Monday, June 27, 2011

birthday's + bacon = pure happiness

We celebrated a special someone's birthday this weekend. Johnny turned the big 26! I can't think of a more perfect way to celebrate a birthday than with presents and bacon :) 

Saturday morning birthday celebrations started with a trip to Ski Haus. 


  • If you go to Ski Haus on your birthday they give you, your age in a percentage off. Simple math Johnny is 26 and received 26% percent off the most expensive item. The very handsome Mr. Walker walked away with a new pair of mens bike shorts (not the tight ones we are talking about Johnny remember), a nice Fox road biking jersey and ....

A SUMO BIKE HONKER FOR HIS CRUISER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOTE: It took some convincing but I think its hysterical. You are missing the red thong he will look at when he squeezes it. I actually stole the idea from Shelia (my tri club teammate), she has one and honks it when she passes you in our road bike trials, it makes me laugh every time :) 

  • Another Ski Haus tip...if you buy gas from the Ski Haus gas station they give you a Ski Haus buck for every 10 gallons of gas you fill up. (Mr. Johnny saved me some money on his shorts because his truck takes diesel gas = 3 ski haus bucks for every tank he fills. I on the other hand belong to the I will drive for miles with my gas light on club).
Okay enough of a promo for Ski Haus, I promise they are not sponsoring this post and probably don't even know about my blog :( Someone who does know about my blog is the delicious Creekside Cafe. After our shopping trip to Ski Haus we continued the birthday celebrations at Creekside with yes you guessed it BACON BLOOD MARY'S!!!!! 

The bacon blood mary is new to the Creekside menu. We sat at the bar (which is also new), because there was no wait and our very friendly bartender Tim sugguested it. It was love at first sight for Johnny. Johnny is the type of person who always says stuff is okay, fine, good, but this drink changed his life. They use Bakon Vodka and cut up real pieces of bacon to put inside. Since this is my blog and I try to be truthful I am more of a mimosa person and would never order a bloody mary but the bacon made all the difference in the world. It was the perfect blend of spice and crunch with a little kick. 


  • They purchase their Bakon Vodka from Central Park Liquor (also referred to by my preschoolers parents as the train store).
  • Creekside is attempting to make their own bacon vodka and will shortly know if its any good.
  • Tell the Lander's I sent you and you need this to kick off your weekend festivities. 
  • If you go to Creekside on your birthday they give you a present....

A FREE CINNAMON ROLL THAT MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH! My favorite part of a cinnamon roll is the middle and even though it wasn't my birthday Johnny still let me have the middle.
All that was missing was a candle.

Johnny ordered the Country Fried Steak Tender Yampa Valley beef steak hand pounded, battered and fried; smothered in pork sausage gravy, served with our breakfast potatoes, two eggs any way and toast, he was in gravy heaven.

I tried to order healthy Santa Fe Monterey Jack cheese, smoked ham, onions and mixed peppers (sub egg white and fruit cup).

Surprise, surprise I ended up stealing some bites of Johnny's.

This picture might be of the cinnamon roll but it still shows how much I love the food and apparently how big of bites I take. 

After Creekside we went to the farmers market. I told you that I go every week and this week I spotted something new...

Purple Cauliflower. I was not brave enough to purchase any because I have never cooked cauliflower period, note to self, put on cooking bucket list. 

The middle of the day involved golf for Johnny and a hike around the mad creek loop for me with Howard and my friend Summer.

We ended the birthday celebrations with a trip to tequilas for queso and margs. You can tell who wears the pants in this household or extremely big sombreros. 

I'm very tired after our big weekend and surprised that I even made it through this long post, hopefully you will too.

Tomorrow I promise to blog about the wedding we attended @ the botanical gardens, stay tuned :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

sun-dried turkey burgers with basil aioli

Happy thursday! Thursday feels like my hump day since I don't work on Monday's and I only have one day left :)

I decided to skip my tri club training to buy plants at Wallmart and have a nice evening at home. I have never had a green thumb but I figured I would give it another go so I started out with the basics some herbs, flowers and a tomato plant. Last year a giant rain storm knocked my tomato plant off the grill and left me heart broken because it was the only thing I have ever kept alive (other than myself, molly bear and my dogs).

Before starting to garden it's always a good idea to try a new summer ale.

We scored with a hanging plant for $5.00 to go next to our front door.

This is the person who will be responsible for keeping our plants alive.

I was in charge of planting the herbs. Any guesses on how long they will last?

Howard was more interested in eating the grass, hopefully the dogs wont eat our plants.

After we finished potting our plants, I went to work on the turkey burgers. I got the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Cooking Light: fresh food, fast weeknight meals." All of the recipes either take 5 ingredients or take 15 minutes. I love simple and fast meals since I am a relatively new comer on the cooking scene. (If you do not already own this cookbook you MUST go out and buy it)!

Sun-Dried Turkey Burgers
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey breast (I use Jenny-O)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 c. crumbled goat cheese
1/4 c. chopped drained oil packed sun-dried tomato halves
cooking spray
4 green leaf lettuce leaves (optional- we used spinach)
2 hamburger buns (I went bun-less to have dessert)
4 tomato slices (optional)

The key ingredient is sun-dried tomatoes (hence the name).

Jenny-O is my go to for turkey meat products.

Combine the first six ingredients, form the meat mixture into patties and place on the grill.

After grilling the burgers for 6 to 8 minutes on each side I toped them with the basil aioli. I must admit that my burgers were a tad bit over cooked but nevertheless delicious.

I made the basil aioli easier by combing all of the ingredients into a food processor.

Basil Aioli
1/4 c. light mayo
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove, minced

The burgers were amazing! The taste of the sun-dried tomato added a nice peppery flavor while the goat cheese made the burgers a little creamy. Johnny gave them a 5 out of 5 (we are currently working on a household rating system).

I took a picture of Johnny's because his mulit-grain bun photographed better than my burger which sat on a bed of spinach.

I want my blog to be honest and honesty means letting you know that I steamed artichokes to go with the burgers and burned them :(

The other side of the arichokes was not burnt and the insides tastes great, they were moist and steamed perfectly. When I was little my grandfather would pay me to eat the artichoke hearts and now I dig right in!

Although I was disappointed about the burnt artichokes the burgers would amazing, I would definitely suggest making them this summer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

sometimes you feel like cooking and sometimes you don't

Tonight I got home from a twenty mile bike ride on my new road bike, thanks to Orange Peel Bike Shop :) I promise to post pictures of my road biking adventures soon. Back to the point... after getting home from bike riding I was too tired to actually cook so I made a "I am cooking but not being fancy meal, " also known as easy chicken caesar salad. 

Here is a picture of all of the ingredients.

Opps I forgot the dressing. I'm pretty much obsessed with any Annie's dressing. They are amazing on salads and also work for marinating.

Here is a picture of the finished product....oh wait I got too hungry and forgot to take one, opps :(

After scarfing down my salad and massive amounts of tortilla chips I began my second I'm not really cooking mission but this time is was I'm baking from a box. Tomorrow is the annual Laurel Street bakesale. (If you live in Steamboat and are reading this I expect you to stop by the school between 10:00 and 12:45 to get your sweet tooth fix). Normally, I love to bake but I'm saving my baking energy for a certain someone's birthday that is coming on saturday, its JOHNNY!

I might have taken a few ingredients from the school to bake the cupcakes.

The finished cupcakes will be perfect for kids but not my cup of tea. 

I had a chocolate Vitatop with almond butter, and strawberries instead (also went into my belly before a photo could be taken).

Have a great evening :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

flowers and cookies

My morning started by finding these beautiful flowers on my front steps.

Truthfully, my morning started with a swim at the Old Town Hot Springs. I was a little discouraged about a swim test that I did with my triathlon club. (I'm convinced there was a lap counting/timing error, oh well next time I will kick faster).

I had mentioned to my co-teacher Katina that I loved the flowers in her garden and she surprised me by putting some on my front porch :) Honestly, it was the highlight of me day. It's the little things in life that make a difference so tomorrow try to write someone special in your life a cute note, text, email, or heaven forbid pay them a phone call to let them know you are thinking about them!

The other highlight of my day involved chocolate, surprise, surprise. I took an early lunch break and had lunch with Johnny at Winona's before he left for Las Vegas. (Johnny will be going to LV for the first time for our friend Kevin's bachelor party).  At Winona's I tried something new (shocker) and had the tofu garden sandwich. The sandwich had marinated tofu with cucumbers, sprouts, red onions, carrots, and Thai peanut sauce on wheat with a fruit cup. Normally my order is similar but comes in the form of a wrap and not a sandwich. The sandwich was delicious! The tofu was cooked perfectly. I did sub the majority of my wheat bread for some of Johnny's french fries.

Since Johnny figured I would be lonely without him all weekend he made up for it by buying me one of the world's greatest cookies. 

I have been known to say that if I were ever ready to jump bring me this cookie and I will come back down.

It is a chocolate-chocolate cookie that tastes like a brownie and is covered in powdered sugar. A pure taste of heaven.

One of my preschoolers mom's is the head baker there and sometimes gives me one for free or brings me one at the school labeled "Miss Ashley." Sign that I have made it to the top....I get my very own cookie!

Please notice how half of the cookie is gone, any bets on how much longer the other half will last? I  did "hide" the other half of the cookie from myself on top of our kitchen shelves.

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

calzone confessions


1. We bought mulitgrain dough at whole foods two weeks ago and I'm finally getting around (forced) to use the other half.

2. The calzone is for Johnny and maybe my lunch tomorrow because I ate a lean cuisine for dinner. I did a 20 mile bike ride after work and didn't get home until 7:20 aka I am too lazy to make dinner. Sometimes I like to add stuff to my frozen dinners to pretend that I am cooking. Tonight I added a bunch of fresh spinach to the pasta and didn't eat the dessert. *Desserts that come on the side of "adult" dinners reminds me of frozen meal's I used to eat as I child, the ones with the brownie and corn on the side. Don't worry I will still have dessert :)

3. Midway though photographing my cooking steps my camera battery died and I had to use my cell phone. Do I get points for trying?

4. Here goes my recipe for a healthy Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Calzone

  • EVOO, for the pan
  • 1 pound of Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough (I used leftover multigrain)
  • 3/4 cup of marinara sauce, or basic tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach (frozen works too)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • minced garlic
  • lemon juice
  • roasted red peppers
  • artichoke hearts
  • 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese ( I meant to use feta and forgot..opps)
Start out by preheating the oven to 450 degrees. First, I sauteed some spinach and mushrooms in EVOO, minced garlic and lemon juice.

Next I rolled out my pizza dough.

Added some sauce.

I added my toppings; sauteed spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts.

I can never have too much cheese.

Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes and voila!

Confession number six is that the calzone went into the freezer once finished and we be eaten another day. I did sneak a taste of a bite that stuck to the bottom and it was amazing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

first farmers market

On Saturday Steamboat held its first farmer's market of the summer in front of the old courthouse. I try to go every weekend for the bread, oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies, fresh produce, and free samples.

My favorite bread is the multigrain, which I use to make panini's and cheddar jalapeno focaccia, only half makes it home because I eat the other half while walking around.

I love Chocolate Soup's oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies. I am learning to road bike and saved my cookie as my treat if I made it home safe from my longest road bike ride yet, yippie for 20 miles!

My favorite part of the farmers market is the free samples! I love tiny bites and I love free :) Johnny makes fun of me because they have the same samples every week but every week I bring the same empty belly and excitement.

After walking around to the vendors, I asked one to take our picture.

As we walked away he said "have a great time while you are in Steamboat!" Instead of smiling and walking away like a normal person I replied, "actually we live here," and explained the photo was for me new blog.

Before leaving the farmers market I snuck a kiss.


I would like to apologize for the lack of photos and recipes of food. I am new to the blogging world and will try to start sharing my recipes. For instance, my quick and healthy meatballs...

Last night we used some elk meat to make hamburgers and I used the other half to make meatballs for today. I used half a pound of elk meat, 1 egg, 1/2 tbsp. of EVOO (olive oil, or what Rachel Ray refers to olive oil as), 1/4 c. of panko bread crumbs and italian seasoning. I baked all 6 of them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then turned them over and baked for 5 more minutes. Johnny ate his with provolone on a roll for lunch and I ate mine with a little red sauce, mozzarella and spinach.

*Next time I promise to take a picture.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

tee time

A few days ago I went back to good ole links. I call myself a golfer but lets use this term "very" loosely. I played on the Varsity golf team senior year in high school (only to fulfill my physical education requirement) but like to pretend that I know what I'm doing.

Golf is a sport for people who have patience and can be quite, neither of which are qualities that would be used to describe me. I am loud and very impatient.

During the summer Johnny works as outside staff at a fancy golf course in Steamboat so I figured I would take advantage and try to improve my game. I let the pro show me how its done :)

Then I took a swing...

I like to pretend I know what Im doing but usually my chances of actually hitting the ball are 50-50. I have been told that I need to slow down my swing and keep my head down. Sounds a little funny to tell someone to "slow down and keep their head down." 

This is more what I really look like...

a swing and a miss. Even though we only played two holes we called it good to go home and make dinner (quick chicken cesear salad). 

Monday, June 6, 2011

steamboat half marathon

Yesterday I ran in the Steamboat Springs half marathon. People have different motivations for finishing a race, some came to Steamboat to add another race to their running resumes, some run to achieve a specific time, some run to check off a bucket list (my reason for this half last year) and some just want to finish. My motivations for the race included having fun with my friends and trying to beat my last half's time, check and check!

Race day brings about so many emotions. I felt joy, relief, sadness and nauseous. I was joyful to complete the race, relieved that I ran 13.1 miles without pain, sad that I had achieved my goal and needed to set a new one, lastly nauseous after I got home from the heat. The nauseous was definitely the worst but luckily passed in time for me to celebrate with brunch and mimosas.

For me the best part of a race is not only the amazing feeling of crossing the finish line but training with my girlfriends and watching them cross the finish line. Last year my best friend Sally Kate talked me into running my first half marathon and this year we gained three more half newbies in Jordan, Summer and Angela.

Support from friends and family during a competition is huge. I was lucky enough to have my two biggest fans Johnny and Alana come to the finish line to cheer us on. Johnny was incredible and drove up to around the 7 mile marker with the dogs to cheer us on. There was no better feeling than coming around the corner to see him standing in his truck bed clapping for me! I'm the luckiest girl in the world :)

After the race I went home for a quick shower and change before riding Coco Loco (my cruiser) to meet the gang for a delicious post race meal at the Creekside.

After a filing brunch we continued the afternoon by celebrating in the sunshine. My wonderful day ended with a spotting of a baby and mama bear.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

summer loves

Summer is finally in full swing. Summer is my favorite season in Steamboat. They (meaning the locals) say that you come for the winters but stay for the summers which I have found to be totally true.

I love summer because...

When I go to Elk River Farm and Feed to pick up dog food baby chicks are in!

Cherries are in season and make for a healthy afternoon snack on a hot summer afternoon. * I apologize for the poor photo quality but I need to mess around with the settings on my camera more.

Summer means its time for summer camp at my preschool :)

I love the tulips that grow every summer below our front steps. I was not blessed with a green thumb have but this year I am determined to keep alive a tomato plant.

I love summer birthday celebrations. Last night we celebrated Harper's Birthday in Harwigs private wine cellar, oh la la. We had wonderful apps, carrot cake and a pink champagne toast to the birthday girl. Notice all of the corks on the ceiling.

During summer Steamboat holds a summer running series. Tomorrow will be the first official race of the series with the Steamboat Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k. I will be running the half marathon! This photo is from last years half marathon, it was my first half marathon.

Wish me luck tomorrow!!!!!!!