Monthly Archives: June 2014

This Is…

This is my life now.
am4 This is a bike ride to breweries with new friends.

This is home.
AM2 This is fishing at sunset.
AM1 This is catching fish at sunset (or snagging them on the head with a hook and feeling absolutely terrible about it, but still taking a picture).
am3 This is free pretzel Friday at the Mayor of Old Town.
am5 This is Watson Lake.
am7 This is a windy selfie of me and my beloved bike after we rode 15 miles to enjoy Watson Lake.
am9 This is my finger intruding upon the amazing views during a 30 mile ride.
am8 This is the angry Poudre River, raging with freshly melted snowpack.
AM11 This is a well deserved Loose Leaf on the patio of Odell with my amazing friends after a 30 mile ride.
AM12 This is an aptly named brewdog, Simcoe, with ready-to-mill grain.
am15 This is home.

This is happy.

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Mixed Vegetable Hash with Imitation Panda Meat

I know I sparked your interest when I posted this picture last week…
AM8 My interest was sparked as well and I went home with two of these sausages to test out. But before I get into the recipe, here’s a recap of last week – It was insanely awesome and busy.
AM Fridays are free pretzel day at The Mayor of Old Town. This will be a new tradition of mine, so if you’re in FoCo on Fridays and want me to treat you to a jalapeno cheese pretzel with raspberry jam, show up and I’ll generously call over the waitress so you can enjoy one of these heavenly babies!
AM1 The evenings have been absolutely to die for up here! I went out with some friends after Mayor and enjoyed a few of the many patios about town.
AM2 Hot Rocks Lager from Port Brewing. Drooool.
AM3 Saturday was the Taste of Fort Collins. I went with my friend Kara and met up with a handful of people to sample the goods and enjoy a concert.
AM4 Braffle (a brat smothered in sauerkraut and maple syrup, wrapped in a waffle) from the Waffle Lab and Collective Soul!
AM5 I had to Google Collective Soul to find out who they were… BUT they played three songs that I recognized from my middle school years! The drunken crowds rocked out until the sun set.
AM6 Father’s Day was spent up in the mountains eating mass amounts of Indian buffet, helping pull a guy out of the middle of the road who had passed out on his bike after drinking a pint (no joke) of vodka and threatened a bunch people with a knife. We calmed our nerves that night with Pure Imagination stout from Verboten Brewing.
AM7 My Aerogarden is a success! I ate these leaves and promptly had to sit down from the exhaustion of the harvest.
AM8 And that brings us back to this. Imitation panda meat. I came across this at The Boar and Bull – a local butcher shop in Loveland that has some of the most delicious beef tenderloin I’ve ever had the good luck to consume. I saw these and knew I couldn’t leave without ’em. It is not, in fact, panda meat. Shocker, I know. These sausages are full of pork, bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions and Coca Cola. They. Are. Incredible.
am7 To make this hash, I used the handy Veggetti.
am4 It’s basically a much cheaper version of a spiralizer that takes up less space and gets you an arm workout.
am5 It’s also very sharp. Be careful so you don’t end up with sliced fingers like me. Genius.
am I shredded two potatoes and a zucchini…
am2 Sliced up some onions extremely thin, threw them in a pan to soften…
am1 Sliced up some asparagus into matchsticks and threw them into the pan with the zucchini and potatoes…
am6 Cooked up some panda in a separate pan, then threw everything together…
am8 Magic!

Mixed Vegetable Hash with Imitation Panda Meat

Serves 2-4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Thin strands of zucchini, potatoes, onions and asparagus are tossed together with smokey, rich imitation panda meat.

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium red potatoes
  • 1 Medium zucchini squash
  • 1 Small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 6 Large asaparagus stalks
  • 1-2 imitation panda meat sausages (or other pork sausage, casings removed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

Step 1
Using a spiralizer, spiralize the potatoes and zucchini into long strands.
Step 2
Take the asparagus spears, cut off the tops (do not discard) and slice thinly.
Step 3
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add onions, potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, salt and pepper.
Step 4
Cover for 6-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender, then remove the lid and flip to brown both sides.
Step 5
In a separate pan, cook the imitation panda meat (or other pork sausage) until no longer pink, draining off any excess grease.
Step 6
Toss the cooked imitation panda meat into the large pan and mix together.
Step 7
Serve and devour.

am7 Real panda meat. Would you or wouldn’t you?

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Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

One week until internet finally graces my house! Until then, I’m thanking Oprah for her chai while resting in the wonderfully air conditioned Starbucks in Old Town Fort Collins. It’s a welcome change after slaving over a hot oven to make these gems!
am4 I’m completely exaggerating. This is one of the simplest and tastiest recipes I’ve ever made. A few weeks ago I received an awesome care package in the mail from my bestest buddy Rick.
am6 In case you’ve forgotten, I should remind you of my obsession with Lourdes Gourmet chimichurri sauce. I discovered this four years ago at the farmers market in Ventura County and couldn’t get my mind away from it. I dreamed about the wonderfully tangy and herby spread, slathered slices of bread with it, basically drank the stuff. When Rick was kind enough to send me all these other goodies, I knew yet another unhealthy obsession was about to occur.
am The coconut spread. Another thing with which I’ve been slathering slices of bread. I decided that an actual recipe should occur before I finished every single jar in my fridge.

Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 1-2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Gems of sweet potato are roasted in Lourdes coconut spread until tender and caramelized, then topped with fresh lime zest.

Ingredients

  • 1 Large sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • 1/8 cup Lourdes Gourmet Coconut Spread
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • the zest of half a lime

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2
In a microwave safe cup, microwave the coconut spread for 15 seconds to thin the consistency.
Step 3
In a bowl, toss together the sweet potato cubes, warmed coconut spread, lime juice and salt.
Step 4
Spread the mixture on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes for an even roast.

am6 Simple, quasi-healthy and delicious! Thanks to Rick for both the care package and patience!

What’s your favorite way to spice up a simple sweet potato?

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Chocolate Caramel Porter Pops

I think it’s official. I think we may finally be over the random days of waking up to find snow covering the ground! (Knock on wood.)
Cloudy Colorado There have been many a wonderful spring shower in the afternoon, but the temperature is finally on a continuous upswing! We’ve been getting 90+ degrees for the last week. Summer is coming! And summer calls for…
am7 Popsicles!!! Not just any popsicles though. Popsicles with BEER in them!
am I teamed up with fairlife to bring some boozy recipes to the table. Some of them definitely haven’t worked out.
am9 Beer + dairy = curdled sadness. But these beersicles are a winner!
am8 The rich creaminess of the fairlife 2% chocolate milk makes the texture of these like fudgsicles, not the bland, crystallized, icy frozen milk you might expect. You’ll notice that I instructed to put the beer in the base of these popsicles whereas the pictures are reversed. After a horrible disaster that ended with me hand mopping my entire kitchen floor, I determined that the softer consistency of the frozen beer part would better be placed on the top of the popsicle so you don’t get stuck with puddles of sweet beer and chocolate milk on your floor. You’re welcome.
am2 I used one of my favorite porters around – Killer Boots caramel porter by Verboten Brewing. First, make a simple syrup and let cool completely. I chilled mine in the fridge for a good hour.
am3 Slowly mix together the beer and simple syrup, tasting as you go. These beersicles end up pretty sweet, so you may want to use less than I did.
am1 Fill the bases of the popsicle with the beer mixture and let them freeze for 2-4 hours, or until slightly solidified.
am6 Fill them the rest of the way with fairlife 2% chocolate milk, until 1/4 inch to the top.
am5 The genius that I am, I forgot science and the fact that liquids expand as they freeze, so after filling the molds up all the way I ended up cleaning out my freezer and rinsing off the overflow. Don’t do that.
am7 When completely frozen, place the molds in a cup of hot water for about two minutes until the popsicles slide right out and enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Porter Pops

Serves 6 popsicles
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 8 hours
Total time 8 hours, 20 minutes
Allergy Milk
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
Boozy popsicles filled with caramel porter and rich chocolate milk.

Ingredients

  • 12oz stout or rich porter (I used Verboten Brewing Killer Boots caramel porter)
  • 2oz simple syrup
  • 6oz fairlife 2% chocolate milk

Note

Must be 21 years or older to enjoy.

Directions

To make the simple syrup
Step 1
In a small pot, combine 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 cup of sugar, bring to a boil and let cool completely.
For the popsicles
Step 2
In a bowl, mix together the 12oz of stout or porter with 1-2oz of simple syrup (using more or less to taste).
Step 3
Pour the beer mixture evenly into the bottom halves of 6 popsicle molds and freeze for 4 hours.
Step 4
Once the beer mixture has hardened, pour fairlife 2% chocolate milk into the molds until a quarter inch from the top, insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

am10 Happy almost summer to everyone! What’s your favorite style/flavor of popsicle?

Note: I was provided free product and compensation by fairlife to create this recipe. All text and opinions are my own.

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