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eG Foodblog: purplewiz - Eating Well In The Great Flyover


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Where in the Springs do you live that you have deer in your yard?

I'm guessing you're in the Briargate area?

Ah, afternoon storms are something I miss most about CS!!! You're making me homesick!

Your food plan sounds so sane. I am one that has the hardest time losing weight unless I am dropping the carbs but it has been so hard for me to maintain that lifestyle. Your description is so much simpler and forgiving than what I'm used to that I'm inspired to try again. The worst is when I go back to eating a full carb diet that I balloon up bigger than I was before. I've tried to lose weight by just increasing my activity (I now work out at least 3X a week for 40-60 minutes) and although I am toner and healthier, I've not lost a complete pant size yet in 6 months. So utterly frustrating. Yep, looks like I'll have to try your meal planning instead and if it works, make it a permanent change. I may PM you for help, is that OK?

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Good Morning!

Breakfast was, predictably, the same cereal and cottage cheese. I'm a creature of habit. The only difference is that I added some toasted onion powder to the cottage cheese for a more savory taste. Once the onion powder was mixed in to the cottage cheese it looked just like plain, so it wasn't worth taking a picture of.

I really like cottage cheese - I even like it as an omelet filling with chopped green onions.

Here's today's coffee:

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Through the years I've managed to amass quite a collection of coffee mugs. I've bought very few myself; they've been personal or corporate gifts or freebies at technical shows. Even though I prune the collection regularly they still take up two shelves.

This mug is very special to me because it was a gift from a friend my junior year of high school. It's moved with me for all these years; my friend's kids are now about the age she was when she gave it to me! The other side of the mug says "Santa's Back".

Once again, I find myself wishing eGullet had an "applause" emoticon. :biggrin: This so totally jibes with my own experiences in building my weight management routine. If only we could get this strategy out into the minds of the masses, the entire diet industry would go broke (and we'd be much the better for it, too).

Thanks so much - it was great to follow along with your blog and see that even though you and I follow different eating plans (because we have different needs!), the basic sanity shines through.

What the masses want is an instant cure with no change (because change is, by its very nature, difficult and painful), and the diet industry is happy to sell it to them. They forget that the diet industry doesn't care if they lose weight or gain weight or are healthy or not, all the diet industry wants is their money. I'm with you - they're a scourge upon the planet but apparently they fulfill someone's need.

I used to live near Garden of the Gods (for 3 years) and absolutely loved it.  Its unfortunate the culinary outlook has not improved much since I was there, I moved in late 1999. 

Do you ever get to Par Avion, the gourmet shop? It is all the way on the opposite side of town near the Broadmoor.  We knew the owners; they get the freshest fish, great quality meats and have an incredible cheese selection.  And their deli meats are what I originally fell in love with.  They have real Italian cured meats (not Boar's Head)...mmmm caldo salami!!!

My favorite breakfast was at Gunther Toodies.  What a great diner!  Their chicken fried chicken still haunts me on Sunday mornings!  I get a craving for it a few times a year (with the sausage gravy, natch!)

We've been here for about 10 years, and while things are better, it's two steps forward, one step back. I'm glad to hear someone else say this, though - sometimes I wonder if I'm just being too picky!

I'm afraid my experience at Gunther Toodies was not as good as yours - I only ate there once, but the meal was so bad that we never returned. Maybe we just hit them on a bad day, because they've since opened yet another location out at Powers and Woodmen.

Believe it or not, I haven't yet gone to Par Avion down south. We used to have the other Par Avion up north on Barnes, which was sold and turned into The Gourmet Pantry, which then closed; and we also had Cunningham's, which is also now closed. I simple didn't need to :smile:. But I have a feeling that's going to change very soon!

I agree that Colorado Springs is chain-restaurant central!  When my Mom gets excited about some new independent restaurant, inevitably about 6 months to a year later she reports that they've closed. :sad:

Thanks so much for saying this - people don't believe me when they ask for good local restaurants and I tell them most of best local places are chains! In fact, several of the outlets here are beta test restaurants where they roll out anticipated menu and decor changes to see how they fly before making the changes chain-wide.

Colorado Springs LOVES its chains. I have this year's "Best of the Springs" from the local newspaper in front of me. Most of the Reader's Picks in the restaurant categories are chains. They voted the local Rock Bottom Brewery as the best new restaurant; the Elephant Bar won that category some years back (and I think it won a second year even though it wasn't so new by then).

To be fair, most of the newspaper staff's picks are local places. We're working our way through them.

I do agree with your Mom; it just doesn't pay to get attached to local places. We lost the extraordinary Royal Thai a couple years ago (and I'm still sad about it), and even Mayfield's, that bastion of better dinner that had been around forever went out of business a year or so ago.

Sorry, I have NO idea wha Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle consists of, but one of my new favorites is McCormick's Lemon & Dill Seasoning. It's salt free and just does the BEST things for a tuna salad sandwich, especially a commercial one that lacks seasoning at all. A dab of extra mayo (yes, dammit, Hellman's) and a good big blast of the lemon & dill stuff and some onion power and VIOLA!  :raz: a whole new thing!

Here's the Sandwich Sprinkle page from Penzey's (I don't work for them, I just spend a lot of money there!) with ingredients. Thanks for the pointer on the Lemon & Dill - that sounds like it would be wonderful over green beans.

I'm with you on the Hellman's/Best Foods mayo! I'm not sure where the geographic dividing line for the two names is; our grocery stores carries both. I buy whichever is on sale and I have a coupon for!

What is that gray electrical box-thingie sitting on the floor next to your kitchen's island? I'm guessing it's a humidifier ... ?

Yes, Joann has it right: it's our paper shredder. By putting it in a prominent location we tend to keep up with the shredding which helps the clutter and paper accumulation problems.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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Great Blog.

Do you include snacks in your food plan or just stick to three meals a day?

Do you bake at that elevation and have you managed to adjust recipes so that they work right?

Yes, I snack :biggrin:! One of the many components of this plan is not to let myself get too hungry, because when your body gets hungry it goes into panic mode and starts wanting to store food for the lean times. And in my own case, it means I eat without thinking rather than eating what I really want.

I haven't snacked much in the last two days mostly due to being too busy to think about it! If my body was really wanting to eat it would have let me know in no uncertain terms no matter how busy I was, so I'm not worrying about it. Snacks tend to be high protein or balanced like a meal.

Ok, now I remembered the bison jerky and am nibbling on a piece! Smoky chewy goodness.

I've also been consciously working to "eat clean" this week because Saturday is our friends' house party. We KNOW we're going to be overdoing it there. I've found from experience that while I can't exactly bank carbs for an overindulgence later, if I take it easy on the carbs when I know there's going to be a splurge, my body is able to handle it a lot better.

If baking is a science at sea level, it's an art form here. The newspaper prints the standard adjustments for recipes every week in the Wednesday food section, but they're only a place to start. My experience is that takes some experimentation to tweak each recipe.

Cookies and brownies generally don't need any adjusting, unless you haven't kept your flour in a sealed container. Then they'll need a tbsp or two of water or some other liquid because like everything else, flour dries out here.

Cakes and quick breads can require anything from just throwing in an extra egg to a complete revamp. When I first tried my favorite Bisquick banana bread recipe as is it rose up way too high, spilled over the sides, and collapsed. It was tasty but ugly :biggrin: .

Then I tried the recommended high altitude adjustments in the book. That was worse - it was a gooey, sodden mess that also spilled all over the oven. I finally ended up just working through the recipe and making changes to solve the issues I had observed. My own altered recipe worked the best!

If you travel out here and go to the top of Pikes Peak, they sell doughnuts at the top made from a recipe that only works at 14,000 feet.

Due to our eating plan I don't bake much, but I will be baking brownies for Saturday's party. I will get one, and the rest will be taken care of by others.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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Where in the Springs do you live that you have deer in your yard?

I'm guessing you're in the Briargate area?

We're across the highway to the west.

For those not local, Briargate is roughly the northeast quadrant of Colorado Springs. It used to be a smallish area, but as development continues to grow north and east, the area referred to as Briargate grows. There are subareas like Nor'wood, but no one knows where they are, and it's still all referred to as Briargate.

Your food plan sounds so sane.  I am one that has the hardest time losing weight unless I am dropping the carbs but it has been so hard for me to maintain that lifestyle.  Your description is so much simpler and forgiving than what I'm used to that I'm inspired to try again.  The worst is when I go back to eating a full carb diet that I balloon up bigger than I was before.  I've tried to lose weight by just increasing my activity (I now work out at least 3X a week for 40-60 minutes) and although I am toner and healthier, I've not lost a complete pant size yet in 6 months.  So utterly frustrating.  Yep, looks like I'll have to try your meal planning instead and if it works, make it a permanent change.  I may PM you for help, is that OK?

Sure, I'd be glad to talk about it further in PMs. I generally don't talk about all these changes in public because most diet talk bores people to tears. One of my own principles I set down when we started was that I was NOT going to be one of those people who shared their obsessions with anyone within earshot because I know they're not interested! I don't have any issues talking with people who are, though. My earlier posting is the very first time I've ever written about this in a public place, and it still feels a little awkward.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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I'm loving your blog. Do you ever get up to Northern Colorado to the mountains? My family has a cabin on Lake Vallecito, and I LOVE IT THERE. Although, we do bring in most of our own food, because the choices are really limited. Honestly, I've never understood why Colorado doesn't have more of a food scene than it does. It seems like there are a lot of people there who would support it, but I guess not...

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Gorgeous cats.

We also have s square of chocolate for dessert almost every night.

Our view is not as pretty though.

Oh, and your kitchen table looks just like mine. It's never empty for more than an hour, why o why???

Edited by Chufi (log)
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Thanks!  Tell us more about your garden! :smile:

Here's the promised side view of the raised bed:

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You can see the landscape slopes away, so we built up the bottom of bed on the left. The inside is lined with bricks, and then the outside was lovingly cemented :smile:. There are two drainage pipes at the bottom of the left side in case the bed ever gets completely soaked.

The plants in the left half of the bed - the zucchini and cucumbers - are those which are here for the season. Most of the plants on the right half - the greens and cilantro - will be done in another month or two, and I'll plant a second crop. The second crop never does as well as the first because the later summer months are usually hotter and drier.

The exception on the right is the green onions, which are slow growers, and actually overwinter well when they aren't eaten during the winter, which happened last winter. Hungry deer will eat ANYTHING, even things they don't normally go near like onions and marigolds. There is no such thing as deer-proof, only deer-resistant. They'll even eat the hairy zucchini leaves if there aren't other plants around, but they really don't like them very much.

I have two other garden beds. One is a flower bed with alyssum and dahlias, both of which deer don't like. However, I have a sneaking suspicion the rabbits love the dahlia shoots, because they should be up by now and they aren't. I've over-seeded the bed with nasturtiums (hooray for edible flowers) and snapdragons, and hope they'll do something.

The other is my low water use bed, and it's the only bed not drip irrigated. The thyme, sage, and lavender grow there, with irises, dianthus, and "hen and chicks" (I don't know the official name), and the chives are trying to take over. Unfortunately, one thyme plant didn't make it over the winter and the other is doing most poorly.

I used to garden yet another bed where I grow carrots and dahlias. I'm giving up this bed for several reasons, which boil down to time and not having to preserve it will make our summer relandscaping project an order of magnitude easier.

All of my beds except the raised bed are "mixed use": flowers and vegetables grown together. It's another deer prevention method: don't put too much of the good stuff in one place, make it difficult to find, and it's likely some of it will survive to harvest. Even the raised bed has the tender lettuces nestled in between the unpalatable green onions and cilantro.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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My inlaws were supposed to be visiting for lunch, but their travel plans changed. My husband's afternoon appointment was canceled. I'm ahead of schedule on my project. And the afternoon thunderstorms started threatening about 11:30 so the deck still isn't stained.

Faced with an unexpectedly free afternoon, I turned to Jim and said, "want to have a food adventure?"

"Sure!", he said.

Taking cues from the kind folks posting here, GourmetLight$'s comment reminded me of all the restaurants I haven't yet tried. And since I had the Gazette's Best Of The Springs section in front of me, it wasn't hard to find somewhere to go for lunch. Not to mention that I hadn't yet fulfilled my resolution to try one new restaurant a month this month.

Then Genny's comment reminded me that I had been lazy and not visited the south Par Avion gourmet shop. It sounded like a day out to me!

Lunch was at Walter's Bistro, chosen not only because I had heard good things about it, but also because it was close to Par Avion. The online menu is a little out of date, but the food was wonderful. I chose the ham and cheese quiche with a salad:

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and Jim had the Ahi tuna sandwich (with lemon aioli):

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For dessert, I was looking at the triple chocolate mousse cake (because I am an inveterate chocoholic), but the server convinced us to order the strawberry shortcake:

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He was right. The shortcake was light and fluffy, but still managed to retain the essential solidity of a shortcake. If this wasn't the best shortcake I'd ever had, it's in the top five.

After lunch, we took a quick trip down the road to Par Avion. There was method in this madness, as I hadn't planned anything for dinner tonight, I was just going to wing it.

I apologize that there are no outside pictures of the store, but we happened to be shopping there during the afternoon thunderstorm, and while there are quite a number of things I will do in support of the blog, standing out in the rain isn't one of them.

Sadly, many of my inside pictures didn't turn out well either. It's partially the new camera, partially the photographer.

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I picked up a bunch of goodies, most of which were featured in dinner tonight. I thought one item would go well on endive, so I dropped by the local King Sooper (part of the Kroger's chain) to get some. You'd think with a produce section this big:

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they'd have some. Nope. No endive. So I had to improvise.

My snack this afternoon consisted of taste testing the items we bought (well, I had to make sure they were good before cooking with them, didn't I?), the last of the bison jerky, and this:

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Diet Vanilla Coke. Yes, it's been discontinued for months. Thanks to eGullet and this thread, I started stocking up on it as soon as I knew, and had amassed quite a stockpile before they stopped selling it around here. We're down to our last couple of cases and I am going to miss it.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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wonderful blog!

I too am following the basic diet plan, low carb, lean protein, etc, and I find I have a lot more energy and need less sleep. For me, it wasn't as much losing weight as it was staying at a healthy weight for my body.

I love your kitchen, I have to admit, my kitchen would fit in yours three times over. Do you really feel you need a remodel?

---------------------------------------

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And our cats:

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Oreo....

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...and Abbey. Oreo weighs about 17 lbs, Abbey about 10 lbs, and that's about right for each of them. Neither of them are "food cats": they like their treats, and Oreo is especially fond of cheese and has been known to steal bacon bits off salads that have been left unattended on the kitchen table, but neither of them are obnoxious or persistent about it. It makes for a more pleasant dinner time 

Marcia.

OMG! Your Abby is the image of my long-passed Fats, who was a Maine Coon derivitave. She's a sweetie, as was Fats. Oreo is precious, and looks a treat. Kisses to them both! :smile:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I'm loving your blog. Do you ever get up to Northern Colorado to the mountains? My family has a cabin on Lake Vallecito, and I LOVE IT THERE. Although, we do bring in most of our own food, because the choices are really limited. Honestly, I've never understood why Colorado doesn't have more of a food scene than it does. It seems like there are a lot of people there who would support it, but I guess not...

I don't get up into the mountains often, but I've loved how beautiful it is the times I've been there!

I also wish I knew why there isn't more of a food scene. One of my guesses for Colorado Springs is that we do have a lot of military, and since they move around many of them probably prefer the familiar chains.

And, frankly, a lot of the local places I've tried are terrible. Mediocre at best, and downright awful at worst (like au jus that is tepid brown colored water with absolutely no flavor).

But when they're good, they're very good indeed!

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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We also have s square of chocolate for dessert almost every night.

Our view is not as pretty though.

Oh, and your kitchen table looks just like mine. It's never empty for more than an hour, why o why???

The chocolate makes a lovely dessert, doesn't it?

If someone could figure out why kitchen tables attract clutter, and then make a device to prevent it, they'd be filthy rich!

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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wonderful blog!

I too am following the basic diet plan, low carb, lean protein, etc, and I find I have a lot more energy and need less sleep. For me, it wasn't as much losing weight as it was staying at a healthy weight for my body.

I love your kitchen, I have to admit, my kitchen would fit in yours three times over. Do you really feel you need a remodel?

I'm glad to hear that the plan you're following is working for you! I'm convinced that the biggest part is finding a plan that you like and that gives you the kind of benefits you want to keep coming back for.

The kitchen is original to the house, and we're not the original owners. While the basic layout isn't too bad, the countertops and cabinets could use some sprucing up, and the lighting is atrocious. Our neighbors, whose house's layout is a mirror image of ours, have done a lot of work on their kitchen, and it looks fantastic. We did redo the floor, since the old floor was coming up and becoming a trip hazard :biggrin:.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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So, on to tonight's dinner....

I had a lot of fun shopping at Par Avion, but I'm afraid I was a little bit disappointed in their meat/fish counter. Everything they had was beautiful, but they didn't have as large as selection as I'd hoped. It was mostly the usual beef cuts, with some chicken breasts and one pork selection. The Colorado lamb loin chops looked outstanding, so I bought two. They also had fresh rosemary. (They also had frozen whole foie gras, but the budget can only stretch so far!)

I was exceptionally pleased with their olive oil and vinegar selection, and doubly so because most of them were available for tasting. I fell in love with a syrupy 8 year old balsamic vinegar until I saw the price (expected, but see budget comment above). Jim fell in love with the Villa Manodori Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which did come home with us.

We also ended up with a slice of a lovely duck truffle pate, a bottle of jalapeno ranch dressing, and a piece of limburger cheese. Jim had always wanted to try limburger cheese, and I'm always in favor of trying new stinky cheeses. (My general rule is that if I can't smell it through the plastic wrap, it's not stinky enough.)

Assembled into dinner:

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Appetizers of pate on cucumber slices with pecans, with a couple of slices of limburger cheese. I wanted to serve the pate on endive, but cucumber worked well to balance the earthiness of the pate and the sweetness of the pecans. We both like the limburger cheese very much.

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I ran the rosemary sprigs through the fleshy part of the lamb, marinated it for a couple hours in everyday olive oil and garlic, grilled them until medium rare, and finished them with a drizzle of the Villa Manodori olive oil. Accompanied by sauteed yellow crookneck squash with lemon pepper and chives.

A quick note: rosemary on the grill smells far better than thyme on the grill. Thyme on the grill smells uncomfortably close to other, more illegal herbal substances that might be burned. This might disturb one's neighbors even though you're only cooking dinner.

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A bite of the lamb. It was delicious.

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I decided that this dinner really called out for wine, so I went to our wine cellar (a fancy term for a wine rack in the basement) and selected a bottle. It was incredible - smooth straight out of the bottle, and like velvet after it breathed awhile. Just enough tannin to balance the richness of the meat and olive oil.

I didn't photograph another of my unphotogenic tossed salads, which we ate with the jalapeno ranch dressing. I found the dressing too spicy hot; Jim loved it. I'm sure he'll enjoy finishing it!

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Chocolate for dessert, also procured at Par Avion. The mouthfeel of this chocolate is almost like a milk chocolate, something rarely found in a 70% chocolate.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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The dinner post is late because we went swimming again tonight, and as usual I had a post-workout snack:

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My usual: half a whole wheat English muffin with butter and cheese.

We also had the evening tea:

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Celestial Seasonings Decaf Original India Chai.

The current deck project figures prominently in my future cooking endeavors because of the old grill.

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We bought the grill shortly after we bought this house. It's weathered nearly 10 years of hail, rain, snow, and 90 mph winds. The paint is gone. It's rusted. The wooden handle lost its finish years ago and the brackets that hold it on are crooked. The automatic igniter button broke off back when the plastic front started to disintegrate. The enameled cast iron grates are starting to rust again. A thick layer of crud is chemically bonded to the "flavorizer bars" to the point where oven cleaner won't touch it. It's an eyesore.

And yet it cooks like a dream. I know where the hot and cold spots are, and exactly how to orient meat of an uneven thickness so it cooks more or less evenly. I know how hot all the way gets, and even thought the dial markings are long gone, I know where to move that dial to get just the heat level I want. All the crud in the grill gives an incredible depth of flavor.

The grill is going to have to be unbolted from the deck when it is stained. That is going to be the end of the grill; all that's holding it together is sheer stubbornness. Moving the grill will cause its destruction.

Yes, I have another grill sitting the garage, ready for assembly. I can't cook in the summer without one; I grill over 90% of our summer dinners. I know that the old grill is well past its end of life and should have been replaced long ago. It's time to let go and move on.

But one thing I know for sure, I am going to miss my old grill.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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Before I call it a night, I wanted to thank everyone for all their wonderfully kind compliments on our cats. They're both mutts; Abbey is probably part Maine Coon and Oreo is probably part ragdoll, but they're both adopted strays so we'll never know for sure. But we do know they're both sweet and funny and tractable and friendly, and we're very glad to have them as part of our household!

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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The other is my low water use bed, and it's the only bed not drip irrigated. The thyme, sage, and lavender grow there, with irises, dianthus, and "hen and chicks" (I don't know the official name), and the chives are trying to take over. Unfortunately, one thyme plant didn't make it over the winter and the other is doing most poorly.

Do your "hens and chicks" plants look anything like these? I'm the world's lousiest gardener, but these guys are high-nostalgia plants for me. We had them in our garden when I was a kid--my mom called them "hens and chickens." The way they'd propagate more and more "chicks" fascinated the hell out of my nerdy little kid-self. But that was nothing compared to the ultra-lush hens-and-chicks I would spot in some Seattleites' gardens when I lived there. I had no idea the darn things could even bloom, until I saw one outcropping in Seattle with this huge robust stalk--rather amusingly phallic-looking, actually--growing a good couple of feet tall straight up out of their midst.

Valiantly trying to drag this even somewhat back on-topic, a quick Googling reveals that this plant were sometimes used as a medicinal herb in the various regions of Europe where it has been popular for centuries. (There's also folklore that growing it on the roof of one's house protects it from lightning strikes--which sounds like something you've needed this week ... :biggrin: )

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Do your "hens and chicks" plants look anything like these? I'm the world's lousiest gardener, but these guys are high-nostalgia plants for me.

Yes, those are them! (They are those? Something like that.) Mine look an awful lot like Sempervivum tectorum (Common Houseleek). And you're right, they bloom - they put up the oddest stalks and pink blooms.

Valiantly trying to drag this even somewhat back on-topic, a quick Googling reveals that this plant were sometimes used as a medicinal herb in the various regions of Europe where it has been popular for centuries. (There's also folklore that growing it on the roof of one's house protects it from lightning strikes--which sounds like something you've needed this week ...  :biggrin: )

I'm not sure how they'd grow on the roof, but it would protect them from the deer and rabbits! (I sound like a broken record, but the minute you think about outdoor plants, you have to take those pests into consideration!)

Fortunately the lightning has missed us, and the rain has been wonderful for the lawn and garden. The extra water means I'm probably going to get another salad from the raised bed sooner rather than later. (Also dragging it back on topic.)

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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Friday is milk delivery day. Yes, an unexpected food gem was finding a dairy which delivered, and their products are very good. The Royal Crest Dairy had a very effective advertising campaign: every so often they went through the neighborhoods handing out free half gallons of milk, and asked people to perform their own taste tests. Jim said he could taste the difference right away, and we've been getting our milk (and some other products) from them ever since.

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Awaiting me this morning was the usual gallon of 1% milk, a quart of orange juice for Jim, and a pint of heavy cream. We have a standard order but there's also the order sheet hanging from the top where we can make any adjustments. The dairy reuses the plastic gallon jugs, picking them up at the same time they deliver.

I varied breakfast a little bit this morning:

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Lower sugar instant oatmeal. It's about as good as any other instant oatmeal, and it's not quite so cloyingly sweet.

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Cottage cheese mixed with sugar free vanilla yogurt. The yogurt alone doesn't have quite enough protein for a meal, so I boost it with cottage cheese. I like how the two flavors and textures go together, even though it looks like white goo.

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And the ubiquitous morning elixir.

Today is shopping day. I prefer to do the bulk of my grocery shopping at a store that's across town because they have a superior produce department and an exceptionally friendly staff. They're also located by a cluster of non-food stores which I often need to shop at, so I bundle it all into one marathon shopping day for efficiency. I also keep multiple lists for these stores so I don't rely on my memory for where I need to go and what I need to get.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Very cool, a trip to Par Avion. Its too bad that the north store couldn't keep open, but then Jim and Karen have a special relationship with their regular customers that is difficult to duplicate. The bulk of their customers likely travel to the south end of town to their new store. It is pretty big for a gourmet shop! We were out there 2 summers ago and were blown away by the new location. I love that you got the Limberger cheese. It was Jim that turned me onto the stinky cheeses and I've never looked back. Do you have other particular favorites for ripe, smelly goodness?

The kitties are soooo adorable too. They get along with each other?

Its funny, but until your blog Marcia, I didn't realize there may have been a correlation to my poor cooking skills when I lived in the Springs and the altitude. My husband and his sister would bake biscuits, muffins, cakes, etc. with no problem but my attempts always failed miserably and I felt like a complete idiot that I couldn't even boil an egg properly...they were always undercooked. How wonderful to know that at least in part (because I really didn't bring many skills with me from California) the altitude was to blame!

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Hey Marcia! I can only see a part of the logo on the other side of that mug, but is it from The Cupboard? I'm up here in Fort Collins and it warms my heart to see that! I :wub: that store (have to ration my time there because I always end up spending at least twice as much as I meant to...)

Carry on - it's lovely to have a Coloradoan blogging!

Nikki Hershberger

An oyster met an oyster

And they were oysters two.

Two oysters met two oysters

And they were oysters too.

Four oysters met a pint of milk

And they were oyster stew.

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I can only see a part of the logo on the other side of that mug, but is it from The Cupboard? I'm up here in Fort Collins and it warms my heart to see that! I :wub: that store (have to ration my time there because I always end up spending at least twice as much as I meant to...)

It sure is! We drop by there any time we're passing by Fort Collins, and like you we always find we spend more than we'd anticipated!

I like the mug, too. It's funny to look at a line formula of caffeine on the side of a mug.

When I bought this mug they also had one just like it but with the red circle with a slash through it over the caffeine diagram for decaf :biggrin:.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Great foodblog Marcia! I don't know what I would do if I had to deal with altitude and baking (already have enough attitude :shock: )...

I noticed one of your plates was from Il Fornaio...was that from the one in Denver? It just made me laugh because I worked for them for about four years before and during attending culinary school. They might be a chain, but they're definitely a notch above Olive Garden.

I also commend you on taking a common sense approach to dieting. Congratulations on your weight loss and your ongoing healthy lifestyle! It really looks like you still eat and enjoy delicious food...it is very encouraging.

Blog on...

Alana

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