Friday, June 29, 2012

 Today was Q's last day of camp for the week, and this day consisted of an entire afternoon of cooking classes given by a chef from the Glenmoor country club's kitchen.
So it seemed like a fitting end of the day to share a family dinner at our favorite neighborhood French restaurant, Indulge.
 We arrived to a greeting from on high...the owner's dog Lilli, perched on the roof above the restaurant's lovely patio.
 We know Lilli quite well, so after a moment or two she recognized us getting out of our car, and stood to greet us, tail furiously wagging. We have been "babysitters" in the past for Lilli, when her owners have left town to visit their families in France.
Mike and chef/proprietor William Wahl go way back to the days before we even started the adoption process for Q. They worked side by side in the kitchen at Denver's renowned Opera House Restaurant many years ago. Here they are "talking shop", as they usually do when we meet up for a meal.
 The first thing we order at Indulge is the Potage Vichyssoise, because Q adores it. 
The platter comes out with a dollop of white & black truffle creme fraiche, over which is poured the chilled soup.
 A perfect start to a meal on a hot summer's evening.
 Next, we indulge in chef Whal's superb Pate de Campagne "au poivre vert", served with cornichons, French mustard topped with chive oil, and grilled baguette.
 Q tucks into her Vichyssoise.
William, Q and Mike convening over entrees.

 While awaiting our courses, Q entertained herself by playing "cat burglar" and stealthily stealing my jewelery.
 My main course was the sea scallops served gorgeously with a sweet pea mousseline, sweet pea and black truffle salad (Q ate most of this), and Marsala essence. The baby potatoes that show up in the foreground are superbly prepared, and were immediately stolen by my daughter.
 Q sporting the jewels that she burgled from me during dinner ;)
For Q's main course, we ordered William's delicious blue crab, avocado and mango salad with sauce remoulade. We all stole a bit from her plate!
 Q and her "spoils".
 Me, Chef Wahl, and Q, looking sly.
 When Edith Piaf came on over the speakers, Q took to the floor for some interpretive dancing before dessert.
And speaking of dessert...we always like to sample the seasonal trio of Creme Brulee, this month including Bourbon vanilla bean, Chambord, and St. Germain (elderberry liqueur).
Q likes to crack the glaze. time I might order the Pears "Belle Helene" with bourbon vanilla icecream, chocolate sauce and toasted almonds. 
Or, maybe the tea-infused orange "broth" with orange rosette, and toasted pistachio dust.
Oh, my!

What: Indulge French Bistro
Where: 4140 W. 38th at Raleigh St.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

 I have been having a great deal of fun creating designs for my Café Press store, currently featuring four designs, available on men's, women's and children's tees, plus accessories. I'll be adding new designs to the shop periodically.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

 As much as the heatwave has been getting to us this summer, there have been many natural delights to balance out the equation. It has been an astonishing year for both flowers and butterflies (I suppose the two go hand-in-hand).
 On a recent weekend in the Vail Valley, we were treated to a few exceptionally magical hikes on familiar trails made unfamiliar by the sheer profligacy of flora and fauna.
 Q immediately set about collecting a record-setting bouquet of dandelions...
 ...while the rest of us danced on tiptoe to avoid crushing the multi-coloured butterflies that carpeted the trail like an animated tapestry.
 What with the unusually brilliant greens of the aspen groves and underbrush, we might have stepped through the looking glass into an alternate universe - much like the one we knew, but just a bit moreso in every way.

 What a wonderland our world can be!
Some days, this world can just leave you speechless.

Monday, June 25, 2012

 It is an exceptionally hot summer in Denver this year. 
It made for an early, lengthy and languorous spring...but come triple-digit temps in June, the charm begins to wear off.
 One escapes to the mountains when possible!
 Summit County, here at about 8,000 feet above sea level, lies cradled between the Continental Divide and Vail Pass, the reservoir (aka Lake Dillon) is surrounded by peaks, making for cool water, good sailing, and numerous tiny islands ideal for kayaking. Also a great place to stop off en route to Vail when you need to cool off a couple of hot dogs in the high-mountain runoff.
 Even on the hottest days, the water tends to be chilly enough to numb the ankles, but in weather as hot as this, it's a welcome relief.

 Q cooling her heels at altitude.

 Before heading on over the next pass to Vail, we stopped in the small, picturesque town of Frisco (on the West side of the lake) for dinner at an old favorite haunt of ours, Bagali's.
Mike and I frequented Bagali's when it was still located in West Vail, back when we were first dating and still looking for a hideout where we could get to know eachother without engendering a great deal of gossip in the Vail Valley's small-town environment. Back then, Bagali's was basically a pizza joint with a casual ambiance and a really good homestyle pasta puttanesca. These days, under new management, it is a rather swanky restaurant in Frisco with a far more upscale (but still notworthy) menu and an elegant mountain ambiance.
Sitting down at Bagali's in 2012, one can enjoy a fine wine while listening to young athletes at the next table discussing the most recent extreme trail race over a superb meat-and-olive plate. It's a brave new world in the wild West.

What: Bagalis Restaurant, Frisco, CO
Where: 320 East Main St., Frisco, CO 80443

Thursday, June 21, 2012

 I am so exhausted tonight that I think my eyes might actually be crossing. A couple of weeks of starting my workday at 5:30 am and still at work at 10:30 pm...
So tonight, when I felt compelled to put up a new blog post, I opened the first folder that my mouse found on the desktop and started editing. It turned out to be a visit to the weird and wonderful White Fence Farm that we made early this spring. 

 Our visits to the White Fence Farm never fail to delight...and boggle.
 Mike checking on his work emails while awaiting our call to the dining room.
 The home-grown fried chicken was as delectable as ever. 
Mike ordered a highball. 
I had always wondered about the "highball" on the menu, because...isn't a highball a class of drink, rather than a drink in itself?
In any case, what he received seemed to be something involving whiskey and water. Maybe some sugar. And a lot of ice.
 The giant pig was still in residence inside the barn, though it seems to me that he hasn't moved from his precise location in at least three years. Maybe someone feeds him by hand?
in MiniRodini dress, American Apparel leggings, Zara kids jacket
 White Fence has good porches. Really good porches. Extremely inviting porches. Especially useful when it's raining...and I think that it actually hasn't rained here since this picture was taken, sometime in April. Sigh.

Where: 6263 West Jewell Ave. Lakewood, CO