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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spring Shenanigans

After every winter in NYC, there's always that one day where the sun is bright, semi-warm and you get a glimpse of Spring. Guys always look forward to this particular day because all the women of NYC come out in short skirts and tank tops, even if it's only 50 degrees. It's like New Yorkers have been craving the sun and Spring so much, they simply can't wait for an actual warm day to don their skimpy best. All of you New Yorkers, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It makes for tremendous people watching, I'll just say that.

Living through my first Denver winter has been a very interesting experience. Not only did I get to learn very quickly how to drive in snow during my commute to/from Boulder, but I also got to experience a snow storm in late April and cold temperatures into June! It's seriously insane here. It's also completely beautiful so it makes a late winter acceptable.

Now, I LOVE winter. It's my favorite time of year. However, I'm not sure anything can beat grilling, BBQs, fresh summer corn and time spent outside with friends. This year has a much different feel to it, as I'm spending my time with brand new friends in a brand new place, but there are some truly awesome people in Denver that I've met and I feel really lucky for that. I think things are just as they should be with all this "newness" as I move through the stages of a broken heart. It's sort of like looking at things with new eyes, fresh perspective and with unlimited hope of what the unknown future holds. It's exciting when you choose to look at it that way. That's just it though, you have to choose to see it that way and I am. Fully.

I've gone to lots of BBQs recently which have been so fun. Great outdoor spaces, wonderful people and awesome food. It's been the perfect way to welcome Spring and Summer (as of tomorrow!). A highlight at one of the BBQs was this:
As my culinary school chefs would tell you, I often have a problem with too much acidity in my food because, well, I love it. So, a drinking vinegar?! Um, yes. I do believe this stuff was made just for me.

I've also been trying out lots of new recipes lately and this strawberry-peach sangria was delicious:
It's dangerous, though. A lot of you asked me for my recipe, too! I used this base but modified it a bunch. I really dislike overly sweet sangria so I didn't use the pineapple juice, triple sec or peach puree. I did everything to taste and doubled the amount of brandy so you just have to play around with it some. Mine turned out awesome so I'll give any of you my pointers if you want.

I've also been bouncing around to all the breweries I can these days. I'm in heaven living in a place where beer is king. I kinda wish I'd taken a photo at each brewery I've gone to but I'm starting now with Left Hand up in Longmont: 
We spent the day there after a delicious picnic and had a blast. I don't see Megan and Tucker often so it really makes me smile when we can spend time together.

The most important thing I've been up to lately is crossing off restaurants from my list that I've been reading about and dying to try. Last night was by far the best dinner I've had yet in Denver and also one of the greatest experiences overall, too! Christina and I went to The Populist and it's hands down our new favorite place. We sat outside in their gorgeous garden and decided on the chef's tasting which couldn't have made us happier. I'm so mad that I didn't take more photos of the food but this was our celebration dessert:
Why celebration, you ask? Well, Christina is moving back to Denver (yeeeeeeeah!) and I'm new'ish here so our server decided we needed to celebrate. Who am I to argue? We ended up sitting next to a chef who's working with the guys opening Epic Brewing here on their gastropub menu so I may just be doing some beer interning with them soon. THAT, my friends, is exciting.

Lastly, I've been so fortunate to have some friends pass through town for work recently and that's been super awesome. From high school all the way back to childhood, seeing these dudes has kicked ass: 
So, despite the hard moments, I'm finding my way in Denver and building such a fun life for myself here. In time, I know that I'll feel much better and be far closer to who I really want to be. I'm focused on remembering that this is a good time in my life, albeit terribly challenging in some moments. So, cheers to kicking off summer and making it the best possible one I can!

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