Extra Special

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Don’t worry, my mom isn’t mad at me for waiting so long to post about Mother’s Day…at least I don’t think she is! I was so happy to get to go home to Colorado last week. I thought I would be blogging a lot because I finished all of my class assignments and I always find tons of things to blog about when I’m at home with family. I did take tons of pictures, of course. And I started a few posts, but I don’t think I posted…anything. Oops! I just had such a nice time hanging out with everyone and enjoying the sunshine (for the last few days when it finally stopped raining).

I planned ahead way more than usual for this trip because it was an extra special one. My mom’s birthday was on Mother’s Day and I won’t say which birthday, but it was a good one. I already pulled a surprise visit for my dad’s, so I had to be somewhat clever with this one. I kept it a secret for a while, but eventually told her I would be coming…I just told her the wrong day. Yeah, totally not clever, but clever enough to work! I arrived a day before my parents returned from a little trip of their own and then us kids surprised her at the exact same place we surprised my dad – and almost the same exact table. See, so un-clever. And Perfect!

In my family, I’m not alone in the food obsessed department. Most of our occasions revolve around what food will be enjoyed. That was very much the case on this extra special day. And while I have lots of other things I could post about from that day, for now I’d just like to share the food! We had a lovely picnic at the park and then burgers and a milkshake bar (so awesome!) to end the day. I hope that I can always be home for my mom’s birthday/mother’s day. I know that I can speak for both of my siblings when I say that we are all so thankful to have such a great mom and friend. She’s always made every celebration fun for us and I hope that we can return the favor now that we are all grown up (sort of)! Love ya, Mom!

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So, everyone at the table was genuinely shocked that I forgot to take a picture of my burger before I ate it. That like, never happens. I was so excited to dig in. And I have to give credit to my dad and his ‘$50 burger.’ Ok, I’ll admit it – you did good.

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My flavor creation: vanilla ice cream, Nutella, cookie dough, and rainbow sprinkles. Plus chocolate whipped cream and more sprinkles on top! So good! We looked at the Millions of Milkshakes menu for inspiration (never been, but good ideas!).

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Classic chocolate for Dad. And props to my sister as well for blending up and beautifying our shakes! (Yes, they were both campaigning fairly hard to ‘make the blog’) Excellent work, my friends.

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With all these other people taking over my blog, I have to end with another picture of my contribution to the day. Breakfast sandwiches! P.S. Have you all seen this pretty amazing invention? No, I didn’t use it, but I wish.

[EOTW] Clean it Out

DSC_1534Out with the old has been my motto this week. I’ve had the urge to clean out my desk, my cosmetics, and especially the freezer! Hasn’t really expanded to my closet yet though…I planned meals around what was sitting in the freezer and cabinets. I really only had to buy a few dairy products and produce on my first shopping trip back in Boston! I’m happy with the clean-out progress so far. It will probably continue on for another week or two. I was going to make a meat sauce tonight to go with some gluten free pasta I tried to make with my new pasta machine, but…that was a disaster, so it was delivery pizza instead! Oh well! Check out what I used up and purchased below!

By the way, I’m really glad you all enjoyed the Starbucks lemon cake photos! I certainly enjoyed eating it all week. : ) I hope some of you try it soon!

DSC_1636I don’t think I have posted many breakfast photos in Eats of the Week! Grapefruit brings back memories of my dad and I sharing one on Sunday mornings when I was younger!

DSC_1527Used – frozen sausage, arborio, chicken broth. Bought – parmesan and bacon.

DSC_1604Used – frozen hamburger and buns. Bought – cheese, tomato, and bacon.

DSC_1670Love this stuff! Used – lemon oil, baking supplies. Bought – lemons and powdered sugar.

DSC_1660Used – frozen tortillas and steak, taco shells. Bought –  guaq and cucumber sauce ingredients.

[EOTW] Burger x2

DSC_0845Today I’m making up for the last two weeks of pretty minimal Eats of the Week pictures. I wanted to make sure I actually cooked this week…I planned to make burgers because we had some buns and ground beef in the freezer. I did not plan on also going to Five Guys tonight for even more burger though. I had been to Five Guys once before in NYC, but only tried a few fries. Last week we noticed one had opened near Boston Common and got pretty excited! Unfortunately, we had just ran into a Wendy’s or a Burger King or something right before, bummer. I gotta say, the Five Guys burger was far better than the ones I made! We resolved to never get burgers at those other fast food places when we are just running around town – always Five Guys. Holy moly, how did this post turn into me typing Five Guys a million times??

Another highlight of the week was stove-top mac and cheese. I used to make homemade mac almost weekly in college (seriously). I haven’t been making it that regularly since, but the past two times I used this recipe and loved the results. I didn’t follow it exactly, but I like the concept. I boiled the noodles first, but not for too long! Then I let them soak in the milk for a while. Great for when you don’t feel like having it baked!

20121209-213254.jpg :: Steak and mushroom shepherd’s pie (kind of made up using what I had). Really filling and comforting! ::

DSC_0851:: Burger #1 ::

20121209-213304.jpg:: Saturday evening walk to get custard after being inside aaall day. Red Velvet for me ::

20121209-213315.jpg:: Burger #2. Plus so many delicious fries and I got to use one of those crazy customizable soda fountain machines ::

DSC_0875:: If I have tomatoes and mozarella around, you bet I’m going to be throwing it on some crusty bread ::

20121209-213237.jpg:: Threw together some mushroom pasta in the 30 minutes I had between getting home and attending class ::

Denver Places – Jonesy’s EatBar

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There was one place that I really wanted to try when I went home for Thanksgiving and that was Jonesy’s EatBar. I was looking at a list of best fries a few weeks ago and this Denver place jumped out at me. I immediately texted my brother when I read that they have mac & cheese fries and buffalo fries. Um, awesome. I’m mac & cheese obsessed and he’s buffalo wing obsessed, so it was a no brainer. The only dilemma was that we wanted to chow down on all of the fries, but the rest of their menu also sounded really good!

My family went on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to take a break from leftovers. Everyone else was till eating turkey so it wasn’t busy at all and the place had a really cozy feel. It was perfect. We all found a slider that sounded appealing and luckily the menu notes that you can swap out one of three sliders for any of their fries. Problem solved! I definitely recommend this option – we were all still full even without the third slider. They also brought plenty of extra plates because, duh we wanted to share everything and they expect (and encourage!) that. It was really fun getting to sample all the fun flavors! It’s a great spot to go with a group. I thought the cute, long booth with the heart art looked perfect for a birthday dinner. So all in all, I loved the food, loved the decor/ambiance, and the staff was really friendly too! I think next time I’ll get the buffalo fries with the shrimp po’boy sliders. YUM! Is anybody out there from the Denver area too?? And have you tried this place/will you try it now?

PS I really meant to bring my real camera, but I was so excited that I forgot! I hope these phone pics do the place justice.

20121205-204414.jpg:: Bacon Mac & Cheese Fries – Can’t go wrong! I had them with the portobello sliders ::

20121205-204435.jpg:: The favorite fry on the night – Buffalo! Super good! Mom and brother ate them with Bacon Bleu Sliders ::

20121205-204442.jpg:: That’s Nacho Fry (That’s really what they’re called. I’m not trying to be punny. But I do love the name!) Good, but #3 on the list. Dad and sister had them with Shrimp Po’Boy sliders, which were really good! ::