Garcia’s and Goodbye Carbondale, CO!

July 7, 2012 § 4 Comments

After three weeks in paradise full of this:

It is time to say goodbye. I am savoring one last bit of my vacation with a final post about the delicious food they have in Carbondale, CO. While there are so many amazing, unique restaurants out there–Phat Thai, Six 89— I wanted to write about a new spot I was turned on to this trip that had us coming back day after day for lunch.

It is very easy to miss Garcia’s off Highway 82; your eye may skip over the nondescript sign and small stand-alone building. But inside is some of the most savory, authentic Mexican food you can find. Order from the counter and then head past the panadería and the carnicería to the small bodega in the back to pay your ticket.

I’ve never been to Mexico but I imagine their diners look something like this. With self-serve housemade Mango Juice in a jug, of course.

Steak Torta. The bread used for this sandwich tastes like the cinnamon you smell baking in some sort of delicious sweet bread in the store.

If you go, you MUST try the Quesadilla Ranchero. I literally ordered at least one of these EVERY SINGLE TIME I went in. No exceptions.

My First Rodeo

July 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

What could be more wild west than a summertime hometown rodeo? Last week, we went to the Carbondale Rodeo to get a glimpse of the real cowboy way. I felt like I had been inserted into the next small town high school rom-com movie set, Friday night rodeo scene. My favorite part was crowd watching as it seemed like the whole town attends–grandparents in flannel, families with mini cowboy tots grilling out the back of their trucks , tweens with braces in cut-offs and hoops. It was a wild experience (haha).

Cowboy Team Roping a Steer

More Cowboy Teams Roping a Steer

My favorite event was the Kid’s Calf Scramble where all kids ages 5-10 hop in the ring and try to pull a ribbon of the tail of a calf. It is hysterical.

Preparing for their close-up

We got a special treat for the holiday. What could be more American than girls in sparkly leotards riding horses and waving flags?

Look who was in the crowd! Heyy Brother.

Now this entire post was really just a ploy to boast that I saw Buster, but I’d still like to keep some semblance of a food-focus here. I’m throwing in a recipe I haven’t tried out–does it count that I intend to when it’s not 107 degrees everywhere in the country since it is chili after all? If I learned anything from Top Chef Austin it’s that Texans do not include beans in their chili. But I’m not a Texan and I like the idea of an extra kick of fiber and protein in there. I thought this recipe looked well-reviewed and easy enough (3 steps in definitely my style) and resembles the first chili I ever had at Bohemia Bagel. General consensus seems to be to substitute ground cloves for whole.

On The Trail

June 29, 2012 § 2 Comments


Yesterday we hiked an absolutely GORGEOUS trail. Hanging Lake is  a  mile high trail in Glenwood Canyon so named for the beautiful bowl-like basin and waterfalls hanging on the side of the cliffs. It is a National Natural Landmark with a delicate ecosystem so the water is turquoise as no visitors may dip in.

I am by no means an experienced hiker and this trail was difficult in its incline but manageable with the tots we had in tow (not my kids). I found when I finished the way down, I was famished despite having lunch just a few hours before. I immediately took to Pinterest to find some trail mix inspirations. As trail mix has to be the easiest and most flexible thing to put together, I definitely did not want anything that required turning on the oven (especially since it is so hot all over!).

These were some of the ones I found that would be tasty and easily replicated:

The Picky Apple Trail Mix – I love the pumpkin seeds and coconut.

Snack Happy Trail Mix – Pistachios were a nice change from just almonds or peanuts.

Energy Trail Mix – The dried papaya and pineapple are quintessential trail mix components to me.

Glow Trail Mix – I’ve never tried goji berries but I hear great things and I love dark chocolate over m&m’s.

I think my ideal trail mix would include a mix of the following:

almonds +walnuts + pistachios+ pumpkin seeds + shredded coconut + dried pineapple + dark chocolate chips+ raisins

Food & Wine Classic In Aspen- Part III The Vino

June 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Ok, Ok, I promise this is the last post about the event, but there are just too many good things to share! We signed up for two wonderful wine tasting events that were so much fun, I am dying to turn both ideas into a lively house party.

The first was hosted by Danny Meyer called “Swill for the Grill.”  The set-up is simple- 6 wines and 6 proteins. We were then told to sample each wine with each meat and evaluate with an appropriate smiley face to indicate if we found the combo “yummy, eh or yuck.” It was marathon tasting at its best and it really zero-ed in on your personal preferences without intimidating wine jargon.

6 wines, 6 meats – Beef Short Rib, Lamb, Veal Sweetbreads, Bacon, Duck, Chicken. May be hard to replicate if you have a lot of vegetarian friends…

The second tasting was hosted by Richard Betts who brought along 3 world-renowned sommeliers. It was a blind tasting with 7 glasses in front of us and 7 matching brown paper-bagged wines one the table. We were then handed a handy-dandy wheel-o-wine that was really a map to follow based on aromas and tastes that you got when beginning to taste each wine. Following the fruits, oakiness, earthiness, etc. you watched the pool of possibilities narrow (PS the star sommeliers were unreal, they literally had it nailed to the vineyard and year most times).

Richard Betts is coming out with a “scratch & sniff” wine tasting book that features a 2 ft. pull out of this wheel!! Should be available this holiday season

These events were both before we even got into the Tasting tents. Truthfully, if your goal like me is to sample everything possible, it can be somewhat difficult to remember distinguish all your preferences. But here were some wines that particularly stood out for me from the weekend:

Sandhi Chardonnay This had a really nice golden color and full body to it.

Harmand-Geoffroy Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes This was the one wine I like paired with every meat during Swill for the Grill. Of course it’s a little pricey so we’ll save this for “special occasions.”

Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir I tried to do a theme of Pinot Noirs when sampling in the Tasting Tent (with many exceptions) and this was one I particularly liked. Plus it’s at the right price point and I can pick it up locally.

2011 Secco Italian Bubbles Bianco Starting off the night with something bubbly is the perfect way to add some pizzazz and this was fresh with hints of fruit and lots of tiny bubbles!

I must have really liked this gin… the vendors gave me a free apron

Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin I realize this is not a wine but it is so, so, so good. Gin cocktails are usually my go-to on a menu (unless they are paired with orange) but this gin is so good, you can just shake it with some ice and it goes down smooth as silk. It smells lemony with hints of lavender and I wouldn’t mind my entire home smelling the same way.

This wraps up my Food & Wine Class recaps… I feel like Senior Prom is over! Can’t wait to return next year.

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