Category Archives: Celebrations

It’s that time of year

    We can’t get enough of them!  And then there’s the “what to make?” problem.  Start here for the freshest option.  Add a glass of wine or a summer spritzer with peach slices.  Sit outside.  Preferably with good friends.  Enjoy your Colorado summer.

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In the Dark (part 2)

A couple of years ago, in a smaller town, we celebrated Earth Hour*  by turning off all the lights, the TV, the electronics — and putting candles in the windows.  I got to know a bunch of neighbors I’d not yet met as we stood around, wine glasses in hand, on a coolish spring evening.  We ended up having several more gatherings as that spring and summer played out.

It’s that time of year again. Our weather is a warm reminder of the season to come, and a reminder that we have to care about the planet we inhabit.  The best celebration I’ve heard of for Earth Hour 2012 is Dinner in the Dark at Le Grand Bistro.  (These people just keep coming up with the best ideas.)

So Saturday evening try switching off all the lights, gather with some friends and neighbors on the porch or patio for an hour and have a nice glass of wine.  By the way, Denver is 39° 45′ N 104° 52′ W — in case you’re looking up.

*or go to the international Earth Hour site

Amazing

Every Year Food and Wine picks out emerging chefs, all shiny and relatively new, to celebrate and honor.  This year, we have no objection to their nominating Colorado’s own Lon Symensma and Will Nolan — although we balked at being placed in “the southwest.”  Food and Wine invites you read more about them and to vote — it’s your civilized duty.

   

Lon Symensma

RESTAURANT ChoLon    LOCATION Denver, CO

WHY HE’S AMAZING Because he combines his Michelin-starred experience and yen for Asian street food to make Vietnamese dishes that are tasty and beautiful.(Read a review

Will Nolan

RESTAURANT Eight K          LOCATION Snowmass Village, CO

WHY HE’S AMAZING Because he’s honoring his Louisiana heritage by creating refined Creole comfort food at a prestigious Aspen ski resort.(Read a review

 Come on — show your support for these AMAZING chefs —  VOTE HERE!

happy…

And the award goes to…

We’d like to thank the Academy for all our new followers. ~ Season’s Harvest

We aren’t the only ones who are gushing about Colorado’s own Fruition, Rioja, Restaurant Six89 and Frasca Food & Wine.  Take another look at the D Post story on the 2012 JBF Awards – winners to be announced May 7 – giving you plenty of time to get to Cannes for that annual film hoohaw.

 There are more reasons than ever to be excited about Denver Restaurant Week.  You still have a chance to make some eleventh-hour reservations – and since it starts this weekend, we DO mean last-minute.

 If you are “just visiting” or have been cooking at home a lot, you need to educate yourself and your palate by trying some of these wonderful places.  To guide you, let 5280 send you to the 25 Best, or consult Urban Spoon for helpful reviews, 10Best’s lists include great places to eat, and our city’s food critic helps us narrow it down to ten at The Denver Post.   Finally 5280 gives us the low down on the most recent Top Chef casting call.

 If the Oscars are your thing, you should visit FoodRepublic.com’s 17 Best Picture Food Scenes (only one of which we agree is both about food and “best” – you guess which.)

 If you are watching at home with all your celebrity friends who were “on hiatus” in 2011 (weren’t we all?) go straight to Epicurious.com’s Oscars Party Planner.

And one last award for best “fishie” information in Denver goes to Seattle Fish’s Market Report!

See you at the Vanity Fair party.

       

Mardi Gras Mambo*

It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi-Gras in New Orleans.  ~  Mark Twain

Polling the warehouse and office for everyone’s favorite pre-bead-throwing Mardi Gras foods.  No one owns up to liking King Cake, but everyone has their preferred gumbo and jambalaya recipes.

Colleen’s absolute favorite is Rachael Ray’s Chicken Jambalaya.  Looking it over, I agree, although jambalaya is very forgiving if you want to get creative.

To add a little kick, the Cajun Grocer has boudin alligator sausage–the Alligator is sauteed with “the Cajun Three” (onions, celery, bell pepper) then seasoned and combined with cooked rice and finally packed in a sausage casing.  They also have andouille, but our own Boulder Natural Meats makes their own delicious version, and you can buy great Colorado Sausage andouille around here at Tony’s Market.

On the other hand you might be wondering why cook at all (and have to clean up before the festivities) when you can have the best late lunch at Lucile’s – one of my favorite neighbors at  Logan /Alameda.  Of course, if you are in Boulder, Fort Collins, Littleton or Longmont, Lucile’s has blessed you with one of its Cajun cafes, as well.  This way you will have time to go buy an extra couple of packs of Mardi Gras beads to toss up into the bare winter branches of your trees.  

If you have misbehaved on Tuesday night, then it’s to church for Ash Wednesday penence, followed by a small treat before Lent seriously kicks in.

For myself, I get a little bit of chicory and toss it in 2-times the usual amount of ground coffee before drip brewing; and then I turn to my favorite recipe for beignets (this is as close to mine as I have found online, but you can short-cut it and buy the Café du Monde mix.) 

Use canola oil – it does not add a particular flavor to the beignets – and keep the stovetop heat at medium. The oil is hot enough to start frying when a pinch of flour sizzles when it hits the surface of the oil. Do NOT crowd the pan. If the beignets get too sizzly, lower the heat a bit.

And then I sit at my table and pretend it is early Tuesday morning in Jackson Square. . . before the crowds, before the noise. 

 

 

* We love you Zachary Richard

Super Snack

Chef  Jody Ray sent along the infamous Beer Cheese Dip JUST in time for Saturday and Sunday preparations*

  1. 8 oz cream cheese
  2. 1 pkg of dry Ranch dip mix
  3. 5 – 6 green onions, white and green (add more if you like onion)
  4. 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (add more if you like cheese)
  5. Beer – about 1/2 beer – or enough to make your dip spreadable; add slowly to check consistency  [we usually use Coors, Bud or any domestic beer in the fridge]
  6.  After mixing all ingredients together, refrigerate until cold. 

Serve with chips, crackers, veggies/crudités, etc.

          As a last step, as if Jody needed to remind us,

“Enjoy the dip and drink the rest of the beer.  Don’t you dare let it go to waste!”

*   WBC Middleweight Fight – Saturday February 4 at 8:00 pm Mountain Time on HBO;     Super Bowl – February 5 at 4:30 pm Mountain Time on NBC