It’s been a minute, friends. Took another several-month hiatus from blogging, but not for a lack of fun things going on — time is truly flying by! We have been exploring the beautiful state of Colorado every chance we can get. I’ll be sure to write some posts backtracking those wonderful experiences. But given the epic-ness of our day yesterday, I had the itch to share a quick update.
Zan and I, along with our good friends, Emily and Scott, hiked our first 14-er yesterday! Technically, two 14-ers which is pretty rad. We were up and at it at about 4:30 a.m. (ugh) to make the 90-minute trek out west to Grays and Torreys Peaks.
For those who don’t know (I didn’t really know before I moved to Colorado), a “Fourteener/14-er” is a mountain that sits at more that 14,000 feet. Colorado has 53* fourteeners, the most of any state. (to 58* there’s some debate here on what qualifies as a 14-er.) We decided to tackle Grays (14,270 ft.) and Torreys (14,267 ft.) in one day because they are connected by a ridge and figured why we were there we may as well crush two in one day.
And obviously had to celebrate with an ice-cold Rocky Mountain Coors Light at the top.
Needless to say, we’re freaking sore and exhausted today, but feeling accomplished! We gained more than 3,000 feet in elevation, so I think our bodies are in a bit of shock.. ha. It took us about 8 hours to complete both. I think the key was taking it slow, hydrating a ton, fueling up with snacks (my favorite part), and taking as many breaks as we needed to.
But what the day even more special was that this was Scott and Emily’s first 14-er as well, and Scott proposed at the summit of Grays Peak! (Em obviously said yes. What a memorable day!) So happy for this amazing couple who has quickly become great friends of ours in our short time in CO.
Cheers to may more epic hikes (and days) ahead
Whew — what a week! Forgot how the days can get away from you once you’re working
I had a great first week back to work, slowly but surely learning the ropes. Feels good to be a productive member of society once again.
Last week when Zan was traveling back to Denver from DC, I was trying to think of an easy, delicious meal I could have (mostly) done when he got home from the airport. I remembered that a few months back, I made a crockpot version of a delicious beef kokkinisto we had at a greek restaurant in Arlington.
Kokkinisto is unique as it uses spices like cinnamon and clove, not typical flavors in a traditional beef stew recipe. You can certainly make this in a dutch oven on the stove and let it simmer for a couple hours, but the crockpot was super easy. I threw everything in, ran a bunch of errands, picked Zan up from the airport and it was waiting for us in all its delicious glory when we got home — win!
We served the kokkinisto over roasted white potatoes with a side greek salad. So good, and so easy. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
An easy, comforting meal with tons of flavor
- 1-1.5 lbs. cubed beef (you can also use a roast cut)
- 1 15-oz. can of tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3-5 fresh garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 dashes cinnamon
- 2-3 dashes of dried basil and dried oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- feta cheese
- 2 large white russet potatoes
- Combine all ingredients in crockpot and stir together
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours / Cook on high 3-4 hours
- About 35 minutes before serving, slice up potatoes in thin, french-fry-like strips
- Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Cook at 375* for about 30-35 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
- Spoon beef and sauce mixture over cooked potatoes and top with crumbled feta cheese.
- * Traditionally, kokkinisto uses whole cloves (likely 2 in this recipe) but I didn't have any. Go ahead and add if you do.
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/
First thing’s first: I got a job this week! I’m very excited to announce that I start a new career as a digital recruiter on Monday. I’m so happy with the opportunity, my new team and for a new challenge. Even though it’s taken me two months to lock something down, I truly feel great about this position, so it was worth the wait.
I wanted to take you on a quick tour of our neighborhood while I still have a few days left to play in the sun! By looking at these pictures, you’d never guess that it was snowing like crazy Wednesday morning. But that’s the best thing about Denver: it’ll snow and then it’s all gone in a day or two and then it’s 70*. There are flowers and trees blooming all over the city.. it makes me so happy!
We have so much to explore that it’s actually overwhelming, but here are a few of our nearby favorites so far:
Marczyk Fine Foods
Marczyk’s is just two blocks from us, and it is a food-lovers heaven. The store itself is pretty small, but it’s filled with so much goodness: unique fresh produce, spices, meats, cheeses, fresh-baked breads, wines.. the list goes on and on. I am on sensory overload when I’m in there. It’s definitely on the pricier side, but it’s worth it for the quality and for when you want to whip up something new or unique.
Restaurant Row (aka 17th Ave.) is also just two blocks from us, which has been amazingggg. It’s so easy and convenient when we want to grab a drink or dinner and not have to worry about driving or getting a cab. (p.s. I think I’ve been in like one cab and two Ubers since we’ve moved here. I lived in them in DC. Now, we just walk or drive everywhere — it’s been awesome!)
Our go-to places on 17th are Steuben’s and Ace, which are sister restaurants right next door to each other. Steuben’s is great for when you’re craving good ol’ American food with a tasty twist. They have a number of delicious soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees.
Ace features delicious Asian-inspired dishes and fresh-pressed juices at their juice bar. They have an awesome patio and ping pong tables all over the restaurant — really fun. We’ve never had a bad meal at either place.
Fluid Coffee Bar
Fluid is a great local coffee shop about a block from our place. It’s always filled with people working on their computers or chatting with friends/co-workers. We typically get our coffees to go, but have enjoyed a few leisurely cups in the cafe. They’re also passionate about sustainability, so if you’d like your coffee to go, they suggest bringing your own mug. (Gotta be sure to remind myself that next time.)
Samadhi Yoga Center
Samadhi is one block from us, which is soooo awesome! I am still very much a yoga newbie — I started practicing last July at Tranquil Space Arlington (I miss you!) I initially started yoga to become more flexible and since I heard it was great for runners. I had no idea what a positive impact it would have on my life — mentally, spiritually, physically. I am so happy I decided to practice regularly. I bought a 30-day new member pass at Samadhi, which has since expired, but I will be buying a new pass once I get some paychecks!
I absolutely love the studio and so many of the instructors — I was pushed outside my comfort zone in several of the classes and I really appreciated that. Gotta practice (and fall) out of many poses and arm balances before I can get better!
Let me tell you, the park scene in Denver is on point. We absolutely love Wash Park, but that requires a car ride. So when I want to go for a scenic run near the apartment, I go to City Park. It’s just shy of a mile from our place, and I thinkkk one loop around is 3-ish miles? Haven’t done a full loop yet but will try that out soon. I like doing a few loops around the lake — the views of the Rockies and downtown are awesome.
Every time I turn around, I feel like I’m seeing a new restaurant, coffee shop, specialty store, etc. I can’t wait to try them all out. We’re having a blast exploring, so I’ll be sure to share our new favorites as we discover them.
Have a great weekend! Stay tuned for some new recipes this week
One of the best parts of “fun-employment” is the fact that I can just easeeee on into my mornings. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am not a morning person, as much as I wish I was. Sure I can drag my butt out of bed for a morning workout when I’m in a rhythm, but I’m a total grouch, and it’s a struggle with the alarm clock. My old spin instructor used to laugh at me and tell me that I was still sleeping when I showed up for class at 6 a.m. Basically, I’m off limits until I’ve had coffee and complex carbs.
So after I’ve taken a few sips of coffee (brewed pot all ready for me when I wake up courtesy of Zan) I excitedly tap my fingers together and wonder what in the world is for breakfast. So many options other than cereal now that I have time!
One morning last week, I woke up craving granola. I had never made my own before, so I did a quick inventory of the pantry and threw together what I thought should be in granola.. ha. And I must say, it turned out pretty good!
Throughout the week, I topped it with mixed berries and a big dollop of Greek yogurt, and also had it as cereal a couple of days with almond milk.. nom. It’s perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack to hold you over until dinner.
Crunchy, Sugar-Free Homemade Granola
Sweet, crunchy, and sugar-free -- perfect for breakfast or afternoon snack
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup whole roasted almonds
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Combine oats, coconut and almonds in large bowl
- Combine melted coconut oil, honey, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a small bowl, whisk together, then pour over dry mixture and toss with hands until coated
- Create a thin layer of granola mixture on a baking sheet(s)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until granola is light golden brown and crisp, flipping once or twice throughout
- * It's important that the granola is in a thin layer so it crisps up. I originally had in one baking dish, but had to divide into two dishes halfway through so mixture could crisp.
- * Cooking/baking at high altitude is definitely different! Keep an eye on your oven to make sure you don't burn mixture or give it some more time to crisp, if needed.
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/
1.) Are you a morning person? Were you always, or did you become that way later in life?
2.) Any granola recipes to share? I want to try making it more regularly to have on-hand!
Remember that time I was pretty good about this blogging thing? Yeah, me neither.
Here’s the deal: it’s been 8 months since I’ve posted anything on this poor little blog, but a LOT has happened in the past 8 months. I won’t bore you with any sob stories but if I recall correctly, it went a little something like this: summer was crazy busy with weddings and travel, then I got promoted at work and was working crazy hours through Q4, then it was the holidays, then I quit my job, and then Zan and I drove across the country and moved to DENVER! God, it’s so awesome to finally say we’re here. It’s been a dream of ours for quite some time, and to think we’ve already been here a month and a half is wild!
So for the past ~ 2 months, I’ve been without a job. The first 2 weeks were so busy with packing up our lives and moving that I thought nothing of it. Then after we started to get settled, I quickly started to get antsy. I always dreamed of how awesome it would be to take a bunch of time off work to like work out all day, run errands, clean my house, etc. But I must admit, it gets old fast! Plus, poor Zanimal is working from home, and he’s like so ready for me to get out of his hair.. haha. We have spent a lotttt of time together these past two months, and the fact that we haven’t strangled each other is nothing short of a miracle. J/K, but in all seriousness, so much time spent together can really be a test of a good relationship. I love that guy
I’m keeping my fingers crossed on one work opportunity. Hopefully I’ll have an update there soon and I’ll be a working woman again — horray!
But more importantly, DENVER IS AWESOME! We have had such a blast exploring the city and the mountains and everything in between. I’m going to update my tabs a bit here soon — I’ll add a “Denver” tab so I can archive all things Denver: dinners, hikes, runs, outdoor adventures, you name it.
I have taken advantage of my down time to play in the kitchen, so I have some good stuff to share on the recipe front, too.
Yesterday, Zan and I went to what he likes to call “the beach” aka: Wash Park. It was 80* and sunny and it is today, too! I got sunburned on my back (wah) but it was so great to sit outside in the warm sun.
Wash Park is just completely filled with people playing volleyball and corn hole, on a run, playing with their dogs — ugh, someday that will be me.. hint, Zan It’s a blast, and I have a feeling we’ll be spending a lot of time there this summer.
Thanks for reading! So help me God, I will be better about blogging consistently and sharing all of the new, exciting things we’re doing out west. <3
Hope you all had a great Fourth of July. Zan and I had a great weekend getaway in Ocean City – some sun
burns, sand and R&R was just what the doctor ordered. Also, I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette and freakin loved it. Read it in less than a day. Highly recommend it if you’re looking for a fun, quick read!
And of course with the holiday came pizza, beer, fries, cocktails, nachos, etc., etc. By Sunday afternoon, I felt like crap and was ready to “get back on track” with my eating and exercise (I know I’m not the only one who says that after a weekend of indulging.. ha). I’ve even been contemplating a juice cleanse. (whaaaaaa?) I guess the saying is true: never say never. I haven’t purchased anything yet, but am considering a one- or two-day cleanse one of these weeks. Lord knows I wouldn’t last any longer than that.
I’ve been kind of all over the place on the workout front. Lately, I’m more like “Foodie on a Spin Bike” or “Foodie Attempting Hot, Miserable Barely-5K Runs.” Blah, this summer heat and humidity is enough to do me in. I know I complained about marathon training in the Polar Vortex, but hand to God, I’d take that any day over this nonsense, which is why I’ve been loving my Tuesday spin classes lately. But I miss running! Thinking about signing up for a fall race (Baltimore Half Marathon, perhaps) to keep me honest. Stay tuned there!
Speaking of spin, I finally got a new bike! If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen a picture, but here she is:
I am so, so, so grateful for renter’s insurance! Without it, I’d be without a bike for presumably forever, which would have been terrible. Hope they catch the idiot who stole my bike, along with what appeared to be at least five others. Can’t wait to get some great rides in!
On the food front, I’ve also been all over the place. We’ve been traveling a bunch, so when I do grocery shop, I’m pretty much picking up the staples and not getting very creative in the kitchen. But I think I’ll be a little more inspired to cook up some new summer dishes and snap, snap, snap away on my camera after I take my first photography class this Sunday.. yay! It’s a four-hour beginner’s course, which is exactly what I need — I have no idea what I’m doing.
I’m craving some light, healthy foods during this heat, which made me think salads, which made me remember I had a recipe to share! So I pulled this Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe from the archives — I made it and photographed it months ago and totally forgot to post the recipe. It’s a great dish for summer picnics, or to even make a large batch of and have for lunches/dinners/side dishes. Enjoy!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Fresh and healthy salad -- great as a meal or side dish
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 chopped red pepper
- 1 diced tomato
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 chopped green onion
- 1/2 cup chick peas
- feta cheese to taste
- chopped parsley to taste
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- salt, pepper, dried oregano and dried basil to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings to taste
- Toss dressing into a bowl with quinoa and chopped veggies
- Garnish with parsley
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/
Have you ever noticed that, with the exception of a few seasonal items, most grocery stores carry the same produce all year round with not much variety?
I know we tend to buy the same produce week over week — tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, etc. — essentials for making salads we enjoy. But when I see a seasonal item, I get really excited and feel the need to buy tons of it.
Zan and I hope one day to have a bunch of land where we can grow our own produce, have a chicken coop and live off of what we produce on our property. We don’t know much about gardening/planting crops now, but I would love to learn more in hopes to really make this happen one day — when/where? I have no idea! Only time will tell
When I became aware of the partnership between Terra and Seed Savers Exchange, I was really intrigued. You can read more below in the infographic, but basically, I’ve learned that over time, crop diversity has reduced from 7,000 to 150 plant species (it’s no wonder I’m always seeing the same things at the grocery store each week.)
So, attention all gardeners and those of us who enjoy many different kinds of produce: We can help preserve vegetable diversity by saving the seeds.
Check out more on the Terra Facebook Page and Seed Savers Exchange website (The “Saving Our Seeds” video was really informative).
Disclaimer: I was provided Terra product in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own.
Um, where has this past month gone? After looking at today’s date and the date of my last post, I realized it’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. I am the absolute worst.
It’s been one crazy month with travel and work, but I am making it a priority to carve out more time for blogging! Stay with me, friends. I promise to get better at this.
While I was on hiatus, however, my wonderful friend, Grace, designed a new header for my blog! I’m so happy with it. She’s such a talented designer and the good news is she does free-lance work if you’re looking to hire anyone!
Anyways! I wanted to share a quick recap of our SF and Napa vacation (which was almost a month ago.. ha). We had an absolute blast exploring both areas– the delicious food, wine, beer, and of course, the sights. Here are a few of my favorite things we did/food we ate. If you’re traveling there soon, I highly recommend the following:
— Dinner at The Slanted Door
— Breakfast at Buena Vista Cafe (The Irish coffees are a MUST)
— Bay cruise around Alcatraz and under Golden Gate Bridge (full bar on board – we obviously took advantage of that)
– Biking the full loop of Golden Gate Park. It’s absolutely gorgeous and a great way to see everything in less than two hours.
— Lunch at Nick’s Cripsy Tacos. It’s in a completely random location in Russian Hill, but hands down was the best tacos/guac I’ve ever tasted. So glad my coworker recommended a stop here!
— A stop at Muir Woods. We loved seeing the Redwoods.
— A stop (or longer) in Sausalito. It’s so adorable, a lot warmer and a totally different feel than SF. We had a fabulous brunch at Le Garage on our way up to Napa.
— Highly recommend Napa River Inn in downtown Napa. They upgraded us to a large King bed and room with a patio upon arrival (no extra charge). Every morning you can select three breakfast items from the bakery next door, as well as the time you’d like them to arrive, and the staff delivers you breakfast in bed — all included in room price! We had some delicious breakfast sandwiches, pastries and fresh fruit parfaits every morning.
— Wine tastings at: Duckhorn, V. Sattui (had an amazing deli and store on site with fresh sandwiches, salads, cheese and crackers, etc. Perfect if you’re starving for lunch — like we were!) and Castello di Amorosa — gorgeous castle that has several different types of tours and tastings to choose from. This was a favorite of ours — had to ship a case home to enjoy!
— A stop, day or stay in Yountville. It’s so adorable and one day when we can afford it, we’ll stay there and eat Bouchon Bakery goods and dine at The French Laundry every day
— Lunch at Taylor’s Refresher in St. Helena
— Dinner at any of the downtown Napa restaurants. We were so lucky they were steps away from our hotel. We absolutely loved Celadon– incredible Moscow mules, sweet coconut fried prawns salad, and maybe my favorite dessert everrrrr: chocolate and hazelnut mousse bars. Iron Chef Morimoto’s restaurant was also delicious. I just had sushi and miso soup since we had a large, late lunch, but the spicy tuna roll was the best I’ve ever had and the s’more dessert was amazingggg.
— A stop at downtown Napa’s new-ish Oxbow Public Market. Much like DC’s Union Market, it had tons of great little shops with spices, coffees, bath products, etc. And then obviously a great food presence — pizza, burgers, oysters, etc. Zan and I hit up Hog Island Oyster Bar for happy hour and split a bottle of wine. He ate a salad and I slurped down tons of oysters.. ha.
Hope this helps any of you planning a trip out west! We had the best time and we can’t wait to go back again one day. Helpful hint: you really can’t go wrong with food and wineries out there. All of it is amazing and the experience is one you’ll remember forever!
This week kinda flew by. I feel like that’s been rare the past few cold months, but we’re headed into the busy summer season here soon, so that always makes the weeks go by faster and faster. And we have so much going on this summer – starting off with a bang Memorial Day weekend!
A week from now, Zan and I will be in San Francisco, eating allllll the foods, drinking allllll the drinks, and going on allllll the adventures! We’re spending three days in SF and three in Napa!
You guys, this is my dream vacation. Back in college, I began to love wine, and with that, wine and food pairings. I took two wine classes in college. One was Geography of Wine where I learned the history of wine, how it’s made, which grapes grow in what regions, etc. The other was Wines of Northeast Ohio where two of my best college friends/roommates and I rode around in a bus with our classmates and went winery hopping in NE Ohio. I know what people are thinking: “Wine in Ohio? WTH?” But there are some truly lovely wineries out there, and the cold climate is great for growing white grapes.
I’ll never forget my dad’s reaction when I told him these wine classes had an additional fee on top of my tuition. He was like, “I’m paying for you to go around and get drunk?!” Haha. Dad, have I not paid you back by passing along all of my wine knowledge?
Also, fun fact: my dad grew up in Northeast, PA where the delicious and addictive concord grapes grow abundantly and where Welch’s has its largest manufacturing plant. People don’t really think of grapes growing in cold climates, but I’m tellin’ ya – it happens. My dad’s high school mascot was “The Grape Pickers,” which I think is awesome and hilarious.
Wow, I just really went off there about wine. Anywaysssss, you can see why I’m so excited to head up to sunny wine country with my love! I’ll be sure to post a recap of our trip when we get back.
I’ll leave you with a nice little chicken and veggie pasta dish that we enjoyed last night. The combination of the cripsy chicken and creamy pea pesto was delicious and satisfying. Shout out to my main squeeze who helped hold my new photography lamp while I snapped away
and our dinner got cold.
Have a great weekend!
Crispy Chicken & Spring Veggie Pasta With Pea Pesto
A crispy, creamy and easy-to-make pasta packed with nutrients
- 2 organic chicken breasts
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- whole grain pasta ( I used rotini)
- Parmesan cheese
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 small yellow squash, chopped
- 1 small broccoli crown, chopped
- 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- olive oil
- salt, pepper, garlic salt and red pepper flakes
- Scramble one egg and coat chicken breasts on either side. Toss in dish of Panko, parm, salt, pepper and garlic salt until thoroughly coated.
- Pan sear the chicken in cast iron skillet until each side is golden brown and crispy. Move pan to oven pre-heated to 350* and cook for 25-30 minutes until chicken is 165*.
- Add chopped veggies to a pan with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and saute until softened.
- In a food processor, combine thawed peas, garlic cloves, about 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper and parm cheese to taste. Process on high until smooth and creamy.
- Toss cooked pasta and veggies in the pesto.
- Top with crispy chicken and enjoy!
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/
Poached eggs on toast may be one of my favorite meals. The combination of the crunchy toast and the creamy yolk is just divine. Add in avocado, roasted tomatoes or a garlic cheese spread to the mix and I’m legitimately in heaven.
If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen many pictures posted of this dish. I can’t believe in my year+ of blogging that I haven’t actually shared many breakfast recipes on the blog. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!
Well, I’m hoping to change that over time, starting today.
I think it’s important to start the day with a hearty breakfast. Most weekday mornings that’s a bowl of cereal or oatmeal with dried cherries and sliced almonds, but the weekends — that’s my time to play. Nothing beats a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning in the kitchen with some coffee (with Rum Chata – thank you to Zan’s sister, Lindsay, for introducing it to us in the islands!) and time to cook up a delicious breakfast.
I love, love, love the combination of hearty sauteed kale with a roasted vegetable. So I figured I’d combine the two and throw a few poached eggs on top — why not?! I added in a some chopped walnuts for crunch and was left with a delicious breakfast salad to
Hope you fellow egg lovers give it a try!
1. Do you prefer sweet or savory breakfasts?
2. What’s your favorite cereal?
Poached Egg & Butternut Squash Breakfast Kale Salad
A hearty and healthy spin on breakfast
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1.5 cups chopped butternut squash
- 2 tbsps. chopped walnuts
- 2 eggs
- 1 minced garlic clove
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Roast chopped butternut squash in oven at 400* for 25-30 minutes until soft
- Saute chopped kale in pan with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until wilted (about 4-5 minutes)
- Poach two eggs to your liking (I prefer runny yolks)
- Combine kale and butternut squash in a large bowl. Top with chopped walnuts and poached eggs and enjoy!
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/