Monday, March 17, 2014

Can't Stop, Won't Stop

There's nothing quite like the knowledge that you will be out of your house for 3 months to inspire an entire weekend of non-stop cooking.  Which is pretty much how I spent the majority of my weekend, making things like oatmeal in jars to-go, salted caramel french toast and slow cooker roast beef po boys.  I mean, it's pretty clear I have a pinterest account right?

But before we get to the cooking, there was first cavorting.  This weekend I did something that I rarely do anymore.  And I did it TWICE!  (pause, as sexual innuendo processes....)  I went OUT drinking!  Friday night I went to this Denver "mixology" bar, as one does, called Ste. Ellie.  After the initial confusion of finding out where this hidden bar, downstairs from a restaurant, actually was, I spent my first 5 minutes there trying to figure if Ste. meant saint, or suite, or something all together different and in French, and how I would I ever be able to tell somebody the name of this bar without floundering over the name, and god why can't bars just have normal names like Jack's Bar, or Draanks!  But anyways, this bar is considered a speakeasy, which is ironic given it's ridiculously impossible to say name, but stood true to the mixologists tradition of making delicious, yet complicated drinks that have 10,000 ingredients but still taste like liquor and twigs.  I actually liked what the bartender made me when I left it up to them.  Probably because I didn't watch them make it.  Anyways, this birthday party had an interesting group of people...about half of which I'd met.  The half I was meeting for the first time were an interest make up of people that deserve  a short description.  There was the former roommate who was tall and athletic, and who I assumed had every advantage in life because of that.  There was the super hot Latina who could have been straight out of Miami, both in annoyance and Latina-ness.  There was the guy who may or may not have been part of the party but was always just almost about to start dancing near the group, so I assumed he was.  There was the cute girl who I was getting along famously with, but who ended up leaving me to talk to the taller, athletic guy, because that guy has every advantage in life.

But who did I spend most of the evening with?  The funny guy who paints star wars paintings in his free time and makes fun of his wife's Wisconsin-ese (She calls water fountains, bubblers), and disappeared at some point because he "wanted to get a drink with absinthe in it."  I think I won that round.

On Saturday, after completing almost every item on my weekend to-do list, I decided to start cooking.  And just like Forrest Gump, I didn't stop once I got to the end of one recipe, I just kept going.  First, I made a week's worth of make-ahead oatmeal.  The recipe, which I think I got from, calls for steel cut oatmeal, pint size mason jars and about 3 minutes of your time.  I used semi-instant oatmeal by accident, and had enormous canning jars, but still was able to create something consumable in the mornings.  The people at the deli downstairs will be devasted that I've replaced them.

After completing that project, I decided to get a head start on Sunday brunch by preparing a recipe I've been wanting to try for awhile now.  Nothing special, just SALTED CARAMEL FRENCH TOAST.  The process, which requires cooking up some salted carmel on the stovetop before adding some challah (pronounced hkhkhkhkhkhkallah) bread and the custard and letting soak overnight.  The before picture looks like this:

Saturday night, I met up with some friends to do a little brewery hopping to do a little St. Patty's Day adjacent celebration.  In Denver, a typical 20-something will make their way to one of the douchey LoDo bars on Saturday (if they're not already there since the day before) and drink themselves stupid on cheap beer and kamakaze shots.  This is not something  I wanted to do.  Instead, we went to a couple cool breweries in the RiNo district, because short names for districts is just cooler, and tried some great beers.  You know how you always remember those nights where you had a great conversation?  Probably not, if you're in LoDo doing kamakaze shots, but this was one of those nights.  Topics of discussion ranged from what we'd do in a zombie apocalypse, to the right way to commit suicide, the paralymipcs, yada yada yada, vaginal landscaping.  I think the term upper decker was thrown around a bit too.

Finally, on Sunday, a bit hungover, I prepared for some more friends to come over for a late brunch.  In addition to some spinach polenta and of course, bacon, the star of the show was the french toast.  I mean....seriously:

After brunch, and a walk around the neighborhood enjoying some of the amazing t-shirt weather we had yesterday, I decided that I hadn't cooked enough, and started making this roast beef po boy recipe I found.  I was about 30 minutes into it when I realized that it would be well after 9 PM before this was finished cooking, so I decided this would make for some nice lunch the rest of the week.  The weekend was finished catching up on Cosmos and finally resting after a long, fun weekend.

I also ran more this weekend, but this post is long enough.  I can update you on that tomorrow.

PS - What would I do in a zombie apocalypse you ask?  I would voluntarily become a zombie, like, immediately.  I mean, what part of lazily walking around and groaning, only stopping to eat because you literally walked into your food, doesn't sound like me?

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