Happy 4th of July!

Many of you are getting ready to watch fireworks, perhaps surrounded by swarms of small children and mosquitoes.  The Johnsons are sitting comfortably in their living room, enjoying the feasts of the day, and a peaceful evening.  After all, we did see fireworks from our upstairs hall window the other night, after Josh made sure it wasn’t someone trying to murder us with a spray of bullets while we fell asleep.  I do love fireworks, but we see them at ballparks, and occasionally, unexpectedly late at night we were are trying to sleep.

I started the week out by making pan-fried dumplings, one of life’s greatest pleasures for me.

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Then we hosted our good friends for dinner:  pepper-sauce marinated tri-tip,
cheesy scalloped potatoes, and asparagus with warm bacon vinaigrette.
I received rave reviews from my favorite food critics.

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I made Josh a rustic rigatoni dish with ground pork,
homemade (yes, my own canned tomatoes) tomato sauce, and cheese.

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We got back to our honky-tonk roots last night at the infamous Grizzly Rose, only to realize, we
don’t have honky-tonk roots.  We mostly watched in awe as hundreds of young 20-somethings line-danced,
elbow to elbow, to what sounded like the same song over and over and over.
At least my drinks were free (Ladies Night).
The highlight was the band playing one of our faves, “East Bound and Down” by Jerry Reed,
a song that came out long before these kids were born.

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I love salmon.  I whipped up this seared salmon dish today for a light lunch.
Seared salmon with a lemon-pepper crust, sauteed spinach, fresh corn, and a tomato-olive-lemon sauce.
It tasted just like summer!

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Josh brought home elk steak after a boys trip in Jackson a couple of weeks ago.
Some women ask for jewelry or trinkets, but
he knows I would much rather have sustainable interesting food with which to create in my kitchen.
Elk is very lean and muscular.  It takes a hearty marinade to loosen it up a bit.
Look at these beauties, marinating in a rosemary olive oil/blackberry balsamic/soy sauce.

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The finished product: Josh, while utterly inept in the kitchen (self-admitted), is a master at the grill.
He never needs a meat thermometer (as I do), yet he cooks meat to the perfect temp every time.
Here’s the elk rib steak, with my berry gastrique (a technique I learned from my dad, who hunts elk),
frites, and corn on the cob.  Yes, a true summer meal!

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A Louis & Martini Cab Sav, to remind me of home (Reno).
It didn’t quite taste the same, but close enough.

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Lastly, I leave you with an All-American dessert:
Homemade vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries.

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Happy 4th of July to one and all!  Thank you to our military personnel and their families, for your selfless and brave service to our country.

Denver Shenanigans

All right, we’ve been here three months, but it feels like eternity.  Would you judge me if I said I shed a few tears when Guy Fieri visited Reno in last night’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives episode?  Fine, judge away.  Reno rocks.

Every day, I feel like I am in that NASA control room from Apollo 13, when Gene Kranz asks, “Let’s look at this thing from a standpoint of status. What do we got on the spacecraft that’s good?”  And his guy says, with extreme exasperation, “I’ll get back to you, Gene.”

So, let’s talk about the good… New Mexican cuisine – THAT is what is good.  Inspired by our fave breakfast spot, Doug’s Day Diner, I made a red chili and green chili to go over beef tostadas.  Home run!  I could eat Mexican food every day (turns out, most days, I do!).

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Tired of seeing this meal?  Good, me neither.  Chicken-fried-chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy are my go-to when we are having a craptacular day.  I tried a new recipe for this one, I thought it was stellar, my dear husband likes the old version.

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A Rockies baseball game on a beautiful, sunny Thursday afternoon (never mind the altercation we saw in traffic that ended up with a man collapsing and the paramedics surrounding him moments later, sadly, it’s city life to hear sirens regularly), and ignoring the 8 million e-mails I had waiting for me for the punishment of taking a few hours off. IMG_3835_fotor

Let’s have a party!  My dear friends, Lowell and Lenee’ were in town, with their beautiful baby.  I invited some friends over, cooked all day, and enjoyed seeing them again.

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Here’s some of my dining success:

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Deviled Eggs (which I think are the devil, because I can’t stand eggs or mayo, but it’s pretty fun to make).
Macaroni Salad (still the devil, but it’s my husband’s request and it got him through some hard times).
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries (I’m glad I tasted one, since they were gone in the blink of an eye).
Raspberry-Mint-Vodka Libation (Probably consumed too much).

And then, drama struck, because nothing about living in this hellhole we call Denver is easy.  My husband got bit by our neighbor’s bulldog, which he innocuously bent down to pet it.  I may have over-reacted, but I felt justified in doing so. I’ve never been to the ER (I’m 38), and I was a bit freaked out.  Fifteen stitches on the chin.  Our ER providers were very nice, and it was nothing like the TV shows.  They were calm and polite, and of course, my husband cracked jokes the entire time.  Neither of us had eaten at the party (which is par for the course), and my macaroni salad was what he requested to eat when he got home.

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So I have to take comfort in this view, which is quite nice.  But if you know of any exorcists or priests who can exorcize the demons in this damn house, let me know.

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Craft Cocktails (Subtitle: How I Will Survive Denver)

I know, I’m being unreasonably harsh on Denver.  But Denver has not exactly been easy on me.  However, let’s start this out with some positives.

What’s Right in Denver:

  • Craft cocktails, by far and away, I am in love.  Some of the most creative and cool people I’ve met here have been my bartenders and servers.  I cannot even comprehend how they can blend such amazing flavors into one glass, but I am on a quest to find out!
  • Some really stellar restaurants.
  • Some really funky cool bars.
  • Some of the people.
  • Mountain view from my backyard.
  • Rain.  After living in desert climates for 8 years, I welcome back the rain.

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What is Less-than-Right in Denver (probably most any urban location, just so you know I’m not solely picking on my new locale):

  • Effing traffic!  Honestly, it never freakin’ ends!
  • It takes an entire day to run errands (see: traffic).
  • Tardiness, which is my pet peeve (see: traffic).  I twitch if I know I’m not going to be 5-10 minutes early.
  • All Whole Foods are not created equal (the closer to my house they are, the smaller and less convenient they seem to be).
  • Pollution.
  • Bugs … everywhere … like colonies of millers and mosquitoes living in my garage and outside my windows, ready to freak me out every time I open the door.
  • Poverty.
  • Dinginess (yes, the city is dirty).
  • People are way too psyched about pot.  I don’t care if others do it, but it’s a topic that I have spent too time upon without caring anything about it whatsoever.
  • People are not excited enough about ranching and farming and eating local.
  • And, of course, the fact that our builders continue to ignore the things they promised to finish for us when we closed on our house.  Nagging someone to do his/her job is not a productive or happy use of my time.

So this morning I set out for Whole Foods, a mere 26 miles from my new house, but it’s the one that has a seafood counter, a meat counter, bakery, and a large produce section.  These are my criteria.  I wish I could be less high maintenance on these points, but I read too much, I love to cook, and food is my true passion.  Try as I may, I am having a difficult time sourcing ranchers, and the farmer’s markets have not yet started here.  It was much easier in Wyoming and Nevada.

I put the top down on my shiny red car, because no matter what circumstance, if I’m driving with the top down, I can’t be in a dismal mood.  Thankfully, Air Supply came on the 80′s countdown, and it was the beginning of a nice drive with my old music.  I cruised with my GPS, which is strictly off limits when my dear husband, the human GPS, is in the car.  I stocked up on fresh produce, meats, and seafood.  I found an awesome liquor store down the street from WF with amazing selection, prices, and men who mildly flirted with me (and even carded me!), took the box of booze out to the car for me, and opened my car door for me.  I’m a feminist, but chivalry still appeals to me.  By the way, if I see someone in need, I won’t hesitate to open doors or carry boxes.

I am proud to report, my friends, that I left my GPS off for the ride home, and made it with no panic, no wrong turns, and no international (or domestic) incidents.  I pulled to the side of the road when an ambulance blazed by, only to stop at 24 Hour Fitness.  How’s that for a good reason not to go to the gym?  And how much does that ruin a Saturday, not only are you at the gym, but then you get hauled away in the meat wagon?  No bueno.

So I came home, made myself my regionally-famous hummus (which so far, no restaurant, no matter how amazing, can outdo), and started a craft cocktail.  It needs work, but it will sure take the edge off spending 3 hours only accomplishing procuring food and booze for the week.

Denver Day Delight (I challenge you to come up with a better name, but I’m prone to alliteration.)

IMG_3798_fotor For one cocktail:

Muddle 6 raspberries in a shaker (No more, no less!  Just kidding, use however many you want.)
Add:
1 teaspoon of honey (I use local, because “they” say it helps with allergies)
1 ounce vodka (Breckenridge was my choice, local and smooth)
1/2 ounce grapefruit schnapps
1/2 ounce orange liquor
A few ice chips

Shake vigorously to blend for a few seconds.  Then pour into a cocktail glass with a really cool big ice cube ball (molds available at Amazon, but probably anywhere else).
Pour 2 ounces of orange juice over the top.

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Enjoy with sunshine.

 

A Tale of Two Coleslaws

So, one of the coolest parts of living in Denver is that we do have kick-@ss friends here.  We were lucky enough to be invited to our dear friend, Jarrett’s 40th birthday party (my husband and I are staring at 40 in 2015, so this is a preview of next year!).  His request – coleslaw, the may0-y kind.  Of course, I can’t just make one thing for a party, so I have two – a mayo-y slaw and a more fruity-vinegary slaw, mainly because his wife, Michele, and I are two peas in a pod and prefer this version!

Coleslaw

IMG_3774_fotorMakes about 12 cups

1 large head of green cabbage, sliced and diced into small pieces
4 carrots, grated into submission
1/2 onion, grated finely
2 teaspoons salt (I used course sea salt)
Several grinds of freshly-ground black pepper

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In a large container, add the cabbage, carrots, salt, and pepper.  Let sit while combining the sauce.  Hint:  You can use a food processor, but I love my cleaver and grater.

Sauce:
2 cups mayo
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (I love unfiltered)
3/4 cup sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
2/3 cup whole milk

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Combine the sauce ingredients until well blended, and then stir into the slaw mix.  It is best if you let it sit for several hours (i.e. make it in the a.m. for an evening BBQ).

 

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Vinegary-Fruity Cole Slaw

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1 head cabbage, diced finely
2 carr0ts, shredded
2 apples, shredded (I prefer Granny Smith)
2 stalks rhubarb shredded
Zest of 1 lemon

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Sauce:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup apple cider vinegar (I prefer unfiltered)
2/3 cup organic can sugar
1 teaspoon seat salt

To the mixed veg, add the well-stirred sauce, stir, and refrigerate for several hours.

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The Denver Chronicles

Forgive me, Friends, for my lack of posting.  Moving to Denver has been every bit as challenging as I expected.  Nothing has gone well, from our house still not being finished to every house, utility, and post office debacle one can imagine.  Moving to Reno was so easy, moving away was definitely difficult.  But, I am trying to adjust and make the best of it, because I have super cool friends here and I meet new super cool friends every day.  Here’s a montage in pics …

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Watermelon Cucumber Cocktail before the Kentucky Derby.

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Awesome girls night in with my new girlfriends.  I cooked an Asian dinner, and I thought I rocked it!

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Not a golfer, but I had fun with my friend Michele and her two friends in a Diva golf tournament, complete with vodka shooters.

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The Red Lady, at the Arvada Tavern.  Craft Cocktails are my new obsession.

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Pretty flowering tree in my yard … before the snow killed the blossoms.
Have I mentioned I am not thrilled about living in the cold Rockies?

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Amazing grass-fed steak at Arvada Tavern.  My husband chooses the coolest restaurants.

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Lady of the Pines craft cocktail at the Arvada Tavern.

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Cucumber mint vo-jito at Marco’s (vodka, not rum), my own request.

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My lovely daughter (in pink) before Prom.

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Peruvian dinner!

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Marco’s in the DTC, our favorite bar.

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Sangria at Los Dos Potrillos, our fave Mexican restaurant.

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The lovely house-warming plant that our friends at Marco’s gave us after we closed on our new house.  We love them!

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Our amazing realtors, Jill & Greg, after finally closing on our house.  We love them dearly!

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The Brooklyn pizza at Marco’s (half no cheese for me).  Delightful – VPN pizza!

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Our dear friends at Marco’s.  They made our temp living awesome.
Rocktinis and Fireballs!

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Finally, we are moving in, over 15,000 pounds of our stuff, delivered in several crates.
Yes, I know this because it was clearly printed for us to see – over 7 tons of stuff.  Want to bet that 6 tons of it was for my kitchen?

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Casualty of the move – a Silverhorse Winery wine glass shattered.

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They didn’t stop bringing in boxes labeled “kitchen.”

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Funky diner in Commerce City.

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Watching “Bar Rescue” and marveling at how our new rug really ties the room together.

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Beautiful morning scene from the backyard.

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And before the first of two days of tornado warnings.

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Sunrise.

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Finished putting away the “Great Room” goods.  Put away, not organized, mind you.

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Perhaps where the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers hang out.
Next to the impossibly small, disappointing Whole Foods that is closest to my house (no butcher counter, no fish monger, limited produce selection, but still lots of “non-food” food products).  Hashtag – first world problems.

So I’m ready to cook for you.  Come on over!

Produce Prep – Pineapples and Pickles

IMG_3605_fotorHave no fear, I’m not combining them … although, I do love pickling items, so perhaps pineapple is next.

I remember my first bite of fresh pineapple, like cut-fresh-from-a-real- pineapple and not from the can with syrupy sweet sauce.  I was 17, and I was in Hawaii.  I remember being so amazed that fruit could taste so divine.

If you are intimidated by chopping up this hunk o’ fruit, don’t be.  I’ll break it down for you.  In minutes, you’ll enjoy tasting, sweet, slightly tangy, ripe, juicy fruit that is the perfect accompaniment to breakfast, a smoothy, or a snack.

Get out a cutting board and a big sharp knife.

Cut off the top and discard.  Then start slicing into the spiky outer layer.  It takes maybe 1/2 inch to get past the skin.  Turn the pineapple and continue slicing each skin.

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Now, see the core in the middle?  That is not really consumable.  It’s tough.  Cut each side of the pineapple until you are almost to the core.

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Then, cut it into chunks!  Easy as that!

Now, let’s move on to pickles!!  There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t crave a good pickle!  They are super easy to make in small batches.  And they are good for you!  In the summer, when cucumbers are more plentiful, I can them.  But given that I am still in temporary housing, without my pressure canner, my mason jars, and every other cool homesteading tool I have collected, I decided to make this quick and easy version to satisfy my dilly, vinegary craving.

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Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles

1 large cucumber
5 sprigs fresh dill (substitute 1 teaspoon of dill seed or dill weed dried if you need to)
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 cup vinegar (I love the unfiltered apple cider, you can use white though)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

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In a small saucepan, add the vinegar, water, and salt.  Bring to a low simmer (no need to boil).

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Meanwhile, cut your cucumbers into strips.  I halved mine, and then cut into about 10 strips for each half.  You can also slice them.  In a small bowl with a tight fitting lid (really, a mason jar is better!), add the dill, garlic, and cut cucumbers.  Then pour the warm vinegar mixture over the top.  Let cool on the counter for a couple of hours, then store in the fridge for a week or so (if they last that long!).

Super Simply Scrumptious Hummus – in 5 Minutes

So, Denver and I have not become friends yet.  We’ve been here 36 days; it feels like an eternity.  The weather is bi-polar.  I’ve already lamented my dislike of the temporary condo, where jackhammers and cranes and who knows what else machinery with which I’m not familiar blast at all hours of the day, the 800 pound gorillas stomping around above us, the smell of stale bananas (even though housekeeping comes regularly – but this probably relates to the gorillas upstairs), and the prison-cot of a bed, let’s add the fact that our sellers can’t give us a firm move-in date in writing, when we were expecting to move in next week.  It’s fair to say, I’m gettin’ a little cranky.  Even worse, though, my poor body is not used to eating this volume of restaurant food.  Sure, there are great restaurants here (my Yelp reviews are increasing daily!), but I know there are still a lot of preservatives and things I normally don’t eat.  I also find cooking emotionally satisfying, so I’m sure that is not contributing to my usual cherub-like demeanor.

After spending 12 hours last night resting, sleeping, and watching Food Network from the bed of nails (which is actually a great Alice Cooper song), I decided I had to go to Whole Foods and do what I could with the limited kitchen equipment I have now.  I knew I wanted hummus.  My husband, Chief Restaurant Chooser of the Johnson household, chose an amazing restaurant this week – Shawarma Mediterranean Grill.  It is one of the best restaurants we’ve been to in Denver so far.  The food was fresh, seasoned so delightfully I nearly wept, and the hummus was pure bliss.

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Sure, you can buy hummus at just about any grocery store, but it takes no time at all to make yourself.  It tastes better, you know what is going into it, and it actually is cheaper.  Yes, tahini paste is expensive, but it lasts for over a year, allowing you to make this delectable dish many times over for a good value.

Hummus

IMG_3602_fotorMakes about 2 1/2 cups - enough to serve several people as an appetizer

1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
Approximately 1/2 cup of the bean “juice” from the can
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste, usually found by the peanut butter)
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika

 

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Take the beans (normally I would start with dry beans, but I was ready for hummus now!) – drain the juice into a cup and set aside, usually you will have about 2/3 cup of the juice from a can.  In a blender or food processor, add the beans, bean “juice,” garlic, tahini, lemon juice, EVOO, salt and paprika.  Blend on high until well pureed.  Add to a serving bowl, and serve along side raw vegetables and crackers.

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*Tips – raw garlic is spicy.  I love garlic, so the more the better for me.  But if you are adverse to more spice, you can roast the garlic first (350 degree oven, cut off the tops of the cloves of garlic, wrap in tin foil, drizzle with EVOO and salt, and bake for 30 minutes, remove the skin, and add to the puree).  You can also leave the garlic out and add garlic powder instead, which is less pungent.  If you can’t find tahini, or don’t want to spring for it because really, this the only thing for which I use it, you can substitute with a nut butter that you have on hand (peanut, cashew, almond), or leave it out and add a few extra tablespoons of olive oil.

 

Elegant Asian Seared Salmon Dinner in under 20 minutes

IMG_3596_fotorI liked this dish so much last night, I refined it and made it again for lunch!  It’s simple, quick, and delicious.  Perfect for a lovely spring evening, pair it with a Riesling or a Pinot Grigio.

Seared Asian Salmon with Soy-Chile-Lemon-Ginger-Mango Sauce, over Noodles
Serves 2

2 salmon steaks (approximately 6 ounces each)
2 portions of pasta (I used organic spaghetti)
2 teaspoons oil (I used garlic chili olive oil)
1/3 cup soy sauce, plus more to finish
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek (or Siracha)
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 lemon, cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 of a mango, diced

Start the pasta first, according to the regular directions.  Cook to a nice al dente and drain.  You can use any noodle you’d like, Asian or Italian.

Mix the soy sauce, water, sambal oelek (a garlic chili paste – or substitute Siracha; leave out if you don’t want a spicy tone to the dish) minced ginger and the juice from half a lemon.  Set aside.

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Heat the oil (I used a garlic-chili olive oil, you could use sesame, or peanut or any plain olive oil) in a medium skillet on medium heat.  Add the salmon, skin-side down.

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You will sear the salmon on each side (including the sides) for 2-3 minutes each side, depending on thickness.  Lightly salt and pepper each side.  I almost always use a meat thermometer, so I’m not cutting into the delicate flesh of my meat.  145 degrees for salmon is about right, it’s a nice medium that doesn’t dry out the fish.  Once it is seared, remove the salmon from the pan and set aside.

Dice your mango.  I find it easy to score the mango down to the skin in diagonal cuts.  Then open it up, expose the cuts, and the pieces should easily tear away from the skin.

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Add the sauce mixture and the mangoes to the heated pan and simmer on low heat.

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Once the noodles are done, add them to this pan of sauce.  Stir to combine and heat through.

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Add the pasta/sauce/mango mixture to a bowl, then top with the seared salmon.  Squeeze the remaining half lemon onto each salmon piece, and top with another drizzle of soy sauce.  You could also serve over rice, or mixed vegetables, if you are doing low-carb.

Bon appetit!

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Week 1 – Denver, CO

I miss Reno.  I will always miss Reno.  It’s one of the coolest places I’ve ever lived.  Living in Denver is certainly an adjustment; the traffic, the crowds, the pollution.  We may or may not have circus elephants living above us in our temporary condo.  But at least the bed is extremely uncomfortable, so I can hear it all!

All aside, the people have been friendly so far (okay, the people, not the drivers), and we’ve had a chance to see a few friends, so it was a good week.

Here’s my no-make-up selfie for awareness, I’m not sure of what.  I don’t wear a lot of make-up anyway, but felt naked without my bright red lipstick (not available at my nearest Wal-Greens).

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My husband is a fabulous restaurant-chooser. We went to PhoLee Monday and were treated to amazing Vietnamese food with very friendly service.  I had only eaten pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) once, and apparently I was doing it wrong.  Thanks to our kind server, it was an amazing experience.

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Beef Pho

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My baby Lexus arrived via transport on Monday.  I missed her!
Sadly, it is still too cold here to put the top down yet.
In Reno, it was warm enough.

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I tried to find beauty in a smoggy sunset.  Reno’s sunsets were beautiful.
We won’t mention the terrible restaurant I chose for this night’s meal.
I fired myself as restaurant chooser, and promoted my husband to Chief Restaurant Chooser of our household.

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His next choice was Domo, an absolutely beautiful, authentic, and wonderful Japanese restaurant.
Every aspect of this restaurant was amazing, including the instruction card for parents who insist upon bringing their children to fine dining establishments.

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More art at Domo

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Our first “course” consisted of 7 small dishes of perfectly cooked, seasoned, and prepared meats, vegetables, and noodles.

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I had beef sukiyaki with a side of teriyaki.  Delightful!

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So the closest wine bar is easy walking distance from our temp living.  Only it’s not really a wine bar.
It is a wine store with lots of great Central Coast Cali wines and Napa/Sonoma wines.
It’s not L’uva Bella in Reno, but we were spoiled there.
We couldn’t drink inside the store, so we bought a bottle and sat outside in the cold (yes, it is cold).

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There was a cool cloud formation.

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And I got to eat Asian food a third time this week at Miyama.
I do love my tepanyaki.  You can see exactly what goes into your food.

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So, that’s what I’ve been up to.  How was your week?

Toto, We’re Not In Nevada Anymore

Toto, we’re not in Nevada anymore.  I believe that was my first message to my friend Toby when arriving in Denver Friday.  But it is a new adventure, and to catch you up on the shenanigans of a week on the road, I present to you the week in photos …

Last Sunrise from our Home in Reno
The movers packed and loaded us in two days easy … easy for them.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I shed a tear or two as I locked up the house.

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Meanwhile, Somewhere in Nevada
It’s a beautiful landscape.

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Somewhere Outside Salt Lake City
Familiar territory for us, having lived in SW Wyo for several years.

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Lunchtime in SLC – Squatters
One of our fave restaurants, local ingredients, great brew pub.

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Outside Green River, WY
We spent six years in desolate GR.
It was the first time I’d been back since we moved away two years ago.
No, it hasn’t changed.

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Josh’s Birthday Party – Krazy Moose, Green River, WY
We had about 20 friends stop by, and I forgot to take a photo op until the end.
A good time was had by all.
Our friend Blair owns the place, and it is spectacular!

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Our Old House – Green River, WY
Of course, we had to drive by our old house, site of many great parties.
It looked exactly the same. 

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Mikey and Me – Mansface Liquors
This was our equivalent of “Cheers.”
Everyone knows our name.

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Just One More … Liquid Emotions Lounge
There may or may not have been JagerBombs involved.

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Su Casa – Small Combo
One of my favorite restaurants, hands down, ever, in all the land -
Su Casa in tiny Sinclair, WY.
We never pass up a chance to eat here.  Yep, it still rocked my socks (if I wore socks).

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Where it Begins – Guernsey, WY
Okay, so I wasn’t born here, but it was where I spent my formative years age 6-18.
We stopped by to see my folks.  No, this town does not change.

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Laramie Peak
Yes, I climbed it.  When I was like 17 and in killer shape.

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My First Cocktail as a Colorado Restaurant – A Shocker at Fuzzy’s
We met our good friends for dinner and libations
for our first official Colorado resident restaurant meal.

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Fajitas at Fuzzy’s
Yes, there is a theme in this trip – Mexican fare happens to be our favorite.

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NCAA Tournament Viewing at Varsity Inn
What do the Johnson’s do when they first soak in a new culture?
Visit a bar for several hours to stimulate the local economy.

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Doug’s Day Diner – Real New Mexican Food – OH YEAH
I chose this morning’s breakfast.  He had me at “New Mexican Cuisine.”
All homemade – I had the Cowboy Papas, Christmas (red chili and green chili for you gringos).
This is my new favorite place.

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Best Biscuit Ever – Doug’s Day Diner
Since I don’t eat eggs, I subbed a biscuit – best ever.

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The Rocky Mountains
It was a clear, pollution-free day (probably since it snowed yesterday).

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The Kitchen in our Temp Housing
Brand spanking new unit, but lacking in the finest culinary products to which I am accustomed.
No worries, I can cook anywhere!

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Temporary Dining Room Table
Not exactly dinner-party-sized, but it will do for now.

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My First Cooked Meal as a Colorado Resident
We both needed some comfort food -
Fried chicken with mashed potatoes & gravy it is!
With salad.  After my trip to Whole Foods.

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So there you have it.  It was a long, emotional week, but I am glad to be somewhat settled, at least until our new house is ready.  Stay tuned for innovative recipes using whatever the corporate temp housing gurus provided for me in the kitchen.

Bon Appetit!