St. Julien Hotel’s ‘Bon Vivant’ Package: Luxury Meets Wellness

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Sometimes the best surprises are right under our own noses.  A rock left unturned.  An adventure unsought.  I discovered such a find last weekend when invited by the St. Julien Hotel, Boulder’s small luxury hotel, to demo a new package they’ve developed:  The Bon Vivant (translated ‘good living’).  When the package was detailed I felt it was genius.  A five course tasting dinner, sparkling wine and entertainment on the patio after dark, a Farmer’s Market quest with the Executive Chef and follow on prepared lunch, hiking, yoga and a juicing demo.  It all sounded fascinating and a showcase of some of the best Boulder has to offer. When I checked into the St. Julien on a Friday afternoon, I was struck by the vigor of the staff.  All young, enthusiastic, attentive while down to earth at the … {continue reading}

Peanut-Encrusted Asian Pork Tenderloin

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The start of the school year feels like moving to another planet to me.  It demands military type precision to keep my household fluid and well fed.  The meal protocol includes school lunches for two kids, lunch for one working husband, substantial snacks to interleave between school and multiple athletic activities, as well as dinner that has to be ready pretty promptly once we cross the threshold home.  It always seems to demand my best professional project management skills coupled with high level culinary strategic planning. Creative inspiration does not always step up to meet the tactics so when I was asked to contribute to a Back to School Cookbook for Foodie.com, I was thrilled.  To be a contributor yes, but selfishly to have access to a bevy of fabulous recipes from handpicked, … {continue reading}

Plum Slump and An Introduction to a Friend

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One unexpected benefit I found shortly after beginning my blog was connecting with like minded food people all over the world.  One such find was Caroline who writes ‘All That I’m Eating’ hailing from Berkshire in the South of England.  I’m now not sure how I found her but it was like looking into a mirror across The Pond.  Caroline is a local, seasonal eater, scouring her Farmer’s Market and foraging; writing about her adventures along with recipes she makes which also include ingredients from her garden.  Her restaurant reviews recall for me all the time I’ve spent in England and she affords a sense of ‘arm chair travel’.  I envy her local ingredients unavailable in the U.S. and have fun attempting to find equivalents here as she does in the U.K. with recipe ingredients I use. We … {continue reading}

YaYa Farm & Orchard: U-Pick Apples and Baked Apple Cider Donut recipe (gluten free)

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Though our temperatures are still in the mid 90’s, signs of fall abound. Trees have begun to turn yellow just this week and I’ve noted the local apple trees are burgeoning with ripe fruit. With the apple being the harbinger of fall, its appearance prompted me to take a visit to YaYa Farm and Orchard in Longmont which has opened early this year due to their bumper crop. YaYa is a ‘Pick Your Own’ orchard opening only at this time of year for apple lovers to visit, pick, and enjoy a festive ushering in of our cooler weather season. My first visit to YaYa Farm was two years ago (click here to read). At the time they were beginning a large expansion which they have now completed with 810 apple trees and 120 varieties of Old World and Heirloom apples. The apples ripen in three main stages … {continue reading}

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

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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

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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}