Ya I wanna work there!

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Through the canyon in the sun, over the pass packed with snow and semi- trucks chaining up, over the top and down the mountain only to get stopped by Clark County Sheriff

..”Ma’am you were coming down that hill pretty fast…Sorry Sir I thought the speed limit was 75 until I saw you…Do you have ID, registration and proof of insurance?……Watch the speed Ma’am and have a nice day.”

After getting stopped for speeding and lucky enough to not get a ticket I found my way to Denver picked up my SIL and headed to the Anshutz Wellness Center. Once we finally found the facility we met up with Peggy. She shared with us that Extreme Weightloss was they’re interviewing for the next show. How exciting is that!

Let the tour begin!

The building is four stories and filled with tons of energy and lots of fun people running around.

Anshutz

We met a very nice young lady at the front as we walked into the facility. She has lost over 80+ pounds on the State of Slim and just beams from ear to ear. If I remember right her name was Tamica great person to meet when you walk in the door.

Inside

They have a new metabolic kitchen and offer classes to teach State of Slimmers how to cook meals.

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Look at this interesting spice and fresh produce rack.

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Every summer up on the midway roof they have a fresh herb and vegetable garden. All the employees who work there take turns planting and maintain the garden. Can you imagine how great it would be to take home fresh organic vegetables and herbs from your place of employment every day during the season?

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The bistro is one of the greatest perks. I wish our hospital would serve the items that this bistro serves. All the items served are State of Slim ready and fresh! Please could I just have the muffins made and shipped to me weekly?

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Next we stopped at the King Soopers mock-up grocery store. Classes are taught about how to read labels and shopping for healthy groceries. My own personal reminder is the best items are on the outside isles of the grocery store.

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Now on to gym killer. The machines they have are from Italy and keep track of your workouts and visits. The cardio equipment has Wi-Fi. Often times the employees are required to take a break and work out at this amazing facility. They have an indoor track and a metabolic testing room with bod pods and many other types of equipment to help Slimmers with the success of their journey.

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The locker room is connected to an indoor lap pool and therapeutic hot tub. Man I could use that hot tub right about now. In the locker room they have massage therapists, steam room and sauna. Nicest locker room I’ve ever been in.

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I was then a very lucky to have Peggy give us a tour of the executive offices and I had amazing opportunity to meet Dr. John Peters. He was very shy and over whelmed by us. He did sign my State of Slim book! Then we followed Peggy to another office where she knocked on the door and interrupted the meeting. It was Dr. Holly Wyatt’s office yep I was one lucky girl! Dr. Holly was all smiles and even allowed me to have my picture taken with her. Time was limited for us all but man how I would have loved to sit down and just have a short conversation with her.

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Thank you Peggy for the amazing day and tour! I loved it! I am so jealous you get to work at the Anshutz Wellness Center everyday!

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If you are ever in the Denver area and want to see an amazing facility stop by and check it out!

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Mile High Adventures!

 Mile High adventure!

 Mile High drive

Once we traveled over the continental divide and arrived in SW Denver we headed to “The Platte River Bar & Grill” for lunch and a GIANT marg. (Yes one is all you need)

Amazing Food, Great People, Good Times

“The Platte” has been a serving the Denver area for over twenty years. Located along the Platte River in Littleton Colorado, we have been a favorite stop for bikers and cyclists looking to refuel. We offer plenty of outside seating ( and heated inside seating during the winter months) making us a perfect place for those who enjoy the sunshine as much as good company. We are a family owned and operated so it’s not that same old corporate stuffy feeling. No matter what the occasion, we can accommodate any size party or occasion with over 300 outdoor seats as well as 170 indoor seats to suit your need (a great place for a birthday or business get together)! With a wide variety of food specialties and drink concoctions, you will always find something unique and different @ the Platte River Bar and Grill!

“The Platte” is a Denver staple for our family. The menu offers a variety of items and all taste like home-made! Check out their website – www.theplatte.com

Mile High Marg

Wine to go? Yep in Colorado if you don't finish the bottle get a to bag!

Wine to go? Yep in Colorado if you don’t finish the bottle get a to-go bag!

Our family was going to take us to breakfast at South Glenn to a place named Snooze but they had an hour and half wait. We decided to find a different restaurant. We ended up dining at a place called Ivy at the Glenn. They had an amazing brunch. Bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Bottomless Mimosa’s. I have zero photos from this great place because my phone was dead. I enjoyed the Creme Brulee Oatmeal…

“Ivy at the Glenn—Streets of SouthGlenn—At The Fountain

Seasonal. Contemporary. Neighborhood. Food. Here at the Ivy, we strive to offer the freshest possible ingredients for our cuisine according to what each season has to offer.  This provides you with a dynamic menu that evolves along with the balance of nature. Ivy at the Glenn is conveniently located in the beautiful Streets at Southglenn, just south of Whole Foods, at the fountain square at Gaylord and Commons Streets. We are open Monday – Friday from 11 am – Close (when our last customer departs) and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 am – Close. Join us for our weekend brunch, served Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 am to 2 pm.  “
 
 
 
Our last day with family was a day of Bronco football! The Chef made a fabulous fest for us!
 
Mile High time to ride
 
Game Day Menu included:
New England Style Clam Chowder, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, Mussels Marinara w/ Ciabatta Crostini, Alaskan King Crab, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Bloody Mary’s!
Mile High bloody
 
Mile High Chowder
 

Here are a few Colorado Travel tips for those of you interested in visiting Colorado!

Mile High on the road home

1.  Stay hydrated so you don’t get altitude sickness

 2.  Speaking of altitude one drink and you will have a buzz so yes you will be a cheap drunk.

 3.  Don’t buy beer in a grocery store or convenience store it’s 3.2 vs 6.0 so be sure to buy it in a liquor store.

 4.  Liquor stores close at midnight.

 5. Bars stop serving at 2:00 am

 6.  If you drive out of the city on I-70 and the weather isn’t bad and you can’t go the speed limit or 5-10 faster stay in the right hand lane.  

 7.  At 53 square miles, Denver International Airport is twice the size of Manhattan.

 8. The 16th street mall has shuttles. But you can pretty much walk almost everywhere downtown.

 9.  You can buy weed in Colorado but I saw only one pot shop between South Denver and North Denver. Don’t believe everything you hear on the news Colorado is NOT up in smoke!

10. Enjoy the Mile High City!

GO BRONCOS!

Mango Cafe’ Isla Mujeres, Mexico

A MUST visit while you are in Isla Mujeres.

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Mango Cafe’ located Payo Obispo #725. Colonia Meteorológico across from the Guadalupe Church, 77400 Isla Mujeres.

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The restaurant is a small little place only about 8 tables. They did have enough room to accommodate our table of 6. The servers are very friendly and are very appreciative of their guests.

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The menu is fabulous and it was a very hard decision to be made.

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I had the Nuestro Mudialmente Famoso Pan Frances Al Coco $85 pesos. It’s the French toast with almonds and coconut. DELICIOUS!

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The Chef and my Mini me shared the Chile Poblano Relleno $95 pesos.

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This is a stuffed poblano pepper with eggs, cheese bacon and everything but the kitchen sink. It’s double dipped and fried. Truly an amazing meal. So good that our family members went back for a third time for breakfast.

The restrooms are by far the cleanest in Isla.

Polo Mango

Polo takes pride in his restrooms and his restaurant. A very friendly guy and his English is very good. I asked him where he learned English. He lived in the US for seven years before moving to Isla to open the Mango Café.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mango-Caf%C3%A9-Isla/268557289860115

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150810-d1237536-Reviews-Mango_Cafe-Isla_Mujeres_Yucatan_Peninsula.html

http://mangocafeislamujeres.com/

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December Paleo Challenge are you up for it?

S Paleo

For those of you who know me I am always up for a challenge. Yep, I’ve got a new challenge this month. My family and I are going Paleo from Dec 2 – Jan 2 with a couple of modifications.

If you are not familiar with Paleo this is what I have learned. It’s called the caveman diet. Basically you eat what the cavemen ate. Meat, Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Now there are some interesting guidelines for this way of eating. The Continue reading

Misfit Thanksgiving

Do you know friends who are divorced with no kids or family on the holidays?

That’s what this Thanksgiving was all about. Supporting our friends who needed us on this holiday. My friend Christina and I decided we would make the feast, give the chef a break from cooking and share with our friends who needed support and love.

EAT!

We divided and conquered the menu together.

Menu

Appetizer of Bacon wrapped Elk tenderloin – Chef

Turkey – Christina

Gravy – Chef (Christina bought jar but the chef didn’t like that idea)

Stuffing (German Style) – Christina

Sweet Potato Pie – Christina

Cranberry Sauce traditional – Christina

Serrano Pepper Cranberry Sauce (Mexican) – Christina

French’s Green Bean Casserole – Me

Mashed Potato’s – Me

Chunky Pecan Bars – Me

Pumpkin Pie – Christina

Apple Pie – I donated blood and they gave me a free pie.

DRINK!

Choke Cherry Merlot (Colorado) Vincent Winery

Cesar Bloody Marys’

Ménage Trios – California Red

Ménage Trios – Pinot Noir

Cupcake – Pinot Noir

Be Healthy!

I wanted to burn some calories on Thanksgiving morning so I hit Gold’s gym at 5:00 am with a friend and did combat, back home for a 2 hour nap and then hit my gym for Kick It at 9:00 total of 1,065 calories burned!

If you don’t have a gym open I bet you could find a Turkey Trot 5K to burn some calories. I chose Kick It instead this year because it’s a lot warmer in the gym and I burn more calories than running a 5K.

Let the festivities begin! 

Christina and I started prepping for the big meal the day before. This is probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Hanging in the kitchen drinking wine, laughing and catching up with my friend.

Do you peel your celery? Christina does!

We set the table, made stuffing, cut the potatoes, made Serrano cranberry sauce, drank more wine and invited guests over to join us!

Three of us girls in the kitchen laughing, giggling and telling girl stories, only to get quiet when Christina’s misfit walks in. Let the party begin!

The Thanksgiving appetizer just so happened to get eaten the night before Thanksgiving. Very delicious, can’t beat fresh elk tenderloin wrapped in bacon “its a taste of heaven.”  We also had artichoke dip and homemade meatballs and sausage.

Three bottles of the Thanksgiving dinner wine were consumed before the big dinner. I only tasted two of the three because I had to get up at 4:15 in the morning for Combat!

Ménage à Trois

Pinot Noir

http://www.menageatroiswines.com/pinot-noir.php#

 

Fancy a little splendor in the glass? Turn down the lights, turn up the Barry White and uncork the Ménage à Trois Pinot Noir. When it comes to affairs of the palate, we’ve always felt that three was much more fun than one, so we played matchmaker and brought together grapes from three distinctive California wine growing regions known for producing exquisite Pinot Noir. Clarksburg grapes add bright flavors and a lovely perfume, North Coast grapes add silkiness, and Central Coast fruit rounds out the blend with beautiful complexity. Enhanced with French and American oak, our Pinot Noir’s is sure to have you waxing poetic. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

 

This was an ok Pinot not one of my favorites. I probably wouldn’t buy it again. If you like oak you will like this Pinot.

Ménage à Trois

California Red 

Even if red wine is not your speed, give our Ménage à Trois Red a try. This wine exposes the fresh, ripe, jam-like fruit that is the calling card of California wine. Ménage à Trois Red brings together three strange bedfellows.

On top we’ve got Zinfandel, a saucy tease that brings blackberry and raspberry jam to the relationship. Merlot, with its generous mouth feel and red fruits, fits perfectly in the middle. The rich flavors and firm tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon make it the ideal. 

I love this wine! It’s a great inexpensive blend.

I bought the Cupcake Pinot Noir because I love the Cupcake Red Velvet Cake wine.

http://www.cupcakevineyard.com/wines/reds/pinot-noir/#

“Our Pinot Noir has the aroma of cherries that carries through the palate with a touch of red currants and a hint of spice. It’s reminiscent of a cherry cupcake with currant coulis.”

What a fun night with friends! We laughed and laughed and laughed! Definitely a night to remember!

What do you do on the eve of Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving day!

On my way home from the gym I called to see if the bird had made it to the oven after the party the night before. Christina has only cooked a turkey once before. She told me she could only find the neck in the bird and had it cooking on the stove for the gravy. I thought it was strange that there were no giblets in a fresh turkey. Oh well no biggie the neck will make great gravy.

We arrived and started the dinner with Bloody Mary’s. I like mine Cesar style.

Cesar Bloody Mary

Ice

Kettle One Vodka

Salt

Pepper

Dill

Horseradish

Celery seed

Pepperoncini juice

Clamato juice

Tabasco

Garlic

Olives

Celery

Pepperoncini pepper

Yummmmmmm!

The oven timer went off and the bird was ready to come out! Looks magnificent!

When we started cutting into the turkey guess what we found? Yep! The giblets!

Time to Mangia!

Wine with dinner was a Choke Cherry Merlot from a friend of ours vineyard.

Everything was excellent! My favorite sides were the sweet potato pie and the green bean casserole. What is your favorite side?

Chunky Pecan Bars

After a few hours of football we had dessert and then I was stuffed like the turkey!

Summertime!

A romantic get away to Glenwood Springs, Colorado – known for its medicinal hot sulfur springs, rich natural history and scenic beauty.  To us it’s our back yard!

The “Chef” and “Mini Me” spend many hours hiking the mountains of Glenwood during the month of October hunting for our winter protein. They hunt for elk and deer and try to avoid all the bear scat they can.

The Chef reserved the honeymoon suite for us at a nice little chalet motel walking distance to downtown Glenwood. I am sure they don’t own a computer in this motel and the honeymoon suite wasn’t really what we expected but we just needed a place to lay our heads at the end of the night. Just the sweet thought that he had by reserving the honeymoon suite gave me butterflies!

Once we checked in we decided to take a walk and find a nice place to have a cocktail before we found a dinner house. We stopped at a nice little quaint place on the corner called The Riviera (made me think of Las Vegas). When we approached the bar there were only two seats left.

A man sitting at the bar harassed my chef telling him that the seat was free for me but would charge him for his seat. He introduced himself to us as Charlie Brown. (I totally believed him) I noticed he had an accent. I asked if he was from Glenwood Springs or if he was visiting. He said he lived in the area and asked where we were from.

As it turns out we were sitting and talking to the Swiss Master Chef Kurt Wigger. Chef Wigger also happens to be the father to a college friend of mine. Small world it is!

He shared with us his opportunity to come to America and work in Aspen in 1961. He met many different famous people working in his restaurants over the last fifty years.  People like Clint Eastwood, Rock Hudson and John Wayne. He specializes in traditional French cooking and still has a passion for the restaurant business. Chef Wigger said he would open another restaurant today if it wouldn’t kill his wife.

My Chef and I were planning to eat at a restaurant called Fins but Chef Wigger and the bartender talked us into eating dinner at the Riviera.

Our dinner started with a fabulous bottle of wine. Paraiso Syrah Chef Wigger tasted it and his comment was it was a little warm. I agree with him. I like my red wine at a perfect temperature of 50-55 degrees.

Our server was kind enough to split our Cesar salad into two portions and serve some warm bread with a cute butter dish.

We then had an appetizer of fabulous crab cakes served with a Cajun remoulade sauce. Small and petite just right for the appetizer!

We shared a little of two different entrees. Top Sirloin steak with a jalapeno butter, season vegetables and potato’s and Parmesan Encrusted Halibut with a citrus beurre blanc sauce, rice and season vegetables. These entrees are incredibly delicious but very rich. Soooooo rich that we didn’t even have dessert!

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Glenwood Springs, Colorado I highly recommend The Riviera as a dinner house to visit.

Bon Appetit!

Staple items!

Certain foods should always have a place on your food pantry. These are called food staples. Our family particularly my mini me and I have a few of items that are a must.

Here is the story of how these items came about.

I am sure most of you know that I am not a cook. In 2008 the Chef took a job that had him out of the home for 6 weeks for training then off to work for 20-30 days at one time. For me this was a huge eye opener in more ways than one. Not only did I have to take the trash out, I had to grocery shop and figure out what my mini me was going to eat for each meal of the day.

I remember one day for lunch she wanted “Life” cereal. We packed up her cereal, in a to-go bowl for school and she ordered milk from the lunch lady, it just happened to be chocolate milk. A friend of my just happened to be having lunch at school that day and commented how dad must still be out-of-town if mom is sending cereal to school for lunch.

This brings me to the first staple item in our home. Cereal! I love cereal. I remember growing up and eating cereal all the time. When my mom worked we feed ourselves and it was cereal. When the Chef was out-of-town working, my mini me and I would eat dry cereal on Sunday afternoons while watching movies together. I like dry fruit loops and frosted mini wheat’s.

The next favorite item is Totino’s Pizza! Who doesn’t love a great Totino’s frozen pizza. I remember we would heat up a Totino’s after swim practice once a week. What an in-expensive staple item this is. My mini me and I love the meat combination pizza.

Last but not least the last item is something that I cook and we can eat for a few days. My mini me loves it!

Pasta Fagioli

3 cans of beans (Kidney, Northern, Pinto) – whatever kinds you prefer

1-2 C. Dilanti Pasta

2-3 cans of vegetable broth

Drizzle of EVOO

3 garlic cloves

½ yellow onion

3 carrots

3 celery stalks

8-12 brussel sprouts

Sea Salt

Pepper

Italian Seasoning

Mozzarella cheese

Build your soup from the bottom up. Drizzle the bottom of your soup pot with EVOO. Cut your onion, garlic, carrots and celery place in the soup pot on med heat. While these items are cooking cut up your brussel sprouts then place into the soup pot. Season with S&P and Italian seasoning. Cook the pasta in a separate pot. Once the all the vegetables are somewhat soft add your beans and one can of vegetable broth. Re-season; when the pasta is al-dente  add it to the pot depending on how think you like your soup you may need to add more vegetable broth or water and from the pasta. Taste and determine if you need more seasonings.  Simmer until beans are soft and serve with mozzarella cheese.

Put your twist on this great soup. Add some Italian tomato’s and take out the brussel sprouts.

This is an easy low-calorie healthy soup. It has become a joke in our home today when mom’s cooking we are having Pasta Fagioli. Be sure to keep beans, vegetable broth, onions, garlic, celery and carrots on hand for this fabulous staple item.