Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bday Celebration

A belated post about my birthday celebration 2 weekends ago. We got a sitter for Saturday night and B took me out on the town. We started with dinner at Table 6.


We shared an appetizer of a cute little jar of foie gras topped with apricot jam and some grilled bread. Come to find out, B doesn't like foie gras (wah?!?) and I got to eat it all myself. Nom nom nom.

I had the duck confit with "English Pancake, Rhubarb & Foie, and Living Arugula." (It was my night o' duck.) Very good. B had the roasted lamb collar with "Goat Cheese Gnuddi, Spring Peas, Parm, and Mint." It was also excellent. The only disappointment is that we could find no trace of mint. We followed it up with a dessert that was basically pancakes and bacon. (How can one go wrong with that?) Pancakes with gruyere, spicy caramelized pecans, and bacon. Table 6 has a great warm atmosphere and the service was excellent.

Then the debauchery began. We hit the town on a "cocktail crawl." (Well, I c.c.-ed and B was my lovely chauffeur.) The knowledgeable Denveater kindly provided me with some suggestions, so we first hit Beatrice and Woodsley. Service was annoying--we would have preferred a seat at the bar, because, well, we're just bar kind of people, but got a cocktail table with a snooty waiter. However, my "Tea Thyme" cocktail with Earl Grey infused gin, thyme, and lemon was great. Probably my favorite of the evening. I'd like to go back and try some small plates as they sounded delicious (oh, and more cocktails). Oh, OH! And I hate the bathrooms! I know they're supposed to be clever and unique, but I don't want to have to solve a puzzle to get into the potty and I don't want to wash my hands in front of the entire restaurant. God, I hate that shit. I just want comfort and a private place to primp in a bathroom.

We then went to another one of Denveater's recommendations next door: Delite. I had a Gimi Hendricks cocktail. Can't remember what was in it, except for Hendricks gin. Twas good! The atmosphere was pretty young and I felt like the old lady at the bar, but hey, I am the old lady at the bar.

We then went to Steuben's, where I had something with ginger in a copper cup and um.... maybe something else...lord knows at this point.

Now the month long celebration continues tomorrow for its final round: Bitchapalooza 2009 in Vegas, baby! Reservations have been made and bags are almost packed!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Farmer's Market Booty

I meant to write "bounty," but "booty" came out. But that's kind of what it is, right? A treasure. This morning was the first trip to the Farmer's Market. Our local one isn't open until June, so we checked out the one in Boulder, which is larger than the one we usually go to.

farmer's market

Here's what we got:

MouCo ColoRouge cheese: a cow's milk soft cheese that's very creamy and butter. It has a reddish tinge to the rind, hence the name.

Breadworks Irish Oatmeal bread: hearty bread from a Boulder bakery

organic arugula

organic rhubarb: I'm going to try to make a rhubarb pie for the first time.

WineChick Pinot Noir: a pinot for only $9! The guy selling it said that the low price tends to scare people off, but it's really good. I say, at $9, why not try it? It's from grapes grown in the Palisades and bottled by a woman in Boulder. It's got a cute label too.

winechick pinot noir

Allegretto American Orange Muscat from Bookcliff Vineyards: a dessert wine with "aromas of orange blossoms and apricots" that "has a light zesty finish in the mouth."

Yum! I've already had some bread with the ColoRouge and honey. I may pop open the wine(s) tonight.

Also on the locavore front: there's a "microfarm" around the corner from our neighborhood and they've got a new sign up that they're selling fresh, frozen, and off the hoof half or whole lambs. I'm seriously thinking about getting some.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I got my garden in this weekend. It's so cute!


It's got 6 different kind of tomatoes ranging from your standard to cherry to heirlooms to romas. A nice wide variety. I have zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, tomatillos, 2 kinds of basil, mint, parsley, arulula, butter lettuce, and corn (I warned B that we probably don't have enough for it to work, but he wanted to try it--maybe it will somehow cross pollinate with the corn on the other side of the fence in my neighbor's yard). I also have chives and oregano that come up every year.

I hope it does well! I don't have the greenest of thumbs. This weekend I need to work on the flower garden in front.

I also finally got around to calling a phone number on a sign at a nearby farm for fresh eggs. We went to get them and I wish I'd done it sooner. The boys loved the farm--especialy the chicks. The farmer is ancient and very sweet. He only had 11 eggs at the time, but they are beauties.

farm fresh eggs

They're a wide range of sizes and colors. Look at that gorgeous orangey one. They taste great too. At 2 bucks a dozen and only 5 min. from my house, it just doesn't get much better than that.

I'm thinking about heading to Boulder on Saturday to hit their Farmer's Market, so perhaps I'll have more locavoring fodder to post then. Yum!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why I'm Happy

It's Spring.
It's Sunny.
I have a four day weekend.
I'm starting it with some Double IPA at Golden City Brewery.

Life is good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Abandonment

My Abandonment My Abandonment by Peter Rock

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this unsettling book about a 13 year old girl who lives in the woods or outside of society with her caring, but mentally unstable veteran father. The last fifth of the book or so was absolutely shocking.

I am amazed at the links in another Goodreads review.


The cover said it was based on a true story, but I am surprised at how much it is.

I'd love to know what happens to Caroline as she grows up and begins the inevitable process of questioning her upbringing.

View all my reviews.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel by Jamie Ford

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
What a lovely book--a book about a Chinese-American boy in Seattle during WWII and his first love, a Japanese-American girl. The book is an ode to the city of Seattle and jazz. It's also an indictment of the racism against Japanese-Americans that occurred in that era. The Japanese internment camps are something you don't learn much about in history classes (I don't think I ever did), but are an appalling piece of our history. Why the Japanese and not the Germans or Italians? (Not that I'm condoning that anyone should be put in a camp.) Was it because the Japanese looked different than the typical white bread American?

Anyway, it's a gorgeous first novel. Very poignant and touching. I heartily recommend it.

View all my reviews.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Life on the Refrigerator Door

Life on the Refrigerator Door: Notes Between a Mother and a Daughter - A Novel Life on the Refrigerator Door: Notes Between a Mother and a Daughter - A Novel by Alice Kuipers

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
A really quick read. It probably took me less than an hour, since some pages have only one line on them. A little unrealistic, but mildly entertaining.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Handle With Care

Handle with Care Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book pissed me off. I wanted to reach into the pages, grab the mom by the neck and press my thumbs into her windpipe. But...even though there are elements of Picoult's "formula" that drive me crazy and I detested the protagonist of this book, I still find her books riveting and had a hard time putting this one down. So it's going to get a 4.

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I love me a good cocktail. I had 2 of the best ones ever last week at Steuben's. We went there for "Dining Out for Life" night, when many Denver restaurants donate 25% of their proceeds to Project Angel Heart. An excellent excuse to eat out! We chose Steuben's because I knew they had a kids menu. I didn't know how amazing the cocktails would be. I wish they had their cocktail menu online, because I can't remember the names. One had gin, citrus, and burnt orange peel in it. One had St. Germain elderflower liqueur and ginger in it, with candied ginger on the side. I would love to go there and sample every cocktail they have.

The 4 best cocktails I've ever had have been within the last year:

* the lavender mojito at Girl and Fig in Sonoma (although my pre-meal wine consumption may have made my judgement off)

* the Royal "Pimm's" Cup at Slanted Door in San Francisco--made with gin instead of Pimm's (although I do enjoy a good Pimm's on a warm day), hence the quotes around "Pimm's." We were a bit disappointed in our Slanted Door experience, but that cocktail was amazing.

* and the 2 at Steuben's

The worst cocktail I've ever had was recently at The Corner Office, where B and I met for lunch. It was called the Rico Corvo, or something like that (I'm sure I don't quite have that right). It had sparkling wine (cava?), tequila, and vanilla liqueur. What was I thinking? I should have known it would be awful, because that mixture just doesn't sound good. But it had 3 things I like (separately) in it, and I figured: hey, if they serve it, it must be good, right? No! I did drink it (agonizingly), because I figured the drink was as described therefore not their fault, and I'm certainly not one to let booze go to waste. But ugh. By the way, my lobster mac and cheese weren't all that great either, although B did enjoy his ridiculously huge burger.

Oh, and a bonus about Steubens: M, our 7 year old who doesn't like anything, loved it. He said it's his "3rd favorite restaurant" (after McDonald's and Red Robin-*rolling eyes*). The kids meals were great. They were $7, but included a main dish, a side, plus veggies w/ranch, fruit, a drink, and dessert. They could choose a cupcake or ice cream for their dessert--bonus!

My food was good: I had a shrimp po'boy which came with a really good spicy sauce, and habanero honey fried corn, which was good, but I wouldn't bother ordering again. And the side pickle was delicious. B and I shared the cookies & shake for dessert--which was tasty, but soooo rich. It consisted of 2 chocolate cookie sandwhiches--each were 2 chocolate cookies with white frosting as the sandwich filling, plus the cutest little vanilla shake. There's no way I could eat a whole dessert by myself!

Pretty in Plaid Day


Just a reminder that Jen Lancaster's "Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending,Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart Ass Phase" comes out today. Mine's on it's way from Amazon, and I can't wait. I know some of you out there are big fans too. If you're not, check her out: you will be. I've never read an author that makes me laugh out loud more.

Here's an old post about her first book. I also stalked...I mean saw her at the Tattered Cover this last year, and I am happy to say she is as funny in person as she is on the written page and computer screen.

Monday, May 4, 2009

So Who Out There is Not Sick?

And I'm not even considering the swine flu. Pretty much everyone I know in real life or virtually is ill. Since I can now be in touch with lots of old friends via Facebook, I know that friends as far away as Paris are ill. Every blog I visit has a post about being sick. More than half the people I work with are sick.

Our family of 4 got hit this weekend. It couldn't be a worse week for it. My busiest week of the year at work. Plus I'm turning 40! I need to be able to celebrate!