Early Bird Restaurant: A Farm-fresh Oasis in Westminster CO


As I drove out 120th Avenue passing big box stores and drive through fast food joints  I questioned whether I’d actually read the Press Release for Early Bird restaurant accurately.   A husband and wife chef team with a roster of attention-catching credentials filling the gap of locally sourced food in this area.  Could it be? When turning onto Bradburn Boulevard I was pleasantly surprised to be met with a new, mixed use neighborhood sporting a modernized brick brownstone vibe of an inner city.  Early Bird is nestled on the main drag between a number of shops with a simple front patio populated with black wrought iron tables and prim red umbrellas for al fresco dining. (Top) Colorado peach slices wrapped with bacon.  (Bottom) Hand’s down my favorite: BBQ Pork served on … {continue reading}

A Culinary Adventure Weekend in Vail CO


Our weekend was full of varied, fresh seasonal and often locally-sourced cuisine.  This Heirloom Tomato salad from Sweet Basil was a quintessential summer dish and one represented the deliciousness of the most simple food prepared well.   Ski towns get a bad rap.  Not during the winter of course.  In season they are the gem of the landscape, visitors flocking to them with sole, unquestionable purpose.  Somehow once the snow melts they are often ignored, mistakenly thought of as one note destinations not garnering the rapt attention they still deserve as multi season hot spots. I’ve always loved a ski town in the summer.  During my residence in Northern California I relished summer stays at Lake Tahoe, hiking the ski trails and enjoying the mountain ambiance without my 400 … {continue reading}

Desitnation Vail CO: Elway’s Restaurant and Colorado Peach Bellini’s


On a recent trip to Vail Colorado I had the opportunity for a condensed ‘meet and greet’ with several of the shining stars in Vail’s current dining landscape.  Our culinary speed dating weekend left me with many impressions, all good, as well as some particular surprises and ‘ah ha’ moments.  One of those was with Elway’s, a steakhouse bearing the attention-grabbing name of beloved former Denver Broncos quarterback and owner John Elway. I realize steakhouses have come a long way since the moody, masculine, slab-of-beef–and-a-loaded-baked-potato chophouse of yesteryear but I was caught off guard, pleasantly, by the fresh and local approach that is the core of Elway’s’ focus.  Having opened less than a year ago in November 2011, this third Elway’s restaurant is well on the road to making … {continue reading}

Smoked Chorizo Soft Tacos with Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa

smoked chorizo taco _1 243

If we were playing summer food word association, ‘grilling’ clearly would top the list.  Along with fresh, simple food, casual dining and a host of seasonal ingredients that define the season’s flavor palette.  My personal food choices in the hotter months focus much more on the vibrant flavors and less on the laborious preparation that seems to suit when there is a chill in the air. I was recently contacted by Boulder Sausage Company to see if I’d be interested in taking part in a summer recipe Blogger Challenge using their sausage.  My task would be to create a recipe that speaks to summer food using one of their sausage types.  In exchange Boulder Sausage Company would reimburse my ingredients costs, post my recipe on their website and again on their Facebook page for Facebookers to … {continue reading}

Fresh Peach Margarita and Fresh Peach Spritzer (non-alcoholic)

Fresh Peach Margaritas

The idea for the cocktail came through unexpected means.  I had finished taking photographs of the Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa I posted last week.  I had a slew of things to return to the kitchen from my photo set so called my kids in to help me schlep.  They had not tasted the salsa yet so I let them go at it when my 9 year old declared ‘now all you need is a margarita!’ I have no idea why that popped to mind for him.  I don’t swill Margies every time I have salsa.   I do not drink cocktails daily, in the middle of the day potentially signaling him that it was ‘cocktail time for Mommy’.  He does not drink Margaritas that I’m aware of so the Pavlovian association was beyond me.  However my next thought WAS to come up with a Fresh Peach Margarita recipe.  So despite the circuitous … {continue reading}

Bite-Size Insalata Caprese


I now do not recall my first introduction to Insalata Caprese but it was love at first bite for me.  A simple, fresh salad of Italian origin made only of tomatoes (usually slices), freshly made mozzarella cheese (which if you have not had, do not confuse it with processed mozzarella; totally different animal), fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  If ordering it at a restaurant anywhere in the world you’d expect a plate of several individually architected ‘bites’ (really larger than one bite) of a tomato slice, a thick slice of mozzarella matching the tomato slice in size, a basil leaf and drizzle of olive oil that slinks underneath the tomato providing a kiss of oil to both sides of the salad. To me this is really the only time of year to make this … {continue reading}