Farmer’s Market Finds

When I am home one of my favorite activities is going to the Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Being home for just a week, I only had yesterday to do it! I dragged the parents out of the house to make it down there before everything was gone and it was just how I remembered it: tents aplenty offering sweet and savory treats, fresh produce, and other products like woven bags and hats! With my stomach rumbling, I stopped by the Denver Biscuit Co. Bus for a biscuit with bacon and grape jelly! Yes it may sound a bit odd but coupled with their sweet potato wedges… I was in heaven.

That’s all irrelevant to what came later in the day. My mom took to the produce stand and stocked up on all sorts of vegetables from onions to squash and picked up some farm fresh eggs on the way out! We took it home and the rest of the day was spent in the kitchen preparing some amazing meals. First, we started with tortilla espanola. This time last year I was gearing up to head to Spain to study abroad. Since I can’t go there this year, we decided to bring Spain to us through food. We began with chopping up potatoes and frying them with Spanish olive oil courtesy of Trader Joes. Then it was time to whisk together our farm fresh eggs! I’ve never used or ate eggs from the farmer’s market before and could definitely tell a difference in the shell while I was cracking them. Nothing makes me prouder than buying Colorado fresh!Once the potatoes were done, we also fried onions and added green chiles to the mix. Although in Spain you don’t find much spice, my mom insisted we add green chile to our tortilla. Although I let her know we were straying from the real Spanish way, she reminded me that we were still Mexican and thus, must add the chiles. Wanting to avoid an argument, I went along with it…

Next, we added the cooked potatoes, chiles, and onions to the egg mixture and it all went into the skillet! Once the egg set along the edges, it was time to flip it over and let it finish cooking on the other side. When all is said and done, it turned out just like I remember from Spain.To accompany our tortilla, we settled on preparing pisto. It’s like a Spanish version of ratatouille. We diced onions, green and peppers, zuchinni, and squash for our version. I convinced my mom to not add green chiles to this recipe.After adding some crushed tomatoes to the softened vegetables and letting it all simmer for about 40 minutes, we were good to go!Along the way, I sliced up some of the sweetest cantaloupe I have ever tasted.And of course, we had to make some salsa!Even though I was stuffed from eating while I cooked there was still dinner to be had. We took it to the outside patio. My dad bought his favorite Spanish wine and we relaxed while enjoying our amazing meal in the Colorado outdoors. Bliss.

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Baking for Brother

I was driving home from dinner with my brother when I said “I want to bake!” He replied, “Bake me something.”

Well… why not? He’s entering his freshman year in college next week and if that’s not something to reward him for, I don’t know what is!

I asked him what his favorite baked good is because that’s what I would make! After tossing around ideas we landed on brownies but not just any brownies… s’mores brownies. I began perusing the cabinets to see what we had already in the house. I decided Annie’s Honey Bunny Grahams would bring in the graham cracker taste while mini-marshmallows were just as delicious as the jumbo-puffed variety! That only meant I needed one thing from the store… brownie mix! I went with Ghiradelli because it just sounded too good.

Preparation was simple. I prepared the brownie mix according to the box then added the good stuff.

I mixed it all together and into the pan it went! Right after I started pouring I realized that I forgot to grease the pan… Then I realized another blunder… I forgot to go by the high altitude directions on the brownie box! Even so, there was no stopping what had been done and into the oven it went!

Sweet smells filled the air as these brownies baked for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees. They came out bubbling and then came the worst part: waiting for them to cool.

I love baking but I am super impatient when it comes to waiting. This usually results in me messing up at the very last second whether it’s releasing a cake from the mold before it’s done cooling or peeling the cookies off the pan when they are not quite set.

Tonight, I distracted myself with a movie and tried my hardest not to think about what was sitting in the kitchen. Eventually I could not wait any longer and dug in. Although they probably could have baked a little bit longer, I love gooey brownies just as much as the next person so did not mind the fact they were a bit undercooked. Adding to the gooey-ness was the melted marshmallows that made them perfect.

Being the social butterfly he is, my brother left the house to hang out with his friends before he could try one but I’m sure he’ll enjoy them just as much as I did.

Dad Knows Best.

Growing up it did not take me long to learn that what dad says goes. By doing as I was told instead of back-talking also taught me another important lesson: dad knows best.

That’s why when I got an e-mail reading this:

 

Hey,
I just watched a show on TLC that said that this food cart was the best one in the US.  You have to try it and let us know.
Love ya,
Dad

 

I knew that I had to go. You can bet I already had this on my to-do list but now I felt obligated it to try it. What a rough obligation, huh?

This week I am working an overnight shift that involves little sleep and heading home right when everyone is going to work. After my shift I always have on thing on my mind: sleep. Today I had two things on my mind: waffles then sleep. I scurried 10 blocks south from the office when I saw a yellow heaven on wheels.I ordered the liege waffle with spekuloos spread aka “their favorite.” In no time I had a box in my hand and could feel the heat from the waffle penetrating through the bottom. I could not fathom waiting to eat it before getting on the subway to my apartment in Brooklyn so stopped in Times Square to enjoy it at a bright red table amongst the hustle and bustle of the tourists. I smirked with joy as I broke the seal of the box to behold this beauty.After one bite I could see how this garnered the truck premium status. The perfect combination between soft and chewy wafel complemented the spekuloos perfectly which reminded me of a more fluid peanut butter. I could not think of a better treat to send me into a food induced coma. Needless to say, I had very sweet dreams.

I lied…

when I said I was over cupcakes.

They’re EVERYWHERE in the city and I thought I was sick of this dessert trend… until today. Why? Because a new Crumbs opened up just blocks away. It is the first one in Brooklyn and it’s probably a good thing I’m getting outta here or I would come everyday!I had been to this shop once before near Bryant Park and enjoyed a Snickers cupcake. I knew I wanted to try something new but how do you decide from ALL these flavors?Since it was the first day they were offering free mini cupcakes (I got vanilla with M&Ms!) and free coffee (which I didn’t take as I had a nap planned very shortly after my expedition). So what did I decide on for the main course?Red Velvet of course! It’s my firm belief you can judge any cupcake shop by it’s Red Velvet and Crumbs does not disappoint.

Ok now I’m really over cupcakes. Mark my words!

Only in New York

I’ll admit that I am a sucker for gimmicks. Especially when they involve food.

This can explain why I ended up at Pop-Tarts World today in Time Square. The store just opened up today and after seeing the store on the news this morning, I knew I had to check it out for myself. Some highlights include:

1) The Varietizer which lets you mix and match packs of Pop-Tarts to create your very own box with all different flavors!2) A cafe serving up some of the most delicious baked goods and Pop-Tarts inspired treats. Let’s be honest, how could you not try Pop-Tarts sushi?3) Caroline Rhea was hanging out too.The sushi was DELICIOUS! It was crumbled bits of Pop-Tarts wrapped in a fruit roll up. They also had so many great creations that made my mouth water. This place reminded me how much I do truly love Pop-Tarts.

So my advice is to stop resisting this typical piece of Times Square marketing and head in. Then call your mom and thank her for letting you grow up in a household that always had the pantry stocked with these delicacies!

Who am I?

Sometimes I must take a step back and evaluate what I’ve done. This is one of those weekends.

Thursday night me and Court decided to do an art gallery walk in Chelsea. I always heard it is basically a chance to get free drinks and look at art as you hop from place to place. That is exactly what it was and it was so much fun. After Alex met up with us we headed to grab a tasty dinner at Cafeteria, a place I had been dying to try.

Yummy meatballs!

Friday was a bittersweet day as it was the last day my supervisor from my internship would be in town. Although my program is another two weeks, she left to go on a two-week vacation so I will round out the rest of my time helping out other people. That night we had another BBQ arranged by my professor from Miami. It was on the balcony of the penthouse apartment of Barbara Howard. The views were amazing.

Not to mentions he had the actual Oscar for Best Film from 1943, Casablanca, as a bookend on the shelf. I took a picture with it I must post soon!

Saturday I woke up bright and early to head to meet Alex to catch a bus for her staff picnic. It was at Linda Elerbee’s house on the border of NYC and Massachutes.

Nick News anyone?

There was a pinata, swimming pool, and tents flooded with drinks and food. But the real treat of the day involved this:

Linda’s husband flies this for fun and was giving airplane rides out all day (I think to avoid the picnic). Either way, we eagerly jumped at this opportunity, even though I was scared out of my mind. And that was before I heard we were doing loops, hammerscrews, and rolls. All I can say is that it was a very good thing we hadn’t ate very much beforehand or I might have been in deep trouble.

It was such a great day that left me completely exhausted. I cannot believe I have two weeks left here but you can bet I will enjoy every last second.

In other news, today I bought Vibram Five Finger shoes! Yes, make fun of me all you want but they’re supposed to be amazing. I’m sure you’ll here more from me on these shoes soon.