Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tour de Steamboat

As many of you know my grandmother Dalorie "Dal" Finkel passed away this past September after a LONG battle with cancer. Dal was more than a grandmother she was my best friend. 

Since her death I have tried to raise money to help families with cancer patients. In the spring I participated in the Penguin Plunge. My friends and I collected money from sponsors and jumped into the Catamount Country Club freezing cold water to raise money for cancer. 

Our team raised over $2,000 to aid Yampa Valley Medical Center Cancer Services! Raising money for people in need felt so rewarding and made me feel closer to my deceased grandmother. 

This summer when the Tour de Steamboat presented itself I knew it was something I would be interested in but wasn't sure that we would be in town. Last week when I knew that I was going to be in Steamboat I immediately registered. The Tour de Steamboat is  is a century+ non competitive road ride that starts and ends in beautiful Steamboat Springs, CO. The initial event was hosted as a race by the legendary frame builder, Kent Eriksen, in the late 1970’s. The event was resurrected in 2004 as a non competitive road ride by Kent’s wife, Katie Lindquist and partner Brad Cusenbary. In 2008, Katie and Brad decided to turn the event into a benefit ride to not only raise money but awareness to the Sunshine Kids Foundation. It is the goal of the Sunshine Kids Organization to provide young cancer patients with opportunities to participate in positive group activities which promote self-esteem, personal accomplishment and just plain old fashioned fun!

The event offers three courses a 26 mile Sidney Peak ride, a 40 mile Stagecoach out-n-back and a 110 classic tour de steamboat. Since I am new to road biking I knew that I could handle the 26 or 40 mile rides, the 40 was full so I registered for the 26 mile ride.

On Friday before the ride Johnny and I attended the Sunshine Kids benefit pasta dinner. (Usually I post pictures of my food but this is about the charity not the AMAZING pasta, salad, garlic bread and brownie dinner). Johnny and I had fun bidding on items at the silent auction. We were outbid on everything except a BAP costume soft-shell jacket, lucky me :) 

On Saturday morning I put on my new Orange Peel jersey and was ready to ride. 

The ride offered an organized mass start at 7:00 am in front of little toots park but riders were welcome to ride the marked course at anytime throughout the day.

I loved the excitement of seeing everyone ready to ride and on their bikes. Partaking in the mass start was great experience for my upcoming sprint tri (in two weeks)!

My bike ride was incredible. I felt at one with myself, nature and my grandmother. I knew she would be proud of me and looking over me as my legs peddled. 

Johnny was very proud of me too, he rewarded with me buckwheat chocolate chip pancakes when I got home. Johnny makes the worlds (BIGGEST) best pancakes!

I took this photo before I added strawberries, peanut butter and blueberry agave syrup (thank you whole foods)!

My incredible ride and delicious breakfast set the tone for a fun filled saturday. Go see Winnie the Pooh, it will make you smile :) 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

afternoon delight

On Wednesday Johnny and I meet on my lunch break to try out Mountain Brew, a new coffee shop. Mountain Brew recently relocated from the mountain to a new downtown location at 427 Oak Street. The day before I went to Mountain Brew for a business networking breakfast and was dying to go back to try out breakfast or lunch (I obviously only waited one day).

Mountain Brew offers a unique selection of coffee and expresso drinks like "alice in wonderland: latte with vanilla & raspberry," "apple pie: apple & cinnamon latte-just like moms," or the "turtle: chocolate carmel and peanut butter." Since I have been off the brew (meaning coffee) for over three years I went with my typical summer drink of iced green tea.

The iced green tea really hit the spot. I love iced green tea during the summer and some might consider my daily indulgence an addiction. I found Mountain Brew's green tea to have hints of fruit while allowing the smooth flavor of fine tea to shine through.

Johnny on the other hand is a brew man. He is also a big candy fan and tried a coffee drink called "snickers: chocolate, vanilla and carmel."

I think he liked it because he drank it so fast it was hard for me to snap a photo.

In addition to coffee and pastries, Mountain Brew serves breakfast and lunch items. I ventured out from my norm of going with a salad and ordered the "vortex: tomato, cucumber, avocado & hummus" sub sandwich.

This sandwich was the perfect summer sandwich with its light veggie ingredients and crunchy bread. I love thick rolls but I don't like the extra inside bread so I usually ask the restaurant to excavate the bread (yes I know what this word means). In this case the bread was perfect, the french begat was not overly stuffed and had the perfect crunch with every bite.

Johnny went with a quesadilla the "stampede: blend of cheeses, chicken, and roasted red pepper, sliced avocado and salsa."

His quesadilla was very tasty (I traded him a piece for the other half of my sandwich). It was cooked perfectly with a little crunch on the ends. My only suggestions would be to put the avocado inside of the quesadilla and to serve it with more salsa, you can NEVER have too much salsa in my opinion.

Overall we both left happy and full :) We did share peanut butter cookies but those were devoured even before we got our lunch.

After lunch we walked down the street to take a look at the community garden. Leadership Steamboat created the garden in 2010 so that people would have a place to grow fresh vegetables while learning local agricultural heritage and healthy lifestyles.

There are park benches and a nice shady tree to sit and read. Visiting the garden made us want to grow our own vegetables but for now I think we will stick with the tomato plant which is doing awesome!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's "Sposta" be good

Most importantly, I would like to apologize for the delay in posts.  I have recently switched professions and promise to post about the big change soon. Today I have decided to dedicate my blog post to things that you may (ARE) be missing out on.

Have you ever tried mango as a bagel topping because you should!

I must confess that last week I purchased and learned how to cut a mango. I am pretty much obsessed with a little blog called Run Eat Repeat and Monica taught me how to cut a mango with her youtube video. Check it out!

I ate my mango on top of a cinnamon raisin bagel thin with peanut butter. If you can't tell how excited I was to try it you should note the bite missing in the photo :)

Additionally I would like to confess my unhealthy obsession with Justin's mini peanut butter and almond butter packets because they are the perfect size to fit in your purse and they taste amazing!

The main point being you are missing out if you are not eating mangos, cinnamon raisin bagel thins and peanut butter.

You are also missing out if you have not tried Spostas Steamboat's newest sushi restaurant. Truth be told Spostas has been around for awhile as a delivery only restaurant but now is located at 825 Oak Street.

Last Friday night Johnny and I decided to try it out and were not disappointed.

I started out with the traditional miso soup.

I loved how the miso soup came in a non-traditional bowl. Since they are a new restaurant they are working out the kinks with mix matched plates and paper menus. I don't need all the glitz and glamour as long as the food comes out in a timely manor (check) and is delicious (check).

If you know me at all you know that I am a boring orderer (insert salad) and almost always make alterations.  In this case I did order a salad but it came with rice. I figured I couldn't go wrong with my selection because ultimate was in the title. I ordered the ultimate sushi salad : tuna, imitation crab atop rice and romaine with yellow bell peppers, sprouts, and avocado. I ordered it with poppy seed dressing on the side. If they would have let me back in the kitchen I would have drank the dressing from the bottle it was so incredible.

You are missing out if you do not go try this salad. This bright, colorful, flavorful dish is a must have. I thought it was interesting how the salad came with rice but it was nice because it made it a mix between a rice bowl and salad. The fusion of the rice and salad was hearty yet fresh and light.

Johnny went the traditional route by ordering sushi (ordering sushi at a sushi restaurant who knew) with untraditional ingredients like pepper jack cheese and ground beef. He order the yampa valley roll: Colorado grass feed ground beef pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese, dill pickle and teriyaki sauce. He also ordered a K2 roll: tuna, tempura fried asparagus, green onions, avocado, teriyaki and firecrackers sauces.

Even though the ingredients in his rolls were a little unusual they worked really well together. Overall I would definitely go back for dinner or even lunch, they have an awesome lunch special 11:30 to 3:00 two rolls for 9 dollars.

In Pearl's case she is missing out on some of her lady parts and is not a happy camper.

No puppies for us = one miserable Pearl Ann

I'm off to take care of puppy Pearl, have a good evening!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

fire-cracking good time

I hope everyone had a wonderful fourth of july!

My fourth of july celebrations started with a party at the preschool on friday. I wanted to share a super cute and easy cooking project, fire-cracker pretzel rods. All you needs is:

  • pretzel rods
  • melting white chocolate
  • sprinkles
Two easy steps, dip the pretzel rods in the white chocolate and roll in sprinkles. I suggest putting a generous amount of sprinkles on parchment (this will make clean up much easier). My preschoolers loved it!

Pretzel fire-crackers are not just for kids, they can be used as table decorations in a simple mason jar. 

So pretty and festive! Talk about festive look at the awesome forth of july accessories I picked up from Target's dollar bin.

I know that I look like a complete dork but I LOVE dressing up :) Apparently  someone else does too...

Johnny celebrates in his own way (note the PBR in hand).

It wouldn't be forth of July without a little BBQ. We grilled smoked chicken apple sausages topped them with mustard, ketchup and peppers. I tried Sarah Lee's 80 calorie wheat bun, I must say they are pretty tasty. I whipped up an impromptu salad:
  • arugula
  • goat cheese
  • pear
  • soy nuts
  • a little EVOO
  • lemon juice
Everything turned out amazing. The salad was sweet and the perfect light mixture to the heavy meat. I should have slash would have taken a picture of the chicken apple sausages but forgot and threw away the wrapper too soon (don't doubt that I dug into the garbage today). It was a random new brand that I wanted to try and will definitely make sure to recommend next time I buy them.

*Note our bright new place mats thanks to Wallmart and gold vase thanks to Annie's Home Consignments. 

I hope everyone had a fabulous forth of july weekend and that your parade was full of Camel's :)