Tag Archives: Denver

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


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.


Plan to eat out during…

Denver Restaurant week.  See all the participants sorted by neighborhood

(thanks to The Denver Bucket List.)  Denver Restaurant week is February 25 to March 2 – but you have to get your reservations in now!

Stock Show Food

Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction

This morning’s biscuits and gravy (scent courtesy of Ed Selser) reminded me of my Grand-Dad.  He was a cowboy, as was his father, until he married. He’d saved enough to buy a ranch in Kansas.  Later he owned a livestock auction in southern Colorado. 

He liked to come up to the Stock Show in January, and somehow I wrangled invitations to go along with him.  As the last of five kids, I considered it a key moment in my short life to wear jeans and boots, to go alone with him, and to listen in as he talked to cattlemen and others – adults — about the previous year, the markets, feed, weather, breeding … I didn’t understand everything, but I pretended I did.  He taught me how to say “hawg” and he called me “Windy” because I talked a lot.

Even during the years I lived in the city, on the East Coast, I made cowboy food in January, and I  remembered our ambles through the pens.  I remembered freezing feet and my grandfather holding my coat collar — to keep me from wandering and a safe distance from the hooves of giants.

Cowboy Beans

2 cans pinto beans
Vegetable or chicken stock
1 c. diced ham
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon chile powder
  1. drain and rinse beans; pour into a pot, add spices (except salt) and ham;
  2. add 1-1/2 cups stock and then water to cover
  3. simmer covered for two hours; salt to taste
  4. consume with cornbread
Variations: These beans can be as mild or warm as you like.  We sometimes add finely chopped yellow or white onion and a clove or two of garlic.  For more heat and more long-lasting heat, you can try anything from Tabasco to great (and somewhat evil) local sauces like  Danny Cash’s Bottled Up Anger.

Of course, cowboys always like t-bone steak with broiled onions.  And although the recipes at Chez What? may have had more to do with the Dallas Cowboys than the Stock Show type, they are great alternatives.  Speaking of heat-sweetened onions try out awesome grilled onions and grilled chile relleno from Recipe Goldmine

If you can believe it, the Cowboy Showcase website provided me my first encounter with a dessert using 7-Up, but I think I actually remember the kind of blackberry cobbler I found on the Pioneer Woman blog.

If campsite cooking is your thing, try the Scout Camp Stew (none of the scouting organizations are responsible for the content of this recipe.) I blame my affection for Shepard’s Pie and Hachis Parmentier on having consumed this “stew” at my first organized overnight camp, and it is a great recipe to make with kids.

Scout Camp Stew (for a crowd, obviously)


  • 4 – pounds ground beef
  • 1 – teaspoon salt
  • 1 – teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 quarts beef broth
  • 2 – medium onions, diced
  • 4 – medium potatoes, diced
  • 2 – medium carrots, diced
  • 4 – stalks celery, diced
  • 2 – bay leaves
  • 1/4 – teaspoon dried rosemary


  1. Bring large pot to high heat; brown the ground beef. 
  2. Reduce heat to medium temperature. 
  3. Add diced onions, celery and carrots; stir until onions are softened
  4. Add salt, pepper and garlic.
  5. Add the beef broth and stir into the ground beef and vegetable mixture.  
  6. Add in potatoes.
  7. Pour in water to cover all and bring pot to a simmer. 
  8. Add the bay leaves and rosemary.
  9. Reduce heat to low to medium. 
  10. Cover the pot and cook for 1 to 1+1/2 hours. 
  11. Potatoes should be just tender.


Today @ the Stock Show

Indoor Tailgating

Hail mighty Broncos, pride of the West
Like the mountains towering high, over all the rest
Fight Broncos fight fight fight, we’ll win this game.

Tailgating goes back a little way – grande fêtes were given alongside jousting tournaments, feasts were presented before and after royal hunts — and peeled grapes were probably in evidence on the grass outside the Coliseum in Rome, if you want to know the truth.

But the corporate suite in any coliseum or stadium is a chilly substitute for the gathering of fans at home. Since most of us will be in Denver, and not at Gillette Stadium, we went through our favorite sports bites and thought we would share these with you. First off, we want to thank Chris May at FreshPack Produce for this one.


3 lbs. chopped pork shoulder for stew
3 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. cumin
3 c. anaheim chilies, roasted, skinned and chopped
1 to 2 poblano chiles, deseeded & chopped 2 cans diced or crushed tomato
3 tbsp. flour
low sodium chicken broth
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
  1. Combine flour and 1 tbsp cumin. Toss the pork in flour mixture and brown in olive oil in a heavy pan. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Lightly brown onions and garlic in same pan until transparent, scraping browned flour from bottom of pan.
  3. Add back pork, cumin, chiles and tomatoes to onion mixture and add chicken broth to cover.
  4. Simmer 2 to 3 hours (or 7 hours in a crock pot on low setting.) Add salt and pepper to taste during last 1/2 hour.
Serve with flour tortillas and a self-serve selection of chopped cilantro, longhorn or cheddar cheese, sour cream.


Maybe if you make nothing else this weekend, make Tyler Florence’s Teriyaki Chicken for your football buddies.

We pretty much can’t resist this blue cheese spread but the idea of mini BLTs was just so appealing that we had to include it here. An alternative to diminutive BLTs is a mini-grilled-cheese of carmelized onions and blue cheese on cocktail loaf slices. Just soooo good.

From Kathy Maister at StartCooking.com we give you no fewer than 32 options for game day munching.