Recently Consumed

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

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Fish N Beer

It’s back!  This little restaurant that we adore caught fire last October and has been closed since, but they just reopened and we’re so happy to have our spot back!  We stopped in for all night happy hour, shared Buffalo blowfish tails, a shrimp po boy, jambalaya, a wood-grilled artichoke and a mini fish n chips basket and it tasted better than ever after not having it in our lives for months.

Russian Doll

I don’t know how to talk about this show.  There was so much I genuinely loved about it.  Natasha Lyonne for starters.  She is SO GOOD in this!  It sort of blew me away.  It is also funny, creative, thought-provoking and though the premise may not be realistic, the emotions are.  Also, this show just has a real sense of style.  But.  Multi-dimensional, time loop stuff is difficult for me.  It always seems to operate on a “this is confusing, don’t try to fully understand it, just go with it” basis, that I can’t get past.  Why was the fruit moldy?  Why were people disappearing and how did they reappear?  How did Nadia and Alan get into separate dimensions?  I felt like the versions of them that had lived and learned and grown and dealt with stuff were better versions of themselves, but what about the versions of them that HADN’T done any of that?  My sister and Joey both told me I thought about it too hard ūüėõ

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If Beale Street Could Talk

I’ve been wanting to read this book since seeing the movie, and though that may sound like a risky move, it’s actually my preferred order for things that exist in both movie and book versions.  I’m rarely disappointed.  The book is so beautiful and heartbreaking and after reading it, I am fully convinced that Barry Jenkins’ adaptation is PERFECT.  All the emotions I felt watching the movie were the same ones I felt reading the book.  Just wow.

Jenny Lewis’s On the Line

This is a story about how I knew who Jenny Lewis was without realizing it.  Because she opened for Beck last summer and when I heard her sing, I realized I’d heard her sing before and then I learned she was the lead singer of Rilo Kiley and hey, I know that band too!  So, anyway, I saw some mentions of her new album on Twitter and decided to give it a listen.  I love it!  Specifically, “Heads Gonna Roll,” “Do Si Do,” “Little White Dove” and “On The Line.”  I’ve also been walking around all week singing, “I wasted my youth, on a puppy” to my dog, so this is me.

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A River in Darkness

A wrote a rather unfavorable review of this book on Goodreads and then, after going to book group and also seeing a picture of the author, who looked so sad and alone, felt guilty about it.  I’ll just be up front and say this writing is prosaic.  It is also from a non-writer and it’s been translated, so there’s that.  The story is an important one, but it is a tough depressing read.  I had no idea just how bad the conditions were (and maybe still are) in North Korea and I was horrified to hear the details.  For what it’s worth, this made for some impassioned discussion among our book group members.

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Spring Pea Veggie Burgers

I’ve never needed fresh herb-y flavors more than when I was already feeling so over winter and then we got a nasty snow storm.  WHY??  It was at that point that I decided it could continue being winter, but I was going to eat like it was spring.  These veggie burgers have spring in the title, so they were an obvious choice.  Plus, I made them last year and remembered how delicious and flavor-packed they were!  We loved them again and wow, how good is a burst of heat from a sriracha mayo??

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Dept. of Speculation 

I love when a book is short but still able to capture your heart, endear you to the narrator and just feel real.  I felt a little mislead by the synopsis, which said something about a woman writing letters to her husband and only being identified as “the wife.”  There is a section that slips into third person, but for the most part, it’s told from the first person and certainly not as letters.  I liked the way it told small pieces and random moments/thoughts, that together, gave you a good look at someone’s life.  And that all those small details felt honest, believable and even if you haven’t lived these exact moments, the emotions in it were relatable.

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New Garage

Okay, this is a cheat.  I have not consumed a garage, but I’m too excited to not fit this into the post.  Our new garage is all finished and it only took a little over a month to build!  We love the color, we love being able to park both our cars inside, we love all the extra space inside and we love the huge mess it made on the other side of the yard, where they tore down the old garage.  Except not that last part.  Joey loves an outdoor project, but we’re actually entertaining the idea of hiring someone to fix it up because you know what’s better than spending your entire summer trying to make your backyard nice?  Having someone else make it nice in a fraction of the time and then getting to spend the entire summer actually enjoying the backyard.

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Taco Tuesday at Dos Santos

I love so many things about Dos Santos.  Their House Margarita, they’re outdoor patio (especially on one of those first warm nights on spring), their chips and salsa and of course, those tacos.  But, why does the service have to be so bad every time?  It’s slow or disinterested or a combination of the two.  Despite the 20 minutes it took to flag down our waitress for the check, I still love a 75 degree night eating tacos and sipping a marg.  Please let it be summer soon!

In other news, the Rockies can’t win a game, we had another snowstorm yesterday, we’re going to Vegas tomorrow, I can’t put down the book I’m currently reading (The Shadow of the Wind!) and every moment I’m not reading, I’m thinking about Game of Thrones.  What are you reading, watching, eating, enjoying right now?

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 ‚ô•¬† 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.