Weekend Things

Well it did indeed snow last week. I assumed the mountains would get it but we would just see rain and then at 4:30 on Tuesday, I looked up and there it was. I saw it with my own eyes and yet, I could not believe it. Truly the weirdest weather swing I’ve ever witnessed in Colorado, a place known for weird weather swings.

By Friday, the sun was back and it was warm enough to sit outside for lunch so Andi and I were both happy!

I definitely did not have the energy to cook dinner, so we ordered take out from Chop Shop, then drove there to pick it up. Driving to pick up food counts as an exciting outing for me nowadays 😂 We were so hungry by the time we started our 20-minute drive back home, that we maybe ate the entire container of Brussels sprouts we ordered as an appetizer. Then I was too full and only made it through half my bacon-wrapped meatloaf, but oh well! We also watched The Handmaiden, which had not one but two twists that I did not see coming at all. I’m still working out how I felt about it but it sure was interesting!

We picked a semi-ambitious waffle recipe for Saturday morning (anything with multiple components feels ambitious to me, but we better take advantage of free time and make those recipes now, right??) and they were great! At 11, we took both cars over to Presbyterian St. Luke’s hospital to have the car seats inspected and after all the agonizing and readjusting we did, they both passed without issue. They also had us practice putting a doll in the car seat, which I was not expecting to have to do, and yeah, I could use some more practice 😂

Back at home, we put a few finishing touches on the nursery and IT IS OFFICIALLY DONE! I love how it feels in there ❤❤ We took some pictures so we could share with friends/family who can’t come tour it in person and so that I can do a little post about it soon! We also got the hospital bag mostly packed. Just need a few more things in there and we’ll be good to go!

We lounged for a bit afterward and Joey made me watch I Know What You Did Last Summer because I recently mentioned that I hadn’t ever really seen it. He made me promise we’d watch it while it’s “Spooky Season,” so I gave in 😋 It was pretty much what I though it would be, but it’s so hard to watch any of the movies that Scary Movie makes fun of because I just think of all those jokes 😂 Definitely laughed out loud when Jennifer Love Hewitt was yelling “what are you waiting for?!” If you know, you know.

The weather was perfect so we took our pup on a longish walk then I made this summery dinner for us and even though I felt like I’d messed up the millet and the tofu and the sauteed veggies, it all tasted really really good and fresh together. To continue our “Spooky Season” viewing, we added a bunch of Hitchcock films to our queue and then decided to stick with the sea town theme and watch The Birds. I still want to know the reason for all those bird attacks but we liked it! Also, in the middle of the night, the blinds in our window flew up and Joey is convinced birds did it 😂

Joey got up and went on a run Sunday morning, so I ordered us breakfast sandwiches from the Wooden Spoon and it hit the spot! Andi and I took a morning nap afterward, but then I dragged myself upstairs to change out of my pajamas because my parents and sister were stopping by 😊

My mom brought me peach scones (totally ate one while reading outside later on and it was the loveliest moment) and this Celtic mother and baby necklace that I love so so much ❤ It was really nice to visit with them all, especially that part when my dad gave me a back massage 🙌 I told them we are going into strict quarantine mode around 37-38 weeks (because how AWFUL would it be if Joey had a fever when we checked into the hospital and couldn’t be there for the birth of our son?!) and I think my mom is already panicking about not seeing us for three weeks 😋

Not sure why Andi needs to look so scared when I hold him, but here we are at 34 (almost 35) weeks 🎉🎉🎉 I should probably do a third trimester post real soon! Joey grilled us some steak while I made guac and then we put it all together with some cotija for steak tacos. So good!!! The Cowboys game started right after dinner, so I offered to take Andi on a walk and it felt so nice and semi-fallish outside. We took a game break to watch Big Brother and then the Cowboys lost and Joey fake cried over that and the Rockies loss from earlier in the day 😂

How was your weekend?

Best Tastes 2017: Restaurant Edition

Here we are.  The very last day of 2017 and all I care about it sharing this list of the best restaurant meals we ate this year.  I write these as the year goes along, then go back and edit/proof-read them at the end and get to re-live all the deliciousness (minus the actual food, wahh!).  It’s really the most fun and honestly, much more uplifting than recapping the year in general.  I want to look back on 2017 and think of lamb burgers, broccoli tempura and chilaquiles, so here we go!

Mushroom & Thyme Tartine from Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen (January 2) // This place can be a little off on efficiency but never on taste.  The mushrooms were plentiful, the labneh had this wasabi zing that I couldn’t get enough of and the toast soaked up that egg in the most beautiful way.  Maybe dramatically fake cried when they took it off the menu.  Seasonal menu changes can be a real mood killer sometimes.  

img_4840

Share Plates at Community (January 13) // We ate at Community twice this year and were blown away both times, but the first time really sticks out in my mind.  I think the chili and brisket were table favorites but the whole evening felt like a blur of deliciousness and every bite seemed better than the last.

img_4934

Creole Shrimp Omelet from Four Friends Kitchen (February 19) // Oozy pimento cheese, spicy shrimp, BBQ potatoes with crispy edges and a buttery piece of cornbread to top it all off.  Love at first bite!

img_5261

Pork Shank Hash from Annette (March 19) // We were burning up in the sun on a unusually warm March morning but I forgot all about it when I gobbled up this perfectly portioned, exceptionally prepared hash.  The potatoes were so crispy, the pork was so juicy, and pickled mustard seeds were the perfect burst of acidity.  

IMG_5521

Cascara IPA from Denver Beer Co. (January 7) // The smell, the flavor, the hops.  This beer was everything!

img_4895

Chicken Kaarage from Mizu Izakaya (January 6) // These adult chicken nuggets were so perfectly breaded and fried so that they were both crispy and moist.  Plus they came with a dipping sauce that complimented the chicken perfectly.  

img_4873

Tempura Broccoli/Tamarind Pork Ribs/Green-Chile Cheese Fries from Work & Class (April 12) // Technically, this is more than one dish but I’ll be damned if I have to choose between all these incredible things we ate one happy hour before a Rockies game.  This is my blog and I make the rules here.  This meal was heaven on Earth.  

IMG_5700

Almond Croissant from Babettes Artisan Breads (January 29) // There is NOTHING like a really good French pastry.  This one was flaky, crunchy from the almonds, with the most delectable almond filling inside.  

img_5076

Apricot-Ginger Biscuit from Annette (March 19) // Huge, buttery, studded with apricots and sprinkled with gingery sugar.  I couldn’t decide if I liked the crumbly corners or the fluffy insides better, but thankfully, I didn’t have to choose.

IMG_5520

Valentine’s Dinner from Tables (February 14) // I feel like this place might be one of Denver’s best kept secrets.  Which is just fine because that means more tempura fried banana, leek hollandaise, chicken roulade and strawberry pocket pie for me!

img_5221

Joey’s Birthday Dinner from Acorn at The Source (April 2) // Pretzel with gruyère fondue, lobster arancini, morel agnolotti, a 24 oz. (!!!) prime ribeye, crispy potatoes and an au poivre that I wanted to pour straight into my mouth.  Need I say more?

IMG_5645

Colorado Lamb Slider from Root Down (February 20) // Joey and I are thinking of becoming a thruple with this slider.  It just completes us, okay?  But for real, a juicier, more flavorful, herbaceous burger patty does not exist and the harissa, cheddar, arugula and mint-yogurt go SO well with that lamb.  

IMG_2085

Quinoa Crab Cakes from Fish N Beer (March 7) // I went to Fish N Beer for blowfish tails but when they were out, I ordered the crab cakes instead and they were PHENOMENAL.  What blowfish tails??  That tender crab meat, that perfect crust, that remoulade that took it to a whole different level.  Crab cake of my dreams, for sure.

IMG_5418

Alaskan Reindeer from Biker Jim’s (April 1) // Yeah, I said it.  The humble hot dog gets a spot on this list.  Except this is anything but humble.  Coulda sworn I’d ordered this from BJ’s before but I think I would’ve CLEARLY remembered eating something this good so this MUST have been the first time.  Usually the toppings outshine whatever dog I get, but not the case here because even with the wasabi and the shaved cheddar, the dog was the best tasting part.

IMG_0899

Clam Pizza from Cart-Driver (April 24) // Yeah, the space is SMALL AS HELL, yeah, you order at the counter and yeah, sometimes you have to figure that out on your own, but don’t let confusion talk you out of eating one of the best pizzas of your life.  The clam is SO GOOD and perfectly salty (that pancetta though!).  Nothing compares!

IMG_5820

Uber Burger from Uber Eats (September 17) // We biked to My Brother’s Bar on a Sunday only to find they are closed on Sundays (!!!!!) so instead, we headed up to Uber Eats and what a blessing in disguise because this burger was honestly incredible!  I ate every last bite then almost cried when it was gone.

img_2226

“Grits for the Table” at 5th & Taylor (May 14) // I’ve never been more delighted with a surprise food delivery than I was when I ate these BEST OF MY LIFE grits.  I don’t know what they put in there, but it was probably pure magic.  

IMG_0093

Biscuits & Burritos & Vietnamese Cold Brew at Barista Parlor (May 15 & 16) // Do not make me choose between the egg & maple bacon biscuit sandwich I ate on Monday and the egg & pesto breakfast burrito I ate on Tuesday.  I really couldn’t!  I just know both made me insanely happy to be at Barista Parlor, sipping a cold coffee drink with an actual orchid in it.  

IMG_0112

Everything at City House in Nashville (May 15) // beets with cabbage and buttermilk dressing, charred carrots with whipped goat cheese, chard pizza with fennel fonduta.  Need I say more?  Okay, how bout friendliest staff and most “we’re all regulars here!” vibe I’ve ever experienced?  Loved it!

IMG_0107

Hot chicken at Hattie B’s (May 16) // The chicken was just spicy enough, fried to perfection and juicy as could be, plus we could not pick a favorite between pimento mac and cheese, stewed greens, crinkle fries and baked beans.  It was all too good!

IMG_0181

Spicy Chicken Ramen at Uncle (May 16 & November 22) // Will anything ever dethrone Uncle’s Spicy Chicken as the best ramen? Probably not, so I’ll just keep auto-entering it into this list forever, okay?  Decided the broth tastes like a thinner spicier version of Kraft mac and cheese sauce and I mean that as a good thing.

img_4583

The Green Machine at Bamboo Sushi (June 1) // The first time I tried Bamboo Sushi, I was with my mom and in order to not totally gross her out of eating her own meal, I ordered vegetarian sushi but what a blessing in disguise that moment turned out to be because the Green Machine roll is THEE BEST.  That sweet chili aioli on top is lick-your-plate good and even now that I’ve tried the non-veggie sushi, this one is still my very favorite!

IMG_0348

Dinner at El Five, without a doubt! (July 7) //  I thought Linger and Avanti had Denver’s best skyline views but those are nothing compared to what you get at El Five.  That, plus tapas that BLEW MY TASTE BUDS AWAY, and I was one mega-happy girl.

IMG_0958IMG_0973IMG_0976

Rotolo at Dio Mio (August 22) // This rolled up slice of pasta, summer squash, ricotta and drippy egg was decadent and rich but somehow still fresh and light and I couldn’t get over how all of that could exist in one dish, but I wasn’t going to question it.  I was just going to enjoy eating it.

img_1699

Taco Sushi at TAG Restaurant (September 9) // Let’s not talk about how long it took for this appetizer to come out or how I looked away for a second and Joey had finished the last of the guac or how bad this picture is.  Instead, let’s talk about how this was somehow a taco and also sushi and tasted incredible together.  I wanted to eat about 10 more!

img_2232

Chilaquiles at Candela Latin Kitchen (September 10) // If chilaquiles are on the menu, I MUST order them!  And these were some of (maybe thee best?!) I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  Totally decked out in sauce and crema and avocado, plus those perfectly cooked eggs and mix between soft and crispy tortillas chips had me in a food-induced state of pure euphoria.  

img_2050

Blow Fish Tails at Fish N Beer (September 29) // Shh, let’s pretend I don’t already have this place on this list for another dish.  Blow fish tails sound weird but they seriously taste like chicken and these ones come coated in a just-spicy-enough buffalo sauce.  We got a second order after devouring the first.

img_2378

Broccoli Dip, Wild Mushrooms and Denver Nuggets at Meadowlark Kitchen (October 17) // I don’t know why I waited so long to finally try this place but after stuffing ourselves on all three of these dishes, I was really kicking myself for wasting so much precious time.  Everything was so flavorful and luscious and I actually couldn’t stop eating it until it was all gone.

img_2555

Sea Bass at Flight (October 24) //  Have you ever had sea bass?  It is so choice.  If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend picking one up.  Okay, just kidding, but it’s seriously the best fish, so buttery and light.  I love it!  This place wowed me with the flight concept but the sea bass sealed the deal.

img_2654

Itsy Bitsy Fishwich at Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen (November 30) // Honestly, EVERYTHING we ate at Euclid Hall sent me into a tailspin of food happiness but this fishwich was the first thing I tasted and it set the tone for the entire meal by being perfectly portioned, crispy, properly seasoned and just so well balanced between the toasty bun, fish patty, jalapeño aioli and avocado.  More please!

img_3003

Crispy Fried All Natural Chicken at Chop Shop (December 6) // If you wanna know the truth, I ordered this mainly for the white cheddar polenta and Swiss chard with bacon but then that chicken turned out to be ultra moist and the hint of honey just made the whole thing sing.  Tasted like the best plate of comfort food on a cold December night.

img_3074

I recently saw a article where the staff from Uproxx shared their single best meal of 2017 and just the thought of having to narrow it down to ONE MEAL made me anxious.  In other words, I won’t be doing that but thank you for letting me share this little not-so-little round up of what made me happiest this year, aka a meal so good you felt the residual euphoria for days to come.  Hope you had many of those this year too!

And with that, I’m out till 2018.  Have a Happy New Year!