buttermilk waffles last weekend?  Purposely, because we froze the extras then packed them up and just popped them in the toaster for everyone on Saturday morning.  I’d never tried this re-toast and revive method but they were great!  Plus, drinking coffee outside in the crisp mountain air is MY FAVORITE.  And I never pass up a coffee-mug-with-the-mountains-in-the-background picture 🙂

At 10, we made our way into town for the event of the weekend: The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival!  I didn’t even know A) Joey’s family had Scandinavian roots or B) that those painted horses are called Dala Horses and are a Swedish thing!  We totally had one of those in our house, growing up.  In all seriousness, the weather was beautiful, the festival was packed and it was cool to see all the Scandinavian culture.  We had lunch, made a stop at the taffy store and grabbed ice cream in town before heading back to our condo to rest up before dinner.

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We had a bit of a dinner party at our place later on.  Everyone came over with food and Joey and I cooked salmon with a recipe we’d never used at a size we’d never cooked but it all went swimmingly (sorry, had to make a fish pun) and this beet salad always impresses.  And I learned what potato bologna was and even got to try it for myself.  Had many Swedish learning experiences this weekend, guys!

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Okay, all I have are food photos from the beginning and the end of Sunday, but in between was a bunch of good stuff, like a quick and painless drive back from Estes, lunch at BriDer, couch lounging, garden surveying (my parents watered for us while we were gone and I love them for it ♥), running (amen for a quick weekend cool off in Denver), kombucha brewing and dinner cooking.  It felt like there were 10 extra hours in the day and I was not mad about it!  Joey made garlic scape pesto with scapes from the farmers’ market and, get this, chard from our garden.  Yes!  It was so good and we used it in some pasta for dinner and all was right in the world.  Except the Rockies… WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE SUCH PAIN??

Please tell me what you did this weekend, I’d love to hear!

Recently Consumed

A list of things consumed by my head, heart, eyes, ears and stomach lately.

Guys, can we talk about how I sometimes have a very pretty food picture but then don’t post it on Instagram because it’ll be my 5th food photo in a row?  Life is just a series of carefully curated social media posts, that aim to make us look perfect or, at the very least, not crazy.  I don’t know the consequences yet, but we’re all in on this social experiment.  Anyway, point being, I’m just posting all those pictures here now.  You know what you’re getting into when you come to this space: MOSTLY FOOD.

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Jalapeño Ranch

On Monday, I posted this picture of our lunch salad, featuring Joey and I’s Food Obsession of the Moment: Jalapeño Ranch (!!!) but last week, we made these Summer Bliss Bowls with Sweet Potato Falafel and that’s really when we fell in love with this incredible dressing.  That and those falafels were addictingly GOOD.  We pan-fried em and I think I ate like 14 of the 17 we made…

Also just realized I actually DID post this picture on Instagram, but here, take a second look because this bowl deserves one.  

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Dusk in Denver

The walk back to my car after yoga is one of the brightest moments of my entire week.  Not only do I have that post-yoga euphoria going on, but I stroll past Little Man and all those people out enjoying ice cream with their loved ones just makes me so happy.  Not to mention that cotton candy sky!  WOWZA.

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Citrus Mistress IPA

Guys, I thought I’d never say this, but… TOO HOPPY.  And of course, I purchased a whole pint without knowing if I’d like it or not.  I didn’t.  Lucky for me, Joey is a human garbage can (which sounds mean, but I love this about him) so he finished it for me and Film on the Rocks is a dream experience regardless of whether your beer is good or not.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and really liked it!  Picked it mainly because it fit my “Read a book published between 1900 and 1950” task, but it also had a very high Goodreads rating and it’s always a good sign when a novel can stand the test of time.  I read a lot of more recent/popular stuff for book club so reading something from an earlier time period is always refreshing.  I read for a variety of reasons, but being transported to a time or place that I don’t know firsthand and feels fantastical is probably one of the biggest.  This book had that going for it, plus the plot was just eerie enough to keep me enticed without totally freaking me out (which is alarmingly easy…).

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Homemade Pizza

A few months back, Cooking Light had a little pizza segment and I think I bookmarked every single recipe.  We’ve made two in the past couple of weeks and HOW GOOD IS PIZZA?  If I had to choose between pizza and tacos, I’d probably die of old age before I could make a decision, but I feel like I do a way better job with homemade pizza than I do with homemade tacos.  I’ve got Tomato-Ricotta on the brain for our next pizza party at home.

Obvious Child

Do you know Jenny Slate?  She did a too-brief stint on SNL and she played Tally Schifrin on Girls, oh and she’s the voice of Marcel the Shell!  I really love her and think she’s underrated in this world.  Her movie Landline just came out, but while I was watching the trailer I noticed a trailer for another movie she’s in called Obvious Child so we watched it and laughed and loved it.  It’s a little short but it ends before it has a chance to ruin anything it’s accomplished in its 83 minutes.

Homegrown radishes!

How gorgeous is that purple radish, though?!  They’re maybe a little softer and less spicy than the radishes we buy at the grocery, but food you grew yourself just tastes better.  Just know Joey accidentally spilled a bunch of the seeds in our garden and now we have a cluster of weird-shaped radishes growing.  Too funny!

Hey, this list actually included a few non-food things.  Round of applause for me!