Weekend Things

Mother Nature has been so cruel lately, giving us perfectly warm spring weather during the week then letting it rain all weekend.  But, last week she turned it around, meaning we had THEE BEST weather all weekend and as a result, we were able to clean up our yard, plant our garden, eat meal after meal outside and I just truly felt like my happiest self.  Our doggy even got to join us outside and I was like, “Andi, this is our summer life, isn’t it the best?!”  He concurred… then barked at a squirrel for 15 minutes.

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Friday, we headed home, walked Andi and mixed up these Spring Pea Veggie Burgers from Joy the Baker for dinner.  As meat eaters, we’re pretty pro-real burger but these were SO GOOD!  They held together NO PROBLEM, and decked out with cucumber slices, watercress, avocado, mustard and most importantly, a perfectly spicy Sriracha mayo, they tasted truly incredible.  Would have been the perfect opportunity to actually grill a burger (had I planned better), but we compensated by grilling some sweet potato discs.  Joey gifted me the very last can of Madame Psychosis from Fiction Beer Company.  In other words, this was a perfect night!

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Briefly considered Saturday morning waffles but then the idea of defrosting buttermilk, zesting a lemon and waiting for butter to melt then cool was all too much, so I mixed up our super simple go-to whole wheat pancake batter instead and wasn’t mad about it.  Also, we filled a growler of iced coffee on Friday and that’s how you ensure that the rest of the weekend is good.  Plus we needed all the caffeine for an afternoon of yard work!

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We maybe spent way too much time and way too much money at Paulino Gardens but we finally made it back home and to the backyard.  Joey did most all the hard stuff, but I planted our backyard pot and front porch buckets and I’m so in love with them!  How incredible are those stripped and speckled petunias??  We tag-teamed the garden bed and now our tulips — one of which finally opened up! — don’t look so lonely.

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Later on, I left Joey in the backyard and hit the grocery but then I came home and we cleaned up just in time for my sister to come over so we could all go to dinner ♥  We took her to Meadowlark and look, I feel conflicted about giving away this secret, but this might be one of the best restaurants in Denver.  I didn’t even know they had a back area but that’s where they sat us, so we got to be half inside/half outside and it felt perfectly summery.  We split a burrata dip with fried naan, a spring salad, chicken nuggets and the famous Meadowlark burger.  I’m kicking myself for taking an Instagram video and not an actual picture, because it was CRAZY.  Look it up!  Also, it tasted incredible.

Back at home, we all watched Tragedy Girls and it was super quirky and weird and gruesome and inappropriate but enjoyably so?  We think we liked it.

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Sunday started with another 5-mile run.  We did it in 47-something minutes, which is really fast for me and probably explains why I felt dead at the end.  We recovered with carrot cake overnight oats from The Savvy Cook and I think I want to make them again!  The rest of the day involved making Chili Mango Zesty Quinoa Salads for lunch this week — I’ve been cooking beans in our pressure cooker and even though I keep overcooking them, it’s been a fun experiment — and finishing up garden stuff, aka planting our seeds.

We jotted down some notes at the end of last year so hopefully we’ve refined the process just a bit more for this growing season.  I’m mainly excited for speckled lettuces!  It’s a bit more work — water, weed, harvest, repeat — but now that things are planted and there’s LIFE growing in the backyard, all feels right in the world.  We ended Sunday by watching 6 Balloons and while I didn’t LOVE it, I liked it and still thought it made for a perfect end to a perfect weekend.

A Spring Trip to New Orleans

So we went to New Orleans.  We ate Po Boys at Parkway and walked to Pandora’s for snowballs.  We listened to live jazz on Frenchmen and watched people dance in the streets from the balcony at Dat Dog.

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We walked to breakfast at Surrey’s Uptown, where some of us (me!) had the best shrimp and grits of their life and on the other end of the table, someone (Courtney!) had the biggest pancake of their life.  We toured Oak Alley with Mint Juleps in our hands.  We boiled 40 pounds of crawfish in the backyard and those of us who knew taught those of us who didn’t, how to peel them like a pro.  We drank beers at Port Orleans and walked to Tipitina’s and just barely missed a Better Than Ezra/Mark McGrath show.

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We braved the line at District Donuts and finished eating just as the rain stopped and the sun came out.  We shopped Magazine Street and walked the Garden District, listening to the haunted history of homes too beautiful to believe.  We grabbed single cans at the Craft Beer Cellar and strolled till we happened upon Shaya and had to have hummus and pita.  We ate hushpuppies at Pêche and Ubered to Bourbon Street in a mini van blasting Backstreet Boys.  We drank a 3 gallon Hurricane (not kidding!) at Pat O’Brien’s then ate 7 orders of beignets at midnight.

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We drank Mimosas and Bloody Marys at The Ruby Slipper, rode the streetcar into the French Quarter, walked to the French Market, strolled next to the river and ate Creole classics for lunch before picking up our bags and heading to the airport.

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So many good memories but that crawfish boil, arranged entirely by my very generous uncle, is a moment I’ll never forget.  Watching my family (Emily came too!) bond with Joey’s family over peeling technique, seeing my mother-in-law bravely try crawfish then successfully peel her own, explaining (several times) that no one was “sucking the brains,” knowing we almost ate all 40 pounds, made my heart very very happy.  Plus, the crawfish, potatoes, sausage, corn, garlic and mushrooms all tasted so good!

Till next time, NOLA ♥