Peach Picking in Palisade, Colorado

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Iis Palisade peach season.  Probably the best peaches I have ever sunk my teeth into.  Super juicy, fragrant, and simply delicious.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying a Palisade peach, let me give you the low down on theses delectable treasures.  The Grand Valley, where the peaches are grown, has hot days and cool nights which are a perfect combination for bringing out the natural sugars in the peaches and growing big fruit.  I grew up eating peaches in California, and no offense to California but the peaches were always very dry, mealy, and tart.  They were picked too early for transport and were not given enough time to develop enough natural sugar (thanks visitgj for this information).  So, you can imagine my amazement and pure joy when I bit into a chin-dripping Palisade peach for the first time.  Yummy!  image

There are two types of Palisade peaches, cling and freestone.  Both terms refer to the way the peach sticks to the pit.  Cling peaches stick to the pit and freestone peaches don’t.  I like both but prefer freestone peaches when cooking.  They are just easier to cut into when making cobblers or adding them to my overnight oats.

imageWe usually buy our peaches at the local Farmers Markets or we take the short drive to Palisade and buy them at the various orchards.

Recently, we decided to pick our own peaches.  We randomly stopped at Mt. Lincoln Peach Co.  We went later in the day and on a weekday so it was quiet, which I love.  When we arrived we received a box for gathering the peaches, we were also given a map showing which trees were ready for peach picking, and we were on our way.  It was a fun experience.  The orchards are green and lush with tons of ripe peaches that are extremely fragrant.  While picking peaches, a perfect view of Mt. Garfield, the Bookcliffs, and the Grand Mesa can be seen in the distance.  Helpful tip:  wear closed toe shoes, preferably tennis shoes.  The orchards were a little muddy and I was wearing a pair of dressy flats, not a good idea!image

A city girl, it was really neat seeing chickens and roosters nearby making the whole experience “a little country.”  I loved it.  imageThe pick your own peaches at this location were $1.00 a pound.  We ended up buying $8.51 (to be exact) worth of peaches.  We went home and I immediately made peach cobbler.  So good!

 

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There are many orchards and “you pick” orchards in Palisade, please visit– visitpalisade.com for more information.

If you haven’t had a Palisade peach yet, don’t worry, Palisade peach season usually runs until September.  Also, you can celebrate Palisade peaches at the annual Palisade Peach Festival, August 17-20, 2017.  For more festival information please visit–palisadepeachfest.com

Check out–“Selecting the Perfect Palisade Peaches,” at visitgrandjunction.com

Please leave a comment letting me know your thoughts on Palisade peaches.

Aaron Woo featured Chef at Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management

It is spring!  That means there are new cuisines to enjoy at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  In previous posts I have raved about the School of Hospitality Management. Before I begin this post, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management…it is a Denver must!!!!!    On Wednesday, May 15, 2013 the school will be welcoming chef Aaron Woo, Sunset Magazine’s Best Chef of the West, and Chef and Owner of Natural Selection in Portland, Oregon.  This dinner appeals to me in many ways.  First, we lived in Portland, Oregon (http://ouryearinportland.wordpress.com/)for a year and I loved it.  Next, the cuisine will be vegetarian.  If I have a choice, I prefer not to eat meat.  So I am very excited about this vegetarian cuisine.  Last, the School of Hospitality Management is phenomenal.  I sing their praises as often and as much as I can.  If I could dine at the School nightly, I would.

Aaron Woo is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy who has worked in such notable San Francisco kitchens as Absinthe Brasserie, La Folie, Stars, and as sous chef of PlumpJack Cafe under Chef Keith Luce. In Telluride, Colorado Aaron worked as Executive Chef at 9545 and Chef de Cuisine at The CosmopolitanRestaurant. Upon moving to Portland he worked with Morgan Brownlow and Jason French at ClarkLewis.

The dinner will include a wine pairing and is $70.00 per person.  Cocktails start at 6:00 pm and dinner is at 7:00 pm.  The dinner will be held at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management Joy Burns Center, 2044 East Evans Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80210.  To RSVP for this amazing night please check out the website:  http://knoebelschool.ticketleap.com/aaron-woo-guest-chef-dinner/

Please check out my other posts about University of Denver’s School of Hospitality Management: 

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/tour-ditalia-dinner-at-du-with-gina-stipo/

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/fritz-knoebel-school-of-hospitality-management-and-gina-stipo/

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/university-of-denver/

We have been very honored to attend these FANTASTIC events at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management:  Beer Pairing Dinner, the Guest Chef Dinner with Gina Stipo, and the Spring Showcase (picture featured below is from the Spring Showcase).IMG_20130326_221214Of course, I can’t close this post without giving my favorite peeps at the School a shout out!!!  Chef Raymond and all of the exquisite students you are the best….talented, professional, and extraordinary!!!!  ????????????????????????????????????

Tour d’Italia Dinner at DU with Gina Stipo

The Tour d’Italia dinner at DU was fantastic.  Gina Stipo was very nice.  The setting was intimate so we got to talk with Gina as well as take pictures and discuss the menu.  DSC_0042We absolutely love dining at Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management in Daniels College.  We feel like part of the family and we ALWAYS are the last to leave.  The room was beautifully decorated as usual and the food presentation was delightful.  The students in this program are out of this world.  We absolutely love the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  It truly is a hidden gem tucked away in Denver.  Now onto the food!  If these pictures please your palette please check out the Daniels College website–http://daniels.du.edu/ and click on the “view calendar” icon under Daniels Events to make reservations for upcoming events.

DSC_0023This is the menu.  Beautiful and elegant.  I just love the presentation at the Fritz Knoebel School. 

Our first course was Baccala with crostino, celery, and pickled onion, paired with Le Rime.DSC_0024The next course was Roasted cauliflower soup with Rosemary, paired with Centine Rose.????????????????????????????????????Oh my favorite–Mushroom and three cheese ravioli with Sage butter, paired with Centine Rosso.  These were so good that three just simply were not enough.  They were delectable!  I could have eaten a whole bowl full of these raviolis.  Truth be told, I probably should have with all of the wonderful wine I sampled :).DSC_0033The main course was Pan fried loin of veal with black cabbage, kale, and cannellini, paired with Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino.  Believe it or not this was the first time I have ever eaten veal.  It was very tasty and very tender.DSC_0035Dessert–Pear poached in spiced Chianti with cinnamon Mascarpone and granola brittle, paired with Rosa Regale (the best dessert type wine I have ever tasted).  This was a very light and whimsical dessert.  DSC_0037An absolutely wonderful evening.  A picture of our favorite people at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality.  Thank you!!  We adore you!????????????????????????????????????

Tom’s Urban 24 Winter Menu

I was invited to the winter menu tasting for Tom’s Urban 24.  It was a wonderful experience!  I felt extremely lucky to be invited to this extraordinary tasting event.  I am going to tempt you with the glorious menu options that Tom’s Urban 24 is currently offering.  I have previously posted about Tom’s Urban 24https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/toms-urban-24-in-denver-colorado/

I like this diner for two main reasons:  unique, modern food offered in a 24 hour restaurant.  I am going to let the pictures tempt you into trying Tom’s Urban.  Let the pictures marinate in your mind and hopefully cause your mouth to water!2013-02-07_11-43-45_944  This is the Truffled Lobster and Shrimp Pot Pie $24–the king of all pot pies!  Truffled lobster, shrimp, roasted vegetables, truffle gravy, topped with a puff pastry lid.  I literally ate chunks of lobster that were deliciously stored inside this wonderful pot pie.1360283620993Tuscan Kale and Romaine Chicken Caesar $13.50–chargrilled marinated breast of Red Bird chicken, peppercorn Caesar dressing, shaved Parmesan cheese, and grilled lemon.  This is an excellent way to get in your daily dose of greens.  Plus, I am really loving kale lately.  2013-02-07_11-46-53_734Thom’s Urban Super Pho $13–egg, shrimp, chicken, duck garnished with basil, cilantro, mint leaves, chile slices and sprouts.  I am a Pho fan!  This Pho doesn’t disappoint.  It is warm and comforting and very filling.2013-02-07_11-24-47_286Lobster & Shrimp Taco Platter $21–butter-poached lobster and shrimp, Baja slaw, cilantro crema, chipotle sauce on blue corn tortilla, served with seasoned Mexican rice and charro beans.  If you like seafood then you are going to love the lobster and shrimp tacos.  A generous portion of lobster and shrimp await the diner inside these decadent tacos.2013-02-07_11-34-09_830Stranahan’s Whiskey BBQ Ribs $26–chargrilled full slab of ribs.  Stranahan’s Whiskey BBQ sauce, Asian peanut vegetable slaw and sweet potato waffle fries.  My husband was terribly jealous that I got to sink my teeth into these ribs.  I have previously posted about Stranahan’shttps://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-tour-of-stranahans-distillery-in-denver-colorado/

If you haven’t made it to Tom’s Urban 24, please give it a try.  Some other menu items that were available during the winter menu tasting:  Tuscan White Bean Dip, Colorado Calamari, Urban Cowboy Egg Bake, NY Strip Steak and Eggs Platter, Tom’s Filet Mignon Pot Pie, Blue Corn Crab Enchiladas, Angus Open-Faced Meatloaf Platter, Fried Chickenlooper with Corn Cakes, and Fried Brussels Sprouts with Asian Vinaigrette.  For more information on these tasty treats please visit:  http://www.tomsurban24.com/menu/

Thank you to denver.eater.com for mentioning lovelivingincolorado!  http://denver.eater.com/archives/2013/02/25/the-early-word-on-toms-urban-24-in-ludo.php

Estes Park Recommendations

20140824_153730I recently asked our friend Erika to fill us in on all things Estes Park.  I looked to her for Estes Park recommendations because she grew up in Estes Park.  I therefore consider her an Estes Park authority!  She did not disappoint.  She sent me a wonderful list of Estes Park recommendations and I thought I would share the wealth (thank you Erika!).  Estes Park, Colorado is considered the “Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.”

  1. Aerial Tramway (literally a red box that goes up and down Prospect Mountain).  At the top there are amazing views and hungry chipmunks (they sell peanuts at the top which you can feed them). There’s picnic tables and rock croppings to explore so it’s a great place for a snack and to take in some nature.   http://www.estestram.com/
  2. The View Restaurant at Crag’s Lodge.  It was built in 1914 and maintains its mountainous charm, and yes, the chairs are handmade from when the hotel was built.  Make a reservation for one of the balcony tables.  The views are absolutely stunning and you are basically eating in the trees.  The walnut crusted trout, brie chicken, and steaks are amazing. And who doesn’t love warm brie with berry couli as an appetizer with some wine or beer?  Also, they have live music some nights.  http://www.cragslodge.com/gallery.html
  3. Mary’s Lake Lodge.  This hotel/restaurant/venue is rustic and charming and is open late.  Which is hard to find in Estes.  They usually have live music and a popular bar/grill.  This is a wonderful late night spot with fun people in what seems like the middle of the wilderness.  Definitely worth checking out.  http://www.maryslakelodge.com/dining.htm
  4. Downtown strip (Elkhorn Ave) Now, if you want to do something fun go take an old time photo at one of the shops downtown.  It’s a blast and 100 percent worth the keepsake if you haven’t done it before.  There is a plethora of shops to wonder around and check out.  I always love getting a caramel apple at the ice cream/fudge shops. There’s also a glassblowing place that is fun to check out on the far west side of the downtown strip.  Also, check out the Stanley Hotel.  (the hotel in which Stephen King based his book “the Shining“) http://www.stanleyhotel.com/
  5. If you feel like succumbing to your inner child definitely buy a $1.00 ticket to slide down the Rainbow slides at Fun City.  Down the road a bit there is “Tiny Town Mini Golf” and it is by far the best mini golf course you will ever play.  http://www.funcityofestes.com/
  6. Definitely stop by the Estes Park Brewery and do some beer tasting. http://www.epbrewery.com/
  7. Also in town it’s worth going to the Marina and renting a boat for an hour or two. Delightful!  Or rent a few bikes and take an easy ride around Lake Estes, the entire loop will actually take you behind the dam and you can see the water being held and being released from the dam to the Big Thompson River.  The dog park is right off Lake Estes and you can let your dog go swimming and socialize with the other pups.  http://evrpd.com/marina/marina-info
  8. Other places to eat I would recommend would be “Nepal’s Cafe“, (on backside of downtown strip) they have the best lunch buffet with Naan, noodles, curry, potatoes, Masala, and Chai tea!
  9. Sweet Basilico, this is a little Italian restaurant that has an amazing dinner salad, pizza, and pasta for a very reasonable price.  Tasty! (located by Fun City and the Tramway)
  10. If BBQ is what you’re looking for Dave’s BBQ has some delicious pulled pork and burgers. (by Tiny Town Mini Golf)
  11. If it’s a steakhouse you are looking for, Hunter’s Steakhouse is right by the Marina and has great game.
  12. Also, the best breakfast place is “The Sundeck” which is near Mini Golf.  Their Chorizo, french toast, and strawberries and cream are delicious!
  13. As for the National Park you definitely want to check out, Sprague Lake, Bear Lake, Alberta Falls, and the Alluvial Fan.  All are not challenging hikes and are gorgeous.  Also, you definitely want to drive up Trail Ridge Road.  It’s an exhilarating, scenic drive with many pull offs along the way for photos and a gift shop at the top.  Bring a jacket! Even in the summer it can get chilly.  You can look these up on any RMNP map.
  14. If you want an easy hike off the beaten path check out Lily Lake and St. Malo’s Church (they are not in the same place). http://www.scenicusa.net/090210.html. Both are on the same road passing Mary’s Lake Lodge.  If you go to Lily Lake there is a wonderful picnic location.  http://www.rmnp.com/RMNP-Areas-LilyLake.HTML (on this map there is a trail on the south side of the lake that bubbles out, take this trail instead of the one that runs right along the lake and you will find a picnic table tucked in the woods that’s quiet and peaceful)
  15. There are many hotels that are dog friendly and that have private hot tubs.  Many of which are on Fall River Road.

Guess what we will be doing when the weather warms up–yes, finally taking a trip to discover, explore, and relish in the beauty of Estes Park, “Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.”  Thank you so much Erika for the AWESOME recommendations!!

Tom’s Urban 24 in Denver, Colorado

Eat, eat, eat….that is all I seem to post about lately!  Honestly this blog is dedicated to all of the wonderful things to see, do, and eat in Colorado.  But we have made the new year about eating!  There are so many wonderful places to dine in this great state.  I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.  Every time I meet someone new they give me a new recommendation and my “to do” list for restaurants grows even longer.  With that being said we made a stop at Tom’s Urban 24 at 1460 Larimer Street in Denver.  When we walked up to Tom’s Urban 24 this was our view of Larimer Street.IMG_20130203_101500I love all of the Colorado flags.  I thought it was a pretty impressive display of Colorado pride!

Some facts about Tom’s Urban 24:  Tom’s Urban 24 is a restaurant that serves modern comfort food with an urban twist.  Tom’s Urban is open 24 hours!  It is located on Larimer Square.  If you dine at Tom’s Urban there is a good chance you will meet the owner, Tom Ryan.  Tom’s Urban sources with over 30 Colorado food companies and produce farmers. 

We started off our dining experience by ordering a Beer CocktailWITTY FIZZ · Hoegaarden, gin, lemon juice, St. Germain $7.  I have been loving this type of cocktail ever since our night at DU!IMG_20130203_101202We decided to share two menu items.  The first was an Artisan Urban PizzaMushroom Truffle Arugulaseasoned, roasted crimini mushrooms, sour cream, mozzarella cheese, topped with arugula, truffle oil, Parmesan cheese-$11.50.IMG_20130203_101245I love Arugula!  This pizza did not disappoint.  My only problem was having to share it with my husband:)

We also shared a LODO Burrito.  We ordered the Barbacoa Burritoslow-roasted Barbacoa beef, Mexican rice, cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, topped with queso fresco, sour cream, pico de gallo-$12.50.  We ordered ours Christmas style in honor of our recent trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico!IMG_20130203_101422It was so good!  The meat inside was shredded and cooked perfectly.  This looks like a lot of food but we successfully polished it all off!  Thank goodness we walked Washington Park before our eating endeavours.

Long story short…stop by Tom’s Urban 24.  Good food, great service (thanks Heather), and an excellent location!

  • On Larimer Square
  • 1460 Larimer St. Denver, CO
  • 720.214.0516
  • Open 24 Hours

University of Denver

On January 31, 2013 we were lucky enough to attend a superb Beer Pairing Dinner at the University of Denver.  The dinner was held in the Joy Burns Center, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, Tuscan Wine Cellar!  Literally the best kept secret in Denver.  We were invited to this wonderful dinner by our dear friend and it was an absolutely wonderful night!  Before I show pictures of the wonderful food I feel like I should brag on the awesome students that orchestrated this wonderful evening.  The students were the master minds behind the Beer Pairing Dinner.  The evening was gorgeous.  Everything from the table decor to the ice sculpture to the signature cocktail.  Fabulous!  It was so wonderful that we felt like we were dining at a 5 star restaurant.  I will fully admit that I completely overindulged and I absolutely loved every minute of it!!  Bravo Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management I definitely see bright and successful futures for you all!

Now on to the 5 course dinner.  Each course had a beer pairing. The Chef would explain each course before we indulged and the Beer Aficionato would explain the beer accompaniment.  We started off with Cold Smoked Trout accompanied by greens, olive oil, toasted sesame and poppy seeds.  The beer pairing was New Belgium Trippel Belgium Syle Ale.IMG_20130201_122933The next course was Winter Squash Soup with roasted butternut squash, curried papitas, and a ciabatta crostini.  The beer pairing was Coors Blue Moon Belgian White.IMG_20130201_123003The third course was a Beet and Goat Cheese Salad topped with pine nuts and citrus basil dressing.  The beer pairing was Dry Dock Hefeweizen.IMG_20130201_123035The main course was Leek Ash Rubbed Venison with pureed leeks and matake mushrooms dressed with a red wine demi-glaze.  The beer pairing was Tommyknocker Butthead Doppelbock.IMG_20130201_123110Our palate cleanser was Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils (by far the best canned beer I have ever tasted).IMG_20130201_123148The final course was a Chocolate Martini layered with bittersweet chocolate sauce, white chocolate mousse, and raspberry preserves.  The beer pairing was Dry Dock Vanilla Porter.IMG_20130201_181442Everything was divine.  My husband was in Heaven!  We literally wiped our plates clean.  What a spectacular display of talent at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  By the way, the public is welcome to book events at this wonderful establishment–http://daniels.du.edu/academic-programs/hospitality-management/events-weddings/

The Signature Cocktail (served before the dinner) that I mentioned earlier was a mixture of Dry Dock Hefeweizen, St. Germain, Grand Marnier, and an orange slice.  It was so good…I drank 3 (I think).IMG_20130201_122516The next few pictures of are of the beautiful table settings and the menus.  The design of the Tuscan Wine Cellar is brilliant.  You can enter the room from up above and walk down a grand staircase.  As you walk down the stairs you have a birdseye view of the dining room and all its glory.  Perfect for parties and weddings!IMG_20130201_122627IMG_20130201_122710The ice sculpture of the Rocky Mountains was the Pièce de résistance!IMG_20130201_122828What a wonderful evening!  We love living in Colorado!  B thank you so much for the invite…we had the time of our lives…company, conversation, and good food!