Monday, June 27, 2011

Crunchy granola

For those who like to rise and dine – I’ve never been one to skip breakfast – this crunchy, cinnamony granola has made my summer mornings a treat.

9 cups rolled oats
2 cups sliced almonds
2 ½ cups rice cereal
3 tbs. flax seed
4 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp maple flavoring
1 cup honey

Mix thoroughly and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Makes 25, ½ cup servings.

I’ve been mixing my granola with non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt and fresh berries. It’s the perfect healthy breakfast to keep me full all morning. Yum!
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today marks the first anniversary of my blog. So much has happened in one year … 73 posts, 2 foodie fundraisers, 4 food adventures, meeting 1 famous chef, becoming a featured blogger on Urbanspoon and LocalEats, 1 amusing recipe disaster, 15 Dine & Dishes, 27 ‘official’ followers and countless ‘unofficial’ followers < smile >.

Thank you to all who’ve journeyed with me - dish by dish. And to my blog … thank you for being my creative outlet and the forum for my love affair with all things food.

I guess I can have my cake and eat it too.

Need a bigger helping?:
Strawberry Country Cake
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Best night ever, the report …

Taste of the Nation – fundraiser for Share Our Strength – has been rated the best food event in Denver. That’s a pretty strong statement, right? I thought so. And now that I’ve attended the event myself, I can say that I whole-heartedly agree with the boasting. In the life of a foodie, it was an amazing night.

Let me highlight a few things that made this event great …
• Inspired food from 30+ local restaurants
• A libation competition offering adult beverage creations
• An entire section devoted to tasting the products of local, small food businesses
• All this whilst supporting a good cause

It’s easy to imagine that such an event – with its overindulgence of decadent food juxtaposed against the raising of funds to support children with hungry bellies - would inspire a giving spirit.

On a personal note, the evening was “one of the best” for a couple of reasons: 1) I was recognized for the first time! Somebody recognized me from this, here, little food blog. And in my book, that's pretty exciting. 2) Something else came from the evening. But it’s too early to share. It will come, in time. Follow along this summer to find out what’s to come – all thanks to this great night.

All I have left to say is that a night like this is only made better when sharing the experience with somebody you love. I’ll raise my glass to that.

Need a bigger helping?:
Share Our Strength

Find a Share Our Strength foodie fundraiser in your town:
Share Our Strength Events
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dine & Dish: Aria

The dining options of Cherry Creek have expanded once more with the arrival of Aria, the recently opened sister restaurant to Opus.

We made an evening of it and ordered the Chef’s tasting menu with wine pairing. The tasting menu featured 5 courses and began with a seared sea scallop and carrot risotto. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the light risotto was encircled by vibrantly colored sauces. This dish was a promising start to our meal.

The second course came in the form of a ricotta salad with basil and spring strawberries. The smoothness of the ricotta with the basil and berries made for a light and summery dish. The salad course was one of my favorites of the evening.

The next course was a medium rare tuna served with a shallot cake and pineapple kim chi. I quite enjoyed the texture of the shallot cake but it had a bit too much heat for my liking so I passed on a second bite.

My other favorite dish emerged as the fourth course - the Dr. Pepper bison short rib with vanilla parsnip. My first bite was of the vanilla bean parsnip alone and the flavor profile was initially lost on me. That is, until I took another bite – probably as the chef intended – with the vanilla parsnip and short rib combined on the fork. This bite resulted in a mouthful of blissful flavor.

With already filled bellies, our meal concluded with a chocolate spring roll served with ice cream and accompanied by a glass of port. I especially enjoyed the crunch of the roll with the warm chocolate inside.

Having enjoyed the tasting menu with the wine pairing, Aria’s sommelier deserves notable mention as he made our dining experience. What I so appreciated about his wine conversation was that he maintained a balance of educational and approachable all at the same time.

Overall, the highlight of Aria is the food – as it should be – but being one who also thoroughly loves the atmosphere of a restaurant – I’ll also say that the size and layout of the main dining room doesn’t lend itself to the quaint, neighborhood feel I so enjoy. Even so, my final word on Aria is ... the menu hits several high notes on the flavor scale.

Need a bigger helping?:

Aria on Urbanspoon
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Best night ever

Spent the evening at “Taste of the Nation”. More to come soon … In the meantime, who can name this famous chef?

(Hint: You don't have to be local to know the answer, you've likely seen him on your tube.)
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Dine & Dish: Devil’s Food - Suppertime

Already a fan of their brunch offerings, I was eager to try Devil’s Food a la nighttime. Here’s how it went … Devil’s Food at suppertime.

When my wine came served in a mason jar and the bread was smartly placed within a bundt pan, I happily perused the menu for an appetizer. The Green Bean Upside Down Cake caught my attention. It sounds interesting, huh? I’ve learned from my mom that when something is on the menu that intrigues you so, you should order it. Hence, out of pure curiosity, I placed my order.

I would have great pleasure in telling this intriguing appetizer was divine. Sadly, that was not the case. It had some very nice flavors – seriously, how can you go wrong with a drizzle of gorgonzola crème fraiche? But with its multitude of random ingredients – a few lonely green beans, caramel, pistachios, cornbread - it didn’t come together as a collective dish.

Luckily, I ordered one of nightly specials for my entrée and my heart was won all over again by this neighborhood-favorite restaurant. The pasta special, with a light white wine sauce, struck the perfect balance between fresh and indulgent. Mixed throughout the angel hair pasta were vibrantly colored vegetables and two crispy, fried eggplant medallions topped the plate. It tasted like springtime. I eventually had to stop myself from twirling another bite onto my fork.

Final word on Devil's Food - Suppertime: A lovely dinner. And for those who love morning fare no matter the time of day - they also offer “Breakfast at Night”.

Need a bigger helping?:
Devil's Food

Devil's Food Bakery on Urbanspoon
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Got tickets?

Taste of the Nation is one week away! This foodie fundraiser raises money for Share Our Strength, an organization devoted to ending childhood hunger. While philanthropy is reason enough to attend, let me also add to the temptation by telling you this event features over 30 Denver area restaurants and was voted Best Food Event in Denver.

Do you have tickets yet? If yes, I will see you there! If you still need tickets, use coupon code FF15 for $15 bucks off admission - courtesy of Food Events of Denver writer, Jeremy Kossler.

Need a bigger helping?:
Taste of the Nation - Denver
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