Summer ‘Freestyle’ Margaritas from Bitter Bar’s Michael Cerretani

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Three fresh summer margaritas: (left to right) Blackberry-Mint, Thyme-Cucumber and Strawberry-Blueberry.   Boulder is a very cool food town.  Named ‘America’s Foodiest Town’ in 2010 by Bon Appétit magazine, it fulfills this distinction in a variety of genres.  We certainly bear a commitment to quality farm-to-table food production and consumption.  One only needs to spend 10 minutes talking to anyone, farmer or patron, at our Farmer’s Market to be sure about that. Certainly our dining and bar scene have made their mark as well.  The draw of this area for chefs and mixologists alike is clear and we locals are pleased to be the benefactors of so many dedicated and enthused by their craft.     One such shining star is Michael Cerretani, Bar Manager for The Bitter Bar, a … {continue reading}

Peanut Butter French Toast and Homemade Organic Strawberry Syrup

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When I was growing up I was obsessed with peanut butter.  I felt it went with everything and spared no other food from an experimental addition of some ‘PB’ at one time or another.  I even would sometimes sneak out of bed and scoop out a handful of it to eat plain (which now sadly sounds more like a closet eating disorder rather than an unbridled childhood culinary fixation). As kids my Mom would always let us pick what we wanted on our birthdays for breakfast.  My choice was always Peanut Butter French Toast.  I’m not sure where the original recipe came from; whether my Mom made it up to appease my enthusiastic food crush or whether she found it somewhere. I’d forgotten about Peanut Butter French Toast as I’ve not had it as an adult, however last week was my birthday … {continue reading}

Summer Getaway: Colorado’s Grand Valley Wine Country (Palisades/Grand Junction CO)

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Early budding of grape vines at Mesa Park Vineyard Over the past few years as I’ve endeavored to discover more about Colorado wines I’ve been nostalgic for the convenience of the California wine country.  A mere hop from San Francisco I could be in the Russian River Valley for an effortless day outing enjoying smaller wineries, chats with winemakers and practical education through tasting sessions.  There are wineries around the Boulder area (and good ones) as well as a bevy of urban wineries in Denver* (good ones).  Yet I longed for an amble through the ‘wine country’ as I enjoyed in California.  In late April on a whirlwind tour through Colorado’s two ‘AVA’s’ (American Viticulture Area, a formally designated wine growing region) I hit the mother lode in the Grand Valley/Palisades area … {continue reading}

Kale Walnut Meyer Lemon Pesto with Brown Rice Penne

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When I began eating as a locavore it highlighted an eating pattern I’ve held my whole life.  I would select a recipe then go find the ingredients regardless of their seasonality or origin.  Eating seasonal, locally grown produce requires me to first procure the produce then figure out what to do with it!  That may sound like a ‘so what?’ point, but it demands much more thinking or it did for me unless I want to eat as I did in college (with zero panache). It took me awhile to adjust to an ingredient-driven culinary approach from a recipe-driven tactic but in the process I learned a lot.  I have a curious nature and my natural proclivity is to research like a fiend; I’m a self-professed “infomaniac”.  Part of that included stocking up on some key cookbooks that chronicle recipes by their … {continue reading}

Favorite Summer Cocktails and Homemade Infusions

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The thing I most look forward to when summer starts is the bounty of fresh seasonal foods with which to cook and make cocktails.  I already have an easy garden-fresh dish in my head to share however I’ve been swacked by a virus this week that has kept me horizontal since last weekend.  Not being one to hold others hostage to my life’s dilemmas I had a brilliant (to me at least) alternative that sprung forth from my fog to share while I’m on the mend.  I wanted share a collection of favorite tried-and-true summer cocktails and seasonal infusions to set your summer off on a good note.  There is plenty here to try and ponder and I’ll be back soon with some fresh food and a fun Colorado summer travel destination suggestion.  Cheers!  Cherry Bounce:  Dating back to George … {continue reading}

Cherry Chocolate Chip Pie

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I’m hoping this finds you relaxed having had a wonderful long Memorial Day weekend.  It was the first grill out for my family.  Despite liking meat I actually don’t eat a lot of it but have to say there is nothing like a freshly grilled burger outdoors.  This weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to try out another vintage pie recipe I’d found some time ago.  Whenever I come into a batch of vintage recipes I tend to go through all of them looking for recipes that are unique, translate to modern times for the ingredients, use whole ingredients (no Jell-O or cans of soup) and frankly are not overly complex.  I love food and sophisticated food but I rarely have the time to labor over recipes with extensive ingredient lists but still want a pleasing end result. This recipe for … {continue reading}