Life as an urbanista on Halloween

So living as an urbanista has it’s highs and lows. Tonight is certainly a low. Here it is, Halloween night and not a soul in the street. Where are they all? Most likely two neighborhoods over knocking upon doors of the fancy highly decorated and overly-Halloween oriented neighborhood!
Oh well, my pumpkins have rotted and molded at this point, due to heat and humidity, even though they were only carved on Monday. Bright side: I didn’t buy candy this year in anticipation of the lack of goblins and ghosties knocking at my door and my waistline thanks me for that!
Happy Urbanista Halloween!
Buahahahaha!

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Wrong way driver ends in python chili cheese fries

It’s not often that I manage to fit four types of meat into one meal. I’m usually lucky to get one protein in. Dinner tonight will be different.
After hours of running errands on the strip I determine I’m hungry. But deciding what to eat in this plethora of non-franchised mom and pop foodie venues can be too much for a hungry mind to manage. I wasn’t craving anything in particular, except a little voice in the back of my mind was whispering something about French fries. I passed food after food, nothing screamed out to me.
Then it hit me, or almost hit me, in the form of a car going the wrong way on the one-way street I was driving on coming straight at me in the far left lane. My reaction to avoid it was to turn into the first driveway I could come to.
That’s how my dinner decision was made…
I had arrived at Sammy’s Wild Game Grill and crossed my fingers they would have fries. I instantly knew that this was going to be an exciting dinner by the items listed on the menu.
Proudly serving: kangaroo, antelope, python, venison, yak, rabbit, rattlesnake, camel, and more.
I’m not much of a carnivore, but when there is some new meat dish on the menu I usually am intrigued enough to try it.
I ordered the triple slider combo which included the buffalo, venison, and the antelope with a side of python chili cheese fries, and washed it down with a favorite brew of mine, White Rascal from Avery Brewery Co. out of Colorado. Dinner was delish!
Conclusion: sometimes a wrong turn can open your horizons and end up in a damn good meal of meat!

My own victory garden

Traditionally, victory gardens provide hope, independence, and substance. Victory gardens are no longer a common thing, but whole foods and central market are.
With the current changes happening in my life- i.e. my divorce- I’ve decided to create my own victory garden as Whole foods and Central Market are no longer in mu budget. This garden will provide victory over past experiences, victory over him, and victory in the name of affordable fresh food.
So far, it looks like I’ll be eating nothing more than salsa for the next year. I’ve got a fabulous looking tomato started, two jalepenos, a Pablano, onions, cilantro, and a red bell pepper. Victory is mine- I can’t wait to live off pico de gallo for the next few months!!!
Trust me, anything would be better than the last few years!
Happy eating and I’ll keep you posted on future victories from my garden!

From flowers to food

Once upon a time, there was a girl who would eat out 6 times a week, and on the 7th day rest from food trucks and five star restaurants. She would blame this on the fact that she lived in one of the fattest cities in America, blame it on not wanting to make a mess in the kitchen, blame it on working late. Truth be told, her husband was never home for dinner and she was in a 4 year long pout about it.
Two years later, one divorce, and some major reflection time afterward…she’s rediscovered her love of making a HUGE mess of dishes in the kitchen.
That girl was me.
Now that I’m on my own I’ve had to relearn so many things… Including how to use the dishwasher!
One of the most important things that keeps me moving forward has been cooking. I don’t know about you, but I love experiences and food should be one of them. To this day, I can tell you I have four recipes that I’ve ever made more than once. Dinner should be an adventure. Every dinner. I hate leftovers. I hate replays of the same thing.
Four recipes I have ever repeated include peanut butter bacon cookies, oregano and garlic ribs, sweet and hot sauce for (any) meatloaf, and bacalitos.
Here’s to trying to grow my own food in the front yard (sorry neighbors… Feel free to grab a tomato or Pablano when you need it)!
Bon appetite friends and happy food adventures!

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Urban Jeep Trails: Vol. 1

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So I have this love of Urban Jeep Trails.
No, not driving around in downtown traffic from stoplight to stoplight in order to test my clutch skills; I enjoy hitting the parking garages after rush hour to catch the view. Most people think of downtown as traffic congested and crowded but after 6pm it’s usually cleared out and has hardly any street traffic.
I have a few favorite spots, my primary one being a 4 story parking garage: it doesn’t give you much of a thrill on the way up- but once you’re there, it’s the best sunset backdrop downtown. My second favorite is more of a thrill to climb and even more to go down: a 14 story garage, which is as much fun to circle round and round 24 times as it is to reach the top.
The latter is best in the morning for sunrise over the east side of downtown while my absolute favorite allows for a more dramatic sunset shot.
Either way, you’re circling round and round and can hear the squeal of wet tires against the concrete after a rain shower.
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My urban jeep trails are places of beauty. It makes me so sad that other people dread the places I love to visit. I wonder what I would see if I were one of those people; fearing the downtown traffic turmoil:
The fear of not finding a parking place in time causing you to be late.
The fear of having to pay the additional time because the line to pay is sooo long.
The dread of traffic on the way out of downtown…
I am so thankful for the fact that I can appreciate the beauty of a downtown garage- without those worries.
If you’re one of the fearful ones, I highly recommend parking on the very top level and arriving at sunrise or leaving at sundown.
I swear this will change your outlook on the day or night!


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Out of my element and into the mud

Last month I met my parents in Colorado for an adventure that was to include camping, fly fishing, and bear sightings, but I was not expecting to experience a mudslide. Amazingly, we managed to fit all four activities into our trip.

Who knew Colorado had a monsoon season? I didn’t.

The place: Redstone, Colorado along the Crystal River

The objective: Stay alive in bear country and catch a few trout fly fishing

The result…

Well, I managed to stay alive- although I did encounter a black bear on a Hike around Maroon Bells. The bear was probably number two on my list of highlights of the trip, although, I was extremely nervous about the bears before I left for the trip- to the extent I was having nightmares about bears chasing little pineapples (don’t ask because I don’t know what that was about…). I was completely enthralled with my bear encounter. Some people say play dead, others say you should try to look scary, I just grabbed my camera and couldn’t stop clicking!

I didn’t catch any trout, but I’m definitely blaming that on the monsoon season! How are you supposed to convince a fish that a wad of delicate and artistically tied yarn and feathers are a real live fly that is in the midst of hatching when they can’t even see it through the murky rushing waters?

After a day of hiking and fishing, we returned to the campsite only to find a Sheriff blocking the road; behind her vehicle lay a large mudslide across the road. Luckily we were able to hike in another direction, but spent the evening watching a bulldozer push mud and granite boulders out of the road. Talk about a slow activity, but entertaining none the less. Highlight number one for sure!

The conclusion: Always carry a camera, just in case you run across a mudslide or black bear and maybe check the weather patterns, not just the forecast!
I had a great time and can’t wait to go back, even with the chance of getting gobbled up by a big hairy scary bear or pummeled by a giant boulder during a rain shower. You should try it, it’s invigorating! And… next time, I won’t spend so much money on fancy fishing flies when the rivers are so muddy, I’m not too proud to practice my casting on a swift murky current with a plain nymph.

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A mixologist’s palette

Poutine in Denver? I never would’ve expected to try the Canadian delicacy in the mile-high city, but I found myself scarfing it down on a recent excursion to Denver’s Larimer Square.

The place: Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen

The scene: lots of girls in high heels with jeans or cowboy boots with sundresses

What I wore: neither- ballet flats, jeans, and a chevron striped dolman top I purchased in DC after my luggage was lost (another story, another post).

My guide: Dante, a nationally recognized mixologist with an amazing palette and witty humor.
Check out the delish veggie samosas from Park and Co. he recommended the very first time we met. I knew then Denver was going to give my taste buds a run for my money after noshing these.
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My beverage, Avery Brewing Co.’s White Rascal- which I rushed to the local store to purchase upon arriving back at home base (and, am currently enjoying as I type this post)!

After ordering drinks, I graciously placed my menu on the table and asked my Denveronianite guide to order for the both of us. It never fails to go out with someone who has a fine palette and the knowledge of the local scene! A slew of house-made pickled cauliflower, peppers, green beans and cucumbers made it to the table first- the bowl filled with a variety of pickling tastes from bread and butter, spicy dill, to beer hopped yumminess. By the way, I love pickles, how’d this guy know that?!?! Then came the fried cheddar curds with buffalo ranch for dipping. I was a bit stand-offish of this one but it grew on me after a little stirring of the dipping sauce. Then, the kielbasa and a plate of four mustards hit our table. I honestly had trouble distinguishing the difference between the mustards, but they were all delicious!
And now for the Poutine…First time trying it, and I couldn’t stop munching! Frites smothered in a green chili sauce topped with a braised pork with cheese curds and chili lime seasoning. Yummy!

Wrap-up: Looking for foodie tastes in Denver, don’t be shy of the Poutine and don’t forget your heels!