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!

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Max Lager’s and McCormick & Schmicks!

I promised I would give a re-cap of my dining experiences in Atlanta. After checking into our room when arriving at the hotel we immediately went to the bar for a drink and a snack. We had been traveling all day and needed to unwind a bit. The 2 hour time change had our bodies thinking it was 8:00 PM instead of 10:00 PM. When we ordered from the bartender we got carded! Woo Hoo! I said “I love Georgia already.”

After I had a full day of class one of our vendors treated us to dinner. We walked down Peach Street to find a nice brewery. We found Max Lager’s what a great place for beer lovers.

I of course had vino. I did have a sample of their peach hard cider. Very tasty! They also have the Beer Periodic table on the wall. This is a place for beer lovers!

 

 

 

On our way to dinner we made a pit stop at Olympic Park. It was a beautiful night and the Olympic rings were spectacular.

The restaurant that was decided on was McCormick & Schmicks! This restaurant specializes in steak and seafood. When the host seated us I had something interesting happen to me. He traded my beige napkin for a black one. I asked him what the thought was and he said dark pants = dark napkin. What a concept. I am not sure if this is a Southern thing or just a McCormicks thing.

We started the meal off with a couple of appetizers. Lump Crab Tower!

It’s avocado mango crab tower with an orange vinaigrette. Yummy! We also shared an order of Calamari. I preferred the tower!  The beverage of choice was a bottle of red wine mixed blend. (Nothing too abnormal)

I ordered the classic shrimp scampi! This was FANTASTIC! 6 jumbo shrimp over a white wine garlic linguini. For dessert we shared an upside down apple pie…Oh my I thought I was going to explode!

This was a fabulous evening and if you are ever in downtown Atlanta I highly recommend both Max Lager’s and McCormick & Schmicks!

Stay tuned……I have many more meals to share!

Denver Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon Race Review

This is going to be long but well worth the read! 

In January of 2012 a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in running the Rock n Roll ½ Marathon in Denver. At that time I had just had surgery and was still recovering. I kept this in the back of my mind for many months. In July I officially signed up for the race and talked two other friends into running it also. My thoughts at this time were “can I really run for 13.1 miles”?

 

I started my Warrior Dash training the first week in June and new that my ½ training needed to start the last week in June. I think this is what nudged me to officially sign up. I was already running why not just add 10 miles to it…

 

There are a few things that I love about running. It’s very hard for me but gets me into great shape very quickly, I love that it clears my head and love that running burns a great deal of calories.

 

Let’s get to race week!

 

So race week is actually a pretty easy week of running. Monday I did 4 easy miles, Tuesday 3 easy miles, Wednesday rest day and Thursday 2 easy miles and Friday the day before the race rest day.

 

My friends and I met at our hotel to check in. The entire lobby was covered with 250 University of Oklahoma students in town for a convention. Pure craziness…I had been hydrating while driving to downtown Denver and really needed the ladies room. I managed to find it rather quickly. Why is it when you are hydrating you get stuck in traffic. I am so not a city girl. Once we succeeded to get checked in we walked down to the convention center for the Fitness Expo and packet pick up.

 

Prior to race day you receive an e-mail asking that you print out a confirmation and release sheet. On the sheet you are assigned a corral number based on the time you thought you could finish the race in.

 

Once inside the expo it’s very fast and efficient. You check in with your drivers’ license at the corral that is assigned to you. They handed us our bibs and safety pins at this time. A couple of girls wanted to change their corral numbers. This was a very easy process. They had a table set up specifically for start time changes. Each person who changed his or her corral received a green dot. Once this was done we moved on to the t-shirt pick up and swag bag pick up. No lines anywhere! 🙂

 

Into the expo we went. There are tons of different vendors and booths throughout the convention center from Brooks to Sprouts. I think we all made one purchase at the expo. I stopped at the Razzy Roo for a couple of headbands.

 

We found a booth that sold running t-shirts. I loved these shirts but didn’t think they were worth $26.99.

 

Front of the Shirt

 

Back

 

We stopped at the GU station and taste tested many different kinds of protein bars. Most of them were ok but not great.

GU Booth!

 

Last stop at the expo was the 21 and over wristband stop. This was by far the smartest thing we did. I will explain more about why this was so smart later in my race review.

 

Time to find Maggiano’s for dinner! We had a reservation for a later time and tried to get in early but there was a very long line of runners waiting for a table. So we stopped at Earls for ONE glass of wine before dinner. Once we got our table we all shared an artichoke appetizer. Each of us ordered the Tuscan Bean soup and we split the lasagna and spaghetti & meatballs. Once we were completely full we walked back to our hotel to get sleep before the big day!

 

All three of us set our alarms 5 minutes apart. We wanted to make sure we didn’t over sleep! At 5:18 one of the phones started ringing and woke us up. It was my friend’s sister wanting us to find her at the start. We got up at 6:00 got dressed ate a banana and nutella tortilla wrap with a cup of coffee.

 

Out the door we go! Our hotel was about 4 blocks from the beginning of the start. We dropped the “Gazelle” off at corral #3 her goal was to finish in 1:50:00. Myself and my German friend head to corral #11 stop at corral #7 to say hi to her sister on the way. We meet up with my mile high running buddy. We are standing around talking and people watching. My teeth are chattering at this point. Not because it’s cold mostly from nerves.

 

Finally the 7:15 shotgun goes off the race has started. Each corral is held for 30-60 seconds. We are taking pictures and listening to the announcers and music until our corral makes it to the start.

 

And we’re off! Running downtown Denver. We run about .25 of a mile and my mouth is already dry. I tell my friend’s jeeze we just started and my mouth is dry. My German friend said the same thing. Lucky for us I have some Quench gum. What a savior it was at this time.

 

The first mile is just running down 14th street passing lots of spectators, the convention center and the performing arts center. We had a great non-rabbit start. This will help us finish strong!

 

Mile #2 takes us around to the Pepsi center down to Coors Field. We’re all feeling good and holding our pace. At this point we passed 3 different bands. Seemed like all the bands on the course were playing the same song. “Sweet Home Alabama” Once we reached the 5K mark we all commented on how easy a 5K is now.

 

After the 5K we turned the corner and up hill we went down 17th street to the city park/zoo. There were spectators cheering us on. So many fun signs to be read. “Your feet hurt because you’re kicking so much butt.” The best one was “I don’t know you but I am proud of you!”

 

I did stop at each drink station to have either water or Gatorade. At mile #4 I had part of a shock block and did eat one every other mile. By the end I was sick of these sweet things wanted something salty. Could have just licked my arm but that would have been disgusting.

 

Miles 5-8 were running around the City park/zoo. These miles went by really fast. Maybe it’s because my mile high friend and I were in a deep conversation at this point. The relay hand off was just right before mile #8.

 

We now are running on 17th to Colorado Blvd we could see other runners facing us. At this point we are just waiting and waiting and waiting for the turn to hit the #9 mile marker. Once we hit #9 I get a huge amount of energy. Making friends on the run cheering others on. I hear someone say my name it just happened to be a girl who worked for me back in my restaurant days. She ran with a bit until her hamstring was too tight and needed to walk.

 

Mile 9 -10 took us up through a little neighborhood that was shaded up hill but very beautiful and relaxing. Someone on the course told us that the last 3 miles were down hill hahahaha not true. We did have a little down hill here and I was pacing my breathing and staying in my groove. My quads were beginning to feel really tight. I would try to kick my heels up to my butt to stretch them out.

 

Cheesman Park brought us from mile 11- 12. The very end of the park was all up hill. I wanted to walk so bad. I kept telling myself don’t walk just slow your pace. I managed to get to the top of the hill and see the #12 mile marker. Shewwww only one mile to go!

 

This mile seemed like FOREVER. I was listening for the music hoping once I could hear it that would mean I am close to the finish. Well, I made it to the music but it wasn’t even near the finish. Somewhat, motivating because I love the song that was playing. I really wish they had the last mile marked.

 

Woo Hoo! I crossed the finish line! OMG I really did it! What an emotion this accomplishment is! 

WE DID IT!

Getting our wrist band at the expo allowed us to not wait in line to get into the beer garden for our FREE Michalob Ulta!

Will run for beer!

Swag = Little back pack, Shirt, Bib and Medal!

I am sure there is tons that I have forgotten will post more as I think of things. If you have any questions about the Rock n Roll Half Marathon make a comment!

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!

Back to the 5280!

One benefit of traveling to the city is visiting new restaurants! 

The Chef and I recently traveled to Denver for a concert and visited a new fun spot in downtown Denver.

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar!

We arrived a little before 4 when the restaurant opens for Happy Hour. A line has formed already!

The Happy Hour menu is incredible!

 FROM THE BAR

HAPPY  HOUR DAILY

  • East Coast Oyster$1.25
  • Can Beer$2
  • House Infusions$4

Our party decided on 2 dozen oysters! I am not an oyster fan but these are opened fresh at the bar!

We also decided to have some other happy hour menu items.

Calamari

Gumbo

Mussels

Seafood Dynamite

Gumbo Fries

What what a terrific menu at very very reasonable prices!

Wine was the choice of drink! (Imagine that)

If you have the opportunity to dine at Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar I highly recommend it!

So stop in downtown Denver 17th & Wazee and meet Josh the bartender he will take good care of you.!

For you burger lovers out there we were introduced to the best burger place in Colorado!

All natural burgers, fries and shakes pre-pared to order. Look for larkburger in Edwards if traveling through Colorado.

Time for a nice calorie burning workout to burn off all these calories!

Some Old and Some New!

Yesterday just happed to be my birthday! I had a fabulous day for many reasons!

If I were to sum it up in one word that word would be FRIENDS!

I truly had an eye opening experience yesterday.

I received over 80 birthday wishes from friends and family members. Ranging from Facebook posts, text messages, e-mails and even visits to my office.

The very first message I read was from a close friend of mine from Jr. High School and High School. Her post reminded me of a milestone in my life and what fun she and I had.

It was 25 years ago, our last day of High School.

The last message of the day was from a new friend of mine she sent me emotional text message.

 I will never forget all the beautiful words that were shared with me on May 22, 2012!

Thank you to all of my FABULOUS friends!

The Chef and my Mini me spoiled me rotten with  a fabulous dinner. 

Fresh Grilled Swordfish, Grilled Steak and a summer time salad.

Served with a VERY Chilled Mosacto (my new summer wine for a hot day)

Spoil your friends on their Birthdays! 

They will notice!