Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lily's Chicken

My parents took Jeff and I out to dinner to celebrate a job for him and a promotion for me. Hooray!  We went to Bonefish Grill. I was expecting it to be pretty chain-restaurant like with not that great of food but I was very wrong. So bummed with myself that I didn't take food photos! I started with a lemon drop martini that was the perfect ratio of booze to lemon. It wasn't overly sweet like lemon drops are sometimes and it tasted like they used real lemon juice. I then ordered a scallop and shrimp plate sans the scallops (I am not a big fan) with green beans. When they brought out my plate I was outraged to find they gave me shrimp and scallops! Just kidding, I was not outraged. I thought it would be nice to give scallops another try and I knew Jeff could pick up the slack. The waitress apologized immediately and had more shrimp brought out to me. Score! So I tried the scallop....it was good!The texture was a bit different but it wasn't rubbery or fishy. I ate about half of them while Jeff took out the other half. The shrimp was fresh, grilled, seasoned and just what I wanted. The green beans were fresh and steamed. Jeff got a tuna plate that was cooked to perfection (which freaks me out, it is bright red/pink but rare is the way to go I am told). My dad got the fish and chips and I have never seen better looking fish and chips (granted I have not been to England). I kept stealing malt vinegar covered french fries from him. By stealing I do actually mean he gave them to me willingly. My mom ordered a grilled Mahi Mahi and was having memories of their recent trip to Hawaii. Dinner was followed by a vanilla cream brulee and complementary chocolate creme brulee for the celebrations. I couldn't actually eat the creme brulee but my mom, dad and Jeff were happy to help out. I will come back and remember to take pictures!

A special bonus. Lily's Chicken! I have been blessed with a 2 month old niece named Lily. I texted this picture to her mommy. When she is old enough maybe she can come order this.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Finding out that I am allergic to dairy has opened my eyes to a whole new way of eating. I have jumped at times on the vegan bandwagon for a good bite to eat. Vegan food does not contain any animal products, ergo, it does not contain dairy. I am so lucky to live in the food conscious city of Denver where there are options. I am sure there are more but I know of two really good vegan and vegetarian places including Watercourse (the sister restaurant of City O' City). So close your eyes (actually don't so you keep reading), Open you eyes and pretend that they are closed. Think: VEGAN FOOD. What comes to mind? Ahh yes, I'd like to order the romaine lettuce with a few raw beets and maybe a drizzle of olive oil. Sounds a little boring to me. What if I said vegan and you thought; breakfast sandwich, burgers, egg rolls, nachos, buffalo wings, pasta, burritos tacos?

So now after that huge rant...the food below is not vegan but mostly! It is all vegan except for the egg but you are welcome to order this dish with tofu and keep it vegan. Most of the dishes at Watercourse can be ordered vegetarian if you'd like the real cheese and eggs or ordered vegan if you don't want any animal products.

Breakfast Sandwich: Eggs or tofu on toasted focaccia with melted gruyere (or Daiya vegan cheese), sundried tomato walnut spread, arugula, onion and tomato. Served with choice of potato or rice and fruit.

Let me tell you, I dream about this sandwich now!

Other notable notes - They get desserts from the Watercourse Bakery and the pies, cakes, cookies and treats look stunning. I have always been too full from dinner to get dessert (a testament to their food!). They have tea, lots of tea and gourmet tea. I love the cold cure tea...so soothing. They have beer and wine and mimosas for brunch...always a plus. Waitstaff is very friendly and knowledgeable. Decor is pretty unique - perhaps a take on Watership Down?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

I created a dish that I am proud of! I got really creative one night and decided that I could make my own recipe instead of relying on the genius of others. This recipe is perfect for the fall or a chilly night. It is hearty, healthy, spicy and comforting. Reduce the cheese amount to make the dish healthier...I went a little overboard (this was pre dairy allergy). If you cook it please tell me how you like it. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
  • 1/2 jar (or more) green chili sauce (I use 505 Natural South Western)
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • Little olive oil
  • Sprinkle ground cumin
  • Sprinkle ground chili powder
  • Sprinkle pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato (or yam...I don't know the difference)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 large lime
  • Handful Cilantro
  • 3/4 lb. Montery Jack Cheese shredded (or cheese of your choice)
  • 10 corn tortillas
Dice the jalapenos removing the seeds and ribs. Cook in a sauce pan with a little olive oil for a few minutes. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic. Add cumin, chili powder and pepper. Let cook until jalapenos and garlic are a little soft. Add the half jar of green chili sauce. Let simmer for a while so flavors may blend.

Cook the sweet potato in what ever manner you see fit (I started with the oven, became inpatient and chopped it up and cooked it in the microwave). Put chopped pieces of sweet potato into a food processor and blend until smoothish. I left the skins on for added nutrients. Set aside. Drain and rinse the black beans. Add 3 chopped cloves of garlic and some chopped cilantro, to taste. Juice the lime into the beans/garlic/cilantro mixture. Give it a good stir to blend flavors.

Put half of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish. Put a little olive oil in a saute pan and put it on medium heat. Throw a corn tortilla on the oil in pan until it is warm. Put the tortilla in the casserole dish, oil side down, add a spoonful of sweet potato and a couple spoonfuls of the black bean mixture. Sprinkle some cheese as well. Roll up the tortilla and squish it against the edge. You will gather some of the green chili from the bottom in the process. I fit eight of these in the dish and another two sneaky ones on the side. Pour the rest of the sauce on the top of your rolled enchiladas, then top with a generous amount of cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with cilantro.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pizza and Cake - Happy Birthday Jeff

So this post is so super mondo (real words?) late that it is not even funny. Happy Birthday to Jeff whose birthday these photos are from was actually on January 24th...2011. I decided to plan the surprise party of the century...which really became the not such a surprise party of the....we'll say year not century. The surprise was blow by a little cat named Max. Alright! It was me. I told Jeff we were going to have a quiet night in and sorry that there were not going to be any bells and whistles for his birthday but I just want to cook a nice meal. Later in the day, I sat there next to Jeff on the couch, having a conversation with my cat Max. He doesn't really understand, but I like to think he does when I said, "Max, will you please not run away with all of the people coming over tonight?" Jeff looks at me..."people?" Most people can come up with a quick lie and move on from the bean spilling but I am a TERRIBLE liar (which I suppose is a good thing). I just sat there with a stupid look on my face, my mouth wide open and the tears starting. That's right! I have no shame, I buried my head in a pillow and cried, for I had ruined the big surprise hours before it was too occur. So Jeff said he would play along with the whole thing. I get everybody ready when he is supposed to arrive, I had told him specifically to come in the front door so I could catch the whole charade on my new video camera. We are all waiting, ready to yell surprise at any moment. I then hear some say surprise in a very confused voice behind me. Jeff slipped in the back! He surprised his own surprise party! Then we all ate, drank and were merry....so it all turned out.

I made a very lovely Chocolate Genoise Cake with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Granache for the birthday boy - who ended up blowing the wax all over my arm. Recipe can be found here.
I then hosted a pizza bar. Whole foods sells ready pizza dough. Then we had sauces; marinara, pesto, garlic sauce. Toppings; peppers, tomatoes, bacon, mushrooms, sausage, herbs, olives etc. And cheese; mozzarella, cheddar, and feta. It was so fun to let everyone get in groups and create delicious pizza.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Layered Herby Stew

So I could say that on cold winter snowy night you could enjoy a warm and very easy bowl of soup. The problem with this statement is the snow is not falling in Colorado! I mean it is falling but mostly it is sunny and warm. Our seasons are very confused. So anyway...I am saying this is easy and many of you will look at the recipe and say Oh No! I admit, the chopping is a little extensive but then you throw it all together in a crock pot and can enjoy in 6 hours. Great for a working professional who wants a hot meal right when they walk in the door. This recipe comes from Jeff's mom.

Layered Herby Stew

      ·         2½ lbs beef stewing meat, cubed
·         1 medium to large onion, cut in 1-inch pieces
·         8 – 12 small red potatoes or potato chunks
·         4  – 6 carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
·         2 large ribs celery, cut in 1-inch pieces
·         2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
·         ¼ cup red wine or water
·         3 Tbsp. brown sugar
·         1 tsp. salt
·         ½ tsp. pepper
·         tsp. allspice
·         ¼ tsp. dried marjoram
·         ¼ tsp. dried thyme
·         2 bay leaves
·         6 Tbsp. minute tapioca (use only 5 Tbsp. if using water instead of red wine)
·         28 oz can diced tomatoes
·         ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Layer all ingredients except parsley in slow cooker in order given. Cover. Cook on high 6 hours. Immediately before serving, garnish with parsley.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Published Photo!

I am so proud to say that one of my food photos was published in an internet article!
Check it out here - http://www.colorado.com/articles.aspx?aid=1240719

This is the photo from Jeff and my visit to Tamayo in Denver. This is the Queso Fundido dish. Yum!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm back, and ready for more!


For those of you who know me, you know I have putting off the recipe book for sometime now. I completed the recipes, completed the photos and started to edit it....slowly.

This week, I am putting in the effort. I am getting this dang thing done so you all can enjoy cooking up these fantastic recipes. More information coming soon!

Also....in other news, I am going to keep up with the blog! Hooray! Since the recipe book will be done (soon) I will shift the focus of the blog to restaurant reviews, dairy free recipes, candida free recipes and healthful eating in general. I found out recently that I am actually allergic to cow's dairy and not gluten. I wish I had known that for the last 6 years! Good news is I know now and I am ready to take on food sans the cow dairy. Don't worry cheese lovers. Cheese will not leave the blog or all of you would leave too. Goat, sheep and vegan cheeses will pick up the slack.

Keep checking back to see the latest and greatest in Colorado food.