Grilled Pizza and Homebaked Scones

My family likes food. I am not ashamed of this fact. Sure, some of us *me* could stand to lose a few pounds but it is not like we are morbidly obese or something. As a result of ourlove for food we also love to cook. See, you thought we were just drive-through junkies when in reality we are wannabe foodies!
When Kate and I got down from the cabin last week we needed a dinner plan. A quick trip to the grocery store later and we were in the kitchen with ingredients for grilled pizzas and low-fat brownies. I handled the pizza grilling since I have done it before. We used pre-made pizza dough since our empty tummies were rumbling and we needed pretty quick satisfaction.
We topped half the pizzas with mozzarella, fresh tomato and fresh basil and the other half with muenster cheese and prosciutto. Delicious!
Kate worked on the brownies with a new found recipe that uses nothing but a box of low-fat brownie mix and a pureed can of black beans. The result was some exceedingly moist brownies, they were yummy but definitely a more cake like texture than fudgey.
Later that week Mama, Kate and I decided it was time for a little tradition.
Tea Time. Huzzah!
My Mama, sister and I have always loved having tea parties and as we grew up the tradition expanded. We used to go to the Brown Palace in Denver for high tea once a year before school started. My sister also took me there for high tea before I got married. However, we are a
go-getter group of ladies and we can whip together a pretty spiffy high tea all on our own.
We rolled up our sleeves and put on our aprons, you can see the aprons here. We made some delicious scones, salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, olive and cream cheese sandwiches. There were juicy organic strawberries and lavender truffles. We splurged on lemon curd and devonshire cream for our scones. There was a big pot of tea and lots of lovely conversation. Any time with my sissy and my Mama is a great time but tea time is especially lovely!
Friday I head home to Yuma with my precious pups. It will be nice to be home and while i will miss my Mom, Dad and Kate and Colorado it will be amazing to have Chris back with me again shortly. I will hopefully have some fun road tripping tales and pictures to share with you soon!


Snow Cones

John Denver knew what he was talking about when he wrote Colorado Rocky Mountain High. I spent the last 5 days at my family's house in Granby, Colorado. Time in the gorgeous mountains breathing clean, cool air and looking out on breathtaking vistas always recharges my soul. With Chris still gone (5 1/2 months now if you are counting...) my soul needs frequent recharging.
On Father's Day we all went to breakfast at Carver's in Winter Park. With my belly full of fresh baked bagel, cream cheese and lox I was fortified for a hike. We headed to the Vasquez Wilderness area for a scenic trek. The dogs had a blast and I was a proud Mama as Koda breezed through her first mountain hiking experience. Loki is an old pro and stayed on the path, only pausing to "own" *ahem...pee on...cough* the occasional shrub, tree stump or rock. We snapped some great pictures and had a lovely time as a family as my Dad led us over streams and through the woods.
At the top we discovered something about Koda. Apparently she thinks she is part seal or penguin. She spent at least 25 minutes sliding down the glacial snow that still lingers at the mountain tops. She sledded down on her belly, rubbed her face and sides into the cold and she dug holes that she could then bury her face in for 30 seconds at a time. It was probably the cutest thing I have ever seen her do.

After a few hours of hiking and playing we headed back into town and picked up some sandwiches from Rudi's Deli. We took a short 5 minute stroll down to the river for a more scenic spot to eat our lunch. Koda and Loki were too tired to even explore the water, they plopped down and napped while we ate.
It was a perfect day, with the exception of missing my hunny.
We are getting so close to our reunion and I can't wait!


Fish Tacos and Key Lime Martinis

Last week I headed up to my old college stomping grounds in Fort Collins, Colorado. I loved living there for four years and I felt my heart leap a little as I exited the highway and took Harmony straight west toward the mountains and Horsetooth rock. It is a college town with a twist, it has the most restaurants per capita in America but you can go hiking, white water rafting or camping less than 30 minutes outside of town. It is family friendly but you can ride your bike to New Belgium Brewery, sit and have a few beers. It is well developed but there is still open space. In short I would love to live there again someday!
Monday I visited with my friend Veronica. It was great to see her again and we had a lovely time eating fish tacos at La Luz and walked around Old Town. We took a trip to CSU's bookstore so I could replenish my college t-shirt collection (mine are all disintegrating). It was pretty funny to see all the tour groups full of 18 year olds wandering the campus, it seems so long ago. She is moving to Madison, Wisconsin with her husband soon and I am so glad we got to catch up before she leaves town.
Monday evening I headed out to Libby and Mike's house. I have known Libby since high school, she was with me the first time I met Chris and I was with her the first time she met Mike. We have been many mission trips together and discussed huge life decisions with each other. I stood in her wedding and she stood in mine. She is a good friend whom I do not see nearly enough. Libby is also 6 months pregnant with her first child! She is going to be such a loving and patient mother and I cannot wait to meet her child. Tuesday we had a great time wandering a children's store for several hours, oohing and ahhing over little clothes, laughing at parenting books and playing with games.
That evening I met up with my friend Jess. Jess and I were both studio art majors with fiber concentrations. This means we bonded over a mutual geeky love of dyed fibers, complicated weave patterns and detailed embroidery. We always have a fun time together and I love hanging out with her because it is very low key. We hung out at her Dad's restaurant Wednesday night and then played Beatles's Rock Band until late at night. Wednesday we went to the pool, the mall and to the $2 theater to see Oceans. That night we headed to Elliot's, our favorite bar, for some key lime martinis. They are so good I dream about them sometimes!
Thursday morning we went to Snooze, where I had the best breakfast of my life. If you ever have a chance to eat at a Snooze, do it! They have a spunky retro decor. Their pancakes and Benedicts are to die for. After gorging ourselves on breakfast we headed home to start a project. Several hours, a pile of fabric scraps and two viewings of Alice in Wonderland later we both had new patchwork sundresses made from the quilting quarters that Jo-Ann's Fabric sells. Total cost $9! I will put up a picture of the finished project later.
It was a splendid week and I am so glad I got to spend a few days in one of my favorite towns. Now I am in the mountains with my family, pictures and stories to come soon!


Lemon drops and Gumdrops

If all the rain drops were lemon drops and gumdrops, oh what a wonderful rain that would be.
(ooo an artsy rain picture....swoon)
If all the rain drops were lemon drops and gumdrops we would have spent all day outside with buckets collecting sugary goodness. However, rain drops are made of cold water and so we had a lazy rainy day.
The day consisted of a lovely lunch date at Noodles and Co with a friend. Then I met my sister at Tattered Cover where we sat and read and sipped hazelnut lattes. Then a quick run to Whole Foods and it was time to start a full evening of hibernation.
(sister and me)
Kate and I made the world's yummiest baked mac n' cheese and ate most of it. How could anything with butter, pasta, Cheddar cheese and buttered cracker crumbs not be amazing? (our marvelous mac n' cheese)
(Koda begging and Kate's cute tights)
We watched at least one disc of How I Met Your Mother. I am almost to the end of the show and I will have to start over....it is a sickness.
When sister and I are together it is never long before the camera comes out. We took some silly pictures of ourselves and the doggies. (sister's silly face) (Koda-Loo sleeping) (being dramatic) (Loki is trying to sleep and we are bugging him)
After dinner and some rest for our tummys we tried to recreate the world's best ice cream (Toasted Coconut from Kilwins') by mixing Double Dark Chocolate, Toasted Almond and Caribbean Coconut. It was legendary and delicious. (in case you were wondering that is indeed HIMYM on the TV behind the pyramid of ice cream)
I hope no one will ever doubt our dedication to any cause, I mean anyone willing to buy three types of ice cream to recreate one flavor has mad loyalty.
As rainy days go it was a wonderful one.


Pad Thai

If you are anything like me then you experience those times in life when things are so hectic that you forget to grocery shop and must survive off your hoard of take-out menus.
That is how life has been lately. And so, dear blog readers, I hope you have been eating well out of Styrofoam boxes while I was away. I am back and will give you a brief catch up and resume blogging, allowing myself to dispense with the guilt of not writing for nearly a month.
Oh, but what a month it has been.
Koda was stung by something in the middle of the night. Her face swelled up to twice its normal size and I had to go to Walgreen's at 2 am and then force feed her Benedryl in the parking lot.
I finished working with my beloved twins. Their Mom is on summer break from teaching and in anticipation of a busy year ahead Chris and I decided I would not return to working with them in the fall. It broke my heart to leave them. I was there for rolling over, sitting up, first teeth, first steps etc...
Of course, when I left on the last day they did something they have never, ever, not once, not a single time, ever done when I leave the house....they screamed and cried. It tore my heart out.
I drove to Colorado to be with friends and family while this last month or so of deployment drags on...and on...and on...
My saint of a Mama flew to Arizona to make the 17 hour drive home with me so I could bring the dogs. We had a good drive except for the 130 mile detour due to a sandstorm that closed the highway.
I went to Baton Rouge to see my Aunt get married. It was a lovely service and I cherish anytime I get with my Aunt and my dear cousins and my sister! It was made even better by throwing in a mansion on the beach in Fort Morgan and some hilarious antics from my cousin's boyfriend. That and sporcle (you know you want to check it out) .
I have spent almost everyday since then catching up with old friends and watching HIMYM with my sister. I walk the dogs on the gorgeous trail behind my parent's house and savor every moment of Colorado time. It is a beautiful state.
Alright, there it is. A short blog but I had to rip the band-aid off and dive back into it. I promise not to wait so long to share some more funny stories.