I make dinner at my house at least 5 out of 7 nights of the week -- most of the time. This has varied somewhat over the years, but that's a good average. That's a lot! I got used to this habit when we lived in Vallejo and there was nothing, I mean nothing, good to eat in town. When we went to Benicia, the neighboring town, there was decent stuff, but they acted like we were in San Francisco with their prices. No thanks. So it was learn to make decent food at home or travel a minimum of thirty minutes to Berkeley, Oakland or Walnut for the good. The answer was start to make that shiz at home. And then I just got used planning a week's worth of meals and going from there.Read More
Everyday Erica is a space where I can be creative and share my recipes, travels, fitness ventures, and overall life experiences with the ones I love. I currently live Denver and enjoy all the things the mountains and city have to offer. I'm a planner who has learned you can't plan for life, so I'm going to enjoy the ride while I've got this chance.
When we went home to Florida for the holidays last year, we did a secret Santa with Chris's family. We make a wish list for ideas and things we wants for a gifter and then go from there. You know the drill I'm guessing. Well, if you don't already know, Chris is pretty minimalist when it comes to gift. We both really, cause if we want it, we just get it, so making a wish list can sometimes be hard. One thing Chris always loves to get when we go to Florida though is pecans. Besides fried okra, it is one of his favorites. So last year, he decided to put pecans on his gift wish list. And boy did he get what he was asking for.
His oldest bro was his secret Santa and he was gift about 10 pounds worth!!! First I'm thinking...damn, that is 10 pounds we have to bring back in a suitcase! Then - what is the great hell and I am going to do with 10 pounds of freaking pecans! Fast forward to six months later and I am still working through those bad boys. I think I have 3 or 4 one pound bags left if any one needs some - just let me know. Seriously...! I have managed to add them to my granola, use them in this pesto, toasted them for salads, Chris has chomped on a bunch raw, and I have made this nut butter several times.
This NUT BUTTER IS EVERYTHING! Salty, roasty toasty, nutty goodness. And so, so, so, easy. Have you ever made your own nut butter before? If not, you should. I am a little bit of a nut butter fanatic. I have several varieties in my pantry -- including peanut, peanut with cinnamon, almond, cashew, coconut, and now this pecan butter. I just can't stop. And if you make this, don't skip the salt - it is the best part. Cause everything with a little salt is better my friends. Trust.
April is a wild child in Denver. It rains, thunder storms, snows. We can have hurricane style winds and you can be at the park the next day. I took some time to try and slow down in April. I got sick at the very beginning of the month, so that helped - I guess. I did some hiking this month, took a few short bike rides to get my butt revved up for the summer. My softball team is going strong and I feel like I'm getting better(ish) every week. I've been playing catcher, which takes me way back to third grade when I played in Port Salerno on a team called the Beadnicks. O caught a ball with my forehead once and had the ball's stitched imprinted into my head. Ha! Hopefully I'll remember to catch all these balls in my glove, not my face. That sounded weird...no catching balls with my face. Mkkkay. Oh good times...
Any way, Here is a little more about April. Cheers and happy May!Read More
Oh HI! Nice to visit you again. It's been a minute...
I have been busy, but I have no idea with what. My life is fairly standard. Work, gym, eat, sleep. An occasion evening out to grab a beer. This is my 30s and I am OK with that. I've mostly been shut in recently reading. I finally finished "Gone with the Wind!" What an epic novel! I cannot believe I took on the challenge of reading it - it was supposed to be my "winter" read, but it brought me right into spring. It was long - 868 pages to be exact! And my poor book was falling in pieces by the end - Literally - the last 100 pages were not even in the book any more, but bound by a paper clip. I survived the book, however the book did not survive. It is not in pieces around the house (and the trash)! I pick up "The Goldfinch" for my next read, but before I start, I wanted to get a quick recipe out and focus on something else for a second.Read More
I think I mentioned last month how busy I anticipated March to be - and it was true. What a whirlwind! And because I pushed myself to hard, today I woke up with killer cold. Ugh - why does that always happen. I guess self care needs to take the lead in April. I sensing more time in my hammock and maybe a massage - but before we jump to that, here's a little bit of my March life.Read More
When I lived in California, I was fortune enough to meet a group of ladies who have a very special place in my heart. My first year there, with really no friends, a co-worker (now one of my favorite people in the world) asked me if I wanted to go on a wine tasting trip in Napa over President's Day weekend. Jaye was already planning to visit me, so asked if she could come and of course it wasn't a problem. So that weekend, myself and thees lovely ladies took a limo and went gallivanting around Napa, drinking wine, eating cheese, and dancing around like no one was watching. Turns our after that trip, I made some pretty great friends.
The next year came and we decided to do it again -- and Wineaversary was born. Every year after that we planned for President's Day weekend to be our annual wine trip up until last year, when I moved back to Colorado. We have such great memories of those days and got to explore Napa, Sonoma, Livermore, Healdsburg, and Santa Rosa wine countries. Needless to say, this year I was sad I wasn't in California getting the girls together for our trip again.
So Jaye and I got to talking and decided we needed to keep the weekend tradition alive, but tweek it a bit. It would still a girls weekend - but only the two of us this time. We both have state park passes so we did some research and booked a bare bones cabin in Eagle, Colorado. We packed our snowshoes and made plans for next adventure. We made lists, meal plans, and brought games, crafts, and books to pass the time. We were on our way.
Sylvan Lake State Park was where we called home for two nights. It is about 2 1/2 hours from Denver. There is a lake, hence the name, and several camp grounds and cabins nearby. We had no cell phone service and it felt so good to disconnect.
It turned out great!! It was basically winter camping, but in a cabin. Like I said, the cabin was bare bones, but it had everything we needed. There was an adorable gas fireplace that heated everything nicely. There were two bunk beds with mattresses (we brought sleeping bags and pillows) and a large picnic table inside. The cabin says it fits 6, but 4 would be max since it is a small space.
We made plans to split up our meals - I did breakfasts and lunches and Jaye was in charge of happy hour and dinners. I also made cookies - cause duh. Ya need 'em. We didn't know if a camp fire was going to work since it was snowy, so I packed my camp stove, which worked out so great. We both love good food and drinks, so we prepared well for our meals.
We spent time hiking around the lake, which was only about 1 1/2 miles long and the second day, we went on a longer snow shoe hike that ended up being about 5 miles rounds trip. It was straight up in elevation, which was a challenge in the snow, but it was so quiet and peaceful out there. It was a blue bird day and it was warm enough where I was hiking in just my fleece and running tights.
We got back to the cabin after our hike and the wind picked up to nearly blow us away and the temperature dropped about 15 degrees! We cranked the heat up, made some grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch (with fresh bread I might add), and mixed up some cozy Bloody Mary's. We read, we napped, then we got up to eat all over again - I mean you can't ask for a better combination of actives if I do say so myself. Eating, drinking, being a little active, and a little lazy - it makes for a great weekend getaway. And a lovely new tradition!
Oh hi. It is already the first full week of March and I am wondering where the heck it went. But let's go back....way back in February, when I scored some fun times. I had a little weekend girls getaway in the mountains, I enjoyed lots of Denver coffee, and I picked up a new hobby of Tunisian crocheting. I love each and every moment. So here is a bit of my February life for you.Read More
Citrus season is coming to a close soon! I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of what I wanted to do with citrus this year. When I lived in California, there was an abundance of local citrus in your face all the times, so it was hard not to be absorbed into it. And by the end of the season, you were ready for stone fruits and berries galore! For some reason, in Colorado, I feel like the season is more fleeting - almost an after thought. Ugh - I hate that! Because I love good, juicy citrus and all it has to offer.Read More