Archive for the ‘friends’ Category


Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Yes, I do like syrup. In the title, though, it’s capitalized for a reason.


My friends Rachael and Anna recently moved to a new house, in the Baker neighborhood of Denver. I’m a scared little suburban girl, so up and coming neighborhoods make me a little nervous, but their house is adorable. And like a block from the Breckenridge Brewery. Not that they’ve been there. If I lived there, though? Brewery tours. YAY.

I drove to Denver to see their house, and they took me to their favorite brunch location. Syrup is actually in Cherry Creek, a shwanky neighborhood not too far away, but they apparently go there all the time.

Despite the lack of a liquor license, I knew they were right about this place when I saw the wallpaper and the dog heads in the entryway.

The interior is this great shade of green as well, and I was thisclose to stealing some of the white chairs.

I have a lot of chairs, but lookithowcutetheyare!!

And this. If I could have figured out a way, this would have come home with me.

We were seated at the corner table, with sun and a street level view of saturday Cherry Creek shoppers.

Don’t judge Rachael for making this face at me. Our coffee hadn’t been poured yet.

Oh, there it is.

The coffee was mild and drinkable, as evidenced by the fact that I drank approximately five cups.

Rach and Anna know their way around the menu, and made their decisions right away. This is Rachael’s not-Benedict.

By not-Benedict I mean she ordered the corned beef benedict (still a benedict), on a croissant (mmmaybe still a benedict), and then asked that they scramble the eggs.

I don’t know what you call this delicious mess, but it ain’t a benedict.

Anna had a breakfast sandwich, on a croissant. With a side of hollandaise sauce.

I did tell you they know their way around the menu, right?

I had the classic breakfast burrito, with absolutely no alterations. No croissants, no hollandaise. It was all very boring of me.

It was super tasty, though. I don’t know what all was in it, exactly -chorizo, definitely, and green chili on top. Eggs. A good tortilla. And … some other stuff.

They give you a lot of food. Rach had some leftovers…

and I definitely had some leftover (insert this image for Saturday night dinner, if you will).

They cleared our plates, and the meal was over.

Oh, no, wait.

It wasn’t over.

Rachael and Anna have this wacky concept.

Breakfast dessert.

Sure, Syrup calls them ‘Breakfast Appetizers’, but R&A have decided they make far more sense as desserts. You chose a pancake or waffle flight, and then three types of syrup from that list.

And then two types of butter from this list.

Yeah, that’s right.

You’re looking at breakfast dessert.

Sadly the butters shown aren’t the ones we asked for. We wanted Drunken Pecan and Honey Butter, and all they had left was PB&J Butter and regular butter.

The syrups, though – dear god, the syrups. I didn’t even need butter.

In front is the Maple Vanilla syrup. Do you see the flecks of vanilla seed in that syrup? That is SO MUCH vanilla. My moderately trained eye tells me that the teaspoon of syrup on my plate probably has a quarter of a vanilla bean’s worth of seed in it. So much vanilla.

When Crockett gets home from skiing, we’re going to take a bath in the stuff.

Sorry for that imagery.

The one in the middle is Strawberry Syrup. It was good. If I’d tasted it before the Maple Vanilla, I probably would have been really impressed – it truly tasted like strawberries, not like a strawberry jolly rancher (which is what I expected). The one in the back is butterscotch syrup. It tasted like butterscotch.


Did I mention the Maple Vanilla syrup?

it’s not so bad

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

By it, I mean the student life.

Sure, I don’t have any money and I can never literally say I don’t have anything to do.

But some Friday mornings, I get to lounge around with Laura and her little girl, eating breakfast and discussing the state of discontent in America.

I made this casserole with Laura in mind. She loves things sweet, and sweet it absolutely was. In the below recipe I’ve reduced the sugar, because it was REALLY sweet. If you like a lot of sugar at breakfast, feel free to increase the sugar to 1 cup.

Apple Cheddar Breakfast Bread Pudding
Adapted from  a recipe developed by Breakfast on the Connecticut B&B

4 eggs
cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
7 slices firm white bread (cut into cubes)
2 medium apples, preferably a crisp variety (peeled, cored, cubed)
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (about 3 oz)
2 tablespoons raw sugar

If cooking immediately, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square pan. In large bowl whisk the eggs, and add the milk, sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until sugar is at least mostly dissolved. Add the bread, apples and cheese – toss until the liquid has been mostly absorbed. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight or bake immediately.  Bake 3o-35 minutes if room temperature and 35-45 minutes if refrigerated, until golden and set all the way through.

I also served sliced bananas tossed with chopped Trader Joe’s Sesame Seed Honey Cashews (still kicking around from our Santa Fe trip, sadly a TJ’s has not popped up overnight in Louisville), and frozen grapes.

I’m kind of obsessed with frozen grapes.

Laura’s 16 month old liked them too. She’s a girl with excellent taste.


A very spirited discussion.

She brought me flowers as a housewarming gift. Isn’t that lovely?  She even brought buds so I’d have flowers for longer.

Because I’m the luckiest girl evah, Laura was not my only girl date on Friday.

What? This and homework is what I do while Crockett is out of town.

My beautiful girlfriend Yvonne and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly at the Waterloo happy hour.

Sweet potato fries and gorgonzola dip.

What, you don’t see any gorgonzola dip?

Oh, right, that’s because we ate an entire dish full.

And beer.

I did mention there was beer, right?

wordless wednesday

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Due to what I believe are server issues, I haven’t been able to post since Sunday. Please accept my heartiest apologizes and welcome to Wordless Wednesday.


Monday, January 31st, 2011


We got a very exciting email yesterday afternoon.

A ‘hey you wanna come have hibachi with us tonight?’ email.

What, some days fewer exciting things happen than other days.

Our original plan was to go to Benihana, but they could only fit us in at 5 or 8:30. Since our dinner companions have a lil girl and we’re not 100 years old, neither of those worked for us. We ended up at Hibachi.

Do you know how much food you get at a hibachi place?
Wait – do you know what hibachi is? It’s that thing where you all sit around a massive hot plate and you get your food cooked in front of you? Ok, just checking.

While we debated what to order, I asked for a glass of Cupcake chardonnay (so tasty) and took pictures of our place settings. I’m not usually a fan of Japanese design, but these plates – man alive, if I’d been carrying a bigger purse we may have been using them for breakfast this morning.

I ended up ordering the veggie hibachi entree with tofu. If I were able to play ominous music, this is where it would start, so consider yourself foreshadowed.

Our chef was very nice and had nothing to do with the tragedy that is forthcoming.

Doesn’t he look… active?

Seriously, the man never stood still. It was fun but not particularly photogenic.

We’d ordered some sushi, but it didn’t come before he started cooking our veggies. Also, first he put some mystery stuff under bowls. (That will be important later, so I hope you’re paying attention.) The veggies got all sautee-ee – it was fun.

At some point during the sauteing, Crockett’s cold sake came. The container had ice IN it, which I found genius.

I don’t necessarily appreciate cold sake.

I like warm sake. I know it’s plebeian. I don’t care. Maybe I’m a plebe.

Our chef then made a flaming onion volcano.

That’s right – Flaming. Onion. Volcano.

I would tell you how he made that happen, but Hibachi made me sign a NDA.

(That’s a lie.)

During the flaming, our sushi came.

I haven’t had that much sushi here on MBD, have I? In general, I prefer my sushi sweet. I like salmon, because it’s a little sweet, but I love the ones that come with sauce. (Again, plebe, right here. Whatever.) I love me some Unagi, you guys. I would eat these little sauced eel morsels every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could. Of course, for breakfast I would probably stir them into some oatmeal.

Crockett, on the other hand, really likes his tuna. He ordered two tuna pieces and two yellowtail pieces, and then traded a tuna for a salmon with our buddies at my request, because tuna isn’t my favorite thing. Salmon? Sure. Raw shrimp? Okey dokey. The tuna, though – just not my cup of tea.

When we’d finished our sushi, our vegetables were miraculously done and ready to be plated.

At this point we’d already had soup, salad, our sushi, and our rice had been served.

Yeah, a lot of food.

The chef then threw a big pile of noodles onto the grillhotplatething, sauced em up, and added em to the list of things to consume.

Here’s where things got a little sad.

I’d ordered the veggies with tofu, and because I was being silly and assuming that the veggies would be those that I’d already seen (broccoli/onion/carrot/squash), I didn’t ask if there were green bell peppers or eggplant involved.

What with green bell peppers and eggplants making it hard for me to breath via allergic reaction and all.

See the peppers in the above pic?

That’s Crockett’s plate. Turns out there were some peppers hanging out in one of those upsidedown bowls, and by the time I’d noticed, they’d already been all stirred up with my tofu.

The chef offered to make me a new tofu, but I felt like crud for not remembering to ask, and Crockett is wonderful and was all ‘dude, tofu? Awesome! You can have my sea bass, ok?’

So I had some delicious crispy sea bass.

Crockett got some too, though.

Did I mention you get a lot of food at a hibachi place?

sparkle vamp

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Why yes, my day did end with Edward.

Ok, in truth, I’m a Jacob/closet-Charlie fan, but Edward was the one who was there, so Edward was the one who got into the pic with me.

It started much less sparkly, with monochromatic coffee and oatmeal. The oatmeal is that color because of pumpkin butter, not because of any magical oatmeal weirdness.

What followed was a lot of moving, which I did not photograph because I was being a cranky bitch… then lunch.

Crockett and I paid off the movers (hiring movers is something grownups do. I decided that when I was considering moving my furniture myself.) and went to lunch with one of his coworkers at The Cactus Wheel here in town.

We were starving, so we started with fried plantains.

Hullo babies.

Included was fried yucca. I’ve never had fried yucca before. To my knowledge, I’ve never had yucca before. It was thick and sweet and like a cross between a potato and a marshmallow.

Also included? Dos Equis.

With lime.

They specialize in two things. Tequila…

And hot sauce. The hot sauce wall is nifty because it’s open to client contribution – if you buy a bottle of hot sauce and bring it to them unopened with the receipt they reimburse you and put it on the shelves. Every bottle is then available for any customer to use.

There’s lots of fancy on this wall. Sadly, I’ve not taken a lot of advantage of the fancy. I always admire from afar, but have yet to participate.

They also have tequila specials, for those of us who are temporarily off beer due to heartburn issues (cough-Crockett-cough). This month’s silver special, 901, is apparently Justin Timberlake’s tequila.

I don’t know why Justin Timberlake has his own tequila either, y’all, so don’t ask.

They have some nifty decor too.

Then it was back to unpacking. Yes, there is still a Christmas tree in Crockett’s living room. Yes, I am going to refer to it as Crockett’s living room as long as there is a tree in it.

There are new tables and new plants, but it’s basically the same house. Puppies, check. Couch, check.

Oh, are we back to this again? Despite the move today, I had a very important Eclipse party to attend tonight – so attend I did. There was popcorn and there were cookies and there were these chocolate and cocoa coated dried strawberries that dear god…. but we were working with candlelight, so y’all don’t get to see anything but me and Edward.

I still prefer Jacob. (Ok fine, I prefer Charlie. But it’s not because I’m old, it’s because Charlie is the best. Even if he is the obligatory dad in the story.)

Do you have a Twilight team?


Friday, December 31st, 2010

In 2011 I resolve not to get so far behind that I end up with 400 pictures and ten posts worth of happenings.

I resolve to continue to eat more vegetables.

To really truly educate myself on the science behind South Beach and do what’s good for my heart.

To try new and interesting things with oatmeal. Perhaps, shockingly, not involving pumpkin.

To ignore the South Beach insistence that bananas are bad. Fuck that, yo. Bananas are good – incontrovertible fact.

Perhaps if I do all these things, I will live to be 102. The woman who built this tiny city lives in my Grandma’s building, and she’s 102. I didn’t ask her if she eats lots of bananas, but I’m sure she does.

Speaking of my Grandma and her building, this is the first Christmas  after she sold the house she’s lived in since well before I was born. We usually caroled in her neighborhood, but without a home base that became complicated. We invited the residents in her building that were around to join us in a common room, and we got our carol on there. My mom and I were particularly festive – please note the spinning and the elf hat. We had about 25 folks join us, which was absolutely wonderful. We sang. They sang. Fun and merriment abounded.

Mom, dad, Grandma, Uncle Phil… and of course me, in the purple.

I was lucky enough to get to spend Christmas day with members of my family and quite a bit of Crockett’s, shown here. It was lovely.

Later in the day some friends joined us. All told there were 19 people in the house.

I take really good care of my clothes, can’t you tell? Chocolate shirt and Kelley, queen of the photobomb.

Friends can be family too, you know? The morning after Christmas two of my Denver darlings came up to Boulder to join me for brunch at Salt, followed by cans of champagne and shopping.

Yeah, cans of champagne. They were a gift for me, and I’m fairly sure were made with me, specifically, in mind.

Basically, Christmas rocked. Obviously I’m missing quite a bit here, but I think these were the high points. How was your holiday?

you look like a million bucks

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Crockett got up early to take his dad to the airport (spoiler alert: he made it home), and I dragged my butt out of bed to get the food started.

I took the turkey out of the brine and rinsed it off, and put it in a slow oven (~300) breast down. My intention was to flip it after a couple of hours so the top would color, but when I checked on it at 10:15 (two hours later), it was done. Done. In two hours. It was only twelve pounds but still, yo, 2 hours is unheard of. Thank goodness I had a thermometer, otherwise I would probably have left it in for another hour. Sadly, that meant the breast skin never got all roasty toasty.

While the turkey did its thing, I started the vegetables for the stuffing (up at the top) and the spices for the sweet potatoes. I made the stuffing exactly as written, but this is the second time I’ve made these sweet potatoes and I took some liberties. The banana, sweet potato, coconut, and coconut milk are all naturally sweet, so I left out the brown sugar. Without the sugar it’s more suitable as a side dish; with the sugar it would be more appropriate as a dessert. That’s lime zest, ginger, and a mashed banana sauteing in butter in the images above.

Pause for smoothies.

The sweet potato pudding with all the ingredients added, getting its thickening self on.

I got the sweet potatoes and stuffing into their baking dishes, hopped in the shower, and got the appetizers on the table as our first guests walked in the door.

  • Spanikopita -a contribution from my mother, purchased at Costco. If you shop at Costco and you see the frozen spanikopita, purchase it immediately. Do not hesitate. Just do it. Does it sound like I’m kidding. No, I didn’t think so.
  • Walnuts – I pan roasted them with a couple of tablespoons of butter, half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper, half a tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary, a quarter cup of brown sugar, and half a teaspoon of kosher salt. The red pepper didn’t really come through, but I was worried about it being overwhelming for my grandma.
  • Cheese platter – brie (cause with the yum), sliced fresh sourdough, a vanilla fresh fig jam that I’ve completely forgotton how I made, and…. the stinky cheese of death.

I bought it at Costco. It’s called Morbier, which doesn’t technically mean ‘death’, but it sort of sounds like it, no? When I opened the package I may have thrown up a little in my mouth. Seriously. However, I am not one to tell other people what’s delicious, so I put it on the plate anyway. No one ate it.

My volunteer bean snappers whining about the smell and kicking ass at snapping.

We had a three phase Thanksgiving. Phase 1: My dad (left), mom (middle), and Crockett’s brother (right), his family, and my grandma. Phase 2: Crockett’s brother + fam left. Phase 3: Everyone left and Crockett and I went to a friends house to rejoin his brother and have dessert.

Four ladies (and three generations) on one couch. Kim may not be related to us, but she fits in nicely, don’t you think?

We got the table set up and hugged the Phase 1ers goodbye.

Looks tasty, no?

As we were at Crockett’s house and it was his first time hosting Thanksgiving, he sat at the head of the table.


Also a responsibility of the host? Turkey carving. I think he’s doing it wrong. (Please note how pale it looked once I put it breast up. Sad.)

However. Inside? Juicy. Delicious. Perfect.

It got a little slippery, so Grandma and I each grabbed a leg. Fortunately we both kept all of our fingers.

A representative dark meat lovers plate (my dads).

A representative white meat lovers plate (mine). I like dark meat too, but on the actual day I’m white with gravy all the way. Clockwise from the top: cranberry jelly from a can (don’t judge, you know it’s delicious), cranberry chutney, turkey with gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, roasted squash and pomegranate salad (mom), green beans with almonds, and jalapeño corn bread (dad).

This is the point at which the plate started to best me. I had too many spanikopita.

Fortunately, we ate slowly and I got a second wind. Who has two thumbs and belongs to the clean plate club? This girl.

My dad brought cinnamon orange rice pudding, but we all only managed  a few bites. I refused to let him take the rest of mine away, because it’s going to make the best breakfast ever. EVER.

I am so glad that I was able to host this year. I have so much to be thankful for.

These girls.

These ladies.

This guy.

And, of course, this guy.

I hope you have a lot to be thankful for too. MUAH.

worst day ever

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I’m projecting, in the title, because I have a bad feeling about today. I’m getting a project that I didn’t do very well on back and I’m having a sit down with a professor who I suspect is currently quite disappointed in me. Basically, it’s going to be awesome.

The semester will be over in three weeks, people. THREE WEEKS. We can DO IT!

Yesterday there was frost on the ground. Not snow, frost. What memo do I need to write and who do I need to address it to to get some winter up in here?

We started our lazy sunday with more his and hers smoothies. His is actually the small one – mine is exactly the same but has silken tofu added for a little more morning protein. It worked out well – carried me through almost all the way to our afternoon activities.

The sun came and went all day while I was doing homework.

Cloey knew exactly how to take advantage of it.

Before leaving the house I did have  a little snack. This is the rest of the spaghetti squash I roasted lord knows when – last week? Can that be right? I heated it up in the microwave and dressed it with some olive oil, salt, pepper, dried basil, and romano cheese. Then I grabbed Crockett and we were off. Where, you might be asking?

Why, to a wine and tapas party, of course.

The female half of a couple that are dear friends of mine is Spanish. Every so often she creates a huge Spanish sampler for us Americans, just to show us what we’re missing (I guess).

  • Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with almonds
  • Croquetas (two versions: with manchego and without)
  • Spicy creamy tomato dipping sauce and garlicy aioli
  • Spanish omelettes, with and without chorizo
  • Some steak thing that I missed the description of but that was damn tasty
  • Paella (not pictured)
  • Fig and quince jam (quince jam is my favorite thing in the universe)
  • Poached shrimp
  • A huge empananada that I didn’t eat because it contained green peppers, but I heard it was fabulous
  • Roasted piquillo peppers
  • Octopus in olive oil
  • A meat and cheese platter with manchego, jamon, chorizo, and another cheese (not pictured)

Basically we ate ourselves silly.

See? Silly.

spammers, the name ‘viagra’ is not subtle

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

I get 5 spam comments for every one real comment here on Mangled Baby Duck. Many of those commenters are using names such as ‘viagra now’ and ‘get viagra online’. What about that makes them think they’re going to get through a spam filter?

Anyway, on Thursday night I met two of my girlfriends for drinks and dinner at Laudisio, an Italian place in Boulder.

I was a few minutes early, and I thought ‘well, I’ll just stake out a table’. Yeah, no. Every group of women in Boulder county had the same idea. Laudisio’s happy hour goes until 7:30 – it’s popular, but I wasn’t really prepared for HOW popular. Betsy and Suzan, my girlfriends, were running a little bit late though. I hovered, waiting for someone to leave, and BOOM, snagged a table right as Suzan walked in the door.

I wasn’t hungry when I left the house, but the table snatching apparently wore me out. While I sipped on my teeny tiny happy hour martini, I ordered some olives, for the tiding over of my belly.

I ate most of them before I took the picture. I did mention that I was hungry, right?

I ended up ordering two tapas sized squash dishes. One was this soup, which was SUPER sweet. I never saw the official name, the waitress just told me about it, but after eating it I’m guessing the word ‘honey’ was in there somewhere. It was good though.

I also had roasted squash on polenta, but apparently I didn’t take a picture. It was perfect. The squash was less cooked than I would have done at home. Maybe I’ll aim for al dente in the future.

Betsy had this little pate plate with chutney and toast. Since she didn’t get very much, I didn’t ask to taste it.

Suzan had a salami plate (which obviously contained more than salami) and the chef’s cheese taster plate. One of the cheeses was possibly the grossest thing I’ve ever smelled in my life.

Overall, the food experience was kind of a bummer.

Good thing the company was so good.

mad world

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Should I just rename the blog ‘daily pictures of smoothies’?

It’s been a huge day so far.

First, something very exciting happened by the fence. I don’t know what it was, but it turned Maida into White Lightening.

Then we tried to take advantage of the 50 degree weather by going for a walk, and we almost blew away. We settled for laying in the sunshine instead.

I also cleaned the kitchen and did some handywoman stuff around the house (including taking the mattress and boxspring off my bed and tightening all the springs on my wrought iron frame – that thing is a menace and is going to drop me one of these nights).

I left the girls for a long overdue lunchdate. A girlfriend of mine and I fell out of touch several months ago, and we finally got it together today to go to the Waterloo for Taco Tuesday.

When I got there she’d already ordered chips. Working for a living makes you hungry, it seems – I recommend academia for those who are trying to cut back. A combination of a nervous stomach and no money will do it every time.

Not that either of those two things stopped me from destroying a pulled pork sandwich with housemade pickles and pickled onions, coleslaw, and sweet potato fries.

She took her cheery red jacketed self back to work, and I walked a couple of blocks to see the other folks who wandered into Louisville for lunch…

Crockett and his sister in law. Not pictured: niece and nephew with their own child sized cheese pizzas. (I would have tried harder to take a non-full mouth picture, but …. I guess I didn’t realize exactly how full his mouth was. Cute, ain’t he.)

How’s Tuesday going so far for y’all?